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)

22 Responses

  1. Where do I find out how to donate to the appeal fund. This is awful. She needs community support both emotionaal and financial. I haven’t found anything on google but if you see anything PLEASE let me know. If it was my son taken from me… wow, it hurts to even think about.

  2. You can find information regarding this situation at If you’re at work or otherwise unable/unwilling to hit the SubSite, but still want to donate, you can PayPal to:
    Magdalen (at) (play the swap @ game)

  3. Hi-

    Thanks for writing about this travesty. I am a long-time friend to Steve and Rachel and have been lending moral support. They need all the publicity they can get. -Nickie Michaud

  4. Apparently, belonging to a group that’s known for molesting little boys (also – the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published a report showing that 40% of US nuns had suffered sexual abuse, often from other priests and nuns), the nastiest torture methods in existence (even having a torture device as a symbol), helping AIDS spread (because of the ban on contraception), ritual cannibalism (because kids NEED TO DRINK BLOOD), etc, is now “sane”.

  5. I have friends who were raised Catholic (and was, myself) who admit that they were, at one time or another (usually during preperations for first confession), terrified (as in, sleepless nights, not eating properly, etc) that they were going to hell.
    Apparently, terrifying children in the name of Xianity is not “wrong”, while jokingly boffing a fellow consenting adult with a nerf-bat is so “wrong” you should be seperated from your children for doing it.

    Hopefully, a saner judge will hear her appeal.

  6. I am confused. Was the court in New York or Texas. Also, this seems like a good case for A.C.L.U.

  7. I know Texas, the subgenii, and Christianity fairly well. Trust me. The so-called Christians in TX (of Catholic and other stripes) are far more perverse and vulgar than any subgenius.

  8. I give some more links, and links to pics over in the MeFi post:

  9. As an individual who is not only a personal friend of Rachel’s, but a participant in the so-called “pervert” ritual photographed, I can say with the utmost sincerity that Rachel is a profoundly moral person, a sincere and kind woman with a legitimate and strict moral code.

  10. Yet another sad bit of evidence that our country does *not* have freedom of religion.

  11. You who support ANYTHING coming from what ive seen on the subgeniius website, have no ideaof what morality is or is not. How could anyone with any semblance of a conscious grant custody of a child who would partake in usch sheer and utter non sense?

    God help us all

  12. “You who support ANYTHING coming from what ive seen on the subgeniius website, have no ideaof what morality is or is not. How could anyone with any semblance of a conscious grant custody of a child who would partake in usch sheer and utter non sense? God help us all” “hcetrepus

    You know, it’s funny – I say the same thing about dealing with child-molesting, hypocritical anti-choice religiously insane pagan occult ritualists who follow televangelists, the ancient fables in any of their forms (Bible, Koran, Torah, etc.), and seem to think that they own morality in all of its’ forms.

    There’s no way I would ever let a child of mine be taught by a christian or any other garden variety theofascist. They’d be seduced by those immoral God squadders, learn that it’s okay for religious leaders to molest their congregations, and pretty soon they’d be blowing up abortion clinics or government buildings in the advancemnet of their cause. I think that anyone who forces their religious beliefs on their children should have their children taken away from them.

    Take yer god and shove whatever you think it is up your nearest available sphincter. How could anyone of conscience let religious whackos raise a child?

  13. Good article!

  14. >> How could anyone with any semblance of a conscious grant custody of a child who would partake in usch sheer and utter non sense?

    I agree. Except that the nonsense you speak of, I find in the Bible.

  15. This infuriates me to no end. Jesus and Magdalen are some of the most responsible cool folk in the Church. I hope the this will be on the National News. I encourage anyone who can to please donate.

  16. um, the SubGenuii realize it is nonsense but do it anyway, which is a better reason than some other people have for what they are doing.

  17. I have to wonder what the father’s side of the story is. Will refrain from makin ga decision until I hear it. Custody battles bring out gross exagerations.

  18. Oh, you don’t have to wonder what the father’s side of this story is. Just pop over to Rachel’s blog and you can read all of his abusive posts yourself. Apparently, it’s definitely NOT okay for Kohl (one day in the future) be exposed to a picture of his mother having a heart painted on her butt; BUT IT’S JUST FINE for him to read his father calling his mother a whore bitch who has sex with her father and sister. ?? If this is what the Fathers’ Rights Movement has produced, then support for their movement should be seriously rethought.

  19. Okay, tonight I received word that the update to Rachel Bevilacqua (Magdalen)’s case can be made public.
    Since the news of Reverend Magdalen’s legal proceedings broke, people have been asking Magdalen to post the actual transcripts of the court proceedings, so that they can read Judge Punch’s words for themselves and verify that she was speaking the truth. The transcripts of the case were to become available by March 6th. However, for the entire week since March 3rd, Magdalen has been absent from the Internet, and she has not been able to make the transcripts available.

    The reason for Magdalen’s absence (and the lack of the transcripts) became clear as of Thursday, March 9. On that day, I learned that the judge had ordered Magdalen to cease all communication on the Internet regarding her son. This was not a written statement – the judge had verbally ordered her to remain offline, and no written order was available. Magdalen stated that even though the order was verbal, the court considered it to be an official order from the judge, and so she has had to remain offline since then.

    However, as of March 15th, Magdalen had obtained legal reputation from none other than the law firm of Lipsitz Green Fahringer Roll Salisbury & Cambria, LLP. (This firm includes Larry Flynt and Marilyn Manson among their clients.) Magdalen’s legal team is challenging this order. When the order is overturned and she is online again, she will have quite a story to tell.

    IMPORTANT: Because Magdalen has a new legal team, donations to her legal fund are to be sent to a new address. Paypal donations can still be sent to Checks or other payments can be mailed to the attention of:

    Christopher S. Mattingly Lipsitz Green LLP 42 Delaware Avenue Suite 300 Buffalo, New York 14202-3857

  20. “You who support ANYTHING coming from what ive seen on the subgeniius website, have no ideaof what morality is or is not. How could anyone with any semblance of a conscious grant custody of a child who would partake in usch sheer and utter non sense? God help us all”

    Dear fucking moron. FUCK YOU IF YOU CAN”T TAKE A JOKE!

  21. I just happened to read about this case in the Wikipedia article on the Church of the Subgenius and I think that Judge Punch’s ruling is completely absurd, not to mention hypocritical.

    You don’t see this kind of thing happening to snake handlers, biblical literalists and rapture believers, for example – people who I personally find to be extremely suspicious since they (as opposed to CSG members) are dead serious about their beliefs.

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