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Guru: The Dark Side of Enlightenment

Wondery

True Crime, Society & Culture, Exhibit C, Documentary

3.8 • 7.1K Ratings

Overview

When we face challenges in life, we seek answers from people we believe can help us. When tragedy strikes an exclusive retreat with a self-help superstar, many people are left to wonder: how far is too far? James Arthur Ray was an Oprah-endorsed self-help teacher who achieved fame, fortune, and influence. But friends and family members of his followers questioned his unorthodox methods, and tried to stop him. From Wondery, the makers of “Dirty John,” “Dr. Death,” and “The Shrink Next Door,” comes a story about the dark side of enlightenment. Hosted by journalist Matt Stroud.

Binge all episodes of Guru exclusively and ad-free by joining Wondery+ in Wondery App or on Apple Podcasts. Start your free trial by visiting wondery.com/links/guru/ now.

21 Episodes

Listen Now: Blame it on the Fame: Milli Vanilli

When Frank Farian first laid eyes on Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan, he saw everything he wasn’t. They were handsome, young, and Black. But Frank had something they didn’t. He had power. So, Frank offered them a devil’s bargain. Almost overnight, Milli Vanilli’s debut album went five times platinum and scored a Grammy nomination. But when the lie at the center of their success started to unravel, Rob and Fab would discover the hard way the difference between star power and real power. From Wondery, Blame It on the Fame is a story about the lie that shot to #1 and what it cost to tell the truth. Hosted by Amanda Seales. Listen early and ad-free exclusively on Wondery+: Wondery.fm/BIOTF_MVSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Transcribed - Published: 13 May 2024

Listen Now: The Price of Paradise

When ex-Bunny girl Jayne Gaskin spots the desert island of her dreams for sale online, she decides to risk it all. Trading in their English village home, Jayne and her family relocate to their own private paradise, just off the coast of Nicaragua. And a reality TV crew follows them to film a new show, No Going Back. But soon they all discover that paradise has its secrets. The locals claim the island belongs to them, and it’s been sold illegally. Jayne’s not leaving without a fight. A fight that will soon turn deadly. Hosted by Alice Levine. Listen to The Price of Paradise on the Wondery App or wherever you get your podcasts. You can binge all episodes early and ad-free on Wondery+. Join Wondery+ in the Wondery App or on Apple Podcasts. Start your free trial by visiting https://wondery.com/links/the-price-of-paradise/See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Transcribed - Published: 21 April 2024

Listen Now: Dr. Death: Bad Magic

When a charismatic young doctor announces revolutionary treatments for cancer and HIV, patients from around the world turn to him for their last chance. As medical experts praise Serhat Gumrukcu’s genius, the company he co-founded rockets in value to over half a billion dollars. But when a team of researchers makes a startling discovery, they begin to suspect the brilliant doctor is hiding a secret. From Wondery, the new season of Dr. Death: Bad Magic is a story of miraculous cures, magic and murder. Hosted by Laura Beil. Listen to Dr. Death - Bad Magic: Wondery.fm/Dr.DeathSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Transcribed - Published: 22 January 2024

Listen Now: Even the Royals

For real life royals, the crown jewels can be more like shiny handcuffs. There are expectations and rules – and if you break them, the consequences are big, and very public. And no, we’re not just talking about Harry and Meghan. There are royal families and wild royal tales from around the world and throughout history that you have never heard before. From Wondery comes the latest from Even the Rich co-hosts Brooke Siffrinn and Aricia Skidmore-Williams. Even the Royals takes us inside the cloistered world of royal families, past and present, where wealth and status often come at the expense of your freedom – and maybe even your life. In these stories, very human emotions, like jealousy, love, disgust, have the power to reshape the world.  This is just a preview of Even the Royals. Listen to the full episode wherever you get your podcasts, or at wondery.fm/eventheroyals.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Transcribed - Published: 8 January 2024

Listen Now: 'Tis The Grinch Holiday Talk Show

Cuddly as a cactus and charming as an eel, he’s your new favorite snarky talk show host. Join The Grinch (and his faithful dog Max) each week as he rants against Christmas cheer and roasts celebrity guests like chestnuts on an open fire. Starring Saturday Night Live’s James Austin Johnson as the notorious curmudgeon and broadcasting straight from Who-Ville, will The Grinch send these famous folks back down Mt. Crumpit, or will they soften his stance against Christmas and grow his heart three sizes? Grab your hot cocoa and cozy slippers and listen along to find out! Follow 'Tis The Grinch Holiday Talk Show on the Wondery App or wherever you get your podcasts. You can listen to episodes of 'Tis The Grinch Holiday Talk Show early and ad-free right now by joining Wondery Plus. Listen now: Wondery.fm/GrinchSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Transcribed - Published: 6 November 2023

Listen Now: MrBallen’s Medical Mysteries

Follow MrBallen’s Medical Mysteries wherever you get your podcasts. You can binge the first 8 episodes, early and ad-free on Amazon Music. Download the Amazon Music app today. The human body is a miracle. But when it’s not working, it can be the stuff of nightmares. On this new series from master storyteller MrBallen, we’re sharing medical horror stories and diagnostic mysteries that are surgically calibrated to make your blood run cold.  From bizarre, unheard-of diseases and miraculous recoveries to strange medical mishaps and unexplainable deaths — you’ll never hear the phrase “heart-stopping” in the same way again. MrBallen’s Medical Mysteries is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between MrBallen and Wondery, the award-winning company behind Dr. Death. Listen Now: Wondery.fm/MBMM See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Transcribed - Published: 17 October 2023

Where to find Episodes 2-6 of Guru

Guru has moved. You can binge all seven episodes ad-free right now by subscribing to Wondery+ in Apple Podcasts or the Wondery app: https://wondery.com/links/guru/See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Transcribed - Published: 2 October 2023

Listen Now – Over My Dead Body: Gone Hunting

When Mike Williams vanishes on a hunting trip, the authorities suspect he was eaten by alligators but the true predators who took Mike may lurk much closer to home. The mystery of Mike’s disappearance might have faded from memory, if it wasn’t for one woman’s tireless crusade. From Wondery, comes a new season of Over My Dead Body; a story about an obsessive love affair, a scandalous secret and a mother’s battle for the truth. Listen to Over My Dead Body: Wondery.fm/_OMDB_See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Transcribed - Published: 21 August 2023

Listen Now - Think Twice: Michael Jackson

More than a decade since Michael Jackson’s death, his legacy remains complicated and unresolved. Think Twice: Michael Jackson is an exploration of the King of Pop’s life and impact – and an investigation into why his global influence continues to endure, despite the disturbing allegations against him. In this ten-part series, journalists Leon Neyfakh and Jay Smooth bring you a new perspective on the Michael Jackson story, based on dozens of original interviews with people who watched it unfold from up close.Listen wherever you listen to podcasts. You can binge all ten episodes of Think Twice: Michael Jackson, ad-free on the Amazon Music or Audible: Wondery.fm/Think_TwiceSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Transcribed - Published: 31 July 2023

Think Twice: Michael Jackson

More than a decade since Michael Jackson’s death, his legacy remains complicated and unresolved. Think Twice: Michael Jackson is an exploration of the King of Pop’s life and impact – and an investigation into why his global influence continues to endure, despite the disturbing allegations against him. In this ten-part series, journalists Leon Neyfakh and Jay Smooth bring you a new perspective on the Michael Jackson story, based on dozens of original interviews with people who watched it unfold from up close.Listen wherever you listen to podcasts. You can binge all ten episodes of Think Twice: Michael Jackson, ad-free on the Amazon Music or Audible: Wondery.fm/Think_TwiceSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Transcribed - Published: 31 July 2023

Listen Now: Suspect "Five Shots in the Dark"

Suspect is an investigative series about mislaid justice and the kinds of weighty decisions that detectives, lawyers, and jurors make every day - decisions that, once made, are almost impossible to reverse. Season 3: Five Shots in the Dark follows Leon Benson, who spent 24 years in an Indiana state prison for the 1998 murder of a young man named Kasey Schoen. His conviction hinged on the testimony of two eyewitnesses – but what if their memories turned out to be wrong? And what if the people who knew what really happened had never been allowed to speak? Suspect Season 3: Five Shots in the Dark is the story of two victims: one murdered, one sentenced to life. Follow host Matt Shaer and attorney Lara Bazelon as they investigate how the justice system failed both Leon and Kasey, and who the real killer might be. Join this unprecedented look inside the attempt to overturn a wrongful conviction and find out if justice will finally be served. Follow Suspect wherever you get your podcasts. You can binge all 8 episodes of Suspect ad-free on Wondery Plus. Join Wondery Plus in the Wondery app or on Apple Podcasts. Listen to Suspect: Wondery.fm/Suspect_S3See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Transcribed - Published: 17 July 2023

Wondery Presents: Diss and Tell

Savage subtweets. Scathing diss tracks. Tell-all memoirs. These are the weapons that celebrities use to wage modern social warfare against each other. Feuds between celebrities captivate us like nothing else. Why are there so many fights that play out for everyone to watch? How do public figures tap into the arsenal of weapons at their disposal to come out on top? And why do we have such a hard time looking away?From Wondery, the makers of the hit series Scamfluencers and Even the Rich, comes Diss and Tell. Hosts Sydney Battle and Matt Bellassai take you deep into pop culture’s most iconic celebrity feuds, from Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan to Hailey Bieber and Selena Gomez. Sydney and Matt unpack who fired the first shot, what happened, and how cultural phenomena and hidden forces influence not only these battles, but also the world we live in.  Listen to Diss and Tell: Wondery.fm/Diss_and_TellSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Transcribed - Published: 19 June 2023

Listen Now: Spellcaster: The Fall of Sam Bankman-Fried

From Wondery and Bloomberg, the makers of The Shrink Next Door, comes a new story of incredible wealth, betrayal, and what happens when “doing good” goes really, really bad.When nerdy gamer Sam Bankman-Fried rocketed to fame as the world’s richest 29-year-old, he pledged to donate his billions to good causes. But when Sam's crypto exchange FTX collapsed, billions of dollars went missing, and Sam was in handcuffs, those who knew him were left wondering — who was Sam really? A well-meaning billionaire who made a mistake? Or a calculated con man? Listen to Spellcaster: Wondery.fm/SC_GURUSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Transcribed - Published: 5 June 2023

Wondery Presents - Flipping The Bird: Elon vs Twitter

When Elon Musk posted a video of himself arriving at Twitter HQ carrying a white sink along with the message “let that sink in!” It marked the end of a dramatic takeover. Musk had gone from Twitter critic to “Chief Twit” in the space of just a few months but his arrival didn’t put an end to questions about his motives. Musk had earned a reputation as a business maverick. From PayPal to Tesla to SpaceX, his name was synonymous with big, earth-shattering ideas. So, what did he want with a social media platform? And was this all really in the name of free speech...or was this all in the name of Elon Musk?  From Wondery, the makers of WeCrashed and In God We Lust, comes the wild story of how the richest man alive took charge of the world’s “digital public square.” Listen to Flipping The Bird: Wondery.fm/FTB_GURUSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Transcribed - Published: 1 May 2023

Wondery Presents Generation Why: Kalief Browder

The Generation Why Podcast released its first episode in 2012 and pioneered the true crime genre in the podcasting world. Now, in a special, 4-part series, The Generation Why podcast unravels the story of Kalief Browder. A young boy who was falsely accused of stealing a backpack and held without bail at Rikers Island for 3 years. He endured consistent abuse by prison staff and inmates, and was held in solitary confinement for more than seven hundred consecutive days. This is a story about a young life unfairly caught in the middle of the (in)justice system.Listen to this 4-part series on Kalief’s story by following Generation Why wherever you get your podcasts: Wondery.fm/Guru_GenWhyKB Hey Prime Members, you can listen to Generation Why ad-free on Amazon Music. Download the Amazon Music app today.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Transcribed - Published: 17 April 2023

Introducing COLD: The Search for Sheree

Sheree Warren left her job in Salt Lake City on a mild October evening in 1985. She told a coworker she was headed to meet her estranged husband, Charles Warren, at a car dealership. But she never made it, Sheree vanished. When her car mysteriously surfaced weeks later, hundreds of miles away in Las Vegas, no one could say how it got there.When a young mother disappears under unexplained circumstances, police always turn suspicious eyes towards the husband. And although there was distrust around Charles Warren, he wasn’t the only suspect when Sheree went missing. She also had a boyfriend, a former cop named Cary Hartmann, who lived a sinister double life.Season three follows two suspects– men who both raised suspicion for investigators. But with two strong persons of interest with competing facts and evidence, it muddied the murder investigation. This season, host Dave Cawley, digs into the lives of these two men, the details of the case and examines the intersections between domestic abuse and sexual violence. The COLD team seeks to answer the question: what really happened to Sheree Warren?Hey Prime Members, you can binge all 10 episodes of COLD: The Search for Sheree ad-free on Amazon Music. Download the Amazon Music app today: Wondery.fm/G_ColdS3See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Transcribed - Published: 20 February 2023

Wondery Presents: Stolen Hearts

Sergeant Jill Evans is a small town cop in Wales with an impressive record in her job, and a less than impressive record in her love life. After three engagements, two divorces and one affair, she’s beginning to worry that love is only true in fairy tales. That is until she meets: Dean. He’s a wealthy beauty entrepreneur with his own range of toiletries.Girl meets boy. Boy meets girl. They kiss and fall in love. Roll credits.But that would be boring, wouldn’t it? Instead, this is a love story like no other. It’s all going so well for Jill and Dean, until Halloween night, when Dean disappears. And Sgt. Jill is left to pick up the pieces.From Wondery and Novel, comes a new series. Hosted by Kerry Godliman.Follow Stolen Hearts on Amazon Music of wherever you get your podcasts. You can listen early and ad-free by subscribing to Wondery+ in Apple Podcasts or the Wondery App.  Listen to Stolen Hearts: Wondery.fm/SH_GuruSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Transcribed - Published: 6 February 2023

Wondery Presents: Frozen Head

Hosted by Ash Kelley and Alaina Urquhart from the hit show Morbid.When 90-year-old Laurence Pilgeram drops dead on the sidewalk outside his condo, you might think that’s the end of his story. But, really, it’s just the beginning. Because Laurence and others like him have signed up to be frozen and brought back to life in the future. And that belief will pull multiple generations of the Pilgeram family into a cryonics soap opera filled with dead pets, gold coins, grenades, fist fights, mysterious packages, family feuds, Hall of Fame baseball legends, and frozen heads — lots of frozen heads. From Wondery, comes a story about life, death, and what comes next.Listen to Frozen Head: Wondery.fm/FH_GuruSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Transcribed - Published: 23 January 2023

Spiritual Warriors | 1

Ginny and her daughter Kirby attend an event featuring self-help superstar James Arthur Ray. Ginny has some concerns about him, but Kirby is drawn in. She spends her life savings to travel for a week-long event in the desert. But when things turn deadly, Ginny is left to figure out what went wrong.Listen exclusively with Wondery+. Start your free trial at wonderyplus.comSupport the show by supporting our sponsors!See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Transcribed - Published: 1 July 2020

Spiritual Warriors

Ginny and her daughter Kirby attend an event featuring self-help superstar James Arthur Ray. Ginny has some concerns about him, but Kirby is drawn in. She spends her life savings to travel for a week-long event in the desert. But when things turn deadly, Ginny is left to figure out what went wrong.Listen exclusively with Wondery+. Start your free trial at wonderyplus.comSupport the show by supporting our sponsors!See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Transcribed - Published: 1 July 2020

Introducing: Guru

A search for spiritual guidance leads a group of strangers to seek help from a self-help guru. He’s part of a growing number of entrepreneurs giving workshops and seminars all over the US in the 2000s. His unorthodox methods and blend of self-improvement philosophies and economic advice have won praise from Oprah and others. His career seems to be taking off, but his ever more extreme methods push his pupils to their limits. What are they seeking? What does he offer? And what happens when it all goes too far, and people die. Listen on Apple Podcasts starting July 1st.Available exclusively on Wondery+ or on Amazon Music with a Prime membership or Amazon Music Unlimited subscription.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

Transcribed - Published: 15 June 2020

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