You could be brainwashed, too with cult victim Diane Benscoter

Be sure to watch the interviews that Diane has with ex members of extremist organizations on her video blog. 

Be sure to watch the interviews that Diane has with ex members of extremist organizations on her video blog

I remember being a little kid and an friend’s older brother picking up the St. Pepper’s album and pointing at the back of the crowd to Aleister Crowley’s bald head and saying “look, a hidden cult leader!” I wasn’t sure what a cult was or who Aleister Crowley was but that might have been my first fascination with cults. Initially, I saw them as magical, secret Illuminati groups but that romance got immediately destroyed by photos of of piles dead bodies at Jonestown and Auschwitz.

This conversation I had with Diane Benscoter will be an important one to listen to. When she was 17, Diane found herself sucked into a cult. She was a part of the Unification Church, better known as a “Moonie,” a cult led by Rev Moon. You may have seen pictures of huge, mass weddings which are conducted by that organization.

After luckily escaping, Diane became a “deprogrammer” herself trying to rescue people who had been pulled into cults. That solution involved kidnapping the cult member, which Diane was arrested for.

Deprogramming also didn’t seem like a good solution, so Diane has since written about her experiences in her book Shoes of a Servant, she’s been on the TED stage talking about “How cults re-wire the brain” and today she’s traveling the country meeting with ex members of ISIS, Al-Qaeda and gang members trying to help them cover from being brainwashed.

mentioned in this episode