Hello friends and kind strangers. After many years of writing about photography and marketing, I’ve decided to pivot and try writing about the more personal and relevant topics that have been rattling around in my brain. Hopefully getting them down onto the page/screen will help them coalesce into something useful/interesting…


In my last year in the Unification Church, I worked for a non-profit called The International Interreligious Federation for World Peace (IIFWP), one of the Church’s many front groups. The core work involved putting on conferences and related events that surreptitiously forwarded the mission and ethos of the Unification Church…


Back in May, writer and fellow second generation ex-Moonie Lisa Kohn, and I were interviewed by Fen Alankus for the “Follow the Woo” podcast. We were comparing and contrasting our experiences growing up in the Unification Church in different decades, and in different “castes.” While I was born in, Lisa’s…


“A life of faith involves putting ourselves in the position of an offering. Only by dividing good from evil in ourselves can we become living offerings pleasing to God. We should constantly separate good from evil within ourselves, according to the standard of God’s Will. If we neglect to do…


“First love is something that is strongest, greatest. Until your death, you will never forget about your first love.” Sung Myung Moon, Change Of Blood Lineage 1–18–1973

Sweat trickled from my scalp into the waistband of my shorts as we boarded the buses, smeared with mud after a service project…


Several months ago I was listening to an episode of the Falling Out Podcast, in which the host, Elgen Strait, interviews people who grew up in and left the Unification Church. In this particular episode he was talking to Donna, who had gone to the same church boarding school I…


The term “love bombing” seems to have come into the cultural consciousness in a big way in the past several years, perhaps because of the prevalence of toxic behavior in arenas like online dating. Culturally we’re at a point where the term gets tossed around quite casually. …


A few years ago someone commented on one of my social media posts, asking me to explain why I felt that growing up in a cult was such a bad thing. It was such a diminishing question that I felt my brain completely freeze up. The question mirrored much of…


In focusing on art as a healing tool, I want to hone in specifically on religious trauma because that area of focus is where my personal experience is rooted. However, I believe that many of the resources shared in this post apply to other areas of trauma as well.

Let’s…


Today I’m working on my presentation on Healing Through Art for the virtual Conference on Religious Trauma next month, and I wanted to start by sharing my experience of using art as a tool for reclaiming my story and rewriting my narrative.

If you felt yourself tense up at the…

Jen Kiaba

Artist, Educator, Childhood Cult Survivor

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