In this episode, we’re joined by Daniella Mestyanek Young, the author of Uncultured. She was born a third generation member of an influential family, within The Family International, better known as the Children of God cult. She escaped at fifteen, put herself through school, and graduated from college as valedictorian.
Daniella joined the Army, became Captain, and she received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award. She was an Intelligence Officer in one of the Army’s first Female Engagement Teams. In two tours and six years, she saw patterns in the military that were just like her experiences in the Children of God.
Here are Daniella’s 10 characteristics of a cult that we talk about:
1. Has a charismatic leader (and a skinny white woman)
2. A sacred assumption
3. The transcendental mission
4. Self-sacrifice of members
5. Limits access to the outside world
6. Distinguishable vernacular
7. Us versus them mentality
8. Exploits members’ labor
9. High exit costs
10. Ends justify the means mentality
Find Daniella online:
Tweets by daniellamyoung
By Daniella’s book UnCULTured
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