Nov 22, 2022

Cafe



Around the Web, Around the World

A Little Bit Culty


Spot A Spider: Dr. Amy Saltzman on Identifying Webs of Abuse

Fact: Studies suggest that one in four females and one in six males are sexually abused before the age of eight. What the actual fuck? So there must be tons of material out there educating children on what abuse looks like, and what they should do if they are abused, right? Wrong—such resources have been virtually non-existent thus far. Today’s guest and actual angel on Earth (but not in a culty way), Dr. Amy Saltzman, is working on changing that with her Spot a Spider series, designed specifically for children and teenagers to help identify when abuse is actually taking place—something that’s far less obvious than one might think.

Dr. Amy Saltzman is a former competitive gymnast, a physician, a mindfulness coach, author, and victim/sur-thrivor of decades of covert emotional abuse.

Episode available since November 21, 2022


Nov 15, 2022

Cafe



Around the Web, Around the World

A Little Bit Culty


Toxic All-Around: Melanie Hunt & Kim Shore on Abuse in Canadian Gymnastics

This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp. Our guests today want you to know that culty shit is rampant in high performance gymnastics, and it didn’t all magically go away with Larry Nassar’s prison sentence. How are these abusive creeps still slipping through the system and continuing to get access to young athletes? How do you protect your kid from harm if they develop a passion for the sport? Kim Shore is the founder of Gymnasts for Change Canada, a collective that emerged on the heels of the #metoo movement in 2017 after several former elite athletes publicly shared their experiences of abuse. She’s joined by fellow advocate and former Canadian national team gymnast Melanie Hunt, who is sharing her own grisly account of psychological, physical, and sexual abuse at the hands of her coaches during her fifteen-year career. The duo chats with us about their stories and their shared mission of eradicating abuse from the sport that they love. Because the scariest thing about gymnastics should be the balance beam. This episode is a must-hear for parents who are raising student athletes in any sport, but be warned: It’s not easy listening. Audience discretion advised.

Episode available since November 14, 2022


Nov 13, 2022

Esoterica


Detective Leah Remini Just Dropped Another Scientology Bombshell

When Remini left the church, she said her “first goal” was to find her missing friend. “In 2013, after I left Scientology, I filed a missing person’s report with the LAPD on Shelly,” Remini began. “By the time I filed the report, it had been nearly eight years since I had seen or heard from Shelly.” She recalls being told she “didn’t have the rank” to ask about Shelly, when Remini inquired as to why she wasn’t present at Cruise’s wedding. “Shelly was always with her husband. She was his shadow, not only because she was married to him but also because she was his top aide. For her not to be in attendance was not only unusual but also unimaginable.”

Mere hours after filing the report, Remini said she found out the case had already been closed via the press, and the LAPD was uncooperative when she prompted them for further information. “When I asked if detectives had spoken to or had seen Shelly themselves, I was told that was “classified” by the LAPD,” she tweeted. “I was told to file a public record request if I wanted further information. I spent $50k in attorneys fees filing various requests. My requests for information from the LAPD were shut down. I still don’t know anything about the circumstances of this investigation,” she continued.

The most unsettling detail in the thread, however, is Remini’s memory of meeting with LAPD veteran Cory Palka. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Palka is currently being investigated for his close (read: entirely inappropriate and deeply suspect) relationship with CBS and its besmirched CEO, Les Moonves. Palka is alleged to have colluded with Moonves and other executives in fighting a former employee’s accusations that Moonves had sexually assaulted her.

. . .

Palka, Remini recalls, was the officer to whom she filed the report about Shelly. Even then, she suspected he had ties to the institution. “When I met with Cory Palka about Shelly, he had a letter on his desk thanking him for all his help with Scientology matters and inviting him to come and have lunch, as a guest, at the Celebrity Center.”


Nov 8, 2022

Cafe



Around the Web, Around the World

A Little Bit Culty


Leaving the Fold: Dr. Marlene Winell on Religious Trauma Syndrome

Dr. Marlene Winell knows all too well that exiting a controlling religion can trigger a devastating life crisis. As a college student, she moved away from the fire and brimstone fundamentalist Christianity she was raised in, and the fallout of her exodus was so dramatically upending that she felt compelled to dedicate her life’s work to studying the very phenomenon that she’d later coin: ‘Religious Trauma Syndrome.’ In this episode of A Little Bit Culty she chats with us about symptoms that arise in response to traumatic or stressful religious experiences, and what can be helpful along the road to recovery after leaving the fold.

More About Our Guest:

Dr. Winell is a psychologist, educator, and writer whose background includes 30 years of experience in human services, in both community and academic settings. She holds a doctorate in Human Development and Family Studies from Pennsylvania State University and is the author of Leaving the Fold: A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving their Religion. Leaving the Fold has become a leading self-help book in the field of religious recovery - and examines the effects of authoritarian religion (namely fundamentalist Christianity) on individuals who leave the faith. She’s also the founder of Journey Free organization, which is dedicated to helping people transition out of harmful religions, recover from trauma, and rebuild their lives. We’ve developed programs for both individuals and groups. If you are recovering from religious harm, we have great respect for your strength and courage. Please know that you are not alone and things can get better.

Episode available since November 07, 2022


Nov 1, 2022

Cafe



Around the Web, Around the World

A Little Bit Culty


Sex Cult Nun: Faith Jones on Breaking Way from the Children of God (Part 1)

There are unconventional childhoods, and then there is growing up in the Children of God. International attorney, humanitarian, author, and TEDx speaker Faith Jones was raised in this infamous cult founded by her paternal grandfather in 1968. The group, later referred to as “the Family,” was notorious for its radical practices, which required members to become fulltime missionaries, give up their income and formal education, and abide by the “Law of Love,” a doctrine which encouraged spouse sharing, sexual relations with children, and the “Flirty Fishing” practice of using female followers as sex-bait to reel in followers. Thank gravy that Faith emancipated herself at 23, was later accepted into Berkeley Law school, and now travels the world advocating for everything that is NOT Children of God-like. She joins us in this first of two episodes to talk about Sex Cult Nun, her scorching memoir of her life inside the secretive cult. Warning: this episode, and its sequel will get into gritty terrain including discussions of child abuse and sexual assault. Listener discretion advised.

Additional Articles about other survivors of the Children of God:

Rolling Stone: How I Escaped From a Religious Sex Cult and Ended Up in the Army

Esquire: Joaquin Phoenix and Rose McGowan Spent Their Early Years in a Religious Cult. Then it Became Infamous.

The Guardian: Life after a sex cult: 'If I’m not a member of this religion any more, then who am I?'

Episode available since October 31, 2022


Oct 30, 2022

Esoterica



William Shatner experienced profound grief in space. It was the 'overview effect'

"I was crying," Shatner told NPR. "I didn't know what I was crying about. I had to go off some place and sit down and think, what's the matter with me? And I realized I was in grief."

While he wasn't sure what to expect, Shatner did not predict this. He had been excited to travel to space, and had thought about it for nearly 60 years, but didn't think he'd be overwhelmed with sadness, or that he'd go through "the strongest feelings of grief" that he's ever experienced.

There's a name for what Shatner felt: it's called the "overview effect." The term was coined by space philosopher Frank White in his 1987 book of the same name.

"The overview effect is a cognitive and emotional shift in a person's awareness, their consciousness and their identity when they see the Earth from space," White told NPR. "They're at a distance and they're seeing the Earth ... in the context of the universe."


Oct 25, 2022

Cafe



Around the Web, Around the World

A Little Bit Culty


Life After Narcs: Dr. Ramani Durvasula on Navigating Narcissism

Are malignant narcissists born or made? How do you recover after narcissistic abuse? In this episode, licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Ramani Durvasula tackles our burning narc-y questions. She’s the author of two books on the subject: “Should I Stay or Should I Go: Surviving A Relationship with a Narcissist” and “Don’t You Know Who I Am?: How to Stay Sane in an Era of Narcissism, Entitlement, and Incivility.” Her work has been featured at SXSW, TEDx, the Red Table Talk, the Today Show, and Investigation Discovery. You can also find her on her wildly popular YouTube channel where she dispenses wisdom on protecting yourself from hoovering, gaslighting and other narc trademarks.

Episode available since October 24, 2022


Hello Cultiverse

In this weekly-ish host huddle, Sarah and Nip talk about the latest culty news, and respond to your voicemails. They also accept and integrate your best and worst reviews, and take it all into consideration for future episodes. No muss, no fuss…just two married podcasters having a date night in the early to mid-afternoon.

Episode available since October 20, 2022


Oct 18, 2022

Cafe



Around the Web, Around the World

A Little Bit Culty


The Ego Trap: Eckhart Tolle on Cults & Other Mental Viruses (Part 2)

Here’s part two of our chat with Eckhart Tolle, who is widely recognized as one of the most inspiring spiritual leaders in the world. And judging from audience response to part 1, he’s either the best or the worst thing to ever happen to our pod. Let us know what you think at alittlebitculty.com/voicemail

Episode available since October 17, 2022


Hello Cultiverse

In this weekly-ish host huddle, Sarah and Nip talk about the latest culty news, and respond to your voicemails. They also accept and integrate your best and worst reviews, and take it all into consideration for future episodes. No muss, no fuss…just two married podcasters having a date night in the early to mid-afternoon.

Episode available since October 13, 2022


Oct 11, 2022

Cafe



Around the Web, Around the World

A Little Bit Culty


The Ego Trap: Eckhart Tolle on Cults & Other Mental Viruses

Where’s the healthy happy medium between radical presence and reality-based pragmatism in a world that’s off the rails? Can cynics be sages? Is culty behavior inevitable once you’ve reached rockstar levels of social influence as a spiritual teacher? In this first of two episodes with Eckhart Tolle, we did our best to not shit our pants a little while asking him about what separates ‘good’ teachers from the scary ones, and how to cultivate an awakened state without falling down a cult rabbit hole. He’s got some gems to share. After all, he’s widely recognized as one of the most inspiring spiritual leaders in the world. His international bestsellers have been translated into 52 languages. And we can’t verify this, but he might be one of the MOST quoted and/or misquoted contemporary spiritual gurus ever. Buckle up, this one’s a doozy…it’s not every day you get an Oprah BFF to agree to be on your pod.

Episode available since October 10, 2022


Oct 4, 2022

Cafe



Around the Web, Around the World

A Little Bit Culty


Big Phoenix Energy: Actor, Activist & Badass Evan Rachel Wood (Part 1)

We’re kicking off Season 5 with none other than actor, activist, and epic badass Evan Rachel Wood whose impressive AF resume also includes: “Most likely to be hideously trolled by the Marilyn Manson stans of the world.” If you’ve seen the HBO Max mini-series Phoenix Rising which chronicles her fight to break away from the rocker formerly known as Brian Warner, you’ve already seen the culty wafting off that dude like a bad cologne. We caught up with Evan to talk about her journey to hell and back, how she’s doing now, and why she won’t ever stop blowing the whistle on complete fuckery.

As a note to our listeners, and our lawyers, Mr. Manson has repeatedly denied the multiple sexual assault allegations from multiple women and is currently suing Evan for defamation over the accusations, claiming it’s all part of an elaborate organized attack. Please note that conversations like the one you’re about to hear can be traumatizing for abuse survivors. Listen to this episode with caution, and if you or anyone you know needs support, see our site for free resources. Also please note that we love Evan Rachel Wood and believe her without reservation. Sorry, not fucking sorry Manson Stans. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Episode available since October 3, 2022


Sep 30, 2022

Esoterica



‘The Daily Show’ and William Shatner Join Forces to Expose Elon Musk

“What do you think of when you think of the future?” actor William Shatner asks at the top of this exclusive segment from Tuesday night’s episode as images of rockets, robots and “cybertrucks” appear on the screen.

Over the next several minutes, Shatner helps make the case that Musk might actually be the “supervillain” his biggest detractors fear him to be. The piece traces the Tesla “Technoking’s” origin story as a young kid who “overcame many hardships, although unlike other South African celebrities, he didn’t make his childhood into a whole thing,” referring to Trevor Noah’s backstory.

“Like so many tech entrepreneurs, he earned his unimaginable wealth by doing something invaluable for society,” Shatner says dryly. “Selling a start-up you’ve never heard of to a company that doesn’t exist anymore.”

The narrator goes on to mock Musk for having a “mid-life crisis” in his twenties by crashing his million-dollar “supercar” and starting a record label to release his own EDM track. “A banger all the more impressive considering Musk had clearly never heard music before,” he says. “Yes, Elon Musk refuses to stay in his lane, much like a Tesla on auto-pilot.”

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