“He’s a rewarder of those who seek him. Some say God is a punisher, but do you know what we do with child abusers today? We put child abusers in prison if we find out about ‘em. God is not a child abuser! God is a good god. Why don’t you just say that out loud with me right no? God is a good god, you always remember that! God is not gonna do you harm… (pause) There is a judgement coming someday…”
—“Mrs. Hook” from The Christian Pirates cable access show.
History will note that for a short period at the end of the 20th century, there was this “format” called “VHS” (“Video Home System” is what it stood for) that allowed people to do something called “videotaping” “off” their television sets (it didn’t work exactly like that, but it’s, you know, close enough). But what history might neglect to record is that certain things got passed around from hand to hand on this format samizdat style in what was then called the “VHS tape trading underground.” During the mid-1980s to the late 90s, traders and flea market dealers were making pirated copies of things like the banned Rolling Stones movie Cocksucker Blues, Heavy Metal Parking Lot, “Screaming Boy” (lunatic Dallas public access preacher Jonathan Bell, later made famous by The Daily Show), a tape of a groupie blowing out a candle with her pussy for guitarist Steve Vai and “The Great Satan At Large,” a satanic talk show, among hundreds of other things.
One of the most heavily circulated items during the “VHS tape trading underground” days was a synapse-frying excursion straight into the dark heart of the most deeply disturbed, bat-shit crazy 80s TV evangelism titled “Perverse Preachers, Fascist Fundamentalists and Kristian Kiddie Kooks.” When the tape began making the rounds in the early 90s, the jaw-dropping selection of low IQ buffoonery, superstitious insanity and wildly inappropriate kiddie shows made by people who should NEVER BE LEFT ALONE UNSUPERVISED WITH YOUNG CHILDREN was the centerpiece of many a drug and alcohol-fuelled viewing fest.
An unnamed Internet reviewer said this of “Perverse Preachers, Fascist Fundamentalists and Kristian Kiddie Kooks”:
Americans: See why the rest of the world thinks we’re a bunch of blithering idiots!
Rest of the world: See why Americans are a bunch of blithering idiots!
That pretty much sums it up in a nutshell and yes, the “foreigners” do like this one, it’s true. They’re flummoxed by it.
One of the more perplexing things on exhibit in “Perverse Preachers, Fascist Fundamentalists and Kristian Kiddie Kooks” are the clips from the no budget “Christian Pirates” cable access show where godless children are forced to “walk the plank” by one-legged Captain Hook and they sing songs about hoping that Satan gets paralyzed and has to use a wheelchair. There’s Jimmy Swaggart’s tearful confession of whore mongering (a masterclass in fleecing the faithful with the “I have sinned” ploy). A Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker press conference. There’s a lot of asking for money, natch, some racist Bible prophecy, preaching against something one of them calls “Marxism” and a “joyous” man with hands growing from his shoulders who, er, counts his blessings. It’s not just Christianity that takes a beating here. New Age beliefs are lampooned and there’s even an appearance by Queen Uriel from the nutty Unarius Academy of Science.
“Perverse Preachers, Fascist Fundamentalists and Kristian Kiddie Kooks” was produced by a zine called Zontar. It came with an attached pamphlet that you can see reproduced here. Aside from being a masterpiece of video folk art (YES, this should preserved and elevated to museum status) it’s one of the single best things ever to get stoned and watch. I guarantee you’ll be blown away by “Perverse Preachers, Fascist Fundamentalists and Kristian Kiddie Kooks” (and if you’re not, you’ll be issued a full refund...)
Disgraced—but still currently raking it in like a gangsta on BET—TV evangelist Robert Tilton in the infamous “Pastor Gas” video that has made the rounds on the Internet since the first days of MySpace. My VHS copy of “Perverse Preachers, Fascist Fundamentalists and Kristian Kiddie Kooks” included this: