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Let's Talk About Sects

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Episode 5: Universal Knowledge

Carli McConkey was a 21-year-old university graduate when she decided to attend the Mind Body Spirit Festival in Sydney, and came across the stand for Life Integration Programmes. The course they offered sounded like exactly what she needed to get her life on track and realise her potential. Little did she know that this encounter was the start of a 13-year ordeal that would see her estranged from her family, under continued financial stress, a victim and perpetrator of physical assault,...


Kenja Communication

Ken Dyers passed away 10 years ago this year, but the organisation that he spearheaded with his partner Jan Hamilton lives on. In spite of a few parallels, this Australian organisation, called Kenja, has been listed as a suppressive group by the Church of Scientology. Jan claims that Kenja has faced decades of persecution by those who want to bring them down, including a member of parliament, and charges levied at the organisation include brainwashing, exacerbation of psychological...


Episode 3: Aum Shinrikyo

Twenty years ago this year, Japan was to become a nuclear wasteland, according to the leader of a sect who claimed that the only survivors would be his followers and 10% of the major cities. It was in the lead up to this year of the predicted apocalypse, 1997, that he ordered shocking acts that would eventually result in his group being labelled a terrorist organisation, and himself and 12 other sect members being sentenced to death. CW: references to physical and emotional abuse,...


The Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God

Ugandan cult The Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God was one of the deadliest in world history, with the number of people who died similar to the infamous Jonestown massacre, and some say even more. The mastermind behind this cult? A woman named Credonia Mwerinde, who said she was receiving messages directly from the Virgin Mary. CW: references to physical and emotional abuse, controlling behaviours, and murder. Please consider whether you would like to listen on...


The Family

There is a 95-year-old woman in a Melbourne nursing home who dotes on a plastic baby doll. You wouldn’t guess it to look at her, but this is a woman who amassed a multi-million dollar fortune, destroyed families, and affected the lives of numerous people giving them ongoing psychological issues, some of which ended in suicide. Former police detective Lex de Man said of this women to 60 Minutes, “Of all the crimes that I investigated, she is the most evil person that I’ve ever met.” CW:...


Episode preview: Let's Talk About Sects Trailer

Let's Talk About Sects is a new Australian podcast about cults around the world. We cover a different sect each episode, launching on Wednesday 20th September and then releasing an episode each month. Hope you can join us.