Here Be Monsters

The Podcast About the Unknown

HBM040: The Reformation Bible Puritan Baptist Church [EXPLICIT]

Eric Jon Phelps knows a lot of things. He knows that the Pope controls the world, he knows that it was the Jesuits who poisoned him in Tampa and he knows that preventing racial integration is the only way to avoid the Vatican's plans to incite global race wars. Eric is the pastor of rural Pennsylvania's Reformation Bible Puritan Baptist Church.

Eric John Phelps in High School.

Eric John Phelps in High School.

The strange thing is that Eric is how completely open he is about his views--he's exceedingly knowledgeable about the Protestant Christianity and it makes him a fantastic and outspoken preacher.  However, the teachings of his church has landed him a spot on the Hate Map of America, which is where HBM Producer Emile B Klein found him.

In this episode, Emile visits the church to investigate the story of Eric's rise and fall in the niche world of anti-papal talk radio and finds out how Eric's upbringing in the civil rights era informed his views on white supremacy.

One resource on that Emile recommends as supplementary reading is Jonathan Haidts book, The Righteous Mind

The Righteous Mind was essential for Emile to come to the conclusion that it's unproductive to hate hate. Emile says, "All in all, I think that I am taking a pretty unlikable stand, but it's a stand I think is decent in the long run."

In this episode, we hear a 6 minute excerpt from a roundtable intervention between multiple First Ammendment Radio hosts.  The original intervention lasted 2 hours and can be heard in its entirety right here.

Please note that this episode is full of bad language and bigoted ideas and factual errors.  We tread on some pretty delicate subjects on this episode, please let us know how we're doing.


Emile B Klein and Jeff Emtman co-produced this piece.   Emile is a radio producer and a painter who’s been touring the country by bike for the last 4 years.  He is the Director at You’re U.S. which is a non profit that highlights the qualities that tie together modern Americans through arts and craftsmanship. 

This episode is Dedicated to Roy Silberstein, who always fought for the underdog.

Music on the show from
The Black Spot | | | Olecranon Rebellion | | | Serocell | | | Cloaking | | | Lucky Dragons

Conspiracy Theory Website Slideshow

HBM039: A Goddamn Missionary

Terry Crowley understands that he is an imperfect hero. But his efforts to help people in crisis are made possible by his ability to speak their language. That's because Terry himself has Bipolar Disorder and has been treated five times for thinking he was Jesus.

But Terry, who splits his time between the small town of Hoquiam, Washington and Seattle, knows that keeping his delusions in check will mean the success of his mission to help his friends and family and the "crazies" on the street that he checks in with.

The number of people on the street who suffer with mental illness is debated, but is certainly higher than average. PBS has a good factsheet about what is known about homelessness and what isn't.

In this episode of Here Be Monsters, Terry often refers to Manic Depression, a condition that, per the DSM-5, has been reclassified as Bipolar Disorder.

Bipolar Disorder is a mental health condition that is characterized by extreme shifts in mood, energy levels, memory, concentration, sleep, sex drive, appetite and self esteem.

The causes of Bipolar Disorder are unknown, but is thought to be hereditary.

Bipolar Disorder can disrupt personal and professional relationships, but it is treatable. Therapy, medication, support networks can help mitigate its negative impacts.

Bipolar Disorder often goes undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, or untreated. If you experience symptoms of Bipolar Disorder, or know someone who does, help is available.

More information about Bipolar Disorder from the National Institute of Mental Health

If you're feeling suicidal, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the US, at 1-800-273-TALK

For help outside of the US, here is a list of suicide prevention hotlines for almost every country


This episode was produced by Jeff Emtman with help from our Producer in Training, Grant Shprintz, and our story editor, Bethany Denton.

Music on the show from: Phantom Fauna ||| The Black Spot ||| Lucky Dragons

Right now, our friends over at NPR's Snap Judgment are running a crowd funding campaign that is critical to the success of great storytelling on the radio. Go ahead and toss them a dollar and tell them HBM sent you. They have some great rewards, too.

HBM038: Do Crows Mourn Their Dead?

Crows have really strange habits around death. When a bird dies, crows gather, squawking loudly and gathering as many other birds as they can find to come and look at the dead body.

Much of what we know about crow funerals comes from the work of John Marzluff, a biologist at the University of Washington in Seattle. He and Kaeli Swift (one of his grad students) are trying to get to the bottom of these strange phenomena using taxidermy crows and masks and Cheetos and raw peanuts.

On this episode of Here Be Monsters, We look at and listen to the strange behaviors of crows and how they might be able to teach humanity about the origins of funerals and emotions.

Many thanks to David Kestenbaum of NPR's Planet Money for his help on a short version of this piece made for radio...keep your ears peeled.

Also, many thanks to Brian Emtman for tipping us off to this story.

Some of the crow sounds in this episode came from Cornell's Macaullay Library. Citation: macaulaylibrary.org/audio/45291http…org/audio/45291

In this episode there are some amazing recordings of funeral practices from around the world, including Laos (LukeIRL), Bali (RTB45), Colombia (renatofarabeuf), and Ghana (Klankbeeld). via Freesound.

Music from Flower Petal Downpour, Serocell, and The Black Spot.

Potential Energy (Live) [EXPLICIT]

Here Be Monsters host Jeff Emtman grew up in a small town in Eastern Washington.

In the summers, he struggled to find things to do, so he started going to bed an hour later each night. During his nocturnal summer, his friends decided to throw a dance party in the laundromat.

This episode is a recording from a live storySLAM organized by The Moth. However, please note that this audio is not from The Moth's podcast.

Live storytelling is great. Most medium-to-large sized cities have events monthly. The Moth isn't the only organization with live events, but it is one of the best organized. Check their events page to see if they're in your town

The story on today's episode might sound familiar if you're a regular listener to Here Be Monsters. And that's because it's a much shorter version of HBM021: Potential Energy, our Season 2 premiere episode.

Please rate us on iTunes!

HBM037: Uncertain Death


Recent podcasts of Here Be Monsters have been largely about death.  So, on this episode David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg teach us about the exact oppositeimmortality, living forever.  Their documentary film, The Immortalists, follows a small community of scientists who think of aging as a preventable disease, not an inevitable outcome.   

Watch Trailer for The Immortalists

Seeking immortality is nothing new, in fact, the oldest known text, The Epic of Gilgamesh, is largely about a king's quest to live forever.  And further, it seems to be a quest of the rich and powerful.  Today, the community of bio-gerontologists is largely white, rich, and male.  Co-director Jason Sussberg calls aging a "first world problem," associating it with Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs.  

One of the film's protagonists is Aubrey de Grey, an incredibly vocal advocate of anti-aging.  He's a computer programmer turned bio-gerontologist.  In 2012, he participated in an Oxford debate against Sir Colin Blakemore where the motion was to defeat aging entirely.  A clip from this debate appears in the episode, and the whole debate is certainly worth watching.

The Immortalists is not yet available for download, but it will be soon (release date is Fall 2014).  In the meantime, you can check your local film festivals and theaters to see if there will be showings.  Also, visit TheImmoratlists.com, @theimmortalists on Twitter, and The Immortalists on Facebook.


If you enjoyed this conversation, you'll probably enjoy HBM010: The Time Traveler's Convention which touches on many of the same topics, but through the lens of retrograde time travel.  You might also enjoy our interview with Sean Dunne, another filmmaker who made a short doc at the annual Gathering of the Juggalos.  We talked to him in HBM016: 10,000 Juggalos.

Music on the show from Swamp Dog and Serocell