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March 3, 2009 - PRLog -- BOOK REVIEWS OF Michael Klein's Sectarian Song: Cult Escapist

Sectarian Song: Cult Escapist
by Michael Klein
Reviewed by Don Bacue, Executive Editor
International Features Syndicate

Imagine a young boy, just barely into his teens, living in a world that is dysfunctional from its very core on out, only to discover that the abnormality of his reality was about to change forever.  For the worse.

At 13, Michael Klein experienced just that.

Klein was born to a black mother and a white father, a successful Irish Jew whom his mother eventually fell out of love with and divorced.  After a long and ever changing string of men in her life, Klein's mother remarried--this time, she wed a Jamaican-born hot-headed gadabout who turned out to be a wife beater and child abuser.  Between the constant strife at home, a strained life at school, a marginal life in the ghetto, and being charged with caring for his siblings, Klein had no time to himself, no time to be a child, no time to grow up.

That's when his mother made the decision: She had found the Lord, the true Son of God.  She found him not on her knees in the neighborhood church and not in the pages of the Holy Bible but on the face of a flyer that fell into her hands.  The flyer featured the image of Yahweh Ben Yahweh, self-proclaimed  black messiah whose role in life was to return the black race to the position of power and prominence it rightfully deserved.  Finally, for the Klein family, everything would be well again once his mother left her husband and joined the mysterious Temple of Love.

That's the beginning of the story that leads the reader through some of the darkest and most insidious revelations imaginable.  Through beatings and torture, physical and psychological subjugation, sexual abuse, and physical imprisonment, the temple leaders worked their way into the minds and lives of their followers--one of the most eager of whose turned out to be Klein's mother.  Anxious for redemption, desperate to find a better way for herself and her children, she committed everything to the temple and ended up losing just as much and more.

As with all successful cults everywhere, the leaders of the Temple of Love learned early how to control, manipulate, and brainwash its new arrivals, and they wasted little time in stripping the Klein family's pride down to nothing.  When young Mahmood, Klein's baby brother, failed to say "Praise Yaweh" at Elder Obadiah's command, switches were handed out to the congregation, who led the child off into a room to learn the meaning of obedience.  The other children, hungry and aching for sustenance, were forced out into the streets of New York to beg for $10 apiece for the day's food.  Six hours later, when Klein returned, he was horrified to find his brother still in the room.  When the young boy finally emerged, Kiein couldn't believe the welt marks from the whips, "all over his body, from his neck down to his ankles."

The warning worked: the family quickly learned to fear--and obey--the Elders and Sisters of the Temple who wielded all the power.

Despite the fear, or perhaps because of it, Klein remained a keen observer, a challenger of the concepts being forced into the followers' minds--even if in subdued silence.  As the days moved into months, he noticed that the newcomers entered not from a single socio-economic group, but from all walks of life.  "The members consisted of professional football players, lawyers, and doctors.  They all started believing [Yaweh Ben Yaweh] was truly God himself and would unselfishly give up their worldly possessions and freedom to be led by this man.  They would do anything for him.  They would even kill for him if he asked them to."

Little did young master Klein realize it at the time, but that is precisely what the cult leader would eventually charge them to do.

Sectarian Song: Cult Escapist is a hauntingly real memoir from someone who obviously experienced the worst that life--and its practitioners--has to offer.  He tells his tale from the eyes and ears of a young teenaged boy still trapped in the horror, still struggling to this very day to survive outside the Temple in the real world.  

To his benefit, Michael Klein--who is obviously not a professional writer nor even someone skilled in those most basic areas of the English language, in the teaching of which our schools and educational system are supposed to excel--recounts with truth and bravery everything that happened.  Despite its mechanical weaknesses, the author's story shines through as genuine, touching, heartwarming, frightening, and eventually cautionary.  

From his earliest years in the ghetto, through his tormented teens, to his eventual escape with his younger brother to safety (only after the intervention of a genuine Guardian Angel) and word that Jaweh Ben Jaweh and six of his disciples had been convicted in 1992 of conspiracy to commit murder in Federal District Court in Fort Lauderdale, Michael Klein tells a good, gripping, fast-moving story.

Sadly, it is all real.  

A Nightmare Conquered By Courage and Love, February 27, 2009
By  G. Reba (Panama City, FL) -
In our world of technology and advancements, it is sometimes hard to envision mankind choosing to remain in the "dark ages". The "Sectarian Song" formally introduces the reader to those who would rather poison the minds and souls of its followers, than nurture growth or change. As a child, he along with his two brothers and one sister, we forced to join the "Nation of Yahweh" at the behest of their mother. They believed they were leaving a bad situation for a better life, only to discover that this "life" was really a well disguised hell on earth. This discovery was made almost daily by these poor children and the tyranny and battering they received was horrifying. Although author Michael Klein managed to physically escape the terror he was accosted by as a child, he is still haunted by the psychological effects today. His heroic effort to expose the many forms of abuse suffered by the members of the so called "Temple of Love" still shows the fear ingrained within his being, as he wrote this work under a pseudonym to protect himself. These many years later, with the leader "Yahweh Ben Yahweh", a self-proclaimed "messiah", dead and gone, his unfortunate legacy lives on within the survivors. Every step they make toward self-healing and acceptance, making them a step closer to sponging his stain from their souls.

For a look within the shadowed lives held by many cult victims, and the darkness that can seep from mankind's soul when led with hate instead of love, read this harrowing tale and aim to "make good" in the lives you touch.  

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About Sectarian Song Cult Escapist:
From its shocking opening sentences, Sectarian Song provides a terrifying first-hand look at life inside a cult, in this instance the infamous Nation of Yahweh. Michael Klein (not the author's real name) joined this offshoot of the Black Hebrew Israelites at the age of eleven, when his mother brought him and his three siblings with her into the group. For two years, until he left at the age of thirteen, Klein suffered abuse at the hands of the zealot cult members, targeted for being a child of mixed race. Even after he escaped, Klein suffered a psychological toll, bouncing between foster homes and psychiatrists, spending years of his life looking over his shoulder, haunted by fear.
Source:Michael Klein
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Tags:Drama, Memoirs, Dramatic Books, Traumatic Books, Inspirational Books, Biographies, Non-fiction, Religious Books, Church
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Location:North Brunswick - New Jersey - United States
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Page Updated Last on: Mar 04, 2009 PRs
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