181 episodes

Welcome to IndoctriNation: A weekly podcast covering cults, manipulators, and protecting yourself from systems of control.

IndoctriNation Rachel Bernstein

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 3.9 • 18 Ratings

Welcome to IndoctriNation: A weekly podcast covering cults, manipulators, and protecting yourself from systems of control.

    Narconon, and On and On... w/ Pam

    Narconon, and On and On... w/ Pam

    In the late 1970s, while Pam was in college, she got involved with Scientology doing many courses and counseling with them. She stayed in Scientology a long time, but around 2001, Pam was in a terrible accident where she broke her neck throwing her into the medical world of surgeries, medicines, doctors, etc. During her recovery, Pam wanted off the medicines, so she got involved with Scientology’s form of “Drug Rehab” called “Narconon”. Not knowing what to expect, she first went to their facility in the LA area which turned out to be a 3-month nightmare for her, so they flew her to Montreal, Canada to a sister Narconon for many months. Pam desperately hoped they would keep their promises to help her, but this did not happen. These unbelievable experiences badly affected both her mental and physical health. At one point she was down to 84 lbs often having continuous seizures with no one qualified to watch over her, finding herself staying alone in an old Canadian farmhouse for months with little food, medical care, or even a phone- which also turned out to be deadly for her. She felt like a prisoner jailed in a foreign country not knowing anyone or even being able to speak their language. What could she do? This is her grueling story as to how it all happened, Narconon’s lack of any help whatsoever, and how she managed to escape back to her parents in the United States where her years of recovery began.
    In this conclusion of Rachel's two-part conversation with Pam, she tells the story of how she ended up being transferred to a remote Canadian farmhouse, where she was trapped alone and suffering for weeks. She details the heroic steps a young girl took to help get her to a travel agency where she was eventually able to get home to her parents. Rachel provides insights on the trauma Pam experienced and her long and difficult road to recovery.
    Before You Go: Rachel provides some psychological context to what Pam experienced throughout her ordeal. She breaks down the difficulties of complex trauma and the Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome many in her position struggle with.
    Thanks to all our newest Patreon supporters! We couldn't do it without you!
    You can help the show for free by leaving a review on Apple/ iTunes. It really helps the visibility of the show!
    To help support the show monthly and sign up for cool Indoctrination stickers and tote bags, please visit:
    www.patreon.com/indoctrination
    Want to support the IndoctriNation show with a one-time donation? Use this link! www.paypal.me/indoctriNATION

    • 54 min
    Narconon, Pain, and Perseverance w/ Pam

    Narconon, Pain, and Perseverance w/ Pam

    In the late 1970s, while Pam was in College, she got involved with Scientology doing many courses and counseling with them. She stayed in Scientology a long time, but around 2001, Pam was in a terrible accident where she broke her neck throwing her into the medical world of surgeries, medicines, Doctors, etc. During her recovery, Pam wanted off the medicines, so she got involved with Scientology’s form of “Drug Rehab” called “Narconon”. Not knowing what to expect, she first went to their facility in the LA area which turned out to be a 3-month nightmare for her, so they flew her to Montreal, Canada to a sister Narconon for many months. Pam desperately hoped they would keep their promises to help her, but this did not happen. These unbelievable experiences badly affected both her mental and physical health. At one point she was down to 84 lbs often having continuous seizures with no one qualified to watch over her, finding herself staying alone in an old Canadian farmhouse for months with little food, medical care, or even a phone- which also turned out to be deadly for her. She felt like a prisoner jailed in a foreign country not knowing anyone or even being able to speak their language. What could she do? This is her grueling story as to how it all happened, Narconon’s lack of any help whatsoever, and how she managed to escape back to her parents in the United States where her years of recovery began.

    In part one of Rachel's two-part conversation with Pam, she talks about how she ended up in Scientology, to begin with, and the events that led to her seeking help through Narconon. Through her detailed personal account, she reveals the restrictive and dangerous medical practices of both Scientology and Narconon. Throughout the conversation, Rachel provides insight into the complex healing process that accompanies multiple tragedies and marvels at how Pam overcame the many traumas of her experience.

    Before You Go: Rachel explains her admiration for people who speak out against the destructive and controlling groups they left and shares her own personal experiences with harassment from The Church of Scientology.

    Thanks to all our newest Patreon supporters: "sdotsharp", and Maggie A Kelly!!

    We couldn't do it without you!

    You can help the show for free by leaving a review on Apple/ iTunes. It really helps the visibility of the show!

    To help support the show monthly and sign up for cool Indoctrination stickers and tote bags, please visit:
    www.patreon.com/indoctrination

    Want to support the IndoctriNation show with a one-time donation? Use this link! www.paypal.me/indoctriNATION

    • 44 min
    Sat Yoga Exposed w/Govinda

    Sat Yoga Exposed w/Govinda

    This week's guest Govinda describes himself as a modern mystic committed to spiritual growth and enlightenment while simultaneously learning to be a balanced and grounded human being in this world. Govinda has been an IT consultant in banking and a successful internet entrepreneur. He has traveled the world in search of communities and alternative ways of living before he co-founded "Awake" in Costa Rica in 2020, a community and center dedicated to support and accelerate what he calls human awakening.

    Govinda describes for Rachel the experiences he had at Sat Yoga, an ashram and school in Costa Rica led by Shunyamurti (aka Robert Shubow) He explains the red flags he noticed in the leader and the cultic tactics he used to manipulate the minds of his followers. Rachel breaks down the common psychological traits of cult leaders while Govinda points out where these traits were present in Shunyamurti. Govinda goes on to share how his negative experiences led him to co-found the website www.satyoga.exposed/ which offers a different perspective on the nature of the organization and a voice for the numerous past members of the cult who have had a personal relationship with Shunyamurti.

    Before You Go: Rachel speaks about what disillusioned followers can experience when they finally see cracks in the facade of a controlling leader, and what signs are visible when a leader hides their true self.

    A very special thanks to Lisa Critchley for their generous support!

    Thanks also to all our newest Patreon supporters: Kate Sandler, Jacob Brooks, Amy, Stephanie J Sharp, and Nathan Andersen!!

    We couldn't do it without you!

    You can help the show for free by leaving a review on Apple/ iTunes. It really helps the visibility of the show!

    To help support the show monthly and sign up for cool Indoctrination stickers and tote bags, please visit:
    www.patreon.com/indoctrination

    Want to support the IndoctriNation show with a one-time donation? Use this link! www.paypal.me/indoctriNATION

    • 1 hr 2 min
    A Close Call w/ Zoe Scurletis

    A Close Call w/ Zoe Scurletis

    This week's guest, Zoe Scurletis is a young professional who is currently based out of Austin, Texas. For most of her adult life, Zoe battled anxiety and depression, and in 2017 she lost a close friend to suicide. She longed to do something to bring awareness to the mental health community, so in October of 2019, she launched a mental health podcast called Solace and the City™. Through authentic conversations about sensitive subjects, she works to open up the conversation around emotional wellness. Her goal of the podcast is to reduce the stigma surrounding depression, anxiety, loneliness, and suicide by sharing these powerful stories.

    In her conversation with Rachel, Zoe talks about her passion for destigmatizing mental health issues as well as her own struggles with Tourette syndrome. Zoe walks us through the circumstances that led to her experiences with Mark Elliot, an author and public speaker who was a member of NXIVM and claimed his Tourette's was cured by the cult's leader Keith Raniere. Zoe shares how she narrowly averted recruitment into NXIVM by Mark, while Rachel points out some of the red flags to watch out for when being persuaded to join a group.

    Before You Go: Rachel explains why a promise can hold such tremendous weight on a person's psychology and the depth to which it can establish or destroy trust in a relationship. She explains the responsibility and emotional maturity needed when making promises to people.

    Listen to Zoe's podcast Solace and The City, including more conversation with Rachel here:

    https://solaceandthecity.com/32-rachel-bernstein-that-one-time-i-was-recruited-into-a-sex-cult/

    Thanks to all our newest Patreon supporters: Julie Richards, Adael Bullock, Amy Keller, and Eve Bryant !!!

    You can help the show for free by leaving a review on Apple/ iTunes. It really helps the visibility of the show!

    To help support the show monthly and sign up for cool Indoctrination stickers and tote bags, please visit:
    www.patreon.com/indoctrination

    Want to support the IndoctriNation show with a one-time donation? Use this link! www.paypal.me/indoctriNATION

    • 55 min
    Leaving The Family Compound w/ Cody & Kandi

    Leaving The Family Compound w/ Cody & Kandi

    This week's guests Cody & Kandi are a married couple from a small town in the Ozarks, located near the Arkansas-Missouri border. They met and began dating in 2012. Cody grew up living on his family’s cult compound in rural Missouri, coincidentally near other infamous cult compounds.

    In July 2013, Cody found out the truth about his family. He was reunited with his mother after 15 years. Cody and his mother have developed a close relationship. Cody also met his father in July 2013, for the first time in 20 years. In November 2013, against the wishes of his family, Cody and Kandi married. After experiencing ongoing harassment by "the family" In 2019, Cody and Kandi moved several hours away from the Ozarks.

    Cody is now in college, pursuing a degree in American Studies, and with the fierce support of his wife Kandi, he has finally started going through the process of leaving the cultic mindset behind. Kandi continues to support him through this process as she continues pursuing her law school where she is due to graduate in May of 2022.

    Cody shares with Rachel his experience of being raised in an isolated family compound after being taken away from his parents by other family members involved in the cultic commune. He explains how these relatives attempted to cover up the sex abuse of his mother by elders of the group when she was a child. He talks about experiencing the effects of the religious trauma that affected multiple generations.

    Throughout the conversation, Kandi shares her perspective of discovering the abuses and cultic behaviors in Cody's family and explains her thought process as she slowly and graciously led her husband away from the trauma and indoctrination of his family. Kandi explains the negative effects these destructive relatives had on their relationship and what she did to overcome the difficulties.

    Before You Go: Rachel examines the ingrained fears that people who grow up with apocalyptic doctrine experience and the difficulties they have in shedding those worries later in life.

    Thanks to all our Patreon supporters!!

    You can help the show for free by leaving a review on Apple/ iTunes. It really helps the visibility of the show!

    To help support the show monthly and sign up for cool Indoctrination stickers and tote bags, please visit:
    www.patreon.com/indoctrination

    Want to support the IndoctriNation show with a one-time donation? Use this link! www.paypal.me/indoctriNATION

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Deception In The Dojo w/ Rob from McDojo Life

    Deception In The Dojo w/ Rob from McDojo Life

    This week's guest Rob has been training in martial arts for over 24 years and has earned a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Karate and a Purple Belt in Brazilian jujitsu. He was on the International martial arts team Full Circle and ran his own martial arts school for four years. He has been consulting for martial arts businesses for 10 years and because of his experiences in the industry, he founded McDojo Life, a web entity where he has been exposing fakes, phonies, frauds, and pedophiles for the last decade.

    Throughout the conversation, Rachel and Rob both examine the similarities between cultic religious groups and martial arts schools. He points out the red flags students should look out for and what questions to ask potential instructors. Rob demonstrates with Rachel the five objections technique employed by salespeople, cult leaders, and martial arts instructors alike.

    Before You Go: Rachel provides further insights into how to be safe from control in a teacher/student relationship in any setting and reiterates the importance of examing these relationships even in seemingly innocuous organizations.

    Follow Rob's project McDojo Life:
    https://twitter.com/mcdojolife?lang=en

    https://linktr.ee/mcdojolife

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj0hSixOVSV4HvmbAQjk0WA

    Check out the trailer for his upcoming documentary here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkjaGq3DcAw


    Thanks to all our Patreon supporters!!

    You can help the show for free by leaving a review on Apple/ iTunes. It really helps the visibility of the show!

    To help support the show monthly and sign up for cool Indoctrination stickers and tote bags, please visit:
    www.patreon.com/indoctrination

    Want to support the IndoctriNation show with a one-time donation? Use this link! www.paypal.me/indoctriNATION

    • 1 hr 3 min

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5
18 Ratings

18 Ratings

Noktav ,

Can you let the guests talk?

The subject matter is interesting, but I can't listen anymore. Rachel is a bizarrely overconfident "interviewer" that is somewhere between frustrating and painful to listen to. You want to hear the guests' stories and experiences, but before they can speak she cuts them off to explain what they're talking about, explain what they're feeling, etc. She speaks as if she knows the people better than they do themselves, and it's extremely invalidating and offputting.

I would also add that as another mental health professional, I can say she is acting far outside her training and scope of practice. She offers extremely ill-informed diagnostic, psychological, and medical assessments that are far outside the training of a marriage therapist, and questionably legal in terms of licensure laws.

I give two stars because the topics and the guests themselves are very interesting . It almost doesn't matter, though...she should say she's interviewing L. Ron Hubbard himself from the grave. Nobody would be the wiser, as she wouldn't let him speak anyway.

(And no, I'm not a disgruntled Scientologist or whatever. I just genuinely love this topic and can't stand the podcast).

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