The Cult Next Door
A True Story of a Suburban Manhattan New Age Cult
by Elizabeth Burchard
Pub Date 01 Jun 2016
During Thanksgiving vacation of her freshman year at Swarthmore College (1977), Elizabeth, at her mother's insistence, attended a "stress-reduction" session with a biofeedback technician on staff at a Manhattan psychologist's office. During that first visit, this man filled her ears with prophetic visions of a glorious future--the inheritance of those fortunate few who might choose to accompany him. His confidence and charisma entranced her, and she soon recruited two of her college roommates. When the psychologist fired his assistant two years later, Elizabeth and her mother followed. Over the next decade, this man, a malevolent genius and master of manipulating metaphysical concepts to benefit a self-serving agenda, organized a small, dedicated band of followers. "The Group" evolved into an incestuous family--a cult. Their brainwashed minds became fused with a distinctive, New Age doctrine. A coterie of spiritual "Navy Seals", they scrambled in terror, training to survive the inevitable cataclysm--one man's divine vision of Armageddon. Subsequent to a momentous event in August 1994, with the guru as high priest, "The Black Dog Religion" was born. Elizabeth sank into a pit of despair, darker than she ever could have imagined was possible. From the adolescent gullibility which seduced her astray, to the enlightenment which led her to freedom, you will travel an incredible journey. For anyone who has ever been trapped by a person who would not let them go, within this book lies a message of hope.