Nov 2, 2015

Fortney Road: Life, Death, and Deception in a Christian Cult

Fortney Road: Life, Death, and Deception in a Christian Cult
By Jeff C. Stevenson"A fascinating and disturbing look into the world of vicious cults and the psychological damage they inflict." -Jonathan Kellerman

Fortney Road is a disturbing account of calculated mental, physical, and sexual abuse in an evangelical Christian cult. Drawing on seven years of research including interviews with seventeen survivors, it tells the story of the rise and fall of the Church of the Risen Christ, its sadistic leader the Reverend Larry Hill, and its outreach tool The All Saved Freak Band, one of the earliest religious rock groups borne out of the Jesus Movement. Unfolding against the backdrop of the 1960s and early '70s, Fortney Road is also the story of one brilliant musician who fell victim to a charismatic, cruel zealot. While other cult leaders such as David Koresh and Jim Jones have become infamous, Larry Hill and his followers on Fortney Road have flown largely under the radar-until now. Illustrated with over 50 photographs and images.

Available from Cults101 Bookstore


"A riveting portrait of the rise and fall of the Church of the Risen Christ ... A sad, sordid story of sex, mind control, and rock 'n' roll." -Arthur Goldwag, author of Cults, Conspiracies & Secret Societies 

"An amazing story that needs to be told!" -Mark Allan Powell, Trinity Lutheran Seminary

"A timely warning about charismatic leaders that take advantage of well-intended followers under the guise of religious devotion." -John Styll, co-founder of CCM Magazine 

"With alarming detail and gripping first-person accounts, Stevenson's well-researched book educates readers about the dilemmas and the dangers of blind faith." Janja Lalich, author of Take Back Your Life and Bounded Choice

"An incredible book that is hard to put down. Absolutely fascinating!" -Don Cusic, author of Saved By Song

"A fascinating yet disturbing account of religious zeal gone haywire ... so weird it almost seems like fiction."-Dave Hollandsworth, founder One Way Jesus Music site

"Masterfully documented ... captures the zeitgeist of that era." -Mark N. Jones, musician and artist

"Reveals how fundamentalist religion can become a tool to manipulate and abuse people." -Brian Quincy Newcomb, veteran music critic

"The incredible story of the Church of the Risen Christ community ... the survivors are finally able to tell their story." David Di Sabatino, documentary filmmaker of Fallen Angel and Frisbee 

"A fascinating story of one church's descent into depravity and the music it created." -Bob Gersztyn, author of Jesus Rocks The World.

"Masterful ... an eye-opening, cautionary tale that informs and forewarns." -Jim Siegelman, co-author with Flo Conway of Snapping: America's Epidemic of Sudden Personality Change

"An in-depth look at the horrific history of one of the dark, hidden corners of the Jesus People movement." -Larry Eskridge, author of God's Forever Family

"A haunting masterpiece ... Fortney Road is not just a book. It's a warning."-Bo Lane, author of Why Pastors Quit

"This is a great book!" Bob Kilpatrick, musician, author of The Art of Being You

"Stevenson has masterfully documented Glenn Schwartz' troubled journey and captured the zeitgeist of that era." -Mark N. Jones, musician and artist


Enhanced with more than fifty photographs and images, Fortney Road: Life, Death, and Deception in a Christian Cult is an inherently fascinating and fully informed read from beginning to end. A heretofore untold story of religious fanaticism in the United States, Fortney Road is strongly recommended for both community and academic library collections. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, Fortney Road is also available for personal reading lists in a Kindle edition. --The Midwest Book Review

An unexpectedly entertaining, phenomenally well-researched and thoughtfully organized account of religion gone horribly awry. In it, journalist Jeff C. Stevenson exposes much more than the odd happenings that took place on a fringe religious group's isolated farm. By lifting the veil on tactics and techniques that even mainstream religions use to unduly influence their followers, Stevenson exposes the essential truth that underlies cult-leader Larry Hill's chilling statement: "Our group was no more a cult than the Baptist church is." --M. Dolon Hickmon,

Fortney Road is a journalistic enterprise spanning seven years and many states looking for the untold whole story of Larry Hill's Church of the Risen Christ, a Christian cult that was horrifically skewed, and for all its investigative foray, this book belongs on shelves nation-wide. --Caitlin Schesser,

About the Author 

Jeff C. Stevenson works as a freelance copywriter for various New York advertising agencies. He is also a writer, photographer, and film publicist and producer. His work has appeared in PRISM magazine, where his article "Bury Me Standing" was awarded the editor's choice, and he has contributed entertainment items to the New York Post's Page Six. He spent seven years researching and writing Fortney Road. Jeff lives in New York City.

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