Dec 30, 2022

Esoterica



Pope warns Vatican staff an ‘elegant demon’ lurks among them

Pope Francis warned Vatican bureaucrats on Thursday to beware the devil that lurks among them, saying it is an “elegant demon” that works in people who have a rigid, holier-than-thou way of living the Catholic faith.

Francis used his annual Christmas greeting to the Roman Curia to again put the cardinals, bishops and priests who work in the Holy See on notice that they are by no means beyond reproach and are, in fact, particularly vulnerable to evil.

Francis told them that by living in the heart of the Catholic Church, “we could easily fall into the temptation of thinking we are safe, better than others, no longer in need of conversion.”

. . .

Beyond that, Francis appeared to also want to take broader aim at arch-conservatives and traditionalists who have become the pope’s biggest critics. Francis blasted their way of living the faith, insisting that being Catholic doesn’t mean following a never-changing set of dicta but is rather a “process of understanding Christ’s message that never ends, but constantly challenges us.”


Dec 27, 2022

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Hot Mess Express: Karen Unterreiner on Dating Keith Raniere

We all have exes we wish we could forget—the narcissists, the psychopaths, the ruthless, small-handed cult leader currently serving #120years in prison. It’s a tale as old as time! But few people have lived that story quite like Karen Unterreiner did when, at only 18-years-old, she became romantically intertwined with Keith Raniere. Over the next 40 years, she’d go on to become a top level NXIVM trainer, a key figure of the Executive Success Programs’ leadership committee, and an overseer of administration (bookkeeping) and IT.

Now free of Raniere’s coercive control (read: fuckery), Unterreiner has spent the last five years recovering and discovering her true self. For today’s episode, we spoke with her about dating an actual monster, how NXIVM functioned as a company, (and why it was messy), and whether or not the technology they used was actually any good, or more like rubbing two sticks together.

Episode available since December 26, 2022


Dec 20, 2022

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Parent Traps: Diane Dierks & Dr. Rick Voyles on Co-Parenting Dilemmas

If conflict resolution were easy, North and South Korea would no longer be at war, Princes Harry and William would be enjoying tea time together, and videos of irate plane passengers losing their God damn marbles would no longer fill our TikTok feeds. But we all know that resolving or letting go of hot blooded arguments is no easy task. Enter licensed marriage and family therapist Diane Dierks with Dr. Rick Voyles, the CEO of the Center of Dispute Solutions, and their fabulously insightful podcast “Co-Parent Dilemmas,” which aims to provide practical solutions to families struggling with co-parenting.

We’re lucky to have these two experienced smarties on the show with us to discuss a specific and controversial topic: what some refer to as “the alienating parent,” which relates heavily to one of our favorite topics on this show (although least favorite things in like, “real life”), the cult of one. Now, the National Center for State Courts defines parental alienation as “a strategy whereby one parent intentionally displays to the child unjustified negativity aimed at the other parent.” But why has the term brought up some of that good ol’ conflict we mentioned amongst clinicians today, dividing those who use the term and those who refuse to? And what effects does it have on the children themselves? Tune in and learn with us…or we’re going to have our own conflict to resolve!

Episode available since December 19, 2022


Dec 13, 2022

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Perfect Prey: Dr. Christine Cocchiola on Coercive Control

The Latin root for the word “coercive” literally means to surround, encompass, restrain, confine, and so on. So what does “coercive control” look like in real life, you ask? Well, it could involve isolating someone away from friends and family, depriving them of basic human needs (food, water, etc.), humiliating them, managing someone else’s finances, and the like. If it’s a shitty way of controlling another human, like having an invisible chain wrapped around their ankles, it’s coercive control. If you want a pop culture reference, look no further than Britney Spears’ “Toxic” family usurping her finances and personal agency for her nearly 14-year conservatorship.

But does it still feel abstract? Then you need to listen to today’s episode, complete with special guest Dr. Christine Cocchiola, a coercive control advocate, researcher, educator, and survivor, (meaning she’s able to speak on the subject from both personal and scholarly levels). During our talk, she breaks down how narcissism, shame, egos, and “perfect preys” play out with everyone from romantic partners to people in power, such as cult leaders.

Are you perhaps being controlled by someone without even realizing it? Maybe! Could that be detrimental to your life! Absolutely! So tune in to find out.

Episode available since December 12, 2022


Dec 6, 2022

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The Redeemer: Cathrine Moestue on Shame & Radical Identity Change

If you could be a part of the team that ends world hunger, wouldn’t you be? That’s what Cathrine Moestue thought she was signing up for back in 1984 and 1985, when the then 19-year-old moved from Oslo, Norway to the outskirts of Stockholm, Sweden, and met an English teacher who claimed he knew how to end the devastating famine taking place in Ethiopia at the time. The man told her he was from Paraguay and was the leader of a revolution. The rest, my friends, is culty history.

Today, Moestue is a clinical psychologist, as well as the author of chapter 11 in the book Radicalization; Phenomenon and Prevention that came out in Norway, and parts of her own story are also featured in the book FAR OUT by Charlotte McDonald Gibson.

Episode available since December 05, 2022


Nov 29, 2022

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Stolen Innocence: Elissa Wall on Growing up FLDS (Part 1)

Many people became aware of the horrors taking place within the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (if you were really in touch with God s/he’d have given you a better name) after watching Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey on Netflix. Our guest on today’s show, Elissa Wall, had to live through them.

Born into a polygamous family within Salt Lake City, Utah’s FLDS—which is how we’ll be referring to it from here on out— Wall was only 14 when church leaders orchestrated a marriage between the child and her 19-year-old cousin, Allen Steed. Unfortunately, such marriages were insanely frequent within the church, with girls as young as 12-years-old being groomed and forced to marry older men. Much of this is thanks to human trash can Warren Jeffs, president and prophet of the FLDS, who can also add convicted child rapist to his list of titles. At one point, Jeffs had 78 “wives,” 24 of whom were children. Now, he’s serving life in prison, with no small help from Elissa Wall.

Wall’s autobiography is titled, Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs. The book became a New York Times bestseller and is a fascinating but heart wrenching look into the truly fucked up world of Warren Jeffs.

Episode available since November 28, 2022


Nov 22, 2022

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.”

Sep 27, 2022

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Circle Sanctuary Network Podcasts


Nature Spirituality with Selena Fox - Feasting Rituals

Explore feasting traditions and some ways to create, plan, and host contemporary ritual feasts.

Wed, September 28, 2022 08:00 pm [Eastern]

https://www.blogtalkradio.com/csnp


Sep 20, 2022

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Tonight on Circle Talk, we take a journey of compassion, authenticity, and spiritual connectedness as author Durgadas Duriel disucusses his new book, "Worthy as You Are". With techniques such as affirmations, meditatin, and journaling, we are going to learn how to change our everyday thoughts from negative to nourshing to embrace our authentic selves.

Tue, September 20, 2022 08:00 pm [Eastern]


Nature Spirituality with Selena Fox - Equinox Magic

Explore sacred ways of making magic at Equinox time.

Wed, September 21, 2022 08:00 pm [Eastern]


Sep 13, 2022

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Circle Sanctuary Network Podcasts


Nature Spirituality with Selena Fox - Harvest Rituals

Explore ancient and contemporary rituals connected with harvest.

Wed, September 14, 2022 08:00 pm [Eastern]


Blue Marble w/Rev. Char Bear - Green Faith Powers Up with Amy Brooks

Amy Brooks, US Organizer for Green Faith International joins Rev. Char Bear in talking about the Green Faith story, from idea to global movement, and main initiatives for 2022 ahead. Running up to Green Faith’s 4ClimateFuture 2022.

Encore from January 21, 2022

Fri, September 16, 2022 08:00 pm [Eastern]


Sep 6, 2022

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Circle Sanctuary's Circle Talk - Author Diego de Oxóssi

Join us on Circle Talk as we discover the power, magic, and secrets of Afro-Brazilian herbal witchcraft. Diego de Oxóssi will be discussing his new book, Sacred Leaves: A Magical Guide to Orisha Herbal Witchcraft.

Tue, September 6, 2022 08:00 pm [Eastern]


Nature Spirituality with Selena Fox - Celebrating Harvest Moon

Explore Harvest Moon folk traditions and ways to create personal and community celebrations.

Wed, September 7, 2022 08:00 pm [Eastern]


Aug 30, 2022

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Circle Sanctuary Network Podcasts


Nature Spirituality with Selena Fox - Ancestor Rituals

Calling on and attuning to Ancestors with invocations, incantations, meditations, offerings, and workings for personal, family, and community ceremonies and life passage rites.

Wed, August 31, 2022 08:00 pm [Eastern]


Nature Mystic with Selena Fox - Ritual Tools

Selection, care, and use of ceremonial tools to aid in spiritual practice.

Encore from Nature Folk on September 6, 2016

Sun, September 4, 2022 07:00 pm [Eastern]


Aug 23, 2022

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Circle Sanctuary Network Podcasts


Nature Spirituality with Selena Fox - Ancestors Altars

Creating and working with Ancestors with personal, household, and group altars and shrines.

Wed, August 24, 2022 08:00 pm [Eastern]


Nature Mystic with Selena Fox - Circle of Communities

Attuning to and working with Community as part of Spiritual practice.

Encore of Circle Craft Studies from May 22, 2012

Sun, August 27, 2022 07:00 pm [Eastern]

https://www.blogtalkradio.com/csnp


Aug 15, 2022

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A Little Bit Culty


Summer Bonus: Sarah and Nippy answer your emails and make some big moves

If you’re in the mood for a breezy little summer check-in with Sarah and Nippy, you have arrived at the right episode. They answer some recent audience questions about NXIVM, and do some critical podcast housekeeping. Plus, they chat about the highs and lows of leaving Vancouver for Atlanta.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye: The views and opinions expressed on A Little Bit Culty do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the podcast. Any content provided by our guests, bloggers, sponsors or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, group, club, organization, business individual, anyone or anything. Nobody’s mad at you, just don’t be a culty fuckwad.

Episode available since August 15, 2022, 2022


Aug 9, 2022

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Circle Sanctuary Network Podcasts


Nature Spirituality with Selena Fox - Ancestors Stories

Learning about Ancestors and their lives through genealogical research and oral history.

Wed, August 10, 2022 08:00 pm [Eastern]


Nature Mystic with Selena Fox - Forest Therapy

Healing and wellness through forest walks, forest bathing, and forest psychotherapy.

Encore of Nature Spirituality from July 14, 2021

Sun, August 14, 2022 07:00 pm [Eastern]


Lunatic Mondays ~ Social Justice Series ~ Autism Awareness

Have you heard of “neurotypical privilege?” If you are on the autism spectrum, you almost certainly know about it! Laura and Jake will talk about autism and neurotypical privilege, and about how we can all be sensitive, respectful and inclusive of people on the spectrum.Have you heard of “neurotypical privilege?” If you are on the autism spectrum, you almost certainly know about it! Laura and Jake will talk about autism and neurotypical privilege, and about how we can all be sensitive, respectful and inclusive of people on the spectrum.

Mon, August 15, 2022 08:00 pm [Eastern]

https://www.blogtalkradio.com/csnp


Aug 5, 2022

Esoterica



Scientists Find No Evidence That Depression Is Caused by “Chemical Imbalance” or Low Serotonin Levels

After decades of research, there remains no clear evidence that serotonin levels or serotonin activity are responsible for depression, according to a comprehensive review of prior research led by University College London (UCL) scientists.

The major new umbrella review – an overview of existing meta-analyses and systematic reviews – was published on July 20 in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. It suggests that depression is not likely caused by a chemical imbalance, and calls into question what antidepressant medications do. This is because most antidepressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which were originally said to function by correcting abnormally low serotonin levels. In fact, there is no other accepted pharmacological mechanism by which antidepressants affect the symptoms of depression.

Lead author Professor Joanna Moncrieff, a Professor of Psychiatry at UCL and a consultant psychiatrist at North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT), said: “It is always difficult to prove a negative, but I think we can safely say that after a vast amount of research conducted over several decades, there is no convincing evidence that depression is caused by serotonin abnormalities, particularly by lower levels or reduced activity of serotonin.

. . .

Professor Moncrieff said: “Our view is that patients should not be told that depression is caused by low serotonin or by a chemical imbalance, and they should not be led to believe that antidepressants work by targeting these unproven abnormalities. We do not understand what antidepressants are doing to the brain exactly, and giving people this sort of misinformation prevents them from making an informed decision about whether to take antidepressants or not.”


Aug 2, 2022

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Summer Bonus: Sarah and Nippy Chat with the IndoctriNation Podcast

It’s another summer bonus episode, and you’re all invited to put this in your ears and enjoy it from your favorite pool floatie. This time, we’re chatting with the righteous Rachel Bernstein, LMFT, on her Indoctrination Podcast about our trip in and out of that thing we did for a while that turned out to be a notorious cult. Just some light summer listening about sex cults, trauma, and coming back from hell. Pairs well with watermelon frosé.

About Rachel: She’s an OG cult awareness and recovery podcast host, and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist from Los Angeles, California who has specialized in cult intervention and re-acclimation for over 30 years. She serves on the advisory board of the International Cultic Studies Association and has worked with the Department of Justice providing therapy to cult victims who testify against their perpetrators. She's also made many media appearances over the years as a cult expert on CNN, MSNBC, BBC, NPR, Bloomberg, and many other news outlets. Ms. Bernstein is also the host of IndoctriNation: A weekly podcast covering cults, manipulators, and protecting yourself from systems of control where she has interviewed hundreds of cult survivors, journalists, and experts. Her book, "Kids Talking to Kids about Divorce" is available now on Amazon.

Episode available since August 1, 2022


Jul 26, 2022

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Nature Spirituality with Selena Fox - Lughnasadh Magic

Working with chants, invocations, symbols, meditations, customs, and rituals for personal and community transformation at Lughnasadh time.

Wed, July 27, 2022 08:00 pm [Eastern]


Moon Magic with Jeanet and David Ewing - New Moon in Leo Lughnasadh Ritual

This month we will celebrate the new moon in Leo with a ritual to connect with our creative selves. We will also take some time to celebrate the First Harvest of the season.

Thu, July 28, 2022 08:00 pm [Eastern]


Jul 19, 2022

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Summer Bonus: Sarah and Nippy Chat With The ‘Sickboy’ Podcast Fellas

We loved chatting with our friends Jeremie, Taylor, and Brian over at the Sickboy podcast, and these three literal princes among men were nice enough to let us borrow the episode for your summer listening pleasure. They’re a trio of Halifax-based best friends, and they started the podcast after recognizing that when faced with difficult situations, illnesses and diseases, people tighten up, they get awkward, and they simply don't know what to say. Taking the lead from Jeremie’s life-long battle with Cystic Fibrosis, the boys help people understand that sometimes the best way to deal with the darkest stuff in life is simply to laugh.

Episode available since June 18, 2022


Jul 12, 2022

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Rude Awakening: Sarah Landry On Nithyananda & Other Nightmares Part 2

Here’s the second part of our conversation with Sarah Landry who shares what it’s like to face down the very online army she helped create for the so-called guru Nithyananda after going wide with explosive accusations of rape, child abuse, and a whole sordid cornucopia of culty shit. (If you’re labeled as a double-agent for the Vatican by loyalists of a guy who is on the lam after being charged with rape and abduction: You’ve officially reached Remini-levels of cult busting.) In this episode, and the next—there’s just too much to cover to make it a one-parter—Sarah shares what it’s like to be on the other side of an army she helped build, and why she won’t stop working to deplatform culty characters like Nithyananda no matter how many self-proclaimed island nations they pull out of their asses.

Episode available since July 7, 2022


Jul 5, 2022

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Rude Awakening: Sarah Landry On Nithyananda & Other Nightmares Part 1

At just 24 years old, Sarah Landry found herself drawn to Hindu avatar Nithyananda’s teachings like a fly to honey. Moldy, toxic honey. She quickly became an apt pupil, and then his top recruiter via a steady stream of stylized YouTube videos and camera-ready social content. But after learning that the rape and child abuse allegations dogging the organization were just too credible to simply swat away, she stepped down as its propagandist-in-chief and stepped up as one of its harshest critics. The fallout since she blew the whistle on the godman’s shady ways in a series of incendiary 2019 Facebook posts and Youtube videos has been steep.

(If you’re labeled as a double-agent for the Vatican by loyalists of a guy who is on the lam after being charged with rape and abduction: You’ve officially reached Remini-levels of cult busting.) In this episode, and the next—there’s just too much to cover to make it a one-parter—Sarah shares what it’s like to be on the other side of an army she helped build, and why she won’t stop working to deplatform culty characters like Nithyananda no matter how many self-proclaimed island nations they pull out of their asses.

Episode available since July 4, 2022


Jun 28, 2022

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Page Turner: Spencer Schneider on Writing His Way Out of ‘School’

“We were invisible. We had to be. We took an oath of absolute secrecy. We never even told our immediate families who we were. We went about our lives in New York City. Just like you. We were your accountants, money managers, lawyers, executive recruiters, doctors. We owned your child’s private school and sold you your brownstone. But you’d never guess our secret lives, how we lived in a kind of silent terror and fervor. There were hundreds of us.”

Episode available since June 27, 2022


Jun 27, 2022

Esoterica



Damien Echols loses bid for DNA testing of evidence from West Memphis murder investigation. He’ll appeal.

Circuit Judge Tonya Alexander ruled today in West Memphis that Damien Echols could not obtain evidence from the West Memphis Three murder case for enhanced DNA testing.

A release from a spokesman for Echols:

After two years of lies and unnecessary delays by the state of Arkansas that prevented the West Memphis 3’s Damien Echols from conducting state-of-the- art DNA testing on the evidence in the murder of three children in 1993, a court today ruled that Echols did not have the right to test forensic evidence.

The prosecution had argued, and the judge agreed that only those who were still incarcerated could test for DNA. This conclusion is based on the flawed assumption that the only consequence that matters from a conviction is its sentence. Hundreds of wrongfully convicted have sought relief after they were paroled and were “free.”

Jun 21, 2022

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Tangled Up in Teal: Jon Kasbe & Bits Sola on Making ‘The Deep End’

Dear Teal Swan: You continue to be a mystery wrapped in a riddle wrapped in wrap-around Oakleys. Are you okay? For reals, we’re getting some super hinky vibes from all seven layers of your auric field. Dear Everyone Else: In case you haven’t watched all four installments of The Deep End, you might want to catch up before you listen to this ALBC conversation with the filmmaking duo behind the series. In this episode, director/cinematographer Jon Kasbe and producer/writer Bits Sola join Sarah and Nippy to share what it was like inside Teal Swan’s campy, creepy world. But don’t get your plastic Mala beads in a twist, Teal Tribe: ‘campy’ and ‘creepy’ are our words, not theirs…and those two words are about the nicest things we could think of to say. Also? Sorry, not sorry, Teal…but you just can’t deep fake this shit.

Episode available since June 20, 2022


Jun 14, 2022

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Trust Fall: Dr. Natalie Feinblatt on Trauma, Addiction & Cult-Informed Therapy

Finding a therapist can be mission critical when you’re recovering from a culty situation, but the process of finding a clinician with basic cult awareness can be a total cluster. In this episode, Sarah and Nippy chat with Dr. Natalie Feinblatt about why more therapists need to get cult-informed and the Venn diagram overlap between trauma and addiction. She also chats with Sarah and Nippy about tangible techniques for getting unstuck when fight/flight/freeze mode takes over.

Episode available since June 13, 2022


Jun 7, 2022

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Holy Hell: Will Allen on Unmasking Buddhafield (Part 1)

Sarah and Nippy watched Holy Hell closely when they were exiting NXIVM back in 2016. It hit close to home: The documentary is an intimate look at the implosion of Buddhafield, a mysterious self-help cult formed by a charismatic character with an iffy backstory. In this episode, Sarah and Nippy welcome the film’s director Will Allen to talk about what it was like to shine a light on Jaime Gomez, the so-called spiritual guru at the twisted heart of the group. Will didn’t just film it all: he lived it. After joining Buddhafield as a freshly-minted film school grad, it consumed his world for twenty odd years with life-altering consequences. He was looking for a sense of community and purpose, but after the love bombing phase it was far from the blissed-out communal dream it was cracked up to be.

Five years after the film’s release, Will chats with Sarah and Nippy about how he’s doing now; his journey from unofficial in-house cult documentarian to whistleblower; and what it takes to disrupt patterns of abuse and coercive control in new agey circles. And be warned, dear listener, that this conversation delves into the same potentially triggering content that gave rise to Holy Hell’s apt title. As told in the film via multiple victims’ accounts, Gomez used weekly hypnotherapy sessions to sexually abuse and exploit young male devotees, Will among them. Please listen safely, and seek help if you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted.

Episode available since June 6, 2022


May 31, 2022

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Bigger Than the Pope: Jennings Brown on Teal Swan & The Fellowship of Friends (Part 2)

And…we’re back for an extra helping of conversation with investigative journalist Jennings Brown. If Part One’s exploration of creepy AF Youtube spiritual guru Teal Swan didn’t freak you out enough, there’s more Teal talk for you in this episode. Be sure to watch The Deep End docuseries and binge The Gateway podcast to learn more about how each new layer of the Teal Tribe onion seems to be stankier than the last.. We recommend not listening or watching before bed, unless you really dig nightmares.

Despite what Teal may think: She isn’t the center of the universe. She’s not even the center of the cultiverse. So we also use part 2 of our chat with Jennings to ramble from the dark corners of Utah’s Swan country to sunny Yuba County, California where the organization at the center of his Revelations podcast appears to be hard at work making fine wine and disturbing cult headlines. The Fellowship of Friends has some serious issues, and we’re still unpacking it all. Doomsday and rosé anyone?

Episode available since May 30, 2022


May 25, 2022

Off the Deep End with Teal Swan — UPDATED — Ep. 4

The Deep End | Official Trailer | Freeform

The Deep End S1E1 "The Lost Toys"
True Believers S1E4 "Teal Swan and the Wellness Tribe"
The Deep End S1E2 “The Safe Space”
The Deep End S1E3 “The Carousel”
The Deep End S1E4 “The Adversary” NEW

One of the first things I learned about Teal Bosworth Scott Swan — or teal, as I now refer to her — was that she was very, very famous. So famous that I wondered how it could be that I'd never heard of her. She reveled in her "fame" in a way that I'd never seen any "spiritual teacher" do. That was way back in 2013. In the years since, she's parlayed her social media popularity into some book deals and a smattering of regional interviews, but her path to mainstream success has not been a smooth one. As discussed here, it's been a bit rocky for the self-described "celebrity" who wanted to reach people on "every single continent," and was designed pretty and white by an Arcturian panel for that very reason.

She was, in her own words, "completely duped" by Gizmodo and Jennings Brown, who created "The Gateway" podcast. An interview with OZY magazine had been "antagonistic," by daring to ask her standard journalistic questions about the criticism of her. Her foray into mainstream media was starting to look more like a collision.

And then it got worse. She was interviewed by Lebo Diseko of the BBC, whose reportage lead to some of her videos being pulled from her YouTube channel and the abrupt removal of Teal Tribe from Facebook.


May 24, 2022

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Bigger Than the Pope: Jennings Brown on Teal Swan & The Fellowship of Friends (Part 1)

[Content Warning: This episode contains references to suicide, mental illness, and sexual assault. Listener discretion advised.] Youtube spiritual guru Teal Swan says she saves lives. Others say she’s dangerously death-obsessed. We say she’s serving strong “9 Perfect Strangers” villain vibes with a side order of night terrors. But that’s just us. We wanted an expert’s perspective, so we called on investigative journalist for this episode to help us understand more about Teal’s world. As a senior reporter at Gizmodo, Jennings traveled to rural Utah, the forests of Costa Rica, and smack dab into the middle of Teal’s inner circle to understand her teachings and investigate the deaths of some of her followers.

His unprecedented access to her group is at the heart of a six part podcast called - which we highly recommend as critical listening for anyone wanting to learn more about Teal’s whole vibe from a safe distance. He joins us today to talk about the sharp edges woven into her carefully-curated, hypnotic image, and how spiritual hucksters are gaming the algorithm and manipulating people’s most vulnerable moments. We also talk to him about his newest Spotify Original podcast series: which follows a California cult that combines doomsday prophecies and fine wine. And TBH, we get so carried away that we go into extra innings. Enjoy this first episode with Jennings - and we’ll be back next week with part two.

Episode available since May 23, 2022


May 21, 2022

Esoterica



NASA recorded a black hole’s song, and you can listen to it

If a black hole devours a planet and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound? Physicists and astronomers have been trying to map astronomical data through sound for decades—and now we can finally listen to a black hole scream into the void.

Earlier this month, NASA released the first recordings, or sonifications, of what two black holes sound like—and it’s just the kind of noise astronomers and science fiction buffs were expecting: eerie, ethereal, and aurally extraordinary.

The universe is rife with the hum of celestial melodies—but it’s only relatively recently that humans have developed the technology to be able to hear them. A team of scientists at NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory were able to extract and make audible previously identified sound waves from a nearly 20-year-old image of the Perseus galaxy cluster—a collection so full of galaxies, it’s assumed to be one of the most massive objects in the universe. It’s one of the closest clusters to Earth, around 240 light-years away.


May 17, 2022

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Circle Sanctuary's Circle Talk - Alise Marie

Join us on Circle Talk as Alise Marie teaches us how to explore the power of nature by crafting plant-powered elixirs, oils and creams to achieve ageless beauty and self-confidence that is our birthright. Her book, The Beauty Witch’s Secrets is our guide to uncovering these timeless secrets.

Tue, May 17, 2022 08:00 pm [Eastern]


Nature Spirituality with Selena Fox - Fire Rituals

Sacred work with the Element Fire through invocations, incantations, meditations, imagery, folkways, and other forms of ceremonial practices.

Wed, May 18, 2022 08:00 pm [Eastern]


May 10, 2022

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Nature Spirituality with Selena Fox - Air Rituals

Sacred work with the Element Air through invocations, incantations, meditations, imagery, folkways, and other forms of ceremonial practices.

Wed, May 11, 2022 08:00 pm [Eastern]


Nature Mystic with Selena Fox - Full Moon Magic

Ritual ways to attune to and work with the powers of Full Moon time for healing, wellness, and spiritual wisdom.

Encore of Nature Magic from March 3, 2015

Sun, May 15, 2022 07:00 pm [Eastern]

https://www.blogtalkradio.com/csnp


May 3, 2022

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Circle Sanctuary's Circle Talk - Carmen Turner-Schott

Curious about Astrology and would like to know more about your sun sign, including self-care affirmations to optimal strategies for healing and transformation. Join us on Circle Talk as we chat with author Carmen Turner-Schott about her book, Sun Signs, Houses & Healing.

Tue, May 3, 2022 08:00 pm [Eastern]


Nature Spirituality with Selena Fox - Earth Rituals

Sacred work with the Element Earth through invocations, incantations, meditations, imagery, folkways, and other forms of ceremonial practices.

Wed, May 4, 2022 08:00 pm [Eastern]


Apr 26, 2022

Cafe



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Circle Sanctuary Network Podcasts


Nature Spirituality with Selena Fox - Beltane Fairy Magic

Exploring Fairy Folk customs and rituals for celebrating Beltane.

Wed, April 27, 2022 08:00 pm [Eastern]


Moon Magic with Jeanet and David Ewing - New Moon Beltane Ritual

Welcome to Moon Magic! As we enter the month of May we are changing our show format with rituals at or around each new moon. In this episode, we will celebrate the new moon and Beltane with a ritual using balefire for purification, protection, and prosperity.

Thu, April 28, 2022 08:00 pm [Eastern]


Apr 24, 2022

Esoterica



The Instagram Guru 'Fucking' His Female Followers 'To Freedom'

Although his teachings consisted of fairly generic spiritual koans, he looked nothing like a typical ethereal guru: On Instagram, he regularly showed off his fondness for cigars and fine blended whiskeys. He often posted photos of himself with his tanned arm snaked around the waists of one or more waifish, mermaid-haired women. And with his toned biceps, and Zack Morris-esque swoop of sun-kissed hair, he more closely resembled a pampered surfer boy whose dad had paid his way into Stanford than a spiritual leader.

. . .

Yet if you probe beneath the surface, Massaro’s teachings seem to bear the distinct mark of a dark messianic complex. He has openly stated he can “teleport, bilocate, and levitate”; he allegedly prescribes restrictive fasts and diets, which cult experts say helps keep followers malleable (a claim he denies); he has sex with female followers as a way to reward them and to punish them for apparent misdeeds, according to two women I spoke with who’d had relationships with him; and his teachings skew toward open misogyny, instructing followers on the strict dichotomy of traditional gender roles and urging women to resist their more active “masculine” impulses, writing in one 2016 post that femininity is defined by “radiance and surrender.” (It’s worth noting that strict gender dichotomies are common in cults, with the self-improvement organization NXIVM espousing a similar ideology.)

. . .

Massaro’s expanding influence is “very concerning,” says Diane Benscoter, a former Moonie and the founder of Antidote.ngo, an organization that helps those affected by psychological manipulation. According to Benscoter, Massaro’s teachings have “a real appeal for people who feel lost, who feel like they’re missing something, who are looking for love and looking for acceptance and looking for friends and community. They’re going to be really susceptible to this, and the cost could be years of their lives, or it could be worse.”


Apr 19, 2022

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Circle Sanctuary Network Podcasts


Circle Sanctuary's Circle Talk - Madam Pamita

Madam Pamita- Baba Yaga’s Book of Witchcraft-

From the Deep, Dark Woods comes Real Old World Magic. On Circle Talk, we will be talking with Madam Pamita about ancient and modern Slavic magical practices, from magickal poppets to using Ukrainian folk embroidery motifs as protective charms.

Tue, April 19, 2022 08:00 pm [Eastern]


Apr 12, 2022

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Circle Sanctuary Network Podcasts


Nature Spirituality with Selena Fox - Greening Death

Sacred work with Nature imagery in end-of-life counseling, meditations, crossing over rituals, funerals, and burials. Considerations for Green burial and Green cemeteries.

Wed, April 13, 2022 08:00 pm [Eastern]


Moon Magic with Jeanet and David Ewing - The Magic of Trees

April is a time when many trees have begun to flower in North America and Europe. This can be a wonderful time to reconnect with our favorite trees after a long winter. In this episode, we will discuss common trees native to the northern hemisphere, their magical properties, and how to incorporate tree spirit helpers into magical workings, rituals and more.

Thu, April 14, 2022 08:00 pm [Eastern]


Apr 5, 2022

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Circle Sanctuary Network Podcasts


Circle Sanctuary's Circle Talk - Laurel Woodward

Laurel Woodward - Backyard Garden Witchery

Would you like to live a mindful and magickal life? Join us on Circle Talk as we chat with author Laurel Woodward about her book, Kitchen Witchery and her upcoming book, Backyard Garden Witchery.

Tue, April 5, 2022 08:00 pm [Eastern]


Nature Spirituality with Selena Fox - Circle Green

Exploring environmental education, ecoactivism, and ecospirituality work of Circle Sanctuary, its Community, and its Land, Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve in the Driftless Area bioregion of southwestern Wisconsin USA.

Wed, April 6, 2022 08:00 pm [Eastern]


Mar 29, 2022

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Circle Sanctuary Network Podcasts


Nature Spirituality with Selena Fox - Communing with Mother Earth

Deepening connections with Planet Earth through sacred work with Mother Earth Goddess rituals and meditations.

Wed, March 30, 2022 08:00 pm [Eastern]

https://www.blogtalkradio.com/csnp


Mar 22, 2022

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Around the Web, Around the World

Circle Sanctuary Network Podcasts


Nature Spirituality with Selena Fox - Springtime Renewal

Guided Springtime meditative ritual journey of personal rebirth and renewal.

Wed, March 23, 2022 08:00 pm [Eastern]


Nature Mystic with Selena Fox - Bast Cat Magic

Attuning to and working with the ancient Egyptian Cat Goddess Bast for personal healing, cat blessings, and celebrations.

Encore from April 14, 2021

Sun, March 27, 2022 07:00 pm [Eastern]


Mar 20, 2022

Esoterica



Octopuses were around before dinosaurs, fossil find suggests

Scientists have found the oldest known ancestor of octopuses – an approximately 330m-year-old fossil unearthed in Montana.

The researchers concluded the ancient creature lived millions of years earlier than previously believed, meaning that octopuses originated before the era of dinosaurs.

The 4.7-inch (12-cm) fossil has 10 limbs – modern octopuses have eight – each with two rows of suckers. It probably lived in a shallow, tropical ocean bay.

“It’s very rare to find soft tissue fossils, except in a few places,” said Mike Vecchione, a Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History zoologist who was not involved in the study. “This is a very exciting finding. It pushes back the ancestry much farther than previously known.”


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