book is dedicated to bringing tolerance, reason, understanding,
and open communication to an often explosive subject: the involvement
of oneself, a friend or loved one in a group that might be called
a "cult" —
with all the fearsome baggage that word now carries.
events of September 11, 2002, and subsequent reactions toward Muslims,
Sikhs and others, brought home how small our planet has become;
how actions in one part of the globe can affect everyone. Most frightening,
how hate directed at a different ideology, festering to a boil,
can erupt into violence that hurts us all.
raw reality in our ever-shrinking globe makes more important than
ever the message of mutual respect for the right of all to believe
as they wish. This common-sense handbook offers guidelines for overcoming
serious religious differences between individuals and groups.
enough, the book gives good advice for parents about how to prepare
one's child for the myriad of religious choices out there! Very
useful for just about any parent. Many varied real-life examples
are given, along with their successful resolution.
one religion holds the focus of this book, and it is not an overview
of the religions of the world, but rather a basic guide anyone can
use in restoring communication with a loved one who has joined a
new or little-known religion. Advice on researching the religion
is very clearly written and easy to understand and follow. Reading
this book should be a first step towards resolving this sort of
book is a good one for anyone who is concerned about a loved one's
religious choices. This book is also good for anyone who has changed
religions and may have relatives or friends who are concerned about
this change; this book is sure to assist in fostering understanding
and preventing a host of upsets in the future.
common sense — which seems to fly out the window when someone is
concerned about religious groups. Good job!."
Lindahl, author, The Sacred Art of Listening
and Koehler put forth a common-sense approach to a thorny, delicate
the embrace of a religion one does not approve of by someone one
cares about. Many persons' impulse is to react with confusion, anger,
and even a sense of betrayal. But the two authors counsel tolerance
and understanding. And they do not simply identify relevant and
helpful principles, but also point out corresponding types of behavior.
Especially, they advise the reader not to try to "de-program" the
individual getting involved with a religion or group one has a distaste
for. Such forceful action will in all probability make the situation
worse by complicating even more one's relationship with the one
who has gone over to the religion or group. The authors also note
that allowing the perspective of those who have an outspoken antipathy
to the religion or group to influence one's own assessment of it
and the situation is wrong.
common sense counsel and advise seems fresh because it is so uncommon.
The authors' main concern is the hatred and strife caused by suspicions,
misunderstandings, and ignorance between individuals with different
beliefs and practices. In trying to further a world where people
with different beliefs and practices can live peacefully, the authors
not only relate many ways to learn about groups one is unfamiliar
with — including contact with local law enforcement officials —
but also note that religious tolerance is part of the law and culture
of the United States. One could not find a better guide to dealing
with one's concerns in matters of religious differences. And it
has the virtues of being timely, easy to follow, and useful.
Berry, The Small Press Book Review
volunteered on a national interfaith hotline for over five years,
personally answering more than 5,000 calls and helping people resolve
situations involving deep belief differences.
Koehler teaches conflict resolution at Columbia University
and also volunteers in a New York prison program helping inmates
restore their self dignity to enable them to start life anew after
making their amends to society.