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Generation Cult

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An interview show about people who grew up in cults and what they had to go through to acclimate into mainstream society.

An interview show about people who grew up in cults and what they had to go through to acclimate into mainstream society.
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An interview show about people who grew up in cults and what they had to go through to acclimate into mainstream society.






Ep. 6: The Medium and the Time Machine

When Katharina was 10 years old, her parents packed up their possessions, moved out and joined "The Family," a New Age cult that started in Germany and moved around a bit before settling in a Belize jungle. The group was led by a controlling man who managed a woman claiming to be a medium. Both favored inappropriate relationships with minors and encouraged other members of the cult to do the same. Katharina's childhood experiences included separation from her parents, sexual abuse,...


Ep. 5: You Might As Well Be a Therapist!

It's time to bring in an expert! As much as we love hearing personal stories, we'd also like to add commentary about cults and coercive control from someone who has studied the subject matter and worked directly with patients. In this episode, we sit down with Colleen Russell, a San Francisco Bay Area therapist who has spent about 20 years counseling people who were raised in or joined cults. Colleen has not only helped people recover from controlling group or one-on-one experiences but...


Ep. 4: Fright-Based Faith

During this week of Halloween, we discuss fear -- fear of punishment, fear of the apocalypse, fear of God. Tammie grew up with these fears in an ultra fundamentalist Christian organization that subjected children to harsh punishments and encouraged its members not to interact with the rest of society. Tammie was taught everyone outside her church and school was sinful, but what she ended up fearing most was the group itself. And now that she's out, she sees some pretty scary things in...


Ep. 3: Moonies (But Don't Call Them Moonies) 2

In Part 2 of our two-part series about The Unification Church (Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity) otherwise known as the "Moonies," we chat with Lisa Kohn, author of the recent memoir "To the Moon and Back: A Childhood Under the Influence." Lisa joined the church at age 10 with her mom and little brother and thought it was the answer to her family's problems. She hadn't approved of her parents' counter-culture lifestyle and craved the stability she believed...


Ep. 2: Moonies (But Don't Call Them Moonies) 1

In Part 1 of our two-part series about The Unification Church (Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity) otherwise known as the "Moonies," we sit down for a chat with San Francisco artist and comedian Teddy Hose. He was a "blessed child" -- the result of a marriage between two church members brought together by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon -- and grew up close to the Moon family. Join us as we discuss Moon's children, the church, concerns about its use of guns and...


Generation Cult Preparing for Season 2!

Generation Cult is working on a Season 2! Come support the show at StudioToBe in Oakland on Friday, May 31 and enjoy a happy hour plus a Q&A with guests from Season 1. Tickets are available on eventbrite:…ets-61544020823 Join us for a fun time and help us raise money for editing, sound engineering and more! If you can't make the event or just want to donate, check out our GoFundMe page: Thanks for your support!


Ep. 9: Sandy Footprints

Wrap things up with us for the season during a chat with Lalita, who was raised in the Science of Identity Foundation. This group, developed in the 1970s, has similarities to the Hare Krishna movement and revolves around a. ... let's say. ... very demanding leader. We'll discuss germaphobia, child labor, arranged marriages, eating sand out of footprints and pursuing a long-overdue education. We hope you enjoyed this season and hope to discuss cults with you again next year!


Ep. 8: Escaping Utopia; A Conversation with Janja Lalich

We had a visit from Dr. Janja Lalich, an author and educator who has a new book out about children raised in cults called "Escaping Utopia: Growing Up in a Cult, Getting Out and Starting Over." Janja chats with us about her research for this project as well as her time working and writing with the late Margaret Singer, a prominent psychologist known for her studies on undue influence. *A few sound issues on this one, too. Please bear with us -- the content is good!


Ep. 7: The Age of Enlightenment

Welcome back! Now we are talking Transcendental Meditation, focusing on the story of one women who grew up in the TM community during the reign of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Gina, the focus of this episode, talks about being a child in the group and then becoming mother of three who had to struggle once she left. *There were some noise issues during this episode including spotty microphone quality and what sounded like a large group of people having a party outside the studio during...


Ep. 6: God's Chosen People

On this episode we learn about the harsh rules and restrictions for members --- especially children -- in Eugene Spriggs' The Twelve Tribes, which began in 1970s Tennessee. Samie, founder of a nonprofit to assist people raised in cults, tells us all about growing up in this group and her detachment from mainstream society. Her first attempt to escape at age 18 was unsuccessful. She'll talk to us about how she got out and where she went.


Bonus Ep. 5b: IndoctriNation Interview w/Dhyana Levey

Dhyana Levey, host of Generation Cult, was recently interviewed on another podcast called IndoctriNation. It's hosted by Rachel Bernstein, who was just a guest on our last episode titled "Let's Call an Expert!" Today we will share the interview from Rachel's show IndoctriNation. We hope you aren't confused. Just listen.


Ep. 5: Let's Call An Expert!

Although we love a good personal story, we also love a good expert -- so we're going to call one. For this show we're chatting with family therapist and cult specialist Rachel Bernstein, who has spent 27 years counseling people who grew up in high-demand groups. She'll tell us about common struggles these people face when trying to get on with their lives, and where anyone seeking resources can go to get help.


Ep. 4: The Perpetual Armageddon

Why do some people consider being a Jehovah Witness being part of a cult? Our first guest is Kourtney, who grew up a true believer in the religion only to lose her whole family when she began to question it. This is another two-guest episode: We'll also meet Andre, a makeup artist who tried desperately to fit in with his Jehovah Witness community until accepting that the community had rejected him.


Ep. 3: Thetans Anonymous

Scientology is such a large topic that we need two guests. First up we have someone going by a false name to explain the fall out of leaving the group after a questionable accusation. We also chat with Christi (real name) who appeared recently on A&E's Scientology and the Aftermath to discuss her chaotic childhood within the church. Warning: This episode contains descriptions of sexual abuse.


Ep. 2: A Recovering Monk

We catch up with Nitai, a student at Columbia University who just recently left his life as a monk with the The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, also known as ISKCON or the Hare Krishnas. What's our problem with these groups, anyway?


Ep. 1: The Real Guru

Welcome to the first episode! Why am I talking about cults? Find out. Also, we chat with Eva, a Texan who spent part of her upbringing in an Indian ashram. But all she wanted to do was go back to school in America.


Promo: Generation Cult launches June 20

New podcast Generation Cult will be available on iTunes, Stitcher and SoundCloud starting June 20! Please give us a listen.


Preview featuring full song The Road (The Chaw)

Samples of quotes from the new podcast Generation Cult featuring song "The Road" by the Chaw (full song)