The Courageous Podcast with Ryan Berman

The Courageous Podcast Episode #25: Tony McAleer (Founder, The Cure For Hate)

Episode Summary

“That’s what you did. Not who you are.” Hurt people hurt people. This is the story of Tony McAleer, a former neofascist and White Supremacist, who mustered the courage to leave behind a tribe of violent extremists with a new quest of fighting hate. First, Tony had to encounter his own personal demons, fear of loneliness and, as he calls it, make up of toxic shame. Today, Tony is an international speaker, a father of two and the founder of The Cure For Hate. While his life’s mission is to help people leave hate groups, we spent the majority of our time discussing his own journey to eject himself from his last life. One moment of irony? His path to face himself went through a guiding therapist who happened to be Jewish. Tony shares his upbringing as “little Tony”, his eye opening trip to an Auschwitz concentration camp, and his committed quest to bring radical compassion to people who need it most.

Episode Notes

3:21 - Tony shares his last company: Life After Hate

4:07 - Tony spent 15 years in the movement

4:37 - Tony didn't grow up in a broken family

5:41 - "The world happens to us and we learn it's not so safe to be open."

8:19 - Tony talks about the coldness of his private school experience

9:35 - Tony talks about the choices he made that harmed other people and himself.

11:32 - Tony shares how the birth of his child changed him.

13:33 - The journey to self acceptance

15:29 - Tony shares his necessary break away from an extreme group

16:09 - Tony as a single parent in the 90s

16:19 - Tony discusses why people really join a hate group

17:38 - Voids filled: Brotherhood.  Love. Toughness.

19:52 - Tony shares where he turned after 15 years in the movement

21:44 - Tony walks us through his first ever counseling session

25:28 - "Compassion is the antidote to shame."

26:09 - The explanation of "toxic shame"

27:45 - "Suicide is the ultimate internal toxic shame. Murder is the ultimate external toxic shame."

28:48 - Tony shares the importance of dealing with our pasts

28:58 - "Healthy shame is, 'I did bad'. Toxic shame is, 'I am bad.'

31:21 - Shame is at the root of bullying. Shame is at the root of addiction.

33:32 - turn arounds happen with compassion

34:37 - The importance of living in alignment with "Little Tony".

38:55 - Radical compassion and the need to address what's beyond our comfort zone

41:23 - Breaking that cycle of playing a role

47:13 - "When I was in Holocaust denial, I was incapable of feeling."

47:28 - Tony shares what it was like to feel the energy of  Concentration Camps.

50:11 - Tony coming to terms with the deepest level of his shadow

50:37 - Tony confesses IF he would changed sooner if he visited the Concentration Camps in his 20s.

52:41 - Tony's book:  "A Cure For Hate"