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:
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