Sounds Like A Cult

By All Things Comedy

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Subscribers: 573
Reviews: 5


 Jun 2, 2022

Lana
 May 27, 2022
interesting topic, engaging hosts. give it a listen!


 May 26, 2022

Marcus
 May 18, 2022
I could only take about 3 episodes before the generalizations and stereotyping began to get on my nerves

kimbo
 Sep 29, 2021
great podcast!

Description

A podcast about the modern-day “cults” we all follow. Hosts Isa Medina and Amanda Montell ask the culty questions we’re all wondering… Do you think SoulCycle is a cult? What about Elon Musk stans? Or the Royal Family? What about spiritual influencers? Is Instagram itself a cult? We’re Sounds Like A Cult, a podcast that analyzes a different zeitgeisty group every week to try and answer the big question: This group sounds like a cult, but is it really? And if so, how bad is it? 

Show Instagram: @soundslikeacultpod 

Host Instagrams: @isaamedinaa & @amanda_montell 


Episode Date
The Cult of Teal Swan
4078
Known to her loyalists as the “spiritual catalyst” but to her critics as the “suicide catalyst,” New Age influencer Teal Swan is a controversial 30-something self-help guru who some say has saved lives and others say has ended them. Having launched a social media career in the mid-2000s (and still going strong), Swan doesn’t post about beauty products and travel inspo but rather spiritual-meets-“scientific” teachings on a wide range of topics from addiction to chakras to vaccines to suicide. Some of her most committed adherents follow her down to Costa Rica to experience her shady self-actualization techniques IRL. Swan is the subject of the new Hulu docuseries The Deep End, based on the fascinating 2018 podcast The Gateway, which was created and hosted by this week’s guest, Jennings Brown, who’s here to talk with Amanda and Isa about the fanatical “cult” Swan has built online. Helix is offering up to 200 dollars off all mattress orders AND two free pillows for our listeners at HelixSleep.com/cult. For listeners of the show, Dipsea is offering an extended 30-day free trial when you go to DipseaStories.com/CULT. For listeners of the show, Everlywell is offering a special discount of 20% off an at-home lab test at Everlywell.com/CULT. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 28, 2022
The Cult of 7M Films (TikTok Dancing Cult)
3507
In spring 2022, a social media-famous dancer went viral on Instagram… but not for her moves. This time, it was for a 40-minute video begging the world to help get the word out about her sister, also a TikTok performer, who had allegedly been inducted into a cult. The sisters in question? Miranda and Melanie Wilking. The “cult”? 7M Films, a secretive Christian-affiliated talent management company who's been accused of financial exploitation, emotional and spiritual manipulation, and isolating vulnerable young social media stars in Los Angeles from their families. In this week’s much requested episode, Amanda and Isa interview journalist Gabrielle Bluestone about the ongoing case of 7M Films to explore the relationship between faith, cultishness, social media, and dreams of viral fame. For listeners of the show, Calm is offering an exclusive offer of 40% off a Calm Premium subscription at Calm.com/cult Athletic Greens Is giving you a FREE 1-year supply of immune-supporting Vitamin D AND 5 FREE travel packs with your first purchase. All you have to do is visit Athleticgreens.com/CULT Get Honey for FREE at JoinHoney.com/CULT See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 21, 2022
The Cult of Jared Leto
2557
From his Jesus-like hair, erratic on-set antics, and fanatical 30 Seconds to Mars music fandom to his glazed-over sexual assault allegations and literal in-person cult compound, Jared Leto basically represents every possible meaning of the word “cult,” from the cheeky to the gravely serious. He may have Hollywood’s support in the way of an Oscar and desirable roles like the Joker, and many of his music stans worship him enough to follow him off the grid, but Jared Leto might be inching from “cult-followed” celebrity closer to full-blown cult leader. This week, with the help of listener tips, Isa and Amanda are here to untangle the story. In honor of Sounds Like A Cult's one-year anniversary, we're hosting our very first ever live show! It's virtual, meaning anyone from anywhere in the world can attend. On June 15th at 9 pm ET, join Isa and Amanda to ask questions, play games, hear us talk about never-before-discussed cults, and dive into alllllll other things culty. Details and ticket info can be found at momenthouse.com/soundslikeacult For 50% off your first Care/of order, go to TakeCareOf.com and enter code CULT50 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 14, 2022
The Cult of A Cappella
3458
From The Yale Whiffenpoofs to Pitch Perfect’s Barden Bellas, a cappella groups are not just your average band, they are a *family*, like a cross between fraternities and theatre kids. Crooning Top 40 covers in tight harmonies might sound like the most innocent way to commune... but can these seemingly wholesome, aggressively punny groups be sketchier than they seem? Amanda and Isa chat with an aca-mazing guest, Dani Calleiro—ex-member of the cult-followed YouTube a cappella band, Cimorelli—to get to the base note (sorry) of this week’s “cult.” In honor of Sounds Like A Cult's one-year anniversary, we're hosting our very first ever live show! It's virtual, meaning anyone from anywhere in the world can attend. On June 15th at 9 pm ET, join Isa and Amanda to ask questions, play games, hear us talk about never-before-discussed cults, and dive into alllllll other things culty. Details and ticket info can be found at momenthouse.com/soundslikeacult Go to HelloFresh.com/cult16 and use code cult16 for up to 16 free meals AND 3 free gifts! For listeners of the show, Dipsea is offering an extended 30-day free trial when you go to DipseaStories.com/CULT See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 07, 2022
The Cult of 12-Step Programs
3255
Anonymity, prayers, sitting in a circle and sharing your deepest secrets and traumas, an intimate mentor program… is it a cult or a 12-step program? This week, Isa and Amanda are joined by comedian JF Harris to discuss groups like AA, NA, and OA whose ritualistic approach to addiction recovery is definitely culty… but is it a LYL, a WYB, or a GTFO? In honor of Sounds Like A Cult's one-year anniversary, we're hosting our very first ever live show! It's virtual, meaning anyone from anywhere in the world can attend. On June 15th at 9 pm ET, join Isa and Amanda to ask questions, play games, hear us talk about never-before-discussed cults, and dive into alllllll other things culty. Details and ticket info can be found at momenthouse.com/soundslikeacult Helix is offering up to 200 dollars off all mattress orders AND two free pillows for our listeners at HelixSleep.com/cult   For listeners of the show, Calm is offering an exclusive offer of 40% off a Calm Premium subscription at Calm.com/cult Go to HelloFresh.com/cult16 and use code cult16 for up to 16 free meals AND 3 free gifts! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 31, 2022
The Cult of True Crime
3616
From voraciously consuming gruesome podcasts by the dozen to amateur sleuthing gone wrong to fetishizing dangerous killers, the world of true crime definitely has a cult following… but does it ever go too far? This episode was chosen by our listener giveaway winner and features New York Times true crime columnist and author Sarah Weinman to discuss the good, bad, and the culty of fanatical true crime fandom. (P.S. Amanda and Isa have newfound respect for true crime podcasters… turns out, violent butcherings are easy enough to listen to, but almost impossible to talk about in public without wanting to puke a wee bit.) (P.P.S! In honor of Sounds Like A Cult's one-year anniversary, we're hosting our very first ever live show! It's virtual, meaning anyone from anywhere in the world can attend. On June 15th at 9 pm ET, join Isa and Amanda to ask questions, play games, hear us talk about never-before-discussed cults, and dive into alllllll other things culty. Details and ticket info can be found at momenthouse.com/soundslikeacult) Go to DailyHarvest.com/cult for up to forty dollars off your first box! Get Honey for FREE at JoinHoney.com/CULT See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 24, 2022
The Cult of Fast Fashion
3839
Fast Fashion (think: brands like Forever21, Zara, and Shein) could be described as an industry that takes high-end clothing designs and makes them quick and cheap for the masses. Or, if you look at it from a cult angle, it could be described as an international conspiracy that preys on the dreams, insecurities, and pleasure-seeking brain chemistry of mostly young women, while weaponizing social media to create a bottomless sense of co-dependence in order to make as much money as possible and will stop at nothing—worker exploitation, environmental destruction—in order to keep people in that profitable vicious cycle. Which one is closer to the truth? This week, Isa and Amanda interview Leah Thomas, the founder and author of The Intersectional Environmentalist, to find out… Listeners can get 65% off their first month of medication management and care counseling at Cerebreal.com/Cult Head to MeritBeauty.com/cult to get a free signature reusable makeup bag with your purchase.  For listeners of the show, Dipsea is offering an extended 30-day free trial when you go to DipseaStories.com/CULT.  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 17, 2022
The Cult of Stand-Up Comedy
3021
Co-host Isa joined the “cult” of stand-up comedy four years ago in LA but didn’t realize until we started this podcast how culty it really was. Recorded live at the first-ever Netflix Is A Joke comedy festival, this week’s long-awaited episode features Isa and Amanda interviewing a very special guest—comedian and creator/star of “Feel Good” on Netflix, Mae Martin—about the hidden hierarchies, secret due-paying, exclusion, delusion, silencing, in-group lingo and rituals, AND (of course) the hilarity, magic, and close community of stand-up comedy.  Go to Grove.com/Cult to get a free gift set worth up to fifty dollars with your first order. For listeners of the show, Calm is offering an exclusive offer of 40% off a Calm Premium subscription at Calm.com/cult Athletic Greens Is giving you a FREE 1-year supply of immune-supporting Vitamin D AND 5 FREE travel packs with your first purchase. All you have to do is visit athleticgreens.com/CULT See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 10, 2022
The Cult of Elon Musk
2847
The New York Times described him as “at once a capitalist hero, a glossy magazine celebrity and a bomb-throwing troll.” Multi-billionaire tech tycoon Elon Musk, best known for his high-stakes investments in companies from PayPal to Tesla to SpaceX to Neurolink, is seen as not just a businessman to his nearly 90 million Twitter followers, but as a rockstar, influencer, and Christlike savior sent from the heavens to save the world. On the heels of his fancy new purchase of Twitter, Amanda and Isa discuss Musk’s cult charisma, his army of Musketeers, and what his rise to cult-leader-ish power says about our culture at large. Thanks to all our loyal culties who called in to lend their insight to this episode! Sign up for your free two-week trial at Monday.com/podcast.  Go to HelloFresh.com/cult16 and use code cult16 for up to 16 free meals AND 3 free gifts! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 03, 2022
The Cult of Theatre Kids
4107
POV: You work at Denny's. It's 12 AM. You want to go home. And from outside you hear it... your worst nightmare: 40 pairs of hungry footsteps and an acapella intro to Grease's Summer Nights. In this episode, with the help of stage actor and Tik Tok sensation Tyler Joseph Ellis, Isa and Amanda dig into Theatre Kid (yes, spelled “re”) culture—the rituals and superstitions, the cliques and power structures—to see just how far a teenager will go to live out their High School Musical dream. For a limited time, new users can get $10 in free Bitcoin when you sign up today at Coinbase.com/CULT  Listeners can get 65% off their first month of medication management and care counseling at cerebral.com/Cult.  Helix is offering up to 200 dollars off all mattress orders AND two free pillows for our listeners at HelixSleep.com/cult.  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 26, 2022
The Cult of Essential Oils
3433
Lavender can cure headaches and tea tree oil can clear your acne (and heal Covid/your whole life)? The cult of essential oils blurs the line between fact and fiction and this week, Amanda and Isa team up with a special guest, Buzzfeed reporter Stephanie McNeal, to learn about these controversial little potions, their “cult following,” and the snake oil salespeople who weaponize them. Head to MeritBeauty.com/CULT to get their free signature reusable makeup bag with your purchase.  Go to DailyHarvest.com/cult for up to forty dollars off your first box! Get Honey for FREE at JoinHoney.com/CULT Listeners get 10% off your first month by visiting our sponsor at BetterHelp.com/CULT  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 19, 2022
The Cult of Minimalism
2851
The life-changing magic of tidying up gave a shiny new rebrand to age-old ideas that owning less stuff can be connected to enlightenment... but are there people taking the "cult" of *minimalism* too far? Can stripping down your material possessions actually cure the sorrow and ennui of contemporary existence? Isa and Amanda chat with Joshua & Ryan, "cult leaders" of The Minimalists website, podcast, and documentary, and more to find out...  https://www.theminimalists.com/   For a limited time, new users can get $10 in free Bitcoin when you sign up today at Coinbase.com/cult  Go to Cerebral.com/CULT for 65% off your first month. Go to Grove.com/CULT to get a free gift set worth up to fifty dollars with your first order. For 50% off your first Care/of order of $40 or more, go to TakeCareOf.com and enter code cult50 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 12, 2022
The Cult of Academia
2843
Did you know PhD actually stands for “Probably Heavily in Debt” and “Pretty Heavily Depressed”? Jk (or are we?). This week, Isa and Amanda delve into the mahogany-walled “cult” academia, where hierarchies, elitism, financial exploitation, hidden crimes, false promises, and weird robes are just part of the gig. Comedian, writer, and PhD adjunct professor Amy Silverberg joins us to discuss her experience being both a leader and a follower of this prestigious “cult.”   For listeners of the show, Dipsea is offering an extended 30 day free trial when you go to DipseaStories.com/CULT.  Go to HelloFresh.com/cult16 and use code cult16 for up to 16 free meals AND 3 free gifts! Listeners get 10% off your first month by visiting our sponsor at BetterHelp.com/CULT  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 05, 2022
The Cult of Disney Adults
3339
Blackout dates, Genie lines, Magic Keys, Storyliving, DCP, D23... If any of these terms got you feeling some kind of way, you're likely in "cult" of Disney Adults. Grownups who worship an iconic mouse have established themselves as one of the most fanatical fandoms out there, but how dangerously culty are these Disney-inspired behaviors and rituals, *really*? To find out, co-hosts Amanda and Isa solicit the help of many passionate listener call-ins and special guest, cheeky Disney influencer Francis Dominic @francisdominiic.   Go to MeritBeauty.com/CULT to get their free signature reusable makeup bag with your purchase.  Sounds Like A Cult listeners get 10% off their first month at BetterHelp.com/CULT See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 29, 2022
The Cult of Skincare
2363
Serums, lasers, influencer skincare routines, oh my! There seems to be no end to how many expensive products and techniques are promised to keep us looking “eternally youthful”... but are these products *really* the miracles they claim to be? Do we *need* skincare at all? And isn’t the promise of aesthetic immortality kinda culty in the first place? This week, co-hosts Amanda (recovering beauty editor) and Isa (often forgets to wash her face) are joined by skincare critic Jessica DeFino and celebrity skincare expert Renée Rouleau to discuss the pros and cons of skincare’s “cult following.” https://www.jessica-defino.com/ Go to JoinHoney.com/CULT to start getting sweet deals for free! Get 10% off your first order with promo code CULT at OseaMalibu.com New users can get $10 in free Bitcoin when you sign up today at Coinbase.com/CULT See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 22, 2022
The Cult of Veganism
2248
Veganism isn’t just a diet, it‘s not just a lifestyle, it’s a whole identity, aesthetic, community, religion, and even a career for some people… like our special guest, Lauren Toyota, creator of “hot for food,” a vegan blog, YouTube channel, and series of cookbooks. Veganism has a cultish reputation, but with Lauren’s help, Amanda and Isa unpack all the upsides and downsides of this seemingly “extreme” way of life to determine what the cultiest aspects of veganism really are (especially in the age of social media) and what they say about us all.  Check out Lauren's Blog: https://www.hotforfoodblog.com/   Go to DailyHarvest.com/cult to get up to $40 off your first box!  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 15, 2022
The Cult of Elizabeth Holmes
2250
Defrauded Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes has become the subject of countless books, podcasts, documentaries, and now the brand new scripted Hulu series, The Dropout, starring Amanda Seyfried. Holmes's cult of personality—everything from her sociopath-chic Steve Jobs cosplay to her roster of Star Wars quotes (delivered in that mysteriously affected low voice) to her tyrannical lying and exploitation—has made her more than just your dime-a-dozen tech bro scammer. How did Holmes cultivate such a cult following among Silicon Valley investors, and now, why are true crime junkies so inordinately obsessed with her case? This week, with the help of listener call-ins, Amanda and Isa unpack the notorious grifter's zealous qualities to determine whether she really was more of a cult leader than a con artist, and if so, was her “cult” a Live Your Life, a Watch Your Back, or a Get the Fuck Out? For listeners of the show, Dipsea is offering an extended 30-day free trial when you go to DipseaStories.com/CULT See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 08, 2022
The Cult of Toxic Relationships
2444
This week, with the help of special guest Dan Savage (relationships advice columnist and host of the Savage Lovecast), Isa and Amanda are talking about cults of one: toxic relationships. How are toxic lovers (and friends and bosses) similar to cult leaders? What cult-like tactics do these “charismatic” abusers use to lure people in and make them stay? This illuminating episode proves all you need to understand followers of groups like NXIVM and Scientology, is what it feels like to fall in love…   Follow Dan on Instagram: @dansavage See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mar 01, 2022
The Cult of CrossFit
2260
A 2015 Harvard Divinity School study reported that among many young people, CrossFit has become a bonafide new religion. So much more than a gym, these dark-walled “boxes” full of jacked Paleo dieters flipping tires have become sites of community and transcendence (and a source of billions in revenue). But... how did CrossFit gain such a “cult” following? And what are the dangers? This week, Amanda and Isa discuss the fitness phenomenon’s hulking appeal.   Get 10% off your first order with promo code CULT at OSEAmalibu.com. You’ll get free samples with every order, and orders over $50 get free shipping. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 22, 2022
The Cult of Cheerleading
2325
A pseudo-family dynamic, decades-long commitments, physical peril, members who "would literally die for" their leader (coach): Competitive cheerleading is not just an off-the-beaten-path sport, it's a *lifestyle*... and this week, co-hosts Amanda and Isa get the inside scoop on this modern-day “cult” from special guest Morgan Simianer, star of CHEER, Netflix’s the smash-hit documentary series about the top college cheer program in the USA.   For listeners of the show, Dipsea is offering an extended 30-day free trial when you go to DipseaStories.com/CULT See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 15, 2022
The Cult of Instagram Therapists
2403
If you have an Instagram account, you’ve probably seen those beautifully curated infographics explaining "trauma,” “attachment theory,” and "boundaries" in 100 words or less... but when does mass-disseminating parasocial mental health advice on social media become cultish? This juicy episode dives into the world of Instagram therapists: mental health experts (and self-proclaimed “experts”) who have taken our era’s desperate need for accessible therapy and spun it into an influencer career. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 08, 2022
The Cult of Trader Joe's
1934
Trader Joe's, the most beloved "neighborhood grocery store" in America, has a super-loyal "cult following"... a sentiment that needs no explanation. The limited-edition niche products (like cookie butter and lemon ricotta), kitschy nautical aesthetic, and ridiculously friendly employees have spawned a generation of obsessed customers, who will wait in the rain, sleet, and snow to shop at TJs and spend hours connecting with other fanatics in TJ lovers Facebook groups. But is there a more sinister side to the "cult" of Trader Joe's? Are their corporate practices shady? Why *are* their employees so nice? With the help of sooo many Reddit forums and even more listener call-ins, Isa and Amanda investigate...     Follow us on Instagram: @soundslikeacultpod, and hosts @isaamedinaa and @amanda_montell See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 01, 2022
Sounds Like a Cult Trailer!
117
We're back and more culty than ever! Sounds Like A Cult, your favorite comedy-cult podcast about the modern-day “cults” we all follow, is relaunching on a weekly basis thanks to our new partnership with All Things Comedy. This time around, we're bringing you even more of the zeitgeisty cults you want to hear about, including Trader Joe’s, diet culture, Instagram Therapists, and more. If you’re interested in exploring the everyday groups and gurus that have made our culture so zealous and divided, but also want to laugh and hang out and not feel so bummed out all the time, then this is the show for you! Make sure to follow us wherever you get your pods so you know as soon as new episodes drop; we'll be back sooner than you might think ;)  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 25, 2022
Sounds Like A Cult Is Changing Forever…
67
We're going weekly! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jan 04, 2022
The Cult of The NFL
2767
On theme for Thanksgiving, we've got a bonus episode for you on the "cult" of America's most zealously worshipped, physically hazardous sport: NFL football. One might imagine the typical all-American family spending their Sunday mornings at church followed by a football game, often complete with alcohol-fueled tailgating and rivalrous smack-talking, conformist fan jerseys, and group chants, all of which are certainly "culty" behaviors in a comparatively innocent sense... but does the "cult" of the NFL get darker than that, both for fans and players? This week, we're discussing it all with the help of a very special expert guest, ESPN sports anchor Elle Duncan. Follow us on instagram @soundslikeacultpod, and hosts @isaamedinaa and @amanda_montell. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 23, 2021
The Cult of LuLaRoe
2017
In the wake of the zealously consumed LuLaRich docuseries on Amazon Prime, we’re releasing a bonus episode on the leggings multilevel marketing company that shook American suburban boss babes throughout the 2010s: LuLaRoe. Ex-MLMers (and fascinated docuseries viewers) keep saying LuLaRoe is nothing but a massive “cult”… but is it really? And if so, how bad is it? This week, we’re unpacking all the culty elements of this fanatically followed group with the help of a special guest: former LuLaRoe retailer Roberta Blevins, who identifies as the company’s “public enemy #1” and who you might recognize from the LuLaRich docuseries or her own “cult-followed” podcast Life After MLM. Follow us on socials! @soundslikeacultpod @amanda_montell  @isaamedinaa See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 19, 2021
Season 2 Is Coming...
91
Season 2 of Sounds Like A Cult is coming December 7th! We are so grateful for all you loyal Culties who tuned in to Season 1 and sent us scores of suggestions for Season 2 “cults” of the week. We have a juicy, thought-provoking lineup of zeitgeisty “cults” on deck (from Landmark, to Disney adults, to CrossFit), as well as some extra special guests, so make sure you subscribe wherever you listen to your pods to get notified as soon as we’re back. In the meantime, stay culty, but not toooooooo culty ;) See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 28, 2021
The Cult of Tony Robbins
2219
Super-wealthy motivational speaker Tony Robbins physically towers over his thousands of adoring acolytes, boasting a booming voice and omniscient life advice about everything from love to business to trauma, which he espouses at his world-famous conferences… but in light of recent abuse allegations, his cult status is starting to look a lot more predatory than inspiring. Special guest Kate Kennedy of the Be There In Five podcast joins us this week to unpack the cult of motivational speaking and Tony Robbins, discussing peer pressure and forced vulnerability, the connection between Robbins and disgraced self-improvement star Rachel Hollis, and so much more. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 17, 2021
The Cult of Astrology
2306
Omg, is mercury in retrograde?? Or is this week’s episode analyzing the “cult” of astrology just *that* intense? Co-hosts Amanda (Aquarius) and Isa (Pisces) didn’t realize how little they truly knew about the culture of zodiac signs and horoscopes until discussing with special guest, Jessica Lanyadoo, an astrologer, medium, and podcaster, who’s here to illuminate the culty aspects of astrology in the age of social media (both for good and for ill), explain what astrology even is in the first place, and play a few rounds of “Guess That Cult Leader’s Sun, Moon, and Rising. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 10, 2021
The Cult of Celebrity Megachurches
2030
One of our favorite topics to date: In this can’t-miss episode, we’re unpacking the wave of trendy evangelical church groups (like Hillsong, Mosaic, and Churchome), which use Silicon Valley-savvy marketing, celebrity endorsements, charismatic pastors, and a slew of doubtlessly culty recruitment techniques and power structures in an attempt to make Christ “cool” for masses of modern young people. Here to help us understand the cultishness of hipster Christianity is special guest Grace Baldridge, a musician and documentarian behind Refinery29’s “State of Grace” series, which tackles faith, queerness, and American culture. Be sure to follow @GraceBaldridge on Instagram! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 03, 2021
The Cult of Marathon Runners
1699
Welcome to the world of fitness trackers, high-performance athletic gear, nutrition goo, obsessively comparing your stats, and trying to  beat your PR… it’s the “cult” of marathoners. Is the seemingly healthy practice of running as pure as it‘s made out to be, or can it take over people’s lives in a disturbingly culty way? With the help of a special guest, fitness influencer (and Isa’s comedy pal) Lydia Keating, we’re talking all things athletics, competition, capitalism, and Tik Tok to try and assess how cultish the running community really is. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 27, 2021
The Cult of Feet
1589
A slightly NSFW episode of your favorite cult podcast comes courtesy of this week’s two special guests: the ever-so-charismatic podcaster/writer Gaby Dunn and actor/sex worker Bree Essrig, who both have experience with the “cult” of foot fetishists. Most of our episodes focus on seemingly harmless groups that might actually be more sinister than they appear, and this one’s all about a seemingly freaky, underground community that might actually be quite positive! After listening, be sure to follow Gaby and Bree on Instagram @gabyroad and @breeessrig, subscribe to Gaby’s pods Just Between Us & Bad With Money, and feel free to check out Bree on Only Fans :) See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 20, 2021
The Cult of Multi-Level Marketing
2204
Ask and you shall receive! This week, we’re covering our single most listener-requested topic: The “cult” of multi-level marketing (aka MLMs). Most of us have a former high school classmate or two who got sucked into a pay-and-recruit organization like Amway, Mary Kay, or Young Living. MLMs are at once the butt of countless jokes about pyramid schemes and brainwashed #girlbosses, and yet they maintain a profound hold on a certain slice of aspiring entrepreneurs, who’ve been promised that some shadily structured “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” will guarantee them the American Dream (and more). MLMs are certainly scammy, but are they culty? And if so, what kind of “cult” are they? In this episode, we attempt to find an answer... See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 13, 2021
The Cult of Fraternities & Sororities
1568
“Why does it feel like everything that has to do with tradition is actually a cult?” Such is one of our many musings from this week’s episode on the “cult” of Greek life. We call it “hazing” and “pledges” rather than “brainwashing” and “cult members,” but aren’t these highly exclusive groups with unchallenged power imbalances and bizarre often dangerous (even deadly) rituals—whose culture of “paying your dues” bleeds into the rest of American society—not low-key just a deep-rooted “cult” dressed up as a socially accepted college “experience?” With the help of listener call-ins, insightful facts and figures, and Isa’s own personal sorority stories, that is just the question we’re aiming to answer... See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 06, 2021
The Cult of The Royal Family
1893
Intense secrecy and exclusivity, unquestioned protocols and rituals, deception, isolation, hierarchies, and soooo much money… nope, we’re not talking about Satanism or Scientology, we’re talking about The Royal Family! ;) This week, with the help of brilliant British journalist Afua Adom, Isa and Amanda attempt to unpack the Meghan Markle interview and other windows in the centuries-old monarchy to determine how “culty” it really is. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 29, 2021
The Cult of Celebrity Stans
1613
These days, the lines between celebrity, religious figure, political leader, lifestyle guru, and best friend have blurred so hardcore that enthusiastic celebrity fans have morphed into a whole new kind of beast: rabidly loyal, obsessed stans. Is worshipping and defending megastars like Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, and Elon Musk a harmless pop culture phenomenon, or is it decidedly cultier than that? On this episode, Amanda and Isa analyze the “cult” of celebrity stan culture with the help of insightful and hilarious listener call-ins. Which celebrity do you think has the most extreme stans? And does that make them a “cult leader” of sorts?? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 22, 2021
The Cult of Flat Earthers
1979
We always thought of “flat earthers” as nothing but a bunch of spoofable Devil advocates with too much time on their hands... but after closer examination, this community of conspiratorial believers sounds a whole lot more like a cult. In this episode, we engage in an enlightening, guffaw-worthy interview with Abbie Richards (@tofology), a Tik Tok sensation known for her knowledge of conspiracy theories and misinformation, to try and determine how destructive the flat earth community *really* is. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 15, 2021
The Cult of The Bachelor
1951
A heavily controlled, totally isolated group of polygamists who worship one charismatic figure and aren’t allowed to read magazines, watch TV, or speak to their families… is this a cult or the most popular reality dating show in history? This week on Sounds Like A Cult, we’re discussing the “cult” of The Bachelor Franchise with a very special guest, former contestant Kendall Long… and she did not hold back. We got the juicy inside scoop on how culty The Bachelor *really* is to try and figure out whether this objectively bizarre pop culture phenomenon is a Live Your Life, a Watch Your Back, or a Get the Fuck Out-level “cult.” See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 08, 2021
The Cult of SoulCycle
1506
SoulCycle is without question a “cult-followed” brand, but is this exclusive boutique workout studio actually more insidious than that? This week, resident cult skeptic Amanda and real-life SoulCycle attendee Isa engage in a hilarious, well-informed debate about the intense, inspiring (and potential sinister) cult of SoulCycle to try and figure out what category along the cult spectrum it falls into: Live Your Life, Watch Your Back, or Get the Fuck Out? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 01, 2021
Sneak Peak!
209
This is Sounds Like A Cult, a podcast about the zeitgeisty cults that have inducted us all—from SoulCycle and Peloton to spiritual influencers to fraternities and sororities to flat earth conspiracy theorists, and beyond. Each episode, your co-hosts Isa and Amanda discuss a different modern-day “cult,” and with the help of guests, games, and legitimate research, we attempt to answer the big question: this group *sounds* like a cult, but is it really? And if so, what category of cult does it fall into? Live Your Life, Watch Your Back, or Get the Fuck Out. Here’s a sneak peek of the show, premiering June 1… See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 25, 2021
Sounds Like A Cult - Welcome Trailer!
58
Do you think SoulCycle is a cult? What about Elon Musk stans? Or the Royal Family? What about spiritual influencers? Is Instagram itself a cult? We’re Sounds Like a Cult, a podcast about the modern day cults we all follow. Join us every week as we analyze a different zeitgeisty group to try and answer the big question: This group sounds like a cult, but is it really? And if so, how bad is it...? 1) Live your life, 2) Watch Your Back or 3) Get the f*ck out ! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 13, 2021