When internet prophet Sherry Shriner told one of her long-time followers, Steven Mineo, that his new girlfriend Barbara Rogers was a deadly reptilian agent, Steven broke with Shriner's cult. Two months later, he was dead from a gunshot wound to the head, and Barbara had been charged with his murder. Shriner claimed credit for a true prophecy. But the truth was darker.
Russo's investigation of Mineo's death, along with the earlier suicide of another cult member, is a look inside an esoteric take on Christianity, where true believers assemble in internet chat rooms to stave off the demonic hordes of Lucifer, the New World Order, cell phone towers and reptilian shape-shifters.
Throughout his journalism career, Tony produced podcasts on beer, local news, and writing. He began producing independent shows in 2007 and in 2017 left local journalism to host This Is War a narrative podcast about the combat veteran experience.
Culture and belief have been Tony’s special interests for more than 20 years, and relished the opportunity to investigate Sherry Shriner’s Christian doomsday cult. The work resulted in Dragged Into the Light: Truthers, Reptilians, Super Soldiers and Death Inside an Online Cult.
Tony lives on Maryland’s Eastern Shore with his wife and the only of his four daughters who hasn’t moved out. Together they keep their dog and cats comfortable.
You can reach him at ByTonyRusso@gmail.com