personal essay

When I Met the Now-Arrested Leader of a 'Feminist' Cult and His 'Kittens'

After the recent news of Turkish televangelist Adnan Oktar's arrest for fraud, sexual assault, and espionage, I look back on what it was like to meet him and the women of his "Islamic Creationist" cult, known as his "kittens."
Meher Ahmad

'Teeth' Is the Feminist Horror Classic That Men Tried to Sabotage

In honor of the tenth anniversary of the film, its producer and director explain how the vagina dentata-themed movie overcame a bungled studio release to find cult acclaim among young women.
Sirin Kale

A Cult Member Turned Expert Explains How Anyone Can Be Brainwashed

Dr. Alexandra Stein was brainwashed by a Marxist-Leninist sect as a young woman. Now she studies them for a living.
Kate Leaver

The Ex-Mormon Exposing the LDS Church With a Whistle-Blowing Website

Ryan McKnight has a singular mission—to expose Mormon Church abuses with an anonymous Wikileaks-style site. We spoke to McKnight about what he hopes to achieve.
Sirin Kale

Ex-Scientologist Can Go to Jury Trial Over Forced Abortion, Judge Rules

Laura DeCrescenzo's lawsuit claims that the Church of Scientology forced her —and many other girls— to have an abortion in order to keep working at maximum capacity inside the Navy-style labor camp.
Tanja M. Laden

Tiny Tombstones: Inside the FLDS Graveyard for Babies Born from Incest

In the polygamist cult of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, cousins were encouraged to marry in order to preserve certain bloodlines. Years of inbreeding have resulted in children born with serious birth defects.
Molly Oswaks

A Sociologist Explains the Cult Behavior in this N.Y. Murder Church

Two parents and other church goers were arrested for killing their teenage son. Sociologist Dr. Bernadette Barton explains how cult practices produce violence.
Diana Tourjée