Little evangelists for cash: Marjoe Gortner and the Hampstead kids

During the discussion on yesterday’s post, the topic of Marjoe Gortner, the “world’s youngest ordained preacher”, came up as an example of a young, bright child who was trained by his parents to spout biblical passages and gospel-tent sermons. Marjoe’s story is an extraordinary one, which contains some fascinating parallels to the way in which the Hampstead SRA hoax children were coerced into spouting descriptions of what Abe imagined a “satanic orgy” might involve.

In his book Holy Sinner: 15 Preachers Who Fell from Grace and Became Criminals, William Webb introduces little Marjoe, who earned his parents an estimated $3 million with his act:

Marjoe, named indecisively with a combination of Mary and Joseph, was born to the shamelessly opportunistic Rev. and Mrs. Vernon Gortner in January of 1944 and they almost immediately took note of his total incapacity to feel embarrassment. The proud parents set about a rigorous advanced education structured around memorizing biblical passages and religious ceremonies gently supported by rudimentary waterboarding in the toilet. By the age of three Marjoe was ordained into the Church of the Old Time Faith and began preaching to his father’s Long Beach (California) congregation in the traditional ministerial garb of adorable little cowboy boots and a white suit with extra pockets for cash contributions.

Marjoe surpassed his parents’ twisted expectations and drew crowds from church to church, town to town, where his father, already a reasonably accomplished third-generation con man, would precede him garnering that essential ingredient to quality spirituality: free publicity. Vernon Gortner would visit newspaper offices in sleepy towns and offer them the story of this miracle child, complete with a choice of legends: God came to little Marjoe while he slept or, when that proved a little tame, while he was taking a bath.

The show was top quality child exploitation. Marjoe would exhort the congregation to give and give deep with memorized passages and entirely fictional accounts of healings and conversions, punctuated by rote gestures. “JESUS” was accompanied by a hand thrust in the air and “GOD” with two hands. When America’s littlest swindler would lose his way his parents would issue stage directions like “Hallelujah”, meaning “pick up the pace”; “Glory!” to slow things down a touch; and “Praise God!” meant “they’re hooked, now reel ’em in”.

Though no film footage exists of Marjoe doing his preacherly thing, we do have access to the audio version. Keep in mind that this is a very young child, speaking of concepts he cannot possibly fully understand:

As an adult, Marjoe confessed that he had never believed any of what he was saying; he merely went along with what his parents told him to say and do.

In the 1972 Academy Award-winning documentary film Marjoe, he demonstrated for a film crew exactly how he managed to separate worshippers from their hard-earned cash. It’s a remarkable film, in part because of the honest forthrightness of Marjoe himself, who’d grown weary of his role and decided to blow the lid off the evangelist biz.

In an article on the Dangerous Minds website, Jason Schafer says of the film,

Before you know it, film is being shot in a church and all of the above happens on camera. A lot of the “tent revival” footage throughout would be relatively unremarkable, except that you know the guy doesn’t really buy into one singular goddamned thing the he’s saying to the shouting crowds of gullible hayseeds and proto mega-churchers. You see how adept Gortner has become at getting people to hand over the “largest bill they have,” while behind the scenes we find him literally counting a pile of cash on a hotel room bed, shaking his head about how easy it is to get the money flowing. He knows he’s a business man, and he even has merch in the form of a record. He talks about how he used some kind of water-activated powder that made a cross show up on his head when he started sweating during one his “crusades.” People ate it up and, more importantly, ponied up the cash.

In this excerpt from the film Marjoe, we can see how the evangelical scam artist operates:

At the age of four, Marjoe performed an actual wedding, which you can view at the end of the Dangerous Minds post. Recalling the preparations for that wedding, the adult Marjoe says,

I remember my mother going through very, well, uh, correctional activities, you might say, to get me prepared to say the wedding ceremony, ’cause I had to recite the whole Episcopal ceremony verbatim and write my name on the certificate. I’m not sure but I think they had, you know, a preaching number planned for me, coming from such a long background of preachers, and my mother, being a very flamboyant evangelist…as I child I’d want to go out and play, but I had to spend hours and hours memorising, you know, and my mind would slip and finally my mother would begin to lose her patience with me and she would put a pillow over my head maybe, smother me for a little bit. Other times she’d hold me under the water faucet but she never wanted to put any marks on my body because she knew I had to be in front of the press, so she never hit me or anything.

Oh, well then. Waterboarding and suffocation are fine and dandy, so long as she never actually hit him and left a bruise. [Bit like hitting yer victims on the elbows with a spoon, Abe? —Ed.]

At the most basic level, Marjoe demonstrates how easy it is to coach, prompt, and threaten two bright, articulate children into saying…well, whatever their abusers wanted them to say. Marjoe’s parents just happened to have the idea when he was younger than RD’s children were.

What we find fascinating about Marjoe’s story is that if Belinda, Abraham, and Ella had had their way, RD’s children would be well on their way to becoming mini-Marjoes, performing their “child-raping, baby-eating cult members walk among us!” act in video after video. Would RD’s children have been able to rake in cash on the same scale Marjoe did? Fortunately we’ll never know.

We wonder, too, what will happen when RD’s children are old enough to blow the lid off the conspiritainment industry. Will they, like so many alleged “SRA survivors” before them, come out publicly with statements about how they were coerced into making false claims about almost everyone they knew? And if they do, will they be received much as Marjoe Gortner was when his documentary film was released?

As William Webb says,

Of course the real impact of this watershed documentary should have been a complete breakdown of the God-fraud industry and of course it was nothing of the sort. Those who wanted to keep believing were told that Marjoe was in league with the devil and the rest, obviously, didn’t need to be told anything at all.

So all the Hoaxtead mobsters who shriek “We believe the children!” now will no doubt reverse that claim if those self-same children ever publicly assert what was done to them in the name of turning them into little anti-SRA cult evangelists for cash.


76 thoughts on “Little evangelists for cash: Marjoe Gortner and the Hampstead kids

  1. Young children are dependant on adults for their most basic of needs and look up to them for guidance and bounderies as they develop.Formative minds are like sponges and wish to please adults and meet expectations(at least until teenage years)!!.

    Add to that having spoons played on them,kicked in the front privates and threats of being buried alive in the desert etc and the poor kids would probably have done rather well reciting the entire works of Shakespere verbatim,backwards on a unicycle.I know I would have given it my best shot.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. “And the weeping will turn to wailing !”
    Please take note Angie Power-Disney. You’ve promised The Rapture several times now & missed the date. If it came and went it left you behind. There may be another place you are destined for darls.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I also fear for the Hampstead children if they one day go public and confirm it was all rubbish. We know the conspiraloons well enough to know they’ll turn on anyone who doesn’t go along with their narrative.

    As for Marjoe, he has a certain charm. Take a look at this lot:

    I’ve watched and read quite a lot about Duffey Strode and his family. These kids were most certainly coached and learned long passages from the bible. They were completely indoctrinated into their parents’ version of Christianity.

    I have no idea if these kids were abused in the same way as Marjoe but who, in their right mind, would want their children to stand outside an elementary school shouting about ‘whoremongers and adulterers’? These children can’t possibly understand what these words mean and if they do….well….isn’t it a form of abuse to give them knowledge beyond their years?

    One You Tube narrator (Shouty Child Preacher Duffey Strode) speculates that the family ‘operates on a no love unless you are preaching scenario’ which makes sense, since Dad thought that if you weren’t talking about the bible you should just ‘shut up’. The narrator goes on to disagree with a newsreader who calls the family ‘eccentric’ and says ‘It’s not an eccentric family. It’s a crazy fucking dad who’s fucking up his kids.’ I can’t disagree with that.

    Wiki gives an update. I’m glad to say that Duffey rebelled somewhat and went ahead and married the girl he wanted, despite family disapproval.

    Sadly, if you go to You Tube and look for child preachers you find quite a lot, some almost babies. I’m waiting for preaching from the child in the womb. As far as I know nobody’s done that yet.

    What looking through all this made me think was that Abe isn’t that unusual…..

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I couldnt make out what baby Kanon was shouting about exactly but it may have been something like,”Is there anyone in the house from fucking social services who can issue an emergency place of safety order on me and get those mindless buffoons called Mr and Mrs Tipton banged up in a padded cell at least until im 20 or something”.

    100% disgraceful,sort of thing I thought only went on in weird nightmares.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. They don’t get better as they get older as the outrageous Benny Hinn (Hill ?) shows. Apparently if you faint or fall over God has chosen you. Pity if you have a bad back.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “gently supported by rudimentary waterboarding in the toilet” I couldn’t get any further than that…..
    I think I’m losing my touch and may not be able to comment for much longer.
    Sorry folks, my thoughts are with you all, but I am too drugged these days to keep up with this horror story, or to write about it myself.
    I have probably not much time left myself. Ghost of Sam – I think it was you who came on my site and gave me very useful info on Andrea and I will always be grateful for that. Thank you.
    I shall keep reading. Bastards that these people are.

    Liked by 5 people

    • My hope too. It is outrageous that Satan Hunters post the images, videos, names, medical reports, dates of birth and other personal details of the RD children all over the internet without their consent. The Satan Hunters have denied the RD children basic rights to their own privacy and personal information.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Brilliant article! Marjoe was one of my heroes, as a young rationalist, and I do think the parallels are spot on.

    About Dipstick Shyster’s prediction that the Apocalypse will occur this month…did he say anything about zombies? Because I think I recall some passage in Scripture about “the dead shall rise” on Judgement Day?

    Liked by 1 person

      • I see Shouter’s done a massive U-turn on the eclipse being the end of the World (which he categorically stated several times it would be) and is now saying it’s going to bring about a massive terrorist attack orchestrated by Donald Trump.

        Liked by 2 people

        • No doubt the next major incident of any description following the eclipse will be heralded as empirical proof that Davids hotline with the big G is fully operational and the human race should fall at his feet in fawning adoration at the new messenger from on high.

          I envisage David starting to sweat profusely after a week or so when bugger all of real note has occured and then punching the air with sheer delight when something a bit unpleasant takes place somewhere or other around the globe

          He really needs does to get out more as listening to his own internal dialogue will benefit absolutely nobody,least of all himself.


          Liked by 2 people

          • Well said, Mik. By the way, even in his comment above, which he posted just before denying he’d linked the eclipse to the end of the World, he was still referring to it as “the solar explode” 😀

            Liked by 1 person

        • We’re not going to have a Zombie Apocalypse this month? WAAAH! 😦
          But I already ordered a second one of these babies to complete my defenses…

          Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Justin. I’ve been looking for something more or less sane about the Seth Rich thing, as trying to make sense of it via the conspiraloons was well nigh impossible.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know what you mean 🙂
        I tried to deconstruct some looooooooong videos about it, on this Defango guys channel…just gave myself a migraine is all.


      • The Seth Rich matter is more proof that Julian Assange has become either a Putin / Trump stooge or has gone barking mad being locked up now for years in a flat.

        So far he has tweeted numerous times crap about Rich, @pizzagate and is now claiming Robert Meuller the Special Investigator is corrupt because he once ran the FBI and he cites travesties committed by the alleged cross-dresser J.Edgar Hoover decades before.

        It demonstrates that there could be powerful forces behind the claims of VIP Pedo Rings running the world although oddly enough : there doesn’t seem to be a “VIP Pedo Ring” running Russia & China (despite the claims the Russian Revolution was a Jewish Rothschild plot probably organized by George Soros even before he was born)
        # the fact that both revolutions did finally release millions of peasants from servitude and for all it’s terrible ills and injustices both countries have boomed financially is ignored.

        So the Angela Power-Disneys and Davis Shitbags really are the legendary Useful Idiots of more powerful forces.


        • Never been a fan, ever since Private Eye exposed him as both an antisemite and a raving hypocrite who fights like crazy to stop people publishing information about him.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Angela should really have a crack at typing with a bag over her head because there is an albeit very slim chance that she might inadvertantly generate a comment worthy of the bandwidth.What a muppet.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Pity we can’t insert a chip into her (with faulty info) and then call the local Oldcastle Dog Catcher who when he scans the bitch says “the owner apparently lives in Siberia so we’ll send this dog there asap”


  8. No paranoia there, then…

    ‘Solar Eclipse 2017: Oregon Officials Warn to Stockpile Food, Prepare to Shelter In Place’

    ‘Solar Eclipse 2017: August 21, 2017 could paralyze America’

    ‘NASA Admit ► Two Hour Solar Eclipse This August Will Plunge US Into Darkness – Must-See !!’

    ‘AUG 21st ECLIPSE and what it means for AMERICA (sit down for this)’

    Liked by 2 people

    • And beside it is a known Illuminati Spy Car..they use old bangers like that so as not to raise suspicion.


  9. In his latest video, Shurter is STILL claiming that we’re desperately “doing everything to stop people hearing” his interview with Stolpman. Seriously, how many times do we have to publicise and share said interview before he starts blatantly lying about it?

    Liked by 2 people

    • To be fair Mad Moo must have stored up a vast reservoir of pointless shouty crap during her all too brief and sadly failed retirement.The sound of a lavatory flushing at the end of her productions would be a fitting curtain call to conclude her climactic efforts.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Perhaps she will go down in history as one of the Greatest Philosophers of the 21st Century but it’s too deep for me especially when I hear lots of Hell & Damnation for the entire Sheeple Community of the world followed by claims she is the Most Compassionate Dame on the planet.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Well, in today’s live broadcast, she didn’t stop banging on about it. You have the right to remain silent, Angie.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. 😮 Woah! Angie has just said that if she and Tracey Morris thought a baby was with unfit parents, they wouldn’t hesitate to steal it from them! I’m not making this up. When the live broadcast is oever and she puts it up as a recording, I’ll find where that comment is and post the time stamp.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s at 2:20 / -7:18.

      “I would never – and nor would Tracey Morris – we – and we said this to the social work team – if we genuinely thought a baby was at risk at the hands of its own parents, we ourselves would steal the baby and bring it to safety…”

      Liked by 3 people

  12. She says near the end that she is “prepared to go to jail for breaching confidentiality” and even says “Bring it on”. Seriously, I’m not making this up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If anyone has details about this case—the name of the court and judge involved would be really useful—please in-box us here. You can use the Contact Us box at the top left of the blog.


  13. It looks to me as though Angie was threatened with jail if she broke the very basic reporting restrictions that apply routinely to this sort of case; which of course anyone with even basic training in journalism would know because they had been schooled… But of course, Angie has no such schooling or training nor has she any grounds to claim that title. What a dreadful old fraud she is.

    Liked by 3 people

    • @ethel – we had a very in-depth discussion about this awhile back, here:

      Where I am, the police are now arresting any vigilantes that a target actually has the balls to file a complaint against – for mischief & criminal harassment. They don’t arrest the vigilante’s targets though, because the “evidence” they generate through their sting can’t be used in prosecutions here. Our vigilantes know this and sometimes admit they aren’t really interested in helping the justice system to identify and apprehend child predators – they just want to publicly shame people & rack up massive hit counts on youtube. Most of our vigilantes are ex-cons, some are career fraud-scam artists no less.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. To the person who was asking if I’d blocked them on YT, sorry but your question was coming up as spam and it wouldn’t let me reply. And to reassure you, I don’t think I have. These appear to be the only people I have blocked:


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