“There’s nothing as intoxicating as knowing the truth (quote-unquote), and that’s what cults offer. It’s the best drug ever. Walking away from that is terrifying.”
In her debut memoir, To The Moon And Back: A Childhood Under The Influence (Heliotrope Books), Lisa Kohn tells the tale of how her mother brought her up in the Unification Church (that is, the Moonies), while her hippie dad exposed her to the drugs and decay of the East Village in the 1970s. We talk about how she survived both of those experiences to become a successful executive coach, and how the tools she used to heal herself turned out to be mighty useful for coaching others. We get into the allure of cults and how she managed to transition away from the Moonies, her work in the Second Gen community (people born or raised in a cult), what raising her own kids taught her about her parents’ behavior, the perils of telling her kids about her life story (including her extensive drug history), her reaction to the current crop of documentaries about cults, the influence of Mary Karr on her writing, and how long it took her to find out who she actually is. Give it a listen! And go read To The Moon And Back!
About our Guest
Lisa Kohn is the author of To The Moon And Back: A Childhood Under The Influence, as well as The Power of Thoughtful Leadership. She is a writer, teacher, and public speaker who owns a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. She will always tell you that she is a native New Yorker, but she currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children, whenever they’re around.
Credits: This episode’s music is Fella by Hal Mayforth, used with permission from the artist. The conversation was recorded remotely via Zencastr. I used a Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone feeding into a Cloudlifter CL-1 and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack 2×2 USB Recording Interface. All processing and editing done in Adobe Audition CC. Photo of Lisa by . . . someone else. It’s on my instagram.