Reviews of Holy Rollers: Murder and Madness in Oregon’s Love Cult
“Bought a copy, took it home and straight away in the space of a couple of late evenings, read through it. A dandy piece of research and a good read. Lots more stuff than I was aware of. It deserves an audience.”
John Terry, The Oregonian's 'Oregon's Trails' columnist
“Holy Rollers is a deeply researched work that gives the facts and places the events within historical contexts. It is written in plain, easy language in an accessible style. That helps to make the astonishing truths in the book more believable. In a sense, this book attempts to explain the inexplicable. And while we may never know why it happened, we now have a lucid account of all the facts.”
Statesman Journal (Salem)
“[Holy Rollers] major contribution is its description of how a destructive cult can develop in an average community. The narrative shows the vulnerability of otherwise normal people, and the escalation of a charismatic leader’s control over them. Parallels to modern-day destructive cults are obvious, with similarities to Jim Jones’ People’s Church, Marshall Applewhite’s Heaven’s Gate, and David Koresh’s Branch Davidians. The book offers evidence that wielding total control over others may somehow contribute to a slow deterioration of the leader’s mental state. … The book provides useful information about the developmental dynamics of cult-like groups and their leadership; as such, it is a valuable addition to the database of how destructive cults develop and to the psychopathology of their leaders. Recommended.”
Cultic Studies Review
“Holy Rollers is an incredible, painstaking reconstruction and revealing expose that create a gripping book that offers especial insight into the dark side of mass psychology, religious hysteria, and unbridled charismatic religious authority."
Midwest Book Review
"From a wealth of court records, newspaper archives and asylum and prison documents, authors McCracken and Blodgett have pieced together a lurid chapter of Oregon history in 'Holy Rollers.'"
News-Times (Newport, OR)
“One of the most intriguing and prurient chapters in Oregon's history, the whole affair is captured in a new book called Holy Rollers: Murder and Madness in Oregon's Love Cult."
“All the material used in the book comes from newspaper accounts and court records. So it's hard to dismiss this book as cheap fiction. No. It was real life in Oregon.”
The Eastern Oregonian (Pendleton)