Raven, by Tim Reiterman took such an emotional toll on me. The book took me a year to finish and, nearly two years later, I'm still reeling. The importance of the book is great. After finishing, I forced myself to watch some documentaries about The People's Temple. It broke my heart to actually see and hear some of the people I'd grown to know through the book - seeing their enthusiasm and knowing they'd all soon die at the hands of a manipulative sociopath.
"Reiterman does a fantastic job of detailing both the positive and negative aspects of the People's Temple. It's altogether too easy to dismiss what happened, to think of the followers as crazy, to believe you could never get caught up in something similar. But the social and political climate of the time helped to foster the rapid growth of a belief system that preached equality for all. And the people, many of whom Reiterman gives detailed accounts, were downtrodden minorities or reformed drug addicts or people disillusioned by their own religions, people who didn't belong - People's Temple, in its beginnings, gave them all something to be a part of. By the time things took a turn for the worst, it was too late."
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