Let's Talk About Sects

19 EpisodesProduced by Sarah SteelWebsite

Let's Talk About Sects is an award-winning monthly podcast focusing on a different cult each episode. Sarah takes a storytelling, deep dive approach, looking at the history of a sect's leaders, the recruitment of members, their experiences, psychological aspects, and notable incidents during its exi… read more

19 Episodes | 2017 - 2019

Bonus Episode: The Family Update

July 18th, 2019


On the 14 June 2019, news broke in Australia that many people had been waiting on for a number of years. That news was the death of this country’s …

Chung Moo Quan

April 16th, 2019


Chung Moo Quan positioned itself as a superior martial arts school that taught eight different practices at once. Though this may have originally …

Order of the Solar Temple

March 12th, 2019


The Order of the Solar Temple was a secret society that would go down sharing the pages of history with Jonestown, the Branch Davidians and Heaven’s …

The Seaside Sect

February 12th, 2019


A New Zealand-born man who moved to Australia in the 1970s and started a sect, telling his eventual 9 wives and 60-plus children that he was Jesus Christ, was put behind bars for 7 years in Victoria in 2000. In spite of …

Joy Kuo & Iphigenie Amoutzias' Story

January 15th, 2019


Joy Kuo and her husband moved to Sydney from Taiwan in 2000, and the couple both began working for the University of Sydney Library the following …

Grace J. Adams and Poia Alpha, Former Branch Davidians

December 18th, 2018


Grace J. Adams and Poia Alpha are two sisters from New Zealand, who joined David Koresh’s Branch Davidians in the 1980s along with their other sister, the younger Rebecca. Poia left the sect in early 1990, and Grace in …

Outreach International – Part 2

November 20th, 2018


Laura left Outreach International when she was 32 years old, having been born into the sect in the late 1970s. Hear her story as she relates the …

Outreach International – Part 1

November 13th, 2018


In May 2017, a sect that started in Melbourne, Australia, 50 years ago, and has been highly secretive over the last few decades, decided to change …

The Workers’ Institute of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought

October 16th, 2018


In October of 2013, the British organisation Freedom Charity received a call on their hotline. The woman on the other end said that her housemate had been held captive in South London for 30 years.

At the time of this …


September 18th, 2018


Synanon began as an addiction support group that gathered in a grimy Californian flat in the late 1950s. It would grow to become a well-funded …

Branch Davidians

April 17th, 2018


2018 marks the 25-year anniversary of a 51-day siege that ended in tragedy, following a shootout between the U.S. government and members of a sect …

Bonus Episode: Aum Shinrikyo Update

March 21st, 2018


Over recent days, several of the 13 incarcerated Aum Shinrikyo members sentenced to death have been moved to new facilities, prompting speculation …

The Order of St Charbel

March 13th, 2018


William Kamm has a 10pm curfew, and is not allowed to spend time with girls under the age of 17. He is prevented from entering the Shoalhaven district of New South Wales, and his movements and communications are …


February 13th, 2018


The Koreshans believed that the earth was hollow, and that humans lived on the concave inside surface of it. They theorised that the moon and stars, …

Universal Knowledge

January 16th, 2018


Carli McConkey was a 21-year-old university graduate when she decided to attend the Mind Body Spirit Festival in Sydney, and came across the stand …

Kenja Communication

December 12th, 2017


Ken Dyers passed away 10 years ago this year, but the organisation that he spearheaded with his partner Jan Hamilton lives on. In spite of a few parallels, this Australian organisation, called Kenja, has been listed as …

Aum Shinrikyo

November 14th, 2017


Twenty years ago this year, Japan was to become a nuclear wasteland, according to the leader of a sect who claimed that the only survivors would be …

The Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God

October 17th, 2017


Ugandan cult The Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God was one of the deadliest in world history, with the number of people who …

The Family

September 19th, 2017


There is a 95-year-old woman in a Melbourne nursing home who dotes on a plastic baby doll. You wouldn’t guess it to look at her, but this is a woman …

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