Letters to the Editor: I was in a cult that hated reporter Bob Pool. How he became a saint to me

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Learning that veteran Los Angeles Times reporter Bob Pool died, I remembered how he had transformed from a sinner to a saint in my eyes.

In the 1980s, he covered the Church Universal and Triumphant led by Elizabeth Clare Prophet, whom I called “Guru Ma,” having come to California to join her cult at age 21. In our eyes, Pool was part of the “dark forces” scheming to bring our sect down. We chanted against him and the villainous L.A. Times for many years.

After leaving the cult at age 27, I became a writer and started freelancing for The Times, my stories in the vein of Pool’s people-centered reportage.

One day, he called me, marveling at a feature about an aging car mechanic I published. We talked about how we were both keyed to revealing the extraordinary in ordinary characters, and of course I shared that I had feverishly chanted against him for years.

Pool’s stories helped me become the writer that I am — despite my efforts to purge him of his alleged wicked ways.

Content retrieved from: https://www.latimes.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/story/2024-05-02/reporter-bob-pool-how-he-became-a-saint-to-me.

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