4 out of 4 stars
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The Cult Next Door By. Elizabeth R Burchard and Judith L Carlone.
At 17 Elizabeth R Burchard’s mother sent her to a biofeedback doctor, for migraines and anxiety. It is here she meets George. He is the man who would dominate her life for the next 22 years.
Her, her mom Rachel, boyfriend Joe and two college roommates Lisa and Paulette all get caught up in his orbit. They will risk everything to have his approval or at the very least, to not be the focus of his wrath.
When they weren’t having an orgy or he wasn’t telling his followers that people die, because they were not worthy. He sat in a chair and shook.
He called this the Energy. He shook for hours.... $40 an hour. Since George was the guru, everyone had to pay him, and they did. Even if they went without food and other necessities. They paid him; some over 40 hours a week.
Elizabeth believed it all. Until her friend Lisa voiced her doubts and eventually left the group. Then she met Judith L Carlone.
This is when her slow-motion descent back into reality started. With Judith’s honest no-nonsense advice, and Elizabeth’s common sense kicking back in. Instead of falling apart when George kicks her out the group due to lack of finances, she embraces it.
I really enjoyed this book immensely. From Elizabeth being in the cult next-door, to Judith helping her get out of it and everything in between was so good. My favorite part of this book is when she finally gets rid of Serena and has no one from George’s family in her life. My least favorite part of this book is how after she leaves the group, she just cannot let it go. From trying to sue him for all the checks that she signed, to going to the police to try and get him arrested for all the sex she consented to. She kept saying she needed closure, but saying that, gives the person you need it from the same power you were trying to cleanse yourself of.
Elizabeth seems like a very likable, yet vulnerable woman. Someone I would love to be friends with as I felt the need to protect her. I think anyone who is in to stories of broken people who finally find success in the end would love this book. Except for emotional abuse and a little physical abuse, they really had no triggers that any new readers should be warned about. It is a pretty safe book but should only be read by adults as there are sex scenes in it.
I thought this was a great book and it seem to be professionally edited as I see no mistakes. That is why I am happy to give this book 4 out of 4 and would definitely recommend this book to those who like autobiographies and memoirs.
The Cult Next Door
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