‘Sounds Like a Cult’ Podcast Creator Sues Former Co-Host

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The popular “Sounds Like a Cult” podcast has been beset by allegations of abusive behavior, artistic differences, and business disputes, culminating in the creator suing her former co-host for half a million bucks.

Writer Amanda Montell, the original creator of the podcast, filed a complaint against Isabela Medina-Maté, on Monday in Los Angeles federal court.

“The podcast was not meant to be a ‘how to’ on manipulation and abuse,” according to the lawsuit, which alleges Medina-Maté’s behavior “crossed a line”—an “irony not lost on Montell.”

Neither Montell nor her attorneys responded to a request for comment. Medina-Maté also did not respond to a request for comment.

Montell’s interest in cults has a personal aspect. She told People her father spent part of his adolescence living with Synanon, a group initially set-up to treat addiction that became a cult known for its violence and terror-inducing “attack therapy” sessions.

She started the podcast in 2020 prior to the release of her book Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism, which examined the language used by groups like Heaven’s Gate, the Church of Scientology and NXIVM.

Montell invited Medina-Maté, a “new acquaintance,” to come on board as a co-host, according to the suit.

The duo recorded episodes on the cult-like qualities of multi-level marketing, fraternities and sororities, and megachurches. They developed a set of catchphrases, including a ranking of cult-like groups from the more benign “live your life” level, to the concerning “watch your back” level, all the way to the “get the f**k out” level.

But, Montell quickly saw problems in the partnership, claiming even simple tasks were “difficult” for Medina-Maté.

By 2021, Medina-Maté was trying to push the podcast in a more “comedy” direction, the suit alleges. Montell was skeptical but eventually agreed to partner with Medina-Maté’s company All Things Comedy. The two women agreed to split the net revenues of the podcast in half, according to the suit.

Montell contends the quality of the show deteriorated and that listeners left increasingly negative reviews.

Content retrieved from: https://uk.movies.yahoo.com/movies/sounds-cult-podcast-creator-sues-020906760.html.

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