East Of Eden

"A curious mix of the relevant and reverential"


Some Sunday Stuff: June 25th


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From left to right: Greg, Nate, Joe, Justin, Jenny and the judge.

 

It's been a looooong time since I did a "Some... Stuff" post, but here goes. On Friday, my brother Joe and his wife, Jenny, officially adopted our nephew Justin (our sister Joscelyne's son... she passed away in 2012). It was a long, arduous process, but thank you Lord, it's done. Congratulations, guys!

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Chanell, after receiving her diploma.

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Flashback Friday: Lena Horne on the Blacklist.


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Lena Horne (Image Source)

Lena Horne- singer, actress, glamour queen of the 1940's- found herself blacklisted in Hollywood, labeled a Communist betrayer of democracy in the early 1950's. It was a particularly spectacular fall, and Horne was determined to not have her career tarnished by smears of Red.

First, some backstory on Horne from PBS' "American Masters: Lena Horne" page:

Born in Brooklyn in 1917, Lena Horne became one of the most popular African American performers of the 1940s and 1950s. At the age of sixteen she was hired as a dancer in the chorus of Harlem’s famous Cotton Club. There she was introduced to the growing community of jazz performers, including Billie Holiday, Cab Calloway, and Duke Ellington. She also met Harold Arlen, who would write her biggest hit, “Stormy Weather.” For the next five years she performed in New York nightclubs, on Broadway, and touring with the Charlie Barnet Orchestra. Singing with Barnet’s primarily white swing band, Horne was one of the first black women to successfully work on both sides of the color line.

 

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Flashback Friday: When Sammy Davis Jr. got devilish.

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(Image Source: Vice)

 

Last week in the Anton La Vey post, I mentioned how Sammy Davis Jr. became a member of The Church of Satan for a while. This struck me as... well, pretty weird. I could see why the publicity-loving Jayne Mansfield would sign up to be Team Lucifer, but Sammy "Member of Sinatra's Rat Pack" Davis Jr.? He was so... laid-back and... cool. And Jewish. He most definitely had converted to Judaism. So what the what? Let's go to Helen O' Hara at The Telegraph for more:

 

Sammy Davis Jr, the singer, actor and Rat Pack member whose own philosophy of life drove him to try just about everything that presented itself - women, men, religion, drugs - became involved in 1968. He had noticed a gang of lively young people each with a single red-painted nail at The Factory, a nightclub he co-owned, and was invited to go with them to a party he described as “dungeons, dragons and debauchery”.

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Why do people join cults?


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This TED-Ed video ties in nicely with my The Preachers series, and even mentions the Rev. Jim Jones. Check it out.

 

 

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The Preachers: Anton La Vey & The Church of Satan.


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Anton La Vey and snake. (Image Source)

 

So far in this series, I covered Jim Jones who believed himself better than God (if there was, in fact, a supreme deity); Father Divine, who claimed to be God incarnate; and Aimee Semple McPherson, who despite being a twice divorced female pastor, held to the usual standards of historic, orthodox Christianity, i.e., The Trinity, Virgin Birth, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ, and salvation through the grace of God and faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

But for this entry, I'm going to step away from Christians (or those who started off that way... fun fact, Jones, Divine and McPherson all had early roots in the Methodist church), and over to the other side: Anton La Vey, who founded The Church of Satan in 1966 in California (um, another thing I noticed, is Cali's place of prominence in this series... Jones' Peoples Temple flourished there, and Semple's Angelus Temple was based in L.A.... even Divine's movement had success with satellite communities in the Golden State).

Reading up on La Vey, who died in 1997, is a challenge, because there's so much conflicting information. The man's actual birth name is even up for debate. A number of Christian sites add to this hodgepodge; while attempting to impress on readers the seriousness of La Vey and occultism in general, some of the articles play fast and loose with dates, quotes and the teachings of The Church of Satan. Augh... this does a great disservice to their entire message. If you can't get major tenets of their church right, why would people take anything you have to say to be true?

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