Book Review by Cathleen Mann, PhD
Weiss, M. (2019). Broken Faith: Inside the Word-Faith Fellowship, One of America’s Most Dangerous Cults.
This book is truly sensational. Filled with extraordinary detail, the reader is drawn to a cult nightmare beyond anything I’ve read before.
All of the usual descriptors of a sociopathic cult leader apply to Jane Whaley, leader of the group, which expands beyond any prediction. Moreover, Mrs Whaley defies any semblance of human kindness or connection, but endeavours with all her strength to be the most duplicitous and dastardly person who has ever led a church, which truly is a criminal enterprise.
Her actions are stunning and incomprehensible. Even taking lessons from history, how can one person do so much harm in a consistent and purposeful way? I had to take breaks every chapter or two just to remind myself that Jane Whaley occupies human flesh, but invoked gut rot and literal blood to everything she touched.
And to note: “Cult experts” were quoted generically, but the one time a name was used, the professional designation was wrong. Lorna Goldberg is not a psychologist, as she is designated, but is a licensed master’s level social worker. It seems implausible that the author would come up with the wrong profession on his own, given his strong marriage with facts everywhere else.
The fact that this church and this leader operated so long and with such hubris and impunity is staggering. I’ve never read a cult-related book like it and I am forever changed by finishing it.
To purchase on Amazon click here
ABOUT DR.MANN: Cathleen Mann, PhD, has consulted in about a hundred cases involving cults, undue influence, psychological influence, and related areas. Qualified by a court of law as an expert in 16 states, she has provided sworn testimony in about 40 legal cases. She does counselling, evaluations, investigations, supervision, and consulting. Dr Mann passed away in November 2020.