A well-written but unrelenting memoir that portrays the strictures and darkness of a conservative sect.

READ REVIEW

SPIRITUAL BLACKMAIL

MY JOURNEY THROUGH A CATHOLIC CULT

A group of renegade Catholics takes over a young girl’s life in this debut memoir.

In the early 1960s, Vatican II abandoned the traditional Latin Mass and tried to foster a spirit of ecumenism and liberation. This repelled some traditional Catholics, some of whom turned toward leaders who would preserve what they saw as the old ways; one such leader, Bishop Francis Schuckardt, founded an extremely conservative sect that appealed to the author’s parents. They sent their young daughter to the sect’s boarding school, where, for several years, she says, she witnessed and experienced physical and psychological cruelty. She writes, for example, that she saw her own brother being made to walk on his knees through rocks and gravel as a punishment for giggling; other kids, she says, were taken to “the spanking room”; and at another point, she was told that the hamburgers that she and other girls were eating had been gathered from the trash. Schettler also writes that she heard accounts of drug use and sexual abuse in the community. Meanwhile, the sect’s authorities often hid things from the students, she says, which fostered a sense of social isolation: “We were told only what the superiors wanted us to know,” she writes. This is a grim, emotionally challenging story that shows, in intimate detail, how life in the sect cut the author off from the natural joys of youth. Having grown up in circumstances where she had to constantly “mortify” her eyes, the author repeatedly depicts how the sect twisted her ardent spirituality. The author later became a nun, and she details how she spent much of early adulthood in thrall to feckless and ineffectual superiors. This book will particularly appeal to survivors of cult experiences, as it effectively describes the path the author took through a world of suffocating, distorted religious ardor.

A well-written but unrelenting memoir that portrays the strictures and darkness of a conservative sect.

Pub Date: Nov. 19, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-692-33197-2

Page Count: 211

Publisher: Lifelong Habits LLC

Review Posted Online: Jan. 25, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

Did you like this book?

WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

Did you like this book?

more