It’s 1973, and the Children of God would like you to know that they are, in fact, very respectable. And also, that they love you.

Mireh probably loves me too, but he knows uptightness when he sees it and he doesn’t seem much on high-pressure techniques anyway; in fact, he seems unusually reserved and tolerantly amused about everything, like a monk who has the key to the wine cellar. But there is no such thing as an unfriendly Child of God, and Mireh is cordial and articulate even though he seems to be repressing something everytime he speaks, laughing about the press version of the Children as a band of Jesus Freaks, kidnapping, drugging. hypnotizing the youth of America into a life of cretinoid worship and toil. It’s hard not to laugh along with him, in this meeting room of the refrigerated warehouse, where no doubt close by pigs and cows are hanging skinned and scalded by their hooves; hard not to laugh because there’s no discernible difference between the meeting that’s about to begin and a PTA assembly.