Immigration on a whole new scale: How angels sparked Ukip mutiny
Stories emerged this week of a row over ‘occult’ influences infiltrating Ukip’s Somerset branch. Adam Lusher met Angelic healers – and party members – Glen and Colleen Tucker, to investigate
Saturday 02 August 2014
The UK Independence Party, it is perhaps not unfair to suggest, has had its occasional brushes with eccentricity.
Indeed, the Prime Minister himself once made cruel, and surely unjustified, reference to its members as “fruitcakes and loons”.
But as Ukip’s Somerset county treasurer pours me a beetroot, celery, avocado and hemp-powder superjuice, I am not sure if this is quite what the PM had in mind. “I perceive my healing angel to be a pillar of light,” says Colleen Tucker, treasurer, Angelic Reiki master and certified Inca shaman.
“During a hypnotic process, I discovered that I belonged to the family of Archangel Michael. I believe there are many of us on the planet who have affiliations to Archangel Michael, so that’s what I mean when I belong to the family of Archangel Michael. But that’s not my healing angel. That’s another angel entirely…”
Perhaps Mr Cameron was thinking more of blazers, and “back off Brussels”. Godfrey Bloom, sluts and talk of “bongo-bongo land”. That sort of thing. So perhaps he – and others – have drastically misread the internal tensions within Ukip. Because here in Glastonbury the world of the blazers and the spirit world of Archangel Michael have collided. Most unhappily. Mrs Tucker, 59, and her husband Glen, 68, a corporate trainer, both keen Wells Ukip party activists, call it a “can of worms”. It was opened, they say, a fortnight ago.
At a Somerset county gathering, Graham Livings, head of Ukip’s Wells branch – with whom the Tuckers are not amicably atuned – stood up to demand: “Mr Chairman, are members of the Glastonbury occult allowed to be members of Ukip?”
The Tuckers say they laughed it off (and Mr Chairman informed the meeting that “the occult” was not on Ukip’s proscribed list).
But on Tuesday Mrs Tucker was phoned up by a local journalist and asked about her Angelic Reiki website (“Angelic Reiki Practitioners work with the Angels, Ascended Masters and Galactic Beings …”) The row quickly went national. Mr Livings quit as Wells party chairman and his friend Jake Baynes, 40, a geography teacher, stood down as prospective Ukip parliamentary candidate the constituency.
Mr Livings told newspapers about the infiltration of the Wells Ukip party, by “the Glastonbury occult crowd”. “They are oddballs putting on these retreats where they guarantee angels will be present. And we’re experiencing such vitriol and bile from them.”
Speaking to The Independent, My Livings denied using political dark arts to undermine the Tuckers. He said the real reason for drawing attention to Mrs Tuker’s Angelic Reiki website was because “I had received enquiries from prospective voters who were uncomfortable with the Tuckers as Ukip activists.
“Call us old fashioned, but the kind of people I have been acquainted with over the years have come up through the Anglican Church, Christianity. They find the stuff on the angelic website very off-putting. They associated it with the occult.”
Mr Baynes said last night: “Graham Livings certainly doesn’t practise the political 'dark arts.’ The Tuckers have been unbearably difficult. I don’t want to belittle what they believe, but I don’t think it has a place in politics.”
In their disappointingly normal semi-detached home, the Tuckers, very politely, put the record straight. First up, this “nonsense” about the occult.
Yes, says Mrs Tucker, there is a sign in the entrance lobby about “one nice witch” living here. That’s a joke. Yes, she does have a black cat, and yes, it is called Lu, and yes, that is short for Lucifer. “But Lucifer is an angel of light. People have edited and modified Christian teaching a little too much.”
Her £35-an-hour healing sessions involve nothing more sinister than soothing music, sympathetic chat, and the transfer of “angelic energy, from angels”.
Glen and Colleen Tucker near their home in Glastonbury (Tom Pilston)
“And as for criticising me about speaking to Archangel Michael: well, frankly doesn’t everybody talk to angels?” she asks, rhetorically. We all get a gut instinct, inspiration – whether you follow those hints from your guardian angel is up to you.”
As far as the Tuckers are concerned, the vitriol is coming from Mr Livings’ camp. They should not be “demonised” because of their work with angels. And if the occult means something sinister and hidden, Mr Livings, a retired local businessman, is the one using “dark arts” – of politics – bringing up the Angelic Reiki healing to undermine them. “He is the former mayor of Wells,” says Mr Tucker, “He wears a blazer, and he might like to think of himself as the political statesman. But he isn’t.”
The quarrel, they say, really stems from Mr Livings objecting to what he saw as the “micromanaging” of his friend Mr Baynes by his local party. The Tuckers say they were merely asserting the local party association’s right to have some say in the public pronouncements of their parliamentary candidate.
The Angelic Reiki had nothing to do with their Ukip activities until Mr Livings found out about it and publicised it.
In Ukip circles, Mr Tucker was just a corporate trainer who joined the party in 2012, because he was worried about the transfer of British sovereignty to Brussels.
And as for the group of Angelic Reiki infiltrators, “There is only one other Angelic Reiki master on the Wells party list,” says Mrs Tucker. “And she doesn’t come to Ukip meetings.”
So no, explains Mrs Tucker, the angels will have no say in Wells Ukip party policy. “Unfortunately not, they don’t have a position. They are apolitical.”
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