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Episode 1: The Vegetarians

Today, the Toronto Junction is a hip, rapidly gentrifying neighbourhood. But for much of the 20th century, the Junction was rundown and economically stagnant. Against this backdrop, a small religious sect called the Students of Light quietly moved into the core of the Junction in the 1970s. Some former members have called the group a dangerous cult, accusing its leadership of mind control, brainwashing, and abuse.


  • Written and narrated by Daniel Munro

  • Audio editing and production by Carolyn Smillie

  • Additional research by Robert Munro

  • Artwork and web design by Megan Hilario 

  • Voiceovers by Robert Munro, Harold Munro, Susanne Munro, Tanya Shum, and Carolyn Smillie

  • Excerpts of interviews with Genevieve Amaral, Joseph C., Lorne Dawson, Gus Koutomanos, Treva Olson, Stephen Sacrob, Cynthia Watson, and two anonymous contributors. 

  • Featuring the song “Booze and Blues” by Ma Rainey


Sources consulted: 



  • Lorne Dawson, Comprehending Cults

  • Marc Galanter, Cults: Faith, Healing, and Coercion (2nd ed.)

  • Robert Pollock, Twenty-Five Years with Jesus

  • Robert Pollock, Navigating by Heart

  • Ellavivian Power, The Auric Mirror



  • Bloor West Villager, “AT ISSUE: The Junction capitalizes on the power of alcohol”

  • The City, “The Drys Have it”

  • Globe and Mail, “A Liquor-Free Zone Votes on Booze”

  • Globe and Mail, “For Vegetarians, Make it Mock Turkey”

  • Globe and Mail, “Veggies: From the Delicious to the Doctrinaire”

  • Globe and Mail, “Takes Years to Learn the Art of Making Tofu”

  • Indie88, “A History of Prohibition in The Junction”

  • Jamie Bradburn’s Gales of Toronto, “‘Temperance Bill’ Temple Keeps the Junction Dry”

  • New York Times, “Skid Row to Hip in Toronto”

  • Toronto in Time, “The Murder that Made the Junction go ‘Dry’”

  • Torontoist, “Historicist: ‘A Carnival of Vice’”

  • Toronto Star, “Booze in the Junction”

  • Toronto Star, “Toasting the End of Prohibition”

  • Toronto Star, “Junction Gardens has the Bouquet without the Wine”

  • Toronto Sun, “The Junction Retains Original Small-Town Charm”

  • Toronto Star, “In Search of a Good Meatless Meal? Go Mainstream”

  • Toronto Star, “The Vegetarian Restaurant Tofu-Tempeh-Goulash”

  • Toronto Star, “The Vegetarian Restaurant Strawberry-Blueberry Squares”

  • Toronto Star, “The Vegetarian Restaurant’s Lemon Poppyseed Cake”

  • Toronto Star, “The Vegetarian Restaurant’s Tofu burger”

  • The Villager, “A Mob from City Went to Junction”

  • Soyfoods Magazine, “Soyfoods in Toronto”

  • Soyfoods Magazine, “The Unfinished Evolution of the American Okara Press”

  • The Vegetarian Times, “On the Road for the Fast Food Burger: A Soy Deli Odyssey”



  • Docket Entries for United States v. Kollmar (4:19-mj-70677)

  • The SoyInfo Centre’s “History of Soy in Canada (1831-2019)”

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