A podcast about the modern day "cults" we all follow. Do you think SoulCycle is a cult? What about Elon Musk stans? Or the Royal Family? What about spiritual influencers? Is Instagram itself a cult? We’re Sounds Like a Cult, a podcast that analyzes a different zeitgeisty group every week to try and answer the big question: This group sounds like a cult, but is it really? And if so... how bad is it?
The Cult of Marathon Runners
Welcome to the world of fitness trackers, high-performance athletic gear, nutrition goo, obsessively comparing your stats, and trying to beat your PR… it’s the “cult” of marathoners. Is the seemingly healthy practice of running as pure as it‘s made out to be, or can it take over people’s lives in a disturbingly culty way? With the help of a special guest, fitness influencer (and Isa’s comedy pal) Lydia Keating, we’re talking all things athletics, competition, capitalism, and Tik Tok to try and assess how cultish the running community really is.
The Cult of Feet
A slightly NSFW episode of your favorite cult podcast comes courtesy of this week’s two special guests: the ever-so-charismatic podcaster/writer Gaby Dunn and actor/sex worker Bree Essrig, who both have experience with the “cult” of foot fetishists. Most of our episodes focus on seemingly harmless groups that might actually be more sinister than they appear, and this one’s all about a seemingly freaky, underground community that might actually be quite positive! After listening, be sure to follow Gaby and Bree on Instagram @gabyroad and @breeessrig, subscribe to Gaby’s pods Just Between Us & Bad With Money, and feel free to check out Bree on Only Fans :)
The Cult of Multi-Level Marketing
Ask and you shall receive! This week, we’re covering our single most listener-requested topic: The “cult” of multi-level marketing (aka MLMs). Most of us have a former high school classmate or two who got sucked into a pay-and-recruit organization like Amway, Mary Kay, or Young Living. MLMs are at once the butt of countless jokes about pyramid schemes and brainwashed #girlbosses, and yet they maintain a profound hold on a certain slice of aspiring entrepreneurs, who’ve been promised that some shadily structured “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” will guarantee them the American Dream (and more). MLMs are certainly scammy, but are they culty? And if so, what kind of “cult” are they? In this episode, we attempt to find an answer...
The Cult of Fraternities & Sororities
“Why does it feel like everything that has to do with tradition is actually a cult?” Such is one of our many musings from this week’s episode on the “cult” of Greek life. We call it “hazing” and “pledges” rather than “brainwashing” and “cult members,” but aren’t these highly exclusive groups with unchallenged power imbalances and bizarre often dangerous (even deadly) rituals—whose culture of “paying your dues” bleeds into the rest of American society—not low-key just a deep-rooted “cult” dressed up as a socially accepted college “experience?” With the help of listener call-ins, insightful facts and figures, and Isa’s own personal sorority stories, that is just the question we’re aiming to answer...
The Cult of The Royal Family
Intense secrecy and exclusivity, unquestioned protocols and rituals, deception, isolation, hierarchies, and soooo much money… nope, we’re not talking about Satanism or Scientology, we’re talking about The Royal Family! ;) This week, with the help of brilliant British journalist Afua Adom, Isa and Amanda attempt to unpack the Meghan Markle interview and other windows in the centuries-old monarchy to determine how “culty” it really is.
The Cult of Celebrity Stans
These days, the lines between celebrity, religious figure, political leader, lifestyle guru, and best friend have blurred so hardcore that enthusiastic celebrity fans have morphed into a whole new kind of beast: rabidly loyal, obsessed stans. Is worshipping and defending megastars like Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, and Elon Musk a harmless pop culture phenomenon, or is it decidedly cultier than that? On this episode, Amanda and Isa analyze the “cult” of celebrity stan culture with the help of insightful and hilarious listener call-ins. Which celebrity do you think has the most extreme stans? And does that make them a “cult leader” of sorts??