George Osborne & The Children Of God Cult

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wp-1477828757249.jpgThey’re George Osborne’s cousins, they were raised in a sex cult and they’re the X Factor’s maddest finalists ever!, 10 Oct 2014,

They’ve been called a female Jedward, and Simon Cowell thinks they have the potential to be the most annoying girl band ever.

The X Factor boss likened the experience of listening to Blonde Electra to hearing fingernails being scraped down a blackboard — times eight. Then he promptly voted them through to the live shows.

So far so mad. Since the sisters Jazzy, 24, and Ruby, 22, are in the hairdresser’s when I catch up with them, getting purple splodges applied to their platinum locks, one can only assume the kookiness will continue.

But ten minutes into my interview all thoughts of whether or not they can actually sing have evaporated. For in the world of the reality talent show, these two must already be winners because out pours surely the most audacious back story in X Factor history.

And we all know how important a back story is in these things. At this stage in the competition — as the show goes live this weekend and the hopefuls are whittled down to the final few — it’s TV tradition to wheel out a supportive dad and weep over a dead granny or cancer-stricken sibling. If there is a bit of gun crime in the family, well, it never hurts.

Pah! Cowell himself couldn’t have manufactured the tale these two have to tell. And tell it they do, taking turns to finish each other’s sentences, screeching, shouting, laughing.

At times I think I must have misheard — what with the weird accents (they’ve lived in 33 countries) and the hairdryers blasting — but no, the story whooshes along like this.

I ask something innocuous such as: ‘Can you tell me a bit about your family?’ and they come back with (take a deep breath): ‘Our Dad has 11 children, is George Osborne’s cousin and thinks he’s God’s prophet on earth. Our parents met in a sex commune but have taken a vow of chastity and live as brother and sister. And yes, our sister is married to Cher’s son.’

Lordy. Where to start? After half an hour of this my head hurts, but it is indisputable. We have finally found a potential showbiz family that make the Jacksons look normal and the Osbournes (the Ozzy branch) frankly boring. Oh and they have a bona fide link to the Windsors, too, if you go back far enough.

Their great-grandfather, Clement Horn, was a pioneering railway engineer with an ancestry that can be traced back to King James I.

But it’s Jazzy and Ruby’s father, Michael Jaffray King, an old boy of the uber-posh Cheltenham College, who is the leading character in this extraordinary saga. It was on his mother Helen’s side that the Osborne connections lay.

Her sister Mary married twice. Her first union produced the infamous gambler and eccentric zoo founder John Aspinall (crony of Lord Lucan). Her second was to Sir George Francis Osborne — our Chancellor’s grandfather.

‘So George Osborne’s dad and mine were cousins,’ says Jazzy. ‘And John Aspinall was another cousin. We’re very British, although people get confused with the accent. I think it’s because we moved around and our father home-schooled us. But Dad speaks with a very British upper-class accent. Our ancestors would have had tea with the Queen, that sort of thing. Obviously, all that ended when Dad was disowned for running off to the sex cult.’

Yes indeedy. The sisters, too, might have had a life of private schools and privilege, but life for the King family took a startling turn when their father — who worked for Lloyd’s of London after leaving the Navy — had a Damascene conversion and found God. Not just God, but a particular God who required his disciples fished for men (and women) using, er, sex.

‘He joined this cult in Brazil called the Children of God. He met our mother there,’ says Jazzy. ‘He’d been married twice and had a load of kids, but they didn’t want anything to do with him after this.’

No wonder. The Children of God encouraged its women to abandon bras and expose their breasts. He went on to found his own group, The Red Letter Children.

Family ties: The sisters with parents Michael and Joanna, who met in a sex commune but have taken a vow of chastity and live as brother and sisterFamily ties: The sisters with parents Michael and Joanna, who met in a sex commune but have taken a vow of chastity and live as brother and sister

Michael King, 74, is quite the character. ‘King by name, king by nature,’ the girls joke. ‘He’s a missionary who thinks his mission is to save the world. He’s strict, radical, the biggest diva ever. He believes he’s God’s prophet on earth,’ says Ruby.

The girls’ mother, Joanna, also known as Irmgard, is German by birth. She is their father’s greatest follower, according to Jazzy. ‘My mother believes he is a prophet, too. She’s his groupie. They go everywhere together — she doesn’t even go to the store on her own — and she hasn’t driven a car in 25 years.’

Helpfully, Michael King has penned his own memoirs online. While his life story is jaw-dropping, so, too, are his world views. One thing is certain — Cousin George won’t want to be associated with them. His blog is shocking in its intolerance.

capturePretty in pink: Jazzy, 24, and Ruby, 22, certainly look the part for X Factor. Sibling rivalry? The pair are competitive – but, when it comes to chart success, not with each other

‘That’s Dad,’ sighs Jazzy. ‘He’s completely un-PC.’ Actually, he sounds quite dangerous, firing off opinions on all and sundry in an internet blog — including Osborne’s family who he says have chosen ‘the dark side’. He does admit that his way of life was a ‘20th and 21st-century experiment’, but defends his unorthodox parenting.

‘Yes, I was a dictator, but I was dictating in what seemed like the right direction,’ he writes. ‘It worked very well when the children and the new disciples in their teens were small and thankful.’

The five youngest children — Lucius, Queenie, Jazzy (christened Jasmina), Ruby and Michael — were the ‘pawns’ in their father’s experiment, which involved taking his missionary message to all corners of the globe — ‘mostly to places with no running water,’ says Ruby. Jazzy was born in India; Ruby in the Ukraine. They reckon they have moved house more than 80 times.They changed the name of their act from Blonde Electric to Blonde Electra as they believe it appeals to a 'stronger woman'

They changed the name of their act from Blonde Electric to Blonde Electra as they believe it appeals to a ‘stronger woman’

‘We felt under house arrest,’ says Ruby. ‘We weren’t allowed toys. Most of the places we lived were grim. In the Ukraine we were basically in a ghetto, with no running water. I didn’t have a shower until I was 11. Dad felt you need to suffer to be a good person.’

Their father, they claim, ruled with fear. He has written about being violent to one of his sons. ‘There was that, yes,’ says Jazzy. ‘We were afraid of him.’

They are a bit hazy on their parents’ life before they arrived. In their first cult, sex was used as a bargaining tool to convert new disciples. It sounds like prostitution. ‘It kind of was, yes,’ says Jazzy. ‘It didn’t start out being about sex. They were just hippies, but then the guy who led it said everybody needs sex like they need to eat, and sex was used to support the group.’

Michael writes of those days and their legacy. Even after they left the COG, he admits, they ‘resorted to applying some of the principles we had learned in our sex cult’. Once, trying to secure passage to India, he offered his wife up to a stranger.

‘We believed quite erroneously as we now know full well, that God would work for us if we were prepared to offer sexual favours to the so-called sexually hungry men who would then help us to achieve our goal of getting to India,’ he explains in his autobiography.

Their great-grandfather, Clement Horn, was a pioneering railway engineer with an ancestry that can be traced back to King James I Their great-grandfather, Clement Horn, was a pioneering railway engineer with an ancestry that can be traced back to King James I

‘We met a young Muslim man who claimed to be very rich and promised to buy our fare in return for favours from Joanna. Well this didn’t work and he was an absolute charlatan.’

Now, though, their parents, who are living in Germany, have ‘gone the other way’ says Jazzy. ‘They left that cult in 1991 and converted to Catholicism, but you can’t do that if you have been married before.

‘There’s a loophole, though — if you take a vow of celibacy. So that’s what they did. And they believe it. In the eyes of God, they are brother and sister. They have separate bedrooms and no sex.’

Family life got even more complicated when Michael set about encouraging what he saw as his children’s God-given talents: their voices. Both girls say they were performing — at their Dad’s behest — from the age of one or two. By the time Jazzy was eight and Ruby six, they had formed a band — King — and were touring the world like a troupe of Bible-bashing Von Trapps.

They don’t seem to mind that Simon Cowell finds their act grating, saying: 'We just want to perform. And we’ve got this far'They don’t seem to mind that Simon Cowell finds their act grating, saying: ‘We just want to perform. And we’ve got this far’

‘Once, in 1998 in America, we were offered a record deal. We were put up in a five-star hotel for three nights and offered a $4 million deal. But Dad said no. He wanted us to be stars — but on his terms, under his control. No record company was going to touch that. As young as I was, I realised what he had refused for us.’

It was downhill from there as the King children began to get glimpses of how others lived. When he was 18, and they were living in Poland, their brother Michael quit the band and the family home. ‘Dad gave him €10 and threw his clothes in a plastic sack.’ The girls followed, running away from home (by now Germany) when they were 15 and 13.

‘We lived in a flat above a nightclub, where we’d sing at night,’ says Jazzy.

Then they moved to the U.S. and had some recording success. ‘I think we reached number 59 in the charts,’ says Ruby. Last year, after a fall-out with their siblings, the two sisters ended up in Britain, where their father’s journey had begun.

‘I had $200 (£125) in my pocket,’ says Jazzy. ‘I had $50 (£30),’ adds Ruby. They got waitressing and nanny jobs. ‘We worked flat out,’ says Jazzy. ‘In seven months we saved £10,000.’

They claim the dream was always to make it as singers in the UK — and their eyes were set on a new Svengali leader: step forward Simon Cowell.

They don’t seem to mind that he finds their act grating, or that mentor Louis Walsh has hinted he doesn’t think they have staying power.

‘We just want to perform,’ they chorus. ‘And we’ve got this far.

They've COLE the show: The girls have already won a legion of fans during their stint so farThey’ve COLE the show: The girls have already won a legion of fans during their stint so far

Obviously, their story sounds nuts. It gets more convoluted when they explain how their parents — from whom they had fled but were still in ‘kind of’ contact — have disowned them. Indeed, their Dad has taken to Facebook to condemn them and their X Factor hopes.

‘Oh, we’ve been excommunicated. They’ve sent us emails telling us it is evil and disgusting. They think X Factor is the Devil’s work.’

They last saw their father four months ago, pre X Factor.

‘We have a love-hate relationship with him,’ says Jazzy. ‘When I last saw him he was wearing c****y shoes and I bought him a pair of Nike trainers. He was fine — then he went mad at me and accused me of hacking into his emails.

‘That’s just Dad. He is not all there. Now, he doesn’t want anything to do with us. It’s a case of “good riddance to bad rubbish.” ’

What of the more distant family?

Is it safe to assume they haven’t been invited to the Osborne’s for tea?

‘Ha. No we’ve never met George Osborne. He might not even know we exist,’ says Jazzy.

‘He sounds like a cool guy. It would be great if he could come and watch us on X Factor — especially since none of the rest of our family are supporting us.’

They don’t seriously think he would like to meet them, do they?

‘Well, I’d hope he wouldn’t hold us responsible for our father’s beliefs.’

To be blunt, they would probably have more joy getting Auntie Cher as a cheerleader, since they have actually been to her house. ‘She’s awesome. A top lady,’ says Jazzy.

How on earth does she fit into this family tree? ‘Our sister Queenie married her son Elijah,’ says Jazzy. ‘It’s kinda weird, no?’

With that, and a final blast of the hairdryer, they are off, on their search for salvation (and Simon Cowell). Aptly, Cowell is fond of saying he and his fellow judges are like a ‘big dysfunctional family’. These girls will feel quite at home. SOURCE


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