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Project Hope Podcast

Jennifer French



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S2 Ep.19: Anke Richter (P3) on her book, "Cult Trip. Inside the World of Coercion & Control" & her life as a cult journalist.

Anke Richter is a columnist and reporter. Her investigative and personal features have been published in Die Zeit, Spiegel, FAZ, taz, New Zealand Geographic, North & South, The Spinoff, Canvas and others. Her most recent and fourth book is called, Cult Trip. Inside the World of Coercion & Control. In Part 1 of this 3 Part interview we primarily cover the subject matter of Centrepoint. Part 2 has a focus on the neo-Tantric community of Agama. Part 3 is primarily a discussion about Gloriavale. Cult Trip is described as “a leading journalist’s personal, intense and riveting investigation into the worlds of cults. At a new age festival in Byron Bay, Australia, German journalist Anke Richter is finding her spiritual awakening when she meets a woman (a survivor of the Centrepoint cult) who will change the course of her life and career. Over the next ten years, Anke pursued a labyrinthine investigation into how and why cults attract, entrap and destroy otherwise ordinary people, asking what the line is between tribe and cult, participant and perpetrator, seduction and sexual abuse. From the emotional and criminal carnage of Centrepoint in Auckland, New Zealand, to an anti-cult conference in Manchester, the infamous Osho’s ashram in India, the tantric Agama Yoga school in remote Thailand and culminating in a visit to Gloriavale on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island, Anke uncovers a disturbing pattern of violence and suffering. International bestseller Cult Trip is a powerful exploration of what really goes on inside the groups we call cults, and how to reckon with their aftermath.” I am so grateful for Anke’s body of work raising awareness for cult survivors and also her advocacy to protect the public and educate about these abusive groups. Please listen with care as these episodes deal with the subject matters of sexual abuse & child abuse. “Cult Trip. Inside the world of coercion & control.” Purchase on Kindle with special discount code: Anke Richter's website: FACT Aotearoa Fight Against Conspiracy Theories (New Zealand): Cultic conversations NZ. Facebook: Documentary mentioned about Centerpoint. Heaven and Hell. The Centrepoint Story: For more on the Gloriavale Leavers' Support Trust: For more on the Centrepoint Restoration Project: Our podcast features a beautiful song by Jaia Suri called, “Leaving the Cult”. Subscribe to Jaia Suri on Spotify and access the song here. If you feel moved to support Jaia’s music, please join her at Patreon. Jennifer is a cult and religious recovery counselor. She is certified in a specialized approach working with survivors that is research based and rooted in the work of Dr. Gillie Jenkinson. She has a Masters in the Psychology of Coercive Control and functions as an expert witness in such cases. Jennifer is also a research associate at Salford University.  For more information, please visit her website, Follow Jennifer on social media at: Facebook Instagram YouTube If you would like to be on the Project Hope Podcast or have any inquiries regarding the show, please email,

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