Official Review: The Life and Times of a Black Prince in ...

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SABRADLEY
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Official Review: The Life and Times of a Black Prince in ...

Post by SABRADLEY » 22 May 2018, 16:12

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Life and Times of a Black Prince in America (book one)" by Robin R Rabii.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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The Life and Times of a Black Prince in America is the autobiographical account of an African-American man raised in a fanatical religion. The religious order, Helion Temple of Ancient Divine Wisdom-Order of Melchisedec, was structured much like an ancient royal court, complete with Queen, Princes, Princesses, servants, overseers, and jesters, in addition to several other ranks and positions. Robin R. Rabii reveals his experiences in the cult-like Order, offering an in-depth look into its teachings and violent practices.

Rabii, who received the title of Prince in the Order, underscores the peculiar dichotomy of a loving and nurturing home life and the brutal zealotry of his religion. While many members suffered emotional and physical cruelty at the hands of the Queen and her henchwomen (and men), the brunt of the savagery was inflicted upon the youth. Ritualistic public beatings were a typical form of punishment, and the condemned were forced to endure their abuse naked, adding an extra dimension of control and torment. Rabii recalls with traumatic clarity the sickening sounds of children wailing as their flesh was broken against whips, belts, and other weapons. The fanaticism of the members resulted in a myriad of torture at home for many children, as they were starved (forced fasting), and routinely beaten. Ostracism, excommunication and mental terrorization were favorites of the Queen’s posse, who were diabolical in their methods of domination.

Rabii describes the confusion he felt trying to reconcile the religion his loving parents were so passionate about with the horrors he knew in his heart weren’t right. He also took issue with many of the fundamental doctrines of the Order, expressing his profound skepticism, even as a young boy. He explains in great detail the kindheartedness of his parents, sharing personal anecdotes and his fondest family photos. Rabii did ultimately leave the Order and it is obvious he felt a certain moral obligation to unearth the dastardly occurrences of a religion that is still in practice. In his preparation for the book, Rabii collected testimonials from many members that had been terrorized, including sexual assault victims, and others with lasting mental and physical scars.

This book was nothing like I expected. Rabii has crafted a book in exemplary fashion, using a perfect marriage of rational and emotional narration, sprinkled with a healthy dose of comic relief. He writes with compassion and wisdom, implementing a tone that is both eloquent and simple. I found myself immersed in a story that evoked a plethora of emotions, especially ones of unrelenting disgust, incredulity, and sadness for the children that would most likely never truly recover from their experiences.

There isn’t much I can think to offer as areas for improvement, save a couple minor critiques. Firstly, I felt that Rabii repeated his points excessively. His contempt for the conduct of the Order and his acknowledgement of his loving family were reiterated countless times, in slightly different wording. I don't feel this is a negative, per se, just somewhat extraneous. Secondly, there are multiple instances where words are underlined as a means of emphasis. It is my opinion a more-polished method would be the use of italics.

As this book is based on a fanatical religion, and describes the religion’s history and teachings in detail, I would only recommend it to someone open to such a premise. Additionally, Rabii draws his own conclusions about God, Jesus, and various other religions, and periodically incorporates these thoughts into the text. I found this book to be well-written and Rabii to be extremely likeable as the narrator. With the exception of a few missing hyphenations, the book was superbly edited and has earned a rating of 4 out of 4 stars.

******
The Life and Times of a Black Prince in America (book one)
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Post by smartboy » 23 May 2018, 07:23

From the title i was expecting a different story, but i got something quite enticing that made me want to read more.

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Post by kandscreeley » 23 May 2018, 08:15

From the title, this wasn't exactly what I was picturing in this book. For some reason I'm fascinated by cultish religions such as this. So, it sounds like something I should pick up. Thanks for the review.
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Post by gen_g » 23 May 2018, 08:56

Thank you for the amazingly detailed review - it seems like a complex and interesting book, with much discussion about various issues. I am definitely putting this on my to-read list.

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Post by NL Hartje » 23 May 2018, 09:41

I can completely believe the “mental terrorism@ coming from the crew of women. Some things are the same across all cultures, cult or no cult.
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Post by stacie k » 23 May 2018, 17:16

I notice that this is book 1... could there be much more to share in book 2? I can't imagine living with the "dichotomy of a loving and nurturing home life and the brutal zealotry of his religion." I'm glad he escaped the Order and wrote this book to share with the world its existence and teachings.
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Post by teacherjh » 24 May 2018, 16:19

Wow - I've never heard of this religion. That is intense.

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Post by SABRADLEY » 24 May 2018, 22:57

smartboy wrote:
23 May 2018, 07:23
From the title i was expecting a different story, but i got something quite enticing that made me want to read more.
I know what you mean! The author did a great job. Thanks for your comment!

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Post by SABRADLEY » 24 May 2018, 22:59

kandscreeley wrote:
23 May 2018, 08:15
From the title, this wasn't exactly what I was picturing in this book. For some reason I'm fascinated by cultish religions such as this. So, it sounds like something I should pick up. Thanks for the review.
In that case, you'd find this one very interesting. There is a lot of information provided. Thanks for commenting!

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Post by SABRADLEY » 24 May 2018, 23:01

gen_g wrote:
23 May 2018, 08:56
Thank you for the amazingly detailed review - it seems like a complex and interesting book, with much discussion about various issues. I am definitely putting this on my to-read list.
I was so pleasantly surprised with the humanity and compassion shining through in the author's narrative. He brought a depth of relatability. Thanks for commenting!

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Post by SABRADLEY » 24 May 2018, 23:05

NL Hartje wrote:
23 May 2018, 09:41
I can completely believe the “mental terrorism@ coming from the crew of women. Some things are the same across all cultures, cult or no cult.
Oh yeah, and their actions were so blatantly catty, full of jealousy, control, and bitterness; unrelenting hatred without justification. Thanks for commenting!

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Post by SABRADLEY » 24 May 2018, 23:08

stacie k wrote:
23 May 2018, 17:16
I notice that this is book 1... could there be much more to share in book 2? I can't imagine living with the "dichotomy of a loving and nurturing home life and the brutal zealotry of his religion." I'm glad he escaped the Order and wrote this book to share with the world its existence and teachings.
Book 1-yes, you noticed! My guess is the author will reveal other aspects of his personal life, possibly touching on the Order again from time to time. I don't see how the same material would get him past the first installment, so I think we'll be seeing something new. Thanks for commenting!

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Post by Libs_Books » 25 May 2018, 02:00

It seems incredible that this cult is still going, despite the courageous way in which the author has exposed what is going on - how come they're not all in jail? Thanks for your review, taking your part in helping to spread the news about this book.

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Post by Dolor » 25 May 2018, 02:43

I would love to know more about this book but the cruelty described in your review made me back off. Thanks for the thorough review.

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Post by SABRADLEY » 08 Jun 2018, 12:02

Libs_Books wrote:
25 May 2018, 02:00
It seems incredible that this cult is still going, despite the courageous way in which the author has exposed what is going on - how come they're not all in jail? Thanks for your review, taking your part in helping to spread the news about this book.
I agree! Throw their butts in jail! I have no idea how so many cases of apparent child abuse and endangerment go without consequence; a clear problem with the law!!

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