So, what really happened at Fortney Road? In the late 1960’s and during the 1970’s, Christianity was adding a large new movement of former hippies and drug users and other young adults. They referred to themselves as “Jesus Freaks.” It was a movement of communes and music, of revolutionary ideas that brought The Word to people who were bored with and couldn’t relate to conventional evangelical Christianity. Larry Hill was the charismatic preacher and leader of one such church based from a farm on Fortney Road.
Our guest, Jeff Stevenson, spent seven years researching the goings on of a cult whose members were run through an ordeal that few can understand. They lived through sleep deprivation, corporal punishment and sexual abuse at the hands of Hill. Things looked great from the outside, and sounded great, too. The church sponsored a musical group that has produced some of the most unusual blues/rock Christian music ever heard and featured the talented guitarist Glenn Schwartz, who had come through The James Gang and Pacific Gas And Electric before joining Hill’s church and helping to form the All Saved Freak Band.
Freethought House has published Stevenson’s book and we welcome the author to the show.
- Fortney Road: Life, Death and Deception in a Christian Cult at Freethought House
- “What Religious Cults Seem to Have in Common”
- An overview of Fortney Road in the Star-Beacon, Larry’s hometown paper
- “Different Fundamentalists, Same Covered-Up Child Abuse”
Listen to AM 950 KTNF this Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio at 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to [email protected] during the live show. If you miss the live show, listen to the podcast later.