Muktananda's words did something to me. It was as if they entered my mind, sinking through assumptions like a kind of depth charge. It sounds strange, but for a moment I felt as if his words had actually knocked the voices of irritation out of my mind."" So Sally Kempton wrote, mere vividly than most, of her intense transcendental moment, an experience Conway and Siegelman refer to as Snapping. They have explored such experiences, commonly encountered among members of religious cults like Hare Krishna and mass-market therapies like est, and they speculate on others who have apparently experienced snapping: Patty Hearst, the Manson family, and, less convincingly, David Berkowitz. Using their psychology and communications backgrounds and contacts with human brain researchers and deprogrammer Ted Patrick, they formulate a theory about what happens. Snapping usually occurs after physical deprivation, stress, and an assault of information, resulting in ""information disease,"" an alteration of human awareness which leaves the brain's biological mechanisms undamaged (properly deprogrammed, people emerge with their abilities intact) but affects its physical organization. Some people experience a ""sustained altered state,"" appearing with a glazed look as if on automatic pilot. Others enter a more destructive delusional phase: consider the verbal convolutions of the Manson family. The most dangerous state involves not thinking at all, like the cult members whose reduced awareness narrows into total passivity. Ultimately, the authors go a bit far in suggesting its pervasiveness in modern life (TV, advertising, and ret race stresses are implicated) but they describe the group techniques well, argue persuasively for their information-disease theory, and account for the hammerlock such groups maintain on their members.