Somtimes I grapple with the ethics of reading true crime stories, but the comic creators in this anthology approach the cults they write about with thoughtfulness and curiosity. It's a far-reaching and well-researched anthology, and even seasoned cult experts will find something to enjoy in the beautiful illustrations.
From its earliest days, America was a home for spiritual seekers. In 1694, the religious tolerance of the Pennsylvania Colony enticed a Transylvanian monk and his forty followers to cross the Atlantic. Almost two hundred years later, a charismatic preacher founded a utopian community in Oneida, New York, that practiced socialism and free love. In the 1960s and '70s, a new generation of seekers gathered in vegetarian restaurants in Los Angeles, Satanic coffee shops in New Orleans, and fortified communes in Philadelphia. And in the twenty-first century, gurus find their flocks through self-help seminars and get-rich-quick schemes. Across the decades, Americans in search of divine truths have turned to unconventional prophets for the answers. Some of these prophets have demanded their faith, fortunes, and even their very lives. In American Cult, over twenty cartoonists explore the history of these groups with clarity and empathy--digging deep to find the human stories within.