Saint John — The demolition of the former Reversing Falls Restaurant marks the end of an era for the city of Saint John, but nobody is quite as upset as the “The United Children of Fundy,” a locally based cult who worship the iconic Loyalist Man sign that welcomes visitors to the Falls.
“To us, the Falls Restaurant wasn’t just a place to get great food,” said cult leader Brother Leviathan Hackett, “it was also an important foundation for our religion.”
While strolling by the deteriorating remains of the former restaurant, Hackett enthusiastically gave a Manatee reporter a brief overview of what his cult is all about.
“We believe that this ancient relic …” he said, pointing to Loyalist Man sign, which was built in the early 1950s, “… was inhabited several years ago by some sort of benevolent demigod.
“The demigod, who goes by the name of ‘Lah’ Maskotte,’ causes the rapids to reverse when he is displeased. In order to try and abate this anger, we gather here every Saturday at 7 p.m. and form a circle around him by linking arms. That way we can contain the negative energy. Following this, we sacrifice a rat or some other small rodent, then call it a night.”
But Hackett said his cult is not all worshiping and sacrifices; after each session, the members liked to just kick back and shoot the shit. “We’d all pile into the Falls Restaurant, order everything on the menu and just pig out. It was a blast.”
The cultists were upset when the restaurant first closed, but they began going to the newly opened sushi place beside it instead. “The only one that was really affected by the change was Eddie, since he’s got a fish allergy,” said Hackett. “But he still enjoyed the atmosphere.”
Hackett said that although the closing of Boaz West was another disappointment, the cult was confident that another business would take its place. “Who wouldn’t want a restaurant next to a religious shrine?” he wondered.
But to the cult’s dismay, Saint John City Council quietly allocated $90,000 late last month to demolish the former restaurant, bringing an unequivocal end to the ceremonial dinners.
“It breaks my heart to see it boarded up like this,” said Hackett, “and it angers the Loyalist Man.” He looked up at the grinning sign with sad, knowing eyes.
“He will kill us all.”