And an appreciation for the little joys of life

At age 16, I became enamored with the loving group of hippies that was The Children of God. They welcomed me into their community and made me feel a part of something bigger than myself. I believed I had found my life’s vocation of serving God.

In 1973, the Children of God were a welcoming group of hippies.

As the years passed, and my isolation from the world outside the cult commune intensified, the doctrines became stranger, then frankly, horrendous. But by then, my sense of normal had morphed to only include what occurred within the cult as led by the words of our prophet, Moses, rather, David Berg.

Only Jesus is…

I hurt those I love and wasted years. What next?

In my youth, I naïvely joined what looked to be an innocent Christian group, the Children of God. It soon devolved into one of the more notorious cults of the 1970s. It took 31 long years for me to break free.

Leaving the Children of God came with an enormous jolt of horror. I had wasted years of my life. I had raised my children in a toxic environment. My belief system was shattered. I had lived a lie. My mind filled with a mist of shock and confusion. …

Is it even possible to have a respectful discussion on political topics with those on the other side?

What is causing the division in our society, the polarization of left and right, of Democrats and Republicans?

Evolution and Brain Chemicals

We humans evolved to be part of a group, starting with family, our loyalties grew to encompass our tribe. Groups can be defined by nationality, race, religious beliefs, political affiliations, sport teams, and the list goes on. As part of a group, we naturally look at others as either a member of our group or not, and we react more favorably to those we deem to be our fellow group members, finding immediate common ground. We view the world through the lens…

How bad is the world, really?

US nears 300,000 deaths from Covid-19 after record day

Amid rising violent crime, city divided over additional outside police help

Teen booked with murder in double homicide

“Our country is divided,” US Representative worries over future

Toddler’s blunt force trauma death ruled a homicide

With news like that, it’s no wonder some alarmists liken the US to “a war zone.”

Social media, with its tendency to create echo-chambers, amplifies those worries. …

Cadaver selling, medical studies, and drug trials

From the body snatchers of the early 19th century and the innovative William Burke, to the illicit cadaver trade of today’s “body brokers,” the corpses of the poor continue to be the mainstay used in autopsies for medical training. This has caused problems.

Photo by Lucas van Oort on Unsplash


William Burke, and his partner in crime, William Hare, were Resurrectionists. These were people whose chosen work entailed digging up graves and exhuming freshly buried corpses to be sold for dissection during anatomy lectures at medical colleges. In the early 1800s, Edinburg, Scotland, was one of the leading centers of anatomy research, and that study required a…

How to recognize the signs and get out

As a 16-year-old, I became enamored with a notorious Christian cult, the Children of God. I found myself enveloped in their loving arms. I had no idea it was a cult. I had the impression it was a group of young people trying to live a Christian lifestyle and promoting Christ’s teaching. I thought I was giving my life unselfishly for what seemed a worthy cause. Boy was I wrong. But I didn’t find that out until much, much later.

Several years later, now living in a commune with the group, I found myself infatuated with the man of my…

Neurons grow and new connects are formed in response to fresh stimulation

Although for many years, popular opinion was that our brains lose vast numbers of neurons as we age, research in the 21st Century has shown that brains, no matter the age, respond to enriched environments. Adults that focus their attention on new realms of learning rejuvenate their brains, generating new neurons and causing new connections to form between existing neurons.

Photo by Keren Fedida on Unsplash

The mistake

In the 1950s, some well-meaning neurobiologists studied the brains of people who had died at a very advanced age. Holding the premise that brains have a finite number of cells, they discovered brains that had drastically decreased in their numbers…

Absolutely. This is how I maintain my weight. If I see the scale go up or down from my desired weight, I can nip the issue in the bud. It seems something that everyone who can afford a scale should do.

This is great advice. Well done!

Your article brought to mind a course I listened to from the Great Courses on conflict management. The professor stressed that both parties in a disagreement can get what they want if they take the time to define and then to present their goals, and work together to reach them. It is not a given that one party must lose and one must win, nor that both parties will lose through compromise. Both parties can work together to get a true win-win.

Mary Mahoney

Endlessly curious, a voracious reader and student of psychology, neurology, and behavior, Mary Mahoney is the author of Abnormal Normal

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