Good Cult

By Kast Media

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Category: True Crime

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Description

River Donaghey grew up in a cult. Or at least that’s what some people called it. His parents called it a “personal-growth seminar group.” Its leader called it “one big happy family.” But there was a dark side to the world River grew up in. One he never heard about as a kid. 

In the 1970s and 80s, a self-help company called Lifespring took America by storm. Hundreds of thousands of people walked out of Lifespring as true believers, convinced that the seminars had the power to change the world. But dozens of trainees claimed that after taking a seminar, they had a psychotic break. Some spent months in the hospital. Others attempted suicide. And at least four people died. 

River spent the past year digging into the bizarre, untold story of Lifespring and its controversial leader: a convicted felon turned New Age guru named John Hanley. What he uncovered made him question everything he thought he knew about his childhood. And about the seminars that are still changing lives—and ruining them—to this day.


Episode Date
4 of 6: Casualties
2039

"We were never a cult and we wanted to remove everything that gave the appearance of being a cult."

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Sep 28, 2022
3 of 6: This is About the Rest of Your Life
1870

"He was like a rockstar. He was a very attractive man. He was the Lifespring celebrity."

 

Thank you to our sponsors:

  • BetterHelp: Get 10% off at Betterhelp.com/GOODCULT
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Sep 21, 2022
2 of 6: The Leader
1945

"He thought being put in that casket was the best thing that ever happened to him."

 

Thank you to our sponsors:

  • BetterHelp: Get 10% off at Betterhelp.com/GOODCULT

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Sep 14, 2022
1 of 6: The Mom-Dad Dyad
1751

"It's the single most impactful thing that ever happened in my life. You always have to say the birth of your child was the biggest impact. But I never would have had a child if it hadn't been for the seminars!"

 

Thank you to our sponsors:

  • BetterHelp: Get 10% off at Betterhelp.com/GOODCULT

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Sep 14, 2022
Good Cult: Coming September 14, 2022
75

"Hey, it might be a cult, but at least it's a good cult!"

 

 

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Sep 02, 2022