What exactly is it that prompts your neighbour, your auntie, your primary school friend to join a cult? What makes a leader, or a belief system, so unnervingly compelling to their followers? And why, when the group accelerates into crime, or self-injury, or alienation from the wider world, don't its followers leave? With every new cult comes a barrage of questions; little wonder, then, that we're all so completely fascinated by them. Already barrelled through Netflix's Wild Wild Country, or exhausted every book on Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple? Turn to a new source: these five podcasts about cults are as absorbing as they are disturbing.
Cults are the perfect podcast subject, ideally suited to the contemplative, inquisitive nature of the medium. How did 39 everyday people, with families and friends and unremarkable interests, come to believe they'd be picked up by a UFO after their mass suicide, Heaven's Gate asks? Uncover: Escaping NXIVM explores: how did NXIVM convinced women to brand themselves with the cult leader's initials? How did a rising musician with close ties to Hollywood insiders end up leading one of the 20th century's most notorious cults, You Must Remember Manson wonders? Turn to these podcasts for answers — and a whole host of new questions to puzzle over.