Episode 24

#24 Cults, NXIVM and Coersion with Kelly Thiel

The incredible Kelly Thiel joins Catherine for a brave and inspiring conversation about her experience within the NXIVM cult and what she has learned since breaking free.

This episode is relevant to everyone at this time - we may not all be in a 'cult' but we are all being mind-controlled at some level. Understanding the techniques used gives YOU the power to know when this is happening to you in any aspect of your life. Kelly shares her honest journey and how she has turned this experience into being 'Unapologetically Glorious - releasing shame and owning your own individual life.

Episode Guest:

Kelly Thiel is an accomplished author, speaker, voice actress, consultant, and the driving force behind Be Glorious.

Kelly has spent her life seeking a feeling of completeness. A spiritual awakening that she was sure she would achieve. But no matter how many workshops she took she never seemed to find the answer.

When Kelly escaped NXIVM she realized the answers weren’t outside of herself… She could only find them within.

At that time Kelly wrote her first book, Unapologetically Glorious. This best-selling memoir is an honest and occasionally hilarious peek into her life. Kelly has created a Book Club guide to go along with her memoir to help spark conversation and reflection.


Key Moments :

  • [00:00:00] - Coming up…
  • [00:02:48] - Meet my guest
  • [00:04:41] - “What led you to join the cult?”
  • [00:09:01] - Kelly’s journey, and the alarm bells 
  • [00:17:56] - Shame & support
  • [00:21:29] - Tell-tale signs you might be in a cult
  • [00:25:31] - “How do you feel, looking back?”
  • [00:28:40] - Advice on shifting the shame
  • [00:34:19] - Dealing with cult-like behaviour in other areas of society
  • [00:38:26] - NXIVM and boundaries 
  • [00:42:05] - Kelly’s book: “Unapologetically Glorious”
  • [00:49:17] - Advice from Kelly 
  • [00:51:44] - Using new skills in today’s society 
  • [00:54:15] - Final thoughts

Key Takeaways:

  • Often with cults, it is very difficult to see that you are indoctrinated until something very drastic happens or someone pulls you out of it. Collateral and coercion can make leaving even more difficult.
  • NXIVM was portrayed as a personal development programme and in the early days, did provide Kelly, and others seeking balance and belonging, with helpful tools which contributed to the manipulation. 
  • It’s easy to feel shame after being part of a cult, but know that you are not alone. Being vulnerable and sharing your experience may help others who have gone through the same. 
  • Once you know the tell-tale signs of cults, it’s easy to see these traits in other areas of general society - particularly narcissism and love-bombing.
  • Just as you are, you are enough!
  • If you haven’t already, make sure to watch the documentary “Seduced” on Stars, and read Kelly’s book: “Unapologetically Glorious”.


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Disclaimer: The purpose of this podcast is to keep curious and keep free. The opinions of the guests do not necessarily represent the opinions of the host and vice versa - exploring different opinions is key to growth. The content in this podcast and on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical or veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical or veterinary advice because of something you have heard on my podcast or website.

About the Podcast

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Live - Love - Learn with Catherine Edwards
Your one-stop Wellness Centre. Expanding consciousness through curiosity, bringing you information on physical, mental, spiritual health & quantum tools for humans & animals. A conduit empowering each of us to be our own life creators.

About your host

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Catherine Edwards

Catherine Edwards BSc(Hons) Biology, MBA is the founder of The Live-Love-Learn Podcast, The Catherine Edwards Academy and CatherineEdwards.life. She also works as a private Therapist offering a range of services for animals and humans, both in person and remotely anywhere in the world, seeking to improve their overall health and vitality. Her unique combination of holistic natural therapies provides each customer, of whatever species, with a wealth of information to understand the root cause of any imbalances, addressing the physical, emotional, spiritual and behavioural, and providing lasting solutions to regain balance. Catherine is passionate about expanding consciousness and sharing information, and is known for balancing science, philosophy and practical implementation.