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Ex-cult member explains how she got sucked into a right-wing group — and her ‘beyond terrifying’ experience of trying to flee

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Lisa Kohn, a former member of the Unification Church cult led by self-proclaimed Messiah Sun Myung Moon, has opened up about her “beyond terrifying” experience of leaving the church while she was just a college student.

Moon, who died in 2012 and who founded the right-wing Washington Times newspaper, allegedly used sleep deprivation to help keep mental control over his followers — and to convince them to hand him control of their personal finances.

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Kohn explains that she was taken into the cult by her mother at a very young age and she said she found it “intoxicating” to be part of an organization that offered her a simple, unquestionable version of the “truth.”

“The Church felt safer, and I felt safer having structure and knowing that there was a Truth and we had found it,” she writes.

However, she began questioning the church as a teenager before finally deciding to make a break with it while a college student. Leaving the church wasn’t easy, however, as she found herself without the belief system she’d held since she was a child.

“Without realizing what I was doing, I tried to punish myself for deserting God and the Messiah through anorexia, cocaine addiction, and my own abusive relationships, to name a few,” she writes. “But somehow I had a will to survive. I started eating again before my anorexia was incurable, stopped using cocaine when I realized I was looking for it every day and found the strength to leave my alcoholic fiancé and start anew.”

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Kohn’s full book about her experience in the Unification Church is called “To the Moon and Back: A Childhood Under the Influence.”


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Millions around the world joined #ClimateStrike — demanding bold climate action

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Masses of children skipped school Friday to join a global strike against climate change that teen activist Greta Thunberg said was "only the beginning" in the fight against environmental disaster.

Some four million people filled city streets around the world, organizers said, in what was billed as the biggest ever protest against the threat posed to the planet by rising temperatures.

Youngsters and adults alike chanted slogans and waved placards in demonstrations that started in Asia and the Pacific, spread across Africa, Europe and Latin America, before culminating in the United States where Thunberg rallied.

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Trump announces new sanctions on Iran — and deploys US troops to the Middle East

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The United States announced Friday that it was sending military reinforcements to the Gulf region following attacks on Saudi oil facilities that it attributes to Iran, just hours after President Donald Trump ordered new sanctions on Tehran.

Trump said the sanctions were the toughest-ever against another country, but indicated he did not plan a military strike, calling restraint a sign of strength.

The Treasury Department renewed action against Iran's central bank after US officials said Tehran carried out weekend attacks on rival Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure, which triggered a spike in global crude prices.

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‘Do a lot of stupid sh*t as quickly as possible’: Ambassador Power breaks down ’The Trump Doctrine’

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The former ambassador to the United Nations explained "The Trump Doctrine" during a Friday evening interview with comedian Bill Maher on HBO's "Real Time."

Samantha Power, the author of the new book, The Education of an Idealist, was asked by Maher about the foreign policy mantra of the Obama administration.

"Obama's foreign policy doctrine was famously summarized as 'don't do stupid sh*t," Maher noted. "Trump's, of course, is 'Do stupid sh*t.'"

"Do stupid sh*t as quickly as possible," Power clarified.

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