Rollers is a story that has everything a good read
should have: sex, religious fervor, mass insanity, the
downfall of prominent families, murder and sensational
And it's all true.
John Terry, TheOregonian's
'Oregon's Trails' columnist says of the book: “Bought a copy,
took it home and straight away in the space of a couple of late evenings, read
through it. A dandy piece of research and a good read. Lots more stuff than I
was aware of. It deserves an audience.”
Cultic Studies Review recommended the book saying it: "provides useful information about the
developmental dynamics of cult-like groups and their leadership; as
such, it is a valuable addition to the database of how destructive cults
develop and to the psychopathology of their leaders."
An Autographed copy is $16.95 (that includes postage if you live in the U.S.
The eBook version has lots of extras and is only $3.99
In 1903 Edmund Creffield lured most
of Corvallis's Salvation Army's soldiers to his own
church. They called themselves The Church of the Bride of
Christ. Everyone else called them The Holy Rollers. Most
of Creffield's followers were women, and not just any
women, but women who were the wives and daughters of
respected men, women of high character and standing,
God-fearing, decent women.
Their going's on were page one
news--and not just in the Pacific Northwest, but around
the world. Stewart H. Holbrook, a reporter for the
Oregonian and an historian, said of the Holy Roller's
story: "It seems to me, the most incredible of all the
cases I have studied." Yet few today know the story, not
even many folks in Waldport, Oregon where the final
chapter takes place.
Waldport is a small town--it's
population is about 2,000 today--the sort of place where
everybody knows everything about everyone else. But
asking anyone about the Holy Rollers is an offense. "We
were always told to not talk about it," an old-timer will
tell you with eyes cast down, "and I'm not going
little most folks in town know was gleaned from a
magazine article a student at Waldport High happened upon
in the 1950s. The girl had never before heard of Edmund
Creffield, but she knew almost everyone else mentioned in
the piece. "Do you know who these people are?" she asked
after reading the article aloud on the school bus. "Whose
mothers these are? Whose fathers these are?" Everyone on
the bus knew who they were because everyone in town knew
who they were. They were some of the town's earliest
settlers, some of the town's best-respected
That--not murder--may be the most
unsettling part of this story. Unsettling because these
were normal people. Sane people. People like you and me.
If things like these could happen to them, things like
these might happen to anyone.
When the Waldport High students asked
their parents for more information about the doings of
the Holy Rollers and Edmund Creffield, all were shushed
up and told to never bring up the subject again. A group
of men went up and down the coast buying and destroying
every copy of the offending magazine they could
The young people obeyed their parents
and never did bring the subject up again.
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