The following is a working list of the various podcasts, books and resources I have found useful in my own journey to understanding the world of cults (both destructive & friendly) and cult like groups.   As a lifelong learner AND someone who finds human behavior totally fascinating, I have learned a TON about both healthy and unhealthy behaviors and the psychology behind what drives us to be so engaged with groups, leaders and even ideologies that claim to provide us the answers or at least a road map.  I hope this list is useful for you. 


The SEEK Safely podcast is the official voice of the nonprofit organization SEEK Safely Inc, which advocates for ethics and accountability in the self-help industry, and empowers seekers to have safe and effective self-improvement journeys. Jean Brown and Dr. Glenn Patrick Doyle peel back the layers of the largely unregulated, multi-billion dollar self-help industry...

Think you might be in a cult? Want to know the signs? Join Sarah Edmondson and Anthony “Nippy” Ames to talk about things that are..a little bit culty. Or in their case: a whole bunch of culty. As whistleblowers documented in the critically-acclaimed HBO series “The Vow,” Sarah and Nippy have a lot to say about their experience, and burning questions to ask people with similar stories. ....

While your in the ALBC world check out Sara's awesome TedX talk about Why we Need to Understand Cults Better

When we face challenges in life, we seek answers from people we believe can help us. When tragedy strikes an exclusive retreat with a self-help superstar, many people are left to wonder: how far is too far? James Arthur Ray was an Oprah-endorsed self-help teacher who achieved fame, fortune, and influence. 

This one started it all for me! Listen to Matt Stroud (investigative journalist) take you through what it looks like when the worst happens at a self-empowerment retreat. 

Join Mark (another NXIVM Whistleblower) as he unpacks a whole range of topics to do with: Psychology, Consciousness, Morality, Narcissistic Abuse, Spirituality, Cults, Propaganda, Science, Filmmaking, and Philosophy.You never quite know what you’re going to get, as it really does depend on… WTF is on his mind?!

Dismantling New Age cults, wellness grifters, and conspiracy-mad yogis. Conspirituality Podcast attempts to bring understanding to this landscape. A journalist, a cult researcher, and a philosophical skeptic discuss the stories, cognitive dissonances, and cultic dynamics tearing through the yoga, wellness, and new spirituality worlds. Mainstream outlets have noticed the problem. We crowd-source, research, analyze, and dream answers to it.

Some other honorable mentions that I have enjoyed listening to are The Jordan Harbinger Show & Journey Into Yoga Cults

Books & Other Reading

How do individuals get involved with cults in the first place, and what steps can be taken to “deprogram” and heal those who have been drawn into these damaging groups? These questions and more are addressed in Cults Inside Out, written by leading cult expert Rick Alan Ross.

Special Note: I was told by the Landmark folks that Rick was not to be listened to and out to get them.  Turns out he is actually quite a lovely gentleman who is very fair minded and made it clear to me that Landmark is not a Cult.  Over in the iLumn8.Life community, I plan to host a book club style meeting to go through his book in the coming months. Sign up here to be notified when. 
Ricks Cult Education Institute is an online library FULL of fantastic resources and information.  Contrary to some opinions, he is about education NOT taking Cults down. Main Page and Landmarks Page

Kirby Brown was a seeker who lived a life of passion and adventure. When she and two others died in a sweat lodge at a self-help retreat on October 8, 2009, it shattered her family and friends. Kirby’s mother and sister detail how they learned about Kirby’s ugly death, struggled through their grief, and kept moving forward through the trial of the criminally negligent guru ... 

Escape the Grip of Drama and Take Control of Your Life The Power of TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic) is a fable on self-leadership, because how you lead your own life has everything to do with how you lead in other areas. It is a tool for both individuals and organizations who want to create more effective communication and relationships.

Taking a break from all the culty learning stuff, David Emeralds book (above) was especially powerful for me.  I got to see a framework from which to challenge my own assumptions and beliefs.  I think everyone should have this book on hand! 

As the founder of a human-potential movement known as "est," which stood for Erhard Seminars Training, Erhard in the 1970s and 1980s attracted hundreds of thousands of followers who sat through grueling sixty-hour "training" sessions that promised personal transformation and profound insights into human relationships.

NOTE: This book is out of print and available only as used copies. 

TRIGGER WARNING: For people who have been involved in Landmark, this book can be very upsetting as you learn a story of Werner that is very different from the one Landmark leader packets gave us. I took 4 months to read it and had mental & spiritual health support along the journey. Care for yourself and only read when you feel you can.  This book is written by a journalist so it is very well cited and documented. It is the only book about Werner I have found that was not written by either a friend or a foe but rather by a journalist using journalistic ethical standards. 
Some other reads I found especially valuable in my path ... Steven Hassan, Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves, Melody Bettie, Codependent No More, Bonnie Badenoch, The Heart of Trauma: Healing the Embodied Brain in the Context of Relationships ... along with countless articles, too many to mention here, but you get the idea. 

Recovery Resources

For this one I am going to send you off to the FABULOUS webpage my friends over at A Little Bit Culty maintain. They have the FULL list of all of the best places to get support for anyone with any level of understanding, deconstruction or full on recovery wanted and needed. 

Articles of Interest 

Robert Jay Lifton's eight criteria of thought reform as applied to the Executive Success Programs  
By Paul Martin, Ph.D. -

Chapter 01

OH, CRAP … How Did I Get Here?

“Heroes are ordinary people who call on themselves to reach beyond themselves, ordinary men and women who dare to be related to possibilities bigger than themselves.”

Chapter 01

Lorem LI am walking the neighborhood, my go-to strategy for dealing with overwhelming anxiety or upset. It is the fall of 2020, and the last couple of months have been insane. In addition to a global pandemic that is shutting down everything, including the relaunch of my business, one of my clients just sued me in federal court to avoid paying his bill. He previously told me his approach to handling problems was toipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. 

Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco quis nostrud exercitation.


Available NOW ...
Get Your Copy Today!

Choose your favorite bookseller and pick up your copy today...