We’ve dedicated a couple episodes of DirtCast to Hollywood religions (listen to our episodes on Scientology and the rise and fall of Kabbalah here and here), but thus far we’ve yet to immerse ourselves in the fad religions ourselves. We’ll leave that to this week’s guest, E! News anchor and author of the new book The Ken Commandments: My Search for God in Hollywood, Ken Baker.
With a career spanning over two decades, Ken—who worked at People and US Weekly before settling at E!—is likely familiar to you if you’ve ever watched any sort of celebrity-focused talking head show or tuned into E! News itself. But as he details in his latest book, his life—though technically successful—began to feel vacuous. And so he began searching for spirituality in what some might consider the most godless place on Earth.
“Honestly I was just at a point in time in my life and career—you know, I got to the point that I’d been doing this celebrity journalism thing for about 20 years...and my life on paper looked really good,” he tells us. “...What I think ended up happening for me is, when I was younger, I was always very much spiritually aware. I would pray, I went to Catholic church, I had this grounding sort of spirituality and, I just lost touch with it...I was feeling lost.”
And so began his journey, which took him to the bible group frequented by Justin Bieber to an uncomfortable visit to the Scientology center to a sitdown with (Jezebel enemy) Tyler Henry and a visit with (everyone’s enemy) televangelist Joel Osteen to the meditation center of Deepak Chopra. (Some explorations were more successful than others.)
Also in the episode, Megan and I (regrettably) talk about the latest surge of Kardashian news, Megyn Kelly’s Today Show debut, and—for some reason—The Glee Project, the Oxygen singing competition show that only the two of us watched...and loved.
Our show is produced by Levi Sharpe with editorial oversight by Kate Dries. Mandana Mofidi is our Executive Director of Audio. Our theme music is by Stuart Wood. This episode was mixed by Jamie Collazzo. Listen to our politics podcast, Big Time Dicks, here.