Religious fundamentalism and isolated, self-sufficient communities often go hand-in-hand, and Martin increasingly saw Middle Percy as a lifeboat in a world "drowning in sin". But how did an educated, carefree adventurer come to embrace such grim notions? Jon Hickling - who, with his wife, Liz, and their two young sons, lived on Middle Percy for 12 years - solves that abiding mystery with two words: egg cartons.
"The story Andy told us," he explains, "was that sometime in the late '60s, the Whites [former leaseholders] sent him over some egg cartons he needed on the stores boat. They were wrapped in a magazine from the Worldwide Church of God, led by someone called [Garner Ted] Armstrong. Andy wasn't religious up to that point, although he grew up in the Church of England, but when he unwrapped that magazine, and read it from cover to cover, he just went, 'Wow!' He felt like he'd been hit on the head by a thunderbolt and had seen the light."
Martin subscribed to the magazine, and became a convert to the church's theory, known as British Israelism, which holds that white races (especially the British) are descended from the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, and are God's "chosen people". Before falling from favour for his philandering, Armstrong - described by one US writer as preaching to a "subculture of lonely, frightened, disoriented Americans" - also had a worldwide radio audience of millions, including Andy Martin.A subculture of lonely, frightened, disoriented Americans. I'm not sure who the writer was but, by the Lord Harry, it's quotable!
But wait, there's more!
An idyllic island off the coast of Oz, Princess Diana arising from her grave on the Feast of Trumpets in 2000...
You've got to wonder whether Andrew Martin would have come to such a sad end if those egg cartons had been wrapped in a back issue of Mad magazine, and not The Plain Truth.
But... whatever. Maybe Bob Thiel could establish the world headquarters of his new splinter sect out there on Middle Percy?