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Marjoe: A Child Evangelist Exposes the Scams

This 1972 documentary charts the life of Marjoe Gortner, who was raised from birth to be an evangelist preacher, and who eventually became a non-believing televangelist con artist. He came clean for the film crew and revealed the tactics he used to part fools and their money.

It’s available in full on YouTube:

3 comments to Marjoe: A Child Evangelist Exposes the Scams

  • imthemoon

    I watched this for the first time a few months ago. It was really frightening for me to see how everyone at the revivals just accepted what they were told and what was going on as being normal. The movie really allowed me to see how easily a charismatic person could form/lead a cult. From the inside it must all seem so comforting and normal, wanting to leave would seem like the scariest thing in the world. Even for Marjoe, knowing it’s all a sham, admits the Pentecostal church is very appealing. I hope more people pass this movie along.

  • pzeimet

    I just watched the entire movie (thanks for posting, Evan!). The tactics don’t surprise me because we’ve seen things like this before, but I bet it was quite the revelation in the early 1970s. The underlying theme I kept returning to while watching was “this is child abuse.” What Marjoe’s parents did was nothing short of criminal. After all those years here’s a man with no other skills or education. Thankfully he’s bright enough to recognize his lifestyle as deceit and want to get out.

    I looked up Marjoe on Wikipedia. Looks like in the late 1970s he scammed a film crew out of more money and left. I couldn’t find out what he’s doing today. Very sad.

  • pzeimet

    Oops, I meant “thanks for posting, Rebecca”

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