A Port Alberni writer has released a memoir where he talks about his experience escaping from a religious cult.
In 1972, author Perry Bulwer says he was a naive 16-year-old growing up in Port Alberni, a mill town on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. He dropped out of high school to run away with the Children of God, also known as The Family—one of a number of Christian cults that sprang up in the 1960s and 1970s. Soon, Bulwer was preaching the cult’s doomsday message on the streets of some of the largest cities in the world.
In his book, Bulwer takes the reader on a trip through the world of biblical literalism, fundamentalist endtime fantasies, paranormal spirituality, evangelical extremism, ritual abuse and liberally interpreted biblical teachings that were used to justify licentious sexual doctrines, evangelical sex work and child sexual abuse.
Bulwer managed to escape The Family’s tight control in 1991. Returning to Canada, he tried to pick up his life where he had left off two decades earlier. Through education, Bulwer lost his religion, turning from religious extremist to a secular humanist lawyer, fighting for the rights of sex workers and drug users living on the streets of Vancouver.
Haunted by his own past, Bulwer has now become an advocate for thousands of second-generation survivors of the cult’s child abuse and psychological trauma scattered around the world.
Bulwer will be launching his new memoir, Misguided: My Jesus Freak Life in a Doomsday Cult, at Mobius Books in Port Alberni on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 11 a.m.