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Watch Your Back: 7 Unnerving Podcasts About Cults

Know the signs, before it's too late.

Podcasts about cults

Would it be too culty if I suggested we all take off for a weekend retreat and sit around a campfire and discuss the meaning of life? What if we just talk about books? OKAY, PODCASTS?

If you’re like me then the instant you see the word cult, your ears perk up. I’m probably 95 percent more likely to read/listen/watch something if there is a cult involved. It’s wild to me how many cults existed and continue to exist even though we’re all supposedly aware of the signs that you may be in a cult?! *cringe*

I’ve been fascinated by cults for as long as I can remember. There’s so much psychology in it. The leader! The followers! The beliefs! Where to begin?! I’ve read countless books on cults both fiction and non-fiction and I just can’t be satiated. I want to understand. While I love a good cult book, I’ve been consuming my cult content on a new medium: PODCASTS.

Whether you’re just looking for the facts or you enjoy some friendly host banter, I’ve got something for everyone. I’ll leave a BANTER rating for each: 




Here are some of my favorite podcasts about cults.

Sounds Like a Cult

This is my newest obsession. After reading Cultish by Amanda Montell, I needed more. MORE CULTS. This podcast is a lot of fun and discusses our favorite modern day cults. MLM’S? SoulCycle? Trader Joe’s? Check. Check. Aaaaand check. The most recent episode discusses the cult of Instagram therapists. If you’re looking to laugh out loud, roll your eyes and then cringe because you realize you might also participate in one or more of these cults then this is for you.


Cults - Parcast

This podcast is dedicated SOLELY to… CLOCKS. Just kidding, it’s all about cults. There are a bunch of episodes ranging from Charles Manson, the Waco siege to the more obscure Yoo Byung-eun and the Korean Jonestown. Most episodes dig deep and run about 2-3 episodes each.

I am particularly interested in the Yoga Cult episodes because it seems so contradictory. How can a hobby so calming become a CULT? Yoga has spiritual roots but nowadays it’s become more about exercise and meditation. When I think of yoga, I think of seeking enlightenment and calmness but a lot of yoga gurus take that to the extreme and it can get dangerous.


Uncover, Season 1 Escaping NXIVM 

This was the first full length season podcast I listened to about one specific cult. NXIVM is an MLM (multi-level marketing) that was founded and led by Keith Raniere and marketed as a self-help group. There is a ton of information out there about NXIVM. It’s so odd. You sit there and wonder, how? How does this happen? How do seemingly normal people fall victim to these master manipulators? Uncover works directly with Sarah Edmonson who was a member of NXIVM and later recruited to join a secret women’s group called DOS. Sarah gives us an inside look at what was really going on inside NXIVM.


Uncover, Season 6 Satanic Panic 

This season takes us into the realm of the 80s when satanic cults were all the rage. For some reason it was believed that there were a bunch of satanic cults infiltrating America’s youth but there was never any solid proof. So what gives? Let Uncover solve that mystery for you. With a whopping seven episodes, you will surely learn everything you need to know about the Satanic Panic.


My Favorite Murder: Episode 73 "Chill Satanist"

In this episode, Georgia discusses the Fall River Cult Murders. Between October 1979 and February 1980, three young women were murdered. These murders took place right around the time the Satanic Panic was taking over America. Supposedly these murders were committed by a satanic cult. I say ‘supposedly’ because in true 80s fashion any multiple murder was marked as committed by a satanic cult and/or ritualistic. Anyway, do with that information what you WILL but I am not a huge believer in the Satanic Panic that seemingly stole the minds and hearts of America’s youth.


Last Podcast on the Left, episodes 300-304

These episodes delve into one of the most well-known cults: Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple. Jim Jones started the Peoples Temple in 1956 and it began as a seemingly innocent church. How did it transform into Jonestown and a mass massacre in 1978? If you find yourself interested in the psychology behind cults and how leaders begin to be drunk on power, you’ll need to give this a listen. It’s hard to fathom and understand where the break begins and the madness sets in.


RedHanded, episode 189 "Castration, Cults, and Cauterisation"

In episode 189, we learn about a cult I have been eager to learn more about: The Ant Hill Kids also known as one of the MOST disturbing cults ever. Clocking in at just about 30 minutes, this is a great episode if you’re looking for a quick cult fix. The name “Ant Hill Kids” gives off a vibe that this is a group run by bunch of unruly children but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The Ant Hill Kids was a cult led by Roch Theriault who was a terribly disturbed man whose behavior was exasperated by alcoholism. As the episode title implies, there is castration and a lot of violence involved.