MOONSTRUCK: Memoirs of My Life In a Cult by Allen Tate with Jack Vitek Wood

MOONSTRUCK: Memoirs of My Life In a Cult

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A curiously disjointed account by a curiously unlikeable refugee from Moondom. Wood, or Wood-Vitek, begins on a pompous, snobbish note--""I am very much of America""--and then proceeds to parade his famous ancestors, from Meriwether Lewis to Allen Tate (grandfather). Like a sort of tenth-rate Henry Adams, Wood finds himself an alienated scion of the WASP aristocracy, a listless radical at Sewanee in the late Sixties, and an inevitable drop-out. Eventually, he'll head to Berkeley and drift into the Unification Church, but he's in no hurry to get his narrative there. He chats about college anomie, casual sex with a faculty wife, family squabbles, etc., until the reader begins to suspect--rightly--that the book will be mostly devoted to gossip. Wood's subsequent conversion seems largely unmotivated, as does his later reactionary zeal in working for the FLF (Freedom Leadership Foundation), the political arm of the Moonies. Wood climbed fairly high in the ranks, went on an interesting month-long Asian junket, met Moon himself a number of times, and got a good bird's-eye view of the whole operation. But he has no insight, philosophical, psychological, or otherwise, and his story contributes very little to' our knowledge of the UC (does anybody still care?), except to quash the stereotype that all Moonies are starvelings selling flowers on street corners. A much better treatment of the already tedious ""I was a callow young cultist"" theme can be found in Christopher Edwards' Crazy For God (1979).

Pub Date: Oct. 19th, 1979
Publisher: Morrow