Under certain circumstances we humans have impaired judgement. Against the advice of others, intelligent people can do stupid things. Raised in a mainstream Catholic environment, my heart goes out to Katie Holmes as she recovers from the effects of the “religion” of Scientology. Katie wants out with her daughter. Cults fascinate because many normal people are willing to join. Many can’t get out. Professor of Psychology at Stanford Dr Philip Zimbardo wrote that cults use many disguises with many subtle tactics. Professor of Sociology at CSU Chico Janja Lalich knows cults are still with us. They didn’t fade away with flower children of the sixties. There are over 5,000 cults in operation in the United States. Quoted from Lalich, “When you first leave a cult situation, you may not recognize yourself. You may feel confused and lost. You may feel both sad and exhilarated.” I congratulate Katie Holmes for knowing to get out.
After a year of reading scholarly books on the topic, I wrote Deeds of Deceit, a novella with a cult at the center of this romantic suspense.