The good news is that Rachel Bevilacqua (AKA Rev. Magdalen) regained custody of her son. The weird news is that, according to Modemac of the High Weirdness Project, Bevilacqua is "still the only SubGenius officially banned from keeping SubGenius materials in her home, where her innocent son might accidentally come across them and become corrupted into the corrupt, obscene, decadent SubGenius cult that got his Mom into trouble in the first place."
After nearly four years and $140,000 in legal costs, the SubGenius child custody case of Rachel Bevilacqua (Reverend Magdalen) has been dismissed. The end result is an anticlimax: She has custody of her son at last, and the status quo is maintained -- except that she is officially forbidden from keeping SubGenius materials in her home, in order to protect her son from J.R. "Bob" Dobbs.
No, really. When the initial order in Rachel's favor was handed down by Judge Adams (not Judge Punch) in January of 2007, it specified that she was allowed to keep SubGenius materials only in a special "office" area of her home, so as to prevent her son from having access to it. This order was never rescinded or nullified, and it has remained in effect throughout the various legal wranglings that took place thereafter. According to Rachel, the order remains in effect even now, and is included in the final judge's decision, which she will be making available online shortly.
Some might say that because only one person (Reverend Magdalen) is forbidden from keeping the Book of the SubGenius in her home, that doesn't make it a banned book. The idea of censorship is to use force to keep others from expressing ideas and beliefs, and exposing so-called "innocent children" to those beliefs. As such, this means that not only is Magdalen being censored -- so is her son. And so is everyone in the Church who supports her.
(Disclosure: I have been a card-carrying SubGenius reverend for 25 years and have contributed to Rachel's legal fund.)
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.