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Sounds Like A Cult

All Things Comedy

A podcast about the modern-day “cults” we all follow. Each episode asks the culty questions we’re all wondering… Do you think SoulCycle is a cult? What about Elon Musk stans? Or the Royal Family? What about spiritual influencers? Is Instagram itself a cult? Sounds Like A Cult, hosted by Amanda Montell, author of Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism, analyzes a different zeitgeisty group every week to try and answer the big question: This group sounds like a cult, but is it really? And if so, how bad is it? Follow Us: Podcast Instagram - @soundslikeacultpod Host Amanda Montell - @amanda_montell (Preorder her new book!)

Location:

United States

Description:

A podcast about the modern-day “cults” we all follow. Each episode asks the culty questions we’re all wondering… Do you think SoulCycle is a cult? What about Elon Musk stans? Or the Royal Family? What about spiritual influencers? Is Instagram itself a cult? Sounds Like A Cult, hosted by Amanda Montell, author of Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism, analyzes a different zeitgeisty group every week to try and answer the big question: This group sounds like a cult, but is it really? And if so, how bad is it? Follow Us: Podcast Instagram - @soundslikeacultpod Host Amanda Montell - @amanda_montell (Preorder her new book!)

Language:

English


Episodes

The Cult of Love Is Blind

2/20/2024
Would you sacrifice your phone, passport, dignity, and freedom to move into an isolated pod for 10 days and compete against a sorority of strangers in search of True Love™, all for a world of fiendish reality TV consumers to see??? Sounds like cult behavior to me!!! This week, just in time for the Season 6 premiere, we’re FINALLY covering the cult of Love Is Blind, one of the most ~radical~ reality dating shows to have graced the airwaves. We’re joined by former cult member… ahem, I mean, contestant… Stacy Snyder to discuss the pros and cons of this objectively cultlike approach to marriage. To preorder a signed and personalized copy of Amanda's new book, The Age of Magical Overthinking, click here :) The first 10 listeners to DM their proof of preorder to @soundslikeacultpod will be sent a free sticker featuring the SLAC logo! For book BTS, news about Amanda's forthcoming Magical Overthinkers podcast, and more, consider subscribing to her newsletter! Follow us on IG @soundslikeacultpod @amanda_montell Thank you to our sponsors! HelixSleep.com/CULThttps://www.squarespace.com/CULTFACTORMEALS.com/CULT50 CULT50DipseaStories.com/cult

Duration:00:54:09

The Cult of Catholic School

2/13/2024
Grab your rosary and slap on your plaid skirt (although you WILL need to recite six “Our Fathers” if it rides even one millimeter above the knee!!!) because this week’s theatrical episode is here to validate and possibly trigger all our former Catholic School #religioustrauma girlies. Recovering Catholic Aiden Arata—writer, “queen of depression Instagram,” and Amanda's former college pal—joins the pod to unpack all the pageantry and horror of this objectively bizarre (and yet totally mainstream) marriage of religion and education. Bless the many listeners who submitted their voice memo confessions—you truly made this episode sparkle brighter than the Papal tiara. To preorder a signed and personalized copy of Amanda's new book, The Age of Magical Overthinking, click here :) For book BTS, news about her forthcoming Magical Overthinkers podcast, and more, consider subscribing to her newsletter! Follow us on IG @soundslikeacultpod @amanda_montell Thank you to our sponsors! Go to StickerGiant.com/cult and use code CULT at checkout to get 25% off your first order. Go to the App Store or Google Play store and download the FREE Ibotta app to start earning cash back and use code CULT. Shop SKIMS Bras at SKIMS.com. After you place your order, select "podcast" in the survey and select our show in the dropdown menu that follows.

Duration:01:12:59

The Cult of K-Pop

2/6/2024
We have NEVER had such a hard time finding a guest brave enough to appear on the show than we did for the week's episode on the flashy, fanatical, downright culty (sorry!!!) world of K-Pop. Thank goddess that Lai Frances, music reporter and expert in the "cult" at hand, was down to come have both a chuckle and a legitimately analytical discush about the pros and cons of this "cult-followed" music genre, which is of course so much more than that... it's a lifestyle, an identity, a bazillion-dollar cash cow, a life-consuming cult? Listen to us chat about the intense training K-Pop idols go through, their hardcore "sasaeng fans," and more to find out... K-Pop sounds like a cult, but is it really?? To preorder a signed and personalized copy of Amanda's new book, The Age of Magical Overthinking: Notes on Modern Irrationality, click here :) For book BTS, news about her forthcoming Magical Overthinkers podcast, and more, consider subscribing to her newsletter! Follow us on IG @soundslikeacultpod @amanda_montell Thanks to our sponsors! SKIMS.comhttps://www.squarespace.com/CULT betterhelp.com/cult

Duration:00:59:41

The Cult of Chiropractors

1/30/2024
Sorry in advance for all the crack vs. quack wordplay coming in this week's episode, which we already know will push some buttons! Obviously #notallchiropractors, but it’s definitely scary how this industry of psuedo-doctors is entrenched in a cultural history of New Age scammers and conspiracy theorists with Jesus complexes, including dudes who believed they could talk to the dead and heal all that ails you with their bare hands. Joining us is professional chiropractor/mole/part-time critic of his controversial profession, Trevor Zierke, here to help us figure out what level of “cult” the wild world of chiros really is. To preorder a signed and personalized copy of Amanda's new book, The Age of Magical Overthinking: Notes on Modern Irrationality, click here :) For book BTS, news about her forthcoming Magical Overthinkers podcast, and more, consider subscribing to her newsletter! Follow us on IG @soundslikeacultpod @amanda_montell

Duration:00:57:20

The Cult of the CIA

1/23/2024
A clandestine society aimed at indoctrinating a fleet of nationalist spies with an extensive entrance process, aliases, secretive language, isolation from the outside world, and no clear exit strategy... sounds like a cult, but it’s actually America’s most prized federal agency, the CIA. This week, former CIA intelligence analyst Christina Hillsberg joins the pod, fulfilling all our Carrie Mathison fantasies with a tell-all interview about how the CIA is high-key just like a fringey religious sect!!! We hope you delight in this dishy, hilarious (and sometime deeply uncomfortable) convo as much as we did. Follow us on IG @soundslikeacultpod @amanda_montell To preorder Amanda's new book, The Age of Magical Overthinking: Notes on Modern Irrationality, click here :) For book BTS, news about her forthcoming Magical Overthinkers podcast, and more, consider subscribing to her newsletter! Thank you to our sponsors: Head to Squarespace.com for a free trial, and when you’re ready to launch, go to https://www.squarespace.com/CULT to save 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain. Head to FACTORMEALS.com/CULT50 and use code CULT50 to get 50% off. Dipsea is offering an extended 30 day free trial when you go to DipseaStories.com/cult.

Duration:01:02:32

The Cult of Amazon

1/16/2024
Welcome baaaAAAAaaaAAaack, culties!! Time to *ascend* to the 2024 era of Sounds Like A Cult 👽 Kicking off with a damn bang—the most colossal cult we’ve ever covered (as in ~1.5 million employees and 310 million users colossal). It's the multi-pronged monster of convenience, which spares no one, no matter the cost… you guessed it, Amazon. Duh, we know, Amazon is a cult—from its notorious treatment of factory workers to its uncanny world-domination energy to its “never leave us” messaging, it’s obvious. But is Amazon a LYL, a WYB, or a GTFO-level cult? And is the verdict the same for both employees and consumers? To unpack this gazillion-dollar organization (religion?) from the inside, please welcome special guest Kristi Coulter, an ex-Amazonian who spent 12 years in the cult… I mean, *company*… before defecting to write her new tell-all memoir, Exit Interview. It’s one of our juiciest conversations in SLAC history and we hope you enjoy it!! Thanks to all the listeners who leant their voice messages to this episode. Follow us on IG @soundslikeacultpod @amanda_montell To preorder Amanda's new book, The Age of Magical Overthinking: Notes on Modern Irrationality, out April 9, 2024, click here :) For news about her forthcoming Magical Overthinkers podcast, consider subscribing to her newsletter! Thank you to our sponsors: HelixSleep.com/CULTCULTApp StoreGoogle PlaySKIMS.com betterhelp.com/cult

Duration:01:11:49

The Cult of High Fashion

12/12/2023
Florals for spring may not be groundbreaking, but you know what is? Today’s brain-tingling interview with possibly the single best speaking voice in podcasting, Avery Trufelman, friend of the pod and host of the critically acclaimed fashion series Articles of Interest. Avery joins our season finale episode for a discush about the “cult” of the haute couture industry, from its elitism and exclusivity to its bonkers sense of conspiracy that (spoiler!!) affects us all, whether we realize it or not. Let’s just say if you’ve ever felt stressed about what pants are cool anymore, you are definitely in this cult!!! Stick to the end for our culty verdict and to hear a brief announcement about next season. Follow us on IG @soundslikeacultpod @amanda_montell @isaamedinaa To stay up to date on Isa’s future projects, click here! To preorder Amanda's new book, The Age of Magical Overthinking: Notes on Modern Irrationality, a lead Simon & Schuster title for 2024, click here :) For news about her forthcoming Magical Overthinkers podcast, consider subscribing to her newsletter! Thank you to our sponsors: SKIMS.com betterhelp.com/cult

Duration:00:56:50

The Cult of Reality TV Families

12/5/2023
Wowowow, today’s episode featuring Jill and Derick Dillard (whom you might recognize from TLC’s 19 Kids & Counting!!) has been a looooong time coming. Imagine this: You’re born into a family that’s already a little ~abnormal~ because your parents are polygamists or you have 200 siblings or whatever, then a reality television network comes knocking with promises of money and glory, slaps your whole clan of loved ones into a giant pair of golden handcuffs, a bunch of exploitation ensues, and one day you wake up and realize you’ve spent your childhood in an insane f*cking cult??? The “cult” of reality TV families is today’s subject of discussion, and what a juicy convo it was. Of all the reality TV family shows, which do YOU think is the cultiest?? Click here to check out Amanda's new book, The Age of Magical Overthinking. Copies of her last book Cultish can be found here (and make a lovely holiday gift!). Stay tuned for news about Amanda's new Magical Overthinkers podcast here. Thank you to our sponsors: Head to Microdose.com and use code: CULT to get free shipping & 30% off your first order. Dipsea is offering an extended 30 day free trial when you go to DipseaStories.com/CULT. This episode reflects solely the opinions and work of Amanda and special guests.

Duration:01:04:29

The Cult of Reddit

11/28/2023
Sounds Like A Cult has covered doomsday cults, political cults, religious cults ... and this week is where they all join forces – on the much requested: Cult of Reddit! Notorious for forming some of the most niche yet largely endorsed group-thinks on the internet, and even powerful enough to take down institutional pillars…is the Cult of Reddit a Live Your Life, Watch Your Back or a Get the Fuck Out Level Cult? This week, Isa welcomes friend, writer and soon-to-be co-host of their new podcast, Lydia Keating, to discuss the good, the bad and the rabbit whole that is The Cult of Reddit. Head to Host Isa Medina's IG or website to learn more about her new podcast coming in 2024! Or to tell her where to perform stand up next! Thank you to our sponsor: SKIMS Holiday Gift Shop is now open at SKIMS.com. Get free shipping on orders over seventy five dollars.

Duration:00:54:17

The Cult of A.I.

11/21/2023
ChatGPT could never!!! Over the past year or so, A.I. buzz has obviously risen to cult status, but if you think about it, all this apocalyptic talk of robots rising up and taking over the world lowkey makes us all sound like $ci3nt0l0gists. Is A.I. the newest SciFi cult? And if so, how apocalyptic is it?? To help figure that out, internet reporter Kate Lindsay joins the pod for a thought-provoking discush that's less about the technology itself and more about our cultlike attitudes toward A.I. Which cult category do youuuu think it falls into? Only time will reveal the answer 👽 To check out Amanda's new book, The Age of Magical Overthinking, click here! The Magical Overthinkers newsletter can be found here. Follow us on IG @soundslikeacultpod This episode reflects solely the opinions and work of Amanda and special guests.

Duration:01:05:52

The Cult of Podcasting

11/14/2023
iF yOuRe rEaDiNg thiS yOuRe iN tHe CuLt o.0 This week we are covering the most meta cult yet and one that we are all most definitely a part of: The Cult of Podcasting. From the para-social relationships and us vs them mentality to the larger cult of the podcasting inDusTry – Isa and very special guest, Co-Host of That’s Messed Up, An SVU Podcast from Exactly Right, Kara Klenk, discuss all things Cult of Podcasting. But what do you think? Is it a Live Your Life, a Watch Your Back, or a Get The Fuck Out Level Cult? Head to Host Isa Medina's IG or website to tell her where to perform stand up, keep up with her work and learn more about her new podcast coming in 2024! Follow us on IG @soundslikeacultpod Thank you to our sponsors: DipseaStories.com/cultSKIMS.comGreenChef.com/cult250hatch.co/culthatch.co/cult

Duration:00:54:01

The Cult of Taylor Swift, Part 2

11/7/2023
It’s me, hi, I'm the problem, it's me, here with an update to one of our most-streamed episodes of all time, the cult of exalted idol bestie goddess mother queen angel (no, that’s not pandering to the standom! They're not intimidating at all!), Taylor Swift. Somehow, the pop icon’s “cult” has only exploded in size and religiosity since our last discussion, which was uploaded right as Midnights was dropping, pre-Eras Tour. Needless to say, there’s a lotttttt to catch up on. Whether you stan Taylor til the death or truly do not get what all the fuss is about, we hope you enjoy this part 2!! To check out Amanda's new book, The Age of Magical Overthinking, click here! Head to Isa Medina's IG or website to tell her where to perform stand up, keep up with her work and learn more about her new podcast coming in 2024. The Magical Overthinkers newsletter can be found here. Follow us on IG @soundslikeacultpod I was never good at telling jokes but the punchline goes: If Taylor told her Swifties to kill a man, they would. They would kill a man for Taylor, because her music means *that* much to them. But 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.

Duration:01:15:56

The Cult of Military Wives

10/31/2023
At long last, the man/myth/legend, Amanda's dad, Craig Montell, whose riveting stories of his childhood spent in the Synanon cult planted her fascination with all things "cultish," joins as this week's guest. In this *extremely wholesome* episode, Amanda and her pop analyze a quartet of listener-submitted stories, documenting four firsthand experiences with “culty” groups (from military wives to Abercrombie & Fitch) comparing each one to the surreal mindfuckery and power dynamics Craig witnessed in Synanon. The episode mostly focuses on the “cult” of military spouses... faaaaascinating how closely it resembles a bonafide '70s-era cult. But is it a Life Your Life, Watch Your Back, or GTFO?? Tune in to find out. Thanks so much to all who wrote in their culty tales! To check out Amanda's new book, The Age of Magical Overthinking, click here! The Magical Overthinkers newsletter can be found here. Follow us on IG @soundslikeacultpod Thank you to our sponsors! The Cotton collection and more are available now at SKIMS.com. Go to betterhelp.com/cult to get 10% off your first month This episode reflects solely the opinions and work of Amanda and special guests.

Duration:01:03:12

The Cult of Pickleball

10/24/2023
If you've been paying attention at all, you know that this weeks cult is growing at a mighty pace. The rate at which Americans and individuals from all over the world have decided to blindly spend all their free time idolizing this secret force is astonishing. On this weeks episode we get into it and discuss the much requested topic of The Cult of Pickleball. From their exclusive language to their outfits, rituals and cliquey us versus them mentality towards other recreational sports this is one for the books. Isa is joined by special guest and Pickleball enthusiast, Ruby Karp (@RubyKarp) to decide if this is a Live Your Life, a Watch Your Back or a Get the F*ck Out level cult? This episode was hosted, edited and produced by @isaamedinaa - go to her IG or website to tell her where to perform stand up, keep up with her work and learn more about her new podcast coming in 2024 (!!) Follow the podcast @soundslikeacultpod Thank you to our sponsors: Hatch is offering our listeners $20 off your purchase of a Hatch Restore 2 and free shipping at hatch.co/cult Dipsea is offering an extended 30 day free trial when you go to Dipseastories.com/cult Manage your money the easy way, go to RocketMoney.com/SLAC

Duration:00:41:42

The Cult of Momfluencers, Part 2

10/17/2023
Behold, a re-air of our most popular episode of 2023—The Cult of Momfluencers—which takes on new relevance, thanks to the disturbing recent case of (allegedly) abusive YouTube momfluencer Ruby Franke! Motherhood is hard, lonely, and exhausting... except, apparently, if you're a momfluencer. Since the mid-2000s, a crop of seemingly perfect, all-knowing mommy goddesses in billowy tunics have emerged on social media—and we can't help but feel that their highly monetizable (often misinformation-ridden) internet presences basically exist to make other moms feel less than. This week, with the help of journalist and real-life mother Sara Petersen, author of the book MOMFLUENCED, Isa and Amanda spill the (organic, non-toxic, totally baby-safe) tea about how famous internet moms have become their own kind of 21st Century cult leader. To keep up with all things Sounds Like A Cult, click here! Sources: YouTuber mom Ruby Franke arrested and charged in child abuse investigation: What to know: https://www.today.com/parents/moms/ruby-franke-arrested-child-abuse-rcna102754 Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Ruby Franke, The YouTuber Who Was Charged With Aggravated Child Abuse, And Her Controversial Parenting Videos Over The Years: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/leylamohammed/youtuber-ruby-franke-of-8-passengers-child-abuse-explained Mommy Vlogger Ruby Franke Has Been Charged With Child Abuse: https://www.thecut.com/2023/09/ruby-franke-utah-mommy-vlogger-charged-with-child-abuse.html 8 Passengers Update: Ruby Franke Grows Her Cult and Shari Makes Amends With the Griffiths: https://www.therealitysnark.com/post/8-passengers-update-ruby-franke-grows-her-cult-and-shari-makes-amends-with-the-griffiths Mommy Vlogger Ruby Franke’s Child Abuse Case Could Take Years, Experts Say: https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/ruby-franke-child-abuse-case-years-1234832227/

Duration:01:21:07

The Cult of Purity Rings

10/10/2023
Anyone who grew up evangelical Christian and/or plugged into teen celebrity news circa 2008 will be familiar with today's cult: Purity Rings. You know, the dainty piece of jewelry placed ritualistically on a teen girl's wedding finger to signify her vow of chastity until marriage, or else?? Purity rings are not just an accessory—they're a bonafide industry, complete with rules, ceremonies, secrets, veiled threats, and religious trauma up the wazoo... but are they a cult? This week, a very special (ex-evangelical) guest, Normal Gossip's Kelsey McKinney, is joining host Amanda to unpack just that! Follow us on IG @soundslikeacultpod To check out Amanda's new book, The Age of Magical Overthinking, click here! The Magical Overthinkers newsletter can be found here. Thank you to our sponsors! Go to thefarmersdog.com/cult to get 50% off your first box. Go to Zocdoc.com/CULT and download the Zocdoc app for FREE. The Cotton collection and more are available now at SKIMS.com. This episode reflects solely the opinions and work of Amanda and special guests.

Duration:01:07:16

The Cult of Bachelorette Parties

10/3/2023
The Cult of Bachelorette Parties is one we have all been a part of, whether from an observational distance or as a member yourself, this cult spares no one. This week, Isa is joined by a very special guest: comedian, host of Giggly Squad and Berner Phone Podcasts, and once a bachelorette herself, the hilarious Hannah Berner (@hannahberner). Tune in as they chat about how culty Hannah’s bachelorette party really got – we’re talking rituals, us vs them dynamics, exploitation, isolation from society and of course one ultra charismatic leader. But are Bachelorette parties a live your life, watch your back, or a get the f*ck out level cult? Follow us on IG @soundslikeacultpod @isaamedinaa @amanda_montell Thank you to our sponsors! Go to DipseaStories.com/cult for an extended 30 day free trial Go to RocketMoney.com/slac to manage your money the easy way Go to Zocdoc.com/CULT and download the Zocdoc app for FREE

Duration:00:58:34

The Cult of Gary Vee

9/26/2023
To his fanatics, he's an inspiring businessman, marketing guru, tough-love motivational speaker, and blue-collar-masculine embodiment of the American Dream; but, to his critics, he's just a bro-y blowhard—a grandstanding motormouth whom Fortune Magazine once called a "snake oil salesman." We're talking about Gary Vaynerchuck, aka Gary Vee, a serial entrepreneur whose multi-pronged "empire" and cult of personality scream god complex... but is this guy dangerous, obnoxious, or actually kind of inspiring? These are the questions Amanda and Isa are aiming to answer on this week's episode of Sounds Like A Cult. Follow us on IG @soundslikeacultpod @isaamedinaa @amanda_montell To check out Amanda's new book, The Age of Magical Overthinking, click here! Thank you to our sponsors! Go to thefarmersdog.com/cult to get 50% off your first box. Go to BEISTRAVEL.com/CULT for 15% off your first purchase. Hatch is offering $20 off your purchase of a Hatch Restore 2 and free shipping at hatch.co/cult. Go to betterhelp.com/cult to get 10% off your first month.

Duration:00:37:25

The Cult of Life Coaches

9/12/2023
Why does it seem like certain "life coaches" are exactly the kinda folks who shouldn't be giving life advice? The unregulated life coaching industry is perfectly set up to turn culty: It's rife with New Age quacks charging thousands to tell others how to live, but also... hiring a brainstorming partner to help you work through sh*t during times of uncertainty *does* sound beneficial? Tricky!! This week, Amanda and Isa are joined by comedian and host of the Self-Helpless podcast Kelsey Cook to unpack how much of a "cult" the life coach space has really become. Click here to get tickets to Isa's NYC comedy show September 22nd or to tell her where to perform next! To check out Amanda's new book, The Age of Magical Overthinking, click here! Follow us on IG @soundslikeacultpod @isaamedinaa @amanda_montell Thank you to our sponsors! Go to RocketMoney.com/SLAC to cancel unwanted subscriptions! Go to BEISTRAVEL.com/CULT for 15% off your first purchase. The Cotton collection and more are available now at SKIMS.com.

Duration:00:49:52

The Cult of Burning Man

9/5/2023
Strap on your steampunk lewks and get ready to blast off to the dusty, glittery, and undeniably culty alternate universe that is Burning Man—an event explicitly inspired by the New Age fringe religions of the 1970s. ~Join us~ for Amanda and Isa's lol-worthy chat with Em and Christine, hosts of the paranormal-true crime podcast And That's Why We Drink. We're unpacking the countercultural carnival's eccentric (sometimes deadly) rituals, us vs. them dynamics, major controversies, and undeniable allure. What do youuuu think is the cultiest thing about Burning Man?? And do you think it's a Live Your Life, a Watch Your Back, or a GTFO-level cult? Click here to get tickets to Isa's NYC comedy show September 22nd or to tell her where to perform next! To check out Amanda's new book, The Age of Magical Overthinking, click here! Follow us on IG @soundslikeacultpod @isaamedinaa @amanda_montell Thank you to our sponsors! Dipsea is offering our listeners a 30 day free trial when you go to dipseastories.com/cult Go to Zocdoc.com/CULT and download the Zocdoc app for FREE. Go to JULIECARE.CO/CULT to get $10 off your online purchase for a limited time!

Duration:00:53:33