Very courageous and insightful Point of View by Billy Choate, last week, regarding Brother Asaiah’s close association with the WKFL “cult.” I don’t question the cult concept wherein a “super-predator” such as Krishna Venta, akin to David Koresh of the Waco Branch Dividian cult, assumed supreme power and was corrupted by it — or vice versa. Billy’s personal account graphically depicts the poisonous fallout that inevitably radiates outward from such corrupt human associations.
Was Brother Asaiah, as a younger man, duped by Krishna Venta? Almost certainly. But Billy also gracefully acknowledges that Asaiah was indeed human. Like the rest of us, Asaiah was a participating member of the human community, “warts and all.”
So, just as I appreciate Billy’s courage in exposing the warts and all of his adolescent life in Homer I appreciate Asaiah’s epic journey: He used his life as a paintbrush to depict the evolution of his hard-scrabble early life, born Claude Bates in the illiterate environment of Appalachia, to enlightened human consciousness. The motive for his advancement was, of course, his own desire. But the conceptual framework that allowed him to ascend the stony stairwell of human development were the values embodied in the WKFL framework of Work, Knowledge, Faith and Love. That journey untimately flowered, culminated and then quietly terminated in this, his chosen “little hamlet by-the-sea.”
Humanity evolves and individuals mature in mysteriously interconnected ways, and, apparently, never without associated pain and suffering.