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Join My Cult! Paperback – November 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews


Join My Cult is an invitation to chaos, treading the thinly veiled landscape between madness and genius. --Devon White

About the Author

When James Curcio (a.k.a. Agent139) isn't secretly mind-controlling impressionable youth, he poses as the creative director of a number of media companies and projects. He is currently working on developing Fas Ferox, a multimedia graphic novel project with a team of artists including creative consultant Neil Gaiman. He resides in Upstate New York when he isn't traveling.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: New Falcon Publications; 1 edition (November 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561841730
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561841738
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,598,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Curcio is a bewildered madman with a sledgehammer made of words. That's a bit long to put on a business card, so usually it's said "author" "editor" "creative director" or "cat-wrangler."

This checkered career of creativity/research/livestock management began around 2001 when he graduated Bard college with the world's most lucrative degree (Philosophy), and co-founded a media collective. That did surprisingly well until it didn't, so he moved on to LA to play in a band, and have "JOIN MY CULT!" published. This was a Burroughs-esque satire about 90s counterculture groups that no one seemed to recognize as satire. It didn't take long for conservative Christian groups to notice a book listed beside Timothy Leary and Aleister Crowley. Thanks to their warnings, soon groups of occultists were translating it for local readings. Anyone was given permission to appear for these as "James Curcio", though it's hard to know how many readings were actually given.

Several books and startups later, he's still keeping it irreverent, but has since developed a keener appreciation for fact. He lives with a harem of feral lesbians and lions somewhere in the mountains, probably.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By C. Arkenberg on May 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
When confronted with disorder the brain will attempt to overlay some

form or pattern to make sense of the chaos. The meticulous geometries

often accompanying psychedelic hallucination are one example of this

phenomena, as are the covoluted Jesus complexes of some schizophrenics.

The brain, it seems, is an organizing device that recoils

at disorder and attempts to subdue it with it's own imposed

sensibilities. Such is the experience of reading James Curcio's

mindwarping novel, Join My Cult!

Alexi and Ken are two teenagers in suburbia trying to cut through all

the normalcy and order of their lives by investigating the arcane and

occult. Their deepening investigations into the nature of reality and

the hive mind begins to reveal the seeming existence of an enigmatic

cult: The Mother Hive Brain Syndicate. Johny, another teen trying to

sort his way through a world increasingly inconsistent with what he's

been raised to believe, also discovers the fiendish machinations of

MHBS. Meanwhile, Agent 139 and Jesus (and later, Agent 506) are

clearly agents of MHBS hell-bent on completely eradicating the status

quo consensual reality through an increasingly severe rash of pranks

and thoughtcrimes, culminating in the destruction of a Lenny's diner.

Behind them all looms the mysterious mystic Aleonus de Gabrael - sort

of a younger, more vital Alan Moore, or a more overtly revolutionary

Aleister Crowley  -  guiding and educating the whole lot, possibly as

the head of MHBS and it's affiliates.

What are the aims of this counter cultural eso-terror organization?
Read more ›
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Psyche on March 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
I'm on the subway, there's a guy across from me reading Illuminatus!, a girl standing by the door is reading Carlos Castenada and I'm sitting there with a glowing green copy of Join My Cult! and reading bits of it to my husband on the ride to work and my mind is humming with synchronicity and the effort required to attempt to make sense of all this to my dear husband, sitting patiently, eyebrows raised incredulously. Even as I'm reading it, I can tell, this is a book to be read at least twice.

The novel opens with the introduction of Gabrael, one of the most realistic portrayals of an illuminated adept or `Invisible Master' that I've read in a while. Shortly after we are introduced to the hero, Alexi, constantly tossing flashes of insight over his shoulder, and his best mate Ken. There is large cast of other characters, most of which seem to be direct reflections of Alexi and Ken in various shades, deliberately giving it a sort of kaleidoscope effect.

Any attempt to summarize the plot would be futile: there isn't one. At least not in the traditional sense. There are bits of story, and each scene is layered with characters and images with often profound occult significance, and it moves from one to another with no obvious thread to tie them together.

Densely packed with occult, philosophic and paranoid conspiratorial references this is not a book to be rushed through. It barely makes sense as it is. It's a kind of Cosmic Banditos meets The Illuminatus! Trilogy meets disillusioned teen angst lit, and none of these.

Join My Cult! is a clever, insightful and daring adventure into the surreal depths of the subconscious mind, and, if you'll forgive the pun, it has all the makings of a cult classic.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By C11H15NO2 on June 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
At the time this book came into my life, I'd just been diagnosed

with cancer. I had also been re-reading Joseph Cambell, and

reading both Timothy Leary and Terence McKenna for the

first times. Extremely tired and dealing with satori-like small

seizures, I began reading this book at night as a dalliance.

An amusement with which to end the day.

As it turned out, the book was instead a compendium of

every single thing that was going on in my life. The information

in the book is dense and the effects were profound. I'd read a paragraph or three a night, and just go to sleep thinking about them.

It was as if I'd stumbled on a primer for chaos theory, hidden in

a mirror passing itself off as a book. It is not possbile for me to recommend this book highly enough to psychonauts, cyberpunks, and misfits of all shapes and sizes. It's a real hoot. A great trip.

Tune in, turn on, abandon hope, and welcome to the Mother

Hive Brain. Enjoy!!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By frater gazebo on April 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
...In a sentance, Join My Cult! is a beautiful trainwreck. If the reader is patient, and opens themselves up, it can have long-lasting effects. On the other hand, I'm not sure if every reader will have the required patience. This comes from lackluster editing, which lets the bombastic monologues of the author lose a little of their edge. This is common with first novels, especially first novels of young, talented and audacious authors... For those familiar with Alternative Reality Games, a lot of this book seems like reading about an ARG gone awry... The boundary between reality and cultural games is an ongoing theme in the book, again one which I think gets slightly muddled. All in all it'll rock your world. I anticipate the sequel.
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