This episode is sponsored by Better Help. Hold onto your seatbelt, cuz we’re blasting back to the ‘70s for this one. Here’s the scene: we’re in Brooklyn, New York, at a time when all five boroughs were spiraling into ungovernable anarchy, with crime, violence, and widespread racism leaving the deteriorating metropolis totally ungovernable. If you were Black, you were particularly ostracized and lived in constant danger as a second class citizen (if only this weren’t still true today). And so it’s no real surprise that when people like Jamiyla Chisholm’s father heard about a religious community that would, as Jamiyla put it, protect them from the hellish world and teach them how “they should live as Black people,” they were drawn like moths to a flame.
While we’ve seen time and time again that cults prey on the vulnerable, this often takes advantage of an individual’s current mental, financial, or even physical state. In this particular case, one leader took advantage of nation-wide racial tensions in order to seduce hundreds of people into his community, which merged practices from Islam, Judaism, and various political ideologies.
Who was this leader? Well, we don’t want to give it all away…but here’s a hint: the supreme douchebag is serving 135 years in prison for what’s been reported as the largest prosecution of child molestation ever directed at an individual in the history of the USA.
To find out who we’re talking about, tune in to hear author, journalist, storyteller and educator Jamiyla Chisholm discuss her own experience as a member of this cult, as detailed in her memoir, The Community.
Hear Ye, Hear Ye:
The views and opinions expressed on A Little Bit Culty do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the podcast. Any content provided by our guests, bloggers, sponsors or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, group, club, organization, business individual, anyone or anything. Nobody’s mad at you, just don’t be a culty fuckwad.
Check out our lovely sponsors
Get poppin’ fresh ALBC Swag
Support the pod and smash this link
Cult awareness and recovery resources
Executive Producers: Sarah Edmondson & Anthony Ames
Production Partner: Citizens of Sound
Producer: Will Retherford
Senior Producer: Jess Tardy
Writer: Mathias Rosenzweig
Theme Song: “Cultivated” by Jon Bryant co-written with Nygel Asselin
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices