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Reviewed by Robert Potter for Readers' Favorite
Cult Fiction by K. Gordon Neufeld is a semi-biographical, creative memoir that covers the author’s development as a writer over almost two decades while he was involved with the Unification Church, a cult-like offshoot of Christianity led by an enigmatic leader named Sun Myung Moon. Divided into three main sections, Neufeld interrogates himself deeply as he analyzes his state of mind before joining up with the Church, during his ten years as a member, and in the aftermath of him leaving. Interspersed between these bouts of analyses are selected written works that help illuminate the author’s state of mind at the time. With this collection of essays and stories, the author hopes to open a window into his mindset at various high and low points in his life and illuminate how creativity can thrive or be repressed in certain situations.
I thoroughly enjoyed Cult Fiction. K. Gordon Neufeld paints a vivid picture of how almost anyone can easily be sucked into a cult-like environment given the right set of circumstances. The stories he tells seem both unusual and ominously relatable at the same time, and to Neufeld’s credit, he is unafraid to tackle the tough philosophical questions that are still relevant today. Grappling with things like mind control, the value of institutionalized repression, and sexuality, Cult Fiction will leave you thinking about it for hours after you’re done. For anyone curious about getting a glimpse into the world of how cults operate, this book is a must-read.