What is a summary of the first half of Octavia Butler's Parable of the Talents?

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Sections 1–12 of Parable of the Talents discuss the continuing challenge facing chaotic twenty-first-century America up to to the moment when Olamina and her followers are captured and tortured by another religious group. When the new president, Andrew Steel Jarret, comes to power, he supports the religious sect known as...

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Sections 1–12 of Parable of the Talents discuss the continuing challenge facing chaotic twenty-first-century America up to to the moment when Olamina and her followers are captured and tortured by another religious group. When the new president, Andrew Steel Jarret, comes to power, he supports the religious sect known as Christian America, which is supposed to save the people from chaos and return America back to the simple times, when everybody worshipped one God. Olamina and her Acorn group is the only productive sect mentioned in the book. They accept anyone, regardless of religion, and educate everyone to be useful by teaching them a skill. It's unfortunate that once Jarret comes to power, his group targets Acorn and murders some members before enslaving Olamina and her team. They are forced to wear electronic collars at slave camps and are treated harshly by Christian America. Section 12 ends with Olamina and her fellow captives whispering among themselves about the possibility of finding one of their lost comrades.

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