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.