Let’s talk… conspiracy theories. Seems like the last handful of years have been a bull market for the tin foil hat society, but a search for answers to uncomfortable questions has dogged us as a people for quite a long time. Today’s book examines this thinking (stretched like taffy) being turned into a pathetic lifestyle. When nothing makes sense and all you want are simple answers, this is an examination of a community that takes full advantage. Buckle up, this one is gonna get weird.
Dragged Into The Light by Tony Russo is a true crime examination into a modern cult of conspiracy theorists once led by a woman named Sherry Shriner. You may have heard that name a few years ago, as a curious homicide was said to take place amongst a pair of her former associates. The circumstances of Steven Mineo’s death, seemingly at the hands of Barbara Rogers may have caught your eye when you read the headlines. “Murder in the Alien Reptile Cult!!”. This was the media’s favorite narrative, and the motive and backstory of a loss of human life was soon since forgotten in the name of perceived insanity. Russo’s book will not mince words or attempt to make a justification for any brutality, but the care and attention to the human lives surrounding this group of otherwise painfully average Americans is displayed with every turn of the page.
The source material of Sherry Shriner and co’s antics can be found through a smattering of social media conversations, YouTube videos and personal experience interviews conducted by the author himself. The tenants of Shriner’s followers read as a Golden Corral buffet of conspiracy theories rather than a strong commitment to one organized ideal. Sure, there’s a good money scam in there about some magic mineral recipe (Orgone) that’s used to mobilize and intimidate, but the evil entities being cautioned against are anything but consistent. A purposefully vague ideal of the incoming “disaster, control, economy reset” is fairly run of the mill, but every component of fringe belief makes up its variables. Lizard people, aliens, black helicopters, microchips, energy harvesting, it’s all there and more, a wave of incoherent nonsense that could cover the weakest individuals like a warm blanket. The text is hard to swallow not by its quality of writing, but by how hard it is to understand that people could be controlled by such an uncommon brand of charisma. No stone is left unturned, and the book reads like a living piece of history.
Verdict: Dragged Into The Light by Tony Russo is a fascinating and chilling look into modern conspiracy theories and the people that shape their lives around it. Sherry Shriner successfully led a following of dedicated believers and through nothing short of childish bickering caused the murder of one of its most boisterous souls. While the author’s examination is brilliantly detailed, the care to the human elements is what sets this apart from a mere commentary piece. There’s no pretension of defending anyone’s actions, but there’s a clear defense for the souls themselves that were lost to an arrogant megalomaniac. Whether you want a guilty pleasure look at a group of tragic individuals or a professional examination of a true crime homicide, Russo’s legwork pays off from cover to cover.
Special thanks to Tony Russo for providing an advance review copy of Dragged Into The Light to TehBen.com. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
Purchase Link: Secant Publishing
Author’s Twitter: @ByTonyRusso