Before and After #60:
Aimee Semple Macpherson




Brent McKee said...

The Canadian journalist travel writer and all around curmudgeon Gordon Sinclair used to tell the story about meeting Amy Semple Macpherson's son when he came to Canada to tape an episode of the panel show Sinclair was doing, "Front Page Challenge." The son swore up, down and sideways that liquor never touched his mother's lips at which point Sinclair informed him that he and Amy hoisted many a glass together and did a lot more than that. What wasn't mentioned was that Sinclair was one of Macpherson's numerous lovers.

Vanwall said...

She's a shining example of the extremes to which repressed manipulators will go just to make a buck, dontcha think? And they seem to do it over and over, generation after generation, and their adoring flocks enable them every time. The saps.

Tom Sutpen said...

I would agree with you, Rob . . . only, despite her public persona, there weren't nothin' repressed about Sister Aimee.

What's always fascinated me about her is that she was the first to imbue Pentacostal Christianity . . . rolling around on the floor, speaking in tounges and the like . . . with real, honest-to-goodness showmanship.

She wasn't as compelling as Jerry Lee Lewis, who drew much of his art from that source, but she was more interesting than the Insurance Salesmen we got for Televangelists nowadays.

Btw, did you ever catch Dr. Gene Scott in his 'Festival of Faith' heyday? That guy has fascinated me ever since I saw Werner Herzog's God's Angry Man, I must say.

Vanwall said...

The repressed public persona is what I was aiming at - they certainly can't act on their true impulses in front of their congregations. "Elmer Gantry" had a bit of the real sleaze that underpins these cons, but certainly didn't pull back the curtain all the way, due to studio heebie-jeebies no doubt.

I knew a young "Youth Pastor" in high-school and college whose best asset to most of the kids was his ability to obtain beer and liquor on the sly, and rumor was, payment was giving him a hummer. I'll never forget one night when I was bartending nights in a pizza parlor where he frequently brought his underage flock for treats, and we had to keep an eye on him when he ordered a pitcher of suds and sat at a partially shielded table.

That night he did his usual routine of rushing the can and soon decided on a second pitcher, so he sent this angelic looking innocent to order one. She gave me the doe-eyes and I told her she couldn't order as she was underage, and if they were sitting with the Reverend, he would have to get his butt up and order it himself, or words to that effect, and I told her there better not be any underage drinking back there.

He came up to the bar all grumpy and blustered that we should know that his flock was safe with him, and there wouldn't be any problems. Sure, pal. I waited a couple of minutes and he hit the men's room, so I immediatly went back to look and sure enough, all five kids at his table had a partially consumed beer in front of them, so I whipped all of the glasses away and took the pitcher as well.

He came out of the bathroom all groomed and sen-senned, saw the beer was gone and came up to gimme the what-for. He didn't even get a chance to open his mouth, I quietly read him the riot act as a foot-in-the-door, and told him one more incident and he'd be banned. He was steaming, but as some of the customers were looking sideways and listening, he thanked me for watching over his "kids" and stalked back to his table.

One by one the kids at his table left until it was only him and the girl, and one of the waitresses was surreptisciously keeping an eye on him when she went back to wait other tables. Soon enough, she came up to me and told me something funny was going on, but she felt a man oughta get involved. Great. I unscrewed a Bud handle and she grinned.

I walked quietly back and observed one hand was going out of sight under the table while the other was "supporting" the girl as she leaned back against his shoulder. She was a little drunk, I could tell right away, and he was motormouthing about his "Youth Missionaries" he wanted her join, so I reached over from behind and grabbed his wandering arm. They both jumped, and as he whipped his head around, he klonked it on the divider hard. Yeah! I stared him down - he kept looking like he was gonna say something, but didn't; must've been a first for him.

Meanwhile she was adjusting what could only be her panties, and I must've looked like I was going to explode, 'cause she got bright red and slid out and away, still adjusting as she walked. I had gone to school with her older sister, and she was only 16 while he was 25, so he was in hot shit as far as I was concerned.

He still wasn't talking as he wrenched loose and pushed past me. He looked back once before he left, and I was still staring him down. That was my first encounter with anything like that, and he was smart enough to get out fast. We had an off-duty cop that worked security for us, so I called him right away, and he said no problem he'd get someone right on it.

Three hours later, at 1:00 am as I was closing, a detective called and got my side of the story and said they'd be in touch if anything eventuated. The next day I got the juice from our cop - the guy wasn't truly fucked, only partially so, as the girl denied anything happened. I know what I saw, tho, and he was only a few inches away from getting a tap handle across the forehead.

Back then, there were still a few old-fashioned cops that liked to ask the hard questions, and the detectives let them do their stuff. The Rev never squawked, the cops took a statement from him that was effectively blackmail for future occasions, and the girl was removed from the youth group by her parents, altho not entirely from that "church". Our cop said Rev was on a watch list now, and soon enough he was sent to another city and I never heard about him again.

His youth group later really was banned from the restaurant when they got rowdy one Friday night and the cops came thru the door en mass - the Rev's replacement wasn't the Svengali he had been. I saw the girl occasionally around the 'hood, and she would never make eye contact, even when she was standing next to her sister while we were talking. I felt sorry for her - that bastard knew better, and I hope he's burning in that hell of his. No sympathy from me for any of hypocrites.