Scythe Tleppo: My Survival of a Cult, Abandonment, Addiction and Homelessness Kindle Edition
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Nathan's story is incredibly compelling, and though it won't give you any insights into the functioning of the higher ups of the church - there are plenty of other books for that - this is the story of a young man who was born into and grew up in Scientology, and who was utterly failed by his church and (heartbreakingly) by his own mother.
Being sent off - twice! - to abusive Scientology youth ranches, where he learned all the wrong things (except how to think well on his feet, obviously), getting sucked into the kind of street/drug culture that's unfamiliar to most of us, but astoundingly pulling himself out. Holy crap: I was surprised to find the story of an ordinary Scientologist pull me (and move me) so strongly.
What kind of church (or mother) treats a kid this way? Seriously.
And though many books by former Scientologists see their story watered down by poor writing and/or lousy book production, this is not one of them: it's easily up to the quality of Scn books by professional journalists such as Tony Ortega or Steve Cannane. The wonderful, almost lyric, writing kept me turning virtual pages until I hit the end.
The combination of captivating story, stellar writing, and excellent book formatting/production made this a treat to read.
Nathan’s story is not for the faint-at-heart but one I feel everyone should read. Don’t know how to describe much of what’s spinning through my head without spoiling the journey, so I’ll just say that this is one of those books that speaks to everyone differently. Lessons to be learned, the ripple effect of kindness and very importantly, why high-control groups such as Scientology damage and abuse in a multitude of ways!
The pacing starts slow (in a necessary way) then builds, builds AND builds, yet I could still picture the environment he describes and it didn’t feel rushed. There are moments that will make you squirm a bit, but in a way that comes across as raw and real vs. gratuitous. Many stories seem to end abruptly when paced like this, but this builds to the perfect crescendo while the shared photos at the end take you right back to the beginning.
Thank you for sharing your story!
What impressed me the most about Scythe Tleppo was the intellectual honesty and emotional maturity with which Mr. Rich broaches his topics. He writes, to his credit and to our benefit, without malice towards his family or against those who have harmed him. His discussions of homelessness and drug addiction, and of being abandoned by those who should have loved and protected him most, are brutally candid yet lack a moralistic or self-aggrandizing agenda. In his world there are no heroes or even villains, at least insofar as the book’s commentary goes, only players that move the story along. The reader will doubtless form opinions of his or her own – the characters are quite compelling.
Additionally and as already stated, this is an emotionally gripping book. Mr. Rich’s terse prose evokes a rare ability to pull the reader into the story, seeing things as he sees them and experiencing them as he feels them. There is no wall between himself and his prose – when reading his work I often felt I was “seeing” the book unfold as a movie (in my mind) as opposed to words on pages. Which to me is the very definition of an excellent read.
I wish Mr. Rich all the best in his future literary endeavors, and I beseech him: do not stop. This book is incredibly powerful, and I cannot wait to read his next effort.
His wish to help others who have survived this dangerous cult - or just tried to drown themselves in addiction and self abuse - is a testament to his innate aptitude and abilities of observation of people and the world around him.
Thank you for writing this book, Nathan. It's an important look at the danger and damage destructive cults, such as scientology, inflict upon children who are powerless to fix their home environment.
I had my expectations, of course, but it turned out to be so much more.
The artworks at the beginning of each chapter are a real treasure.
Nathan, thank- you for making this book happen.