Whether in fiction or in real life, the concept of the serial killer occupies a unique space in the American zeitgeist. Audiences across the planet flock to films about serial killers, and readers across the world peruse headlines of true life crimes with morbid (in some cases, obsessive) curiosity. And, for many, this fascination goes further than reading a book or watching a film. Join the guys as they shine a light on the controversial, secretive trade of relics known as murderbilia.
It's one of the most ancient practices in human civilization, and one that continues in the modern day. In recent decades experts, military officials and activists alike have argued over the definitions of torture -- and, most importantly, whether it actually works. So how much truth is there to the claims that, while unethical, torture delivers results? What's the Stuff the Authorities Don't Want You To Know about what goes on in those unobserved black sites hidden across the planet? Tune in to learn more.
You might have heard this one before -- for years, various fringe researchers and commentators have argued that the government or some other shadowy entity is purposefully changing the gender of amphibians (specifically, frogs) throughout the United States. So what's the truth behind the headline? Join Ben, Matt and Noel as they separate the hilarious fiction from the disturbing facts of the case.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, located in western Asia, has historically been the seat of several massively influential empires. Today, it's home to over 81 million people and some of the world's most lucrative petroleum supplies. Currently tensions between Iran and the West are ratcheting up at an unprecedented rate, and both sides portray the other as unrepentent antagonists hellbent on destruction. So how did we get here? Join the guys as they delve into the strange history of Iran, imperialism, the West and war.
Despite diligent, time-consuming efforts by institutions across the planet, human beings have yet to find any universally-accepted proof of extraterrestial life. For many, this is a simple function of the math involved -- the universe is just too large for us to plausibly meet creatures from another planet. But according to several fringe researchers, we're just looking in the wrong place. We should focus, they argue, not on life from other planets... but on life from other dimensions. Listen in to learn more about the strange story of the Ultraterrestrial theory.
When Louis XIV expanded his father's old hunting pavilion he created one of the greatest achievements in French 17th century art -- a massive, opulent compound that became the seat of high society and French government. In the modern day, the Palace of Versailles remains an enormously popular tourist attraction and, according to some, a hotspot for for paranormal activity, including ghosts and time travel.
In the third segment of this recurring series, Ben, Matt and Noel return to the grisly world of true crime, killers who not only committed multiple murders but were never caught and, in some cases, may well be alive and free today. Several of these murderers may be people you've never heard of, while others may be infamous. One thing's for sure, however: Many of these cases remain open and unsolved, and you or someone you know may be the person who can finally provide a lead, solve the crime and finally put these monsters behind bars.
On May 9th, 2017, then-FBI Director James Comey was fired. His most well-known recent investigations involved the Clinton campaign's email scandal and the allegations of Russian election interference in 2017. In the aftermath of the dismissal, he wrote "Higher Loyalty", a book depicting events and experiences that he believed the public needed to know. So what exactly did he reveal? Is this a man sincerely pursuing what he sees as transparency and the truth, or a cynical ploy to sell more books? Tune in to learn more about the Comey revelations.
In Stuff They Don't Want You To Know's inaugural podcast, Ben and Matt explored the strange career of Edward Bernays, the then-obscure Father of Public Relations responsible for selling the American public on everything from bacon as breakfast to corporate-driven wars in South and Central America. All for some greater good packaged as 'democracy'. Today, many institutions, governments and organizations remain publicly convinced that some form of democracy is the superior -- or simply the least worst -- way to run these large groups of people we call countries. However, not everyone agrees. Join the guys as they delve into the story of Walter Lippmann, the Bernays-esque figure responsible for pushing the argument against democracy (and toward governance by an elite cabal) into the public sphere.
Love it or hate it, Facebook is one of the biggest success stories of the past century. Billions of people have profiles, and for many users it's the only source of online news or social interaction. And Facebook collects as much information as possible on each of these users, ostensibly to better target advertising campaigns. So what happens when someone starts using this vast collection of data for something else? What is Cambridge Analytica, and how deep does this rabbit hole go?
From imaginary friends to tulpas, the idea that that the human mind can create life through focused thought alone is as old as recorded civilization. But what does science have to say about imaginary friends? Are they pure hallucinations, part of a healthy psychological process, or something else? Join the gang as they delve into the fact and fiction surrounding the strange idea of a living thought.
Nowadays it seems like a few times a year we’ll hear about a food scandal -- contaminated meat, perhaps, or recalled yogurt. We’ll also inevitably hear something like “studies show coffee is good, or bad, for you.” When you add up all these complaints, studies and articles it becomes alarmingly easy to think the world is going to hell in a handbasket. Or, rather, breadbasket. So what's the truth of the matter? Grab a snack and join the guys as they explore several troubling, possible terrifying foods consumed every day in the good ol' U.S. of A.
For decades one the world's largest auto manufacturers lied to governments and the public, polluting the planet and evading the same environmental standards they themselves publicly championed. Of course, this is unfortunately a common occurrence in the murky world of corporate power, but here's one big difference: Volkswagen actually got caught. So what happened? Who perpetrated this vast, real-life conspiracy, and how were they caught? Join Ben and his returning special guest, CarStuff's Scott Benjamin, as they explore the strange, twisting tale of Volkswagen's attempt to swindle the public, exposing a genuine conspiracy and asking, perhaps most importantly: What happens next?
On July 18th, 1969, campaign strategist Mary Jo Kopechne and Senator Ted Kennedy were involved in a single-car accident while departing a reunion held at Chappaquiddick island. Only one of them made it it out of the car alive. In the hours, days, weeks, years and decades since, numerous people have tried and failed to come up with conclusive answers about the sequence of events leading to Kopechne's tragic death. Join Ben and Matt as they interview Taylor Allen and Andrew Logan, the screenwriters behind the film Chappaquiddick, as they retrace their steps researching and writing the story, including their inspirations, their beliefs about what actually occurred, and why it's crucial to remember this incident in the modern day.
Have you ever written in to Stuff They Don't Want You To Know? If so, you might be in today's episode. Ben, Matt and Noel often point out that you, the listener, are the most important part of the show, and in this episode they're putting their money where their collective mouth -- er, microphone -- is. Join the gang as they respond to some of the most fascinating, insightful emails, suggestions, responses and more from around the internet.
Today Benjamin Franklin is known as one of the founding fathers of the US, and there’s no doubt that he played a tremendously influential role in the creation of the country. But Franklin, known then and now as a bit of an eccentric. But what about his darker side?
50 years ago today, the American Civil Rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. His legacy lives on in recorded speeches, memorials across the country, photographs by legendary photojournalist Ernest C. Withers and more. Withers remains a hero in his hometown of Memphis, and his career is inextricably intertwined with the Civil Rights era. However, there may be much more to the story of Withers than the public originally believed. Join the guys as they sit down with veteran investigative journalist Marc Perrusquia to learn about his explosive discoveries regarding Withers, revelations that would take him all the way to Federal Court in his quest to finally answer the question: Was Ernest Withers a mole for the FBI?
In the first part of this two-episode series, the guys interviewed tech expert Jonathan Strickland on the mechanics of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. In this episode, Jonathan returns to field some of the weirdest, funniest and most disturbing conspiracy theories orbiting the world of digital currency.
You've heard of bitcoin before. It's the entirely digital, decentralized currency that supporters tout as the next step in financial evolution -- and critics call a massive scam. But what exactly are cryptocurrencies? How do they work, and why do some people believe they're as much a tool for conspiracy and crime as a tool for trade? In part 1 of this series, the gang invites returning guest Jonathan Strickland to explain the nuts and bolts of bitcoin, along with the advantages and flaws of the system.
Recently employees at the US Embassy in Cuba reported a strange and disquietening phenomenon. They complained of vertigo, nausea, hearing loss and more accompanied by a strange hum and whine that followed them into their homes. The State Department refused to comment on the cause of these symptoms even as they shipped employees back home to the States. However, some anonymous government officials stated that the employees fell victim to an unorthodox, top-secret, sound-based weapon. Could it be true? You can turn back now, or learn The Stuff They Don't Want You To Know.