In the 1980s, half a million people went through intense, unorthodox trainings put on by a company called Lifespring. Thousands walked out as true believers. But behind the scenes, Lifespring faced dozens of lawsuits from trainees who said that after taking a seminar, they had mental breakdowns. Some spent months in the hospital. Others attempted suicide. At least four people died.
GOOD CULT host River Donaghey never heard those stories when he was growing up. River was raised inside the seminars. Now, River is digging back into his own history to piece together the bizarre, untold story of Lifespring and its founder, John Hanley: a convicted felon-turned-New Age guru who created a movement that is still changing lives—and ruining them—to this day.