Cults

Cults

By Parcast Network

Mystery. Manipulation. Murder. Cults are associated with all of these. But what really goes on inside a cult? More specifically, what goes on inside the minds of people who join cults and leaders who start them? Every Tuesday, Greg and Vanessa (co-hosts of the podcast Serial Killers) explore the history and psychology behind the most notorious cults. Cults is part of the Parcast Network and is a Cutler Media production.

Episodes

“Conscious Development of Body, Mind and Soul” Pt. 1: Terri Hoffman

In the 1970s, Terri Hoffman went from high school drop-out to leading New Age mystic. Her Dallas-based organization, the Conscious Development of Body, Mind, and Soul, targeted affluent residents…and their wallets. But as her influence grew, so did suspicions about her shady practices.
02/06/2045m 48s

“Christian Catholic Apostolic Church” Pt. 2: John Alexander Dowie

In June of 1888, John Alexander Dowie moved his family to the United States to found the holy city of Zion. He envisioned the Illinois town as a paradise, but soon his immense wealth clouded his judgment, and Dowie came crashing down to Earth.
26/05/2048m 30s

“Christian Catholic Apostolic Church” Pt. 1: John Alexander Dowie

His drive for independence eventually led him to create a spiritual movement all of his own in the late 1800s. After founding the Divine Healing Association, John Alexander Dowie went from a discontented minister to a leading figure in Australia’s faith healer movement. But money and success would eventually be his downfall.
19/05/2046m 19s

“Endeavor Academy” Chuck Anderson

Founded by Charles “Chuck” Anderson in the Wisconsin Dells in 1992, Endeavor Academy was a religious group claiming to be able to lead its students to enlightenment. But as Endeavor’s public profile grew, so did the controversy surrounding it—with allegations of abuse that some claim drove multiple members to suicide.
12/05/2042m 54s

Cults Bites: Dead Political Figures

In addition to new episodes of Cults each week, you’ll now also hear Crime Bites every Friday. Each Crime Bites episode gives you a deeper, yet brief look into true-crime topics covered at Parcast. Today we’re discussing the deaths of American political figures. Whether their demise came at the hands of an assassin, or a political rival, the loss of each of these leaders left an indelible impact on U.S. history. Clips featured: Political Scandals: Election of 1800, Assassinations: Lincoln Pt. 2, Conspiracy Theories: JFK Assassination Pt. 1
08/05/2020m 44s

“The Rama Cult” Frederick P. Lenz

Founded by software guru Frederick Lenz in 1981, the Rama Cult operated in the Los Angeles and Tri State areas until 1998. Lenz referred to himself as "Rama," and claimed to be able to lead his acolytes to wealth and enlightenment—but has been accused of psychologically manipulating those who trusted him most.
05/05/2039m 40s

“Access Consciousness” Gary Douglas

Founded by Gary Douglas in the 1990s, “Access Consciousness” went from a mystical meditation clinic to an international media empire. This movement attracted tens of thousands of followers a year, and eventually earned Gary an estimated net worth of $1.5 million dollars.
28/04/2042m 57s

“The New Lighthouse Movement” Arnaud Mussy

We are thrilled to bring you a brand new episode of Cults today and for the foreseeable future. We thank you for your patience during this unprecedented time. Operating in France from 2001 to 2004, members of the New Lighthouse Movement believed that after the apocalypse, humanity would ascend to heaven with the help of Aliens. This ascension could only be possible with the help of their founder, Arnaud Mussy.
21/04/2039m 17s

“Dera Sacha Sauda” Pt. 2: Gurmeet Ram Rahim

He built the Dera Sacha Sauda by exploiting the people who trusted him most. Though news of Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s abuse first reached Indian authorities in 2002, his political connections kept him safe from arrest. But over the years, his violent fanaticism continued to escalate—until he couldn't hide anymore.
07/04/2042m 10s

“Dera Sacha Sauda” Pt. 1: Gurmeet Ram Rahim

In 1990, Gurmeet Ram Rahim became the leader of Dera Sacha Sauda movement. Originally, the group promoted charity and taught meditation practices, but under Gurmeet, its activities became significantly darker. Eventually, Gurmeet had over 60 million followers, who he exploited for his every desire.
31/03/2041m 49s

Cults Bites: First Murders

In addition to new episodes of Cults each week, you’ll now also hear Crime Bites every Friday. Each Crime Bites episode gives you a deeper, yet brief look into true-crime topics covered at Parcast. Today we’re discussing serial killers’ first murders. What did the murders look like and how does a killer’s modus operandi change after their first slaying? We'll hear clips from our shows across the Parcast Network, and dive deeper into their minds and methods. Clips featured: Clips featured: Today in True Crime: December 5, 2019: Boston Belfry’s First, Female Criminals: Mary Ann Cotton Pt. 1, Serial Killers: Elizabeth Wettlaufer Pt. 1
01/05/2018m 43s

Crossover Week: Female Criminals (Linda Hazzard Pt. 2)

If you enjoy the stories told in Cults, check out this episode from our series Female Criminals: In 1911, Dr. Linda Burfield Hazzard took her cruel alternative medicine practices to a new level by opening her infamous sanitarium in Washington—which locals would dub "Starvation Heights.” There, Linda continued her abuse and fraud by financially exploiting and starving wealthy British heiresses, Dora and Claire Williamson.
14/04/2051m 29s

Crossover Week: Female Criminals (Linda Hazzard Pt. 1)

If you enjoy the stories told in Cults, check out this episode from our series Female Criminals: She was a turn-of-the-20th century medical practitioner who preached starvation as a method of curing disease. But it was Dr. Linda Burfield Hazzard’s childhood exposure to fad remedies that shaped her interest in alternative medicine.
14/04/2053m 9s

Cults Daily: "True Russian Orthodox Church " Pyotr Kuznetsov

According to leader Pyotr Kuznetsov, the world would end in May 2008, so in November 2007 he proposed his group move to an underground cave and wait out the apocalypse.
30/04/205m 32s

Cults Daily: "The Brethren" Jimmie T. Roberts

Based on his belief that religious institutions had been sullied by modern practices, this apocalyptic cult aimed to cleanse themselves by abandoning their families and possessions, and living as a roving group of dumpster-divers.
30/04/206m 54s

Cults Daily: "The Manson Family" Charles Manson

In the late 60s, Charles Manson preached that the end of the world would come about due to an apocalyptic race war, which he dubbed "Helter Skelter."
30/04/205m 9s

Cults Daily: “Chen Tao” Hong-Ming Chen

What do UFOs, Abraham Lincoln, and God making his television debut have in common? They’re all strangely linked to the Chen Tao cult, and the imminent nuclear apocalypse prophesied by leader Hon-Ming Chen.
30/04/207m 28s

Cults Daily: “The Millerites” William Miller

He gave numerous dates for the apocalypse, but none resulted in the end of the world. But it did result in the eventual formation of the Seventh-day Adventist movement.
30/04/207m 57s

Cults Daily: “Family Radio” Harold Camping

He said that life on earth would end on May 21st, 2011. When it didn’t, he amended his date to October 21st, 2011. It didn’t end then either. Meet Harold Camping, a Christian radio evangelist
29/04/208m 10s

Cults Daily: Y2K

As society approached the year 2000, there was worry about a Y2K bug that might cripple technology. But there was also fear that cults with doomsday prophecies would do whatever it took to fulfill them.
27/04/208m 19s

Sneak Peek: DAILY QUOTE, A Parcast Original Series!

Whether you’re jumpstarting the morning, searching for that midday pick-me-up, or trying to finish the evening off strong… Daily Quote offers some of history’s most inspirational quotes whenever you need them—365 days a year. In this 2-3 minute podcast, you’ll be given a quote that will motivate, uplift, and renew your outlook on life. You’ll also dive deeper into the context surrounding the quote—learning more about its origin and the meaning behind it. Enjoy this sneak peek of Daily Quote ahead of its launch on Monday. April 27th! In this exclusive episode, we highlight the poignant words of American artist Georgia O’Keeffe. For more pathways to positivity, subscribe to Daily Quote free on Spotify!
26/04/203m 29s

Cults Daily: “Sullivan Institute” Saul Newton & Jane Pearce

Today we’re looking at the Sullivan Institute founded by Saul B. Newton and his wife, Dr. Jane Pearce in 1957. It was designed to be an alternative to the traditional nuclear family—part therapy center, part polyamorous commune.
26/04/207m 56s

Cults Daily: “The Holy Rollers” Franz Edmund Creffield

Franz Edmund Creffield was the leader of the Brides of Christ church. Often referred to as the Holy Rollers, members were known to roll on the floor pleading, for God’s forgiveness.
25/04/207m 52s

Cults Daily: “House of Yahweh” Yisrayl Hawkins

Along with his brother Yaaqob, Yisrayl Hawkins founded the House of Yahweh in 1980. They produced their own version of the bible and made numerous predictions that did not come true.
24/04/208m 16s

Cults Daily: “Happy Science” Ryuho Okawa

The three main points in Ryuho Okawa’s teachings are love, enlightenment, and the creation of utopia. But Happy Science is also a political party and they have some strong views about neighboring countries that shape their worldview.
23/04/206m 59s

Cults Daily: “Eastern Lightning” Zhao Weishan

Eastern Lightning preached that Jesus Christ had been reborn and walked the Earth. Founder Zhao Weishan said the woman he was in a relationship with, Yang Xiangbin, was there to save their souls before the world ended.
22/04/208m 15s

Cults Daily: “The Seekers” Dr. Charles Laughead

Dorothy Martin claimed to receive communications from outer space, warning of disastrous loss of life in 1955. Her wild prophecies attracted Dr. Charles Laughead and a small group of followers known as the "Seekers."
20/04/207m 58s

Cults Daily: “Dami Mission” Lee Jang Rim

He frightened his followers around the world into believing that the Rapture was coming—an apocalypse which would end humanity on October, 28th, 1992. But after that date came and passed, many members of the Dami Mission were left in a different kind of devastating state.
19/04/207m 35s

Cults Daily: “The Ant Hill Kids” Roch Theriault

He was known to his followers as “Moses.” His actual name was Roch Theriault, and he led one of the most infamous cults in Canadian history: The Ant Hill Kids. Theriault fooled many into thinking he was nice—but beneath his affable persona lurked a sadistic monster with horrific plans.
18/04/208m 31s

Cults Daily: “The Children of God” David Berg

Although it went through many name changes over the years, one thing remained the same for David Berg’s apocalyptic Christian cult, “The Children of God”... End Times were inevitable.
17/04/208m 17s

Cults Daily: “Aum Shinrikyo” Shoko Asahara

He was born as Chizuo Matsumoto, and later known as Shoko Asahara—leader of the Japanese Buddhism-inspired cult, Aum Shinrikyo. Asahara and his followers didn’t just foretell the end of days, but rather took it upon themselves to wipe humankind off the face of the earth.
16/04/207m 5s

Cults Daily: “Fountain of the World” Krishna Venta

His authoritarian, new-age religious organization was called the Fountain of the World. Leader Krishna Venta built a community cooperative and told his followers that the Apocalypse was coming. But only his chosen followers would survive.
15/04/205m 58s

Cults Daily: “Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God”

Credonia Mwerinde told her followers that the world would end in the year 2000. When it didn’t, the followers had questions.
13/04/207m 42s

Cults Daily: “Superior Universal Alignment” Valentina De Andrade

In 1981, 50-year-old Valentina De Andrade convinced her neighbors that God was non-existent. Then she told them that Jesus was an extraterrestrial who would be arriving soon in an alien craft to save them from the end of days.
12/04/208m 3s

Cults Daily: “The Lord Our Righteousness Church” Wayne Bent

In 1989, Wayne Bent formed the Lord Our Righteousness Church. He convinced his followers that the end of the world was coming. And by 2007, the members of his church were prepared to die.
11/04/206m 38s

Cults Daily: “Pana Wave” Yuko Chino

They alleged that a close encounter with an undiscovered 10th planet would lead to catastrophic natural disasters and the destruction of humankind. Today’s episode features self-proclaimed prophet Yuko Chino and his Pana-Wave religious cult.
10/04/207m 50s

Cults Daily: “The Church of God Preparing for the Kingdom of God”

In the fall of 2008, pastor Ronald Weinland announced that the final seventh seal referenced in the Book of Revelation had been opened, signaling the start of a countdown to end times.
09/04/207m 26s

Cults Daily: “Church Universal and Triumphant” Elizabeth Clare Prophet

She founded the Church Universal and Triumphant and encouraged her followers to dig fallout shelters to prepare for nuclear war in the late-1980s. Discover the peculiar beliefs—and visions—of Elizabeth Clare Prophet.
08/04/206m 49s

Cults Daily: “The Order of the Solar Temple” Luc Jouret

In 1984, Luc Jouret founded the Order of the Solar Temple with Joseph Di Mambro. A decade later, the two men would convince their followers that it was necessary to ascend to a higher spiritual plane to avoid the apocalypse. The plan...suicide by fire.
06/04/208m 1s

Cults Daily: “Raëlism” Claude Vorilhon

Also known as “Raël,” Claude Vorilhon created a movement in 1974 founded on his communication with a highly advanced race of aliens—an atheist religion known as Raëlism.
05/04/206m 33s

Cults Daily: “The People’s Temple” Jim Jones

Founded by Jim Jones in 1955, The Peoples Temple culminated in the deaths of 913 people—one of the biggest mass murder-suicides in history.
04/04/207m 24s

Cults Bites: Craziest Trials

In addition to new episodes of Cults each week, you’ll now also hear Crime Bites every Friday. Each Crime Bites episode gives you a deeper, yet brief look into true-crime topics covered at Parcast. Today, we're looking at some of the most fascinating criminal trials in history. We'll see how certain tactics used by attorneys influenced juries, changed outcomes, and provided some of the most unexpected legal twists and turns in recent memory. Clips featured: Crimes of Passion: Lorena Bobbitt Pt. 2, Female Criminals: Salem Witches Pt. 2, Not Guilty: Central Park Five Pt. 2
03/04/2026m 5s

Cults Daily: “Fiat Lux” Uriella

She says she developed a sixth sense after traumatic brain injury. This led Erika Bertschinger to change her name to Uriella and start Fiat Lux, a UFO cult that believed the end of the world was coming...in 1998.
03/04/207m 46s

Cults Daily: “Branch Davidians” David Koresh

You might remember the 51-day standoff with authorities in 1993, but there’s plenty of details you might not remember about David Koresh and the Branch Davidians.
02/04/206m 55s

Cults Daily: “Heaven’s Gate” Marshall Applewhite

He required his members to cut all ties with outside influences. And then in 1997, he convinced them to do the unthinkable in order to enter a higher existence.
01/04/207m 22s

Cults Bites: Abduction

In addition to new episodes of Cults each week, you’ll now also hear Crime Bites every Friday. Each Crime Bites episode gives you a deeper, yet brief look into true-crime topics covered at Parcast. Today we’re discussing cases of abduction, and examining some of the most infamous kidnappings throughout true crime history. We'll hear clips from our shows across the Parcast Network, and look at the different reasons why a criminal would carry out such a heinous act. Clips featured: Serial Killers: Ted Bundy Pt. 1, Female Criminals: Phoolan Devi Pt. 1, Hostage: Frank Sinatra Jr. Pt. 1
27/03/2023m 37s

Parcast Classic: Nuwaubian Nation Pt. 1

Due to the unfortunate spread of COVID-19, Parcast has decided to halt recording for the time-being. This is a precautionary measure taken to ensure the safety of our hosts and staff. In the meantime, we're excited to share one of our classic episodes that we know you'll enjoy! Founded in 1967, thousands of followers of the Nuwaubian Nation believed themselves to be descendants of aliens, waiting to be beamed up before the apocalypse. Dwight York’s control was so strong, many people still support him now, despite 100+ years remaining on his prison sentence.
24/03/2055m 46s

Cults Bites: Cannibals & Vampires

In addition to new episodes of Cults each week, you’ll now also hear Crime Bites every Friday. Each Crime Bites episode gives you a deeper, yet brief look into true-crime topics covered at Parcast. Today we’re discussing cannibals and vampires. We’ll examine strange cases of predators who drink blood and feast on flesh, and delve into their unique psychology. Clips featured: Unsolved Murders: Atlas Vampire, Female Criminals: Tracey Wigginton, Serial Killers: Albert Fish Pt. 2
20/03/2025m 43s

“Vampire Clan” Rod Ferrell

As a sophomore in high school, Rod Ferrell bonded with a group of goth outcasts through their shared love of a roleplaying game called Vampire: The Masquerade. But Rod’s vampiric obsessions were more than some teenage fantasy, and in November of 1996, he proved that there was more to his thirst for blood than just fun and games.
17/03/2043m 55s

Introducing SUPERNATURAL WITH ASHLEY FLOWERS, A Parcast Original Series!

Most mysteries can be solved by looking at the facts. But sometimes, the facts don’t lead to a logical explanation, and the truth lies somewhere in the unknown…Join Parcast and Crime Junkie’s Ashley Flowers as they dive deep into the strange and surreal to explain some of the world’s most bizarre true crime occurrences in the new series, Supernatural with Ashley Flowers. Every Wednesday, Ashley digs into a different mystifying crime—where the most fitting theory isn’t always the most conventional. Join Ashley in this exclusive clip from the first episode as she takes on the mysterious “Lead Masks Case.” To finish this episode, subscribe to Supernatural with Ashley Flowers free on Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts!
16/03/2014m 21s

Cults Bites: Wealthy Victims

In addition to new episodes of Cults each week, you’ll now also hear Crime Bites every Friday. Each Crime Bites episode gives you a deeper, yet brief look into true-crime topics covered at Parcast. Today we're looking into the crimes that affect wealthy victims. While we may assume the wealthy are most often the victims of crimes like robbery, in reality, the wealthy are less likely to be victimized than the poor. Why is this the case, and why do we find it so fascinating when the wealthy become the victims of illegal activities? Clips featured: Gone: Michael Rockefeller, Hostage: John Paul Getty III Pt. 2, Unexplained Mysteries: Alfred Lowenstein Pt. 2, Con Artists: Jeanne de la Motte Pt. 2
13/03/2026m 3s

“Panacea Society” Pt. 2: Joanna Southcott

She drew both criticism and adulation after announcing that she would be giving birth to the “child of god” in 1864. As it turned out, Joanna Southcott’s prophecies would become the stuff of legend, and outlive her by more than a century.
10/03/2046m 14s

Cults Bites: Notorious Assassins

In addition to new episodes of Cults each week, you’ll now also hear Crime Bites every Friday. Each Crime Bites episode gives you a deeper, yet brief look into true-crime topics covered at Parcast. What motivates someone to assassinate a President, or their musical hero? Today we’re highlighting three notorious assassinations and the perpetrators behind them. Using clips from shows across the Parcast Network, we’ll see what motivated them to kill some of the most prominent figures in history, and explore the lasting impact of their crimes. Clips featured: Conspiracy Theories: Lincoln Assassination Pt. 1, Assassinations: John Lennon, Female Criminals: Phoolan Devi Pt. 2
06/03/2023m 1s

“Panacea Society” Pt. 1: Joanna Southcott

Self-proclaimed Christian prophet Joanna Southcott led an ordinary life in England as a domestic servant for years. But at the age of 42 in 1792, that all changed, when she heard the voice of God. What He told her would shock the world.
03/03/2045m 54s

Cults Bites: Suspicious Celebrity Deaths

In addition to new episodes of Cults each week, you’ll now also hear Crime Bites every Friday. Each Crime Bites episode gives you a deeper, yet brief look into true-crime topics covered at Parcast. Stars—they’re just like us. So why are we so intrigued by celebrity death, and why is the intrigue amplified when the death is unexpected? Today we’re discussing those high-profile cases. We'll dive into clips from shows across the Parcast Network, including Conspiracy Theories, Unsolved Murders, and Not Guilty. Clips featured: Conspiracy Theories: Marilyn Monroe Pt. 2, Unsolved Murders: Natalie Wood Pt. 1, Not Guilty: Robert Blake Pt. 1
28/02/2024m 18s

“Chen Tao” Hon-Ming Chen

In 1995, Hon-Ming Chen founded a UFO cult in Taiwan. His followers clung to him because they believed he could save them from an imminent nuclear apocalypse. Instead, he led them on a wild goose chase that involved searching for an Abraham Lincoln look-alike in Canada, interpreting clouds, and waiting for God to make his nationally televised debut.
25/02/2050m 41s

Cults Rewind: Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Pt. 1

On the last Sunday of every month, Parcast Rewind replays a classic episode of Cults that you might have missed!  Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh felt discomfort with his own mortality from a young age. Over time, his spiritual studies and beliefs about capitalism and sexuality led Rajneesh to become a charismatic cult leader. This charisma attracted Ma Anand Sheela, the woman who rose from a 20-year-old devotee to a powerful leader in the cult that launched a deadly bioterrorism attack on over 750 Americans.
23/02/2058m 5s

Cults Bites: Unhealthy Relationships

In addition to new episodes of Cults each week, you’ll now also hear Crime Bites every Friday. Each Crime Bites episode gives you a deeper, yet brief look into true-crime topics covered at Parcast. Today we're exploring cases of unhealthy relationships and examining some of true crime's most notorious couples. We'll dive into clips from shows across the Parcast Network, and look at how the twisted—often abusive—dynamic between two criminals shapes the crimes they commit. Clips featured: Crimes of Passion: Bonnie and Clyde Pt. 1, Female Criminals: Phoolan Devi Pt. 1, Con Artists: Jeanne de la Motte Pt. 1, Cults: Eastern Lightning Pt. 1, Serial Killers: Carol M. Bundy Pt. 1
20/02/2028m 21s

Introducing PARCAST DAILY, A Parcast Original Series!

Every Monday through Friday, Parcast Daily filters through all of your favorite Parcast shows to highlight one timely and relevant episode premiering each day. You might hear about a calculating killer on Female Criminals, delve into the minds of history and fiction’s greatest bad guys on Villains, or spiral down into intrigue and speculation on Conspiracy Theories. Whatever your tastes, you’ll always get something new on Parcast Daily. Enjoy this exclusive clip from our featured episode: “Bohemian Grove Pt. 1.” To finish this episode, subscribe to PARCAST DAILY free on Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts!
19/02/2014m 52s

“Christian Identity” Pt. 2: Michael Wayne Ryan

He consolidated his power over an offshoot of the white supremacist group, Posse Comitatus. Rooted in an extremely racist theology called “Christian Identity,” Michael Wayne Ryan then used the organization to justify the torture and violence he inflicted on his followers.
18/02/2053m 34s

Cults Bites: Childhoods From Hell

In addition to new episodes of Cults each week, you’ll now also hear Crime Bites every Friday. Each Crime Bites episode gives you a deeper, yet brief look into true-crime topics covered at Parcast. Today we're taking a look at what some of the most infamous criminals in history have in common: a brutal childhood. As we dive into clips from shows across the Parcast Network, we'll explore how their early years of abuse, neglect, and trauma all shaped these individuals into notorious offenders.  Clips featured: Female Criminals: La Mataviejitas Pt. 1, Cults: Charles Manson Pt. 1, Serial Killers: Andrei Chikatilo Pt. 1
14/02/2021m 37s

“Christian Identity” Pt. 1: Michael Wayne Ryan

In the early 1980s, Michael Wayne Ryan went from a frustrated, directionless slacker to the leader of a violent cult composed of down-on-their-luck farmers.
11/02/2046m 13s

Cults Bites: Elderly Criminals

In addition to new episodes of Cults each week, you’ll now also hear Crime Bites every Friday. Each Crime Bites episode gives you a deeper, yet brief look into true-crime topics covered at Parcast. Today we explore the unique and shocking cases when elders we expect to respect defy society and commit crimes in their old age. We'll dive into clips from shows across the Parcast Network, and discuss all the reasons a senior citizen may defy the norm and break the law. Clips featured: Con Artists: Bernie Madoff Pt. 2, Female Criminals & Serial Killers: Dorothea Puente Pt. 2, Kingpins: Griselda Blanco Pt. 3, Cults: The Brethren Pt. 2
07/02/2023m 59s

Listen First! KILLER KNOWLEDGE, A Parcast Original Series!

Sure, you’re a fan of true crime—but are you ready to put your skills to the test and be crowned an undisputed expert? Then try your hand at Parcast’s new trivia podcast, Killer Knowledge. Every Tuesday, two competitors go head-to-head to correctly answer multiple-choice true crime questions. Whoever gains the most points after 20 questions, wins! It’s all the murder, mystery, and suspense you’ve come to expect from Parcast, now in a fast-paced, interactive format.  Play along in this exclusive clip from our episode on the Manson family with a couple of very special contestants and Parcast hosts, Greg and Vanessa, and see how well you measure up! To find out who wins, follow KILLER KNOWLEDGE free on Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts!
05/02/2014m 34s

“The I AM Movement” Guy Ballard

Under the backdrop of the Great Depression, Guy and Edna Ballard successfully milked over a million people out of their valuables, life insurance, and savings. They would be taken to court for fraud—but their teachings and movement would live on.
04/02/2042m 44s

Cults Bites: Victims Who Escaped

In addition to new episodes of Cults each week, you’ll now also hear Crime Bites every Friday. Each Crime Bites episode gives you a deeper, yet brief look into true-crime topics covered at Parcast. Today we're exploring those rare and hopeful instances where victims managed to break out of their captors' clutches and flee to freedom. We'll dive into clips from shows across the Parcast Network, and discuss all the ways in which a victim might escape and the psychological effects their traumatic experiences might have had on them. Clips featured: Female Criminals: Valerie Solanas Pt. 2, Crimes of Passion: Ming Sen Shiue Pt. 2, Cults: Worker’s Institute Pt. 2, Hostage: James Riley Pt. 2, Serial Killers: David Parker Ray Pt. 2
31/01/2032m 41s

“The Suicide Catalyst” Teal Swan

In 2011, Teal Swan began making YouTube videos claiming she was an extrasensory alien tasked with healing the world of its miseries. Her followers hoped that by taking her counsel, they could attract happiness into their lives. Instead, they were drawn into a belief system that preached that death was delicious, and suicide: the ultimate reset button.
28/01/2056m 44s

Cults Rewind: Anne Hamilton Byrne Pt. 1

On the last Sunday of every month, Parcast Rewind replays a classic episode of Cults that you might have missed!  Accused of imprisoning and brainwashing children, Anne Hamilton Byrne convinced her almost 500 followers that she was the female reincarnation of Jesus Christ.
26/01/2034m 27s

Cults Bites: Mothers Misbehaving

In addition to new episodes of Cults each week, you’ll now also hear Crime Bites every Friday. Each Crime Bites episode gives you a deeper, yet brief look into true-crime topics covered at Parcast. Today we're taking a closer look at women who subverted their maternal expectations to lead a life of crime. We'll analyze these instances with clips from shows across the Parcast Network, and discuss the different ways these mothers misbehaved. Clips featured: The Dark Side Of: Stage Mother, Con Artists: Sante Kimes Pt. 2, Serial Killers: The Giggling Granny Pt. 1, Female Criminals: Torture Mother Pt. 2
24/01/2024m 46s

“The House of David” Pt. 2: Benjamin Purnell

In the 1920s, the House of David baseball team was taking the nation by storm with their entertaining style of play. However, there was more to the group than just their athletic abilities. They were members of a cult led by a man named Benjamin Purnell, and he was harboring some very dark secrets.
21/01/2039m 56s

Cults Bites: Psychological Manipulation

In addition to new episodes of Cults each week, you’ll now also hear Crime Bites every Friday. Each Crime Bites episode gives you a deeper, yet brief look into true-crime topics covered at Parcast. Today we explore the idea of Psychological Manipulation—the tactics criminals use to deceive, coerce, and exert control over their victims. We'll dive into clips from shows across the Parcast Network, and discuss how these methods work, and most importantly, their dangerous consequences.
17/01/2030m 5s

“The House of David” Pt. 1: Benjamin Purnell

Benjamin Purnell arrived in Benton Harbor, Michigan in 1913, claiming to be the seventh and final messenger of God. He planned to build a compound for his followers to wait for the end of the world, but he had an enigmatic past, where he learned to abuse the power he was given.
14/01/2043m 4s

Listen First! SECRET SOCIETIES, A Parcast Original Series!

They’ve been around for thousands of years…orchestrating some of history’s most controversial events. And if not for their radical actions, you may never have even known they existed. Every Thursday, take a journey through hidden passageways and become a member of Parcast’s diabolical series, SECRET SOCIETIES. Each society is explored in 2 episodes—exposing the people and context responsible for its founding, and analyzing the psychology behind their beliefs. Enjoy this exclusive clip from the first episode on Yale’s mysterious “Skull and Bones” fraternity. To finish this episode, subscribe to SECRET SOCIETIES free on Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts!
09/01/2014m 54s

“The Virtual Reptilian Cult”: Sherry Shriner

Sherry Shriner believed Satan disguised himself as Jesus and subsequently tricked the world into praising him. So she became the virtual leader of an online Reptilian ET Cult that believed demonic, alien reptiles were sent by Satan to take over the world.
07/01/2046m 3s

Best of 2019: “The Source Family” Pt. 2: James Baker

Here’s one of our listeners’ most requested episodes of 2019: When the cult moved to Hawaii, James Baker never expected his penniless followers to find him. But once it became clear that they were willing to follow to the bitter end, he began planning a dramatic exit of epic proportions.
31/12/1956m 27s

Best of 2019: “The Source Family” Pt. 1: James Baker

Here’s one of our listeners’ most requested episodes of 2019: When James Baker started his health food restaurant on the Sunset Strip in the 1970s, he had no intention of creating a spiritual commune. But opportunity knocked, and soon, he was the leader of a yoga-based cult in Hollywood Hills that launched Baker to wealth and fame.
24/12/1953m 16s

Jeffrey Dahmer Special Pt. 3

Parcast Exclusive! DAHMER: A SERIAL KILLERS 3-PART SPECIAL While on probation after an early release from prison in March of 1990, Jeffrey Dahmer continued his wave of sadistic violence. A chance event would finally lead to his arrest, and a media spectacle would bring Dahmer to the masses.
23/12/1950m 20s

Jeffrey Dahmer Special Pt. 2

Parcast Exclusive! DAHMER: A SERIAL KILLERS 3-PART SPECIAL It was a murderous rampage that could have possibly been stopped. Although Jeffrey Dahmer failed numerous times to turn his life around, his multi-year killing spree also went ignored by his family, neighbors, sentencing judges, and court-appointed therapists.
23/12/1941m 2s

Jeffrey Dahmer Special Pt. 1

Parcast Exclusive! DAHMER: A SERIAL KILLERS 3-PART SPECIAL You know the name, but do you know the whole story? Jeffrey Dahmer—one of history’s most notorious serial killers, and our most requested episode, is now the subject of an exclusive 3-part special event. You can now listen to all 3 episodes within SERIAL KILLERS, and all of Parcast’s true-crime related feeds. He was one of the most infamous serial killers of the 20th century, murdering 17 young men between 1978 and 1991 through a variety of cruel and unusual methods. But how did Jeffrey Dahmer, one of the era's most monstrous killers, get his start?
23/12/1938m 12s

"Fountain of the World” Pt. 2: Krishna Venta

In the late 1940s, the eccentric Krishna Venta founded the Fountain of the World and claimed to be the embodiment of Christ. However, he had an apocalyptic warning. The world was going to end in 1965, and only his chosen followers would survive.
17/12/1949m 11s

Only on Spotify! FAMOUS FATES, A Parcast Limited Series!

Discover the stories of incredible people whose grandiose lives were matched only by their shocking demise in Parcast’s new limited series, FAMOUS FATES. With 5 episodes released every Wednesday, each group will center around a common theme, such as Hollywood Icons, Influential Women, Music Legends, and more.  Check out this exclusive clip chronicling the impact of larger-than-life Hollywood icon, John Candy. To finish this episode, subscribe to FAMOUS FATES, free and only on Spotify.
11/12/199m 44s

“Fountain of the World” Pt. 1: Krishna Venta

As a wandering lecturer who opened up a religious compound in the San Fernando Valley in 1949, Krishna Venta claimed to be from a mythical valley in India. He preached about love and knowing oneself, but was hiding a secret past.
10/12/1948m 15s

“Colonia Dignidad”: Paul Schäfer

When former Nazi serviceman Paul Schäfer fled Germany in 1961, he founded a rural community called Colonia Dignidad in Southern Chile. But the community’s bucolic appearance hid a culture of torture, murder, and pedophilia.
03/12/1948m 9s

Listen First! SPORTS CRIMINALS, A Parcast Original Series!

They’re sport’s greatest heroes… displaying superhuman-like abilities to overcome intense pressure. But when it comes to the downfalls of fame, money, and ego—they’re far more human than super. Every Thursday, Parcast’s original series SPORTS CRIMINALS keeps score on the darker side of sports. Each episode chronicles the meteoric rise and fall of some of sport’s biggest names. Enjoy this exclusive clip from the first of two captivating episodes on disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding. To finish this episode, subscribe to SPORTS CRIMINALS free on Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts!
24/11/1916m 34s

“Lev Tahor” Pt. 2: Shlomo Helbrans

In the 1990s and 2000s, Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans and the Lev Tahor preyed on impressionable youths. The ultra-orthodox Jewish community was known to use brainwashing tactics on its followers, and would be accused of heinous crimes such as kidnappings and child abuse.
19/11/1945m 36s

Listen First! DOG TALES, A Parcast Original Series!

They’re four-legged, full of love and often times more like family than their nickname suggests. Parcast’s endearing original series, DOG TALES, tells the true stories of heroic canines that have gone above and beyond their “best friend” duties. Every Monday, embark on a new journey of courage, service and unwavering sacrifice by our most loyal companions. Enjoy this exclusive clip from the first episode on Buddy the German Shepherd—America’s first seeing-eye guide dog. To finish this episode, subscribe to DOG TALES free on Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts!
14/11/1914m 0s

“Lev Tahor” Pt. 1: Shlomo Helbrans

Charming, electric, and persuasive are just some of the ways people described Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans. As the leader of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in the 1990s and 2000s, he was known for brainwashing his followers, leading them to commit shocking crimes.
12/11/1941m 43s

“The International Churches of Christ” Pt. 2: Kip McKean

While the church became notorious for its aggressive recruiting practices through the 80s and 90s, it also experienced incredible growth—eventually reaching Los Angeles. However, Kip McKean’s hubris—and sins—would eventually lead to his downfall.
05/11/1945m 20s

Par for the Crime: POLITICAL SCANDALS, A Parcast Original Series!

Every Tuesday leading up to the 2020 election, POLITICAL SCANDALS counts down the 52 most controversial events in American history—uncovering the crimes and deceptions by some of our most infamous elected officials. And now you can hear a special clip from the first episode on the cutthroat circumstances surrounding the election of 1800. To finish this episode, subscribe to POLITICAL SCANDALS free on Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts!
03/11/1913m 3s

“The International Churches of Christ” Pt. 1: Kip McKean

Before his church became one of the fastest growing—and most controversial—religious organizations in the United States, Kip McKean developed strict beliefs as a Bible literalist in 1960s Florida.
29/10/1949m 56s

Listen First! VILLAINS, A Parcast Original Series!

Bad guys. Black hats. Evildoers. They are the bane of every hero’s existence…and the subject of Parcast’s dastardly new original series, VILLAINS. Every Friday, VILLAINS dissects the greatest foils from history and fiction—uncovering origins, analyzing impacts, and exploring the complexity of character and motive.  In this clip, we explore the creation of an iconic, modern-day psychopath of the silver screen—Anton Chigurh from No Country for Old Men. To finish this episode, subscribe to VILLAINS free on Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts!
23/10/1918m 12s

“New Forest Coven” Pt. 2: Gerald Gardner

Witness the growing pains Wicca went through as it transitioned from a small secret society to a global religion, and explore the fallout from Gerald Gardner’s decision to speak publicly about their practices in 1954. Learn about Wicca’s evolution over the years—and whether it simply adapted to a changing world, or sold out everything that made it special.
22/10/1951m 54s

"The New Forest Coven" Pt. 1: Gerald Gardner

September 1939: Occultist Gerald Gardner makes contact with what he believes to be a remnant of the long rumored "Witch-Cult." His experience with The New Forest Coven would reshape his understanding of paganism, and inspire him to chart a new course for his life.
15/10/1949m 6s

Bonus: Today In True Crime - Zodiac Killer

On this day in 1969, the Zodiac Killer’s last confirmed victim was shot and killed.
11/10/1912m 35s

“Tradition, Family and Property” Pt. 1: Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

He feared the rise of Communism posed a threat to the Catholic Church. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira’s solution—to form his own reactionary movement to preserve and propagate his own beliefs.
08/10/1948m 31s

“Tensegrity” Pt. 2 - Carlos Castaneda

After he was publicly humiliated when his memoirs were exposed as a hoax, Castaneda retreated into seclusion. But he brought with him a few dozen committed followers, who were sexual slaves and unquestioning adherents. Although he predicted that he was immortal, Castaneda's fatal cancer diagnosis rocked his followers to the bone: resulting in even more untimely deaths.
01/10/1948m 16s

All Cults Episodes Now Available!

Thank you for being a loyal listener! We’re excited to announce all Parcast Network episodes older than 6 months are now available for free on Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.
25/09/191m 54s

“Tensegrity” - Carlos Castaneda

In 1960, anthropology student Carlos Castaneda followed a Native American Yaqui guide into the desert. There, he received a divine revelation about the subjective nature of reality - a revelation Castaneda could only share by exerting extreme levels of control over every student he encountered.
24/09/1954m 24s

All Cults Episodes Now Available!

Thank you for being a loyal listener! We’re excited to announce all Parcast Network episodes older than 6 months are now available for free on Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. 
23/09/193m 48s

“The Fall River Cult” Pt. 2 - Robin Murphy

Members of the Fall River Satanic cult were suspects in the murder of a young woman in 1979, but detectives couldn't find anyone who was willing to testify against them. Then, as the investigation continued, another body was found. The leaders of the Cult, Carl Drew and Robin Murphy, were escalating their violence and disturbing rituals at a shocking pace.
17/09/1949m 50s

“The Fall River Cult” - Robin Murphy

In 1979, biker and pimp Carl Drew joined sex worker Robin Murphy to create a Satanic cult in Fall River Massachusetts. Though some claimed the weekly meetings were harmless, the cult was soon implicated in the murder of a young woman.
10/09/1947m 34s

Introducing: HOROSCOPE TODAY, a new Parcast Original!

Ever wonder how the stars correlate with our emotional blueprint? Gain insight in just three minutes with daily episodes that will help you navigate your day. Twelve signs, twelve podcasts. Delivering your destiny, daily.Find your daily briefing by searching the name of your sign, followed by “today,” or by visiting parcast.com/signs. 
08/09/192m 0s

“Church of the First Born of the Lamb of God” Pt. 2 - Ervil LeBaron

In the 1970s, Ervil Lebaron broke with his brother’s church to form his own polygamous fundamentalist sect known as the Lambs of God. By reinstating the religious doctrine of Blood Atonement, Ervil compelled his followers to murder dozens of his opponents and family members in his name.
03/09/1954m 58s

“Church of the First Born of the Lamb of God” - Ervil LeBaron

In 1971, Ervil LeBaron received a revelation from God: he had inherited the mantle of Joseph Smith, and was destined to rule over God’s Kingdom on earth. There was just one problem: Ervil’s older brother Joel just had the same revelation about himself.  Parcasters - Which UFO sighting kicked off the alien craze? It wasn’t Roswell! Subscribe to Extraterrestrial today to learn about the close encounter that started it all, the Mount Rainier flying saucer sighting. Search for Extraterrestrial on Spotify to listen now!
27/08/1944m 43s

“Symbionese Liberation Army” Pt. 2 - Donald DeFreeze

From within the confines of the Vacaville prison medical center, Donald DeFreeze started recruiting young, idealistic Berkeley radicals for his leftist political cult. The US needed to change. And radical change, DeFreeze knew, demanded radical action. He was willing to do whatever it took to wake Americans up to the revolution, whether that meant murder, theft, or the kidnapping of a newspaper heiress.  Sponsors! Modsy - Go to Modsy.com, start a design project, and use code CULTS to get 20% off.
20/08/1945m 15s

Introducing: TODAY IN TRUE CRIME, a new Parcast Original!

Crime never takes a day off, and neither do we. In our new podcast, TODAY IN TRUE CRIME, every day, we flip back the calendar and examine a true crime event from the same date years ago.In this clip, we look back at August 19th, 1970, when John Norman Collins was convicted of the murder of 21-year-old Karen Sue Beineman. Subscribe to TODAY IN TRUE CRIME for a new story every day!
19/08/1916m 59s

“Symbionese Liberation Army” - Donald DeFreeze

Donald DeFreeze was a gun-obsessed drifter throughout the 1960s. But he didn't use his guns — he had nothing to fight for. At least, not until he was radicalized and began to build a coalition to execute his plans.  Sponsors! Billie - Go to MyBillie.com/CULTS for 10% off your razor. Embrace Pet Insurance - Get your FREE quote at EmbracePetInsurance.com/ CULTS.  Native - For 20% off your first purchase, visit NativeDeodorant.com and use promo code CULTS during checkout!
13/08/1948m 53s

“Nation of Yaweh” Pt. 2 - Hulon Mitchell Jr.

In the early 1980s, Hulon Mitchell, Jr.'s Nation of Yahweh became a fixture in Miami's black community. However, while Hulon used his influence to reduce crime rates, he was committing atrocious abuses on his own followers. Parcasters - On today's episode of Mythology, we take on the legendary Odyssey, bringing the incredible journey to life! Subscribe to MYTHOLOGY today to hear the most notable stories in human history as you never have before.
06/08/1951m 19s

Introducing: CON ARTISTS, a new Parcast Original!

From counterfeit goods, to fake love interests, and even major financial fraud, you will find it all in our new show. In this Parcast Original, we examine the swindlers behind the scam, and the victims manipulated by their deceit. In CON ARTISTS you will learn about the art of the hustle, and the ways you can spot a con. In this clip, we explore the massive Ponzi scheme orchestrated by fraudster Bernie Madoff. Subscribe to CON ARTISTS on Spotify or wherever you listen to Parcast to listen to the rest of this episode!
31/07/1919m 31s

“Nation of Yaweh” - Hulon Mitchell Jr.

From the moment Hulon Mitchell, Jr. was born in 1935, he was raised to think he was special.  But growing up in segregated Oklahoma, he realized that black men and women lacked the same opportunities as their white counterparts. He decided he was the black messiah, destined to lead his people to paradise -- by any means possible. Sponsors! Zola - Go to Zola.com/CULTS to build your free wedding website and get $50 toward your registry.
30/07/1949m 21s

“The Brotherhood of Eternal Love” - John Griggs

Just before the Summer of Love, 22-year-old John Griggs discovered LSD and had an epiphany – he would serve as the Hippie Messiah and guide the world to psychedelic revolution. John set out to the beaches of Southern California where he founded a psychedelic cult and international drug ring, while blazing the trail for the recreational use of psychedelics at the height of the hippie era. Parcasters - Don’t miss all of our special Summer of ‘69 episodes by subscribing to Parcast Presents: Summer of ‘69, on Spotify, or anywhere you listen to podcasts! Sponsors! Billie - Go to MyBillie.com/CULTS for 10% off your razor! Embrace Pet Insurance - Get your FREE quote at EmbracePetInsurance.com/CULTS right now! Modsy - This month ONLY, start a design project at Modsy.com and use code CULTS to get 20% OFF! Quip - Quip starts at just $25 and if you go to GetQuip.com/CULTS right now, you get your first refill pack for FREE with a quip electric toothbrush!
23/07/1955m 27s

“The Wesson Vampire Clan” Pt. 2 - Marcus Delon Wesson

The more Marcus Wesson retreated from society, the more extreme his behavior became. He led his family of 16 children deep into the woods, claiming it was for their own protection. But away from prying eyes, Marcus Wesson preyed on his children. Sponsors! Gabi - Gabi - Take 2 minutes and see if you can save up to $865 when you go to Gabi.com/CULTS.
16/07/1957m 27s

E94: “The Wesson Vampire Clan” Pt. 2 - Marcus Delon Wesson

The more Marcus Wesson retreated from society, the more extreme his behavior became. He lead his family of 16 children deep into the woods, claiming it was for their own protection. But away from prying eyes, Marcus Wesson preyed on his children.Sponsors!Gabi - Gabi - Take 2 minutes and see if you can save up to $865 when you go to Gabi.com/CULTS.
16/07/1953m 15s

“The Wesson Vampire Clan” - Marcus Delon Wesson

His version of faith, was placing himself on the same level as God and demanding his children serve him as such. But when Marcus Wesson needed more followers to control, instead of recruiting he turned to his daughters. They would grow their cult-family from within.  Sponsors! Native - For 20% off your first purchase, visit NativeDeodorant.com/CULTS and use promo code CULTS during checkout! Quip - Quip starts at just $25 and if you go to GetQuip.com/CULTS right now, you can get your first refill pack for FREE!
09/07/1953m 15s

“The Alamo Christian Foundation” Pt. 2 - Tony Alamo

Along with his wife Susan, they grew The Alamo Christian Foundation from a few dozen homeless teenagers to over 3,000 followers on sophisticated compounds around the United States. Their dreams of stardom were finally achieved, but it still wasn't enough for the power hungry Alamos.  Parcasters - Cults...UFOs...Nazis? If you don’t know about the Vril Society, you’re in for a treat! This group allegedly developed flying saucers for the Third Reich. Search for Extraterrestrials on Spotify or wherever you listen to Parcast Originals.
02/07/1952m 7s

“The Alamo Christian Foundation” - Tony Alamo

When he moved to Los Angeles in 1960, Tony Alamo was convinced that his big break as a musician was just around the corner. What he found instead was the voice of God, which commanded him to collect young and homeless followers for Jesus' return.  Parcasters - This week on The Dark Side Of we dig into the trial of Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, and the media frenzy that followed. You might think you know the story, but the truth is much darker! Available now on Spotify or wherever you listen to Parcast!
25/06/1953m 52s

“Lord Our Righteousness Church” Pt. 2 - Wayne Bent

In the fall of 2007, Judgement Day arrived on the Strong City compound. The world didn't end, as their Messiah had predicted, but it was still a portent of things to come.  Sponsors! Gabi - Take two minutes and see if you can save up to $865 a year on car insurance at Gabi.com/CULTS. There are NO fees, NO forms, and NO spam. Modsy - Go to Modsy.com to start a design project and use code CULTS to get 20% off.  Quip - Quip starts at just $25 and if you go to GetQuip.com/CULTS right now, you get your first refill pack for FREE with a quip electric toothbrush. Zola - Start your free wedding website and get $50 off your registry at Zola.com/CULTS.
18/06/1944m 4s

“Lord Our Righteousness Church” - Wayne Bent

In the early 2000s, Wayne Bent established his following on a compound in New Mexico that he dubbed "Strong City." But their faith would be tested when Wayne revealed God's next command: he required seven young virgins to take as Wayne's wives. Sponsors! The Farmer’s Dog - Get 50% off your two week trial of fresh, healthy food at TheFarmersDog.com/CULTS. Plus, you get FREE shipping!
11/06/1946m 29s

“The Children of Thunder” Pt. 2 - Glenn Taylor Helzer

In July of 2001, this cult declared war on Satan and the forces of darkness. But soon, their plans unravelled around them, and five innocent people would fall victim to The Children of Thunder’s bloody war. Parcasters - This week on Extraterrestrial, we take on the mysterious Anunnaki, supposed ancient alien gods. What is their origin? What interactions have they had with our planet? Find out today at parcast.com/extraterrestrial
04/06/1947m 18s

Introducing: THE DARK SIDE OF, a new Parcast Original!

Hollywood is one of our most celebrated institutions, but do you know the dark shadows draped over its early years? In this new Parcast Original, we reexamine unknown and overlooked histories of society's beloved cultural touchstones. Every multi-episode series will take on a new topic, from the music industry, to sports, and even dating and romance.In this clip, we introduce the complicated story of Hollywood's founding as a religious utopia. Subscribe to THE DARK SIDE OF on Spotify or wherever you listen to Parcast to listen to the rest of this episode!
29/05/1918m 28s

“The Children of Thunder” - Glenn Taylor Helzer

He believed that the voice in his head, which he called "Spirit," was the voice of God. Lead by the lord, Glenn Taylor Helzer gathered his followers in the summer of 2001 to wage a war against Satan.  Parcasters - You’ve heard of Pandora’s Box, and you know you don’t want to open it. But do you know the myth behind the saying? Check out Mythology today for this anticipated episode! Available now at parcast.com/mythology
28/05/1949m 55s

“Church of Jesus With Signs Following” Pt. 2 - Glenn Summerford

In 1980 he quickly grew his flock through acts of extreme religious affirmation, such as handling poisonous snakes and drinking poison in front of his congregants. But was Glenn Summerford a man with a deep connection to the Lord, protected by his faith? Or a thrill-seeker, on the precipice of madness? Sponsors! The Farmer’s Dog - Get 50% off your two week trial of fresh, healthy food at TheFarmersDog.com/CULTS. Plus, you get FREE shipping!
21/05/1954m 41s

“Church of Jesus With Signs Following” - Glenn Summerford

He spent most of his life in a boxing ring, trying to prove his worth with his fists. But after nearly dying from an injury in the ring in 1963, Glenn Summerford committed to turning his life around and found God. Then, God started speaking to him. Through snakes. Sponsors! Omax Health - Head to OmaxHealth.com and enter code CULTS for 50% off a one month supply plus free shipping and a 60-day money-back guarantee.
14/05/1955m 34s

"The Process Church" Pt. 2 - Mary Ann MacClean and Robert de Grimston

After fleeing from a destructive hurricane, in the late 1960s, Mary and Robert de Grimston led their followers on a nomadic journey around the US in search of more converts and the site of their new church. But the stress of constant relocation and pursuit of US immigrations drove a wedge between the couple.  Sponsors! Omax Health - OMAX is offering 60% off a one-month supply of Ultra Pure, plus free shipping and a 60-day money-back guarantee at TryOmax.com/CULTS today!
07/05/1954m 33s

"The Process Church" - Mary Ann MacClean and Robert de Grimston

Mary and Robert de Grimston created a flamboyant cult in 1960s London that attracted outcasts and celebrities alike. But as their communication with God sent them west, the cult soon found itself in constant danger--in the eye of a literal hurricane. Sponsors! Quip -  Quip starts at just $25 and if you go to GetQuip.com/CULTS right now, you get your first refill pack for FREE with a quip electric toothbrush.
30/04/1949m 1s

Not Guilty, Vanessa’s new podcast!

In this new podcast, we dive into cases resulting in acquittal or exoneration, examining the crimes, trials, and verdicts that make us ask the question: what defines guilt? If you enjoy true crime, courtroom drama, and high stakes storytelling, you won’t want to miss an episode of NOT GUILTY. Subscribe today on Spotify, or wherever you get your shows!In this clip we introduce the unsolved murder of Bonnie Lee Bakley, and the suspicious actions of her husband, actor Robert Blake.
25/04/1917m 36s

“The Blackburn Cult” Pt. 2 - May Otis Blackburn

In 1925 Willa had been dead for months, and yet she wasn't laid to rest. May Blackburn laid her in a tub of ice, mummified her, and buried her beneath her floorboards in Venice, California. The end of the world was coming, and when Willa was resurrected, so would be their queen. And so the cult prepared for the coming apocalypse, over the body of the Blackburn Cult's first victim.  Sponsors! Calm - CULTS listeners get 25% off a Calm Premium subscription at Calm.com/CULTS.
23/04/1949m 30s

“The Blackburn Cult” - May Otis Blackburn

Many actors wait tables while they're waiting for their big break; May and Ruth Blackburn started a cult. In 1920s Los Angeles, this mother-daughter duo swindled a fortune from their followers while promising them fortune and immortality.  Sponsors! Quip - Quip starts at just $25 and if you go to GetQuip.com/CULTS right now, you get your first refill pack for FREE with a quip electric toothbrush. Robinhood - Robinhood is giving listeners of Cults a FREE stock like Apple, Ford, or Sprint to help you build your portfolio. Sign up at Cults.Robinhood.com.
16/04/1953m 19s

“Eastern Lightning” Pt. 2 - Zhao Weishan

After the cult was dogged with rumors of violent conversion tactics, the Church of the Almighty God blamed the Chinese government for the negative press. A more extreme example occurred in 2014, as the cult would be accused of the murder of a woman who refused to give the group her cellphone number for recruitment purposes. Sponsors! CBS All Access - Visit CBS.com/CULTS to watch The Twilight Zone. Redeem your FREE trial TODAY.
09/04/1944m 50s

“Eastern Lightning” - Zhao Weishan

The Church of the Almighty God preached that Jesus Christ had been reborn and walked the Earth. She was here to save their souls before the world ended. In 1991, followers scrambled to prove how devoted they were to her before the apocalypse, even if it meant killing in her name. SPONSORS! Calm - CULTS listeners get 25% off a Calm Premium subscription at Calm.com/CULTS. CBS All Access - Visit CBS.com/UNEXPLAINED to redeem your FREE trial TODAY. Upstart - Hurry to Upstart.com/CULTS to find out HOW LOW your Upstart rate is. Checking your rate only takes 2 minutes—and won’t affect your credit!
02/04/1946m 57s

Bonus: Greg and Vanessa revisit Jonestown

In this special crossover with Assassinations, Greg and Vanessa give insight regarding the charismatic preacher, Jim Jones, and his congregation’s move from San Francisco to the newly-constructed jungle settlement of Jonestown, Guyana in 1977. The move was intended to keep the Peoples Temple far away from the prying eyes of the U.S. government and media, who'd been looking into Jones' abuses and financial crimes. 
28/03/1915m 52s

“The Source Family” Pt. 2 - James Baker

When the cult moved to Hawaii, James Baker never expected his penniless followers to find him. But once it became clear that they were willing to follow to the bitter end, he began planning a dramatic exit of epic proportions. Sponsors! CBS All Access - Visit CBS.com/CULTS to redeem your FREE trial TODAY and watch the new Twilight Zone exclusively on CBS All Access. Quip - Quip starts at just $25 and if you go to GetQuip.com/CULTS right now, you get your first refill pack for FREE with a Quip electric toothbrush.
26/03/1956m 27s

SURVIVAL, a new Parcast podcast!

This high intensity Parcast Original series features incredible stories of defying certain death and overcoming insurmountable obstacles, while taking you along for a fast paced thrill ride. To hear the rest of this episode, subscribe to SURVIVAL on Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts! Thank you for all of your support!
25/03/1921m 21s

“The Source Family” - James Baker

When James Baker started his health food restaurant on the Sunset Strip in the 1970s, he had no intention of creating a spiritual commune. But opportunity knocked, and soon, he was the leader of a yoga-based cult in Hollywood Hills that launched Baker to wealth and fame. When the cult came under scrutiny, Baker ran. And to his surprise, his people followed.  Sponsors! CBS All Access - Visit CBS.com/CULTS to redeem your FREE trial of CBS All Access. Robinhood - Robinhood is giving listeners of Cults a FREE stock like Apple, Ford, or Sprint to help you build your portfolio. Sign up at Cults.Robinhood.com.
19/03/1953m 16s

“New Vrindaban” Pt. 2 - Kirtanananda Swami

For roughly 15 years, this guru was a beloved spiritual leader with hopes of opening a worship oriented theme park. In 1985, everything changed when a vicious attack resulted in a head injury, coma, and ultimately a sinister personality change. He started using brutal tactics to keep his followers in line, including violence, espionage, and his own personal hitman.  Sponsors! Calm - CULTS listeners get 25% off a Calm Premium subscription at Calm.com/CULTS.
12/03/1948m 10s

“New Vrindaban” - Kirtanananda Swami

For 26 years, he was the guru and leader of the New Vrindaban cult in West Virginia. Kirtanananda Swami would turn this vacant land into a 1200-acre sanctuary for all faiths complete with an enormous gold palace. What seemed like an idyllic paradise, was actually just a plot to steal member’s money. Swami was successful in swindling $10.5 million in just four years.  Parcasters - To learn about an iconic event in American history, check out our our new episode on John McCain on HOSTAGE, wherever you get your shows. Listen now at parcast.com/hostage Sponsors! Upstart - Hurry to Upstart.com/CULTS to find out HOW LOW your Upstart rate is. Checking your rate only takes 2 minutes and won’t affect your credit!
05/03/1951m 41s

“The Workers' Institute” Pt. 2 - Aravindan Balakrishnan

By the 1970s, Comrade Bala's small collective had gone completely underground. His followers lived in constant fear of advanced Chinese technology capable of reading their thoughts, and killing them at any moment. Amidst the chaos, Comrade Bala fathered a child who would spend the first 20 years of her life in his strange home, a slave to the Maoist Collective. But when she finally escaped, she would be his downfall.
26/02/1954m 48s

“The Workers' Institute” - Aravindan Balakrishnan

His communist cult was started in 1974 in hopes of convincing working class citizens of England to rise up against their capitalist overlords and join forces with communist China. After two "members" escaped in 2013, it was revealed Aravindan Balakrishnan was enslaving women in the basement of his London flat. One woman born into the cult never had contact with the outside world before her release. Parcasters - For more stories about captivity and thrilling escape, check out HOSTAGE. This week, we’re covering the abduction of Cynthia Ann Parker and her 24 years spent living among the Comanche. Listen now at parcast.com/hostage Sponsors! Quip - Quip starts at just $25 and if you go to GetQuip.com/CULTS, you get your first refill pack for FREE with a quip electric toothbrush.
19/02/1948m 51s

“The Sons of Freedom” - Peter V. Verigin

This Cult’s beliefs often steered members to protest against the Canadian government. Due to their lack of regard for laws and public policy, officials began rounding up Freedomite children between 1953 and 1959. Two hundred children were brought to a compound called “New Denver” where they were imprisoned in a filthy, overcrowded institution and would suffer lifelong effects.  Sponsors! Torrid - Go to Torrid.com and use Promo Code CULTS15 for $15 off every $50 you spend! That means you can get up to $150 off a $500 order!
12/02/1952m 56s

“River Road Fellowship” Pt. 2 - Victor Arden Barnard

Reigning over Shepherd’s Camp throughout the 1990s, Victor Barnard was the king of his own Eden. As he becomes more and more abusive to his followers, one of them begins plotting his demise. When she finally strikes, she will prove to be a cunning viper that finally exiles Barnard from paradise. Sponsors! Upstart - Hurry to Upstart.com/CULTS to find out how low your Upstart rate is! Checking your rate only takes 2 minutes—and won’t affect your credit!
05/02/1947m 22s

“River Road Fellowship” - Victor Arden Barnard

After spending years indoctrinated in the Way International, Victor Barnard started his own cult in the early 1990s and moved off the grid to an isolated campground in Minnesota. With the blessings of their parents, he married a dozen pre-teen and teenage girls. One of these women would later speak out against the abuse she suffered and fight to bring about his downfall.  Parcasters - After this episode of Cults, check out our new show Extraterrestrial and learn about the abduction of Barney and Betty Hill. Listen at parcast.com/extraterrestrial
29/01/1946m 48s

Extraterrestrial: Hill Abduction Pt. 1 - a new PARCAST show!

We hope you are excited as we are for this sneak peek episode of our new podcast, Extraterrestrial where we try to answer the question: are we really alone? If you enjoyed this preview and want to listen to the second half of the episode, search and subscribe to EXTRATERRESTRIAL wherever you listen to podcasts now to continue listening! 
28/01/1912m 58s

“Fellowship of Friends” Pt. 2 - Robert Earl Burton

This alleged cult’s vineyard has produced wines that were served at former President Ronald Reagan’s birthday party, and other illustrious restaurants in the pacific northwest. Robert Earl Burton used elements of mysticism to lure vulnerable followers to his group, but his shaky past threatens their future. Parcasters - After this episode of Cults, race over to Hostage to hear about the incredible story of Shergar, a derby winning horse ransomed by IRA freedom fighters. Listen now at parcast.com/hostage
22/01/1948m 16s

“Fellowship of Friends” - Robert Earl Burton

In 1970, his fellowship began with just two members huddled around a dining room table in Northern California. But within a few short years, Burton’s influence would reach across the globe, preparing thousands of members for an apocalypse. And while their eyes were turned towards the heavens, he stole their children behind their backs. Sponsors! Quip - Quip starts at just $25 and if you go to GetQuip.com/CULTS right now, you can get your first refill pack for FREE. Torrid - Go to Torrid.com and use Promo Code CULTS15 for $15 off every $50 you spend! That means you can get up to $150 off a $500 order!
15/01/1943m 12s

“Kashi Ashram” Pt. 2 - Joyce Green

What started as a mission preaching tolerance and empathy, quickly turned sour when rumors of drug abuse and financial impropriety started to swirl. The majority of what we know about Kashi Ashram surfaced during a bitter divorce between the ex-public relations director of the group, and his wife, who was serving as a monk in the group.  Parcast News - Be sure to check out Parcast’s first fictional crime show MIND’S EYE at Parcast.com/MindsEye! Sponsors! Calming Comfort - Go to CalmingComfortBlanket.com and use Promo Code “CULTS” at checkout to receive 15% off the displayed price. Upstart - Hurry to Upstart.com/CULTS to find out HOW LOW your Upstart rate is! Checking your rate only takes 2 minutes—and won’t affect your credit!
08/01/1946m 41s

MIND’S EYE, Parcast’s First Psychological Thriller!

We have a holiday gift for you… Parcast’s first fictional crime show AD-FREE! In Mind’s Eye, a serial killer is back and homicide detective Kate McClay fights against psychology, unsolved crimes, and even her own family... The scariest monsters are those hiding inside our own minds. Continue the story of Mind’s Eye NOW by listening to the next episode - “Lost Forever.” Search and subscribe to MIND’S EYE anywhere you listen to podcasts, or at Parcast.com/mindseye. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
24/12/1830m 1s

“Kashi Ashram” - Joyce Green

What do Julia Roberts, Ivanka Trump, and Arlo Guthrie all have in common? They were all financial backers of the charismatic housewife turned cult leader, Joyce Green. She founded Kashi Ashram in 1976 in Sebastian, Florida and began community service projects to help the LGBT and HIV-positive communities. Controversy would eventually strain Kashi Ashram, turning some of Joyce’s closest allies against her. Sponsors! Calming Comfort - Go to CalmingComfortBlanket.com and use Promo Code CULTS at checkout to receive 15% off the displayed price. Shudder - To try Shudder free for 30 days, go to Shudder.com and use promo code CULTS. Torrid - Go to Torrid.com and use Promo Code CULTS15 for $15 off every $50 you spend! That means you can get up to $150 off a $500 order!
18/12/1847m 6s

"Freemasonry" Pt. 2 - The cult that built America

Masonic ideals helped shape one of the most powerful nations in the world. The Declaration of Independence was signed by at least nine Freemasons. Yet, the secret society has long been associated with political controversy, witchcraft, and even murder.  If you liked this episode, leave us a nice review! It really helps new listeners find the podcast! Sponsors! Audible - For a limited time, you can get 3 months of Audible for just $6.95 a month if you go to Audible.com/CULTS or text CULTS to 500 500.  Caffé Monster - Available in Mocha, Vanilla, and Salted Caramel. Caffé Monster: Chill it down, Shake it up, Enjoy! Calming Comfort - Go to CalmingComfortBlanket.com and use promo code CULTS at checkout to receive 15% off the displayed price.
11/12/1843m 9s

"Freemasonry" - The cult that built America

One of the oldest secret organizations in the world that dates back to centuries.  The movements developed by the Freemasons changed the course of history. Originally founded as a working union, it evolved into one of the most exclusive international clubs controlling world politics.  Sponsors! Caffé Monster - Available in Mocha, Vanilla and Salted Caramel. Caffé Monster: Chill it down, Shake it up, Enjoy! Kopari - Go to KopariBeauty.com/CULTS to make the safe switch today, and save $5 off your first order when you subscribe! SimpliSafe - Head to SimpliSafe.com/CULTS to get a special offer!
04/12/1845m 26s

“The Way International” Pt. 2 - Victor Paul Wierwille

A disgruntled pastor of the Evangelical and Reformed Church creates his own religious group in 1942 after claiming he received Biblical secrets dating back from the First Century AD. By 1980, The Way International was one of the largest and wealthiest cults on Earth. Despite it’s tremendous growth, Victor Paul Wierwille’s paranoia and institutionalized methods of control ultimately led to the cult’s demise. New Shows! Parcast Network - Don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe to our new podcast Assassinations!
27/11/1852m 5s

“The Way International” - Victor Paul Wierwille

After creating a live radio show in 1942 to broadcast his sermons, an out-of-work preacher from Ohio was quickly throw into the spotlight of an international spiritual movement. Through his hypnotic Power for Abundant Living (PFAL) course, Wierwille bought the Way International to a large farm in Ohio during a time of revolution in the 1960s. “The Teacher” appeared to be devoted to God, but actually wanted sex, money, and control. Sponsors! Caffé Monster - Available in Mocha, Vanilla, and Salted Caramel! Caffé Monster: Chill it down, Shake it up, Enjoy!
20/11/1852m 55s

JFK Pt. 1 – Assassinations, A new Parcast Podcast!

Hi Cults fans! We hope you enjoy this AD FREE sneak peak episode  of our new podcast, Assassinations, where we examine history’s most dramatic deaths. If you enjoy this episode and want to listen to part two right now, subscribe to ASSASSINATIONS wherever you listen to podcasts!"Loner. Drop out. Marine. Defector. Husband. Father. Lee Harvey Oswald was all of these things, but on November 22 1963, he came to only be known as the man who killed President John F. Kennedy."
18/11/1842m 42s

“Church of Satan” Pt. 2 - Anton LaVey

The rapid rise to power and fame went to Lavey’s head resulting in followers abandoning him and a loss of control over the Church. How did the Church of Satan fare after his death in 2001? The results will surprise you.  Sponsors! Calming Comfort - Go to CalmingComfortBlanket.com and use Promo Code “CULTS” at checkout to receive 15% off the displayed price. Kopari - Go to KopariBeauty.com/CULTS to save $5 off your first order when you subscribe!
13/11/1849m 40s

“Church of Satan” - Anton LaVey

He is known as the real-life incarnation of the devil and would be responsible for spreading satanism into the mainstream during the 60s and 70s. Anton LaVey would go on to publish the first Satanic Bible which continues to influence people all over the world today.  Sponsors! Caffé Monster - Available in Mocha, Vanilla, and Salted Caramel. Chill it down, Shake it up, Enjoy! SimpliSafe - If you’re interested in Home Security, visit SimpliSafe.com/CULTS.
06/11/1851m 26s

“The Church of the Last Testament” Pt. 2 - Sergey Anatolyevitch Torop

In an attempt to gain freedom from the government, Vissarion’s followers disregarded their material possessions and built a remote village for their God.   Sponsors! Parcast - Be sure to rate, review, and subscribe to our new podcast Kingpins!
30/10/1845m 14s

The Church of the Last Testament - Sergey Anatolyevitch Torop

This traffic cop turned cult leader got his followers to believe he is the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. Sergey would go on to start the religious movement known as the Church of the Last Testament.  Subscribe now to our new podcast HOSTAGE, featuring the riveting story of Patty Hearst's abduction by the Symbionese Liberation Army. Sponsors! Kopari - Go to KopariBeauty.com/CULTS to save $5 off your first order when you subscribe!
23/10/1847m 29s

"Patty Hearst" Pt. 1 - HOSTAGE, a new Parcast podcast!

Hello Cults listeners! As a thank you for supporting Parcast, we wanted to offer this AD-FREE bonus episode of our new podcast, Hostage. Listen to the next two parts of this story now by subscribing to Hostage wherever you listen to podcasts! Patricia Hearst lived every woman’s nightmare. She was violently taken from her own apartment, tied up, and thrown in the back of a stolen car. For the next two years, Patricia was held hostage. In our first episode, we explore the dramatic lead-up to Patricia’s kidnapping, and why her kidnappers were able to snatch the heiress from her apartment in under four minutes.
21/10/1845m 28s

The Kirtland Cult Pt. 2 - Jeffrey Lundgren

Through skilled eavesdropping, Jeffrey Lundgren convinced his followers that he could read their minds. What would happen when the "murmurs" he heard indicated that some of his followers were having second thoughts? Sponsors! Caffé Monster - Available in Vanilla, Mocha, and Salted Caramel.
16/10/1857m 41s

The Kirtland Cult - Jeffrey Lundgren

He believed that he could talk to God and that he alone could bring about Zion in Kirtland. All he had to do was gain complete control over the members of his cult. Sponsors! Netflix - Starring Dan Stevens and Michael Sheen, Apostle premieres October 12th, only on Netflix. SimpliSafe - Go today to SimpliSafe.com/CULTS.
10/10/1856m 47s

Mankind United Pt. 2 - Arthur Bell

After being shut down by the FBI, Arthur Bell returned and established a tax-exempt church that would allow him to extort his followers for millions. As they lived in coarse conditions, Bell would live a lavish lifestyle funded by his members. Sponsors! Caffé Monster - Available in Vanilla, Mocha, and Salted Caramel. Kopari - Go to KopariBeauty.com/CULTS to make the safe switch today, and save $5 off your first order when you subscribe!
10/10/1846m 21s

Mankind United - Arthur Bell

Imagine only working four hours a day, four days a week, eight months a year. On the heels of the Great Depression, Arthur Bell used his charisma to convince people to follow him and join Mankind United. He promised that a group of wealthy, good people called the Sponsors would create a Utopia for anyone who joined, only the Sponsors wouldn’t offer the program until Mankind United had reached 200 million members. Then his cult spread like wildfire. Sponsors! Parcast - Sign up for the Parcast Monthly Newsletter at Parcast.com.
10/10/1855m 33s

The Hernandez Brothers' Cult

The Hernandez Brothers Cult was founded by Santos and Cayetano Hernandez in the early 1960s in a small, northern Mexico village. What started out as a simple scam for power and money from uneducated villagers descended into blood orgies and human sacrifices after the brothers hired a sex worker to impersonate a Goddess.
18/09/1848m 17s

Lumpa Church Pt. 2 - Alice Lenshina

By 1960, the Lumpa Church was the most influential religion in Zambia and seen as a political threat by Prime Minister Kenneth Kaunda. To avoid escalating violence, the Lumpa Church moved out of the villages to establish new settlements, but Kaunda demanded they return. When they refused, Kaunda destroyed the settlements and murdered its residents.
11/09/1842m 12s

Lumpa Church - Alice Lenshina

After a life-changing vision turned her into a prophetess, Alice Lenshina rose from one of the minor tribal houses of Zambia to become the founder and leader of the Lumpa church, one of the most powerful organizations in the entire country. At its height, it had over 150 thousand followers, until it became too big a political threat for the government to ignore.
07/09/1848m 34s

Sahaja Yoga Movement Pt. 2 - Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi

Sahaja Yoga continues to prosper with more than 30,000 members worldwide despite allegations of child abuse, tax evasion, and harassment from ex-disciples. How has the cult managed to remain so strong and what role did the death of Shri Mataji play in that success?
07/09/1849m 47s

Sahaja Yoga Movement - Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi

Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi is the founder of the Sahaja Yoga Movement, a form of meditation meant to help practitioners unlock an inner awareness. She began with good intentions, as an activist in the Indian independence movement of the 1940s. As she gained a reputation for healing the sick, she grew in prominence as a spiritual leader. How did this spiritual role model turn into the leader of a cult?
07/09/1852m 24s

Church Universal and Triumphant Pt. 2 - Elizabeth Prophet

Elizabeth Clare Prophet was the charismatic leader of the Church Universal and Triumphant who had no problem recruiting members. Not even her incorrect prognostication that the world would end by nuclear war in March of 1990 could shake her members’ devotion. But could their faith withstand the public disillusionment and exit of the cult by her own children?
07/09/1852m 34s

Church Universal and Triumphant - Elizabeth Prophet

When Mark Prophet died suddenly of a stroke in 1973, Elizabeth Clare Prophet usurped his position as the leader of Summit Lighthouse, and changed its name to Church Universal and Triumphant. After several visions and messages from her masters, Elizabeth Prophet declared to her followers that the Apocalypse was approaching rapidly. Would they believe her narrative, and follow her into underground bomb shelters to avoid humankind's impending doom?
07/09/1856m 0s

Raëlism Pt. 2 - Claude Vorilhon

Raël recruited members through his media appearances. The more appearances he made, the more books he sold, and the more followers he got. Controversy over sexual practices at Raelian events crossed the line for some, and drove interest for others. But what would his members do when they learned of his quest to make human clones?
07/09/1859m 47s

Raëlism - Claude Vorilhon

While on a nature walk in his native France, 27-year old Claude Vorilhon saw a small, alien spacecraft land in front of him. A four foot tall affable humanoid named Yahweh emerged and told Vorilhon to relay the encounter to all mankind —  who will be judged for eternity based upon their reaction. But, who would believe him without any proof?
07/09/1857m 14s

Order of the Solar Temple Pt. 2 - Joseph Di Mambro

Joseph Di Mambro and Luc Jouret founded The Order of the Solar Temple. They told their followers that the world would end in 1995, but if they killed themselves, they would be reborn on the star Sirius. Then one night in October of 1994, 48 members of the Orders of the Solar Temple died across two continents. How were Di Mambro and Jouret able to convince so many followers to die for something they likely knew not to be true?
07/09/1847m 5s

Order of the Solar Temple - Joseph Di Mambro

Joseph Di Mambro was no stranger when it came to new religious movements. He had joined a few of them as a young adult, and when he decided to start his own, he had a hard time getting followers. With the help of Luc Jouret, the two founded The Order of the Solar Temple. Their goal was to unlock the secret knowledge of the universe, but it ultimately would lead to their deaths.
07/09/1846m 0s

Leopard Society

For the past 150 years, members of the Leopard Society in West Africa dressed in leopard skins and brutally murdered over six-dozen victims. The murders were so gruesome that at first, it was speculated actual leopards caused these deaths. It was later discovered that these killings were part of a cannibalistic ritual that involving the distillation of an elixir from the boiled blood and organs of the victim.
07/09/1851m 40s

The Narcosatanists Pt. 2 - Adolfo de Jesús Constanzo

Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo founded the Narcosatanists in Mexico City in 1985. He was able to keep his few but loyal followers by his side as he murdered victims in the name of ancient gods. But the killing of an American college student would ultimately lead to the end of the Narcosatanists and the demise of Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo.
07/09/1859m 2s

The Narcosatanists - Adolfo de Jesús Constanzo

Adolfo de Jesús Constanzo spent his early life training in the mystical religions of Santería and Palo Mayombe. Those close to him placed no value on the lives of those who didn’t subscribe to the religions. As he got older, this philosophy would play a large part in his founding of the Narcosatanists.
07/09/1858m 7s

The Moonies Pt. 2 - Sun Myung Moon

Sun Myung Moon's church used a well-practiced set of tactics on each prospective cult member. Once inside the cult, members fell deeper into church's doctrine. What were these tactics and what made it so difficult for members to leave?
07/09/1857m 10s

The Moonies - Sun Myung Moon

Sun Myung Moon was the son of farmers who converted from Confucianism to Christianity when he was about 10 years old. As he grew older, he became so devoted to his religion that he founded his first church, Kwang-Ya, in his mid-twenties. A decade later, he would found the Unification Church and develop it into a multi-billion dollar global business empire.
07/09/181h 5m

Oneida Community Pt. 2 - John Humphrey Noyes

John Humphrey Noyes’ Oneida Community practiced polyamory long before the free love movement of the 1960s. But his pioneering community had a darker side to it. We’ll uncover the alarming practices intended to serve the perverse sexual needs of Noyes and the community leaders, including a sexual initiation policy for young children, a eugenics program, and incest.
07/09/1855m 54s

Oneida Community - John Humphrey Noyes

John Humphrey Noyes grew up crippled by social anxiety. He overcame his anxiety when he began preaching and came to embrace Perfectionism. He would later declare that he would be the leader in establishing the Kingdom of God on earth. By converting his siblings, their spouses, and his own mother, he was on his way to starting the Oneida Community.
07/09/1853m 51s

Twelve Tribes Pt. 2 - Elbert Spriggs

The Twelve Tribes has numerous communities still active around the world. Since its founding in the early 1970s, the group has run afoul of law enforcement for issues involving child labor and abuse. Are the allegations unfair discrimination against its believers as they claim, or is something more sinister going on?
07/09/1844m 39s

Twelve Tribes - Elbert Spriggs

Elbert Eugene Spriggs Jr. felt he could never live up to his strict Christian father's expectations. After three failed marriages and numerous jobs, Spriggs had a revelation that his duty was to bring people to God - but to do that he wanted to establish a new church...one where he would make the rules.
07/09/1850m 58s

“The Brethren” Pt. 2 - Jimmie T. Roberts

Jimmie T. Roberts lead a religious cult known as 'The Brethren' and targeted vulnerable college students looking for belonging. Joining the group was easy, but day-to-day life was harsh. Leaving was next to impossible.
07/09/1854m 20s

“The Brethren” - Jimmie T. Roberts

Although he had a lonely childhood and grew up impoverished, Jimmie T. Roberts found feelings of comfort and belonging in religion. We dive deep into Roberts’s life as we examine how he persuaded his devoted followers to sacrifice their possessions, jobs, and families for the sake of salvation.
07/09/1841m 35s

“Rajneeshpuram” Pt. 2 - Ma Anand Sheela

Ma Anand Sheela orchestrated Rajneeshpuram’s movement from India to Oregon. As Rajneesh himself faded into the shadows, the cult’s grabs for political power led to wiretapping, poisoning, fraud and murder plots. We examine how Sheela was driven towards chaos by her husband’s death, and Rajneesh’s high expectations.
07/09/181h 4m

"Rajneeshpuram” - Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

Prophesied to die young and surviving near-death-experiences, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh felt discomfort with his own mortality from a young age. Over time, his spiritual studies and strong beliefs about capitalism and sexuality led Rajneesh to become a charismatic cult leader. This charisma attracted Ma Anand Sheela, the woman who rose from a 20-year-old devotee to a powerful leader in the cult that launched a deadly bioterrorism attack on over 750 Americans.
07/09/1857m 35s

“Church of Euthanasia” Pt. 2 - Chris Korda

In 1992, musician and computer programmer Chris Korda founded the Church of Euthanasia with a goal to control population through suicide, abortion, sodomy, and cannibalism. We examine the controversial cult and its members, their performance art and publicity stunts, and how the Church of Euthanasia finally faded from the public eye.
07/09/1838m 41s

“Church of Euthanasia” - Chris Korda

At just 10 years old, Chris Korda began to feel deeply fearful of climate change, and she worried greatly about the future of Earth. After an extraterrestrial dream warning her of the dangers of overpopulation, Korda founded the Church of Euthanasia in 1992 with a mission to downsize the world’s population. We look into Korda’s life, and what motivated her to encourage hundreds of followers to avoid procreation and embrace suicide.
07/09/1844m 34s

“Apostles of Infinite Love” Pt. 2 - Michel Collin and Jean-Gaston Tremblay

Michel Collin and Jean-Gaston Tremblay, the two excommunicated self-crowned popes of the Apostles of Infinite Love, gained a following after presenting themselves to have mystical powers and visions. We investigate how the cult influenced people to uproot their lives and sacrifice everything to live under strict scrutiny, isolated from the rest of the world.
07/09/1842m 14s

"Apostles of Infinite Love” - Michel Collin and Jean-Gaston Tremblay

After having a religious vision when he was seven years old, Michel Collin set on a path to become Pope. In 1950 he made his own dreams come true and proclaimed himself Pope of the Apostles of Infinite Love in France. He quickly spread his cult to Canada with the help of Jean-Gaston Tremblay. We explore the cult’s twisted history and the leaders’ minds.
07/09/1845m 35s

“Sect of Nacozari” Pt. 2 - Silvia Meraz Moreno

It’s hard to believe that human sacrifice still exists today. But from 2009 to 2012, Silvia Meraz Moreno led her family to offer human sacrifices to Santa Muerte in exchange for good fortune. We examine this familial cult’s crimes, and how one community tip finally ended the family’s gruesome sacrifices.
07/09/1843m 12s

“Sect of Nacozari” - Silvia Meraz Moreno

From 2009 to 2012 in Sonora, Mexico, Silvia Meraz Moreno put together a plan to receive good fortune from Santa Muerte, or Saint Death. She led her impoverished family to believe that they’d be rewarded with wealth in exchange for human sacrifices… so the Sect of Nacozari set out to kill.
07/09/1853m 10s

“Nuwaubian Nation” Pt. 2 - Dwight York

In November 2014, a baby struggling for his life was left at an ER in the Atlanta area. Suspecting abuse, police found a man who was influenced by cult leader Dwight York, who has been imprisoned since 2004. We look into how York maintains control over his followers from prison, and how this control led to a cycle of abuse.
07/09/1842m 24s

“Nuwaubian Nation” - Dwight York

We explore the life of Dwight York, a manipulative cult leader who used his members for financial gain. Under his leadership, thousands of followers believed themselves to be descendants of aliens, waiting to be beamed up to another planet before the apocalypse. York’s control was so strong, many people still support him now, despite 100+ years remaining on his prison sentence.
07/09/1855m 16s

"True Russian Orthodox Church" - Pyotr Kuznetsov

Pyotr Kuznetsov, the leader of the radical “True Russian Orthodox Church” cult, convinced his followers the world would end on May 28th, 2008. As a result, around 29 to 35 cult members created a man-made cave, and buried themselves in it for six months. Tragically, two members died. We explore how Kuznetsov rose to power, and how he convinced his followers to do everything from removing processed food from their diets to completely isolating themselves from society.
07/09/1859m 56s

“The Peoples Temple” Pt. 2 - Jim Jones

Jim Jones was a farm boy who later turned into America’s deadliest cult leader. We take a deeper look into the cult’s followers as we try to comprehend why they allowed Jones to have complete control over their lives — control and power that ultimately led them to pay the ultimate sacrifice.
07/09/181h 2m

“The Peoples Temple” - Jim Jones

Jim Jones controlled the most notorious American cult of all time — the Peoples Temple. In 1978, Jones’ leadership brought on the largest mass suicide and cult murder in modern history, where over 900 people died. We investigate how Jones and his idea of utopia led to such a devastating mass murder.
07/09/1858m 56s

“The Branch Davidians” Pt. 2 - David Koresh

In 1993, The Branch Davidians—under David Koresh’s leadership—were raided by ATF agents just outside of Waco, Texas. Following the deadly raid, The Branch Davidians and the FBI underwent a 51-day stand-off that ended in the deaths of more than 70 Branch Davidians, including Koresh and about two dozen children.
07/09/181h 5m

“The Branch Davidians” - David Koresh

David Koresh, born Vernon Wayne Howell, became an internationally name in 1993 as he led many of his followers in The Branch Davidians, and himself, to violent deaths after a 51-day standoff with the FBI. We focus on Koresh and how his childhood filled with abandonment and rejection led to his troubling reign as a controlling cult leader.
07/09/1852m 37s

"Aum Shinrikyo" Pt. 2 - Shoko Asahara

In part two of Aum Shinrikyo, we take a deeper look at the members of one of the most notorious cults in modern history. Shoko Asahara, the cult’s leader, established deep connections with his followers. These connections created a deadly devotion as the group worked toward destroying humanity.
07/09/1848m 20s

"Aum Shinrikyo" - Shoko Asahara

In 1980’s, a Japanese Buddhism-inspired cult, called Aum Shinrikyo, formed under a leader who tried to end the world. Greg and Vanessa explore Aum Shinrikyo—one of the most feared cults in history—its leader Shoko Asahara, and the group’s desire to eliminate humankind.
07/09/1847m 1s

“FLDS” Pt. 2 - Warren Jeffs

Greg and Vanessa further examine how Warren Jeffs’ leadership impacted the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. Jeffs inherited the role as Prophet of the Church, giving him more power and control over his followers. Jeffs abused this power, leading many of his followers down a path of everlasting pain and destruction.
07/09/1853m 2s

“FLDS” - Warren Jeffs

Greg and Vanessa explore the twisted life of Warren Jeffs and his influence on the Fundamentalist Cult of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. Jeffs’s upbringing helped shape him into a cult leader who controlled his followers’ every move—from limiting their access to education to dictating who could marry who. His desire for power and control led him to the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List.
07/09/1852m 53s

“The Children of God” Pt. 2 - David Berg

As the Children of God grew, David Berg began passing his own perverse thoughts on to his followers as scripture in what were deemed the “Mo Letters”. From “flirty fishing”, the exploitation of women to recruit new followers using sex as an incentive, to pedophilia, to child pornography, the Children of God steadily grew into a cult centered around abuse. Despite the intervention of anti-cult groups, and their transition into what is now called The Family International, nothing could be done to repair the mental and emotional damage inflicted on the second generation of the Children of God.
07/09/1857m 2s

“The Children of God” - David Berg

The child of missionaries and grandson of a reverend, David Berg was destined for religious leadership. But, as a victim of sexual abuse who never received support, David developed twisted ideas. Greg and Vanessa discuss this apocalyptic cult’s charismatic leader, the concept of dual validation and how the cycle of abuse influenced David Berg’s beliefs.
07/09/1844m 35s

“The Ant Hills Kids” Pt. 2 - Roch Thériault

Leader of the Ant Hill Kids, Roch Theriault, took advantage of Canada’s cultural mosaic to cut his followers off from society as they awaited doomsday. Greg and Vanessa examine the young followers who fell under Roch’s sway, and why they stayed as Roch tortured, mutilated, and murdered loyal followers and their children.
07/09/1852m 9s

“The Ant Hills Kids” - Roch Thériault

The Ant Hill Kids, one of the most notorious cults in Canadian history, was lead by Roch Thériault. Believing the world was coming to an end, Roch lead his followers into the woods where he brutally mutilated and tortured his followers and their children in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The master manipulator, he was even able to convince psychiatrists and psychologists that he was sane. Greg and Vanessa track Roch’s evolution from a boy who loved to read to a brutal cult leader.
07/09/1840m 21s

“The Family” Pt. 2 - Anne Hamilton Byrne

Anne Hamilton’s “Family” commonly called The Great White Brotherhood of Initiates and Masters - operated for 30 years, raising stolen children, planning for the apocalypse, and taking LSD. This week, Greg and Vanessa dig into the cult’s crimes, specifically the abuse the Family’s “perfect” children endured and how the harrowing actions of one of these children led to this cults downfall.
07/09/1842m 30s

“The Family” - Anne Hamilton Byrne

All Anne-Hamilton Byrne wanted was a family, with children. Unfortunately, she would stop at nothing to get it, even if it meant starting an abusive cult. Greg and Vanessa dig into Anne’s rough childhood, eastern religious influences, and powerful charisma. How was Anne able to amass over 500 followers, and quietly kidnap 28 children?
07/09/1833m 57s

Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God Pt.2

Over a thousand people were lured into Credonia Mwerinde and Joseph Kibwetere’s cult, believing that Credonia had spoken to the Virgin Mary herself. Once they joined, guilt, isolation, and even the fear of AIDS kept members psychologically trapped within the Movement’s compounds. Greg and Vanessa examine the leaders’ manipulation tactics and study the horrific destruction inflicted when the cult became too much for Credonia to handle.
07/09/1847m 49s

Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God

In a country torn apart by civil war, Credonia Mwerinde and Joseph Kibwetere were united by their desire for power and reverence. Claiming that they were messengers of God called upon to save the world from its impending apocalypse, Mwerinde and Kibwetere preyed upon the vulnerable and passionately religious in Ugandan society. Greg and Vanessa investigate the lives of these cult leaders, and how they began to build what would become one of the deadliest cults in history.
07/09/1846m 11s

“Heaven’s Gate” Pt. 2 - Marshall Applewhite & Bonnie Nettles

Members of the Heaven’s Gate UFO cult believed they were meant to shed every scrap of humanity they had. Paradoxically, they ran a promotional website and made videos promoting their beliefs. Greg and Vanessa dig into the minds of members who joined and later left the cult, as well as those who followed cult leaders Nettles and Applewhite’s shared delusion from the 1970’s until the cult’s dark end in 1997--the largest mass suicide on US soil.
07/09/181h 2m

“Heaven’s Gate” - Marshall Applewhite & Bonnie Nettles

Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettle believed their bodies were merely hosts for extraterrestrial angels, and that they would one day ascend on a UFO to the “kingdom-level-above-human.” How did they come to believe this? Greg and Vanessa dig into the early lives and first meetings of “the UFO Two”, comparing Applewhite's nomadic, musical Christian background to Nettles’ New Age Spiritualism, and then recounting the Near Death Experience that eventually led to 39 suicides.
07/09/1844m 14s

"The Manson Family" Pt. 2 - Charles Manson

Before, during, and after the Manson Family Murders, Charles Manson used psychological warfare to control his “Family.” But who was drawn into this “Family” and how? Greg and Vanessa explore several of Manson’s techniques, including mystical manipulation, group LSD trips, and the way Manson would break members down psychologically until they were terrified of leaving--so terrified, they would commit murder to stay in Manson’s good graces.
07/09/1855m 49s

“The Manson Family” - Charles Manson

In the first episode of “Cults” Greg and Vanessa explore the life of Charles Manson: how he turned from a troubled “callous and unemotional” child into an infamous cult leader, where Manson got his inspiration, and what psychological factors molded a murderer so charismatic and manipulative that his murder weapon of choice was not guns, knives, or axes, but other human beings.
07/09/1847m 51s

Welcome Trailer!

Mystery. Manipulation. Murder. Cults are associated with all of these. But what really goes on inside a cult? More specifically, what goes on inside the minds of people who join cults and leaders who start them. Every Tuesday we take a psychological approach to analyzing a cult and its founder. Cults premieres Tuesday September 26th. Here is a sneak peak.
07/09/181m 26s

Find Full Archive of Cults on Stitcher Premium

We now offer our complete AD-FREE archives of episodes six months or older on Stitcher Premium! To get a free month of Stitcher Premium, go to StitcherPremium.com/PARCAST and use the promo code PARCAST. 
17/09/1829s
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Heart UK