#139 Helen Zuman “Mating in Captivity”

After some short technical difficulties, I finally connected with today’s guest, Helen Zuman, a tree-hugging dirt worshipper devoted to turning waste into food and the stinky guck of experience into fertile, fragrant prose. She holds a BA in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard and a Half-FA in memoir from Hunter College. Raised in Brooklyn, she lives with her husband in Beacon, NY and Black Mountain, NC.

She is the author of Mating in Captivity (She Writes Press 2018), a memoir of her five years, post-Harvard, in a cult with a radical take on sex and relationships. Mating in Captivity received a starred review from Kirkus, was named a Kirkus Best Indie Memoir of 2018, was a finalist in Creative Nonfiction for the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses’ 2019 Firecracker Award, and was both first runner-up in memoir and a finalist for First Horizon and Grand Prize honors in the 2020 Eric Hoffer Awards. Other work has appeared in The New Farmers Almanac, in Communities and Livelihood magazines, and on the Foundation for Intentional Community’s website (ic.org). 

Mating in Captivity: When recent Harvard grad Helen Zuman moved to Zendik Farm in 1999, she was thrilled to discover that the Zendiks used go-betweens to arrange sexual assignations, or “dates,” in cozy shacks just big enough for a double bed and a nightstand. Here, it seemed, she could learn an honest version of the mating dance – and form a union free of “Deathculture” lies. No one spoke the truth: Arol, the Farm’s matriarch, crushed any love that threatened her hold on her followers’ hearts. An intimate look at a transformative cult journey, Mating in Captivity shows how stories can trap us and free us, how miracles rise out of crisis, how coercion feeds on forsaken self-trust.

In addition to cults, we also talk about the journey to trust oneself, the “infinite growth myth,” gift circles, her connection to a well balanced eco-village that is doing intentional living well and how she takes care of herself (no social media!). I can personally highly recommend her book even for those not remotely curious about how one gets pulled into a cult. It’s extremely well written and uniquely empowering to hear some of the more difficult details of her story.

Looking for an intentional community or wondering about the health of one you’re currently in? Helen’s article may be of help to you. And if you do have friends, family or loved ones you fear are wrapped up in a cult, eh hm, political party, then Helen recommends some resources written by therapist and cult expert Steven Hassan. You can tune in to hear the best thing Helen’s Mom did easing her exit from the cult mind-control.

Today’s show was engineered by Nick Panken of Freedom Highway.

Our show music is from Shana Falana !!!

Feel free to email me, say hello: she@iwantwhatshehas.org

Leave me a voicemail with your thoughts or a few words about who inspires you! (845) 481-3429

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#127 “The Marginalized Majority” with Onnesha Roychoudhuri

Onnesha Roychoudhuri is a writer, speaker, and educator with over 15 years of experience working at the intersection of storytelling and social justice.

She is the author of The Marginalized Majority: Claiming Our Power in a Post-Truth America, named one of the best books of 2018 by Kirkus Reviews. (NOTE: you can buy it at RoughDraft in Kingston.)

Onnesha regularly leads writing and storytelling workshops for organizations across the country, including the Moth and the Reproduction Health Access Project, as well as at universities such as San Francisco State University, Rutgers University, Hunter College, Pratt Institute, and Western ConnecticutState University, where she is an instructor in the graduate writing program.

Part of this work involves trainings to advocates working on the frontlines of the fight for social justice and equity.

A 2013 fellow at the Center for Fiction, Onnesha’s writing has appeared in publications such as Rolling Stone, Kenyon Review, n+1Virginia Quarterly ReviewThe Boston Review, McSweeney’s, The Rumpus, The NationThe American Prospect, Salon, and Mother Jones. She is a 2011 and 2012 Pushcart Prize nominee, and has been awarded residencies at Hedgebrook and Blue Mountain Center.

Today we had some fun and deep moments discussing topics like journalism, her book, white male objectivity, #metoo, protests, Black Lives Matter, truth, social justice story telling and self care. One of my favorite quotes from her book, “To believe that non-violent protest is unnecessary, pointless, over the top or reflective of an unreasonable impatience presupposes that your day to day existence is tolerable and acceptable.” Truth!

Onnesha is participating in a virtual Moth Mainstage on August 6th, mark your calendars!

Today’s show was engineered Manuel Blas from radiokingston.org

We also heard music from Shana Falana!

Feel free to email me, say hello: she@iwantwhatshehas.org

Leave me a voicemail with your thoughts or a few words about who has what you want and why! (845) 481-3429

** Please: SUBSCRIBE to the pod and leave a REVIEW wherever you are listening, it helps other users FIND IT

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#121 JoAnn Stevelos “Public Health Advisor, Researcher and Speaker”

Today I am honored to welcome JoAnn Stevelos to the show. A public health advisor, researcher and speaker, she started out working in a virology lab and has since worked for startups and nonprofits to prevent cancer, type 2 diabetes and other chronic illnesses, and is now presently the Executive Director for the Coalition for Supportive Care of Kidney Patients at the School of Nursing at George Washington University. She is a musician, playwright and writer who has used both her professional and creative skills in her work to prevent child violation, trauma, and sex trafficking, as well as to help political activists who have survived prison and torture receive the psycho-social services needed to help them reintegrate into society. She is published widely including a book about her own story as a victim, survivor, and advocate of child sexual abuse by clergy titled, Howard Be Thy Name.

Today we talk about some difficult yet important conversations like child sexual abuse, grooming of communities by abusers, childhood obesity, young male sexuality, pornography, and early childhood intervention to prevent abuse. JoAnn shares about her creative endeavors which have helped her do some pretty difficult work over the years, how her work with the Coalition has been affected by COVID-19, public health in light of what we’re experiencing with COVID including an article she wrote about Helping Child Abuse Victims During COVID-19, and one of her favorite subjects, HOPE! She’s truly a well of profound wisdom and a force of positivity whose story I am so happy to be able to share.

Thanks JoAnn, can’t wait to follow along in all your creative endeavors!

Today’s show was engineered by Manuel Blas of Radio Kingston, www.radiokingston.org.

We heard music from our fave, Shana Falana, http://www.shanafalana.com/

Feel free to email me, say hello: she@iwantwhatshehas.org

Leave me a voicemail with your thoughts or a few words about who has what you want and why! (845)481-3429

** Please: SUBSCRIBE to the pod and leave a REVIEW wherever you are listening, it helps other users FIND IT 🙂

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#109 Manda Zand Ervin “Alliance of Iranian Women”

MANDA ZAND ERVIN, Founder and Director of the Alliance of Iranian Women is today’s very honored guest. We will be talking about Iran, the beautiful history of Iran, the ruling Women-Gods, the plight of women in Iran under Sharia law, and her new book, “The Ladies’ Secret Society: History of the Courageous Women of Iran.

During the Iranian Islamic revolution, Manda witnessed the execution of many innocent people, including her high school principal who was murdered because she was a woman and the secretary of education.  She witnessed the human rights of the Iranian people, especially the women, taken away from them. She witnessed her homeland leaving the twentieth century to turn backward and she witnessed the effect.

Manda came to the United States as a political refugee on June 17th, 1980, became a citizen three years later and began her fight for human rights in Iran. She is the founder and president of the Alliance of Iranian Women a group which has deep connections within the Iranian diaspora and within Iran.

As the head of the Alliance of Iranian Women, Manda Ervin works to bring the West’s attention to the plight of Iranian women under Islamic Sharia laws.  She almost single-handedly gathered the support to pass a 2003 U.S. Senate Resolution on the human rights of the women of Iran. In 2005 Manda was invited to speak at the UN conference on the family in Islamic societies.

Manda is an analyst and writer, published by many online political magazines, like the Hudson Institute, American Thinker, and Family Security Matters, National Review and others.  She speaks on TV and radio programs, nationally and internationally, including CNN, BBC, Radio France, VOA, Radio Liberty.

Her book reveals, in print for the first time, the long history of struggle against clerical domination that Iranian women have been engaged in for centuries. Rooted in the proud history of ancient Iran, where Mother-Gods were once worshipped, the Ladies’ Secret Society, an organization founded in the early decades of the 20th Century, was both the inheritor of this proud history, and the progenitor of the contemporary women’s rights campaign in the Iran of today. Zand Ervin relates the stories, and records the accomplishments, of generations of individual women activists, who fought like lionesses for every scrap of freedom they gained, only to see all their hard-won rights destroyed with the coming of Khomeini’s Islamic Revolution. During the Islamic revolution, Zand Ervin witnessed the execution of many innocent people, including her high school principal, who was executed simply because she was a woman, and the Secretary of Education. She offers heartbreaking and compelling eyewitness testimonies of strong and emancipated women who were brutally pushed backwards to living under a crude, medieval society, and who have fought back, under sometimes impossible odds, and continue fighting today. Manda Zand Ervin’s History of Iran, the Iran that has been imprisoned behind a veil offers an insight and context to news of terrorism and the dangers caused by the misogynistic clerical regime ruling Iran which continues to dominate headlines.

https://www.allianceofiranianwomen.org/2020/01/an-iranian-womens-rights-advocates-life-hanging-in-the-balance/

 

Today’s show was engineered by Maddy Bogner of Radio Kingston, http://www.radiokingston.org.

We heard music from our fave, Shana Falana, http://www.shanafalana.com/

Feel free to email me, say hello: she@iwantwhatshehas.org

Leave me a voicemail with your thoughts or a few words about who has what you want and why! (845)481-3429

** Please: SUBSCRIBE to the pod and leave a REVIEW wherever you are listening, it helps other users FIND IT 🙂

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#105 Artist and Writer, Tanya Zabinski “Peace, Love, Action!”

Today’s guest is such a beautiful human, ok yes, we all are! Tanya Zabinski is an artist, writer, and peaceful activist who recently published, “Peace, Love, Action! Everyday Acts of Goodness.” This book is full of historical and educational information about change makers and peaceful activists plus suggestions about what you can do to be a peaceful activist yourself. She’ll be at the Winter Hoot this weekend and is speaking at 5pm on Friday, January 31st. Tanya and I become fast friends and talk about all the stuff. How she met Mike and Ruthy of the Mammals and founders of The Hoot, the process of making the book, getting an agent, trying to get published for over 30 years, gratitude, combining an issue you love with something you care about, how she was raised, choosing art, raising children, following your heart, working with her husband on her business Planet Love, why making art is important, and self care. As my Mom said to me after the show, Tanya’s “happiness is contagious!”

The Mammals who are performing at the Hoot this Saturday, Feb. 1st at 8:30pm!

Here’s the link to Bright as You Can!

Today’s show was engineered by Maddy Bogner of Radio Kingston, http://www.radiokingston.org.

We heard music from our fave, Shana Falana, http://www.shanafalana.com/

Feel free to email me, say hello: she@iwantwhatshehas.org

Leave me a voicemail with your thoughts or a few words about who has what you want and why! (845)481-3429

** Please: SUBSCRIBE to the pod and leave a REVIEW wherever you are listening, it helps other users FIND IT 🙂

http://iwantwhatshehas.org/podcast

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