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Saturday, July 27, 2019

Review: The Church by Renee Miller

The Church 
by Renee Miller 

Publisher: Unnerving
Publish Date: October 17, 2017
Kindle Edition
140 Pages
Genres: Cult, Horror

Ray is a Christian, but he loves a woman who follows a god called Zabir. Determined to save her from eternal damnation, he joins her church. 

Ray doesn’t realize that indoctrination into the Zabian way is a process that not only breaks a man physically, it strips his identity and shatters his mind. He holds onto his faith at first, but as his prayers for mercy go unanswered, and the pain inflicted on him becomes too much to bear, the void of nothingness promises relief, and tempts Ray to do the unthinkable, even if leaves his soul as damned as the one he tried to save.

My Review:

I'm not a particularly religious or spiritual person myself.  However, I do find myself morbidly fascinated with religious cult mentality.  The realness that is portrayed in digging into the deep insecurities of a person to get to their baser need of feeling accepted while taking advantage of their bank account, soul and all around humanity is degrading at best and tortuous all around.  Think of at least these eleven (ELEVEN!) religious cults that are known and assumed to be *dangerous for humanity*: Scientology, KKK (yes, a cult of Christianity of all things), Children of God, Raelism, Bavarian Illuminati, Aum Shinrikyo, The People's Temple, Heaven's Gate, The Church of Euthanasia, Branch Davidians, and Order of the Solar Temple.  All from a *normal* person's perspective, radical and a bit insane.  Yet these hold hundreds to thousands of members who truly believe. I'm astounded how a lot of these are also based on alien life or shedding humanity as a whole.

Here Renee introduces us to another one in the same category - the Zabian way.  There are levels you must reach but like the typical cult-like phenomena, you must first shed yourself of all toxins - this includes all people you know, your possessions and also the bringing people into the fold.  SOMEHOW THIS WORKS.  It's crazy and baffling to me.  Torture, sexual/drug abuse, and the loss of right to consent are just a few things these members go through in this short novella of a read.

I enjoyed this read because I'm always intrigued and curious about the cult life - especially when it comes with such high religious zealotry.  This story also brings a person of devout Catholic faith struggling with a loved one involved with this new "religion".  The fight within is probably harder than the one brought to you, wouldn't you say?  While there's nothing particularly new within this genre of a read, it still packs its punch in terms of the debasing of people and the underlying true reasons of most cultish behavior.

You wouldn't pick up a read like this without knowing it wouldn't be a happy, sunshine and rainbows kind of read.  You certainly do get what you picked it up for and that is a dark look inside a religion of material needs for those who run it.


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