Kafka was a real ray of sunshine, especially with writer’s block. This is what it’s like.
You might have already heard of Kickstarter which , according to its web site, is the crowdfunding “home for everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of projects, big and small, that are brought to life through the direct support of people like you. Since our launch in 2009, 5.5 million people have pledged $945 million, funding 55,000 creative projects. Thousands of creative projects are raising funds on Kickstarter right now.”
Essentially this means that if you are, say, trying to find scarce dollars for a controversial film project that corporate America might overlook, you can turn to the public through Kickstarter and say, “Hey we have a worthwhile story to tell and we want your help getting that story out.”
Which brings us to Kidnapped for Christ, the documentary about the deplorable right-wing re-education facility in the Dominican Republic where LGBT teens have been sent by parents and preachers to pray the gay away. It’s a story that started out very differently, according to this interview done by the website Christian Nightmares.
You started off with the intention of making a pro-Escuela Caribe film. Can you talk about that and explain what changed along the way?
Yes, when I originally got the idea to make this film, I had no idea that anything controversial was going on at this school. I was under the impression that Escuela Caribe was an alternative therapy program where troubled teens could learn about another culture and work through their issues in a safe environment away from the bad influences back home.
My first clue that things might not be what they seem was when I got in contact with some former students of the school. They told me some very disturbing stories about abuse that they suffered there. However, most of them had been there 10-20 years ago, so I wasn’t sure if any of those things were still going on, or if these were just isolated incidents.
What shocked you the most about what was going on at the school?
I could tell stories for days about the bizarre and humiliating treatment that many students received at Escuela Caribe, but to me the most shocking thing was that no one was doing anything about it. For example, there were students there who had been sexually assaulted as children, and yet they were hit on the ass with a leather paddle just like everyone else. No one seemed to realize how wildly inappropriate this “treatment” was for any child, but much less for one who was the victim of abuse previous to come to the program.
And now the entire sordid hateful story is going to get its airing at the Sundance Film Festival. This is awesome news because the wingnuts hate nothing more than public exposure of their activities. The more the public knows the true nature of their co-called “Christian love,” the more the public turns away from them as the charlatans they all are.
This is why they try to tuck these activities away in Third World countries, where education is low and ignorance is rampant — not to mention hidden from the eyes of the prying Western media.
So a grand jury has refused to indict a Tennessee pastor for clear violations of laws against keeping poisonous snakes without a license. Presumably this jury of the pastor’s freakish Bible Belt peers decided his religious beliefs were more important than the law.
Let’s hope someone official has a way around this. At least they didn’t give the lunatic his snakes back.
But this quote from a church member caught my eye:
“To me it violated my right as an American to have my freedom of religion. It shouldn’t matter to people if the Lord moves on me and I feel like I need to take up a six-foot rattlesnake. I should have that God-given right,” he said.
Talk to any old snake you find in the grass in public and you’d be locked up. Deservedly so.
Talk to a snake in church and you’re in touch with The Lord.
Crazy worlds these people and their redneck peers inhabit.
Pastor Andrew Hamblin has also appeared on National Geographic Channel’s reality show “Snake Salvation,” a prospect that must’ve had the learned scientists who began the deeply respected National Geographic Society doing 200 RPMs in their graves.