Saturday, January 07, 2023

Five top books on cults

A former magazine editor and award-winning journalist, Janice Hallett has written speeches and articles for, among others, the UK's Cabinet Office, Home Office and Department for International Development. In screenwriting, Hallett's first feature film Retreat was released by Sony Pictures (co-written and directed by Carl Tibbetts) which starred Cillian Murphy, Thandie Newton, and Jamie Bell.

Her novels are The Appeal, The Twyford Code, and The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels.

At the Waterstones blog Hallett tagged five favorite books that feature cults, including:
Educated by Tara Westover

The definition of a cult is not exclusive to religious and ideological organisations. Tara Westover grew up in a family of ‘survivalists’ whose existence was so isolated she didn’t set foot in a classroom until she was 17. On the surface her upbringing appeared idyllic, as she, her parents and seven siblings lived a hippyish lifestyle off-grid in rural, mountainous Idaho. They treated ailments with herbs and were always ready to ‘run to the hills’ and live off the land if the end of the world looked imminent. But this existence was the result of her father’s paranoia and untreated mental health problems. Her escape from his abusive tyranny is an extraordinary story, one of true survival. Westover’s account is particularly heart-breaking on the mixed feelings ‘escape’ can bring when it means leaving loved ones behind.
Read about another book on the list.

Educated is among Jae-Yeon Yoo's ten books about the merits & dangers of alternative schooling.

--Marshal Zeringue