This is probably the most terrifying thing I have ever seen. Four year-old Kanon Tipton is a "preacher." Yes, you read that correctly. Of course, I used quotation marks because there is no possible way that a 4 year-old has any real concept of what he's actually saying or doing.
This sort of thing isn't new. Back in 1972, the documentary Marjoe exposed child evangelist Marjoe Gortner as a fraud. Admitting that what he had perpetrated on his followers was completely fake, he later went on to become a B-movie actor, tapping his skills to appear in B-movies like Earthquake* and The Food of the Gods, using the fakery he'd learned as a tent-revivalist to make a second career for himself as a semi-successful actor in the 70's and 80's. Marjoe, now 67, officially retired in January of 2010:
Like Gortner, Tipton is merely parroting the words and actions of his father, without any real-world context. Ask yourself what you remember from being 4. I have some flashes and snippets. Playing with Colorforms; the basic layout of our Trenton, NJ row home; moving the day before my 4th birthday and the G.I. Joe my godmother gave me for that birthday. That's about it.
And also like Gortner, Tipton is most certainly being exploited to bilk the weak-minded and gullible into giving money to charlatans. As far as I am concerned, this is child abuse and brain-washing at its worst. And the fact that a "legitimate" news outlet like the Today Show is willing to participate in the lie, just makes my blood boil. Watch the clip below (via) and decide for yourself:
It amazes me that in the 21st Century, people still fall for this kind of chicanery. Even worse, some of our Presidential candidates believe this nonsense. I honestly fear for our future as a society. Can you say "Scientific Education Fail?" I'm ashamed to admit that I can.
*On an unrelated side note, Uncle P's sister had to leave the theatrer during Earthquake's "Sensurround" sequences because they hurt her ears.