Shaving is considered hair-esy
Dec. 14, 2021

The Hermes Far Eastern Shining Cult | Curing The World One Grift At A Time


When Ann Fitzgerald met a group of New Age devotees at a festival in London, she thought that she had found a set of like-minded and supportive friends. Never did she imagine that she would spend the next decade in their grip, working 16-hour shifts without being paid a single dollar.

Ann, however, was far from the group’s only victim.


Follow us on the socials:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

YouTube

Website


Canadian SPIRIT podcast:

Twitter

Facebook

Website


Sources for this episode include The Famous People, the World Religions and Spirituality Project, The Laughing Man Institute official website, the Hermes Far Eastern Shining official website, The Daily Telegraph, Cult Education, and The Apologetics Index.

Transcript
Josh:

Hi, Fred, my name is Josh shell hosted.

Josh:

Well, let's start a cult podcast who took a few weeks off to talk to God.

Josh:

It was either that, or my medication has worn off and I need to go see my therapist.

Josh:

Now with that bleak, look on what some people call talking to God out of the way I'd like to announce a, this will be the last episode of 2021.

Josh:

So thank you to everyone that has become a subscriber over the past year.

Josh:

and if you're listening in 2020.

Josh:

Please.

Josh:

Let me know if my apocalyptic predictions came true.

Josh:

but seriously, thank you to all my listeners.

Josh:

You are all welcomed into the inner circle.

Josh:

I will be returning on January 4th, 2022.

Josh:

So mark that on your calendars and to kick off the new year, we are going to be doing back-to-back weeks of content.

Josh:

This is because I'm doing a multi-part series on Scientology, maybe.

Josh:

So you'll be receiving Scientology episodes, January 4th, 11th, and potentially the 18th.

Josh:

I'm unsure of how many episodes it will end up being, but either way, there will be an episode on the 18th as well.

Josh:

After that it will be back to my, every two week.

Josh:

but I didn't want to make you wait a month and a half for all the Scientology episodes to come out.

Josh:

So, with all that housekeeping out of the way for 2021 and 2022, it's time to get to my guest that I've been making weight through this entire intro.

Josh:

He is from the amazing podcast Canadian spirit podcast, the podcast that dives into supernatural paranormal and the downright weird cases in case.

Josh:

If you're into weird and spooky, this podcast is for you.

Josh:

Please.

Josh:

Welcome Kelly McMillan.

Josh:

How are you doing today?

Kelly:

Not too bad.

Kelly:

Josh, how about yourself?

Kelly:

I'm, I'm very glad that, you let me out of the compounds basement and the spider pits to join you this evening.

Kelly:

So that's always good thing

Josh:

Yeah, it's your, it's your weekly hour of being let out.

Josh:

and I put you to work right away.

Josh:

So,

Kelly:

I always appreciate that because you know, it's dark down there and, and the spiders, so many spiders.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

If, you complain less, maybe I'll give you a candle so that you can light it down there a bit.

Josh:

But,

Kelly:

Duly noted.

Josh:

so, for Canadian spirit pod guests, you guys, I believe you just started Susan to correct.

Kelly:

Yeah, you betcha.

Kelly:

We just launched a season two there with a general topic and a new game that we, started playing called survive the supernatural it's where Darcy and I, we try to throw supernatural creatures at one another and see whether or not we can survive the encounter.

Kelly:

So.

Josh:

that's really cool.

Josh:

do you have any teases for, topics coming up in the new season?

Josh:

Are you guys keeping that hush hush?

Kelly:

ah, I can reveal a little bit here, like for the, for the new general topics episodes, we're going to be talking a little bit about shadow people, moth man things from outside of Canadian borders, just to keep things a little bit fresh and interesting.

Kelly:

And as for Canadian topics, we're going to be delving into things like the keg mentioned hauntings.

Kelly:

A little less UFO episodes this time around, but cause those things, oh man, those are hard to research.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

Well, I bet with, there's so many claims, it's hard to sift through what's real and what's not.

Josh:

but those sound very exciting.

Josh:

It's, actually funny that you mentioned leaving Canada because, I'm actually going to be taking you, on a trip outside of the country today on this episode, because in today's episode of the let's start a cult, we will be talking about the story of the Hermes far Eastern shore.

Josh:

And Australian new age group founded in the late nineties, by a man who calls himself Jessa.

Josh:

Oh my heart.

Josh:

Despite his death, multiple government warnings and court imposed ban the cult remains active, continuing to encourage people to spend thousands of dollars on artifacts that they claim can cure all kinds of disease and bring them to enlightenment.

Josh:

So, Kelly, have you heard of this call?

Kelly:

I haven't.

Kelly:

And I've actually been a bit of a connoisseur of cults throughout my life, but this one is a new one on me.

Kelly:

I've never heard of these guys.

Josh:

see.

Josh:

I figured you, you would be a cult connoisseur, based on our conversations.

Josh:

So I wanted to try and choose the one that, I didn't think you'd have heard of.

Josh:

So I'm excited to bring this one.

Josh:

So, jumping into the story today, the man that our story actually revolves around was named, Gerald or Gerold heart at trill.

Josh:

Now little is known about his early childhood.

Josh:

However, he was reportedly born sometime in the 1940s in Hobart, which is the capital of Australia is island state of Tasmania.

Josh:

He took up a psychology degree at the university of Tasmania and graduated in 1968 after earning his diploma at trill, moved to the mainland in search of better opportunities.

Josh:

He spent the next few years working as a clinical psychologist in his crisis center in Sydney, a role that he found fulfilling yet highly stress.

Josh:

Well, he loved his job.

Josh:

He hated the city's fast paced nature and decided to relocate to, to, to womb a city in Southern Queensland there, he found work as a lecturer in the college of advanced education.

Josh:

It's also, he's very, he's a very well-educated

Kelly:

Yeah, I was just gonna say, this is kind of a little bit unusual because a lot of cult leaders, they're not highly educated.

Josh:

Not usually.

Josh:

yeah, they usually have, well, I guess this could go either way.

Josh:

Usually they're either out CAS or they are, I find smarter than your average person.

Josh:

and I guess the difference is you're either very charismatic or you know, how to manipulate people.

Josh:

I guess that's the.

Josh:

two avenues, you can go to become a cult leader I'm coming to believe anyway.

Kelly:

yeah, you definitely need either charisma or just, some kind of air superiority about you to get people to follow you.

Kelly:

So

Josh:

yeah, and a clinical psychologist degree would, would definitely help as well.

Kelly:

it would also help with the manipulation of people too.

Josh:

Exactly.

Josh:

You know, how to hack their brains and, and, find out what they want

Kelly:

So we're already setting the bar fairly high for what this cult is a capable of.

Josh:

exactly.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

so it's around this time that a trill met a woman named drew Porter who was 11 years younger than him.

Josh:

And I don't know, like I'm assuming legal, but not a hundred percent.

Josh:

Cause I don't know, his age is at this point.

Kelly:

Yeah.

Kelly:

You said that there was Rue Porter and for a second there, I thought you were going to say Ru Paul and I'm like, wow, this got really interesting, really fast.

Josh:

It's actually drew.

Josh:

So I, I miss romance that my bad, but, that would, that would make this insanely more interesting than it already is.

Kelly:

Should just told him to Shantae away or sashay away.

Kelly:

That's the word?

Josh:

Exactly.

Josh:

despite their massive age gap, the two fell deeply in love and decided to move together, to Byron bay, which is a coastal town located in new south Wales, famous for its beautiful beaches and countless diving spots.

Josh:

Many regarded as one of the top tourist destinations in Australia, drawing hundreds of thousands of people each year.

Josh:

unable to find work related to psychology.

Josh:

A trail launched several businesses with Porter, including a health food shop, and a cafe that had an adjacent bookstore.

Josh:

It was the ladder that first exposed him to the new age movement, which at the time was quickly spreading across the United States.

Josh:

In particular, he became fascinated with an American spiritual guru named Addie does Saraj who founded a new religious movement.

Josh:

at de dumb de them with that.

Kelly:

kind of sounds like a kind of sounds like that one Beatles song

Josh:

Yeah, that's true.

Josh:

Actually, I didn't even think of that.

Josh:

Maybe that's where he based it off of.

Kelly:

could very well be.

Josh:

be around that time.

Josh:

Right.

Kelly:

Yeah.

Kelly:

Cause I mean like they did, from, well, from the lore of that song, I guess they did get that a phrase from like a spiritual guru over in

Kelly:

India,

Josh:

So it could easily be this guy then, or, or, someone who is somehow related to this guy.

Josh:

maybe.

Josh:

I don't know exactly, but that's interesting.

Josh:

I should have dove into that more.

Josh:

I didn't make that clear.

Josh:

so Adidas, some Raj instilled in his followers, the belief that he was a divine person in human form, his philosophies borrowed heavenly from Eastern religions with his written work mentioning concepts like karma and reincarnate.

Josh:

He also frequently changed his name, claiming that his identity reflected, whatever his message that he was trying to convey to his followers.

Josh:

For instance, he took to calling himself Bubba free John in early 1970s.

Kelly:

boy, what a name?

Kelly:

That that's exactly the kind of name that you want for your savior.

Kelly:

It's like, oh,

Kelly:

I'm going to shave your shoulder today.

Kelly:

Wow.

Josh:

It is just, it's almost like a fever dream.

Josh:

It's just ridiculous that he went by this.

Josh:

and he said it was referencing a nickname that meant friend, which I don't, I don't know if a Bubba means friend, but,

Kelly:

I mean, like, I know certain people call each other bulb in a, in a friendly and, endearing way,

Josh:

yeah,

Kelly:

it's weird that he went straight to Bubba

Josh:

Bubba free John.

Josh:

Yeah, that dude.

Kelly:

Because that does, that's also Ukrainian for grandmothers.

Kelly:

So we're getting a lot of mixed messages here.

Josh:

yeah.

Josh:

It's very confusing.

Josh:

and actually a few years later he actually changed his name to just Dufree John, and then quickly followed by Dylan an anda, The Lula Lama and Santa Tosha, da, just to name a few of those nicknames that he chose.

Josh:

So he did end up getting rid of Bubba, maybe enough people mocked him about, and he dropped that part.

Josh:

But, yeah, he, he changed his name a lot.

Josh:

Adidas, some Raj preach many things, but what fascinated the trail the most was his belief that human beings were capable of reaching a divine state.

Josh:

He and Porter became so enamored with this philosophy that they moved to Melbourne, where they joined a community of a denim.

Josh:

I did, I I'm going to butcher that word every time.

Josh:

A DDM Devoteam is called the laughing man.

Josh:

They participated in lectures and workshops, even attending retreats that taught them more about spiritual enlightenment, which if I was going to the laughing man Institute, I would assume it's like a standup comedy, pub or something.

Josh:

You know what I mean?

Kelly:

either that or this cult is run by the goddamn Joe.

Josh:

Yeah, That's exactly what I would, it could be too.

Josh:

and the nicknames, this guy gives himself, he could be the joker man.

Kelly:

Yeah, no, Kevin just always changing his name probably for legal purposes,

Josh:

oh, that's actually, yeah, you're probably not, not far off of.

Kelly:

trying to evade the Batman.

Josh:

all of these drove a tail to try to find in himself The same divine energy that he felt, Adidas, some Raj possessed, a trill and Porter, both enjoyed the camaraderie that they felt with their fellow devotees.

Josh:

However, in 1984, they decided to leave the laughing man.

Josh:

Hoping to establish their own organization.

Josh:

So they moved back to Byron bay before settling in a rural village called Tillikum in new south Wales to support themselves the couple opened a store where they sold products related to the new age movement.

Josh:

And this is where it starts getting real shitty.

Josh:

despite his fascination with Adidas, some Raj and his philosophies at trail believed that there was more to spiritual enlightenment.

Josh:

in teal gum, he began to self study alchemy, an ancient science that combined chemistry and speculative philosophy whose proponent sought to figure out ways to transform base metals into gold.

Josh:

They also, they also dedicated themselves to finding a universal elixir that could cure all kinds of diseases.

Kelly:

philosopher's stone.

Josh:

Exactly.

Kelly:

is as an aside here, it's so weird that you brought this cult up because I've been studying alchemy here for the last couple of weeks.

Josh:

Oh, interesting.

Josh:

So you you'll have a good knowledge on this then?

Kelly:

I guess a rudimentary knowledge.

Kelly:

I'm only a little bit into it.

Kelly:

It's, it's an extensive.

Kelly:

Historical lower and, yeah, there's a lot to it.

Kelly:

We'll say that much.

Josh:

that's for sure.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

In, This is kind of where he starts to, I believe start grifting.

Josh:

I don't believe he fully believes in everything he's, he's, pushing, but, we'll get into

Kelly:

Probably not, it kind of depends too on what form of alchemy he's following, because there is both a physical alchemy, which is, like you said, changing base metals into gold, and there's also a type of spiritual alchemy that came from the, from, Eurasia and places like that.

Kelly:

The focus is more on the spiritual.

Kelly:

So.

Josh:

actually I get right into this and the next part he does actually focus on, on both, which is.

Josh:

why?

Josh:

I don't believe he he's a fully invested, you know what I mean?

Josh:

Like, I think he's, selling something, he doesn't believe in, but what we'll get into that, So.

Josh:

he, he, is starting to look for basically the potion of elixir to live forever.

Josh:

during his studies at trill came across Hermes tryma guests.

Josh:

A mythical figure, from the Hellenistic period who wrote about the, her Medica, a series of texts where in explaining a philosophical system that has come be known as hermeticism it combined, both the spiritual and material worlds, a concept that appealed to both a trill and Porter.

Josh:

The ancient world believed that Hermes tryma Augusta was a figure derived from the Greek God Hermes and the Egyptian God thougth, or both many worshiped him, including scholars and philosophers in the middle east.

Josh:

Among his followers was Garrel heart, a trill who inspired by her Medica reinvented himself as an Alchemist name?

Josh:

Jessa.

Josh:

Oh my heart.

Josh:

I'm not sure why that was the name he landed on, but,

Kelly:

again, kind of sounds like a Beatles song.

Josh:

that's true.

Josh:

Yeah, Maybe this guy was just ahead of his time and that should have been a song.

Josh:

Right.

Kelly:

Yeah, it may be.

Kelly:

cause when did this all take place again?

Josh:

Around the seventies, eighties, I believe, I think I said eighties.

Josh:

So this is in the eighties now.

Kelly:

Okay.

Kelly:

So yeah, plenty of time to co-opt one of the most popular bands on, on the face of the earth

Kelly:

and I mean, this is just my hypothesis, but it just, it, yeah, it smacks of.

Kelly:

the Beatles.

Kelly:

I don't know if that's because, they were also influenced by like Eastern spiritualities and things like that, but I don't know, just

Kelly:

weird connections my brain is making right now.

Josh:

No, no, for sure.

Josh:

And they're good connections.

Josh:

It's just, it's a question of chicken or the egg, right?

Josh:

Which came first.

Josh:

is he inspired by the Beatles songs is he's inspired by these, beliefs that, he's engulfing himself in.

Josh:

I tend to think it's probably more of the, the spiritual stuff rather than the Beatles, but then again, they were so all encompassing that it could have actually inflicted on him, to come up with some of these names, So much like the ancient alchemists who came before him a

Kelly:

oh,

Josh:

yeah, yeah.

Josh:

Not, not a great guy.

Josh:

Cause you, cause at this time in the eighties, uh, late eighties, early nineties, It's it's a big problem, you

Kelly:

the height of the HIV epidemic.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

So preying on those kinds of people is not, not a good thing, cause it definitely didn't cure them.

Josh:

if they believed him, it would just reinstill this belief that they were cured and then they would probably pass it on to someone else.

Kelly:

Yeah, well, really, I mean, we see the same thing playing out in today's society with people taking colloidal silver to cure themselves of COVID.

Kelly:

So this is not a new grift,

Josh:

No, and I don't see it going away anytime soon, which is,

Kelly:

sadly.

Kelly:

No, sadly,

Josh:

it's the snake oil salesman.

Josh:

from far back As we can go,

Kelly:

As a tale, as old as time.

Josh:

Exactly.

Josh:

So, referring to these as artifacts, he also said that they would help enlighten whoever was using them, allowing them to reach a higher divine state sometime in the late nineties, a trill and Porter founded a company called infinity forms of yellow.

Josh:

Remember which sold a wide variety of artifacts, including jewelry, sculptures, and even won.

Josh:

They also developed a line of what they claimed were quote, powerful potions.

Josh:

Although they were later to found out to have been nothing more than distilled water.

Kelly:

Oh boy.

Kelly:

So the, this is like, holistics all over.

Josh:

exactly.

Josh:

Yeah, And this is where I think they're grifting.

Josh:

Right?

Josh:

Cause they, they cannot believe that they're actually selling potions.

Josh:

It was just water.

Kelly:

Oh

Josh:

At least if there was some sort of mixture of different things, I would be like, okay, well maybe they were just delusional and kept trying things and claimed it was potions, you know, but this they're just poured in some water and salt.

Kelly:

Yeah, because it also could come from a complete misunderstanding of alchemical chemical texts as well because the philosopher's stone was sent to be golden water and,

Kelly:

alchemists back in the medieval period, but actually put gold dust into water to see if that would make them live forever.

Kelly:

Of course it did not give them heavy metal poisoning, which did the exact opposite of what it was supposed to do.

Kelly:

But.

Kelly:

I'm

Kelly:

just saying let's just drink some gold that'll kit.

Kelly:

That'll fix us.

Kelly:

And then we have colloidal silver again.

Josh:

And, uh, we're, we're, it's just a circle.

Josh:

his histories of, is it just a circle.

Kelly:

Tom is a flat

Kelly:

circle.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

the other, the other joke that I wrote in here was That they're just jumping on the Disani grift, which I thought was, funny,

Kelly:

That was, yeah.

Kelly:

That's another thing too entirely.

Josh:

Yeah, they charge $4 for a bottle of water, $5

Josh:

sometimes.

Kelly:

of their time.

Josh:

that just ahead of their time.

Josh:

that's all they were, they should have just started a water company.

Josh:

one of their most well-known products was the sacred body of man bubblers, which is just a great name.

Josh:

These there

Kelly:

that sounds like something vaguely sexual.

Josh:

It does actually.

Josh:

Now That, you say it.

Josh:

these were a series of medium-sized glass orbs filled with a mysterious liquid that came in several different varieties.

Josh:

For instance, the Saturn bubbler, as it is described, as quote, each glass sphere holds specific energies, which combined to radiate a blessing force across an entire state or small country in which the Saturn bubbler is placed.

Josh:

Each state or country has its own particular karma, just like people, a history that has shaped the nature of that.

Josh:

In response to this additional energies are added to each Saturn bubbler to address the particularities of its location.

Josh:

End quote.

Josh:

So they're selling them as basically this will cure an entire state of its karma.

Josh:

It was problematic in its own.

Josh:

Right.

Josh:

just someone in like Louisiana putting in down And saying, well, slavery didn't happen.

Josh:

So like, it's just, it was just a wild claim.

Kelly:

And that's how the far Eastern shining solved crime, the end.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

They cured all history.

Josh:

That's what I learned today.

Josh:

not only is that absurd, but the absurdity is the price.

Josh:

So each bubbler sold for 12,500 Australian dollars.

Josh:

and I, I converted that to Canadian dollars.

Josh:

just for you, Kelly, we're all Canadians today.

Josh:

So why not?

Josh:

So it comes out to $11,409 Canadian.

Josh:

so quite, quite a bit,

Kelly:

Oh,

Kelly:

I mean, can you really put a price on solving all of the country's karma issues?

Kelly:

I mean, come on now.

Kelly:

$11,000.

Kelly:

That's nothing.

Josh:

yeah, I mean, It is just unbelievable what a claim that is and that people actually bought into,

Kelly:

Oh boy, this, I don't remember seeing any kind of alchemical texts.

Kelly:

So yeah, this is, this is new territory.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

he's, he's branching out, you know, he's, he's got confidence now and he's, going into new levels of absurdity.

Kelly:

Yeah.

Josh:

that is not it.

Josh:

However, so another one of his artifacts that have trouble developed was a disc, which their official website claims quote, holds an, intention to transfer particular habitual patterns, desires, or karma that keep us locked into negative ways of thinking and acting.

Josh:

Receiving these energies may help to dissolve aspects within us that are blocked, freeing up the flow of life current within our being and allowing an awakening to greater and renewed responses to life and each other and quote.

Josh:

if you can't quit smoking or something, then get one of these and it will, allow you the ability to do so,

Kelly:

the only way that I can figure a metal disc would, change your negative behaviors.

Kelly:

Does if you took it in, beat yourself over the head with it, until you knocked some senses into yourself,

Kelly:

this.

Josh:

do it.

Josh:

I can do it or just hit, it's like a rubber band thing when you flick it.

Josh:

If you do something like your habits or something, you just hate yourself with it.

Josh:

Maybe

Kelly:

No bad.

Kelly:

Klong.

Josh:

so I was outlandish, as these claims are many believed them and throughout the nineties, trill garnered hundreds, if not thousands of followers, he encouraged them to regard him as the divine incarnate, a spiritual leader related to Jesus Christ

Josh:

whose teachings yup.

Josh:

Whose teachings and artifacts could lead them to a higher state of being, Thanks to his increasing follower base at trill was able to open several storefronts across Queensland Australia, including in his former hometown of Byron bay.

Josh:

These became so popular that even those who didn't follow the new age movement began purchasing his artifacts wholeheartedly, believing that they could get rid of negative energies and physical diseases.

Josh:

this is like the.

Josh:

Dreamcatchers.

Josh:

It's kind of like a, kind of like a dream catcher phenomenon where enough people are like getting them that, people just by them believing it'll keep bad dreams away or in this case, cure continents or whatever he claimed.

Josh:

I forget.

Kelly:

Hi.

Kelly:

Yeah.

Kelly:

And I just said another thing to touch on here.

Kelly:

Why is it that every single cult member equates themselves to being Jesus Christ?

Kelly:

I mean,

Kelly:

can we get some

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

There are other beings, You know, there's, I guess he's the most well-known but there's like Muhammad, there isn't there.

Josh:

And then there's like, I'm trying to think of the other

Kelly:

You want to know what, what a God that I would love to see, or cult leader claiming to be a God.

Kelly:

what if a cult leader just bear with me here, but what if a cult leader claimed that he was a new bus?

Josh:

that sounds familiar.

Josh:

I'm trying to think if the Mexican cult I covered was a new bus or if I'm confusing that, but that would be hilarious.

Josh:

I agree.

Josh:

And I think it is.

Josh:

so out there that, you might garner some, some attention.

Kelly:

Yeah, it's just such strong iconography.

Kelly:

It's just like the Jackal headed.

Kelly:

God, come on.

Kelly:

Who doesn't want to

Josh:

yeah.

Kelly:

maybe people who don't like furries, but, th th that's a topic for another time.

Josh:

Yeah, but you'll get all the furries instantly.

Josh:

So there's a couple of hundreds of thousands.

Josh:

I don't know how many there are, but there's probably quite a few

Kelly:

Raise up a

Kelly:

fearsome army.

Josh:

of furries and, and you can all dress up like a new biz.

Josh:

and, uh, take over a state.

Josh:

You could easily take over a state with that many furries, I think, Go for like North Dakota or something.

Kelly:

Yeah, they deserve it.

Josh:

Yeah, exactly.

Josh:

but Kelly, do you know who will not try to sell you false artifacts, to cure Kira state?

Kelly:

Is it the products and services that support your podcast?

Josh:

It is the products and services that support my podcasts.

Josh:

They will sell you many other things, but, you know, hopefully not that, if, if I have started selling that on my podcast and I am ashamed of who I've become, but, yeah.

Josh:

So here are some ads please enjoy and we will be right back.

Josh:

we are back from that ad.

Josh:

again, I hope it was not new age propaganda ads, but

Kelly:

or Amazon.

Kelly:

Cause that could be just as bad.

Josh:

that's True.

Josh:

actually.

Josh:

in some cases that that would be worse, I think.

Kelly:

True.

Kelly:

True.

Josh:

so getting back to, trill and his, slow descent into what would you call it?

Kelly:

grifter dumb.

Kelly:

Is that a

Josh:

Grifter dumb.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

Cult cultism call we'll go with that.

Josh:

surprisingly enough, a trill counted among his followers, intellectuals, and well-educated.

Josh:

Many of whom believed in traditional science yet, we're still convinced that his artifacts were incredibly powerful.

Josh:

One of them was Anne Fitzgerald, a young British airway flight attendant who met several of the trills, devoting his will attending the mind body spirit festival in London in 2002.

Josh:

According to her, the devout teas, enthusiastically showered her with love and kindness.

Josh:

She remained in contact with them.

Josh:

And two years later left her.

Josh:

country of Ireland to join the group in Australia.

Josh:

I trail rechristened her as per sorry, this name Is wild.

Josh:

a trail rechristened, her as perplexities swings, this and that which she claimed was her alchemy name.

Kelly:

oh, okay.

Josh:

So not only is that not a name, it's just weird as a statement.

Kelly:

It's almost as if they took like the, naming scheme from native Americans and then applied it to nonsense scientific

Kelly:

principles.

Josh:

Yeah, because, and I don't know if you've found this in your research, Kelly.

Josh:

he claimed it was her alchemy name.

Josh:

D have you ever heard of an alchemy named.

Kelly:

no, I haven't.

Kelly:

I mean, generally speaking with alchemists, there were certain pseudonyms that they would go by, especially after alchemy was banned as like witchcraft or sorcery.

Kelly:

Right.

Kelly:

So they would take on pseudonyms, but not necessarily, there was no mention of alchemy names per

Josh:

Okay.

Josh:

So maybe he's rebranded.

Josh:

it is that maybe it's like a, this is your Christian name.

Josh:

This is your alchemy name.

Josh:

Maybe, maybe

Josh:

he's.

Josh:

Taking it that way.

Josh:

I'm not sure.

Josh:

in any case, this, this girl Fitzgerald spent the next eight years as perplexities swings this and that.

Kelly:

it also sounds like a, oh, nevermind.

Kelly:

I'm not going to go there.

Kelly:

I was

Kelly:

going to

Kelly:

say it kinda sounds like somebody who's bisexual, but they're perplexed about their own existence.

Josh:

Ooh.

Josh:

Interesting.

Josh:

maybe

Josh:

she was, I actually, I don't know obviously I didn't research that, but, maybe that did factor into it I, I didn't even think of that.

Josh:

still a terrible name either way, but,

Kelly:

either that,

Kelly:

or it just sounds like a really bad pendulum.

Josh:

Yeah, Yeah.

Josh:

Well, or really good pendulum swings.

Josh:

Oh, perplexity though.

Josh:

It does thinks about swinging this in that way, but never does maybe.

Josh:

so fixed Gerald as we're going to call her voluntarily worked as a trail's housekeeper and maintain the shop in Tila gum, Her shift often lasted 16 hours, but she never received a salary.

Josh:

So there's that link to Amazon that you made?

Josh:

That's great.

Kelly:

Yeah, the track.

Josh:

in 2011, Fitzgerald came to her senses and asked help from a pair of shopkeepers named Ken McGrath.

Josh:

And he did de loo.

Josh:

They drove her to the nearby hotel where she hid from a trail's followers until her family, back in Ireland was able to send her money for plane tickets.

Josh:

Finally in October of that year, she left Australia and a trails group for good.

Josh:

she escaped, which was nice.

Kelly:

Yeah, you, you do hear about that in other cults too.

Kelly:

It's always heartening to hear that somebody came to their senses and, you know, got the hell out.

Josh:

exactly.

Josh:

And I don't know if they'd be violent towards her at this point.

Josh:

Like, it's hard to see, but you never know.

Josh:

Right?

Josh:

Like these calls have a tendency for violence, so.

Kelly:

yeah, they, they have a tendency to be unpredictable and stressful situations as well.

Josh:

Especially if they start to think that followers are leaving, then they kind of go into a defense mode if, if that makes sense.

Josh:

So, she made managed to escape, which is nice.

Josh:

but a trail was not done recruiting and he encouraged his followers to recruit university students as well as people attending festivals.

Josh:

he also instructed them to go to hospitals where they could sell their artifacts to patients.

Josh:

many of whom were willing to believe that their terminal diseases could be cured by disks and glass spheres.

Kelly:

that is just

Kelly:

predatory

Josh:

Yeah, that is, like I said, that he was fully in, on the HIV as well.

Josh:

So this doesn't shock me though.

Josh:

It is, absolutely disgusting.

Josh:

Then he would do this,

Kelly:

Yeah.

Kelly:

Cause I mean like you're, especially because they're, targeting people who are at their most vulnerable.

Josh:

Exactly.

Josh:

people just trying to live out their days, you know, hoping science can help them or, whatever, and just at their wits end and stressed out.

Josh:

And, to take advantage of those kinds of people is just,

Kelly:

Truly

Josh:

I said, disgusting.

Josh:

Yeah, exactly.

Josh:

This guy is not akin to Jesus Christ at all.

Kelly:

Well, yeah, no, cause yeah, you know, you never really read in the Bible about Jesus saying, take advantage of.

Kelly:

V who is in mortal peril.

Josh:

take advantage of the neighbor, not, yeah, so that's terrible.

Josh:

and while many supported a trill, he also garnered his fair share of critics.

Josh:

One of the most outspoken was Ron Christie, an alderman for the city of.

Josh:

who came to know about the group after discovering that several nurses at the hospital in Tasmania were trying to sell artifacts to their patients.

Josh:

Christy filed complaints against the trail.

Josh:

And in 2013 was cited as saying, quote, the use of these magic wants waiters and motifs have been happening within our hospital system for more than three years.

Josh:

And to my knowledge, this cult group has been , operating in Tasmania since 1996.

Josh:

And quote, this is the first time they're actually out, out it as kind of a cult.

Josh:

You know what I mean?

Josh:

Like we haven't mentioned Colt yet, as far as people calling them that, so it's starting to get called out now and it's starting to, he's starting to come under fire

Kelly:

yeah, because up until this point, it sounds like they were just written off as kind of a kooky new age movement.

Josh:

yeah.

Josh:

which I find a lot of them are Until it's too late.

Josh:

You know what I mean?

Josh:

Like it gets to the point where it's, a tipping point

Kelly:

yeah.

Kelly:

Until

Kelly:

delusions of grandeur entered the picture.

Josh:

exactly.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

, in 2002, a trails company, the infinite forms of yellow remember came under fire after government officials discovered that some of the.

Josh:

it was selling considered mainly of bottle distilled water, despite it being sold for 80 Australian dollars, marketed as having some kind of magical formula that could cure all kinds of disease.

Kelly:

dehydration.

Josh:

yeah, it's curing dehydration.

Josh:

and headaches.

Josh:

That's all it's doing for you, but, He's charging more than Disani and Disani was getting sick of it.

Kelly:

Nestle heard of his plans and it's like, no, we got to shut this fucker down.

Josh:

they said only we can drain the water out of, out of communities and sell it back to them

Josh:

for.

Kelly:

can be only one

Josh:

in fact, the official company website gave it the following description, quote, the water flows as a river of healing, elixirs to drink thereof is to be touched by the greatest of all bombs an end to the destiny of

Josh:

Sorry, this is just word jumbled.

Josh:

yeah.

Josh:

The river of life that the word waters are, is a articulated to dissolve the particular karmas of any and every suffering mortal end quote.

Josh:

So that is just some absolute marketing jargon.

Josh:

If I've ever heard.

Kelly:

Yeah, definitely.

Kelly:

It's one of those things.

Kelly:

If you can't, corner them with facts, then dazzle them with bullshit.

Josh:

that's the first sign.

Josh:

If you don't see the, if you don't see the facts and you just hear a bunch of bullshit, they're Probably.

Josh:

trying to sell you some

Josh:

bullshit.

Josh:

yeah.

Josh:

rather than healing elixirs, though, the government officials saw the artifacts is nothing but.

Josh:

This led the new south Wales Supreme court imposing a ban on the infinity forms of yellow remember and its operations.

Josh:

However, a trill and his followers already had a plan.

Josh:

not long after the court made its decision at trail established the F Hermes far Eastern shining to replace his former company.

Josh:

So this is, I know usually like the cult name shows up in the first two pages.

Josh:

This one nearly at the end.

Josh:

He's fine.

Josh:

He's just pivoting basically.

Josh:

That's why it's named this now.

Kelly:

Well, I mean, the cult leader changed his name, how many times?

Kelly:

And

Josh:

yeah,

Kelly:

I think the same could be said for, for, for his, his following.

Josh:

it's just a, it's a marketing play, you know, like it's like how Facebook rebranded as meta it's because they're shit holes, you know, they're just people.

Josh:

So they had to rebrand

Kelly:

yeah.

Kelly:

I, you would not believe how long I sat there thinking, okay.

Kelly:

Their name is Mehta, right?

Josh:

yeah.

Kelly:

is Metallica going to Sue them?

Kelly:

This needs to happen.

Josh:

I hope soon.

Josh:

And, I hope they take the company from Zuckerberg, but, until then we're just going to be living in a virtual reality world with no Metallica.

Kelly:

yeah, a

Josh:

what I believe.

Josh:

Yes.

Josh:

The worst kind of future.

Josh:

so you rebranded to replace his former company and as the years passed, he expanded his business, creating an online store to sell artists.

Josh:

And encouraging his followers to use social media, to recruit people.

Josh:

So maybe he does work with, with Facebook.

Josh:

the government's increasing awareness of his shady activities, forced a trill to change his tactics rather than the bottled water that he was marketing as an universal elixir.

Josh:

He began selling coasters.

Josh:

instead.

Josh:

These he claimed.

Josh:

yeah, Yes, it is even Wilder.

Josh:

So these, he claimed were capable of infusing glasses of water with extraordinary powers, the person drinking to gain enlightenment.

Kelly:

Sure coasters.

Josh:

coasters.

Josh:

So you put your glass of water on a coaster and instantly you've got boom.

Josh:

Fucking holy water or whatever he's claiming, which leads me to further question when TB worried that people would just use the coasters and then claim and sell their water being too, uh, even war like, just a pyramid scheme of

Kelly:

yeah, it kind of affects your profitability.

Kelly:

If you suddenly have the greatest of all elixirs just by using a coaster, although it would keep guests from leaving water rings on your coffee table.

Josh:

That's true.

Josh:

At least this has a use, you know, you can use it.

Josh:

And it wa it does at least the bare minimum, rather than the elixir of water.

Josh:

despite the hefty price tag that these coasters carried many, believed a trails claims and were willing to purchase them.

Josh:

According to former devotees, a trail was incredibly charismatic, which allowed him to easily manipulate people.

Josh:

However, he didn't just manipulate them into selling and buying his artifacts.

Josh:

He also forced members to leave their friends and family behind claiming that removing themselves from traditional society was the only way to gain divine.

Josh:

member also recalled being coerced into having sex with him afterwards.

Josh:

He told her that she wasn't allowed to tell anybody else what they had done.

Kelly:

yeah, th this is coming right out.

Kelly:

A cult leader textbook 1 0 1.

Kelly:

He's ticking all the boxes now.

Josh:

Yep.

Josh:

now.

Josh:

he's a, you know, a manipulator and, his course people into sex and leaving their families.

Josh:

You know, it's usually a given in a call it leaving your families and friends.

Josh:

Cause then you have no support network and have no one else to believe, but the people also believing the things you believe in.

Josh:

So It's just a

Kelly:

yeah.

Kelly:

It's yeah.

Kelly:

Further isolating people so that they feel they can't leave.

Josh:

Exactly.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

So, terrible, but, uh, uh, trill and his followers continued their recruitment efforts through the two thousands gaining traction in the United States where they reportedly became known as earth nucleolus wildfire.

Josh:

They sold only one type of artifact, a cream that they called earth rising miracle lotion.

Kelly:

just a quick question here.

Kelly:

Are they just using random word generators to create titles for themselves now?

Josh:

You know what, uh, I thought that to myself, when I was doing the research and I said that that is exactly what they're doing.

Kelly:

It

Kelly:

has to be because nothing is related in any way, shape or form,

Josh:

none of it makes any sense, you know what I mean?

Josh:

Like it's just, and the amount of names they come up with.

Josh:

So they're earth nucleus wildfire in the United States, which is just crazy.

Kelly:

not a good name for California.

Josh:

Yeah, I was going to say,

Kelly:

Very off putting.

Josh:

you being at west, you know, about the wildfires.

Josh:

So I don't know if this would trigger memories that like good, good, feelings towards the group when you

Josh:

first hear it.

Josh:

But, so, uh, there have been many calls for investigative probes into the Hermes, far Eastern Chinese.

Josh:

In fact, John Watkins, Australian minister of fair trading and sports in the early two thousands even issued a warning to public saying that a trills artifacts were quote a mean contract aimed at the most vulnerable people in our society.

Josh:

People with severe drug addictions, mental illnesses, or with potentially fatal diseases such as HIV or.

Josh:

Maybe vulnerable to the promise of a cure through the use of these waters.

Josh:

This is a Very old fashion rip off the old side show spiric selling the cure, all elixir, but it's dressed up in new age language.

Josh:

Infinity is all about the almighty dollar, not the almighty end quote, What a mic drop.

Kelly:

Yeah, no kidding.

Kelly:

That is, that is deeply profound in both.

Kelly:

it's a deeply profound burn

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

just in that sentence, you know, Anthony is infinity is about the almighty dollar, not the almighty.

Josh:

Like you could just say that and instantly derail their entire grift.

Josh:

Like, it just, well, well put together so props to John Watkins for calling that out, However, a trills followers have criticized such statements claiming that freedom of religion meant that they could believe in whatever they wanted, regardless of how outlandish it seemed.

Josh:

The absence of, grisly crimes doesn't make Hermes far Eastern shining, any less of a cult, a trill manipulated his into believing that he was a divine being akin to Jesus Christ.

Josh:

He encouraged them to spend thousands of dollars buying useless items that according to.

Josh:

We're powerful enough to cure all kinds of diseases and could help them achieve enlightenment, Gerald heart.

Josh:

A trail died in December, 2012, age 72, but unlike other cults, Hermes far Eastern shining wasn't dissolved upon his death.

Josh:

It continues to operate now with a robust digital following and a thriving online store we're believers can buy all the bubblers and wants that they want.

Josh:

And that is the story of the Hermes far east shining cult.

Josh:

dark ending as it usually is.

Josh:

Uh, so they're still operating and still ripping people off.

Kelly:

Oh,

Kelly:

lovely.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

I'm glad he's not in the picture anymore, but disappointed that he built such a powerful.

Josh:

Company that it couldn't be stopped after his death.

Josh:

Which, I mean, when all that money is involved, it's hard to stop, I guess, capitalism feeling it, you know?

Kelly:

yeah.

Kelly:

Now I just had this horrible mental image of them actually getting ahold of like an MLS.

Kelly:

structure and just becoming unstoppable and that's

Josh:

Oh

Kelly:

disturbing to me.

Josh:

God, Yeah, that would be, that would be the worst timeline.

Josh:

And don't, I hope they don't listen to this and take any ideas

Kelly:

Oh God, I hope not.

Josh:

We've given them quite a few and I would feel terrible, but, yeah, don't, don't buy any of their stuff.

Josh:

If, if you're listening, they are Grifters and just selling you bullshit.

Josh:

So, don't do that.

Josh:

before we finish up today, it's time for my favorite segment cult critique.

Josh:

It's my only segment, but I call it my favorite.

Josh:

It feels special.

Josh:

so Kelly, this is the part of the episode where you and I talk about the cult we just covered and give it a rating out of five stars.

Josh:

there's no hard and fast rule about how we do the rating.

Josh:

You know, you can five star for being good one star for being good because being good in a cult scenario.

Josh:

Kind of bad, so, uh it's whatever, whatever you feel.

Josh:

So, um, Kelly, what would you give a rating to the Hermes far Eastern shining cult?

Kelly:

I think I'm going to do this in the form of a Yelp review if I could.

Kelly:

All right.

Kelly:

So the Hermes far Eastern shining.

Kelly:

Is that its name?

Kelly:

I've, there's so many words there.

Josh:

Hermes far Eastern shining.

Josh:

Colleen.

Kelly:

Okay.

Kelly:

So these guys are kind of like the micro penis of cults.

Kelly:

Okay.

Kelly:

They're functional, but they're unfulfilling.

Josh:

Right.

Kelly:

And I mean, there's some part of the human brain that is primarily drawn to it out of fascination the same way, that your mind is drawn.

Kelly:

Jamming your genitals into a garbage disposal.

Kelly:

I wouldn't, I would not recommend either.

Kelly:

So I'm going to give this, cult one star out of five.

Josh:

That is an Excellent.

Josh:

review.

Josh:

It might be the best I've ever had.

Josh:

This is a matter of fact, that is a, this is a great wrap-up, I don't know how I'm going to top that.

Josh:

So I'm just going to say, yeah, it is a cult.

Josh:

Definitely.

Josh:

They recruit and they manipulate and they, Grift and make money off of it.

Josh:

So it was definitely a cult.

Josh:

however, it's not like a well-known cult, which I think takes away from it.

Josh:

It's rebranding and renaming is annoying.

Josh:

And, you know, the them grifting off of people dying is just terrible.

Josh:

So

Kelly:

Absolutely.

Josh:

star for that one.

Josh:

So,

Kelly:

Excellent.

Kelly:

So we're in agreement.

Josh:

we are in agreement.

Josh:

as we usually do.

Josh:

I don't usually have pro cult people appalled podcasts, but, maybe someday I will, just for fun, but, that is the episode for today.

Josh:

So thank you everyone for listening.

Josh:

Kelly, can you please tell my audience about Canadian spirit podcast and where they can find you guys

Kelly:

Yeah, sure.

Kelly:

A Canadian spirit is a podcast that's hosted by myself and Darcy were the two primary members of the supernatural paranormal investigations and research Institute.

Kelly:

basically we've been doing paranormal investigations together for about 10 years and we take a look into all paranormal cases throughout Canada and now even beyond.

Kelly:

To figure out what kind of natural or man-made phenomenon might actually be behind some of the world's most famous and forgotten paranormal mysteries.

Kelly:

And you can find us on Spotify, apple podcast, Google podcast, good pods, pretty much anywhere you can find podcasts.

Josh:

Awesome.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

I, I personally love their podcast.

Josh:

I it's, I learned so much about Canada that I'm like, I didn't know this was, this was a thing.

Josh:

Like I have no ideas to the spirit world, or w w what would you call it?

Josh:

The mythical world of Canada.

Josh:

It's just a mystery to me.

Josh:

So I do enjoy the.

Josh:

quick question before, before I let you go.

Josh:

what is, what is your favorite episode that you've done so far?

Kelly:

uh, so far I would probably it's either the lugaroo episode or, so hard to pick

Kelly:

the beaver eater episode was also a good one, too.

Kelly:

Just for the name alone.

Josh:

Yeah, that was a great name.

Josh:

so yeah, definitely go check out Canadian spirit podcast.

Josh:

they just started season two.

Josh:

So, you can jump in and, go into their catalog and then catch up and, listen to all the new content that they're going to be doing.

Josh:

Sound's worldwide, which is.

Josh:

I'm excited to hear about all the myths and spiritual, stuff around the world.

Josh:

so definitely go check them out.

Josh:

and finally, if you want to support this show, you can do so by rating and reviewing and sharing the podcast on apple podcasts, pod chaser, or good pods.

Josh:

If you want to support the show financially, you can just buy me a coffee.com/ let's start a cult.

Josh:

And while I'm on break and you can't get enough of me, you can go, hear me on my other podcast, read it on Wiki.

Josh:

Every Mondays we're not stopping through it.

Josh:

The holidays we've already batched recorded.

Josh:

So, go check that out if you want.

Josh:

keep up with what I'm doing.

Josh:

but yeah, thank you very much for, an amazing 20, 21.

Josh:

It's been awesome and I look forward to bringing more great content in 2022.

Josh:

So stay tuned January 4th.

Josh:

We'll be back with Scientology, which I'm super excited for.

Josh:

thank you Fred for listening and thank you Kelly for coming on today.

Josh:

I will see you next time.

Kelly:

It's been a