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An offbeat news podcast where we explore the strange, the stupid, and paranormal topics circulating the web.
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After Manson was released from his second stint in prison in 1967, he tried to make it in the music business. When one of his songs caught the attention of Dennis Wilson, Wilson recorded it, changing very little. The pair became friends, and Charles stayed in Wilson’s home for some time before his strange behavior got him thrown out. Shortly after, he became the infamous cult leader we know him as today.
NXIVM With its headquarters in Albany, New York, this sect, pronounced Nex-e-um, claims to be a self-help organization. Many people have taken its courses, but some have become followers of its leader, Keith Raniere, known to them as “Vanguard.” An article in the New York Times explains that women would endure an initiation ceremony to a “secret sisterhood” that included lying naked on a massage table while they were branded with a two-inch square symbol below their hip.
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How do you know if you’re in a Cult?
Several years ago, the founder of IHOP, Mike Bickle, created a list of seven ways to recognize the difference between a religious community and a cult. Written down, the signs seem clear: 1. Opposing critical thinking 2. Isolating members and penalizing them for leaving 3. Emphasizing special doctrines outside scripture 4. Seeking inappropriate loyalty to their leaders 5. Dishonoring the family unit 6. Crossing Biblical boundaries of behavior (versus sexual purity and personal ownership) 7. Separation from the Church