What goes on inside a cult, and the minds of those who join them? Matteo speaks to Richard Turner, an ex-cult member turned councilor, on how he descended into a world of deceit and deception. He recounts his experience, from being love-bombed to being surveilled by Church leaders. David Robertson, a senior lecturer at Open University, supplements this discussion with his insight into how vulnerability makes us susceptible to the potentially coercive tactics of our social groups, and what we can do to arm ourselves against these tactics. 

Media Minded explores the bizarre world of misinformation and conspiracies. Following on from the success of the first season in 2019, each episode platforms a different subject who has previously been a victim of, or a willing participant in, a conspiracy theory… but these lines may be more blurred than you think. Ex-cultists, anti-vaxxers and more describe their slow descent into the untrue, and those who experience the brunt of the lies and hatred explain the effect that the proliferation of these ideas has. All the while, industry-leading academics and experts provide theoretical justifications for the actions taken by all parties.

Presented by Matteo Bergamini
Edited and recorded by Sabina Mckenzie Brown.

This podcast is made possible thanks to the kind support and sponsorship of the US embassy in London.