THE FIRST OF ITS KIND – Testimony from a 2nd Generation Adult, Born and Raised in, and Leaving a Cult Leader of The URANTIA Book.
Culted Child is a memoir by the daughter of a Spiritual Prophet – a father who used the theology of The URANTIA Book as a framework for his secret conversations with her. These secrets shared his daily communications and miracles from God… Packed with research references and resources, Culted Child utilizes Peregolise’s turbulent childhood experience as an opportunity to communicate the signs and symptoms of being raised in a Cultic or Manipulative Environment.
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Interviews & Articles:
Rachel Berstein’s IndoctriNATION Podcast: Thought Adjusters w/ Maria Peregolise, https://www.patreon.com/indoctrination/posts?filters[search_query]=peregolise
iGotOut, Just Trust Me…, https://www.igotout.org/written-stories-1/just-trust-me
Art Ascent Article, Gold Writer Award Winner, https://artascent.com/maria-d-peregolise/
Testimonial Art Ascent 2nd Article https://artascent.com/artascent-has-helped-me-charge-through-a-terrifying-hurdle/
Journal Entry at Age Thirteen, Peregolise, M. (2020). ICSA Today, Vol. 11, No. 2. (2020 – PDF of Issue). Arts: Poetry – Maria Peregolise (24-25). https://www.icsahome.com/memberelibrary/ithttps://www.icsahome.com/memberelibrary/it#h.p_4tZX2OKSONVB
Ron Burks, PhD:
“Culted Child brings the reader into a very toxic family, made more so by the subtlety by which The Father matter-of-factly abuses his children and spouse with what seems to be every word he says. It does indeed read like a novel, made all the more frightening by the fact that it is real. It really happened. No, not the stuff in The URANTIA Book, Maria’s life story. Sadly, it happens with almost pandemic like frequency all over this planet. (I am not as certain as The Father is about what happens on other planets.)”
– Ron Burks, PhD, holds an MDiv and an MA in counseling from Asbury Theological Seminary and a PhD in Counselor Education from Ohio University. He worked for many years at Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center in Albany, Ohio, alongside founder Dr. Paul Martin. Wellspring serves as one of the few residential facilities in the nation that specifically treats victims of cults, domestic abuse, and other coercive situations. Ron is a former president of the Wellspring board and is a clinical advisor to both Wellspring and Meadowhaven, a similar treatment center near Boston.
Ron and his wife Vicki wrote Damaged Disciples: Casualties of Authoritarian Churches and the Shepherding Movement, published by Zondervan. His other publications include a chapter on a connection between cults and addiction in the medical reference, Substance Abuse: A Comprehensive Textbook, published by Williams and Wilkins. He and his wife Vicki are licensed mental health counselors and currently operate an intensive outpatient substance abuse program at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.
Daniel Shaw, LCSW:
“Children brought up in cults often realize as adults that their parents, following the cult leader’s demands for ideological purity, prioritized idolization of and submission to the leader over the protection and safety of their own children. Feeling cruelly betrayed, these adult children struggle to reconcile what they thought was love with the recognition of how conditional this love actually was. In this insightful and poignant memoir, Maria Peregolise chronicles her life as a child in a cult led by her own father. This harrowing and tragic story speaks to the mind-shattering complexity a child faces in surviving loving and being loved by a malignant narcissist, one who believes themself to be Omnipotent. For the many, far more than we realize, who have grown up under the extraordinary control of a powerful, charismatic and deeply delusional parent, Peregolise’s story of survival and ultimate freedom is a revelatory and inspiring gift of hope. “
– Daniel Shaw, LCSW, is the author of Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation, and Traumatic Narcissism and Recovery: Leaving the Prison of Shame and Fear.
“Growing up with a father indoctrinating you with his strong beliefs is hard enough. When those beliefs are rooted in the obscure Book of Urantia, you have little chance of relating your inner world with those outside your closed family system. Maria Peregolise has written a marvelous memoir of her heroic struggle to both emerge from her father’s cult and to reveal the story behind the formation of the Urantia book cult.”
– Joe Szimhart, Cult Information Specialist and author of Santa Fe, Bill Tate, and me: How an artist became a cult interventionist.