Those who aspire to write about an alien reality often grope for words to describe it. Readers, too, faces challenges, for a destructive cult is a far darker place than most of us can easily imagine. Cult language and doctrine are dense, intimidating, and all but inaccessible to anyone but a True Believer. Being literarily sterile, cult language tends to numb, rather than excite, the imagination.

As a person who has had one leg in the cult and the other on the earthly planet, I'm aware that to some my credibility in both worlds is compromised. I believe, however, that my experiences give me a special opportunity to bridge the gap between worlds that have so much, and yet so little, in common.

I've refrained in this book from quoting extensively from cult literature. Instead, I've tried to use the same words an ordinary cult member may have used in conversation. This is partly because I found informal conversation to be as revealing of cult mentality as the dry written word, and partly because I'm not a scholar of the Swami Prabhupada's books. I leave it to others more knowledgeable than me to do an exhaustive study of his writings.

The spellings of terms and names in this book are the same as those used by the cult, except for a few words I spelled in a way that is more phonetic for a reader in the English language.

As noted before, Prabhupada encouraged his followers to be "mad after Krishna." Each of the various meanings of the word "mad" — insane, angry, rabid, frantic, irrational, foolish, infatuated, and wildly exuberant — apply all too well to the Krishna Consciousness Movement. I hope that hearing one person's story will help us all to move toward a better world, a world of sanity, wisdom, and peace of mind.