Gripping Tale Of A Multi-Generational Cult And Crime Ring Revealed
Host Jesse Hyde (Vanity Fair, GQ) Delivers An All-New Approach To True Crime in this Highly Stylized And Epic Saga
First Two Episodes Launch May 4 Listen To The Trailer HERE
NEW YORK (April 27, 2022) — Today iHeartMedia, the No. 1 podcast publisher globally according to Podtrac, and Novel, the ascendant UK podcast studio behind the ambitious global Apple #1 Harsh Reality: The Story Of Miriam Rivera, announce their new show Deliver Us From Ervil. In the new investigative series, host Jesse Hyde (Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, the Atlantic, GQ) descends into the Mexican desert to unearth a murderous tale of truly Biblical proportions as a Utopian safehaven turns into the birthplace of a cold-blooded cult.
As he plunges into cartel country, Hyde reveals the story of Colonia LeBaron, a town that quickly spun from its vision of a utopian Mormon community into a brutal legacy of belief, familial betrayal, and cult-driven crime. Hyde collects extraordinary, never-before-heard accounts from former cult followers, alongside their victims and the cops, journalists, and prosecutors who tried to chase them down — including direct testimony from the cult’s most shocking assassin: leader Ervil LeBaron’s teenage wife.
Colonia LeBaron was first formed as a safe haven for Mormon fundamentalists, a Zion for those who wished to continue the practice of polygamy. Organized by Joel LeBaron — a self-proclaimed prophet — the community believed itself to be the next Kingdom Of God on Earth. But as Joel's following grew, so did the wrath of his co-leader and younger brother Ervil, the brother who would ultimately betray him in cold blood.
Following Ervil’s ascent to power, the story rapidly escalates as the cult evolves into organized crime, from stealing cars to order for the Mexican mafia to smuggling drugs across the border into the US. But while working alongside the Mexican mafia, the cult leaders enact a series of evermore elaborate assassinations, following a blueprint their father Ervil laid out in his relgious Opus The Book of the New Covenants.
Told through powerful first-person reporting from the 1950s to the present day, Deliver Us From Ervil places its host at the center of the story. Along the way, Hyde speaks directly to those carrying out these killings, the remaining LeBarons, the relatives of their many victims, and the law enforcement officers who’ve spent decades attempting to halt the decades-long cycle of violence passed down from Ervil to his children. As Hyde sifts out mythology from truth as he constructs an epic, winding narrative, building a tale that is highly stylistic and novelistic in approach — the sonic equivalent to the Coen’s brothers’ fatalistic filmmaking.
Deliver Us From Ervil officially launches with its first two episodes on May 4, with new episodes dropping every Wednesday on iHeartRadio and all other platforms. Deliver Us From Ervil is distributed by the iHeartPodcast Network. Listeners can visit iHeart.com/apps to download iHeartRadio and listen to the trailer and premiere episodes on their favorite device.
Embed the podcast’s audio player directly into your article using the code below:
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Access the cover art here:
About Jesse Hyde
Jesse Hyde is a writer based in Salt Lake City whose work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, the Atlantic and GQ. Raised as a Mormon himself, in this series Jesse navigates an often personal path as he tells a controversial tale about the community in which he still lives, confronting taboos that many members of his Mormon family would shy away from.
A graduate of the journalism school at Columbia University, he has reported from Haiti, Ethiopia, Rio de Janeiro and many other spots around the globe. Several of his stories are currently in development for film or TV, including a series for Showtime.
Novel is the largest independent podcast production company in Europe. The company produces ambitious original podcasts and award-winning shows for brands like Spotify, Audible, Wondery and iHeart, including an Apple Global #1 (Harsh Reality: The Story Of Miriam Rivera), multiple UK Apple #1s (Fantasy Premier League Podcast, The Bellingcat Podcast), and successful forays into avant comedy (Futile Attempts), music (Charli XCX’s Best Song Ever), and LGBTQ+ culture (Call Me Mother). They have launched over 40 shows, produced over 400 hours of content, and have won 25 awards.