25/11/2019 | 59:35
2| From Cult Escapee to Culture Consultant, Daniella Young
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Daniella Young has been studying intense, interesting, and sometimes horrifying cultures her entire life. She was actually third-generation raised in one of the worst modern-day religious cults, known as the Children of God. At the age of 15, she escaped this cult, got educated, moved her way into the army, where she became a captain in military intelligence. During her service, she deployed twice to Afghanistan, becoming one of the first women to conduct deliberate ground combat operations at a time when it was illegal for women to do this. These days, she does organizational behavior, cultural strategy consulting and she’s a renowned international speaker including TED Talks, helping CEOs and business leaders develop and employee an intentional growth culture in their organizations. Show Notes TEDx Talk: Lost in Transition | Narratively Literary Journal: "I Escaped the Cult, but I Couldn't Escape the Cult Mentality"
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Theme music by: Ruel Morales
Brian Schoenborn 0:00
Hello, hello. Hey everybody. Our next guest today knows pretty much anything about everything with culture. She’s been studying intense, interesting, and sometimes horrifying cultures her entire life. She was actually third generation raised in one of the worst modern-day religious cults, known as the Children of God.
Brian Schoenborn 0:25
At the age of 15, she escaped this cult, made her way to San Antonio, where she inserted herself in a high school, graduated, got a college education, moved her way into the army, where she became a captain in military intelligence. During her service. She deployed twice to Afghanistan, becoming one of the first women to conduct deliberate ground combat operations at a time when it was illegal for women to do this.
Brian Schoenborn 0:53
These days, she does organizational behavior, cultural strategy consulting and she’s a renowned international speaker including TED Talks. She’s a leadership coach, and she’s a podcast host. She helps CEOs and business leaders develop and employee an intentional growth culture in their organizations. Among other things, she enjoys a nice glass of Cabernet. Give it up to my friend, Daniella Young.
Brian Schoenborn 1:22
My name is Brian Schoenborn. I’m an explorer of people, places and culture. In my travels, spending over 20 countries across four continents, I’ve had the pleasure of engaging and authentic conversations with amazingly interesting people. These are their stories on location and unfiltered presented by 8B Media, this is Half the City.
Brian Schoenborn 1:49
Daniella Young 1:50
Brian Schoenborn 1:51
How’s it going?
Daniella Young 1:52
It’s going great. So happy to be here.
Brian Schoenborn 1:54
Awesome. Maybe you can tell me a little bit about…I’ve been, I’ve been talking origin stories lately. Right? So, you know, I feel like in order to get to where we’re at now, we kind of need to start from the beginning and kind of work our way up there.
Daniella Young 2:14
Absolutely. It’s certainly a bit of a complex tale. So let’s actually start way before I was born, in the very late 60s. Which was the middle of the course, the hippie era in the United States, a lot of young people rejecting the culture at the time and searching for something new.
Daniella Young 2:35
So this man who was from a family of preachers already started preaching on the beach to the hippies, of California, and he found a market for his message. And he started this group it was called “Teens for Christ” and then it quickly became called “Children of God”. Later became known as the “Family of Love” and the “Family International”. And it started off as, you know, leave everything in the world behind, love Jesus, love each other, live communally, and go out and preach the gospel — and of course, prepare for the end of the world.
Brian Schoenborn 3:13
So I mean, that sounds like a pretty good mission.
Daniella Young 3:15
It sounds okay. Yes. It very quickly became, you know, he began to preach that he was the anointed prophet of God, His followers were the army of God put on earth for the end times. So literally, the exact definition of a doomsday cult, and those usually don’t end well.
Brian Schoenborn 3:34
I mean, we’ve Jonestown and stuff like that.
Daniella Young 3:37
Pretty much. And actually, if you listen to some of the stuff on Jonestown, it was very similar.
Brian Schoenborn 3:43
Daniella Young 3:45
The Children of God grew actually a lot bigger. So it lasted for about 40 years, it dispersed all over the world. It had up to about 100,000 members pass through it, but it was usually 10,000 strong at any given time. And slowly has message changed from being all about God’s love to being all about sex as a way to show God’s love. So this ended up including, you know, what they call religious prostitution or using sex to bring new members into your organization, new members or money.
Daniella Young 4:23
Children started coming along and it started introducing a lot of pedophilia, a lot of incest. As you know, really, people were trying to navigate a society that they had built that wasn’t liable to the laws or morals of any normal society. He then, you know, got a revelation from God that America was evil and he needed all of his followers needed to change their names and go abroad to third world countries to, to win the world for God, which is also of course, a great way to hide from authority. Right?
Brian Schoenborn 4:59
Yeah, you can say that. Low profile.
Daniella Young 5:01
And so, my mother was born into this, my mother was actually one of the first children born into, into this cult, which was by then very much a cult. My mother was born and raised in that, went through some of her own especially harrowing experiences, and then ended up getting pregnant with me when she was 14. My dad was about 43, had, you know, 6 to 10 other children, was married to someone else. This was all this very, you know, I don’t even know that the term polyamory was invented at the time, but polygamy you know, more everybody living together and all of that stuff.
Daniella Young 5:45
So I ended up being born in the Philippines with a you know, 15-year-old American mother but who had not been in America for her entire life. And I, you know, born literally in a commune behind big concrete walls topped with broken glass, with people from all over the world, mostly Americans, British, you know, other sort of modern Western cultures. And then there would be a lot of sort of local disciples, wherever that commune was at. And it was very much run with kind of a military structure where there was different levels of leadership all the way up to the top with the leader who lived in hiding for the rest of his life.
Daniella Young 6:28
And we we moved around to kind of very similar to the military. So I ended up you know, spending the first couple years of my life in Asia, then moved to South America, where I was in Peru, and then for about 10 years in Brazil. So I spent, you know, the majority of my, my youth growing up in Brazil, but still in an American commune in Brazil.
Brian Schoenborn 6:51
That’s crazy. So, so there’s a lot to unpack there, but I don’t want to dive too deep on it because we’ve got other stuff to talk about. Right? And I don’t want to I don’t want you to have to, I don’t want you to be defined by that. Right? Like, it’s part of, its part of your story part of who you are. I’d love to know tons of details about that, obviously. But I’m more interested in, you know, so you’re raised into this environment. That backstory is, I mean, it’s the whole like, the way that everything came together with that and like how you came to be because of that is to me, it’s fascinating.
Brian Schoenborn 7:34
But I’m curious about how you went from there to where like, this is the only thing you knew, right? This was your world, right? You’re born into this your mom, your dad, everything like this. You know, when you’re when you’re in an environment. When you’re in your own world, that’s all you know. And so that’s normal, right? So I’m wondering like, you know, you, you, you escaped, at 15. I want to know, like, how you like what, what it was that made you realize that what you’re involved in was something that you shouldn’t be in. And like, you know, where that was when that point clicked? And how you made the decision to make that escape. Make your way to San Antonio. All that.
Daniella Young 8:22
Yeah, for sure. So I made my way to Houston.
Brian Schoenborn 8:24
Oh, Houston! Sorry. For some reason to San Antonio in my head. I’ll fix it.
Daniella Young 8:30
You know, so I would say one of the, like, you mentioned, this is a whole story. Of course, I’m working on a book. But, you know, there’s, there’s sort of these big things when you grow up in a world like that, you know, and I, when I do speak about this, I say, you know, yes, as children growing up there, we all experienced, sort of sexual abuse, physical abuse, what they’re now starting to define as religious abuse. And then there was also this kind of denial of an education.
Daniella Young 9:01
You know, we said we were homeschooled, but really we just weren’t educated. And so, but altogether what this rolls up to be is, we were denied a childhood, you know, so there was a whole group of about 5000 children that just didn’t have a childhood. You know, we spent our entire childhoods in institutions, standing in lines. I described it these days when I see my crazy daughter acting out, as I was not allowed spontaneous moments of joy in my childhood. And I’ve, I’ve realized very interestingly, because I’ve been asked my whole life, you know, how I didn’t get brainwashed, or like you said, like, how I came to even decide to get away.
Daniella Young 9:46
And I think you’ve hit on some very interesting things. And one is that when that’s all you know, that’s all you know, and it is very, very difficult. And even these days, when I tell the story, or when I read other people’s accounts, it seems surreal even to me, because I’ve been in the normal world for 17 years now.
Brian Schoenborn 10:04
You’ve lived a whole different life at this point.
Brian Schoenborn 10:05
Oh, yeah, totally. I was a super rebel.
Daniella Young 10:05
And it was so crazy. At the same time I, I’m one of those people, I was certainly one of those children that is very high energy, always questioning everything, always poking and prodding, which has worked out great in my adult life. In my childhood, what did that mean? That meant I was always in trouble. You know, I was always in isolation, and I was always getting, you know, sort of physically punished. And so then I wanted to act out. And you know, you could kind of compare this to like, a 15-year-old teenager in the normal world that’s never getting love or attention from the adults around him.
Daniella Young 10:32
Exactly. And so I was a super rebel. I just happened to be rebelling against something that the normal world considers to be bad in the first place.
Brian Schoenborn 10:58
Daniella Young 10:59
So you know, at the time, like when I was 15, everything I was doing was wrong. Years later, now that everyone’s out of the cult, they can look back and see that, oh, hey, I had the right idea. But from the age of, you know, I was 6 years old when I was told, you know, if you’re if you grow up and you backslide from the family, you’re not in the family, then you’re going to hell and I remember thinking, man, Hell’s gonna suck, but I’m not gonna stay here. You know, when I was eleven…
Brian Schoenborn 11:25
You’re like, Hell’s gotta be a shitty place, but it’s way better than this, right now.
Daniella Young 11:29
Yes! And when I was 11, I started trying to make plans to escape. But of course, I lived in the middle of Brazil, and I had nobody on the outside. So the plan to escape was more just one day I’m going to be gone. And then a very interesting story I’ll share with you which I um, you know, have a published article on 911. We were in the US, actually, just sort of briefly traveling through the US. Which was the first time for me.
Brian Schoenborn 11:39
So you were still in the cult at this time?
Daniella Young 11:58
We came to the US, which was the biggest culture shock of my life, coming to the United States. And then 911 happened, and that was actually the first time I saw live TV on in my house, right? Like live news.
Brian Schoenborn 12:11
This is what you were…?
Daniella Young 12:13
I was 14 years old. And I remember, of course, being horrified, being scared, sort of the same feelings that everyone had. And, but we were immediately told by our leaders, you know, this is God’s punishment on America. America is evil, which is something we’ve been told our whole lives, that this is the beginning of, you know, the Antichrist coming, or Jesus coming back, whatever it was. And I specifically remember this moment watching a profile on the terrorists, and they called them religious extremists. And I’d never heard that term before. And I somehow immediately made the connection that we were also religious extremists.
Brian Schoenborn 12:53
That’s really crazy that you would, I mean, again, going back to that whole concept of this is all you know, right? And then the first time you ever see live TV, 14 years old, you see these burning buildings, right? And then you hear about these religious extremists. And you immediately make that connection. Like that, being able to put those things together when you don’t know anything else is just like, like that…it’s mind boggling to me. Like it’s, it’s like amazing, like I can’t, you know, like, like the way that you can just put that together when you don’t know any better, when you don’t know any different. I don’t know how somebody would be able to make that connection. It just blows my mind.
Daniella Young 13:38
Yeah, and I would say a lot of it came from, you know, I was also unhappy. You know, I was a unhappy teenager, I was not, you know, some people’s personality, I think trend towards being not that anyone’s okay in that environment. But being a little better off. You know, I talked to friends of mine that grew up in the same cult and they said, you know, my job generally happy, like, we believe some crazy things, but my childhood was generally happy. Whereas I was a very unhappy child, I was always in trouble, acting out. And so, for me, it was another step of I think, I think wanting to get away.
Brian Schoenborn 14:15
Daniella Young 14:15
And then, you know, I started this whole sort of track of rebelling, which is really easy to do when everything is controlled, and sort of eventually got to this place where I was being half, you know, in cults or religions, they call it excommunication. Half kicked out. And they didn’t want me there. They didn’t know what to do with me. But at the same time, my, my parents were very famous, well known people, they were in the leadership, and I was a third generation, I was actually the oldest third generation. So it was kind of a big deal.
Daniella Young 14:50
My family was a bit of celebrities in the cult, so it’s kind of a big deal for me to leave so they didn’t want me to leave. And actually my, you know, I was 15. So even though it’s sounds today like I was super brave. Like, I was a 15-year-old that knew nothing about the real world. So I was pretty scared. Like I wanted to go to high school. All I wanted was to go to high school, which was a huge crime in the cult, right? It’s like saying you wanted to go to a worldly education.
Brian Schoenborn 15:16
Daniella Young 15:17
That was all I wanted to do. But at the same time, I was freaked out. And my mother actually pulled me aside and, you know, took me for a walk where nobody could hear and was like, “Look, we have a place for you. You know, we’ve, we’ve arranged to send you to, you know, a step sister of mine.” My mom at the time was married to an older man. I had a stepsister, I have 24 siblings, okay, so it’s all over the place. One of my stepsisters I’d met her maybe three times in my life and they’re like, “We’re gonna send you there” and she was like, “Are you sure you don’t want to go?”
Daniella Young 15:51
It was very much hint-hintm Daniella, this is your opportunity. Take it. You know, and these days I’m, I’m incredibly impressed. by her, say that, like, you know, she wasn’t strong enough to get herself out. It took her till she was almost 40 with eight children of her own to break away from the cult. But she was able, at a time that I really needed it, to give me the push that I needed. She brought me to Texas, she dropped me off with my sister with zero dollars, so that was fun. I had definitely had a little bit of help, you know, could not have done it on my own.
Brian Schoenborn 16:28
So your mom orchestrated that whole thing?
Daniella Young 16:30
Brian Schoenborn 16:31
Just I mean, that’s just, that’s crazy. I mean, that’s the bravery that she even portrayed, right? Because I mean, you just mentioned like, they’re like celebrity. They’re very strong, powerful leaders in this organization. And for your mom, and she was born into this too.
Daniella Young 16:46
She was born into it too. And also not to mention like, let’s not forget the belief.
Brian Schoenborn 16:51
Daniella Young 16:51
So even while my mom wanted to get me away, and knew that there was a better life for me, she 100% believed in the religion in the beliefs of the cult. It was breaking her heart. I was backsliding from their religion. Oh, and by the way, I was going to lose contact with all of my family, right? Because nobody in the cult could talk to anyone outside of the cult. So it was quite a drastic thing.
Brian Schoenborn 17:23
It reminds me of legs like stories that you would like, like, almost like fairy tale sort of things, right? where like, like you…in medieval times that kind of stuff where, you know, somebody helps someone escape because, you know, they need that better life. It’s, it’s really like it’s like a modern day, like a
Daniella Young 17:43
It sounds like a really good book that you want to read. Right, Brian?
Brian Schoenborn 17:45
Daniella Young 17:48
Just wait about a year.
Brian Schoenborn 17:49
That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Um, but you know, it’s like, it’s like a modern day like, story like that, of like heroics. And you know, …
Daniella Young 17:58
Brian Schoenborn 17:59
…extreme bravery, and stuff like that. So you escaped to Houston. And then what?
Daniella Young 18:08
Yeah, so great story. So I’m in Houston, I’m 15 years old, I show up. You know, me and my sister who also by the way, never went to school, grew up in this cult, left when she was like 25. Um, so she’s been out for a year, not even.
Brian Schoenborn 18:24
So she’s still trying to get her bearings.
Daniella Young 18:25
So she’s, you know, yeah, you know, she’s she’s working at a bar. She’s trying to figure out her life. She’s got a spare room in her apartment, or a spare bed in her one bedroom apartment. And I’m there, and we show up to the high school to enroll me. And literally, Brian, I had a US social security card. That was it. I had never been in school for a day. So there’s no record of me. I had never had a vaccination or been to a doctor, really. And so I show up like, “Hey, I wanna enroll in high school”, and…
Brian Schoenborn 18:35
And they’re like, “Who are you?”
Daniella Young 19:05
They cannot even comprehend. They are like, and I just moved here from Mexico at the time.
Brian Schoenborn 19:11
So you’re like an undocumented immigrant, essentially.
Daniella Young 19:13
So I am like an undocumented child from Mexico, except I am, you know, super white with blond hair down to my waist. And they literally said to me, “Okay, we cannot enroll you in high school because you don’t exist.” You know, all evidence to the contrary standing in front of them, …
Daniella Young 19:33
“You don’t exist.” So…
Brian Schoenborn 19:33
Like, “We see you…
Brian Schoenborn 19:34
“…we hear you, but we have no records.”
Daniella Young 19:36
…it’s really fun to be told you don’t exist. But then they said, “But now that we know that you exist and, you know, we have your address here. You need to come back with proof that you’re enrolled somewhere in five days. Otherwise we have to call the cops. It’s the law.”
Brian Schoenborn 19:53
Yeah. Truancy or something.
Daniella Young 19:54
And, again, you know, here’s me just standing there and You know, so basically I ended up having to go me and my sister navigating this on her own, like having to go all the way up to the, to the, like, Houston School District level, to, you know, be in front of the right person and be like this is a 15-year-old child who was begging to go to school. There is a way to put her in school. And you know, it ended up being this process. I, you know, finally got into school out six weeks before the end of what should have been my sophomore year but it was really my my first day of high school ever.
Brian Schoenborn 20:25
Your first day of school ever.
Daniella Young 20:33
First day of school ever, absolutely.
Brian Schoenborn 20:36
Let alone high school.
Daniella Young 20:37
I had to, you know, take like 22 tests to test out of everything, to try to end up still graduating at 18 not at 20. You know, kind of the funny harkening back to to Mexico, so, I guess whatever admin was putting in my paperwork was like, “Daniela from Mexico with no records. Okay, put her in English as a second language homeroom.” And so, I walk in there, which is totally fine with me…
Brian Schoenborn 21:09
Did you grow up speaking, is your native language, or…?
Daniella Young 21:11
I grew up speaking English in a vacuum of English-speaking countries. So I had what I call the international kid accent. But I also spoke Portuguese, and I also spoke Spanish.
Brian Schoenborn 21:22
Daniella Young 21:22
And so I like I said, I had no problem. And in fact, I probably actually fit in better with the Mexican kids that are in the English as a second language class than I did with the sort of normal American children. But yeah, I was just another funny story. So I was, you know, I was handed a schedule and they said, “Go to class.” And by the way, it was a small High School of only about 4000 students.
Brian Schoenborn 21:47
It was bigger than my town.
Daniella Young 21:49
Yes, so it was a giant inner city, Houston High School. And there was oh my god, so many moments, but let me tell you one, you know, the first test I had to take the Give me this thing. It’s called a scantron and…
Brian Schoenborn 22:02
Oh, scantron! Yep!
Daniella Young 22:03
I can figure it out, you know, there’s bubbles and I color them in. And so a few days later, we got our test results back and I have a zero. And I’m like, “What?” And I go to talk to the teacher and I filled it out with pen. You, of course, have to use a pencil for the machine to read it. You know, I’m trying to explain like, it’s not even that I didn’t know that it’s I didn’t even know how to ask the question about what I did wrong. Because the teacher is just looking at me like, “You idiot. Why did you fill out a tantrum with a pen? Like, you’re just being a rebellious 16-year-old.” You know? And so it literally, I mean, we would just go around in these circles and it, you know, I will never forget my first day of school ever.
Daniella Young 22:48
I’m standing in a hallway and, you know, 4000 students are walking by and I somehow zeroed-in on this one pair of students having a conversation, what I would today say was just like a discussion or a debate. A logical back and forth: “Well, what about this? Well, what about this?” And you know, I’m from a world where you don’t argue, you take everything on faith, and you believe it. And as a child, if you ask too many questions, you get in a lot of trouble. And so logic and debate was completely foreign to me. And I just stood there thinking, you know, I’ve been thinking of myself as Daniella from Brazil, or I’m from a different country. And in that moment, I was like, I’m from another planet.
Brian Schoenborn 23:37
Interesting. So I mean, so how did you, I mean, eventually, you kind of, you made that transition, right? Couple of bumps, you know, a couple of bumps in the road, that sort of thing, but like, at what point did you know that like you made that transition from, from Children of God to successfully getting in through and getting into and going through high school?
Daniella Young 24:02
At no point. That will come years later, we’ll get to that. I will say that I, you know, there were some things even when you talked about like you can’t understand coming from that background and like having sort of certain personality traits and I think you know, everything…A lot of things always harken back to socialization or a group that you come from or where you were born.
Brian Schoenborn 24:25
Daniella Young 24:26
Brian Schoenborn 24:27
Everything is a construct. I can’t say that enough.
Daniella Young 24:28
And one of the, the things that we grew up with, and I would say, is, has been a benefit of my life — although, of course, there’s psychological downsides — is that we were taught that we were the best, right? We were God’s chosen people. We were special. So even though, you know, I would never wish that life on anyone, what really benefited me as a 15-year-old by myself trying to navigate the world was nobody ever had to teach 15-year-old Daniella to believe in herself.
Daniella Young 24:59
I showed up with, I’m going to be a straight-A student. I showed up with I’m going to go to college. Yeah, I don’t know how, but I’m going to go to college, and I’m going to figure it out. And so, you know, it’s very, uh, it’s interesting. And you and I, Brian, have talked about this too, that for motivated people, all you need is for someone to tell you that you’re going to fail. And I felt that about 10,000 people were not just waiting for me to fail, but wanting me to fail, that 10,000 people on the cult, so they could be like, “See what happens?” And so, and so I had drive.
Brian Schoenborn 25:35
Nothing better than being able to, like, prove all the doubters, all the haters wrong, right?
Daniella Young 25:42
Brian Schoenborn 25:44
You know, if you don’t love me when I’m there, you can’t love me when I’m here. You know what I mean?
Daniella Young 25:49
Yeah. And then, you know, I would also like to talk about…there was this moment that I realized the benefits of the hardship that I gone through or the story that I had. And this has now remained true for the rest of my life. And so I mentioned I wanted to go to college, I had zero money, working for minimum wage, 40 hours a week supporting myself, and so I was going to join the Marines, which you will appreciate.
Brian Schoenborn 26:17
Ooh! I do appreciate that.
Daniella Young 26:19
So that was my idea. I want to be a badass, I’m gonna join the Marines and they’re gonna help me pay for college. And I was talking to recruiters and I was doing all that. And then one day in high school, in English class, we had to write our college entrance essay.
Brian Schoenborn 26:30
Daniella Young 26:31
And you had to write it as a paper for English class, even if you weren’t planning to go to college, which is literally the best thing that ever happened to me. And the prompt of that essay was what makes you different.
Brian Schoenborn 26:43
And can’t think of anything.
Daniella Young 26:44
Nothing. No, so I’m sitting there going, “What do I write about? Do I write about the fact that I have 24 siblings? Do I write about the fact that I live on my own? Do I write about the fact that, “Oh, hey, I was raised in a cult”? Which ended up being the title of my essay. But a friend of mine sitting next to me, who, you know, I would help her with her English homework. And she was the perfect, you know, all American cheerleader. From the outside has, you know, what seems to me as this wonderful charmed existence, and she could not think of a single thing to write.
Brian Schoenborn 27:18
Because she’s like everybody else,
Daniella Young 27:18
What makes her different.
Brian Schoenborn 27:19
She’s a cookie cutter.
Daniella Young 27:20
Um, you know, and interestingly enough, she had something. We, we decided to write about her living through her uncle dying of cancer. But it was kind of this very interesting moment for me when I realized, “Oh, hey, there’s something about me, that makes me different. And that’s going to end up being a benefit”, which it turned into in two ways.
Daniella Young 27:42
So of course, there’s money. And in fact, I ended up getting, you know, several different packages of $24,000 of independent scholarships to go to college. And the other thing was that it got the attention of the right people. And so in high school, that was the high school counselors and the high school principal — and, by the way, 100% of those scholarships I got, they applied me to…
Brian Schoenborn 28:04
Daniella Young 28:04
…because I had no idea the process of going to college. And so, you know, my high school counselor, which to this day still impresses me because she had 1000 students. You know, she read my essays, she took me under her wing, and she basically forced me into college.
Brian Schoenborn 28:25
Daniella Young 28:26
And so yeah, so it turned out, I was like, cool, I got 24 grand, I’m going to college. And then I went to college and realized it costs a lot more than 24 grand.
Brian Schoenborn 28:38
Just, just a bit. But it’s a good start, like, let’s be honest, like that’s, you know, that’s a good chunk of money to start, you know, making your way through school. Um, well, I think you touched on something that was pretty interesting, though. Right? Like, you know, say, “Hey, I realize some different”, right? A lot of kids, a lot of high school kids, maybe they’ve been insecurities about that sort of thing. Or they take it as a point of pride. But it’s one of those things where, I mean, I can’t say this enough, but you know, everyone’s unique. Everyone is their own set of moments and their reactions, right, to those moments.
Brian Schoenborn 29:20
Everyone has their own set of their unique experiences. You know, who you are today or who you were in high school, are different people because you’re evolving and you’re shifting every single day, right, depending on which decision you make and where you wind up and all that stuff. You know, there are a lot of people that want so badly, or think they want so badly, to be like everybody else. And if they’re different like that, maybe a lot of times they can take that as an insecurity. Or like, you know, like, like, “Oh, I’m different. Why can’t I be like everybody else?”
Brian Schoenborn 29:56
But when you realize being difference fucking awesome, and being different means you stand out and you can do things, you know, you can you can do things that normal people can’t do. And you realize how much power is in that? I think that’s when you start winning the game, right? Winning the game of life or whatever, however you want to say it, I don’t give a shit.
Daniella Young 30:19
Brian Schoenborn 30:19
But, but you know what I mean? Like, that’s a pretty…it’s a pretty incredible insight you got at a young age.
Daniella Young 30:25
Yeah. You know, there’s this great comedian I love, Catherine Ryan. And it’s interesting to me that comedians are actually political activists, right?
Brian Schoenborn 30:32
Oh sure, yeah totally. Totally.
Daniella Young 30:32
That’s their real power. Yeah. But she says, you know, a lot of people want to be normal, but there’s no such thing as normal. There is only ordinary.
Brian Schoenborn 30:41
Exactly. That’s right!
Daniella Young 30:43
I love it. But, you know, so, let’s fast forward through college. You know, college was, of course, an incredible time and I learned to sort of develop my mind and ask questions.
Brian Schoenborn 30:52
Daniella Young 30:53
But to get to your point of when I really felt I was kind of through the transition, and — I’ve been, first of all, transitioning my whole life. I’m kind of a unintentional transition expert. And I think it takes about six years minimum, to just get through a major life transition. So think about right around the age, you’re ready to send your kid off to school, to get about six years to transition into being a parent.
Brian Schoenborn 31:17
And it changes all over again.
Daniella Young 31:19
Or, you know, for me it was leaving the cult, getting through two years of high school, four years of college, and I couldn’t believe that I was going to have a college degree. And I, I definitely felt this like, “I’ve done it. I’ve made it,” and I felt this like awe. And you know, I was graduating valedictorian from college, and I was giving the speech and I was trying to figure out what I was going to do next with my life. And now I look back and I realized I had no frickin clue of how to operate on my own without an institution. But at the time, I felt like I was so successful at this transition, I owe so much to the United States of America and to the American Dream, and I’m going to go join the military.
Brian Schoenborn 32:01
And so you joined the Marines.
Daniella Young 32:03
Hahaha, no. Because by then I wasn’t that crazy. So I joined the army.
Brian Schoenborn 32:07
Well, we can’t all be perfect, it’s all good. So, but, for real, I mean, listeners check this out, like, no education. She started education at 15 and graduated college as valedictorian. Like, how the fuck is that even possible? You know what I’m saying? Like, I mean, we don’t have to get into it that much but mean…I’m just like.
Daniella Young 32:36
Brian Schoenborn 32:37
Daniella Young 32:37
It’s very simple. Let me tell you. There is no end to what a child who’s denied an education will achieve.
Brian Schoenborn 32:46
I guess so.
Daniella Young 32:47
So there’s a very, or I should say, what they are driven to pursue as far as education. So there’s a very good book out now called “Educated”, and she you know, another version of grew up in a crazy family that denied her an education, and she went through and got a PhD.
Brian Schoenborn 33:03
Daniella Young 33:03
I’m actually going back for my PhD next year. And, you know, I, in college like, I wasn’t skipping class, are you crazy? I knew exactly…
Brian Schoenborn 33:15
I was crazy. I skipped a lot of classes.
Daniella Young 33:17
And most people do. But I mean, it literally took me until junior year of college to relax enough to like, think that if I missed one day of class, my world wasn’t going to implode. Like, I was so viscerally aware of what, first of all, every class, every class was costing me $53…that was a lot to me. I wasn’t missing that. And I valued it. You know, I didn’t see a class as something horrible. I was like, and first of all, I majored in literature and I was like, “I get to read books, which I was never allowed to do growing up. I get to go to class and discuss books. I get to have the opposite point of view of my professor, and they encourage me, and they stimulate my mind.” So, college was a wonderful, wonderful experience for me. And you know, when you do what you love, it’s easy to be good at it.
Brian Schoenborn 34:14
Absolutely. Nice. So you kicked ass in school. You joined the army. What happened with this, you know, let’s I want to talk about that point where you’re like, this clicked. You made that transition…
Daniella Young 34:28
Yeah. So, you know, at the time, like I said, I described it as, you know, I still always had this lingering, kind of like 911 was one of my first experiences of being introduced to America. So of course, I have this very, you know, visceral feeling of: I’m an American, there are terrorists out there trying to attack America. I also have this, like, I owe this debt to the American Dream. I need to pay something back, you know, and I found out about the army officer program which says, so, you know, first of all, let’s let’s caveat and say I was graduating with a degree in English literature in 2009. So I wasn’t gonna get a job anyways.
Brian Schoenborn 35:07
The peak of the Great Recessaion was at that point.
Daniella Young 35:08
Yeah. So, you know, I found out about the officer program where they’re going to pay me $45,000 starting…
Brian Schoenborn 35:16
which is more than you’re gonna make as a teacher…
Daniella Young 35:17
…right, which is more than any of my friends were making coming out of college, even the computer science kids at that time, and they’re going to train me. And I’m going to do three years and then I can leave. And then, I think way I saw it is like, at that point, I will have paid my debt to America, and then I can go just be awesome for the rest of my life. Now, you know, knowing what I know and as much time as I have spent thinking about studying and teaching about socialization and group behavior and all of that, you know, I, I was institutionalized.
Daniella Young 35:47
I grew up in an institution and while college was about free thinking, there’s still a structure to college. You know, you sign up for a class, you have advisors, they tell you what to do, and where to go. I think back now, if I hadn’t joined the military after college, I don’t know that I would have known what to do. I don’t know that I would have known how to just like, go out and get a job or figure out what I wanted to be or any of the things that I’ve done now since leaving the military.
Daniella Young 35:49
So I went into the military and you know, again, this is where my kind of personal drive comes in and my desire to be the best because I was like, “Okay, I’m gonna join, you know, in college is graded on grades, so I need to have a 4.0 and military in my mind was graded on physical fitness. So I better quit chain smoking and go become a runner.” And I will say by the time I got to basic training, I could run six minute miles. So that is kind of my, my level of drive. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. But in that situation, it worked out for me.
Daniella Young 36:53
So I get off the bus at basic training, and, if you’ve ever served in any branch of the military, you’ll know this experience: basically you get off the bus, you have a bunch of heavy duffel bags. There’s a bunch of drill sergeants yelling at you. It’s always in the rain. I think they plan it like that. I think they just wait for a day in the rain. And in the army, at least you spend about an hour holding your duffel bags, two huge duffel bags over your head, and getting yelled at. This is me standing there, holding that 100 pounds up over my head, getting yelled at, and I just was standing there going.
Brian Schoenborn 37:34
“What did I do?”
Daniella Young 37:35
“What did I just do with my life?”
Brian Schoenborn 37:36
“What did I get myself into?”
Daniella Young 37:37
“I just graduated from college valedictorian. Why am I here? I just joined another cult.” And that was my, that was my moment in basic training. And I think we all go through that moment in the military, right? Which that’s exactly what in fact, basic training or bootcamp or whatever each branch calls is designed to do, right?
Daniella Young 38:01
It’s designed to take individuals breakdown…
Daniella Young 38:04
Break everyone down to the lowest common denominator…
Daniella Young 38:06
…your constructs, your socialization, and build you back up as a team.
Brian Schoenborn 38:09
Daniella Young 38:10
So, and honestly once I kind of realized that or once I got used to it and also just resigned myself because I wasn’t going anywhere for three years, basic training became really easy for me. Because it was like oh, getting up before dawn, standing in line, never being alone, getting yelled at, having to like, deal with, like, physical pain and mental pain and emotional pain was run of the mill for me. Was, so again, this was another kind of, another time of advantage for me where there was a lot of, you know, wonderful, wonderful people that have joined the military. But for most of them, that’s their first time leaving home, their first time dealing with any real sort of hardship, not for everyone, by far, but for many people. And so it was, you know, certainly for me a bit easier. Not to mention I was, you know, 22 years old with a college degrees to the average age of 17.
Brian Schoenborn 38:59
Let me tell you about my initial boot camp experience. So I was a bit of a rebel, right? Like, I wanted to be a rock star in high school. I got accepted to one of the best music schools in the country, probably the world, whatever. I didn’t go, you know, I spent a semester at Central Michigan and then I joined the Marines because I was just fucking bored.
Brian Schoenborn 39:21
When I got off that bus, for like, the first week…no, probably about the first, like, day-ish, probably less than a day. You know, I’m standing at attention and they’re like, barking down your face. You know, they go their…they’ve got their finger in there, their index finger and the thumb just like, you know, like this close together just right in your face. Right? And I’m just standing here at attention, just, like, smirking and trying not to laugh. Cuz I’m like, “What the fuck am I actually what is this?” I’m like, I can’t take this guy seriously.
Brian Schoenborn 39:56
They wiped the smile off my face real quick.
Daniella Young 40:00
Oh yeah, they tried. I will say that my drill sergeants failed miserably at breaking me from the habit of saying, “Yes, sir” and “Yes ma’am”. You say that to officers, by the way, for all the listeners. You don’t say that to drill sergeants.
Brian Schoenborn 40:14
We said that in Marine Corps boot camp.
Daniella Young 40:15
However, I spent 15 years of my life saying “Yes, sir” and “Yes, ma’am” to everyone, every day, all the time. And yeah, yeah, they definitely socialized me into the Army, but it took me quite a long time to learn to not say “Yes, sir” and “Yes, ma’am” to every Sergeant Major that scared me, even once I was an officer.
Brian Schoenborn 40:32
That’s funny. I remember the specific moment that I was in. Like, you know, because I went from being this rebel kid you know, this point, I was a punk, right? I was a punk rocker, all that stuff. I was having a hard time taking this thing too seriously.
Brian Schoenborn 40:53
So Marine Corps boot camp is 13 weeks. This is probably about six weeks in. There was a guy in my boot camp platoon that literally pissed his pants on the squad bay, or not the squad bay, on the parade deck. Because we were out there drilling for like, five, six hours that day, and they didn’t let us use the bathroom. But I think it was the same guy. So this guy was like super out of shape. And the drill instructors were like, “Fuck this. We’re gonna get him in shape.”
Brian Schoenborn 41:17
So he calls me and two other guys and this guy up to the front. And they’re just like, “You gotta do fucking push ups”, right? However they set it. And we had to go as hard and as fast as we could, and we could not stop until this guy couldn’t take anymore. And, you know, it was this breaking point for him, because he thought he couldn’t do anymore. But yet, you know, he thought he couldn’t do anymore. The drill instructors were trying to get him to quit trying to get him to give up. And that was when I was at this point where I’m like, “You are not fucking quitting! Let’s fucking go!” and like, just pushing and pushing and pushing and pushing. And finally he had his breakthrough moment where he was able to, you know, he was able to satisfy the drill instructors. And that was my breakthrough, when I was like, “You know what, I’m a fucking leader. I’m in.” And I went from being this like punk fucking rebel kid to like falling in line and being one of the top recruits in my unit.
Daniella Young 42:20
Brian Schoenborn 42:21
Yeah. fucking crazy.
Daniella Young 42:22
And, you know, it’s so interesting to me about that story, Brian, is that okay? I will say that a lot of, of the Children of God cult survivors end up going into the military afterwards. That’s one thing that, you know, kids without a great education can with a lot of drive can do and be successful at.
Brian Schoenborn 42:39
Daniella Young 42:39
But most of us report kind of the opposite moment, right, where we all have that experience where it’s going on it is evangelical level of holy rollin, shoutin, physical activity, blah, blah, blah. People are crying. There’s American flags flying, right? Toby Keith is singing…We all have these moments and us cult survivors were looking around going, “Oh, this is the brainwashing.”
Brian Schoenborn 43:09
Yes, that’s exactly it is.
Daniella Young 43:10
You know, so one of the interesting things for me with my experience in the military was, they never quite got me. I was, you know, I serve for six and a half years I went to war twice. I was an officer, I was a leader. Super proud of my service, did all this stuff, which we’ll talk about, but I never just, like, bought in hook, line and sinker. In fact, I went specifically into military intelligence, which is one of the reasons I had to run so fast, because it was a competitive branch. But my job, I was the expert on the bad guy.
Daniella Young 43:42
So my job was literally for the colonel or the general to say, you know, “We’re going to go take this village”, and I, it was my job to look at them and be like, “Sir, you’re gonna die”. Here’s all of the things you’re not thinking about. So it was my job to be devil’s advocate. And I think that’s the only reason — I was very good at that, by the way, he was very good at being devil’s advocate, very good at seeing the other perspective, which, you know, as I’m, like, sort of writing and telling my whole life story, I’m like, oh, like, you know, when I left the cult, and I had to learn about how to be a normal American person. Like, now I have to go to Afghanistan and learn all about, you know, how the al Qaeda terrorists are thinking, you know, and it’s, of course, two very different groups of people, but it’s just another research project. Like I just need to go and learn…so this ability to kind of be like, I don’t understand how these people think, but I can immerse myself in it and learn it. It’s, it’s been, you know, another outcome that I interesting outcome that I’ve seen from my life,
Brian Schoenborn 44:46
Yeah you know, it’s, it’s interesting, um, you know, just the studying of cultures and people and stuff like that, right? Like, I think we kind of share something like that in a sense, you know, like with with my travels, but even in America. You know, I grew up in Michigan, but I lived in San Diego, Las Vegas, Boston, New York, LA. I’ve been in Seattle for a couple of months. And every place that I’ve been, you know, I’ve had to rebuild my network, right? So every time you’re rebuilding your network, you’re meeting people, that kind of thing. You’ve got to study those little micro cultures.
Daniella Young 45:24
Brian Schoenborn 45:25
Those, those subcultures of Americans, you know, as easily as people can be like, “Oh yeah, we’re fucking all Americans. We’re all the same.” It’s not true, that’s not the case.
Daniella Young 45:34
And you know, the people that are, are the super connectors and are the kind of powerful people that can go anywhere. You know, I’m similar like you Brian, I can go anywhere and build a community around myself…
Brian Schoenborn 45:47
Daniella Young 45:47
In anywhere, you know, and it’s but it’s because you become a chameleon.
Brian Schoenborn 45:52
Daniella Young 45:52
You know, and because for me, I grew up without ever having to learn to relate to anyone because we were all the same. We all no matter where we moved in the world, we all had the same life. We just fit into another little commune. It’s the same reason military people love other veterans, right? Because you find out to be some information about them and you have a connection. But people that fit in well in any culture, any society are like learning to be chameleons, right? And learn that everyone has a story and everyone, everyone loves their culture. Right? And so if you talk to people about their culture, and you learn about their culture, you know, of course, it’s not the same experience as being one of them. But you can be, …
Brian Schoenborn 46:34
Yeah. And, you know, like, I just want to finish this point really quick. But like, you know, when I say like, “Oh, you know, different subcultures are different”. I’m not, you know, I’m not saying bad, right? Like, I don’t…I’m not a believer in black and white. I’m not a believer in good or bad necessarily. I think, you know, I think most people at their core, they all want the same stuff, right? They want a good life, they want to, you know, make a little bit of money, but to take care of themselves and take care of their families and whatever else. And, you know, the differences are more in the details on how they go about it. Right?
Brian Schoenborn 46:34
You can appreciate it.
Daniella Young 46:34
…you can be accepted in those groups. And you learn so much about socialization about how we think, you know, so these days is one of the things I actually do is teach classes on building community. Look, everywhere you go, you know, I teach for military women and military spouses. And, you know, it’s easy for people to say, for example, “Oh, we’re, you know, we don’t have a support network because we’re here away from all of our families”. I’m like, you know, I moved to Washington four years ago. And my husband and I spend a night out once a month without our toddler, because she’s with someone in our network that we have built actively and intentionally built a network around us. Next year, we’re moving to Houston, and I already have a spreadsheet for all of the different types of people that I need to make connections with, for the transition plan for my family, because we are moving to a new culture, to a new place. And even though it’s Houston, and that’s where I went to high school, it’s, it’s been a minute and now we got to go back in we got to reintegrate. You know?
Daniella Young 48:14
Brian Schoenborn 48:15
Or the types of or the types of relationships they build or whatever else.
Daniella Young 48:19
Brian Schoenborn 48:19
Um, you know, obviously, you, you know, you’re, you’re on the same page with that, right? Um, I’m wondering, like, as you’ve been doing this research, right, the research and the American culture, the military, and then, and then Afghanistan with the intelligence. How did the, like, how did that translate? So so you’re doing this, you’re doing this research stuff? How does that translate when you’re, you know, looking at Al Qaeda in Afghanistan?
Daniella Young 48:48
Yeah, you know, so I definitely agree with you, like you said, and I think that actually, as humans, we get into trouble when we try to put everything in black and white, right? Nothing’s all good. Nothing’s all bad. And one of The things I say these days a lot is that, you know, people ask me all the time, like, “How did 100,000 people get sucked in by this cult?” Right?
Daniella Young 49:08
Well, cults do some things, right. Human beings want community. They want love, they want connection, they want purpose. And that’s what organizations like cults, like the US military, and like many other organizations do very, very well. And in fact, that’s one of the things I do today with business leaders. It’s like I say, you can’t spell culture without cult. Okay? Everything you need to do to build this strong, amazing culture that you want that motivates your people has downsides to it. So how are you protecting against those downsides?
Daniella Young 49:43
So for me, it was very interesting in, um, in Afghanistan, doing what I did with intelligence. So, you know, because on the one hand, I’m American, I’m an American soldier, and I am, you know, getting attacked by these terrorists or seeing other people attacked by these terrorists and, you know, hearing reports of people all of the time.
Daniella Young 50:05
My entire team that I was patrolling with pretty much was killed on one mission and so I, I very much am viscerally connected to that. At the same time, I have this ability to kind of disassociate myself with that, and, and still realize why the terrorists want to do that, right? And so it goes back to that religious extremist, their religious extremists, but they believe they’re right, that’s all they know. And in fact, you know, several different moments where I would hear you know, my, my counterparts describing, you know, the Afghans as animals because they would be planning roadside bombs with a two-year-old in their arms as a shield against, you know, whatever the Americans have in the sky, or as inhuman because their kid gets blown up on the street and they come three hours later to the base to ask for money. But that’s also their world.
Daniella Young 51:00
Afghans, Afghanistan is called the graveyard of empires. Afghanistan has been at war for as long as human beings have existed. And so, if my child went out on the street in America and got blown up, a lot of people’s lives would be destroyed. Like, not just me and my husband, right, everyone that knows my kid would be like, “What the hell?” For them, that’s, that’s Tuesday. So it’s not that it’s any less horrible when that happens to them, but they are socialized that that just happens. You just recover. You move on. It’s not different than, you know, 19th century America where you had 12 children because you wanted six of them to grow up.
Brian Schoenborn 51:45
Daniella Young 51:46
Right? So it’s the way that we act is very much determined by socialization. And, you know, I will say for me, and this is essentially the crux of the, the article that I have published, which is at that funeral, when my my colleagues, my very good friend was, had been blown up, horrible, horrible event. 10 people were killed. But you know, we’re standing on the airline and we’re watching the coffins being loaded, and the generals are saying all of the words that they say when soldiers are killed, right? That “they died doing fighting for what they believe in”, and “they died on the right side of history”, that “they’re amazing men”.
Daniella Young 52:36
Well, part of me, of course, felt that and still does to this day. The other part of me just had this thought that, you know, the guys that killed them, they think the opposite. They think that they’re on the right side of history. They think that the people that they lost are, are heroes and martyrs, and are going to heaven, and are doing the right thing.
Brian Schoenborn 52:59
Daniella Young 52:59
And it was such this moment for me of being able to understand that really no one person is better than any other person. These people that joined a terrible cult aren’t any different than. And in fact, they’ve done studies to bear this up that there’s no one type of person that joins a cult, right? Um, it’s just you, you are a product of what you know, and you only can possibly believe the things that you’re surrounded by, which is, you know, a reason that diversity is so important and having discussions with people that think differently from you, is so important. And that all, hundred percent, came into play in doing intelligence operations in a war zone.
Brian Schoenborn 53:43
You know, it’s interesting, you’re talking about, you know, both sides thinking that they’re doing what’s right. I mean, essentially, that’s why wars are fought because both sides are so firm in their beliefs, right? Just kind of reminds me of my travels through Vietnam.
Brian Schoenborn 53:58
So, I don’t know a couple years ago, I spent a few weeks backpacking Vietnam. And, you know, the people are fucking amazing. And like, they’re so nice. They’re so friendly. They love Americans, right? Even though we had that whole debacle 40 years ago or whatever it was. Um, in, in Saigon and Hanoi, they have these war, War Memorial museums, right?
Brian Schoenborn 54:32
I went to this one in Saigon. I went, I went to two in Hanoi. One was the War Remnants something or other. I’ll have more details when I’m sharing my story. But there was one it was like the War Remnants Museum. The other one was the Hanoi Hilton, where John McCain and all these other guys, these POWs, were held. And the thing that really blew my mind there was, from an American perspective, I’m like, “The propaganda here is ridiculous”, right? Because it’s all about, “Oh, we treated the American POWs so well, but the Americans treated our people like shit”, and like, you know, “We’re on the right side of history” and all that stuff, right?
Brian Schoenborn 55:09
And when I was seeing that stuff, I was like…it hit me that, whoever wins gets to tell the story, right?
Daniella Young 55:18
Brian Schoenborn 55:18
And of course, you’re going to put yourself in a good light. And again, nothing black or white. So I don’t want to get into politics of Vietnam. But it made me realize that every piece of history that America tells, it’s all fucking propaganda too. It’s the same shit.
Daniella Young 55:36
It is. It so is, you know, and in the military from like, you know, doing cadences where we’re shouting, you know, “Kill! Kill! Kill! Rage!” Like, this is brainwashing. This is propaganda.
Brian Schoenborn 55:47
Giving the enemy derogatory names.
Daniella Young 55:49
Right and to the flip side…
Brian Schoenborn 55:51
Daniella Young 55:52
…of intelligence, and this was actually something like as a, as a leader, as the chief of intelligence and all that like I had to work really hard with my own team. Like, like you were saying, like, “No, we don’t use derogatory names”, you know, we don’t all this stuff because…In fact, one of the biggest dangers that the American military has in the wars that we’re fighting now is under estimating the enemy, right?
Daniella Young 56:16
Thinking that Muslim culture is backwards. Thinking that terrorists are stupid. Thinking that, first of all, that those two things are one in the same, you know, and all of these things like, if you don’t respect your enemy, they are going to get you. And these people are much more hardcore than we are. You know, so, you’re really, really behooves us to, like I mentioned earlier, think like them. You know, you have to think like the opposite side, which can be very, very hard to do. And, you know, like we mentioned, we’re avoiding politics, but I’m sure we can all immediately think of what side of the political spectrum we’re on right now. And I have a hard time. I can’t relate to the other side. But it’s worth trying.
Brian Schoenborn 57:04
Daniella Young 57:04
And it’s worth listening to them.
Brian Schoenborn 57:08
I mean, because if you can’t, if you can’t have the conversation with somebody from an objective perspective, just to kind of like learn, like, what makes them tick or whatever, then there’s never going to be any middle ground made. There’s ever going to be a sense of understanding. And if you don’t have that sense of understanding, then you’re essentially just digging your heels in, and you’re and you’re getting ready to defend yourself and fight the other side. Whether that’s, whether that’s US-Afghanistan, whether that’s the political climate right now, you know, whether any of that stuff.
Daniella Young 57:36
Brian Schoenborn 57:37
But if you don’t spend the time to say, Hey, we we differ on how we think about things. Why do you think like that? Share this with me. I’m not trying to attack I just want to understand.
Daniella Young 57:47
Exactly, you know, and it’s, it’s okay. Um, you know, so one thing is: you always think your idea is right. Of course you do. That’s why you have that idea. The second you didn’t think it was right anymore, you would change ideas. So, It’s totally okay to be opinionated. It’s totally okay to be passionate, but it’s not okay to not listen to the other side and consider the other side. And so, you know, for me with my entire experience in the military, like, I’m not trying to say, I’m not trying to offend anyone, I’m not trying to say that America isn’t on the right side of history or that we are fighting for the wrong thing.
Brian Schoenborn 58:20
Right. Of course.
Daniella Young 58:20
Who knows? Fighting war is wrong in general, let’s, you know, most likely.
Brian Schoenborn 58:25
We’re a couple of hippie veterans.
Daniella Young 58:27
Oh, I know, right? But if we’re not constantly questioning why we’re there, you know, why we’re there, what we’re doing, and learning and knowing and respecting what the other side is thinking. And by respecting, I don’t mean you have to be like, Oh, yes, this is a valid opinion. But you have to respect that they see it as a valid opinion.
Brian Schoenborn 58:51
Daniella Young 58:53
You know, and that’s why people every time you try to convince people that their religion is wrong, or their politics around or whatever, it doesn’t work, right? Because to them, it is a valid opinion. And when you come at them like it’s not a valid opinion, you’re immediately on opposing side.
Brian Schoenborn 59:07
Well, it’s just like we were talking about earlier. Like, what happens when someone tells you you can’t do something or you’re wrong.
Daniella Young 59:13
Brian Schoenborn 59:14
You’re going to do everything…
Daniella Young 59:14
…the first thing you want to do is do it…
Brian Schoenborn 59:16
…humanly possible to prove them wrong, right? You’re saying, “Oh, hey, the clothes you wear are not right”. Or, you know, um, “Your opinion on this religion or that is not right”. You know, what are people gonna do? They’re gonna get pissed off. These are closely held beliefs and values that they have. Right? And it’s part of who they are. And if you tell somebody that part of who you are isn’t valid, or it’s wrong, like, what greater insult can you give
25/11/2019 | 59:35
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