The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift: The Forgotten Youth Movement

Humans have a need to feel part of a group, or tribe. We do this everyday. Gleeks, nerds, hipsters, jocks… Each group has their uniform, their language, and their social norms. 

The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift were formed in the period of time just after the end of WWI, where Capitalism seemed to have fallen and the world needed to be rebuilt. They were a tribe who thought they could remake the world. 

Formed by John Hargrave in 1920, the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift were an extraordinary mixture of the archaic and the hypermodern. A back-to-the-land movement that used the techniques of contemporary advertising, it offered a holistic, dazzling vision. As Hargrave wrote in 1924: “The method of the Kibbo Kift is based upon a direct appeal to the senses by means of colour, shape, sound and movement, that is, by every form of symbolism.”

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A Nuanced Scientology Documentary

For the record, I have serious doubts  about Scientology’s validity (even more so than most other organised religions). However, I like the angle of this documentary: attempting to find the honest truth through open interviews with current followers, and finding nothing positive and only its detractors willing to speak, and the Church sending out its goons to investigate the investigators. 

Without access, though, it’s trickier. I tended only to meet the Scientologists in charged settings – when they were filming me, or ambushing one of my contributors, or accusing me of trespassing. It’s surprisingly hard to be nice to someone when you feel they aren’t being nice to you. But we strove to be fair to Scientology. I tried to see the world from their side. And there is much to admire in Scientology: the dedication of its devotees and the world-changing character of its vision. We also questioned the motivations and credibility of our ex-Scientologists, who, it is always worth remembering, were signed up to the Scientology programme for years, and sometimes decades, before deciding to leave.

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