Jun 26, 2023


Around the Web, Around the World

A Little Bit Culty

Subversive Science: Isabella Constantino on NXIVM’s Tourettes Study (Part 1)

NXIVM’s timeline unfolds like a (horror) film with its own subplots. One of the cult’s best known smaller mythologies was its ability to cure Tourette's Syndrome, which is a condition in the nervous system that causes tics like sudden and uncontrollable movements or vocal outbursts. It should be noted that while there are certainly various treatments for managing TS, there is still no known cure.

This explains why today’s guest, Isabella Constantino, was attracted to NXIVM and the extraordinary results they were boasting about with their TS study. Ultimately, Constantino wound up postponing her last semester of college and moving to Albany in order to engrain herself in the study and to pursue personal growth, both of which she did for a total of three years before finally escaping. Now, she’s spent half a decade recovering her “sense of self” and navigating life post-NXIVM.

But how did NXIVM actually approach this “scientific” study, and what abusive methods did they apply from their typical conditioning in order to combat Tourette’s? Lastly, did any of their techniques actually help with TS, and if so, at what cost?

Episode available since June 26, 2023

Jun 25, 2023


UFO Bombshell: U.S. Intelligence Whistleblower Says Feds Have 'Intact' Craft

A whistleblower who served in the U.S. military and in several intelligence roles says the federal government has multiple craft of “non-human” origin ― and has been working overtime to cover it up.

“These are retrieving non-human origin technical vehicles, call it spacecraft if you will, non-human exotic origin vehicles that have either landed or crashed,” David Grusch told NewsNation on Monday evening.

In some cases, agents found more than just vehicles.

“Well, naturally, when you recover something that’s either landed or crashed, sometimes you encounter dead pilots and, believe it or not, as fantastical as that sounds, it’s true,” he said.

Earlier in the day, The Debrief reported that Grusch has told both Congress and the U.S. Inspector General that this information was illegally withheld from lawmakers, who have recently held hearings on UFO activity.

Jun 20, 2023


Around the Web, Around the World

A Little Bit Culty

Shiny Happy Wife: Tia Levings On Christian Fundamentalism (Part 2)

If you didn’t listen to part 1 of this double whammy—stop, drop, and scroll down (or up, depending) because you’ll be lost without the context.

On this continuation, we hear more from author Tia Levings about her experiences with Christian Fundamentalism, and more specifically how she got out of a situation that was “a little bit culty,” to say the least. We also dip back into the Duggar family and the recent documentary uncovering the less-than-perfect reality hidden by a shiny, happy front. The story is, unfortunately, far more common than you might think.

You can learn more about Tia’s own story in her forthcoming memoir, ‘A Well-Trained Wife,’ which will be released in August of 2024.

Episode available since June 19, 2023

Jun 13, 2023


Around the Web, Around the World

A Little Bit Culty

Shiny Happy Wife: Tia Levings on Christian Fundamentalism (Part 1)

Just as roses have thorns, so too do pristine, seemingly blemish-free families have their own dark sides. For example, we have the Duggar family and their show 19 and Counting, which broadcasted the daily lives of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their army of children between 2008 and 2015 to millions of viewers around the world. Now, a new documentary on the family called Shiny Happy People, according to TIME, “includes testimonies from daughter Jill (Duggar) Dillard, her husband Derick Dillard, niece Amy (Duggar) King, as well as several former IBLP members, reveals that the family and larger religious group was dealing with allegations of sex abuse, child abuse and financial mistreatment.”

Our guest today, author Tia Levings, spoke in this documentary based on her experiences as a thought leader on abuse within Christian Fundamentalism, but also a survivor of such abuse herself. Having grown up in a Southern Baptist Megachurch, Levings gets into how she slowly but surely slipped into a high-control group (read: cult) wherein men are considered accountable for their wives before God, and therefore must lead and discipline them.

Her memoir, A Well-Trained Wife, will be released in August of 2024.

Episode available since June 12, 2023

Jun 6, 2023


Around the Web, Around the World

A Little Bit Culty

I Was a Child Bride: Dr. Tamara MC on the Language of Manipulation (Part 2)

In part two of our conversation with Dr. Tamara MC, we get into everything that happened after she was married in a secret wedding ceremony, including attending the 8th grade (she was only 12-years-old) and keeping her religious life a secret from the rest of the world.

As a reminder (and don’t forget to listen to part one if you haven’t), Dr. Tamara MC’s father introduced her to a highly abusive religious cult in which, above all else, men controlled every aspect of womens’ lives, including their bodies. They were mercilessly overworked, underfed, and treated as second class citizens to…peacocks.

Now, Tamara has earned a Ph. D. in Applied Linguistics, specifically studying how language can be used to manipulate vulnerable populations. She advocates against gender-based violence and has written prolifically about the nightmarish experiences that punctuated her youth, d0ing as much as she humanly can to prevent this from happening as frequently in the future.

Episode available since June 05, 2023

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