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Lyn Millner, M.F.A. - Florida Gulf Coast University. Fort Myers, FL, US

Lyn Millner, M.F.A. Lyn Millner, M.F.A.

Expert in news literacy, journalism, writing and cults | Florida Gulf Coast University


Lyn Millner is an author whose specialties include Florida history and narrative journalism.



Lyn Millner, M.F.A. Publication



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Lyn Millner signing THE ALLURE OF IMMORTALITY at Lemuria Books FGCU class fact-checking campaigns


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Lyn Millner founded FGCU’s journalism program and is the author of “The Allure of Immortality: An American Cult, a Florida Swamp, and a Renegade Prophet,” about the Koreshans of Estero, Florida. Her specialties include narrative journalism, editing and news literacy. Her radio stories have been broadcast on NPR’s Morning Edition and Weekend Edition, and on American Public Media's Marketplace and Weekend America.

Areas of Expertise (12)


Cult Science

Creative Writing


Journalism History

News Literacy

Mobile Journalism


Science Writing

Print Journalism

Narrative Journalism

Audio Journalism

Education (2)

Florida International University: M.F.A., Creative Writing - Nonfiction 1999

Georgia State University: B.B.A., Accounting 1989

Affiliations (1)

  • Naples Press Club : Member

Selected Media Appearances (4)

FGCU class fact-checking campaigns

FOX 4  


Lyn Millner discusses her news literacy class at FGCU.

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Five best: Jeff Guinn on books about cults

Wall Street Journal  


Jeff Guinn, author of "The Road To Jonestown" highlights Lyn Millner's book "The Allure of Immortality" about the Koreshans of Estero, Florida.

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'QAnon': Who they are and what they believe

NBC 2  


Lyn Millner talks about the fascination with conspiracy theorists such as the QAnon believers.

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3 Song Stories - 003 - Lyn Millner



Lyn Millner appears on 3 Song Stories.

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Selected Event Appearances (4)

Metaphysical America: Spirituality and Health Movements During the Gilded Age

Whitehall Lecture Series at the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum  Palm Beach, Florida


Florida Histories

Miami International Book Fair  Miami, Florida


Turning Facts into Story

Sanibel Island Writer’s Conference  Sanibel Island, Florida


News Literacy: What’s an Editor to Do?

American Society of News Editors Convention  Washington, D.C.


Research Focus (1)

New Book

Millner is researching female hysteria in 19th-century Paris. Specifically, the treatment of women under the care of Jean-Martin Charcot, the father of modern neurology. She is also researching the history of women’s basketball in the United States.

Selected Research Grants (2)

Face-to-Face: Conversations with Journalists

McCormick Foundation $42,500

Allows high school and college students to talk virtually with journalists who cover the news in challenging situations.

Daniel and Janet K. Warner Journalism Endowed Fund

Dan and Janet Warner $22,000

This was fund was created for the purpose of helping to maintain press accountability in the community.

Selected Articles (1)

Chapter 1: The Illumination

The Allure of Immortality

Lyn Millner


For five days in December 1908 the body of Cyrus Teed lay in a bathtub at a beach house just south of Fort Myers, Florida. His followers, the Koreshans, waited for signs that he was coming back to life. They watched hieroglyphics emerge on his skin and observed what looked like the formation of a third arm. They saw his belly fall and rise with breath, even though his swollen tongue sealed his mouth. As his corpse turned black, they declared that their leader was transforming into the Egyptian god Horus. Teed was a charismatic and controversial guru who at the age of 30 had been "illuminated" by an angel in his electro-alchemical laboratory. At the turn of the twentieth century, surrounded by the marvels of the Second Industrial Revolution, he proclaimed himself a prophet and led 200 people out of Chicago and into a new age. Or so he promised. The Koreshans settled in a mosquito-infested scrubland and set to building a communal utopia inside what they believed was a hollow earth--with humans living on the inside crust and the entire universe contained within. According to Teed’s socialist and millennialist teachings, if his people practiced celibacy and focused their love on him, he would return after death and they would all become immortal. Was Teed a visionary or villain, savior or two-bit charlatan? Why did his promises and his theory of "cellular cosmogony" persuade so many? In The Allure of Immortality, Lyn Millner weaves the many bizarre strands of Teed's life and those of his followers into a riveting story of angels, conmen, angry husbands, yellow journalism, and ultimately, hope.

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