Sounds Like A Cult - The Cult of Military Wives

Episode Date: October 31, 2023

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

Discussion (0)
Starting point is 00:00:00 This show is sponsored by BetterHelp. Do you ever feel like your brain is getting in its own way? Make your brain your friend with BetterHelp. Visit slash cult today to get 10% off your first month. That's BetterHelp, H-E-L-P dot com slash cult. Thank you to our sponsor, Skims. I recently just tried the Cotton Collection T-shirt and it is so comfortable. The cotton collection and more are available now at skims dot, plus get free shipping on orders over $75. If you haven't yet, be sure to let them know we sent you. After you place your order, select podcast in the survey and select our show in the drop down menu that follows. And who doesn't like free shipping?
Starting point is 00:00:39 The views expressed on this episode, as with all episodes of Sounds Like A Cult, are solely host opinions and quoted allegations. The content here should not be taken as indisputable facts. This podcast is for entertainment purposes only. Hey Culties, Amanda here. It's just me hosting this week, so the opinions and work represented on this episode are solely my own, and that of my special guest. I think one similarity between the military and synonym was that I think a lot of the recruits in the military were led to believe that you needed the structure in the military to survive. And that you need to stay, that you will fall down a manhole
Starting point is 00:01:17 if you leave because you wouldn't have the structure. And that sort of philosophy permeated synonym. So true, that's maybe the number one thing that the two have in common. It's like you will fall down a manhole if you don't have this structure. And for some people it's true. Yeah. I've known people who say their lives were saved by the military. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:01:35 But I don't know if I know any military wives whose lives were saved by the military. This is Sounds Like a Cult. A show about the modern-day cults we all follow. I'm Amanda Montel, author of the book's Cultish and the forthcoming The Age of Magical Overthinking. Every week on the show, you'll hear about a different group or guru that puts the cult in culture from academia to Disney adults, to try and answer the big question. This group sounds like a cult. But isn't really. Okay, this is a long time coming.
Starting point is 00:02:19 We have a really, really fun episode for you all this week because the specialist of guests is here patient zero in terms of my cult fascination and the loyalist sounds like a cult listener. I know. His name is Craig Montel and he's my dad. Hello, I'm really, really happy to be here today. Me too. I'm very clever that we're doing this. So I wanted to bring my dad here today
Starting point is 00:02:47 because he grew up in a cult. My dad was forced to spend his teenage years in the sort of Get the Fuck Out 70s compound type cult that we tend not to focus on in this podcast, but his story is really gonna come in handy today because it's gonna help shed light on and contextualize the more Lucy Goosey on the fence. Is it a live your life?
Starting point is 00:03:12 Is it a watcher back? Is it a get the fuck out culty stories that we're gonna dive into today? But before we get into all of that, Dad, could you please introduce yourself to the listeners? I'm Amanda Montel's Dad. What else do I need to say? I'm here in this most magical place called Santa Barbara, and I'm a professor of neuroscience at the Fabulous University of California, Santa Barbara, with a lab in office, overlooking the ocean, where I occasionally can see dolphins and even whale breach.
Starting point is 00:03:44 Oh, wow, that's exciting. You've really come a long way from those capital-teach-traumatic days on the compound. And don't forget, you are a devoted sounds like a cold listener. I have not missed one. What's your favorite episode? My favorite episode were the kids of Disney. Oh the cult of Disney adults. Oh the cult of Disney adults and I have to tell you
Starting point is 00:04:10 I could really relate to it having taken you and your brother Brandon to Disney World in Florida twice. Oh well we are not Disney adults for the record. That is not my family's particular cult story. But do you remember my favorite Disney character? I would say it was that pirate, what's his name? Captain Hook, good job. I always loved the Disney villains. What are some other top sounds like a cool episode that you'd like to recommend?
Starting point is 00:04:36 I'll tell you another one. I absolutely loved. And this was way up there in the top five. It was the cult of children's theater. The cult of theater kids. Oh, it was. It took me back. Oh yeah, me too.
Starting point is 00:04:50 So dad, you really are the origin story here because I would not have developed my demented obsession with cults if it weren't for you. I'm sorry about that. No, please. I mean, don't be sorry. I've, you're like my culty muse. My book wouldn't exist without you. My book wouldn't exist without you.
Starting point is 00:05:06 This podcast wouldn't exist without you. Oh. But to back it up, just to set the scene here for a second, for those who don't know, my dad spent his teenage years involuntarily in a pretty notorious 70s era, aspiring utopian compound turn destructive sociopolitical sect. Would you say that's accurate?
Starting point is 00:05:29 Yeah, I don't think that is all in overstatement. And it was called synonym. So I want the listeners to hear from the horse's mouth about your statement. Good one. The dad jokes in this episode are going to be a get the fuck out, I fear. I was fortunate enough to grow up on your stories of the synonym game and the shaved heads and the arranged marriages and the eventual violence, and while we unfortunately don't have time to share the entire synonym story in this episode, truly the reason why I developed an interest in cultishness in everyday life
Starting point is 00:06:10 was because growing up on your stories, I couldn't help but notice that synonymon-esque influence could be found everywhere. Like my high school theater program, I know you remember and the beauty start up where I worked when I first moved to LA or the ways that people would talk about Soul Cycle and CrossFit. I dedicated my book to you because you're really responsible for this transfiction. Thank you, thank you.
Starting point is 00:06:37 You're quite welcome. So yeah, for the listeners to contextualize all of this, could you describe a little bit about your teenagers and synod? Well, let me start Could you describe a little bit about your teenagers in Sinan? Well, let me start by just giving a little background on what Sinan was. So it was started in 1958 by a guy named Chuck Dieterick, who was an alcoholic, who is an alcoholic's anonymous and left, and started his own organization in Santa Monica, where a lot of drug addicts joined,
Starting point is 00:07:07 he called them dope fiends. And in the central part of Sinanon that tied it all together was this group therapy session that was called the Sin Nong Game. And people, you know, maybe a dozen, 15 people sat around the circle and basically just catharted at each other. And the more vulgar and exaggerated the accusations were, perhaps the better. Anyway, that's how it started.
Starting point is 00:07:34 And it then morphed into an organization that not only was very attractive to ex-alcoholics and drug addicts, a lot of people who weren't drug addicts in alcoholics became really interested in moving in for the so-called lifestyle. And my dad was one of those people. So it was especially attractive to people who kind of had left wing leanings, like my dad was a former communist and so people lived in a commune style and so I had only lived with my dad a year because I had been living with my mom but that's another story and a year into it the Sinan Club in Reno where we were living it was just a game club for non-alcoholics they were
Starting point is 00:08:24 called life-stylers closed down and my dad announced that we were all going to move in and I really didn't want to do this. Yeah, and just so the listeners know, for closure, Sinanon doesn't exist anymore. It disbanded in the 1980s after a series of crimes. One of them involved a rattlesnake. Chuck Dietrich was dethroned.
Starting point is 00:08:44 Again, we don't have time to get into the whole tale today. But in the beginning there, what did your spidey senses tell you about this group? Like, how did you know that this might not be the best experience for you? Well, I played some of those sit-in-on games just out of curiosity as non-games, just out of curiosity as a non-resident. And basically, it was intimidating. It was rough. And it really wasn't for me. And especially, I didn't like the top-down style of Sin-non, where you had the leader, Chuck
Starting point is 00:09:20 Dieterick, who was imposing his philosophy on everyone, and groupthink was kind of the way things were and so on. I just didn't like that even though I was 15 years old. So it was a very hierarchical organization. Very much so. You know, I question Chuck, yeah. And it's interesting that you bring that up as one of the prime red flags because it connects so directly
Starting point is 00:09:44 to today's main subject. I want to describe a little bit about how today is going to work. So some listeners may recall that a few months ago, there was an episode of the show where we collected some listener-written-in stories. Listeners submitted tales of brushes with cult-like groups that they had had in the past, everything from meeting a sweet old man in a coffee shop
Starting point is 00:10:14 who ended up trying to recruit someone into what seemed like a kind of new agey cult to someone who, upon reflection, realized that the school assemblies that they attended as a little kid kind of seemed culty and that episode was very casual more like a bonus episode But I wanted to dive a little bit deeper into some of the listener stories that we didn't get to tackle last time And the one that I want to focus on the most and that I went down a rabbit hole researching myself is the cult of military wives myself is the cult of military wives. Because the military is without question one of the most accepted and well-funded and yet controlling an hierarchical quote unquote cults in American
Starting point is 00:10:55 society. But we don't often get to hear about the spouses side of the story and that's culty too. Dad, I don't know if you knew this, but one of my close childhood friends is now a military spouse. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, I remember her. Earlier this year, I actually went and visited her on the base where her husband is stationed. And she was talking to me pretty candidly about some of the protocols and rituals and sacrifices and hardships that she's had to endure has a military spouse and it made me all the more confident that I wanted to do an episode on this topic so when I saw that someone had written in about the cult of military wives I knew it had to
Starting point is 00:11:39 make the list today. And then we have three other shorter, slightly later hearted stories that listeners wrote in that I want to talk through with you as well. Sounds good. And as we discuss these stories, I'll be asking you more questions about synonym itself. And I think it will be really, really interesting because there are still listeners who are fairly unconvinced that cultish influence can show up in places that don't look like classic synonym style cults. There are people that aren't fully on board with that argument yet, but we have a first-hand
Starting point is 00:12:13 witness here. I love if you could identify the parallels that you notice between military wives and some of these other stories and what you experienced or witnessed in synonym. How does that sound? Yeah, that sounds good. I'll tell you right off the bat without even hearing the story yet that there has to be an exit cost for those women, those military wise. It is so interesting that you say that because that is at the center of the
Starting point is 00:12:39 story that this listener wrote in. that this listener wrote in. So let's start with this first story on the Cult of Military Wives, submitted by a Patreon subscriber named Taylor. This is what she submitted. Hi, this is Taylor from Florida. And I'd like to tell you about the cult of military wives. While it may appear to be a supportive group of women who are going through
Starting point is 00:13:05 the same hardships as you, like spousal deployment or parenting struggles, it's actually quite insidious. First, your condition to think that the stressors this puts on your life are your patriotic duty. Christianity is the default religion, and you must conform and participate in the public prayers at various functions. The exit costs are steep. If you divorce your spouse, which a lot of military wives do, you are abandoning your troop and your country. Forget the fact that many of these guys suffer from extreme PTSD, which can have violent effects on their families, the military wives, who were once your friends, will abandon
Starting point is 00:13:41 you for prioritizing your own safety and mental health. Well, I mean, yeah, the exit costs must be really huge, you know, in synonym when people leave. They were called split teas, and when they left, they were basically considered dead. And I would imagine, for the military-wise, if they got a divorce and left, that, you know, all of their friends would consider them dead too. They would just be out of their lives completely. For sure, because it's such a closed system, like when you're a military spouse,
Starting point is 00:14:15 a lot of the time your friends, your community, everyone you interact with is someone who's also associated with the military. So you don't have a lot of outside perspectives. I mean, it reminds me of a Scientology. Like, if you're really, really deep into Scientology, your chiropractors, a Scientologist, your best friend is a Scientologist,
Starting point is 00:14:33 leaving feels impossible. But one unexpected thing that I want to point out that I think Sinanon and the Cult of Militarywives having common, though in very different ways, is the element of keeping family members away from each other. So people in the military obviously have to leave their kids behind when deployed and military wives also have to leave their family support systems behind to follow their spouses
Starting point is 00:14:58 from base to base. And there was a similar energy of like separating families in synonym. I mean, something that always haunted me about the stories that you would tell was that children lived in these dismal barracks separate from their parents because this place started as an alternative drug rehabilitation center. And according to Chuck Deidrex philosophy, your family enables you. So that extended to non-drug addicts as well. Your family enables you so naturally, if you're a child, you should live separate from your parents.
Starting point is 00:15:32 Can you talk about that? Yeah. And in fact, not just little children live separately from the parents. As a 15-year-old, I was also in a dorm. And once I moved into Sinan, I was there three years. Until I was almost 18, I rarely saw my dad. And in fact, when I did, it was just my chance. And he really had nothing to do with my day to day life or my upbringing for those next three years.
Starting point is 00:15:56 There are a couple of things I was thinking of, though, when you were reading this letter, a hierarchy issue. Boy, there are analogies there. Because in Sinanan, you had what was called the tribe leader that was in charge of a small group. Well, that's a small group of about 50 people who organized your synonym games and what dorms you lived in, who were your dorm mates, and then above them, there was a director of the facility, and then there were members of the board of regions, and then there was Chuck.
Starting point is 00:16:25 There was tremendous hierarchy. And you probably couldn't skip rank. No, and in fact, what rank you were were largely determined by Chuck at the top. He was the king. We're really a deity. Yeah, and I feel like Sinanon is what most people imagine when they think of a cult because you have this charismatic leader and you're on a compound in like the tiny round hills of California.
Starting point is 00:16:49 And that's kind of what we think of is the canonical cult image. But when you think of the military, like how would you invite someone to consider that that is a cult aesthetic as well? So in synonym, there were uniforms. You tended to wear overalls and your hair had to be really short.
Starting point is 00:17:10 Like a crew cut. Yeah, like a crew cut or maybe even a bald head. And in the military, you of course have uniforms and the way you groom yourself was very strictly regulated. And that was all controlled from the top. It was top down. Synonym and the military are very top down. Rules would come down from Chuck that you
Starting point is 00:17:31 couldn't anticipate and as soon as the rules came down everyone was behind it whether they really felt that way or not. And then the next week or next month there could be another rule that was 180 degrees different and everyone was behind that and it's like that in the military. The rule comes down from on high week or next month, there could be another rule that was 180 degrees different and everyone was behind that and it's like that in the military. The rule comes down from on high and you don't question it. Because there's this ends just the means philosophy that is so profound. I'm sure in synonym and I would love to hear your perspective on this, but I'm sure in synonym, the idea was we are living correctly. We are living in an elite way.
Starting point is 00:18:06 And the, you know, and justify the means philosophy in the military is like we're perfecting our, we're, I said, perfecting. It's kind of a Freudian slip, but we're protecting our country. Like we are the reason why this country is not in shambles. We are the reason why this country is the most powerful in the world.
Starting point is 00:18:21 And if you leave, you're not a part of that really like grand divine mission. Yeah, and Senator Nahn, in a way, was also claiming to be protecting the larger society. After all, they were accepting all of these drug addicts to come in. And Chuck felt, well, you had to stay if you were a drug addict and send non-for-the- of your life, because if you leave, you'll return to drugs. So think about it, the drug addicts, the former drug addicts that Chuck called dope fiends that were in synonym, were not stealing,
Starting point is 00:18:54 were not committing crimes, or not shooting up, and in fact they were protecting society. Synonym was by just inhabiting these people in their community. Which speaks to the sort of positive side of cults too. Like there is always an actual legitimate allure. I remember another childhood friend, Ivy, shout out. I remember Ivy asking you years ago
Starting point is 00:19:17 what was something positive that you gained from synonym and I remember you saying that it was the aphorism that Chuck is credited with coining today is the first day of the rest of your life. Chuck did quite that phrase, didn't he? Well, I can't be sure, but the folks in Cinnon said he did. Okay. So I don't actually know for sure. But I remember you mentioning that that was actually something positive that you carried forward with you. Yeah, and especially for folks whose lives before were really fraught with a lot of bad things and negativity
Starting point is 00:19:52 that you didn't have to feel constrained. That was kind of a positive philosophy. You didn't have to be constrained about what occurred before. And I even thought about why I was instant on, and even after I left, if things were difficult, if things didn't go right, don't think back. Today is the first day of your rest of your life. And that was one of the many positive things. And you're absolutely right.
Starting point is 00:20:17 I think every call can attract really extremely smart, not necessarily naive people, but very smart people because on the surface, there was a tremendous amount of positive things that happened. Yeah, because something that I think is similar between the types of people who joined Sinanon and maybe the type of people who enlist passionately in the military is a sense of my participation in this group could help literally save the world.
Starting point is 00:20:45 Yeah. So we've been talking about the military overall, but I want to zero in on talking a little bit more about military wives, because I think actually, your story, as a child of people who join Synonon, someone who was forced to join against your will, that's kind of more similar to the one that you're talking about. So I think that's a very important thing Your story as a child of people who joins in and on someone who was forced to join against your will
Starting point is 00:21:08 That's kind of more similar to the experience of a military spouse who is not enlisting in the military on their own Accord they are just sort of following this person that they love there Can you talk about how much agency you did or didn't have in the group? And then I wanna move through some more specific parallels with military wives. You really didn't have much agency, especially as a child, a teenager and a sendin' on. You couldn't really question what was going on. And I definitely retained that.
Starting point is 00:21:39 I never really bought into send on the whole time as they're, I was just buying my time. That any kind of independent thought you had, you kind of had to keep to yourself. You couldn't express it. And I imagine for military wives, they wouldn't go about their daily lives expousing, how much they may not like the way they lived,
Starting point is 00:21:58 how much they didn't believe in the military, and so forth. Yeah, I mean, I definitely noticed that with my friend, who's a military spouse. I think she experiences a lot of cognitive dissonance, but because she's married to someone in the military, she kind of can't express her personal views, but I did put together a research document
Starting point is 00:22:16 of more specific stats on what makes the experience of a military wife culty, and I wanna talk through some of them with you. Okay. So it has to be said, 92% of military spouses are women, are wives, and I think that there are really three main culty aspects to life as a military wife. They're overlap with MLMs, identity sacrifice,
Starting point is 00:22:43 and isolation. So the first thing that I can't help but notice Lems, Identity Sacrifice, and Isolation. So the first thing that I can't help but notice is Coltie about the military wife experience is their extreme vulnerability to multi-level marketing scams. Well, I know about multi-level marketing scams from listening to sounds like a cult, yes. That is wholesome.
Starting point is 00:23:01 That warms my heart. Well, it has been true for many, many decades that military wives are a key target of the multi-level marketing industry because military spouses, particularly wives, are folks who have serious trouble accessing dignified, fulfilling full-time employment. And they also lack close friendships
Starting point is 00:23:22 when they show up on a base and don't know anybody. According to an article on, titled The Truth About MLM Businesses and How They Hurt Troops. Many in the military community report being bombarded with requests to participate in multi-level marketing and attend selling parties upon arriving at a new duty station, often feeling pressure to do so in order to fit in and make new friends. The US Department of Labor said that among military wives, unemployment is three times the national average. Just first of all, because of how often they have to move around, it's tough
Starting point is 00:23:56 to hold down a job. So the MLM industry swoops in, promising not only to cure their financial hardship, which is overall a huge problem among military families, but give them purpose and community. Of course, study after study shows that MLNs do nothing but lose your money and make your stress. So you basically show up on your new military assignment. You're ushered in by this group of seemingly supportive new besties who immediately recruit you into a scam.
Starting point is 00:24:26 Yeah, and you can't really say no because you're in this insular situation. Can you talk about the employment situation in Sinanon and how people were scammed out of opportunity and money there? Well, let me say a couple of things. First, Chuck Dietrich had this saying, the only thing that's constant in synonyms is change. You could get behind that, but what that meant is that people would often be dictated to in terms of what type of job
Starting point is 00:24:56 they could have and they could be in a job and then switch, not by their own volition, into something else. And so there was constant moving from one job to the next. One of the things that I'd like to bring up about the so-called lifestyleers, like my dad who moved into Sinan, who wasn't a drug addict,
Starting point is 00:25:17 moved in for the so-called lifestyle, is that you were expected to throw in all of your resources, all of your money into Sinan. And if you didn't, there was tremendous peer pressure to do so. So what ended up happening is that even for lifestylers, when you moved in, you were no longer financially independent because you gave up all of your resources. Which is so reflective of the cultural values at the time, right? Like this was the late 1960s when your family joined.
Starting point is 00:25:47 And there were a lot of people who were losing trust in how America was operating at the time. You have the Vietnam War, you have the Civil Rights Movement, you have the Kennedy Assassinations. I mean, there was a lot of turbulence. And that gave rise to people wanting to embark on these social experiments really. And so, I mean, they remind me so much of conversations that I have with my friends now. We're like, America's broken.
Starting point is 00:26:13 Let's start a commune. Let's get attendance in common property. Let's start a cold. And I honestly get the motivation. I really do, but it can just so quickly lead to power abuse. And it's actually kind of ironic that we're comparing the military to synonym and that they have so much in common considering the fact that synonym was kind of
Starting point is 00:26:33 like an anti-war reaction, right? But I don't know, I guess power is power no matter the politics. But anyway, for a military wife, it probably actually feels good on one hand to have this like paint buy numbers plan for how your life is going to look, but then the cost to your financial independence is huge because what if you change your mind?
Starting point is 00:26:53 One thing that I'd like to point out that I was thinking about that is slightly off topic, but not completely is that in St. John, they had their own sales force that would sell pens and all kinds of little trinkets to businesses. And of course, the sales people at Sinton didn't make money from this. It went to Sintonon. Of course. And these were a lot of things that companies would buy that would be giveaways to customers. Oh, okay.
Starting point is 00:27:24 So it was like marketing. Yeah, it was marketing. I mean, there are so many super destructive classic, get the fuck out level cults that have these outside businesses for marketing purposes. Like one example that I bring up early and cultish that you might remember is that 3HO, the healthy, happy, holy organization, which is that super controlling Kundalini yoga cult,
Starting point is 00:27:43 that Russell Brand has been a part of red flag. They own yogi tea that like popular grocery store tea brand that I have in my own cupboard at home, you know, so that's pretty common. Yeah. And Sinanon also had their own gas stations. They had a lot of outside businesses that people in Sinan would work at. And they themselves didn't get any of the profits at all went to Sinan.
Starting point is 00:28:08 And outsiders could use that gas station. Yeah, absolutely. And just like chat with the Sinan owners while they were, you know, filling on up. Absolutely. Filling on up with gas and the gospel. Here's another stat for you. According to a 2019 Atlantic piece titled
Starting point is 00:28:23 the Dismal Career Opportunities for Military Spouses. In 2014, there were a few different MLMs that were shut down for scamming military spouses, specifically by, for example, charging service members for benefits they were already entitled to or that were never even provided. In one month alone in 2014,
Starting point is 00:28:42 230 service members were involuntarily paying a portion of their income to this MLM scam called USA Discounters, which was like a home goods company. That totaled more than $1.4 million in scammed funds. Wow. It's mind blowing. And just like you said, there's no way to gracefully decline.
Starting point is 00:29:01 Where are you going to go? These are the people recruiting you or the people that you have to interact with all day long. Yeah, that's really a pernicious situation. The analogy is between the military and Sinan, aren't that hard to make. And I really like the point that you made that as a child in Sinan, that my position
Starting point is 00:29:22 had quite a few similarities to the military spouses, the hopelessness of those folks. Exactly. Okay, now we're gonna take a break to make some exciting announcements, including one about my newest project. It's my pleasure to tell you about the age of magical overthinking. If you've read Amanda's other books like I have and know how awesome they are, well you're in for a treat because
Starting point is 00:29:53 this latest book is the greatest of all. The title of this book is the Age of Magical overthinking notes on modern irrationality. And anyone who's alive today knows how irrational society has begun. It's available now for pre-order, wherever you buy books, or at the link in our show notes. It's coming out April 9th, and I'm sorry, you have to wait till then. It's about cognitive biases in the modern age. Listen to these chapter titles.
Starting point is 00:30:23 Are you my mother Taylor Swift? A note on the halo effect. I swear, I manifested this. A note on proportionality bias. A toxic relationship is just a cult of one. A note on the sunkoss fallacy. Most of all, the book cover is really beautiful and I have to tell you that I added a little extra
Starting point is 00:30:45 something to the book cover. You'll have to guess what it is. My brilliant Amanda has worked so hard in this book she would love to have you order it in advance because these pre-orders are really important. So please, as soon as you're finished listening, do not eat, do not go to the bathroom, order it now. Don't eat. Don't go to the bathroom. Oh, I thought it was a cult leader.
Starting point is 00:31:17 Thank you, Dad, for that sensational endorsement. It's true. My book is available for pre-order now. If you like this podcast, if you enjoy psychology, cultural criticism, if you like reading books that are super easy to read, but still interesting, it would mean no world if you would consider pre-ordering it. You can do so from any book retailer. I recommend Again, it's called the Age of Magical Overthinking, Notes on Modern Erasionality. It's available April 9th, and my dad, who we should protect at all costs,
Starting point is 00:31:48 recommends it. So dad, what do you think about my tank tops that I'm wearing right now? Well, you really are gorgeous with that tank top. It is fantastic. Thank you, dad. And I will have you know that this tank top is from the Schimm's Cotton Collection.
Starting point is 00:32:04 Let me tell you about it. Schimm's is creating the next generation of loungewear for everybody. This is Schimm's most tagged collection. It's made with a classic cotton fabric for comfortable everyday wear, made from ultra soft and natural fibers. The cotton collection features elevated lounge pieces designed for comfort indoors and outside. Whoever said loungewear was only for the house hasn't tried skims available in sizes X, X, S, to 4X. And who doesn't like comfortable clothing? Actually dad, you're wearing loungewear right now.
Starting point is 00:32:36 You're a loungewear king. I love wearing comfortable clothes. I am normally not a tank top person, but the skims cotton rib tank is so comfortable and looks so good on that I've been wearing it in and out. I've worn it to line dancing. You know how much I love line dancing. You do. And the tank tops look great here in Santa Barbara.
Starting point is 00:32:54 Oh, yes. We're in Santa Barbara where my dad lives recording this episode right now. And tank tops are perfect for, you know, warm weather or cold weather. They're great in all weather. Well, the weather is always perfect in Santa Barbara. Yes, but this isn't ad for skims, not for Santa Barbara. Believe the hype, skims has over 100,000 five star reviews for a reason.
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Starting point is 00:33:32 Dad, do you ever have racing thoughts or feel like your brain is kind of interfering with your life? Yeah, absolutely. Sometimes I have anxiety that I can't understand where it's coming from. Me too. And you know what? You know this better than anyone. Taking active steps to take care of your mental health can be so beneficial to any fellow anxious
Starting point is 00:33:53 overthinkers out there. I was actually pretty freaked out by the concept of therapy until I tried it for the first time at the age of 26. And now I quote my therapist all the time. She has guided me through so much. You've been on a mental health journey in recent years too, haven't you dad? I have, it is definitely a good idea to talk to therapists, to meditate, and live in the moment. That is so important. And a therapist can be a great resource to help people learn how to live in the moment. If you're thinking of starting therapy, give BetterHelp a try. It's entirely online.
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Starting point is 00:34:45 H-E-L-P dot com slash cult. So I know there are analogies to be made with this next point. Something else that I think is so culty about the military wife experience and something that I didn't really realize until I went and visited my friend was the sacrifice of identity and pressure to conform to this expectation of the perfect military spouse. So when you marry someone in the military, you're basically giving up not only a career, but a sense of agency in general to support not only your spouse, but the military itself. And according to a study conducted
Starting point is 00:35:27 at Syracuse University titled Making Military Wives, factors like long-term family separations, temporary duty assignments, frequent geographic moves, and the strict sense of protocol caused such stress and disorientation for spouses that they can start to lose themselves. And that can pressure them to participate in a lot of different weird military wife rituals and rules.
Starting point is 00:35:52 I found this one blog post written by a military wife called Manor's for Mill Spouses. 12 must-know etiquette rules of military life. This was from a blog called The Military Wife and Mom. And these rules included everything from don't wear gym clothes on base unless you're actually going to the gym so you don't look a hot mess to walk on the left side while your husband is in uniform. Well, you know, in synonym, you have to go along with the program, with whatever Chuck Dieterick or the Board of Regents or your director passed on the edicts. And so you did lose a lot of your identity.
Starting point is 00:36:29 And at first, I think a lot of people just said what they thought they needed to say, but after a while, when you do that long enough, it actually changes you. Totally. And so at first you're just saying it, but then you believe it. Then you believe it. Oh my God, I see that happen to people in everyday life. You tell yourself a story to help you tolerate life. And then for your own sort of self-protection
Starting point is 00:36:53 and to cope, you eventually believe it. Yeah, I had a friend in Sinai. I was just about to ask like how you noticed this go down with people you knew there. Yeah, there was a guy named Bruce, I won't say his last name. And we were buddies and at first he wasn't really any more interested in going into Sinan than I was. But as time went on, he really started believing all the things that he was saying. And eventually, after I left Sinanan, he became part of these so-called
Starting point is 00:37:27 Sinanon Marines that would start inflicting violence on people that Sinanon in their really paranoid way thought was threatening them. I mean, speaking of the frickin' military, right? So, Sinanon for context started out as a characteristically non-violent organization. But as Chuck, and this is a classic story, became more deranged and more power-hungry, as time went on, he went back on some of those initial tenets and hypocrisies, obviously,
Starting point is 00:37:57 like a red flag to be seen in multiple cults. But this sort of like, justifying a violence for the ultimate goal, I mean, that's what the military itself is. Yeah, absolutely. You know, Sinan started off with two cardinal rules, no physical violence, and no psychic modifiers, meaning no drugs or alcohol. Then they had a third one, no smoking.
Starting point is 00:38:21 But just before I left Sinanan, Chuck Dieterich, who normally, when he played the Sinan game, was unchallenged, it was a woman, a fairly junior member of Sinanon, who kept challenging Chuck. And at one point, Chuck got up and went over to this woman and threw his Coke on her. And that was the beginning of the degradation of the no violence in Sinan, and then it got worse and worse and worse. Wow, wow. And isn't that why people shaved their heads too?
Starting point is 00:38:53 Well, people would shave their heads or be forced to shave their heads if they broke one of the cardinal roles, the men were. And the women would have to wear stocking caps. But later on, there was situations where there were massive numbers of people who in unison would shave their heads for one reason or another as part of a show of unity for synonym. And in fact, there was one situation where there were so many people who had shaved heads
Starting point is 00:39:19 in synonym that they were hired for a movie when that movie needed a whole bunch of people with ball cats. No way. I didn't know that. Oh my God, but you never shaved your head. I did not shave my head. I was watching my peas and cues. I did have a crew cut, which I really, really didn't like.
Starting point is 00:39:39 In fact, when I left Sinanon and started college, I was really, because it was at Berkeley, UC Berkeley. And this was circa 1973, and to have a crew cut in Berkeley in fall of 1973 was really, well, I was like a sore thump. Oh my God. I really stuck out.
Starting point is 00:40:02 I mean, as well, I've had a shave tattoo. Yeah, you probably look super square. Yes. Probably the shaved head would have looked better because then you could have passed it off as like performance art. I didn't think of that. Well, next time.
Starting point is 00:40:12 Okay, so the last thing I want to talk about that draws such a parallel between synonym and military wives is obviously the sense of physical isolation. This is not an element that is a part of many of the cults that we talk about on Sounds Like A Cult because we often talk about like internet cults or celebrity fandoms or groups where they have no
Starting point is 00:40:34 in-person compound, but in the military, when you're on a base, that literally is a cult compound. You're separated from the outside world, you've completely lost your perspective and all of the support systems that are provided for military spouses to help them thrive are run by the military itself. Oh yeah, the similarity between living on a military base and living in Sinan, in terms of the isolation from the outside world is very parallel because when you lived in Sinanan,
Starting point is 00:41:09 it could be just in the Oakland facility where there was one building and then some dorms, you were completely discouraged. In fact, often prevented from experiencing the outside world and going to the outside world. Because after all, synonym was utopia, it was perfect. The outside world was all fucked up. And so you very much were living on the compound.
Starting point is 00:41:36 And sometimes you would move to another synonym facility, like moving to another base. And that resulted in making a whole new set of friends at that other facility about six months before I left Sinanon from Oakland. I had just graduated early from Lowell in San Francisco and then lived for six months at the Sinan facility in Marin County.
Starting point is 00:42:00 And yeah, I didn't know any one there, just a couple of people. Oh my God, so similar. Yeah, it's very similar. Freakishly similar. Indeed. I do think, like, just to create a certain sense of balance, I do think one key difference, and maybe some listeners can tell me otherwise, but I do think one key difference between synonym and the military is that in places like synonym, this was true in Jonestown and Heaven's Gate
Starting point is 00:42:24 and like any of these compounds, is that they actively demon Sinanon, and this was true in Jonestown, in Heaven's Gate, and like any of these compounds, is that they actively demonize the outside world. The outside world is evil, it's lesser than, and I don't know if that's done to the same degree. After all, like, the military is there to protect America at large, so it's inherently not really demonized. Like, the military loves the rest of America, ostensibly. So definitely in synonym, the philosophy was,
Starting point is 00:42:50 the outside world was all messed up. But I think one similarity between the military and synonym was that I think a lot of the recruits in the military were led to believe that you needed the structure in the military to survive. Yes. And that you need to stay, that you will fall down a manhole if you leave because you wouldn't have the structure.
Starting point is 00:43:14 And that sort of philosophy permeated synonyms. So true. That's maybe the number one thing that the two have in common is like, yeah, you will fall down a manhole if you don't have this structure. And for some people, it's true. Yeah. For some people, it's like fully, fully true. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:43:29 I've known people who say their lives were saved by the military. Yeah. But I don't know if I know any military wives whose lives were saved by the military. Yeah, I can see that. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Okay, so as someone who's experienced one of the worst cults in history and has also heard quite a few stats about military wives at this point, do you think that military wives
Starting point is 00:43:58 are a live your life, a watcher back, or I get the fuck out, level cult. Well, for me, I may be on the fringe here, but personally, I think it's get the fuck out. I kinda do too. I mean, because basically, they're tremendous exit costs. You're not allowed to have your own agency. I know. You can't really pursue your career. You have to move regardless of whether you want to or not on and on and on.
Starting point is 00:44:30 You might get sucked into an MLM where you have to sell owl jewelry against your will. I mean, I don't think for the folks, the men or women who are in the military, it's get the fuck out. I think it's what you're back. But for the military-wise, or maybe the military, it's get the fuck out. I think it's watch your back. But for the military wise, or maybe the military husbands, I think it's get the fuck out.
Starting point is 00:44:50 I know, I kind of think that too. Ah, but what if you fall in love with the soldiers? Okay, we're gonna move on to three other stories, and we're gonna blitz through these more quickly than we did with the military wives, though. They're having so much fun with you. I know me too, but we have to get to your birthday dinner. We didn't even mention it is my dad's birthday.
Starting point is 00:45:11 Thank you, thank you. Today is my 68th birthday, but no one would believe it, because I look like I'm like, you know, a really Foxy 45-year-old. A fountain of youth, okay. So this next story is from Emily. And this story is about the cult of the music industry. Emily says,
Starting point is 00:45:32 Hi, sounds like a cult. I was in the cult of the live music industry throughout my college and grad school years. I was a fairly small indie music blogger with a decent online presence. As a broke grad student, I would interview bands I was interested in seeing live as a way to get free tickets in backstage access
Starting point is 00:45:48 and get a cheaper drinks. Normally, I would hang around the venue before and after the band would play. This night after I interviewed the band, I had a migraine, but wanted to hang out. So I was walking back to my car for meds, five or six blocks away, and got cat called by three different men
Starting point is 00:46:02 in the 15-minute walk. I was super shaken when I ran into one of the band members on the way back, but this man seemed to suddenly get this angelic glow. The rest of the night was a blur of drinking with the band to try and forget the experience, and I definitely saw myself regarding these band members as heroes when they weren't even remotely involved. I no longer work in live music, I think. I'm not going to be able to do it. I'm not going to be able to do it. I'm not going to be able to do it.
Starting point is 00:46:30 I'm not going to be able to do it. I'm not going to be able to do it. I'm not going to be able to do it. I'm not going to be able to do it. I'm not going to be able to do it. I'm not going to be able to do it. I'm not going to be able to do it. I'm not going to be able to do it. I'm not going to be able to do it. Well music in Sinan was a big deal because there were so many fantastic musicians that had
Starting point is 00:46:46 drug problems and came in. And so they were, in particular in the area of jazz, there were so many really famous jazz musicians like A Stand, Kenton, and Art Pepper. There, like our, our Saturday night parties had phenomenal music. So music was really, that was a big plus. It was extraordinary. Yeah, there's a lot of overlap with really dangerous cults in music.
Starting point is 00:47:12 I mean, a lot of super fucked up infamous cults had bands. Like the Manson's Charlie Manson, he just wanted to be a rock star. Yeah. Who among us has not truly, truly cult worshiped a music artist? Oh, absolutely. And I think that, you know, Among us has not truly, truly cult worshiped a music artist. Oh, absolutely. And I think that for the woman who just wrote in that letter,
Starting point is 00:47:31 I think one of the big issues is because there's so much idolatry of the people who run her in bands, and particularly the people who are really famous, that you don't feel like you can just exert your own will that you kind of have to do what they want. And that sort of reminds me of a cult where you don't have your own agency. Yeah, I think, yeah, if you're like a sort of groupie type
Starting point is 00:47:58 and you're actually interacting with these people, I think you would truly be under a spell because when I'm listening to my favorite music artist even in my own private room, I feel like you would truly be under a spell. Because when I'm listening to my favorite music artist, even in my own private room, I feel like I'm a bit under a spell. And there's actually, there's a lot of really interesting neuroscience research you would probably like it. Reflecting that when Pentecostals or other, you know, Christian cult followers engage in Glossolalia
Starting point is 00:48:21 or speaking in tongues, the same thing is happening in the brain as when Swifties are like freaking out at the Ares tour. It's the sense of release and catharsis and adrenaline. So going to a concert and being in actual in-person proximity to your favorite rock stars is a religious experience. And also, when you're at a concert, everyone is sort of acting like one. It's like a communal animal,
Starting point is 00:48:46 sometimes with 20,000 parts. Yes. Anything that has idolatry at the center of it is a little bit cultish. For sure. I mean, I've been thinking about this a lot because the first chapter in my new book is about celebrity worship and the psychological
Starting point is 00:49:04 underpinnings of it and how it basically takes our instincts about finding role models and it brings them to this parasocial extreme and that is like only getting more intense in our culture these days as we have such an uncanny relationship to role models. Celebrity worship is getting more intense and the consequences are getting more deleterious over time. You have had some great podcasts like about Taylor Swift and others that talk about this, but I would like to make a comment because you did do an episode on the cult of academia. I knew you had an appetite. I would like to say this that in academia that we don't have idolatry. In fact, you could be talking to a noblist,
Starting point is 00:49:47 you could hear a seminar from a noblist and you are really striving to figure out whether what they're saying is right or not. And you don't back down. I don't know. I don't know. I for sure, idol worship to some of my professors in college.
Starting point is 00:50:04 I would have let, in the arts, I would have done anything for some of my professors in college. I would have let in the arts, I would have done anything for them. But as a scientist, I'll gay. That idolatry is sort of counter to the closet. No, that makes sense. I hear you. I think you're right.
Starting point is 00:50:17 I mean, compared to like worshiping Taylor Swift, I think there's a difference. Okay, I get it. So out of the three cult categories, live your life, watch your back, get the fuck out. What do you think about the cult of the life music industry? Well, I think, honestly, it's probably a live your life. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:50:35 Okay. Yeah, even though there's idolatry and all this, I don't, is there really an exit cost? I don't know. I think it's, I think I myself think it's a watcher back because there are just like a lot of male rock stars. Yeah, yeah, you know, I was I was trying to decide that it was kind of borderline between live your life and watch your back, but I could be persuaded into it being watch your back because you know, there's probably some abuse that goes on.
Starting point is 00:51:05 Well, as a scientist, you should know that we'll probably need more data that just Emily's story here. But based on Emily's story, I would still call it a watcher back. Okay, we're going to move on. We've got two more. This next one is from Claire. Claire is talking about the cult of Abercrombie. That's the name of one of your kids.
Starting point is 00:51:22 That is. Thank you for mentioning her, Claire. So Claire here is talking about the cult of Abercrombie and the show. That's the name of one of your kids. That is. Thank you for mentioning her, Claire. So Claire here is talking about the cult of Abercrombie in Fitch. Claire says, I had a culty experience working at Abercrombie for eight years. But I didn't even know, I didn't even know they let you work there for eight years. I thought you aged out after the age of 23. I started off as a brand representative back in 2004. And even early on, they were judging people on their looks.
Starting point is 00:51:45 You would hear a manager on a conference call and their district manager would ask, who are your hottest employees on the floor right now? I worked there with my best friend and they said my name once and not hers. I still remember how hurt she was. After a lawsuit they changed the title to model so they could justify judging people based on their looks, but they weren't models. They worked the sales floor and cash registers just like any other retail employee. I remember this learning when
Starting point is 00:52:08 Abercrombie employees were called models. I was like, Jesus, there's something cultish about that language. As things went on, it got cultier, but it happened gradually. At first, you could wear whatever you wanted as long as it was from the store. However, they soon started putting out lookbooks, demanding that employees
Starting point is 00:52:25 wear one of three colors, and certain looks that they picked out. The colors were usually limited to neutrals like navy gray and white. Doesn't that sound like synonym? Oh yeah, yeah, exactly. The colors that you were were pretty neutral. Yeah. If you weren't wearing these clothes and a district manager visited, you were in trouble. The lookbook also served as an ideal for the faces of people we were supposed to hire. Natural, not too much makeup, early on, mostly white people, until another lawsuit. After that, you got bonus points if you hired a good-looking person of color. There's a documentary on Netflix called White Hot, the Rise and Fall of Abercrombie and Fitch that covers some of this.
Starting point is 00:53:00 I got so far into this cult I ended up being a manager. By then, they implemented something called the cast of tracker. You were supposed to recruit and hire good looking people. Once I was a manager I got to see the interview forums and the questions were mostly based on the person's appearance. So you would hire that person and send their photo to home office where it was voted on. If three out of three people approved the photo,
Starting point is 00:53:23 they got on the cast of tracker. It's literally like swiping right and left on a dating app. You were eventually supposed to hire 10 guys and 10 girls on the tracker and fill your schedule with only those people. The sad news was if you hired someone and they didn't get approved, you weren't supposed to give them any shifts.
Starting point is 00:53:39 So we would give them call-ins until they quit. Ultimately, cutting staffing hours while increasing workload led me to quit. But thinking back, all the horrible judging we did to people was completely normalized within the company culture. Also, I found out later that the CEO was weird AF. So, I think we have a lot of information here from Claire. Thank you for the comprehensive message. Do you think Abercrombie and Fitch was a live real life a watcher-backer? Get the fuck out. the comprehensive message, do you think Abercrombie and Fitch was a live real life a watcher-backer gets a fuck out? Well, everything that you described in there kind of turns my gut.
Starting point is 00:54:09 Yeah. I mean, it's really bad. And I have to tell you, I'm not surprised to hear it because I remember when we used to go into Abercrombie and Fitch when you were a kid, that it just seemed a little unsavory. For sure. Right, to see these posters of young teenagers with like, you know, half their clothes off, it really bothered me.
Starting point is 00:54:30 And so I really, really don't like it. The only reason that I wouldn't call it, get the fuck out is because I don't think there's really an exit cost to leave. I could be wrong, but for that reason only, I would call it a watcher back. I think you're right. I think in certain scenarios like this one,
Starting point is 00:54:50 where your gut is turned and you're like, this is obviously disgusting and something that no one in the right mind to participate in, you do have to look at the worst case scenarios and the worst case scenarios are not synonym level or military wife level. So I agree I would call it a heavy watcher back with a side of ew. Yeah, yeah, definitely. Okay, here's the last story and this one, this one's kind of fun. This one's like out of left field. The story is from Sarah and it goes like this. I have one for you, the cult of circus performers.
Starting point is 00:55:26 I'm so excited. I was circus performer and generally there's a lot of great things about our community, but we definitely have our share of culty stuff. From celebrities within our community who take advantage of newer and younger performers, they are called First of Mays, to the divide between traditional and contemporary circus. That is so funny. There is truly, oh my god, there's a subculture and us, them dynamics everywhere, even in the circus.
Starting point is 00:55:53 We all keep a whisper network of Huda-Avoid if you don't want to work somewhere who will steal your passport and keep you in indentured servitude or those who are predators. There's also a lot of body dysmorphia, ageism and competition among circus performers. Despite all of this, I would say the cult of circus performers is a light watcher back. If you have a trusted mentor and keep a good head, we take care of each other
Starting point is 00:56:17 and try to shield the newbies from the sharks. I love your podcast. I think it is, I still, I know that this is like a part of the show and whatever, but it is still such a trip to me and so fun and adorable when people use the live your life, watch your back, get the fuck out terminology. Like I, I love that. Yeah, well, you know, I think this is one of the lasting gifts of sounds like a cult.
Starting point is 00:56:41 I think many people will be saying those phrases for many years to come. I use them, you know? Yeah, outside of this podcast. One thing that I was reminded of when I was listening to that letter is when I was a kid, which is a long, long, long time ago, at Ringling Barn and Bailey's Three Ring Circus,
Starting point is 00:57:01 you would go down to what was called the freak show in the basement. And when I think back about it, it was really sad. And people would tour as part of the circus. And in that sense, these folks were just part of a small community of people. And you know, you had the circus master that was the person at the top and so there was some hierarchy and a lot of these folks had nowhere else to go. So the people that were in the freak show, they were stuck and what else could they do? That's so true when I think of the more old school circus performer culture. It seems very exploitative. Just people who might have a medical condition being ogled because that's the only way to
Starting point is 00:57:52 make money in such a broken system that doesn't provide opportunities for differently-abelled individuals. And then, of course, the animal cruelty. Oh, yeah. It's really awful. But in terms of Sarah's story, it reminds me quite a bit of, you know, my friend Amanda Kaye. Yes. She spent most of the year after she graduated college working full-time at a Renaissance fair. Oh, I remember her mentioning. Yeah, and I
Starting point is 00:58:19 mean, it actually sounds really fun. But the language of like the newbies or the younger performers being called first of Mays reminds me of how if you lived on campus at the Renfair, it was called living on Shire. So there's just such a robust culture and language that separates those who are on the inside of this community from everyone on the outside, which is sort of like the more innocent side of cultishness. But I think just whenever you have like a really, really passionate subculture, where money is also being transacted and it's super competitive, and it's like an art form, but kind of a fringy art form. I think that is kind of an automatic watcher back. And also, it's very insular. So when you're, say, even doing the Renaissance fair,
Starting point is 00:59:08 even if it's enjoyable during that period of time when you're traveling from one city to the next, you probably are only interacting with the other people for sure, who are part of the Renaissance fair. And so I have to agree with you. It's probably watch your back because also when you're doing that it's probably hard to get out that is that's your whole world. It's your whole world. So one thing that didn't come up in that letter is who's the top of the heat, the top of the pyramid because certainly
Starting point is 00:59:42 at a circus you have the circus master. But I think that from listening to your podcast and from living in Sinnerna, that is a very important element of a cult. So yeah, it's probably a middle of the road, watch your back, not a heavy one. I totally agree. Wow, dad, here we are at the end of your much anticipated, at least by me, guest episode of Sounds Like a Call. How would you like to end this? Are there any parting words of wisdom you would like to leave our listeners with as someone
Starting point is 01:00:18 who survived a call and is living every day as if it's the first day of the rest of your life? and is living every day as if it's the first day of the rest of your life. Well, first of all, I'd like to say that I'm really honored to be your host today. It's like a great birthday present. Oh. Today is my birthday, and it's been really fun. And I would say something that I've learned over the last couple of years is trying to,
Starting point is 01:00:44 as much as you can, live the moment. So my parting words to your wonderful audience out there is learn to be present. Learn to be present. That's a great piece of advice, especially for me because I'm not been grounded lately. I need to live in the present. And how can that help you avoid cultishness? Because you're connected to your instincts maybe. Well, you know, as you pointed out, we are, I mean, we're surrounded by cults. And I'm not sure you have to avoid all cults. You just want to avoid the ones that are get the fuck out.
Starting point is 01:01:24 I agree. And even the ones that are watch your back, watch your back. That doesn't mean get the fuck out, just watch your back. True or words have never been spoken. That's our show. Thank you so much for listening. We'll be back with a new cult next week,
Starting point is 01:01:38 but in the meantime, stay culty. But not too culty. Yeah. Good job. Sounds like a cult was created and hosted by Amanda Montel and Issa Medina. This episode was edited and mixed by Jordan Moore of The Pod Cabin. Our theme music is by Casey Colt. Thanks as well to Kate Burns and Sumiou. To join the sounds like a cult cult follow the podcast on Instagram at
Starting point is 01:02:09 SoundsLikeAKoldPod. You can find me on the internet on Instagram at Amanda underscore Montel or on substack at Amanda Montel dot substack dot com and feel free to check out my books. Cultish the language of fanaticism words let a feminist guide to taking back the English language, or the forthcoming the age of magical overthinking notes on modern irrationality. And if you like this show, feel free to give us a rating or review on Apple podcasts. This is Craig Montel. Yes, that starts with a C and ends with an L.
Starting point is 01:02:47 And today I'm going to be assisting Amanda in her podcast. Now, Amanda thinks that she does a good podcast, but she doesn't know what a good podcast is until she does one with Moa. Someone is really excited to have a microphone. This is good stuff. This is the future where data silos and skewed visibility are history and
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