Imperfect Paradise

Imperfect Paradise is a longform narrative podcast showcasing California stories with universal significance. Each story takes on something essential about California -- its progressiveness, its reputation as a home for dreamers and schemers, its heartbreaking inequality, its varied and diverse communities, its unique combination of dense cities and wild places -- and each season breaks it down into multiple 20-40 minute episodes that will be released sequentially. Season 1 sheds light on divisive housing issues in Orange County. Season 2 investigates the death of Chicano activist Oscar Gomez. Season 3 unravels the controversy surrounding LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. Season 4 asks how Katie from rural Maryland became Guru Jagat of Venice—and how a former yoga and wellness star fell down the far-right rabbit hole.The stories will be reported by the KPCC/LAist newsroom and contributors (journalists, storytellers) from around the state. Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live. This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

00:32:44 2023-01-18
In early 2020, just as fears about coronavirus are worsening, women begin accusing the founder of Kundalini Yoga, Yogi Bhajan, of sexual assault. Guru Jagat’s surprising response sets the stage for her radicalization during the pandemic.Support LAist To...
00:34:21 2023-01-11
Katie Griggs, a young woman from rural Maryland, discovers Kundalini yoga in her early 20s and goes all in. She transforms herself into Guru Jagat, a beloved and controversial yoga and wellness influencer in Los Angeles. In this episode, her friends, fami...
00:31:00 2023-01-03
Guru Jagat starts the pandemic with an understandable skepticism of official medical advice, but quickly grows to embrace an array of far-right conspiracy theories.Support LAist Today: https://LAist.com/donate...
00:04:21 2022-12-21
Before her sudden death in 2021, Guru Jagat had become a famous Kundalini yoga teacher based in Los Angeles. But as the global pandemic grew, she started talking like a far-right coronavirus conspiracy theorist. What does her journey down the rabbit hole ...
00:02:39 2022-11-16
Alex Villanueva has conceded the election. The next sheriff of LA County will be Robert Luna. More analysis to come soon.Support LAist Today: https://LAist.com/donate
00:32:42 2022-10-26
By the end of 2021, Alex Villanueva has done a 180. Once supported by the local Democratic party, he’s become a darling of Fox News. Instead of working closely with immigration activists, he’s proposing a military-style approach to clear all the unhou...
00:31:00 2022-10-19
In 2019, LA County Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed Marco Vazquez, Jr. outside his home while he was having a mental health crisis. Later, members of Vazquez’ family say they were followed and harassed by Sheriff’s deputies. They’re not the only...
00:42:35 2022-10-12
There have been deputy gangs in the LA County Sheriff’s department for almost as long as anyone can remember. These groups can be violent, misogynistic, discriminatory and powerful – they can control much of what happens at some sheriff’s stations. ...
00:32:01 2022-10-06
When retired Lt. Alex Villanueva announces his candidacy for sheriff in 2017, no one takes him seriously. But with the support of the local Democratic party, immigrant rights activists, and lots of political savvy, he pulls off a shocking defeat of the si...
00:33:26 2022-10-05
We begin with a scene of a very strange press conference: Sheriff Alex Villanueva is threatening to open a criminal investigation into an LA Times reporter, and our host, Frank Stoltze, is questioning him about it. Through Frank’s reflections on his tim...
00:03:26 2022-09-22
Alex Villanueva, an underdog maverick, runs for LA County Sheriff as a progressive reformer in 2018 and wins, surprising everyone. After taking office, he turns into a vindictive leader who mocks reform, protects his friends and attacks his enemies. And n...
00:42:17 2022-07-04
Adolfo finds new information about the night Oscar died, and has to have a difficult conversation about what really happened to Oscar. The Forgotten Revolutionary is sponsored by BetterHelp and our listeners get 10% off their first month of online therapy...
00:37:40 2022-06-27
Adolfo learns about the dangers of Santa Barbara’s bluffs and gets a second opinion on Oscar’s death report.  The Forgotten Revolutionary is sponsored by BetterHelp and our listeners get 10% off their first month of online therapy at BetterHelp.com/i...
00:31:54 2022-06-20
Adolfo reckons with his own relationship to his past and the Chicano student movement. And he finds someone who may have clues about what happened the night Oscar died.  The Forgotten Revolutionary is sponsored by BetterHelp and our listeners get 10%...
00:45:37 2022-06-13
Was Oscar going to leave the Chicano student movement? Adolfo discovers new information about Oscar’s last months.  Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better pl...
00:36:38 2022-06-06
Adolfo finds a briefcase with information that could lead to clues about Oscar’s death.  The Forgotten Revolutionary is sponsored by BetterHelp and our listeners get 10% off their first month of online therapy at BetterHelp.com/imperfect Support for th...
00:36:25 2022-05-30
Adolfo gets his first lead on a person possibly involved in Oscar’s death. The Forgotten Revolutionary is sponsored by BetterHelp and our listeners get 10% off their first month of online therapy at BetterHelp.com/imperfect Support for this podcast ...
00:45:31 2022-05-24
Adolfo learns that there was a dark side to Oscar’s experience in the Chicano student movement.  The Forgotten Revolutionary is sponsored by BetterHelp and our listeners get 10% off their first month of online therapy at BetterHelp.com/imperfec...
00:30:30 2022-05-23
Oscar Gomez was a star of the 1990s Chicano student movement and then, unexpectedly, he died. A rattling event in host Adolfo Guzman-Lopez’s life spurs him to investigate Oscar’s death.  The Forgotten Revolutionary is sponsored by BetterH...
00:04:08 2022-05-13
In the early 1990’s, hateful anti-immigrant political rhetoric roused California’s Chicano student rights movement, and college student and radio host Oscar Gomez was one of its most prominent voices. Some thought he was going to be the next C...
00:30:15 2022-01-28
David attempts to rally his supporters, some of whom find themselves conflicted. Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to live. This program is made poss...
00:21:36 2022-01-27
A tour of similar housing projects goes off the rails, and ends up doing more harm than good to David’s cause. Support for this podcast is made possible by Gordon and Dona Crawford, who believe that quality journalism makes Los Angeles a better place to...
00:20:05 2022-01-26
David Gillanders wants to build housing for people experiencing homelessness in Orange County. When his idea hits more opposition than expected, city officials send him out to try to win over the neighborhood. Support for this podcast is made possible by ...