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Episode Info:

We've decided this week to reboot one of our favorite episodes with former Neo-Nazi leader, Christian Picciolini, in hopes of spreading hope about society that people CAN in fact change.

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In this week’s episode we cover a controversial topic with Christian Picciolini – an author, public speaker, musician and former neo-Nazi leader. After leaving the white supremacist movement he helped create when he was just 16 years old, Christian started dedicating his career to helping others overcome their own hate. He is now co-founder of the nonprofit Life After Hate and founder of the Free Radicals Project, a network of people who are working to prevent extremism and help people leave extremist groups. Christian talks to us about his childhood and how he was recruited into the Neo-Nazi movement, which often targets vulnerable young men with broken promises of power and a sense of belonging. As we live in a society that’s quick to shame and condemn extremists as irredeemable, Christian shares with us why he finds this to be ineffective, and how extending compassion towards someone who may not deserve it might be the only way to create real change. We talk about the importance of community, identity and purpose as our most fundamental needs and how people are recruited into hate groups less because of ideology or dogma, but rather because of a broken search for identity. Stay tuned for the end of the episode, where Christian closes our discussion by reading an excerpt from his book, “White American Youth.”

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