What Should I Think About?

By whatshouldithinkabout

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Description

Making sense of life after leaving a cult. Dad left a high control religious group, often called a cult, when he was 30 and since then has been trying to work out what he thinks about a whole bunch of stuff. With new episodes every Sunday, ”What should I think about..?” is a daughter - father podcast with the lofty, if overly ambitious goal, to make sense of the complicated, contradictory, confusing but wonderful thing we call the world. Since leaving, Dad has gained a degree in Psychology and a Masters in Organizational Psychology so brings some of this knowledge and experience to the conversation. Celine is a young filmmaker working on a number of different documentary projects including ”The Pink Pound”, a documentary that explores the relationship between the LGBTQ+ community and commerce. Podcast theme, original music “Electric Sheep” composed and performed by Stephen Mather copyright Evil Sheep Productions 2020.

Episode Date
Beliefs: The weird, the dangerous, the benign and the useful.
01:17:46

Does it matter what cults believe? Or is it only what they do that matters? Should we respect beliefs that aren't true? How should we engage with beliefs? Should we challenge each others beliefs? And how should the podcast engage with cult escape stories that include finding a new set of religious or mystical beliefs?

In today's podcast Celine and Stephen explore these questions by looking at some unorthodox belief systems; The Aetherius Society, the Breatharians, Fruitarians and the Workers' Institute of Marxism–Leninism–Mao Zedong Thought, as well as 'men's movement' committed to bringing back the patriarchy!

This podcast was recorded before the attack on author Salman Rushdie.

Links

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To contact us https://www.evilsheep.co.uk/contact

 

References

The Aethrian Society

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/18/opinion/gods-from-space-aetherius.html

The Cult Next Door

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08c3vrx

 

Aug 13, 2022
Hero Worship with Germ and Maryann
55:06

What function do heroes serve? Why were we not allowed to have posters of our heroes on our bedroom walls? Who are our modern day heroes? What happens when our heroes disappoint us or show us they are human? What cultural differences are there between the USA and the UK around heroes? 

           

 

Aug 06, 2022
Special Episode: Reflections on ’The Last Days’ with Ali Millar
01:07:32

On this special episode, author Ali Millar talks about the release of her wonderful new book 'The Last Days' and why she had to tell her story, growing up in, and eventually leaving the Jehovah's Witnesses. We explore with her the experience of childhood indoctrination and the lessons it teaches, Ali's leading a 'double life', her experience with an eating disorder and the harrowing experience of a judicial committee. We also discuss the question of how society should treat damaging groups.

Ali's website

https://www.alimillar.com

 

 

Aug 03, 2022
The Emotional Journey of Leaving a Cult
39:24

How many core emotions are there? How do we understand them? How do they come into play when people leave a high control group? We also review the Pixar movie 'Inside Out', a film all about emotions.

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Links

Paul Ekman's website

https://www.paulekman.com/about/paul-ekman/

 

Psychology Today - Modal Model of Emotion

https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/dealing-emotions/202101/what-are-emotions

Psychology Today - Robert Plutchik

https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/hide-and-seek/201601/what-are-basic-emotions

 

5 Lessons from Movie Inside Out

https://evolvetreatment.com/blog/five-lessons-inside-out/

 

Jul 30, 2022
Unpacking Belief Systems with Kat Wallace
01:09:38

Kat Wallace is a 4th generation ex Jehovah's Witness and speaker at the recent ICSA conference, who struggled growing up to fit into the mould of the submissive JW woman. She shares some of her story of leaving, coming to terms with her self, her sexuality and her analysis of a process she describes as '7 Steps to Unpacking Belief Systems'. 

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Jul 23, 2022
Artificial Intelligence and Consciousness
49:47

Did Google just create a conscious A.I.? If it has, what would that mean? Today Celine and Stephen explore the recent claims by a Google employee that they had created a machine that had gained sentience. If Google had, how could we know? What is a 'Turing test'? What would it mean for religious people who believe in the soul? 

Links

Transcript of a conversation with Blake Lemoine and LaMDA

https://medium.com/@cajundiscordian/is-lamda-sentient-an-interview-ea64d916d917

Interview with Blake Lemoine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgCUn4fQTsc

Commentary from Computerphile

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBouACLc-hw

 

Guardian article about Shinzo Abe assassination 

https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2022/jul/11/mother-of-shinzo-abe-killing-suspect-member-of-moonies-church

 

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Jul 16, 2022
ICSA Conference Highlights
01:30:15

Two conference speakers, the winner of an award, and the conference attendee first-prize winner! Today's special episode  welcomes Daniel O'Brien, presenter of 'Pathways to Healing', award winning author Erika Bornman and Kacey from top podcast 'The Cult Vault'. We talk about legal questions around cults, recovery from coercively controlling groups, identity and the stories we tell about ourselves and the strange tale of a Brainwashing Manual that never was, plus much more. There's laughter, there are tears, there's self reflection and there's lots of discussion!

Jul 09, 2022
Abortion
01:11:05

This week's episode looks at the question of abortion and the recent Supreme Court decision in the USA. It's a subject that we've planned to talk about for some time and recent events have made it absolutely time we did.

Content warning: Obviously given the subject matter listener discretion is recommended.

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Jul 02, 2022
”To say it was awful was an understatement”: Alisha’s Story
56:16

Ex Jehovah's Witness Alisha tried to simply leave the religion she was raised in and build her own life. The elders had other ideas.

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Jun 25, 2022
Transformational Training
45:18

The promise that you can be transformed into the person you've always wanted to be is a tempting one. This week Celine and Stephen explore the LGAT - Large Group Awareness Training industry and similar interventions. Can they deliver their promise? Are there risks associated with them? Are some of them cultic in their methods? 

Jun 18, 2022
From Fear to Freedom with Kimberley Miller
01:02:29

One of the most emotional interviews ever on our podcast, author Kimberley L Miller talks movingly about her life as Jehovah's Witness. She describes growing up as a Witness and the struggle to just be a child, to just be herself, and the fear that came along with that upbringing. She also talks about her leaving the organization, her return and the lowest point in her life. Kimberley's story is ultimately life affirming and inspirational. It was such a privilege to talk to her.

Warning: This episode briefly discusses the suicide attempt Kimberley talks about in her book.

The Human Library

https://humanlibrary.org/

Kimberley's Book

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Go-Beneath-Water-K-Miller-ebook/dp/B09FLZVBRC

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Jun 11, 2022
Does Nature Tell Us Anything About God? With John Elson
01:13:52

In today’s episode I spend a very pleasant afternoon having a walk and a chat with a friend of the podcast and former guest John Elson at Castor & Ailsworth, a village just outside of Peterborough. John is a successful artist and he talked about his journey out of the Jehovah’s Witnesses back in September of 2021. 

Our main topic of conversation today is the natural world and we had an interesting chat about all things evolution, creation, our place in the Universe and other minor considerations. John also showed me the rewilding project he is working on as part of a local community project.

If you want to see the area we walked, Sarah and I recorded a little video of the area as we took a stroll with our little dog Pepper. You can watch the video here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oU5lQtSWJGQ

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Further exploration

Euginie C. Scott, PhD, Evolution and Creationism as Science and Myth

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kt5TgJkBXxI&t=2773s

African Myths

http://exploringafrica.matrix.msu.edu/african-creation-stories/

 

Jun 04, 2022
Theocracy to Democracy
01:15:05

When you are a fundamentalist Christian, Theocracy sounds like a great idea but when you leave, the reality becomes clear. Celine and Stephen discuss what it's like to live in a Theocracy and then explore more democratic forms. They get 'into the weeds' about how these systems work, and why sometimes they seem not to. What is a filibuster? And why gerrymander? are two of the topics of discussion, as well as why the Queen has no power and just who is the most powerful Joe in the USA?

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May 29, 2022
The Psychological Impact of Shunning with Dr Heather Ransom
01:29:50

The 'What should I think about..?' podcast goes 'sight & sound' this week on this special edition of the show, with an episode being shown on YouTube for the first time as well as a pure podcast.

Stephen speaks to Dr Heather Ransom, who researches the experience of living in, and leaving a high control group often called a cult. Dr Ransom is a former 'born-in' Jehovah's Witness who left as an adult and now works in academia. She has written two published papers about the effect of disfellowshipping and shunning on the psychology of leavers. Heather first talks about her own life and the process of leaving and then about her work.

Dr Ransom's papers:

Grieving the Living: The Social Death of Former Jehovah’s Witnesses

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10943-020-01156-8

Life after Social Death: Leaving the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Identity Transition and Recovery

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11089-020-00935-0

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May 21, 2022
Having Fun and Healing With Games: Guest Starring Germ
58:42

High control religious groups often discourage games, warning about the 'dangers' of being influenced by Satan or the world. But what about the benefits of playing games and their role in finding community, experiencing a sense of competence and potential benefits around memory and thinking? Germ joins Celine and Stephen this week to talk all things gaming and games. There's also a bit of reminiscing about some of the team's favourite games, with a dash of psychology thrown in and the link between video games and a sense of well-being. 

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Paper

Johannes, N., Vuorre, M., & Przybylski, A. K. (2021). Video game play is positively correlated with well-being. Royal Society Open Science, 8(2), 202049.

https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/pdf/10.1098/rsos.202049

 

 

 

May 14, 2022
Living and dying (rebroadcast from the archive)
01:09:04

I (Stephen) had an online conversation recently with a friend who had recently experienced a family loss. We chatted and she suggested that the way we think about death changes after we leave a belief system such as the Jehovah's Witnesses, who preach the possibility of living forever. It got me thinking about an episode Celine and I recorded about a year ago when we had very few listeners about the subject of life and death. I listened to it again and realised how much I had enjoyed the conversation and how much Celine's words had taught me. So we've released it again. It's anything but morbid and I really hope you enjoy it too. 

May 10, 2022
Ex Jehovah’s Witness Poet and Podcaster Leon Helsby
01:09:15

Ex Jehovah's Witness Poet and Podcaster Leon Helsby tells his story of leaving the organization, why he finds poetry so important to him and describes the challenges of being creative within a high control setting. Stay till the end as Leon performs his poem 'An Amnesty'.

Leon has a podcast called 'A Hug From The Moon'. Link below.

https://open.spotify.com/show/2FIBwQGqOUNEQqdK5FxECh?si=e51f0a692fc54894

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May 07, 2022
Learning Styles and Other Myths
59:09

Celine and Stephen get into some pop psychology to see what we know, what we think we know but don't, what we don't know and.... you get the picture.

The importance of learning styles, the power pose, the madness of crowds, attention blindness and diffusion of responsibility and more all feature on today's show.

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References

Grossman, R., & Salas, E. (2011). The transfer of training: what really matters. International journal of training and development, 15(2), 103-120.

Reicher, S. (2001). The psychology of crowd dynamics (Vol. 1, pp. 182-208).

Riener, C., & Willingham, D. (2010). The myth of learning styles. Change: The magazine of higher learning, 42(5), 32-35.

 

Apr 30, 2022
Falling in love with an ex cult member
01:12:17

Today we interview Marcia and Riley (AKA Jexit) about falling in love with someone who was a member of a cult and still in the process of deconstructing, or as ex JWs call it POMI (Physically Out Mentally In).

Riley is an ex Jehovah's Witness You-tuber who talks about his experiences leaving the Group. We've discussed the difficulties of relationships, love and sex for ex members of cults in previous episodes, but today we wanted to look at it from the other perspective. What's it like to meet and date someone who was in a cult? What are the potential difficulties and peculiarities? Stephen spoke to the newly weds on holiday in Paris.

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Apr 23, 2022
Fight Club: Cult Reading and Movie Review
55:24

This week Celine and Stephen review, and do a cult reading of the 1999 movie, Fight Club, directed by David Fincher and starring Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter and Meat Loaf. If you haven't seen the film, it's violent but it covers big subjects including masculinity, capitalism and mental illness and importantly for us cult dynamics and coercive control. 

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External Links

Fight Club IMDB Page

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0137523/

Cinema Therapy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWDeRcXevic

 

 

 

Apr 16, 2022
Making Sense of an Abnormal Normal: Life in the Children of God
01:09:17

Author, Mary Mahoney talks about her 31 years in the Children of God. She tells Celine and Stephen about her life as a young woman, believing she was called by God to missionary service, her travels around the world and her efforts to obey increasingly dark and exploitative demands by the Group. She explains the implications of leader David Berg's bizarre doctrine on the 'law of love', the use of sex to recruit known as 'flirty fishing' and the demands of 'sharing' within the commune. She also discusses the experience of having children and raising them within the group. Mary is a wonderful guest and her story is sometimes difficult to hear but her resilience is truly inspirational. 

Mary's Book, Abnormal Normal, My Life in the Children of God

https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/54177523-abnormal-normal

Mary's Blog on Medium

https://medium.com/@mary-mahoney

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Episode Index

https://www.evilsheep.co.uk/whatshouldithinkabout

 

 

Apr 09, 2022
Virtual Worlds
01:05:37

As if this world isn't confusing enough, today Celine and Stephen explore virtual worlds and our seemingly unavoidable destiny with them. From Zoom to Second Life, from Virtual Reality to Web 3.0, NFTs, Crypto and even whether we are already living in a simulated reality! On top of all of that Stephen explains what actors named Chris have to do with Non Fungible Tokens! Oh and Virtual Cults..

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Apr 05, 2022
Hypnotherapist and EX Jehovah’s Witness, Becky Armstrong-Corbett
01:01:59

Becky Armstrong-Corbett is a qualified psychotherapist and solution focused clinical hypnotherapist. Raised as a Jehovah's Witness she was sexually abused by a member of the congregation as a child and has since  worked to raise awareness of neglectful practices within this and other organizations. She contributed to the work of the Inquiry Into Child Sex Abuse in the UK and has appeared on a number of news programmes and media to talk about this important subject. Becky talks to us about this and how she has made a life for herself outside the group becoming a professional psychotherapist and hypnotherapist. Becky also explains what hypnotherapy is and how it works.

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Becky's Website

https://beckycorbett.com/

 

Becky's YouTube Channel

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=becky+armstrong-corbett

 

Apr 02, 2022
Cult Wars
01:01:47

Today Celine and Stephen decide to take a sober and even-handed approach to the question of how we should research and talk about High Control Groups or Cults, and then find themselves getting all worked up! The term 'New Religious Movements' is seen as a more appropriate and less prejudicial label than the word cult, should we be using it? Are anti-cult activists getting in the way of proper sociological research? Is brainwashing not really a thing? Are ex members unreliable sources of data and should they be sidelined in favour of more sober rational and objective opinions?

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References used on this episode

Barker, E. (2012). New religious movements: their incidence and significance (pp. 33-50). Routledge.

http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/11887/1/__libfile_REPOSITORY_Content_Barker%2C%20E_New%20religious%20movements_Barker_New%20religious%20movements_2013.pdf

 

Zablocki, B. (1997). The blacklisting of a concept: The strange history of the brainwashing conjecture in the sociology of religion. Nova Religio, 1(1), 96-121.

https://doi.org/10.1525/nr.1997.1.1.96

 

Academics who ignore defectors as ‘apostates’ will never see Scientology for what it is by Chris Shelton.

https://tonyortega.org/2021/10/02/academics-who-ignore-defectors-as-apostates-will-never-see-scientology-for-what-it-is/

 

 

 

Mar 29, 2022
Critical Thinking, Spirituality and life after Jehovah’s Witnesses: Daniel O’Brien
01:17:42

Daniel O'Brien is an educator, musician and ex Jehovah's Witness elder. He talks to Stephen about his experience being recruited into the organization and his tough journey out. He also talks about his upcoming lecture at the 2022 International Cultic Studies Association Conference. 

Daniel's Essay - Are Religious people happier?

https://t.co/yUMEX7zTnv   International Cultic Studies Association Conference 2022 For more information of to book a ticket https://whova.com/web/icsaa_202207/   To become a patron of "What should I think about...?"  https://www.patreon.com/whatshouldithinkabout/posts          
Mar 27, 2022
Birthdays
56:25

As it's Stephen's birthday today , 'birthdays' is the theme of this week's chat. As a Jehovah's Witness child, birthday celebrations were something alien to Stephen and so Celine and her dad try to work out why JWs really don't celebrate them. Stephen finds a paper that provides some of the history and the sociological context and he then demonstrates his slow decent into grumpy old man by having a rant about Discord, mid life crises and MAMILs.

Paper discussed: Shoham, H. (2021). It is about time: Birthdays as modern rites of temporality. Time & Society, 30(1), 78-99.

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0961463X20955094

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Mar 23, 2022
Ashlen Hilliard: From The International Cultic Studies Association
01:00:06

Ashlen talks about her experience as a born-in member of a small Christian Fundamentalist group called the Churches of Christ, and her work now as the Director of Events at the International Cultic Studies Association. Ashlen also discusses her own research and her studies with the University of Salford on the psychology of coercive control. Such an interesting discussion.

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Ashlen's recent presentation can be found here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q09fB4YGIlw&t=1145s

 

Mar 19, 2022
A Cult Reading of The Movie Equilibrium WIth Jexit’s Riley
01:22:22

Riley from the Jexit YouTube channel joins Stephen today to analyse the 2002 movie Equilibrium, directed by Kurt Wimmer, starring Christian Bale, Take Diggs, Sean Bean and Emily Watson.

Giving the movie a cult reading reveals some spine-tingling and remarkable parallels with living in a dystopian state and being in a High Control Group. 

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Mar 15, 2022
The History of Atheism
01:04:47

Today Celine and Stephen are joined by Jordan Robertson from the Shunned Experience to talk about the history of atheism. Is atheism a new phenomenon, and is it predominantly a Western idea associated with the period of Enlightenment? Also did the reformation and protestantism pave the way for critical thinking about religion, giving birth to atheistic thought and is that paralleled in religions like Jehovah's Witnesses?

Mar 13, 2022
Taking Risks
47:42

We manage risk every day but how we calculate it is often difficult to understand. Our attitude towards risk is influenced by our beliefs about what we think we know, as well as a balance of likelihood of something happening and the impact if it does. Leaving a cult is bound to impact upon this calculation as old beliefs about the world are replaced with new ways of making sense of what's going on.

 

Mar 09, 2022
Signs and Symbols with Producer Bob
01:05:31

Producer Bob joins us to talk about the use of signs and symbols in religions, cults and the social world in general.

Producer Bob thinks about some of the symbolism she was taught as a Jehovah's Witness and Celine talks about semiotics - how meaning is created through symbols and why cults are different in how this is done. Stephen delves into types and anti-types and takes a look at the psychology of how we use symbols to make sense of our world while a member of high control group and then how that changes when we leave.

Mar 06, 2022
Knowing Right From Wrong: Ethics and Morals after leaving a Cult
01:01:14

As a member of totalistic group or cult, morals and ethics are to a large degree determined by the Group. Upon leaving, making decisions about right and wrong  can be difficult as we grapple with putting together our own moral code. 

Celine and Stephen also discuss the famous trolly problem and explore the question of consequentialism vs deontology as well as the psychological research around how people make moral choices.

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Paper used on the discussion today is currently available through Wiley Online Library - PDF available

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1756-8765.2010.01096.x

Mar 02, 2022
Raised in Fear: Kwasizabantu with Daniel Schricker PhD
59:32

Daniel Schricker grew up in the Kwasizabantu Mission and since leaving has written a number of blogs about the psychological use of fear particularly on children. This is a follow-up to the discussion with Erica Bornman about this fundamentalist group with worrying cultic practices.

Daniel's essays are themed 'Scaring the hell out of you', where he documents how (i) fear of God, (ii) fear of authority, (iii) fear of self and (iv) fear of the world permeates the lives of the children within the group.

Although an analysis of Kwasizabantu cult watchers will recognise the familiar tactics.

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Daniel's Essays

Part 1

https://revivalreviewed.wordpress.com/2021/09/18/scaring-the-hell-out-of-you/

Part 2

https://revivalreviewed.wordpress.com/2021/09/19/scaring-the-hell-out-of-you-2/

Part 3

https://revivalreviewed.wordpress.com/2021/09/23/scaring-the-hell-out-of-you-part-3/

Part 4

https://revivalreviewed.wordpress.com/2021/09/29/scaring-the-hell-out-of-you-part-4/

 

Feb 26, 2022
Russia Invades Ukraine
19:54

This emergency podcast comes out on the day Russia launches an attack upon Ukraine. It's natural to feel some anxiety and for ex members of all-encompassing groups such as Jehovah's Witnesses, who interpret world events in very specific ways, it can be quite disturbing. How to think about these events is the theme of this discussion as well as a reality check for religious groups who claim to be able to identify and interpret Bible prophecy.

Feb 24, 2022
Cults in Movies: Midsommer
51:13

Celine and Stephen review Midsommer, a movie released in 2019, directed by Ari Aster and starring Florence Pugh. There are a number of readings of this movie but one that is often overlooked is the most obvious - that of recruitment and indoctrination into a cult.

Feb 23, 2022
Alt Worldly: Jake Vaughn, Pathos And Comedy
01:11:52

Jake Vaughn from the Alt Worldly YouTube Channel talks about his waking up process from the Jehovah's Witnesses, and the difficulties associated with it, as well as his health challenges, complicated by his faith as a youth. The second half of the episode takes a different tack as we look at what could controversially be described as "the funny side of growing up in a cult".

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Jake's Channel Links 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfHydnkPDgYNCZiviuVVrkw

My Craziest JW Field Service Story

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjqCRwlTEk8

 

 

 

Feb 20, 2022
Nature Vs Nurture
01:08:33

Do some born-in cult members experience greater harm than others because they happen to have certain personality traits?

Psychology suggests that we inherit at least some of our personality traits through our genes. What are the implications for people raised in a cult? How does the presence of certain traits affect how we respond to cult indoctrination? This week Celine and Stephen look at how we research and understand individual differences, how much of these differences are down to our genes or environment, what this means for personal agency and how different traits might mean some cult 'born-ins' have a much worse time than others. 

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Bike and Psych 

https://youtu.be/Q1k7G3Mt5ns

 

References

Miell, D., Phoenix, A., & Thomas, K. (2002). Mapping psychology 1. The Open University.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/basics/big-5-personality-traits

Feb 16, 2022
”I feared God with every fibre of my being” Erika Bornman on Life in Kwasizabantu
01:02:01

Erika Bornman, author of Mission of Malice talks to us about her life growing up in Kwasizabantu, a non-denominational Christian Group she describes as a cult. As a child and a young woman she endured physical and mental abuse, was groomed by her church 'counsellor' and witnessed horrendous abuses. In her early twenties she managed to escape but at great personal cost. Erika's story is emotional, touching and at times harrowing but at the heart of her story is a message of hope and of finding a way to make sense of life outside the confines of a controlling and damaging ideology.

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Erika's Book Mission of Malice

https://www.amazon.com/Mission-Malice-My-Exodus-KwaSizabantu/dp/1776096231

Feb 13, 2022
Wasted Years?
59:40

Two completely different topics today on the podcast. 

 

Time Stamp 00:00: Segment 1. The medical condition and psychological impact of serious acne and Stephen and Celine’s experience of this as children and adults.

 

Time Stamp 25:00: Segment 2. The Wasted Years: After leaving a cult or other high demand group it’s easy to look back and feel angry at the wasted years. Is there a way to work through this feeling?

https://www.patreon.com/whatshouldithinkabout/

 

Acne information

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/acne/

 

Mental Health information

https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/

 

 

Feb 09, 2022
Coercive Control with Min Grob
58:03

The guest today is Min Grob from CCChat Magazine. Min experienced a coercively controlling relationship and talks about the behaviours and methods used by perpetrators. This is a companion piece to this week's Gaslight episode.  Mom’s website

https://coercivecontrol.co.uk/

Book referenced by Min

Judith Herman, Trauma and Recovery https://www.amazon.co.uk/Trauma-Recovery-Aftermath-Violence-Political/dp/0465061710/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?crid=11RG8FD38EYAX&keywords=trauma+and+recovery+judith+herman&qid=1644101397&sprefix=trauma+%2Caps%2C93&sr=8-1 

Feb 06, 2022
Gaslight: The Movie that Gave us the Playbook
47:01

The 1940's film Gaslight about the systematic attack by a man on his wife's psychological wellbeing, provided us with the phrase gaslighting. Today Sarah joins Stephen to review the movie and to explore how this tactic is used in coercively controlling relationships and in cults. 

Feb 02, 2022
Deconversion and Religious Trauma with Darren Slade PhD
55:28

Darren Slade has a fascinating story. Although not raised in a religious household as a young person he loved religious studies and his ambition was to become a pastor and Christian apologist. An ambition he achieved until he started to doubt his beliefs. Today he is the President of The Center for Religious Research and an atheist. He talks about his life and his research into religious trauma as well as some of his other interests such as miracles and the ethics of a God who allows suffering.

Would you like to support our podcast for just $1:50 per month? Get early access on many episodes and exclusive video content. https://www.patreon.com/whatshouldithinkabout

 

Global Center for Religious Studies

https://www.gcrr.org/

Darren M Slade Website

https://darrenmslade.academia.edu/

 

 

Jan 30, 2022
Science
54:39

What is science? How does it work? Can we trust it? Who does it? And can we trust the scientists? All this and more in today's big subject discussion. Plus a short and slightly bizarre Tweet of the Week.

Jan 26, 2022
Brent Lee: Ex Conspiracist
01:11:57

Today's guest is Brent Lee who describes himself as a recovering conspiracist of 15 years. Brent explains how he became drawn into a Grand Conspiracy, his journey out and the reasons he now feels he must talk about his own experience. Stephen and Celine also discuss how society might deal with this phenomena.

Support the podcast https://www.patreon.com/whatshouldithinkabout

Brent Lee TV https://youtube.com/c/BrentLeeTV

ko-fi.com/brentleetv

Twitter @BrentLeeTV

Jan 23, 2022
Why Ordinary People Do Atrocious Things: Cults and the Milgram Experiments
44:24

The Milgram experiments of the 1960s tried to answer the question of how seemingly normal people can do the most awful things. These experiments have been part of Psychology 101 for years and the subject of many a documentary. What are these experiments? And what can they tell us about how people behave in cults? Stephen also discusses sometimes difficult feelings ex members may have about things they may have done while part of a cult or high control group.

If you'd like to help support the podcast you can be a patron for just £1 ($1:50)  on our only tier on Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/whatshouldithinkabout

 

Interesting links

Footage of The Milgram Experiment https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOUEC5YXV8U&t=2s

 

Adam Haslam, The Psychology of Tyranny

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxXMKg8-7o0

 

Clip from Derren Brown, The Heist

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xxq4QtK3j0Y

 

References

Hollway, W., Lucey, H., & Phoenix, A. (2006). Social psychology matters. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).

 

Miell, D., Phoenix, A., & Thomas, K. (2002). Mapping psychology 1. The Open University.

 

 

 

Jan 19, 2022
Singer Songwriter, Ex Jehovah’s Witness Sapphire Phoenix
51:20

Sapphire Phoenix was raised as an 'exemplary' Jehovah's Witness until he found himself disfellowshipped and outside the organisation and his circle of family and friends. Sapphire talks about his experience and the realization that he wanted a different life. Now a singer-songwriter we feature two of his latest tunes.

Instagram: @officialsapphirephoenix

           

 

Jan 16, 2022
Being Wrong
52:49

Today Celine and Stephen talk about being wrong and why it's so often hard to accept. They look at the psychology of being wrong and how some cognitive biases may feed into the reasons why we don't always notice it when we are. Celine and Stephen also start the show with a side discussion about the joy of watching young people listen to progressive rock music for the first time, Virtual Reality, states of flow and scary video games. An eclectic episode!

 

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Links 

Psychology Today: Why is it so hard to admit when we are wrong?

https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/tech-happy-life/202101/why-is-it-so-hard-admit-when-we-are-wrong

Biases

https://thedecisionlab.com/biases/

 

Ambrose Cynthia YouTube Channel listening in Firth of Fifth

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5lKBO8TMAs

Beat Saber

https://www.oculus.com/experiences/quest/2448060205267927

Little Nightmares

https://store.steampowered.com/app/424840/Little_Nightmares/

 

 

 

Jan 12, 2022
Women in the Bible with Producer Bob
01:02:11

Growing up as a Jehovah's Witness or other fundamentalist religious group members are taught a particular view about the role of women, but what does the Bible really say? Upon leaving we have decisions to make about what our opinion now is and how that might affect our decisions and attitudes. Today Celine and Stephen talk again to Producer Bob, a born in ex Jehovah's Witness about her experience when in, and how she feels about it now. 

Jan 09, 2022
Cults in Movies: Whiplash
59:57

Does the 2014 movie Whiplash starring Miles Teller and JK Simmons depict a cultic relationship? One of our favourite movies with fabulous music great acting and a compelling story the movie is the story of a young man's rise to jazz drumming greatness, but there's a darker side to the story? On today's podcast we explore whether what we are watching is a sort of cult or at least a coercive relationship. 

For just £1 a month ($1:50) you can become a patron and gain access to all benefits - there is only one tier. Your support helps to keep the podcast on air.

https://www.patreon.com/whatshouldithinkabout/posts

 

Jan 05, 2022
Leaving the Amish: Lizzie’s Story
01:08:04

It's a fascinating and emotional episode this week, as Lizzie tells us about her life being raised within an Amish community in Ohio and how she ran away to start a new life. Lizzie is now a Health Coach with her own business called Undiet Yourself.

Lizzie's Website: https://undietyourself.live/

Lizzie's Instagram: @lizzieens 

 

Become a Patron to receive early access and exclusive content for just £1 ($1:50) per month.

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Jan 02, 2022
Bonus: Stephen’s Top Ten Recommended Podcasts for 2022
30:06

Recorded just before Christmas Day, Stephen's favourite podcasts of the year plus other recommendations to help make sense of a complicated, confusing but wonderful thing we call the world.

Happy New Year to all our listeners from Stephen and Celine.

Video version available at https://youtu.be/1jywnBWcx2A

Featured Podcasts

Top Ten Podcasts Very Bad Wizards - pod.link/557975157

Timesuck - pod.link/1156343076

Stories of Jesus, as told by atheists - pod.link/1435789453

In our time - pod.link/73330895

Freakonomics - pod.link/354668519

People I mostly admire - pod.link/1525936566

Philosophize this - pod.link/659155419

Kermode & Mayo - pod.link/73802698

You're dead to me - pod.link/1479973402

Mindscape - pod.link/1406534739

 

Podcast Friends

Falling out - pod.link/1550448436

The Free Thought Prophet - pod.link/1355376385

The World of Work Podcast - pod.link/1446563591

I was a teenage fundamentalist - pod.link/1558606464

Mindshift - pod.link/1199559501

Not too busy to write - pod.link/1550576952

Provisional Aspirations - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onbsOOYRP78

 

Dec 31, 2021
New Year’s Resolutions
01:08:33

As a Jehovah's Witness dad didn't really 'do' New Year, but upon leaving he observed the common tradition of the New Year's Resolution. What does the research suggest about how effective they are and what makes them more likely to be successful?

We also discuss a 'tweet of the week' addressing the question of whether all religions are cults. 

Become a patron for just £1 per month ($1:50)

 

Links

https://richardwiseman.wordpress.com/

 

Norcross, J. C., Ratzin, A. C., & Payne, D. (1989). Ringing in the New Year: The change processes and reported outcomes of resolutions. Addictive Behaviors, 14(2), 205-212.

http://www.changeologybook.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/ringing-in-the-new-year.pdf

 

 

 

Dec 29, 2021
My Story: Growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness, leaving and making sense of life
02:27:13

Early in 2021 Stephen talked to his daughter, Celine about his life as a Jehovah's Witness, being raised in the group, getting married to a fellow JW, struggling with doubts and finally leaving around the time she was born. The story originally spanned three separate episodes so this Christmas we've put all three together into a single episode.

Dec 25, 2021
Christmas Special
43:50

Sarah, joins Stephen for our Christmas Special as we think about the joys and 'tricky bits' of celebrating Christmas after leaving a cult, especially one that banned it. We think back to our own experience and how we came to feel about it. We finish with a song Celine and I recorded back in 2019.

Video for the song can be accessed here

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Dec 22, 2021
MindShift Time! Interview with Clint Heacock on Religious Deconstruction and Dominion Theology
01:05:25

Clint Heacock was raised in a Fundamentalist Christian group. As a young man he studied theology and Bible studies in various academic settings and completed his PHD in 2011 with his dissertation being a rhetorical-critical study of the book of Ezekiel. He is a former pastor of an Evangelical church and served in full time ministry. 

He moved to the UK and started a podcast called 'The Preacher's Forum'. Already deconstructing his fundamentalist beliefs he found during the podcast that he was questioning everything. He changed the name of the podcast to MindShift and now explores christian deconstruction, religious trauma and dominion theology.

We talked to him about his story and about his research into Dominion Theology and what it means for politics in the US and beyond.

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Check out Clint's MindShift Podcast https://pod.link/1199559501   MindShift Website https://mindshiftpodcast.co.uk/  

 

Dec 18, 2021
Believe In Yourself! Self Efficacy, Inside And Outside a Cult
32:48

The term 'Self Efficacy' describes the amount of belief an individual has that they can achieve something. In study after study the degree of self efficacy is a great predictor of whether the individual will achieve the goal. But it's in the interests of a coercive individual or group to reduce the belief that you can achieve goals that are not of use to them.

How do cults increase self efficacy in some areas but reduce it in others? What can we do to increase levels of self efficacy?

To receive exclusive monthly content become a patron for just £1 per month.

https://www.patreon.com/whatshouldithinkabout/posts

 

References

Heslin, P. A., & Klehe, U. C. (2006). Self-efficacy. Encyclopedia Of Industrial/Organizational Psychology, SG Rogelberg, ed, 2, 705-708.

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Peter-Heslin/publication/228210952_Self-efficacy/links/09e4150e7a1b51924e000000/Self-efficacy.pdf

 

 

Dec 15, 2021
Bonus: Cults as Organizations - Motivating Members
14:50

This week in the series of Cults as Organizations Stephen explores Herzberg's Two Factors, and Expectancy Theory, often used in Organizational Psychology,  to understand what motivates teams and individuals in the workplace, and applies these to high controls groups and cults.

 

References

Grant, A. M., & Shin, J. (2012). Work motivation: Directing, energizing, and maintaining effort (and research).

Van Eerde, W., & Thierry, H. (1996). Vroom's expectancy models and work-related criteria: A meta-analysis. Journal of applied psychology, 81(5), 575.

Anderson, N., Ones, D. S., Sinangil, H. K., & Viswesvaran, C. (Eds.). (2001). Handbook of industrial, work & organizational psychology: Volume 1: Personnel psychology. Sage.

 

Dec 13, 2021
Transcendental Meditation, Cults and Exiting: Interview with Patrick Ryan from Cult 101
01:08:02

Patrick Ryan found himself deeply involved in Transcendental Meditation during the 1970s until he started to believe he was part of a harmful group. He is now a cult mediation specialist, otherwise known as exit counselling. He is also the head of TM-EX, an organization of ex-members of Transcendental Meditation and has worked extensively with The International Cultic Studies Association. He is also co-author of “Ethical Standards for Thought Reform Consultants". We talk to Patrick about his life inside and outside and the perspective he has gained in his many years working in this space.

Why not become a patron for just £1 (or $1:50) to get early and exclusive access to content about cults and the life after?

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Links for Patrick Ryan

Patrick's profile on the ICSA (International Cultic Studies Association) website

https://docs.google.com/document/d/14MrthY0JHGYI4IfyeNFk0azw4lY7tupf6bsIlNJ8ZDE/view

ISCA Home

icsahome.com

CultNews 101

https://www.cultnews101.com/

Cult Mediation

http://cultmediation.com/about/

 

 

 

Dec 12, 2021
Dreams
57:49

Today Celine and Stephen explore dreams. Religion, psychoanalysis, neuroscience and psychology all attempt to explain what happens when we dream and whether they mean anything. Stephen also talks about how one dream by a ancient King had a profound impact on millions of people including himself.

Why not become a patron of just £1 (or equivalent in your currency)

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2nd Annual International eConference on Atheism

https://www.gcrr.org/god-and-suffering

Discount Code:  #Atheism

 

References

The Mind After Midnight: Where Do You Go When You Go to Sleep?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stXhGMVJuqA&t=3947s

 

Website

Psychology Today

https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/dream-catcher/201703/dream-interpretation

 

Magazines

The Psychologist March 2017. A brave new world of sleep pg. 22

The Psychologist April 2020. Dreams and their relationship with waking emotion pg. 48

 

Book

Psychology The Study of Human Experience, Third Edition

Robert Ornstein

pg 478 - 479 

ISBN0-15-572685-4

 

 

 

 

 

Dec 08, 2021
”I’ve got the ball and chain around you and only I have the key”: Ex Jehovah‘s Witness Sarah‘s Story
01:03:57

Today is a very personal episode with a very special guest because it's Sarah, Celine's mum and Stephen's wife. Warning that the episode contains some stories about familial abuse, threats and suicide attempts. Sarah talks openly about her difficult childhood, becoming a mum and dealing with matters of faith. Stephen and Sarah also talk about how they met and the hurdles they had to overcome both to be together and then to grow together as they exited the Jehovah's Witnesses. 

 

Why not become a patron for just £1 per month (or equivalent in your currency)

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Support services (UK)

 

NHS Psychological Therapies Service (England only)

https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-psychological-therapies-service/

 

Faith to Faithless

https://www.faithtofaithless.com

Faith to Faithless is Humanists UK’s support programme for so-called ‘apostates’ and those who leave high-control religions.

Telephone General enquiries: 020 7324 3060

Email info@faithtofaithless.com

 

Mind

https://www.mind.org.uk

We provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. We won't give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect.

Contact information

Infoline Call 0300 123 3393 Email info@mind.org.uk

 

Dec 05, 2021
Free Will Vs Determinism
57:38

Today Celine and Stephen argue! Is there such thing as free will? Is everything predetermined at the moment of the Big Bang? What does science, religion and philosophy say about it? Do we like the answer? Is Celine going to storm off the podcast because her dad is getting on her nerves? All covered in this week's spicy episode.

As a Jehovah's Witness Stephen was taught to reject predestination - a form of pre-determinism, but free will doesn't sit well with an omnipotent God who can see the future. Upon leaving, the question still holds resonance. Buckle up for a mind bending episode of What should I think about..?

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Dec 01, 2021
Award-Winning Film Witness Underground: Interview with Scott Homan and Ryan Sutter
01:01:01

This week's interview is with filmmaker Scott Homan, Writer, Cinematographer and Director of the documentary movie Witness Underground about a group of Jehovah's Witnesses who start an Indie record label, and their subsequent journey out of the organization. Scott is also joined by Ryan Sutter one of the principle characters of the film. Fascinating and inspiring.

Witness Underground Website

https://www.witnessunderground.com/

XJW Coming Out - Documentary SeriesXJW Coming Out 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfInUcKLJM8&t=39s

 

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Nov 28, 2021
Special 100th Episode and 1st Birthday
01:28:01

To celebrate the 100th episode of the 'What should I think about..?' podcast and the 1 year birthday, Celine and Stephen take a look back at just a few of the episodes and guests from the past 12 months. It's been a wild ride. Plus music from Luke Stevenson a former guest of the show and the latest WhatSITA Showcase act. 

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Music by Luke Stevenson

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjQakVeHTyI

 

 

 

 

Nov 24, 2021
I‘m safer in a bar than I am in a Kingdom Hall: Ex Jehovah‘s Witness Donna Stevenson talks about her experience
02:10:30

Donna Stevenson was raised as a Jehovah's Witness and describes herself as a "happy Witness", but her experiences as a young woman in the organization left her with many questions. Donna eloquently describes what happened, her struggles with her faith and her journey out of the organization and life afterwards.

Warning: This episodes includes discussion about sexual assault

 

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Advice about Trauma

Mind 

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/trauma/overcoming-barriers/

NHS

https://www.england.nhs.uk/london/our-work/help-and-support/

 

 

Nov 21, 2021
Trying to Make Sense of War After Leaving a Pacifist Cult
52:50

As a Jehovah's Witness Stephen was raised to be a pacifist. Upon leaving the group ex members find themselves trying to make sense of how to think about war and whether it can be justified. Celine and Stephen explore the concept of the "just war", how we remember people who have died in wars and how for a moment the world appeared to get close to a rules based system for mutual benefit. Also the show introduces a new feature, showcasing the music and performances of ex JWs or ex members of other high control groups. Today it's a band called TICNOTOC from Warrington, Cheshire in the UK with their track; Who rattled your cage?

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TICNOTOC website

https://www.ticnotoc.com/

 

BBC Podcast - In Our Time

https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/just-war/id463701671?i=1000097068534

 

 

 

 

Nov 17, 2021
Bonus: Are Cults a Wicked Problem?
18:02

In organisational studies, "Wicked problems" are a type of problem that's hard to define and wickedly difficult to solve. In this month's Cults as Organisations Stephen asks whether cults can be described in this way and what can be done by governments to protect people while maintaining religious freedoms.

This is an audio version of Stephen's blog. You can read the blog here:

https://medium.com/@SteEvilSheep/what-should-we-do-about-cults-a-wicked-problem-ea062a99015c

 

Nov 16, 2021
Specialist Counsellor in Cult Recovery Gillie Jenkinson: 4 Phase Model
59:52

Gillie Jenkinson PhD is a leading accredited psychotherapist, specialising in cult recovery and recovery from spiritual abuse. She shares with us the four step framework she uses to help people recovering from cult experiences. We discuss the framework, the work done at each stage and the roles of the individual and the counsellor. We also ask about the special challenges of the born-in member and their sense of identity and self, as well as hear about Gillie's own experience inside a religious cult.

We really enjoyed talking to one of the most relevant and knowledgeable voices in this area.

Gillie Jenkinson Hope Valley Counselling Website

https://www.hopevalleycounselling.com/writing-media

 

Nov 14, 2021
Meerkats, Cleaner Fish and the Social Instinct with Producer Bob
48:47

Producer Bob and Stephen review the Voltaire lecture given by Nichola Raihani about how deeply embedded is the instinct to cooperate. We discuss questions like; why do human beings go through the menopause, how do Meerkats teach their young, how do cleaner fish police customer service and how are a store in the UK that cuts keys and mends shoes leading the way in prisoner rehabilitation. 

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Nichola Raihani's book is called, The Social Instinct: How Cooperation Shaped the World.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Jonathan Cape (3 Jun. 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1787332047
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1787332041

 

Nov 10, 2021
Growing up in The Children of God Cult
56:07

Angela Lathwell was raised in the Children of God cult. She describes speaking out about the cult as the last taboo for ex members and we are honoured that she has decided to tell her story on the 'What should I think about..?' podcast. 

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Nov 06, 2021
Bonus: Remember Remember the 5th of November
49:43

In 1605 Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament. In 2005 the Wachowskis adapted V for Vendetta starring Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving and John Hurt. Today on November 5th 2021 we review the film inspired by the historical event and dig into its meaning and the actual history behind the event - plus some interesting little tidbits too.

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Nov 05, 2021
The Dancing Plague
51:46

Back in the 16th Century a woman began to dance - but couldn't stop. Others began to join her and a plague was declared and according to some reports, 15 people a day died of exhaustion. As weird as it seems it's not an isolated case, over the years similar phenomena have been observed. What causes this? What does it tell us about human behaviour? Is there anything that it might tell us about cultic groups? Plus a little spooky Tweet of the Week.

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Nov 02, 2021
Interview With The Prophets of Free Thought
01:00:50

Today we welcome John and Seamus from The Free Thought Prophet Podcast. Seamus talks about his 'Near Death Experience' and how it converted him to atheism. We also talk about John's journey out of the Catholic Church, reasons people leave religion behind, the hostile reaction in some places to atheism and why atheists don't always get along. It's a wide ranging and fascinating conversation with two of the podcast world's leading freethinkers.

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Oct 30, 2021
Learned Behavior in Cults
01:05:43

The psychology of learning. How cults shape what people think, what they do and when they do it. Stephen and Celine explore three ways of understanding learning within High Controls Groups, Coercive Relationships and Cults.

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Reference

Miell, D., Phoenix, A., & Thomas, K. (2002). Mapping psychology 1. The Open University.

 

Oct 26, 2021
They were teenage fundamentalists: Evangelicals and Pentecostals
01:07:29

We talk to the co-hosts of the podcast "I Was a Teenage Fundamentalist", B and T. What is evangelicalism? Is it a cult? What do Pentecostals believe? Why do they speak in tongues? Great guests and it was so interesting to talk about a movement we didn't know very much about. We also talk about the rise of the Mega Church and in particular Hilsong, its history, beliefs and methods of recruitment. 

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I Was a Teenage Fundamentalist podcast link

https://pod.link/1558606464

 

Oct 23, 2021
The Lies We Tell Our Kids (Or Don‘t)
51:40

Santa Claus, The Tooth Fairy, Hagrid! Is it okay to tell our children stories that aren't true but pretend they are, to create a magical childhood experience? As an ex Jehovah's Witness, Stephen was raised without these stories so how did he approach this question as Celine's dad when she was a child? Also Stephen floats a new feature for the podcast to Celine called "Things we used to do".

If you think this podcast is worth £1 per week (or equivalent in your own currency) why not become a patron for just that.

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Oct 19, 2021
Alexandra Stein PhD: Attachment in cults and coercive relationships
01:15:10

Dr Alexandra Stein, one of the leading experts on cults joins us today for a fascinating interview. She talks about her own experience within a cult, the application of attachment theory to cults and coercive relationships as well as discussing the physical effects of these damaging and toxic relationships. We also discuss the historic lack of research from a multi-generational (born-in) perspective and whether talk about the the 'cult self' versus the 'authentic self' is universally useful. Dr Stein was incredibly generous with her time and thoughtfully engaged with everything we asked.

Useful Links

www.alexandrastein.com/publications https://www.thefamilysurvivaltrust.org  

For donations to support the work of the Family Survival Trust: https://www.justgiving.com/thefamilysurvivaltrust

Why Not become a 'What should I think about patron..?' for just £1 (or equivalent) https://www.patreon.com/whatshouldithinkabout

 

 

Oct 16, 2021
Documentary Special: The Pink Pound
33:17

Special episode of the podcast with an audio version of the documentary Celine and Stephen made called the Pink Pound. 

Video version

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfDaI8rlNDc&t=603s

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Oct 11, 2021
Film actor, singer, X factor contestant, window cleaner exJW Luke Stevenson
01:06:19

Luke Stevenson appeared in the movie 'Apostasy', a film about Jehovah's Witnesses. He was raised as a JW and he talks honestly about living according to the expectations of his community and then leading a double life before leaving. 

He also talks about his appearance on The X factor, his part in Apostasy and his singing. He tells a great story and is a born entertainer.

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Oct 09, 2021
Cult Movie: The Village
38:12

Today we explore with cultic vision the 2004 movie 'The Village' written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, starring Sigourney Weaver, William Hurt, Joaquin Phoenix and Bryce Dallas Howard.

Is it the story of a cult? We discuss...

Also, we see the return of Tweet Of The Week or TOTW as everyone is calling it 😊

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https://www.patreon.com/whatshouldithinkabout/posts

 

Oct 05, 2021
JT and Lady Cee
01:04:27

So excited to welcome two of the original EX JW YouTubers onto the podcast this week. JT and Lady Cee talk about their life as Jehovah's Witnesses - JT as a Bethel Brother and Lady Cee as a Regular Pioneer. They're great company and it was such a pleasure to speak to them both. Sorry about my tinny microphone - hope it isn't too distracting.

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JT and Lady Cee YouTube Channels

EXJW Critical Thinker https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpHhWSPtMDTSa8dzapmzo5A

Hidden Struggles https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ME-Gc300keLc9ll9wXPRw

Creative Studio 101 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1bsNFn7Qfzbw1U5cw4BQxQ

       
Oct 02, 2021
Should we worry about homeschooling?
01:39:06

This is a special podcast documentary episode where we explore homeschooling.

It seems to be increasingly popular, particularly with religious parents so what are the risks? Are there any benefits? We talk to two people, Kezia and Matilda who were educated at home, as well as Kate, a professional educator to get insights from different perspectives on this controversial topic.

Do we change our mind about a subject that has been cropping up quite regularly on the podcast?

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Sep 28, 2021
Checklists and Affirmations: Jared ex Jehovah‘s Witness:
01:02:09

Today we head down to the Bible Belt of the USA and talk to Jared, an ex Jehovah's Witness, Pioneer and Elder. He talks about his childhood as a committed Jehovah's Witness, his youth and how a fateful search for some music from a JW drama changed his life.

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Sep 25, 2021
Sexual Healing: With Producer Bob and the Shunned Experience‘s Jordan
01:12:15

Adults only this week as the 'In Conversation' Panel, Producer Bob and Jordan Robertson from the Shunned Experience Podcast, review the lecture from Doni Whitsett, PhD, LCSW at the International Cultic Studies Association convention, where she talked about recovering from sexual trauma, experienced while part of a cult or high control group.

Why not become a patron for just £1 (or equivalent in your currency). 

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Sep 21, 2021
Robin Jackson: South African Ex JW Activist
54:53

What was it like to be raised a Jehovah's Witness during apartheid? What was it like to leave the organization? Robin Jackson is a podcaster with his show 'Cult Life' and the author of two books. He joins us today on the 'Would should I think about..?' podcast and talks about his life, his awakening from the Group and his need to go public about his experience.

 

Why not become a patron for just £1 (or equivalent in your currency)

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Robin's Work

Losing The Faith: Amazon https://tinyurl.com/27x2htzm 

Cults: How They Work Amazon https://tinyurl.com/3bw82jk4

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/RobinJacksonZA

Podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/show/cult-life-with-robin-jackson

 

Sep 19, 2021
Bonus: The MGTOW Men‘s Movement with Jexit
59:28

Riley from the Jexit 2020 channel joins Stephen to discuss the MGTOW movement - Men Going Their Own Way. Riley reached out after we talked about it during the Matrix episode and he provides an interesting perspective as someone who got involved after he left the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Thank you Riley for a fascinating discussion.

Why not become a patron for just £1 (or equivalent https://www.patreon.com/whatshouldithinkabout/

 

Sep 17, 2021
”What‘s your Weltanschauung? How your ‘worldview‘ affects your beliefs.
53:49

A Weltanschauung is a 'worldview', a way of making sense out what we see and experience. Each person has a specific way of making sense of life and leaving a high control group means rewiring our worldview in many areas. Stephen also presents the case for understanding political and social angst in light of different people's Weltanschauung.

Strap in, it's a philosophical episode of 'What should I think about..?', where we also explain terms like ontology and epistemology. Plus we talk about some feedback from a current Jehovah's Witness on Apple Podcasts. 

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Lynette Pretorius: Academic Language and Literacy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkcqGU7l_zU

Sep 14, 2021
John Elson Ex JW Stand-up Comic and Caricaturist
01:21:31

A very special episode, John Elson is an old friend and fellow ex Jehovah's Witness. John is very important to us as he is our resident artist, producing the cool artwork we use to promote the podcast every week. A professional artist, he talks about his journey from very active Jehovah's Witness, elder and regular pioneer to stand-up comedian and then on to professional artist. Also our first ever in-person interview.

John is a fabulous, very entertaining guest, you will love listening to him.

Why not become a Patron for just £1 (or equivalent in your currency)

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John Elson's Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/Johnelsonartist

 

Sep 11, 2021
Perfection
01:06:10

What do we mean by perfection? How do cults use the concept? What is its connection to sin? Where does excellence and achievement sit within this conversation and why can it be tricky for leavers of high control groups?

All this plus a couple of 'Tweets of The Week'.

Why not become a patron for just £1 (or equivalent in your currency)? 

https://www.patreon.com/join/whatshouldithinkabout

 

Vox article

https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2019/11/27/20975989/perfect-mental-health-perfectionism

 

 

Sep 07, 2021
Bonus Short: Cults as Organizations - Change
17:06

In this series Stephen uses Organizational Psychological Theory to explore High Control Groups. In this episode Stephen explores whether high control groups (cults) respond favourably to external pressures to change their policies and behavior.

Sep 07, 2021
”I was stunned because no-one seemed to care at all”: Phd student and ex JW Ryan David Tuttle
54:22

Ryan David Tuttle talks about his life growing up on the edge of the Jehovah's Witness congregation, his efforts to embrace what he saw as his community and his eventual disenchantment and leaving. He also discusses his ideas about an ecological model of cult involvement.

Sep 04, 2021
Review of Unorthodox
01:13:19

Today we review 'Unorthodox', the short series on Netflix, inspired by the book by Deborah Feldman. The story follows a young woman fleeing a closed community that restricts her freedom to make her own decisions about her life. We explore the remarkable way this story resonates with other experiences of people raised in High Control Groups. We also discuss some criticisms of the show and the potentially difficult questions it raises when it comes to highlighting the problematic behavior of minority religious groups. 

Why not become a patron for just £1 (or equivalent in your currency) https://www.patreon.com/whatshouldithinkabout/posts

 

 

Aug 31, 2021
Interview with Mark Jones, the Quora guy
01:03:28

Mark Jones is an ex Jehovah's Witness who has carved out a niche for himself in one of the most influential and read question-and-answer websites - Quora. Mark has over 14 thousand followers on Quora and has been able to help many people to learn the truth about the organization behind the name. He's a great interview and has his own story to tell. 

Why not become a patron?

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Mark's profile on Quora

https://www.quora.com/profile/Mark-Jones-400

 

Aug 28, 2021
Bonus Conversation: Born-in Cult Member Recovery
01:05:55

Stephen talks to Producer Bob about the research of Sofia Klufas, presenter at the International Cultic Studies Association convention, into the experience of second and third generation cult members, as they leave their group. 

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Aug 26, 2021
Avoiding the 'Pit of Despair'
57:25

Today we discuss our personal strategies to avoid falling into the 'pit of despair' - a feeling of anxiety about self and the world. Leaving an all encompassing groups can leave a person feeling overwhelmed and dad talks about that, but The News and making our way through a complex world affects everyone, so Celine talks about her ways of managing that. We hope you enjoy this very personal episode.

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Aug 24, 2021
A voice from inside: Interview with Geoffrey Wallis
01:05:12

Geoffrey Wallis is a current Jehovah's Witness who has written a book about what it's like to be a Physically In, Mentally Out (PIMO) Jehovah's Witness. Geoffrey has a fascinating perspective coupled with well researched thoughts on religious trauma and other psychological effects of belonging to a captive organization.

Why not become a 'What should I think about..?' patron

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Useful links for this episode

Geoffrey Wallis website

https://www.wallisbooks.com/

 

Buy A voice from inside at Amazon 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Voice-Inside-Religious-Captive-Organization/dp/B097XFM94Z/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Geoffrey+wallis&qid=1629574349&sr=8-1

 

Geoffrey Wallis Blog on Medium

https://geoffreywallis.medium.com/

 

 

Aug 21, 2021
Personality Profiles
53:11

Stephen has a bit of a rant about the documentary 'Persona: The Dark Truth Behind Personality Tests. Also, what are psychometrics? Do they say anything interesting? Are they all born equal? Is there a sinister side to them?

Become a Patron for just £1

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Interesting links

The Vox article

https://www.vox.com/2014/7/15/5881947/myers-briggs-personality-test-meaningless

 

Scientific American

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-accurate-are-personality-tests/

 

 

 

Aug 17, 2021
Prophecy Special: England's Most Famous Prophetess
58:43

A special episode of the podcast with a visit to Knaresborough, Yorkshire, the home of Mother Shipton, England's most famous Prophetess and the archetype of what we now think of as the traditional Witch. Come on holiday with Stephen and special guest on the podcast Celine's mum Sarah.

What do we know about Mother Shipton? What were some of her prophecies? And what are the parallels with Biblical prophecy?

 

Official Mother Shipton Website

https://www.mothershipton.co.uk/

 

Become a Patron of 'What should I think about..?'

https://www.patreon.com/whatshouldithinkabout/posts

 

 

 

Aug 14, 2021
The Matrix as Metaphor
01:03:19

So many cult escapees cite the movie The Matrix as a metaphor to describe the leaving process. Today we explore why, and how it can be interpreted as a way to make sense of the leaving process. Warning! Lot's of talk about The Matrix including spoilers.

Why not become a patron for just £1 a month. https://www.patreon.com/whatshouldithinkabout/

 

Lilly Wachowski on The Matrix

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adXm2sDzGkQ

Aug 10, 2021
A life in the Moonies: Interview with Elgen Strait
01:15:54

Elgen was born to a 'matched couple' in the Unification Church, better known as the Moonies. He talks to us about his experience growing up as a 'Blessed Child'. He explains the theology and philosophy and his experience breaking free and finding his sense of identity. This is such a powerful and fascinating story with many similarities to other cult experiences, but some unique elements too. 

Elgen has his own podcast called 'Falling Out', definitely worth checking out. You can find it on all of the major platforms or through the links below:

fallingoutpod.com/episodes

On Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/falling-out-with-elgen-strait/id1550448436 On Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/2KothAr2epngctKNrUGJ96  

We highlighted a couple of episodes:

Re: "Educational" experiences of 2nd generation Moonies: 1- Miseducation: Donna Cervelli Part 1 Available on fallingoutpod.com/episodes; here: https://play.acast.com/s/5b3d2846-6f01-5f3e-84e8-70addf1ed190/600d9a2c15c5d07b7c6e3e07 On Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/1-miseducation-donna-cervelli-part-1/id1550448436?i=1000506558587 On Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/10J8OeEEKzqqWmqJArMmjK?si=CsWzQEvAReWpleHMVikOyQ&dl_branch=1   Re: Institutional abandonment of young children, with a tape from a Unification-Church run orphanage in the 1980s:  S2 E2- A Chorus of Sorrows: Limi Bauer Part 1 Available on fallingoutpod.com/episodes; here: https://play.acast.com/s/5b3d2846-6f01-5f3e-84e8-70addf1ed190/60c7b41eaf28ef00126b0320 On Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/s2-e2-a-chorus-of-sorrows-limi-bauer-part-1/id1550448436?i=1000525637293 On Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/4iT1T7QvYdgWFneASONyFZ?si=SyJJc2mbQOKTbDnuDigX_Q&dl_branch=1   Become a 'What should I think about..?' Patron for just £1 (or equivalent)  https://www.patreon.com/whatshouldithinkabout/  

 

Aug 07, 2021
Emotional Labour and The Kingdom Smile
59:48

Having to be happy for the benefit of others is one example of emotional labour. Cabin crew, sales assistants and carers are all expected to regulate their emotions to provide the right experience for the customer. But what about High Control Groups? Wearing a Kingdom smile and being happy was a requirement for Dad as a Jehovah's Witnesses - and is replicated in other groups. Is this the ultimate in emotional labour?

 

If you'd like to support the podcast why not become 

https://www.patreon.com/whatshouldithinkabout/

 

Research Paper

Korczynski, M. (2003). Communities of coping: Collective emotional labour in service work. Organization, 10(1), 55-79.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/247747517_Communities_of_Coping_Collective_Emotional_Labor_in_Service_Work

 

The Managed Heart by Arlie Hochschild

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ University of California Press; 3rd edition (13 April 2012)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 339 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0520272943
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0520272941

 

Aug 03, 2021
Kamila Dydyna talks about Debutante
01:01:11

Just before her world premiere at the Galway Film Festival, Filmmaker and ex Jehovah's Witness Kamila Dydyna talks to us about Debutante, her short film about the experience of a young Jehovah's Witness having to endure a Judicial Committee, an internal hearing to determine whether she will be disfellowshipped and shunned. It's a powerful short film and Kamila talks about her motivation for making it. It's a wonderful interview and we so much enjoyed talking to her about the making of the film and her plans for the future.

Support the 'What should I think about..?' and become a patron

https://www.patreon.com/whatshouldithinkabout/

 

Support Kamila here

https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/DebutanteFilm

 

Kamila's blog about her experience of making Debutante

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/making-film-against-all-odds-kamila-dydyna

 

 

Jul 31, 2021
Bonus: Mental health of born-in cult members with Producer Bob and Jordan Robertson
01:22:25

This bonus episode is a review of a lecture from the International Cultic Studies Association Convention that addresses the question of fundamentalist groups and the mental health of leavers who were raised into them. 

Thank you to Producer Bob and Jordan for being guest panel members on this episode. 

Jul 30, 2021
Finding love in and out of a High Control Group
01:10:12

Following on from our interview with Jill Adams, Celine and Stephen explore the trials and tribulations of finding love as a Jehovah's Witness and some of the challenges after you leave. Stephen opens up about his identity crisis upon leaving and some the effects it had upon his relationship. Tweet of the week looks at the Flood and the story of Noah and asks some tricky questions about the belief that it literally happened as written.

Jul 27, 2021
Sex and relationships: Interview with Jill Adams
01:00:57

High Control Groups insert themselves into their followers sex lives and relationships. This has consequences both while part of the Group and upon leaving. We speak to Jill Adams, ex Jehovah's Witness activist and creator of the YouTube channel 'The Fig Leaf' about some of these issues and the journey leavers make once they leave the beliefs behind.

We talk about life inside the group including attitudes towards gender roles, the requirement of women to be in submission, sexual restrictions within marriage and outside, as well as what it's like to be brought before the internal judicial system of the congregation. We also discuss the conditions that allow abuse to happen within the organisation.

Jill's channel is called the Fig Leaf, here is a link.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR_1M97L8eiWjPPt1OBGstQ

 

Jul 25, 2021
Cognitive Biases and Cults
01:05:05

What are cognitive biases? Why do we have them? And how do cults manipulate them? We discuss heuristics and how they give rise to biases and delve into just a few of them including Essentialism, Conservatism, The Halo Effect, The Fundamental Attribution Error and the Self Serving Bias. We also talk about Daniel Kahneman's book 'Thinking fast and slow' and learn about the two system thinking model he uses. 

 

Useful references

Biases wheel

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/every-single-cognitive-bias/

Cognitive biases list

https://thedecisionlab.com/biases/

 

Thinking fast and slow, Danial Kahneman

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Penguin; 1st edition (10 May 2012)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 512 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0141033576
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0141033570
Jul 20, 2021
Bethan ex Mormon perspectives
58:30

Bethan is an ex mormon blogger and writes about her experiences as a member of the LDS church. In today's podcast she talks about her beliefs and worldview as a Mormon, early happy times within the Group as well as her struggles to maintain her beliefs even after she'd left. She also discusses the Group's position on the role of women, sex and sexuality and how it affected her. A fascinating interview with lot's of parallels to other Groups.

Jul 18, 2021
Narcissism and cult leaders
59:26

What is narcissism? How do people become narcissists? Is there a link between narcissism and leadership? What about cults are they led by narcissists? And what is malignant narcissism? 

We discuss these questions by reviewing a lecture by Charles Zeiders and Peter Devlin author of the book Malignant Narcissism and Power: A Psychodynamic Exploration of Madness and Leadership. It's fascinating stuff!

Our Patreon

https://www.patreon.com/whatshouldithinkabout

Our Merch

https://evilsheep.teemill.com/

 

Book featured on today's show

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Malignant-Narcissism-Power-Psychodynamic-Exploration/dp/0367279630

Lecture featured on today's show

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrPyH3Q8mdg&t=308s

 

 

 

 

Jul 13, 2021
Ep 51. Germ from the Mentally Diseased YouTube Channel
01:03:45

Jeremy Howell, AKA Germ is the creator of the Mentally Diseased YouTube channel. He talks to us about his life as a Jehovah's Witness and why they think he's mentally diseased. We discuss his early years as, in his words, a "goodie two shoes", the quashing of his creative potential and his struggles with his realisation about his sexuality.

He also describes growing up in a family with an abusive father, protected by the Group, and his journey out of both the religion and the mindset.

Germ's YouTube Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/c/MentallyDiseased

The podcast about narcissism referred to in the podcast is scheduled for the next episode. Here is the link to the source material. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrPyH3Q8mdg&t=307s

 

 

Jul 10, 2021
Bonus Short : Mental Wellbeing in Cults
15:47

This Bonus episode is part of the 'Cults as Organizations' series I use Organizational Psychology to explore high control groups and compare them to other groups.  

This month I look at Psychological wellbeing by using the ABCs of psychological wellbeing developed by lecturers of Organizational Psychology at Birkbeck College, University of London.

Reference article

https://social.hays.com/2020/04/15/managing-wellbeing-in-uncertain-world/

The video slide show for this episode is available for patrons at Cognitive Dissonance level and above. 

Why not become a patron?

https://www.patreon.com/whatshouldithinkabout

Jul 09, 2021
Ep 50. Self Help
58:45

As a member of a high control group Stephen was taught that 'self-help' books and programs (that were not from the cult) were dangerous and wrong. When you leave there's a desire and a possible need for self development, but there's also a risk of getting sucked into another all-encompassing system of belief. We discuss this question and more in the latest episode. 

Plus we have 'Tweet of the Week' where we look at biases and how much High Control Groups use these to influence their followers and potential victims.

Have you ever wanted to support the podcast by becoming a patron?

https://www.patreon.com/whatshouldithinkabout

Evil Sheep Fashion - T-Shirts and Hoodies

https://evilsheep.teemill.com/

 

Jul 06, 2021
Ep 49. Jordan Robertson Ex Jehovah's Witness YouTuber
01:10:07

Raised as a Jehovah's Witness, now a YouTuber and ex JW activist, Jordan tells his story. He talks about his memories of growing up, dating and relationships, his difficulties when his Brother was disfellowshipped and the pain of his own shunning by his family. We also speak to him about his observations of the trend toward homeschooling as well as consider the possible futures of the Organisation. 

Jordan's YouTube Channel 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbpw_BFZeVrspncOOvwKA8A/about

 

Jul 03, 2021
Cults as depicted in Star Trek
52:03

Film and TV often depict cultic groups. This week we explore how this is done in Star Trek with the Episode 'The Way to Eden'. We scrutinise this fictional cult using former guest Dr. Lalich's Bounded Choice Model, and also consider how general anxieties in wider society help the viewer to make sense of what they are seeing.

Plus we laugh at the amazing cauliflower ears of the cult leader in the show.

 

Episode discussed:

The Way to Eden: Star Trek TOS Season 3 Episode 20

Paradise: Star Trek Deep Space Nine Season 2 Episode 15

Star Trek Movie, The Final Frontier 

Jun 30, 2021
Ep 47. Chris Shelton Ex Scientologist
58:50

Chris is a podcaster, YouTuber and ex scientologist. We talk about his childhood, his journey out of the group, the worldview of Scientology and his studies into coercive control. We also explore the psychology of born-ins and child members of cults and their battle for a sense of self and identity once they leave. Chris is a wonderful guest and very passionate about helping people out of high control groups.

Chris' Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-sensibly-speaking-podcast/id1030984057

Chris' YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCF326xyA0QHI7Z5xAwKQDJg

 

Jun 27, 2021
Ep 46. Optimized Cr*pness and Customer Service
54:30

Just what is optimised crapness? Why should you care? And what has it got to do with customer service? We also introduce our new feature called Tweet of the Week.

We've had a heavy few weeks so we thought today we'd lighten things up a bit and talk about some modern day problems with a hint of - how to deal with callers at your door trying to save you from Armageddon.

Jun 23, 2021
Ep 45. Dr. Janja Lalich, Cult Researcher
01:02:01

One of the most influential researchers into cults, Dr Lalich has experienced the phenomena of cults both from the inside, as a member and then as a researcher. She is Professor Emerita of Sociology at California State University, an author and educator and speaks eloquently and compassionately about the experience of being a member of a high control group. 

We enjoyed a wonderful interview with Dr. Lalich in which she talks about the Bounded Choice model and her book Leaving Utopia specifically about "born-ins" - a particular area of interest to this podcast. We talk about the particular difficulties for those born into groups, the added challenges for members of fundamentalist religious cults who are LGBTQ+, homeschooling, how society should deal with coercive groups and much more.

Website

www.janjalalich.com

 

Jun 20, 2021
Bonus short: Cults and Power
13:50

This bonus content is a pilot for a new series called Cults as Organizations where I explore Organizational Psychology and how it applies to cults. 

In this episode I look at French and Raven's Bases of Power.

If you want to watch the illustrations along with the audio you can access it here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqWStGShLgI

 

Jun 18, 2021
Cults in our Midst - Book Review
43:38

Celine and Stephen look at the seminal work of Margaret Singer: Cults in Our Midst. Now over 25 years old, the book still has important information to tell us about the cult phenomena. Where do Jehovah's Witnesses sit on the Continuum of Influence and Persuasion? The book also prompted Stephen to think about whether we could or should be looking more closely at creating a new taxonomy of different types of High Control Group - or maybe that's already been done!

 

Cults in our Midst

Singer, M. T., & Lalich, J. (1995). Cults in our midst. Jossey-Bass.

 

Jun 16, 2021
Ep 43.Rob Crompton, Special Pioneer to Methodist Minister
01:02:18

Rob Crompton was a Special Pioneer, a full-time preacher for the Jehovah's Witnesses and dedicated to his faith, but he had a thirst for knowledge. After leaving and pursuing higher education he became a Methodist Minister. He is a prolific author with some controversial opinions about religion, the Bible and the process of leaving the High Control Group.

Rob's books

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Robert-Crompton/e/B001HP9S8M%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

 

Website

https://robcrompton.org/

 

 

Jun 13, 2021
Ep 42. The Pink Pound
45:17

What is the relationship between commerce and LGBTQ+ issues? Are corporations allies? Or are they merely jumping onto a bandwagon to appear progressive? Is buying power a route to a more progressive society or is direct action more important? In this special episode Celine and Stephen think about these questions, as well as discuss attitudes towards Gay people within fundamentalist Christian groups. Celine and Stephen preview their upcoming documentary "The Pink Pound" due to be released middle of June 2021 where they talk to a range of voices with the LGBTQ+ family, asking these very questions.

Jun 09, 2021
Ep 41. Ex Jehovah's Witness Academic & Leadership Coach, Dr. Calonddu
58:08

Dr Calonddu talks about her life as a young Jehovah's Witness, her academic studies into Anglo Saxon Christianity and its attitudes towards women and sexuality, her exiting process from the Witnesses, her mental health difficulties and recognition of her own sexuality. A fascinating and unique perspective from a remarkable guest.

Resources

https://www.faithtofaithless.com/

 

Jun 06, 2021
Body Image
54:33

What is 'Body Positivity'? Celine gives her dad the history and they discuss the somewhat mixed messages around this subject. Stephen thinks back to the negative messages about bodies and sinfulness that he remembers being raised as a Jehovah's Witnesses, and its association with the belief in the fall of man.

Jun 02, 2021
Ep 39. The Satanic Panic with Professor Chris French
01:01:20

Our Sunday Interview is with Professor Chris French, Emeritus Professor and Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London. As well as being a well respected academic and researcher he has also appeared on many TV shows and documentaries investigating apparent psychic or supernatural phenomena.

We talk to Professor French about his work on false memories and the disturbing accusations of ritualistic Satanic abuse of the 80s and 90s. 

This episode of the podcast includes themes related to sexual abuse and descriptions of what was alleged to have taken place. Listener discretion is advised.

May 30, 2021
Ep 38. Aliens and UFOs
57:30

What would happen to Christian Fundamentalist's beliefs if we discovered life on other planets or if they visited us on Earth? How would their theology cope with such a revelation? Jehovah's Witnesses and other Groups have a theology that puts the Earth at the centre of a sort of Universal courtroom drama, so what would this mean?

You can read a transcript of the episode here: https://www.evilsheep.co.uk/blog

Video referred to: Alien Contact What Happens Next?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTqLPvBz8xc&t=163s

 

May 26, 2021
Ep 36. Gender
01:02:42

Celine asks her dad to explore what it means to be a man and she explores her female gender. 

Questions based upon Heather Flowers @HTHRFLWRS

 

 

May 19, 2021
Ep 35. Interview with author Ali Millar
01:01:35

A fabulous interview, Ali is an author and podcaster. Ali talks about her life as a Jehovah's Witness, her secret passion for writing, why she enjoyed doing assignments in the Theocratic Ministry School and how she left, including the fears she experienced as she exited the High Control Group.

We explore with Ali the difficulties of leaving behind everything she knew, the pain of losing family connections as well as her realisation of the extent of the gendered and patriarchal organisation she has been a part of, and the effect this had had on her. She describes her struggle to believe in her ability, her decision to do a masters in creative writing and what led to her writing her book. 

Ali's book 'The Last Days' comes out in the Spring of 2022.

 

Ali's Website

https://www.alimillar.com/

 

The Bookseller featuring 'The Last Days'

https://www.thebookseller.com/news/ebury-picks-luminous-memoir-about-growing-part-and-leaving-jehovah-s-witnesses-1226737

 

Ali's Podcast along with Penny Wincer

https://www.pennywincerwrites.com/not-too-busy-to-write-podcast

 

 

May 16, 2021
Ep 34. Activisim
55:44

As a Jehovah's Witness getting involved in making the world a better place is not encouraged. When you leave such a High Control Organization the opportunity to get involved can be exciting and a bit overwhelming. We discuss activism in all its forms.

May 12, 2021
Artist Alex Millar - interview. Transition from Jehovah's Witness to world renowned artist
59:38

A very special episode today as we interview Alex Millar, world renowned artist. Alex was raised as a Jehovah's Witness and was an elder before leaving, going through a very difficult period until he discovered his real calling.

Warning: During our discussion there is mention of suicidal thoughts.

Alex talks frankly, and with plenty of humour about his life as a Jehovah's Witness child, growing up and then the crisis that led him out of the organisation. He is now a respected artist and shares his philosophy on life. This was such a privilege and a rare opportunity to talk to such a singular talent. We hope you enjoy is as much as we did.

May 09, 2021
Ep 32. Charismatic leaders and cults
59:42

One of the most common ways of describing a cult is that it has a charismatic leader, but just what does that mean. Charisma has been studied or decades in organizational psychology so Stephen and Celine explore some of the research and discuss whether it's a good or a bad thing. 

 

References

Bass, B. M., & Steidlmeier, P. (1999). Ethics, character, and authentic transformational leadership behavior. The leadership quarterly, 10(2), 181-217.

 

Shamir, B., House, R. J., & Arthur, M. B. (1993). The motivational effects of charismatic leadership: A self-concept based theory. Organization science, 4(4), 577-594.

 

Moving forward with Charisma

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323705542_Moving_psychology_forward_-_With_charisma

 

May 05, 2021
Ep 31. Politics - The Eight Values
01:08:38

High Control Organisations often take a very specific political stance. Jehovah's Witness are taught that Christians must be politically neutral, which means not voting - not even having an opinion about issues that affect you, such as how much tax you should pay or what the laws should be. Upon leaving it feels wonderful to be able to make your own decisions. Today we look at just a few political questions through the use of the Eight Values Questionnaire (see link below) - it's not a serious political exploration but it got us thinking and hopefully you'll enjoy it.

Links

Eight values quiz

https://8values.github.io/

 

Mormon Stories Podcast with John Dehlin

https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/mormon-stories-lds/id312094772

 

May 02, 2021
Ep 30. Cognitive Dissonance - Book Review "When Prophecy Fails".
01:17:51

Today We take a very deep dive into Festinger, Riecken & Schacter's seminal work "When Prophecy Fails". This episode is packed with crazy stuff; exploration of the 1800's Millerite movement (to later inspire Jehovah's Witnesses and others), automatic writing, UFO cults, dianetics practitioners, flood prophecies, flying saucers, Atlantis with a bit of 'The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu' thrown in for good measure. Not to mention Venusian footprint interpretation.

The idea of cognitive dissonance and its affect on followers facing disconfirmation of the end of the world has become well known, but the research has some real problems as well as some moments of comedy gold. 

To help follow the characters in the story you can download a table here (or from copy and paste the link below). 

https://3e3480ad-2b0d-4112-8174-0fdd614840ec.filesusr.com/ugd/4c85e9_f1e86bb90c5f40b6a627de8751849978.pdf

 

Apr 28, 2021
Ep 29. Education Pt. 1. The School Years
48:52

How does it go when a Jehovah's Witness child explains to a teacher why he is not comfortable reading a book with foul language? Spoiler alert! Not well!

Apr 25, 2021
Ep 28. Interview with Riley Ex Jehovah's Witness Activist
57:43

Riley is an ex Jehovah's Witness and activist. He talks about his experience leaving the organisation, the changes he has seen in himself and the excitement of being able to make decisions about politics. He talks about the people who were there for him and his newly found passion for martial arts.

Riley's YouTube Channel

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTJ2YmTMxtqdhYpdrVtwWGQ

 

Apr 21, 2021
Ep 27. Child Rearing
01:17:50

High control groups normally have a lot to say about how you should raise your children. First we look at child-rearing using the Bible as guide. Stephen remembers listening to the sound of corporal punishment at the Kingdom Hall and then we look at what psychological research has to say - particularly around attachment theory.

 

Example of the Strange Situation

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqlbvpXp74k

 

Mentally Deseased YouTube Channel

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Y0TIdjeqKQ

 

 

Apr 18, 2021
Bonus: Film Review, Red Lights
42:10

As a partner to the Episode 26. 'The Supernatural', Celine and Stephen review Red Lights, a movie starring Sigourney Weaver, Robert De Niro and Cillian Murphy, about a team of professional investigators into psychic phenomena. 

Celine suggests an alternative but intriguing alternative reading to the film.

 

Apr 14, 2021
Ep 26.The Supernatural
01:24:21

Celine and Stephen explore the question of whether the supernatural exists. What about faith healers and Spirit Mediums? Stephen remembers some of the weird and wonderful beliefs he was taught and the strong cultural tropes Jehovah's Witnesses and Ex JW's will recognise about 'The Demons'. There are stories about demonic possessed return visits and demons inhabiting second hand furniture! 

 

Reading and links

James Randi Debunks Peter Popoff

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7BQKu0YP8Y

 

Tricks of the Mind, Derren Brown.

Publisher : Channel 4; New Ed edition (8 Oct. 2007)

Language : English

Paperback : 416 pages

ISBN-10 : 1905026358

ISBN-13 : 978-1905026357

Apr 11, 2021
Ep 25. Learning to become assertive
01:15:47

Today Celine and Stephen look at at the challenge of being more assertive. High control groups often encourage a submissive attitude. Upon leaving this can make assertively getting more of what you want and need difficult. Stephen talks about his turn to aggressive behaviour and how this got in his way and subsequently how an honest manager and a training course turned his thinking around.

This podcast is also a resource to the free online Assertiveness programmes Stephen has developed, with a particular interest in how people in the creative industries deal with unequal power dynamics. You can access the learning portal for free here https://www.evilsheep.co.uk/learning

at 3:00 minutes - Stephen's assertiveness story.

at 35:00 minutes - Learners questions 

Other resources

https://www.gov.uk/workplace-bullying-and-harassment

https://www.acas.org.uk/discrimination-bullying-and-harassment

 

Apr 04, 2021
Ep 24. Bonus Episode: Women, Men and Headship
01:09:36

"Pride and Prejudice without the fun". Celine and Stephen talk about the role of women in many high control Christian groups, including Jehovah's Witnesses. What impact does this have on the way a woman raised this way, thinks about herself, whilst a member and upon leaving? Also how does this colour the way men within these groups see their role? How do they relate to women? And how does this change as they leave? Finally Celine and her dad talk about wider societal questions about women, sexuality and how we raise girls.

Apr 02, 2021
Ep 23. The Truth
56:57

Many High Control Groups claim a monopoly on truth. Jehovah's Witnesses for example in casual conversation label their religion "The Truth". For someone who leaves such a group, coming to terms with how to recognise truth can be difficult. This week Celine and Stephen begin to explore theories of truth and why it can be a slippery concept. They also ask questions about the future of Truth and why social media seems to threaten its very essence.

Mar 28, 2021
Ep 22. Life and Death
01:09:04

What happens when we die? What makes for a good life? How do you decide what you believe about life after death after you've left a high control group?  

Mar 21, 2021
Ep 21. The struggle for self, after leaving a high control group
54:27

Leaving a group that told you who you were, what to believe and how to think means struggling to construct an identity of your own. How does being an 'ex' impact upon identity? Today dad talks about his own experience as a former Jehovah's Witness and explains some of the psychological research into these types experiences. 

 

References

Hookway, N. S., & Habibis, D. (2015). ‘Losing my religion’: Managing identity in a post-Jehovah’s Witness world. Journal of Sociology, 51(4), 843-856.

 

Shamir, B., House, R. J., & Arthur, M. B. (1993). The motivational effects of charismatic leadership: A self-concept based theory. Organization science, 4(4), 577-594.

Ebaugh, H. R., & Ebaugh, H. R. F. (1988). Becoming an ex: The process of role exit. University of Chicago Press.

 

Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2012). Self-determination theory.

Mar 14, 2021
Ep 20. Veganism
01:08:19
Mar 08, 2021
Ep 19. Social Darwinism
50:21

What is Social Darwinism? And does it actually have anything to do with Darwin? Where did the phrase 'survival of the fittest' come from? Also we somehow end up talking about Wooly Mammoths...

Mar 01, 2021
Ep 18. Did humans get here through Evolution or by Creation?
58:57

Science tells us we evolved. Recent surveys suggest lots of people believe humans were created. What should we think about this?

Feb 22, 2021
Ep 17. Queen's Gambit
33:15

This week Celine and Stephen review the Netflix short series 'The Queen's Gambit'. One of the most surprising hits of the year it tells the story of orphan Beth as she learns chess from the janitor and then goes on to take on the world. It's a great personal story about a talented and troubled young woman and even makes chess seem cool. This episode contains spoilers so if you haven't seen it, watch 'The Queen's Gambit' first and then listen to the podcast.

Feb 15, 2021
Ep 16. Contraceptive angst
56:42

Celine looks at the controversy around a male contraceptive trial and Stephen explores religious views towards the subject by evangelicals, Christian fundamentalists and the Catholic Church.

Feb 08, 2021
Ep 15. "I didn't know who I was!" Part 3 of a Jehovah's Witness story.
36:06

This week, dad talks about his feelings of frustration and loss about not getting his career off the ground. He also talks about his research into ex JW's search for identity through education and career.

Feb 01, 2021
Ep 14. Quick builds and slow fades - A Jehovah's Witness story Part 2
55:50

Part 2 of a 3 part story. Dad (Stephen) is now baptised and serving as a ministerial servant and is a member of a quick-build team. He leaves a job he enjoys and buys a window cleaning round so that he can regular pioneer. Marriage and fatherhood follow and becomes a catalyst for finally confronting his serious doubts once and for all.

Jan 25, 2021
Ep 13. 'The Cult of Trump' - Book Review
01:10:20

We review cult expert Steven Hassan's latest book 'The Cult of Trump'. Should we think of Trumpism as a cult? What evidenced is presented and is it convincing? We look at the psychology behind the claim and the argument presented.

Jan 18, 2021
Ep 12. Angels and Doubts - a Jehovah’s Witness Childhood.
56:23

Part 1 of a 3 part personal story. Dad (Stephen) describes his childhood as a Jehovah’s Witness, from his early experiences of being the only Witness at school and confidence that he had an angelic protector, his training in the preaching work and taking part in meetings, through to leaving school and getting baptised. Dad remembers his dominant emotions of fear and anxiety and the concept of bloodguilt, as well as a belief that he would have to endure persecution. This against a background of growing doubts about what he’d been taught and his gradual realisation of his own beliefs.

Jan 11, 2021
Ep 11. Bounce-back-ability: How to be resilient
43:19

Celine and Stephen look at what it means to be resilient and how to strengthen your resilience. It's not just about taking the blows! 

 

References

Coutu, D. L. (2002). How resilience works. Harvard business review, 80(5), 46-56.

 

Yarker, J., Lewis, R., McDowall, A. & Teoh, K. (2020). Managing our wellbeing in the context of the Covid-19 Pandemic

 

Stephens, J. P., Heaphy, E. D., Carmeli, A., Spreitzer, G. M., & Dutton, J. E. (2013). Relationship quality and virtuousness: Emotional carrying capacity as a source of individual and team resilience. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 49(1), 13-41.

Jan 04, 2021
Ep. 10 Mind Body Separation
45:04

Celine and Stephen explore Cartesian Dualism - the idea that the mind and body are separate from the perspectives of psychology and media. Plus Stephen is surprised by Celine's lack of an inner voice. Surely everyone talks to themselves?

Dec 29, 2020
Ep. 9 Body Modifications
49:25

Father and daughter Stephen and Celine talk piercings, tattoos, hair dye, cosmetic surgery and body augmentation. There's no shortage of ways we can change how we look, but the social rules around body modification are complicated and the way we feel about them confusing. An episode that includes references to Kevin Keegan, hair dye, colostomy bags and face tattoos. #BodyModification #Podcast #FatherDaughter

Dec 22, 2020
Ep. 8 When Prophecy Fails: Jehovah’s Witnesses a Case Study
55:04

How does an apocalyptic group survive after multiple failed prophecies about the end of the world? This week, Stephen and Celine look at a paper that provides some possible answers by taking Jehovah’s Witnesses as a case study. Of particular interest to Stephen as an Ex Jehovah’s Witness but with possible lessons for thinking about new apocalyptic movements.

 

References 

Zygmunt, J. F. (1970). Prophetic failure and chiliastic identity: The case of Jehovah's Witnesses. American Journal of Sociology, 75(6), 926-948.

Dec 15, 2020
Ep. 7 Humanism
39:01

Celine asks her dad about being a humanist. Why did he become one? What is it? What do humanists believe? Is it the same as being an atheist? What stance do humanists have towards religion? These questions and many more answered in this episode.

Useful links

https://humanism.org.uk/

 

Dec 08, 2020
Bonus: Living with an invisible illness
42:25

It's Crohn's and Colitis awareness week and in this special bonus edition Stephen presents an interview from 2019 with Celine about her first attack, and diagnosis of Inflammatory Bowel Disease at the age of 16. #ItTakesGuts

 

Crohn's & Colitis UK

https://www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/get-involved/awareness-week-2020

Dec 06, 2020
Ep 6. Inaccurate Biopics
51:13

The Crown, Selma, The Imitation Game - all based upon true events and people. How accurate should they be? Does it matter if they make stuff up. Celine and and Stephen dig into this question in this week's episode of What Should I Think About..

Dec 01, 2020
EP. 5 Dungeons and Dragons
59:26

A banned game in his youth, Stephen explores why fundamentalist Christians feared D&D, and then Celine patiently explains how to play to the confused and slightly grumpy dad.

Nov 24, 2020
Ep.4 Old but problematic
27:20

"That's woman thinking!" What should we think about old films that contain what we would now see as problematic themes or scenes? Stephen enjoys pointing out some problems in some of Celine's favourites - "Seven brides for seven brothers" and "Calamity Jane", and they both consider "The Al Jolson Story" and the visceral effect it had on them.

Nov 18, 2020
Ep.3 The Star Trek Holodeck
41:24

Celine and Stephen are alarmed at the safety record of the Holodeck on numerous iterations of Star Trek as well as wondering what we should think about the apparent regularity of holograms achieving consciousness, and the casual way this astonishing phenomenon is treated.

Nov 17, 2020
Ep.2 Ancient Aliens
34:29

What should we think about theories about ancient aliens and the TV show that's one of Stephen's guilty pleasures. Celine gets Stephen to reveal his early dalliance with fringe theories and the day he met some of the Ancient Alien dudes.

Nov 17, 2020
Ep.1 People in cults
01:07:14

Celine and Stephen ask what should we think about people who are members of a cult? Are cult members especially gullible? How do cults use psychology to manipulate their members? Stephen also shares his own experience in being raised as a Jehovah's Witness.

Nov 17, 2020