Apocalypse Observed: Religious Movements and Violence in North America, Europe, and Japan

As the millennium approaches, there is renewed interest in Apocalyptic visions. Over the years, several groups, or cults have brought the idea of the Apocalypse into the media. In this important and timely work, Apocalypse Observed analyzes five of the most notorious cults of recent years. John R. Hall, along with Philip D. Schuyler and Sylvaine Trinh present a fascinating and revealing account of religious sects and conflict. Cults covered include:

  • the apocalypse at Jonestown
  • the Branch Davidians at Waco
  • the violent path of Aum Shinrikyo
  • the mystical apocalypse of the Solar Temple
  • the mass suicide of Heaven’s Gate.

Apocalypse Observed looks are each of these cults through an in-depth analysis. The authors show how the religious violence that brought these groups to the attention of the world-at-large did not erupt simple from the beliefs of the cult followers. The personalities of the cult leaders are explored. What drove Jim Jones, David Koresh, and Michael Applewhite to become some the world most famous “murderers?” What led ordinary citizens to follow these men? In this fascinating work, all of these issues, as well as several other are discussed.
Apocalypse Observed will also shed light on some of the lesser known, yet equally disturbing cults. This book will look at classic questions about the ultimate meaning of existence, and the way in which cults sought answers to such questions.