What happened after Daniel Levin left Larry Ray behind?
Daniel went on to get an MFA and authored a book about his experience, Slonim Woods 9, which was published in 2021. He said his personal life was “remarkably good” and this spring he’ll be teaching a course for Stanford’s continuing education program on how to translate one’s most difficult memories into memoir.
“I’m thinking a lot about how we can take this experience and try to do the most good with it and create community for other survivors,” he shared. “I think there’s lot of talk about abuse, and there’s not maybe as much talk about recovery.”
Which, he knows, is a process of indeterminate length.
“I’d like to believe that I just immediately was like, ‘That was horrible. That was abuse. I was in a cult and now I’m not,'” Daniel said. “It took me months to call it a cult. I simultaneously felt this fear where was scared to walk around the corner because I thought Larry might be waiting there and they’d pull me into their car and bring me back. And at the same time I wondered, did I make a mistake?”
His memories of what happened were muddled, he explained, there was no one he felt comfortable talking to about it and there were no media reports yet to corroborate his stories.
“So,” he continued, “I thought, You know, this was bad, it feels bad in my gut—but also maybe we were just doing Marine boot camp, and maybe he was making us better, and maybe my friends are gonna become whatever perfect person [Larry] said that they could, and I sort of failed out.”