Recently, Netflix produced a documentary that told the little-remembered story of a cult and its misadventures in creating a city in the Pacific Northwest. The documentary, called Wild Wild Country, follows the expoits, controversies, and crimes of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his Rajneeshi cult as they create a city in the wilderness outside Antelope, Oregon. Led by the Bhagwan’s chief lieutenant, Ma Anand Sheela, the group created a remarkable city from scratch, but fell into conflict with the local community, leading to a series of events which culminated in several major crimes. Joining Danny for this episode is first-time contributor Christopher Pipkin of Emmanuel College, and Todd Pedlar of Luther College and the Book of Nature Podcast. Pedlar also happens to have lived near the Rajneesh community during the controversy and brings a personal reflection to the discussion about cultural and religious bigotry, the marriage between religion and capitalism, and the power of cults.
Wild Wild Country: On One Hand, and On the Other Too
Wild Wild Country Explains Religious Freedom in America
Wild Wild Country and the Dangers of Extremism
Welcome to the 2018 Christian Humanist Radio Network Halloween Crossover! This year each of the shows in the network are examining a different film from the legendary Alfred Hitchcock. Josh Altmanshofer (of Before They Were Live) and Carter Stepper join Danny Anderson to discuss the classic film Shadow of a Doubt. The film features Joseph Cotton as a serial killer named Uncle Charlie who preys on rich widows. Uncle Charlie visits his disturbingly well-adjusted suburban family in California where his niece (and philosophical double), also named Charlie, discovers her uncle’s dark nature. Listen to a discussion about this movie’s take on nihilism, feminism, and law and order. And as with any Hitchcock film, mothers are a disturbing symbol as well, of course. Nietzsche, Batman, Thornton Wilder, Jesus, economics, phallic symbols, trains, cops, serial killers, and mothers all work their way into this fun and engaging discussion of one of Hitchcock’s most entertaining and fascinating films.
C. Derick Varn joins the show again for a discussion about a current controversy in academia. Recently, three scholars, James Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian wrote and submitted 20 hoax-academic papers to journals the three identify as politically-motivated “Grievance Studies” outlets. Tune in to learn about the controversy among academics and pundits about the “Sokol Squared” controversy. Learn about original Sokol hoax and what role these projects might play in correcting academic excesses. Along the way, learn about the technocratic nightmare of the academic publishing industrial complex. And what does any of this have to do with the “intellectual dark web?” All this and more. Hey don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes or your favorite pod catcher!
Academic Grievance Studies and the Corruption of Scholarship
What the Grievance Studies Hoax Actually Reveals
What the Grievance Studies Hoax Means
The Grievance Studies Scandal: Five Academics Respond
Inspired by our recent episode on Elon Musk, this show explores the nightmarish futuristic vision of the class Fritz Lang film, Metropolis. Learn all about the background of this film’s socialist politics and groundbreaking cinematography. Still stunning to look at 90 years later, this 1927 masterpiece has influenced countless science fiction films since its release. What does the film have to say about technology and the mechanization of mankind? Is it a transhumanist fantasy or nightmare? How does this film make use of religious imagery in order to make the case for its socialist politics? Is the heart the mediator between head and hands? Plus, sexy robots! All this and much much more. Todd Pedlar of the the Book of Nature Podcast and Micah Redding of the Christian Transhumanist Society join for this great discussion about an essential film.
Wizards and clerics rejoice! This episode explores the wonders and possibilities of the classic role-playing game, Dungeons and Dragons. Joining Danny for this show is Nathan Gilmour of the Christian Humanist Podcast and Will Thomas-Clapp, a Baptist minister who organizes a game for other pastors. In the days since the Satanic Panic, how has D&D made such inroads to Evangelicals? What role do “theater of imagination” games like D&D play in the world of massive online gaming? How have misogyny and racism threatened to destroy gaming communities? What can playing such games do for the imagination and interpretive strategies for preachers? All this and much much more in this very special episode of the podcast.