Joy Kuo & Iphigenie Amoutzias' Story

Joy Kuo and her husband moved to Sydney from Taiwan in 2000, and the couple both began working for the University of Sydney Library the following year. They both studied for and gained their masters degrees, and enjoyed their work. By 2012 they had had a son together, and Joy found herself wanting to help humanity in some greater way. She was looking for something she could really dedicate herself to in her career.

Iphigenie Amoutzias moved to New Zealand from Germany in 1996. She completed postgraduate studies in her new home country, and had practised Buddhism for many years. By 2011 she had reached a point in her life where something seemed to be missing. She felt that the modern world was lacking in connection, that technology was driving people apart, and that she wanted to be surrounded with a greater sense of community.

Both women came across the same new age group at this point in their lives. They had no idea that years later they would find themselves broke, emotionally affected, and questioning all of their previous decisions to become involved.

Special Guest: Joy Kuo & Iphigenie Amoutzias.

Further information on each episode page at

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



See for privacy and opt-out information.