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Pukapuka Talks

Anke Richter’s Cult Trip is a gripping, visceral, thriller-like investigation into Centrepoint, Gloriavale and Agama Yoga. In this session, Noelle McCarthy quizzes Richter about the dynamics that turn a group into a cult, and why we are all susceptible to undue influence. 

Cult Trip: Inside the world of coercion & control is an investigative personal deep dive into Aotearoa New Zealand’s most notorious present and former “high-control groups”, told in a personal journalism style by Anke Richter, one of the world's leading journalists on cults.

This book can be compared to Stasiland in style. Apart from sharing survivors' stories, the book also touches more lightly on international groups, such as Orgasmic Meditation in California, where Richter spent time in an OM-house and the former ashram of Osho in Pune, India, which she visited.

The chapters are introduced and woven together by Richter's personal experience as a former follower and now critic of one particular "school" that was transformational for her. She will describe her challenges of working in the field of cult reporting, of coming under attack by perpetrators and sometimes getting too close to victims and their trauma – and the lessons she learned.

Buy the pukapuka here:

Anke Richter: Cult Trip

With thanks to Harper Collins.


Anke Richter 

Anke Richter is a columnist and reporter. Before she immigrated with her family to Aotearoa, she worked in newsrooms and on TV productions in Hamburg and Cologne. Her investigative and personal features are published in Die Zeit, Spiegel, FAZ, taz, New Zealand Geographic, North & South, The Spinoff, Canvas and others. She has written three previous books that were published in Germany.


Noelle McCarthy 

Noelle McCarthy is an award-winning writer and broadcaster. Her memoir Grand: Becoming My Mother's Daughter was released earlier this year. She has nearly twenty years experience interviewing for radio, making her a go-to host at writers festivals all over Aotearoa, and runs Bird of Paradise Productions, making popular and critically acclaimed podcasts with her husband, the writer John Daniell.

Fri 21 Oct | 12.30pm

60 min
Pay What You Can (PWYC)

Plus service fee 
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Content Warnings: Drug references, sexual references, rape/sexual assault, mental illness

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