Episode 43: The Psychology of Cults

Grindelwald speech from Harry Potter in front of crowd of people

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In the late 1980’s a former NFL defensive end stabbed 2 men with zero provocation, and if you ask him it was done at the urging of his leader to which he was devout. In the mid to late 2010’s the hit show Smallville took on an entirely different meaning when the world realized a star actress was recruiting other women to be branded and exploited. In both cases we can’t help but ask ourselves, how does this happen? How does a human being find themselves in a situation where these things happen? In a word, cults, but it’s so much more than that. Join hosts Shanti and Danny as we dig into manipulation, fear, blackmail, and the disturbing minds of what passes for a “leader” in this world’s cults.


Naftulin, J.; The Science-Backed Psychology Techniques Nxivm Used to ‘Fetishize Vulnerability’ and Manipulate Members into Sex. Insider. 27-Oct-2020. https://www.insider.com/nxivm-used-real-psychology-to-fetishize-vulnerability-manipulate-2020-9

Scheeres, J.; The Yaweh ben Yahweh Cult. CrimeLibrary. 03.-Jun-2013. https://web.archive.org/web/20130603192839/http://www.trutv.com:80/library/crime/notorious_murders/classics/yahweh_cult/12.html

Best, J.; Cults: A Psychological Perspective. Theses and Dissertations 361. Columbus State University. 2018. https://csuepress.columbusstate.edu/theses_dissertations/361

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