Stock Image

Escape: My Life Long War Against Cults

Morantz, Paul

5 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0615848699 / ISBN 13: 9780615848693
Published by Cresta Publications
Used Condition: Good Soft cover
Buy Used
Price: US$ 28.41 Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 0.00 Within U.S.A. Destination, Rates & Speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

Offered By

Montgomery, IL, U.S.A.

5-star rating

AbeBooks Seller Since December 20, 2007

About this Item

0615848699 Item in good condition. Textbooks may not include supplemental items i.e. CDs, access codes etc. Bookseller Inventory # Z0615848699Z3

Quantity Available: 1

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: Escape: My Life Long War Against Cults

Publisher: Cresta Publications


Book Condition: Good

About this title


From the back cover: The snake stuffed in attorney Paul Morantz s mailbox by acolytes of Synanon, a once-hailed drug rehabilitation center that had devolved into a paranoid, militaristic cult, was an early strike in what would become a 35-year war with nearly every major cult movement this country has ever known. Mr. Morantz has been involved under frequently bizarre circumstances--with such infamous sects as the Charles Manson family, Patty Hearst and the SLA, Jim Jones and the People s Temple, the Moonies and the strange world of Scientology. His efforts have helped many escape from lives of torment and contributed to a sea change in how courts deal with the little-understood issues of brainwashing and cults. Now, in this important and compelling book, Mr. Morantz offers a comprehensive account of the origins and activities of cults and how they prey on society s most vulnerable elements. It also recounts the very intimate tale of how these confrontations with threatening and often, violent forces cost him the woman he loved and nearly, life itself.

From the Author:

Attorney Paul Morantz has devoted his professional life to fighting such organizations as the Unification Church, the Church of Scientology, and EST. But in the late '70s that life almost ended abruptly when another group called Synanon planted a live rattlesnake in his mailbox. Morantz describes this bizarre incident, as well as many others, in his new book: Escape: My Lifelong War Against Cults. In September, California Lawyer editor Martin Lasden spoke with Morantz in Los Angeles. Here are edited excerpts from that videotaped discussion.

Q: A few days ago I was telling a friend that I was going to be interviewing Paul Morantz. And she didn't know who Paul Morantz was. But when I mentioned the rattlesnake and Synanon, her eyes lit up because she knew exactly who that guy was. So how much did your life change after they tried to kill you?

A: My life changed in so many ways. I doubt I could list them all. You see, my goal was never to be a lawyer. I wanted to be a writer. That was my first love. But then when I came up against Synanon - and I don't know how to say this ... but - I sort of had the feeling that this was why I was placed on earth, that this was my moment, and that I had to rise to the occasion.

Q: I've never been bitten by a rattlesnake. How painful is it?

A: It's extremely painful. It's not like in the movies where John Wayne sucks the venom out, jumps back on his horse, and goes after the bad guys. It's like having your hand in a vice. See, part of the poison kills, but another part destroys tissue.

Q: Three weeks before you met up with that snake you had won a $300,000 judgment against Synanon on behalf of a married couple, in which the wife claimed that she had been held captive by the organization. Did you feel at that point your life was in danger?

A: Way before. Synanon had trained a hit force called the Imperial Marines, and their chain of command was through the Synanon legal department. And we knew of 80 people over four years who had been physically attacked by them. One man was a former Synanon member who was trying to get his child out. They cracked his skull, and only the shouts of people who came by saved his life.

Q: Still, it seems that your feelings toward Charles Dederich, the man who founded and led Synanon, are rather complicated. You write, "[T]here was a strange, creepy bond between us." What did you mean by that?

A: It was like we were both captives to each other. I mean, I'd be at dinner with my fiancÃ(C)e and she'd say, "What's new dear?" And I'd say, "Well, Synanon purchased $307,000 worth of weapons plus armor piercing bullets. How was your day?" I was captured. And Dederich was captured by me. I was out there to destroy him. And so we both had a sort of morbid curiosity about each other.

Q: After you got out of the hospital, did you ever consider another line of work; something calmer and perhaps a bit more lucrative, like trying to find tax loopholes for rich guys?

A: I couldn't stand the practice of law. I couldn't stand tax cases, divorce cases, personal injury cases. I could never have been that kind of lawyer for long.

Q: So you were hooked on the excitement ... on the danger. But it did take a toll on your personal life, didn't it?

A: Very large. When I was fighting Synanon, my fiancé left me because she feared for her children.

Q: When you look at the people who start cults - whether it's Werner Erhard who started EST, or Charles Dederich who started Synanon, or L. Ron Hubbard who started Scientology - do you see them all as basically cut from the same cloth?

A: I see the same person every time. ... There's a manic quality about them, but they're all very insecure, very narcissistic, very paranoid, and concerned about their place in history.

Q: n 1988 you managed to convince the California Supreme Court that brainwashing was real and that you could sue for it. After you won that case (Molko v. Holy Spirit Ass'n, 46 Cal. 3d 1092 (1988)), were there a lot of causes of action based on brainwashing theory?

A: I'm sure there were. ... Up until then, I never took a case in which I had to prove brainwashing. I had to have ordinary torts that I could win. ... To me brainwashing, if it got through, was the gravy. It was also a risk because it might get overturned on appeal. But once the Supreme Court decision came down it was a different story.

Q: Reading your book it seemed, at times, like I was reading about a character in The X-Files. Do you remember that show?

A: It felt to me more like living in an Alfred Hitchcock movie, with the guy walking along, doing something innocent when, all of a sudden, he overhears a conversation, and the next thing he knows he's trying to save the world and save the girl. We've all seen that plot in stories so many times. But to live it is quite something else.

Link to Video:|%20Paul%20Morantz&participatory=20&additem=1

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

We offer a wide variety of educational textbooks.

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

We guarantee the condition of every book as it's described on the Abebooks web sites. If you're dissatisfied with your purchase (Incorrect Book/Not as Described/Damaged) or if the order hasn't arrived, you're eligible for a refund within 30 days of the estimated delivery date. If you've changed your mind about a book that you've ordered, please use the Ask bookseller a question link to contact us and we'll respond within 2 business days.

Company Details:
Ez Book Recycle Inc
PO BOX 4816
Aurora, I...

More Information
Shipping Terms:

Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express