Tag Archives: Cults

The Singing Bone by Beth Hahn

Synopsis: When a documentary filmmaker decides to take on the infamous Jack Wyck murders, Alice, a professor of folklore, finds herself forced to confront the summer she and her best friends fell under the sway of the charismatic man who tattooed his name on the insides of their legs, and for whom they would do absolutely anything. Review: This is the one you need to read. So much beauty and horror and terror and humanity and tragedy and sadness and lightness, all perfectly calibrated and…

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I Am Malala, Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland, Cult Child

I bought the wrong edition of I Am Malala. I wanted to review it as a possible book for our homeschool coop’s middle school book club, but I didn’t get the young readers’ edition. Like everyone else in the world, I was really impressed with Malala’s passion for educational advocacy, and the bravery and strength of character she inherited from her father and mother. Malala Yousafzai was only 15 when she was shot point-blank in the head by the Taliban because she believed girls were…

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Elizabeth Smart, Scientology, Big Magic, Tearling

I have 18-20 books in my TBR pile right now and I want to read them all. Please remember me in your prayers, that my children would leave me alone so that I can READ! I have so much respect for Elizabeth Smart after reading My Story, her memoir of captivity and escape. Her faith in the midst of suffering is inspiring to me, and her commentary on the toxicity of purity culture eye-opening and brave. Leah Remini’s memoir Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology wasn’t…

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Not Without My Sister: The True Story of Three Girls Violated and Betrayed by Those They Trusted by Kristina Jones, Celeste Jones and Juliana Buhring

Synopsis: The story of three sisters who were born and raised in the Children of God cult and how they escaped. Review: Not Without My Sister was rough reading, not just because the subject matter was so grim but because it was kind of sloppily written. The three sisters’ stories were all written with the same voice (probably that of a ghost writer) and I just couldn’t tell them apart enough to become invested in the drama of their escape. Share on Facebook

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Beyond Belief by Jenna Miscavige Hill

Synopsis: Subtitled: “My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape.” Review: Beyond Belief is one of the best ex-cult memoirs I have ever read. Not only does it go into great detail about the inner workings of Sea Org, the religious order of Scientology, but it’s extremely well written. I was on the edge of my seat wondering when Jenna Miscavige Hill (niece to Scientiology scion David Miscavige) would come to her sense and realize that she had been systematically abused physically, emotionally, and…

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I Can’t Hear God Anymore: Life in a Dallas Cult by Wendy J. Duncan

Synopsis: A woman reflects on her time with Ole Anthony’s Trinity Foundation, which left after realizing that she was in a cult. Review: I Can’t Hear God Anymore was interesting for its insight into how someone becomes involved in a cult, though it was a little on the rambly side. I wanted a bit more theology, though I did appreciate the depth of her psychological self-awareness. Share on Facebook

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Triumph: Life After the Cult–A Survivor’s Lessons by Carolyn Jessop

Synopsis: After fleeing the FLDS with her 8 children, Carolyn Jessop becomes involved in the events following the raid on the FLDS compound where 400 children were taken by CPS because underage girls were being forced into plural marriages with old men. Review: I am fascinated by closed communities, and Triumph taught me so much about the inner workings of the FLDS, a radical sect of Mormonism that puts plural marriage at the forefront of their theology. Even better, I learned so much about what…

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Daughters of Zion: My Family’s Conversions to Polygamy by Kim Taylor

Synopsis: A memoir by a girl who grew up in a Mormon sect practicing polygamy that spawned a feud between brothers that became a massacre. Review: In Daughters of Zion, Kim Taylor really made me understand the inner life of a girl who would accept polygamy. I really appreciated her honesty and candor in portraying the spiritual abuse she suffered and how she never questioned what was going on around her. She also showed the positive side of growing up in a tight knit community,…

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