I got two bits of cool swag at The Amazing Meeting.  At my book-signing yesterday, a nice fellow came up to me and, before getting his book signed, presented me with two things. The first was a DVD of “Marjoe,” the documentary about the famous evangelist Marjoe Gortner, who started preaching at age four and then subsequently exposed the whole business as a lucrative scam. (“Marjoe” won the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1972.)

Here’s a clip of 8-year-old Marjoe preaching:

As one of the commenters notes below, the entire movie is on YouTube, and it’s well worth watching.

It turns out that the man bearing gifts was Marjoe’s nephew Brian Gortner: an atheist!

Oh, and Brian gave me this most awesome present, which he had specially made in Southeast Asia. He said it’s one of only five existing specimens: a Hitchens bobblehead doll!!!!!


It will not have escaped your notice that Hitch has his ciggie and glass of Mr. Walker’s amber restorative, and his name is on the base. This will have a place of honor in my office.

And D. J. Grothe of the James Randi Educational Foundation, a lovely fellow, presented me (and all the speakers) with a personalized bottle of wine, etched with our names:



  1. NewEnglandBob
    Posted July 14, 2013 at 7:11 am | Permalink


  2. gbjames
    Posted July 14, 2013 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Wow. What an awesome collection of trophies!

    I remember seeing Marjoe back in ’72 or so. In a theater in Madison, if memory serves.

    A glass of that wine might help my memory out… 😉

    • gbjames
      Posted July 14, 2013 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      (and sub)

  3. gbjames
    Posted July 14, 2013 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    The Hitchens doll is apparently available online. (Also Charles Darwin!)

    • gbjames
      Posted July 14, 2013 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      And Richard Dawkins!

    • Notagod
      Posted July 14, 2013 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      Looks like the Hitchens is sold out though. There isn’t an “Add to Cart” button as there is, for example, the Darwin. The Darwin shows that there are 2 available and the Hitchens doesn’t show an entry for the number available.

      • articulett
        Posted July 15, 2013 at 12:35 am | Permalink

        I ran into a guy at TAM who turned out to be Marjoe’s nephew! I was chuffed, as I was a fan of the documentary (I had read about it in Hitchen’s book and watched it online.) He told me about how there had been a Hitchens bobblehead, but that the artist had stopped making them, but that he was able to talk him into making 5 more– one of which he gave Jerry. He was thrilled that that Jerry posted it; he said he reads WEIT all the time. –I hope he starts posting here, as he’s outspoken atheist with some interesting experiences due to his paternal grandmother’s determination to turn out child preachers.

        I, myself, got some great swag at TAM– I think my favorite is my signed copy of WEIT with a kitteh inside. –But, even better than the swag, was getting to meet Jerry and other great skeptics from all over (and see friends from TAMs past like Sastra.)

  4. Posted July 14, 2013 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    You can see the full documentary on Marjoe here:

  5. Posted July 14, 2013 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Seemed to me that Hitch’s head was always most firmly attached to his shoulders….


    • Filippo
      Posted July 14, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      Just as the amber restorative to his hand.

  6. Diana MacPherson
    Posted July 14, 2013 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Wow – nice haul!

    I expected to be creeped out by the Marjoe video but I just found odd….

    • gravityfly
      Posted July 14, 2013 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Came across as a good example of child-abuse to me…

  7. gravityfly
    Posted July 14, 2013 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Well-deserved gifts, Jerry! Enjoy!

  8. will
    Posted July 14, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    How funny. I saw that Marjoe documentary while reading “God is Not Great”. Hitchens’ references it on page 160 & I underlined and jotted a note to check youtube for a clip in the book’s margin then found the movie. 🙂

    • Reginald Selkirk
      Posted July 14, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      I underlined and jotted a note…

      You defaced the Holy book?

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted July 14, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Must’ve been god 🙂

  9. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 14, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Try and decant that, Fakers!

  10. Diane G.
    Posted July 14, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Coolest swag ever.

  11. krzysztof1
    Posted July 14, 2013 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Cool–you deserve it all! The Hitch doll is AMAZING.

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