Sent via email, 14th July 2009:
Thank you for the latest issue of New Humanist which is a great read as ever, only slightly let down by Fiona Russell-Powell’s piece on Genesis P-Orridge. Whilst I’d be first in line to agree that Gen can be grumpy old sod, I don’t think he deserves a hatchet job for refusing an interview.
Leaving most of the snide gossip and factual errors in the article to one side, it seems curious that Russell-Powell omits the background to Genesis’ family exiling themselves from the UK.
The police raid on the P-Orridge household followed a sensationalist TV programme on “satanic ritual abuse” which falsely implied their involvement in child murder. The objectivity of the programme was called into question when defences of the P-Orridges were mounted from sources as diverse as Derek Jarman and The Mail On Sunday. The programme makers were revealed as evangelical Christians with their own axes to grind.
I was surprised to read that Hackney social services had taken an interest in the incident as the family had been living in Brighton for a number of years when it happened. Needless to say, no charges were brought against the P-Orridges, who must therefore be included in the select group of victims of “satanic panic” in the UK. I imagine that this will be of some interest to New Humanist’s readership.
I too was at the recent PTV gig in London and found the band to be on surprisingly good form. One of my friends had a brief chat with Genesis afterwards and remarked on how polite he was.
Published in edited form in the September/October 2009 issue. My missive was awarded “Winning Letter” much to my amusement, but I am yet to receive my prize of six bottles of wine.
Since writing the letter I have been made aware of this recording of an interview Fiona Russell-Powell did with the Psychic TV for The Face in the early eighties. Her fascination with Charles Manson and the P-Orridge’s genital piercings seems to have diminished somewhat in the intervening years.