For more than twenty years, I have studied destructive and apocalyptic cult leaders like Jim Jones, David Koresh (Waco), Shoko Asahara (Aum Shinriko), Marshall Applewhite (Heaven’s Gate), Charles Manson (Helter Skelter Murderers), and Luc Jouret and Joseph DiMambro (Suicidal Solar Temple).
These cult leaders, the mesmerizing Malignant Pied Pipers of our time, led idealistic, father-hungry, or disillusioned young people away from their homes and toward destruction.
Having an understanding of cult mentality and the pathological personalities of cult leaders is essential, for there are striking similarities between these deadly leaders and the newest examples, Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda cult of ultimate terror. The death toll from Jonestown, the Branch Davidian disaster at Waco, and Al Qaeda/ISIS terror cults of the last 30 years is horrendous.
My previous book, A Boyish God, is a troubling novel with deep insights. I was jolted to my core when I learned that a college friend’s son died at the Rev. Jim Jones’s side at Jonestown. Over 30 years later, I am still searching for answers, especially about terror prevention.
About the Author: Psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Peter Olsson, M.D., trained at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Following his internship in mixed medicine at the University of Vermont, he took a psychiatry residency at Baylor, and later was a psychiatrist at Oakland Naval Hospital, where he ran the substance abuse unit and worked with POWs returning from Vietnamese prisons. Dr. Olsson graduated from the Houston-Galveston Psychoanalytic Institute in Houston, and practiced psychiatry and psychotherapy while teaching psychotherapy in Houston for 25 years. An assistant professor of psychiatry at Dartmouth Medical School and an adjunct professor of clinical psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine, he is now retired.
Publisher’s website: http://sbpra.com/PeterAlanOlsson