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On Belief: A Podcast about Cults

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Podcast by Karen Geier

Podcast by Karen Geier
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Podcast by Karen Geier






Episode 000: Cross Post: Hear the first episode of On Grief: a Podcast about Death Free Now

Please note: this episode is not intended to endorse the use of substances that are illegal. In this episode, we explore what it is like to die. I discuss this with Neurosurgeon and Bestselling Author Dr. Eben Alexander (The Map of Heaven) who tells me about his Near Death Experience. I also discuss how we can simulate a Near Death Experience through a drug called 5-MeO DMT ("The toad" or "Bufo") with Hilary Agro, a researcher and anthropologist who studies psychedelics, and I take 5-MeO DMT...


Episode 201: Hate Groups with David Neiwert

David Neiwert joins me to discuss White Supremacist Hate Groups and how their recruitment, control, and proliferation are cult-like. In this episode, we discuss: How easy it is to recruit people with the internet Why White Supremacists go for young people How White Supremacist ideas spread Why your child could be getting radicalized when they play games online What the threat level of White Supremacist terror is Whether White Supremacist terror can be contained The role the mainstream media...



It's the one thing we're not supposed to talk about. Each week on On Grief, I talk to people involved with death, the dying, or the grieving to discover what they know about death that we don't. Coming this week with interviews with: A mortician on what happens to your body when you're embalmed An expert on the history of why we grieve the way we do Caitlyn Doughty, author, Funeral Director and partner in The Order of the Good Death And many, many more. See you soon Visit...


Episode 118: Catherine Oxenberg on Cults and Families

Catherine Oxenberg candidly reveals details of her daughter's time spent in NXIVM and assisting the FBI in bringing down NXIVM cult leader Keith Raniere, who earlier this year was convicted on all counts after a jaw-dropping trial. In this episode, we discuss: Catherine's initial objection to ESP (the training that would become NXIVM) What the 'therapy' part of NXIVM's training looked like Why she eventually stopped taking classes What happened when Catherine realized India was in over her...


Episode 117: De-Programming With Mia Donovan

Mia Donovan discusses with me: What were the conditions that led to the discovery of De-Programming? Who was Ted Patrick? What were Ted's credentials Ted began his career working on his own son What techniques did Ted discover? Why was Ted repeatedly sued and brought up on charges? And more... Special Guest: Mia Donovan.


Episode 116: Jehovah's Witnesses Part 2 with Jerry Minor

Before Jerry Minor was a successful actor in Los Angeles, he was a boy growing up in the Jehovah's Witnesses. In this episode we discuss: What it feels like to have one parent in the Witnesses and one parent outside What kinds of pressures are put on Witness kids How real the threats of the Apocalypse and Demons are What he knew about the child abuse scandals that have plagued the witnesses What he knew about Jehovah's Witnesses lobbying the government for consideration And more... Content...


Episode 115: Jehovah's Witnesses Part 1 with Dawn Wilburn-Saboe

In this episode, guest Dawn Wilburn-Saboe explains what life was like in the witnesses, how traumatic and painful the process of disfellowshipment is, and what life is like on the other side. We discuss: How children are expected to contribute in services How children are expected to live What it's like to be 'the kid who has to sit in the hall for the national anthem' What it's like to be a teen in the Witnesses What it's like to have to answer to elders for normal sexual exploration What...


Episode 114: Quiverfull with Guest Heather Doney

In this episode, Heather Doney, raised in Quiverfull explains: What homeschooling was like for her The burdens and fears of children responsible for their younger (and infant) siblings What kinds of strains are put on Quiverfull families How boys and girls are raised differently Why Quiverfull families eschew medicine, even when it can save a mother's life And more... Special Guest: Heather Doney.


Episode 113: Quiverfull with Guest Kathryn Joyce

In this episode, Kathryn Joyce, author of Quiverfull: Inside The Christian Patriarchy Movement (https://www.amazon.com/Quiverfull-Inside-Christian-Patriarchy-Movement-ebook/dp/B0029Y76I4/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=quiverfull+kathryn+joyce&qid=1564500045&s=gateway&sr=8-1) (ASIN: B0029Y76I4) Discusses what Quivefull followers actually believe. We discuss: Where is church for Quiverfull families? What is "Home Churching?" Why is Homeschooling so important to these families? Why Quiverfull families are...


Episode 112: MLMs with Sasha Zazzi & Katie Young, Rachel Lloyd, and Fallon Morey

Multi Level Marketing might seem like a harmless hobby for stay at home moms, but make no mistake: they can ruin lives. Learn how MLMs are like cults: They profile people in hard spots in their lives They promise an instant family They control many aspects of your life They will shun you if you question the leaders And more... Special Guests: Fallon Morey, Katie Young, Rachel Lloyd, and Sasha Zazzi.


Episode 111: Cult Hopping & NXIVM Trial Update With Guest EJ Dickson

Guest EJ Dickson, who covered the NXIVM trial for Rolling Stone joins me to discuss the details of the trial and a phenomenon known as cult hopping, which she was made aware of from some people who testified at the NXIVM trial. In this episode, we discuss: The lurid nature of the testimony Surprises revealed in court Whether key figures are still supportive of Keith Whether these verdicts are precedent-setting How people cult hop What makes a person cult hop And more... Special Guest: EJ...


Episode 110: Falun Gong With Guest Ben Hurley

In this episode, Ben Hurley unmasks the Falun Gong and explains why it is so appealing to so many. We discuss: How a walk in the park set him on his journey What the feeling of meditation is like for him What the Falun Gong believe What kind of leader Li Hongzhi was How Shen Yun is the pretty face for Falun Gong What happens when Shen Yun rolls into town And more Special Guest: Ben Hurley.


Episode 109: FLDS with Guests Leona Bateman and Briell Decker Blanchart

Leona Bateman, founder of the Creekers Foundation, and Briell Decker Blanchart, board member of the Short Creek Dream Center join me to discuss their lives in and out of FLDS, and how they're helping others transition out. In this episode, we discuss: What courtship training is like How marriages in FLDS are arranged How questioning couples discuss their doubts with each other What happens when you get engaged to Warren Jeffs How people escape What life is like after you leave the FLDS And...


Episode 108: FLDS with Guest Brenda Nicholson

Brenda Nicholson grew up in FLDS under Rulon Jeffs and eventually under the rule of Warren Jeffs. While there are many shows about FLDS, Brenda gives us her unique story and insights into the inner workings of the FLDS and how she got out. In this episode, we discuss: How her family got into the FLDS movement What it was like being a student of Warren Jeffs How marriage in FLDS works How the rules were enforced What happened when a new rule was introduced And more... Special Guest: Brenda...


Episode 107: Hillsong with Guests Lea Ceasrine, Rick Alan Ross, and Tanya Levin

Guests Lea Ceasrine, Rick Alan Ross, and Tanya Levin join me to discuss Millennial Mega Church of the stars, Hillsong. In this episode, find out: The church's strict Pentecostal origins How a trip to America dramatically changed the focus of the church by its founders How Hillsong solicits money Where the money goes What secrets are Hillsong leaders hoping will be contained within Australia's borders And more... Special Guests: Lea Ceasrine, Rick Alan Ross, and Tanya Levin.


Episode 106: Large Group Awareness Training With Guests █████, ███████, & █████

Large Group Awareness Training is on the rise. We live in a time when decreasing religious adherence, a growing need for order and rules in one's life and a sense of complete entitlement have combined to make the allure of LGATs nearly irresistible. I spoke with 3 ex members of Large Group Awareness training students about their experiences. They explained: Why anyone would tell a group of strangers about the worst day of their lives How meditation, team building exercises and attack therapy...


Episode 105: Messianic Jews with Guest Rabbi Michael Skobac

If you've ever wondered what Jews For Jesus or other groups in the Messianic Judaism extended universe actually believe. In this episode, we discuss: The origins of Messianic Judaism How Messianic Jewish groups recruit How Messianic Jewish groups appropriate Jewish symbols and give them a Christian spin What Messianic Jewish groups actually believe Is there harm to the Jewish community? And more... Special Guest: Rabbi Michael Skobac.


Episode 104: Aum Shinrikyo with Guest Sarah Hightower

Content warning: Frank discussion of abuse and murder You may vaguely remember the Tokyo Subway Sarin attack, but that's not where the Aum Shinrikyo story begins or ends. Guest Sarah Hightower explains: How Shoko Asahara was an opportunist and bully from childhood How Asahara was a multiple time grifter before settling on creating a cult The day-to-day lives of adherents What Poa was Why a failed bid to intall Aum members in Japanese Parliament spurred Asahara to pursue chemical and...


Episode 103: The Family with Guest Chris Johnston

Content Warning: Frank discussion of child abuse In this episode, Chris Johnston tells us: Who was Anne Hamilton-Byrne? How did she grow her cult out of a well-placed yoga studio? How Anne took advantage of countercultre symbols like mysticism and LSD and used them to target rich conservatives How Anne was able to grow her brood of children How The Family evaded police and the homeschooling authorities What happened to the children of The Family? And more... Buy Chris' book:...


Episode 102: NXIVM With Guest Brock Wilbur

**A change has been made to this episode. Two sentences not materially important to the content of the episode have been removed to comply with a nastygram from a law firm representing a particularly litigious group which, while not directly referenced in the episode, are related to the group previously mentioned in this episode. The group in question is in no way affiliated with NXIVM. We at On Belief would like to thank the intern at the law firm for their patronage in the $5 tier.** Brock...