New Star Blogs

Money Sex & Power: Ideas talks utopian cults with Justine Brown


bro-XIICBC’s Ideas recent­ly aired a fan­tas­tic episode by Jen Moss about Broth­er XII, the cult leader who flour­ished near Nanaimo near­ly a cen­tu­ry ago, in which she speaks with Jus­tine Brown, author of All Pos­si­ble Worlds: Utopi­an Exper­i­ments in British Colum­bia.

Broth­er XII was a charm­ing meta­phys­i­cal char­la­tan filled to the eye­balls with such intox­i­cat­ing bull­shit that the sus­cep­ti­ble couldn’t emp­ty their wal­lets fast enough. He’s the sort that we’ve tra­di­tion­al­ly elect­ed to high pub­lic office in BC, but for some rea­son his realm was con­fined to De Cour­cy and Valdes islands (and the eter­nal souls of about 8,000 fol­low­ers). The com­mu­ni­ty he found­ed was an idyl­lic utopi­an refuge from the post-Great War world, until it wasn’t.

It’s a great sto­ry well worth a lis­ten. The episode is avail­able here, and is sup­ple­ment­ed by a wealth of links and pic­tures. To read more about Broth­er XII and oth­er fas­ci­nat­ing utopi­an exper­i­ments in BC, check out All Pos­si­ble Worlds.

(PS: if you like lis­ten­ing to radio and pod­casts (or “ear­book­ing,” as we pledge to call it from now on) you may be inter­est­ed in our two ear­books, ft. Julie Emer­son & Rox­an­na Bikado­roff and George Bow­er­ing & George Stan­ley, respec­tive­ly.)