Mama Said: A Daughter’s Escape from the Alamo Christian Foundation (Paperback)

Mama Said: A Daughter’s Escape from the Alamo Christian Foundation By Christhiaon Coie Cover Image
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There are many books on the cult phenomenon that bloomed in the wake of the social upheaval of the 1960s, and many discuss the abuses of cult leaders; the physical, mental, and emotional challenges of breaking free; and the lived experiences of those who manage to leave and begin to heal. With Mama Said: A Daughter’s Escape from the Alamo Christian Foundation, we get a unique angle—what the daughter of a cult leader could see from the inside.

Christhiaon Coie grew up “Little Susie,” the daughter of Susan Alamo and stepdaughter of Tony Alamo, founders of the Alamo Christian Foundation. Coie continued to embrace the faith as she got older, but she was not a little girl anymore and began to realize that people don’t go to church and leave with the offering. She did not embrace the “faith” her mother was peddling, and she saw the financial grift that exploited the vulnerable followers. This is a story about the complex, unremitting relationship between a daughter and her abusive mother. Coie shares insight into Susan Alamo before her foundation days and reveals what it was like to grow up as her daughter between the 1950s and early 1970s. Across thirty-six chapters, she chronicles life within the Alamo cult and the twisted mother-daughter dynamic that persisted through it all. As Coie’s story unfolds, we see Little Susie transform into Christhiaon, navigating a manipulative mother and the distorted biblical teachings enlisted to her cause.

With a foreword from noted Alamo cult historian Debby Schriver, Coie’s gritty memoir is a true survivor story. What she survived, however, was not the cult only but the cruel double bind of what “mama said.”

About the Author

CHRISTHIAON COIE was born in Los Angeles, August 2, 1950. She’s the daughter of Soloman and Susan Lipowitz. In her early years she sang hymns for her mother as a guest in churches as well as backup vocals with record producers. Later she would sing on her own with studios and her own band.

ROB SCHRIVER develops training curriculum for the Oak Ridge National Lab. He is also a freelance writer and editor for the University of Tennessee Press. He teaches night classes for Pellissippi State Community College.

Praise For…

“Christhiaon Coie tells a harrowing story of being raised in, and finally escaping, a violent, anti-gay and anti-Catholic cult headed by a lowlife grifter by the name of Tony Alamo—and his long-time partner, Coie’s abusive mother. It’s a genuinely important account of a group that claims to hold high religious ideals, but at the end of the day is little more than an elaborate and oftentimes brutal swindle.” —Mark Potok, senior fellow at the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right and former leader at the Southern Poverty Law Center
“Christhiaon Coie’s account of survival in the face of overwhelming psychological and physical abuse is riveting. Her subsequent quest for justice is an exhilarating testament to human decency.” —Tim Cahill, author of Jaguars Ripped My Flesh and Hold the Enlightenment
“Having known Chris for over thirty years, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard her say ‘Make a long story short,’ after which she would proceed to talk for twenty minutes.  I’m glad that she didn’t make this story short.  She has lived through some of the ugliest imaginable attacks from Alamo and his followers, in part, to prevent her from telling her truth. These stories serve as a warning to other cults, and to those who profit from them. They should have known that they couldn’t keep Chris quiet.  Read the book. You’ll see what they were afraid of.” —Steven D. Archer, Partner, Kiesell Law LLP

Product Details
ISBN: 9781621907305
ISBN-10: 1621907309
Publisher: Univ Tennessee Press
Publication Date: May 13th, 2022
Language: English