The survivor stories blog interview project 2024

1. What is your personal experience with gender-based violence (this may include domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, female genital mutilation etc)? I grew up in a cult in Texas during the 80s and 90s and was married at 12 as a child bride. I stayed with my husband for eight years, until I was 20 and […]

Read more

Tamara’s story of surviving child marriage at 12.

AHA Foundation: Can you start by telling us about your upbringing? Particularly the religious culture that you were brought up in. Tamara: When I was 5 years old, my life completely changed. My father joined a new religion, which he thought would be a utopian community where all was going to be good. However, that […]

Read more

Holy Food by Christina Ward

Tamara MC, former cult member, interviews Christina Ward about Holy Food: How Cults, Commune, and Religious Movements Influenced What We Eat, An American History I grew up in a Sufi cult in Texas during the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Our diets were completely restricted. For years we were strict macrobiotics. We were vegetarians, vegans, you […]

Read more

‘Uncultured’: The Intergenerational Trauma of Girls Growing up in Cults

Daniella Mestyanek Young’s powerfully immersive and exceptionally honest debut memoir Uncultured opens with a scene of Young standing in line to get spanked by Uncle Zephaniah. This man is not her blood uncle, but what the kids in the Children of God cult call the men in the community. The women are called “Aunties.” Young […]

Read more