7 /10

Cult Trip

by Anke Richter

Snappy Review

I’m not sure exactly what I expected – it’s open, honest, frank and really a little scary.

Book Synopsis

A leading journalist’s intense, riveting and personal investigation into the worlds and minds of cults
At a new age festival in Byron Bay, journalist Anke Richter is finding her spiritual awakening when she meets a woman – a survivor of the Auckland cult Centrepoint – who will change the course of her life and career.

Over the next ten years, Anke pursues a labyrinthine investigation into how and why cults attract, entrap and destroy otherwise ordinary people, asking what the line is between tribe and cult, participant and perpetrator, seduction and sexual abuse.

From the emotional and criminal carnage of Auckland’s Centrepoint to an anti-cult conference in Manchester, the infamous Osho’s ashram in India, the tantric Agama Yoga school in remote Thailand, and culminating in a visit to Gloriavale on the West Coast of the South Island, Anke uncovers a disturbing pattern of violence and suffering. Cult Trip is a powerful exploration of what really goes on inside the groups we call cults, and how to reckon with their aftermath.