Here is a news story from Queensland about a man who's life was sent into a tail spin because of Armstrongism and British Israelism.
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.
By the early '90s, with his physical health in decline, Martin had become unbalanced. "He believed he was being communicated with directly by God as some sort of prophet," Hickling tells me. "It was very interesting, to say the least."
The Hicklings were practical yachties who'd arrived on Middle Percy in 1989. They built their own house near the homestead - "We couldn't have lived with Andy; others tried and just couldn't cope" - worked long hours improving the island's gardens and infrastructure, taught their sons via distance education, and did their best to look after the evermore erratic Martin.
In 1996, Martin left the island, telling the Hicklings he had to return to England to warn the British people of God's coming retribution unless they changed their evil ways. He promised to contact Queensland's Department of Natural Resources (now Environment and Resource Management) and have the Hicklings named joint leaseholders in recognition of the effort and money they'd put into Middle Percy. But because the latest 10-year pastoral lease was soon to expire, the department declined - a fateful glitch the Hicklings weren't aware of until it was too late.