Review by Leen282 -- The Cult Next Door

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Leen282
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Review by Leen282 -- The Cult Next Door

Post by Leen282 »

[Following is a volunteer review of "The Cult Next Door" by Elizabeth R. Burchard, Judith L. Carlone.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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I am quite sure I have never met a cult member. At least, I was until I read The Cult Next Door: A Manhattan Memoir by Elizabeth R. Burchard and Judith L. Carlone. Now I don't know anymore.

The book is an autobiography, Elizabeth writes about her journey from being a confused teenager into an abused cult member. Early in life, she lost her loving father and grew up with a cold and distant mother. Her mother was very open to all kinds of new-age treatments and creative approaches to sort issues. She takes her daughter, Elizabeth, with her to a series of therapists, and one day they meet with George for a biofeedback session. George has a unique approach to finding strength and happiness. He manages to engage Elizabeth and many others to pay for both private and group sessions with him, multiple times a week, to be humiliated and abused. This abuse is needed to find the Energy. Once you possess the Energy, all will be well. Despite noticing that his words and actions were sometimes contradictory and only served himself, Elizabeth felt she had to continue seeing him for survival.

When she met Judith, she slowly started believing in herself again. Judith was patient, loving, and caring, all the while supporting Elizabeth to get away from George and his destructive group sessions.

This book opened a whole new world for me. Previously, I thought cult members would live together, separate from society, and do their own thing. One would recognize them. Elizabeth's memoir taught me that this is not always the case. She was a functioning member of the community, a bright student getting her degree, a young professional setting up her own business. Passers-by would perhaps notice a tired, struggling businesswoman, but I doubt anyone could guess what was going on in her life.

Elizabeth shares her story in this book, not shying away from awkward details and painful memories. I felt for her and wanted to get to the part where she gets away from George's influence. I cheered in my head when she met Judith. It is a definite plus for the book that Judith shares her story as well, so the reader can see both viewpoints.

There is nothing I dislike about the way the authors wrote this memoir. There were a few small typos, but nothing that impacted the reading experience. I give this book 4 out of 4 stars. Given some of the horrible experiences Elizabeth described, including sexual ones, I recommend this book to a mature audience.

******
The Cult Next Door
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JM Reviews
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Post by JM Reviews »

That sounds like a very emotional memoir. I haven't met a cult member either. I'd like to read this book. Nice review
Your success is not completely deserved, and the failure of others is not completely deserved either :D
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Leen282
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Post by Leen282 »

JM Reviews wrote: 12 Jun 2020, 09:10 That sounds like a very emotional memoir. I haven't met a cult member either. I'd like to read this book. Nice review
Thanks, it is indeed quite emotional but a real eye-opener.
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Post by Standor5865 »

Another story that generally emphasizes the importance of having concerned parents or great role models in one's life. The book looks interesting overall. I look forward to giving it a try.
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Post by Leen282 »

Standor5865 wrote: 13 Jun 2020, 05:20 Another story that generally emphasizes the importance of having concerned parents or great role models in one's life. The book looks interesting overall. I look forward to giving it a try.
I am sure you won't regret it. Thanks for commenting.
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Post by book_fanatic_ »

I've read and reviewed this book. It's a touching and great read. Nice review!
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Post by Leen282 »

book_fanatic_ wrote: 14 Jun 2020, 03:31 I've read and reviewed this book. It's a touching and great read. Nice review!
Thanks for stopping by and commenting, happy you also enjoyed reading this book.
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Post by Rubbi »

Elizabeth's story sounds quite engaging. I liked your review and I think I will consider reading the book soon. Thanks for the review.
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Post by Leen282 »

Rubbi wrote: 14 Jun 2020, 18:05 Elizabeth's story sounds quite engaging. I liked your review and I think I will consider reading the book soon. Thanks for the review.
It is engaging. Hope you'll like it as well.
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Post by LinaJan »

This was already on my shelf but your review created even more urgency to pick it up! :D I have only just very recently learnt about what biofeedback was so I cannot find out how George employs it to meet suck wicked goals of his :o Cannot wait to learn his motives either!

Thank you! A beautifully written and inviting review :D
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Post by Leen282 »

LinaJan wrote: 15 Jun 2020, 07:39 This was already on my shelf but your review created even more urgency to pick it up! :D I have only just very recently learnt about what biofeedback was so I cannot find out how George employs it to meet suck wicked goals of his :o Cannot wait to learn his motives either!

Thank you! A beautifully written and inviting review :D
Thanks, I hope you find the book as intriguing as I did!
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Post by Honest-reviewer »

Thank you for the nice review. This book sounds intriguing and emotional. I want to pick this book when I get a chance.
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Leen282
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Post by Leen282 »

Honest-reviewer wrote: 15 Jun 2020, 08:43 Thank you for the nice review. This book sounds intriguing and emotional. I want to pick this book when I get a chance.
I hope you get to read it, I can recommend it.
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Post by Tonika632 »

This book sounds emotional. That girl went through a lot. Great review!
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Leen282
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Post by Leen282 »

Tonika632 wrote: 15 Jun 2020, 12:08 This book sounds emotional. That girl went through a lot. Great review!
Thanks, it's indeed emotional.
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