Sister Aimee

Discussions of new films, books, television shows, and media indirectly related to magic and magicians. For example, there may be a book on mnemonics or theatrical technique we should know or at least know about.

Postby Guest » 11/25/07 06:27 PM

I was looking through the PBS catalog and saw
this video from American Experience.
Was curious if anyone here saw it.

Sounds interesting ....

The blurb says:

"Sister Aimee tell the life story of Aimee McPherson, the controversial evangelist who was
instrumental in bringing conservitive Protestantism into mainstream cultur. During her emotional revivals McPherson performed healings that drew begger crowds than those of PT Barnum or Houdini. Through interviews with historians scholards this program presents a revealing prograit of one of the most signifcant religious figures of the 20th century."

Postby Guest » 11/25/07 07:17 PM

I did see it and found it very interesting. She was certainly a pioneer in Revivalism; a woman and by far the most successful of her time. The show chronicles her rise and fall. Were there specific questions you had? It is fairly obvious that the woman minister in "Elmer Gantry" is modeled on her.


Postby Guest » 11/25/07 08:35 PM

Nothing specific.

i am going to see if the library system
has a copy. it seems interesting.

Postby Matthew Field » 11/26/07 04:55 AM

Originally posted by mai-ling:

the life story of Aimee McPherson, the controversial evangelist
Aimee Semple McPherson is perhaps best remembered for her advice to people to repeat the following "mantra" : "Every day, in every way, I'm getting better and better."

Matt Field
User avatar
Matthew Field
Posts: 2605
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hastings, England, UK

Postby Guest » 11/26/07 05:40 AM

Originally posted by Matthew Field:
Aimee Semple McPherson is perhaps best remembered for her advice to people to repeat the following "mantra" : "Every day, in every way, I'm getting better and better."

Matt Field [/QUOTE]

Actually, that's Emile Coue's line...

Postby Guest » 11/26/07 06:47 AM

I remember my grandmother visiting the Angeles Temple, the huge auditorium that Sister Aimee built. Over each chair hung a long cord with a clothespin at the end. During the service she asked for the donation or "love offering," saying that she just "couldn't stand the jingling of silver." That meant the offering had to be in paper, thus a minimum of a dollar, hung in full view of everyone.

Some observed that there were stooges salted in the audience who put up five and ten dollar bills. This was during the Great Depression when money was tight. Sister Aimee was a real hustler.

Postby Guest » 11/26/07 07:14 AM

sounded like a postlude to the spiritulism
era...with a sucker twist.

i can't wait to get the DVD now.
On hold from a library ...

Postby Guest » 12/06/07 01:08 AM

That just shows you how accurate a PBS blurb can be. To say that Aimee McPherson was instrumental in bringing conservative Protestantism into mainstream culture would be like saying that P.T. Barnum was instrumental in bringing opera into mainstream culture, because he booked Jenny Lind on a big tour.

Postby Guest » 12/06/07 03:23 PM

This may not be a discussion for this Forum, but the idea that she brought "conservative" protestant revivalism to mainstream culture, can be questioned. Pentecostalism was considered out of the mainstream of evangelicalism...even heretical. The idea of a WOMAN preaching, much less running a church/denomination, was considered very unbiblical/liberal for the norm.

While she believed in NOT boring her audience, her presentations and promotions, were regarded as an affront to the dignity of the Church/Gospel.
Her not scapecoating those of other religions, and not making those of different races feel unwelcome to her services, was out of step for many fundamentalists/evangelicals of that time, who considered her too liberal/apostate in those matters.

Anthony Quinn, wrote glowingly of the many who were fed/helped by her church, and said she was more fascinating than Garbo or Hepburn.
Looking at the companion book, it is as if the author has "discovered" a religous movement, already over a century old, with 10s of millions of adherents, and lacks that perspective.

Postby Guest » 12/16/07 12:53 PM

Well stated. To really understand Sister Aimee, one should listen to Pete Seeger sing the song about Aimee McPherson. Although the name of her radio engineer gets messed up in the Seeger lyrics, it's a fairly factual assessment of Sister Aimee and her "kidnaping."

Postby Guest » 12/17/07 02:47 AM

I think the engineer was Robert/Roger Ormiston. Once the speculation of the (then) media nationwide, and now forgotten.

Return to Alternative Media