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Cult Dynamics and Today’s Political Divide: The Chilling Parallels

Cult Dynamics and Today’s Political Divide: The Chilling Parallels

(This press release may be reprinted in part or entirety by any print or broadcast media outlet, or used by any means of social media sharing.)


How followers can so easily disregard reality and fall for the seduction of narcissistic leaders forms the foundation of Radhia Gleis’ powerful exposé, The Followers: “Holy Hell” and the Disciples of Narcissistic Leaders: How My Years in a Notorious Cult Parallel Today’s Cultural Mania.

“Narcissists have one goal, and that is to serve themselves and their insatiable appetite for self-aggrandizement, by whatever means possible, with no regard to ethics,” she writes.

Gleis spent 25 years under the influence of the charismatic leader of the Buddha-field cult, and in The Followers, she masterfully draws parallels between cult dynamics and the characteristics of current political and cultural leaders; social media; and the press.

A nutritionist, biochemical analyst and educator, Gleis says her post-traumatic stress, forever entombed in her psyche, is repeatedly triggered by events surrounding today’s political divide, prompting her to explore her past decisions through a much broader lens that sheds light on the blind spots — and dangers — of groupthink.

The Followers lays the groundwork by skimming Gleis’ upbringing in Hollywood and tracing the steps of her life when, at age 14, she began to crave a deeper sense of spirituality. She spent the next 12 years searching for nirvana, and at age 26, she found what she thought she had been searching for. Gleis draws strong parallels between her devotion to a cult leader — an authority — whose damaging behavior and influence she willfully ignored, and the followers of other narcissistic authorities. She goes into detail about the characteristics of narcissists and explains the “feedback loop” that sustains the disciple-narcissist dynamic.

Gleis weaves together her personal experiences with reflections on a number of thought-provoking topics, including the search for a higher truth, cults, groupthink and mind control, authoritarian leaders, malignant narcissistic personality disorder and sociopathy, the American schism, and how an intelligent, well-educated person may find herself under the control of a narcissistic sociopath.

Author Radhia Gleis won First Place in the Nonfiction – Autobiography genre in this year’s PenCraft Book Awards for The Followers. She has earned a 4:4 star rating on Good She was featured in the internationally viewed movie Holy Hell, which was broadcast on CNN and named one of Sundance Film Festival’s and Netflix’s top 10 documentaries. It can now be viewed on Amazon Prime.

Gleis has appeared as a featured guest on numerous radio and television shows, including interviews by Robert Mangino, Pittsburgh News KDKA News Radio; Mark Dolan, Great Britain News; Hannah Brooks, Nat Kringoudis Show, Australia; Paul Kretschmer, WIHS News and Public Affairs; David “Bulldog” Rothner, Bulldog and the Rude Awakening Show; Donna Seebo, Warriors of Peace Show; Michael Berry, The Michael Berry Show; Mathew Williams, West Coast Radio; Scott Sloan, iHeart Radio; Vicki Clark, BBC, UK Radio; Briana Haas-Zak, Jobs-Blow Podcast; Jeff Crouere, Ring Side Politics; Kevin Price, Price of Business Show; Arash Farzaneh, Arash’s World; Josefa Salinas, Josefa Salinas Show KQIE104.7radio; Celinda Hawkins, NewsTalk Radio; Louie b. Free, Louie b. Free Show, WFMJ; Faune Riggin, River Talk Radio; and Tom Sumner, Tom Sumner Radio.

In print she has been featured on PArticipate, “Following On, Or Beyond The Buddha-field,” by journalist Bruce Dennill (South Africa); interviewed by Samantha Bartlett, Daily Star, Canada; Dorothea Jacobs, SUN UK; Austin Woman Magazine; UK’s Global Woman Magazine; and 360 Magazine. She was invited to contribute a Guest Post, “How to Recognize a Narcissist,” in Ms. Career Girl. Her book has been reviewed by Inger McPhail, Roger’s Review; Senora Scott, Concho Valley News; and Stacy Hearne, Author’s

For more information, please visit, or follow the author on Twitter (@radhia_gleis).

The Followers: “Holy Hell” and the Disciples of Narcissistic Leaders: How My Years in a Notorious Cult Parallel Today’s Cultural Mania
Publisher: Sage Card Publishing
ISBN-10: 1737125803
ISBN-13: ‎978-1737125808
Available from, and

Trish Stevens
Jamie Anderson
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
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Friendswood, TX 77549
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