Online Archive  
Issue 6 - June 1972
Festival Of Light
A message to those people who went to the Festival of Light Rally at the City Hall in order to see Gay Lib and Street Theatre shout and scream and make fools of themselves: sorry to disappoint you all, but I'm afraid we had no intention of doing anything of the sort. We were tempted, how we were tempted, many tactics were discussed in the weeks before, but we managed to ignore the emotional aspects and look at the realities of the situation. It is a fact that the events at these meetings are of no importance to the organisers of the Festival of Light except that the hall is filled, and the numbers attending can be quoted as 'supporters' to pressurise politicians into changing the law.

As the main aims of these meetings are to attract as many people and as much publicity as possible, and 'Operation Rupert' tactics would be added attractions both to the uncommitted public and the sensationalist press. It is up to us to give as little publicity to this and show the whole thing up to be a boring, petty farce.

Make no mistake, the Rally at the City Hall was a farce; the first speaker Peter Hill and the main speaker Arthur 'Jesus' Blessit, made statements in complete opposition to each other apparently without the audience noticing. Arthur Blessit was using the Festival to lay down his ultra heavy Jesus trip and in turn was being used to fill the City Hall (and the adjacent St James' Church on closed circuit TV). The whole evening was a masterpiece of hysteria and nonsense. Peter Hill waffled on about sending bibles out to the heathen blacks and communists, everybody sang "This little light of mine" and clapped their hands for Jesus, and at the right moment Arthur Blessit swept on to the stage like the epitome of Jesus Christ Superstar.

He was an expert at controlling the audience's thought and emotions; first he was both Morecambe AND Wise, joking, laughing, shouting, fooling about; then he was Jerry Rubin, spaced out, revolutionary, anarchistic, recommending people to put his 'Jesus Loves You' stickers into business reply-paid envelopes (careful Arthur, that's illegal you know), then he was Billy Graham, telling everyone you only need Jesus, not dope, acid, smack or any of that shit, just Jesus - and almost said you don't need law, just Jesus; and Peter Hill, sitting just in front of us behind the stage muttered something about poor Arthur shutting up, though it may have been a remark about the weather.

He carried on looking uncomfortable and constipated - as did several of the dog-collars in the audience - as Arthur moved further and further from the subject of the meeting onto his own trip, taking the audience along with him with his dazzling, speed freak chatter, as full of catch phrases and over exuberance as a cornflakes commercial, Arthur became the centre of the universe, grew deathly serious and led them into a heavy prayer, and asked for "those who wished to receive Jesus into their hearts" to come to the front.

About 150 came forward, mostly pubescent trendily dressed schoolgirls (so now Arthur is Mick Jagger as well - truly a man of many talents). They were taken below the stage by an army of grey-suited 'personal councillors' to be told the truth about Jesus. We followed, frightened a few people when the significance of Gay Lib badges was realised, involved ourselves in a few pointless arguments and then went home.

That was about it really, not a very worthwhile night out for anybody, and far more people were in the bingo halls than in the City Hall, and we're not convinced that this is by any means a 'majority' movement. The best way of fighting this sort of irrational anti-pornography movement is to show how unimportant pornography is in relation to the more serious problems that people have to deal with. We find it more important that people should have enough to eat, and a place to live, rather than how 'moral' their life is - something these Christians don't seem to be able to realise.