The recent police raid on a FLDS ranch in Texas and subsequent hullabaloo of a hearing that is all over national news (I keep waiting for Anderson Cooper to show up in 19th century garb) has reminded us that cults still exist…and that they are bad. Very bad. But, on the other side, is it right what Texas did? Can the state infringe upon a certain culture’s way of life if the overriding culture in this country is morally opposed? This has sparked a national debate about whether the state should have the right to take these kids away. Are we abusing these kids by separating them from their mother’s care?
However, while I’ve got cults on the mind because I can’t stop thinking how creepy it is that those 400-plus Mormon kids keep giving the cops false names to trick them (kids are clever and sneaky enough, let alone those taught to distrust the entire “outside world” ), the New York Times Style Magazine has got cults on the mind when it comes to Fashion–and, amazingly, it’s got nothing to do with Chloe Sevigny! Last week the publication ran a short article on the fashion influence of Father Yod and the Source Family, a very good looking cult in 1970’s California.
Devondra Banhart’s Father Yod-inspired Jacket–how sexy, Father Banhart!
And last week there was a bit on NPR’s Day-to-Day on Father Yod and his many wives. Is it me, or does this group sort of resemble the cult that Jerri Blank joined in Strangers with Candy? From this segment, I learned that Father Yod was the founder of the raw foods movement in the U.S. (remember “The Source” the restuarant that Annie Hall takes a frightened Woody Allen to when he sees her in LA in Annie Hall?), which makes me think twice about bean sprouts, despite being a life-long vegetarian. He was also a rock star of sorts. Oh and a seriously Manson-esque father figure to a bunch of gorgeous women who were sexually subservient to him. (“Father, father”–can’t get that Strangers with Candy episode out of my mind!).
However, I guess with this latest cult raid, one can be assured our culture’s fascination with the cult is not about to let up. I can’t stop thinking about cornfields…
Read Time’s When the Polygamist’s Came to Town and think about it.