Trust Me: Cults, Extreme Belief, and the Abuse of Power

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Description

A podcast about cults, extreme belief, and abuse of power – from two hosts who’ve actually lived it. Hosted by Lola Blanc and Meagan Elizabeth. If you have your own story about cults, high control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power - leave us a voicemail at 513.900.2955 OR shoot us an email at TrustMePod@gmail.com. FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM: @trustmepod @oohlalola @vibehigherbitch OR TWITTER: @trustmecultpod @ohlaloka

Episode Date
G Charles Wright: Growing up Bisexual, Natural Disasters & Abusive Parenting
01:12:12

Casting director and former Christian G Charles Wright talks about growing up Christian and struggling with his sexuality, a natural disaster he was caught in the middle of, why he calls his mom a psychopath, and how he shed the influence of his upbringing and finally accepted himself and his sexuality.

Got your own story about cults, extreme belief, or abuse of power? Leave a voicemail or text us at 347-86-TRUST (347-868-7878?) OR shoot us an email at Trust Me Pod @gmail.com

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM:

@trustmepodcast

@oohlalola

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OR TWITTER:

@trustmecultpod

@ohlalola 

Jun 22, 2022
Sara Levine & Danny Murphy of Not Another True Crime Podcast
00:58:24

Sara & Danny, hosts of Not Another True Crime Podcast, join Lola and Meagan to discuss the tragic cases of Matthew Coleman and Anthony Todt and delusional conspiracy theories that they believed, the recent wave of con men documentaries, the cults of Reddit and SoulCycle, the link between Mormonism and MLMs, and Meagan's family connection to the BTK Killer.

Got your own story about cults, extreme belief, or abuse of power? Leave a voicemail or text us at 347-86-TRUST (347-868-7878?) OR shoot us an email at Trust Me Pod @gmail.com

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM:

@trustmepodcast

@oohlalola

@vibehigherbitch

OR TWITTER:

@trustmecultpod

@ohlalola 

Jun 15, 2022
Monia Ali: One Direction & Toxic Fandom
01:22:20

Former One Direction stan Monia Ali shares her involvement in various fandoms throughout her life, how old she was when she became a One Direction stan, the conspiracy theory she became wrapped up in, the online bullying she experienced when she left the fandom, and the role of identity and community in these groups.

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM:

@trustmepodcast

@oohlalola

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@trustmecultpod

@ohlalola  

Jun 08, 2022
Transcendental Meditation & Cult Intervention with Patrick Ryan and Joe Kelly
01:18:00

Want to learn how to levitate? Cult Interventionists and Founders of Cult News 101, Patrick Ryan and Joe Kelly, talk about their work with ICSA (the International Cultic Studies Association), how levitation played into their experiences with Transcendental Meditation, early cult deprogramming and why it was problematic, how most people leave cults of their own volition, and why exploring someone's beliefs are better than attacking them.

Learn more about Patrick and Joe's work here:

cultmediation.com 

cultnews101.com 

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM:

@trustmepodcast

@oohlalola

@vibehigherbitch

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@trustmecultpod

@ohlalola  

Jun 01, 2022
Rethinking Trauma: The Power Threat Meaning Framework with Lucy Johnstone
01:18:15

UK consultant clinical psychologist and one of the authors of the power threat meaning framework Lucy Johnstone shares how her work is meant to re-conceive how we think of mental illness, why the DSM is flawed, the position of why labels are problematic, how "ideological power" factors in, how "mental illnesses" can be adaptive, and the importance of creating your narrative. PLUS!! A bonus interview with Lola's mom Dr Christine Marie!!

Learn more about Lucy's below: 

https://www.bps.org.uk/power-threat-meaning-framework 

https://www.pccs-books.co.uk/products/a-straight-talking-introduction-to-the-power-threat-meaning-framework-an-alternative-to-psychiatric-diagnosis 

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM:

@trustmepodcast

@oohlalola

@vibehigherbitch

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@trustmecultpod

@ohlalola 

May 25, 2022
Rethinking Trauma: Post-Traumatic Growth with Richard Tedeschi
00:59:44

UNC Charlotte professor and psychology researcher Dr Richard Tedeschi discusses his pioneering work on post-traumatic growth, how his field is different from resilience, how core beliefs are involved in our trauma, what "integration" means, and the value of an "expert companion," having a mission, and sharing your story.

Learn more about Richard's work at https://bouldercrest.org/

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM:
@trustmepodcast
@oohlalola
@vibehigherbitch

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@trustmecultpod
@ohlalola 

May 18, 2022
Rethinking Trauma: Self-Regulation and Healing Trauma with Robert Rhoton
01:22:01

How do we self-regulate when faced with triggers? CEO of the Arizona Trauma Institute and President at the Trauma Institute International Dr Robert Rhoton digs into the physiology of trauma, why the particular therapeutic model isn’t THAT important (as long as our therapists are trauma-informed), how being dysregulated is akin to a certain Marvel character, and why it’s important for our therapists to be regulated themselves. Plus, how our culture might not promote emotional regulation, practical ways to get regulated, and how we can actually begin to heal our trauma over time.

Learn more about Robert's work at https://aztrauma.org/ 

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM:

@trustmepodcast

@oohlalola

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@trustmecultpod

@ohlalola

May 11, 2022
Rethinking Trauma: Resilience with George Bonanno
01:00:46

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we're taking May to dive into trauma: how we think about it, how it works, and what we can actually DO about it if we're struggling. How can we live our best lives, even if we've had difficult or terrifying experiences?

In part 1 of the Rethinking Trauma series, Lola and Meagan chat with Columbia professor and PhD George Bonanno about his pioneering research into trauma and resilience, how we aren't necessarily doomed to be traumatized when we experience something terrible, why "coping ugly" is okay, and how flexibility can help us become more resilient.

https://www.mentalhealth.gov/ 

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM:

@trustmepodcast

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@trustmecultpod

@ohlalola

May 04, 2022
Jordan Harbinger: Scams, Influence, & The Law of Attraction
01:04:47

Podcast veteran Jordan Harbinger joins Lola and Meagan to talk magical thinking, the law of attraction, influence vs manipulation, how to be an ethical leader, how he himself has been scammed, and what makes people susceptible to scams!

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM:

@trustmepodcast

@oohlalola

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@ohlalola

Apr 27, 2022
Nitai Joseph, Part 2: When Meditation Gets Culty
00:59:06

A little meditation never hurt anyone... right? Lola and Meagan chat with former Hare Krishna monk Nitai Joseph about meditation and how it isn't necessarily always the cure-all it's cracked up to be. They discuss Sam Harris, whether you can divorce meditation from its religious roots, and the work Nitai does with Cheetah House to help those with adverse meditation experiences.

Learn more about Nitai's work at https://www.cheetahhouse.org/ 

SUPPORT LOLA'S FILM: bit.ly/pruningfilm 

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM:

@trustmepodcast

@oohlalola

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@trustmecultpod

@ohlalola

Apr 21, 2022
Nitai Joseph, Part 1 - Hare Krishna, Cool Gurus, & Labor Exploitation
01:15:54

Nitai Joseph, talks about being a former Hare Krishna Monk, what the general beliefs are, going to California to learn from a seemingly cooler guru, devoting his life to the group, the labor exploitation he experienced, and the dangers of the guru structure.

SUPPORT LOLA'S FILM: bit.ly/pruningfilm

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM:

@trustmepodcast

@oohlalola

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@trustmecultpod

@ohlalola

Apr 13, 2022
Lynn Short - The New Gnostic Society, Sexual Alchemy, & Lucid Dreaming
01:24:04

Episode 72: Lynn Short, former member of the Armageddon cult the New Gnostic Society, shares how her relationship drew her to the group, the belief that their original guru was resurrected, working as a missionary, doomsday predictions, their use of lucid dreaming and withholding orgasms, what Lynn describes as "spiritualized depression," and the nails in the coffin for leaving.

SUPPORT LOLA'S FILM: bit.ly/pruningfilm  

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM:

@trustmepodcast

@oohlalola

@vibehigherbitch

OR TWITTER:

@trustmecultpod

@ohlalola

Apr 06, 2022
Anne Speckhard - How Terrorists Are Made
01:06:56

Episode 71: Anne Speckhard, Director of the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism and Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown, discusses her interviews with members of Al-Qaeda, ISIS, and white supremacist groups, how she gets people to open up, the factors that drive people to terrorism, and what to do if someone you know is falling prey to extremism.

Learn more about Anne's work at https://www.icsve.org/ 

SUPPORT LOLA'S FILM: bit.ly/pruningfilm 

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM:

@trustmepodcast

@oohlalola

@vibehigherbitch

OR TWITTER:

@trustmecultpod

@ohlalola

Mar 30, 2022
Terra Newell, Part 2 - Killing Dirty John
00:49:31

Episode 70: Terra Newell shares why her mom took John back after they broke up (despite his criminal history), not being able to file a restraining order, how John started to stalk the family, how Terra was able to defend herself and kill John when he attacked her, and what the recovery process has been like.

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM:

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@ohlalola

Mar 23, 2022
Terra Newell, Part 1 - Meeting Dirty John
01:01:31

Episode 69: Terra Newell, life coach and animal lover who survived an attack from the now-infamous con man and manipulator Dirty John, shares how her mom met John on a dating app. In part one, they discuss how he claimed to be a doctor, some of his bizarre behaviors, and how he isolated her mom from the family. Plus: the grey rock method of communication, a tool for dealing with narcissists and abusers. 

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM:

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Mar 16, 2022
Sinasta Colucci – Romance, Racism, & Cover-Ups in Twelve Tribes
00:50:15

Episode 68: In part two of their conversation with Sinasta Colucci, Lola and Meagan dive into the dramatic forbidden romances he experienced while in Twelve Tribes, the racist doctrines that were kept from him until he was already committed to the group, and a big secret that the community leaders covered up.

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM:

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Mar 09, 2022
Sinasta Colucci - Twelve Tribes, Farm Life, and The End Times
00:45:21

Episode 67: In part one of his conversation with Lola & Meagan, Better Than a Turkish Prison: What I Learned From Life in a Religious Cult author Sinasta Colucci shares his experience living in the Twelve Tribes communities. He talks about growing up poor in Detroit, living on a hippie Christian fundamentalist commune, the practice of giving up your personal assets, and how their end times prophecies shaped his daily life.

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM:

@trustmepodcast

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Mar 02, 2022
The Airborne Toxic Event's Mikel Jollett - My Childhood in Synanon
01:19:55

Episode 66: Rockstar and Hollywood Park author Mikel Jollett shares how he spent his childhood in the drug rehab cult Synanon, how it impacted his family relationships from a young age, leaving the group only to live in poverty, incidents of violence committed by Synanon, and the residual impact on his adult life.

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM:

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Feb 23, 2022
Jillian Lauren, Part 2 - Return to Brunei and Meeting a Serial Killer
00:46:32

Episode 65: Author Jillian Lauren shares what brought her back to Brunei after leaving the first time, her relationship with the Prince, meeting the Sultan, smuggling money out of the country, and how she became acquainted with the most prolific serial killer in American History.

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

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Feb 09, 2022
Jillian Lauren, Part 1 - Life in a Harem
01:01:33

Episode 64: You're young and struggling to make ends meet. Then you get invited to live in the lap of luxury in a place far away... with no guarantee of your safety. Writer Jillian Lauren recounts the events from her book Some Girls: My Life in a Harem as the guest of the Prince of Brunei, including how she was first recruited, how what she went through was similar to the Bachelor and the Hunger Games, the level of sadism she experienced, and the backlash received from her family for writing the book.

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

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Feb 02, 2022
Banachek, Part 2 - Critical Thinking vs Skepticism
00:55:32

Episode 63: Mentalist and magician Banachek shares how he exposed a scam by televangelist and debunked faither healer Peter Popoff in the 80s, why he fights against funding pseudoscience, and the difference between critical thinking and skepticism. Plus: he performs a trick on Lola and Meagan.

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

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Jan 26, 2022
Banachek, Part 1 - Mentalism vs Psychic Ability
00:52:09

Episode 62: World famous mentalist and magician Banachek joins Lola & Meagan to discuss the difference between mentalists, magicians and psychics, how he became involved in a parapsychology research project called Project Alpha, and how you can become emotionally invested in something that you know is an illusion!

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

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Jan 19, 2022
Drew Amstutz - Surviving Conversion Therapy
00:53:54

Episode 61: Lola & Meagan share a heartfelt conversation with conversion therapy survivor Drew Amstutz about growing up gay as a pastor's kid, being forced into conversion therapy, having suicidal ideations, and how he coped and found a way out.

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

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@ohlalola

Jan 12, 2022
Amanda Knox & Christopher Robinson - Understanding Cognitive Bias
01:19:16

Episode 60: It's Lola's favorite topic. And today she and Meagan are joined by hosts of the Labyrinths podcast Amanda Knox and Christopher Robinson as they dig into the world of cognitive bias. They discuss Amanda's wrongful conviction in 2007, spending four years in an Italian prison, all of the biases that came into play in Amanda's trial, and the public perception of what happened.

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM:

@trustmepodcast

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@ohlalola

Jan 05, 2022
Bob Nygaard, Part 2 - How Psychics Manipulate
01:04:40

Episode 59: In part two of their interview with psychic tracker Bob Nygaard, Lola & Meagan dig into what its like fighting with police and prosecutors to bring criminals to justice, how psychic fraud is organized crime, an interesting discussion of why most psychics are women, the difference between cold and hot readings, the importance of having a support network, "the psychic script", a reoccurring character named Gina Marx.

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM:

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Dec 22, 2021
Bob Nygaard, Part 1 - Investigating Psychic Fraud
00:59:17

Episode 58: The notorious private investigator and psychic tracker Bob Nygaard joins Lola & Meagan to talk about his early career as a cop, getting started in confidence crimes and psychic fraud, how psychics groom their victims, and the kinds of people who seek out psychic advice (HINT: They're smarter than you think!).

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

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Dec 15, 2021
Lauren & John Matthias – The Daybells, Part 2: Buried Bodies & the Dark Triad
01:00:10

Episode 57: In part two of their interview with hosts of the Hidden podcast, Lauren and Dr John Matthias, Lola and Meagan discuss the the chronology of the murders carried out by Chad & Lori Daybell, how a welfare check led to the discovery of two missing children, how Chad and Lori were living in an elaborate fiction, as well as the theories of "The Dark Triad" and "Rich Guy Syndrome."

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

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Dec 08, 2021
Lauren & John Matthias – The Daybells, Part 1: Murder, Zombies, & LDS Fan Fiction
01:01:41

Episode 56: In part one of their interview with true crime power couple and hosts of the Hidden podcast, Lauren and Dr John Matthias, Lola and Meagan dig into the LDS backgrounds of Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow Daybell, Chad's history as a fiction writer, how zombies and Munchausen by proxy play into their story, and the horrific deaths of the people close to the couple.

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

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Dec 01, 2021
Angie Kehler & Yahanna Masimer - The Assembly of YHWHhoshua
01:09:42

Episode 55: Two best friends in a cult. Angie Kehler & Yahanna Masimer share their experience growing up in the Assembly of YHWHhoshua, founded by self-proclaimed prophet Laycher Gonzalez, who had visions from "YHWH." They discuss the strict dress code restrictions, not being allowed to have drawings, paintings, or photos, and how one member died after being forbidden from going to the doctor.

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

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Nov 17, 2021
Listener Stories - Purity Culture & Narcissist Dads
01:09:53

Episode 54: Lola & Meagan open up the hotline to Mlee in Houston as she shares her culty childhood with a narcissist "Super Dad", and Holly in West Virginia, a self-described "bus kid" who grew up dating two brothers in a small town Baptist purity culture.

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

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Nov 10, 2021
Rachel Bernstein & IndoctriNation
01:04:45

Episode 53: Ever heard of a cult specialist? Therapist and IndoctriNation podcast host Rachel Bernstein shares what healing looks like after leaving a cult, common themes in manipulation recovery, signs that someone is in a high-control group or experiencing dissociation, and advice for those with loved ones in a cult.

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

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Nov 03, 2021
Dr. Ramani Durvasula - Narcissism 101
01:30:18

Episode 52: Are you a narcissist? Statistically, it's possible! Dr. Ramani Durvasula joins Lola and Meagan for a clinic on all things narcissism. They discuss whether narcissists are born or made, how narcissism differs from psychopathy, why dating a narcissist is similar to being in a cult, and whether it's possible to prevent someone from becoming a narcissist.

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

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Oct 27, 2021
Jennings Brown - Investigating the Fellowship of Friends
01:20:34

Episode 51: Jennings Brown, reporter and host of cult podcasts The Gateway and Revelations, discusses life on the lavish compound of the Fellowship of Friends leading up to their doomsday date, why people cling to their prophecies when they don't come true, allegations of sexual assault against the group's leader, and the orgy that was compared to a trip to the DMV.

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

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Oct 21, 2021
Glenn Carter - UK Raelian Leader, Part 2: A Debate on Power Dynamics
01:13:53

Episode 50: In part two of Lola and Meagan's interview with UFO cult leader Glenn Carter, they discuss the cloning controversy that the Raelian movement was known for, Glenn's relationship with the movement's founder, and an interesting debate on power dynamics and personal responsibility.

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

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Oct 06, 2021
Glenn Carter - UK Raelian Leader, Part 1: Aliens, Meditation & Cloning
01:11:33

Episode 49: It's a Trust Me first! Actor / musician / leader of the UK Raelian chapter Glenn Carter joins Lola & Meagan in part one of their conversation about Glenn's religious group with unconventional views on alien life, how he became the regional leader, and all things meditation, evolution, and cloning!

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

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Sep 29, 2021
The Cult of Hollywood
00:53:02

Episode 48: Can success be its own cult? Lola & Meagan delve into how abuse of power plays into the entertainment industry, the experiences they've had firsthand with people in power, and the dark side of the pursuit of stardom.

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

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Sep 22, 2021
Natascia Mallin – Therapy Cult, Part 2: Trauma Bonding & Lifting the Veil
00:48:57

Episode 47: In part two of their discussion with author of The First 50, Natascia Mallin, Lola and Meagan discuss the trauma bonding that happened within the group, whether or not the program really worked, and the importance of staying anchored to the outside world.

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

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Sep 15, 2021
Natascia Mallin – Therapy Cult, Part 1: A Guru Named Stan
00:51:33

Episode 46: In part one of their chat with author of The First 50: A Saga of Backseats, Bedrooms, Lookout Points, and Dive Bars, Natascia Mallin, Lola and Meagan discuss how Natascia's time working at Cafe Gratitude and the Landmark Forum led her to join a "therapy cult" led by a well-read charismatic guru named Stan.

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Sep 09, 2021
Christina Babin - Children of God, Part 2: Reprogramming Camps
00:59:57

Episode 45: In part two of their interview with Children of God survivor, Christina Babin, Lola and Meagan discuss life in the "reprogramming camps," the difficulty coming forward about these kinds of experiences, and finding love after leaving the group.

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Sep 01, 2021
Christina Babin – Children of God, Part 1: Punishment Camps & Flirty Fishing
00:54:39

Episode 44: Love bombing. Flirty fishing. Moving from country to country. Just a few standard parts of life as a member of David Berg's Children of God. In part one of their conversation with Christina Babin, Lola and Meagan discuss Christina's experience in punishment camps, the separation from her family, and being exploited in a child sex trafficking cult.

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Aug 25, 2021
Katherine - Teal Swan
00:57:07

Episode 43: Lola & Meagan chat with a woman named Kathryn about her experiences as a follower of the charismatic social media guru Teal Swan... who is often accused of being a cult leader. They discuss Teal's online presence and appeal, how she conducts her workshops, controversies of plagiarism, and a concerning story of what happened to one member.

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Aug 19, 2021
Jonas Bell Pasht - How To Become A Tyrant
01:03:19

Episode 42: Executive producer of Netflix's How To Become a Tyrant (and friend of the show!) Jonas Bell Pasht joins Lola & Meagan to talk about the behaviors of infamous dictators like Hitler, Stalin, Idi Amin, and Saddam Hussein, the parallels between tyrants and cult leaders, and how dictators prey upon societies' wants and needs.

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Aug 12, 2021
Torah Bontrager - Growing Up Amish, Part 2: Escaping & Activism
00:57:23

Episode 41: In part two of their conversation with activist / Amish Girl in Manhattan author TORAH BONTRAGER, Lola & Meagan discuss the abuse Torah suffered in her family, escaping the community, graduating from Columbia University, and Torah's involvement with the fight against the Supreme Court case, Wisconsin v Yoder.

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Aug 04, 2021
Torah Bontrager – Growing Up Amish, Part 1: Corporal Punishment & Rumspringa
00:52:49

Episode 40: No cars, electricity, or indoor bathrooms - think you could do it? Activist / Amish Girl in Manhattan author TORAH BONTRAGER shares about her upbringing in an Amish community in Wisconsin, speaking the Amish language, the real meaning of Rumspringa, her tumultuous family relationships, the use of corporal punishment in Amish culture, and some of the abuse she experienced firsthand.

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Jul 21, 2021
Glynn Washington - The Worldwide Church of God
01:01:41

Episode 39: End time prophecies? Memorizing the bible? Required church vacations your family can't afford? Snap Judgment host and creator Glynn Washington shares his experiences growing up in the apocalyptic religion the Worldwide Church of God. He tells the girls about believing the end of the world was imminent, the white supremacist roots of the group and how he was forbidden from dating outside of his race, and the book that began to change his thinking.

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Jul 14, 2021
Hoyt Richards - From Supermodel to Cult Member
01:25:02

Episode 38: What do you model your life after? For producer, actor, and former supermodel Hoyt Richards, it was the teachings of a charming man from Nantucket who spoke about the impending apocalypse and a distant star named Arcturus. Hoyt shares how he was indoctrinated into the Eternal Values cult as his modeling career was taking off, what he describes as "cultic relationships," and how Fabio (yes, that Fabio) was involved in his recovery.

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Jul 07, 2021
April Snow - Scientology & the Sea Org, Part 2: Leaving & The Aftermath
00:54:23

Episode 37: In part two of Trust Me's first interview with a former Scientologist, April Snow shares her thoughts on how the church treats drug and alcohol addiction, the fallout from her appearance on Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, and the division it caused within her family.

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Jun 30, 2021
April Snow - Scientology & the Sea Org, Part 1: The LA Celebrity Centre
00:58:31

Episode 36: This one is sure to stimulate your thetans. Trust Me's first former Scientologist guest, April Snow, talks about growing up in the church, living in the LA Celebrity Centre as a child, and joining the infamous Sea Organization at age 15—and what it was like when her loved ones disconnected from her.

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Jun 23, 2021
Brian Holoyda - Folie à Deux & Shared Delusions
01:09:11

Episode 35: Can delusional beliefs be passed on to others? Forensic psychiatrist Brian Holoyda discusses the science of shared psychotic disorders (also known as folie à deux), how cult beliefs can mimic this phenomenon, and why Qanon doesn't necessarily count as a delusion.

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Jun 16, 2021
Danny Gold & Sean Williams - Mafias & Organized Crime
01:05:59

Episdoe 34: From the Burmese mafia to Nigeria's Black Axe, journalists and hosts of The Underworld Podcast Danny Gold and Sean Williams compare the world's mafias, cults, and organized crime groups. They discuss their most harrowing reporting experiences, what groups they've been the most fascinated by, and the parallels between mafias and cults.

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Jun 09, 2021
Liz Maupin - The Two by Twos
01:11:25

Episode 33: The long-awaited episode! Meagan and producer / funny gal Liz Maupin talk about their shared cult upbringing as a part of the elusive proselytizing "Two by Twos" cult - how it led to Liz getting iodine poisoning - and whether the group fits under the definition of "cult."

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Jun 02, 2021
Taylor Brown - Tech CEOs
01:07:26

Episode 32: Charisma. Grand Ideas. Unchecked narcissism. What's stopping the world's tech CEOs from becoming our new 21st century cult leaders? Former corporate executive Taylor Brown joins Lola & Meagan to discuss all things WeWork, Elon Musk, Donald Trump, group retreats - and the psychology of corporate culture.

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May 26, 2021
Dianne Lake - The Manson Family, Part 2: The Tate-LaBianca Murders
01:14:16

Episode 31: Lola and Meagan dive deeper with Dianne Lake, aka “Snake,” the youngest member of the Manson family, and her co-author Deborah Herman. They discuss the LSD-fueled lifestyle on Spahn Ranch, Charles Manson's connection to the Beach Boys, his obsession with an impending race war, and how Dianne learned about the Tate-LaBianca murders--and the legal and psychological repercussions she endured.

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May 19, 2021
Dianne Lake – The Manson Family, Part 1: Meeting Charlie
01:10:29

Episode 30: You’re a teenage girl in the late 60s, bouncing between communes, when a charismatic man and his group of young women welcome you with open arms. You were looking for a family, and now you’ve found one. In part one of an incredible interview, Dianne Lake, aka “Snake,” and her co-author Deborah Herman discuss growing up in 1960s counter-culture, the dark side of the sexual revolution, and what it was like becoming the youngest member of Charles Manson’s family. Stay tuned next week for part two, in which she tells Lola & Meagan how she learned about the murders!

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May 12, 2021
Janja Lalich - Democratic Workers Party and Bounded Choice in Cults
00:56:17

Episode 29: How far would you go for your ideals? Sociologist and author Janja Lalich chats with Lola and Meagan about her time in the 70s as part of a radical Marxist-Leninist group called the Democratic Workers Party, how she became a high-ranking member, and the toll it took on her personal relationships. They discuss how to tell the difference between a legitimate political group and one that’s leaning into cult territory, what “bounded choice” means, and red flags to look out for in any relationship.

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May 05, 2021
Avital Ash - Orthodox Judaism
01:23:51

Episode 28: Traditions! Are they helpful customs that keep us connected to our history? Or can they become too rigid and hinder the personal and intellectual growth of those who observe them? Comedian/actor/director Avital Ash joins Lola & Meagan to dive into what it was like growing up practicing Orthodox Judaism, internalizing shame about her womanhood, and forging her own path as an adult.

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Apr 28, 2021
Anna LeBaron - Ervil LeBaron, the "Mormon Manson"
01:36:40

Episode 27: You've only met your dad twice, but you know he's the prophet. You live in abject poverty, forced into child labor. And you often have to move your entire household in the middle of the night, for reasons you don't understand. Anna LeBaron joins Lola & Meagan to talk about the trauma of living in a polygamist cult and the murders perpetrated by her father, Ervil LeBaron aka the "Mormon Manson." She also tells the girls about her healing journey, going to therapy, and the importance of telling your story.

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Apr 21, 2021
Kilian Aulenbacher - Church Universal and Triumphant
01:09:03

Episode 26: Kilian Aulenbacher went from a German kid who spoke zero English to harvesting crops and hanging out in bomb shelters on a Montana commune, as a member of the Church Universal and Triumphant. Typical childhood, right? Meagan & Lola dig into what brought Killian's family to Montana, what it was like believing the world was ending, and the Christian cult leader who claimed she received revelations from spiritual beings called the "Masters." Plus, how he learned to question everything.

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Apr 14, 2021
Gerardo Lopez - MS-13 & the Police, Part 2: The Rampart Scandal
01:07:50

Episode 25: In part 2 with former MS-13 member Gerardo Lopez, Lola and Meagan discuss how he left the gang, the harassment he experienced by the LAPD in the era of the Rampart Scandal, and how one of the Chicago Seven took him under his wing. Then: How he started a new life in Colorado, only to be suddenly arrested on a federal warrant, accused of starting a new MS-13 chapter in Colorado, and wrongfully sent to prison. Listen to learn how he fought to be released, and hear about the gang intervention work he does now! www.homiesunidosdenver.org www.homiesunidos.org IG: @trustmepodcast @oohlalola @vibehigherbitch Twitter: @trustmecultpod @ohlalola www.trustmepod.com

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Apr 07, 2021
Gerardo Lopez - MS-13, Part 1: LA in the 80s and 90s
00:53:09

Episode 24: Meagan & Lola interview Gerardo Lopez, gang interventionist and former member of gang MS-13. In part 1, he tells the ladies about growing up in gang territory in LA in the 80s and 90s, getting jumped in to MS-13, and what life was like in the gang. They discuss getting arrested, gaming the system, and how being approached by an interventionist began to change things. In part 2, they'll discuss his journey through the criminal justice system during the era of the Rampart Scandal. IG: @trustmepodcast @oohlalola @vibehigherbitch Twitter: @trustmecultpod @ohlalola www.trustmepod.com

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Mar 24, 2021
Frank Lyford - Heaven's Gate, Part 2: Breaking Away
00:43:28

Episode 23: Lola Blanc & Meagan Elizabeth continue to interview Frank Lyford, former member of Heaven's Gate. In part 2, they discuss the growing number of red flags he began to notice after one of the leaders died, including talk of castration, and what led to his decision to finally, after 18 years, break away. He also tells the girls what it was like when he heard about the mass suicide on the news, how heartbreaking that was, the lessons he's learned as a result, and what his life is like now. IG: @trustmepodcast @oohlalola @vibehigherbitch Twitter: @trustmecultpod @ohlalola www.trustmepod.com

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Mar 17, 2021
Frank Lyford - Heaven's Gate, Part 1: The Nomadic Lifestyle
00:51:52

Episode 22: Lola & Meagan interview Frank Lyford, survivor of Heaven's Gate who left after 18 years--just a few years before discovering his friends and loved ones in the group had died by suicide. In part 1, he tells the girls how he began following the leaders Ti and Do, what it was like living a nomadic lifestyle with his "check partner," and what happened when they all settled in one place for "Class." They discuss being separated from the love of his life, how the rules became more strict and controlling, and how much darker things got after Ti got cancer. Stay tuned next week for part 2! www.trustmepod.com IG: @trustmepodcast @oohlalola @vibehigherbitch Twitter: @trustmecultpod @ohlalola

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Mar 10, 2021
Gloria Jackson-Nefertiti - Autism, Racism, and a Religious Cult
00:46:42

Episode 21: Lola Blanc and Meagan Elizabeth interview speaker and sex educator Gloria Jackson-Nefertiti. She tells the girls about being the only Black woman in an all-white Christian cult in college, the racism and bullying she experienced, and why autistic people like herself are uniquely susceptible to coercive control. They also discuss the life change that helped her realize she needed to leave, and how she's been able to embrace who she really is--plus, how to protect yourself or a loved one with autism. IG: @gloriajacksonnefertiti @trustmepodcast @oohlalola @vibehigherbitch Twitter: @trustmecultpod @ohlalola www.trustmepod.com

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Mar 03, 2021
M.E. Thomas & Arya - Two Sociopaths (Who Are Dating)
01:12:11

Episode 20: Meagan Elizabeth and Lola Blanc interview M.E. Thomas, author of Confessions of a Sociopath, and her girlfriend Arya--two sociopaths who are dating each other. They talk about how they met, what love is like for a sociopath, and how for them it has included blood play. They also discuss whether psychopaths can be rehabilitated, how malignant behaviors are not necessarily inherently caused by psychopathy, and why having a clear sense of your own boundaries is better than trying to spot a sociopath. www.trustmepod.com www.sociopathworld.com IG: @trustmepodcast @oohlalola @vibehigherbitch Twitter: @trustmecultpod @ohlalola

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Feb 18, 2021
Elana Auerbach - OneTaste (aka the Orgasm Cult)
01:10:45

Episode 19: Lola Blanc & Meagan Elizabeth interview Elana Auerbach, former follower of sexual wellness company OneTaste--elsewhere deemed the Orgasm Cult--in its early years. Elana discusses being the founder's right hand woman as the program developed, and how the sexual practice involving stimulating a woman's genitals evolved into what's now called Orgasmic Meditation. They discuss how Elana came to center her life around the founder, how she was manipulated, and what snapped her out of it. IG: @trustmepodcast @oohlalola @vibehigherbitch Twitter: @trustmecultpod @ohlalola www.trustmepod.com

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Feb 10, 2021
Nicoletta Heidegger - BDSM vs. Abuse
00:58:54

Episode 18: Lola Blanc and Meagan Elizabeth interview sex therapist, sexologist, and Sluts and Scholars podcast host Nicoletta Heidegger about all things BDSM! They discuss the basics of consensual play, Armie Hammer (and why cannibal fantasies are not the problem), red flags to look out for, making check-ins sexy, and how to tell the difference between kink and abuse. Think you might be in an abusive relationship? Please visit www.loveisrespect.org/ or www.thehotline.org/ FOLLOW US: IG: @slutsandscholars @trustmepodcast @oohlalola @vibehigherbitch Twitter: @ohlalola @trustmecultpod PER EPISODE DISCUSSION: Free sex inventories: Autostraddle Emily Nagoski Partially paid programs: Miss Jaiya's Erotic Blueprint Kayna Cassard's arousal architecture Apps: Kindu Xconfessions Love Nudge We should try it/Spicer Book:The Relationship Fix, Dr. Jenn Mann

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Feb 03, 2021
Yuval Laor - Fervor, Awe, and Hyperreligiosity
01:05:31

Episode 17: Lola and Meagan interview Dr. Yuval Laor, behavioral and cultural scientist who studies evolutionary biology and religion. Yuval describes his theories on awe experiences and fervor, and how cult leaders manipulate these emotional states to earn and keep their followers' loyalty. He also talks about belief attachment and why it's not so different from parental or romantic attachment, and the hyperreligiosity that can occur with temporal lobe epileptic seizures.

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Jan 27, 2021
Lucien Greaves - The Satanic Temple, Satanic Panic, & Recovered Memory
00:59:08

Episode 16: Meagan and Lola interview Lucien Greaves, co-founder of the Satanic Temple, about how the Satanic Temple was founded and why their (hilarious) stunts and lawsuits are actually deeply important for religious freedom and the separation of church and state. They also discuss the Satanic panic of the 80s and 90s and how it's had a resurgence in the form of QAnon, plus why "recovered" memories, and organizations like the ISSTD that champion fringe science, can have dangerous consequences. 

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Jan 19, 2021
Jitarth Jadeja - Former QAnon Believer
01:16:18

Episode 15: Lola and Meagan interview Jitarth Jadeja, former QAnon believer. He tells the girls about how, despite being Australian, he first was a Bernie supporter, then shifted his support to Trump before becoming obsessed with conspiracy theories. They discuss the two years of his life in which he believed in Q, the moment he realized it was all a lie, how he'd have gone to the Capitol if he'd still believed, and what he suggests you should do if a loved one has fallen into QAnon. 

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Jan 14, 2021
Amber Dawn Lee - Zion Society (Fundamentalist Mormon Cult)
00:54:46

Episode 14: **TW: This episode contains detailed descriptions of sexual assault and child abuse.** Meagan and Lola interview Amber Dawn Lee about her childhood in Zion Society, a Fundamentalist Mormon group run by self-proclaimed prophet Arvin Shreeve. They discuss how she lived in poverty with extremist parents, what it was like in the abusive cult, and what the "sexual way of life" was. They also discuss life afterward, and how she doesn't let the trauma of the experience rent space in her brain.  

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Jan 06, 2021
Amanda Montell - The Language of Cults and Fanaticism
00:59:29

Episode 13: Meagan and Lola interview Amanda Montell, linguist and author of Wordslut and now Cultish, her new book about the language of fanaticism. They discuss loaded language, thought-terminating cliches, cultish jargon that can be found in wellness communities and beyond, and the surprising characteristic those who join cultish groups have in common. Plus, how the key may just be to join a whole bunch of cults. 

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Dec 31, 2020
Cliff "Fifth" Henderson - Jehovah's Witnesses
01:12:13

Episode 12: Meagan and Lola interview rapper Fifth, also known as Cliff Henderson, about his experiences as a Jehovah's Witness. Fifth tells the girls how he was a devout member until he lost his faith in his 20s, when he was disfellowshipped and subsequently shunned by his family and community at large. He also talks about the dangerous practices that the church advocates, and how he channels it all into his music.  

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

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Dec 23, 2020
Naomi Gibson - Children of God and NXIVM, Part 2: Recruited into NXIVM
01:13:33

Episode 11: Lola and Meagan finish their interview with Naomi Gibson, former member of both the Children of God (aka the Family) and NXIVM. In part two of this two-part episode, she talks to the girls about how Mark Vicente recruited her into NXIVM, what she loved about J'ness, and how she was involved in the cult's unraveling. www.trustmepod.com 

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

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Dec 17, 2020
Frank Meeink - From Neo-Nazism to Anti-Racism
01:15:09

Episode 10: Meagan and Lola interview Frank Meeink, author of Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead, about his journey from neo-Nazism as a teenager to present-day anti-racism. They discuss how he was indoctrinated into his white supremacist group, the crimes he committed that landed him in prison, the moment that changed everything for him, where he is now, and the importance of the Fourth Amendment.

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

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Dec 10, 2020
Naomi Gibson – Children of God and NXIVM, Part 1: Life on an Abusive Commune
00:50:51

Episode 9: Lola and Meagan interview Naomi Gibson, former member of both the Children of God (aka the Family) and NXIVM. In part one of this two-part episode, she talks to the girls about living on a commune in the Philippines with the Family, the abuse that went on there, how her mother decided to leave, and why it's so hard to leave a group without a strong support system on the other side. She also touches on the parallels between both groups... to be continued in part two! www.trustmepod.com 

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

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Dec 02, 2020
Vikram Gandhi - Being Kumaré, the Fake Guru
00:54:46

Episode 8: Lola and Meagan interview filmmaker Vikram Gandhi about the making of his documentary Kumaré, in which he pretended to be a spiritual leader from a fictional village in India--and quickly built a following in Phoenix, Arizona. They discuss how it happened, why he did it, and how his followers reacted when he revealed his true identity. They also talk about the prevalence of gurus in Indian culture, whether it matters if someone's fake if they're actually helping, and why we give spirituality a little too much weight in our lives. 

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

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Nov 25, 2020
Noël Wells - Scam Psychic Retreat
01:17:35

Episode 7: The girls interview filmmaker, musician, and actress Noël Wells about her experience going to a weekend retreat with a celebrity psychic - and eventually realizing she'd been scammed. Plus: an update on how Noël confronted the "psychic" after the initial interview.

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

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Nov 18, 2020
India Oxenberg - NXIVM
00:56:24

Episode 6: Lola and Meagan interview India Oxenberg, former member of NXIVM and star of Seduced, now on Starz. They discuss EMs, the group's grooming tactics, her feelings on Allison Mack, and what it was like to face Keith Raniere in court.

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

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Nov 11, 2020
Steve Hassan - The Moonies, Trump, and QAnon
01:05:35

Episode 5: Lola and Meagan interview cult expert Steven Hassan on his experience joining the Moonies in the 70s, his book The Cult of Trump, what Trump has in common with cult leaders, how modern cult indoctrination happens online, and how to respond if someone in your life has fallen victim to QAnon. Follow Steve Hassan on Twitter: @cultexpert  

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

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Nov 04, 2020
Esther & Lori - Current FLDS Members
01:00:23

Episode 4: The girls interview Esther and Lori, two current members of the FLDS - aka Fundamentalist Mormons - who grew up in Short Creek, the polygamist community. They discuss how the community has changed since their prophet went to prison, and why families in the community are getting evicted from their homes. They also talk about what it's like to grow up with two mothers, raise eleven kids, and enter into - and exit out of - an arranged marriage. Plus: Esther's daughter's love for one special pop singer.

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

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Oct 27, 2020
Will Allen - Buddhafield
01:01:16

Episode 3: The girls interview Will Allen, director of the documentary Holy Hell, about his time in Buddhafield, the 80s New Age cult. They discuss how he lived with the group's guru for years, putting on performances, receiving the "Knowing," and filming everything--all while dealing with abuse. Follow Will on Instagram: @will_allen405 

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

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Oct 20, 2020
Moses Storm - Andrea Yates's Cult
01:00:10

Episode 2: The girls interview Moses Storm about his experiences in a cult as a child. They discuss what it was like to live in a bus, deal with poverty, and try to convert adults to his religion, run by Andrea Yates's religious leader.

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

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Oct 13, 2020
Lola's Mom - Mormon-Offshoot Cult
01:13:12

Episode 1: Lola and Meagan interview Christine Marie, Lola's mom, about her and Lola's experiences believing in a self-proclaimed Mormon prophet. They discuss how they came to believe in him, their separation from each other, Christine's harrowing trafficking experience, and Lola's childhood memories of Keith Raniere from NXIVM.

If you have your own story about cults, high-control groups, manipulation, or abuse of power, shoot us an email at trustmepod@gmail.com.

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Oct 07, 2020
Trust Me Trailer
00:00:49
TRAILER: A podcast about cults, extreme belief, and abuse of power - from two hosts who've actually lived it. Hosted by Lola Blanc and Meagan Elizabeth. 
Oct 02, 2020