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Cult Life with Robin Jackson

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Was Charles Taze Russell a Freemason?

I recently started watching Inside the Freemasons, a documentary series on Netflix where the makers were given access inside the Grand Lodge of England with unique footage of the various rooms, symbols and tools of the Craft. Freemasons have been accused of everything from conducting underground satanic rituals to masterminding a worldwide conspiracy for planetary domination. Speculation has been rife over Charles Taze Russell who is the founder of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society,...


20 Signs You Are In a Cult

Welcome to this very special episode of Cult Life. It’s our 20th show so its the first milestone that I thought I would celebrate with you the listeners. Cults aren’t as easy to spot as you might think. Most cults don’t wear robes or live in communes. In fact, most cult members don’t even realize they’re in a cult. During my 25 years as an unwitting cult member, I would often watch documentaries and read about other cults. But it took a long time to realize that I was in a cult. This...


Battered Spouses: The Dangerous Advice of the Jehovah's Witnesses

Jehovah’s Witnesses have a chequered history of giving conflicting advice with regard to many issues affecting the lives of its members. They include the writings with regard to black people, blood transfusions, organ transplants, and domestic violence. All of the aforementioned have seen their fair share of flip flopping and doctrinal change under the guise of new light. This show dwells on the issue of domestic violence. Jehovah’s Witnesses have been in the news lately concerning an...


Church Team Ministries International: Concerned Parents and Family Breakups

Church Team Ministries International is a church with its headquarters in Mauritius but has had a notorious reputation in South Africa. Young people have been lured away from their families and have given up their studies, friendships and freedom to join the group. This episode discusses this controversial group and how it has affected some parents. #CTMI #Cult


Child Sex Abuse: Jehovah's Witnesses vs Catholic Church

Child sexual abuse keeps on raising its ugly head from time to time, and non the more so with regard to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Catholic Church. The Watchtower has gained considerable notoriety with their handling of child sex abuse within the church and how they are covering it up. Elders were told not to report such cases to the police and very often the victims were vilified and excommunicated. They bore the brunt of an investigation by the Australian Royal commission into these...


Book Review: 5 Books that helped me leave the Jehovah's Witnesses

Robin reviews 5 of the books that helped him leave the Jehovah's Witnesses. These books helped him realize that his suspicions and doubts that he harbored were legitimate. The stories showed the commonalities and similar methods employed by the various groups to keep believers in and expel dissidents. Church of Fear by John Sweeney (Affiliate link) Living at the End of The World by Marina Benjamin (Affiliate link) Leaving The Saints by Martha...


An Interview with Ryan Hogarth: Former Scientologist

In this episode Robin interviews Ryan Hogarth, a former Scientologist and spokesperson for the church in South Africa. Ryan discusses his childhood within the church and his eventual journey out of Scientology. The discussion also revolves around the similarities between Scientology and the Jehovah’s Witnesses and how members are often shielded from the abuses within both organizations. twitter: @ryanhogath Losing the Faith Kindle Edition...


The Subjection of Women: How Jehovah's Witnesses and other cults vie women.

Religion and cults have very often been at the forefront of subjection and repression of women. Jehovah's Witnesses exerts a great deal of control over its members. Women in particular suffer from psychological stresses in high control groups where patriarchal attitudes limit their personal power and freedom. This episode looks at these issues which often lead to physical, sexual and emotional abuse.


The Watchtower and Aids

Robin Jackson discusses the Jehovah's Witnesses view on the HIV/AIDS virus and the prejudice around those who have the disease.


Aftermath: A visit from the Jehovah's Witnesses elders and my official response in a letter.

After the publication of my first book, Losing The Faith: Truth Under Scrutiny, I received a visit from the elders of the Jehovah's Witnesses local congregation. The subsequent letter I wrote to the elders is discussed and explained. Check out the book on Amazon Kindle. Paperback available at


Exit Wounds: How leaving Jehovah's Witnesses and other cults affects former members.

The issue that the majority of former cult members will agree on is that there is no easy way to exit from a cult. For some, it is not that difficult to leave. They are just less susceptible to mind control techniques. Some maintain that sense of self to make an informed decision to leave. There are many ex-cultists who say they spent years working up the nerve to get out. It really does take a tremendous amount of courage to leave. This episode explores the different ways which members...


Cognitive Dissonance: Mental Conflict and Contradiction within Cults

Cognitive dissonance, the mental conflict that occurs when beliefs or assumptions are contradicted by new information. The unease or tension that the conflict arouses in people is relieved by one of several defensive maneuvers: they reject, explain away, or avoid the new information; persuade themselves that no conflict really exists; reconcile the differences; or resort to any other defensive means of preserving stability or order in their conceptions of the world and of themselves. This...


Multi Level Marketing: Business Opportunity, Pyramid Scheme or Cult

The Multi-level Marketing industry is a $36 billion industry. Worldwide many new companies spring up yearly to entice people into a so called "business opportunity." Many sell the dream of lavish lifestyles and material prosperity. But is this industry all that it is perceived to be? This episode breaks down one form of commercial cults that have enticed people into it for decades. However, not all MLM companies are bad or deceptive.


Mental Illness, Depression and Cults

This show is a very personal for Robin. Robin talks about his depression and the effects cults and high control groups on their members psyche. The isolation, insular world view and bi-polar outlook can have detrimental effects on people in cults. Mental illness and depression are often the result of years of manipulation and abuse by cults and their leaders. If you are suffering from depression or know of someone who does, we urge you to seek professional help.


Misconceptions about Cults

There are a few misconceptions about cults that the general public seem to perpetuate. Often it is because people do not understand the nature of the beast or how cults work. This episode clears up the common misconceptions about cults.


Types Of Cults

Contrary to popular belief there are many different types of cults. This episode Robin unpacks the different classifications and mode of operation of these cults.


Cults and Mind Control. The Loaded Gun Technique

Mind Control is not some mystical force that cults employ to recruit and keep members in. Rather, it is a psychological technique that cults attempt to control members. This episode discusses the various aspects of Mind Control. Recorded live at the Durban Exhibition Centre.


How Cults Recruit

How do cults recruit? In this episode Robin outlines some techniques that cults use to draw in unsuspecting members into the fold. So you think you are immune to cult recruitment! Think again!


Blood, Sacrifice, Ethics and Jehovah's Witnesses in South Africa.

In this episode Robin Jackson discusses the issue of blood transfusions Jehovah's Witnesses are faced with. He relates a story about his friend from his childhood and how it affected the family. The courts in South Africa have very often come to the defence of children in ordering life saving blood transfusions.


Nelson Mandela, Jehovah's Witnesses and racial attitudes.

In this episode Robin touch talks about Nelson Mandela's brush with the Jehovah's Witnesses and how it affected his marriage to his first wife Evelyn. The early writings with regard to racial attitudes are exposed and the little known issue of compulsory military service South Africa's white JW males had to navigate.