Hard to Believe - A Podcast About Belief

Religious studies teacher John Brooks talks with friends, special guests, and experts about the wide world of human beliefs. Why do we believe what we believe, and how do those beliefs show up in our world?

Society & Culture
Religion & Spirituality
#3.13 - Shannon Foley Martinez
Anti-hate activist Shannon Foley Martinez shares her story of how as a teenager she came to embrace white supremacist beliefs and her work in helping others leave hate behind.
89 min
#3.12 - The Monster That Made Bram Stoker
The Monsters That Made Us cohosts Dan Colón and Mike Manzi come back for their second Halloween guest appearance to talk about the real life of Bram Stoker
118 min
#3.11 - The Heathen Queen
John talks to the one and only Heathen Queen about deconstruction, dunking on apologists, and why atheists still like to study religion.
65 min
#3.10 - Some Personal News!
Where's John been? And what's he up to?? The answers lie herein!
36 min
Rerelease (July 2020): Kris Lane: Tulane profes...
Historian Kris Lane on the Columbus myth and how we should think about the way we commemorate history
54 min
Rerelease: Steven Sabel - Bard to Believe - The...
A rerelease of an episode from April 2021, featuring Don't Quill the Messenger host Steven Sabel
81 min
#3.9 - To Suffer the Slings and Arrows - "Shake...
Author Robert Boog discusses his book, "Shakey's Madness".
54 min
#3.8 - Ms. Marvel and the Muslim Superheroine -...
Dr. Safiyya Hosein discusses the recent Disney+ adaptation of Ms. Marvel and the way Muslims, especially Muslim women, are portrayed in comics.
62 min
#3.7 - The Georgia Guidestones (RIP)
Hard to Believe #068 – The Georgia Guidestones (RIP) - with Jess Collins
63 min
#3.6 - The Bible and Abortion - with Jess Colli...
Frequent HTB guests Jess Collins and Mike Manzi join John to learn all about what the Bible thinks about abortion.
77 min
#3.5 - Rolling Stone's Alex Morris: On how we g...
Rolling Stone senior writer Alex Morris returns to the show to discuss the present and future of abortion and reproductive autonomy in America.
47 min
#3.4 - The Myth of the Second Amendment with Jo...
Above the Law's senior editor Joe Patrice discusses what the Second Amendment does and doesn't mean, and how we might get back to a saner interpretation of it.
64 min
The Blair Witch Project (1999:The Podcast)
A presentation of episode 3 of 1999: The Podcast, as John and co=host Joey Lewandowski discuss The Blair Witch Project with American Hysteria's Chelsey Weber-Smith
80 min
#3.3 - Leaving God with John Follis
The guy behind the legendary Marble Collegiate Church ad campaign on growing up Catholic, selling church, and the rising trend of the “Nones” leaving God behind as documented in his award-winning film "Leaving God".
53 min
#3.2 - The Internet and the Cult of Free Speech...
8chan creator Fredrick Brennan on the cult of free speech that has infected much of the internet.
56 min
#3.1 - The Truth Is Out There - with "Strange A...
"Strange Arrivals" host Toby Ball on what the UFO phenomenon tells us about our culture.
83 min
The Matrix Resurrections - KeanuClub #83 - Janu...
John joins #KeanuClub hosts Joey Lewandowski and Mike Manzi after a 5 year break to talk about The Matrix once again
89 min
JANUARY 6th RERELEASE: #2.22 - Dr. Kelly J. Bak...
Dr. Kelly J. Baker, author of "The Gospel According to the Klan", on the past, present, and future of the Klan, Christianity, and Trumpism
71 min
#2.35 - John Masefield and The Box of Delights ...
The story of John Masefield and his enduring Christmas classic, "The Box of Delights"
42 min
The Matrix Reissued - Part 3: #KeanuClub #50 - ...
Everything that has a beginning has an end
101 min
The Matrix Reissued - Part 2: #KeanuClub #49 - ...
The are two doors
91 min
The Matrix Reissued - Part 1: #KeanuClub #41 - ...
There is no spoon.1
97 min
#2.34 - Santa's Stranger Friends - with Mike Ma...
Getting to know Krampus, Belsnickel, and the rest of the lesser-known (and sometimes more murderous) friends of good Ol' St. Nick!
91 min
#2.33 - Should You Believe In Saint Nicholas? -...
We look at the stories of Saint Nicholas and ask an important question - are any of their claims, including that of his very existence, true?
76 min
#2.32 - Margaret O'Connor - Mary Priest and the...
"Scandal in the Shadows" author Margaret O'Connor on her fight for the ordination of women in the Catholic priesthood.
55 min
#2.31 - Matt Murdock Goes to Confession: The Ca...
Matthew J. Cressler joins to discuss the portrayal of Catholicism in Daredevil and the character of Matt Murdock.
58 min
#2.30 - Mark Ryall - Who Wants to Live Forever?
Author Mark Ryall on his novel "Age-Decoded" and the implications of the anti-aging genetic engineering.
53 min
#2.29 - Mary Shelley: The Making of a Monster
How Mary Shelley created a monster from the disparate, assembled parts of her own lived horror.
86 min
#2.28 - Midnight Mass - with Dr. Kelly J. Baker...
A conversation about religion, horror, and human nature in Mike Flanagan's "Midnight Mass".
80 min
#2.27 – Byrne the Church - Part 2 - End of Days...
We take a look at End of Days, the second of two weird religious thrillers Gabriel Byrne made in 1999!
73 min
#2.26 - Brandan Robertson - God and Aliens
Brandan Robertson talks about the Gospel of Inclusion, alien life, and whether we're living in a simulation
48 min
#2.25 - Dr. Jonathan Farley - On how we should ...
Acclaimed mathematician Dr. Jonathan Farley on how we should and should not think about and teach mathematics.
50 min
#2.24 - Byrne the Church - Part 1 - Stigmata (1...
We take a look at Stigmata, one of two weird religious thrillers Gabriel Byrne made in 1999!
67 min
#2.23 - Alex Morris - Young Evangelicals and th...
Rolling Stone's Alex Morris on the youth environmentalist movement emerging with evangelical Christianity.
51 min
#2.22 - Dr. Kelly J. Baker - The Klan, Jesus, a...
Dr. Kelly J. Baker, author of "The Gospel According to the Klan", on the past, present, and future of the Klan, Christianity, and Trumpism
71 min
#2.21 - Rule by Deception - Part Three of "Disi...
Stalin, Trump, and the making of a deception-based domestic and foreign policy.
101 min
#2.20 - Maria Against History - The twilight of...
Authors and translators Helen Azar and George Hawkins discuss their work translating the writings of the Romanovs and their book about Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna.
69 min
#2.19 - The Legend of Polybius - with Tyler Birth
Tyler Birth joins John to talk about Polybius, the biggest video game hoax of all time.
61 min
#2.18 – Rev. Dr. Marcia Ledford - The Religious...
Civil rights attorney and Episcopal priest Marcia Ledford talks about the state of religious freedom and the future of the religious left in America.
58 min
#2.17 - Michael Blanding - on "North by Shakesp...
Author Michael Blanding on his book exploring Dennis McCarthy's investigation into the Shakespeare-Thomas North connection.
49 min
#2.16 - Chelsey Weber-Smith - Beware the Killer...
American Hysteria's Chelsey Weber-Smith joins John to explore the killer clown trope.
64 min
#2.15 - Nicolas Cage and the Quest for the Holy...
Joey Lewandowski and Teddy Smith join to talk about the delightfully absurd tale of Nicolas Cage's attempt to find the mythical cup of Christ.
80 min
#2.14 - Octavia of Earth - with Anand Kalra
"Octavia of Earth" cocreator Anand Kalra on the life, work, and legacy of Octavia Butler and the work of adapting her story into a musical.
64 min
#2.13 - Dr. Fred Grewe - On what working with t...
Fred Grewe eases John into talking about his least-favorite subject outside of calculus: death.
45 min
Shirley (2020) - A Special Hard to Believe/The ...
John joins Aislinn and Tobin of The Contenders to discuss "Shirley" (2020)
81 min
#2.12 - Bry Jensen - Host of "Pontifacts"
Pontifacts host Bry Jensen talks about the first three years of covering every pope in the Church's history.
58 min
#2.11 - Q: Into the Storm - with Teddy Smith
John is joined by his colleague and frequent guest Teddy Smith to unpack Cullen Hoback's "Q: Into the Storm"
78 min
#2.10 - Witch Life - with the hosts of the That...
Hilary Whitmore, Kanani Soleil, and Courtney Weber of That Witch Life join to discuss the world of modern witchcraft
63 min
#2.9 - Robin Wilkins - PhD: Parenting is HarD
Robin Wilkins joins John to discuss Alison Gopnik, the wide world of parenting philosophies, and why so many of them are dumb and terrible.
50 min
Hard to Believe Weekend Bonus Mini Episode - Sh...
A short conversation between John and Sebastian Major on Shakespeare authorship.
14 min
#2.8 - Steven Sabel - Bard to Believe - The Oxf...
John and Steven Sabel, host of the Don't Quill the Messenger podcast, layout the evidence for the Oxfordian Shakespeare authorship case and talk about their shared love of the author's work.
80 min
#2.7 - Grigori Rasputin and Anastasia Romanov -...
The truth behind the lies that rewrote the stories of Grigori Rasputin and Anastasia Romanov.
99 min
#2.6 - Chris Kluwe - On standing up for others,...
Christ Kluwe talks being banned from the NFL on account of being a decent person, his love of books. his writing process, and his sci-fi novel "Otaku"
61 min
#2.5 - Sebastian Major - The host and creator o...
Sebastian Major on teaching history, real and fake, to high schoolers and on his podcast, "Our Fake History".
56 min
#2.4 - Nina MacLaughlin: on Metamorphoses
Nina MacLaughlin on her own metamorphosis, and Ovid's "Metamorphoses"
47 min
Hard to Believe Weekend Bonus Episode - The Hau...
John, Joey, and Nico talk about Netflix's two "Haunting of..." series.
59 min
#2.3 - The Protocols of the Elders of Zion - Pa...
How the "lie that wouldn't die" gave birth to the modern Conspiracy Industrial Complex
78 min
#2.2 - Daniel J. Clark - Director of "Behind th...
John is joined by "Behind the Curve" director Daniel J. Clark to discuss the subculture of Flat Earth conspiracy theorists
43 min
#2.1 - I Still Want to Believe - "The Leftovers...
A discussion of our strange times through the lens of "The Leftovers", "Watchmen", "The Man in the High Castle", and more.
65 min
#1.25 - Gerry Bowler: The Christmas Chronicler ...
Gerry Bowler on Santa Claus
54 min
#1.24 - Gil Bar-Sela: Israel, Palestine, and th...
Gil Bar-Sela on a life marked by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how we can find peace in ourselves and others.
51 min
#1.23 - Dr. Lisa Vox: on Why the End is Always ...
Dr. Lisa Vox joins the podcast to talk about the past, present, and future of the apocalypse, and what changes when the ability to destroy humanity lies in our own hands.
47 min
#1.22 - Joseph Laycock: The author of "Speak of...
Joseph Laycock, associate professor of religious studies at Texas State University, joins John to talk Satanic Panics, Satanism, and the fight for the freedom of and from religion.
68 min
HTB - A Very Special Episode: QANON - with Mike...
John and three guests sacrifice their time and any and all hope for humanity by exploring the terrifying and increasingly ubiquitous QAnon phenomenon. Take the red pill and learn the TRUTH!
145 min
#1.21 - Richard Kaczynski: "Perdurabo" author t...
Crowley's biographer helps correct the record on his life and legacy
54 min
#1.20 - Pastor June Joplin: on Living her Truth
Pastor June Joplin on coming out, opening up, and moving forward.
50 min
#1.19 - Liza Richardson: The Emmy Nominee Talks...
Liza Richardson, Emmy-nominated music supervisor for "Watchmen", talks to us about music, "The Leftovers", and how she approaches her work.
54 min
#1.18 - Greg Garrett: Cultural Theologian - The...
Cultural theologian Greg Garrett talks U2, zombies, and Hollywood's race problem
77 min
#1.17 - Mandisa Thomas: Founder of Black Nonbel...
Black Nonbelievers founder Mandisa Thomas on being Black and atheist, Christianity's white supremacy, and keeping momentum alive.
57 min
#1.16 - Kevin S. Decker: Philosophy Professor, ...
Philosophy professor Kevin S. Decker joins John and Nico Vasilo to discuss how he teaches philosophy through the lens of science fiction and pop culture.
63 min
#1.15 - S.T. Joshi: The Lovecraftian - H.P. Lov...
H.P. Lovecraft biographer S.T. Joshi on the life, work, and philosophy of America's greatest and most enigmatic horror writer.
46 min
#1.14 - J.W. Rinzler: on Reaching for the Stars...
Author JW Rinzler on his work covering Star Wars, Alien, and his love of all things space.
62 min
#1.13 - Cats! (Not the Movie!) - The Seriously ...
John and Jess Collins learn all about the...um...interesting history of cats in religion!
51 min
#1.12 - Tony Ortega: on Scientology, David Misc...
Journalist Tony Ortega on how Scientology got to where it is today, what new scandals mean for its future, and the real deal with Lord Xenu
51 min
#1.11 - Roger Moorhouse: on Stauffenberg, Tresc...
Historian Roger Moorhouse on the legacy of Stauffenberg, Tresckow, and Hitler's other would-be assassins
61 min
#1.10 - Operation Valkyrie: The July 20th Plot ...
A brief history of Claus von Stauffenberg and the July 20th plot.
26 min
#1.9 - Andrew Phillip Smith: on the Cathars and...
The history and beliefs of the Cathars and their lingering influence.
68 min
#1.8 - Kris Lane: Tulane professor of Latin Ame...
How did we come to believe myths that don’t square with history?
54 min
#1.7 - Lane Wilcken: The Artist and Author ("Th...
Discussion about the cultural traditions and myths of the Pacific islands.
67 min
BONUS! #HANX for the Memories: Angels & Demons ...
Bonus episode!
52 min
#1.6 - The Devil's Drink - The Weird Story of t...
How did coffee go from the Devil’s Drink to the Nectar of the Gods in just four short centuries?
62 min
#1.5 - Beyond the Wall - "Centurion" and the In...
What really happened to the Ninth?
47 min
BONUS! #HANX for the Memories: The Da Vinci Cod...
Bonus episode!
61 min
#1.4 - Linda Kay Klein: The Author of "Pure" on...
An in-depth interview about the evangelical purity movement.
54 min
#1.3 - The New World: Pocahontas, Smith, Discov...
Exploring the films and philosophy of Terrence Malick.
90 min
#1.2 - The Antichrist - with Teddy Smith
Why does everyone think the Antichrist will become the President of the United States?
81 min
#1.1 - I Want to Believe: The X-Files, Dana Scu...
The legacy of The X-Files.
60 min
Trailer - Hard to Believe: A Podcast About Belief
2 min