Cult strikes a chord with a global audience that has felt the direct and indirect effects of religious cults on society in the form of extremism, terrorism, and other ideological modes of violence on both a domestic and international front.
In the dead of night, Naomi Forman receives a phone call. Barney Harrigan, the man she once loved—now happily married with children—utters, “My wife Charlotte has been captured by the Glories.” What began as a rude interruption of her night becomes a horrifying interruption of her life, as she is unable to ignore Barney’s cry for help.
Drawn into the Glory Church doomsday cult by her estranged sister, Charlotte Harrigan succumbs to the will of the enigmatic Father Glory. Brainwashed beyond comprehension, she is now not herself, but only one of many who have been entrapped by the cult’s promise of rebirth into a new, idyllic life.
Against her better judgment, Naomi agrees to help Barney confront the Glories and save Charlotte. But naïve optimism quickly plummets to misery as their plans are systematically picked apart, dashed by members of the cult past and present, and even by the local Sheriff T. Clausen Moore, who is only as helpful as the Glories want him to be. His awareness of the Glory’s practices on their secluded compound—including the river, where there has been more than one “accidental” drowning—is the one obstacle that he too must overcome to restore order to his county. No one is safe. Naomi’s will is tested and Barney becomes more and more desperate. The lengths he is willing to go to save his wife are as sinister as the Glories themselves.
From the Manson family to Scientology, cults have been fascinating, disturbing, and terrifying, from their induction methodologies to doomsday imperatives. The Glory Church of Warren Adler’s Cult is no different. Just look to the headlines. Their time will come.
EBook Reviews Weekly by Nikesh Murali
“If The War of the Roses, Warren Adler’s masterpiece, inspired one of the most famous movies on divorce, Cult will evoke in you a fear, a dread that reiterates itself every moment, a lack of poise that turns deadly with each breath you take and forces you to take a step back and analyze the little aquarium in which you have let your concepts regarding society and life swim freely, feeding it, unbothered because there is always a lid on the top. It is a wake up call for all of us, who casually watch the 8 o’clock news, who browse bloody pages of newspapers with ease, who think all is well with our near and dear ones. This cocoon of self-assurance is torn apart by Cult. Truly a masterpiece, it relates to the life of an average citizen and appeals to the most avid reader because the subject matter is most relevant to our time. The threat that looms large before us in the form of organizations promoting hatred, racial discrimination and religious violence has long been disregarded. But in the face of the painful September 11 memories Americans and the world as a whole has been forced to come under one shelter and deal with the menace of terrorism and cults, which promote violence.
Barney Harrigan, a successful computer entrepreneur, discovers that his young wife has been lured by her fanatical sister into the Glory Cult, a ruthless and powerful group in Oregon run by a charismatic “guru.” Determined to free her from the cult’s grasp and return her to him and their four-year-old son, he teams up with his old lover, a human rights activist from Washington and two cunning deprogrammers. What ensues is truly incredible as this foursome, who are very much aware of the hazards, hatch a plan to kidnap the young wife from the cult. The heart-stopping climax is worth every buck you pay and one of the most well-written end sequences I have read in a while. The enemy is tough and so is the determination of the rescuers, a treat you wouldn’t want to miss in the traditional ‘Good vs. Big Baddy “I have nine lives”‘ style.
This is a well researched book with visions and dimensions which will frighten as the book takes us to a safari, a real jungle full of vile human beings who exist to question establishments and peace. The psychological perspective, the intricacies of brainwashing are all set with an authentic tune, chillingly real. The author has rightly pointed out a few quirks in our society, thought process and political establishments, which contributes to the rise of such evil. What impressed me most about the book was the author’s determination to produce an absolutely neat and engaging work.
…. Cult goes down as one of the best fiction works of all time, which has taken up the responsibility of holding a mirror to our mottled society….”