The Cult That Snapped

Rated 4.00/5 based on 2 reviews
Dr. Wierwille had a farm, and on that farm he had a cult.... "The Cult That Snapped" is the definitive history and exposé of The Way International, once one of the largest cults in America. Written by a seven-year member and graduate of the 14th Way Corps, it's a personal story within a detailed history, illuminated by interviews with former top leaders and the women who knew them.

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About Karl Kahler

Karl Kahler was a follower of The Way for seven years and a member of the 14th Way Corps. In 1989, he graduated from the University of Southern California with honors in history and journalism. He has worked for more than 20 years at the San Jose Mercury News. He has two sons and lives in Los Gatos, California.

Learn more about Karl Kahler

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Steve Embry reviewed on on Aug. 27, 2014
(no rating)
Stumbled across it yesterday, and finished it today..and I am not much of a reader. Well done.
The author's personal accounts were masterfully intertwined with the historical facts and. I'd have become bored with a story about nothing but the demise/destruction/decimation of the Way ministry.

I'm truly amazed at the author's ability to recall his account with such clarity. The 2+ years I was involved with the Way ('86 - '88) are all but a blur for me now. It was nice to hear some familiar jargon and learn a little more about what the hell happened while I was WOW that is right.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
Debra Brown reviewed on on Oct. 10, 2012
(no rating)
I could not put this book down. Karl had me enthralled and entertained at every turn of the page. I think he did an excellent job of putting a face and story to an individual cult member. I can speak with a bit of authority to his acuracy of The Way, having been involved with the group from 1973-1992, been a "WOW" ambassador, Way Corps member and drinker of the "kool-aide". (Thankfully not the acute horrors...) Thanks Karl for the memories and now I will forget them again.
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)
Brad Beals reviewed on on Aug. 27, 2012

I enjoyed reading this book. Much of what was in this book should have remained private. I was a member of the Way Ministry for over twenty years starting at the age of 5. From 1985-2005. Some of what Karl believed or said he believed was not true, one being that the King James Bible properly interpreted is not all true and Gods Will. Anyone that reads the book needs to take 10 big steps back and try to view the information in this book from a deep perspective. His accounts are all true for the most part if I had to make a bet.
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)
juanramirezjr reviewed on on July 27, 2011

Though I was never affiliated with The Way International, I hung around with one of their splinter groups for a while until things went sour. There had been so much I wasn't told when I was with them, and when I read this book, I finally came to understand so much that was hinted at but never revealed.

Even if you are overall sympathetic to their theology like I am (though I acknowledge they have a number of either reprehensible or factually inaccurate views), this book shows how The Way International was still a corrupt organizations with unbelievably arrogant leadership. Even if only half of the details in this book were true, The Way would still be painted in a terrible light (and their splinter groups).

A lot of information in this book is fascinating, and if you have a connection to The Way, you'll be hooked. That being said, if you view this work as a narrative or a source of entertainment, you'll be disappointed.

There are a number of chapters about the the author Karl Kahler's life and personal experiences with The Way, and these are interesting as we see what he thought about the The Way at the time as well as first-hand accounts of the disturbing behavior of his fellow cultists. Only a few of these chapters reach their potential, though, by getting inside Kahler's head as he interacts with the screwy world of The Way. Others are just long, dry descriptions of events to which he was a party; we aren't shown why these events were important.

The other chapters, which are essentially detailed historical accounts of The Way and its rise and fall, have great information, and some of them are good reading in their own right, but many of them drag on with juicy, damning, or insightful facts few and far between. I imagine Kahler felt compelled to publish the majority of the information he had compiled about The Way if only to get it on the record.

Ultimately, it's worthwhile read if you have a connection to The Way. This is pretty much the place to find out everything.
(reviewed 76 days after purchase)

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