In this episode we discussed cults: How they operate, how you identify one, what it's like to be in one, and how to get out. To that end, we spoke with author Rebecca Stott, whose book In the Days of Rain: A Father, a Daughter, a Cult details her childhood in the Exclusive Brethren, a cult that believed the world is ruled by Satan. We also talked to Rick Alan Ross, the founder and Executive Director of The Cult Education Institute. And we talked with Elizabeth Yuko, a bioethicist and journalist who's written extensively about cults.
Image via The Associated Press
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Discussed in This Episode
- The Kristy McNichol/Jimmy McNichol vehicle Blinded by The Light
- The Exclusive Brethren
- Why Rebecca Stott's family left the Exclusive Brethren - the "Aberdeen Incident"
- Rick Alan Ross's Cult Education Institute
- Robert J. Lifton's Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism
- Steven Hassan's BITE model
- The Influence Continuum
- Elizabeth Yuko's Rolling Stone article, "Cult or Commune? How Utopian Communities Turn Dangerous
- The documentary Holy Hell
Dr Robert Lustig joined us in the studio to talk about his new book, The Hacking of the American Mind. The Science Behind the Corporate Takeover of Our Bodies and Brains. Dr Lustig is a paediatric endocrinologist who is also author of the book Fat Chance. Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity and Disease. He talks to us about how corporate interests have worked to keep us addicted to pleasure - and how our addictions have robbed us of happiness.
We reached out to any organisations mentioned by Rick Ross if he either referred to them as a cult or described having received complaints about them. We received responses from two organisations. Jehovah's Witnesses declined to comment directly, but sent us these links: Are Jehovah's Witnesses a Cult?, Are Jehovah's Witnesses an American Sect?
We also heard from Landmark, who commented, in part:
Landmark is a global personal and professional growth, training, and development company that delivers programs and courses that empower and develop people to fulfil on what's really important to them. Recognised for their leading-edge material and methodology, Landmark's programs equip people to produce breakthrough results in areas such as career, relationships, productivity, and overall quality of life. More than 2.4 million people in more than 20 countries have taken Landmark's programs and Landmark is considered one of the leading companies in its field.
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