DiscoverTrust Me: Cults, Extreme Belief, and Manipulation
Trust Me: Cults, Extreme Belief, and Manipulation
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Trust Me: Cults, Extreme Belief, and Manipulation

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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
178 Episodes
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Today is part one Ian Rafalko, a former scientologist from a prominent scientologist family AND son of a prominent YouTube health guru. We explore how his family joined Scientology, what it was like growing up in a group where children are treated as adult spirits in small bodies, whether Scientology creates little sociopaths, and some of the more detailed ins and outs of the system and beliefs. We’ll also talk about Ian’s experience as an auditor, how his rebellious nature started getting him in trouble, the ubiquitous culture of snitching, and how he started to deconstruct his upbringing. Check out our great sponsors!! Pretty Litter: Go to PrettyLitter.com/trustme and use code "trustme" to save 20% on your first order AND get a free cat toy! Quince: Need quality essentials? Go to Quince.com/trust for free shipping on your order and 365-day returns! Shopify: Run a business? Sign up for a $1 per month trial period at shopify.com/trustme  BUY OUR MERCH!! bit.ly/trustmemerch  Got your own story about cults, extreme belief, or abuse of power? Leave a voicemail or text us at 347-86-TRUST (347-868-7878) OR shoot us an email at TrustMePod@gmail.com INSTAGRAM @TrustMePodcast @oohlalola @meaganelizabeth11 TWITTER @TrustMeCultPod @ohlalola @baberahamhicks TIKTOK @TrustMeCultPodcast 
Subject of the new Neil Strauss podcast "To Die For", Aliia Roza shares about her childhood in Russia, her father who worked for the government, the training school and how she was coerced into joining a secret program for sex operations, the seduction and manipulation techniques she learned, how she was sexually abused in school, how she used those skills to survive, what her first missions were like... and of course... whether she ever killed anyone. Plus, how she wants to use her knowledge now to help women who are struggling to find love. Check out our great sponsors!! ZocDoc: Find and book a top-rated doctor at Zocdoc.com/trustme and download the Zocdoc app for FREE! Trust Me is sponsored by BetterHelp! Visit BetterHelp.com/trust to get 10% off your first month! Aura: Get a 14 day trial PLUS a check of your data ALL FOR FREE at Aura.com/trust BUY OUR MERCH!! bit.ly/trustmemerch Got your own story about cults, extreme belief, or abuse of power? Leave a voicemail or text us at 347-86-TRUST (347-868-7878) OR shoot us an email at TrustMePod@gmail.com INSTAGRAM: @TrustMePodcast @oohlalola @meaganelizabeth11 TWITTER: @TrustMeCultPod @ohlalola @baberahamhicks TIKTOK: @TrustMeCultPodcast 
Lawyer, advocate, podcaster, writer, and the reason you know about Adnan Syed from Serial, Rabia Chaudry, talks about her experience advocating for him, what it was like entering the true crime world, why Adnan is free now, what disappointed her about the coverage of his story, her work in CVE (countering violent extremism), how any group or religion is capable of becoming fundamentalist or extreme, why extremism is not a strictly Muslim problem, and the power of story to change people's minds. Check out our great sponsors!! Quince: Get warm weather ready at Quince.com/trust for free shipping on your order AND 365 day returns! ZocDoc: Find and book a top-rated doctor at Zocdoc.com/trustme and download the Zocdoc app for FREE! Shopify: Run a business? Sign up for a $1 per month trial period at shopify.com/trustme Aura: Get a 14 day trial PLUS a check of your data ALL FOR FREE at Aura.com/trust BUY OUR MERCH!! bit.ly/trustmemerch Got your own story about cults, extreme belief, or abuse of power? Leave a voicemail or text us at 347-86-TRUST (347-868-7878) OR shoot us an email at TrustMePod@gmail.com INSTAGRAM: @TrustMePodcast @oohlalola @meaganelizabeth11 TWITTER: @TrustMeCultPod @ohlalola @baberahamhicks TIKTOK: @TrustMeCultPodcast 
Jessica Kahn - Y2K Cult

Jessica Kahn - Y2K Cult

2024-05-2301:13:05

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 that the end of the world would happen on Y2K, the leader's systematic physical abuse, and the violent incident that finally led her to leave. Check out our great sponsors!! Care for your hair with PROSE! Get 50% off your first subscription order at Prose.com/trust PLUS get your FREE consultation! Trust Me is sponsored by BetterHelp! Visit BetterHelp.com/trust to get 10% off your first month! BUY OUR MERCH!! bit.ly/trustmemerch Got your own story about cults, extreme belief, or abuse of power? Leave a voicemail or text us at 347-86-TRUST (347-868-7878) OR shoot us an email at TrustMePod@gmail.com INSTAGRAM: @TrustMePodcast @oohlalola @meaganelizabeth11 TWITTER: @TrustMeCultPod @ohlalola @baberahamhicks TIKTOK: @TrustMeCultPodcast  
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 how she discovered that her mom had started the Love Has Won new age cult, claiming she was God - or more specifically, Mother God. We’ll talk about how Amy’s cult grew and her followers became more fanatical, how her last boyfriend known as “Father God” contributed to her demise, and how difficult it was for Madi to watch her mother’s health deteriorate, knowing the people around her could have tried to help.  Check out our great sponsors!! Quince: Get warm weather ready at Quince.com/trust for free shipping on your order AND 365 day returns! Shopify: Run a business? Sign up for a $1 per month trial period at shopify.com/trustme  BUY OUR MERCH!! bit.ly/trustmemerch  Got your own story about cults, extreme belief, or abuse of power? Leave a voicemail or text us at 347-86-TRUST (347-868-7878) OR shoot us an email at TrustMePod@gmail.com INSTAGRAM: @TrustMePodcast @oohlalola @meaganelizabeth11 TWITTER: @TrustMeCultPod @ohlalola @baberahamhicks TIKTOK: @TrustMeCultPodcast 
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 diagnosis our identity. She comes in HOT about beloved psychology figures such as Bessel Van Der Kolk, Gabor Mate, and Dr. Amen, and how they have cult-like followings despite frequently peddling pseudoscience. Plus, we chat about the problems with polyvagal theory, why stories of resilience can be a helpful alternative to focusing on trauma, and why it is so dang painful to change our minds! Check out our amazing sponsors!! Trust Me is sponsored by BetterHelp! Visit BetterHelp.com/trust to get 10% off your first month! Need a place? Check out Apartments.com - THE place to find a place! BUY OUR MERCH!! bit.ly/trustmemerch  Got your own story about cults, extreme belief, or abuse of power? Leave a voicemail or text us at 347-86-TRUST (347-868-7878) OR shoot us an email at TrustMePod@gmail.com INSTAGRAM: @TrustMePodcast @oohlalola @meaganelizabeth11 TWITTER: @TrustMeCultPod @ohlalola @baberahamhicks TIKTOK: @TrustMeCultPodcast 
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 authority, how he was scolded for genuinely trying to connect with the members, being told to stay out of a domestic violence situation within the group, how his mental health deteriorated, how he finally left, and his message to those still in the religion. Check out our great sponsors!! Trust Me is sponsored by BetterHelp! Visit BetterHelp.com/trust to get 10% off your first month! Shopify: Run a business? Sign up for a $1 per month trial period at shopify.com/trustme  Need a place? Check out Apartments.com - THE place to find a place! 
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 sponsored by ZocDoc! Find and book a top-rated doctor at Zocdoc.com/trustme and download the Zocdoc app for FREE! BUY OUR MERCH!! bit.ly/trustmemerch Got your own story about cults, extreme belief, or abuse of power? Leave a voicemail or text us at 347-86-TRUST (347-868-7878) OR shoot us an email at TrustMePod@gmail.com INSTAGRAM: @TrustMePodcast @oohlalola @meaganelizabeth11 TWITTER: @TrustMeCultPod @ohlalola @baberahamhicks TIKTOK: @TrustMeCultPodcast 
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", intermittent reinforcement, the difference between intensity and intimacy, the three phases of trauma bonds and how violence can play into them, why Nadine uses the term "pathological lover" instead of narcissist, how to tell if you're currently in a trauma bond, and green flags that are the sign of a healthy relationship. Check out our great sponsors! Quince: Love affordable luxury? Go to Quince.com/trust for free shipping on your order and 365-day returns! Shopify: Run a business? Sign up for a $1 per month trial period at shopify.com/trustme BUY OUR MERCH!! bit.ly/trustmemerch  Got your own story about cults, extreme belief, or abuse of power? Leave a voicemail or text us at 347-86-TRUST (347-868-7878) OR shoot us an email at TrustMePod@gmail.com INSTAGRAM: @TrustMePodcast @oohlalola @meaganelizabeth11 TWITTER: @TrustMeCultPod @ohlalola @baberahamhicks TIKTOK: @TrustMeCultPodcast 
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 in any way she could. We’ll get into how they both left, and how no one believed them for years - in some cases, up until just last month - how this was and still is a multi-billion dollar industry, and where they’re both at in their healing journey. Trust me is sponsored by BetterHelp! Visit BetterHelp.com/trust to get 10% off your first month! Learn more about WWASP awareness below: https://icapanetwork.org/  https://wwaspsurvivors.com/  CHECK OUT OUR MERCH!! bit.ly/trustmemerch   Got your own story about cults, extreme belief, or abuse of power? Leave a voicemail or text us at 347-86-TRUST (347-868-7878) OR shoot us an email at TrustMePod@gmail.com INSTAGRAM: @TrustMePodcast @oohlalola @meaganelizabeth11 TWITTER: @TrustMeCultPod @ohlalola @baberahamhicks TIKTOK: @TrustMeCultPodcast 
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 & Lillian were brought to the facilities as teenagers, the levels inside the program that were impossible to climb, how they could only communicate with their eyes, and how they were kept from their families. Check out our great sponsors!! Quince: Love affordable luxury? Go to Quince.com/trust for free shipping on your order and 365-day returns! Shopify: Run a business? Sign up for a $1 per month trial period at shopify.com/trustme  ZocDoc: Need a doctor? Go to Zocdoc.com/trustme and download the Zocdoc app for FREE! CHECK OUT OUR MERCH!! bit.ly/trustmemerch  Got your own story about cults, extreme belief, or abuse of power? Leave a voicemail or text us at 347-86-TRUST (347-868-7878) OR shoot us an email at TrustMePod@gmail.com INSTAGRAM: @TrustMePodcast @oohlalola @meaganelizabeth11 TWITTER: @TrustMeCultPod @ohlalola @baberahamhicks TIKTOK: @TrustMeCultPodcast 
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 starting her own podcast helped with her recovery. Trust Me is sponsored by Prose hair care! Get your FREE consultation and 50% off at Prose.com/trust  CHECK OUT OUR MERCH!! bit.ly/trustmemerch Got your own story about cults, extreme belief, or abuse of power? Leave a voicemail or text us at 347-86-TRUST (347-868-7878) OR shoot us an email at TrustMePod@gmail.com INSTAGRAM: @TrustMePodcast @oohlalola @meaganelizabeth11 TWITTER: @TrustMeCultPod @ohlalola @baberahamhicks TIKTOK: @TrustMeCultPodcast   
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" and "megahuns" are, and where the line is between incompetence and knowingly engaging in harmful practices.  Check out our great sponsors!!! Quince: Indulge in affordable luxury! Go to Quince.com/trust for free shipping on your order and 365-day returns! Shopify: Sign up for a one-dollar-per-month trial period at shopify.com/trustme  June's Journey: Discover your inner detective when you download June’s Journey for free today on iOS and Android. CHECK OUT OUR MERCH!! bit.ly/trustmemerch Got your own story about cults, extreme belief, or abuse of power? Leave a voicemail or text us at 347-86-TRUST (347-868-7878) OR shoot us an email at TrustMePod@gmail.com INSTAGRAM: @TrustMePodcast @oohlalola @meaganelizabeth11 TWITTER: @TrustMeCultPod @ohlalola @baberahamhicks TIKTOK:
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 difference between a dickhead and a cult leader--with a few tangents in between. Check out our great sponsors! Trust Me is sponsored by BetterHelp! Visit BetterHelp dot com slash TRUST today to get 10% off your first month. June's Journey: Discover your inner detective when you download June’s Journey for free today on iOS and Android. CHECK OUT OUR MERCH!! bit.ly/trustmemerch Got your own story about cults, extreme belief, or abuse of power? Leave a voicemail or text us at 347-86-TRUST (347-868-7878) OR shoot us an email at TrustMePod@gmail.com INSTAGRAM: @TrustMePodcast @oohlalola @meaganelizabeth11 TWITTER: @TrustMeCultPod @ohlalola @baberahamhicks TIKTOK: @TrustMeCultPodcast 
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 deepened her faith in the group, leading her to become a public facing spokesperson telling thousands of people that she was healed while secretly throwing up backstage. They also get into cold reading, the danger of religious leaders preventing their followers from getting needed medical care, and how Katelyn finally got out and started over. Check out our great sponsors!!! Shopify: Run a business? Sign up for a $1 per month trial period at shopify.com/trustme ZocDoc: Go to Zocdoc.com/trustme and download the Zocdoc app for FREE!
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 seemed like the answer in her moment of vulnerability. They dig into how the leader, Richard, began doing counseling sessions with Katelyn, and how Richard taught his followers that any physical ailment they experienced could be the result of sin, trauma, or even Satan. In any case, the goalpost was always moving... and Richard was the one with the answers. Trust Me is sponsored by Apartments.com - THE place to find a place! CHECK OUT OUR MERCH!! bit.ly/trustmemerch   Got your own story about cults, extreme belief, or abuse of power? Leave a voicemail or text us at 347-86-TRUST (347-868-7878) OR shoot us an email at TrustMePod@gmail.com INSTAGRAM: @TrustMePodcast @oohlalola @meaganelizabeth11 TWITTER / X?: @TrustMeCultPod @ohlalola @baberahamhicks TIKTOK: @TrustMeCultPodcast 
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 in telling stories that stoke fear instead of critical thinking. They also talk about the factors that lead people to ignore evidence, how charismatic leaders play a large role in science denial, signs that a person is not coming from a place of expertise, and how to navigate the healthcare system when it fails people.  Check out our great sponsors! Quince: Indulge in affordable luxury! Go to Quince.com/trust for free shipping on your order and 365-day returns! Shopify: Run a business? Sign up for a $1 per month trial period at shopify.com/trustme  CHECK OUT OUR MERCH!! bit.ly/trustmemerch  Got your own story about cults, extreme belief, or abuse of power? Leave a voicemail or text us at 347-86-TRUST (347-868-7878) OR shoot us an email at TrustMePod@gmail.com INSTAGRAM: @TrustMePodcast @oohlalola @meaganelizabeth11 TWITTER / X?: @TrustMeCultPod @ohlalola @baberahamhicks TIKTOK: @TrustMeCultPodcast 
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 she threatened to kill herself to get her partner out of highly controlled isolation, the potential whereabouts of her Aunt Shelly, how a trip to Australia served as the catalyst for her to leave, and was threatened with family separation and followed by private investigators. Trust Me is sponsored by BetterHelp! Visit BetterHelp.com/trust to get 10% off your first month! CHECK OUT OUR MERCH!! bit.ly/trustmemerch  Got your own story about cults, extreme belief, or abuse of power? Leave a voicemail or text us at 347-86-TRUST (347-868-7878) OR shoot us an email at TrustMePod@gmail.com INSTAGRAM: @TrustMePodcast @oohlalola @meaganelizabeth11 TWITTER / X?: @TrustMeCultPod @ohlalola @baberahamhicks TIKTOK: @TrustMeCultPodcast 
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 system that punished kids for not knowing words, the fear Scientology stoked in her of the outside world, and how people felt about her Uncle David growing up. Check out our great sponsors! Trust Me is sponsored by BetterHelp! Visit BetterHelp.com/trust to get 10% off your first month! ZocDoc: Go to Zocdoc.com/trustme and download the Zocdoc app for FREE! CHECK OUT OUR MERCH!! bit.ly/trustmemerch Got your own story about cults, extreme belief, or abuse of power? Leave a voicemail or text us at 347-86-TRUST (347-868-7878) OR shoot us an email at TrustMePod@gmail.com INSTAGRAM: @TrustMePodcast @oohlalola @meaganelizabeth11 TWITTER / X?: @TrustMeCultPod @ohlalola @baberahamhicks TIKTOK: @TrustMeCultPodcast 
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 felt about filming Girls Next Door, how she escaped and why she came back, marrying Hef and the complicated feelings she had after his death. Check out our great sponsors! Prose: Go to Prose.com/trust for your FREE in-depth hair consultation and get 50% off your first subscription order PLUS 15% off and free shipping every subscription order after that! Shopify: Sign up for a $1 per month trial period at shopify.com/trustme  CHECK OUT OUR MERCH!! bit.ly/trustmemerch   Got your own story about cults, extreme belief, or abuse of power? Leave a voicemail or text us at 347-86-TRUST (347-868-7878) OR shoot us an email at TrustMePod@gmail.com INSTAGRAM: @TrustMePodcast @oohlalola @meaganelizabeth11 TWITTER: @TrustMeCultPod @ohlalola @baberahamhicks TIKTOK: @TrustMeCultPodcast 
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Comments (11)

Rebekah Diky

As a female Air Force vet, listening to this really opened my eyes. I was in for 11 yrs, and when I was discharged (for being 1/8th " oversized in my waist, as a 5'7" muscular, broad 175lb woman) I was so lost. I was looking for meaning. I had 10 days notice before discharge. I never connected it to a cultish experience, but it totally makes sense. Thank you for this podcast, and this episode especially.

Jun 3rd
Reply

Kiera Smith

The Will Smith movie is Hancock!

Sep 1st
Reply (1)

Sarah Bavoux

this podcast was like the most effective grounding exercise I've ever experienced.

Mar 29th
Reply

Sarah Bavoux

I think I was lead to and gifted this particular episode. this made me step back and think a lot. I want to say thank you and keep making this content! peace and ❤️

Mar 29th
Reply

ID25757340

Absolutely not bad person. I have been through loss, recently losing my father too, despite how horrible it feels often - he was so ill and even if you are alone, you can handle more than you think. This was the most amazing intro I have heard.love to this podcast 💫❤️❤️❤️

Dec 29th
Reply

Cindy Prince

This is so crazy. Within the last 10ish years... I had a man that worked for me. His 'minor' brother required a blood transfusion to hopefully save his life. The mother refused because of their religion. Within a month or two, he passed away. It was so sad to be on the outside looking in.

Sep 9th
Reply

H

Need to talk about people who aren’t soldiers. A lot of people are ignorant and don’t believe regular people can have ptsd.

May 20th
Reply

Michy Lee

I have to admit, I fell into that rabbit hole very hard, when I was locked down during covid. Melbourne, Victoria (in Australia) was locked down to a level not seen anywhere. I'd just bad my second child and was not coping mentally.

Nov 19th
Reply

Christina Cook

love the podcast. please speak with ex members also. the flds members lie. some of what these women said is false and has been proven over and over.

Jan 19th
Reply

Christine Marie Katas

This episode was amazing. Seriously! Very insightful.

Nov 26th
Reply