Episode 39: The Dark Side of Spirituality: Escaping a Buddhist Cult with Renee Linnell

Why We Love Renee:

Renee Linnell graduated Magna Cum Laude with a double degree, traveled to nearly fifty countries before she turned 35, was a surf/bikini model and a professional Argentine Tango dancer, started 5 different companies, and got an MBA from New York University. She also spent close to seven years in a Buddhist cult and ended up severely brainwashed. In her new memoir, The Burn Zone, Renee discusses her journey into “deranged and damaged” and her awakening on the other side. Her key message is:  “Our difference is our destiny, and that when we stop trying to hide the parts of us that make us different, we will truly soar!”

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On the Pod, We Discuss:

  • How Renee eventually found herself brainwashed in a cult, after initially wandering into a meditation seminar
  • The parallels between being in a cult and a toxic relationship
  • What drew her into the cult and why the leader and her philosophy was so compelling for Renee
  • How we’re taught over the course of growing up that we’re not worthy, and how it affects us as adults
  • Tantric Buddhist Mysticism and the other guiding principles of the cult that Renee was part of
  • The major red flags that popped up along the way and how she trained herself to ignore her intuition
  • The specific distinction between an uplifting, spiritual community and a group that can potentially be harmful
  • Spiritual narcissism, and why it can lead to self-righteousness and ultimately a form of hell
  • How the spiritual and wellness world can promote adhering to perfectionism and unrealistic beauty standards instead of actually feeling good
  • Toxic relationships and what Renee learned about love throughout her journey
  • How Renee ultimately discovered her purpose, and how we can work toward worthiness and love without joining a cult and going through a similar experience
  • Why cults or other types of organizations based on power structures are so prevalent in our increasingly tumultuous world
  • The near death experience and the learning moment that was a catalyst for Renee’s healing process and understanding she had given up her personal power
  • Akashic Records and what we can learn from doing a reading
  • What it took for Renee to rebuild her life and how she returned to her true self and her intuition
  • Writing as a cathartic part of her recovery and why she decided to write the book
  • And so much more

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Author Bridget

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