Texarkana, TX 82° Thu H 94° L 75° Fri H 94° L 77° Sat H 92° L 74° Weather Sponsored By:

Chronicling a Cult

Chronicling a Cult

Author who wrote about Tony Alamo's influence will sign books on April 23

March 11th, 2018 by Gazette Staff in Texarkana News

The city of Fouke, Ark., will host a book signing next month for author and human rights activist Debby Schriver's recently published book about cult leader Tony Alamo.

The signing for "Whispering in the Daylight: The Children of Tony Alamo Christian Ministries and Their Journey to Freedom" will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. April 23 in the Stanley Davis Community Center in Fouke.

"We're excited something good is coming out of this, with the proceeds being donated to the cult survivors," Fouke Mayor Terry Purvis said.

The book discusses the road to revealing Alamo's cult and the journey to freedom the children of his "Christian" ministry took. The leader and some of his followers lived in Fouke.

Alamo died last year in the federal prison where he was serving a 175-year sentence for child sex abuse. Contrary to his promise, the days following his death did not bring Christ-like resurrection. Alamo's wife and partner Susan has been dead for 36 years.

The children of Tony Alamo Christian Ministries are learning to thrive thanks in part to the work Schriver has done on their behalf.

The group the Alamos started in 1969 in Saugus Canyon, Calif., has torn families apart. It continues to produce second- and third-generation members, some of whom have broken free of its control.

Second-generation adults are born into a cult, immersed in its practices and ignorant of life as we know it. They must be introduced to the modern world and its social mores. Survivors are finding success and learning what it means to be free in a society that does not exert power over every aspect of life and to build trust within a community that does not abuse its members, Schriver said in the introduction to her book.

The book details the stories of several second-generation adults and their progress. The trust Schriver developed with them is a landmark in the cultic studies and counseling communities. Her inroads have particular relevance to the treatment of individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Newsletters produced by Tony Alamo Christian Ministries are finding their way out of small towns and into big cities, even New York. Over 50 years and 2,500 miles, Alamo's cult still has influence.

"Whispering in the Daylight" aims to bring all this to light so the persistence of cults may be acknowledged and the hard work of dismantling them may be a little easier—with a lot more support.

Shriver also appears as an expert in an upcoming Sundance TV docuseries, "Ministry of Evil: The Twisted Cult of Tony Alamo," produced by NBC Peacock Productions and World of Wonder Productions.

"Whispering in the Daylight" comes from the University of Tennessee Press. Schriver is establishing a nonprofit organization to deal with the damage cults cause and provide resources and access to counseling for those seeking help.

Schriver is available to speak to groups or read from her book. Email contact@whisperinginthedaylight.com.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com