Bonus Episode: The Family Update

On the 14 June 2019, news broke in Australia that many people had been waiting on for a number of years. That news was the death of this country’s most notorious cult leader, Anne Hamilton-Byrne. In this bonus episode, I’m bringing you an interview with investigative journalist Chris Johnston, who has been looking into The Family for quite some time. He worked with director Rosie Jones on her recent documentary ‘The Cult of the Family’, and they also co-wrote a book together about the group and its history. Chris spoke to me from Melbourne. CORRECTION: In this episode I mentioned that Chris Johnston is a senior journalist for The Age. He worked with The Age for 20 years but is not currently working there. Special Guest: Chris Johnston. If you have been personally affected by involvement in a cult, or would like to support those who have been, you can find support or donate to Cult Information and Family Support if you’re in Australia (via, and you can find resources outside of Australia with the International Cultic Studies Association (via If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs support right now, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 in Australia, or find your local crisis centre via the International Association for Suicide Prevention website at Links: The Family: The shocking true story of a notorious cult — by Chris Johnston a Rosie Jones, Scribe Publications, 2016 The Family — Documentary film website   See for privacy and opt-out information.

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