Cults

Cults

Mystery. Manipulation. Murder. Cults are associated with all of these. But what really goes on inside a cult? More specifically, what goes on inside the minds of people who join cults and leaders who start them? Every Tuesday, Greg and Vanessa (co-hosts of the podcast Serial Killers) explore the history and psychology behind the most notorious cults. Cults is part of the Parcast Network and is a Cutler Media production.

Episodes

April 13, 2021 38 min
In the 1990s, Ronald Weinland began issuing doomsday prophecies from his online pulpit. Despite being indicted for tax evasion, Weinland, now in his 70s, is still sermonizing to — and collecting tithes from — his followers on YouTube, where his videos have amassed hundreds of thousands of views.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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Mark as Played
When Ben Klassen died by suicide in 1993, Matthew Hale picked up his mantle as leader of the sputtering Church of the Creator. Hale was a young college student from Illinois, whose own plans to enact a racial holy war erupted in violence in 1999.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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After a short but controversial run in politics, Ben Klassen founded the Church of the Creator in 1973. The avowed white supremacist used this new venture to spout racist rhetoric, foster hate amongst his followers, and attempt what he never could in office: igniting a racial holy war. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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March 23, 2021 44 min
From creating costly “healing instruments” to engaging in group sex activities, the Gentle Wind Project claimed to address traumas through spiritual energy work in the 1980s and ‘90s. When former members spoke out about the cult’s abuse, it disbanded, only to reemerge in 2007. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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March 16, 2021 37 min
Known as “Babu” to locals, former pastor Ambilikile Mwasapile gained international attention after claiming in 2010 that he had found a cure for cancer, diabetes and AIDS. His alleged medical breakthrough was inspired by divine dreams — but it cost potentially thousands of people their lives.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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March 9, 2021 36 min
Around 2007, a new miracle healer stepped on stage in Brazil, claiming to cure cancer, heart disease, and HIV. Followers flocked from all over the world… But the healer wasn't a traditional preacher, or even a flashy snake oil salesman. She was a 3-year-old girl named Alani Santos. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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March 2, 2021 40 min
Ukrainian psychotherapist Anatoly Kashpirovsky led hypnotic TV healing sessions in the late 1980s and ‘90s, drawing millions of viewers across Eastern Europe. He laid low after a series of controversies — but made his comeback in 2009, and is still allegedly healing the masses on his hit YouTube channel. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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Described as “hypnotic” and “disarming,” George Feigley used his silver tongue to convince countless people that he was a scholar and religious figurehead. In 1976, he was charged with statutory rape and imprisoned — but it was far from the end of his cultish offenses.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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In 1959, George King traveled to Los Angeles to complete his interstellar mission. He spent decades cultivating faithful followers as he traveled to astral planes, channeled alien entities, and battled against galactic beings beyond comprehension.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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When an angel appeared before him in a dark forest, George King knew his life would be special. That mystical meeting was just the start: Over the years, King began communicating with beings from other planets, all while building a devoted following. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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In the 1980s, rigorous training and illegal weapons turned Ellison’s once peaceful commune into a murderous militia. As they carried out acts of terrorism and plotted attacks on the government, their actions did not go unnoticed — or unanswered.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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Expelled by Lincoln Bible College in 1962 for being too radical, James Ellison spent the next decade preaching about God’s judgment and establishing a commune in Arkansas, where he transformed his followers into a heavily armed white supremacist terror organization. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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In 1947, a 31-year-old sign painter experienced a supernatural event that left him convinced he was the newly anointed savior of the world. Allen Michael spent the following decades creating a political party, compiling a gospel, and doing the will of the all-powerful “Galactic Logos.”  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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January 12, 2021 37 min
When her doomsday prophecies failed to materialize in the early aughts, Yuko Chino faded from the headlines. But after two unsettling deaths and another apocalyptic prediction, she announced one last out-of-this-world plan to her followers.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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January 5, 2021 40 min
As a young woman in 1960s Japan, Hidemi Masuyama took nightly walks in the nude, talking to entities only she could see. Later, she changed her name and hatched a religious sect that obsessed over electromagnetic waves and extraterrestrials.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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For decades, family members and sleuths have tried to determine what really happened the night of the fire. As of yet, they have been unsuccessful. But the clues remain, the questions linger, and the case unofficially stays open…  This episode is presented by Unexplained Mysteries, a Spotify Original from Parcast. For more of history’s greatest puzzles, follow Unexplained Mysteries free on Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcas...
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In the aftermath of the fire, a startling number of tips, twists, and witnesses came forward regarding the fate of the Sodder children. Their father, George, followed the clues for decades, driven by a suspicion of the “official” story and a belief that the blaze was no accident. This episode is presented by Unexplained Mysteries, a Spotify Original from Parcast. For more of history’s greatest puzzles, follow Unexplained Mysteries...
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Early Christmas day in 1945, Jennie Sodder woke up to her house on fire. The blaze consumed her home, and five of her young children. Or did it? Strange events, prescient remarks, and a lack of human remains hinted at more nefarious — though no less tragic — outcomes.  This episode is presented by Unexplained Mysteries, a Spotify Original from Parcast. For more of history’s greatest puzzles, follow Unexplained Mysteries free on Sp...
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December 15, 2020 47 min
In the late 1980s he claimed to be the final savior of the world, but behind Hogen Fukunaga’s grandiose claim was a shrewd businessman who scammed millions from loyal followers. His method? Detailed foot readings that cost hundreds of dollars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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He’s not your typical cult leader: Lord RayEl doesn’t have a large church, or host large gatherings. Instead, he’s built a following solely online — where a virtual congregation likes, subscribes, and tithes to the convicted felon they believe is the second coming of Christ.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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Mark as Played

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