Who’s Gonna be in Heaven? David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam

Son of Sam, David Berkowitz, is now the self-proclaimed Son of Hope.

Karen tries to get David to come to the studio, but he’s too shy. And imprisoned. We should have gotten the actor who portrays him on Mindhunter on Netflix. He’s amazing!

Bonnie joins the rank of 22 year-old guys who live on Reddit by putting a Bible in the Historical Fiction category at a Barnes and Noble. And Karen admits to saving up her money one year to buy her husband a Zune for allll his music. Holds 50 songs!

We were thrilled to receive a letter from a listener saying they had been to the Young Life camp that used to be the Rajneesh compound in Oregon. Thanks for the letter. We love these insights.

Bonnie describes the 70s. Disco. Bell bottoms. Leisure suits. Not a lot of bras. Lots of rainbows on things before the gays appropriated them.

Karen gives the run-down of David Berkowitz’s crimes. He randomly shot people, mostly couples while they were in their car. It scared New York and the nation.

When Berkowitz was a kid, his birthmother gave him up for adoption. He was adopted and was a bad, bad kid. When he was caught after all the killings, people were upset at his last name and Jewish people were happy to find out he was adopted but then it was revealed his birthmother was also Jewish. Then Karen tells an old reverse racist Jewish joke.

Berkowitz might or might not have been involved in the occult. It depends if you ask, Bonnie or Karen. Karen goes by the story that he’d been getting into the idea of demons from the Kentucky church he got initially saved in. Then he parlayed this into a story once he was arrested.

Berkowitz got a lot of attention when he converted in the clink and was interviewed by Larry King and anyone else who wanted to nab a juicy subject but got Berkowitz’s testimony instead. David even wrote a book! And you can find it somewhere online. He isn’t supposed to make money off it, but it will definitely help build his ministry.

David Berkowitz’s book “Son of Hope.”

Berkowitz also has an organization. Ok, he doesn’t, but his “friends” have made on for him. You can read his journals and see all the people who visit him. He has more of a reach from prison than most people on the outside.

David Berkowitz, Son of Sam, and his website for his ministry.
David Berkowitz, Son of Sam, has a better social life than you do.

If you were in prison, why wouldn’t you want to become a Christian? You get forgiveness, a community, meaning, something to do away from other prisoners. Bonnie and Karen discuss how disproportionate Christian chaplains are to other religions in prison. Plus, Bonnie tells Prison Jesus, which is an actual psychological disorder.

We’ll give it to Berkowitz, although we do feel he sincerely believes, he has carved out a pretty successful life since slaughtering 6 people.

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Lettersode 2: Divorces, Hair, and Mormons

Letters and letters!

Thanks for writing in. You can send us yours via our website www.deconversiontherapypodcast.com.

Our first one is from Heather, a kick-ass deconvert who’s been through it. She’s still healing from losing sword drills. Then she tells us about the universal kids’ musical/dancing controversies we all lived through growing up.

Psalty the Songbook

We read a letter from a Christian college “bad boy,” as well as hear about a JW vs Mormon turf war.

Bad Boy of the Christian College
Mormon Gangsters

Come laugh at yourselves with us.

As always, we really would love your ratings and reviews, as that helps us get seen by other listeners. iTunes is the best place to do one, even if you listen on another pod place thingy.

The audio books we talk about this week are The Complete Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live and Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered. Use our code at www.audibletrial.com/deconversion to get a 30-day free trial plus one book.

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The Family Part 1: It’s about Power, Not Love

Yes, we are now sponsored by Audible!

Bonnie and Karen discuss the book, and soon-to be-released Netflix documentary “The Family: An enigmatic conservative Christian group known as the Family wields enormous influence in Washington, D.C., in pursuit of its global ambitions.”

C Street Residence of The Family

Karen and Bonnie also discuss their first impressions of DC. They were not good. And not for any reasons that had to do with politics.

The secret group in DC laid low for a long time and only insiders knew of them. Until the shtooping. Always the shtooping. In 2009, when senator Mark Sanford disappeared to go “hiking” but was found out to be hiking on his mistress, people learned he lived in a house in DC on C Street. But it wasn’t/isn’t just a house, it’s a group. And boy, do you need to learn about this group. Read Jeff Sharlet’s The Family or “Jesus Plus Nothing” in Harper’s Magazine.

George Bush Sr., Doug Coe, some guy
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25: It’s a Team! With Power!

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Do you have 3 minutes? Please rate us and even review us on iTunes. It’s how we get in front of more people. Thanks. There’s a link, right there to the right.

That’s right, it’s time for your favorite group of pumped guys who’ve been traveling from church to church for over 40 years doing feats of strength, The Power Team!

Bonnie missed the huge event at church where they came and blew. us. tweens. away.

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The Feats of Strength

The ripping of phone books, the lifting of heavy weights, the bending of fry pans. And then a testimony of how they serve Christ? These were our super heroes. They’re still around 40 years later with dozens of break-off groups.

Vice does it again with a great article covering some of the scandals and mishaps. Patheos does another great one.

This is an episode we’ve wanted to do for a long time. We feel sorry for people who didn’t grow up in the church and get to partake in this beefcake parade.

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The uncomfortable image of blowing up a hot water bottle.

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The breaking of the bats.

24: Faith Healers Benny Hinn and Katherine Kuhlman

Do you have 3 minutes? Please rate us and even review us on iTunes. It’s how we get in front of more people. Thanks.

Karen and Bonnie go through the lives and miracle healing powers of Kathrine Kuhlman and Benny Hill, no, Hinn. Are people really getting cured of cancer and broken backs and whatnot and various sundries? Why are all the people falling backwards when they get healed? And how in the world are these wheeler healers getting their own television shows when we don’t have one?

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Benny Hinn

Karen starts out with one of the best-known faith healers, Katherine Kuhlman. You might have never heard of her, but she birthed a whole litter of these guys. She was elegant and magnetic and also talked in a creepy voice.

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Katherine Kuhlman

She had her share of scandals, but we must say, being a divorced woman evangelist in the 60s with your own show isn’t bad.

Bonnie gets in to someone who followed Kuhlman, idolized her, studied her–Benny Hinn. You’ve seen him on television. He’s the one people roll their eyes at when he makes a swath of people fall out on stage.

Hinn got caught with televangelist Paula White a few years ago while in Italy. They

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Benny Hinn and Paula White

denied it. Then they didn’t. Then they downplayed it. We don’t care. At least the Kardashians admit their vice.

Hinn’s nephew, Costi Hinn, has come out with a book. It’s mainly for Christians, but it says all the things most people know. This is about money and power.

 

 

 

 

 

Mentioned on podcast: Josiah Hesse’s Vice article about Jim Bakker.

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23: The Cult that Poisoned an Oregon Town

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Rajneesh in Pune, India

Bonnie and Karen talk about the sex cult called the Rajneesh this week. If you haven’t watched the Netflix documentary Wild Wild Country, Bonnie goes over it while trying to capture the insanity.

Bagwan Shree Rajneesh, the guru, gathers up well-educated Western followers in Pune, India.

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Bagwan Shree Rajneesh

They then all move, with his Rolls Royces, to Antelope, Oregon. That’s when they take over the small town and things go to hell.

This story has orgies, robes, beavers in blenders and on women, bombs, poison, salad bars. It seems like a fictitious story, but it’s very real. Karen tells her own story of being a missionary in India and visiting the Rajneesh ashram with hopes that her presence and under-her-breath prayers will slay the devil and they’ll all repent.

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Pune, India Rajneeshpurum

We’d love to know what you think!

References:

Caitlin Moran’s Book How to be a Woman

Russell Brand

Send us those letters. We’d love to read yours on air.

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22: Lettersode: Listener Letters about Hot Evangelists, The Rapture, and Dancing

It’s a short, summery episode of listeners’ letters!

We’ve got Michelle telling about an insanely long revival that includes a hot evangelist and modesty blankets. Justin writes in about being THAT 13-year-old Christian kid who thinks they’ve cracked the code on when Jesus will return. And, finally, Rachel gives insight into her charismatic church that sparks a painfully embarrassing memory for Karen.

Send your funny, true letters to us at www.deconversiontherapypodcast.com