My Mother the Witch, Family Secrets in ‘Pilgrim’s Wilderness,’ and More

Joshua Safran was born in 1975 into a coven of witches. That included his mother, who was determined to keep her son out of the mainstream and off the grid. He spent his early childhood as a nomad, living everywhere from communes to old vans. One day he discovered he was Jewish, and after years of wandering, he finally felt he had found a home. From October 2013.

The 15 children of the Pilgrim family grew up with only two books in the house, and one of them was the Bible. It was in the Bible that Papa Pilgrim, their cruel but charming father, found all the guidance he needed about how to run their lives. For him, it justified moving them all to the middle of Alaska to create a ‘Hillbilly Heaven,’ exacting frequent beatings (he called them “corrections”), and raping his eldest daughter for more than a decade. From November 2013.

Yes, you really can boil it down to three. Celebrated author Anne Lamott talks about the universal human need to ask for guidance, express gratitude, and revel in awe. From November 2012.

Share This Episode