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Weird Tract Number 72: "If You Like Harry Potter, Have We Got a Book for You . . ." by Jews for Jesus

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Troy Davis writes:

I previously wrote about the lameasses at Jews for Jesus here. When Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets had its premiere in Westwood, the Westwood chapter of J4J passed out this very weak pamphlet to very little fanfare among the Harry Potter fans. I grabbed a couple copies for my collection.  In case you're curious, for those who like Harry Potter, the book they had for you was . . . The Bible!

The Museum of Weird and Demented Religious Tracts is a project of Les Zazous Postmodern Art Galley of Bellaire, Ohio. Read the Welcome Statement of The Museum here.
For more on the gallery, check out the web site here and the gallery's Twitter handle is @ZazousLes.  The Twitter handle for the museum is @WeirdTracts

Weird Tract Number 71: "The Rapture: in the twinkling of an eye" by Eugene Turner

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Troy Davis writes:

This 4-page pamphlet-style tract that Eugene Turner wrote for the Free Tract Society of Los Angeles is boilerplate Dispensationalism full of Bible verses. Not surprisingly, the tract ends with an appeal to come to Jeebus in order to avoid The Great Tribulation. It has no date or copyright info.

Ho Hum.

The Museum of Weird and Demented Religious Tracts is a project of Les Zazous Postmodern Art Galley of Bellaire, Ohio. Read the Welcome Statement of The Museum here.
For more on the gallery, check out the web site here and the gallery's Twitter handle is @ZazousLes.  The Twitter handle for the museum is @WeirdTracts

Weird Tract Number 70: "Creation and the Virgin Birth" by Henry M. Morris of The Institute for Creation Research

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Troy Davis writes:

I bought this 10-page tract when I visited San Diego in the '90s and visited the Institute for Creation Research's Museum of Creation and Earth History in nearby Santee (When ICR moved to Dallas in 2008, they sold the museum to the Life and Light Foundation ). Henry Morris (1918-2006) was one of the founders of ICR and this tract's title suggests, Morris attempts to link two supernatural events: biblical creation and the virgin birth of Jesus. Morris had a Ph. D. from U.C. Berkeley but this booklet is full of citations of The Bible but none from scientific journals (to nobody's surprise). 

Notes: I mention fellow ICR co-founder Duane Gish in this discussion of Life Messengers' "Hooked For Good: The True Story of Sammy Hall" . . . ICR has a beautiful Discovery Center in Dallas . . . Also, when I was on vacation in San Diego, I visited the wacky The Unarious Academy of Science  of nearby El Cajon (but I don't have any of their literatur…

Weird Tract Number 69: "The Taming of Television" by Dr. Hugh Pyles

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Troy Davis writes:

When it comes to nerdy white fundamentalist preachers and authors of the late 20th century, Hugh F. Pyle is just okay. He's nowhere near as interesting as Leon Bates (whose inimitable personal style and worldview were addressed in this review of his work on this site). Nevertheless, a lot of Pyles' tracts are worth a hoot or two; this is the case for The Taming of Television, a 33-page tract originally written in 1972 (this edition is the revised 1994 version). Some highlights:
Pyles is aghast at the "slanted" political show that give a voice to "humanistic liberals [who] are promoting a socialistic, top-heavy racial program in our country." One of the sub-chapters is titled, "Is TV a Kleptomaniac?"Another sub-chapter is titled, "WE Must Realize Satan's Control; He Is the "Prince if the Power of the Air."Pyle writes, "A pastor friend well called HBO 'Hell's Box Office.'" Pyle cites demente…

Weird Tract Number 68: Collegiate Challenge Magazine, Fall 1973 by Campus Crusade for Christ

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Troy Davis writes:

I previously wrote about my extreme distaste for the ideology and tactics of Campus Crusade for Christ here.  I just received this Campus Crusade magazine in the mail; I bought it online.  It contains a short superhero story ("The Last Adventures of The Old Wonderman") that is surreal. I have included the entire two-page story at the end of this post.  It's a shockingly puerile, barely-coherent story--which makes it par for the course for Campus Crusade. It's the story of Wonderman, a washed-up superhero who is brooding in his apartment when Pleasureman crashes through the window and explains modern hedonism; Wonderman punches out Pleasureman, not for B & E but for wanting to have a good time (Wonderman should change his crimefighter name to WetBlanketMan).  Captain New (who apparently also broke into the apartment) gives encouragement to Wonderman and they form a crime-fighting team. That's it.

If you're appalled that someone considered…

Weird Tract Number 67: "The Facts on the New Age Movement" by John Ankerberg and John Weldon

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Troy Davis writes:

As a fan of fringe religion, I enjoyed John Ankerberg's Christian apologetics TV show back in the 1990s. Ankerberg had debates with various apostates and followers of creeds containing extrabiblical revelations. This 48-page booklet from 1988 takes on the New Agers.

It's a standard fundy take on the movement. The booklet received back cover plaudits from Dave Hunt (one-time collaborator with Ed Decker; for more on Decker, click here and here) as well as Hal Lindsey's then-sister-in-law Johanna Michaelsen who cashed in on the 80s Satanic Ritual Abuse Panic by claiming that she was a reformed-by-Christ former aide to a  "psychic surgeon" (I saw Michelsen on The 700 Club and she claimed that what she was doing was not sleight-of-hand flimflam but as a New Age healer, she supernaturally removed cancers from people and that she had been elbows deep in the bodies of her "patients"). The booklet discusses Michaelsen's story and treats it…

Weird Tract Number 66: "The Baptism of The Holy Spirit: TONGUES And The Charismatic Movement by Jack Van Impe

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Troy Davis writes:

TV preacher Jack Van Impe is a trip. Back in the 90s  just for shits and giggles, I used to watch his TV show that was devoted to Bible prophesy that he co-hosted with his wife Rexella. Once my then-girlfriend was over and she was flipping through the channels and had Van Impe's show on; I shouted out, "There's Rexella!" She asked me how I knew who she was and then smiled and said, "You watch that show to mock these people!" She knew me.

This longwinded 46-page tract from 1976 addresses speaking in tongues. Despite the humor potential of both the subject and the author, this tract is really boring. Bummer.

Funky Notes: At the end of the tract, notes that it is available as an "Eight-Track Cartridge" . . . When I produced the short film Ivy League Exorcist: The Bobby Jindal Story (watch it here), I advised the actor who would be speaking in tongues to watch YouTube videos of disgraced TV evangelist Robert Tilton (who is the subjec…

Weird Tract Number 65: "Heavenly Homes" by Moses David (David Berg) of The Children of God

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Troy Davis writes:

The Museum of Weird and Demented Religious Tracts has a number of tracts by the predatory sex cult The Children of God (now known as The Family International). This is a typical barely-coherent batshit-crazy Berg rant-tract from the 1970s (it is dated October 21, 1974). The following is my favorite tidbit from the six-page pamphlet:

SO DON'T LET YOURSELF GET SUCKED IN BY THE BLURBS OF THE SLOBS of the great big globs of the world's city blobs! Don't become a blundering, blubbering, blabbering blobber yourself living in the midst of Babel's babbling Babylonian confusion!

Er . . . okay.

Read about other Children of God tracts in the museum's collection here and here.


The Museum of Weird and Demented Religious Tracts is a project of Les Zazous Postmodern Art Galley of Bellaire, Ohio. Read the Welcome Statement of The Museum here.
For more on the gallery, check out the web site here and the gallery's Twitter handle is @ZazousLes.  The Twitter handl…

Artwork from The Museum's Collection: "La Nueva Jerusalen"

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Troy Davis writes:
Gawd, I love the museum's print of "La Nueva Jerusalen," a painting by an unidentified artist. I bought it when I visited Mexico.  Apparently, it is a popular painting that is found in the homes of devout Catholics in Latin America. The painting shows two paths: 1) one scenario where the Redeemed go to Heaven and Eternal Paradise; and 2) The Road To Perdition where decadent playboys, exploitive colonizers, a guy about to commit suicide, and corrupt politicians are about to get their asses handed to them.  They meet up with what appears to be The Whore of Babylon riding her multi-headed beast with an unnamed bearded guy with a turban. Their ultimate destination is a date with Satan! The painting reminds me of the Chick tract "The Long Trip."
Scary stuff.

The Museum of Weird and Demented Religious Tracts is a project of Les Zazous Postmodern Art Galley of Bellaire, Ohio. Read the Welcome Statement of The Museum here.
For more on the gallery, che…

Weird Tract Number 63: "Their Peace Symbol - 'The Broken Cross'" by The Network of Patriotic Letter Writers

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Troy Davis:

The Network of Patriotic Letters Writers was a right-wing group that operated from 1958 to the early 1980s that had a lot of overlap with The John Birch Society. That they published this circular deriding the peace symbol is hardly surprising (In an earlier review, I mentioned how the Birchers pushed the peace symbol/broken cross canard. This is so delightfully campy that I scanned both sides for your enjoyment. It encourages readers to "GIVE COPIES OF THIS ARTICLE TO ANYONE WEARING THE 'BROKEN CROSS PEACE SYMBOL.'" I would have loved to have seen the expression of some young hippy's face when given this by an archetypical Bircher-type.

For those of you not familiar with the peace-symbol-as-satanic moral panic during the Vietnam War era, read this post on tract  "Peace."  Also, check out this post on another peace symbol-based scare tract.




UPDATE:This blogger has a compelling history of the peace symbol/Cross of Nero hoax.


The Museum of Weird …

Weird Tract Number 62: "What Is Satanism?" by Satanic Bay Area

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Troy Davis:

This is a weird but level-headed tract by Satanic Bay Area. In fact, it is one of the most level-headed tracts in the museum's collection. I just received it in the mail along with some cool Chick tract parodies that will be reviewed later.

This pamphlet explains contemporary Satanism and debunks some rumors put forth by fundamentalist Christians.  They point out they are not a bunch of "baby-eating devil-worshipers," an idea in the forefront during the 1980s Satanic Ritual Abuse Hoax championed by the fundy crowd. They point out they don't worship any deity and that Satan is a myth they invoke when sectarians abuse their authority.

Notes: In my Chick tract parodies (read them here), I include a satirical panel that warned about "Satan's Spiritual Structure" and warned about various activities that could become "doorways to demonic possession (most of these things were culled from Jack Chick or his one-time muses John Todd and Dr. Rebec…

Weird Tract Number 61: "God's Plan for Roman Catholics" by Alberto Rivera

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Troy Davis writes:

Alberto Rivera (1935-1997) claimed to be a former Roman Catholic priest in the Jesuit Order who left after uncovering treacherous worldwide conspiracies by the Roman Catholic Church. He was Jack Chick's motivation for making Rome the main target of Chick Publications. The evidence is overwhelming that Rivera was a fabulist. Chick wrote of Alberto's exploits and crackpot conspiracy theories in several editions of The Crusaders comic books as well as in many of the regular tracts (my favorite is "My Name? . . . In The Vatican?").

In addition, Alberto started the Antichrist Information Center and published a newsletter and several publications (including the hilariously awful comic book The Great Holocaust I: The Martyr Story of Klark [sic] Butterfield; the book is full of typos and no sequel was ever published). Anyhow, "God's Plan for Roman Catholics" is a four-page pamphlet that mostly tells the reader how to accept Jesus. The last pag…

Weird Tract Number 60: "A Letter From HELL (A Message to Christians)" by Book Fellowship International

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Troy Davis writes:

This three-page, undated pamphlet by Book Fellowship International is a major-league guilt trip aimed at Christers who are slack in their efforts to convert the masses to Jeebus. Essentially, it's a letter from Hell from someone who died in his sins and is bitching at the Christian reader for not witnessing to him.  It's a shorthand version of Jack Chick's "The Letter."

The Museum of Weird and Demented Religious Tracts is a project of Les Zazous Postmodern Art Galley of Bellaire, Ohio. Read the Welcome Statement of The Museum here.
For more on the gallery, check out the web site here and the gallery's Twitter handle is @ZazousLes.  The Twitter handle for the museum is @WeirdTracts




Weird Tract Number 59: "Jesus Loves You So Much It Hurts" by Gospel Tract Society

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Troy Davis writes:

This handbill by Gospel Tract Society of Independence, Missouri is underwhelming. GTS was founded in 1926 and still churns out tracts. I received this as part of a lot sale on eBay. Apparently, a child or a really bored person got possession of the tract and gave Jeebus teal-colored fingernails. The thing I love about this tract is that it included the scripture Isaiah 53:5, a portioned of which (". . . by his stripes, we are healed") was paraphrased in the film I wrote and co-produced: Ivy League Exorcist: The Bobby Jindal Story; watch it here. Read a review of the film here.

The Museum of Weird and Demented Religious Tracts is a project of Les Zazous Postmodern Art Galley of Bellaire, Ohio. Read the Welcome Statement of The Museum here.
For more on the gallery, check out the web site here and the gallery's Twitter handle is @ZazousLes.  The Twitter handle for the museum is @WeirdTracts