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John Wuest Hunt

@ Los Angeles Public Library


Photograph was edited for publication purposes.Delight Jewett was a 17 year-old high school student from Denver. John Hunt was a California millionaire and disciple of Father Divine's International Peace Mission cult in Harlem. Calling himself John the Revelator, he met 17-year-old Delight Jewett in December, 1936, and took her back to California without her parents' consent. Renaming her "Virgin Mary," he began sexual relations with her. Father Divine summoned the pair to New York, separated the couple and reprimanded Hunt. The Jewetts, finding their daughter brainwashed into believing she was literally the Virgin Mary, demanded compensation. After the movement's attorneys refused, the outraged Jewetts offered their story to William Randolph Hearst's New York Evening Journal, a critic of the cult. After a manhunt, Hunt was charged, under the Mann Act, with taking a minor across state lines for "immoral purposes." The White-Slave Traffic Act, also known as the Mann Act, is a United States federal law, passed June 25, 1910. The act makes it a felony to engage in interstate or foreign commerce transport of "any woman or girl for the purpose of prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose." Hunt was convicted and sentenced to three years and adopted a new name, the "Prodigal Son."First photograph caption dated June 22, 1937 reads "This photo shows Hunt, wealthy white disciple of Father Divine, Harlem cult 'god.' Hunt calls himself 'John the revelator' and at times has registered at hotels as 'Jesus the Christ,' it is said." Wuest is...
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Los Angeles Public Library

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California Digital Library