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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.
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.
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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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?
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.
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
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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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.
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.
We’d love to know what you think!
Caitlin Moran’s Book How to be a Woman
Send us those letters. We’d love to read yours on air.
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.
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Who’s kookier, or old cootier, Jim Bakker or Pat Robertson? We make them go head-to-head on this episode. We’ll post polls on our social media things (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) so you can vote. The winner will get nothing but their already deserved disgrace.
Bonnie got so depressed reading about her guy, Pat Robertson, that she decided to just look up reviews for the Anne Frank book. This is the world we live in!
So we moved on the real event: The Kook-Off. Karen took Jim Bakker, once married to Tammy Faye, involved in a sex scandal with Jessica Hahn, jailed for 5 years for money doo-dah, now back on television with his new wife and selling buckets of goop for the coming END OF TIMES!
Bonnie takes on Pat Robertson. She feels the guy says things before he thinks them through and they get blown up by people who want to laugh at them. Karen says she is that person. Pat actually went to Yale and has a law degree, but he didn’t pass the bar. He also says he was preoccupied with “the ladies” when he was a younger lad. Since then he’s told people to stop their yapping about adulterous husbands and, of course, that every storm is the result of sin. Looking at you, gays!
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Bonnie fills Karen in on Jerry Falwell Jr., and the news that something is afoot in his world. The players are a pool boy, Jerry, Jerry’s wife, Michael Cohen and his plaid jacket, and Tom Arnold. Of course, Trump always shows up in anything we discuss when it comes to sketchy “Christians.” Falwell has the sanpaku, an eyeball thing Bonnie is obsessed with. Supposedly, he’s either an addict or crazzzzy.
The story’s still coming out, but there are some revealing pictures of Jerry Falwell Jr.’s
wife, and also a friendship with the pool boy, who went on vacations with them. But it doesn’t stop there! Falwell invested 1.8 Million dollars in the SoBE hostel in Miami Beach that the pool boy started. Could this be why Falwell went from not supporting Trump for president to being all-in and making sure the evangelicals did, too?
Enjoy a romp through this den of vice that is the Falwell hostel.
We also read a letter from Sara, who found herself in a cult when she attended a Pentecostal Bible college in Minnesota. It includes pie.
Various shout outs:
We are back! Please help us out by subscribing, rating, and reviewing us. In fact, although we don’t think we put out anything worthy, we’re asking you to share this episode because these preachers asking for LGBT people to be killed need eyes on them. By everyone!
We give a shout-out to Maggie who said she not only noticed we were gone for two weeks but that she missed us. She’s going to get a crown in our heaven one day.
Bonnie gets after the Google doodle on Father’s Day because it depicts ducks, a sore issue with Bonnie. Go listen to episode 1 or 2. One of them goes over the TRUE disposition of those cute, little ducks.
Thennnnn, it’s time to talk about the assholes who are preaching that LGBT people should be killed by the government. They’ve chosen Pride Month to really go off in the most non-Jesus-like way. Grayson Fritts, a pastor in the Knoxville, Tennessee area is also a police detective. You can watch the video here, if you can stomach it.
But wait. There’s more! You also get the Make America Straight Again conference in Orlando, Florida. Orlando Weekly gives details of the loser church that was the headquarters for the conference.
The Friendly Atheist website also gives a nice recounting of the “lowlights” of the conference.
The list of the lead hate-preachers are: Grayson Fritts, Roger Jimenez, Steven Anderson, Aaron Thompson, and Patrick Boyle.
Kudos to Christian Nightmares on Twitter who stayed on YouTube to take down the live feed of the conference, siting hate speech.
The Love Family started out pretty well, a commune that’s emphasis was living in the now—a lovely idea. On hemp paper.
The founder, Paul Erdmann, was said to be a used car salesman type. They were really into music, and that’s what attracted lots of their followers. That’s what would have made us jump off a bridge.
It all started when friends Paul and Brian Allen did LSD together. They felt the only thing that was real was love, so they renamed everyone after a virtue and the last name Isreal (“Is real.” Get it?). Paul got to be Love Isreal. Poor Brian got stuck with The name Logic.
This cult brought people from all over the country. It’s not like these new-fangled AOL chatrooms were around for people to find each other.
Soon it was time for Logic to start a coup. They wrote a letter to Love and he tore it up! Rip Torn.
Go watch the YouTube documentary because it’s a gem.
So, non-plot-twist, Love started getting greedy for power and money. One of the cult members was an heir to the DuPont fortune, and so Love started rolling in it—buying planes but not food or shoes for the cult kids.
We talk about how similar cults and regular religions are. We use the cult symptoms that Rick Ross lays out.
A few outtakes from the episode:
Can Bonnie and Karen find something funny about the Abortion ban that just passed in Alabama? We’re gonna try!
Bonnie found some great articles from satire at The Reductress to Noam Chomsky’s great
video of why the Southern states and evangelicals grabbed on to the abortion issue. Cory Doctorow gave a lovely recap that included our new favorite term “musketf*ckers.”
Karen and Bonnie both learned about sex in strange ways, from grandmothers to toilet notes.
The Bible never mentions “Do not Abort,” but the religious right picks out verses from the ancient pre-ultrasound era to say God knew you in the womb, sooooooo… Plus, they really love those ten Commandments. But Karen asks “Which Ones??” The ones in Exodus 34:6-7 or in Exodus 34:14-27—the one that includes lots to do with firstborns, donkeys, goats and sacrifices.God “repeated” his commandments to Moses after the first ones broke, but God’s memory seems to be lacking. Bonnie thought the breaking of the tablets was just a Mel Brooks scene from “The History of the World.”
Bonnie discloses a trip to Planned Parenthood. Oh, if Karen had known she even walked into that place when they were Christians, she would have shunned her.
Then it’s time to talk about Alabama and their low education standards and high telling-
people-what-to-do standard. We highly recommend the podcast S-Town, that isn’t about abortion, but an intelligent guy in Alabama trying to mentally get out.
We try and go through the logistics of the Alabama Abortion ban with 14 year olds lined up in prison or financially in debt with fines.
Karen talks about a young friend who had an abortion and Karen was conflicted with how relieved she was.
We finish with a perfect recounting of the hypocrisy of pro-lifers in a Facebook post by an Alabama minister named Dave Barnhart that should go viral.
This week, Karen and Bonnie poke at Franklin Graham, one of the most misreable-seeming men to be filled with the joy of salvation.
Graham tweeted a happy birthday to Melania Trump, calling her the classiest first lady AMERICA HAS EVER HAD. Eat it, Mary Washington and Jackie Kennedy! Twitter did their thing and went after him. We’re sure he has to ask for repentance after seeing all the photos people responded with.
Bonnie can’t help thinking of Franklin, the puppet from Arrested Development. Our intro and outro music is an homage to that show.
We go over how Franklin Graham got kicked out of school for keeping a coed out past curfew, a story Bonnie doesn’t totally believe. And, how the loving man of God publicly called for Pete Buttigieg to repent of his gayness.
Karen tells of staying at a beautiful castle in Colorado she didn’t know was the headquarters of the conservative college student group The Navigators. They also use it as a hotel. NO ALCOHOL ALLOWED. Karen died. Her funeral is Saturday.
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