In this month’s episode, Pearse and Spike take a look at two cult-related episodes from the popular cartoon shows, The Simpsons and King of the Hill.
In The Simpsons episode entitled “The Joy of Sects,” Homer joins the Movementarians, who promise their followers a life of Bliss on Blisstonia – if only they give up all their money and follow their Leader, by toiling in the lima-bean fields. The whole town falls under the group’s spell until Marge gets the family out. Spike and Pearse discuss the inaccurate Hollywood “cult” tropes – and consider the few bits the episode got right – as well as dissecting the extremely erroneous “deprogramming” of the Simpson family.
Moving onto the King of the Hill episode “Fun with Jane and Jane,” Pearse and Spike explore what makes this a much more accurate picture of a high-control group – and which tropes weren’t so accurate. In particular, they discuss the excellent job Hank does in helping Peggy and LuAnne leave the group on their own terms, in sharp contrast to the forcible kidnapping and deception Marge employs to “rescue” her family in the Simpsons episode.
Before you tune into this informative and high-spirited discussion, we encourage you to watch the shows so you have them fresh in your mind. Also mentioned in this podcast is a former episode with Christian Szurko, available here.
You may also upload the episode as an mp3 here.
What do you think about this podcast? Do you agree? Do you know of a movie, television or book demonstrating undue influence that you’d like to see us tackle next? We’d love to hear from you!