SubGenius Membership Allegedly Leads to Loss of Child Custody

UPDATE: A Special “hello” to everyone from BoingBoing, Jesus’ General and all the other sites that are linking this. Details about how to give donations for the custody appeal are given on Rachel’s blog. She writes: “Please PayPal all donations to, or send a check directly to: Rachel Bevilacqua c/o Francis C. Affronti, Esq., 130D Linden Oaks, Rochester, NY 14625″.

A Texas woman alleges on her blog that her membership of a satirical religious group with very liberal views on sexuality has led to a court forbidding her to have any form of contact with her son:

This case began in 1997 when Rachel Knight [the blog’s author, in third person] and her son, Kohl Jary moved to Texas to be with her fiancé, Steve Bevilacqua.

…On December 22, 2005, without informing Rachel, Jeff [Jary, the boy’s natural father] went to the Orleans County Courthouse and presented Judge Punch with a series of allegations about not being able to contact Rachel and needing an order of Temporary Sole Custody in order to prevent Kohl from being kidnapped.

Rachel Bevilacqua denies Jeff Jary’s claims, and gives her account of the court case (square brackets in original, emphasis added):

…On February 3, 2006, Judge Punch heard testimony in the case. Jeff entered into evidence 16 exhibits taken from the Internet, 12 of which are photographs of the SubGenius event, X-Day. Kohl has never attended X-Day and is not in any of the pictures. Rachel is depicted in many of these photos, often wearing skimpy costumes or completely nude, while participating in X-Day and Detroit Devival events.

The judge, allegedly a very strict Catholic, became outraged at the photos of the X-Day parody of Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ — especially the photo where Jesus [Steve Bevilacqua] is wearing clown makeup and carrying a crucifix with a pool-noodle dollar sign on it while being beaten by a crowd of SubGenii, including a topless woman with a “dildo”.

…Judge Punch lost his temper completely, and began to shout abuse at Rachel, calling her a “pervert,” “mentally ill,” “lying,” and a participant in “sex orgies.” The judge ordered that Rachel is to have absolutely no contact with her son, not even in writing, because he felt the pictures of X-Day performance art were evidence enough to suspect “severe mental illness”…

(UPDATE: In a later blog entry, Bevilacqua retracted the “very strict Catholic” claim, which she had heard from someone else. Apparently the judge told her that he “does belong to a ‘church’ of some kind, but he did not elaborate on what denomination”.)

The Church of the SubGenius can be accessed here (a bit non-work safe). Those who find the experience confusing might find the Wikipedia enties on the Church and on X-Day more useful.

UPDATE: More links are provided by MonkeySaltedNuts here.

(Hat tip: Bulldada Newsblog)