PODCAST

A Little Bit Culty

Sarah Edmondson & Anthony “Nippy” Ames

Think you might be in a cult? Want to know the signs? Join Sarah Edmondson and Anthony “Nippy” Ames to talk about things that are...a little bit culty. Or in their case: a whole bunch of culty. As whistleblowers documented in the critically-acclaimed HBO series “The Vow,” Sarah and Nippy have a lot to say about their experience, and burning questions to ask people with similar stories. They’re here to help people understand, heal from, and avoid abusive situations one little red flag at a time. Listen in as they share their stories, have frank and unscripted conversations with other survivors and cult experts, and do a deep dive on how devotion can turn to dysfunction.

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Page Turner: Spencer Schneider on Writing His Way Out of ‘School’
Yesterday
Page Turner: Spencer Schneider on Writing His Way Out of ‘School’
“We were invisible. We had to be. We took an oath of absolute secrecy. We never even told our immediate families who we were. We went about our lives in New York City. Just like you. We were your accountants, money managers, lawyers, executive recruiters, doctors. We owned your child’s private school and sold you your brownstone. But you’d never guess our secret lives, how we lived in a kind of silent terror and fervor. There were hundreds of us.”That’s a snippet from Spencer Schneider’s compelling and creepy AF memoir: Manhattan Cult Story: My Unbelievable True Story of Sex, Crimes, Chaos, and Survival. This isn’t an ad, it’s just the truth: We think you’re going to want to grab yourself a copy before you hit the beach this summer. It’s that much of a page turner. In this episode of A Little Bit Culty, Spencer joins us to share more about what it was like living inside the nightmarish bubble of ‘School’, the ultra-secret Manhattan organization that consumed his life for 23 years. And just in case you’ve not heard of ‘School’, this particular culty shitshow gives us Eyes Wide Shut vibes with sprinklings of Eloise if she lived at The Plaza in the Upside Down. For extra credit, read up on the late Sharon Gans, the eccentric School leader whose cult resume lowlights include: forced adoptions, arranged marriages, twisted displays of public humiliation and conspicuous consumption, and forced labor. Glad you got the hell out of there, Spencer.  Hear Ye, Hear Ye:The views and opinions expressed on A Little Bit Culty do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the podcast. Any content provided by our guests, bloggers, sponsors or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, group, club, organization, business individual, anyone or anything. Nobody’s mad at you, just don’t be a culty fuckwad.Support the ALBC Pod:We’ve made a link where you can support A Little Bit Culty with a one-time, weekly, or monthly contribution. Your support will be repaid in cosmic love and light. To make a contribution, smash this link.Check out our Linktree to sign up for our mailing list. We’ve got some fun things coming your way soon. It rhymes with “t-shirts.” Okay, it’s t-shirts.Producers: Will Retherford & Jess TardyTheme Song: “Cultivated” by Jon Bryant co-written with Nygel Asselin See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Tangled Up in Teal: Jon Kasbe & Bits Sola on Making ‘The Deep End’
Jun 20 2022
Tangled Up in Teal: Jon Kasbe & Bits Sola on Making ‘The Deep End’
Dear Teal Swan: You continue to be a mystery wrapped in a riddle wrapped in wrap-around Oakleys. Are you okay? For reals, we’re getting some super hinky vibes from all seven layers of your auric field. Dear Everyone Else: In case you haven’t watched all four installments of The Deep End, you might want to catch up before you listen to this ALBC conversation with the filmmaking duo behind the series. In this episode, director/cinematographer Jon Kasbe and producer/writer Bits Sola  join Sarah and Nippy to share what it was like inside Teal Swan’s campy, creepy world. But don’t get your plastic Mala beads in a twist, Teal Tribe: ‘campy’ and ‘creepy’ are our words, not theirs…and those two words are about the nicest things we could think of to say. Also? Sorry, not sorry, Teal…but you just can’t deep fake this shit. Hear Ye, Hear Ye:The views and opinions expressed on A Little Bit Culty do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the podcast. Any content provided by our guests, bloggers, sponsors or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, group, club, organization, business individual, anyone or anything. Nobody’s mad at you, just don’t be a culty fuckwad.Support the ALBC Pod:We’ve made a link where you can support A Little Bit Culty with a one-time, weekly, or monthly contribution. Your support will be repaid in cosmic love and light. To make a contribution, smash this link.Check out our Linktree to sign up for our mailing list. We’ve got some fun things coming your way soon. It rhymes with “t-shirts.” Okay, it’s t-shirts.Producers: Will Retherford & Jess TardyTheme Song: “Cultivated” by Jon Bryant co-written with Nygel Asselin See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Trust Fall: Dr. Natalie Feinblatt on Trauma, Addiction & Cult-Informed Therapy
Jun 13 2022
Trust Fall: Dr. Natalie Feinblatt on Trauma, Addiction & Cult-Informed Therapy
Finding a therapist can be mission critical when you’re recovering from a culty situation, but the process of finding a clinician with basic cult awareness can be a total cluster. In this episode, Sarah and Nippy chat with Dr. Natalie Feinblatt  about why more therapists need to get cult-informed and the Venn diagram overlap between trauma and addiction. She also chats with Sarah and Nippy about tangible techniques for getting unstuck when fight/flight/freeze mode takes over. Dr. Feinblatt is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Los Angeles, California who specializes in the treatment of addiction and trauma. And one of her trauma sub-specialties is working with former cult members. She received her BA from UCSD and her Masters & Doctorate from Pepperdine University, where she wrote her doctoral dissertation on psychotherapy with former cult members and has specialized in helping them ever since. She also does EMDR, Brainspotting, and other trauma-specific therapies. She was also featured on the series finale of ‘Leah Remini: Scientology & The Aftermath.’ Learn more at her website or follow her on Instagram for tips, tools, and healing resources.  Concepts/Resources mentioned in this episode: Window of Tolerance Dan Siegal, MDPsychology TodayHear Ye, Hear Ye:The views and opinions expressed on A Little Bit Culty do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the podcast. Any content provided by our guests, bloggers, sponsors or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, group, club, organization, business individual, anyone or anything. Nobody’s mad at you, just don’t be a culty fuckwad.Support the ALBC Pod:We’ve made a link where you can support A Little Bit Culty with a one-time, weekly, or monthly contribution. Your support will be repaid in cosmic love and light. To make a contribution, smash this link.Check out our Linktree to sign up for our mailing list. We’ve got some fun things coming your way soon. It rhymes with “t-shirts.” Okay, it’s t-shirts.Producers: Will Retherford & Jess TardyTheme Song: “Cultivated” by Jon Bryant co-written with Nygel Asselin See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Holy Hell: Will Allen on Unmasking Buddhafield  (Part 2)
Jun 9 2022
Holy Hell: Will Allen on Unmasking Buddhafield (Part 2)
Surprise! We loved chatting with Will Allen so much that we let the tape keep right on rolling. Keep on listening for more about the Holy Hell filmmaker’s journey back from Buddhafield’s clutches. Oh, and here’s that My Favorite Murder episode we mention. Oh, and dear listener please be advised that  just like the first part of our chat with Will, this episode contains some potentially triggering conversations. Please listen safely, and seek help if you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted.  Sexual Assault Crisis Resources and HotlinesIf you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, help is available.U.S. Hotlines & Resources  Canada Hotlines & ResourcesSee Find a Helpline.Com for the world’s largest resource of helplines. This site lists 1600 services across the world that offer immediate emotional support.Hear Ye, Hear Ye:The views and opinions expressed on A Little Bit Culty do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the podcast. Any content provided by our guests, bloggers, sponsors or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, group, club, organization, business individual, anyone or anything. Nobody’s mad at you, just don’t be a culty fuckwad.Support the ALBC Pod:We’ve made a link where you can support A Little Bit Culty with a one-time, weekly, or monthly contribution. Your support will be repaid in cosmic love and light. To make a contribution, smash this link.Check out our Linktree to sign up for our mailing list. We’ve got some fun things coming your way soon. It rhymes with “t-shirts.” Okay, it’s t-shirts.Producers: Will Retherford & Jess TardyTheme Song: “Cultivated” by Jon Bryant co-written with Nygel Asselin See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Holy Hell: Will Allen on Unmasking Buddhafield (Part 1)
Jun 6 2022
Holy Hell: Will Allen on Unmasking Buddhafield (Part 1)
Sarah and Nippy watched Holy Hell closely when they were exiting NXIVM back in 2016. It hit close to home: The documentary is an intimate look at the implosion of Buddhafield, a mysterious self-help cult formed by a charismatic character with an iffy backstory. In this episode, Sarah and Nippy welcome the film’s director Will Allen to talk about what it was like to shine a light on Jaime Gomez, the so-called spiritual guru at the twisted heart of the group. Will didn’t just film it all: he lived it. After joining Buddhafield as a freshly-minted film school grad, it consumed his world for twenty odd years with life-altering consequences. He was looking for a sense of community and purpose, but after the love bombing phase it was far from the blissed-out communal dream it was cracked up to be.Five years after the film’s release, Will chats with Sarah and Nippy about how he’s doing now; his journey from unofficial in-house cult documentarian to whistleblower; and what it takes to disrupt patterns of abuse and coercive control in new agey circles. And be warned, dear listener, that this conversation delves into the same potentially triggering content that gave rise to Holy Hell’s apt title. As told in the film via multiple victims’ accounts, Gomez used weekly hypnotherapy sessions to sexually abuse and exploit young male devotees, Will among them. Please listen safely, and seek help if you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted.  Sexual Assault Crisis Resources and HotlinesIf you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, help is available. U.S. Hotlines & Resources  Canada Hotlines & ResourcesSee Find a Helpline.Com for the world’s largest resource of helplines. This site lists 1600 services across the world that offer immediate emotional support.Hear Ye, Hear Ye: The views and opinions expressed on A Little Bit Culty do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the podcast. Any content provided by our guests, bloggers, sponsors or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, group, club, organization, business individual, anyone or anything. Nobody’s mad at you, just don’t be a culty fuckwad.Support the ALBC Pod:We’ve made a link where you can support A Little Bit Culty with a one-time, weekly, or monthly contribution. Your support will be repaid in cosmic love and light. To make a contribution, smash this link.Check out our Linktree to sign up for our mailing list. We’ve got some fun things coming your way soon. It rhymes with “t-shirts.” Okay, it’s t-shirts.Producers: Will Retherford & Jess TardyTheme Song: “Cultivated” by Jon Bryant co-written with Nygel Asselin See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Bigger Than the Pope: Jennings Brown on Teal Swan & The Fellowship of Friends (Part 2)
May 30 2022
Bigger Than the Pope: Jennings Brown on Teal Swan & The Fellowship of Friends (Part 2)
[Content Warning: This episode contains references to suicide, mental illness, and sexual assault. Listener discretion advised.] And…we’re back for an extra helping of conversation with investigative journalist Jennings Brown. If Part One’s exploration of creepy AF Youtube spiritual guru Teal Swan didn’t freak you out enough, there’s more Teal talk for you in this episode. Be sure to watch The Deep End docuseries and binge The Gateway  podcast to learn more about how each new layer of the Teal Tribe onion seems to be stankier than the last.. We recommend not listening or watching before bed, unless you really dig nightmares.Despite what Teal may think: She isn’t the center of the universe. She’s not even the center of the cultiverse. So we also use part 2 of our chat with Jennings to ramble from the dark corners of Utah’s Swan country to sunny Yuba County, California where the organization at the center of his Revelations  podcast appears to be hard at work making fine wine and disturbing cult headlines. The Fellowship of Friends has some serious issues, and we’re still unpacking it all. Doomsday and rosé anyone? Support the ALBC Pod:We’ve made a link where you can support A Little Bit Culty with a one-time, weekly, or monthly contribution. Your support will be repaid in cosmic love and light. To make a contribution, smash this link.Check out our Linktree to sign up for our mailing list. We’ve got some fun things coming your way soon. It rhymes with “t-shirts.” Okay, it’s t-shirts.CREDITS: Production Partner: Citizens of Sound Producers: Will Retherford & Jess TardyTheme Song: “Cultivated” by Jon Bryant co-written with Nygel AsselinHear Ye, Hear Ye:The views and opinions expressed on A Little Bit Culty do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the podcast. Any content provided by our guests, bloggers, sponsors or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, group, club, organization, business individual, anyone or anything. Nobody’s mad at you, just don’t be a culty fuckwad. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Bigger Than the Pope: Jennings Brown on Teal Swan & The Fellowship of Friends (Part 1)
May 23 2022
Bigger Than the Pope: Jennings Brown on Teal Swan & The Fellowship of Friends (Part 1)
[Content Warning: This episode contains references to suicide, mental illness, and sexual assault. Listener discretion advised.] Youtube spiritual guru Teal Swan says she saves lives. Others say she’s dangerously death-obsessed. We say she’s serving strong “9 Perfect Strangers” villain vibes with a side order of night terrors. But that’s just us. We wanted an expert’s perspective, so we called on investigative journalist Jennings Brown for this episode to help us understand more about Teal’s world. As a senior reporter at Gizmodo, Jennings traveled to rural Utah, the forests of Costa Rica, and smack dab into the middle of Teal’s inner circle to understand her teachings and investigate the deaths of some of her followers. His unprecedented access to her group is at the heart of a six part podcast called The Gateway - which we highly recommend as critical listening for anyone wanting to learn more about Teal’s whole vibe from a safe distance. He joins us today to talk about the sharp edges woven into her carefully-curated, hypnotic image, and how spiritual hucksters are gaming the algorithm and manipulating people’s most vulnerable moments. We also talk to him about his newest Spotify Original podcast series: Revelations which follows a California cult that combines doomsday prophecies and fine wine. And TBH, we get so carried away that we go into extra innings. Enjoy this first episode with Jennings - and we’ll be back next week with part two. Support the ALBC Pod: We’ve made a link where you can support A Little Bit Culty with a one-time, weekly, or monthly contribution. Your support will be repaid in cosmic love and light. To make a contribution, smash this link.Check out our Linktree to sign up for our mailing list. We’ve got some fun things coming your way soon. It rhymes with “t-shirts.” Okay, it’s t-shirts.CREDITS: Production Partner: Citizens of Sound Producers: Will Retherford & Jess TardyTheme Song: “Cultivated” by Jon Bryant co-written with Nygel AsselinHear Ye, Hear Ye: The views and opinions expressed on A Little Bit Culty do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the podcast. Any content provided by our guests, bloggers, sponsors or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, group, club, organization, business individual, anyone or anything. Nobody’s mad at you, just don’t be a culty fuckwad. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Not Orthodox: Tova Mirvis
May 16 2022
Not Orthodox: Tova Mirvis
Tova Mirvis frequently writes characters who are living in Orthodox Jewish communities and struggling with their faith. But in 2017, she turned the page from fiction to memoir, by publishing The Book of Separation: a searing look at her divorce, her exit from the Orthodox community, and her experience navigating the new terrain of single motherhood. She joins us to talk about her spiritual journey, the surprising outreach she’s received from ex-Mormons, and the similarities between strict religious communities and cults. About Our Guest: In addition to The Book of Separation, Tova Mirvis is the author of three novels: Visible City , The Outside World and The Ladies Auxiliary, which was a national bestseller.  Her essays have appeared in various anthologies and newspapers including The New York Times Book Review, The Boston Globe Magazine, Commentary, Good Housekeeping and Poets and Writers, and her fiction has been broadcast on NPR.  Learn more on her official site.Support the ALBC Pod: We’ve made a link where you can support A Little Bit Culty with a one-time, weekly, or monthly contribution. Your support will be repaid in cosmic love and light. To make a contribution, smash this link.Check out our Linktree to sign up for our mailing list. We’ve got some fun things coming your way soon. It rhymes with “t-shirts.” Okay, it’s t-shirts.CREDITS: Production Partner: Citizens of Sound Producers: Will Retherford & Jess TardyTheme Song: “Cultivated” by Jon Bryant co-written with Nygel AsselinHear Ye, Hear Ye: The views and opinions expressed on A Little Bit Culty do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the podcast. Any content provided by our guests, bloggers, sponsors or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, group, club, organization, business individual, anyone or anything. Nobody’s mad at you, just don’t be a culty fuckwad. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Host Mode: Sarah & Nippy Answer Your Burning Questions
May 9 2022
Host Mode: Sarah & Nippy Answer Your Burning Questions
Back when Sarah and Nippy were in NXIVM, asking questions wasn’t exactly welcome. Fuck that. In this episode, they answer your questions on everything from Keith Raniere’s raging creep factor to what helps them keep it light after deep, dark podcast conversations about culty shit. Also covered: What has most surprised them about the episodes they’ve hosted so far; whether they’ve had to get re-acquainted since leaving NXIVM, and their perspectives on protecting yourself from retaliation when you’re leaving an abusive group, plus a couple lil' Easter eggs for fans of ‘The Simpsons’ and ‘Succession.’Support the ALBC Pod:We’ve made a link where you can support A Little Bit Culty with a one-time, weekly, or monthly contribution. Your support will be repaid in cosmic love and light. To make a contribution, smash this link.Check out our Linktree to sign up for our mailing list. We’ve got some fun things coming your way soon. It rhymes with “t-shirts.” Okay, it’s t-shirts.Hear Ye, Hear Ye:The views and opinions expressed on A Little Bit Culty do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the podcast. Any content provided by our guests, bloggers, sponsors or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, group, club, organization, business individual, anyone or anything. Nobody’s mad at you, just don’t be a culty fuckwad.Check out our Linktree to sign up for our mailing list. We’ve got some fun things coming your way soon. It rhymes with T-shirts. Okay, it’s t-shirts.–CREDITS: Production Partner: Citizens of Sound Producer: Will RetherfordAssociate Producer: Jess TardyTheme Song: “Cultivated” by Jon Bryant co-written with Nygel Asselin See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Way Back: Gina Wilson On Faith After ‘The Way Down’
May 2 2022
The Way Back: Gina Wilson On Faith After ‘The Way Down’
If you’re familiar with ‘The Way Down’, the HBO Docuseries that chronicles the rise and fall of conservative Christian diet guru Gwen Shamblin (Lara), who died in a plane crash in May of 2021, you may remember today’s guest: Gina Wilson. As a devoted member of the Remnant Fellowship, the Brentwood Tennessee church founded by the big-haired, charismatic Shamblin, Gina spent over a decade inside the group as a part of the music ministry team and as a poster child of sorts for the church’s ‘Weigh Down’ diet method and weight loss empire. Gina joins us to talk in-depth about her experience in the church, the collateral damage to her family unit, and how she ultimately escaped Shamblin’s clutches. She also shares how her faith has only deepened now that she’s free from the Remnant Fellowship, and how she’s coming back from years of spiritual abuse. The Way Down  Season 2 is now streaming on HBO Max. Support the ALBC Pod:We’ve made a link where you can support A Little Bit Culty with a one-time, weekly, or monthly contribution. Your support will be repaid in cosmic love and light. To make a contribution, smash this link.Check out our Linktree to sign up for our mailing list. We’ve got some fun things coming your way soon. It rhymes with “t-shirts.” Okay, it’s t-shirts.Hear Ye, Hear Ye:The views and opinions expressed on A Little Bit Culty do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the podcast. Any content provided by our guests, bloggers, sponsors or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, group, club, organization, business individual, anyone or anything. Nobody’s mad at you, just don’t be a culty fuckwad.Check out our Linktree to sign up for our mailing list. We’ve got some fun things coming your way soon. It rhymes with T-shirts. Okay, it’s t-shirts.–CREDITS: Production Partner: Citizens of Sound Producer: Will RetherfordAssociate Producer: Jess TardyTheme Song: “Cultivated” by Jon Bryant co-written with Nygel Asselin See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Voicing Doubt: Ian James Corlett on Leaving the Jehovah’s Witness Faith
Apr 25 2022
Voicing Doubt: Ian James Corlett on Leaving the Jehovah’s Witness Faith
As the voice of iconic cartoon characters, major TV networks, and national brands, Ian James Corlett has been heard by millions of people. But until now, he’s never publicly rocked a mic to share his own story as an ex-Jehovah’s Witness. Ian joins Sarah and Nippy for a rollicking ride through the denomination’s history, and his journey from born-and-raised JW and church elder, to unapologetic apostate. He has a few choice things to say about why JWs appear to be leaving the denomination in droves, as well as some memories to share about that one time a fellow voice actor by the name of Sarah Edmondson tried to recruit him into NXIVM.About Our Guest:You may have heard Ian James Corlett in the Emmy-nominated Dinosaur Train, in CartoonNetwork’s zany Johnny Test, or in the latest Disney Jr hit: Vampirina. And going further back, Ian originated the iconic English dub voice of Goku in Dragonball Z as well as voicing other 90’s icons such as Megaman, and Bob in Reboot. Learn more: Ianjamescorlett.comInstagram: @ianjamescorlettTwitter: @ianjames007Support the ALBC Pod:We’ve made a link where you can support A Little Bit Culty with a one-time, weekly, or monthly contribution. Your support will be repaid in cosmic love and light. To make a contribution, smash this link.Check out our Linktree to sign up for our mailing list. We’ve got some fun things coming your way soon. It rhymes with “t-shirts.” Okay, it’s t-shirts.Hear Ye, Hear Ye:The views and opinions expressed on A Little Bit Culty do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the podcast. Any content provided by our guests, bloggers, sponsors or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, group, club, organization, business individual, anyone or anything. Nobody’s mad at you, just don’t be a culty fuckwad.Check out our Linktree to sign up for our mailing list. We’ve got some fun things coming your way soon. It rhymes with T-shirts. Okay, it’s t-shirts.–CREDITS: Production Partner: Citizens of Sound Producer: Will RetherfordAssociate Producer: Jess TardyTheme Song: “Cultivated” by Jon Bryant co-written with Nygel Asselin See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Cults at Work: Cameron Herold on Corporate Culture
Apr 18 2022
Cults at Work: Cameron Herold on Corporate Culture
How and when does a healthy corporate culture go off the rails? What are some red flags to be aware of when you’re sizing up a potential workplace? Before you spring for that lower back tattoo of your company’s logo, be sure to take a listen to this A Little Bit Culty episode featuring Cameron Herold. As a successful entrepreneur and in-demand CEO Whisperer, he’s coached dozens of companies globally and is known for creating world-class company cultures. Once upon a time, he also used this talking point on the regular as part of his top-rated keynote speaking gigs: "To build an amazing company, it has to be a little bit more than a business, and a little bit less than a religion, it has to be in the zone of a cult." Cameron joins Sarah and Nippy to talk about why he no longer stans that culty line of thinking, and how corporate culture routinely blurs the lines between community and coercion. About Our Guest:Cameron Herold is the founder of the COO Alliance, author of 5 business books including Vivid Vision, and founder of the Invest In Your Leaders course. He's been paid to speak on all 7 continents including Antarctica…and is the former COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? which was ranked the #2 company to work for in all of Canada, and became a case study at  Harvard Business School, and landed him on Oprah. Learn more about him on his official website Support the ALBC Pod:We’ve made a link where you can support A Little Bit Culty with a one-time, weekly, or monthly contribution. Your support will be repaid in cosmic love and light. To make a contribution, smash this link.Check out our Linktree to sign up for our mailing list. We’ve got some fun things coming your way soon. It rhymes with “t-shirts.” Okay, it’s t-shirts.Hear Ye, Hear Ye:The views and opinions expressed on A Little Bit Culty do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the podcast. Any content provided by our guests, bloggers, sponsors or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, group, club, organization, business individual, anyone or anything. Nobody’s mad at you, just don’t be a culty fuckwad.Check out our Linktree to sign up for our mailing list. We’ve got some fun things coming your way soon. It rhymes with T-shirts. Okay, it’s t-shirts.–CREDITS: Production Partner: Citizens of Sound Producer: Will RetherfordAssociate Producer: Jess TardyTheme Song: “Cultivated” by Jon Bryant co-written with Nygel Asselin See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
My So-Called Greek Life: Lucy Taylor Exposes a Culty Collegiate Shitshow
Apr 11 2022
My So-Called Greek Life: Lucy Taylor Exposes a Culty Collegiate Shitshow
As a first year student at the University of Maryland, Lucy Taylor welcomed the sisterhood and built-in community that Greek life promised. But after accepting a bid into a ‘top-tier’ sorority, she left after seven months inside a toxic stew of rampant sexual assault, slut-shaming, misgogny, and racism. Lucy shared her experience in season one of her podcast, SNAPPED, and after an outpouring of responses she’s continuing to use the series to help other former sorority and fraternity members share their all-too similar and all-too-horrific stories. On the cusp of spring, when Greek Week events and semi-formals are about to pop off on college campuses far and wide, Lucy joins Sarah and Nippy for an important conversation about the dangers of a beloved campus tradition. She shares why her experience in the panhellenic scene was hellish,  and how the bait-and-switch recruitment tactics and gross coercive control methods that are rife throughout the Greek system are a whole bunch of culty. Before you ship your kids off to college, make sure you listen to this one. About Lucy Taylor: Lucy Taylor is the creator, editor, producer, and host of SNAPPED, a podcast which explores the inner workings of sororities and fraternities on America’s college campuses. Also hear the bangin’ SNAPPED soundtrack playlist on Spotify and learn more about Lucy and the pod at: snappedthepodcast.com#snappedthepodcastSupport the ALBC Pod:We’ve made a link where you can support A Little Bit Culty with a one-time, weekly, or monthly contribution. Your support will be repaid in cosmic love and light. To make a contribution, smash this link.Check out our Linktree to sign up for our mailing list. We’ve got some fun things coming your way soon. It rhymes with “t-shirts.” Okay, it’s t-shirts.Hear Ye, Hear Ye: The views and opinions expressed on A Little Bit Culty do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the podcast. Any content provided by our guests, bloggers, sponsors or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, group, club, organization, business individual, anyone or anything. Nobody’s mad at you, just don’t be a culty fuckwad.Check out our Linktree to sign up for our mailing list. We’ve got some fun things coming your way soon. It rhymes with T-shirts. Okay, it’s t-shirts.–CREDITS: Production Partner: Citizens of Sound Producer: Will RetherfordAssociate Producer: Jess TardyTheme Song: “Cultivated” by Jon Bryant co-written with Nygel Asselin See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Surviving Wild Wild Country: Erin Robbins Speaks Out On Osho Horrors
Apr 4 2022
Surviving Wild Wild Country: Erin Robbins Speaks Out On Osho Horrors
A Little Bit Culty –We took zero breaks between seasons because we need you to hear this episode. Erin Robbins wasn’t featured in Wild Wild Country, the 2018 Netflix Docuseries about Bhagawan Shree Rajneesh, also known as Osho. She lived it in real-time. She discovered the controversial guru’s teachings at age 23 in 1977, and by the time he summoned her to his bedroom a year later for a ‘special and secret’ meeting that quickly devolved into a vile and violating encounter (the first of many) she thought he was the greatest spiritual master who’d ever walked the planet. Erin disregarded her father, the co-founder, and owner of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream company, risking her family connection and inheritance in order to follow a man who would eventually lead his disciples into a world of murders, mass poisonings, and the gross sexual violation of children. After nearly 45 years of staying quiet, Erin is sharing her story after waking up just a year ago. This episode is full of potentially triggering content related to child abuse, coerced sterilization, and sexual assault. It also contains a staggering amount of bravery. Here’s to the healing power of the truth. About Our Guest:Erin Robbins, M.Ed. is an award-winning artist who lives in Northern California.Website: erinrobbins.life Twitter: @erinrobbins_ FB & Instagram: @erinrobbins.lifeSupport the ALBC Pod:We’ve made a link where you can support A Little Bit Culty with a one-time, weekly, or monthly contribution. Your support will be repaid in cosmic love and light. To make a contribution, smash this link.Check out our Linktree to sign up for our mailing list. We’ve got some fun things coming your way soon. It rhymes with “t-shirts.” Okay, it’s t-shirts.Hear Ye, Hear Ye: The views and opinions expressed on A Little Bit Culty do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the podcast. Any content provided by our guests, bloggers, sponsors or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, group, club, organization, business individual, anyone or anything. Nobody’s mad at you, just don’t be a culty fuckwad. Check out our Linktree to sign up for our mailing list. We’ve got some fun things coming your way soon. It rhymes with T-shirts. Okay, it’s t-shirts.–CREDITS: Executive Producers: Sarah Edmondson & Anthony AmesProduction Partner: Citizens of Sound Producer: Will RetherfordAssociate Producer: Jess TardyTheme Song: “Cultivated” by Jon Bryant co-written with Nygel Asselin See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
ALBC at SXSW with Sarah Berman & Amanda Montell
Mar 28 2022
ALBC at SXSW with Sarah Berman & Amanda Montell
A Little Bit Culty – A Little Bit Culty took the show on the road, and brought you back this season 3 finale from Texas as a souvenir. In this episode, Sarah and Nippy host a live panel with Sarah Berman and Amanda Montell, in front of a real, actual human crowd of SXSW-certified cool kids. But first, the hosts celebrate the birthday of a certain golden boy, and respond to all the “Bad Vegan” hullaballoo. Lots to cover in this one, so let’s hit it.  About Our Guests:Amanda Montell is a writer, language scholar, and the author of two critically acclaimed books: Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism and Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language (HarperWave). Her books have earned praise from The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and others, and Amanda is currently developing Wordslut for television with FX Studios. She is also the creator and co-host of the comedy-cult podcast, Sounds Like A Cult. Find her on Instagram @amanda_montell.Sarah Berman is an investigative journalist based in Vancouver covering crime, drugs, cults, politics, and culture. She is a former senior editor at VICE and past contributor to Adbusters, Maclean’s, The Globe and Mail, the Vancouver Sun and other publications. Her debut book Don't Call it a Cult has drawn praise for its searing and insightful reportage of the rise and fall of NXIVM.Support the ALBC Pod: This podcast thing is a labor of love, but we also like money just fine. By listener request from you magical beasts that download our show every week, we’ve made a link where you can support A Little Bit Culty with a one-time, weekly, or monthly contribution. Your support will be repaid in cosmic love and light. To make a contribution and help us keep this pod rolling, just smash this link.Other Semi-Important and/or Critical Things You Should Know:The views and opinions expressed on A Little Bit Culty do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the podcast. Any content provided by our guests, bloggers, sponsors or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, group, club, organization, business individual, anyone or anything. Check out our Linktree to sign up for our mailing list. We’ve got some fun things coming your way soon. It rhymes with T-shirts. Okay, it’s t-shirts.–Theme Song: “Cultivated” by Jon Bryant co-written with Nygel Asselin See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Sarma Speaks: A ‘Bad Vegan’ Exclusive
Mar 21 2022
Sarma Speaks: A ‘Bad Vegan’ Exclusive
A Little Bit Culty –If the producers of Tiger King decide to make their next true crime show about you, you’ve got a helluva story. Sarma Melngailis is the woman at the heart of “Bad Vegan” the buzzworthy Netflix docu-series that chronicles her meteoric rise to fame, and her disturbing crash and burn from celebrity chef to fugitive. It’s the stuff of clickbait gold, but beyond the headlines, there’s usually more to it. And Sarma’s story is, you guessed it: More than a little bit culty. We don’t want to spoil anything, but there’s a Keith Raniere-esque player involved in this epic fail. Sarma fell under the sway of a gambler with a criminal past who slid into her Twitter DMs with shady moves straight out of the NXIVM playbook, and then she married him. Cue the alleged gaslighting, sleep deprivation, and sexual humiliation. Pro-tip: If you’ve come to believe that your pit bull is on the cusp of being made immortal: you’ve probably been mindfucked. Sarma’s got a lot to say now that those Netflix cameras aren’t rolling, and she’s only speaking to us.Official website: sarmaraw.comTwitter: @sarma Instagram: @sarmamelngailis Support the ALBC Pod: This podcast thing is a labor of love, but we also like money just fine. By listener request from you magical beasts that download our show every week, we’ve made a link where you can support A Little Bit Culty with a one-time, weekly, or monthly contribution. Your support will be repaid in cosmic love and light. To make a contribution and help us keep this pod rolling, just smash this link.Other Semi-Important and/or Critical Things You Should Know:The views and opinions expressed on A Little Bit Culty do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the podcast. Any content provided by our guests, bloggers, sponsors or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, group, club, organization, business individual, anyone or anything. Nobody’s mad at you, just don’t be a culty fuckwad. For more information on A Little Bit Culty and co-hosts Sarah Edmondson and Nippy “Anthony” Ames, visit our official website at alittlebitculty.com.Check out our Linktree to sign up for our mailing list. We’ve got some fun things coming your way soon. It rhymes with T-shirts. Okay, it’s t-shirts.–CREDITS: Executive Producers: Sarah Edmondson & Anthony AmesProduction Partner: Citizens of Sound Producer: Will RetherfordAssociate Producer: Jess TardyTheme Song: “Cultivated” by Jon Bryant co-written with Nygel Asselin See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Unholy Spirits: Eric Skwarczynski on Darkness in the IFB
Mar 14 2022
Unholy Spirits: Eric Skwarczynski on Darkness in the IFB
A Little Bit Culty –There’s a dark cloud hanging over the Independent Fundamental Baptist movement, and our guest today wants you to know about it. Eric Skwarczynski is the host and creator of the Preacher Boys podcast, which is a platform for survivors’ stories and the basis of an upcoming documentary film about a deeply disturbing pattern of sexual predation and abuse claims within  the IFB. Eric joins us to talk about blowing the whistle on the IFB, what sucks about purity culture (hint: everything), and what it will take to create a sea change among current congregants, leaders, and pastors. He also gives us the scoop on his new podcast: Figuring it Out which currently features life advice from Shaq (!!!) Also be warned: This episode contains graphic descriptions of child abuse and other completely fucking horrifying stuff. It will disturb you, and probably make you pretty irate. It made us shakey mad and more than a little sick to our stomachs to research this thing. (What the actual fuck, IFB. Get your shit together.)Here’s Spirit of Fear,  the Fort Worth Star-Telegram expose that was published in 2018, which we quote early in the episode.Support the ALBC Pod: This podcast thing is a labor of love, but we also like money just fine. By listener request from you magical beasts that download our show every week, we’ve made a link where you can support A Little Bit Culty with a one-time, weekly, or monthly contribution. Your support will be repaid in cosmic love and light. To make a contribution and help us keep this pod rolling, just smash this link.Other Semi-Important and/or Critical Things You Should Know:The views and opinions expressed on A Little Bit Culty do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the podcast. Any content provided by our guests, bloggers, sponsors or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, group, club, organization, business individual, anyone or anything. Nobody’s mad at you, just don’t be a culty fuckwad. For more information on A Little Bit Culty and co-hosts Sarah Edmondson and Nippy “Anthony” Ames, visit our official website at alittlebitculty.com.Check out our Linktree to sign up for our mailing list. We’ve got some fun things coming your way soon. It rhymes with T-shirts. Okay, it’s t-shirts.– CREDITS: Executive Producers: Sarah Edmondson & Anthony AmesProduction Partner: Citizens of Sound Producer: Will RetherfordAssociate Producer: Jess TardyTheme Song: “Cultivated” by Jon Bryant co-written with Nygel Asselin See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Miranda Beverly-Whittemore on Cult Fiction
Mar 7 2022
Miranda Beverly-Whittemore on Cult Fiction
A Little Bit Culty –This episode is a little bit different. Author Miranda Beverly-Whittemore is not a former cult member or a cult awareness expert like most of our guests, but her novel Fierce Little Thing weaves a culty tale that almost makes you think she is. It’s a little like “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” except in this case, it’s “I Know What You Did When You Were a Teenager 20 Summers Ago While Living on a Survivalist Commune Run by a Charismatic Maniac in Rural Maine.” She joins Sarah and Nippy to talk about communes, cult fiction, and how “The Vow” inspired the cultiverse of her latest story.About Our Guest: Miranda Beverly-Whittemore is the New York Times bestselling author of Bittersweet, June, and Set Me Free. A recipient of the Crazyhorse Prize in Fiction, she lives and writes in Brooklyn. Learn more at her official website And follow her on Instagram or linger beneath her linktree a while.~The views and opinions expressed on A Little Bit Culty do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the podcast. Any content provided by our guests, bloggers, sponsors or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, group, club, organization, business individual, anyone or anything.~For more information on A Little Bit Culty and co-hosts Sarah Edmondson and Nippy “Anthony” Ames, visit our official website at alittlebitculty.com. Follow us on Instagram & Twitter @alittlebitculty~CREDITS: Executive Producers: Sarah Edmondson & Anthony AmesProduction Partner: Citizens of Sound Producer: Will RetherfordAssociate Producer: Jess TardyTheme Song: “Cultivated” by Jon Bryant co-written with Nygel Asselin See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Make Me A God: Jon Atack
Feb 28 2022
Make Me A God: Jon Atack
A Little Bit Culty – Jon Atack wants to help you protect yourself from the human predators who roam among us, and believes that every bad relationship, every destructive group, and every dangerous government has a human predator at its heart. This conversation was recorded several months ago, but it feels a bit prescient now that Putin is raining hellfire on Kyiv. The author, academic, and former Operating Thetan Section V chats with Sarah and Nippy about why it seems like psychopaths are running the world, and why he still has hope that humanity can turn things around in spite of itself.About Jon Atack: Our guest today is one of the only court-appointed expert witnesses on Scientology, and his book: Let’s Sell These People a Piece of Blue Sky, about the early history of the church, is cited by academics all over the world. Jon was a ‘public’ Scientologist for nine years, trained as a counselor, and even did the secret ‘OT’ levels, but ditched it when he discovered appalling, aggressive behavior towards members. In addition to his work podcasting as a Scientology mythbuster  and using his Instagram account to help educate people on overcoming things like manipulation, destructive cults, and abusive relationships, he’s written several novels, including Voodoo Child (Slight Return), inspired by the life and downfall of Jimi Hendrix. By the look of all the fair gaming sites out there, he’s also a Marvel-esque villain who deeply hurts Scientology’s feelie weelies. This dastardly fellow lives in a charming village near Nottingham, England where, as Voltaire advised, he cultivates his garden. Exactly what a Marvel villain would do.~The views and opinions expressed on A Little Bit Culty do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the podcast. Any content provided by our guests, bloggers, sponsors or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, group, club, organization, business individual, anyone or anything.~For more information on A Little Bit Culty and co-hosts Sarah Edmondson and Nippy “Anthony” Ames, visit our official website at alittlebitculty.com. Follow us on Instagram & Twitter @alittlebitculty~CREDITS: Executive Producers: Sarah Edmondson & Anthony AmesProduction Partner: Citizens of Sound Producer: Will RetherfordAssociate Producer: Jess TardyTheme Song: “Cultivated” by Jon Bryant co-written with Nygel Asselin See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Bentinho Massaro Sucks Part 2
Feb 21 2022
Bentinho Massaro Sucks Part 2
A Little Bit Culty – He’s just one guy, but there’s so much culty shit flying around Bentinho Massaro that our first episode went into extra innings.  Part two of our spotlight on the International Man of Alleged Assholery continues with Jade Alectra, Keilan McNeil, and Jacqueline Graham  taking us into the pivotal moments that helped them wake up, pack up, and peace out of his toxic basecamp. They also share why they’re speaking out, even though it is all still painful AF; what’s helping them heal; and where they’re finding the joys of life after Bentinho. Blessed be the whistleblowers.~The views and opinions expressed on A Little Bit Culty do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the podcast. Any content provided by our guests, bloggers, sponsors or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, group, club, organization, business individual, anyone or anything.~A Little Bit Culty is proud to support the #IGOTOUT project, which empowers survivors of cultic abuse to share their stories online as a catalyst for education, prevention, and healing. Learn more at igotout.org~For more information on A Little Bit Culty and co-hosts Sarah Edmondson and Nippy “Anthony” Ames, visit our official website at alittlebitculty.com. Follow us on Instagram & Twitter @alittlebitculty~CREDITS: Executive Producers: Sarah Edmondson & Anthony AmesProduction Partner: Citizens of Sound Producer: Will RetherfordAssociate Producer: Jess TardyTheme Song: “Cultivated” by Jon Bryant co-written with Nygel Asselin See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.