Monday, November 10, 2008

Skinhead Confessions

I heard TJ Leyden speak out our Cedar City Library about three weeks ago and was captivated by his story. He grew up with an abusive father, who would only give his praise for injury TJ inflicted on others, generally his cousins, and then dragged through a terrible divorce. He finally found an organization that accepted him and showed him an out from a life he didn't really like. While still in high school, he became a skinhead, and continued to quickly rise through the ranks.

This book is completely captivating. It is amazing to me how easy it is for organizations like gangs, skinheads or whatever to draw in these kids. TJ outlines his recruiting techniques, the steps he would take to make the recruits stay. He explains how his military service actually made him better prepared for the cause of ethnic cleansing and depicts a world we would like to think is gone, but it is just as real now as it has ever been.

I was completely sucked in to this book, thinking about it constantly and unable to put it down. The story is sad, amazing, tragic and redeeming. This book gets a high score from me - I'll lend you my copy if you want, but if you have anything to do with children, you need to read this book. If you feel like you are at a point in your life where nothing matters and no one cares, you need to read this book. It is truly amazing. The transformation to someone with so much hate and back to someone with so much hope is unlike any I have ever heard of in my life.

You will be moved by this book.

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