From Publishers Weekly
In this extraordinary memoir, Prophet pulls the curtain back on the highest levels of life inside a cult, documenting her life inside as the daughter of cult leader Elizabeth Clare Prophet, of the Church Universal and Triumphant, from her birth through 1990, when the Church's long-awaited apocalypse failed to materialize. Without judgment or reservation, but a remarkably clear-eyed view built on more than 10 years on the outside, Prophet's account reveals cult life through the complex relationship with her charismatic, manipulative mother-a figure of equal reverence and alarm. Prophet's straightforward voice makes the facts all the more disturbing and heartrending, but her empathy for her fellow sect-members is both touching and telling, drawing readers into the cult's midst almost against their instincts. Those expecting sordid tales and angry judgments will be surprised by the subtlety and seeming safety of the cult; at heart, Prophet's story is a classic coming-of-age tale, a young woman learning about the family business and facing the inevitable realization of her parent's fallibility, but on a truly awesome scale. Like her own experience, Prophet's intense tale is sure to stick with readers long after they make it through.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Before diagnosis with Alzheimer’s, a malady that eventually caused her consignment to full-time nursing care, Elizabeth Clare Prophet was founder (with second husband Mark Prophet), popularizer, and executive of the Church Universal and Triumphant, which promulgated a heady mixture of Christian Science, survivalism, UFOlogy, and syncretistic Christianity and is still active. Erin, Elizabeth Clare’s daughter, provides a disillusioned insider’s look at the church, which all four of Elizabeth Clare’s children have left. It can’t be easy being a mother with a supposedly direct line to the deity, but so it was in the Prophet household. Over time, Elizabeth Clare’s prophecies became more extreme—for instance, the one that spurred her to lead family and congregation literally underground in Montana in 1990, where they lived in a network of chambers to avoid the apocalypse. Emerging to find that the world had not ended, Erin began to reassess her mother’s teaching and eventually write this book. Good stuff about a powerful religious entrepreneur and her flock. --Mike Tribby