Father Osborne is bound by a covert centuries-old mandate held by his religious order: to know before all others that the Antichrist is among us - and to try to suppress and destroy him. Every fifty years or so, a new candidate emerges and is investigated, despite the fact that they've always proved to be harmless - until now. The target of Osborne's investigation is an American known to his followers only as B. He isn't teaching meditation or goddess worship, faith healing or New Age spiritualism. He isn't out to make money or build a fanatical following. Instead he is quietly uncovering the hidden history of our planet, redefining the fall of man, and retracing a path of human spirituality that extends millions of years into the past. Osborne follows B's elusive trail from a dead end in Salzburg to an existentialist cabaret in Munich to a candlelit retreat in the subcellar of dilapidated theater, where he first encounters the mysterious B and his intriguing female colleague, Shirin. From the beginning, Osborne is stunned, outraged, and awed by the originality and power of B's teaching. Is B merely a heretic - or is he the Antichrist sent to seduce humanity not with wickedness but with ideas more alluring than those of traditional religion? Pressed by his superiors for a judgment, Osborne is driven to penetrate B's inner circle. There, as B's chosen disciple, he soon finds himself an anguished collaborator in the dismantling of his own religious foundations.
Daniel Quinn's first book, Ishmael, won the Turner Tomorrow Fellowship, a prize for fiction presenting creative and positive solutions to global problems. He is also the author of Providence, The Story of B, and My Ishmael.