Episode 42

Published on:

31st Mar 2022

Interview with Elgen Strait on growing up in the Moonies & cultish manipulation

This episode is the first of two linked episodes in which we delve into the disturbing world of Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church also known as the 'Moonies'.

Here in an interview episode we introduce Elgen Strait, host of the Falling Out Podcast which is "a podcast about leaving the Moonies and other cults, as told by the kids who grew up within them."

The topic matter is serious and Elgen deftly introduces us to the manipulative cult dynamics he experienced first hand, as well as offering some broader information about how the Moonies craft their public image and raise funds.

However, Elgen is a man after our own hearts and his dark sense of humour means that he can also enjoy a laugh at Moon's expense & enlighten us about Absolute Sex(!), a term that might mean something slightly different than you imagine.

Our next episode will be guest co-hosted by Elgen as we take an excursion from the contemporary secular gurus and attempt to decode some historical recordings from a bonafide religious cult leader.

This episode hopefully provides the foundations to better understand that decoding and we hope you 'enjoy' the discussion with Elgen as much as we did, despite the subject matter!


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About the Podcast

Decoding the Gurus
A psychologist and an anthropologist try to make sense of the world's greatest self-declared Gurus.
An exiled Northern Irish anthropologist and a hitchhiking Australian psychologist take a close look at the contemporary crop of 'secular gurus', iconoclasts, and other exiles from the mainstream, offering their own brands of unique takes and special insights.

Leveraging two of the most diverse accents in modern podcasting, Chris and Matt dig deep into the claims, peek behind the psychological curtains, and try to figure out once and for all... What's it all About?

Join us, as we try to puzzle our way through and talk some smart-sounding smack about the intellectual giants of our age, from Jordan Peterson to Robin DiAngelo. Are they revolutionary thinkers or just grifters with delusions of grandeur?

Join us and let's find out!
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About your hosts

Christopher Kavanagh

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A Northern Irish cognitive anthropologist who occasionally moonlights as a social psychologist. Chris has long standing interests in the psychology of conspiracy theorists and pseudoscience. His academic research focuses on the Cognitive Science of Religion and ritual psychology. He lives happily in Japan with his family.

Matthew Browne

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An Australian psychologist and numbers-guy. He does research on all kinds of stuff, but particularly enjoys looking into why people believe the things they do: religion, conspiracy theories, alternative medicine and stuff. He's into social media in the same way people slow down for car accidents.