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Cults

Cults

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.

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?Gloriavale?: Neville Cooper

Founded in New Zealand in the late ?60s, Gloriavale was supposed to be a sin-free utopia. But its leader, Neville Cooper, instead crafted a hellish prison rife with immorality. He imposed rigid rules and strict gender norms?and had a penchant for violently abusing his followers. 
2020-07-14
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Introducing Crime Countdown, A Parcast Original Series!

True crime fans: There?s a new Parcast original on the roster, and it?s packed with passionate opinions on the worst serial killers, creepiest cults, coldest cold cases, and all things criminal? Every Monday, co-hosts Ash and Alaina from the hit podcast Morbid rank ten true crime stories centered around a common theme?debating each case and their rankings with a hint of humor to lighten the mood. Enjoy this exclusive clip from our first episode of Crime Countdown! Then search Crime Countdown to find more episodes, free on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts!
2020-07-13
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"Knutby Filadelfia" Pt. 2: Helge Fossmo

In 2004, Swedish Pastor Helge Fossmo used ?spiritual shunning? to alienate and manipulate the congregation at his Pentecostal church. He convinced them to do whatever he asked, eventually coercing his mistress Sara into committing a string of wicked crimes. 
2020-07-07
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"Knutby Filadelfia" Pt. 1: Helge Fossmo

In the mid-?90s, Pastor Helge Fossmo was hand-selected by the so-called ?bride of Christ? to help lead a Swedish Pentecostal church. As he gained more authority, Fossmo's power went to his head, and he began doing whatever he wanted to get his way? eventually resorting to murder.
2020-06-30
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?Circle of Friends? Pt. 2: Bruno Gröning

By the mid 1950s, Bruno Gröning was famous. Thousands flocked to the "Miracle Doctor" hoping that he would heal them with the power of his faith. However, just five years later, Bruno's mythos was already beginning to break down and he was beleaguered by scandals from all quarters.
2020-06-23
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?Circle of Friends? Pt. 1: Bruno Gröning

In 1949, faith healer Bruno Gröning was thrust into the limelight after German newspapers reported he had cured a young boy of muscular dystrophy. However, with fame came increased scrutiny from the legal authorities...
2020-06-16
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?Conscious Development of Body, Mind and Soul? Pt. 2: Terri Hoffman

As the 1980s began, Terri Hoffman and her followers seemed to be flying high. But after several people associated with Terri suffered mysterious deaths, her organization faced accusations of brainwashing, theft, and murder.
2020-06-09
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?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.
2020-06-02
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?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.
2020-05-26
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?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.
2020-05-19
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?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.
2020-05-12
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?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.
2020-05-05
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?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.
2020-05-02
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?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.
2020-05-01
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?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. 
2020-05-01
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?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.
2020-05-01
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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.
2020-04-30
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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.
2020-04-30
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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.
2020-04-30
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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.
2020-04-30
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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."
2020-04-30
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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.
2020-04-30
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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.
2020-04-30
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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
2020-04-29
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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. 
2020-04-27
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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.
2020-04-26
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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.
2020-04-25
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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.
2020-04-24
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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.
2020-04-23
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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.
2020-04-22
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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."
2020-04-20
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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.
2020-04-19
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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.
2020-04-18
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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.
2020-04-17
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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.
2020-04-16
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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.
2020-04-15
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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.
2020-04-13
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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.
2020-04-12
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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.
2020-04-11
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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 her Pana-Wave religious cult.
2020-04-10
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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.
2020-04-09
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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.
2020-04-08
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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.
2020-04-06
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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.
2020-04-05
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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. 
2020-04-04
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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.
2020-04-03
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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.
2020-04-02
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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.
2020-04-01
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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.
2020-03-24
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?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.
2020-03-17
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En liten tjänst av I'm With Friends. Finns även på engelska.
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