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ChatterBox

1970's documentary

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Something that came up in discussion at our local group was a 1970's documentary named 'Marjoe'. Apparently it is rather well-known but I haven't heard of it. I did some looking up and it sounds like an expose of the US mega-church industry, and is well recommended. Has anyone has seen it and could tell me more about it, because it isn't available over here without importing it and I'm not sure if it is worth the expense.

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I think it's more about revivalism than mega-church, but it is worth a look. I saw it a few years back, so I don't recall just how good, or not, it is.

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Marjoe was a precocious child preacher with extraordinary talents, who was immensely popular in the American South. His parents earned large sums of money off of his earnings until the point he outgrew the novelty of his youthfulness.

 

Marjoe rejoined the ministry as a young adult solely as a means of earning a living, not as a believer. He spent the next several years using his fame and status as an evangelist to earn a living from both tent revivals and televangelism. Eventually, Gortner suffered a crisis of conscience and decided to give up the revival circuit. He offered a documentary film crew unrestricted access to him during his final revival tour, which took place in 1971.

 

The film contains scenes from revival meetings showing Gortner preaching and praying for people in Los Angeles, Fort Worth, Detroit, and Anaheim. This is interspersed with footage of Gortner admitting on camera that he was a non-believer and revealing the tactics that he and other evangelists used to manipulate people and to move them during revivals. Some of the evangelists even revealed where they bought properties kept secret and gave him advice to follow. Gortner said he studied Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones,[1] as a model for his routine.

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marjoe

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I saw it years ago, parts of it anyway. It was interesting. I think the guy was exploited, especially as a child and made him cynical of Christianity. He later became an actor, playing small parts on tv shows in the 70s.

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