I spend a lot of time thinking about Hutterites. Probably about 65% of my waking hours. I don't know why. Maybe it's the hats. Maybe it's the delicious baking. Maybe it's the fact that they craft solid, beautiful living room furniture using only hand tools, gravel, and earwax. Maybe it's the we-pay-for-DNA rumors.
For less worldly readers residing in parts of the United States and Ontario, Hutterites (German: Hutterer) are a communal branch of Anabaptists who, like the Amish and Mennonites, trace their roots to the Radical Reformation of the 16th century. Since the death of their founder Jakob Hutter in 1536, the beliefs of the Hutterites, especially living in a community of goods and absolute pacifism, have resulted in hundreds of years of odyssey through many countries. Nearly extinct by the 18th and 19th century, the Hutterites found a new home in North America. Over 125 years their population grew from 400 to around 42,000.
Hutterites pop up in the news every so often. They recently lost a court battle for the right not to have their pictures taken for their driver's licences. Like all sensible people, Hutterites know that if you get your picture taken, not only do you go to hell, but unicorns can smell your moral taint and won't let you ride them. The young hutties in the above image are obviously shiftless rebels, lashing out against their forebears traditional mores. The men are angry at their fathers for banging their sisters. They wanted to bang their sisters. The girls are just disappointed at missing the hot pants craze.
I don't really know much about Hutterites or their ways. I was too lazy to even read the whole Wiki entry. But I do know several indisputable facts. All Hutterite men are named John. The women don't have names, but are tagged and numbered for identification. Still, confusion tends to arise, as Hutterites don't believe in counting any higher than ten. Hutterites also steal compulsively. All of them.
But of course what Hutterites are most famous for is their enthusiasm for incest, as both a survival mechanism and a hobby. You'll notice above that their population grew exponentially upon their arrival in North America. Surprisingly, this wasn't due to an influx of American Indian converts deciding to embrace a life of silly hats and thick glasses- rather, the relatively liberal early American attitude toward inbreeding.
This has resulted in some minor genetic defects, which is why common colony signage reads "Slow- Deaf Children At Play," "Caution- Cross-Eyed Children Operating Tractors," and "Watch Your Step- Headless Men Using Stairs." To combat this trend, Hutterites are willing to pay outsiders to impregnate their women. Every western Canadian knows someone who knows someone who had a beer with someone who once talked to a land surveyor who sired six or seven little Hutterites for a cool $16.
This particular ritual is carried out with significant pomp and ceremony, the details of which vary from account to account. All seem to agree that the principle ornaments are a bedsheet with a hole cut in it and a loaded shotgun.
There are several famous Hutterites, deserters who managed to blend into contemporary society. Brad Pitt was a Hutterite, as was Beyonce. Bill Gates was raised a Hutterite. Contrary to popular belief, Woody Allen was not.
You're probably wondering what the point of this post is. It doesn't have one. I just think about Hutterites a lot.