In memory of Laura Johnston Kohl, a Jonestown survivor who went on to join another cult, Synanon.
Cults are a topic I find endlessly fascinating. But I wanted to know: how are cult leaders able to subtly and gradually influence their followers' beliefs over time?
To find out more, I spoke to writer, language scholar and podcast host, Amanda Montell. Amanda's new book, "Cultish", explores the language of cults and the techniques used by all kinds of organizations, including SoulCycle and Instagram, to build stronger in-group affinities. Are they cults or not? Stay tuned to find out.
In this episode, we learn all about Amanda's dad’s experiences growing up in the cult Synanon, the cult of the patriarchy, and why the phrase “boys will be boys” is more insidious and problematic than you’d expect. We also trade stories on how Scientology tried to recruit us.
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