Join us for the first in a two-part series about a uniquely American religion, the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints, or Mormonism. In this episode we discuss the origins of the religion and the competing threads of official church history, non-official folklore, personal accounts, and governmental records and interactions to construct a more complete picture of how this religion developed.
We continue our exploration of the history of cults in America this week with a discussion of two infamous groups from the 1990s: The Branch Davidians and Heaven’s Gate. Both cults ended in the deaths of their charismatic leaders, but the trajectories were quite different. If you’re interested in the militia movement, UFOs, Nike sneakers, Star Trek, the Book of Revelations, the FBI, or how to get cheap real estate in Southern California you should join us this week!
This week we continue the discussion we started last time about utopian experiments and cults by covering two of the most fascinating and disturbing figures of the twentieth century, Jim Jones and Charles Manson. What made these two men turn to violence and how did their lives and the people they convinced to do unspeakable things reveal deep fissures and anxieties in post-war America. Join us this week to find out.