Unmasking Zion’s Higher Power: A Legacy of Cult Secrets and a Nuclear Power Plant
A town where utopian dreams collided with nuclear power.
Unravel the secrets of a cult and a power plant, and how they are tied together – a tapestry woven with threads of faith, ambition, and the haunting legacy of a “Higher Power.”
The name Zion evokes images of tranquility, a haven for the faithful.
But for me and others, it holds a different kind of weight.
My grandparents were among the first converts to settle in Zion, drawn to its promise of a perfect world.
And my mother grew up within the cult and attending church-run public schools, a witness to both its fervent idealism and its dark undercurrents.
Higher Power delves into Zion’s complex history and its entanglement with the nuclear power plant at the edge of town.
This book is not a dry historical and technical account of the Zion nuclear power plant.
It’s a masterclass in weaving together disparate threads – the rise and fall of two charismatic leaders, the allure of utopian ideals, and the chilling truth of a nuclear power plant looming over a community that hasn’t fully grappled with its past.
Bukro, the author, paints vivid portraits of the people who shaped Zion, their motivations, and the consequences of their choices.
The cult’s manipulation, the community’s fear, the lingering scars of a utopia gone wrong – they’re uncomfortable truths about the consequences of unchecked power, both spiritual and technological.
Zion’s story is not just a relic of the past, but is a cautionary tale.
Ready to embark on this thought provoking journey?
Order your copy of Higher Power today!
An American Town’s Story of Faith, Hope, and Nuclear Energy
Pub Date 6/27/23
An in-depth, timely examination of one town’s nuclear power plant, the scandal that plagued it, and the reporter who was allowed inside.
Nuclear power once promised to be the solution to the world’s energy crisis, but that all changed in the late twentieth century after multiple high-profile accidents and meltdowns.
Power plant workers, finding themselves the subject of public opposition, became leery of reporters.
But one plant in Zion, Illinois, just forty miles north of Chicago, allowed unrestricted access to one journalist: the Chicago Tribune’s Casey Bukro, one of the first environment reporters in the country.
Bukro spent two years inside the Zion nuclear plant, interviewing employees, witnessing high-risk maintenance procedures, and watching the radiation exposure counter on his own dosimeter tick up and up.
In Higher Power, Bukro’s reporting from the plant is prefaced by a compelling history of the city of Zion, including a tell-all of John Alexander Dowie, a nineteenth-century “faith healer” who founded Zion, and whose evangelism left a mark on the city well into the modern era, even as a new “higher” power—nuclear energy—moved into town.
With the acceleration of climate change, the questions and challenges surrounding nuclear power have never been more relevant.
How did the promise of nuclear energy stumble?
Should we try to address the mistakes made in the past?
What part could nuclear power play in our energy future?
Higher Power explores these questions and examines one American town’s attempts to build a better society as a bellwether for national policy and decision making.
Prize: Higher Power: An American Town’s Story of Faith, Hope, and Nuclear Energy (arv $29.95)
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