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Is there redemption from having been in a cult? Almost four decades later, married for three decades with two great sons, I can say YES.

As I got back to writing this book 35 years later, scanning the typewriter pages into my computer and then editing out all the letters and words that failed to scan, I was talking to my wife about it when my 17-year old overheard us.

“You were in a cult, Dad?”

That question ignited anew the shame I felt for years about having been stupid enough to be in a cult. I tried to explain it to him but knew that he could not understand. I’m not sure I fully understand.

What I do understand is that many other good, good Catholics helped free me from it. Primary was a good mother who fought for my soul and organized my brothers and sisters to do so as well.

And Veronica O’Donnell, even if things did not work out between us. I still love her for taking the time to get me out of it. And Katie and Mary Beth. And many, many others who helped me.

The loving forgiveness of the travel agent who became my wife, of course, is a mystery and a miracle I thank God for every day. Without her, my salvation and this book would never have happened.

There are fictional parts of this book, but most of it, and especially the parts about the cult, are all real.

I hope they give others the knowledge to beware of false prophets before they follow them to begin with, or how to leave their false teachings if they are in one.

I learned that essential truth about Jesus from this experience.

No matter how grave our sins, His forgiveness is greater. And He takes our shame, washes it clean, and then uses us to build his kingdom here so we are ready for a greater Kingdom with Him.

He takes sinful and imperfect vessels and crafts beauty, holiness, love, grace, faith, hope, and charity through us.

He requires, listen, that we share that grace with others who are like us just a few years back. This book is my effort to repay that debt.

The Holy Spirit is the way He does so.

May I be worthy of His sacrifice on the Cross.

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