Jesus Freaks

Author: Don Lattin
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 006174591X
Size: 65.75 MB
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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

Author: Miriam Williams
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
ISBN:
Size: 70.94 MB
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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

Author: David Berg
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 147671679X
Size: 68.83 MB
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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).

Jesus Freaks Martyrs

Author: DC Talk
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
ISBN: 9780764212024
Size: 30.27 MB
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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.

Blue Windows

Author: Barbara Wilson
Publisher: Picador
ISBN: 1466888865
Size: 47.80 MB
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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.

Distilled Spirits

Author: Don Lattin
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520272323
Size: 36.25 MB
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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.

Banished

Author: Lauren Drain
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
ISBN: 1455512435
Size: 45.59 MB
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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.

The Harvard Psychedelic Club

Author: Don Lattin
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0061655945
Size: 42.23 MB
Format: PDF
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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.

Following Our Bliss

Author: Don Lattin
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 0061743739
Size: 41.57 MB
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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.

Seduced By Madness

Author: Carol Pogash
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0061751200
Size: 64.84 MB
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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.