Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Part One: Werner Erhard and The Success Cult

Part One: Werner Erhard and The Success Cult

Tue, 10 Jan 2023 11:00

Robert and Joelle Monique sit down to discuss Werner Erhard, a maniac who abandoned his family to abuse new age weirdos in hotel conference rooms.

(2 Part Series)

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In 2004, 22-year-old Rebecca Gould was brutally murdered in a small town in the Ozarks. I'm Katherine Townsend. In season one of my podcast, Helen Gone, we followed up on old leads and chased new ones. And now, 18 years after Rebecca's death, there has finally been a conviction. But the killer has no clear motive. Is this the end of the story? Listen to Helen Gone with four new episodes on Rebecca Gould's investigation on the I Heart Radio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. This is The Piked in Massacre, Return to Pike County. New details into what was uncovered at the gruesome crime scenes in Pike County. Accused murder, George Wagner faces a judge and jury. No Wagner family DNA was found in the crime scene. Will he face the death penalty or will you walk free? Mark my words. This case is about to blow wide open. Listen to The Piked in Massacre, season four. Trials begin on the I Heart Radio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. And now for today's Roblox Winter Weather Alert, I Heartland on Roblox has been walloped by a winter snowstorm. It is a winter wonderland. You can now ice skate at State Farm Park. In State Farm neighborhood, you can compete in snowball fights, grab a hot cocoa and cookies, and more. There's also special events from your favorite artists and podcasters all month, along with scavenger hunts, exclusive content, and unique items. So enjoy the festive winter weather at I Heartland on Roblox. Head to slash I Heartland today. What's forgotten what this episode is about? My host of the show. It's gonna make a sad, like that's the only thing that I know for sure. That's going to make a sad. Maybe, maybe not. Maybe this is one of the episodes that doesn't do that. So, Fee, you don't know. You're not the president. I do know because I have the script. I'm like, I do know. Well, I'm Robert Evans. This is a podcast behind the bastards. Bad people. Tell you all about him. Our guest today, Joelle Monique. Joelle, how are you doing? Oh, yeah, I'm good. Preparing my soul for the next two episodes to just be demolished by the horrible things humans can do to one another. Looking forward to it. Well, this episode is called The Man Who Killed All of Lichtenstein With A Hammer. Yeah, no, it's not. It's not at all. I don't think that guy exists. What? I'm doing what I'm doing. Well, have you ever heard of a fellow, an individual, a guy named Werner Earhard? I'm not familiar with Werner. No. Good, good. I have forgotten some of the things that I learned about him. So, we're both going to be getting reacquainted with Werner. I wrote this episode a few weeks ago. I heard him. I heard him. Oh, that's good, Sophie. What have you heard of Werner Earhard? He's like a self-help education type, dude. No, Sophie, did you hear about him from the episode script that I just said? No, I did not. I did not. I did not. Okay. I studied psychology in college and his name came up. Yeah. Wow. Wait a big time with your fancy college agreement. I'm sorry. I'm educated. Yeah, edgy and educated. Just put down my scotch. According to market data enterprises, the market for self-improvement literature and other self-help products grew by 50% in the years from 2000 to 2004. I don't know if that has anything to do with 9.11, but let's just say it does. Today, the self-improvement industry is worth close to $11 billion a year. And US sales of self-help books grew by 11% per year from 2013 to 2019. A rate of increase that is unequaled in publishing. I don't believe any other category has grown by this much. The number of self-help titles in publication tripled during that period from more than 30,000 to around 85,000. Right now, some top shelf, or some top top shelf, I don't think that exists period because they're all pretty trashy. But right now, some top self-help books include The Mountain is You, transforming self-sabotage into self-matchery by Brianna Least. And according to the Amazon description, it's filled with pseudoscientific nonsense like this. Quote, but by extracting crucial insight from our most damaging habits, building emotional intelligence by better understanding our brains and bodies, releasing past experiences at a cellular level, and learning to act as our highest potential future selves, we can step out of our own way and undo our potential. It's that line about at a cellular level that makes me know, oh, there's going to be some horseshit in this. Yeah. Listen, as a woo-woo girl myself, I understood all the languages, but I'm also very skeptical of who is shilling this stuff out and where it's going. Yeah, the idea that this person has studied anything at a cellular level is probably laughable. What's great, what I love about shit like this, is that it makes it clear, number one, what a genius LRH was because I'll run Hubbard. Because all like that releasing past experiences at a cellular level, that's Thetans, right? That's in Gramshit. Like that's all of the shit eventually like loops back to being Scientology if you get it doing it enough and I just appreciate that. So let's all pour one out to LRH. I'm going to keep my drink in my cup, Robert. I don't want to give anything to LRH. Oh no. What are you, what are you, what are you going to get saved? I've got to get saved. I'm Hubbard. This feels like a kind of bigotry. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Let's calm that down real quick. Brianna's author page on Amazon gives us this profound quote. I believe that the root of being human is learning how to think. From this we learn how to love, share, coexist, tolerate, give and create. I believe the first and most important duty we have is to actualize the potential we were born with, both for ourselves and for the world. The unspoken line of everything I write as this idea changed my life. I hope my books do that for you. I hope they deeply inspire you and I hope they help you to become the person you've always wanted to be. It's really great that down. So she said, think, thinking is the number one thing people should do, which Brianna boo. I mean, you already doing it. You really said in the Barlow. Good work. Good work Brianna. Just for some abs, you should be firing. Thank you. Yes. Indeed. Do not experience brain death. Good advice Brianna. Let's all keep avoiding that. So other recent top self help titles include don't believe everything you think while you're thinking is the beginning and ending of suffering. The Amazon page for this bad boy informs me that more than a thousand Kindle readers have highlighted this passage from the book. Therefore it's not what we're thinking about that is causing us suffering, but that we are thinking, which could either be some complicated Buddhist theory or, and I think this is more likely is probably some like weird mindfulness shit. Yeah. I love that. It's a little victim blamey. Like man, if all those holocaust survivors had just been pure vibes, they would have been doing that. The only thing is that contradicts her first statement about thinking being the most essential part. That's another one. This is a different person. Yeah, this is some different broad. Oh, okay. I forget who. I just was looking through some recent self help hits. Oh, Valley. But yeah, I feel like if you're, I do think that's a smarter tack than the Brianna went through because if you're, if you're really trying to get people who will be who you can influence, the folks who aren't thinking are probably better, better picks for that than the ones who were. So yeah, this is me, do I say buy my next seven books, give your things right? That brain off. I used to write maybe a snooze mode. I used to be a copywriter for self help folks. It was by far and away the worst job I ever had. Yeah. I got fired after a month, you're like, you can't keep changing the copy to be more positive. But you keep telling these women that they're ugly and they're never going to find a partner. And that's for you. There's no advice at the end of it. It's just copy is just meant to, I think a lot of self help copy is just meant to make you really depressed about yourself so that you keep coming back to this person for, quote, more advice. And it was devious. And awful. That's awful. See, as opposed to Elrond Hubbard who taught people how to improve their thinking patterns using the science of dionetics. Elrond Hubbard's method definitely makes people cocky assholes and therefore overly confident. And so I guess if you were looking for more confidence, you know, that was the win. You did it. You're right, Joelle. We didn't deserve him. So I want to highlight. I want to highlight here that I did. I did not go into this portion of the episode wanting to shit on these two particular writers for some reason. I literally just Googled top self help books and these were two of the first three of all results that I saw. And I picked them because I was fascinated at how directly the central feces of each book, which I highlighted in those quotes, tracks back perfectly to the most influential self help grifter in US history, Werner, Airhard. Now you probably haven't heard of Werner. Obviously, Joelle, you had not. Sophie has. It came sort of in between the most well-known popular books in the self help field. I'm talking about works like I'm OK, You're OK by Thomas Harris from 1967, as well as books like Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich from 1937, which we've already covered on the pod. No, Airhard's influence is extreme, but somewhat more subtle because he threaded the needle almost perfectly between popular mass business guru and vicious cult leader. And honestly, he did a better job of it than pretty much anyone I can name, including our friend of the pod, Lafayette Ronald Hubbard. Can I just say that I'm surprised that there's no Oprah in the script just based on everything you said? I actually can't promise you there's not going to be an Oprah later. I did a name search. Oh, you did a word search. Yeah, she hasn't popped up, but I'm like, that's good. Good work, Oprah. This one missed you. This one missed you. Yeah. So first we should talk about the concept of self-help in American media and its history. I came across a book in my research, Sham by Steve Salerno. I don't like this book and Steve comes to attacking the self-up industry from the position of a cranky conservative dude, but his work does make a couple of interesting points. The first common use of the term self-help associated with publishing in any way was the once burgeoning field of legal self-help. Now obviously today, if someone is giving you tips for how to argue your own case in court, they are probably trying to get you to die in a shootout with the cops. But that was not the case for most of American history. And I didn't know this actually. A lot of the American legal system was built around the understanding that people would generally not have lawyers. And so for a long time, every legal publication in the country was geared towards helping regular Americans file suits and handle courtship on their own. You were fine. Yeah, I think it was less scary back than the legal system was a lot less complicated back then, right? That's true. And you probably knew like the judges and the lawyers, if you lived in small town, America anywhere. Yeah, the judges, your neighbor, whatever. Yeah, I'm going to read a quote from that book, Sham. Some of the earliest self-help books were written in this vein. In 300 years of self-help law books, a fascinating piece for the website of the legal publisher Nolo, Mort Riber tells us that as early as 1784, the book Every Man, His Own Lawyer, was already in its ninth edition here in America, after original publication in London. Every man writes Riber was touted as a complete guide in all manners of law and business negotiations for every state of the union, with legal forms for drawing the necessary papers and full introductions for proceeding without legal assistance and suits and business transactions of every description. The book may have been one of the self-help industries' first best sellers. According to Riber, Every Man's author, John Wells, states in his introduction that the first edition was prepared and presented to the public many years ago and was received with great favor, attaining a larger scale, it is believed, than any work published within its time. So-called layman's law was a hot publishing genre. Riber reports that from 1687 to 1788, every law book published in America was intended for use by laypeople, not lawyers. Wow. And I just didn't know this and thought it was interesting. It's super interesting. Yeah. I'm kind of neat. Obviously, this is not strictly necessary to understand modern self-help, but you know, it's in the show because I thought it was cool. The one bit of slight relevance this has for our topic today is that as Salerno notes, early self-help writers saw themselves as just direct purveyors of information. And this extended once things moved beyond the legal self-help industry. One of the earliest examples of this would be Deer Abbey, who started her opinion column in the 1950s. And she relied heavily on outside experts, right? Deer Abbey back in its day was not Abbey giving you personal advice based on, you know, her great knowledge of the world. It was her bringing an expert advice for people's problems, right? Oh, that's so much better. Yes, that does seem a lot better. Even though I'm sure a lot of those experts were like, Dr. Mercury and, you know. And yeah, yeah, that does seem like more responsible. Napoleon Hill also kind of, and Napoleon Hill is definitely more in the grifty side of things. But he still claimed, and his think and grow rich was based around the idea that he had interviewed all of the greatest minds in business of his life. Oh, I love to do this. Yeah, he had synthesized their wealth secrets and Dale Carnegie. Sorry, Dale Carnegie, who wrote Think and Grow Rich did something similar. Thomas Harris is kind of the first, probably the first of these guys to change the game. When he wrote the book, I'm okay, you're okay in 1967, which refocused self-help from layman bringing expert advice to the masses to a prominent academic. Harris was a psychiatrist, bringing the secrets he learned through his discipline to the people. You can see Harris is a direct precursor to guys like Jordan Peterson, right? Where I'm not a layman who's just like synthesizing expert knowledge, I am an expert. And I'm coming to tell you the things that I've learned as I've done into the secrets of the human mind. You know, I have all the answers. Exactly, exactly. And this is what brings us to Werner Erhard. Born John Paul Rosenberg in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 5, 1935, his father was a small town restaurant owner. He gave up his father, John Paul's father, gave up his faith, which was Judaism, as you might have guessed from the name Rosenberg, although that's not always a sign, because there was a prominent Nazi whose less name was Rosenberg, for various forms of Christianity. He kind of gets converted, he's a little bit of a born again. He joins his wife as an Episcopalian. And he eventually, I think, kind of gets more into it than her. Obviously, converts often tend to do that. John Paul attends high school in Norris town, Pennsylvania, and he has pretty good grades. This is a bare-bones summary of his early life, as you'll find on his Wikipedia page. It's probably accurate and it's definitely boring. So in order to get a little bit more color, we are going to start using a, shall we say, more controversial source, which is a biography that Werner had written for himself at times the book is written as if it's an autobiography, although it's mostly written as if it's a standard biography. It's a little messy. The book is titled Werner Erhard, the transformation as a man of a man. And it's... Oh wow! Yeah. Obviously, this is a book he wrote when he attained wealth and fame, and it is as trustworthy as all self-help guru cult leader books are. But that doesn't mean it's not entertaining. I'm going to read a quote to you from the forward. And this is overwriting here. This book tells the story of my life. Much of it is in my words, and in the words of my family and friends and close associates in EST, that's the weird kind of cult thing he's going to create. As they talked with the author, my friend Bill Bartley. As he explains, I don't think that the story of my life, my personal drama is very important. The painter, Georgia O'Keefe, put it perfectly when she said, where I was born and where and how I have lived are unimportant. It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest. While I have a past, I am not my past. I recognize however that people are interested. And since the story will eventually be written, I want to support it's being presented accurately. Um, right. You can't just... You get to say it's not important, but you've asked. So now I must tell you in this book that I mostly wrote, but someone else also wrote words. What the... Editor was necessary. And editor was needed. It's also funny because like, that's the kind of book opening you'd expect from like a guy who number one wants to seem deep. Like, oh, I'm going to quote Georgia O'Keefe. You know what matters? Isn't what I've been? It's what I've done. But also someone who has some shit in their past that they absolutely need to like, lay around. Yeah. Yeah. Um, that said, there's nothing in this introduction that's a guaranteed red flag, which changes as soon as we get to chapter one, titled Donning the Mask, which has the subheading in search of who one really is. This is followed by several paragraphs of the most urgent prose I've read in my life. Quote, this is a story about true and false identity, and about who each of us really is. It is couched in the form of the life history of someone named Werner Ayerhard, an imposter by destiny and by choice, who went on a fateful journey of self-discovery. An imposter is someone with a fictitious past. The first thing to learn on the road to one's true self is that one is not who one thinks one is. Each person without exception has a fictitious past. Each of us is precisely an imposter. In setting off in search of true identity, one steps into a labyrinth, a maze, a tunnel of love, a hall of mirrors, a derelict graveyard, a long neglected archeological site. Whatever metaphor one uses, part of the task is to uncover and at confront one's accumulated masks, distorted images, multiple false identities at cross purposes. One must peel away, not only the masks one knows so well, but those that one thinks one is wearing now, but a host of other masks. How many masks are on my face, sir? I am sure Werner thought he was being deepest shit, is that? Oh my word. Joelle, real ones know he was just riffing on the lyrics to Billie Joel's song, The Stranger. We all have a face that we hide away forever and we take it out and show ourselves when everyone is gone, some are sat in some are steel, some are silk and some are leather. They're the faces of a stranger, but we love to try them on. That was initially a joke that I just like made a comparison to the Billie Joel song, but I looked it up. I looked it up. This biography was published in 1978 and The Stranger, which was Billie's fifth studio album, came out in September of 1977. So The Stranger would have been one of the biggest songs in the world when Werner wrote this thing. I think he absolutely was ripping a Billie Joel song off for his autobiography. My whole brain is melting. If you have a very simple straight forward thing to rip off, he did it like a child cheating on a test. I'll add so many adjectives to really make it flowery and they'll think I'm smart because I used to be a ghost. Yeah, Billie's rhymed man, you know. Anyway, we all love Billie Joel here at this podcast. Very pro, pro Joel cast. He doesn't love moving out. It doesn't love moving out. Based on. So when we finally get to Werner's childhood in a segment type called Joe and Dorothy and their boy, we open with child Werner, still named John, having the revelation that quote, man is vile, but people are wonderful while sitting around his dining room table with his parents in a suburb of Philly. This is told in the third person. And yeah, after this, we get to a slightly fuller biographical picture of his parents, which is boring, say for the fact that his dad tried to pretend his mom was Jewish to his parents before they got married. Since she was blonde, he called her a Swedish Jewess, which is funny. Werner does provide more context for how his father became a born again Christian in this passage. Joe was managing an all night restaurant at 52nd and Baltimore in West Philadelphia, where he worked from 11 o'clock at night until seven in the morning near dawn one morning at around the same time when the milkman and the drunks came in. A man at Joe's counter exclaimed over his newspaper, those damn Jews, I can't stand them. I hate them. Another man an Italian looked over and replied quietly, well, I don't hate them. I love them. My savior was a Jew. Joe began talking with him and finally accepted his invitation to go to the following Friday evening to a Baptist mission to hear a Jew preach Christ. By Friday evening, Joe had cold feet. Dorthy was out for the evening and her sister Barbara was babysitting. Joe was asleep and Barbara was instructed to tell any collars that he was out. Little two year old Werner, however, had been listening. When the Christian arrived at seven o'clock, Werner scrambled out of his crib, ran to the head of the stairs, looked down and shouted, Daddy is here. He's in bed asleep. Werner had given away his father's whereabouts and Joe had to get up and did go to the mission, a dimly lighted hall, a storefront mission across from the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society on Walnut Street. It makes shift pulpit. A young man read from the beatitudes. I listened to Joe reported and I wasn't thralled. What he said hit me like a sledgehammer. I lowered my head and said, if this man is saying is saying the truth, Lord, give me a little bit of it. Now that's interesting because both Werner has to take responsibility for his dad converting, right? Because he let it. He let that guy out of his crib to let his father know. Hiding, which don't blow your dad's spot up, man. That just makes me think you're a narc. Not cool. He's a super narcosey. It doesn't just say the name of the building, but he gives towny directions. It's across from the bread store at the corner because he's like, why is it important? That's part of why I'm sure he's not telling the truth. That's the overdoing detail. Most people's, unless you're someone who is very direction oriented, most people talking about stuff that happened 50 years ago aren't like, and it was on such and such street, right at the corner of this and this. Yeah, that's actually. That corner has some later heavier significance or something, but I don't think this guy is into 4j every day or it's subjects. So Werner, one of the things he is into is letting you know that he was not raised to Jewish. I think this is more a mark of the time this was published. He kind of phrases it for his readers in like, I don't worry sort of way. Hey guys, I know my family's Jewish, but don't worry. I was raised Christian. I was selfish. That's going to concern them. Yeah. There's a line in there that I think. There's a couple lines about how he loved his Jewish grandparents, but he never had a bar mitzvah to be like, look, it's cool. He's not too Jewish. Right? Like, we're good. Don't worry everybody. It's so sad. Oh, yeah. It is kind of depressing. Yeah, I do kind of chalk that up to it being the 70s and Werner probably knowing like, there's a limit to how much Christians are going to accept in a book from somebody whose background is it all different from theirs? For sure. Yeah. But you know, who doesn't care about your background? Is it advertised? That's right. As long as you've got cash money, baby, they're on board. That's all they care about. They love you. You don't know what you did. Did you kill a man yesterday? They're fine with it. They ask questions. No, we're not the law. We're not the law. They're not the law. This show is sponsored by BetterHelp. When you're at your best, you can do great things, but sometimes life gets you bogged down and you may feel overwhelmed or like you're not showing up in the way that you want to. Working with a therapist can help you get closer to the best version of you. Because when you feel empowered, you're more prepared to take on everything. Life throws at you and life is throwing a lot at everyone lately. So if you're thinking of giving therapy a try, BetterHelp is a great option. It's convenient, flexible, affordable, and entirely online. Just fill out a brief questionnaire and they'll match you with a licensed therapist. You can switch therapists at any time for no additional charge. So if you want to live a more empowered life therapy can get you there. Visit slash behind today to get 10% off your first month. That's slash behind today to get 10% off your first month and begin your journey towards Better Mental Health. Instantly that's code behind only a draft king sports book 21 and over in most eligible states, but age varies by jurisdiction. Void in Ontario and Ohio bonus issued as free bets. One free bet issued based on a amount of initial losing NFL bet up to $10 eligibility, wagering and deposit restrictions apply. See slash sports book for details and state-specific responsible gambling resources. Gambling problem called 1-800-Gamber in New York called 8-77-8-HOPE-NY or Tex-Tope NY 467369. Eligibility in terms at slash football terms. This is the Pikes and Massacre Return to Pike County. New details into what was uncovered at the gruesome crime scenes in Pike County. Accused murder George Wagner faces a judge and jury. There's a lot of stake here for both sides. On the one side of the prosecution is overseeing the most expensive, most complex trial in the history of Ohio and on the other hand, defense is trying to save a guy's life. His mother and youngest brother are set to testify against him. They're going to have to put the finger on him because Jake's plea deal, and Angela too, is contingent upon them testifying truthfully. Will he face the death penalty or will he walk free? No Wagner family DNA was found in a crime scene. Mark my words. This case is about to blow wide open. Listen to the Pikes and Massacre season 4. Trials begin on the I Heart Radio app, Apple podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Oh, we're back. And we are in fact sponsored by the company that makes contractor trash bags, which you can use to hide the bodies of the people that you're murdering if you're a serial killer. Hey, we don't care. It's fine. What are you doing? I'm making I'm making us money. Sophie, I am keeping I'm keeping us in our finery by sponsoring the serial killer industrial complex. Be careful. You're like three sentences away to doing an opus threshold. The recent. So, Sophie, I would love to do an opus special because then I can finally sell people on all of my different healthcare remedies. It's sad because I really feel like people are going to be like, that's so true. And like, they're not. I got a whole book waiting in the call. I'm just taking eat, pray love, and I'm doing like, find and replaces until it's legally a new book. It's going to be good. It's going to make me a lot of money, Sophie. And then I can quit this job. So, almost certainly not Sophie. But all be okay. God bless. So, Werner is somewhat allergic to details in his autobiography. But what he gives us makes it clear that he did not grow up having a great relationship with his mom. As a young adult, he said that he and her quote, now worked themselves up to a ground zero in our relationship. And his book makes it clear that this was probably the result of him being a dick quote. In the out of 1945, shortly following the Japanese surrender, Joe returned from the army. That's his dad. The 10 year old child who greeted him was beginning to look and act more like him. Werner's voice was not yet breaking, but it was already booming loudly like Joe's. Like his father, he was opinionated, even bossy, and he too loved to talk. And a persuade. He even puckered his lips as Joe did when safering a point. He would correct his mother's handling of the household chores and drawing on his reading from the newspaper into schoolbooks. He would roundly criticize the opinions of his father and uncles when they gathered each week for the great family debates. I wish 10 year old would try to tell me anything. Yeah, he sounds like he's just like shit talking his mom while she's cleaning the house. At 10 years old, I started acting like my dad while he was away at war. Sir, you better calm down back to earth. This is crazy. I'm just going to say it. This kid needed to get drafted. Look, a couple of weeks at Bastone would have fixed his ass up. So in the summer of 1952, 17 year old Werner attempted to join the Marine Corps. His parents refused to sign the permission slip to allow him to join Wall underage, which probably saved him from having to fight in Korea. His autobiography lets us know that he played lacrosse, road horses competitively, and was on the swimming team, the school newspaper, and the creative writing club. He claims his fellow students knew him as the brain. There is no corroboration for any of this, but Werner finds it very important that people know he was an unappreciated genius. Quote, by this time I was becoming aware of my intelligence, but my family put me on edge about it. They would not let it be, but I claimed it, praised it, and embarrassed me when I let it show, and berated me when I put it away. This offended my sense of appropriateness, and I began to be intellectual only in private. I had to hide how smart I was because my parents were like just too proud of me for being a super genius. I was so loved, and my dick is huge. Yeah, huge hog monster dong. Really, really shamed me for my massive meat wagon. This sucks because girls can't take it. Yeah, they were all like, wow Werner, you're dick so huge, and I was like, stop it. No condoms will fit on it. You know, me, my massive meat. Anyway, they don't have any by the way. So after this line, there are just pages and pages and pages about how smart he is, and about how no one recognized his genius, except the few adults he met who told him he was a genius. So like his fellow students didn't know because he hid it from them, but all the adults recognized that he was brilliant. It goes on and on. This guy spends more time talking about how smart he is than anyone I've ever read. So let's skip ahead. We know he married his high school sweetheart, Patricia Frye when he was 18. And for a while, he seemed to be on the 1950s path to happiness. John got a job working for a Ford dealership, which at the time was a job you could buy a house with. He was trained. Yeah, that's a Bob job back then. And he was trained. His boss at his first used or his first car dealership is Lee Ayakoka, who's going to become like the CEO of Chrysler. Now, this is what he claims. I don't find again, I don't believe there's any evidence corroborating this. Wait, was Ayakoka Chrysler Ford? Because he's working another. No, no, he's, yeah, he's, he's, he leads Ford. Sorry. Oh, no, he does, he leaves, he leaves Chrysler too. Yep, you know what, he's, he's the, oh, wow, he does the Pinto. Yeah, he makes, this is the guy that makes the must saying the Pinto. I knew he was the Chrysler CEO during the 80s because he's a very influential business guy back then. But, uh, yeah, so Ford and Chrysler. Anyway, he, he claims that he is trained by Lee Ayakoka. Again, there's no evidence of this. Uh, he and Pat definitely did have three children together. So from the outside things look like they're going pretty well for him, pretty normally, uh, as the 1950s gives way to the start of a new decade, but not all was well inside of John Paul Rosenberg. No, no, no, no, no, he's, he's, he's, he's, he's torn. Um, and you can tell this because the chapter about his first wife and his three children is called derailed because they have to bring it. Yeah. Well, because they had derailed him from having a meaningful life with their love and they're being a family. Yeah, you know, he said we wear a mask. He pretended to be a loving husband and father. Yeah, exactly, exactly. They've derailed him from really achieving what he could achieve, which is writing this book. Um, it's very funny. Verters biography, I will say he doesn't make himself out to be the good guy here, but I will also remind you that having a fall and being a degenerate are critical aspects of the evangelical Christian redemption narrative. And that is what Walter is doing in this book. So when he's critical of himself, he is doing it in the sense of like a preacher being like, you know, I used to be addicted to drugs, bankers, and then I found Jesus Christ and he brought me, yeah, you know, he's doing that kind of thing, right? He's sure. Quote, everyone else in his environment, Werner Charmed, Pat, however, became his victim. She was the wife of a car salesman, but had no car and could not drive. She was stuck at home with the children. Werner's worst aspect was reserved for her. It was almost as if he needed to have her around a victimize apart from their quarrels, communication between them withered away into the exchange of information. When Werner was home, he would ignore her, preferring to read or watch television. He would reprimand the children occasionally, but apart from that, played increasingly little part in their upbringing. Wow. He's open about this part of his life being a disaster again, mainly so he can use elements of his pop philosophy to blame being a shitty husband on his mom. Quote, yes, the source of the problem had nothing to do with Pat and little to do with the situation. It had to do with the way that my mind was patterned and the course of my childhood interactions with my mother, Dorothy. Earlier, I told you how much I resisted my mother as a teenager. Well, it is a law of the mind that you become what you resist. Just as with a small child, I had had identified with my father. Later, I began to increasingly operate in my mother's identity, having resisted my mother and lost my mother. I became my mother. I became Dorothy. Oh my god. He sounded like a first-year-psychology student. He just read Freud. He was like, oh, my mom is definitely having an impact on my adult life. Then it sounds like as he's writing, he's having the realization that he became his mother. All his students hate. Yeah, it was like, again, there's like aspects of this that are true. Your parents influence you. Influence you. And I think many of us have had the experience of being like, why am I doing this? Oh, maybe it's like a thing that I like, oh yeah, my dad used to do it. My mom used to do it. Maybe that's why I learned it. But what he's doing is being like, yeah, you know, I was a shitty husband. I wouldn't let my wife have a car. I ignored my kids. And it's because I'd become my mom. Part of why that's untrue is his mom stuck around, which he's not going to do. Hey. Yeah. So that's cool. That's cool. Now, the thing we're all building up for is the moment when Werner airhards. And again, he's not named that yet, right? He's John Paul Rosenberg. We're building up for the moment when his life is a normal 50s guy ends and his life as kind of a cult leader begins. An article about him in McSweeney's gives this summary, which is characteristic. Werner airhard changed his name in 1960 and left his wife and three children in Philadelphia to fly west with his mistress, June bride. The two cobbled together a conspicuously two tonic moniker for the nice Jewish boy from Pennsylvania, inspired by two different people. German finance minister Ludwig Erhardt and atomic scientist Werner Heisenberg both mentioned an in-flight article on Germany's economic recovery. Not an in-flight article. Did you just pick two random names and smash them together? Yeah, two very German names, by the way. So what? Werner's biography makes frequent conspicuous mention of the fact that he was what Bill Hicks would have called a reader. And not the kind of person who reads books simply for pleasure or to learn, but the kind of person who exclusively reads hard books of serious philosophy and economic theory by men with complicated European names. A New York Times article I found gives a slightly different account of how he picked his name. Noting it was, quote, lifted from an ex-Sky article he read on the plane to California. So that's, I don't know, that makes it sound a little bit less fancy when you note that it's Esquire, but that's just where I am. Yeah. Yeah, the story sound exactly the same to me. He's ought to play, he read something, it was like, bam, new name. New name, baby. Now in his own account, Werner cops to having cheated on his wife with June, his mistress and says that the stress of living a double life hit him so hard that he started blacking out behind the wheel of his car. This was the start of his exploration of psychiatry. And he visited a Freudian analyst who told him he'd given himself a psychosomatic illness. Now he gives up therapy immediately after this, but he notes that the experience with psychoaneletic theory had been invaluable. Basically like, she told me that I'd given myself a psychosomatic illness and I quit therapy, having learned everything I needed to know about the mind. He picked up a couple of words from Erne was like, yeah, we're done. I'm good. It's thanks, Doc, appreciate the time I had issues and I'm going to go resolve them by inflicting them on. I was doing hundreds of thousands of work before. Boy, you've really called where this is going. So to make a long story short, he and June wind up on the West Coast where he continues to work in sales. This time moving copies of the Encyclopedia Britannica, Parents Magazine and the Great Book Series. And again, he has abandoned his three children with his wife. Really need to emphasize that. He is just out of the fucking picture. By this time, he and June had also gotten deeply into Norman Vincent Peel, author of the power of positive thinking. This led him to Napoleon Hill and then to Zen Buddhism, or at least whatever 1960s people in the bay were selling as Zen Buddhism, and then eventually to Scientology. There we go. There we go. Back to LRH. We're all roads leading. He's the room of self-help. Werner found Scientology brilliant. He loved everything about it except for the fact that its leader had fled the country to hide on a series of boats and was repeatedly running a foul of the law. So basically, he's like, this is great. Exit for its become a cult. Like that red flag wasn't red enough for you. What are we doing? The red flag is that Hubbard let himself get carried away too much and wound up violating a variety of international laws. So he's like, man, somebody could take a lot of these ideas and not kidnapped their own baby and flee to Cuba. They could really make something of this. So gradually, Werner, because he's interested in all this stuff, finds himself in the nexus of a major social movement that's erupting in the United States, particularly in the West Coast at this time, which later comes to be known as the human potential movement. This excerpt from the new republic summarizes it. The academic humanist psychology movement launched in 1961 by, among others, psychologist Abraham Maslow sought to forge an alternative to the two dominant trends in contemporary psychology, Freudian psychoanalysis and behaviorism. Maslow believed that too much attention had been devoted to traditional psychology to pathological behavior and not enough to healthy individuals who were able to actualize themselves and to attain and live from what he called peak experiences. In 1962, the Asalin Institute was established in Big Sur, California to offer experiential workshops designed to help people realize their human potential. The phrase comes originally from Alduas Huxley, an early ally and inspireer of Asalin. Human and potential theorists, seeking ways to counteract what they saw as people's harsh, psychological and social conditioning, found parallels among the emotional opening up process of Western cathartic psychotherapies. The peak experiences described and advocated by Maslow and the altered states of consciousness produced by eastern methods of meditation and also by psychedelic drugs. The union of Western psychology and Eastern religion became one of the human potential movements goals. There's valuable stuff in there. The idea that like, yeah, we're focusing psychology focuses too much on people who have an illness and we should also be looking at people who are happy and doing well and seeing what we can learn from that. That's not an unreasonable thing to do. Neither is it unreasonable to be like, we should probably rather than assuming that we in the West have gotten everything right, look at philosophy and religion over in other parts of the world. That's all fine. This is all also potentially very problematic as I'm sure you can also recognize. Who's hands are we in? Yeah. The first decade or so that Werner spends on the West Coast, he's just kind of taking all of this stuff in and he's doing it at this time. Not only is there are there kind of the more reasonable facets of this human potential movement, but cults and awareness of cults are exploding across the United States. This is the first great surge in like cults in the US. Now, part of that is because at earlier periods in the history of the United States, there'd been a bunch of cults. You could call the pilgrims members of a cult, but that had just been like it people hadn't thought of it as cults back then. You certainly could. Yeah, but cult people are starting to become aware of cults and it's becoming like a moral panic. When I say moral panic, not an entirely unjustified one, but people are also like, this is the kind of the first time that there's a big awareness that cults are a problem. This is the same era as the serial killer. Yeah, yeah. We're ass with them, right? Yeah. And they're all tied to the Manson cult is kind of tying both serial murder to cults, weirdness and whatnot. This is the late 60s. You've got the people's temple rising to prominence in the same time. You've got the Church of Scientology and the news with a bunch of scandals and Werner's fascinated by all this. He's surrounded by people who are adjacent to it. He doesn't want any of that trouble, but he sees how powerful the techniques some of these cult leaders are using are and he wants that power and the money it can bring for himself. Years later, he would claim that constantly reading books of philosophy and Eastern religion eventually led him to a revelation. It happened on the Golden Gate Bridge, and I'm going to quote from McSweeney's again. He said in his biography, after I realized that I knew nothing, I realized that I knew everything. Everything was just the way that it is and I was already all right. I realized I was not my motivations or thoughts. I was not my ideas, my intellect, my perceptions, my beliefs. I became self and he capitalizes the S there. His revelation became the basis for EST workshops, his shrewdest business scheme to date. Airhards new life, a new view on life, which treads a fine line between Zen Buddhism and mild psychosis. Would appear a hard sell, it wasn't lucid on an intellectual level, if at all, and other parties would have to comprehend it through means admittedly other than reason and logic. Nonetheless, EST, which sounds stands for Earhard Siminars training, and also means it is in Latin, began in the ballroom of the Jack Tarr Hotel in San Francisco, and became the singularly most influential group to emerge from the human potential movement. And the way EST works, what these classes are, fits a pattern that is by now very common. You get a bunch of people together in a hotel conference room or a similar space to learn how to improve their sales techniques, or boost their confidence as entrepreneurs or something. And the focus is on performing better at a fine as a financial actor and capitalist society. And the assumed reason why you aren't performing at that level is you've got some sort of psychological blockage, right? And so EST is about clearing that blockage and emptying your mind and kind of letting the vibes carry you forward into being a more productive, healthier actor, right? That's what Earhard saying about this, again, totally fake revelation he has. I was already perfect. I just had to get out of my own way and let go of all these things holding me back, you know? Right. Robert, I don't want to interrupt you because I know that makes the men mad. But do you the couple comments here, the Golden Gate Bridge thing, that's bullshit, right? That's definitely bullshit. That's a lie. Let's start there. Let's start with also the little quote, his revelation quote, that also was a whole lot of words that actually amounted to nothing. Just come back to these quotes because for that ending of like, and recall, I became the self. So you've always been yourself. What does that mean? Like, you, it's wild to mean that like, okay, so because I was a copywriter for self help people, this idea of like, how does this series of words trigger people to then be like, here's my money or this guy is a leader and I've got to become like him. And the conclusion I've come to is like, this is an obsession with the idea of an American hero, right? Like when we first got here, we were like, manifest destiny and like, we got to go out and be your own man and pull yourself up by your bootstraps. And I think that has become such a high ideal that people are constantly striving to achieve that they will do. I believe anyone who just simply says they've accomplished that like Trump. I think I genuinely think that's the appeal to like, Trumpers. He's like, oh, this guy, he did it by himself. And I can too. Well, there's that. And there's also, I think a part of the, a big part of the appeal is that what he's saying is not because the reality of like, succeeding at anything is either you're born rich, right? Which most of these people aren't. So if you're not born rich, well, if you're that's the primary way to guarantee your success in Capitalist Society. One of the other ways is to like, throw your entire life into the cause of getting good enough at something to succeed at it, right? And that's hard and takes a lot of work. So if you are like, if you're telling people you don't need to like build up a base of skill, you just have to get rid of these bad thoughts. And once you kind of clear yourself. And again, this is also part of like why Scientology is so much of this. Once you clear yourself of these bad ingrams in your head, then you'll be a superhuman, right? You'll unlock the greatness that there's already greatness within you. You don't have to build it up in order to succeed. And also, I think part of this does appeal to people who were born rich and like have family money, but haven't been successful to say like again, you don't need to improve yourself. You just need to unlock this greatness by paying money so that I can clear your mind, right? It's a Disney fairy tale. If you just believe in yourself and have a good, pretty same thing, all things will come true. Yeah. It's beautiful really. But you know what will come true if you believe in yourself, Joe L. I can buy more things that you can buy exactly. I guarantee you every single product that you purchase that sponsors this show is as good as six months of what's a what's a what's an anti-depressant that people are on? It's a six month long hug. Yeah. Quit your prescription drugs and purchase products from this show. That's totally binding advice. Legally don't do that. So be proper. I want health insurance. I want health insurance. God damn it. Well, you can buy it from the sponsors of this show probably. Probably. This is the Pikes and Massacre Return to Pike County. New details into what was uncovered at the gruesome crime scenes in Pike County. Accused murder George Wagner faces a judge and jury. There's a lot of stake here for both sides. On the one side of the prosecution is overseeing the most expensive, most complex trial in the history of Ohio. And on the other hand, the defense is trying to save a guy's life. His mother and youngest brother are set to testify against him. They're going to have to put the finger on him because Jake's plea deal. An angel at two is contingent upon them testifying truthfully. Will he face the death penalty or will he walk free? No Wagner family DNA was found in a crime scene. More more words. This case is about to blow wide open. Listen to the Pike and Massacre season four. Trials begin on the iHeart Radio app. Apple podcasts. Or wherever you get your podcasts. Okay, go ahead and admit it. You have a dark obsession. An obsession that you just can't quit. You love true crime. And if you're all about unsolved murders and a various deeds and gruesome occurrences, iHeart True Crime Plus is the podcast feed for you. iHeart Podcasts has gathered the best of true crime all in one podcast channel. From your favorite shows to new podcasts you've yet to discover, iHeart True Crime Plus is packed with murder cases, missing persons, serial killers, conspiracies, and everything in between. Always something new and disturbingly good to binge and share. 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I always tell people I am so not tech, took me five minutes to get comfortable with Speaker. And when I find a new friend that has an incredible show, I want them to make money. I want them to be able to do what I did. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let Speaker handle the hosting creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's sparr. Get paid to talk about the things you love with Speaker from iHeart. Oh, we're back. Gosh, what a good time. What a great world. I love America. So the the that was so weird. No, you don't. Well, I am America. And yeah, anyway, yeah, it was a book that came out anyway. All right. So I went to read some motivational lines that Werner Hard would use during these big EST seminars on his early customer. Yeah, here's a good one. Don't you realize you're acting like a dumb mother fucker and your whole life up till now has been nothing but meaningless bullshit. And this is like, this is pretty familiar to people who listen to our synonym episodes with the great Paul left Topkins or episodes on the Alon school, all of which also have their origins right around this time. This also has a next CM vibes. It does. It does. Although that comes later. But next CM comes out of this fairy watching. These all there's this focus on not a group therapy that's deeply abusive and combative, right? Because you've got to like break through people's, you know, crystallized attitudes about themselves in the world and the way to do that is like by insulting and hurting and berating them, right? And the best way to do this is to get everyone like either one figure insulting and attacking a person while everybody like watches and heckles them. Like that's the best way to do it, right? And Werner, most of what he does in these group trainings is that he's just picking individuals and attacking them the whole time. This right up in mixweenies continues. These tough love trainings usually took place in hotel ballrooms or conference centers across the United States over a course of highly structured 15-hour sessions in which participants could not eat, urinate, defecate, talk, write, sit next to acquaintances or take off their name tags. Stories circulated about Estee's fainting, peeing, vomiting and sobbing, a horrific scene that held its own inexplicable appeal. In her book, Estee is 60 hours that transform your life. Author and psychotherapist Adelaide Bri writes that the sessions were known as the no-piss training among New Yorkers. Perhaps the fear of incontinence was part of the allure of groups like EST, along with the promise of tools to navigate self-imposed mental roadblocks and get on with your life. Something happened within this experience that did not happen outside, and it was something strong and emotional. A transformation you can enact without, depending on where you lived, the cult stigma. The professional truth seeker was compelled to imagine from these experiences the scene of the swaying EST mass like a sea an enemy with a sobbing, laughing, staring people as the an enemies felonjee's. So that's bad. That seems problematic. That sounds terrible. You said 15 or 50. 15. 15 hours. 15-hour days, 60 hours total. It's usually like a four day thing. That sounds exhausting, especially because you're not eating your getting tired. You're more susceptible to being lied to, essentially, a token in there that has your back. It's all good old fashioned cult shit. Yes. Part of what they're doing here is this is traumatic. It's uncomfortable. It's painful. You're engaging with mental trauma while you're physically uncomfortable and starving. But also that creates a bond with the people around you and with the situation. We are talking about American culture in the 70s and 80s, which is like one of the bleakest periods socially in this nation. It's something, right? You feel something. It feels like it's a peak experience. You're creating the illusion of a peak experience. Because you think about what our actual peak experience, fucking climbing to the top of a mountain, right? The experience of doing something really div hiking the Appalachian Trail. Achieving that goal you've had for like seven years. Yeah. All of this stuff. It's hard. There's discomfort. In a seriously difficult goal, there will be kinds of discomfort. Sometimes it's less physical and more mental. But by doing this, you're kind of hacking people into believing they're doing something like running a marathon or, yeah, writing a novel or whatever, doing some sort of difficult peak experience. You're not. All you're doing is standing in a room while someone yells at you and you're not peeing. But you can kind of trick your brain into thinking that it is a peak experience. And that's addictive. We're seeing it even today. They have those like, you know, seven thousand or much more than that, like 15, 16, 17 thousand dollar camps for like grown men. Yes. Yes. To get yelled at. And he said, we're in the fog. Let's be fair. It's not real navy training. No, no, no. None of it's useful for making you into a warrior or whatever shit. The goal that I said, it's sad. Don't do that. Please don't buy into that. But it's it's it's it's also like, you know, people talk about how like CrossFit is kind of Colty. And it's the same thing, right? This is difficult. This is painful. This is like intense. Now, I will say the benefit of Crosse, I mean, sometimes people get hurt doing it. But like, the benefit of CrossFit is at least you're like working out as opposed to just standing in a room while like I berates you and not pissing. Like, yes, there are health benefits potentially to doing something physical. Probably get that body you came in for that you were trying to get. So, you know, some wins, some wins with this. You're just getting shouted at by a man named Werner Ayerhard. So the peak of the EST experience was the act of getting it. Ayerhard had got it on that drive across the Golden Gate Bridge. His followers were meant to get it at some point during the hail of abuse and nonsense lectures in between pissing themselves and emotional confessions of their own frailties. One of the core points of the whole experience was personal responsibility as Werner understood it. In the book Outrageous Betrayal, an exposé of Ayerhard, journalist Stephen Pressman writes, By the late afternoon of the first day, the EST trainers always launched into another several hours worth of lectures revolving around one of EST's fundamental tenets, taking responsibility for your own life. And the world according to Werner Ayerhard required people to accept the idea that they were equally responsible for everything that happened in their lives. From illness and disease to auto accidents and street moppings, Ayerhard and his trainers drummed into the heads of EST participants, but they alone caused all the incidents and episodes in their lives to occur. The EST philosophy included no room for victims or excuses. Only when customers accepted that, only when they realized that all people create their own reality, where they in a position to resolve problems plaguing their lives. I'm having a moment because I mean I grew up with a ton of like late baby boomers and early gen X-rays. And this was for sure a philosophy like that was pushed on me a lot as a kid that was maddeningly confusing. Let's idea that not only is everything your fault, but mistakes are a negative no matter how they're made or why it's like immediately a platform to just like be berated and it never occurred to me that it might have come out of self-help culture. Well it does and there's part of what makes this stuff so in cities there's a there are healthy variants of the thing that he's saying right. Taking responsibility is important for the things that you're actually responsible for right. If you were to say get hit by a bus right because the bus drivers drunk his shit on absence you shouldn't take responsibility for your suffering there right like you'd something bad just happened if you get cancer right that's not your fault that's just a bad thing that happened and there's no need to taking responsibility will not help you with that right. There's always these angles on it that like aren't so bad you know I came out of I spent a lot of the time in like the the burning man's subculture when I was younger and like one of the rules that they have and this is a rule specifically for the event is your responsible for your own experience. Radical self reliance means what that means within the context of the event is like nobody here is being paid to put on a show to be a performer everyone here is making the experience and that's nice now you could take that where you're a coat leader and be like you're responsible for your own experience so if you don't like what I just did sexually to you that's your fault which is what nexion does right that doesn't mean that the rule is if you're applying the rule to a festival that's not toxic it's the taking it and applying it across the board that that makes it coax it right. But part of the reason why this stuff is so insidious is because there's a version of it that's reasonable I'm sure a lot of these people especially these like rich kids coming into EST seminars haven't had to take responsibility for much in their lives and so that was a thing there's an extent to which they needed the heerate and then an extent to which it becomes abusive right. Right. But that's part of like what so insidious about this stuff. And speaking of insidious in one EST seminar according to Pressman, Erhard tells his followers that even victims of the Nazi death camps were responsible for their experiences there. No point. Oh, oh, Joelle. At one point a former concentration camp inmate happened to be in the audience screaming screaming. Oh, no. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. And Erhard, this is according to Erhard. I don't know that she actually was but he would tell the story later that like an an Auschwitz inmate was in the audience and she started yelling at me and the way he tells it he was able to talk her into accepting her role in the Holocaust. Stop it. He said that she quote took responsibility for putting herself in. It's that goddamn simple. Sir, that's bad. Is that person had you with been a child or a very young adult? No, I mean, this is the 70s so they could have been like, yeah, they could have been their 20s or whatever. Yeah, yeah. But I oh, okay, whether it's sure or not, if it's if he's straight up lying, it's terrible that he would lie about. So man, I want this is horrible. No, we should help. But if you really did this to a person like to the seventh ring of hell, you should know because what the fuck? Oh, my god. I do not believe this actually happened. I mean, it's that which does not make it less fucked lying about this is just as bad. I just I simply I simply don't believe an Auschwitz inmate would like listen to someone say, well, you played a role in the Holocaust too. It's actually not all a cost. And then then maybe like, you know what, you're right, Werner. Especially one that's like landed in New York and has any kind of New York flavor on them. Like, no, it's going to be a direct fuck. I simply don't believe that. Now, maybe it was what I could believe is like, maybe it was like the kid or the grand kid of a Holocaust survivor and like Werner talked to them into it. And then he changed the story over time to be better. Maybe it's something like that. But yeah, it's pretty bad. Pressmen reports that one meeting he observed a person in the audience asked how that woman could possibly have made the Nazis lock her up. And airhard responded, how could the light be off when it's turned on? The question is completely stupid. Now, that's nonsense. What? That's not an answer. That's bullshit. nonsense. There is a clear and deeply frightening logic to everything that Werner is doing here. EST emphasized personal responsibility, but also told participants that they had to forget about the past. Leave it behind them. This is not necessarily always bad advice on its own, but coupled with this extreme personal responsibility, it leads inevitably to the conclusion that problems are purely the result of our own thinking. Being traumatized by even a rape or molestation is effectively a psychosomatic illness or one that the sufferer had a part in creating. And by the way, if you watched the most recent nexium documentary, Keith Reinery would go on this rant about how well like if a baby gets molested, the baby had a partner write the baby play the role in what happened. That's where this comes from. Reinery's familiar with all of this. He's very much picking and choosing from nexium, a little bit of synonym, a little bit of Scientology. You know, he's aware of all of this. He's picking, in the same way that Airhard is picking from these guys like Napoleon Hill and from Elrond Hubbard, Keith Reinery is pulling a little bit of airhard out along with some other stuff to make his thing. Between 1971 and 1984, more than 700,000 people enrolled in EST workshops, and many of them would later claim to get it. Werner Airhard had succeeded in becoming a guru. He'd made millions while avoiding the pitfalls that had destroyed or compromised so many cult leaders. But behind closed doors, the picture was very different. And that's the story we're going to tell in part due. But first, Joelle, how about part tell me about your pluggables. Not much to plug right now. You can go check me out over at the hive. If you're doing that, it looks like it's back up now. Pazoffer us. If you love a social media app, but don't want to support the worst person on the planet. I got a show. It's called Comic-Con MedaPod. You can check it out. I love my co-hosts' Hector. We have a good time talking about pop culture news. And yeah, in the new year, I'll have a newsletter. So if you follow me on the socials, I'll be releasing information about that. I'm going to just do my thing, watch in the TV, in the movies, and talk about them. If Beyoncé drops anything, I'll be talking about that. So come follow me and find out what's happening over there. I think that's it. Excellent. Well, find Joelle there and find me at my new Yes, Tee. I thought you were going to do a plug for us or sketch fest. I thought you were going to do your job. Oh, yeah. Everyone loved Werner AirHard sitting in a big room together in the Bay Area. And I'm about to have a bunch of people sitting in the big room in the Bay Area with me. So, look, I'm not going to say that sitting in at the live faster show in the San Francisco Bay will cure all of your diseases and make you a superhuman who is capable of immediately becoming a millionaire. But also, yes, in a very legally binding sense of the word, that's exactly what will happen if you come see my live show. So turn yourself into a living God, an unkillable hell beast of power by listening to me talk about, I don't know, some kind of piece of shit. I don't know who it's going to be yet. I haven't written the episode. Shut up. I love you. Goodbye. Behind the bastards is a production of Cool Zone Media. From more from Cool Zone Media, visit our website or check us out on the iHeartRadio app, Apple podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. In 2004, 22 year old Rebecca Gold was brutally murdered in a small town in the Ozarks. I'm Catherine Townsend. In season one of my podcast, Helen Gone, we followed up on old leads and chased new ones. And now, 18 years after Rebecca's death, there has finally been a conviction. But the killer has no clear motive. Is this the end of the story? Listen to Helen Gone with four new episodes on Rebecca Gold's investigation on the iHeartRadio app, Apple podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. This is The Pikes in Massacre Return to Pike County. New details into what was uncovered at the gruesome crime scenes in Pike County. Accused murder George Wagner faces a judge and jury. No Wagner family DNA was found at a crime scene. Will he face the death penalty or will he walk free? More more words. This case is about to blow wide open. Listen to The Pikes in Massacre season four. Trials begin on the iHeartRadio app, Apple podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. You have a dark obsession. You love true crime. An iHeart podcast has gathered the best true crime all in one channel. iHeartTrueCrimePlus. It's packed with podcasts about murder cases, missing persons, serial killers, and more. So there's always something disturbingly good to binge and share. iHeartTrueCrimePlus subscribers also enjoy ad-free listening, early access to select episodes, and exclusive bonus content. Subscribe to iHeartTrueCrimePlus today exclusively on Apple podcasts.