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Breaking news! Sounds Like A Cult has joined the Exactly Right network, home of My Favorite Murder. Every Tuesday, Amanda and Isa will continue to analyze the modern-day "cults" we all follow, to answer the big question: This group sounds like a cult, but is it really?See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
The Cult of Starbucks

The Cult of Starbucks

2022-11-0801:06:541

Remember the Juniper Latte? Wasn't it just about the strangest thing you ever tasted? Yet, you still came back. Some might say you couldn't help yourself. This week, Amanda and Isa *roast* Starbucks’s “cult following”—the coffee religion with a church on every street corner—from its savvy marketing tactics and insider-y vocabulary to its addictive beverages and behind-the-scenes corporate ~vibes~. With a Starbucks cup in hand, comedian Jade Catta-Preta adds an extra shot of espresso to this episode as our very special guest. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
A cabal of black-robed elites who preside, unquestioned, over all our rights and freedoms… hmmm… sounds like a dang cult to us! Isa and Amanda are getting *judicial* this week to analyze the “cult” of The Supreme Court with NYU law professor and host of the Strict Scrutiny podcast, Melissa Murray. Just in time for voting season! Check out voting resources below for this year's upcoming midterm elections.Register to vote, learn about your local elections, and make a plan – resources below! Midterms cheat sheet: https://www.generatorcollective.com/ Vote Save America: https://votesaveamerica.com/be-a-voter/ See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
Happy Cultyweeeeeeen! Our favorite holiday at Sounds Like A Cult is here, and to celebrate the spooky season, we’re asking: What could be more frightful than a haunted house dedicated to pushing an oppressive right-wing religious agenda onto high school kids just trying to have a good time? That’s the topic on Amanda and Isa’s minds this week for our very festive ‘sode on the “cult” of Hell Houses, a phenomenon that is somehow even scarier than it sounds….See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
The Cult of Taylor Swift

The Cult of Taylor Swift

2022-10-1801:03:31

The "cult" of country-pop sensation Taylor Swift is not just about the music. It's about the Swiftie community, the rituals, the beliefs, the aesthetic, and (of course) Taylor's cult of personality. This extreme fandom definitely seems classically culty, but is it dangerous just because it's fanatical? That's the question on Amanda and Isa's agenda today, and they've solicited pop culture connoisseur Jill Gutowitz, author of the essay collection GIRLS CAN KISS NOW, to help them figure it out. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
The Cult of Kitchen Culture

The Cult of Kitchen Culture

2022-10-1101:01:23

Summer 2022, it seemed like everyone and their cult leader was *devouring* the TV show The Bear: an inside look at the hierarchical, co-dependent, misfit-ridden, sometimes downright abusive—but also totally transcendent—“cult” of restaurant kitchen culture. This week, Amanda and Isa are chatting with Matty Matheson, a big-time chef and cast member of the show, for a no holds barred analysis of the culty power dynamics and rituals found in the world of knives, remoulades, shift drinks, “family meal,” and everyone screaming “behind!!!!”Get Tickets to Isa's Live Comedy Shows Here: https://linktr.ee/isaamedinaaAttend Amanda's Live Book Events: http://amandamontell.com/events/See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
The Cult of Nonprofits

The Cult of Nonprofits

2022-10-0448:332

Cults tend to thrive during times of broader cultural questioning and turmoil, when institutional support seems to be failing so alternative groups swoop in to offer solutions to the world’s most urgent problems. War, famine, healthcare crisis. Hmmm… sounds not unlike the nonprofit industry, no? This week, Amanda and Isa look into the language, background, and structure of the nonprofit industry to try and figure out how cultishly sus it might be.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
The Cult of Goop

The Cult of Goop

2022-09-2756:491

We've all joked about Gwyneth Paltrow's *candle.* But does this boho Hollywood elitist girlboss ever go too far? (As in, cult leader far?) This week, Amanda and Isa unpack the charismatic movie star’s ever-roastable wellness empire, Goop, and how its "cult" status may be a cause for concern, with extremely special guests Kirbie Johnson and Sara Tan, hosts of the Gloss Angeles podcast (glossangelespod.com / @glossangelespod).See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
If you don’t worship at the altar of this week’s “cult,” then simply sashay away! One of the most intense, vicious, fabulous reality TV fandoms in history is that of the competition show that put drag queens on the mainstream map: RuPaul’s Drag Race. Season 6 and All-Star queen BenDeLaCreme joins Isa and Amanda to offer an inside look at the most cult-like aspects of Drag Race, from the time she was physically stalked by a fan to the way the producers run the show. The tea is piping hot!!!See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
Did you know Dr. Phil is not actually a medical doctor?? When “physicians” like Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, and Dr. Drew are elevated to TV star status, followers flock to their “wisdom” to feel safe in a society whose healthcare system is seriously lacking. But should doctors really be treated like rock stars? In pursuit of fame and fortune, these famous medical professionals def find themselves in a borderline cult leader-ish role. This week, Isa and Amanda chat with Buzzfeed culture reporter and host of the Scamfluencers podcast Scaachi Koul to figure out just how sus these docs really are.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
The Cult of Weddings

The Cult of Weddings

2022-08-3001:01:522

Weddings: Filled to the brim with ritualistic ceremonies, patriarchal traditions, power abuse, bank-breaking costs, conformist uniforms, and false promises galore...sound familiar? Sounds like a freakin CULT to us. This week: Amanda and Isa discuss wedding ceremonies and the lengths people will go to for the "best day of their life" with writer, author of "Trick Mirror," and professional wedding critic, Jia Tolentino.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
The Cult of Youth Groups

The Cult of Youth Groups

2022-08-2301:03:392

Welcome to our life-changing, missional, intentional ministry for young people from all walks of life to strengthen their faith in Christ while having soooo much fun!! Evangelical youth groups (think: Young Life, Teen Mania Ministries, etc.) love-bomb vulnerable adolescent recruits into joining the Christian “cool” kids—a place where they’re promised to find both earthly acceptance and heavenly salvation—only to manipulate and indoctrinate them with oppressive, homophobic, legitimately terrifying dogma and providing zero exit strategy. Sounds. Like. A. Damn. Cult!!! This week, Amanda and Isa chat with former youth group kid turned TikTok comedy sensation Kevin James Thornton to unpack the cult-like tactics and ideology of Christian youth organizations. (Don’t worry, culties, a Jewish youth groups episode is coming l8er!!)See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
The Cult of The Kardashians

The Cult of The Kardashians

2022-08-1601:07:444

The Kardashians: a harmlessly entertaining reality TV family or a dynastic conformist controlling cabal of K-named cult leaders? In this ~intense~ episode, Isa and Amanda chat with comedian and New Yorker writer Meg Indurti to unpack the cult-like influence of America’s most (in)famous family. Major Devil’s Avocado energy this week!See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
We’re in for a shocking one this week: The Troubled Teen Industry has for decades promised parents to reform their “problem-causing” kids through 8-12 week “wilderness therapy” and other military-style schools. But kidnappings, isolation, punishment, secrecy, and abuse are all a part of the equation, resulting in the separation of families and years of trauma. Yikes doesn’t even begin to describe this unregulated cult-like industry, which was originally inspired by the destructive cult Amanda’s dad grew up in, Synanon, and somehow hasn’t been shut down yet. Many disturbing stories await you this week!!See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
For the last week of Cult Girl Summer, another juicy bonus episode: This time, Isa and Amanda are listening and reacting to unaired voice messages from our loyalest listeners—our beloved “culties”—who called into the show to comment on our Season 2 cults of the week (from Disney Adults to theatre kids). We’ll be back with regularly slated episodes next week, but in the meantime, check out Isa’s live comedy show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (details on Instagram @isaamedinaa) and Amanda’s book CULTISH: The Language of Fanaticism (available in hardback, ebook, and audiobook wherever you buy books)!See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
A much-requested Part 2 to continue Cult Girl Summer. Our 12-Step Program episode sparked much debate, and we quickly determined we’d need to continue the conversation about how “culty” these addiction recovery groups can be. Inspired by our most engaged culties, here is our first-ever follow-up episode. Many thanks to the listeners who generously called in for this one! For further reading on this subject, check out the study, “Exiting Alcoholics Anonymous disappointed: A qualitative analysis of the experiences of ex-members of AA” (there’s a free PDF version on ResearchGate) and the 2018 Vox article, “Why some people swear by Alcoholics Anonymous — and others despise it.”See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
How much would you risk in pursuit of perfection? It’s another installment of “Cult Girl Summer” bonus content. This week, Amanda and Isa speak candidly (like reallllllly candidly) about a glamorous and life-threatening industry that sucks you in with promises of beauty and never lets you out: Plastic surgery—featuring very special guest, Emmy-nominated comedian/actress, Sydnee Washington! See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
A flirty little topic for another installment of Cult Girl Summer: five weeks of bonus episodes where Isa and Amanda are airing unfiltered cult conversations, behind the scenes tidbits, much-requested Part 2s, and more. This week, Emma Gray and Claire Fallon, co-hosts of the bachelor recap podcast Love to See It, are joining for a truly *cathartic* conversation about a group that reels in its members with the promise of love and human connection, only to deceive them and make it next to impossible to leave. The cult of dating apps, of course!See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
Welcome to Cult Girl Summer, five weeks of bonus episodes where Isa and Amanda are sharing unfiltered cult convos, footage from the cutting room floor, much-requested Part 2s, and more. Kicking off this juicy summer vibe is an episode to help listeners get to know the “cult” of Sounds Like A Cult a little bit better: This week, Amanda and Isa are answering your most frequently asked questions: Who we are, how we make the show, what “cults” to expect in future episodes, and beyond.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
The Cult of Teal Swan

The Cult of Teal Swan

2022-06-2801:00:395

Known to her loyalists as the “spiritual catalyst” but to her critics as the “suicide catalyst,” New Age influencer Teal Swan is a controversial 30-something self-help guru who some say has saved lives and others say has ended them. Having launched a social media career in the mid-2000s (and still going strong), Swan doesn’t post about beauty products and travel inspo but rather spiritual-meets-“scientific” teachings on a wide range of topics from addiction to chakras to vaccines to suicide. Some of her most committed adherents follow her down to Costa Rica to experience her shady self-actualization techniques IRL. Swan is the subject of the new Hulu docuseries The Deep End, based on the fascinating 2018 podcast The Gateway, which was created and hosted by this week’s guest, Jennings Brown, who’s here to talk with Amanda and Isa about the fanatical “cult” Swan has built online.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
Comments (42)

RACHAEL BYCE

love this podcast but 20-somethings giving parenting advice is hilarious 🙄🙄

Nov 21st
Reply

alli lent

UBI! woohoo!

Nov 8th
Reply

ID26057822

I normally like this podcast I have been following it for awhile, but when you mention things like “big pharma is withholding the actual care for cancer to make money” it is simply unacceptable. As someone who works with cancer in big pharma and have my nearest suffering from cancer it is simply unacceptable. You are uneducated in this topic, show complete disregard for the whole industry and everybody devoting their life’s work to battle this disease. I will not waste effort trying to educate you in this as you have proven is is above your intelligence level. It will simply suffice that you have lost all my respect and one listener.

Oct 13th
Reply

alli lent

UBI baby! it's called the freedom dividend for a reason

Oct 4th
Reply

Christian Robards

I just want to say my wedding was under 2 grand and it actually was the best day of my life, so far. You can make it what you want if you stick to what matters to you(the couple).

Aug 30th
Reply

Chandra Powers-Wersch

interesting, my dept professors told us we'd be super poor and there weren't enough jobs in the field (I did my MA in history) like constantly

Aug 19th
Reply

Jennifer Grumme

this podcast is super interesting and funny! you guys do great research and have the best guests. I've fallen into a couple cults myself over the years and this is cracking me up. I get the lightheartedness and appreciate the respect in all directions. keep it going. you should look into the cult of surrogacy from the surrogate POV.

Aug 16th
Reply

ID23508669

+1 to normalizing devil's avocado 🙏🏽🙏👍🏽👍😈🥑😈🥑

Jul 27th
Reply

Janna Ferguson

I've loved every episode.....except this one.😕 it had a totally different flavor over all, I felt like I was being recruited into the cult of veganism with all the talk of the moral and ethical superiority of the "movement." That said....I'll continue to listen 🙃

Jul 23rd
Reply

ID25757340

Wish you would do one on amber heard snd her followers1 neutrally or not- would be interesting!

Jul 14th
Reply

Betsye Eagle

skincare routines have been around since ancient Egypt, not just "a few decades".

Jul 10th
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alli lent

listened to this and then went to watch Deep Water on Hulu.. why do people like her voice?? I can't stand it..

Jul 1st
Reply

Christian Robards

hotlines do nothing. its true though. just bc you worked at one doesnt mean they are helpful. the ppl on the hotlines dont even talk to you. they tell you to go to the hospital and they hang up.

Jun 28th
Reply

Laura

As someone who's into true crime I thought this one brought up some super important points. Extra care should be taken in making sure the fascination doesn't turn into simply entertainment, because one family's trauma shouldn't be that for someone else. Especially since the following is largely white. I went to a missing and murdered indigenous women event recently and hearing those stories firsthand changed how I consume true crime content. Its horrible. Their trauma replays every day and police solve nothing, and here we are with like, murder comedy and merchandise. 🫠

May 26th
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alli lent

true crime heads = murderinos

May 24th
Reply

Staci BAMS

"Petty LaBelle" bwahahaha!

May 21st
Reply

Staci BAMS

Do an SEO episode or at least explain it and how it works.

May 21st
Reply

Sarah Garcia

💔 Disappointed with this episode

Apr 25th
Reply

Vahid Mohebi

you mentioned my country "Persia" in this episode. we have got the same vibe here in Iran. there are lots of people who prefer to use essential oils and herbs instead of medicine. There was a ridiculous wave of using herbs to cure or prevent catching Covid. There was some people who suggested shoving some kind of oil up in the ass to get vaccinated against Covid. Funny moments! stupid people plus online misinformation equals comedy!

Apr 19th
Reply

Vahid Mohebi

I am a musician and podcaster from Iran and I love what you are doing. great idea. great performance. keep up with the good work. you deserve much more credit than you get.

Apr 19th
Reply
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