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Rank #48 in True Crime category

History
True Crime

Cults

Updated 7 days ago

Rank #48 in True Crime category

History
True Crime
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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.

Read more

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.

iTunes Ratings

10695 Ratings
Average Ratings
8299
1091
521
350
434

best storytellers 🎙

By quaranqt - Mar 24 2020
Read more
their voices are so great!!! love them both

Thanks

By HotsyShotsy - Mar 10 2020
Read more
Well researched ,written and read. The hosts work together flawlessly. 👍🏼 👍🏼.

iTunes Ratings

10695 Ratings
Average Ratings
8299
1091
521
350
434

best storytellers 🎙

By quaranqt - Mar 24 2020
Read more
their voices are so great!!! love them both

Thanks

By HotsyShotsy - Mar 10 2020
Read more
Well researched ,written and read. The hosts work together flawlessly. 👍🏼 👍🏼.
Cover image of Cults

Cults

Latest release on Apr 07, 2020

Read more

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.

Rank #1: Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God

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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.   

Oct 10 2017

46mins

Play

Rank #2: Twelve Tribes - Elbert Spriggs

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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. 

May 08 2018

50mins

Play

Rank #3: “The Ant Hills Kids” - Roch Thériault

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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.   

Nov 07 2017

40mins

Play

Rank #4: Church Universal and Triumphant - Elizabeth Prophet

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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? 

Aug 07 2018

56mins

Play

Rank #5: “Panacea Society” Pt. 1: Joanna Southcott

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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.

Mar 03 2020

45mins

Play

Rank #6: Oneida Community - John Humphrey Noyes

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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.

May 22 2018

53mins

Play

Rank #7: Sahaja Yoga Movement - Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi

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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? 

Aug 21 2018

52mins

Play

Rank #8: Twelve Tribes Pt. 2 - Elbert Spriggs

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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? 

May 15 2018

44mins

Play

Rank #9: “Christian Identity” Pt. 1: Michael Wayne Ryan

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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.

Feb 11 2020

46mins

Play

Rank #10: “Church of Satan” - Anton LaVey

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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!

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Nov 06 2018

51mins

Play

Rank #11: "Freemasonry" - The cult that built America

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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!

Dec 04 2018

45mins

Play

Rank #12: “The Wesson Vampire Clan” - Marcus Delon Wesson

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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!

Jul 09 2019

53mins

Play

Rank #13: “The Fall River Cult” - Robin Murphy

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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.

Sep 10 2019

47mins

Play

Rank #14: “The Source Family” - James Baker

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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.

Mar 19 2019

53mins

Play

Rank #15: “The Blackburn Cult” - May Otis Blackburn

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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.

Apr 16 2019

53mins

Play

Rank #16: “The International Churches of Christ” Pt. 1: Kip McKean

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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.

Oct 29 2019

49mins

Play

Rank #17: “The Peoples Temple” - Jim Jones

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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. 

Jan 16 2018

58mins

Play

Rank #18: "The New Forest Coven" Pt. 1: Gerald Gardner

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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.

Oct 15 2019

49mins

Play

Rank #19: “Panacea Society” Pt. 2: Joanna Southcott

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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.

Mar 10 2020

46mins

Play

Rank #20: Best of 2019: “The Source Family” Pt. 1: James Baker

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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.

Dec 24 2019

53mins

Play

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

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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. 

Apr 07 2020

42mins

Play

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

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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.

Apr 06 2020

8mins

Play

Cults Daily: “Raëlism” Claude Vorilhon

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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.

Apr 05 2020

6mins

Play

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

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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. 

Apr 04 2020

7mins

Play

Cults Bites: Craziest Trials

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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

Apr 03 2020

26mins

Play

Cults Daily: “Fiat Lux” Uriella

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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.

Apr 03 2020

7mins

Play

Cults Daily: “Branch Davidians” David Koresh

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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.

Apr 02 2020

6mins

Play

Cults Daily: “Heaven’s Gate” Marshall Applewhite

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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.

Apr 01 2020

7mins

Play

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

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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.

Mar 31 2020

41mins

Play

Cults Bites: Abduction

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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

Mar 27 2020

23mins

Play

Parcast Classic: Nuwaubian Nation Pt. 1

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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.

Mar 24 2020

55mins

Play

Cults Bites: Cannibals & Vampires

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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

Mar 20 2020

25mins

Play

“Vampire Clan” Rod Ferrell

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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.

Mar 17 2020

43mins

Play

Cults Bites: Wealthy Victims

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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

Mar 13 2020

26mins

Play

“Panacea Society” Pt. 2: Joanna Southcott

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Read more

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.

Mar 10 2020

46mins

Play

Cults Bites: Notorious Assassins

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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

Mar 06 2020

23mins

Play

“Panacea Society” Pt. 1: Joanna Southcott

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Read more

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.

Mar 03 2020

45mins

Play

Cults Bites: Suspicious Celebrity Deaths

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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

Feb 28 2020

24mins

Play

“Chen Tao” Hon-Ming Chen

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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.

Feb 25 2020

50mins

Play

Cults Rewind: Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Pt. 1

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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.

Feb 23 2020

58mins

Play

iTunes Ratings

10695 Ratings
Average Ratings
8299
1091
521
350
434

best storytellers 🎙

By quaranqt - Mar 24 2020
Read more
their voices are so great!!! love them both

Thanks

By HotsyShotsy - Mar 10 2020
Read more
Well researched ,written and read. The hosts work together flawlessly. 👍🏼 👍🏼.