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Doomsday Cults / Moon Landing Hoax

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Date Host Richard Syrett
Guests Alan R. Warren, Marcus Allen, Open Lines

Author Alan R. Warren joined Richard Syrett in the first half to discuss dangerous cults and the reasons that people join them, and are sometimes convinced to commit unspeakable crimes. "A cult ends up taking over someone's life," Warren said. He added that those who tend to join cults "do fit into society, but they're not comfortable there." Warren delved into the ways that cult leaders control their followers, beginning with Charles Manson, who he noted would make potential converts (especially women) "feel that they were the most important person in the room."

Warren said that People's Temple leader Jim Jones was "loving and open to anybody," as well as being a political force in San Francisco because he could amass support for any candidate. Jones became increasingly paranoid until he asked his followers to "commit revolutionary suicide" after authorities began to investigate. Warren also discussed the case of the Branch Davidians and their leader David Koresh, who like Manson, believed that he could hear prophecies in popular songs. Perhaps the strangest group Warren examined was a cult which was "like a vampire movie, but they were living it." The leader is currently on death row for a brutal double murder. Warren believes that we are due to see a resurgence in cult activity.

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The second half guest was not available at the halfway point, so Richard instead hosted Open Lines for an hour. Marco in Nevada said the was in the hospital in Hawaii many years ago and was recruited by an apparent cult which told him to get rid of his rock and roll tapes and actually followed him home when he was released from care. Sam in Kansas believes that the main question about the Branch Davidian standoff and the fiery end was "who fired first?" Joe in California recounted his time in a few groups that could be considered cults. He said that they engage in something known as "thought reform," in other words, "what you believe is shifted gradually until your perception is off."

In the last hour, Marcus Allen, the U.K. publisher of Nexus Magazine, and an expert on the Apollo missions, discussed how NASA is the only source for all the evidence of man's landing on the Moon and how much of it is so questionable that many people say it never happened. His argument centered around an examination of the camera used on all Apollo missions: the Hasselblad 500 EL. Allen said that the camera would have been impossible to operate while wearing a spacesuit. He further pointed out that, due to the complete vacuum on the Moon, "you get a phenomenon called outgassing," which would have rendered the film unusable since all the chemicals in it would immediately boil away. Allen said that a NASA spokesman, when presented with these issues, simply replied: "we don't have enough time for this nitpicky claptrap."

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