Peter’s new memoir, The Inner Circle — My Seventeen Years in the Cult of the American Sikhs, was published on May 25, 2021 and is available on Amazon. Here’s what reviewers are saying:
The Inner Circle is a magical mystery tour that takes the reader through the spiritual Odyssey of a youthful musician’s quest for self-discovery, enlightenment, and mystical awakening. The quest for identity begins with the innocence and naivete of the seeker as he devotes himself to a charismatic teacher and a new spiritual practice. It is a journey full of adventure and discovery that takes us across continents and coasts, and the author’s gradual awakening that the Guru and his organization have a very dark side. After many years, as devotion devolves into painful disillusionment, the initiate finds his way out of the cult and into a new sense of himself. This is a great book, full of insight about the light and dark sides of devotion to a spiritual practice. A must read!
–Dr. Ronald A. Alexander, Executive Director the OpenMind Training Institute, Santa Monica, adjunct faculty at UCLA extension, Pepperdine University, and Pacifica Graduate Institute, and author Wise Mind Open Mind and Core Creativity: A Mindful Path to Awaken your Creative Abilities (2022)
“Peter Macdonald Blachly’s The Inner Circle is a well-written memoir—easy to read, entertaining, and hard to put down. He manages to weave together his world-traveling adventures with his own spiritual journey as one of the first people to don a turban in the early days of the Yogi Bhajan cult, which he joined in 1970. Although Blachly pulls no punches about his gradual disillusionment with the moral failings of his Guru, the book does not come off as an exposé. Rather, it is his self-awareness and clear-eyed examination of his own vulnerable sense of identity, which made him susceptible to the manipulations of a malevolent narcissist, that sets the book apart from other memoirs. Whether practicing one of the world’s religions, following a spiritual teacher, in an authoritarian cult, or in the thralls of a charismatic polit- ical leader, The Inner Circle provides valuable lessons for all of us.”
–Steven Hassan, PhD, MA, MEd, LMHC, NCC Member of the Program in Psychiatry and the Law Freedom of Mind Resource Center, Inc., Newton, MA
“The Inner Circle is a magic carpet ride through a young man’s quest for spiritual enlightenment. Like a modern day Siddhartha, Peter encoun- ters the challenges, contradictions and harsh realities that occur when one surrenders to an immoral yogi. With insight, humor and rigorous honesty, Peter gives us access into a unique time in American history- when the end of the utopian idealism of the 60s converged with the flow of East Indian wise men that came to America in droves. There is a wonderful nostalgia in his recollections, a wistful taste of simpler times with the ease of world travel and ever-changing circum- stances. Peter embraces it all, with a combustible mixture of devotion, confusion and willing abandon. I highly recommend this captivating and poignant memoir.”
–Suzanne Beth Jordan, Writer and advocate for Beyond the Cage: The 3HO | Yogi Bhajan | Kundalini Yoga Aftermath
Peter has been crafting stories, song lyrics, and English prose for many years. He has written two memoirs. One, The Stone from Halfway Rock–originally published by Polar Bear Press–relates his childhood adventures on the coast of Maine, and The Inner Circle, concerning the years he spent pursuing a spiritual path of yoga and meditation within the American Sikh community.
Author Chellis Glendinning praised The Stone from Halfway Rock: “Luminous…lyrical..Peter Alexander’s stories of childhood summers in Maine are a wondrous reminder of what’s important in life. He has me laughing, weeping, visualizing seals and summer storms, remembering the smell of sea air, and promising myself to love the simple things.”
Here are some comments from readers:
A.B. We are loving this book! My wife and I have been reading it to each other each evening. Totally delightful.
A.W. We have been reading aloud to the whole family every night. It is so wonderfully descriptive. My boys love it—the whole family loves it!
M.P. What a great book! You write beautifully, and have captured the essence of summers in Maine. Now my son wants to build a hydroplane like yours!
The book is temporarily unavailable, except through used book services online, as Peter switches publishers and adds new chapters.
Peter’s writing has been published in Down East Magazine, and an excerpt from The Stone from Halfway Rock was published in the March 2016 issue Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors.
Peter’s photo essay about Northern New Mexico, Gifts from the Land and the Light–published in 1995–was praised by Stewart Udall, former Secretary of the Interior: “Gifts is just superb! You have said in photos and a few words what Willa Cather and D. H. Lawrence tried to say about the Southwest environment.”
From September 2014 until July 2016 Peter also wrote the weekly music column for Maine’s Coastal Journal newspaper, now a part of the Brunswick Record.