Recognizing Cult Warning

Signs and Red Flags

Ep. 266 with Lesley & Brad

“If you’re wondering if you’re starting a cult right now, chances are unlikely that you are.”

Brad Crowell

Follow and subscribe for free

Lesley Logan - Author, Mindset Coach, and Fitness Guru Google Play
Lesley Logan - Author, Mindset Coach, and Fitness Guru Apples Podcasts
Lesley Logan - Author, Mindset Coach, and Fitness Guru Spotify account

Click to read more about:       Lesley Logan       Brad Crowell


Show Notes

Dive with Lesley and Brad into the intricate world of cults and their underlying psychology. Gain insights into the red flags and concept of bounded choices that hint at cult-like behaviors.

If you have any comments or questions about the Be It pod shoot us a message at [email protected]. Or leave a comment below!

And as always, if you’re enjoying the show please share it with someone who you think would enjoy it as well. It is your continued support that will help us continue to help others. Thank you so much! Never miss another show by subscribing at

In this episode you will learn about:

  • Key red flags to be aware of when entering a group.
  • Traits of cults and steps to take if you’re entangled in one.
  • Strategies to ensure your group or business remains cult-free.
  • Tips on selecting trustworthy people to associate with.
  • The significance of visualizing your desired future and planning in reverse.

Episode References/Links:


Lesley Logan: One of the things to like be aware of is they do things in a coercive place, and she called it bounded choice. So you think you have fear, you start you think you have freedom, but really, there’s this coercive control. There’s this like pressure, like you think you could, like, maybe not come on a Thursday, but then everyone’s like, “Why aren’t you here?”


Lesley Logan
Welcome to the Be It Till You See It podcast where we talk about taking messy action, knowing that perfect is boring. I’m Lesley Logan, Pilates instructor and fitness business coach. I’ve trained thousands of people around the world and the number one thing I see stopping people from achieving anything is self doubt. My friends, action brings clarity and it’s the antidote to fear. Each week, my guests will bring Bold, Executable, Intrinsic and Targeted steps that you can use to put yourself first and Be It Till You See It. It’s a practice, not a perfect. Let’s get started.


Lesley Logan 0:18
Welcome back to the Be It Till You See It Interview Recap where my co-host and my friend and I are going to talk about the illuminate (Brad: The what?)

Lesley Logan 0:21
Leave it in. The illuminative. I saw that and I was like this is not gonna go out (Brad: Illuminative.) Illuminative? (Brad: Yeah.) You’re gonna put that before her name? (Brad: Yeah.) Convo I had with Daniella Mestyanek Young. In our last episode. If you haven’t yet listened to that interview, feel free to pause this now. Go back and listen now. And like, I know I said this every week, but fucking go listen to that one.

Brad Crowell 0:47
Oh, it’s a great episode.

Lesley Logan 0:48
She is amazing. And since then, she has been quoted in the, it was it was the Washington Post or The Wall Street Journal. Either one is still like, like badass like, not just like one quote, like, they did a whole profile on her because of like, like, because of the expertise she has in this topic. And so anyways, we’re gonna get a little culty here. Well, actually, we’re gonna get unculty is what we’re gonna do in this episode.

Brad Crowell 1:16
So congratulations. You’re all cult members now?

Lesley Logan 1:20
No, no, we are not a cult. We are a group. We are just a group.

Brad Crowell 1:25
I know what it’s the opposite of everything that she stands for. We are a group. That’s what she stands for. We’re just a group.

We’re just a group. It’s a good group.

Lesley Logan 1:33
You know, I think we talked about this in the podcast, we’re going to do a segment she asked like, before we hit record, like, is Pilates like culty? And I said, oh, it can be (Brad: And you laughed.) I laughed. (Brad: Yeah.) I totally laughed. I said, it can be. It’s like a scuff. Like a true scuff, right? And recently, I was traveling somewhere and it like, there are some people that might think that they’re like part of a group. But like, if you can’t go to another person’s thing, because of the group you’re in, that’s a cult. (Brad: That’s a cult.) You should be able to go and explore other groups without offending people in your group anyways,

Brad Crowell 2:10
No, in no way shape, or form is one person 100% correct. (Lesley: No.) Literally not possible.

I am on a fucking mission when it comes to the Pilates industry. And I’m, you know, I’ll I’ll probably die trying but I just I want people it’s supposed to be fun. It’s a fucking workout. And like you’re never supposed to stop learning. And you can not agree with someone who could not like something that they do or the way that they do it. That doesn’t mean you could only like someone else. Anyways, today is September 21, 2023. And it’s World Gratitude Day. And this day aims to remind us of the importance of expressing gestures of thanks and appreciation. (Brad: I’m grateful for the 12 apostles of Pilates.)

Lesley Logan 2:57
Hear you now. I actually really like this, because ways you can express gratitude, just like just just maybe like, maybe for maybe for the day, like, just set a reminder, like set a note that when you’re procrastinating to just text, anybody in your contacts list. Hey, you know what, thanks for saying that one thing a month ago, I just thought of you. And I really remember when you said that, like, just try for one day to sending random acts of gratitude in your text messages. You have no idea whenever I get those from a friend. (Brad: Yeah.) It’s like they always come at the time where you’re like,

Brad Crowell 3:31
You need them the most.

Lesley Logan 3:32
When you’re like, why the fuck do I even exist?

So anyways, not to be dramatic. But seriously, it’s really true. And, you know, and something that I did while I was traveling is I was like, waiting for a door to open. So I was scrolling through stories, which is like something I never do. And there was people who are posting things that are friends of mine or tangentially. And like, instead of responding in their DMs I texted them, my response would be in their DMs. Oh, that’s fun. Yeah, because it’s way more fun to text back and forth you know I did some voice text messages. Anyway, I could have done it. I could have done it, the DMs but it’s complicated. And so I just, I also want people to see in there. I don’t want people to scare their text messages. Like, you know, anyways, (inaudible) today.

Brad Crowell 4:15
Yeah, I mean, even even if you don’t have a specific thing that you’re grateful for about them, just texting them and say, hey, I was thinking about you. Yeah, is magic. Yes. You know, so and I really encourage you to make a habit of if somebody pops into your head, tell them and you don’t have to tell them what you thought about you can but it could just be like, hey, I was thinking about you hope you’re loving life.

Lesley Logan 4:41
Did we talk about this on the podcast about Tasha?

Brad Crowell 4:43
We, actually we have, a couple weeks ago,

Lesley Logan 4:47
Okay, yeah, I’m not kidding. Like me just thinking I just we we made a funny little voice note. I’m like, we’re in my dreams. And it was like the thing she needed for that.

Brad Crowell 4:57
Yeah, that was uplifting. Yeah. anyways, today’s World Gratitude Day so you know, (Lesley: Go be grateful.) Do it. Be fucking grateful.

Lesley Logan 5:05
This is your cult leader speaking. (Brad: Be grateful.) It felt like you were doing the as you wish.

Brad Crowell 5:19
Yeah, right.

Lesley Logan 5:21
We also we literally just wrapped up Agency Mini 9. Wow. Wow. Wow. So much fun. And I am going to have to learn how to like voice to text my computer for at least a week to get my finger.

Brad Crowell 5:34
Oh, that’s my jam. That’s what I do now.

Lesley Logan 5:36
I know I just don’t think that any of the things understand my words at all. At all.

Brad Crowell 5:44
Well, you can blame Siri for that.

Lesley Logan 5:46
I don’t know, maybe I don’t speak English well.

Brad Crowell 5:49
I think you’re just fine. I think you’re just fine.

Lesley Logan 5:52
Well, Siri doesn’t understand my accent. Anyways, we just wrapped it up. It was phenomenal. It was fucking amazing. It’s brilliant. If you’re like, Oh, my God, I missed it. You did? And the next one isn’t until probably in six months. I don’t actually have the dates in front of me. I don’t think we’ve set them. And the truth is we do it twice a year. But we’ve been constantly only doing once a year. And we’re where are we got a big team meeting coming up. So get on the waitlist. And we’ll let you know when the next one is, it’s And I’ll put you on the waitlist for that. Anyways, you guys were amazing. You’re awesome. And my only ask is that you take some action this week, take messy action. Take that information, because once you start to take action with it becomes less overwhelming.

Brad Crowell 6:34
If you’re wondering what Mini is it’s a seven day brief snippet of our fitness business coaching program.

Lesley Logan 6:41
I thought they were all on the cult.

Brad Crowell 6:42
Yeah. No, we’re not speaking a language that only cult members know. And it will help you lay the foundation of who you are, what it is that you do what you actually offer, who you’re trying to connect with. And then how do you communicate that in a way that attracts those clients to you? And that’s the key. You know, once you understand those things, what do you do with it? It’s how you put that all out there and the way that you’re speaking and the things that you’re saying are going to attract the clients that you want to work with. So it’s like an amazing week. It’s absolutely worth you like exploring that. Whether you’ve been in business for two months or 20 years. You should do agency mini. So get yourself on the waitlist go to

Lesley Logan 7:28
Yeah. And then we’re a couple weeks away from getting our passes on the plane. Yeah, going to Cambodia, we’ll be there for a while. (Brad: I could not wait) and it’s actually gonna be really exciting because they’ve been making some massive changes to the infrastructure there. (Brad: Yeah, crazy changes.) Part of me is like, I really I’m grateful for the sidewalks it does mean I won’t get ran over by tuk-tuk. But also, like there was something cool about like, walking (Brad: Field adventures.) while massive, like, huge buses like just like going by. (Brad: It totally do.) So anyways, we are so excited to be going there. We’ve got an incredible group, our house is full. If you are like someone who’s like makes

Brad Crowell 8:11
We’re taking one of the two rooms that our manager has. (Lesley: Oh, we are?) Yeah. (Lesley: We moved her out? (Brad: Well, not moved her out. But she sent her kids to her dad’s their dad’s place.) (Lesley: Oh, that’s amazing.) Yeah. Because we needed the rooms.

Lesley Logan 8:25
Yeah. Well, that’s so cool. So anyways, we’ll be there for a few weeks. And if you are wanting to go on the next one, because the reality is, is that unless you really love flying (inaudible) and booking a trip across the world in two weeks, or maybe you live in Thailand, you want to come if you visit

Brad Crowell 8:43
Very easy to come from Singapore, PS.

Lesley Logan 8:45
Yeah, and also like (Brad: Singapore, India, you know, it’s all very quick.) Yeah, it’s all very, very quick. You can also come from any other place in the world. It’s just a little longer. And then November, we’ll be I’ll be in Chicago, with Erika Quest. So we’ve got some workshops going on over there.

Brad Crowell 9:04
And stay tuned on the Instagrams for that.

Lesley Logan 9:06
Yeah, or our email list. So you can do that.

Brad Crowell 9:11
Go to

Lesley Logan 9:13
Oh, perfect. Do that. And then we’ll on December, we’ll be back on our winter tour. We’re actually in meetings as we, as this episode drops on what that tour is going to look like and cities and all that. So we should have those details out. And they will be of course announced here, but mostly if you are on that, if you’re on the email,

Brad Crowell 9:32
Yeah, but it’s actually I got that wrong. It’s plural,

Lesley Logan 9:36
Plural, plural. This team will get it. Okay. We want to get all into Daniella but firstly, the audience question.

Brad Crowell 9:44
We do, we have a question. So this week, we had a question from when you were recently in Poland, and you were there teaching a workshop and it was basically was mostly about Controllogy right. I mean, it was a, it was a classical Pilates conference. Yes, it was you and Karen Frischmann. And then also Jay zoomed in, right. Yes. Jay zoomed in. So fun. Yeah, amazing.

Lesley Logan 10:10
It was so fun. I thought he was just gonna like do a Q&A. Because Jimmy Buffett died. I wouldn’t had margaritas with a couple girls for like, I don’t know, Jimmy Buffett is like, Oh, my God, we must have margaritas. And we had a margarita upstairs. We came downstairs, I jumped into the mat class.

Brad Crowell 10:26
Oh, like you do?

Lesley Logan 10:28
I was so sore the next day, but I think it actually helped me relax.

Brad Crowell 10:32
Well, the question that you got there was, how is it possible that you do all the things that you do and still have a life? How do you balance your work and your life?

Lesley Logan 10:41
So I love this question. Shout out to Ivana, she asked, actually, she asked Jay, a really awesome question similar to this. She asked him like, what do you do about the clients who just want you to like, work them out? You know? And so he was on us? And then she was just like a question. Like, I think people have these questions, and they don’t ask it. So clearly, people think I have work life balance, and I’m gonna tell you right now, balance is a lie. And when I told so here’s just, here’s the thing, our yoga teacher, Brad, he told us that balance is the art of not falling over, right? Like in a handstand, or a headstand, the ability to hold that is you maneuver in between, like leaning too much one way and then you correct and then you might overcorrect and things like that. And so what what I try to get people to understand is like, stop striving for balance. Also, what balance is to you on a Monday is very different to what balance to use on Friday. Or if you have kids, maybe there’s a different version of balance when they’re in school versus when they’re at home. And so, so I don’t search for balance, I search for making sure my schedule fills my cup, every single day. So I can show up for what the task is at hand. And I tried to make sure it’s really hard for us, because there’s two of us. And so sometimes when you’re working it’s different than when I’m working. And sometimes you have a question about work. And I’m like, but I’m not working right now. The answer is this is first, we actually do have a free webinar about how I create a schedule, which also talks about my scheduling tool, but you can just you can enjoy that or just watch that. I think it’s called I think it’s is it

Brad Crowell 12:25
Yeah, I was just looking that up almost positive. That’s what it is. Yeah.

Lesley Logan 12:28
So did you It’s a free webinar. It’s all my business stuff. But like, it explains how I created a schedule, (Brad: It is. So it’s free, go enjoy. It’s how I create a schedule. Yeah. It’s also something I teach in Agency Mini, but what every morning has in it are the things that helped me fill my cup, so I can show up for the rest of the day. And I also know the signs that I’m out of balance. And I think that’s very important. What are the symptoms that you like? Are you cranky? Do you snap at people? Are you exhausted at the end of the day? What are those signs, so that you can actually look at the next day and see if there’s anything you can take off your plate. And ladies, I know you don’t like to cancel your friends, like you want to be that person. But you can just say, I’m actually really overwhelmed right now. And there’s nothing more I want to do is see you but you don’t want to see me right now. Because I’m not going to be the best awesome person. That is way better than us showing up. What Why are you laughing?

Brad Crowell 13:24
Just remembering that dinner? (Lesley: What dinner?) The one where we had someone tell us that they just weren’t ready to be present in this exact moment. So I’m gonna excuse myself.

Lesley Logan 13:37
Yeah, she already called an Uber by the way. I you know, it’s part of me and like, it’s like,

Brad Crowell 13:42
I look preempted, don’t show up. And then please

Lesley Logan 13:45
Try to do it before you get there. Anyways, because like also, it just is so weird. But the reality is you have the more you get to know yourself. And the more you acknowledge like that, when you just say like, I am not imbalanced right now I am out of balance that can take a whole load off and then ask yourself, what are the what what happened to get you here? Are you maybe like when we have a launch going on? You think Agency Mini is balance? No, no. Here’s what we do, though. So we can show up. We have our morning routines are on point, we have our food delivered. We do not miss our workouts, but we do not go out to dinner with people. We do not

Brad Crowell 14:27
We try to we try to remove everything else that from the entire week if we if we possibly can.

Lesley Logan 14:32
Yeah, if we possibly can. We’re really clear like the beginning of the week, we can probably have a meeting or two but towards the end of the week. It’s an absolute zero, no, nothing other than that. But the week before and the week after we are we’re giving ourselves we’ll also give ourselves an opportunity to get things ready so we can be so we’re sleeping where we’re making sure we have time to ourselves. In fact, we take days off. So the point of this is to sum it up too long to read watch the webinar and to stop trying to find balance. And just be honest with yourself. Are you in a season where you’re building something up? (Brad: Yeah) If so, what are you going to do to rest and repair and refuel. And if you’re in a season of like, hey, everything’s flowing smooth, then enjoy that, and let your creativity juices fly, but stop going, oh my God, I’ve gotta like, every days with the perfect day, this is not the 1950s. And by the way, y’all they were not actually that happy. All the movies make it look, they’re so happy. They were having Manhattan’s every night, and like not telling each other was going on. So

Brad Crowell 15:32
I think I think the the idea of like, balance with work and life, ultimately, it comes down to the decision you make in and what’s going to what, what’s too much you’ll know, because you’re very unhappy, your fried or your you know, all those things. And realizing, you know, when you’ve crossed that threshold of holy cow, because like, you know, I mean, we are business owners, right? We, we work all day, work all day, every day. But we don’t think about it that way. I’m not like if something breaks at 10pm. Guess what I have to fix it, have to, you know, so but, you know, I might take two to 3pm and take a walk, you know, so it’s your choice of what you’re doing and when you’re doing it, and what you need to realize is that you’re that’s what that balance is is like, hey, you know what, I have a light afternoon, I think I’m gonna take advantage of it. Like last Friday, I went out to lunch with our neighbor. And I mean, I haven’t seen him in like six months. So it’s weird that we will live next to each other and we never get the chance to go out. But I didn’t have any meetings booked, which is abnormal. And I was like, let’s take advantage of this and actually take the afternoon. And we went and we just hung out. Right and so sometimes that happens and other times I have to work during the afternoon and that’s okay.

Yeah. And then just like a quick tip if you are someone who’s an overscheduler you see an empty space in your calendar, you’re like yes, I can fit that in. Then you to block in like actual like schedule actual rest breaks. You also cannot

I had to put lunch directly into my schedule. I don’t remember to do if I don’t have lunch in my schedule. I forget to eat.

Lesley Logan 17:18
I think we did that two years ago. And it was like one of the best things that ever happened for either one of us. Yes, No body books calls. Anyways, there’s just different hacks you have to do and then also just because the people around you are hustling like crazy, doesn’t mean that you’re hustling something different. That reminds me what ended on this Kareen, Episode 53? She was at 53.

Brad Crowell 17:39
I’m we’re gonna find out.

Lesley Logan 17:41
She said might have been 23 but I feel like it’s 53 I feel like she wasn’t as early as everyone else. My friends, but she said

Brad Crowell 17:51
You were definitely off the mark, 27. (Lesley: 27. 20 was my second guess.) She was early. Episode 27 Kareen Walsh.

Lesley Logan 18:00
She said, “Don’t let your hustle become a hassle.” And I think when she said that, that’s kind of like a like a thing. Like if I feel really big, I’m working really hard. If it starts to feel like a hassle, like, oh my God, then I go, okay, what’s going on here? Yeah. When did I say yes to these things? I think ladies, we tried to do everything like that, that I, somebody just followed, posted something because like, I don’t know which magazine but Paris Hilton was on the cover. And they’re like, look, she’s like, rock and being a mom and a full-time business owner and this she’s got all the things figured out. And I was like, What the fuck? When are we going to stop telling ladies that that’s possible? No fucking way Paris Hilton has it all figured out? No offense, Paris. You’re awesome. But there’s, you have nannies. You have housekeepers. You have chefs, you have cooks, you have someone organizing your sets. The way they wrote the title was a Paris Hilton is like doing it all. And she can because she has a team. So if you are solo, you cannot do it all. You can only do what is possible in the amount of time you have. And the more you take care of yourself, the more you can get things done, period. Okay, now.

Brad Crowell 19:11
Let’s move on.

Lesley Logan 19:13
Send your questions into the pod. We love them.

Brad Crowell 19:16
Yeah, ask those questions.

Lesley Logan 19:17
We love them.

Brad Crowell 19:34
Okay, now let’s talk about Daniella Mestyanek Young, a former intelligence officer, renowned scholar on cults and the compelling voice behind the memoir, Uncultured. Her life journey from the confines of a religious sect cult to the frontlines of the US Army is a testament to resilience and the power of transformation. (Lesley: She’s a badass.) She’s badass. (Lesley: She’s an intelligence officer in the military)

In her like mid to late 20s.

Lesley Logan 20:04
Yes, yeah. Yes. And that’s, by the way, (Brad: who is in the field) who is in the field. She was one of the first women allowed in field. And also she ran a virtual Boston Marathon and she won for the military. (Brad: Really?) And like, yes, yes. (Brad: How do you do that?) And she met Obama, and she was one of the few officers like invited. Yeah. Oh, no, no way. Yeah, you gotta listen to the book. You got to do it. We like we have like, this is, by the way. This is badass. Like, like, you know, fucking amazing human being. I listened. I found her on a cult show I listened to and I DM-ed her and she was like, Yeah, sounds so fun. And she like, I was just like, oh my god, I’m getting Daniella on the show. So great. Anyways, um, she’s just really honest. And also she had all of that without having a formal education guys. She didn’t go to school until high school. So, yeah. (Brad: Oh, I didn’t know that.) No, the Children of God don’t teach them how to read anything. Yeah, anyways. Okay, you gotta read the book. Warning, it is difficult. They’re like, if you there’s a trigger on like, the sex abuse that is in there. But it’s also so important that we actually know what these places are doing. Because you got to know the science guys, you gotta know the science. So go read the book. So okay, I love so many things. But she she gave advice on what a cult disguise could look like. And of course, she said nobody joins a cult. And that’s true.

Brad Crowell 21:34
Yeah, that I found. I found really interesting. You know that you don’t realize that it is what it is.

Lesley Logan 21:41
Well, everyone else say I would never join a cult. (Brad: Right.) Like, okay, (Brad: Well, me neither.) Well, me neither. Of course not. But like, in L.A. there’s so many cults.

Brad Crowell 21:51
There are so many cults.

Lesley Logan 21:52
Oh my god. There’s so many cults.

Brad Crowell 21:54
Yeah, I’m pretty sure there’s a Erawan cult.

Lesley Logan 21:58
Shut up. I mean, maybe there’s a small one that I don’t know who’s leading it. But I will say like, there were some books there was there. First of all, NXIVM was notorious for doing their workshops in L.A., there was landmark that everyone in their mother was like trying to get you to come to their graduation, which by the way, was a cult. Sorry, there. But don’t sue me. But like there’s so many in L.A., obviously, Scientology being the biggest one. (Brad: Right.) Every time we drove by that church, I just like oh, my god, can they see us? Do they have our license plate number? Drive fast. But anyway, she said no one joins a cult, they join a group that is doing something that is feeding their soul. And even there was like yoga classes that were so cultish.

Brad Crowell 22:46
I just, I gotta hop in here. I just found a Yelp listing for the top 10 Best religious cults near Los Angeles, California.

Lesley Logan 22:58
Oh, my God is (inaudible).

Brad Crowell 23:00
No, I mean, but it’s funny. They’re like, it’s it’s a lot of churches.

Lesley Logan 23:04
Yeah. So but the but people join a place that feeds their soul, they join things that are doing like this. They join things that are like making an impact on the world that aligns with your values. And so she actually said that people listening to this podcast are likely to be people who could end up joining a cult because you are seekers, seekers of information, right. So. So they give you these big missions. And of course, you’re a part of it. Now, there are just groups. I like to think that we are just a group. But she said like there are some red flags that you should look into, especially in the recruiting thing. So, we’ll kind of get into that in a second. But like, one of the things to like be aware of is they do things in a coercive place, and she called it bounded choice. So you think you have fear, you start you think you have freedom, but really, there’s this coercive control. There’s this like pressure, like you think you could, like, maybe not come on a Thursday, but then everyone’s like, why aren’t you here? For example, one of my clients went to this weekend event, and she decided she didn’t like it on day two. So she decided to come to my class. And in my call during my class, her phone was texted four times, or four times in an hour going, where are you why didn’t you come? Why don’t you get on a call with us let’s see if we can get you back? It’s like, if she can’t miss the third day, that she paid for. It is her choice to not be there. If you are like, dragging her back. And there’s something weird going on.

Brad Crowell 24:35
Yeah, I mean, I just wanted to rip rip down the top the 10 things that she does, like how she considers a cult, defines a call. So, number one, there’s a charismatic leader. Number two, there’s a single sacred assumption that all of the people assume. Number three, there’s a transcendent mission. Number four, there’s self-sacrifice required. Five limiting access to the outside world six, unique language meaning like, like we were joking about at the beginning of this episode about Agency Mini. And if you don’t know what that means, then you’re not in the cult, right? Like that’s the unique language. Then the next is an us versus them mentality, then exploitation of the members, high exit cost. Maybe you lose your community, your friends, all that you’re ostracized. And then lastly, it. It should eventually shifts into an ends justify the means mentality.

Lesley Logan 25:33
Oh, yeah. So here’s what’s interesting. While I was in Poland, one of the people was talking to they had, they had stopped working with one of the groups, I won’t name it in the Pilates world, because they had this like summit where they brought in all of their teachers. And they said, Well, these things are the things that you can teach. But if you want to teach these things, you have to be part of the inner circle, because we have to trust (Brad: There’s a fucking inner circle?) She said, she’s got a fucking said inner circle, and like, oh, do they not know how to build a cult, you’re not supposed to actually say that. That’s the quiet part. You don’t say out loud.

Brad Crowell 26:08
By joke, seriously, like,

Lesley Logan 26:12
and someone else we coach was like, I want to do this thing. But like, it’s not clear if I can do this thing. And there have been people who’ve done this thing, and they’ve been kicked out. And there’s other people who didn’t do this thing. And they didn’t get kicked out nice. And the particular thing that she was doing

Brad Crowell 26:23
The reality of kicked out, that’s the that’s one of the problems. I mean, that’s a problem.

Lesley Logan 26:27
And I said to her, I said, you’re in a cult. Now, it might not feel like one but the fact that you can’t provide this thing that is in no way a threat to them. And in fact, all it’s doing is propelling the mission that should be theirs forward. That scares me for you. (Brad: Yeah.) And the fact that you’re worried that you could be ex like excommunicated ex, is that the right word? (Brad: Yeah, basically) that makes me nervous.

That’s very religious, but yes, excommunicated.

So some people say Pilates is a religion. But at any rate, like it shouldn’t, if you have those fears, that can be your own family, by the way, like if there are things you can’t say or do or be in your own family, because fear of like them, not speaking to you. That’s a little bit culty.

Brad Crowell 27:15
Yeah, I mean, we were just in England, and we were with one of our members who married someone from India. Oh, and she is from England. And she’s not the same religion. (Lesley: Oh, she’s Australian) oh sorry, she’s Australian living in England, but she’s not the same religion. And his family cut them out. (Lesley: Yeah) that’s fucking cult.

Lesley Logan 27:39
Yeah. So um, so you’re probably wondering how can this be it till you see it, because you are a seeker. And I want to make sure you’re armed with the right information so that as you’re being until you see it, and as you’re getting information out there, you don’t end up accidentally in a group that is using you, using your amazingness. And we’ll talk more about that in the next week’s episode. Because that guest on narcissism is amazing. Anyways, I can keep going, but you should tell us what you loved.

Brad Crowell 28:05
Yeah. So I thought this was interesting, in that she had a couple of examples of cult leaders that you would know that I don’t remember their names. But she said, I know the mom. Yeah, I know, you know them all. If people are self-proclaiming that they’re a guru. Be cautious. Be aware of this. Because they, you know, when someone puts themselves up on this high pedestal, and then tells you, you know, I am the authority, or I am the guru of the thing.

Lesley Logan 28:42
I have all the answers here. I’m the one who knows, I’m the closest to right, you know, yeah.

Brad Crowell 28:48
Yeah. You know, she said, actually, in fact, coaching can become this. Teachers can become this, you know, anybody that you put in a place of authority, it is, you know, it’s she was talking about, like, you could be doing everything right. And then like, somehow it shifts and suddenly it like, becomes a cult and not like a group. Right? So the reality is that if they are out there telling you that they’re the only authority that they’re the only one or that they know what’s right. And they can, they can, they’re the only one that can help you like all major warning signs. Yeah, right that you’ve got somebody who, you know, is totally a narcissist, which we are going to talk about on our next episode, and they are effectively trying to manipulate you. Yeah. Whether they realize they’re doing it or not, they’re doing it. Right. Whether you realize they’re doing it or not, hopefully you can identify that they’re doing this.

Lesley Logan 29:47
I think after we ended the podcast. So I’m gonna help like, you know, you do sales calls with people. And we’re very clear with people like, this might not be the right group for you. And it’s not because we don’t want to help you. But if we’re not the right person, like I’ve joked on the podcast before like, I’m not a taco not everyone’s gonna like me. Sure, that’s okay. Because like, there is someone out there who can lead you in all the different things that we do. If it’s if I’m not the right one, or it’s not the right time. And it’s important that people know that. And I think like, I just think it’s a little. I know that like, when you’re lost, you just want answers. (Brad: Yeah.) But you have to also remember, like you have everything you need inside you. And really just surrounding yourself with people who want to support and guide versus be the hero (Brad: That’s key. That’s exactly right.) Someone who can guide you from this point to that point. And that doesn’t mean once you get to that next point, that they’re still your guide, you might pick up a different guide along the way.

Brad Crowell 30:44
Yeah. And I think that’s the that’s like, the language that they’re using, the way that they portray themselves the way that they perceive themselves, you might not be able to understand all that right away. But you’re exactly right, like the person who wants to be there to support you and your growth, and be a guide along a path that they may have already taken. That’s a win. But a person who is like, oh, I can show you how I’m the only person that has been where you are, I know how this works. You need to listen to me. That’s a problem. You know, so she actually like what are the things I was talking about the 10 things and the 10 definitions, like how she defines a cult. And she said the second one, which I thought was really interesting, is a single sacred assumption. So all the people in the group have this single sacred assumption. And you can’t you better not say the other way, because then everyone’s gonna be like, What are you saying? Right, the single sacred assumption. So she was talking about NXIVM and Keith Raniere, and he told all of his NXIVM people, I am the smartest man alive. (Lesley: Oh, yeah.) And everyone fucking believed him. They just went along with it. So as a group, everyone was like, oh, yeah, Keith. Yeah, he’s the smartest man alive. He’s the smartest man alive. And it just was like, inherently, indoctrinating all these people with this weird decision that he’s like, I’m the smartest man alive. So guess what, everything he says they’re gonna fucking do. Because why would you defy the smartest man alive? (Lesley: He’s so smart.) Right? So you know, that’s like, you know, yeah, it’s kind of crazy. It’s just really fascinating to listen to this conversation. And then, you know, she talks about how, why she didn’t become like a life coach, and instead decided to get degrees was because of her experience, being in cults, and seeing how it’s very easy for, like life coaches, or coaches or teachers in general, to cross that boundary and become like cult leaders.

Lesley Logan 32:55
I also think that like, it’s, it’s probably not intentional in the beginning.

Brad Crowell 33:00
I don’t think it starts off intentional, no.

Lesley Logan 33:02
In the beginning, because like, I think like, first of all, especially if words of affirmation or your love language, like people are telling you, oh, my God, this helped me and we got this help me and you’re like, Oh, my God, if you get this out to everybody, and then like, you keep going. And then at some point, you don’t have anyone around you telling me telling you like, no, like, I’ll have these ideas. And you guys are very quick to go. I love that idea. Not for now, or actually, like, let’s we do that we do this. And not to say that I’m gonna become a cult leader, but I, but like, it’s important to have people around you who will like challenge you on your ideas. It doesn’t mean I won’t fight for them. But it also keeps me from like, just continuing to go as if I’m the only person who knows what the fuck does the right thing to do. Yeah, and then bringing people along with me. And so I don’t think people are born going to be a cult leader. But if they can’t go that way, because

Brad Crowell 33:56
Unless you watch the Umbrella Academy, but yes, no. (Lesley: Oh, really? I did not watch that.) You didn’t. It’s okay. The Umbrella Academy is a sci-fi show where this one of the characters inadvertently becomes a cult leader. And he’s like, I love that I’m a cult leader. This is the most amazing thing. It’s ridiculous.

Lesley Logan 34:12
I watched how to become a cult leader. (Brad: Yeah.) Which is like just like a little satirical, because it’s like, obviously it’s it’s really about like how these people became leaders. And I think it’s, I really enjoyed it because in case anybody in your family is in one that can be extremely stressful and it can also take you off your path of like what you’re doing on this planet. Because you’re you can’t snap them out of it like it like you telling them they’re in a cult is just going to make them stay. So at any rate, like again, I really wanted to have

Brad Crowell 34:44
I think I think like liberating people from cults is a whole another conversation.

Lesley Logan 34:50
Oh, that’s a whole another (inaudible).

Brad Crowell 34:54
If you’re wondering if you’re starting a cult right now, chances are unlikely that you are since you have that self-inflection.

Lesley Logan 35:01
Go. Yeah, it’s like the narcissist thing. Go and look at her top 10 things. Read her book which is so so good.

Brad Crowell 35:08
Oh, which is called Uuncultured.

Lesley Logan 35:09
Uncultured. Read her book because I also (Brad: Or listen to it.) I really loved how she shared she used the things that she saw in the people of her of the Children of God, when mistakes happen. And she saw it in the face of the men in the military when something happened. She’s like, something’s wrong here. Like she knew. (Brad: Yeah.) So like, I think that’s really good information. And I again, I wanted to have this person on because I, as you listen to this, and you get inspired by people we’ve had on the podcast, or and you’re working on taking the next step in your life. It’s so easy for you to end up go going off your path of being it till you see it and being on someone else’s path of a cult. So anyway.

Brad Crowell 35:52
Yeah, well, let’s

Lesley Logan 35:57
Let’s do the Be It Action.

Brad Crowell 35:58
Yeah, hang out real quick. We’ll be right back.

All right. So finally, let’s talk about those Be It Action Items. What bold, executable, intrinsic or targeted action items can we take away from your convo with Daniella Mestyanek Young?

Lesley Logan 36:14
What are your favorites?

Brad Crowell 36:45
Yeah, so her bold advice was? Imagine yourself like so. Okay, just to clarify she is, I can’t remember what she studied, when she went to school. When she went to Harvard. And anyway, I can’t remember exactly what the degree she got. But it was something to do with like, sociology and and the study of people. And she said, imagine yourself when you’re 80 and ask, how do you start to backwards plan your life so that you can get to that place? And you know, this is like old school advice. I you know, I’ve heard about this when I was when I was younger, but it’s something that you kind of forget about. Yeah. And I like bringing it back and be and like looking at it and saying, well, what does 80 look like for me? Do you want to be surrounded with like, 8000 grandchildren? Do you want to be on a sailboat sailing around the world? Do you want to be retired in Asia? Do you want to, I don’t know, whatever. Like my parents’ version of this would innocent me guessing. But my dad has always loved the ocean. And my mom loves it, too. And so they’ve always wanted to be at a house near the water. And they’ve been planning for it almost their whole life. Like literally, it took them like 20, almost almost 20 years to get a house near the water. They got a house 20 years ago, that was two miles from the water. And 15 years later, or 16 years later, they finally were like, this isn’t close enough. And they were the whole time they were there. They are shopping for the right house. Right? So they were thinking about these things decades ago. Right? And so what do they need to do in order to retire near the ocean? They need, clearly a place to live. So they worked backwards from this ultimate dream that they have this vision that they had of themselves when they were retired. And like it continues, right? Like my mom got this. This, she had this idea where they got this house that about three or four years ago now. And it was not in great shape. But my parents love projects like this.

Lesley Logan 38:58
They do. And your sister picked up another project, she got, it’s in the blood.

Brad Crowell 39:02
Oh, geez. Yeah. Well, my mom’s mom is now in her middle 80s. And, you know, there may come a point where she needs like in home care. And so my mom thought, well, what if we took this house that we want to retire in? And we created, like a first floor plan, where we could have like a guest house on the same level as the primary plan before so that, you know, if you’re 89, you’re not going up and downstairs basically. Right. And so they’ve been already thinking ahead, planning, maybe we could support you know, grandma, and then someday, that might support them in that same house, right? Yeah. So they’re just you know, thinking ahead, working backwards from this ultimate vision that you have for yourself and this takes inflection, time to sit down and actually think through it.

Lesley Logan 39:54
Do you want us to go about this also bold advice? (Brad: Tell me.) The way fitness works is like, if you want to be able to pick up your grandkids at 80, you have to be training your body for that now.

Brad Crowell 40:07
Yeah. Yeah, like the age of eight. So yeah, you might have already missed the boat.

Lesley Logan 40:12
You did. No, I’m kidding. But like, but like, seriously, because

Brad Crowell 40:17
I think I started around 32.

Lesley Logan 40:18
Yeah. So if you had, like, if you picture yourself in your old age, like, if you do want to go up the stairs, if you want to, like have your beautiful house, like beautiful master bedroom suite with a balcony, whatever, then you have to be able to go up the stairs at 40 without even thinking about it. Yeah, maybe 50 flights of stairs. So that like as we age, like things like decline. But it’s really incredible. Because I have seen people in this, you know, age is really just a number because like, I’ve seen people at 80 who can do things that like, you’re like, whoa, that’s phenomenal. Like there’s a 63 old woman who was like doing this like, crazy deadlift that like

Brad Crowell 40:58
200 pounds, 230 pounds? I saw it.

Lesley Logan 41:00
There was another woman who was dead lifting as much as you and my dad was, and I was like, okay, I need to step it up if I want to be because I’m 40 she’s 23. So like, 23 years older than me. I better get going if I wasn’t able to do that at 63. Anyways, I love that advice. Okay,

Brad Crowell 41:15
Yeah, well, so if you’re stuck and trying to figure out what life could look like for you at 80 Daniella’s advice was, go through all your senses. Okay. Focus on your senses. What are you seeing? What are you hearing? What are you smelling? Tasting? Feeling? What is what is that? What is happening around you? And then how can you plan your life backwards from there? She said, that we only have one life to live. We all know this. But she asked, What do you want out of it? And, you know, I don’t know. I think it’s funny. Like, we have these ambitions and these goals and these things, but like, do we actually sit down and say what do I want out of life? You know, so do that. Do that. Okay. All right. What about you?

Lesley Logan 42:08
Well, after that, I don’t know. I actually really loved this, she said, in relation to like bold advice or getting advice from others. She said, listen to all of it. And I was like, okay, like when she said that, I’m not gonna lie. Instead, I was like, should you go like, (Brad: Should you what?) listen to all the advice, listen to all the advice, getting advice, like, you know, getting advice from others, she said, listened to all of it. And I was like, Ooh, I disagree on this. But then she said, however, yeah, if it’s negative advice, only listen to the people who’ve done what you’re trying to do.

Brad Crowell 42:46
Which is like, drop that fucking microphone that is humongous. Like it’s such a, that was such a lightbulb moment for me when she said that I was like, Oh, my God. How come? I’ve never thought about that before?

Lesley Logan 42:56
Right? Like, you know, we, we talk like, we have people who want to do on demand memberships. And since we do them, yeah, I say hello. I think it’s a great idea. I can absolutely reach those needs. Here are some things you need to keep in mind. And it’s not to deter, but it’s to actually like, if I could do it all over again, knowing those things, what would I have done differently? And because no one’s gonna get it right the first time. You can learn from that. Yeah. And so anyways, I thought that was really, really, really great and

Brad Crowell 43:27
Well, I think so. So here’s a good example.

Lesley Logan 43:30
Well, she had a great example of her own life. (Brad: Oh, go ahead.) Is it okay if I share it? (Brad: Do it.) So she wanted to write a book. And she wanted to write it, like at the book Educated inspired her and she’s like, oh, I want to write that. And there’s all these naysayers (inaudible)

Brad Crowell 43:44
It’s an epic book about cults, PS. Educated.

Lesley Logan 43:47
It’s less about cults and more, it’s, it’s more about (inaudible)

Brad Crowell 43:51
It’s the story of a woman’s experience where she grew up in what didn’t know was a cult.

Lesley Logan 43:58
It’s a cult of her family. Yeah. Was a family cult. So you know, but, and she is about like, people who are living in rural areas who are not educated. You know? So anyway, she wanted to write that book. And people were like, you can’t do that. There’s, that’s not going to work.

Brad Crowell 44:15
Well, no, they said that there’s no way you can be Educated, Educated was such a box office hit as far as books go, you know, don’t even bother trying.

Lesley Logan 44:26
Yeah. And but four years later, she actually did it. And, and it was along the lines of Educated. Yeah, and The Glass Castle. And what’s really funny is Roy Vaden, who was on a couple weeks ago, he actually has a really big thing that like you when you’re pitching an idea, you actually should pitch it in the vein of comparing to something like say, it’s the educated book, but for cults, or like, it’s this for about like the American Idol version of this and it’s because people can’t envision something that’s brand new if it’s ever happened, they need to hear it how it’s like something else. So but If she listened to the people who’d written books, who were like what their advice was so that she could still do what she wanted to do and not like the people around her went, oh my god, you’ll never be the number one best selling book on this topic. Right? You know, which was like, Well, how do they know but like, especially when it’s your idea and it’s baby and this goes back to Nikole Mitchell’s episode, like you have to like, be mindful of who you’re telling information to, you know?

Daniella, you’re phenomenal. Congratulations. You are just getting started really on this incredible journey and the impact you’re going to make on this planet not as a cult leader, but as a guide on like, how to make sure that we show up as boldly as we can and have the effects we want to have on this planet but without getting involved with a cult. I’m Lesley Logan,

Brad Crowell 46:06
I’m Brad Crowell.

Lesley Logan 46:07
Thank you so much for listening. Make sure you listen to our interview recaps our FYF’s and how are you going to use this in your life? Who are you going to send it to? We want to know so tag Daniella, tag the Be It Pod and oh by the way if you don’t watch the pod on YouTube, this one is got multiple things going on because shout out to Daniella who can knit without even looking down. (Brad: Oh yeah.) and talk the whole time.

Brad Crowell 46:34
Yeah. And look true supporters of the pod watch the YouTube channel. Okay? (Lesley: Just saying.) That is self-sacrifice. (Lesley: Brad!) Just watch the YouTube, though and if you don’t watch the YouTube channel then you’re out.

Lesley Logan 46:47
There’s a JK in all of that, you guys. Have a great day and Be It Till You See It.

Brad Crowell 46:51
Bye for now.

Lesley Logan
That’s all I’ve got for this episode of the Be It Till You See It podcast. One thing that would help both myself and future listeners is for you to rate this show and leave a review. And, follow or subscribe for free wherever you listen to podcasts. Also, make sure to introduce yourself over on IG at the @be_it_pod on Instagram. I would love to know more about you. Share this episode with whoever you think needs to hear it. Help us help others to BE IT TILL YOU SEE IT. Have an awesome day!

Lesley Logan
‘Be It Till You See It’ is a production of ‘Bloom Podcast Network’.

Brad Crowell
It’s written, filmed and recorded by your host, Lesley Logan and me, Brad Crowell.

Lesley Logan
It is produced and edited by the epic team at Disenyo.

Brad Crowell
Our theme music is by Ali at APEX Production Music. And our branding by designer and artist, Gianfranco Cioffi.

Lesley Logan
Special thanks to Melissa Solomon for creating our visuals and Ximena Velasquez for our transcriptions.

Brad Crowell
Also to Angelina Herico for adding all the content to our website. And finally to Meridith Crowell for keeping us all on point and on time.

Pod Social Media

More Episodes


Stay Current on Podcasts

& Advice!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *