Top 10 Books on Cults & Religious Extremists

#3. La-Bas (The Damned) by JK Huysmans. This dark satanic novel was written secretly in the bell tower of St. Sulpice in Paris in the late 1890s.

“In the course of his research for this novel Huysmans became genuinely entangled with black magic groups. One of the few virtuous characters in La-Bas, a tireless master exorcist called Dr Johannes, was based on a priest, the Abbe Boullan. It only later emerged that this priest, who convinced the writer he was an all round good-egg, was also fond of performing rites involving orgies, incest and bestiality. The novel itself is remarkable: a trawl through the Satanic underworld of fin de siècle Paris complete with evil old cults, dark garrets, unspeakable rites and mad perversions. The prolonged and graphic descriptions of child murder make American Psycho look like Peter Rabbit. A must read – but not after you’ve just eaten.”

Literature would be considerably poorer without cults and religious extremists. They’ve inspired some fine novels and riveting eye-witness accounts as well as producing rainforests’ worth of mad, bad and thoroughly dangerous books themselves. Reading all this stuff made researching my book a fascinating and enjoyable experience. Here are 10 of the best I encountered on the way. ~ Sam Jordison

Read all of Sam’s picks at: Top 10 Cult Books. Source: The Guardian, London,UK. Sam Jordison is the author of The Joy Of Sects – An A-Z of Cults, Cranks and Religious Eccentrics.


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