Mike Marinacci – California Jesus

Based on an interview I conducted with my longtime friend Mike Marinacci in early 2105, I was contacted by a representative from Ronin Press about him possibly writing a book consisting of the entries from his Caifia’s Children blog. Fast forward to 2017, and the wonderful California Jesus has just been released.

We spoke about this genesis and the weird characters who have arrived in California over the past couple of centuries to peddle their brands of Christianity, which have ranged from the simply strange to the downright frightening and even illegal. William Monéy, the man who published the first English language book in Los Angeles (with a Spanish translation alongside the text) also performed such stunts as having himself buried alive to prove his faith and religious authority. (He screamed immediately to be let out as the dirt fell on top of the box he was in.)

We also examined the birth of the modern Pentecostal movement in a small house near present-day downtown L.A., Bebe and Thomas Patten, upon whom later televangelists modeled their acts (Thomas berated parishoners for large donations and then said that the Almighty wanted him and his wife to have a big house and shiny new cars) and even the scandal-ridden life of Thomas Jeffers, who was involved with white supremacist groups, weird (for the time) sex scandals, and who spent his life in and out of jail cells.


This entry was posted in all around general weirdness, counterculture, forgotten history and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Mike Marinacci – California Jesus

  1. Greg,

    Thanks again for the interview, and for posting the sound file of it. Hope it enlightens and entertains your listeners for a long time!

  2. I wonder if Rushdoony and Christian Reconstructionism was considered as a chapter topic.

    The rise and fall of Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral could have only happened in California.

    • Greg says:


      Check the linked site (Califia’s Children) to see if Mike has written about them. You can also email mike directly at the address he provided a the end of the show.

  3. Dave M says:

    Greg, when I first read about the California Jesus episode, I didn’t think it sounded that interesting. I’m glad I listened. Almost all the topics I had never heard of. Virtually every story held my attention. Thanks for having Mike Marinacci on. Dave M

  4. Peter says:

    Thank you for the episode. It may be covered in your guest’s book, but extremism scholar Michael Barkun mentions in his book on Christian Identity that Rev. Wesley A. Swift integrated the UFO phenomenon and ancient visitation into his belief system, which is interesting in part as this occurred before von Daniken.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *