the baby in the bathwater
By Annie McCasland-Pexton
the baby in the bathwaterNov 01, 2023
Anke Richter - Author of "Cult Trip: Inside the world of coercion & control"
Anke Richter is a German-born, New Zealand-based journalist and author of the book "Cult Trip: Inside the world of coercion & control" published by Harper Collins in 2022 covers three high control groups, Centrepoint and Gloriavale in New Zealand, and Agama Yoga in Thailand. With stops along the way at Osho's "cashram" in India, the Taste of Love Festival in Byron Bay, an "OM House" in San Francisco, and the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) Conference in Manchester.
Culty Conversations group on Facebook.
to buy Cult Trip in Australia and NZ: https://www.harpercollins.co.nz/9781775542032/cult-trip/
to buy the international paperback: https://www.amazon.com/CULT-TRIP/dp/1802471766/
Cult Trip Audio book is available now.
Cult Chat Podcast mentioned with Dr Caroline Ansley, Lindy Jacomb and Liz Gregory: https://www.centrepointrestorationproject.com/cultchat
Follow Anke here:
Follow Annie at:
www.melbournecraniosacral.com and on instagram www.instagram.com/consciouslycreatingchange/
Episode 9b: Culty Behaviour in Spiritual Circles with Freya Vajra
In Part 2 of my chat with Freya we cover: Why I don’t want to learn from any more white men. Why compassionate/empathetic people are attracted to cults. The “rescuer” archetype and the “drama triangle” Fawning/friending/pleasing/fornicating/“tend and befriend” and your nervous system. The danger of unchecked charisma. How to use charisma responsibly and not become a cult leader. Using “presence” as a weapon. The difference between energetic states and stages of psychological development. “Human-denying philosophies.” The difference between victim consciousness and victimization. Hyper personal responsibility. Critical race theory and epigenetics. Schizotypal personality disorder and “ideas or reference” and “creating your own reality.”
The lack of medical research on female bodies and the lack of research on safety of Intermittent fasting in menstruating people (see https://www.drstacysims.com/).
Stanley Milgram's experiments: https://psychology.fas.harvard.edu/people/stanley-milgram
The Indigenous Voice to Parliament with Daniel James
Welcome to Season 2 of The Baby in The Bathwater Podcast. Exciting things are coming! Stay tuned for chats with Taylor Lorenz, Anke Richter, Mangala Holland, Darrin Drda and more. In this season opener Annie talks with award-winning writer and broadcaster Daniel James. Daniel is a Yorta Yorta man based on Wurundjeri land in Naarm/Melbourne. They discuss the upcoming Australian Constitutional Referendum which seeks to create an Indigenous Voice to Parliament. Sadly, this issue has become a hotbed of disinformation and conspiracy theories from the far right, including influences from far beyond Australia's shores.
Daniel’s work explores notions of empathy, intergenerational trauma, hidden history and the political landscape that continues to shape the lives of Aboriginal people across Australia. You can hear him on the radio on 3RRR FM on Tuesdays at 7pm (AEST) and read his weekly column in The Monthly. Daniel has also done a series of podcast episodes about the Referendum with the 7am Podcast,
You can find Daniel's work here:
Episode 9a: Culty Behaviour in Spiritual Circles with Freya Vajra
Part 1 of a chat with Freya Vajra, a Melbourne-based trauma-informed sex and empowerment coach for women. We had a great chat covering a bunch of fascinating topics ranging from cults to neurodivergence, addiction to peak states, conspiracy theories, and US politics. We disscuss the differences between benign cults and malignant cults, dopamine seeking through cults, gatekeeping information in cults, the illusion of empowerment in cults, personality disorders and sensation-seeking in cult members and cult leaders, high trait-openness and attraction to cults, and cult leaders who are paranoid that their students will “steal” their work, amongst much, much more, and that's only part 1! Part 2 is available (with other bonus episodes) when you subscribe to The Baby in the Bathwater here: https://anchor.fm/annie-mccasland-pexton/subscribe.
Episode 8: Recovering from new age spirituality and cults with Andey Fellowes (part 1)
Part 1 of a chat with Andey Fellowes, ex-New-Ager and online cult survivor. Annie and Andey delve deep into the toxicity and conspiracism of New Age ideology including Andey's experience with Teal Swan and how to reconcile life and spirituality after leaving the cult. Part 2 is available (with other bonus episodes) when you subscribe to The Baby in the Bathwater here: https://anchor.fm/annie-mccasland-pexton/subscribe.
* Eric Hoffer's 'The True Believer'
* Anna Merlan's 'Republic of Lies'
Episode 10: Recovering from new age spirituality and cults with Andey Fellowes (part 2)
Part 2 of a chat with Andey Fellowes, ex-New-Ager and online cult survivor. Annie and Andey delve deep into the toxicity and conspiracism of New Age ideology including Andey's experience with Teal Swan and how to reconcile life and spirituality after leaving the cult. Topics discussed include purity culture, vaccines, veganism, Teal Swan, JP Sears, Del Bigtree, right-wing politics, racism, “lizard people”, conspiracies vs conspiracy theories, and gaslighting.
A Lot of People Are Saying: The New Conspiracism and the Assault on Democracy by Nancy L. Rosenblum and Russell Muirhead.
Episode 7: Sex Workers: Caught in Conspiracy Theory Crossfire with Leilah Vision
This is a co-produced episode with Leilah Vision of "The Stripper's Guide" Podcast. Leila is a life/leadership/relationship coach for queers/creatives/sx workers. In this episode Annie and Leilah cover everything from neurodivergence and late diagnosis autism to human design, astrology, sx work, sx trafficking, conspiracies, antisemitism, the history of witch hunts, to cults, relationship dynamics, self-care and much more.
The book Leilah mentions is called Cultish by Amanda Montell.
The podcast Annie mentions is called The Orgasm Cult by Nastaran Tavakoli-Far on the BBC. The book Annie mentions is called Laziness Does Not Exist by Devon Price.
You can join Leilah's Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/astrippersguide
Episode 6: Analysing Anti-lockdown protests with Tom Tanuki
Tom Tanuki is an Australian activist, comedian, writer and YouTuber who has been doing in depth analysis of the anti-lockdown protests in Australia.
Annie mentioned the "Sounds Like a Cult" Podcast episode about the connection between Betsy DeVos and Amway: https://www.soundslikeacult.com/episodes (Episode 7: The Cult of Multi-Level Marketing).
Tom mentioned the book: "Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories" by Rob Brotherton.
Please consider supporting Tom on Patreon at: https://www.patreon.com/tomtanuki
You can support "The Baby in the Bathwater" Podcast via a monthly donation here: www.thebabyinthebathwater.com
Or via a one-off donation at PayPal: https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/tbitbw
Episode 5: Indigenous Australian Perspectives with Rachel Shields
In this episode, recorded on 5 February 2021 in person in Melbourne, Annie speaks with Rachel Shields. Rachel is the founder of KIN – Knowing In Nature, which is a provider of Indigenous informed connection-based education, specialising in Leadership & Wellness Programs. Through her Ngambaa (Mother) Rachel is a descendant of the First Peoples of the land known as Australia, specifically the Weilwan and Gamilaroi peoples (North Western New South Wales) and other lineages from around the Earth including Irish and Scottish heritage. Rachel is also an accomplished musician. Her songs featured on this episode are "River Song" and "The Calling." You can find more of Rachel's music on bandcamp. You can find Rachel at www.knowinginnature.com on instagram @knowinginnature and on Facebook.
Want to support the pod? You can make a monthly donation here: https://anchor.fm/annie-mccasland-pexton/support
Episode 4: TCM, acupuncture, witchcraft and conspirituality with Melissa Abrahams
Annie chats with Melissa Abrahams about life, the universe and everything, including their shared experience of transitioning from lawyers to bodyworkers. Melissa Abrahams is a medicine weaver and an intuitive healer, a Women's Mysteries teacher, and a ceremonial space-holder. With a great capacity for deep listening and bearing witness, Melissa walks between the worlds, weaving her unique witchy wisdom in the service of liberation and freedom. Melissa is a fully qualified acupuncturist, with degrees in Psychology, Law and Chinese Medicine. Melissa has been training and working in the fields of healing and transformation for more than 20 years, and runs a private healing practice in Windsor, Victoria. Melissa facilitates many sorts of ritual spaces including women’s circles, rites of passage circles, seasonal cycle ceremonies and sacred drum journeys.
The podcast referenced is the TCM segment by Derek Beres in Episode 38 of the Conspirituality Podcast, "Natural Hopes, Natural Fallacies".
The study Annie mentioned about placebo knee surgery was probably this one (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12110735/), which was actually about arthroscopy of the knee for osteoarthritis, not a knee reconstruction, but she did not exaggerate the results!
The study Melissa mentioned regarding adverse events from surgery in Australia was probably this one (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12201185/) which stated that the adverse event rate for surgical admissions was 21.9%, of which 13% had permanent disability and 4% resulted in death.
A quick search on adverse events for acupuncture (https://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/88/12/10-076737/en/) shows that they are mostly very mild and transient and the incidence of serious adverse events (death, organ trauma or hospital admission) was about 0.024%.
Episode 3: Hayla Wong on Disrupting Toxic Spirituality
Hayla Wong is a Toxic Spirituality Disruptor. She unpacks and reveals the harmful impacts of practices within the wellness industry and how they contain patterns and language of abuse, racism, ableism, and anti-Trans ideology. She believes that spirituality and justice can be integrated; we just have a lot of BS to dismantle first. You can find Hayla on instagram @haylawong or her website: www.hayla-wong.com.
Episode 2: Racism, Conspiracies and Wellness with Annie
In this episode Annie provides some background of her story and experiences coming to grips with the rise of racist conspiracy theories in the spirituality and wellness sphere, AKA "conspirituality".
Article on Natural News and Mike Adams AKA "The Health Ranger" by the Genetic Literacy Project.
Episode 1: an introduction with Annie and Eyenie
This first episode is actually a (slightly) edited recording of a conversation I had with my energetic business coach Eyenie Shultz AKA The Technicolor Priestess where I was explaining to her my idea for this podcast. You can find Eyenie on instagram, facebook and her website, www.technicolorpriestess.com.