EPISODE SHOW NOTES
Episode 99: Cults in Our Midst ft. Jen Kiaba
When Jen Kiaba was growing up in the Unification Church, known as the Moonies in popular culture, a main mantra was “absolute faith, absolute love, absolute obedience” which did not leave most people much room to question authority. Violence was not condoned but children were often hit, and as she came of age and noticed other contradictions, she didn’t have a safe space to process her feelings or make decisions that were right for her. Finally, when she faced an arranged marriage like that of her parents, she knew she had to leave. And when she did, she lost everything: her community, her family, and the only structure she had ever known. Slowly, slowly, she rebuilt her life and today she is an artist and activist who educates others about cults, coercive control, and high control groups. Jen believes cult education is vital because people from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences are vulnerable and she sees similarities between cults and American workplaces, such as amazon, everywhere. In this episode she shares her story, helps identify cult tactics, and offers an inside look at how these groups take root.
CONNECT WITH JEN KIABA:
Jen Kiaba is an artist and educator who grew up in the infamous Unification Church, a religious group referred to by popular media as “the Moonies” and a primary example of a cult. After escaping a forced arranged marriage, she fought her way out in her early twenties and went on to earn her BA in Art History at Bard College.