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Xtul: An Experience of the Process

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1456042097
ISBN-10: 1456042092
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Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
The bestselling author of "Encyclopedia an Ordinary Life" returns with a literary experience that is unprecedented, unforgettable, and explosively human. Hardcover | Kindle book
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 298 pages
  • Publisher: America Star Books (February 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1456042092
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456042097
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,725,014 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steve Jaubert on August 24, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I agree with all the comments in one way or another, for example, the book “devolves into a self-effacing ‘deprogramming’ story”, the “emotional disconnection of middle and upper-class Britain in the 20th Century that fed the group early on”, the “19 year old joining a cult experience”, “changes in time frame to pull you into the drama”, and the “bewildered rescued who returned to England and is now grown up as a 50 year old mother who has gained closure for her life.”

Overall, I rate it an excellent read, in part, for the honesty she portrays about her naïve, and yet heroically romantic, outlook on life that is quite typical of many sheltered inquisitive people who confronts the subtleties of the world just waiting. It seems she was able to reconcile herself with some of the less reputable realities of the group, and humanity, after her rescue and became a better person for it.

I think a lot of people can identify with her portrayal of the idealist filled with the angst of growing up facing the status quo.The feeling in the Sixties of course had a lot to do with fanning that angst fire even more so since the emotional disconnection between generations was being laid bare.

Some disappointment comes from her not elaborating more on her experiences. Was the “mind traveling’ described real in her own experience or just second-hand observations of what others told her? Was the compulsion analysis really substantial for her or finally little more than peer influence mixed up with her own romantic notions and nothing more than spoken analysis that could be done by anyone? I wanted to hear more about those things than mostly about the hierarchy circle that manipulated and controlled.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Xtul, by S. Verney titled as "an experience of The Process;" expands on how she came to know the organization and how she became involved as it evolved into it's stirring revelations at Xtul, Mexico. However, about midway into the story it devolves into a self-effacing "deprogramming" story by someone who seems to have only made peace recently with either the experience or its aftermath. Most disappointing - especially given the name of the book which is what drew me - is that the author abandons the story at it's height and never returns to it. What happened thereafter? How did "Compulsions Analysis" become The Process Church? And how did the early member and leaders go from an introspective experience to an outwardly directly spirituality espousing the Latter Days? That is the tale to tell! Even if the rest of the tale were told by interview and anectdote, the "experience of The Process" falls flat, and incomplete. This becomes nothing more than a personal biography, without it.
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Several books on The Process have emerged in recent years, correcting the bizarre distortions that were fed to Ed Sanders for his crude hack-job on supposed links with Charles Manson, entitled The Family. This, however, provides the best contribution to date on the actual feeling of belonging, and its transformative effects.
The emotional disconnection common to middle and upper-class life in Britain in the 20th Century was what fed the group in its early days. Something that offered a way to center into oneself and release a lot of the emotion that the conventional lifestyle smothered had an immediate appeal to a certain segment of society,one that desperately needed to burst out of a constricting cocoon. Verney produces a convincing narrative of how own timorous approaches to the group, her growing enchantment with its approach to living, her parents' intervention as they recognized she was moving into a new way of seeing things, and the break this intervention produced in her connection with the group. She evokes more than she describes, and thus produces an intriguing text for anyone who wants to understand more about the appeal of non-mainstream spiritual groups. The experience is one of infatuation, just as the loss of the attachment is like the end of a love-affair, and she captures this well.
The book doesn't rate a fifth star primarily because of Andy Roberts' shoddy final chapter, which aims to put The Process into a tighter historical context. He muddles timelines, fails to appreciate how The Process evolved and changed its belief system frequently (hence its brief flirtation with British nationalist groups) and comes out with straight-out errors, such as claiming Paul McCartney was once on the cover of Process magazine.
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