We have three chilling books that detail the bizarre, and give incredible insight into the stories behind some of the most shocking cults in recent years.
Beautiful Revolutionary is an electric and thrilling re-telling of Jim Jones’s Peoples Temple, and the events leading up to the Jonestown Massacre. The Family and Behind the Exclusive Brethren are compelling journalistic accounts of two of Australia’s most notorious cults.
Beautiful Revolutionary is a thrilling novel from the author of The Love of a Bad Man, and inspired by the true events leading up to the Jonestown Massacre of 1978.
It’s the summer of 1968, and Evelyn Lynden is a woman at war with herself. Minister’s daughter. Atheist. Independent woman. Frustrated wife. Bitch with a bleeding heart.
Following her conscientious-objector husband Lenny to the rural Eden of Evergreen Valley, California, Evelyn wants to be happy with their new life. Yet as the world is rocked by warfare and political assassinations, by racial discrimination and social upheaval, she finds herself disillusioned with Lenny’s passive ways — and anxious for a saviour.
Enter the Reverend Jim Jones, the dynamic leader of a revolutionary church called Peoples Temple. As Evelyn grows closer to Jones, her marriage is just the first casualty of his rise to power.
Laura Elizabeth Woollett’s meticulously researched, elegantly written, and utterly engrossing novel will pull you into the lives of Jim Jones’s Peoples Temple.
The apocalyptic group The Family and Anne Hamilton-Byrne — a rare female cult leader — captured headlines throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Journalists Chris Johnston and Rosie Jones tell the strange and shocking story of one of the most bizarre cults in modern history.
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 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. Could they bring Anne to justice?
The Family is a powerful work of investigative journalism that reveals the legacy of a notorious cult.
Behind the Exclusive Brethren
While working as an investigative reporter for The Age Michael Bachelard uncovered the facts behind the secretive sect, the Exclusive Brethren.
Out of nowhere in 2004, an obscure religious sect burst onto the political stage in Australia. Almost unheard of until then, the Exclusive Brethren was suddenly spending up big on election advertising in support of conservative political parties.
Behind the Exclusive Brethren details the sect’s origins in the United Kingdom in the nineteenth century, their fractious history, their extraordinary use of scripture to control members and dissidents, and their lucrative business and financial arrangements. It’s a fascinating story of influence and power exercised across the world. But it’s a very human story, too — of damaged lives, of broken families, and of hurt and anger that stretches back decades.