How do you know if you’re in a cult? And, how does an open society confront propaganda, brainwashing, and the rise of fascism? That’s the undercurrent of this conversation with noted cultic studies expert, Alexandra Stein, PhD.
Alexandra Stein is a writer and educator specializing in the social psychology of ideological extremism and other dangerous social relationships. She brings an extraordinary lens to cultic studies with her attachment-based approach, which helps us understand how an average person – privileged and educated, even – can fall under the influence of a high-demand group.
She is currently an Honorary Research Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London. She is the author of two books on cults:
Terror, Love, And Brainwashing: Attachment In Cults And Totalitarian Systems
Other resources mentioned in this episode:
Thinking, Fast And Slow, Daniel Kahneman
Captive Minds: Hypnosis and Beyond, National Film Board of Canada
What Is A Cult And How Does It Work? Margaret Thaler Singer
The Origins Of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt
Misunderstanding Cults, Benjamin Zablocki