174 episodes

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

IndoctriNation Rachel Bernstein

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.7 • 175 Ratings

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

    Weapons of Information w/Olga Yurkova

    Weapons of Information w/Olga Yurkova

    Our guest this week is Olga Yurkova from Ukraine. Olga edits the Context and Opinions sections of StopFake.org. She teaches different audiences how propaganda works and how to identify fake news, consulting with a range of organizations and collaborating with mainstream media as a journalist.
    Yurkova explores propaganda methods and finds out new ways to overcome these challenges. In June 2017, she and her colleagues Maarten Schenk and Jordy Nijenhuis launched a project called Forbidden Facts, which explains how fake news spreads online through clickbait headlines on Facebook that reach out to skeptical audiences.
    Yurkova has 15 years of experience in journalism. She headed the local multimedia newsroom in Ternopil city for six years. She then ran the Donbas and Crimea department at the national multimedia newsroom Nova Informacia for three years. She has been working as a new media trainer since 2012, and for fighting propaganda, Yurkova was included in the list of New Europe 100 and was named a TED Fellow in 2018.
    Olga describes the disinformation campaign launched by Russia to influence Ukrainian popular opinion and the blatant and shocking false narratives that she set out to expose with her projects Forbidden Facts and StopFake.org .Throughout the conversation, Olga shares with Rachel her perspective on disinformation in the media landscape and talks about her work combating propaganda.
    Before You Go: Rachel expands on the importance of Olga's ideas around building information resilience and media literacy, explaining the manipulation of emotion that mass media often utilizes to influence large populations into believing certain narratives.
    Thanks to our newest Patreon supporter, Jenny Cornbleet!!

    Please support us 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

    • 51 min
    Playhouse Abuses w/ Andrea Geones and Michael Laskin

    Playhouse Abuses w/ Andrea Geones and Michael Laskin

    Returning this week are actors, Andrea Geones and Michael Laskin. Andrea and Michael teamed up to create a code of ethics for acting classes with one goal in mind: to create a safe and healthy environment for actors and acting students. After experiencing the unhealthy and cult-like culture fostered within many acting classes where sexual, financial, and psychological abuse were the norm, they created https://www.findyouractingclass.com/ and wrote a code of conduct for acting teachers to agree to and endorse, as well as guidelines to help teachers ensure that they are running their classes ethically.

    Andrea is a Los Angeles native. In addition to acting and piano, she has studied singing, guitar, and flute. She currently is in school earning a b.s. in nutritional sciences while she pursues her career in acting. She is also a freelance writer for online publications, including where she originally wrote about the cult-like atmosphere of acting classes. You can find her article here:
    https://www.wordsbetweencoasts.com/actors-beware-you-may-be-in-a-cult/

    Michael Laskin has been a working actor for over 40 years, across all platforms: film, theatre, and television. Twelve years ago he started The Michael Laskin Studio, an acting studio in Los Angeles. His book, “The Authentic Actor - the Art and Business of Being Yourself” has been praised as a fresh, newly examined, and non-dogmatic approach to the work and the life of an actor.

    In the second half of Rachel's two-part discussion with Andrea and Michael, the actors break down their code of ethics and describe the personal experiences that directly inform many of the guidelines. Andrea explains the feelings of vulnerability and helplessness that acting students often feel and shares about the emotional abuse she experienced from teachers. Michael provides more insight from his perspective as an experienced teacher and explains how his outrage at the abusive practices became a catalyst to join Andrea in pursuit of a healthier and safer environment for students.

    Before You Go: Rachel examines how systems of control keep people in place by manipulating them into a feeling of scarcity and explains why claims of exclusivity can be a red flag.

    Thanks to our newest Patreon supporters, Deborah Schneider and Rosa Egede!!

    You can always help support us 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

    http://www.michaellaskinstudio.com
    http://andreageones.com/

    • 50 min
    Hero Worship w/ Andrea Geones and Michael Laskin

    Hero Worship w/ Andrea Geones and Michael Laskin

    This week our guests are Andrea Geones and Michael Laskin. Andrea and Michael teamed up to create a code of ethics for acting classes with one goal in mind: to create a safe and healthy environment for actors. After experiencing the unhealthy and cult-like culture fostered within many acting classes where sexual, financial, and psychological abuse were the norm, they created https://www.findyouractingclass.com/ and wrote a code of conduct for acting teachers to agree to and endorse, as well as guidelines to help teachers ensure that they are running their classes ethically.

    Andrea is a Los Angeles native. In addition to acting and piano, she has studied singing, guitar, and flute. She currently is in school earning a b.s. in nutritional sciences while she pursues her career in acting. She also is a freelance writer for online publications, including where she originally wrote about the cult-like atmosphere of acting classes. You can find her article here:
    https://www.wordsbetweencoasts.com/actors-beware-you-may-be-in-a-cult/

    Michael Laskin has been a working actor for over 40 years, across all platforms: film, theatre, and television. Twelve years ago he started The Michael Laskin Studio, an acting studio in Los Angeles. His book, “The Authentic Actor - the Art and Business of Being Yourself” has been praised as a fresh, newly examined, and non-dogmatic approach to the work and the life of an actor.

    In part one of Rachel's discussion with Andrea and Michael, The actors share their respective experiences and explain what led them to create their unique code of ethics. Andrea explores the link between Scientology and the Beverly Hills Playhouse and the origin of certain cult-like techniques in acting. Michael explains the abuse inherent in the pedagogy of some acting teachers and gives his perspective on a healthy teacher-student relationship.

    Before You Go: Rachel explains how important a code of ethics can be in any industry, how it helps both teachers and students alike, and the dangers that exist when no support or oversight is available in a group.

    Thanks to our newest Patreon supporters, Kate, Richard Dineen, and Kim Brown!!

    You can always help support us 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

    http://www.michaellaskinstudio.com
    http://andreageones.com/

    • 50 min
    Picking Up The Pieces Of Yourself w/ Lisa

    Picking Up The Pieces Of Yourself w/ Lisa

    Lisa got out of a small, suburban, new age, therapy-based group in 2016, which she had joined as a 19-year-old, single mother. This high-demand group went through many phases over the 30 years she was involved. The charismatic, narcissistic leader utilized modalities such as rebirthing, affirmations, hot seat talk therapy, sleep deprivation, as well as verbal, physical, and sexual abuse as a means to control. These techniques combined with intervals of positive reinforcement held her captive in a sealed system where all efforts towards personal success were directed to benefit the leader. Creative endeavors were quashed if it meant confidence and self-esteem were to be gained. In 2015, there were enough cracks that Lisa realized that she could never become the person she joined the group to be if she stayed.

    Since Lisa got out, she married the man who helped her find her way back to herself and out of the group. Lisa is passionate about supporting other cult survivors to find their own voices and share their own stories…and for those voices and stories to be heard, acknowledged, and understood.

    Lisa shares her experiences of being in an abusive high control group for decades, she explains what it was like joining as a single teenage mother and examines the differences between being raised in a cult vs joining one as an adult. Lisa then examines what led to her finally leaving the group and what triggered her passion for supporting cult survivors once she left. She continues the conversation by talking about #igotout the movement she founded to bring survivor's stories to the public.

    Before You Go: Rachel provides her professional insights on what an unhealthy therapeutic experience looks like, and how to keep yourself safe from a potentially harmful situation. To hear Rachel dive deeper into this topic, you can watch her video here:
    https://youtu.be/EEBo_Z2VTqE

    For more information on Lisa's #igotout movement please visit:
    https://www.igotout.org/

    Thanks to Maura Campbell-Balkits for increasing their monthly pledge on Patreon!!

    You can always help support us 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

    • 56 min
    Cognitive Shift w/ Chris & Melissa Buckley

    Cognitive Shift w/ Chris & Melissa Buckley

    Christopher Buckley of LaFayette, GA is an Afghanistan and Iraqi war veteran. When he returned from Iraq, he joined the Georgia White Knights as an Imperial Nighthawk, because their anti-Muslim and racist values were consistent with his worldview after returning from war. Arno Michaelis, a former white power skinhead, and Dr. Heval Mohamed Kelli, a Kurdish Muslim refugee, were able to teach Chris the error of his ways and helped bring him out of the movement. Today, he volunteers at The Haven in Georgia, a local organization that helps homeless and drug addicts. He also gives motivational speeches, trying to spread awareness and educate the public about the dangers of white supremacist extremism. Chris now works with Dr. Kelli on a program called Help, Heal, Love; where they work to repair flawed thinking in hate groups and spread a message of love and healing. He also created a deradicalization program designed specifically with veterans in mind but is geared to work with all manners of hate and extremist ideology.

    Melissa Buckley is Christopher Buckley’s wife and a key person in helping her husband leave the Ku Klux Klan. She realized that the KKK was damaging to Chris and their children and wanted a healthier path for the well-being of her entire family. She searched online to try and find someone to help her get Chris out of the KKK and found Arno Michaelis, a former white power skinhead, and Parents for Peace advisory board member. Over a several-month period, Melissa worked with Arno to help pull Chris out of the dangerous extremism he had become involved with. Thanks to the support of Melissa and Arno, Chris is now an inspirational model that spreads awareness about the dangers of white supremacist extremism and teaches others how to help their family members who have become involved with extremism.

    In this follow-up episode, Chris and Melissa share the details of the intense emotional journey that deradicalization brought to their relationship. Melissa explains how she went about planning the intervention that eventually led to Chris getting sober and leaving the KKK. Together they tell the story of how their love for each other gave them the strength to not only deradicalize Chris but completely transform his life for the better, of not just him and his family, but also for others who have loved ones involved with extremism.

    Before You Go: Rachel examines the strength and resilience that Melissa showed in planning and executing Chris's rescue from hateful ideology.

    For More Info on Parents for Peace, visit:
    www.parents4peace.org/

    If you are worried about extremism, you can call their helpline at 1-844-49-PEACE

    For more info on Arno Michaelis visit:
    https://www.theforgivenessproject.com/stories/arno-michaels/

    Thanks to our newest Patrons: Big Easy Blasphemy, Chris Campbell-Garcia, and Kendy Maher!!

    You can always help support us 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 7 min
    Crazy Wise Guys w/Jonathan Hirsch

    Crazy Wise Guys w/Jonathan Hirsch

    As an independent producer, reporter, and sound designer, Jonathan Hirsch has produced hundreds of long-form audio works for NPR, Vox, NBC, Fusion Media Group, and many others. He is a recipient of the Green Eyeshade, Edward R. Murrow, and DuPont Awards. His 7-part documentary podcast series Dear Franklin Jones debuted #1 on the iTunes podcast charts. In April of 2018, Jonathan launched Neon Hum Media, an LA-based podcast production company, specializing in narrative-driven, high production value, “audio first” documentaries, talk shows, and partner content.

    Jonathan talks about the insights he gained from researching the spiritual teacher Dr. Fredrick Lenz III for his new audio documentary podcast series I Am Rama. Jonathan shares with Rachel the story behind his fascination with Lenz, also known as Rama, which begins with his parents meeting at a spiritual convention organized by Rama. By the time Jonathan was born, his parents had changed paths and became devotees of another controversial spiritual leader, Adi Da, joining his new religious group Adidam which Jonathan was born into and raised in.

    Before You Go: Rachel explains why victims of cults or high control relationships often go from one bad situation to the next and what measures you can take to stop the cycle of abuse and protect yourself from manipulation.

    Listen to Jonathan's podcast Smoke Screen: I Am Rama here:
    https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/smoke-screen-i-am-rama/id1525807626

    Thanks to our newest Patron Sarah Mayberry!!

    You can always help support us 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 1 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
175 Ratings

175 Ratings

hanslovehandles ,

Really appreciate this podcast

As someone who grew up in a high control situation I have learned a lot from this podcast and appreciate the company of other survivors’ stories. I’m grateful to Rachel and the guests, who in sharing their messages risk being harassed by angry group leaders/members. A lot of podcasts about cults are coming from either a titillating, shock value angle or a place of mocking— this one feels very balanced and compassionate. People who feel defensive of groups that are mentioned of course assert that Rachel and the guests are ignorantly slandering them, but I hear Rachel show nuance in discussing why it’s important to critique/share negative experiences of a group even when you’re not asserting that the group is all toxic in all cases. My only minor complaint would be that in a few cases we don’t get as much sense of what a guest’s life in their particular group was like because they are instead speaking generally about cultic patterns that were present. In those cases I’d love if Rachel asked how those dynamics specifically played out in this person’s experience. But at the same time, I could see how some guests might find it more empowering/less triggering to speak more like a cult researcher, and focus less on sharing specific memories— so maybe Rachel is just going off what they’re up for.

Bookgasm ,

Important and Informative

Any one-star bad reviews on here are from people in cults who are not yet ready to see the truth behind what they’re involved in. The good news is that hopefully they listened, and a seed of truth has been planted.

Cal(i)fornia ,

Escorted by 2 large individual’s to Mexico’s Casa Owned by WWASP

511 days kidnapped as forced over the border I understand. I only left after the age of 18 when no other than the “ Federales”took our side

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