Thursday, December 6, 2007

Holy City


A town created and run by a CULT "William E. Riker" being the leader and owner of 200+ acres off Highway 17. This guy ran for Govenor of California, I believe 3 or 4 times, LOL! At one point the FBI arrested him.
Rapes, murders, satanic worship, drugs, violence, child molestations, slavery, white supremacy, Hitler idolation, etc. All on the pretense of Christianity.

*In the late 50'S My grandfather was one of many who burnt this town to the ground to prevent any more evil events occuring there and to rid this guy and his cult from the area.

The town is still deserted even today.
If you can find it even on a map you will discover a population of [1 person] the old post office still partially stands...

And lost spirits are all about!

It's off the old Santa Cruz highway between Scotts Valley and Los Gatos, Now beside HWY 17. [death road, haaa...haa...]
A excerpt from a book about it
and a real sign that was alongside Highway 17

Today... The old post office building is somehow still standing and has been coverted into the Holy City Art Glass workshop. There is also one shed and one house.

Holy City is currently owned by Tom Stanton, the sole permanent resident and self-appointed mayor. He runs a glassblowing shop out of the post office.

PLEASE READ THIS VERY GOOD ARTICLE done by CBS 5 Evening magazine on the secret city near you. I found this contact # off it(408)353-4426 to call for a tour.

(photo below by Andrea Perkins)


Short more recent article done by The Metro

There is also a 90+ page book, a with a whole lot of photos written by Betty Lewis it's called "Holy City - Riker's Roadside Attraction In the Santa Cruz Mountains" The second edition (which is said to have more photos than the first edition) was published in 1992 by Otter B Books of Santa Cruz, California. was carrying this at one point.

Riker has been mentioned in Melvin Belli's old autobiography, "My Life On Trial" (with Robert Blair Kaiser) where that vignette about the legal fee appears.
There are bound to be a number of other references in some older cults books.

Riker's own published materials from Holy City include:

The Philosophy of the Nerves
The New Jewish Religion
World Peace And How To Have It

As well as some smaller publications such as:
Enlightener newsletter in 1917
Sheet Music titled "Please Don't Leave Me, Daddy" in 1945
The leaflet "I Will Come Again" in the 1950s
"A 16 Point Program" in the 50s
"Make Me Your Next President" in the 1950s

Materials such as these rarely pop up even as collectibles, so Betty Lewis's book is the most useful explanation available.

BIBLIOGRAPHY via the San Joaquin Valley Library System:

NOTE: Most of the citations listed below are SJVIS Vertical File clippings; some lack page references and clear dates. Unless our records indicated otherwise, the source for these articles was assumed to be the SF Chronicle.


Baggerly, John S. "Picture from the past". Los Gatos Weekly Times, November 5, 1997.

Lewis, Betty. Holy City: Riker's roadside attraction in the Santa Cruz Mountians, a nostalgic history". Otter B Books, 1992.

"Colorful cultist: 'Father' Riker of Holy City dies". San Francisco Chronicle, December 4, 1969, p. 41.

Hoover, Mildred Brook et al. Historic Spots in California; Third Edition. Stanford University Press, 1966.

"Father Riker's new path". San Francisco Chronicle, July 29, 1966, pp. 2, C4.

Peters, Phil. "'Father' Riker - he 'solved the Mona Lisa smile'". San Francisco Examiner, January 24, 1965, sec. III pp. 1, 7.

"Riker loses suit---but can board at Holy City". San Francisco Chronicle, February 17, 1959.

"'Holy City' hassel". San Francisco Chronicle, December 12, 1957.

"Mrs. Eva Riker Compton". [obiturary] San Francisco Chronicle, June 27, 1952.

Politicus. "What does Jimmy do for a living? No reply on ballot; other candidates answer, but not he". Call Bulletin, May 24, 1950.

Politicus. "2 more join race for governor". Call Bulletin, November 22, 1949.

"Freddie Francisco observes: 'Father' Riker promulgates a 'new viewpoint' from his deserted village". San Francisco Chronicle, April 22, 1948.

"3 men beat 'Father' Riker's son". San Francisco Chronicle, December 2, 1947.

"Suit against Riker due to reach jury today". San Francisco Chronicle, February 23, 1944.

"Jury awards $5,000 to Father Riker's attorney". February[?] 1, 1944.

"Court orders Fr. Riker to complete deposition". San Francisco Chronicle, January 31, 1944.

"Reopen Riker fee case". San Francisco Chronicle, May 26, 1943.

"Riker fighting $5,000 fee judgement". Call Bulletin, May 18, 1943.

"Suit by Riker hits attorney". San Francisco Chronicle, April 27, 1943.

"Riker sues Belli for $40,000". San Francisco Chronicle, April 26, 1943.

"Lawyer attaches 'Holy City'". San Francisco Chronicle, March 30, 1943.

"Sedition case lawyer sues 'Father' Riker for $5000". San Francisco Chronicle, February 13, 1943.

"'Knew I'd win,' says Riker; is freed by jury". Call Bulletin, December 12, 1942.

Riker goofy but loyal, jury told". Call Bulletin, December 11, 1942.

"Riker accuses 'Father' Devine of sedition case charges; admits authorship of pamphlet giving him fictitious titles". San Francisco Chronicle, December 10, 1942, p. 1, 12.

"...seditious; pamphlets banned; cult head praised Hitler, jury told". San Francisco Chronicle, December 9, 1942, p. 9.

"Flyer says Riker for Hitler". Call Bulletin, December 8, 1942.

"Riker hunts new lawyer". San Francisco Chronicle, November 25, 1942.

"'King' Riker's sedition trial today". San Francisco Chronicle, November 24, 1942.

"Cultist Riker's lawyer quits". San Francisco Chronicle, November 24, 1942.

"'Father' Riker denies guilt, sedition trial set Nov. 24". San Francisco Chronicle, November 6, 1942.

"Tokyo Radio thinks Riker is persecuted". San Francisco Chronicle, November 3, 1942.

"Cult leader granted delay on sedition charges here". San Francisco Chronicle, October 30, 1942.

"'Father' Riker held by FBI in sedition". San Francisco Chronicle, October 29, 1942.

"Hot and holy hangs over your head". Coast, August, 1938, pp. 24-26+.

Politicus. "Sane nuptials, easy divorce, Riker plank". Call Bulletin, April 23, 1938.

"Telescope for peeping at nudist camp banned". San Francisco Chronicle, April 11, 1938.

"New party launched by Holy City". San Francisco Chronicle, December 17, 1937.

"Holy City head hurt in auto crash". San Francisco Chronicle, December 24, 1934.

"King Riker's 'son' tells authorities mother 'vanished'". San Francisco Chronicle, April 27, 1929

"Riker grilled and freed after charges of murder; Holy City 'father' released by L. A. police; accusation of former secretary that he killed women discredited by officials". San Francisco Examiner, April 26, 1929.

"New witness accuses Holy City leader of strangling his ex-wife". San Francisco Chronicle, April 25, 1929.

"Murder laid to cult head". San Francisco Chronicle, April 25, 1929.

"Cult leader also accused as kidnaper, Keyes briber". San Francisco Chronicle, April 25, 1929.

"Castoff wife slain, states appeal of former aid; Mrs. Rosencrantz, former cult head's secretary, tells of quicklime burial; San Quentin inmate feared she would be next if victim's fate told". San Francisco Chronicle, April 2?, 1929.

"Riker police record told by Matheson; Captain of detectives reveals how Schwartz case was brought against cult leader". San Francisco Examiner, January 28, 1929.

Taylor, Wooster. "Guardian at colony foils attempts at investigation; 'Mother' feared that plans for miracle fraud would become known; warned of dangers; hole in sock provides excuse for investigator to interview woman despite opposition". San Francisco Examiner, January 27, 1929.

"Police see no reason to act until someone files complaint". San Francisco Chronicle, January 26, 1929.

"Love cult says family ties wrong". San Francisco Chronicle, January 25, 1929.

Taylor, Wooster. "...King's secret 'creeds' bared". San Francisco Examiner, January 25, 1929, pp. 1-2, ?.

"Sleuths visit members of hillside cult; prosecuting officials of two counties fail to join in investigation". San Francisco Chronicle, January 25, 1929.

"'King' of Holy City hits two with car". San Francisco Chronicle, September 27, 1928.

"Cult leader gives self up". San Francisco Examiner, March 31, 1928.

"Police seek cult king". San Francisco Examiner, March 30, 1928.

"Love nest life bared". San Francisco Chronicle, February 13, 1928.

"Riker cult 'love nest' charged". San Francisco Chronicle, February 13, 1928.

"Riker's laws...purse cult key..." San Francisco Chronicle, February 11, 1928.

"Rosencrantz woman blames head of cult; bad check charges spite work, she contends in Fresno jail". San Francisco Chronicle, February 6, 1928.

"Woman abductor..." San Francisco Chronicle, February 4, 1928.

"Hunt open for woman in love cult suit; bad check laid to plaintiff in action". San Francisco Chronicle, February 3, 1928.

"Holy City radio to lose permit". San Francisco Chronicle, January 26, 1928.

"Whole zoo attached in love suit against cult leader". San Francisco Chronicle, January 24, 1928.

Adams, Marjorie. "Holy City seen as Quentin refuge". San Francisco Chronicle, January 20, 1928.

"Rival blamed in Riker love suit". San Francisco Chronicle, January 20, 1928.

"Mrs. Rosencrantz...attach e..." San Francisco Chronicle, January 19, 1928.

Burgess, R. L. "Creed at 'Holy City'". San Francisco Chronicle, January 10, 1928.

"Cult king's wife raids love nest; woman attempts to oust rival from cottage". San Francisco Chronicle, January 8, 1928.

Burgess, R. L. "Riker cult 'weds' own souls; mental polygamy outlined to call reporter in role of 'truth seeker'". San Francisco Chronicle, January 6, 1928.

"'Holy Fifty' reassured". San Francisco Examiner, January 4, 1928.

"All 'dear' at Holy City, says Riker". San Francisco Chronicle, January 3, 1928.

"Cult head, wife deny accusation". San Francisco Chronicle, January 3, 1928.

"Cult children tortured, says Riker witness; Alexander Schwartz tells court that bodies were stretched on trees". San Francisco Chronicle, April 6, 1922.

"Love cult up in court today". San Francisco Examiner, April 4, 1922.

"Cult leader named in suit for $100,000; head of 'Perfect way' charged with persuading alleged dupe to turn $12,000 ranch over". San Francisco Examiner, November 3, 1921.

"Cult founders arrested, seek throrugh quiz; leaders of Perfect Christian Divine Way surrender to authorities". San Francisco Chronicle, October 22, 1921.

"Arrest of cult rulers ordered on indictments". San Francisco Chronicle, October 21, 1921.

"Rikers indicted by grand jury". San Francisco Chronicle, October 20, 1921.

"Cult chiefs indicted upon fraud charge; 'Holy Father' and 'Mother Lucillo' of 'Perfect Christian Divine Way,' are accused". San Francisco Examiner, October 18, 1921.

Burgess, R. L. "Riker sees 'her' as man in disguise". San Francisco Chronicle, undated.

Burgess, R. L. "Riker sees 4 classes of women". San Francisco Chronicle, undated.

Burgess, R. L. "Religion, cash, Riker creed at 'Holy City'". San Francisco Chronicle, undated.

"Riker denies charges in $500,000 suit; Holy City chief asserts he calls everyone by affectionate 'brotherly spirit' title". San Francisco Examiner, undated.
"'Father' Riker witness in alien inquiry; Holy City cult leader tells U. S. official 'expose' is 'just applesauce'". San Francisco Chronicle, undated.

"Riker glad woman's in jail; serves Mrs. Rosencrantz right, he says; Holy City chief takes credit". San Francisco Chronicle, undated.

"Demurrer filed in the Riker case". San Francisco Chronicle, undated.

Catton, Joseph, M. D. "State quiz of Riker urged by Psychiatrist; mental expert who aided in expose tells result of studying faker". San Francisco Examiner, undated.

"To twist out of exposure; cult chief brazenly states that he planned film pageant and says accusers sought him". San Francisco Examiner, undated.

"Fair plaintiff in love suit faces arrest; accuser of father Riker of Holy City sought in bad check charge". San Francisco Chronicle, undated.


The Rise and Fall of Holy City by John V. Young

The Great Anti-Cult Scare 1935-1945


No comments: