October 8, 2008

Book Notice: The Uganda Cult Tragedy

Bernard Atuhaire, The Uganda Cult Tragedy: A Private Investigation (London: Janus Publishing Company, 2003), 138 pp.

The Uganda Cult TragedyThe Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God was a cult born in Uganda which ended in tragedy. The lives of roughly a thousand members, including many women and children, ended eight years ago in what is now known as the Kanungu Massacre. To understand how and why this Roman Catholic sect ended so violently, Ugandan scholar Bernard Atuhaire traveled to Kanungu to personally investigate the movement.

From the back cover:
On 17 March 2000, over 500 people died in the blazing inferno in the remote hills of southwest Uganda. Shortly afterwards, hundreds more bodies were discovered in mass graves across the country.

Those who died belonged to a religious cult, the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments, who believed that only those who committed themselves totally to the sect’s revival of the Ten Commandments would be saved on the day of reckoning—which was close at hand.

The Uganda Cult Tragedy is an account of the formation and growth of this cult, in particular examining the reasons why it rooted itself so firmly in Uganda, passing unnoticed by the authorities until it was too late...

The author believes the cult phenomenon is not only highly dangerous but is now universal and growing. He has researched his subject thoroughly with former cult members in the hope that this revealing account of the terrible, but not widely publicized, tragedy in Uganda may act as a warning—to prevent such appalling loss of life in the future.

Table of Contents:
Introduction, x
The Beginnings, 1
Recruitment, 27
Entry and Training, 33
The Centres: Practices and Daily Life, 47
Opposition, Indifference and Support, 65
The End?, 81
Reflections and Conclusions, 99
Appendices, 103