And while history is filled with examples of bad leaders, one man from a century ago set the bar incredibly low. Lives were destroyed, families were torn apart, and an entire community was imprisoned by fear–all because of dark magic.
The latest episode of the Lore podcast opens with a revealing anecdote about George Washington, and then sets up a captivating topic (as can be gleaned from the excerpt quoted above). From there, host Aaron Mahnke proceeds to trace the machinations of one Edward Arthur Wilson (a.k.a. “Brother XII”), an early-20th Century cult leader of a community known as the Aquarian Foundation. Like many an evangelist who would come after him, Wilson proved a charismatic figure of dubious moral character. He was even taken to court by his own followers, and at this point the narrative grows quite interesting, as a series of inexplicable courtroom incidents stymie Wilson’s would-be prosecutors. This outburst of the strange and possibly supernatural, though, represents a fleeting foray into true Lore territory, and Wilson’s story fails to justify such an extensive focus. Ultimately, “Under the Influence” presents a sobering prospect: that after 172 episodes, the podcast’s well of entertaining folklore is at last beginning to run dry.