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Book – Spiritual Perversion

Spiritual Perversion

Spiritual Perversion is an account of my 15-year experience in a psychic/religious cult in Berkeley. It is painfully honest and takes the reader deep inside the dynamics of a cult. For some it may be challenging to read. It goes to some dark places revealing how the cult took advantage of me and my fellow members who were seeking and vulnerable. It reveals how Reverend Bill, the leader of the cult, worked his mind control on us in all its convoluted and many-faceted forms. It reveals the depths of psychological abuse we suffered and learned to impose on each other.

In spite of the dark subject, I don’t believe the telling of the story ever loses its humanity. I managed to keep a spark of my soul alive throughout the experience, and this is reflected in the wide range of emotions and experience expressed. For me writing this book was a prolonged act of self-compassion, a fulfillment of a need to understand and to heal. I hope that it also has some universal and creative merit. Many people have expressed to me how Spiritual Perversion reminds them of similar experiences they have suffered. One woman told me how my story reminded her of a disciplinarian dance teacher she studied with who gained her confidence and then betrayed her. Several people told me how it reminded them of an abusive relationship they couldn’t get out of for a long time. Others spoke of how it reminded them of how their parents became so obsessed with hiding family secrets that they were terribly abused and traumatized as a result. Still others spoke of how the religious zeal of their teachers or parents became so self-righteous that they found themselves trapped in an abusive world.

Ultimately this is a book of redemption. It was of paramount importance to me to find spiritual resolution for myself and for the book. I was compelled every step of the way to find my way out of darkness. So the story, the book, and I all grew together.

I chose to begin the story with a chapter on some of my childhood experiences, which are, I hope, interesting in themselves, but I included them primarily to show why I was vulnerable to a cult. I don’t think there is any doubt that getting involved in a cult is an extension of the dysfunctional aspects of our family life. Experts say that any polite, intelligent person could be vulnerable to a cult at a critical time in their life.

Steve Sanchez

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1 Childhood Experiences

Chapter 2 Desperate for Direction

Chapter 3 The Reading

Chapter 4 The Honeymoon

Chapter 5 Indoctrination

Chapter 6 SRF Mythology

Chapter 7 Puppet on a String

Chapter 8 Love Sickness

Chapter 9 Claire Is Born

Chapter 10 The Light

Chapter 11 Mason and I in trouble

Chapter 12 Linda and I Get Married

Chapter 13 MIT Larry

Chapter 14 The Pressure Mounts

Chapter 15 Fighting for Status

Chapter 16 Abuse

Chapter 17 Yearning for the Apocalypse

Chapter 18 The Revelation Class

Chapter 19 Starting My Own Academy

Chapter 20 Deep Darkness

Chapter 21 Deeper Darkness

Chapter 22 The Prostitute

Chapter 23 Judas

Chapter 24 Classes with Rev. Bill

Chapter 25 My Child

Chapter 26 Double Life

Chapter 27 The Farm

Chapter 28 CB Sermon

Chapter 29 The Farm II

Chapter 30 Paranoia

Chapter 31 Mounting Conflict and Fear

Chapter 32 Reverse Revelation

Chapter 33 Spider’s Mouth

Chapter 34 Pink Prison

Chapter 35 Intimidation and Rage

Chapter 36 Last Days

Chapter 37 After Leaving

Chapter 38 The Dream

Chapter 39 The Funeral Ceremony

Chapter 40 The Beginning

Epilogue

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