There’s a special place in Hell for those who use insincere religious beliefs to gain any sort of favoritism or illicit sympathy. And a former Orange County inmate offers the latest example of this with a claim he’s a follower of the faith “Festivism” in which he secured a court order for better food while in jail.Â
Malcolm Alarmo King, who spent a year in jail on a drug charge, used the faux Faith to get better quality food and doubel portions of it until the county had the claim tossed out in court. King was released in October.Â
From reporter KimberlyEdds’ story:
Kingâ€™s quest for a healthier eating option while behind bars ended with a county lawyer forced to research the origin of Festivus and its traditions and a Superior Court judge recognizing the holiday â€“ which lodged its place in pop culture on an episode of Seinfeld â€“ as a legitimate religion.
The menu selection at Theo Lacy apparently didnâ€™t pleaseÂ King, 38, when he was booked into the jail on drug charges in April.
They serve salami there. And that didnâ€™t quite fit in with the fitness buff/ gym clothes modelâ€™s lifestyle.
So King, who is also suspected of being in the country illegally from Liberia, asked for kosher meals.
That was not because of his religion, but because they were healthier â€“ and the 5â€²8â€³ 180 lb King wanted double portions to maintain his physique, said his attorney, Fred Thiagarajah.
Judge Derek G. Johnson signed off on the high-protein double portion kosher meals for King.
That didnâ€™t sit well with the Sheriffâ€™s Department â€“ which pays for the food. Kosher meals are more expensive than the regular jail fareâ€“andÂ reserved for those with a religious need.
The Sheriffâ€™s Department interviewed King in May about his religious leanings. When asked what his religion was he answered â€œHealthism.â€
â€œHeâ€™s healthy so he said health and added an â€˜ism,â€™â€ saidÂ Thiagarajah, who acknowledged to the county and a judge and to The Watchdog that it was a farce.
When sentencing day came, King pleaded guilty to the sale or transport of a controlled substance â€“ a felony. Two other felonies were thrown out.
But King still wanted his non-salami meals.
Judge Johnson pulled Kingâ€™s lawyer and the prosecutor aside and said he needed a religion to put down on the order to make it stick, explained Thiagarajah.
â€œI said Festivus,â€ said Thiagarajah. The order was granted â€“ three non-salami meals a day.
Now the county was able to stop the three times a day double meals, more expensive than standard prison fare, and King is out of jail hopefully paying for his own meals.Â The LA Times online version of the brief news item contained this link to the Sheriff’s Department records on their research into Festivus.