| [Mayflower publishing|
| Print (Paperback & Hardback)|
332 pp (first edition, paperback)
0-583-13093-3 (first edition, paperback)
The Cult is a fiction book by Max Simon Ehrlich published in 1979 by Mayflower and was the tenth book by the author.
The Cult (novel) Wikipedia
Jeff was a loving son to Mr and Mrs Reed. But when he went to Ashtaroth, they lost him. He took a new name. He cursed his parents and spurned their love. Forever. for Jeff is now a member of The Cult. The Souls for Jesus, the brainchild of the Master, Buford Hodges, a tax-deductible, multi-million dollar industry feeding on the minds and bodies of the young and vulnerable. Only one man can redeem these lost souls. Only one man dares to take on the sinister forces of the Master. Only one man can help the Reeds. The man they call The Devil..
Jeff Reed - The main character of the book, Renamed Simeon by the SFJ
Frank Reed - Father of Jeff
Kate Reed - Mother of Jeff
Ken Reed - Brother of Jeff
Cindy Hyland - Girlfriend of Jeff, renamed Athaliah by the SFJ
Joe - Surf Buddy of Jeff
John Morse - The Devil, Enemy of the SFJ
Buford Hodges - The Master of the SFJ
The SFJ is a cult believed to generate $20 million a year most of which seems to go directly to its charismatic leader Bufford Hodges who is known to its members as 'The Master' and seen as having direct communications with Jesus. The members of the SFJ inside their compounds (churches) wear monastic robes with varying colour of rope depending on the seniority of the member. There are several levels of member within the SFJ with The Master at the top then his advisers and deacons and deaconesses followed by normal members and new members who are known as Neophytes, Neophytes must undergo a process known as purification which can last anywhere from one month to three months, this period is designed to completely brainwash the neophytes and turn them against the outside world and embrace the master as a prophet of Jesus. Most Neophytes hand over their possessions and savings to the SFJ during purification, They are also fed a very basic diet and bombarded by brainwashing techniques and selected passages or quotes from the bible that support the needs of the SFJ. once a Neophyte has completed purification they may join what are called God Squads which go out into the street to sell a booklet called 'the sayings of the master' for $2. Between the profits from booklets, possessions of the neophytes and the donations brought in from his TV shows The Master has been able to buy a luxury yacht and stash several million dollars in numbered Swiss bank accounts. There have been numerous cases of Suicide of Neophyte members of the SFJ leading to desperate attempts by parents to remove their children from the hold of the SFJ. This is the Cult that John Morse must try to save Jeff from and return to his family.