Oct. 20, 2020

Ho-No-Hana Sanpogyo

Ho-No-Hana Sanpogyo

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 saviour after Jesus Christ and the Buddha. They were grateful that this saviour 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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Sources
Sources for this episode include The Foot Reading Cult of Japan by Anand N Bosmia, Apran N
Bosmia, and R S Tubbs, The National Public Radio, The Los Angeles Times, The Japan Times,
BBC News, World Magazine, Mainichi Daily News, Pennsylvania State University Sites, and
The Chicago Tribune.

Research by: lauratownsend



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Transcript

0:07  
Hello, my name is Josh Schell host of the let's start a cold podcast, the only podcast 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 Doiron. Greg, how are you doing? And maybe tell our audience a little bit about your podcast? 

0:39  
Doing well things and yeah, you can find it on iTunes, Spotify, do the research yourself. Like that download button and then you'll get a couple bots. A couple bots. Yeah. Yeah, like a couple b o t s. No spaces. No spaces. Well, I don't know. You'd find it either.

1:01  
It's out there. All right. That was a interesting introduction to your podcast. I love it. My second guest is Brian chin, the host of the popular TV trivia podcast, the popular the popular, the game show podcast where Brian runs guests through a gauntlet of questions to test their knowledge of popular hit TV series with the currencies and focusing on the incredibly popular show the office. First off, Brian, how are you doing today? Hey, I'm doing great. I'm doing great little tired. But uh, you know, things are going well. Awesome. That's good to hear. Now, passionate fans of the office could be described as a cult, and one that I would happily join. If the office fandom was an actual official cult. What do you think one of their commandments would be? You'd have to have Don't be an idiot. Michael's greatest advice.

1:47  
I guess also keep it simple, stupid. That's a good way I SS? Yeah, maybe a mixed bear yogurt. You know, just a couple of basic things. Yeah, I see. So I think everyone that joined the call would have to declare bankruptcy. Not not legally, but just vocally. Of course, yeah, of course. Yeah.

2:07  
All right. For today's call, we will be focusing on the honan sing Pogo cult, and their leader Hogan Fukunaga. And I apologize if I butchered that. But I have tried my best to learn it.

2:19  
So these guys used fortune telling lies and fear mongering to Rob 10s of thousands of people at a millions of dollars in one of the most successful and bizarre fraud schemes in Japanese history. This is definitely a lesser known call in the Western world. But Have you guys heard of the hono? Hana? I have not No, I wasn't uh, wasn't super aware of too many Japanese Colts most of the big Godzilla fan and that's where most of my Japanese lies. Maybe a little bit. couple good anime is in there, too. Not Not too many Japanese called we should start a Godzilla called. I think that would go well. Yeah, I'm gonna start anything. You're done to start that one. Oh, yeah. I don't know anything about this one. I will also admit that okay, well, that's fine, because this makes the the fortune telling section. Way more fun because it is definitely the strangest way to tell someone's fortune.

3:09  
And with that little teaser, let's hop into it. In 1980 Hogan Fukunaga was a 34 year old electrician when he 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.

3:26  
And I was gonna ask if it was like, while he got zapped or doing something. Yeah, he touched a live wire or something. Yeah. They came. It comes to me. I'm Yeah, exactly. And actually, based on this next part, that's that maybe was what happened. So he decided that he was the reincarnation of Jesus Christ and the Buddha and was destined to spread his holiness to others. So not just one person. He's to the reorganization of two. Yeah, what are the odds? I just love that this is 1980 makes it so much more relatable. Like if this was 1935 i'd wrap it up. But this guy is 35. This guy's like 40 years could be 74. Right now, we'll have to wait to get into him. Yeah, but he might still be just chillin, just hanging out one of us. I mean, what does the Buddha Christ do? Well, we'll get into what the Buddha says, I'll give you a hint. It's probably not what Christ or Buddha would do. He's an electrician. So that's what he does. day to day. You know, he brings his lunch pail to work and he gets the job. No, you know, and he was a carpenter. Right? Exactly. Yeah, so it's not too far off. Yeah. At the time of the stunning realization, Fukunaga was at rock bottom nearly 70,000 US dollars in debt, or over 500 million in yen, the future called leader needed to make a lot of money in 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. Yes, when you're at rock bottom, 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

5:00  
Enjoy expensive haircuts. So the $70,000 in debt thing makes sense. Now it makes a lot of sense. Yeah. Expensive haircuts. Yeah. While how expensive as a haircut get like the most I've ever seen a haircut, I want to say 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 factor check this, but what do you guys think that the highest this guy spent like, God? Well, I mean, I you guys are, you know, based in Canada, correct? Yeah, I know, something just came out about United States President Trump's tax returns the amount of money he spent on hair. Is it ridiculous? I think it was over 10 grand. Oh, my goodness. Okay, well, well, then I guess it's not that weird, I guess as regular folks spend normal amounts of money on haircuts, so I just searched it real quick. And it actually is how did Trump spend $70,000 on anything, which is the exact number maybe this guy is Trump not a coincidence.

6:00  
Let's start that conspiracy.

6:04  
So this craving to look and feel like Japan's high class is most likely what causes enormous debt at such a young age. You cannot go and 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 scam to show okay.

6:26  
I like where your head's at.

6:29  
I would go become the barber become a man playing 3d chess.

6:34  
The 1970s and 80s saw large rise in cults in Japan known as the Shin Shin shikou, or 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 worse need that a distinction? Exactly. Yeah. These groups formed rapidly after a hugely popular Buddhist movement, Soca guy aka lost momentum. as followers of Soca geka began to leave their faith. They needed somewhere else to go young business savvy 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 tech talkers of their time. Yeah, so far, this guy hasn't sounded like the young savvy business type. Not really. No, actually. Not yet. Not yet. Anyway. Yeah, he dresses nice. He does. The parties. That seems like the start of a lot of famous people's memories.

7:30  
You just need an in and then you're you're good to go. Yeah, I'm guessing this guy's just great at talking to people, you know, get some chatting. Yeah, no, you're not too far off. You can get observing this trend saw an opportunity to turn his life around. He just needed something that would set them apart from the rest, something that would draw followers in that would pique the 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 need to not only gain attention, but keep it he needed to devote passionate followers who would take his word of Scripture. He needed to be Jesus Christ. And in quotes I wrote superstar so you need 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. Okay, and those that recently? He was going to do this last year. Yeah. Wow. So at this point, I'm wondering how do you stand out from that? I think the anime things is that newer or like, because this was back in the 80s. Right, which maybe this anime is their new cult, their new new new cult, chin, chin, chin, chin, chin chin is obviously.

8:47  
So there's actually little known about Fukunaga his life before he declared himself to be what his followers called his holiness. Regardless of what his earlier life may have looked like. One thing was clear, Hogan Fukunaga would do anything for money. Oh, Hogan. Fukunaga would do anything for money. I left that on a weird octave. So

9:08  
you can go began preaching his newfound holiness to anyone who would listen. And he quickly gained a small but devout following of people who truly believe that the indebted electrician was the reincarnation of Christ. So he's actually convincing people somehow that he is Jesus. He has good hair. Yeah, he has great hair.

9:26  
But Jesus didn't cut his hair. So

9:29  
Wow, new world Jesus. Fukunaga had the confidence and charisma to reel in followers with his preaching, but if he really wanted money, he needed a larger flock. While he was captivating speakers, if you can, August writing skills were nothing extraordinary in order to spread his word farther and effectively as possible. He did what any great pop star of our time Did he hired an array of ghost writers to append a series of texts that would be distributed to anyone and everyone you kanaga could reach? And this was his text, his sacred text? Yeah, he actually published

10:00  
Almost 70 texts, and they were all radical and attention grabbing.

10:04  
And when we say he, it's his ghost writers. Exactly, yeah, probably with ideas from him. They'll probably just say stuff and they'll probably like they would probably just take that idea and run with it basically. Alright, because I was a little curious how can you publish text and not know what they say? And that doesn't sound like it lends itself to anything good. Yeah, it doesn't sound like a great strategy. You know what I mean? Like, because then you got to play to that bass 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. Can't complain. And Drake's got a big cult. And

10:41  
I was Degrassi fans thing any of the writers ghost writers the same? Just freelancers, right? They write for this guy they write for Dre. Oh, you thought you were asking if they were the same as Japanese ghost writers for this guy. Yeah, I would imagine they'd be different.

10:56  
I don't have a different language. So maybe they're good. If you're good. You're good. That's true. You know what? Do people in power and need both writers. They go to the one guy.

11:06  
Don't hate it. I'm here seven years after his spiritual enlightenment. You can Naga officially founded hono hana Singh Pogo, which roughly translates to teaching of the flower, he certified the group as a legal religious sect to gain credibility. And it's here the part of every great cult story where the leader begins grifting last episode, it was selling monkeys in this episode, it's reading feet. That's right is fortune telling was he basically convinced people of His Christ like powers by performing foot reading rituals that promised to reveal person's health, fortune and future. I don't want anybody touching my feet.

11:44  
I had never heard of foot reading before. This is brilliant, though. Like that's next level. Like if you already believe 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 it's kind of diluted. You know, you're competing with a lot of people. Yes, 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 riders came up with this idea? I don't know who came up with the idea. But that is stands out as I do. You know, he's playing chess. And I was playing checkers. That's reading hands.

12:16  
So I'm assuming this is the bottom of the foot if that's the part that has more wrinkles, you know what it didn't say I had I didn't do research into I should have I think what I picked it off as wrinkles. Could you read an elbow? Maybe forehead? You could do 400 Okay. x surprise, then I will tell your fortune. Yeah. Done like you saw a ghost and I will tell you if that's your ancestor or something.

12:39  
Yeah, so it is definitely a weird way to capture everyone, but he definitely does it. And he Jesus Bates feet right. I mean, let me wash your feet. That is true. He did. I'm seeing the connection. I don't know what Buddha did. So I can't we won't know what Buddha did know that. Although they never wear shoes. So connect more feet to read. Yeah, exactly. Or scars on the feet to read. Yes, you can. Agha was able to rope people in the first place by promising family and business counseling his 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 were largely housewives down on their luck who would do and buy anything that offered even a semblance of hope? He's targeting a lot of housewives to get their money and their family's money basically, I guess they don't maybe have this type of internet savvy and stuff at this point. What we're still at 1980s right. Yeah, seven years later, so it's approximately it's late 80s early or okay. Yeah, ladies, let's say your ladies know, given the best the guy's name I feel like you should be able in nowadays to like, look this up like, Oh, this tech savvy guy. What's he done, though? He's $70,000 in debt with an unsuccessful Electrician Business apparently. Well, by now he's not in debt because he's charging people to read their feet to touch them. Yes. Weird foot fetish. Oh, do we have a cost on that there was no cost on quite how early on how much they charged. There are more prices later on other things he charges. 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 well, definitely more than a haircut.

14:26  
But by the time is called was at its peak in the mid 90s. You can only had finally accumulated the immense wealth he had dreamed of for so long, dressed 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 another branch of the booming group had offices in upper class neighborhoods adjacent to manners, mansions and embassies. You can Naga his wife supposedly spent 6000 to 7000 a month on shopping trips. According to call members with exclusive access to the family. You cannot go clearly with a master in the Art of Charm.

15:00  
Rod. So he's doing pretty well for himself. His wife's spending more than I make in a couple months.

15:06  
But yes, she's uh, she's living her best life and so as he right now, wow, just out of curiosity, is this a wife before he became Buddha Christ or after? I believe, yeah, they were married before all of this so she's been along for the ride the whole way. And easily, she's probably loving right?

15:27  
Okay, as you kanaga continue to grow richer. His foot reading called became increasingly more threatening to its devout followers and more expensive. You kanaga like many who value money over anything else constantly yearn for more, there were never enough followers. Never enough recruits, never enough staff members, and there were certainly never enough money, you cannot go was led by ravenous greed that sought to drain its followers of every dime in their shallow pockets. Because, you know, once you get a little bit of money, you want more and more and more. And then next thing you know, you're Jeff Bezos, I think he's just fine tuned his skills got better at reading and your own service, how to get charged more. Do you think he's writing his own stuff by now? No, it doesn't need to now. Yeah. He never learned how to

16:10  
pay for the best ghost writers at this point. Exactly. Well, that's probably true. Yeah, definitely. Actually, the next part gets into your foot reading prices. So it's articles. Every new recruit began with a foot reading these readings were nothing like the standard palm readings you might pay $20 for at a Halloween festival. 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, that's, I can't do the math. But it's a lot of Yeah. Or whatever. So exclusive, though, is very exclusive. I mean, I can't think of many things I would pay $900 for like the next Xbox and PS five or what? For 500? Something like that. It would you rather have like 50 palm readings or one?

16:58  
depends if Is it like part massage? Because that could be down for that. I mean, I wouldn't pay $900 but it's almost a mortgage on my house. Exactly. Yeah, it's ridiculous. Yeah, it's crazy. After the cult gained immense popularity, you kanaga could no longer keep up with the demand and enlisted senior called members to perform the readings for him. These readings still cost $900. But the participants were promised exclusive access to Fukunaga once the readings were complete, of course at an additional cost because now we can charge that too. So he's we're building the pyramid of the pyramid screens? scheme. I can't talk.

17:37  
Like in the office when when Michaels aniseh What is he trying to sell again? This is trivia for you. Oh, man, I haven't gotten to that episode yet as I started, but yeah, I mean, I you know, you just tell your friends and then they tell their friends. And it's not a pyramid scheme. So yeah, exactly. It just looks like one not a

17:54  
few drive anything. It's a pyramid. So it's not a big deal, right? That's true. I'm just a terrible drawer. I only drive to three points, child points, and

18:04  
oh, god, it's been a long day.

18:07  
The foot readings promised to reveal underlying health issues and participants as well as provide insight into their financial future. Participants were often diagnosed with grave diseases at their readings. Of course, no one who performed the readings, including Fukunaga had any medical training followers 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 sect of these new people that they have cancer or they have illnesses just to get them like involved because now they're they're interested. They're like, well, now this call is the only way to save me like it's kind of a dark turn for sure. Honestly, one of the worst things, and I It's never happened to me, but if I were to go get like fortune telling or reading or something like that, and they told me like you're gonna die in a plane crash. Mm hmm. Do you get on a plane again? Cuz you have to, but you don't want to like that mess with me. Right without bother either of you guys? No, I'm not. I don't believe any like, it would be in the back of my mind, probably when I'm boarding the plane. And if if it happened to go down, I'd be like, well, I did it to myself. But I would definitely jump on that plane. No, no problem. Yeah, but they got a couple things right in the reading and they're like, oh,

19:18  
no way. I don't board a plane anymore without thinking of that. But I do still board a plane. I see. Yeah, yes. It is in the back of your mind as well. But you're right. Someone just told me I was gonna die. You know, I'm also not, you know, a believer in fortune telling, but it's still a little creepy. And for sure, you know, at least it's quick. Well, fingers crossed a long way down. But

19:42  
staff members were mandated to warn victims that their struggles would deepen, and their pain would become unbearable. You can Naga encouraged lying and telling 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 for you in August simply explained that the truth

20:00  
Which 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 are lying. Not interested. So they're reading fee, right? Yes, yeah. And then in their head, they're saying, Oh, this is the truth, but I'm gonna lie about that. Like, do they believe they can accurately read the fee? And then they have? I don't think so. At this point. I think they are very much in on the con, they realize that they're just lying to people now to get them to pay money for it. Hopefully their salaries. Okay, yeah, cuz these people are making money now do the senior club members. But like, what if they just said, like, I read your foot, like, you're gonna do great things that still, maybe they threw one in 10 every, every once in a while. They're like, yeah, you're good to go. Following the initial foot readings, victims would be scared into purchasing exclusive seminars and trainings, along with scrolls and ornaments that were said to ward off evil and misfortune. You could Naga convince his followers that they tended meetings, their diseases would be cured. And some were told their debts would be refunded. And called seminars were a bit pricey. So they cost 20,000 US dollars, which was roughly 20 million yen in 1990 per session. Yeah. So per session, these people are paying $20,000 I don't know who he's targeting for this. Like scrolls included though. are closing God. I don't know if the scrolls weren't. What's in the delegate bag now. Am I getting all my all my equipment? Yet a nice Ward ward off evil demons and nice little gift bag that says your name on it? It's pretty fine. Wow. I don't know if that's true. Don't quote me on that. But

21:32  
however, there was a cheaper alternative to the $20,000 seminars, but followers couldn't afford that they could make a donation of 15,000 US dollars, or 14 million yen in 1990. So it's basically just a donation 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. Exactly. Listen, if you pay me $20,000 I'll allow you on this podcast. But if you only donate 15,000 I'll just send you a thank you note.

22:06  
That's how Brian got here. He paid me $20,000 Yeah, if he recruits three people for the next episode, he gets 5% Exactly. Yeah, yeah. So Brian, you better get out there. And you got some friends

22:19  
that can tell their friends. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And then their friends you know, you'll you'll grab a nice 2.5% off all those Exactly. assume we're all rich except for the people we conned.

22:30  
Many members gave their entire life savings to hono hung on. And even after going into debt, were persuaded to keep on giving. The cult was notorious for using specific personal threats to scare people into paying. So this is a big tactic and cults, they take almost everything from you and then promise that the only way to get out of it is to keep on paying and we'll help you like you'll get out of debt once you go to the seminars and stuff like that. But the reason you're in debt is because you've been paying $20,000 for seminars, the vicious cycle, and I mean, it's scary. How many people get conned into this so yeah, well, I mean, you always got the vision to this guy started 70 k in debt, you may as well at least rack up that much to That's true. Get inspired. He's got that story. And I guess it's a good story because it works. You're talking about racking up $70,000 in debt to be inspired. Yeah, exactly. So eventually, hono honan used a ranking system to encourage followers 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 really exactly each rank had recruitment goals that seemed almost impossible to reach, and the goals would fluctuate depending on Fukunaga, his personal expenses, and actually when he constructed as nuke headquarters, which costs 600 million yen Fukunaga threatened each rank into working harder than ever to recruit. And his fear mongering tactics seemed to be working with the cult leading its peak membership at 30,000. Members, Greg quick math 30,000 people $20,000 sentiment hours. What do we got there? Those guys all came to the seminars? I don't know. 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

24:09  
600,000 600 million. So that paid for the headquarters right there. Right, right. That's not including the ornaments and stuff, guys. We keep forgetting that. You got to throw cool like 30,900 for the initial photo rub. True. Right. Right, right. Yeah. That's a cool 27 though. Oh, there you go. So 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, they're the same person. So

24:41  
I love this at the beginning of that, too, sounded like Scientology as well that your rank is determined by how much you pay. Right. Exactly. And I mean, there's only so many ways you can do it called so a lot of them have a lot of the same titles. Yeah, same like there are a lot of them are grifters. A lot of them. A lot of people here

25:00  
Healing rituals, some sort of fortune telling this one just happens to be feet and they have to sleep with your wife and I don't know if that actually happens, but I would imagine it probably did. Listen, if you're gonna take a night with the Buddha Christ, you know, you're getting the Buddha to say now it might cost you $30,000 But hey, I'll definitely cure all your ailments. Yeah, you'll be enlightened or disappointed. Haha. So another tactic you can agua 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 the Mahatma Gandhi World Peace Award alongside Gandhi himself, even though Fukunaga bought his way into the event use pictures himself with celebrity giants to improve new members that he had friends in high places and therefore could be trusted. If you're a famous just like back check your friends. It's not that hard. Like Don't be that hard or Gandhi. Any famous person in general there is no not every single thing in the history of time but there's just connections to sketchy famous people to sketchy people all the time and it just in my head seems very simple to avoid but you would think like their PR person or agent would be like Hey, like is kind of sketchy maybe don't go on stage with him. Did that someone like that come out in the like Epstein Netflix thing? Oh yeah. Epstein was a friend with a bunch of high up people which should have been a red flag for any famous person apparently who is innocent Anyway, let's say that.

26:34  
So this story actually love. It's pretty great. So if you cannot go use the same trick after a friend brought him along to meet pope john paul the second before the meeting, you cannot go purchase two rings 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. So he tricked the Pope and the promise rings basically.

26:58  
And for years cult members blindly hung on to every word of Fukunaga is even after they found themselves in worse positions than when they join Whoa, no Hang on, you can argue though was quite never quite satisfied. And the greeter who became the less careful he was it wasn't long before followers and the public alike begins to see through the cracks. I stumbled through that last sentence but he starts cracking basically.

27:20  
At what point like it obviously in theory right now, if you were to just get like really rich at one point, say it's a sketchy ish, Okay, I won't point you just cash out and like you're you're set for life. You just don't want the worry anymore. Wasn't after the first $900 foot reading I'd be worried. I'd be like, Oh, no. Yeah, but like, presumably you're not employable after doing this. Oh, I see. So I'm going to point out overtired lay low, you know, on a couple mention interesting children. I mean, it sounds like this guy just couldn't stop personally like I wouldn't need as much You know, it sounds like it's him to just be content. Yeah, but a couple mil I'd be happy with a couple mil here you make some good investments and be good for the rest of my life. My wife's got a cut back on the $67,000 shopping spree. But yeah, like this guy probably had such a window between when he had 2 million and hundreds of million. Yeah, I mean, that's they shut her down at any point. Absolutely. I mean, that's cult leaders aren't known for their foresight maybe I guess there which is weird because that's what they're branded as they're like, the leaders of knowing what's coming and what what's going to happen but they actually have zero foresight. They don't know actually what's going to happen then we just sort of call run into the ground and then we we predicted that and have a bunch of like timestamps, things that show that we predicted that are called down and I really fail That's true. And again, you don't even need that to be accurate with all like there's at least one call that's predicted the end of the world multiple times Exactly. But we can predict our own downfall if we want to because it goes down when we say it goes down one as soon it so we predict the end of our call right? As soon as the call ends, and it's blown up. We started never so credible. Yeah, like we're insanely incredible. It's like, oh, that call I

29:14  
knew I was coming. I bloods of all those guys. Yeah, call to like, we're just chillin, we're Oh, so yeah, we're just hanging anyway. We don't have to make predictions anymore after that. I see. I see. Guys. You can't lay low after you know, you're the more you're the most credible that you've ever been. We hire ghost writers.

29:36  
That's good. We should do that. This is the first one. When's it gonna end? Why don't we Why don't we ending the call, put it in here live 2029. Okay, 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. It's going to be some fireworks a little bit of trouble, you know, gotcha. Nine years, enough time to accumulate

30:00  
This wealth. Well, you got to think it's a starter call. The second call is the real deal, right? Because we're losing all 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 novel money. Yeah. Got it, got it. Got it. And then the second call what gets us the money and that and the security. Okay, because then we don't have to be as sketchy because we're so credible. Exactly. I'm falling, I'm falling. Anyway, back to Fukunaga, if you're going August stop paying income taxes and the late 90s. And in 1997, police began tracking the multi millionaire in their search, they found evidence of scams he was 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 now it's

30:46  
torsen Fukunaga, his problem is lies about his meeting with the pope spread around in Japan and the Japanese Catholic Bishops office began protesting oh no Hold on, and exposing the quote unquote religious group for what it really was a scam. On fuga nog, his reputation faltered three women sued him for the money he squandered from them under false pretenses. Police conducted a raid of the courts offices and headquarters and Fukunaga was forced to give up his throne were on the spiral down. In the years following the police raids over 1000 more of his followers filed lawsuits the spell they were under finally breaking you could Naga was arrested in 2000 for fraud 13 years after founding hono anon, along with Fukunaga police arrested 23 of the cults highest ranking members at the time of his arrest if you can Naga still had thousands of devout followers and according to his called spokesman, the rest felt like quote, dying 1000 deaths, unquote, like the people are so ingrained in this guy that even after it's been exposed, that he's a shitty guy, by all all accounts and that has been scamming them. I still think of him as the Jesus Buddha Christ. It's gotta be so hard though you're dedicating many years of your life. Yeah. And it's like, man, if this guy is really just a scam artist, I've wasted so much time that I may as well just stay in like, Yeah, that's true. Not to draw, again, more comparisons here. But I mean, couldn't he have just claimed it all was fake news. Yeah, I mean, I'm sure he did. I would imagine he went against it. That's just what they want you to hear. You know, like, That's not true. Yeah, like liberal media, or I guess it was the it was the church that was definitely talking against him. So it's hard to argue against the church, which you're promoting. So?

32:28  
I don't know. It's, 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 yeah, it's almost your identity, exactly, I think are called like the, maybe we should say this for version two. It's really hard to come up with ideas for version one of our call, because we know that it goes bankrupt and crashes. But right, we got to help these people who are stuck in calls. Oh, I see. So working them out. I feel for them. You know, like, I really want them to get out but I see why they're stuck in and so like, sort of in Thrall in that world? I see. Yeah, we create like the rehab for rehab for class. And if you you know, donate so much money, you will get over it exactly. Well, it's a low fee on the first call. $5. Yeah, and it works your way out. Exactly. Then once we crash and burn. We don't have too much cash at that. No, no, we don't want that. We'll give it all to Brian so you 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 is making millions if we're called to so much more credible and he's called That's true. Yeah, he'll fall down.

33:39  
whatever whatever man i can i Mike it's my call. It's gonna be called the best call. Damn, and read the best call. So yeah, be that better.

33:50  
So to wrap this up, Greed has the power to make monsters for Hogan Fukunaga. That's exactly what it did. If you can Auguste 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 questions, comments, concerns? What does he do now? Yeah, he's at a prison now. So just chillin, I guess I don't know. called to. Maybe he's listening to this and thinking called two's looking mighty fine, right. We did just give a lot of call to great idea. Yeah, we did, which is not great. Because I'm sure someone listen.

34:32  
You know, I'm just gonna assume this guy's you know, back to being an electrician. You know, it's funny. He started the call and it was going for 13 years, and he only served 12 years in prison. So he didn't even serve the parole 13 I was ripping people off. And I don't even know if yet he there was lawsuits, 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. Yeah. He's getting nice haircuts in jail. Yeah, I'm sure you definitely

35:00  
Doctor those books to if they're trying to like say yes to pay back a certain percentage or something it's definitely only as much as he felt like reporting or yeah well cuz he wasn't paying taxes or you didn't really have to report what he was earning so true I don't know how Japanese law works exactly but that would be my assumption anyway. Yeah so that has been the hone in on on saying Pogo cult I hope you found it interesting. I hope you found it fun well maybe not fun right word but interesting for sure. I hope you're enlightened. I hope you are enlightened and we can help you out of this your cult please call me at please don't call me. But do you guys have anything you want to plug you wanna plug your podcast any socials that you want to? You want to check out Greg a cru p le b OTS on some socials or Twitter's was the most fun. Twitter is the most fun you are wild on Twitter. Actually. He's a good follow. If anything. That's that's your that's your policy. Okay.

35:59  
Brian, where do you want to give your your podcasts a shout out? With some plugs, socials? Sure. Yeah. So again, I'm doing the TV trivia podcasts. Just questions about TV trivia, you can sign up on Facebook facebook.com slash tv trivia pod at TV trivia pod on Instagram and Twitter, the Gmail as well. Yeah. So right now covering the office right now. I'm working on trivia for Game of Thrones. We're big star that soon. So yeah, try to switch it up and see how that goes. Awesome. And Fun fact, I was on Brian's podcast last week. Well, I guess it hasn't released yet. But I 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 are very easy, and I just did not hit I think, but some of them get pretty tricky. They have to get specific. If you're only covering a couple episodes. You know, it's very true. And I mean, definitely losing the bonus episode where I only get three out of 10 or something so it's not great. So if you want to donate to Brian's Patreon, feel free and check out that embarrassing moment of me. I don't have your score here for the the first one. I do have that three and a half out of 10 bonus track that one but

37:15  
not the one where I might have passed.

37:19  
All right, everyone. If you liked 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 cold podcast@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 will see you next time. It was a blast.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Greg Doiron

Guest

Host of A Couple Bots podcast!

Brian Sheehan

Guest

The host of the TV Trivia Pod!