Ep 220 – Froback Friday – Religulous and Kumare


Posted October 9th, 2015

The Infants review two movies about belief: Bill Mahr’s “Religulous” and Vikram Gandhi’s “Kumare.”







  • It’s great to struggle out of bed around noon and find a Froback Friday episode waiting for me on my computer. It makes me feel like it WAS worth it after all. Thanks!

    I saw Kumare in the theater, however long ago that was. All I remembered was that it made me uncomfortable. But in the last few years, having friends and family and history in Mormonism and Scientology, I have become genuinely curious about how something like Mormonism could happen and continue to happen, since to me it is such an obvious fraud and total fantasy. Now that you mention it, though, Kumare explains it perfectly. Like you said, if this guy had not had to wrap up the charade for the sake of the movie, he could still be the head of a New Age cult. That and the fact that having started something like Kumare’s “sect,” for whatever original reason, you can see how it could get completely away from you SO easily.

    And, yes, Julia Sweeney’s one-woman-show and TED talks beat the shit out of both of these movies.

  • Adam Worthington

    I am curious about two things.

    1. The Angel with a flaming sword is mentioned in two accounts. Are you saying these not valid, since they aren’t directly quoting Joseph? http://mormonhistoricsites.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Encouraging-Joseph-Smith-to-Practice-Plural-Marriage-The-Accounts-of-the-Angel-with-a-Drawn-Sword.pdf

    2. The View of the Hebrews seemed to me to be one of the best evidences of plagiarism, especially since Joseph began telling stories about the former inhabitants of America just after it was published. He also quoted from it, so it’s clear he had read it. Why is it stupid, in your opinion, to draw parallels? Just because it isn’t a bulls-eye doesn’t mean it didn’t contribute, right?

    • Glenn

      Adam, I think what Scott was saying is that “flaming sword” often gets conflated with “drawn sword” and the 2 sources you have from that article really only suggest that the conflation started pretty early on — cuz most of the quotes in the same article (as well as the title of the article itself) refer to “drawn”swords. But it’s easy to understand the conflation — and it’s pretty much a distinction without a difference. Joseph said he was forced into polygamy by an angel with a sword.

      And the belief about native Americans as the Lost Tribes is older than even View of the Hebrews, and I don’t think any of us think it is stupid to suggest that VOH was possibly one of many inspirations for Joseph’s stories. But can you point to the place in the Book of Mormon where Joseph quotes directly from View of the Hebrews? Isn’t it the Isaiah parts, which are really quotes of a specific KJV bible of the time period that both BOM and VOH probably used as source text?

      • Adam Worthington

        I think the idea is that he borrowed the plot and themes, not the actual words from VOH, but I think I get what you guys were saying. Thanks for the clarification. 🙂

  • When I Was On My Mission

    I would really love an episode of historical things that Ex-mo’s get wrong based on bad sources / repeated sources. As someone currently navigating my transition, I never want to be caught quoting something that isn’t accurate. There’s enough crazy out there to take out ones belief… no need to make stuff up.