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Surviving 16 years in a destructive cult

Tuesday, 15 September 2009 15:59

The true story of surviving 16 years in a destructive cult
David & John Ayliffe

"If you ever leave me, I will kill you. I am ‘God' and have the power of life and death in my hands.' Violet Pryor, Leader, Zion Full Salvation Ministry

Over 3,000 cults exist in Australia alone today. How they recruit members and operate is often a total mystery and shrouded in secrecy.

My Brother's Eyes is one of the first Australian accounts of how a religious cult operated and is told through the eyes of two brothers: one on the inside; the other on the outside.

My Brother's Eyes tells the utterly gripping story of David Ayliffe who spent 16 years in the religious cult called the Zion Full Salvation Ministry. He was in his late teens when he was recruited and didn't leave until his early 40s.

The Zion Full Salvation Minister began as part of an inner city Anglican Church in Sydney and was founded by a woman who claimed to have Christ's Stigmata and to be the embodiment of God on earth. When Violet Pryor died 16 years later, most of the congregation had been stripped of their finances, investments, families and self-esteem.

Among the many stories recounted, David's wife Margaret tells how she discovered a melanoma and almost died from what Violet called 'God's will' and had to secretly seek treatment. In the book she says: "Hate is not too strong a word for me now when I think of Violet. But the bitterness I came to feel towards her didn't happen overnight you know and that makes it all the more true."

Psychological pain, drama, control and secrecy: all were trademarks of Zion. Friend was set against friend, families deliberately broken up, and assets appropriated. But as David, the insider, interlaces his journey with John, his brother on the outside, a strange thing happens. The two brothers re-discover each other in a way that belies their early separation, and the tale of horror becomes one of enduring love and true redemption.

About the Authors

David Ayliffe had a promising career in journalism which he gave up when he joined Zion. He became part of the inner circle and eventually became the pastor when its leader died suddenly. Later he closed Zion. He went on to become CEO of an overseas aid organisation, a Bequest Office with Red Cross and is a Rotarian.

John Ayliffe is an author and ran a successful advertising company.

Paperback $34.95 John Garratt Publishing, September 15 2009.

For further information/author interviews please contact:
Annette Rinaudo, Publisher at John Garratt Publishing
Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Tel 03 8545 2911


Press Release published by Get the Word Out