Playlist · by ava
25 episodes, 20 hours 5 mins
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
“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!
“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.
“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!
“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!
“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!
"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!
"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.
“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!
“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!
“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!
“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
“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
“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!
“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!
“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.
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