METROFOCUS: August 2, 2022

MetroFocus | August 2, 2022

According to the American Library Association, the number of individual books challenged in 2021 was 1,597, the highest number since they’ve been tracking it.  In response to this increase in attempted censorship, the Brooklyn Public Library launched an initiative called “Books Unbanned”, which will make e-versions of books like “Stamped”, “The Bluest Eye”, and The Black Flamingo”, available to young readers nationwide.  President and CEO of the Brooklyn Public Library Linda E. Johnson joins us to discuss the issue of book banning today, in addition to sharing the library’s role in combating the negative impact of censorship and in making sure information is easily accessible to all.

When Spencer Schneider was a 29-year-old Manhattan corporate lawyer, he was invited by an acquaintance to attend a secret meeting of a group known by its members simply as, “School.”  Brought in by its charismatic leader, he joined other highly successful New Yorkers but soon found himself trapped in one of the nation’s most secretive and abusive cults.  Spencer Schneider joins us tonight to discuss his new book, “Manhattan Cult Story: My Unbelievable True Story of Sex, Crimes, Chaos, and Survival”, in which he tells how and why he joined the cult, and how he got out after 23 years.