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Publisher's Summary

Mystery. Manipulation. Murder. Cults are associated with all of these. But what really goes on inside them? More specifically, what goes on inside the minds of cult leaders and the people who join them? Based on the hit podcast Cults, this is essential listening for any true-crime fan. 

Cults prey on the very attributes that make us human: our desire to belong; to find a deeper meaning in life; to live everyday with divine purpose. Their existence creates a sense that any one of us, at any time, could step off the cliff’s edge and fall into that daunting abyss of manipulation and unhinged dedication to a misplaced cause. Perhaps it’s this mindset that keeps us so utterly obsessed and desperate to learn more, or it’s that the stories are so bizarre and unsettling that we are simply in awe of the mechanics that make these infamous groups tick. 

The premier storytelling podcast studio Parcast has been focusing on unearthing these mechanics—the cult leaders and followers, and the world and culture that gave birth to both. Parcast’s work in analyzing dozens of case studies has revealed patterns: distinct ways that cult leaders from different generations resemble one another. What links the 10 notorious figures profiled in Cults are as disturbing as they are stunning—from Manson to Applewhite, Koresh to Raël, the stories woven here are both spellbinding and disturbing.

Cults is more than just a compilation of grisly biographies, however. Here, Parcast’s founder, Max Cutler, and national best-selling author Kevin Conley look closely at the lives of some of the most disreputable cult figures and tell the stories of their rise to power and fall from grace, sanity, and decency. Beyond that, it is a study of humanity, an unflinching look at what happens when the most vulnerable recesses of the mind are manipulated and how the things we hold most sacred can be twisted into the lowest form of malevolence.

©2022 Max Cutler. All rights reserved. (P)2022 2022 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about Cults

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Informative insight into the mind of people.

Great listen all the way through. I had to write down some of the subjects and books to get even better understanding. My take away from this is that religion and cults are on different side of the same coin.

1 person found this helpful

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Fact checker took a vacation!!!

I’m very disappointed with some of the liberties that the author took. In the place of knows facts he inserted just the right amount of imagination that make the uniformed turn the page faster, and bolster the governmental narrative and quickness to demonize certain peoples mentioned in this book. All though I do not subscribe to certain “Cultish” points of views listed, I absolutely do not condone the excessive use of force nor do I condone the suppression of truths that are in place only to cover a certain agencies ass. Justice must prevail. The arrows of truth missed the mark by a long shot. Hope you enjoyed your toes in the sand and margaritas at sunset fact checker. You were sorely missed!!!

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Ok…

IMO Should have been narrated by the podcasters from the podcast called
Cults. I mean, seriously? Whatever

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Information is great... narrators not so much.

The narrators were difficult to listen to. For example, when listening to the one about NXIVM, the narritor sounded like a robot. It ruined the book for me.

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