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The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 112: ‘Cult of the Cat’

The Arkham Sessions, hosted by Dr. Andrea Letamendi and Brian Ward, is a weekly podcast dedicated to the psychological analysis of Batman: The Animated Series. Nostalgic, humorous, and even a little educational, each episode promises to lend some insight into the heroes, villains, and classic stories of the Dark Knight!

The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 112 – Cult of the Cat

Underground lairs. Initiation rituals. Animal worship. Though these might be some of Batman’s favorite things, he is none too pleased to discover that Selina Kyle (a.k.a. Catwoman) has gotten involved with a dangerous cult in Gotham City. The cult leader and his gang intimidate Batman and Catwoman in their dark dungeon with their metal claws, torture table, and bondage-themed outfits, leaving us wondering who will end up on top.

In this episode, we explore the notion that this Gotham City “cat cult” may not be so different than Batman’s own family of underground vigilantes. We cover some of the fundamental aspects and core components of cults. For example, cults are often led by a powerful, but charismatic and influential, figure, devotees are expected to follow a belief system with rules and expectations that dictate behavior, and there is an explicit system of control and structure that reinforces compliance among members. Sound familiar? We determine whether we believe Batman is organizing himself and his group around a cult mentality. Read about cult psychology here.

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