Welcome to Failed Utopia, the podcast about utopian ideas and paradise lost. We look at utopian concepts of the past, present and future, as well as utopian societies, communes, and cults, which promise the world to eager followers but inevitably fail when it all starts to unravel.

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I’m your host, Anna Roberts.

As I’ve been researching for this show, I’ve come across some truly incredible stories, and I cannot wait to share them with you. We’ll cover wide-ranging topics, from concepts and technologies like artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things to cults like Synanon, Heaven’s Gate, and Peoples Temple—all united by their utopian aspirations.

Join me as we follow the yellow brick road to meet some unbelievable characters and pull back the curtain on the charismatic leaders, charlatans, and conmen who have enticed so many into giving up everything, from their money and material things to relationships and families, and sometimes, even their very lives for the promise of utopia.