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Episode 100: Why QAnon and the whole conspiracy theory thing is a religious cult in disguise

Are there any similarities between extremist religious cults and conspiracy theorists?

I decided to talk to an expert in fundamental Christian cults to find out

When I was being talked at by a conspiracy theorist a few weeks ago, a part of my brain that wasn’t involved in the conversation, thought that the language and emotional manipulation being employed by the person seemed to be very similar to that used by religious cults to recruit people and keep them in the group. So, I decided to talk to an expert in this kind of thing.

Meet Laura Conti. Laura was born and raised in a fundamentalist Christian cult called The Truth. She left behind her family and everything that she knew when she was 19 and she now supports other women when they wish to leave similar extreme Christian sects. Laura knows all about the techniques these types of groups use to gain and keep members and she sees the conspiracy theorists / anti-mask people use exactly the same techniques.

They work on people’s fears and guilts, while at the same time telling them that they’re special because they’re one of the few who can see the truth.

About Today’s Guest: Laura McConnell Conti

Former Cult member, founder of Fierce Lady and #GoKindly, Activist

Laura McConnell Conti works in activism to raise awareness about the lives and experiences of women from fundamentalist Christian backgrounds.

Laura co-founded social enterprise #GoKindly, which supports women experiencing homelessness and housing stress, and does activism through Fierce Lady and at her website

Laura worked for 17 years in Finance, and after experiencing discrimination as a non-mainstream woman, she started both fiercelady and #GoKindly, to create space for women’s’ stories to be told and heard, and to provide funding to women’s issues.

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