Spying in Guruland: Inside Britain's Cults by William Shaw
In January 1993, William Shaw stumbled on a strange sect that had been living for two years, more or less unnoticed, in primitive stone shelters on a bare cliff near Land's End. They were waiting for a goddess called Lyonesse who they believed would bring a new civilization out of the sea. This book is an account of Shaw's investigation into cults in Britain. Attending meetings and workshops, and in several cases becoming a signed-up member of the group, the author has uncovered, among others: the Emin, a hidden cult who follow their leader, Leo, in an endless search for a lost world; the Jesus Army, where he sampled the feverish mix of celibacy, abstinence and ecstatic worship; gurus in Devon preaching sex, love and death; and a cult in a Fulham basement listening to communications from the interplanetary Master, Mars Sector 6. The book investigates the appeal of these movements and why so many apparently well-off people are willing to have their lives turned upside-down. William Shaw has also written "Travellers: Voices of the New Age Nomads", with Richard Lowe.