Lost Souls, False Prophets, Martyred Saints, Murderous Cults, Demonic Nuns, and Other Victims of Man's Eternal Search
Harper Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780061732843, 564pp.
Publication Date: June 2010
An eyebrow-raising expose of the strange and shocking side of history's religions, cults, and spiritual movements
What is the meaning of life? Since the dawn of civilization, humankind has sought to answer the mysteries of existence. Unfortunately this restless search for the divine has, all too often, driven seekers in regrettable directions toward the comically ridiculous and irrational but also the frighteningly horrific and maniacal.
Arm yourself with God's Lunatics before your next encounter with those who have been blinded by the light. Award-winning author Michael Largo, "the Capote of kaput" (Atlanta Journal-Constitution), chronicles history's vast and colorful cast of true believers from the hidden side of the Bible's eccentric characters to today's street-corner doomsayers, and from extraterrestrial communicators, levitating hermits, and flagellating ascetics to self-serving preachers of overindulgence who believed money, sex, and drugs were the keys to the portal to divine understanding. In addition to the firewalkers, serpent handlers, cultists, terrorists, and alleged time travelers, God's Lunatics also reveals the dubious foundations of the world's major faiths and the many religious customs and laws that continue to influence governments and society, whether you are a believer or not.
“An enlightening riot, and one that will steer you away from religion quicker than a pervert priest.”
“One man has made it his mission to document and collect stories of religious fanatics, freaks, believers of all sorts just like this woman. That man, Michael Largo, regales the reader with tales of religion gone awry in God’s Lunatics.”
-The Daily Beast
“This book is fabulous. I cannot recommend it enough: Michael Largo’s encyclopedia of religious weirdness through the centuries. I loved it.”
“An A to Z of the fantastic, scandalous and downright bizarre found within the history of religion. While a perfect book for quick-tempo, episodic reading, I actually found myself sucked into reading it for a stretch of some hours.”
-Lansing State Journal
“In a cleverly subtle style, Largo reveals the puzzling beliefs and excesses of religions . . . measured and nuanced . . . his smartly written A-Z capsule entries allow readers to come to their own conclusions.”
-Los Angeles Times
“Such a great read. . . . What’s here is sometimes scarier than even the most frightening horror film. . . . Will entertain without offending.”
“God’s Lunatics takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of faith’s more ridiculous manifestations. The work presents a Victorian freak show of cult leaders, mystics, and crusaders from throughout history.”
-San Francisco Bay Guardian