Power Corrupts

20 EpisodesProduced by Brian KlaasWebsite

Does power corrupt? Absolutely. This is the podcast about the hidden—and often nefarious—forces that shape our world. Election rigging. Smuggling. Narcopolitics. Ransom. Conspiracy Theories. North Korean bank heists. Cults. Drug Lords. Voodoo. Money laundering. Assassinations. Unhinged conspiracy th… read more

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Introducing Power Corrupts

March 24th, 2019


Does power corrupt? Absolutely. This is the podcast about the hidden—and often nefarious—forces that shape our world. Election rigging. Smuggling. …

How to Rig an Election

May 1st, 2019

How do you rig an election—and get away with it? Why did a cult try to poison an entire county to win a local election? And what about using …

Conspiracy Theories

May 1st, 2019

Why do some people believe unhinged conspiracy theories? How are they affecting our politics? How did insane theories—like QAnon—convert millions of …


May 1st, 2019


How have drugs been used in warfare? Why does the cocaine in London nightclubs pass through a dictatorship in West Africa? Why did British soldiers …

Voodoo, Vampires, and General Butt Naked

May 9th, 2019

Why did a West African rebel leader send his troops into battle completely naked, protected only by talismans? How did threats of voodoo and invisible zombies stave off a US invasion of Haiti? And why was a journalist …

Disinformation and Deep Fakes

May 16th, 2019

Disinformation is a powerful weapon. It forces your enemy to inflict damage upon themselves based upon lies that you've deliberately spread. How did …


May 23rd, 2019

What's it like to be held by Somali pirates for 977 days? Or to meet your Dad for the first time after he's been held in a basement in Beirut for nearly 7 years? Are you more likely to be killed as a hostage if you're …


May 30th, 2019


What's the best way to smuggle a crocodile onto an airplane? What is the journey actually like for migrants getting smuggled from Afghanistan to Australia? Why is the European Union paying migrant smugglers in Niger to …

International Arms Trade

June 6th, 2019

Why did the war in Afghanistan hinge on the ability of a teenager to help buy 100 million bullets for the US military? Where do you even go to buy …


June 13th, 2019

Why did the CIA try to kill an African political leader with poisoned toothpaste? How did a sturdy couch save a leader from being killed during an …

Witnessing 283 Executions

June 20th, 2019

What's something that you do every 2 weeks? For Michelle Lyons, over a span of 12 years, she watched someone get executed every two weeks in Texas. What are inmates like on their last day alive? Did she have misgivings …

An Eye for an Eye?

June 27th, 2019


Nick Yarris spent 22 years on death row. At one point, he even escaped. But then, right before he was slated to be executed, DNA evidence proved he was innocent. Is the death penalty justified? Can a just society …

Blood Diamond / Blood Chocolate

July 4th, 2019


Why are countries that are rich in natural resources so often poor and war-torn? You’ve probably heard of blood diamonds, but what about blood …

Dirty Cash In / Clean Cash Out

July 11th, 2019


You’ve probably heard of money laundering, but how does it actually work? How did billions of dollars of dirty gold from South America become clean …


July 18th, 2019


How did 2 guys you've never heard of save the world from nuclear apocalypse? Can nuclear weapons be hacked? What's the most consequential honeymoon in human history? Why was a British nuclear weapon designed to contain …

Letters of Last Resort

July 25th, 2019

The UK has a new prime minister. On his first day, Boris Johnson will handwrite four identical letters to the captains of Britain's nuclear submarines. They are one of the most closely guarded secrets of the British …

From Dictator to Demigod

August 1st, 2019


Why do dictators and despots create outlandish myths about themselves? Why spread lies claiming that you've written 18,000 books or that you …

The Greatest Heists You’ve Never Heard Of

August 8th, 2019


When you think of heists, you probably think of masked men, bank robbers, and priceless art. But governments carry out heists, too. In this episode, …

The Anatomy of Evil

August 15th, 2019

What makes ordinary people commit extraordinarily violent acts? Is it their brain chemistry? Social pressure? Or a charismatic leader telling them …

Children of Monsters

August 22nd, 2019


To end our first season we look at Nepotism. What’s it like to be the son or daughter of a dictator? Why did one dictator’s son go from a high-flying life playing football in Italy to being shorn like a sheep in the …

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