Abuseofpower public
[search 0]
More
Download the App!
show episodes
 
A podcast about cults, extreme belief, and manipulation – from two hosts who’ve actually lived it. Hosted by Lola Blanc and Meagan Elizabeth. Got your own story about cults, extreme belief, or manipulation? Leave a voicemail or text us at 347-86-TRUST (347-868-7878) OR shoot us an email at Trust Me Pod @gmail.com INSTAGRAM: @TrustMePodcast @oohlalola @meaganelizabeth11 TWITTER: @TrustMeCultPod @ohlalola @baberahamhicks TIKTOK: @TrustMeCultPodcast
  continue reading
 
Loading …
show series
 
Today we chat with Jessica Kahn, former member of a group we're calling "The Narrow Road." She'll tell us about being born into this isolated fundamentalist Christian sect that was originally formed as an addiction treatment program, the leader's connection to the founders of AA, how every part of life was strictly controlled, how they believed tha…
  continue reading
 
Today our guest is Madi Stroud. She was featured on the HBO docu series Love Has Won, and is late cult leader Amy Carlson’s daughter - the one whose mummified body was found wrapped in Christmas lights in Colorado. Madi shares what she remembers of her mom as a kid, how it felt after Amy suddenly left Madi and her brothers when she was only 7, and …
  continue reading
 
Dr. Inna Kanevsky, psychologist, professor, and debunker of pseudoscience psychology TikToks, discusses the misinformation videos that got her started on the path of debunking, why mental health labels can be helpful but can also lead us to incorrectly self-diagnose and take on labels that do not belong to us, and why it’s a problem when we make a …
  continue reading
 
Today is part two with Warren Kohl, former member and religious leader within the 2x2s (Meagan's secretive childhood group that technically has no name). Today we'll hear how Warren left behind his dreams of medical school to become a "worker" (a minister who stays in people's homes). He'll talk about the pressure to speak with some kind of authori…
  continue reading
 
Today's guest is Warren kohl, a fifth generation member and former “worker” (or minister) in the 2x2’s, the group that Meagan grew up in. Warren shares how devout he was to the group at a very young age, having your entire life controlled, and how utter heartbreak in high school led him to celibacy and a deeper commitment to the group. Trust Me is …
  continue reading
 
Psychologist, trauma bond expert, and author of Run Like Hell: A Therapist's Guide to Recognizing, Escaping, and Healing from Trauma Bonds, Nadine Macaluso share about her relationship with ex-husband Jordan Belfort (aka The Wolf of Wall Street) and how it led her to become a therapist with a focus on trauma bonds. They also discuss "mind mapping",…
  continue reading
 
In part two with Zoe and Lilly, survivors of Midwest Academy, one of the abusive troubled teen programs in the same organization that was spotlighted in the docuseries The Program: Cons, Cults, and Kidnapping, we dig deeper into Lily’s experience. She’ll tell us how she was in solitary confinement for two months, and how her reaction was to rebel i…
  continue reading
 
Survivors of the infamous WWASP schools, Zoe & Lillian, share about their experiences being forced to join Ivy Ridge, Midwest Academy, and Casa by the Sea; All schools featured in the current Netflix docudrama, The Program: Cons, Cults, and Kidnapping. Lola & Meagan dig into how these programs were marketed to parents, the dramatic ways Zoe & Lilli…
  continue reading
 
In part two with former LuLaRoe seller, Roberta Blevins, they discuss everything about LuLaRoe's founder DeAnne Brady and her family, the mother figure role DeAnne provided in Roberta's life, dealing with toxic positivity, and a thorough list of MLM red flags to look out for. Plus, how Roberta finally realized that she was in a cult and how startin…
  continue reading
 
In part one with former LuLaRoe seller and Life After MLM podcast host, Roberta Blevins, she'll share how she first got involved in MLMS, what LuLaRoe was like, what the deal was with the wet smelly leggings, and what made realize that she did not want to be a part of MLM life anymore. We'll discuss how MLMs make good people act badly, what "huns" …
  continue reading
 
This week, Lola and Meagan's guests are... Lola and Meagan! They talk about the cult of seeing everything as a cult, discussing how things that might seem a little culty don’t necessarily inherently mean that a group IS a cult. They’ll discuss political polarization, online miscommunication, group dynamics that happen in ALL groups, and the differe…
  continue reading
 
In part two of this listener story with Operation Light Force survivor, Katelyn Hlavaty, Lola and Meagan unpack how the leader's bogus healing protocol, which involved digging into old trauma, eventually led to Satanic Ritual Abuse. Katelyn shares how isolation from her family and a period of spontaneous remission from her bout Crohn's disease deep…
  continue reading
 
In part one of this wild listener story, Katelyn Hlavaty chats with Lola and Meagan about her experience in the evangelical healing ministry group, Operation Light Force. Katelyn shares how she joined the group when she was isolated and struggling with Crohn's disease, and how the group's promises of community, God, and literal physical healing see…
  continue reading
 
Sara Gorman, public health expert, CEO & founder of Critica, and author of Denying to the Grave: Why We Ignore the Facts That Will Save Us, joins Lola and Meagan to discuss the importance of the scientific method, why presenting evidence can feel like an attack, common debunked beliefs that persist in American culture, and the role that media plays…
  continue reading
 
Former Sea Org member and niece of Scientology leader David Miscavige, Jenna Miscavige, talks about leaving "The Ranch" in order to join the Sea Org, getting involved in higher level management, how she barely knew her own parents, the constant level of paranoia she saw from everyone at all levels, what it was like to date within the Sea Org, how s…
  continue reading
 
Former Scientology Sea Org member and niece of current Scientology leader David Miscavige, Jenna Miscavige, talks about being a third generation member, growing up in the infamous Sea Organization, doing child labor in a place called The Ranch, the strong snitching culture and knowledge reports that made it hard to trust anyone, bizarre educational…
  continue reading
 
Crystal Hefner, former Playboy Playmate, Hugh Hefner's widow, author of Only Say Good Things: Surviving Playboy and Finding Myself shares how she ended going to the Playboy Mansion for the first time, getting invited by Hef to stay, her tightly controlled lifestyle and the weekly rituals that were designed to please Hef and no one else, how she fel…
  continue reading
 
In part two of their conversation with Michelle Dowd, Lola & Meagan dig into when Michelle and her family moved to the mountain, why discomfort was considered a virtue, getting sick with an autoimmune disease at the age of ten, spending many months in the hospital away from The Field and her family, what happened after her cult leader grandfather p…
  continue reading
 
Professor, survivor of The Field, and author of Forager: Field Notes for Surviving a Family Cult, Michelle Dowd, discusses growing up in the cult founded by her grandfather in the 1930s, how it started as an after school program for boys and evolved into something more sinister, the wild claims that her grandfather made, traveling to perform plays …
  continue reading
 
Two formerly closeted religious men, Thomas and Micah, share how they came out to their families and left their beliefs behind. Thomas talks about going on a Mormon mission as a gay man, Micah shares how learning about scientology was a turning point in his life, the group shares their thoughts on #DISNEYADULTS, and Thomas and Michah give their adv…
  continue reading
 
One is a former Mormon. The other was a child of evangelical missionaries teaching a doctrine called Accelerated Christian Education. Both of them were closeted gay men growing up in strict religious households. Today, Thomas and Micah share about their upbringings, how they met working at Disneyland (a type of cult unto itself), the personalized B…
  continue reading
 
Musician and former FLDS member, Marji Mozart, discusses her wedding day as an underage bride who had never been taught about sex, her multiple marriages including one to her sister's husband, the pain of feeling that her dreams of becoming a musician were dead, how spending time in the hospital with her child led staff to suspect that she was in a…
  continue reading
 
Musician and former FLDS member, Marji Mozart, shares about her childhood in Colorado City, living with a rebellious mother within a high control community, how she dreamed of being a musician instead of someone's wife, getting married to a grown man when she was only 17, and how that impacted her relationship with her mom. Check out our holiday sp…
  continue reading
 
Lola's friend, actor, artist, director, and the next Bob Ross, Barak Hardley talks about his previous life as an evangelical pastor, getting kicked out of the church, and transitioning to life as an actor in LA. Lola and Barak dive into the philosophy of art, the creative process, skepticism, self reflection, and how art can inform your beliefs abo…
  continue reading
 
Annie Taylor, Executive Producer of Discovery's The Garden: Commune or Cult, shares about her time living in an off the grid community that went viral on TikTok for accusations of being a cult and disturbing allegations about a cat. Annie tells how she and the crew showed up and gradually earned the trust of the community, filming on one of the gro…
  continue reading
 
Journalist Alice Hines and former Twin Flames Universe member Lorraine, both featured in the Amazon docuseries Desperately Seeking Soulmate: Escaping Twin Flames Universe, discuss the online community that was Twin Flame Ascension, what attracted people to it, how founders Jeff and Shaleia became more controlling and abusive over time, why encourag…
  continue reading
 
Members of the Duggar family, former cast members of TLC's 19 Kids and Counting, and Counting The Cost authors, Jill Duggar Dillard & Derick Dill discuss the family's involvement in the very strict Institute in Basic Life Principles, what it was like being on TV at such a young age, how her dad (Jim Bob) convinced the family that the show served th…
  continue reading
 
Psychologist, educator, and Leaving The Fold author, Marlene Winell, talks with Lola & Meagan about how she came to study the negative impacts of religion, how some basic concepts of Christianity can be harmful, why authoritarian structures of religion can sometimes lead to trauma, how we can rationally understand something but emotionally reject i…
  continue reading
 
Two new listener stories! One from Shelly about her time in the Independent Baptist Movement under pastor Jack Hyles and the cult recovery work she is doing now, and one from Claire about the manipulation she experienced under her capoeira teacher. Trust Me is brought to you by Progressive! Quote your car insurance at Progressive.com to join the ov…
  continue reading
 
In part two of her interview with Lola & Meagan, Children of God survivor and military veteran, Daniella Mestyanek Young, talks about joining the military after high school, being a woman in a hyper masculine culture, and unsettling parallels between what she saw in the military and the Children of God. Check out our great sponsors!! Shopify: Run y…
  continue reading
 
In part one of her interview with Lola & Meagan, Children of God survivor and military veteran, Daniella Mestyanek Young, discusses being raised in the Children of God, the various forms of punishment she and the other children experienced, how child sexual abuse was not only encouraged but part of the belief system, how the youth were taught to pr…
  continue reading
 
Constitutional attorney, author, and YouTuber Andrew Seidel joins Lola & Meagan to discuss Christian Nationalism, why its based on a myth, how it led to cultural shifts in the U.S. during the 1950s, its impact on the Supreme Court today, the practice of cherry picking ideas from the Bible, the worst case scenario of where it can lead, and why the s…
  continue reading
 
UNC Charlotte professor and psychology researcher Dr Richard Tedeschi discusses his pioneering work on post-traumatic growth, how his field is different from resilience, how core beliefs are involved in our trauma, what "integration" means, and the value of an "expert companion," having a mission, and sharing your story. Learn more about Richard's …
  continue reading
 
Tech and media expert Simon Fung joins Lola and Meagan to discuss the heartbreaking story behind his new podcast, Dear Alana. When Alana Chen took her own life in 2019, Simon read about her in the news and was shocked by the similarities in their stories and experiences with conversion therapy. Simon delves into how conversion therapy is no longer …
  continue reading
 
Dr. Marc Feldman, professor of psychology and expert in Munchausen by Proxy, talks to the girls along with survivor Jordyn Hope for an information-packed episode. Dr. Feldman discusses why he prefers the term medical child abuse (MCA), some of the more extreme cases he's seen, red flags he looks out for, and how parents get doctors to believe and t…
  continue reading
 
In part two of their interview, Kyle and Kari, former members of the 2x2s (the group that Meagan grew up in), talk about the Facebook group they created for people leaving the group, which created a forum for people to share their stories for the first time. They discuss the overseer who was found dead in a hotel and the letter that exposed his sex…
  continue reading
 
Former members of the Two by Twos Kyle and Kari (the group that our Meagan grew up in) discuss the apocalyptic focus on the religion, personal stories of deconstructing their beliefs, the peculiar structure of the group led by pairs of ministers called "workers", how Kyle and Kari joined and met as kids, how it compared to Meagan's experience, what…
  continue reading
 
There's order. And there's chaos. Simple, right? Today our new friend Martin shares how he used to be a big fan of Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro, how he found videos as a teenager that helped him feel empowered as he searched for identity, the impact they had on his worldview, some of the idealogical tenants of Jordan Peterson, why so many young …
  continue reading
 
In part two of her two-part interview, Guinevere Turner, renowned screenwriter (writer of films like American Psycho and Charlie Says), actress, and author of new memoir When The World Didn't End, talks about getting kicked out of the group and living with her mother after years of barely knowing her, the cognitive dissonance of suddenly going to s…
  continue reading
 
In part one of her two-part interview, Guinevere Turner, renowned screenwriter (writer of films like American Psycho and Charlie Says), actress, and author of new memoir When The World Didn't End, talks about growing up in the Lyman Family cult, bouncing around between different compounds, and being raised by women in the group who were not her mot…
  continue reading
 
When #BossBabe culture goes wrong. Author of Hey, Hun: Sales, Sisterhood, Supremacy, and the Other Lies Behind Multilevel Marketing and former member of an MLM she calls Rejuvinat, Emily Paulson, shares how she was first introduced to the group by a friend from school, how it seemed to be the perfect way to bring purpose and extra income to her sta…
  continue reading
 
Ever joined a sorority? It's all Greek to us! Former sorority member and Ice Cold Case podcast host Madison McGhee shares how she always dreamed of joining a sorority, which one she chose after growing up Christian, what the process of joining was like, being the only person of color in the sorority, how she was punished for not straightening her c…
  continue reading
 
From Even Stevens to Kim Possible, Disney Channel legend and Vulnerable podcast host Christy Carlson Romano talks about the difficulties of being a working actor from such a young age, what it was like to be well-known, and the pressures of stage parents. She also discusses the "toddler to trainwreck pipeline" and the lack of an exit strategy from …
  continue reading
 
Shiny Happy People's Lindsey Williams shares how Institute in Basic Life Principles leader Bill Gothard would recruit young girls to headquarters, the inappropriate questions he asked and physical boundaries he repeatedly crossed, how controlling he was over who Lindsey dated, the website where women began connecting the dots about his behavior, th…
  continue reading
 
Makeup artist, podcaster, and former Institute in Basic Life Principles member, Lindsey Williams (who is featured in Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets), delves into the Duggar family connection into the IBLP, being home schooled using "wisdom booklets", how physical punishment was a tenant of the faith, why women lived under the authority o…
  continue reading
 
A Million Little Things star Allison Miller shares with Lola & Meagan how she was once a client of a culty alternative medicine clinic run by a couple who claimed to know how to heal her chronic bladder condition, Interstitial Cystitis (also known as Painful Bladder Syndrome). They dig into the societal reason why women have to resort to these meas…
  continue reading
 
Jimanekia Eborn, sex educator, trauma counselor, podcast host, and founder of non-profit Tending the Garden, shares the traumas she's experienced in her own life, what her healing journey has been like, and what led her to help others in her work. They discuss sex after trauma, going on self-dates to learn what you like (and don't like), the import…
  continue reading
 
In part two of their conversation with deradicalized extremist and former Canadian government operative, Mubin Shaikh, Lola and Meagan dig into Mubin's meet-cute with his now-wife (who was not Muslim when they met), how little she knew about his extremism, why 9/11 was the turning point in his radical beliefs, and his deeper exploration into Islami…
  continue reading
 
Mubin Shaikh, deradicalized Islamic extremist and former security intelligence & counter-terrorism operative, discusses his upbringing balancing secular and Muslim life in Toronto, the party he threw as a young man that made him feel ashamed enough to become more deeply religious, and how an encounter with the Taliban pushed him toward radicalizati…
  continue reading
 
Journalist Jennings Brown returns, this time with a guest who goes by Justice, to talk about a new internet cult leader named Liana Shanti and her social media presence, which targets women with wellness cleanses, women's empowerment, wild conspiracy theories, and grandiose claims about her supernatural powers. They discuss Shanti's followers' patt…
  continue reading
 
Loading …

Quick Reference Guide