Cult Jones (GBR), rare book dealer, Antwerp


“I was raised in Palmdale in California. My parents were members of a little known religious cult, the Woutarians, which roughly translates as the mighty army.  The cult originated in Germany and the main body migrated to America just after the second World War.  The main belief was that life is merely a preparation for death.


Although I no longer follow the doctrines, they have had a profound influence on my life and business. My business name Cult Jones is based on this, cult obviously, and Jones is slang for addiction. And as such is a reference to how difficult it is to free yourself from such an upbringing. Indeed to belong to a cult is like an addiction to drugs even though you know it’s wrong, there is a what may seem peculiar to outsiders a sense of stability, comfort and safety that is difficult to encounter in the real world, which is partly the reason it is difficult to give up drugs or leave a cult. However having left the cult I still find its influences, references, and symbols perpetuating my current life.

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For example cult jones is cj the reverse of jc, jesus christ. And it is a belief of the Woutarians that our preparation for death is to come together as a mighty army to avenge (thus reversing) the death of Jesus Christ and thus enable him to once again return to earth to preach the teachings of God.

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My logo is also a direct reference to my upbringing. The skull with bowler hat and bowtie such that only in death do we become true (gentle)men. And many of my tattoos feature skulls and hats. A lot of my other tattoos feature ravens and these are symbolic of my life now. Before Noah sent out the dove to search for land, he sent out the raven but the raven never came back. I see myself as a raven who left the cult and never went back.

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“My tattoos serve two purposes. Firstly the process is like a self-harming, a way of dealing with the pain and difficulties of my upbringing and secondly the symbols provide me with a reminder of the past, and a protection and the strength to enter a new future.  The ring I wear is from my cult. It is in fact two rings that we are given when we are sixteen. The first is a single silver band that represents unity; the second is a silver ring of a number of skulls representing the almighty army and thus together the unity of the almighty army.  Although I have left the cult I keep the rings as a reminder of whom I once was.  Now I just try to live a quiet life, I am 45 years of age,  I deal in rare books and after having travelled extensively I have lived in the Ardenne region of Belgium with a pet pig named Smithy and a bulldog called Mr Jones.”