DO 1845 20/9/82—More Memories!
1. MS. GRAHAM'S BROTHER CAME DOWN TO SEE US WHEN WE WERE STARTING THE JESUS REVOLUTION. Ms. Graham is the one who is Chairman of the Board of Time Incorporated: The Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Washington Post, Time Magazine & Herald Tribune‚ they're all under her Time Corporation. She's a dear old Jewess about in her 80's now I think. Good night, I think she was almost that old when we started the Revolution, so she's probably dead!—Although I think I heard she was still alive! (She is!)
2. HER BROTHER CAME ALL THE WAY DOWN FROM LOS ANGELES TO SEE ME IN HUNTINGTON BEACH, sat in Grandmother's little parlour & interviewed me for a couple of hours, he was so curious about this Youth Revolution. And he was very sincere! He was very very respectful, a Jew of course, but a very sincere good Jew.—One of those good Jews—kind of rare! He even bowed his head when I prayed for him before he left, for a safe journey back.
3. HE WROTE A SERIES OF ARTICLES ON US THEN WHICH WERE ALMOST PROPHETIC! He said, "I can see the future now, what they're going to be doing!" This was before we ever wore a robe or anything, he said, "I can see long robes like prophets!" He may have been psychic! I mean, that was really something! He wrote a series of two or three articles on us, when normally in his column he never continued a subject like that. But he was impressed, he seemed to have a witness that this was something very important, & I'm sure the Lord by His Spirit did it. He was one of the favourable ones—we had lots of other kinds of articles too!
4. GOD BLESS THAT OTHER YOUNG FELLOW THAT FOLLOWED US AROUND ALL THE TIME FROM THAT COSTA MESA NEWSPAPER, HE THOUGHT WE WERE REALLY SOMETHING TOO! We were practically headlines every single issue & the big news every weekend was which church were we going to next!—Escorted by the police! Finally they started attacking our caravan by stopping us for broken brake lights‚ tail lights & broken windshield wipers!—You know‚ the old harassment!
5. WE'D HAVE REPORTERS JUST BEGGING US TO KNOW WHERE WE WERE GOING SO THEY COULD BE THERE! I'd say‚ "I'm sorry, but we never know where we're going until we get together & pray, then the Lord leads us where we're supposed to go! We never know what church we're supposed to go to." And they'd say, "Ah‚ come on now! Can't you let us in on it? We'll give you a good write-up! We'll meet you there!" I'd say, "The only thing you can do is just come down to the Club & meet us there & go with us, 'cause we never know where we're going!" Once in awhile some would do it, but apparently most of them didn't want to get up that early in the morning on Sunday.
6. WE'D GO DOWN & HAVE A PRAYER MEETING AT THE CLUB FIRST FOR ABOUT AN HOUR, & PRAY & ASK THE LORD WHERE TO GO‚ & EITHER ME OR SOMEBODY WOULD GET THE VISION OR IDEA OF WHAT CHURCH NEEDED US NEXT. Church services start at 11 o'clock so we had to time it just right. We never got there before the service started—the only time we ever did is where we made our biggest mistake & got thrown out! That was Bob Schuller's Drive-In Church‚ the biggest church in all Orange County! The auditorium held about 2,000 people & they had several hundred out in the parking lot!
7. THE BIG BRUISER BOUNCER CAME UP & SAID, "YOU CAN'T COME IN HERE DRESSED LIKE THAT!" We were all hippie-style, you know. I had on a kimono & looked like I was really ready for karate or something! I had this big yoke hanging around my neck with a cross in the middle of a Jewish star & I was really a poor mixed-up guru!—Ha!
8. I SAID, "WHAT DO YOU MEAN? WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE WAY WE'RE DRESSED?" He said, "You've got to have a suit coat & tie on here!" So I looked up at the 2,000 people that were sitting there & I said, "Well, look at that guy over there‚ he hasn't got a suit coat & tie on!" There were oodles of people in Southern California in sports clothes, sports jackets & sports shirts. He said, "Listen, buddy, don't give me any of that back-talk!" See, I caught him with his own so-called rule.
9. HE SAID, "WHAT I MEAN IS, BUDDY, OUT YOU GO!—AND IF YOU DON'T GET GOING WE'RE GOING TO PICK YOU UP & THROW YOU OUT!" He was the local policeman who was a member of the church & it apparently had a Board of Bouncers! So dear Miguel gets up, he was a radical in those days & he wasn't afraid of anything. He got up & started spoutin' off & telling the audience what this guy was saying to us‚ so the cop just picked him up & threw him right through the door into the yard!
10. SO I GOT UP & I WAS A LITTLE BIT WISER, I STARTED TELLING THE WHOLE AUDIENCE AT THE TOP OF MY VOICE WHY THEY WERE TURNING US OUT! I said, "They say we're not properly dressed, that we should have suit coats & ties on! (Pointing:) You don't have on a suit coat & tie! You don't have, you don't have, you don't have! Why don't they throw you out instead of us, huh?"—But I kept walking towards the door. You know, you can't fight City Hall, you've got to know when you're out-numbered, & I didn't particularly relish being thrown out.
11. BUT WE HAD A LOT OF FUN THAT DAY! WE WENT OUT ON THE LAWN RIGHT OUTSIDE THE DOOR & THERE WAS A GORGEOUS LIFE-SIZE WHITE MARBLE STATUE OF THORWALDSEN'S CHRIST with His hands spread outward, you know, looking downward. By that time there were about 10 squad cars, they'd already called the cops long before, apparently. They came screamin' up & lined up in the parking lot out there. And thank God the police are usually really pretty sensible, they have enough trouble without causing themselves any trouble. So they just pulled up to see what was happening & what was the big furor. "What were they doing? Tearing up the church? Breaking the plate glass windows? Murdering the people or what?" These Church people really got freaked out!—Just one hippie & they'd absolutely go berserk! They even threatened to kill some of our people that day!
12. SO WE WERE SORT OF LIKE BETWEEN THE DEVIL & THE DEEP BLUE COPS! I figured we couldn't go back in, but I didn't exactly relish walking out between all of those squad cars either!—Ha! So I looked at that statue & said, "Hey kids, this is great! We've done what they said. This is supposed to be an indoor-outdoor church here‚ you know! They advertise the 'drive-in church'‚ so why don't we just sit right down here on the lawn in front of Jesus!—He'll accept us!" So we sat right down at Jesus' feet, all 75 of us there, strung out in about three rows. Hippies are always used to sittin' down cross–legged & meditating & whatnot, & we sat down right under the statue of Christ.
13. NOBODY COULD'VE MISSED THE SYMBOLISM: THE CHURCH HAD KICKED US OUT‚ THE COPS WERE READY TO TAKE US IN, BUT JESUS RECEIVED US! Even if it was just a statue symbolising Jesus‚ at least they got the idea. So the cops were smart, they just stood in the background, stayed in the parking lot. Then we saw the big bruiser that had thrown us out talking to the cops all excited while the Sheriff was just standing there holding his cigarette unperturbed. Thank God for cool cops that keep their cool! I guess they were used to these excitable church people.
14. WHAT A TESTIMONY!—And what a poor witness for a church like that to get all excited! The Sheriff wanted to know, "What did they do?—Commit some kind of crime or violence or kill the preacher? Did they break the windows or tear up the benches or what?" He said, "No‚ but they walked in there lookin' like that & they walked right up front!" etc. We said, "Well‚ you've got to come early to get a back seat & there was no place else to sit but up front!"—And that's a fact! Any church always starts filling up from the back on down. They don't want to get any closer to the preacher than they can help, so there was no place else to sit but up front & on the platform steps!
15. BUT THIS CHURCH WAS A POPULAR CHURCH, IT WAS FILLED FROM BACK TO FRONT, THE FRONT SEATS WERE PACKED TOO, SO THERE WAS NO PLACE ELSE FOR US TO GO. But they had this nice big round platform, it looked like bleachers in reverse with steps like this, so we just sat down in the nearest place, all spread out on these steps right under the rostrum looking back at the audience. I think at first a lot of them thought the church was having some kind of a Christmas pageant or a skit or some kind of a play! We looked like shepherds except we didn't have any staffs. Well, I did carry some kind of a staff or something.
16. I THINK THEY THOUGHT, "THIS IS A FAR–OUT PREACHER THAT HAS THIS FANCY CHURCH & HE'S USED TO DOING THINGS DIFFERENT!" He had this parking lot where they were all lined up just like an outdoor drive-in theater where you could drive your car up alongside the speaker, pull the speaker into the car & hear the sermon. You could be dressed for the beach or in a bikini or whatnot, & this made it real convenient. You could just stop there for a few minutes on your way to the beach, drive in, listen to the sermon & off you go! You wouldn't have to waste any time or get all dressed up, so it became very popular.
17. THAT PARKING LOT WAS USUALLY PACKED WITH ABOUT 500 CARS, THE PEOPLE ALL PUTTING THE LITTLE LOUD SPEAKERS INTO THEIR CARS. Some of you probably never saw a drive-in theater, but the speakers hung on a post & you drove up alongside the post, opened your window, reached out & grabbed one & set it on the door of your car & listened to the sermon. There were a couple thousand people inside the church & there must've been at least a thousand out there in the cars.
18. THE WHOLE WALL FACING THE PARKING LOT WAS GLASS, SO YOU COULD SEE THE PEOPLE INSIDE & THEY COULD SEE YOU OUTSIDE! Then the preacher stood on kind of a balcony way up high‚ half in the church & half outside the church.—Very clever idea, you know, pretty far-out as far as churches go! At least he was trying to reach people on the outside, which is more than most preachers try to do!
19. SO WE ALWAYS HAD A P.R. MAN, USUALLY A COUPLE OF THEM ALL DRESSED IN SUIT COAT & TIE REAL NICE‚ & ONE OF OUR BOYS WENT BACK & TALKED TO THE SHERIFF ETC. At least 20 of the church members had followed us out the door & sat down with us‚ & some of their leading members went back & argued with the Sheriff & said, "Well‚ these people didn't do a thing! They just walked in perfectly peaceful & quiet, there wasn't any demonstration‚ nothing!" They asked‚ "Well, were they disturbing the service?" The usher said‚ "Yes, they were disturbing the service!" The other guy said, "What do you mean?—The service hadn't even started yet! They weren't disturbing anything!"—And they were arguing amongst themselves. It must've been like in the days of Paul & the Sanhedrin with the Scribes & the Pharisees & the Sadducees all fighting it out!
20. SO WE JUST SAT THERE PEACEFULLY, & BY THIS TIME THE MUSIC HAD BEGUN, THE ORGAN PLAYING ALL THOSE LOVELY SLEEPY-TIME LULLABIES. The preacher went up in the rostrum inside the church‚ then it rolled out to this position half-in-&-half-out & he began making the announcements & they had the singing & we just sat there smiling & enjoying it. Every now & then somebody in our group would say, "Praise the Lord! Amen!" So they said, "See! Look how they disturb the service! Listen to them talking out there!"—And the Sheriff just sort of grinned. Some of these old sinners have got more common sense than some of these church people! He said, "Well, I don't see that they're disturbing anybody! They're sitting there perfectly quiet minding their own business listening to the preacher." He refused to arrest us, God bless him, & the rest of the cops agreed with him. Apparently they had had a little problem with those church people before.
21. SO THE CHURCH PEOPLE WERE THE PROBLEM, NOT US!—Ha! That was true in Jesus' day too. They thought Jesus & His disciples were the problem, but it was the Scribes & the Pharisees that were the problems, right? So they said, "Well, we'll stay here & make sure they don't make any trouble. As long as they sit there peaceful & quiet we're not going to bother them. They haven't committed any crimes or done anything." In California it was a crime, or a misdemeanour at least, to disturb a church service, but we hadn't disturbed anybody except those ushers! Ha!
22. AND THE PREACHER GOT SO INSPIRED BY US BEING THERE THAT HE PREACHED NEARLY HIS WHOLE SERMON OUT THE WINDOW TOWARD US! He never had such an attentive crowd, so responsive, saying, "Amen! PTL! Hallelujah! Preach it, Brother!" I mean, he was a good Gospel preacher!—Bob Schuller Jr. was his name. (Sara: He had a TV show, we saw him in France.) That's what I heard. Mother & I knew him. His father was a famous evangelist & this was his young sprout who started this church, the biggest in all Orange County!
23. SO WE JUST SAT THERE & BEHAVED OURSELVES, & FINALLY THE CHURCH SERVICE WAS OVER & THEY ALL STOOD UP TO SING THE DOXOLOGY, & WE STOOD UP & SANG IT WITH THEM. All the squad cars & the Sheriff's deputies were behind us & a few of these devils in front of us & they dismissed & we just started to leave. But a lot of the church people then rushed out & shook hands with us & congratulated us. A lot of them were real hospitable & said, "We're very glad that you came & thank you for coming" etc. A lot of them were really broad-minded & had a lot more common sense than that stupid idiotic "watchdog of the faith" that tried to bite us!
24. WELL ANYWAY, IT WAS A THRILLING TIME IN THE FAMILY THEN! It was a real testimony & of course it hit the headlines in the newspaper the next day: "Hippies Invade Largest Church in Orange County!" (See BOR2, Pg.100-101.) It wasn't the biggest church in Southern California—Angelus Temple, Aimee's church, was the biggest & held 5,000—but it was a big church.
25. I WOULDN'T SAY MOST OF THE CROWD WELCOMED US, HOWEVER, BECAUSE SOME OF THEM WERE ALMOST WORSE THAN THE BOUNCER! We were passing out Warning Tracts to everybody, & one of our boys, I think it was dear ol' Sir Robert, who stepped in the way of this big bruiser, offered him a tract, & he said, "Get out of my way or I'll kill ya!" So Sir Robert dropped to his knees right in front of him & said‚ "I'm ready to go! I love Jesus, go right ahead!" And the guy goes‚ "Grrrrrrr!" & just stalked around him & went on by.
26. I'LL TELL YOU, SOME OF THOSE GUYS WERE SO FULL OF HATE THEY COULD'VE KILLED US IF THE LORD HADN'T PROTECTED US! Some of the kids got kicked or hit, & if you got in the way of their cars roaring around the parking lot‚ they acted like they were out to hit you if they could!—Christians!—Nice church people, almost the most Evangelical church in all Orange County, the richest county in California, the richest State in the United States in the richest country in the World!—All "good Christians" ready to kill the hippies!—Now they're ready to kill the whole World with an Atom War!—It's just such "Christians" who are rattlin' the missiles! God help us!—I'll tell you, it's dangerous to be a truly bold witness!—Are you?—But now it's a beautiful memory of those thrilling days of our beginnings!—And they're still exciting if you're a missionary & a faithful witness!—Are you?—God bless & keep you safe‚ in Jesus' name‚ amen!