A Pentecostal Christian-Turned-Atheist is Making a Documentary About Losing God December 15, 2013

A Pentecostal Christian-Turned-Atheist is Making a Documentary About Losing God

Two years ago, Josh Preville was a Pentecostal Christian. Today, he’s an atheist.

The process was a difficult one but he got through it (in part by writing a letter to his family explaining his decisions). Josh is now working on a documentary in which he discusses faith with a variety of atheists and Christians. No big names; just people from both sides who have very strong beliefs and want to share them.

(The guys at 0:26 and 1:49 will make you all sorts of angry.)

If you’d like to help Josh, he’s trying to raise money to get better equipment, finish the film, and distribute it properly. As with other films like this, I firmly believe the more projects like this that are out there, the more likely it’ll have an impact on the people who need to see it the most. Please consider chipping in.

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  • GubbaBumpkin

    So he’s a mentalist. I wonder if this figured in his journey.

  • what is a “mentalist?” as i understand the word, it, or a variation on it used to be used to describe people who were totally filled with woo. “i can use my mentalist powers to make you see things, talk to the dead and spirits all around us” that sort of stuff. did the definition change?

    this seems like a nice project and i wish him well. but i’m getting a little tired of everyone in the world believing they are worthy of kickstarter dollars, so they can make their own personal movie. i like the kickstarter concept a lot. but i’d like to see it used less (KS and all these ‘raise money with a youtube about your project’ sites) for entertainment projects, and more for those which will actually make a significant difference in people’s lives, in a positive and as-close-to-as-possible instant way.

    i have limited funds for charity. i can watch atheist videos, made for free by passionate people, any time. now, if the kid were leading a project to incorporate and fund a whole studio or production house devoted to telling stories like these, including from lots of other people, i’d be down with that. but “help me make this movie cause i want to make a movie but i can’t afford it all by myself” isn’t that compelling to me.

  • GubbaBumpkin

    My understanding is that mentalism is

    a performing art in which its practitioners, known as mentalists, appear to demonstrate highly developed mental or intuitive abilities. Performances may appear to include telepathy, clairvoyance, divination, precognition, psychokinesis, mediumship, mind control, memory feats and rapid mathematics. Hypnosis may also be used as a stage tool. Mentalists are sometimes referred to as psychic entertainers…

    I.e. a form of “stage magic.” Criss Angel or Derren Brown, for example. Those would be examples of “good” mentalists who acknowledge that they are performing stagecraft, not using real psychic powers.

  • Claws

    Indiegogo isn’t really a charity site though, it is about getting (often media related) projects started – and usually getting something back for that – I think it is that aspect, the one where you actually purchase something and not just donate, that is getting overlooked more often these days.

  • Rain

    The Amazing Kreskin is a mentalist. His most amazing mental feat is flattering the hell out of every host that ever interviews him. That’s always the first mental feat that he always performs. Flattering the hell out of every living freaking thing in sight that moves or breathes, lol.

  • Rain

    It’s worth the donation just to see all the idiots hucksters being interviewed. Not! Not good for blood pressure, lol.

  • Katwise

    Mentalist? Maybe he means to say rationalist.

  • busterggi

    I like that last part where the padre explains how you can be sure a person has a demon in them because the person starts shouting profanely – clearly the demon of bad-aim-when-using-a-hammer is the ruler of hell.

  • EvidenceBasedDecisions

    Over the next two – three generations as religion effectively dies out, I expect that more and more people will wish to share their cathartic “Road to Damascus” deconversion stories.

  • Watch out if you have Tourette!

  • momtarkle

    I saw no evidence of young Josh’s capabilities as a mentalist, by any definition, and feel absolutely no compulsion to help him make a film where he “discusses faith” with “people with strong beliefs”. If you, dear reader, want to donate to people with strong beliefs, I want you to know that I strongly believe I’m gonna go pour myself a beer right now. Please send me money.

  • jjramsey

    Judging from the following video, “mentalist” is exactly what he means. Looks like he’s a magician: http://vimeo.com/20803115

  • UWIR

    “Lost God”? That’s rather odd phrasing.

  • SeekerLancer

    Mentalists are magicians who do the same stuff “psychics” do just without lying about it.

  • Mick

    At the 1:50 mark some guy agrees that he wouldn’t mind killing a child if the mood struck him. I wonder if Josh has reported him to a child welfare group or is he just going to sit back and see what happens next.

  • Found him.

  • Randay

    Isn’t it a TV series in which a guy uses what poker players call “a tell”, i.e. unconscious habitual actions some players do that “tell” a good player whether they are bluffing or not.

  • atheismFTW

    And his kid was right there when he said he’d kill his son if God wanted him to. That was all sorts of awful. But this is what you get when a society values supernatural, superstitious beliefs over logic.

  • GubbaBumpkin

    While there is a strong tradition of rational skepticism among magicians, thanks primarily to the efforts of James Randi, there are magicians who are believers.

    Here’s a hilarious book by magician & messianic Jew Danny Korem, co-authored by Paul D. Meier:

    The Fakers
    It takes on the usual woo targets of skepticism: astrology, psychic powers, etc. but each chapter ends with something like this: “It’s a shame that this fake magic distracts people from the real magic of Jesus.” To give you some idea of the quality of religious apologetics, the foreword is by Josh McDowell.

  • $84687101

    Yeah, guy at 0:26 made me want to scream. Which according to the guy at the end means I’m only foaming at the mouth away from demonic possession.

    Seriously, the “all gay men have been abused or had a dysfunctional relationship with their father” bit? Can he cite me the published research in which every single gay man in an appropriate random sample of the population had been abused or had a dysfunctional relationship with their father? I guess that dysfunctional relationship bit is a great out for him, all he has to do is find some flimsy excuse for calling your relationship dysfunctional and he’s “proven” his point. I suspect he knowingly inserted that bit as an escape hatch into special pleading. Not that he actually knows it would be special pleading, he may not even realize it’s intellectually dishonest, but he knows it’s his escape hatch.

    Meanwhile, what about lesbians? Trans-men and women?

  • Cogito Ergo Sum

    Totally agree. To riff off of your thoughts, I’d put it this way: Just because you feel compelled to tell your story to the world, doesn’t mean you should be given the opportunity. At this point, we’ve seen so many of these variations on a theme. It’s often — and quite naturally — an ego-driven pursuit that adds little to the conversation. Do it on YouTube for next to nothing. If done well, perhaps it will go viral and receive more exposure anyway.

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