The In-N-Out cult -- is there any other word for it? -- is rooted in its patrons' appreciation for its simple menu and its sedulous devotion to fresh, high-quality ingredients.

To be sure, there are other fascinations. These include the mystique created by its management's traditional refusal to ever speak to the press. Then there are the biblicalcitations imprinted on the edges and seams of its burger wrappers and disposable cups, a practice started by the late Richard Snyder, the born-again younger son and onetime heir apparent to In-N-Out's founders, Harry and Esther Snyder.

Finally, there are the intertwined issues of In-N-Out's colorful past and its unsettled future, which are touched on in a new book titled simply "In-N-Out Burger," by BusinessWeek writer Stacy Perman.

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