Following President Obama's re-election in 2012, an utterly demoralized Glenn Beck realized that half of America was "utterly and completely lost in darkness" and that it would be up to him to single-handedly reform this nation and set it back on its correct course.
To achieve this end, Beck dedicated a week of television programming in early 2013 to announcing the creation of something called The American Dream Labs, a global effort that he said would not only revolutionize news, media and entertainment, but would even discover new forms of energy and new ways of farming.
"Hank Rearden is about to pour some steel," Beck pompously boasted as he revealed plans to build an entirely self-sustaining community called Independence, USA that would provide its own food and energy, produce television and film content, host research and development, and serve as a marketplace for products and ideas, while also housing a theme park and serving as a residential community ... all for a mere $2 billion.
Independence, USA obviously never made it past the planning stages and by the following year, Beck had shifted his attention toward producing a series of high-quality movies and television shows, intent on transforming himself into a modern-day Walt Disney.
To achieve this, Beck announced that American Dream Labs was beginning production on a stop-motion family program called "History House," as well as a scripted drama series about Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison. On top of that, Beck intended to make a film about a gritty warrior Santa Claus tasked with protecting Jesus Christ, along with a Spanish-language film called "The Revolutionary" that was also going to be about Jesus.
In the spring of 2015, Beck hosted a "Keys to the Kingdom" event at his Texas studio where, for a mere $5000, attendees were given behind the scenes access to see the amazing progress that American Dream Labs was making on these new endeavors, especially the "History House" program:
"When we tell the story, we’re going to start in Claymation, and we’re pretty proud of this fact, we get 13 seconds a day out of our shooting. Our days are about 14 hours long, but we get 13 seconds a day. So you know, we’re not cheating on quality, we just are doing it differently. I have some really good brainiacs who have figured out different ways to do things, but the industry norm is seven seconds a week. I don’t have the patience for that," Glenn said.
God had "absolute miracles" in store for Beck's network and these new American Dream Labs projects, Beck assured his audience, telling them to prepare for "success beyond our wildest imagination" because they were about to fundamentally change the American culture and, ultimately, the world.
"Get ready for big things with American Dream Labs in 2016," Beck promised at the end of last year.
Yet, despite all of his grand intentions and grandiose proclamations, not one of the things that Beck promised ever materialized and on Friday, Beck quietly announced that American Dream Labs was separating from his company:
I have mixed emotions today.
I’ve spent a lot of time talking to you about American Dream Labs (ADL). ADL has been a true partnership between myself and a unique talent, Ben McPherson. Ben is a brilliant creative. He has also become a friend.
We often hear there is no such thing as a “good” divorce. I guess in business, that’s not always the case. Ben and I have come to the same conclusion: ADL needs to exist separate and apart from Mercury in order to spread its wings.
ADL wanted to be in Los Angeles where it could be more than “Glenn Beck’s side project.” It wanted and needed the opportunity to build its own brand and identity. We’ve decided to split up the IP/projects and are hopeful that many, if not all of the projects I’ve told you about, will be brought to life either by MRA or ADL respectively.
Who ever would have guessed that an effort by Glenn Beck that began with plans to build a $2 billion Ayn Randian utopia the size of an entire city would end in such a ignominious fashion, having produced seemingly nothing at all.