top of page

The Fruitists

Words by Jon Baty
mockinbird K_1.png
Art by Aaron Rowell


Throughout the early 19th and 20th centuries, there has been a rise of offshoot Christian sects throughout America. Examples include Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Mormons, the Quakers, the Shakers, the Candlestick Makers, rub-a-dub-dub. One of the most prominent and quickly growing of these is the Church of the Fruitarians for God. Out of pure, bewildered, and bordering on dangerous curiosity, I set out to meet the with the leaders of this faction to learn more.

Based out of Covelo, California - a small town surrounded by mountains in the Mendocino area- members of the Church of the Fruitarians for God (or Fruitists for short) began realizing that certain aspects of the Bible weren’t being addressed by the major religions. The blackcurrant leader of the church, Pastor Mike Chickoracky, came across the following verses taken from the book of Matthew: “Ye shall know them by their fruits… wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”

“I was stunned,” Chickoracky said. “It was so obvious that fruits were holier than what other religions had previously addressed. When I realized this, I got gooseberry bumps all over. It was plantain to see, I was being led by the Elderberry Almighty sitting upon his cloudberry.”

Fruitists believe that it is the blood orange that saves them, but one of their most controversial beliefs comes in the form of a fruit Satan. “He is what comes to take them; when fruit has gone bad,” Jerp Nerdlewertz, Fruitists historian said in hushed tones. “He is known by many names: Beelzeberry, Mephistrawberries, Juicefer. If we do not heed the Elderberry’s word, the dragonfruits from the fires of Jell-o will come to drag us all away.”


With regards to growth in the church, there are currently three members: Chickoracky, Nerdlewertz, and local celebrity/missionary for the Fruitists, Com Truise. “We have grown nearly three hundred percent in the past seven months,” Chickoracky stated. “Originally, we had four members, but one of them has fallen away.”


It didn’t take much prodding to discover that the “fallen” member was local butcher and hairdresser, Patrick “Pat” Paddywhack. I interviewed Paddywhack at his barber/meat shop, Ben Barker’s B&B. “I mistakenly thought they were some sort of MLM,” Paddywhack explained. “You know, like Amway. But instead of soap products, you could get good deals on fruit. Turns out, those guys are just bananas.” Nevertheless, Chickoracky believes that things are looking up for the Fruitist church. Mostly, because Paddywhack was still a member of Chickoracky’s bowling team. “Pat is just bitter melon,” Chickoracky notes. “I still believe he is a good apple.”


A month after I interviewed Chickoracky, the pastor was killed in a freak “Whack-A-Mole” accident at the annual Covelo Carnival for Charity. However, I shall never forget the last thing he said to me: “Orange you glad you wanted to learn more about us?”


I replied, with a smile, “No.”

bottom of page