Unlike the majority of other cults, the House of David didn’t isolate itself from the rest of the world. In fact, its members even opened their commune to visitors, welcoming up to half a million of them during peak season. They also formed their own baseball team that went on to compete with the nation’s best, making headlines across the United States and contributing significantly to how the game has evolved throughout the centuries.
Perhaps the most bizarre thing about the devotees of the House of David was how the men refused to shave and cut their hair. Photos show them wearing baseball outfits, with full beards and hair streaming down their backs.
But as odd as their appearances were, the residents of Benton Harbor, Michigan, where the commune was located, held nothing but love for them.
Sources for this episode include: Southcottian Studies, The Guardian, Owlcation, the Detroit Free Press, Mashable, The Chicago Tribune, a Medium article titled “The house of David: The Midwest Cult that Was Really Good at Baseball” by Lauren Modery, the Cult Education Institute, The Detroit News, The Chicago Reader, the Michigan Radio, The Detroit Free Press, and Atlas Obscura.