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Jesus Freaks

Jesus Freaks Author Don Lattin
ISBN-10 9780061745911
Release 2009-10-13
Pages 256
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In the tradition of Jon Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven, Don Lattin's Jesus Freaks is the story of a shocking pilgrimage of revenge that left two people dead and shed new light on The Family International, one of the most controversial religious movements to emerge from the spiritual turmoil of the sixties and seventies. Some say The Family International—previously known as the Children of God—began with the best intentions. But their sexual and spiritual excesses soon forced them to go underground and follow a dark and dangerous path. Their charismatic leader, David "Moses" Berg, preached a radical critique of the piety and hypocrisy of mainstream Christianity. But Berg's message quickly devolved into its own web of lies. He lusted for power and unlimited access to female members of his flock—including young girls and teenagers—and became a drunken tyrant, setting up re-indoctrination camps around the world for rebellious teenagers under his control. Thousands of children raised in The Family would defect and try to live normal lives, but the prophet's heir apparent, Ricky "Davidito" Rodriguez, was unable to either bear the excesses of the cult or fit into normal society. Sexually and emotionally abused as a child, Ricky left the fold and began a crusade to destroy the only family he ever knew, including a plot to kill his own mother. Veteran journalist Don Lattin has written a powerful, engrossing book about this uniquely American tragedy. Jesus Freaks is a cautionary tale for those who fail to question the prophesies and proclamations of anyone who claims to speak for God.



Heaven s Harlots

Heaven s Harlots Author Miriam Williams
ISBN-10 UCBK:C085146178
Release 1998
Pages 297
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A disturbing account of one woman's experience in a bizarre cult describes her struggle to start anew after years of having sex with strangers in an effort to save their souls



Run Brother Run

Run  Brother  Run Author David Berg
ISBN-10 9781476716794
Release 2013-06-11
Pages 272
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A searing family memoir, hailed as “remarkable” (The New York Times), “compelling” (People), and “engrossing” (Kirkus Reviews), of a trial lawyer’s tempestuous boyhood in Texas that led to the vicious murder of his brother by the father of actor Woody Harrelson. In 1968, David Berg’s brother, Alan, was murdered by Charles Harrelson, a notorious hit man and father of Woody Harrelson. Alan was only thirty-one when he disappeared (David was twenty-six) and for more than six months his family did not know what had happened to him—until his remains were found in a ditch in Texas. There was an eyewitness to the murder: Charles Harrelson’s girlfriend, who agreed to testify. For his defense, Harrelson hired Percy Foreman, then the most famous criminal lawyer in America. Despite the overwhelming evidence against him, Harrelson was acquitted. After burying his brother all those years ago, David Berg rarely talked about him. Yet in 2008 he began to remember and research Alan’s life and death. The result is Run, Brother, Run: part memoir—about growing up Jewish in 1950s Texas and Arkansas—and part legal story, informed by Berg’s experience as a seasoned lawyer. Writing with cold-eyed grief and a wild, lacerating humor, Berg tells us first about the striving Jewish family that created Alan Berg and set him on a course for self-destruction, and then about the miscarriage of justice when Berg’s murderer was acquitted. David Berg brings us a painful family history, a portrait of an iconic American place, and a true-crime courtroom murder drama that “elegantly brings to life the rough-and-tumble boomtown that was 1960s-era Houston, and conveys with unflinching force the emotional damage his brother’s death did to his family” (The New York Times).



Blue Windows

Blue Windows Author Barbara Wilson
ISBN-10 9781466888869
Release 2014-12-30
Pages 352
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From Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Church of Christian Science, to Deepak Chopra, Americans have struggled with the connection between health and happiness. Barbara Wilson was taught by her Christian Scientist family that there was no sickness or evil, and that by maintaining this belief she would be protected. But such beliefs were challenged when Wilson's own mother died of breast cancer after deciding not to seek medical attention, having been driven mad by the contradiction between her religion and her reality. In this perceptive and textured memoir Blue Windows, Wilson surveys the complex history of Christian Science and the role of women in religion and healing.



Banished

Banished Author Lauren Drain
ISBN-10 9781455512430
Release 2013-03-05
Pages 304
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NOW A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER You've likely heard of the Westboro Baptist Church. Perhaps you've seen their pickets on the news, the members holding signs with messages that are too offensive to copy here, protesting at events such as the funerals of soldiers, the 9-year old victim of the recent Tucson shooting, and Elizabeth Edwards, all in front of their grieving families. The WBC is fervently anti-gay, anti-Semitic, and anti- practically everything and everyone. And they aren't going anywhere: in March, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the WBC's right to picket funerals. Since no organized religion will claim affiliation with the WBC, it's perhaps more accurate to think of them as a cult. Lauren Drain was thrust into that cult at the age of 15, and then spat back out again seven years later. BANISHED is the first look inside the organization, as well as a fascinating story of adaptation and perseverance. Lauren spent her early years enjoying a normal life with her family in Florida. But when her formerly liberal and secular father set out to produce a documentary about the WBC, his detached interest gradually evolved into fascination, and he moved the entire family to Kansas to join the church and live on their compound. Over the next seven years, Lauren fully assimilated their extreme beliefs, and became a member of the church and an active and vocal picketer. But as she matured and began to challenge some of the church's tenets, she was unceremoniously cast out from the church and permanently cut off from her family and from everyone else she knew and loved. BANISHED is the story of Lauren's fight to find herself amidst dramatic changes in a world of extremists and a life in exile.



Following Our Bliss

Following Our Bliss Author Don Lattin
ISBN-10 9780061743733
Release 2009-10-13
Pages 288
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Renowned journalist Don Lattin, longtime reporter for the San Francisco Examiner and more recently the San Francisco Chronicle, interprets the American spiritual and religious landscape since the 60s with insight, wit, and telling reporting. What David Brooks did for the American social and commercial landscape in the bestselling Bobos In Paradise, he does for the spiritual landscape, showing how the 60s have had a profound transformative impact in every area of spirituality. This is the first comprehensive look at the spiritual legacy of the 60s and 70s, as seen through the lives of those raised amid some of the era’s wildest experimentation.



The Harvard Psychedelic Club

The Harvard Psychedelic Club Author Don Lattin
ISBN-10 9780061655944
Release 2011-01-04
Pages 272
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This book is the story of how three brilliant scholars and one ambitious freshman crossed paths in the early sixties at a Harvard-sponsored psychedelic-drug research project, transforming their lives and American culture and launching the mind/body/spirit movement that inspired the explosion of yoga classes, organic produce, and alternative medicine. The four men came together in a time of upheaval and experimentation, and their exploration of an expanded consciousness set the stage for the social, spiritual, sexual, and psychological revolution of the 1960s. Timothy Leary would be the rebellious trickster, the premier proponent of the therapeutic and spiritual benefits of LSD, advising a generation to "turn on, tune in, and drop out." Richard Alpert would be the seeker, traveling to India and returning to America as Ram Dass, reborn as a spiritual leader with his "Be Here Now" mantra, inspiring a restless army of spiritual pilgrims. Huston Smith would be the teacher, practicing every world religion, introducing the Dalai Lama to the West, and educating generations of Americans to adopt a more tolerant, inclusive attitude toward other cultures' beliefs. And young Andrew Weil would be the healer, becoming the undisputed leader of alternative medicine, devoting his life to the holistic reformation of the American health care system. It was meant to be a time of joy, of peace, and of love, but behind the scenes lurked backstabbing, jealousy, and outright betrayal. In spite of their personal conflicts, the members of the Harvard Psychedelic Club would forever change the way Americans view religion and practice medicine, and the very way we look at body and soul.



Seduced by Madness

Seduced by Madness Author Carol Pogash
ISBN-10 9780061751202
Release 2009-10-13
Pages 432
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She was fifteen when she visited the therapist; still a teen when they had sex. She was twenty-five when she married him and forty-four when she killed him. In October 2002, the quiet northern California town of Orinda was rocked by murder when Susan Polk, the mother of three teenage boys, was arrested for stabbing her husband and former therapist, Dr. Felix Polk, to death. The arrest and subsequent trial quickly became one of the most talked about murder cases in the country, as spectators and reporters learned the strange history behind this shocking killing. Now in Seduced by Madness, Carol Pogash—the leading journalist working the case—has written the definitive account of the Polk family saga, offering a rich and textured re-creation of this disturbing and tragic American tale. Examining the decadent culture of California in the 1970s, Pogash looks at how, in this period of drugs and sexual exploration, a fifteen-year-old Susan found herself caught in the grasp of Felix, her therapist—who, like others in the mental health profession, fell for every passing trend in mental health therapy. Culled from years of careful research, Pogash reconstructs the vague beginnings of the couple's sexual relationship in the therapist's office, exploring how Felix's relaxed attitude toward therapy blinded him to the complex nature of Susan's mental state, and how their mutual obsession with each other sealed their fate. With lyrical prose, Pogash skillfully traces the Polks' story—from their early yearnings for one another through their flawed marriage, which produced three highly intelligent but emotionally divided sons. Weaving a complex narrative of a family who lived in multimillion dollar homes but lingered in the shadow of dysfunction, Pogash reassembles their life in the years and months before Felix's death, intimately describing what led this soft-spoken wife to murder. Three years after Felix's death, Susan Polk was tried for first degree murder, and here Pogash provides a first-hand account of the wild, media-circus trial in which Susan defended herself and cross-examined two of her sons. Illustrating how the prosecution and the court responded to Susan's volatile behavior, Pogash takes you inside the deliberation room and uncovers how jurors reached their surprising verdict. Filled with the most complete case facts and interviews available, Seduced by Madness offers an unparalleled look at one of the most captivating murder cases in recent years.



Jesus Freaks Martyrs

Jesus Freaks  Martyrs Author DC Talk
ISBN-10 0764212028
Release 2014-03-18
Pages 384
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There are more Christian martyrs today than there were in ad 100--in the days of the Roman Empire. Now in the twenty-first century, according to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity, more than 150,000 Christians are martyred around the world every year. "Remember the Lord's people who are in jail and be concerned for them. Don't forget those who are suffering, but imagine that you are there with them." Hebrews 13:3 cev Their stories must be told.



Murder by Family

Murder by Family Author Kent Whitaker
ISBN-10 9781439139981
Release 2008-09-23
Pages 224
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This is the tragic story of Kent Whitaker's heart-wrenching journey toward forgiveness and faith after the brutal murder of his wife and one of his sons. Straight from the headlines comes an incredible true story of a son's treachery. For the first time, readers are offered inside access to the emotional drama that went on behind the scenes. At the core is the remarkable healing power of forgiveness, demonstrated by Kent Whitaker, which shows how the survivors of such atrocious events can still forgive those who have permanently damaged their lives. One evening, the Whitaker family returned home after dinner, celebrating a son's impending graduation from college. On opening the front door, they faced a gunman lying in wait. The gunman opened fire, instantly killing the younger son and Kent's wife, leaving Kent and his older son lying wounded until police and ambulances arrived. While recovering in the hospital, Kent resolved in his heart to forgive whoever was responsible for the deaths of his wife and son. Over the next few weeks, it was discovered that the whole murder plot had been orchestrated by the surviving son -- whom Kent had unknowingly forgiven. After a trial that resulted in a death sentence for his son, Kent emerged from this harrowing ordeal to share their astonishing journey toward forgiveness and redemption.



Distilled Spirits

Distilled Spirits Author Don Lattin
ISBN-10 9780520272323
Release 2012-09-18
Pages 304
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Chronicles the experiences of the author, a religion reporter, and his friendships with Aldous Huxley, Gerald Heard, and Bill Wilson, three men who had profound effects on the religion and spirituality of the twentieth century.



Changing Our Minds

Changing Our Minds Author Don Lattin
ISBN-10 0907791662
Release 2017
Pages 288
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CHANGING OUR MINDS is an experiential tour through a social, spiritual and scientifi c revolution that is redefi ning our culture's often-confusing relationship with psychoactive substances. Veteran journalist Don Lattin chronicles the inspiring stories of pioneering neuroscientists, psychotherapists, spiritual guides and ordinary people seeking to live healthier lives by combining psychedelic drugs, psychotherapy, and the wise use of ancient plant medicines. In ground-breaking clinical trials, specially trained therapists employ Ecstasy (MDMA) to help U.S. veterans struggling with the psychological aftermath of war. Other psychiatrists in government-approved research off er psilocybin, to alcoholics trying to get sober and cancer patients struggling with the existential distress of a life-threatening illness. Meanwhile, new imaging technology has enabled neuroscientists to map the psychedelic brain in real time, deepening our understanding of human consciousness. the essential primer for understanding and navigating this new consciousness-raising territory.



God s Forever Family

God s Forever Family Author Larry Eskridge
ISBN-10 9780199315222
Release 2013-05-31
Pages 416
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Winner of the 2014 Christianity Today Book of the Year First Place Winner of the Religion Newswriters Association's Non-fiction Religion Book of the Year The Jesus People movement was a unique combination of the hippie counterculture and evangelical Christianity. It first appeared in the famed "Summer of Love" of 1967, in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district, and spread like wildfire in Southern California and beyond, to cities like Seattle, Atlanta, and Milwaukee. In 1971 the growing movement found its way into the national media spotlight and gained momentum, attracting a huge new following among evangelical church youth, who enthusiastically adopted the Jesus People persona as their own. Within a few years, however, the movement disappeared and was largely forgotten by everyone but those who had filled its ranks. God's Forever Family argues that the Jesus People movement was one of the most important American religious movements of the second half of the 20th-century. Not only do such new and burgeoning evangelical groups as Calvary Chapel and the Vineyard trace back to the Jesus People, but the movement paved the way for the huge Contemporary Christian Music industry and the rise of "Praise Music" in the nation's churches. More significantly, it revolutionized evangelicals' relationship with youth and popular culture. Larry Eskridge makes the case that the Jesus People movement not only helped create a resurgent evangelicalism but must be considered one of the formative powers that shaped American youth in the late 1960s and 1970s.



The Jesus People Movement

The Jesus People Movement Author Richard A. Bustraan
ISBN-10 9781630873509
Release 2014-02-13
Pages 262
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Who would have imagined that the hippies, those long-haired, psychedelia-influenced youth of the 1960s, would have initiated a spiritual revolution that has transformed American Christianity? If you are unfamiliar with the 1960s, the counterculture, the hippie movement, and the Jesus People, then this book will transport you to that era and introduce you to the generation and the decade that turned American culture upside down. If you have read other books on the Jesus People, this account will take you by surprise. A refreshingly different narrative that unveils a storyline and characters not commonly known to have been associated with the movement, this book argues that the Jesus People, though often trivialized and stigmatized as a group of lost and vulnerable youth who strayed from the Fundamentalism of their childhood, helped American Christianity negotiate a way forward in a post-1960s culture. It examines the narrative of the Holy Spirit and the phenomenon called Pentecostalism. Although utterly central, the Jesus People's Pentecostalism has never been examined and their story has been omitted from the historiography of Pentecostalism. This account uniquely redresses this omission.



Jesus Girls

Jesus Girls Author Hannah Faith Notess
ISBN-10 9781606085417
Release 2009-09-01
Pages 238
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Evangelicals are supposed to be experts at telling their story. From an early age you are expected to have a testimony, a story of how God saved you from a life of sin and sadness and gave you a new life of joy and gladness. What happens if you don't have such a testimony? What if your story just doesn't fit the before-and-after mold? What are you supposed to do if your voice is not one usually heard? In these offbeat, witty, and often bittersweet essays, up-and-coming writers tell the truth about growing up female and evangelical. Whether they stayed in the church or not, evangelicalism has shaped their spiritual lives. Eschewing evangelical clichŽs, idyllic depictions of Christian upbringing, and pat formulas of sinner-to-saint transformation, these writers reflect frankly on childhoods filled with flannel board Jesuses, Christian rap music, and Bible memorization competitions. Along the way they find insight in the strangest places--the community swimming pool, Casey Kasem's American Top 40, and an Indian mosque. Together this collection of essays provides a vivid and diverse portrait of life in the evangelical church, warts and all. List of Contributors: Jessica Belt Paula Carter Kirsten Cruzen Anne Dayton Kimberly B. George Carla-Elaine Johnson Megan Kirschner Anastasia McAteer Melanie Springer Mock Audrey Molina Victoria Moon Shauna Niequist Hannah Faith Notess Andrea Palpant Dilley Angie Romines Andrea Saylor Nicole Sheets Shari MacDonald Strong Stephanie Tombari Heather Baker Utley Jessie van Eerden Sara Zarr



The Family

The Family Author Chris Johnston
ISBN-10 9781925307597
Release 2016-11-24
Pages 288
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The apocalyptic group The Family and their guru, Anne Hamilton-Byrne — one of very few female cult leaders in history — captured international headlines throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Hamilton-Byrne, who some followers believed was Jesus Christ, was glamorous and charismatic — and, many allege, very dangerous. From her base in a quiet suburb, she recruited wealthy professionals to join her cult, including doctors, lawyers, nurses, architects, and scientists. She acquired children and raised them as her own, bleaching their hair blonde to make them look like siblings, and her group became surrounded by rumours of LSD use, child abuse, and strange spiritual rituals. In 1987, police swooped on The Family’s lakeside compound and rescued children who claimed they were part of Anne’s future master race. The children recounted terrible stories of near starvation, emotional manipulation, and physical abuse. But Anne could not be found, sparking an international police hunt that involved Scotland Yard, Interpol, and the FBI. Could they bring Anne to justice? Today, the elderly Anne has an estate estimated to be worth millions, with only one minor criminal conviction to her name. Her few remaining followers attend her nursing-home bedside. How did such a notorious group come to flourish? How did Anne maintain a hold over her followers? And why was she never fully brought to justice? Drawing on revelatory new research, including interviews with survivors, The Family tells for the first time in full the strange and shocking story of one of the most bizarre cults in modern history.



The Sins of Brother Curtis

The Sins of Brother Curtis Author Lisa Davis
ISBN-10 9781451612851
Release 2011-03-15
Pages 368
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This brilliantly reported, unforgettable true story reveals how one of the most monstrous sexual criminals in the history of the Mormon church preyed on his victims even as he was protected by the church elders who knew of his behavior. When Seattle attorney Tim Kosnoff agreed to listen to an eighteen-year-old man who claimed to have been molested by his Mormon Sunday school teacher, he had no idea he was embarking on a quest for justice on behalf of multiple victims or that the battle would consume years of his life and pit him against the vast, powerful, and unrepentant Mormon church itself. As Kosnoff began to investigate the case, he discovered that the Sunday school teacher, a mysterious figure named Frank Curtis, possessed a long and violent prison record before he was welcomed into the church, where he became a respected elder entrusted with the care of prepubescent Mormon boys. Through Lisa Davis’s deft storytelling, two astonishing narratives unfold. The first shows how Brother Curtis ingratiated himself into the lives of young boys from working-class Mormon families where money was tight, and was accepted by mothers and fathers who saw in him a kindly uncle or grandfather figure who enjoyed the blessing of the church. Having gained the families’ trust, Curtis became fiendishly helpful, offering to supervise trips or overnights out of the sight of parents, when he could manipulate his victims or ply them with alcohol. The other narrative is a real-life legal thriller. As Davis shows, Kosnoff and his partners tirelessly assembled the case against the church, sifting through records, tracking down victims, and convincing them to testify about Brother Curtis’s acts. What began as a case of one plaintiff turned into a complex web stretching across multiple states. Joined by what would become a team of attorneys and investigators, Kosnoff found himself up against one of the most insular institutions in the United States: the secretive and powerful Mormon church. The amazing legal case at the heart of The Sins of Brother Curtis shows how the church’s elite, well-funded team of attorneys claimed the church was protected under the Constitution from revealing that Curtis had molested a number of Mormon boys. Yet Kosnoff and his devoted legal team (which included a female investigator adept at getting parents of victims to talk to her) succeeded in forcing the church to reveal that it knew about Curtis and ultimately achieved a successful settlement. Emotionally powerful page by page, The Sins of Brother Curtis delivers a redemptive reading experience in which the truth, no matter how painful and hidden, is told at last and justice is hard won. This is a remarkable story, all true.