192 episodes

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

IndoctriNation Rachel Bernstein

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.7 • 193 Ratings

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

    Multi-Level Manipulation w/ Roberta Blevins

    Multi-Level Manipulation w/ Roberta Blevins

    Returning this week is Roberta Blevins, a former "Hun", who left the MLM world in 2017 and began publicly educating and speaking out against it. In her time in MLM, she was involved as a consultant for 3; It Works!, LuLaRoe and Modere, and a customer of many. Since leaving MLM, she has educated herself on the systemic structure of the business model, the psychological manipulation, the seedy underbelly, and governmental ties, the cult indoctrination, and the history of Multi-Level Marketing. She educates daily on TikTok, and podcasts in her "free time", talking to the survivors and victims of these commercial cults, disguised as the quickest route to the American Dream.

    In this second part of their two-part conversation, Rachel begins by sharing how she lost a friendship to an MLM, while Roberta goes on to describe the moment that prompted her to finally leave the MLM world. Roberta details a day in the life of a "hun" and how she ultimately extricated herself from the pyramid. She also discussed her transition into "hun" advocacy and anti-MLM activism through both education and humor.

    Before You Go: Rachel addresses the guilt that ex-members of high control groups often feel after leaving the group. She provides insight into the self-loathing that can accompany the admission of predatory behavior in ex-members.

    Listen to Roberta's podcast "Life After MLM" here:
    podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/life…lm/id1553784236

    Find Rachel's book "Now I Know, Kids Talking To Kids About Divorce..." here:
    https://www.amazon.com/Now-I-Know-Rachel-Bernstein/dp/1620867893/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=now+i+know+rachel+bernstein&qid=1638298566&sr=8-1


    Thanks to our newest Patreon supporters Robert Andre and "Teahaze" and to Hollie Hire and Katherine Matheson for increasing their support! We couldn't do it without you!


    To help support the show monthly and sign up for cool Indoctrination shirts 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

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

    • 47 min
    Toxic Boss Babe Culture w/ Roberta Blevins

    Toxic Boss Babe Culture w/ Roberta Blevins

    This week's guest, Roberta Blevins is a former "Hun", who left the MLM world in 2017 and began publicly educating and speaking out against it. In her time in MLM, she was involved as a consultant for 3; It Works!, LuLaRoe and Modere, and a customer of many. Since leaving MLM, she has educated herself on the systemic structure of the business model, the psychological manipulation, the seedy underbelly, and governmental ties, the cult indoctrination, and the history of Multi-Level Marketing. She educates daily on TikTok, and podcasts in her "free time", talking to the survivors and victims of these commercial cults, disguised as the quickest route to the American Dream.

    In this first part of their two-part conversation, Roberta explains to Rachel how she works to end the stigma of failure in the MLM industry, which she explains is designed for failure. Together they unpack the tactics of the now infamous MLM, LuLaRoe, that Roberta says signifies a commercial cult. Roberta shares her emotional journey as she transitions from "hun" to anti-MLM activist providing a detailed analysis of the schemes used in this deceptive and dangerous industry.

    Before You Go: Rachel expands on the concept of the sunk cost fallacy and points out some of the many examples where it can be found, offering insights for walking away from deceptive traps.

    Listen to Roberta's podcast "Life After MLM" here:
    https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/life-after-mlm/id1553784236

    Find Rachel's book "Now I Know, Kids Talking To Kids About Divorce..." here:
    https://www.amazon.com/Now-I-Know-Rachel-Bernstein/dp/1620867893/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=now+i+know+rachel+bernstein&qid=1637717066&sr=8-1

    Thanks to our newest Patreon supporter "to change"!

    To help support the show monthly and sign up for cool Indoctrination shirts 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

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

    • 52 min
    Trust Me w/ Lola Blanc & Meagan Elizabeth

    Trust Me w/ Lola Blanc & Meagan Elizabeth

    Lola Blanc is a singer/songwriter, filmmaker, actress, and cult survivor. Her single “Angry Too” has over 20 million streams on Spotify, and as a songwriter, Blanc has also written for other artists including Britney Spears. Blanc’s work as a filmmaker has been spotlighted by BILLBOARD, FANGORIA, FUNNY OR DIE, and the prestigious short film channel OMELETO. Much of her work is inspired by her childhood practicing Mormonism, where she and her mother fell prey to a charismatic “prophet,” who turned out to be a cult leader.

    Meagan Elizabeth is a stand-up comedian, writer, and actress from Los Angeles who has performed at the legendary Laugh Factory. She was raised in a high control Christian group known as the Two by Twos, an international, home-based new religious movement that has its origins in Ireland at the end of the 19th century. Among members, the church is typically referred to as "The Truth" or "The Way"

    Together, Lola & Meagan co-host a podcast called Trust Me: Cults, Extreme Belief, and the Abuse of Power, where they share their experiences and fight the stigma cult survivors are often exposed to. On the show, they have interviewed survivors of groups like NXIVM, the Manson Family, Heaven’s Gate, the Children of God, and many more.

    In this week's conversation, Lola and Meagan share with Rachel their experiences growing up in cults noting the similarities in the control mechanisms used as well as the after-effects that come to light with distance from the group. Together they unravel the patriarchal structure of both groups and explain the work it took for them to overcome this sexist conditioning. Lola and Meagan go on to provide insights on what gave them the courage to leave and discuss how it's felt to share their personal tragedy in public as a means to fight the stigma and loneliness of other survivors.

    Before You Go: Rachel explains how cults take advantage of followers through the use of confession and relates it to Robert J Lifton's criteria for thought reform. She explains how to share wisely, but also withhold wisely.

    Find Rachel's book "Now I Know, Kids Talking To Kids About Divorce..." here:
    https://www.amazon.com/Now-I-Know-Rachel-Bernstein/dp/1620867893/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=rachel+bernstein&qid=1637051476&s=books&sr=1-2


    Thanks to our newest Patreon supporter "A" and to "Free From RF" and Katherine Matheson for increasing their pledges! We really appreciate you!

    To help support the show monthly and sign up for cool Indoctrination shirts 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

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

    • 57 min
    Covert Emotional Sadism w/ Thomas

    Covert Emotional Sadism w/ Thomas

    Returning this week is Thomas who grew up in Denmark with a covert narcissist mother who kept him socially isolated, emotionally abused him, and manipulated his sense of reality. For most of his life, he didn’t realize that anything was wrong, because of the covert nature of the emotional abuse, control, and gaslighting he was exposed to. A year ago he started to get a better grasp of his own reality and slowly began to understand what had really happened. Thomas is back on the show hoping to help others better recognize signs of covert abuse and control.

    Thomas continues his conversation with Rachel by explaining what it was like when he first left home, fleeing his narcissistic mother for the first time. He shares with us his inner dialogue as he begins to find true trust and love when he first meets his wife Thomas goes on to explain how his wife helped him unmask the covert narcissistic tendencies of his mother. Throughout the conversation, Rachel helps Thomas unpack the manipulation and emotional neglect he experienced as a child.

    Before You Go: Rachel gives advice to people who have experienced emotional sadism and addresses the fear and trepidation that can hinder their growth as a result. She notes that their perpetrators often lack the ability to have regrets or even re-examine their actions.

    Check out Rachel's Youtube videos on narcissism here:
    https://youtu.be/KHdMYbkrQ-0

    https://youtu.be/-OWudR86JjU

    https://youtu.be/jtrEVDdZ7kc


    Thanks to our newest Patreon supporters Ilya Reyter and Alex P!
    To help support the show monthly and sign up for cool Indoctrination shirts 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

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

    • 42 min
    Future Faking w/Thomas

    Future Faking w/Thomas

    Our guest this week, Thomas, is from Denmark, and grew up alone with a covert narcissist mother who kept him socially isolated, emotionally abused him, and manipulated his sense of reality. For most of his life, he didn’t realize that anything was wrong, because of the covert nature of the emotional abuse, control, and gaslighting he was exposed to. A year ago he started to get a better grasp of his own reality and slowly began to understand what had really happened. Thomas is on the show hoping that his story can help others better recognize signs of covert abuse and control.

    Thomas explains to Rachel how, in retrospect he came to understand the emotional neglect and covert narcissism he experienced as a child. Rachel provides her insights on the manipulative parenting techniques of Thomas's mother and explains how they relate to those of cult leaders. Together, they unpack some of the most impactful moments in Thomas's childhood development and the emotional reverberations that followed.

    Before You Go: Rachel further examines the idea of future faking and breaks down how manipulators offer their victims a fraudulent promise or false hope in order to keep them distracted and under control.

    Check out Rachel's Youtube videos on narcissism here:
    https://youtu.be/KHdMYbkrQ-0

    https://youtu.be/-OWudR86JjU

    https://youtu.be/jtrEVDdZ7kc

    Thanks to all of our amazing Patreon supporters! We couldn't do it without you!

    To help support the show monthly and sign up for cool Indoctrination shirts 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

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

    • 38 min
    Navigating the Minefields of your Mind w/ Claire Headley

    Navigating the Minefields of your Mind w/ Claire Headley

    Our returning guest, Claire Headley was born and raised in Scientology and joined Scientology's "Sea Organization" at 16, including signing a billion-year contract. In the Sea Org, Claire was quickly promoted to Scientology's international headquarters in Hemet, California, where she worked for 14 years, including working as an executive in their Religious Technology Center under David Miscavige, Scientology's current leader. Claire escaped in 2005 at the age of 30, and since that time Claire and her husband Marc (author of Blown for Good: Behind the Iron Curtain of Scientology) have been speaking out against Scientology's abusive practices. Claire appeared in 3 seasons of Leah Remini: Scientology & The Aftermath and has contributed to many other documentaries, articles, and radio shows, educating the general public on Scientology. Claire also now serves on the board of The Aftermath Foundation, a non-profit organization that assists people leaving Scientology to start new lives.

    In this second half of their two-part conversation, Claire recalls for Rachel the inner emotional turmoil she experienced after escaping from Scientology. Rachel offers her insights on the psychological difficulties that are commonplace among people who have recently extricated themselves from all manner of high control groups. Together they examine the types of support that can help ex-group members recover safely and effectively. Claire explains how her advocacy for survivors has been an intrinsic part of her own healing.

    Before You Go: Rachel examines how many high control groups eliminate communication and anything perceived as negativity among its members. This, she explains keeps them isolated in their suffering, and prevents the peer support that gives individuals the courage to leave.

    More info on the Headley's lawsuit against Scientology here:
    https://www.tampabay.com/news/scientology/defectors-claire-and-marc-headley-say-church-of-scientology-tried-to/1250163/

    More info on Marc Headley's book here:
    blownforgood.com/

    Thanks to our newest Patreon supporters: Mel Layos and Ato Essandoh!!

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

    We also want to give a big shout-out to Jeanette Ojala for increasing her pledge! If you'd like to do the same find out how here:
    https://support.patreon.com/hc/en-us/articles/360000126286-Editing-your-membership#h_01EPWHK1GFVD92RGVC6GT00ED2

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

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

    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
193 Ratings

193 Ratings

Duncanomics ,

Excellent

I am super into cult podcasts lately and this one is such a great find.

MarquisDeParadox ,

Healing and empowering

This podcast is remarkable and powerful.

Hearing the stories of others, who have endured and escaped controlling environments, helped me connect the dots in my own life.

The personal stories are enlightening, and Rachel is so compassionate and insightful in her summary at the end. It has been both healing and empowering with listening to each episode.

What has also been so good is to hear a professional therapist who has so much depth of experience with - and interest in - those who have been effected by situations of mind control. Not every therapist understands the complexities that compound in the controlling environment.

Every story is approached in a non-judgmental way, as Rachel talks with others about how they managed to escape the cult, or controlling person or group, and eventually find healing.

Her commentary at the end helps distill the important takeaways of being aware of your internal dynamics that make you susceptible to influence, and insight into the techniques and how those are used to control others.

If anything, Rachel helps take the stigma and shame away from those of us who feel bad about having been taken advantage of by others…and in some cases again and again. She also helps equip you with awareness, and strategies.

Rachel has helped me feel more human, and that being human is what it is all about; the feature as opposed to the flaw. Listening to this podcast I’ve realized you can build your life from the foundation of who you really are, as opposed to hating who you are and looking to someone else to tell you who to be.

For this realization I am deeply grateful to this podcast. This is what the world really needs right now.

infinity ammo ,

Insightful and healing

A really insightful non-sensationalized series about cults. It has taught me a lot about *avoiding* cult tactics and thinking, and healing from experiences with this tactics. Important to me as a former member of a controlling group.

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