Hippies 'See the Light'

Huntington Ceremony 'As Good as Marriage'

By Pamela Powell of the Daily Pilot Staff

March 16, 1968, North America

“Education is the greatest enemy today of the true civilization. It only takes you two years to talk, it takes you the rest of a lifetime to keep your mouth shut.”

So said David Berg, founder and promoter of the Light Club in Huntington Beach, preaching to the hippie congregation in the aftermath of the first local double betrothal ceremony.

“The Bible calls it betrothal, it’s just as good as getting married. You make the vows and everything. I guess it’s like an engagement, but stronger,” said his 17-year-old daughter, Faith.

The purpose of the club at 116 Main St., is to help young people find the way through Christ. “This is the ultimate eternal trip. I found the real peace, joy and satisfaction. I talked to everyone and they didn’t have an answer,” Miss Berg said.

“Jesus said ‘I am the way, the truth and the light,’ either he’s got to be the biggest liar or a reality,” the young honor student said.

Members of the club are reformed hippies, or just young people looking for the “truth.” Some say they are former drug addicts.

The club is open daily until 2 a.m. and provides free food, a place to relax, a prayer room and folk entertainment.

The songs all with a religious message are sung by several followers of the group. The long-haired, hippie clothed audience sits silent throughout the numbers, shouting “Amen” at the end of each.

Some, carried away with the songs, cry “Praise Be the Lord” or “This is out of sight”.

“This is what they’re looking for.” Miss Berg said. “That’s why they take drugs to go on a trip. They’re looking for something spiritual.

“They want something every day,” not just Sunday. This is what Christ would have done if he were here today and he is here today.”

The betrothed couples said they are former hippies. Danny Anderson, 21, of Westminster was betrothed to Christine Zoffarano, 16, of Huntington Beach and Harvey Cuflik, 22, of New York who says he is an ex-drug user, was betrothed to Jane Barber, 18, of Santa Ana. The “betrothal” is akin to engagement.

“You never could have gotten me to do this five months ago,” Anderson said. “I’m not better than anyone in here, but my spirit is perfect.”>

After the ceremony, complete with ring and a kiss, each gave a brief talk on how he or she became a member of the club and Teens for Christ.

The sandaled minister then spoke of his condemnation of the church as an institution and the hopeful revolt of youth against the established church.

“Preachers say go to church and bring your money. Christ brought them in from the streets, but not to a building,” he began. “Now the church says build a big building and denomination. Christ said ‘where two or three are gathered there am I in the midst.’ The greatest commandment today is don’t miss church on Sunday. You can live like hell the rest of the week as long as you enter the church on Sunday.

“The church is about as far away from what Christ preached, as capitalism is from communism,” he yelled. “All you guys that get busted are in good company. Christ and all his followers were put in jail and so was I. They got you with your backs against the wall in some cities here. You can’t even stand, sit or kneel on the sidewalks, if you’ve got long hair.”

Berg and his followers, after almost a year in Huntington Beach, continue the daily prayer sessions, Bible study lessons, singing on the beaches and passing out of free food in the hope of creating a spiritual revolution.

“I am here for a revolution,” he said emphatically, “not violence, guns, swords or molotov cocktails. This revolution doesn’t kill it gives eternal life.”