8 episodes

Hideo Higashibaba left the cult he was born into when he was 22 years old. The Unification Church, also known as the Moonies, was founded in Korea by a man named Sun Myung Moon who proclaimed he was the Second Coming of Christ. In Growing Up Moonie, Hideo asks people he grew up with what their childhoods were like and shares his struggle to make sense of his weird sheltered youth and the person he grew up to be. Edited and co-produced by Quinn Myers.

Growing Up Moonie Hideo Higashibaba

    • Personal Journals

Hideo Higashibaba left the cult he was born into when he was 22 years old. The Unification Church, also known as the Moonies, was founded in Korea by a man named Sun Myung Moon who proclaimed he was the Second Coming of Christ. In Growing Up Moonie, Hideo asks people he grew up with what their childhoods were like and shares his struggle to make sense of his weird sheltered youth and the person he grew up to be. Edited and co-produced by Quinn Myers.

    Episode 7: Hideo

    Episode 7: Hideo

    In this final episode Hideo shares his reasons for leaving the Unification and all he lost—and gained—when he left.

    • 28 min
    Episode 6: Katie

    Episode 6: Katie

    Katie and Hideo talk about Katie’s recent marriage to another second generation, the struggle to live the values of the church, and the innate need for belonging.

    • 25 min
    Episode 5: Ritual in the Unification Church

    Episode 5: Ritual in the Unification Church

    In the textbook definition of a cult, a group must have three things: a charismatic leader, insider/outsider identity, and shared ritual. In this episode, Hideo shares some of the rituals of the Moonies and what he had to leave behind.

    • 15 min
    Episode 4: Teruko

    Episode 4: Teruko

    In the early days of the Moonies, members all lived together in centers across the country and world. But when the second generation were born many families decided to move out and try something new: being totally separate from and yet a part of society. That’s what the second generation had to juggle, all the time and every day. Hideo and Teruko talk about the struggle to understand identity and belonging as the second generation.

    • 28 min
    Episode 3: The Mythology of Reverend Sun Myung Moon

    Episode 3: The Mythology of Reverend Sun Myung Moon

    Sun Myung Moon was born the son of poor farmers in present-day North Korea and by the time he died ruled a global cult and was a billionaire. Hideo digs into some of the stories and legends surrounding the charismatic leader of the Moonies.

    • 18 min
    Episode 2: Jenn

    Episode 2: Jenn

    Hideo and Jenn grew up going to church, Sunday school, and church camp together, but they had wildly different home lives. Hideo talks with Jenn about the pressures, guilt, and strict rules that guarded the childhoods of second generation Moonies.

    • 25 min

Customer Reviews

Ramesses III ,

So so so good

Thankyou for sharing and good luck to you all xxxx

Rentacle ,

A short but deep series

Hideo Higashibaba has created a thoughtful and revealing podcast about his and others' experiences growing up in the cult of the Unification Church. The podcast covers a lot of ground both in introducing what it means to be Moonie to the audience (and has its share of fascinating details about the inner workings and rituals of the cult!), and also in showing a wide variety of attitudes among adults who grew up as the 'Blessed Children' of the church's second generation. Hideo's identity as a queer and transgender person gives him a unique perspective on the church, and it is moving to hear his struggles with the idea of community and idenity as a person who has rejected and been rejected by everything he believed growing up. It's clear that a lot of work, thought and reflection went into this podcast and it makes for a enlightening and rewarding listen.

Top Podcasts In Personal Journals

Listeners Also Subscribed To