POST BY PADDY JOHNSON
Back in the New Year, artist Javier Morales highlighted a few of his favorite youtube videos, The Magic Painter (pictured above) amongst them. At the time, I enjoyed Morales’ pick for it’s strange aesthetic; the entire video looks like it was made courtesy of White Rose, a now defunct craft and nursery store in Canada. In revisiting the video over Twitter however, blogger Tom Moody points out a creepy backstory YouTube commenter Shawnantone brings to light. He sources the video to the Christian based religious cult “The Family” (aka The Children of God), the organization focusing on sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. This wouldn’t be particularly weird were it not for founder David Brandt Berg, who not only came to be known within the organization as “Dad,” but had numerous allegations of pedophilia and sexual abuse lodged against him. He was also a well known anti-Semite. Notably, David Brandt Berg himself stars in the above video, strangely choosing to sport a fake beard over his real one. It is especially disturbing to see children in this clip, given Brandt Berg’s background. In 2005, his adopted child Ricky Rodriguez took his own life after murdering one of his adult caretakers.