Top Ten Cult Books

by helenzuman in Top Ten Cult Books

During my twelve-year quest to complete and publish Mating in Captivity—my memoir of five years, post-Harvard, in a cult with a radical take on sex and relationships—I read many, many cult memoirs. Plus a number of cult-related self-help and narrative non-fiction works and a few cult novels. Nowadays, I still read cult books—just not as […]

How the Medicine Wheel Kitchen Restored My Faith in Community

by helenzuman in General

More than four years ago, when I first stepped into the Medicine Wheel kitchen, at Earthaven Ecovillage (in Black Mountain, North Carolina, USA), I was not feeling bullish about community. I’d tried that, right? At Zendik. (Yes, Zendik was a cult—but I’d found it in The Communities Directory!) And it hadn’t gone so well. No, I […]

A Message for the Harvard Class of 2020

by helenzuman in General

More than twenty years ago, as I was nearing graduation, I instigated a protest against Harvard’s commencement speaker, then Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. Not because I vehemently opposed his politics, or anything specific he’d done, but because he was a banker. Who I expected would bore the hell out of me with some sold-out […]

On Villaging: World Made by Hand

by helenzuman in General

In James Howard Kunstler’s 2008 novel, World Made by Hand, the people of the Hudson Valley are struggling: vast numbers have died of influenza; others have succumbed to encephalitis; still others have left Union Grove (a fictitious town in Kunstler’s own Washington County) in search of something better, and—in the absence of telephone, postal, or […]

If COVID Could Talk…

by helenzuman in General

Hey, humans—how’s it going? Oh, right. Badly. And you blame it on me. It’s true, I am a nasty little fucker (I had to be, to fight my way out of the bat world and into yours). And, yeah, I would love to destroy your way of life. But I’m not actually out to get you. […]

Quantum Divining with Brandon Dey

by helenzuman in General

Undercurrents Episode #3 (5 February 2020): Quantum Divining with Brandon Dey If you’ve ever dabbled in metaphysics, you’ve probably heard someone say, “You already know everything you need to know; the answers lie within.” And you may have replied, if only silently, “Great. Thanks. Now how do I get them out?” In this episode of […]

On Villaging: “Develop”? Try “Monetize”!

by helenzuman in General

[This is my January column for Livelihood magazine, which recently appeared in print. Enjoy!] As soon as I heard about Jenny Odell’s new book, How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy (Melville House 2019), I put it on hold at the library—only to find that I would have to wait in an unusually long line. Apparently, […]

Not What, But Why: A Review of SANCTION, Book II

by helenzuman in General

When I received my copy of Sanction’s second installment, on September 26, 2019, I was immersed in two other books: Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, by Diana Gabaldon (the eighth book in the Outlander series—aka Sanction for chicks?), and Climate: A New Story, by Charles Eisenstein. I knew I’d caught Sanction fever—again—when I shoved […]

On Villaging: What Makes Work Fun?

by helenzuman in General

[This is my December column for Livelihood magazine, which recently appeared in print and may eventually show up on the Livelihood website. Enjoy!] When I first started visiting Earthaven Ecovillage, in Black Mountain, North Carolina, nearly four years ago, I found the term “work party” mildly Orwellian. Huh? I thought. I’m not only supposed to […]

The Beauty of Bar Fights with SANCTION Author Roman McClay

by helenzuman in General

Here’s the long-awaited second episode of my podcast, Undercurrents! Enjoy! Episode #2 (12 December 2019): The Beauty of Bar Fights with SANCTION Author Roman McClay Roman McClay holds forth on Sanction as mind virus (and decoder ring for the sigma male); the beauty of forest fires and bar fights; decluttering the world (so God can […]