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Untold: Power for Sale

Introducing Untold: The Retreat

Season 1, Ep. 0

Introducing Untold, a new podcast from the special investigations team at the Financial Times. In its first series, The Retreat, host Madison Marriage examines the world of the Goenka network, which promotes a type of intensive meditation known as Vipassana. Thousands of people go on Goenka retreats every year. People rave about them. But some people go to these meditation retreats, and they suffer. They might feel a deep sense of terror, or a break with reality. And on the other side, they’re not themselves anymore. Untold: The Retreat launches Jan. 24.

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  • 5. The Retreat, Ep. 5: The Insiders

    40:33
    Since the podcast published earlier this year, Madison’s inbox has been filled with emails. Some were from former volunteers at the Goenka network who wished to speak out. In this bonus episode of The Retreat, they pull back the curtain on why they believe some people are not being supported when they come on retreats and find themselves psychologically unraveling.Translations of Sayagyi U Ba Khin’s discourses from Daniel M Stuart and Swe Swe Mon can be found in the paper: Local Cure, Global Chant: Perfomring Theravedic Awakening in the Footsteps of Ledi Sayadaw. For support or more information about adverse meditation experiences, take a look at the Cheetah House website.If you are in need of urgent mental health support, please contact your local emergency services or reach out to a mental health helpline, such as the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline in the US, or Samaritans in the UK.Read a transcript of this episode on FT.com
  • 4. Power for Sale, Ep. 4: Business as Usual

    25:43
    With elections just weeks away, and news of more foreign interference scandals in the European parliament, the reporting team gives an accounting of where the investigation and the suspects are to date.Read a transcript of this episode on FT.com
  • 3. Power for Sale, Ep. 3: Belgiangate

    25:22
    It seemed like the Belgians had everything they needed to bring a case against the people involved with Qatargate, but the investigation hit a wall. Valentina and the reporting team speak to the prosecution side to find out why.Read a transcript of this episode on FT.com
  • 2. Power for Sale, Ep. 2: Ocean’s Eleven

    28:09
    Through wiretap transcripts and surveillance footage, captured by Belgian intelligence, Valentina and the investigative reporting team learn just who is involved with this scandal and how it all worked.Read a transcript of this episode on FT.com
  • 1. Power for Sale, Ep. 1: 'Bags full of money'

    29:42
    Valentina learns of raids and arrests at the European parliament and a scandal unfolds. They talk to the face of the scandal, Eva Kaili, and hear about the day of the raids through her eyes.Read a transcript of this episode on FT.com
  • Introducing Untold: Power for Sale

    02:24
    Introducing Power for Sale, a new season of Untold from the Financial Times. In Untold: Power for Sale, host Valentina Pop and a team of FT correspondents from all over Europe investigate what happened in the Qatargate scandal, where EU lawmakers were accused of accepting payments from Qatar to whitewash its image.Untold: Power for Sale airs May 29. Follow wherever you listen.
  • 4. The Retreat, Ep. 4: Another Death

    45:09
    Madison Marriage hears of another death, one that happened five years before Jaqui’s. Was the Goenka network aware of the dangers of intensive meditation? Marriage asks what the organisation is doing, if anything, to protect people from harm.For support or more information about adverse meditation experiences, take a look at the Cheetah House website.If you are in need of urgent mental health support, please contact your local emergency services or reach out to a mental health helpline, such as the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline in the US, or Samaritans in the UK.Read a transcript of this episode on FT.com
  • 3. The Retreat, Ep. 3: Jaqui’s Story

    40:08
    Jaqui was 22 when she signed up to a 10-day Goenka retreat. It was the last known thing she did before she died. This is Jaqui’s story.For support or more information about adverse meditation experiences, take a look at the Cheetah House website.If you are in need of urgent mental health support, please contact your local emergency services or reach out to a mental health helpline, such as the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline in the US or Samaritans in the UK.Read a transcript of this episode on FT.com
  • 2. The Retreat, Ep. 2: Ten Long Days

    43:55
    Emily’s twin sister spirals after going on a Goenka retreat, and she’s not the only one. Madison Marriage hears multiple accounts of terror, hallucinations and psychosis. Was meditation just the catalyst that unleashed psychological problems? Or did this network of silent meditation retreats actually cause their suffering?For support or more information about adverse meditation experiences, take a look at the Cheetah House website.We also spoke to Miguel Farias and Jonny Say to corroborate claims in the podcast about adverse meditation experiences. You can find out more about Farias’s work here, and Say’s here.If you are in need of urgent mental health support, please contact your local emergency services or reach out to a mental health helpline, such as the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline in the US or Samaritans in the UK.Read a transcript of this episode on FT.com