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Prophet's Daughter: My Life with Elizabeth Clare Prophet Inside the Church Universal and Triumphant Paperback – January 26, 2010
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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
I have a fascination with charismatic and persuasive religious leaders like Elizabeth Prophet, David Koresh (leader of the Branch Dividiens) and Jim Jones (leader of the People's Temple), and this was my primary reason for buying the book. For my taste, Erin didn't give me a clear or compelling enough picture of the reason for her mother's phenomenal, magnetic success. Elizabeth inspired thousands of people to radically change their lives and to give up their worldly resources. What was the personal experience of her followers and why did they steadfastly give her money and adore her? Erin is more focused on revealing her mother's many flaws, and I am left guessing about her mother's rare ability to put others under a euphoric spell, so to speak. This is a disappointment to me.
Another disappointment is Erin's blaze' and reserved attitude about her messenger-in-training experience with her mother. Erin's apprenticeship is an act of full life devotion. She follows the rules. She submits to her mother's demands about limitations on sex and other things, and she generally does what it takes to learn how to fill her mother's shoes. Erin is also the kind of woman who passionately and spontaneously chants with a group of Hari Krishna's in an airport. I am so convinced that this is her "truth" that I question why she presents her experience as if it's something she had to do under pressure from her mother, but didn't whole-heartedly want to do. It doesn't feel authentic.
Erin also never fully explains how or why she gave false messages about the date of the predicted apocalypse. Was she deliberately conning everyone, pleasing her mother, or did she actually believe the message she received but misinterpret it? In an age when there are so very many divinely-inspired channeled messages, Erin could provide a huge service by helping to us to sort the false from the true. The only hindsight she offers is to steer clear of prophesies.