Episode 19: Mama: Anne Hamilton-Byrne


In 1960s Melbourne, a lot of very wealthy people found themselves wondering if there was more to life, and wouldn’t you know, a gorgeous yoga teacher was there to tell them: yes, yes there is. But this yoga teacher with her warm, appealing aphorisms would soon become a voracious cult leader with a penchant for pretending like she was the best mama in the world. This is the story of Anne Hamilton-Byrne, a woman who wanted to be an actress and a mother, but ended up playing God on a purple throne, ruining the life of every child she touched.

This episode features interviews with Chris Johnston and Rosie Jones, authors of The Family.

(Become a Patreon supporter for rewards and bonus content! And buy tickets to the true crime dinner party I was talking about here!)


The Family by Chris Johnston and Rosie Jones

interview with Chris Johnston and Rosie Jones, February 12, 2019

“Where Is This Woman?” The Age, 8 Sept 1990

“The Family and Its Use of Drugs,” The Age, 10 Sept 1990

“The Family Spreads Out,” The Age, 11 Sept 1990

World Religions and Spirituality (wrldrels.org)

“Inside the bizarre 1960s cult, The Family: LSD, yoga and UFOs,” The Guardian, 12 Feb 2017


 “Guilty” by Richard A. Whiting, Harry Akst, and Gus Kahn, sung by Anna Telfer.

“Sirens ft. Shazieh,” by Rorschack, licensed under a Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License and used with permission.

Tori Telfer