May 25, 2022
Born A Soldier w/ Daniella Mestyanek Young
Daniella Mestyanek Young is an American author an…
Daniella Mestyanek Young is an American author and speaker born into the religious cult The Children of God. Daniella served as an Intelligence Officer in the US Army for over six years, making the rank of Captain, and became one of the first women in US Army history to conduct deliberate ground combat operations when she volunteered to serve on a Female Engagement Team. She is a recipient of the Presidential Volunteer Service Medal. Daniella lives with her husband and daughter in Maryland and is a candidate for a Master’s degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Harvard Extension School. Daniella’s first book, UNCULTURED: A Memoir of Cults, War, and Belonging, is being published by St. Martin’s Press on September 20th, 2022.
Daniella shares with Rachel some insights behind the stories in her book Uncultured, more than a memoir about an exceptional upbringing, but about a woman who, no matter the lack of tools given to her, is determined to overcome. Throughout her story, Daniella draws parallels between her life as a child in the Children of God commune and her time as an adult in the U.S. military. Pointing out the stunning similarities in rape culture in both organizations. She goes on to explain the dangerous deification of the U.S. Army, and the cult-like devotion and martyrdom expected of its soldiers
Before you Go: Rachel reflects on her experiences with Children of God survivors over the years, explaining the difficulties of "learning life as a second language" for those who have left the high control groups they were born into.
You can pre-order Daniella's book Uncultured here:
Visit her website here:
Watch Daniella's TEDx talk here:
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