Ho-No-Hana Sanpogyo – Japanese foot-reading cult by Let’s Start a Cult

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Episode Notes

Ho-No-Hana Sanpogyo targeted desperate people – often housewives with sick husbands and children who were searching for any possible cure to save their loved ones. These needy people would sacrifice their life savings in exchange for the promise that their suffering would end.

For every single one of these women, the true suffering was only beginning.

All of them believed they were joining a religion led by the third, living savior after Jesus Christ and the Buddha. They were grateful that this savior was generous enough to give them his time, his energy, and his powers of healing.

By the time they realized they had joined a cult led by a money-hungry businessman, it was already too late.

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Transcript

Welcome to True Crime by Indie Drop-In each week, we feature an episode from the best independent creators hit subscribe for more great True Crime content. If you would like to support Indie Drop-In and get these episodes ad free, check out our Patreon at the bottom of the show notes today’s episode is from Let’s Start A Cult. Don’t forget to check out the show notes for links to subscribe and follow on social media.

(1m 26s):
Hello. My name is Josh Shel, host of the Let’s Start a Cult podcast, the only podcast to be rated, reviewed, and subscribed to by Homeland security on iTunes. That’s not quite true, but if you want to check us out on iTunes and give us a rating and review in hopes that someday Homeland security will not be able to ignore us. Now that we have that out of the way. Let me introduce to you my two fantastic guests. My first guest is a close friend of mine and host of a Couple Bots podcast. Greg Dorn, Greg, how are you doing? And maybe you tell our audience a little bit about your podcast doing well things and yeah, you can find it on iTunes.

(2m 11s):
Spotify. Do you have any researcher? So like that download button then you find got a Couple Bots. A couple bots. Yeah, yeah, like a C O U P L E B O T S no spaces, no spaces. Well, I dunno. You’d find it either. It’s out there. All right. That was a interesting introduction to your podcast. I love it. My second guest is Brian Shannon, the host of the popular TV trivia podcast, the population, the game show podcast, where Brian runs guests through a gauntlet of questions to test their knowledge of popular hit TV series with the current season, focusing on the incredibly popular shows at the office.

(2m 52s):
First off, Brian, how are you doing today? Hey, I’m doing great. I’m doing great. A little tired, but you know, things are going well. Awesome. That’s to hear now passionate fans of the office could be described as Cult and one that I would happily join with the office fandom was an actual official Cult what do you think one of the commandments would be Did you either have to have, don’t be an idiot. Michael’s greatest advice, I guess also keep it simple. Stupid. That’s a good one to ISS. Yeah. Maybe a mixed Berry yogurt, you know, just a couple of basic things. Yeah. Yeah. I see. So I think everyone that joined the call would have to declare bankruptcy. Not, not legally, but just vocally. Oh, of course.

(3m 32s):
Yeah, of course. Yeah. All right. For today’s call, we will be focusing on the Ho-No-Hana Sanpogyo Cult and their leader Hogan, if you can offer. And I apologize if I butchered that, but I have tried my best to learn. So these guys used a fortune telling lies and fear-mongering to Rob tens of thousands of people that have millions of dollars in one of the most successful and bizarre fraud schemes in Japanese history. This is definitely the lesser known in the Western world. But have you guys heard of the Hana Hana yeah, I have not. No, I wasn’t a wasn’t super aware of too many. Japanese called the most. I’m a big Godzilla fan and that’s where most of my Japanese lie as a, maybe a little bit, a couple of good animators in there too.

(4m 16s):
Not, not too many Japanese calls. We should start a Godzilla called. I think that would go well. Yeah. I’m down in to start anything. You’re going to start that one. Oh yeah. I don’t know anything about this one. I will also admit that. Okay, well that’s fine. Cause this makes the, the, the fortune telling section way more fun because it is definitely the strangest way to tell someone’s fortune. And with that little teaser, let’s hop into it in 1980 Hogan Fukunaga was a 34 year old electrician. When you had a spiritual enlightenment that would change the course for his entire life. Now I think it’s funny that the electrician had an enlightenment And I was going to ask you if it was like, while he got zapped or doing something and He would touch a live wire or something.

(4m 60s):
Yeah. And they can’t, it comes to me Exactly. And actually based on this next part and that’s that maybe this is what happened. And so he decided that he was the reincarnation of Jesus Christ and the Buddha and it was destined to spread his holiness to others. So not just one person is to say to the reorganization, have to, yeah. What are the odds? I just love that this is 1980, making it so much more relatable. Like if this was 1935, I’d wrap it up. But this guy was 34 and this guy is not even like 40 years. Can it be 74 right now? Will I have to wait to get into it more? But he might still be a, just chilling, just hanging out one of us, The Buddha Christ to do well, You get into what the Buddha I’ll give you a hint.

(5m 45s):
It’s probably not what Christ or Buddha would do. He’s an electrician. So that’s what he does his day to day. You know, he brings his lunch pail to work and then it gets the job. Nope. You know, and not far off with a carpenter. Right, exactly. Yeah. So it’s not too far at the time of the stunning realization. A few Canaga was at rock bottom, nearly 70,000 us dollars in debt or over 500 million in yen. The future call a leader needed to make a lot of money and very little time, you know, I have my best moments of clarity when I’m $70,000 in debt. And I think he does as well as when you are at rock. Bottom is exactly the 34. Year-old had a hunger to live lavishly driving the most expensive sports cars, dressed to the nines and designer suits, dine at classy restaurants and enjoy expensive haircuts.

(6m 29s):
The $70,000 in debt thing makes sense now. Okay. It makes a lot of sense. Yeah. Expensive haircuts for a while. How expensive as a haircut. Good. Like the most I’ve ever spent on a haircut. I want to say it was still less than $50. Yeah, definitely for guys anyway. Yeah, for sure. About $20 for me. And I don’t know if we can fact check this, but what do you guys think that the highest, this guy’s spent like two grand. Got it. Well, I mean, I, you guys are, you know, based in Canada, correct? Yeah. I know something just came out about the United States, president Trump’s tax returns with the amount of money he spent on hair is it is ridiculous. I think it was over 10 grand. Oh my God.

(7m 10s):
Okay. Well then I guess it’s not that weird. I guess that’s a, that’s a regular folks spend more normal amounts of money on haircuts. So I just search it real quick and it actually is how to Trump spend $70,000 on If you have any of that, which is the exact number. Maybe this guy is Trump, not a coincidence. Let’s start that conspiracy thing. So the scraping to look and feel like Japan’s high-class is most likely what causes enormous debt at such a young age. If you can not go ahead, it needed to be debt free, but he also needed a way to continue spending money, to continue blending in with the Japanese elite. So he’s poor. He needs money. What’s the best way to make money. Let’s say it all together.

(7m 50s):
Scam to shul. Okay. I like where your head’s at that time, I would go to become the barber, become mad at him playing a 3d chest. The 1970s and eighties saw a large rise in Cult in Japan known as the shin, shin Shukuu or a new new religions, which I think is funny that Japan sold that they had religion. They had a new religion and now they have new, new religion where they need that a distinction. Exactly. Yeah. These groups formed rapidly after a hugely popular Buddhist movement, soca, Geico lost momentum. As followers of soca, Geico began to leave their faith. They needed somewhere else to go young business savvy.

(8m 32s):
Japanese saw an opportunity to profit off these people. If they could form a religion and gain a following, they could get rich and famous. But they were the talkers of their time. Yeah. So far this guy hasn’t sounded like the young savvy business type. Not really sure. No, actually not yet. Anyway. Yeah. You dress as nice. He does not the party’s that seems like the start of a, of famous people. Salaries. Can you just need an N and then your, your good to go to this guy is just great at talking to people, you know, get some chatting. Yeah, no, you’re not a man. Not too far off, but you can all go observing this trend, saw an opportunity to turn his life around.

(9m 12s):
You just needed something that would set him apart from the rest is something that would draw followers in that would pique interest of large groups of people and make them eager to learn more. He knew though that even that wasn’t good enough, if he really wanted to be rich, he needed not only to gain attention, but keep it. It needed to devote passionate followers who would take his word of scripture. He needed to be Jesus Christ. And in quotes, I wrote a superstar. So you needed to be Jesus Christ, superstar. I’m wondering too, how do you be? How do you make that distinction stand out in Japan? You know, my, my dad was thinking about biking through Japan and said they had neighborhoods dedicated to anime. Like these are like streets covered with memorabilia.

(9m 55s):
Okay. And this is that recently He was going to do this last year. Yeah. Oh, wow. So at this point, I’m wondering, how do you stand out from, I think the animate things, is that a newer or like, cause this was back in the eighties, right? Which maybe this anime is their new Cult they’re new, new, new Cult is obviously, So There’s actually little known about a few Canaga is life before you, he declared himself to be what his followers called his holiness, regardless of what is your earlier life may have looked like, one thing was clear. Hogan, if you can not do anything for money, even if you cannot, you would do anything for money. I left that on a weird Okta. So I had to do that And began preaching his new found holiness to anyone who would listen.

(10m 40s):
And he quickly gained a small, but devoted following of people who truly believed that the indebted electrician was the reincarnation of Christ. So he’s actually convincing people somehow that is Jesus is good hair. He has great hair, but Jesus didn’t cut his hair. Wow. New world. Jesus if you can have it, The guy had the confidence and charisma to real and followers with this preaching. But if he really wanted money, he needed a larger flock while he was captivating speakers. If you can Auguste writing skills were nothing extraordinary in order to, to spread his word farther. And in this effectively as possible, he did what any great pop star of our time did he hired an array of ghost writers and a pen, a series of text that would be distributed to anyone and everyone, if you can not do it could reach.

(11m 24s):
And this was his text, his sacred text. Yeah. He actually published Almost 70 texts and they were all radical and attention grabbing. And so, and when we say he it’s his ghost writers. Exactly. Actually, yeah. Probably with ideas from him, he’ll probably just say stuff and they’ll probably like, they would probably just take that idea and run with it basically. ’cause I was a little curious, how can you publish texts and not know what they say? And that doesn’t sound like it lends itself to anything good. Yeah. It doesn’t sound a great strategy. You know what I mean? Like, because then you gotta play to that base and you don’t know exactly what it’s saying. So yeah. Drake gets away with it. Drake gets away with it too. Yeah. Our music, I don’t know.

(12m 4s):
It can’t complain. And Drake’s got a big Cult so I was just a grassy fans thing. Any of the writers go through this, the same it’s as freelancers, right? They right. For this guy that worked for Drake. Oh yeah. You were asking if they were the same as Japanese ghost writers for this guy, I would imagine They would be different. I don’t have A different language, so maybe they were good. If you’re good. You’re good. That’s true. You know, what do people empower? And you’d go with writers. They go to one guy. I don’t, I hate it. I’m here for seven years after a spiritual enlightenment. If you can not go to officially founded Ho Hana Sanpogyo, which roughly translates to teaching of the flower. He is certified. The group has a legal, religious sect to gain credibility and a it’s here on the part of every great Cult story where the leader begins grifting.

(12m 52s):
Last episode, it was selling monkey’s in this episode, it’s reading feet that’s right. His fortune telling was he basically convinced people of his Christ like powers by performing foot reading rituals that promise to reveal persons, health, fortune, and future. I don’t want anybody touching my feet. I had never heard of foot reading before this. It was brilliant though. Like, this is the next level of like, if you already believed as someone who raised your hand, why can’t they read your feet? That’s true. Yeah. A lot of people say they can read your hands. So its kind of diluted, you know, you’re competing with a lot of people. You have to stand out if you’re the only foot reader. I mean, you’re you got that whole market already made for you now, do you think his ghost writers came up with this idea?

(13m 36s):
I dunno, who came up with the idea of that? That is a stands out as the idea, you know, I was playing chess for her and I was playing checkers is read in the hand And I’m assuming this is the bottom of the foot. If that’s the part that has more of a pain And you know what it didn’t say I had, I didn’t do research into, I should have. I think that I picked her up as the wrinkles because you read an elbow, maybe forehead, you can do foreheads act surprised. And I will tell you your fortune. Yeah. Pretend like you saw a ghost and I will tell you if that’s your ancestor or something. I don’t know. Yeah. So it is a definitely a weird way to capture everyone, but he definitely does it and he Jesus based feet. Right? I mean, let me watch your feet.

(14m 17s):
That is true. He did. I’m seeing the connection. I don’t know what Buddha did so I can, Yes. It would know what Buddha did. No that’s a lie. Although they never wear shoes. So connect for me. Yeah, exactly. Like the more scars on the feed read. Yes. If you can not go, was able to rope people in the first place by promising family and business counseling is services granted to Help followers, through any hardship they might be facing. He drew in the most vulnerable members of this community who had money to spend, who were largely Housewives down on their luck, who would do and buy anything that offered even a semblance of hope, targeted a lot of Housewives to get their money and their families money. Basically.

(14m 57s):
I guess they don’t maybe have this type of internet savvy and stuff at this point. We’re still at the 1980s, right? Yeah. Seven years later. So it’s approximately late eighties early in early. Okay. Ladies, let’s say your late thirties. No. Given the best of the guy’s name, I feel like you should be able and nowadays to be like, look this up like, Oh this is tech savvy guy. What’s he done? Oh he’s $70,000 in debt with an unsuccessful electrician business. Apparently. No, he’s not in debt because he’s charging people to read their feet, to touch their feet. It’s a weird foot though. Oh, do we have a cost on that? There was no cost Quite Ho ER, or an early on how much they charged. There are more prices later on of other things he charges.

(15m 39s):
And you know, I also don’t know how much it costs to have your hands read either. So it’s hard for me to compare that either way I can give you a bit of a spoiler it’s way more than you would pay for someone to read. You got it. Probably more than a, well, definitely more than a haircut by the time it was called, it was at its peak in the mid nineties. If you can all go ahead. Finally accumulated the immense wealth he had dreamed of for so long, just in $5,000 suits and custom made Italian shoes, the money hungry scam artist built an enormous headquarters in Mount Fuji boasting a golden fountain in Tokyo and other branch of the booming group had offices in upper-class neighborhoods adjacent to manners mansions in embassies. You could not go to his wife, supposedly spent 6,000 to 7,000 a month on shopping trips, according to Cult members with the exclusive access to the family, you could not go to it clearly was a master and the art of fraud.

(16m 28s):
So he’s doing pretty well for himself. His wife’s spending more than I make and a couple months, but yes, she’s a, she’s living her best life. And so is he right now? Now I was just out of curiosity, is this a wife before he became Buddha Christ or after? Oh yeah, they were married before all of this. So she’s been a long for the ride the whole way. And she’s probably loving you right now. Okay. And if you could not go to continue to grow a richer, his foot reading Cult became increasingly more threatening to its devote followers and more expensive. You cannot go like many who value money over anything else, constantly yearn for more. They were never enough followers, never enough recruits never have enough staff members.

(17m 11s):
And there were certainly never enough money. If you can all go. It was led by a ravenous read that sought to drain its followers of every dime in their shallow pockets. ’cause you know, once you got a little bit of money, you want more and more and more and, and next thing you know that you’re Jeff Bezos. I think he was just fine tuned his skills. I was better at a wedding and you know, the service had to get charged Moore. Do you think he’s writing his own stuff by now? No, it doesn’t need to know. Yeah. He’d never learned how to do that. Pay for the best ghost writers at this point. Exact well that’s probably true. Yeah, definitely. Actually the next part gets into your foot reading prices. So it’s quite a hefty price. Every new recruit began with a foot reading. These readings where nothing like the standard Palm reading is you might pay $20 for, at a Halloween festival.

(17m 56s):
These readings were performed by the reincarnation of Jesus Christ himself. Don’t you know, they were exclusive and expensive at 900 per reading, American dollars American dollars. Yep. Wow. So that’s I can’t do the math, but it was a lot of years or whatever. It’s so exclusive though. It was a very exclusive, but I mean, I can think of many things that I would pay $900 for like the next X-Box in PS five or what? For 500 something like that. What would your other have like 50 Palm readings or one? For me it depends if it a, is it like part massage? Because it could be down for that. I mean, I wouldn’t pay $900, but it’s almost a mortgage on my house.

(18m 36s):
Exactly. Yeah. It’s ridiculous. It is crazy. After the Cult gained immense popularity, if you can not do it could no longer keep up with your demand and enlisted senior Cult members to perform the readings for him. These readings still costs $900, but the participants were promised exclusive access to, if you can not do it once the readings were complete, of course, at an additional cost, because now he can charge that to me. So he’s were, were building the pyramid of the pyramid screens scheme. I can’t talk. It’s like in the office when Michael’s on a side, what is he starting to sell again? This is a trivia for you. Oh man. I haven’t gotten to that episode yet, But yeah. I mean, I, you know, you tell your friends, Tell their friends that it’s not a pyramid scheme, so yeah, exactly.

(19m 20s):
It just looks like one, the paper, a few drive, anything it’s a pyramid. So it’s not a big deal. Right? That’s true. I’m just a terrible dryer. I can only draw it to three points, tiles, two points. And I’m like, Oh God, It’s been a long day. The thing about comparing rates@progressive.com, isn’t that by now you’ve heard a lot of ads about comparing rates@progressive.com. We probably don’t even need the words comparing rates any more to remind you that seasoning steaks had progressive.com as an easy way to save on car insurance or that swimming and trousers helps you find the lowest rate. And that’s the thing about foraging for truffles. You have heard it a lot of adds about standing tiptoe on a cinder block, compare rates and seeing softly too, a wounded field house and safe and progressive.com progress who came from the insurance company in affiliates.

(20m 2s):
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(20m 44s):
We’re often diagnosed with grave diseases at the readings. Of course, no one who performed the readings, including Fukunaga had any medical training followers or were expected to be led by blind faith. Just as the disciples of Jesus were, even if they were told they had cancer, they’re telling a large sector have these new people that they have cancer, or they have illnesses just to get them like involved because now they are they’re interested. They were like, well, now this Colt is the only way to save me. Like its kind of a dark turn for sure. Honestly, one of the worst things and it’s never happened to me, but if I were to go get a job like fortune telling or a reading or something like that and they told me like, you’re going to die on a plane crash. Do you get on the plane again? ’cause you have two, but you don’t want it to you like that mess with me.

(21m 27s):
That would not bother either of you guys know I’m not, I don’t believe any. It like it, It would be in the back of my mind probably when I’m boarding the plane and If, if it happened to go down and I’d be like, well, why did it to myself? But a, I would definitely a jump on that plane, you know, no problem Right in the reading. And they were like, Oh I don’t board a plane anymore without thinking of that. But I do still board a plane. I see. Yeah. So it, it is in the back of your mind as well, but you’re someone just told me I was going to die. You know, I’m also not, you know, a believer in fortune-telling but it still a little creepy. And for sure, you know, at least its quick, well, fingers crossed.

(22m 9s):
It’s a long way down by the staff members were mandated to warn victims that their struggles would deepen and their pain would become unbearable. You could not go to encourage lying and telling the staff that they quote should use their wisdom and say things. Even if they may not actually be true to any Cult members who question this reasoning, if you can, August simply explained that the truth would come later, once the followers had attended enough meetings. So essentially you don’t learn the truth until you become one of the ones who were lying, not great Feet, right? Yes. Yeah. And then in their head they’re saying, Oh this is the truth, but I’m going to lie about that. Like do they believe they can act at the feet? And then they lie? I don’t think so.

(22m 49s):
At this point, I think they are very much In on the con. They realized that they’re just lying to people now to get them to pay money for it is probably their salaries. Okay. Yeah. Cause these people are making money. Now do the senior Cult members. But like what is it? It just had like a, I ride your foot, like you’re going to do great things. That’s still a lot. They threw one and 10 Every every once in awhile they were like, ah, Good to go. Following the initial foot readings victims would be scared and to purchasing exclusive seminars and trainings, along with scrolls and ornaments that were said to ward off evil and misfortune, you could not go to convince his followers that they tended meetings. Their diseases would be cured. And some were told their debts would be refunded and Cult seminars were a bit pricey.

(23m 30s):
So they cost 20,000 us dollars, which was roughly 20 million yen in 1990 per session. So per session, these people are paying $20,000. I don’t know who is targeting for this. This is like scrolls included though are school’s and God, I don’t know if the scrolls were included A delegate bag there. I might give them all of my, all my equipment and stuff. Well, you had a nice ward to ward off evil demons and a nice little gift bag that it says your name and That’s a pretty fire. Wow. I don’t know if that’s true. Don’t quote me on that. But however, There was a cheaper alternative to the $20,000 seminars. The followers couldn’t afford that they could make a donation of 15,000 us dollars or 14 million yen in 1990.

(24m 13s):
So I was basically just a donation and you get thanks for coming. So $5,000 and you don’t make the cut. Yeah. That’s not a, that’s not throwing someone a bone. Oh, you can’t afford $20,000 will only make you pay 15,000. Is that Exactly? Listen, if you pay me $20,000, I’ll allow you on this podcast. But a, if you only donate 15,000, I’ll just send you a thank you note. That’s how Brian got here. You paid me $20,000 And then if he recruits three people, Well, for the next episode you get 5%. Yeah. Yeah. So Bryan, you better get out there. You had some friends And that I can tell their friends. Yeah. Is that Oh yeah. And then their friend’s, you know, you’ll, you’ll grab a nice 2.5% off of it.

(24m 55s):
Exactly. As soon, we’re all rich, except for the people we can’t. No new members Gave their entire life savings to Hona hand-on. And even after going into debt were persuaded to keep on giving the Cult was notorious for using a specific personal threat’s to scare people into paying. So this was a big tactic and Cult they take almost every thing from you and then promised that the only way to get a bit is to keep on paying in. We’ll help you. Like you’ll get out of the debt once you go to these seminars and stuff like that. But the reason you’re in dead is because you’ve been paying $20,000 for seminars. It’s a vicious cycle. And I mean, it’s scary how many people do get conned into this. So yeah. I mean, you always got the vision to this guy started 70 K in debt. You may as well, at least rock have that much to me.

(25m 36s):
That’s true. You had inspired. He’s got that story and I guess it’s a good story. Cause it works. You were talking about racking up to $70,000 in debt to be inspired. Yeah, exactly. Actually used a ranking system to encourage follower’s to shell out as much cash as possible. The more money a person spent the higher the rank would be and the more good fortune would be bestowed upon them. Each rank had a really, exactly each rank had recruitment goals that seemed to almost impossible to reach. And the goals would fluctuate depending on if you can add was personal expenses. And actually when he constructed as new headquarters, which costs 600 million yen, if you can not go to threaten to each rank into working harder than ever to recruit and his fear-mongering tactics seem to be working with the Cult leading its peak membership at 30,000 members, Greg quick, math, 30,000 people, $20,000 sentiment.

(26m 26s):
RS, what have we got There? Those guys all came to the seminar. I dunno. I would assume a lot of them did. There’s probably a lot that did multiple ones. Right? So 30,000 times, 20,000. Yeah. We should be able to do this 600,600 million. Oh. So that is paid for the headquarters right there. Right. That’s not Including the ornaments and stuff, guys. You forgetting that. So you gotta throw it Cool. Like 30,000 times 900 for the initial photograph True right, right, right. Yeah. It was a cool 27 though. Oh, There you go. So he’s, he’s racking In quite a bit of money and he’s technically a religion. So like Donald Trump, he doesn’t have to pay taxes. Right? He Is Donald Trump, so Oh yeah.

(27m 6s):
The same person. But I love this bit is at the beginning of that too. Sounded like Scientology as well. That your rank is determined by how much you pay. Exactly. And I mean, there’s only so many ways you can do it at Cult. So a lot of them have a lot of the same tactics, same like a lot of them have Grifters is a lot of them, a lot of people, healing, rituals, some sort of fortune telling this one just happens to be feet and a, they have to sleep with your wife. And I dunno if that actually happens. I would imagine it probably did. Listen, if you’re going to take a night with A doodle Christ you know, your getting the Buddha crew is going to say, no, it might cost you a $30,000, but Hey, I’ll definitely cure all your ailments.

(27m 50s):
Yeah. It would be enlightened or disappointed. So another tactic you can, Aqua favorited was using celebrities to make himself look credible to skeptics. He donated 325,000 in order to attend a fundraiser for bill Clinton, that donation landed. Fukunaga had the honor of presenting bill Clinton, that Mahatma Gandhi, world peace award alongside Gandhi himself. Even though if you can not have bought his weight into the event, you use pictures on the self with the celebrity giants to improve his new members that he had friends in high places and therefore could be trusted. You were a famous, just like back-check your friends. It’s not that hard like that. It can’t be that hard or Gandhi, any famous person in general that there is no, it’s not every single day, a famous person on the history of the time, but there’s just connections for a sketchy, famous people.

(28m 38s):
It’s a sketchy people all the time. And it just in my head seems very simple to avoid. But you would think I like their PR person or agent would be like, Hey, that guy’s kind of sketchy. You maybe don’t go on stage. It did that. Something like that came out in the like Epstein Netflix thing. Oh yeah. Epstein was a friend with a bunch of a high up people which should have been a red flag for any famous person. Apparently who is innocent. Anyway, let’s say that. So this story actually love A it’s. It’s pretty great. So if you can also use the same trick after a friend brought him along to meet Pope John Paul, the second before the meeting for you can all go a purchase to ring’s in the city of Rome. When he met the Pope, he asked him to wear one of the rings while he wore the other later, he bragged to the recruits that the Pope had gifted him the ring and had the picture to prove it.

(29m 23s):
So you took the Pope into the promise rings basically. And for years Cult members blindly hung on to every word. A few Kanagawa is even after they found themselves in worse positions when they join Honohan Hannon, if you can all go though was quite never quite satisfied. And the greeter who became the less careful he was it wasn’t before followers and the public Life begins to see you through the cracks. I stumbled through that last sentence, but it starts cracking basic. At what point? Like In obviously in theory right now, if you were to just get like a really rich at what point to say it’s a sketchy ish. Okay. I want to point you just cash out in like you’re, you’re set up for life. You just don’t want the worry anymore. It wasn’t. After the first $900 a foot reading, I’d be worried.

(30m 6s):
That’d be like, Oh, now you have a like, presumably are not employable after doing this. Oh, I see. So I’m going at the point. You’re just like, I’ll retire, lay low, you know, only a couple of mansion. Interesting chill or a rescue. I mean, it sounds like this guy just couldn’t stop personally. Like I wouldn’t lead as much, you know? Sounds like it was him too. Just be content. Yeah. A couple mil. I’d be happy with a couple mil. It makes them good investments and be good for the rest of my life. My wife’s got to cut back on the sixth at that $7,000 shopping spree. But like this guy probably I had such a window between when you had 2 million and hundreds of million. Yeah. I mean, that’s the way they shut it down at any point.

(30m 47s):
Absolutely. I mean, that’s, Cult leaders aren’t known for their, I dunno for site maybe I guess there, which is weird because that’s what they’re branded as they are the leaders of knowing what’s coming in, what was going to happen, but they actually have zero for sites. They don’t know actually what is going to happen. And it was just sort of call it a, run it into the ground and be like, Oh, we, we predicted that and have a bunch of like timestamped things that show that we predicted that our call caught would get shut down and like really fail. That’s true. Yeah. And again, you don’t even need that to be accurate with all of like there’s at least one Cult, that’s predicted the end of the world multiples. Exactly. But we can predict our own downfall if we want to.

(31m 29s):
Cause it, it goes down what we say. It goes to that well, and as soon it, so we predict the end of our call as soon as the call ends and this is blowing up, we start another so credible, like we’re in the same week, credible foods, like all that cold. I knew that it was coming. I believe it’s the more of those guys. Yeah. Yeah. Cult too like we’re just chilling we’re Oh, so you were just hanging out of it. We don’t have to make predictions any more after that. I see. I see a little bit, You can’t lay low after, you know, you’re the more you are the most credible that you’ve ever been. We hired it. Ghost writers, just, you know, that’s good. We should do that. This is the first one. When is it gonna end?

(32m 9s):
When are we, when are we ending the Cult but it to hear a live 20, 29. OK. On the 29th of the ninth month. Okay. By then, before then, you know, sometime before that date, the call is going to crash and burn. Okay. There’s going to be some fireworks, a little bit of trouble, you know? Gotcha. Yes. It was nine years. Enough time to accumulate this wealth. You’ve got a Think it’s a starter call in the second call. This is the real deal. Right? Because we’re losing all of this. We don’t want to make that much money. We kind of just need to make fake money. We need to make it look like money. Got it, got it. Got it. And then the second Cult what gets us the money in the us and the security. Okay. Cause then we don’t have to be as sketchy because they were so credible.

(32m 49s):
Exactly who I’m following. I’m following anyway, back to a few Canaga if you’re going to have to stop paying income taxes and the late nineties and in 1997, police began tracking the multimillionaire in their search. They found evidence of scams. He was in committing, including falsely diagnosing people with illnesses and practicing medicine without a license. I mean, another thing that tracks with Trump, he wasn’t paying taxes. So I’m seeing the same person, but not a coincidence to worst. And if you can, August’s problem is life is about his meeting with the Pope’s spread around in Japan and the Japanese Catholic Bishop’s office began protesting, Oh no. and exposing the quote unquote religious group for what it really was a scam. When you could not get his reputation, faltered three women’s suit him for the money.

(33m 32s):
He squandered from them under false pretenses. Police conducted a rate of the Cult offices and headquarters and you cannot go was forced to give up his throne. So we’re on the spiral. Down in the years, following the police raids, over a thousand, more of his followers filed lawsuits, the spell they were under finally braking. You could not go was arrested in 2000 for fraud, 13 years after founding Hona, hand-on along with for at least arrested 23 of the cults, highest ranking members at the time of his arrest. If you can not get, I still have thousands of devout followers. And according to us, halt spokesman, the rest felt like dying a thousand deaths, unquote like the people are so ingrained and this guy that even after it’s been exposed, that he’s like a shitty guy by all accounts.

(34m 15s):
And that has been scamming them. They still think of them as the Jesus Buddha Christ It’s gotta be so hard though. You’re dedicating many years of your life. And it’s like, man, if this guy is a religious, a scam artist, I’ve wasted so much time that I, I may as well just stay in it. Like, Yeah, that’s true. You don’t have to draw it again. More comparisons here, but I mean, couldn’t he had just cleaned it all was fake news. Yeah. And I mean, I’m sure he did it. I would imagine he went against it. That’s just what they want you to here. You know, like that’s not true. Liberal media are, I guess it was that it was the church that was technically talking against them. So it’s hard to argue against the church which you’re promoting.

(34m 56s):
So I dunno, it’s a, it’s a weird situation. I mean, these people were like in, for a penny, in, for a pound they’ve already invested so much, like you said, it’s hard to maybe think that you may be invested in the wrong person. So, so it was your identity. I think our, our, our call, like the, maybe we would say this for version two, it’s really hard to come up with ideas for version one of our calls, because we know that it goes bankrupt and crashes, but right. We’ve got to help these people who are stuck in calls. Oh, I see it. So I feel for them, you know, like I, I really want them to get out, but I see why they’re stuck in and still like, sort of, and throw it in that world. I see.

(35m 36s):
Yeah. We create like the rehab for A rehab For costs. And if you donate so much money, you will get over it. Exactly. Well, Yeah, it’s a low fee on the first Cult $5. It worked your way out. Exactly. And then once we cash in the burden, we just, you don’t want to have too much cash at that point. No, no, no. We don’t want that. We’ll give it all to Brian so he can hold it in a safe spot for us. And then we come back and Brian, we find out that Brian started his own call without us. And it was making millions. You have a Cult to is so much more credible than it is called. That’s true. Yeah. Whatever, whatever man I can, I’m like, Oh, my call is going to be called the best call a damn and a beat, the best call. So yeah, be that the better and better We’ll wrap this up.

(36m 21s):
Greed has the power to make monsters for Hogan. Fukunaga, that’s exactly what it did. If you can not get spent 12 years in prison for his elaborate and fraudulent Cult, but many of his followers will be drowning in debt for the rest of their lives. These desperate and vulnerable people never experienced the good fortune they were promised, but they certainly paid the price for having hope and 10, 10 questions, comments, concerns. What is he doing now? Ah, yeah, he’s at a prison now. So just chilling, I guess. I don’t know Cult to maybe he’s listened to this and thinking Cult to look in the mighty fine, right. That we did just give him a lot of Cult. It’s a great idea. Yeah, we did. Which is not great. So, cause I’m sure some of it, When was that?

(37m 2s):
Give us a room, this guy’s, you know, back to you in an electrician, you know, it’s funny, he started the Cult and it was going for 13 years and he only served 12 years in prison. So you didn’t even serve the full 13 that I was ripping people. And I don’t even know if there was a lawsuit, it’s obviously thousands of them, but I don’t know how much he had to pay or if he still has some of the money or what happened to that. So haircuts, haircuts yet he was getting a nice haircuts in jail And I’m sure you definitely doctor those books to, if they’re trying to like say you had to pay back at a certain percentage or something, it’s definitely only as much as he felt like reporting. Yeah. Well, cause he wasn’t paying taxes so you didn’t really have to report what he was earning.

(37m 42s):
So True, I don’t know how Japanese law works. Exactly. But that would be my assumption anyway. Yeah. So that, that has been the home to hunt on Sanpogyo Cult I hope you found an interesting, Oh, have you found it fun? Well, maybe not fund is the right word, but interesting for sure. I hope you’re enlightened. I hope you are enlightened and we can help you out of this year. Cult please call me at No, please. Don’t call me, but do you guys have a, anything you want to plug? You want to pull your podcast? Any socials that you want to go? You want to check out Greg a C O U P L E B O T S on a some socials go to Twitter. Where is the most fun? Twitter is the most fun you are wild on Twitter.

(38m 22s):
Actually. He’s a good Follow. If anything that’s that’s your, that’s your Pollock. Okay. And Brian, Do you want to give your, your podcast to share it out with some plugs socials? Sure. Yeah. So again, I’m doing TV trivia Is just a few questions about TV trivia that you can sign up on Facebook, facebook.com/tv trivia, pod ACTV trivia, pod on Instagram and Twitter, the Gmail app as well. Yeah. So right now covering the office right now, I’m working on trivia for game of Thrones for a big story of that soon. So to switch it up and see how that goes. Awesome. And fun fact, I was on Brian’s podcast last week.

(39m 3s):
Well, I guess it hasn’t released yet, but it, it was on it last week for season three, episodes, one through three, actually. And you get to see me struggle with some very, some of them were very easy and I just do it and did not hit it, I think. But a, some of them get pretty tricky. They, they, they have to get specific if your only cover in a couple of episodes, you know, it was very True and I mean, I would definitely lose in a bonus episode where I’ve only got three at a 10 or something, so it’s not great. So if you want to donate to Brian’s Patria on, feel free to check out that embarrassing moment of me. I don’t want to have your score here for the, the first one. I do have that three and a half out of 10. Yeah. You would spell it as at the track that won, but not the one, not the one where I might have fast.

(39m 48s):
All right, everyone, if you like this episode, we’d love for you to subscribe, rate, and give us a review on iTunes. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about this episode, please write us an email or record yourself and send it to start a Cultpodcast@gmail.com and at the end of our next episode, we might read or play your response and answer it. Thanks for listening. And we’ll see you next time. This is a blast. All right,

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