CULTS | MYTHOLOGY | RELIGION INTERVIEWS

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STEVE HASSAN

Author/ Researcher

Over the past two years, Trump’s behavior has become both more disturbing and yet increasingly familiar. He relies on phrases like, “fake news,” “build the wall,” and continues to spread the divisive mentality of us-vs.-them. He lies constantly, has no conscience, never admits when he is wrong, and projects all of his shortcomings on to others. He has become more authoritarian, more outrageous, and yet many of his followers remain blindly devoted. Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert and a major Trump supporter, calls him one of the most persuasive people living. His need to squash alternate information and his insistence of constant ego stroking are all characteristics of other famous leaders—cult leaders.

March 5, 2020

About the Interview:

Interview with Steve Hassan about his latest book 'Cult of Trump'

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DR. MICHAEL SHERMER

Author/ Professor/Researcher

Leslie’s family traveled to the People’s Temple in Redwood Valley, CA. when Leslie was just twelve years old. The final move happened in 1970. Early indoctrination of the Temple’s ideology proved to make her viable to the church and became dedicated to that. However, in later years, she would doubt, discover, and decide that life in People's Temple was not the life she wanted. Witnessing brutality, manipulation, and control she began to separate herself. Married, 19, and a mom, Jim Jones, and her husband planned the ultimate plan. Her son Jakari, then not quite two years old was the pawn for Leslie to re-dedicate her to the so-called cause of “socialism.”

May 14, 2020

About the Interview:

Interview with Dr. Michael Shermer about his latest book 'Giving the Devil his Due'

LESLIE WAGNER-WILSON

LESLIE WAGNER-WILSON

Jonestown Survivor

Leslie’s family traveled to the People’s Temple in Redwood Valley, CA. when Leslie was just twelve years old. The final move happened in 1970. Early indoctrination of the Temple’s ideology proved to make her viable to the church and became dedicated to that. However, in later years, she would doubt, discover, and decide that life in People's Temple was not the life she wanted. Witnessing brutality, manipulation, and control she began to separate herself. Married, 19, and a mom, Jim Jones, and her husband planned the ultimate plan. Her son Jakari, then not quite two years old was the pawn for Leslie to re-dedicate her to the so-called cause of “socialism.”

Mar. 18, 2018

About the Interview:

Interview with Jonestown Survivor Leslie Wagner-Wilson.

ELLISA WALLS

ELLISA WALLS

Warren Jeffs' Child Bride

Warren Jeffs: Prophet of Evil pulls back the curtain on the now imprisoned religious prophet to an estimated 15,000 followers of the FLDS Church who, before going to jail for two felony counts of child sexual assault in 2011, is said to have married at least 78 wives and have more than 50 children and controlled millions of dollars for the church. Stories including those of the Lost Boys, a group of discarded teenage boys who find each other and the will to expose Jeffs' crimes and the story of Elissa Wall, the child bride who became the lead witness in the trial that ultimately put Jeffs in prison.

Feb. 18, 2018

About the Interview:

Interview with Warren Jeffs Survivor Ellisa Walls and her memoir Stolen Innocence. Stolen Innocence is the gripping New York Times bestselling memoir of Elissa Wall, the courageous former member of Utah’s infamous FLDS polygamist sect whose powerful courtroom testimony helped convict controversial sect leader Warren Jeffs in September 2007. At once shocking, heartbreaking, and inspiring, Wall’s story of subjugation and survival exposes the darkness at the root of this rebel offshoot of the Mormon faith.

TONY ORTEGA

TONY ORTEGA

Journalist & Author exposing Scientology

Tony Ortega is a journalist who was formerly the editor of The Village Voice. He's written about Scientology since 1995, and in May 2015 released a book about Scientology's harassment of Paulette Cooper titled The Unbreakable Miss Lovely. He continues to monitor breaking developments in Scientology and other controversial subjects from an undisclosed location in an underground bunker.

Jan. 21, 2017

About the Interview:

Interview with journalist and author Tony Ortega about the Church of Scientology and his book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely.

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DANIEL J. FLYNN

Author of Cult City: Jim Jones, Harvey Milk, and 10 Days That Shook San Francisco

November 1978. The Reverend Jim Jones, the darling of the San Francisco political establishment, orchestrates the murders and suicides of 918 people at a remote jungle outpost in South America. Days later, Harvey Milk, one of America’s first openly gay elected officials—and one of Jim Jones’s most vocal supporters—is assassinated in San Francisco’s City Hall.

Jan. 2, 2019

About the Interview:

Interview with author Daniel Flynn about the Jim Jones Massacre.

RUSS BAKER

RUSS BAKER

Author of Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America's Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years

My name is Russ Baker. For more than two decades I have been an investigative journalist, doing what I believed journalists were supposed to do — seek the truth and publish nothing less. Over the years, however, I have learned how the media gatekeepers, both “mainstream” and “alternative,” will not allow the biggest, most disturbing revelations to see the light of day.

 

I started WhoWhatWhy website because I was tired of the cynicism, self-interest, and cowardice that I witnessed in the news media. I started WhoWhatWhy to show how good — and how consequential — journalism can be when the only mandate is to dig relentlessly and reveal, without exception, what we uncover.

Jan. 16, 2019

About the Interview:

Interview with author Russ Baker about his book Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty.

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CHRIS JOHNSTON

 Author/ Journalist

Hamilton-Byrne, who some followers believed was Jesus Christ, was glamorous and charismatic — and, many allege, very dangerous. From her base in a quiet suburb, she recruited wealthy professionals to join her cult, including doctors, lawyers, nurses, architects, and scientists. She acquired children and raised them as her own, bleaching their hair blonde to make them look like siblings, and her group became surrounded by rumours of LSD use, child abuse, and strange spiritual rituals.

March 9, 2019

About the Interview:

Interview with Chris Johnston about his book ' The Family Cult'

DR MICHAEL SHERMER

DR MICHAEL SHERMER

NYT Bestselling Author

Dr. Michael Shermer is the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, the host of the Science Salon Podcast, and a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University where he teaches Skepticism 101. For 18 years he was a monthly columnist for Scientific American. He is the author of New York Times bestsellers Why People Believe Weird Things and The Believing Brain, Why Darwin Matters, The Science of Good and Evil, The Moral Arc, and Heavens on Earth. His new book is Giving the Devil His Due: Reflections of a Scientific Humanist.

Feb. 19, 2018

About the Interview:

Interview with Dr. Michael Shermer about his book Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia.

GABRIEL SAID REYNOLDS

GABRIEL SAID REYNOLDS

Professor of Islamic Studies and Theology 

Gabriel Said Reynolds is a Professor of Islamic Studies ad Theology at Notre Dame. His research is focused above all on the Qur'ān and Muslim-Christian relations. He wrote a dissertation on the remarkable Islamic history of Christianity of ʿAbd al-Jabbar (d. 1025); the dissertation won the Field Prize at Yale and was published (Brill 2004) as A Muslim Theologian in the Sectarian Milieu. Reynolds also prepared an introduction and translation of this history, published by (BYU 2008) as The Critique of Christian Origins. At Notre Dame, Reynolds has organized two international conferences (2005, 2009) on the Qur'ān, and edited the acts of the conferences as The Qur'ān in Its Historical Context (Routledge 2008) and New Perspectives on the Qur'ān: The Qur'ān in Its Historical Context 2 (Routledge 2011).

Aug. 11, 2018

About the Interview:

While the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament are understood to be related texts, the sacred scripture of Islam, the third Abrahamic faith, has generally been considered separately. Noted religious scholar Gabriel Said Reynolds draws on centuries of Qur’ānic and Biblical studies to offer rigorous and revelatory commentary on how these holy books are intrinsically connected. Reynolds demonstrates how Jewish and Christian characters, imagery, and literary devices feature prominently in the Qur’ān, including stories of angels bowing before Adam and of Jesus speaking as an infant. This important contribution to religious studies features a full translation of the Qur’ān along with excerpts from the Jewish and Christian texts. It offers a clear analysis of the debates within the communities of religious scholars concerning the relationship of these scriptures, providing a new lens through which to view the powerful links that bond these three major religions.

BENJAMIN E ZELLER

BENJAMIN E ZELLER

Professor of Religious Studies & Author 

Benjamin E. Zeller is a researcher and teacher of religion in America. He focuses on religious currents that are new or alternative, including new religions, the religious engagement with science, and the quasi-religious relationship people have with food. Zeller serves as Assistant Professor of Religion at Lake Forest College, a private liberal arts college in suburban Chicago.

Aug. 19, 2017

About the Interview:

Interview with Benjamin E. Zeller about the Heaven's Gate Cult and his book Heaven's Gate: America's UFO Religion. In March 1997, thirty-nine people in Rancho Santa Fe, California, ritually terminated their lives. To outsiders, it was a mass suicide. To insiders, it was a graduation. This act was the culmination of over two decades of spiritual and social development for the members of Heaven’s Gate, a religious group focused on transcending humanity and the Earth and seeking salvation in the literal heavens on board a UFO. In this fascinating overview, Benjamin Zeller not only explores the question of why the members of Heaven’s Gate committed ritual suicides, but interrogates the origin and evolution of the religion, its appeal, and its practices. By tracking the development of the history, social structure, and worldview of Heaven’s Gate, Zeller draws out the ways in which the movement was both a reflection and a microcosm of larger American culture. The group emerged out of engagement with Evangelical Christianity, the New Age movement, science fiction, and UFOs, and conspiracy theories, and it evolved in response to the religious quests of baby boomers, new religions of the counterculture, and the narcissistic pessimism of the 1990s.

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ALAN WARREN

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