Australian Cult Brand Spell & The Gypsy Collective Lands in U.S.

Australian fashion labels, many of which are in the spotlight as Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, tours the antipodes, have long been popular in Southern California, where the climate and beach culture mirror the land of Oz.
Spell & The Gypsy Collective, the 10-year-old contemporary brand started by sisters Isabella Pennefather and Elizabeth Abegg, opened its first stand-alone retail space in the U.S., a pop-up at 1108 Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, Calif. Open through Nov. 25, the shop has attracted cult lovers of the brand, some of whom traveled from as far away as Florida and Canada just to shop.

The Spell & The Gypsy Collective pop-up shop on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, Calif. 
Rich Polk

“Because we’re slow fashion, we don’t make too many pieces so they tend to sell out very quickly,” said Pennefather, who started out in 2008 making jewelry that she sold at the open-air market in Byron Bay, Australia. When her sister, Lizzy, came on board a few years later, they expanded into clothing and e-commerce, and the business grew from there.
“I remember when we had a clunky web site and early bloggers such as Oracle Fox [whose given name is Amanda Shadforth] bought our things at the

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Murderous Religious Cult Leader Dispatched ‘Death Angels’ to Punish Those Who Crossed Him

During a secretive reign of terror and killing carried out by his followers across Miami in the 1980s, a charismatic cult leader appeared to revel in his ability to get away with it all.

“Are you some kind of fool?,” Yahweh Ben Yahweh, the founder and leader of the murderous Nation of Yahweh who called himself “the black God,” said malevolently during a moment of preaching. “You can’t kill God.”

To those who still tried to cross him, “he sent out the ‘death angels,’” former FBI agent Herb Cousins says in the next episode of People Magazine Investigates: Cults, which airs Monday on Investigation Discovery (9 p.m. ET), an exclusive clip of which is shown above.

The audio of Yahweh Ben Yahweh depicts the sinister edge that eventually overtook the religious group, which began by offering Biblical inspiration to young African Americans during a period of racial tension and won endorsements from local leaders for tangible steps to clean up drug-riddled and dilapidated properties around South Florida.

But the group devolved into a cult of personality with an increasingly strong-armed leader who ruled by intimidation — and then violence.

Yahweh Ben Yahweh — the former Hulon Mitchell Jr. — was charged in 1990 along with 15 of his followers with multiple counts of murder, attempted murder, racketeering, arson and extortion. In 1992 he and six of those followers were found guilty, with the leader himself sentenced to 18 years for conspiracy to commit murder.

• For more on the Nation of Yahweh and its charismatic leader’s murderous reign, watch Monday’s People Magazine Investigates: Cults at 9 p.m. ET on Investigation Discovery.

The first killing in 1981 targeted a former sect member who challenged Yahweh Ben Yahweh’s teachings and left to form a splinter group with others. When the defector returned to seek out the leader at a warehouse remade by the group as its so-called Temple of Love, he was beaten by members of the leader’s security team, some of whom carried stainless steel machetes.

“I saw a hammer,” a witness to the beating, former follower Kahlil Amani, says in the excerpt above. “He’s just being pounded out on the floor. … I still could hear him breathing with that sound of death.”

Sometime later in the Everglades, “we find a head and body pieces,” former Assistant U.S. Attorney David DiMaio says on the episode. “They were sending a message with this killing.”

Other defectors, including a woman named Mildred Banks, went to police with their suspicions. She and her husband were then attacked in their home; her husband was killed, and she was left for dead but survived and entered witness protection under a new name.

“They’re going to cut his head off,” Banks recalled of the attackers, she says on the episode.

“She was in fear for her life,” PEOPLE Senior Editor Alicia Dennis says in the excerpted clip. “God was helping them kill their enemies.”

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

In another audio viewers will hear on the episode, Yahweh Ben Yahweh asserts of his power: “If you don’t love me … you’re a snake.”

Says Cousins, the former FBI agent who slapped the handcuffs on Yahweh Ben Yahweh upon his arrest: “To do what he did, and the way he did it, I personally believe that he was just plain evil.”

The People Magazine Investigates: Cults episode on the Nation of Yahweh airs Monday (9 p.m. ET) on Investigation Discovery.

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From Funhouse to Blind Date: Cult TV show comebacks

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Martine Rose Nurtures Her Cult Label

LONDON — Small will always be beautiful for Martine Rose, the designer who launched her namesake label in 2007 with a collection of shirts, and who is now in the running for the LVMH Prize 2017.
The 36-year-old designer, who is also consultant for Balenciaga men’s wear, said her dream is to “keep something quite special and cultish” about her collections.
Her fall outing was a case in point: Rose showed a lineup of retro, normcore pieces with the aim of subverting male archetypes and chose the halls of the Seven Sisters market — which specializes in Latin American food — as the venue.
“Sometimes a brand can really lose a soul when it becomes so big. I’m so connected with the pieces, and I don’t want to lose contact with the production and the factories. My plan is to manage the growth that we have already — which is already quite big. Let’s see where it goes,” she said.

Martine Rose 

Over the past year, Rose has taken on retailers including, Barneys New York and Selfridges and moved into territories such as Shanghai and Tokyo. She also works for Napapijri and earlier this year presented a capsule collection in Paris, adding a modern twist to the

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The Cult of the Amateur

The Cult of the Amateur

In a hard-hitting and provocative polemic, Silicon Valley insider and pundit Keen exposes the grave consequences of today’s new participatory Web 2.0, and reveals how it threatens the economy as well as the very innovation and creativity that forms the fabric of American achievement.

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Hitler and the Nazi Cult of Film and Fame

Hitler and the Nazi Cult of Film and Fame

A shocking, meticulously researched account of Hitlers fantasy of power and stardom. In Nazi Germany, the cult of celebrity was the embodiment of Hitlers style of cultural governance. Hitlers rise to power owed much to the creation of his own celebrity, and the countrys greatest stars, whether they were actors, writers, or musicians, could be one of only two things. If they were compliant, they were lauded and awarded status symbols for the regime; but if they resisted-or were simply Jewish-they were traitors to be interned and murdered. This fascinating analysis offers a shocking portrait of a Hitler shaped by aspirations to Hollywood-style fame, of the correlation between art and ambition, of films used as weapons, and of sexual predilections. The Führer believed he was an artist, not a politician, and in his Germany politics and culture became one. His celebrity was cultivated and nurtured by Joseph Goebbels, Germanys supreme head of culture. Hitler and Goebbels enjoyed the company of beautiful female film stars, and Goebbels had his own “casting couch.” In Germanys version of Hollywood there were scandals, starlets, secret agents, premieres, and party politics. The Third Reich would launch filmmaker and actress Leni Riefenstahl to prominence by making her its own glorifying documentarian, most famously in The Triumph of the Will, the innovative propaganda film starring Hitler and widely considered to be one of the greatest movies ever made. It is no coincidence that Eva Braun, Hitlers longtime partner and wife for the two days leading up to their joint suicide, was a photographer, and in fact shot most of the surviving photographs and film footage of her lover. This book reveals previously unpublished information about the “Hitler film,” which Goebbels envisaged as “the greatest story ever told,” although it was ultimately trumped by the dictators own, real-life Wagnerian finale.19 black-and-white photographs

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