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Cult Hackers
Cult Hackers
Cult Hackers

A podcast about cult hacking! Cracking the cult code to understand what they are, how they work, how people leave and how... more

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Episodes

Cults, addiction, politics, religion, intrigue and big worms: Dune

This special episode is about the Frank Herbert story, Dune, including the recent film adaptation. This story covers many of... more

17 May 2024 · 42 minutes
The Importance of Having a Voice and Podcast News

After 267 episodes we've decided that's the end of season 1. In the final episode of the season Celine and... more

10 Feb 2024 · 46 minutes
Order, obedience, compliance and silence: Kendra Petty's story.

Our guest today is Kendra Petty, author of the memoir "I Can't Believe I'm Not Dead". Coercively controlled by her... more

03 Feb 2024 · 57 minutes
Is Religion Good For You?

Celine raises the question whether there is a link between religious belief and long life. Following the Netflix series Live... more

27 Jan 2024 · 1 hour, 6 minutes
Filmmaker Carmel Mikol talks Apostate, her Short Documentary Film

This week Celine and Stephen's guest is Carmel Mikol, a filmmaker, musician, artist and former Jehovah's Witness. Carmel talks about... more

20 Jan 2024 · 1 hour, 5 minutes
Behaving Badly for the Org.

A high profile case of people behaving appallingly on behalf of an organisation is big news in the UK, known... more

13 Jan 2024 · 58 minutes
Interview With Apostate Barbie

Celine and Stephen are joined by Micki, AKA Apostate Barbie, from Instagram and Tic Tok. Micki tells us about her... more

06 Jan 2024 · 1 hour, 1 minute
Bonus Crossover: Magical Thinking Part 2

A follow-up to the conversation Stephen had with Spencer Watson from the Truth Unrestricted Podcast about magical thinking. This time... more

03 Jan 2024 · 53 minutes
Legal Fights: Jehovah’s Witnesses Vs Norway, with Jan Frode Nilsen

Jan Frode Nilsen has a long-form interview with Stephen about his work exposing the damaging shunning policies of Jehovah's Witnesses,... more

30 Dec 2023 · 1 hour, 8 minutes
Finding Friends After Leaving a Cult; Patron Takeover

Losing friends, making new ones, reuniting with old ones, all at the same time as finding yourself. Friendships can be... more

23 Dec 2023 · 1 hour, 7 minutes
Bonus Audio Blog: Am I Awake Yet?

This short bonus episode is the audio version of a blog Stephen recently published on Medium. Many leavers of high... more

19 Dec 2023 · 15 minutes
Living in Keith Green’s Cult Commune; Last Days Ministries

In the late 70s Sharon and Tracey were attracted to "The Jesus People" and joined the Last Days Ministries, living... more

16 Dec 2023 · 1 hour,
The Cultic Bug In The System

For this week's podcast Celine and Stephen discuss the "software bug" inherent in human beings that makes us vulnerable to... more

09 Dec 2023 · 58 minutes
Understanding Magical Thinking with Spencer Watson

This week Stephen talks to Spencer Watson from the Truth Unrestricted Podcast about the question of 'Magical Thinking'. What is... more

02 Dec 2023 · 1 hour, 43 minutes
Deconstructing the Certainty of Fundamentalism with Olivia Jackson

When you're a member of a fundamentalist religious group, you find comfort in the certain knowledge that you have "The... more

25 Nov 2023 · 58 minutes
Cult Hackers Birthday Party

Join the party to listen to some of our nearly 100 hundred different guests over the last three years. We... more

18 Nov 2023 · 1 hour, 10 minutes
Discovering who you are after the cult, with Rachel Bernstein

Celine and Stephen speak to cult expert, therapist and podcaster, Rachel Bernstein about her introduction into the topic, her work... more

11 Nov 2023 · 57 minutes
White Christian Nationalism and Conspiracy Theories

Today we're joined by Cynane, a former member of a fundamentalist Christian group. Cynane is writing a book about the... more

04 Nov 2023 · 1 hour, 23 minutes
What The Stanford Prison Experiment Tells Us About Cults

It's perhaps the most famous psychological study ever but what does it really tell us? And what might it tell... more

27 Oct 2023 · 56 minutes
”Feeling like a misfit”: Creative Struggles and Triumphs with Witness Underground

Stephen speaks to Scott Homan, Ryan Sutter, Anthony Mathenia, Denise Wise and Micah Allen Losch from the Witness Underground team.... more

24 Oct 2023 · 1 hour, 43 minutes
Taking on Gloriavale with Human Rights Lawyer, Stephen Patterson

Human rights lawyer, Stephen Patterson joins us today to talk about his work representing ex-members of the New Zealand based... more

20 Oct 2023 · 1 hour, 2 minutes
Sci-fi saviours with cult kids, Riley and Stephen

In this bonus episode Riley joins Stephen to go deep into the philosophy and meaning behind childhood TV and film... more

17 Oct 2023 · 1 hour, 4 minutes
”What gets measured gets done!”, Jehovah’s Witnesses stop counting time - Reaction

A major driver of the culture within Jehovah's Witnesses has been the requirement to count and record time spent on... more

13 Oct 2023 · 46 minutes
Dennis Tourish on The Dark Side of Charismatic Leaders

Our guest today is Dennis Tourish, Professor of Leadership and Organization Studies at The University of Sussex. He's an academic... more

06 Oct 2023 · 51 minutes
Exposing cultic abuse with Dr Alexandra Stein

A big welcome back to Dr Alexandra Stein onto the podcast, updating us on her work exposing cults and educating... more

29 Sep 2023 · 59 minutes
The psychological ABC of Conspiracism and Cults

Celine and Stephen explore how overarching conspiracy theories and cults highjack fundamental psychological needs to make them attractive. Are we... more

22 Sep 2023 · 55 minutes
Purity Culture And the Damage it Does, with Kendra Bryan

Celine and Stephen are joined today by Kendra Bryan who was raised in a fundamentalist Christian group. Kendra describes her... more

15 Sep 2023 · 1 hour, 4 minutes
Cultic Motivation

Today Celine and Stephen explore the various theories related to how organizations motivate people and how they can be applied... more

08 Sep 2023 · 1 hour, 1 minute
Bonus LEJOG update: Failing Publicly?

Stephen is back home after his attempt at the Land's End to John O'Groats cycle. He talks about his ride... more

08 Sep 2023 · 23 minutes
Cult hopping with Sue Winter

Our guest today Sue Winter describes herself as a cult hopper and analyses her experiences of coercive control in the... more

01 Sep 2023 · 56 minutes
Anti-cult activism: Hate, disgruntlement or something else?

Why do people do activism, write books or make podcasts after they've left a  cultic group? Is it down to... more

25 Aug 2023 · 1 hour, 26 minutes
“Silenced in Eden” with Jo Lloyd Johnson

Jo Lloyd Johnson is an artist and author who escaped a charismatic, fundamentalist Christian cultic group. She has written about... more

18 Aug 2023 · 1 hour, 4 minutes
Learning About Cults With Kacey from The Cult Vault

This week our guest is Kacey from the Cult Vault, one of the leading podcasts about cults. Kacey talks about... more

11 Aug 2023 · 1 hour, 7 minutes
The Psychology of Cults Miniseries Part 7: Finding Identity After Leaving a Cult

In this special, last of the current season of miniseries episodes about the psychology of cults, we are releasing the... more

08 Aug 2023 · 42 minutes
Is there a UFO cult inside the Pentagon?

Today Stephen and Celine look at the news about claims of UFOs and UAP at the Congressional Hearing on July... more

04 Aug 2023 · 1 hour, 25 minutes
The Psychology of Cults Miniseries Part 6: Managing a Cult

In our ongoing miniseries into the psychology of cults Stephen explores how cults manage their activity, including the similarities and... more

01 Aug 2023 · 19 minutes
Inside The Mind of a Teenage Fundamentalist

Today we welcome back Brian and Troy from the 'I was a teenage fundamentalist' podcast. What are the thinking processes... more

28 Jul 2023 · 1 hour, 16 minutes
The Psychology of Cults Miniseries Part 5: Organizational Change

Today on the psychology of cults miniseries, Stephen uses the tools of Organizational Psychology to explain how organizations respond to... more

25 Jul 2023 · 16 minutes
Cults on Film: The Truman Show

In this episode Celine and Stephen do a cult reading of the classic movie The Truman Show, directed by Peter... more

21 Jul 2023 · 59 minutes
The Psychology of Cults Miniseries Part 4: Cult Leadership

On our continuing miniseries on the psychology of cults, this week Stephen explores how cult leaders often employ charismatic tactics... more

18 Jul 2023 · 15 minutes
Recovering from a Traumatic Narcissistic Cultic Relationship with Dan Shaw

Daniel Shaw, former member of a yoga cultic group, is a professional psychotherapist and author, who has researched extensively traumatic... more

14 Jul 2023 · 1 hour, 1 minute
The Psychology of Cults Miniseries Part 3: Why People Join and Why they Stay

In this week's bonus episode in the mini-series The Psychology of Cults, Stephen uses social psychological to explore the attraction... more

11 Jul 2023 · 12 minutes
The Descent of Man

Leaving a high control group is difficult for everyone. Men and women have specific challenges, and today Celine and Stephen... more

07 Jul 2023 · 1 hour, 27 minutes
The Psychology of Cults Miniseries Part 2: The Problem With Shunning

In this bonus mini-series, Stephen talks about the psychology of cults. Today's episode is about the practice of shunning, its... more

04 Jul 2023 · 32 minutes
The Troubled Teen Industry: Behavior Modification

Abby was a 15 year old girl suffering from anxiety when she was taken against her will to a lockdown... more

30 Jun 2023 · 1 hour,
The Psychology of Cults Miniseries Part 1: How Cults Motivate

In this bonus mini-series, Stephen talks about the psychology of cults. Today's episode is about how cults motivate members to... more

28 Jun 2023 · 13 minutes
Bike and Psych

Today's special episode focuses on Stephen's endurance challenge as he trains for the Land's End to John o' Groats 970... more

23 Jun 2023 · 58 minutes
Taking on NXIVM with Susan Dones

Susan Dones took on NXIVM before most of us had even heard about the cultic self-help group. Against the warning... more

16 Jun 2023 · 1 hour,
The Five Stages of Grief - But Mostly Anger

Today's 'topic episode' is about grief, and Celine and Stephen explore the famous Kübler-Ross stages of grief and how they... more

09 Jun 2023 · 58 minutes
”In the New System, will we have stories?”: Ex JW Writer, Rebecca Woodward

Rebecca Woodward is a writer, published in the New York Times, Huffpost and Electric Literature. She was raised as a... more

02 Jun 2023 · 1 hour, 9 minutes
Leaving Conspiracism with Brent Lee: Taking Ownership and The Social Cost

Brent Lee, former conspiracist joins the podcast today to talk about his wild journey since we last spoke in January... more

26 May 2023 · 56 minutes
The Cult Algorithm, AI and QAnon

This week Celine interrogates Stephen on his claim that it's only a matter of time before we see our first... more

19 May 2023 · 1 hour, 1 minute
Bonus: The Family Survival Trust Special Event

On today's bonus episode Joy Cranham, from the Family Survival Trust, speaks to Stephen about a special event they are... more

18 May 2023 · 43 minutes
Going on a Cult Trip with Anke Richter

Stephen talks to Anke Richter, an international journalist and author of Cult Trip, a book about her investigations into a... more

12 May 2023 · 1 hour, 13 minutes
Is The Royal Family a Cult?

Prince Harry suggested that the Royal family might be a death cult in his book Spare. Today on Coronation Day,... more

05 May 2023 · 54 minutes
An Anarchist Studies With Jehovah’s Witnesses: Discussion with Hayward Gatch

This bonus episode is a conversation Stephen had with anarchist Hayward Gatch about his experience studying with Jehovah's Witnesses. They... more

03 May 2023 · 56 minutes
Part 2 Interview with Daniel Allen Cox

Part 2 of our discussion with ex-Jehovah's Witness, author Daniel Allen Cox talking about his upcoming memoirs, I Felt the End... more

29 Apr 2023 · 44 minutes
Daniel Allen Cox, author of ”I Felt The End Before It Came”

Part 1 of a two part interview with Canadian writer Daniel Allen Cox, former Jehovah's Witness and author of a... more

28 Apr 2023 · 46 minutes
Child Marriage and Modern Day Slavery: Tamara’s Story

Tamara MC, PhD tells her story of living in a Sufi cult from the age of 5 years old. Tamara... more

21 Apr 2023 · 51 minutes
Life Coaching in the light of Lighthouse

In the light of the BBC documentary and podcast "A Very British Cult", exposing the practices of the life coaching... more

14 Apr 2023 · 1 hour, 15 minutes
”Accountability is not persecution” Rachael Reign on the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God

The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) is described as the largest worldwide megachurch. Rachael Reign was recruited... more

07 Apr 2023 · 1 hour, 19 minutes
Complexity bias and cults

Do cults exploit our desire for simple answers? Do they mire us in complexity to keep us in? Or do... more

31 Mar 2023 · 56 minutes
Falling in and out of love with a Sufi Group: Todd Brown

Todd Brown talks about his moving and emotional story of his 23 years in a small Sufi group, his suppression... more

25 Mar 2023 · 1 hour, 19 minutes
”Do your own research”: Authority Part 2, Who to Believe.

Who gets to call themselves an expert? In a world where anyone can be a film producer, documentary maker or... more

18 Mar 2023 · 52 minutes
Update

Contact Page: https://culthackers.com/

10 Mar 2023 · 1 minute
Healing From Cults Through Art and Music: Scott Homan

We welcome back filmmaker Scott Homan and former Jehovah's Witness to update us on his amazing film Witness Underground, as... more

04 Mar 2023 · 57 minutes
”Sticking it to The Man”: Authority, Reactance and Cults

Why do we rebel against authority? When is it a good thing? When is it maybe not so good? How... more

25 Feb 2023 · 54 minutes
”Fine just as I am”: Interview with 2 Girls 1 Cult

Guests today are Narissa and Lara from the 2 Girls 1 Cult podcast. Sisters and former Jehovah's Witnesses they talk... more

18 Feb 2023 · 1 hour, 1 minute
Escaping Morningland Church with Frankie Tease

Frankie Tease was a member of Morningland Monastery at Long Beach California group from the age of 8 through to... more

11 Feb 2023 · 1 hour, 2 minutes
Identity and our three selves after leaving a cult

Celine and Stephen explore the question of identity and how cults attempt to control the individual, social and group self.... more

04 Feb 2023 · 1 hour, 8 minutes
Bonus: Science what is it good for? And Fusion News!

Belonging to a fundamentalist religious cult often means having a complicated relationship with science and scientific discoveries. After leaving, the... more

01 Feb 2023 · 59 minutes
Recovering From Jehovah’s Witnesses: Mental Health Counsellor Claire Alison Hams

Claire Alison Hams was raised as a Jehovah's Witness and was a full time pioneer. She is now a mental... more

28 Jan 2023 · 45 minutes
Cracking Cults Collaboration - Meet The Podcasters!

Today Stephen and Celine are joined by Elgen Strait ex Moonie - Falling Out Podcast, Frankie Tease ex Morningland Church... more

21 Jan 2023 · 1 hour, 12 minutes
Bonus Cults on Film: The Master

Today's episode explores the 2012 classic The Master, written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour... more

19 Jan 2023 · 46 minutes
From the Children of God to the Army: Uncultured with Daniella Mestyanek Young

In her memoir, 'Uncultured' Daniella Mestyanek Young tells her story of being raised in the Children of God, her escape... more

14 Jan 2023 · 1 hour, 7 minutes
Children of the Cult: Joy Cranham from The Family Survival Trust

Today's guest is Joy Cranham from the Family Survival Trust, a charity that specialises in helping victims of cults and... more

07 Jan 2023 · 1 hour, 27 minutes
Bonus: Cults On Film, The Invisible Man

The Invisible Man - it's not about invisibility! Coercive control is a signature tactic of cults and a sign of toxic... more

04 Jan 2023 · 40 minutes
Cult Hacker Review of 2022

The final Cult Hackers podcast for the year with Celine and Stephen as they review their favourite episodes, talk about... more

31 Dec 2022 · 47 minutes
Bonus: The Jedi Cult and the Radicalisation of the Skywalkers

In this bonus episode from the Cults on Film series, Stephen explores cult tactics employed by the Jedi and the... more

28 Dec 2022 · 28 minutes
Christmas: It’s complicated

For cult leavers raised in groups like Jehovah's Witnesses who don't celebrate Christmas, the holidays can create mixed feelings. Celine... more

24 Dec 2022 · 55 minutes
The God Virus and Recovering From Religion with Darrel Ray

Dr Darrel Ray is a well known author, psychologist and speaker about the difficulties of making sense of the world... more

17 Dec 2022 · 53 minutes
Bonus: Cults on Film - Apostasy

Today's bonus episode is an analysis of the 2017 movie Apostasy written and directed by former Jehovah's Witness, Daniel Kokotajlo... more

14 Dec 2022 · 25 minutes
Justified Ancients of Mu Mu and the KLF with Jexit’s Riley

This week’s episode is a special one and welcomes guest Riley from the Jexit channel. It explores the spectacular story... more

10 Dec 2022 · 36 minutes
Special Mini Series Part 4: Cults at Work, Meaning and Purpose

In this final episode of our mini-series Stephen is joined by Jane Stewart and and James Carrier from The World... more

07 Dec 2022 · 55 minutes
Graphic Novel, Cult Girls Author Natalie Grand

Raised as a 4th generation Jehovah's Witness Natalie Grand wanted to educate the world about life for a woman growing... more

03 Dec 2022 · 51 minutes
Special Mini Series Part 3: Cults at Work.The Importance of Having a Voice

In this week's special collaboration with The World of Work Project we explore the importance of being able to speak... more

30 Nov 2022 · 1 hour, 9 minutes
The End of the World - Armageddon Obsessed

Celine and Stephen explore the ever-present belief that the end is nigh, starting with Stephen's former group Jehovah's Witnesses, including... more

26 Nov 2022 · 1 hour, 1 minute
Special Mini Series: Cults at Work Part 2, Leadership

Part 2 of our special collaboration with the World of Work Project's Jane Stewart and James Carrier. This week we... more

23 Nov 2022 · 1 hour, 14 minutes
Cult Survivor, Activist and Podcaster, Andrew Pledger - Part 2

In part 2, Andrew continues his discussion with Celine and Stephen. Andrew Pledger is a podcaster, activist, writer and life... more

20 Nov 2022 · 52 minutes
Cult Survivor, Activist and Podcaster Andrew Pledger - Part 1

Andrew Pledger is a podcaster, activist, writer and life coach who left a fundamentalist Christian cult. He raises awareness about... more

19 Nov 2022 · 1 hour, 27 minutes
Special Mini Series With The WOW Project: Cults at Work Part 1

This is a special collaboration between Cult Hackers and The World of Work Project, exploring cultic practices in the workplace.... more

16 Nov 2022 · 1 hour, 10 minutes
The Cornetto Trilogy

To lift the mood this week Stephen and Celine review three of their favourite comedy movies, all with tangentially cult... more

12 Nov 2022 · 53 minutes
Trauma Recovery Coach Jolyn Armstrong

Jolyn Armstrong is a certified trauma recovery coach and has an interesting personal perspective, having gone through the experience of... more

05 Nov 2022 · 57 minutes
A Diabolical Week and Demons On Repeat

Today Stephen briefly considers a week of hell, and then Cult Hackers revisits an episode from the archives exploring the... more

28 Oct 2022 · 1 hour, 28 minutes
“Jonestown in slow motion”. Leaving Christian Science with Hilary Alexander

Today Celine and Stephen explore a group they've not talked about before, Christian Science. Hilary Alexander was raised as a... more

21 Oct 2022 · 58 minutes
Bonus Episode: Separating the Quantum Science From the Woo

After leaving a cult or fundamentalist group with an all-encompassing belief system, it’s great fun to explore science and philosophy... more

18 Oct 2022 · 1 hour, 4 minutes
The Abuse of Power in Cults

In this week's episode we explore how cults use power to ensure the obedience of their followers, drawing from French... more

14 Oct 2022 · 1 hour, 7 minutes
Bonus Episode: Cults on Film, The Borg

Assimilation, group identity and leaving is hard. In this bonus episode taken from our short series, Cults on Film, Stephen... more

13 Oct 2022 · 15 minutes
Jennifer French: Reconnecting With Family After Leaving a Mystical Cult

Jennifer French has a Masters in the Psychology of Coercive Control and is host of the Project Hope Podcast. She... more

07 Oct 2022 · 1 hour, 10 minutes
Cults and the promise of happiness

Celine and Stephen explore how cults use the promise of happiness to attract people and keep them on the hook.... more

30 Sep 2022 · 1 hour, 35 minutes
Special Episode: Recovering from a Damaging Religious Group with Sherrie D’Souza

Sherrie D'Souza is the International Development Director and board member of 'Recovering From Religion' an organization that specialises in helping... more

27 Sep 2022 · 1 hour, 15 minutes
Nicola Ranson: Life, love and leaving the Rajneeshpuram

Welcome to the first official episode of Cult Hackers (formerly 'What should I think about..?') For our first show we... more

23 Sep 2022 · 1 hour, 10 minutes
Spirituality, Mysticism and Consciousness With Andrew Jasko

In the last ever episode of 'What Should I Think About...?' (soon to become Cult Hackers), Andrew Jasko, M.Div. joins... more

17 Sep 2022 · 1 hour, 4 minutes
Work Life Balance in a Cult

Did Jesus have a work-life balance problem? What are the 'work' commitments for members of cults? As a former Jehovah's... more

10 Sep 2022 · 1 hour, 23 minutes
Changing Laws To Protect Society From Cults With The Counter Cult Coalition

Taking action against cults and spiritual abuse requires changes in law and policies often at the National or State level.... more

03 Sep 2022 · 55 minutes
Does Jehovah’s Witnesses literature cause psychological disorders?

Prompted by a Tweet, Celine and Stephen explore the judgement that Jehovah's Witnesses literature can cause psychological damage and that... more

27 Aug 2022 · 1 hour, 2 minutes
Synergy between Terrorism and Cults with Darin Challacombe PhD

Darin Challacombe is a social scientist and researcher in the field of terrorism. He recently gave a talk at the... more

20 Aug 2022 · 49 minutes
Beliefs: The weird, the dangerous, the benign and the useful.

Does it matter what cults believe? Or is it only what they do that matters? Should we respect beliefs that... more

13 Aug 2022 · 1 hour, 17 minutes
Hero Worship with Germ and Maryann

What function do heroes serve? Why were we not allowed to have posters of our heroes on our bedroom walls?... more

06 Aug 2022 · 55 minutes
Special Episode: Reflections on ’The Last Days’ with Ali Millar

On this special episode, author Ali Millar talks about the release of her wonderful new book 'The Last Days' and... more

03 Aug 2022 · 1 hour, 7 minutes
The Emotional Journey of Leaving a Cult

How many core emotions are there? How do we understand them? How do they come into play when people leave... more

30 Jul 2022 · 39 minutes
Unpacking Belief Systems with Kat Wallace

Kat Wallace is a 4th generation ex Jehovah's Witness and speaker at the recent ICSA conference, who struggled growing up... more

23 Jul 2022 · 1 hour, 9 minutes
Artificial Intelligence and Consciousness

Did Google just create a conscious A.I.? If it has, what would that mean? Today Celine and Stephen explore the... more

16 Jul 2022 · 49 minutes
ICSA Conference Highlights

Two conference speakers, the winner of an award, and the conference attendee first-prize winner! Today's special episode  welcomes Daniel O'Brien,... more

09 Jul 2022 · 1 hour, 30 minutes
Abortion

This week's episode looks at the question of abortion and the recent Supreme Court decision in the USA. It's a... more

02 Jul 2022 · 1 hour, 11 minutes
”To say it was awful was an understatement”: Alisha’s Story

Ex Jehovah's Witness Alisha tried to simply leave the religion she was raised in and build her own life. The... more

25 Jun 2022 · 56 minutes
Transformational Training

The promise that you can be transformed into the person you've always wanted to be is a tempting one. This... more

18 Jun 2022 · 45 minutes
From Fear to Freedom with Kimberley Miller

One of the most emotional interviews ever on our podcast, author Kimberley L Miller talks movingly about her life as... more

11 Jun 2022 · 1 hour, 2 minutes
Does Nature Tell Us Anything About God? With John Elson

In today’s episode I spend a very pleasant afternoon having a walk and a chat with a friend of the... more

04 Jun 2022 · 1 hour, 13 minutes
Theocracy to Democracy

When you are a fundamentalist Christian, Theocracy sounds like a great idea but when you leave, the reality becomes clear.... more

29 May 2022 · 1 hour, 15 minutes
The Psychological Impact of Shunning with Dr Heather Ransom

The 'What should I think about..?' podcast goes 'sight & sound' this week on this special edition of the show,... more

21 May 2022 · 1 hour, 29 minutes
Having Fun and Healing With Games: Guest Starring Germ

High control religious groups often discourage games, warning about the 'dangers' of being influenced by Satan or the world. But... more

14 May 2022 · 58 minutes
Living and dying (rebroadcast from the archive)

I (Stephen) had an online conversation recently with a friend who had recently experienced a family loss. We chatted and... more

10 May 2022 · 1 hour, 9 minutes
Ex Jehovah’s Witness Poet and Podcaster Leon Helsby

Ex Jehovah's Witness Poet and Podcaster Leon Helsby tells his story of leaving the organization, why he finds poetry so... more

07 May 2022 · 1 hour, 9 minutes
Learning Styles and Other Myths

Celine and Stephen get into some pop psychology to see what we know, what we think we know but don't,... more

30 Apr 2022 · 59 minutes
Falling in love with an ex cult member

Today we interview Marcia and Riley (AKA Jexit) about falling in love with someone who was a member of a... more

23 Apr 2022 · 1 hour, 12 minutes
Fight Club: Cult Reading and Movie Review

This week Celine and Stephen review, and do a cult reading of the 1999 movie, Fight Club, directed by David... more

16 Apr 2022 · 55 minutes
Making Sense of an Abnormal Normal: Life in the Children of God

Author, Mary Mahoney talks about her 31 years in the Children of God. She tells Celine and Stephen about her... more

09 Apr 2022 · 1 hour, 9 minutes
Virtual Worlds

As if this world isn't confusing enough, today Celine and Stephen explore virtual worlds and our seemingly unavoidable destiny with... more

05 Apr 2022 · 1 hour, 5 minutes
Hypnotherapist and EX Jehovah’s Witness, Becky Armstrong-Corbett

Becky Armstrong-Corbett is a qualified psychotherapist and solution focused clinical hypnotherapist. Raised as a Jehovah's Witness she was sexually abused... more

02 Apr 2022 · 1 hour, 1 minute
Cult Wars

Today Celine and Stephen decide to take a sober and even-handed approach to the question of how we should research... more

29 Mar 2022 · 1 hour, 1 minute
Critical Thinking, Spirituality and life after Jehovah’s Witnesses: Daniel O’Brien

Daniel O'Brien is an educator, musician and ex Jehovah's Witness elder. He talks to Stephen about his experience being recruited... more

27 Mar 2022 · 1 hour, 17 minutes
Birthdays

As it's Stephen's birthday today , 'birthdays' is the theme of this week's chat. As a Jehovah's Witness child, birthday... more

23 Mar 2022 · 56 minutes
Ashlen Hilliard: From The International Cultic Studies Association

Ashlen talks about her experience as a born-in member of a small Christian Fundamentalist group called the Churches of Christ,... more

19 Mar 2022 · 1 hour,
A Cult Reading of The Movie Equilibrium WIth Jexit’s Riley

Riley from the Jexit YouTube channel joins Stephen today to analyse the 2002 movie Equilibrium, directed by Kurt Wimmer, starring... more

15 Mar 2022 · 1 hour, 22 minutes
The History of Atheism

Today Celine and Stephen are joined by Jordan Robertson from the Shunned Experience to talk about the history of atheism.... more

13 Mar 2022 · 1 hour, 4 minutes
Taking Risks

We manage risk every day but how we calculate it is often difficult to understand. Our attitude towards risk is... more

09 Mar 2022 · 47 minutes
Signs and Symbols with Producer Bob

Producer Bob joins us to talk about the use of signs and symbols in religions, cults and the social world... more

06 Mar 2022 · 1 hour, 5 minutes
Knowing Right From Wrong: Ethics and Morals after leaving a Cult

As a member of totalistic group or cult, morals and ethics are to a large degree determined by the Group.... more

02 Mar 2022 · 1 hour, 1 minute
Raised in Fear: Kwasizabantu with Daniel Schricker PhD

Daniel Schricker grew up in the Kwasizabantu Mission and since leaving has written a number of blogs about the psychological... more

26 Feb 2022 · 59 minutes
Russia Invades Ukraine

This emergency podcast comes out on the day Russia launches an attack upon Ukraine. It's natural to feel some anxiety... more

24 Feb 2022 · 19 minutes
Cults in Movies: Midsommer

Celine and Stephen review Midsommer, a movie released in 2019, directed by Ari Aster and starring Florence Pugh. There are... more

23 Feb 2022 · 51 minutes
Alt Worldly: Jake Vaughn, Pathos And Comedy

Jake Vaughn from the Alt Worldly YouTube Channel talks about his waking up process from the Jehovah's Witnesses, and the... more

20 Feb 2022 · 1 hour, 11 minutes
Nature Vs Nurture

Do some born-in cult members experience greater harm than others because they happen to have certain personality traits? Psychology suggests that... more

16 Feb 2022 · 1 hour, 8 minutes
”I feared God with every fibre of my being” Erika Bornman on Life in Kwasizabantu

Erika Bornman, author of Mission of Malice talks to us about her life growing up in Kwasizabantu, a non-denominational Christian... more

13 Feb 2022 · 1 hour, 2 minutes
Wasted Years?

Two completely different topics today on the podcast.    Time Stamp 00:00: Segment 1. The medical condition and psychological impact of serious... more

09 Feb 2022 · 59 minutes
Coercive Control with Min Grob

The guest today is Min Grob from CCChat Magazine. Min experienced a coercively controlling relationship and talks about the behaviours... more

06 Feb 2022 · 58 minutes
Gaslight: The Movie that Gave us the Playbook

The 1940's film Gaslight about the systematic attack by a man on his wife's psychological wellbeing, provided us with the... more

02 Feb 2022 · 47 minutes
Deconversion and Religious Trauma with Darren Slade PhD

Darren Slade has a fascinating story. Although not raised in a religious household as a young person he loved religious... more

30 Jan 2022 · 55 minutes
Science

What is science? How does it work? Can we trust it? Who does it? And can we trust the scientists?... more

26 Jan 2022 · 54 minutes
Brent Lee: Ex Conspiracist

Today's guest is Brent Lee who describes himself as a recovering conspiracist of 15 years. Brent explains how he became... more

23 Jan 2022 · 1 hour, 11 minutes
Why Ordinary People Do Atrocious Things: Cults and the Milgram Experiments

The Milgram experiments of the 1960s tried to answer the question of how seemingly normal people can do the most... more

19 Jan 2022 · 44 minutes
Singer Songwriter, Ex Jehovah’s Witness Sapphire Phoenix

Sapphire Phoenix was raised as an 'exemplary' Jehovah's Witness until he found himself disfellowshipped and outside the organisation and his... more

16 Jan 2022 · 51 minutes
Being Wrong

Today Celine and Stephen talk about being wrong and why it's so often hard to accept. They look at the... more

12 Jan 2022 · 52 minutes
Women in the Bible with Producer Bob

Growing up as a Jehovah's Witness or other fundamentalist religious group members are taught a particular view about the role... more

09 Jan 2022 · 1 hour, 2 minutes
Cults in Movies: Whiplash

Does the 2014 movie Whiplash starring Miles Teller and JK Simmons depict a cultic relationship? One of our favourite movies... more

05 Jan 2022 · 59 minutes
Leaving the Amish: Lizzie’s Story

It's a fascinating and emotional episode this week, as Lizzie tells us about her life being raised within an Amish... more

02 Jan 2022 · 1 hour, 8 minutes
Bonus: Stephen’s Top Ten Recommended Podcasts for 2022

Recorded just before Christmas Day, Stephen's favourite podcasts of the year plus other recommendations to help make sense of a... more

31 Dec 2021 · 30 minutes
New Year’s Resolutions

As a Jehovah's Witness dad didn't really 'do' New Year, but upon leaving he observed the common tradition of the... more

29 Dec 2021 · 1 hour, 8 minutes
My Story: Growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness, leaving and making sense of life

Early in 2021 Stephen talked to his daughter, Celine about his life as a Jehovah's Witness, being raised in the... more

25 Dec 2021 · 2 hours, 27 minutes
Christmas Special

Sarah, joins Stephen for our Christmas Special as we think about the joys and 'tricky bits' of celebrating Christmas after... more

22 Dec 2021 · 43 minutes
MindShift Time! Interview with Clint Heacock on Religious Deconstruction and Dominion Theology

Clint Heacock was raised in a Fundamentalist Christian group. As a young man he studied theology and Bible studies in various... more

18 Dec 2021 · 1 hour, 5 minutes
Believe In Yourself! Self Efficacy, Inside And Outside a Cult

The term 'Self Efficacy' describes the amount of belief an individual has that they can achieve something. In study after... more

15 Dec 2021 · 32 minutes
Bonus: Cults as Organizations - Motivating Members

This week in the series of Cults as Organizations Stephen explores Herzberg's Two Factors, and Expectancy Theory, often used in... more

13 Dec 2021 · 14 minutes
Transcendental Meditation, Cults and Exiting: Interview with Patrick Ryan from Cult 101

Patrick Ryan found himself deeply involved in Transcendental Meditation during the 1970s until he started to believe he was part... more

12 Dec 2021 · 1 hour, 8 minutes
Dreams

Today Celine and Stephen explore dreams. Religion, psychoanalysis, neuroscience and psychology all attempt to explain what happens when we dream... more

08 Dec 2021 · 57 minutes
”I’ve got the ball and chain around you and only I have the key”: Ex Jehovah‘s Witness Sarah‘s Story

Today is a very personal episode with a very special guest because it's Sarah, Celine's mum and Stephen's wife. Warning... more

05 Dec 2021 · 1 hour, 3 minutes
Free Will Vs Determinism

Today Celine and Stephen argue! Is there such thing as free will? Is everything predetermined at the moment of the... more

01 Dec 2021 · 57 minutes
Award-Winning Film Witness Underground: Interview with Scott Homan and Ryan Sutter

This week's interview is with filmmaker Scott Homan, Writer, Cinematographer and Director of the documentary movie Witness Underground about a... more

28 Nov 2021 · 1 hour, 1 minute
Special 100th Episode and 1st Birthday

To celebrate the 100th episode of the 'What should I think about..?' podcast and the 1 year birthday, Celine and... more

24 Nov 2021 · 1 hour, 28 minutes
I‘m safer in a bar than I am in a Kingdom Hall: Ex Jehovah‘s Witness Donna Stevenson talks about her experience

Donna Stevenson was raised as a Jehovah's Witness and describes herself as a "happy Witness", but her experiences as a... more

21 Nov 2021 · 2 hours, 10 minutes
Trying to Make Sense of War After Leaving a Pacifist Cult

As a Jehovah's Witness Stephen was raised to be a pacifist. Upon leaving the group ex members find themselves trying... more

17 Nov 2021 · 52 minutes
Bonus: Are Cults a Wicked Problem?

In organisational studies, "Wicked problems" are a type of problem that's hard to define and wickedly difficult to solve. In... more

16 Nov 2021 · 18 minutes
Specialist Counsellor in Cult Recovery Gillie Jenkinson: 4 Phase Model

Gillie Jenkinson PhD is a leading accredited psychotherapist, specialising in cult recovery and recovery from spiritual abuse. She shares with... more

14 Nov 2021 · 59 minutes
Meerkats, Cleaner Fish and the Social Instinct with Producer Bob

Producer Bob and Stephen review the Voltaire lecture given by Nichola Raihani about how deeply embedded is the instinct to... more

10 Nov 2021 · 48 minutes
Growing up in The Children of God Cult

Angela Lathwell was raised in the Children of God cult. She describes speaking out about the cult as the last... more

06 Nov 2021 · 56 minutes
Bonus: Remember Remember the 5th of November

In 1605 Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament. In 2005 the Wachowskis adapted V for Vendetta... more

05 Nov 2021 · 49 minutes
The Dancing Plague

Back in the 16th Century a woman began to dance - but couldn't stop. Others began to join her and... more

02 Nov 2021 · 51 minutes
Interview With The Prophets of Free Thought

Today we welcome John and Seamus from The Free Thought Prophet Podcast. Seamus talks about his 'Near Death Experience' and... more

30 Oct 2021 · 1 hour,
Learned Behavior in Cults

The psychology of learning. How cults shape what people think, what they do and when they do it. Stephen and... more

26 Oct 2021 · 1 hour, 5 minutes
Cult Hackers
Specialist Counsellor in Cult Recovery Gillie Jenkinson: 4 Phase Model
Cult Hackers
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Description

Gillie Jenkinson PhD is a leading accredited psychotherapist, specialising in cult recovery and recovery from spiritual abuse. She shares with us the... more