Book Review - The Remnant
Cultic Studies Review, 1(3), 2002
Acorn Publishing, 2001, 219 pages
Reviewed by Hal Mansfield
The Remnant is a fictional story about an FBI agent, Shari Rigel, trying to prevent a mass suicide carried out by a destructive cult leader, Father Will. The destructive cult, the Remnant, takes on the flavor of an extremist group with ties to religious fanaticism combined with the more violent militia type organizations that we have around the country. The Remnant provides the reader with a gripping account of what members inside a destructive group can go through. What is innovative here are the many points of view this book provides as the story unfolds. The author has chapters based on the investigator’s perspective as well as current members, exiting members, the leader and other players.
Even though this is a work of fiction, it does provide a glimpse of what can go on inside an extremist group and matches in many ways the practices of the more violent groups. There are references made to other tragedies that have occurred in the past, such as events at Waco, Jonestown and other violent conclusions with destructive organizations. The author has obviously researched these events to weave them into the tapestry of the story line.
There is a lot to like about this book. It is exciting and takes you on an emotional roller coaster. Even if you knew nothing about destructive groups or extremist organizations, this is a fun book to read. But it is also informative and provides through a story some of the elements of control and other issues people face when leaving such organizations. One thing that is extremely appreciated is the resource listing provided in the back of the book. Too many books written on the subject of violent/destructive groups, including non-fiction books, provide little or no resources for people to explore or from which to obtain help. However, this book provides a fine selection of resources. Flosi also has her own Web site that includes a book list and other resources to explore.
I highly recommend this book to general audiences that want to understand how some harmful groups may behave as well as those who want a good thriller.