Xenos / Dwell

Special Guest: Jessica McNulty

Jessica's parents joined Xenos when she was a child, and Jessica got heavily involved as a middle-schooler. She "won" many people to the church and was dedicated to the self-declared "high commitment" organisation for years. Now she mourns the childhood that she lost to recruiting for the organisation.


Written and Researched by Sarah Steel

Music by Joe Gould

Edited and Mixed by Matt Brazel

Part 1

October 18th, 2023

57 mins 21 secs

Season 6


Part 2

October 25th, 2023

1 hr 03 mins 59 secs

Season 6

Transcript available on release

Season 6 presenting partner:


Xenos was originally set up as a leaderless group that rejected the structures and trappings of mainstream churches. Springing forth from the Jesus Movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s, it focused on meeting in people’s homes and embracing members from the youth counter-cultures. So why does the church’s own website admit to a history that involves cult-like behaviour? And how did it come to face allegations of manipulation and control that have been made by people who joined and left in completely different decades?

For those who have left or are considering leaving Dwell, you can find support at leavingdwell.com.

If you have been personally affected by involvement in a cult, or would like to support those who have been, contact Cult Information and Family Support in Australia, or the International Cultic Studies Association outside of Australia.

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.