April 14, 2023
BONUS EPISODE PREVIEW: Cult Dynamics in the U.S. Military w/Daniella Mestyanek Young
This is just a preview of our exclusive Patreon b…
This is just a preview of our exclusive Patreon bonus episode. You can hear the full episode by becoming a supporter at:
Daniella Mestyanek Young is the author of UNCULTURED: A Memoir of Cults, War and Belonging which The New York Times calls “A painful and propulsive memoir delivered in the honest tones of a woman who didn’t always think she’d live to tell her story” She was born a third-generation member of the infamous Children of God religious cult and grew up being trafficked around the world, before escaping that life and moving to America at age 15. She put herself through high school and graduated as college valedictorian before commissioning into the US Army as an intelligence officer, where she really started to think about group behavior…and started to see it everywhere.
Daniella deployed twice to Afghanistan and became a member of one of the Army’s first Female Engagement teams an experiment that put women into deliberate ground combat for the first time in Army history, and eventually led to the repeal of the sexist combat ban and the gender desegregation of the entire US military. She is a proud daughter of the 101st, (the unit portrayed in the Band of Brothers miniseries) Daniella is a recipient of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award presented by President Obama and holds a Master of Arts in Organizational Psychology from the Harvard Extension School where she focused her research on group behavior, social norms, culture, extremism, leadership demagoguery, and cults.
She returns to the show to update us on what's happened since the release of her memoir Uncultured and offers a look into the topics of her next book tentatively titled "The Culting of America". Daniella and Rachel go on to discuss the parallels between military and cult indoctrination, pointing out the commonalities that exist in a variety of high-control groups.
You can find out more about Daniella and her work here:
Thanks to all of our Patreon supporters for making this episode possible!