From Vaccines to Vanilla: Getting to the Heart of Our Obsession with “Natural”

An unexpected benefit of lockdown (we have to take little joys where we find them) has been getting to virtually snoop through people's bookshelves in Zoom meetings. Some journalists have done the good work of putting together lists of titles they've spotted on shelves during interviews. Dr. Fauci's books made it into one of these... Continue Reading →

Mini Reviews: Russian Totalitarianism, the Appalachian Trail, Cults

Quite the mixed bag today, eh? Although I try to avoid hard reading goals or challenges, I do set myself a soft challenge of reading at least one big book of Russian history every year. It's one of my favorite genres anyway and there are so many that it's a good way to make sure... Continue Reading →

An Insider Perspective on Scientology

Book review: Beyond Belief, by Jenna Miscavige Hill (Amazon / Book Depository) As Scientologists, we believed that when our current body died, the spirit inside it would begin a new life in a new body. Our founder, L. Ron Hubbard, said that, as spirits, we had lived millions of years already, and we would continue... Continue Reading →

Inside the Investigation that Brought Down Warren Jeffs

Book review: Prophet's Prey,┬áby Sam Brower (Amazon / Book Depository) Private investigator Sam Brower found something unusual in Ross Chatwin, a former member of the the insular Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS). Chatwin's case, and Brower's investigation into the religious sect that had excommunicated him, piqued his curiosity like no other investigation had.... Continue Reading →

Lawrence Wright’s Look at the Satanic Panic

Book review: Remembering Satan, by Lawrence Wright (Amazon / Book Depository) Journalist Lawrence Wright is one of my favorite nonsense-busters. It just doesn't get past him. And his books are so well-written that even when they're dealing with the eye-rolling (but also very sad) "Satanic Panic" of the late 80s/90s, they're meticulous and brilliantly laid... Continue Reading →

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