Bob Larson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Bob Larson
Born (1944-05-28) May 28, 1944 (age 70)
Westwood, Los Angeles, California, US
Residence Scottsdale, Arizona, US
Occupation Evangelical Christian pastor
Website
http://www.boblarson.org/

Bob Larson (born May 28, 1944) is an American radio and television evangelist, and a pastor of Spiritual Freedom Church in Phoenix, Arizona. Larson has authored numerous books on the subjects of rock music and Satanism, written from a Christian perspective.

Life and career

Larson was born in Westwood, Los Angeles, California, the son of Viola (née Baum) and Earl Larson.[1][2] He was raised in McCook, Nebraska.[1]

Larson plays guitar; he has claimed his early experiences as a musician led to his concerns about occult and destructive influences in rock music.[3] He would later incorporate his guitar playing into some of his sermons. In the 1960s, the focus of Larson's preaching centered mainly on the leftist political ideology, sexually suggestive lyrics, Eastern religious mysticism, and antisocial behavior of many of the era's rock musicians.

Debates with Satanists

During the late 1980s and into the 1990s, Bob Larson repeatedly debated, interviewed, and confronted Satanists, during the period known as the Satanic panic. On two separate occasions he hosted Nikolas Schreck (a gothic rock musician) and Zeena Lavey (once the spokesperson for the Church of Satan and later a priestess in the Temple of Set). During their first encounter the pair defended Satanism, while in 1997, during their second appearance, they defended Setianism. Larson debated the pair, and at times attempted to convert them without success.[4][5][6] [7][verification needed]

"Talk Back" with Bob Larson

In 1982, Larson launched "Talk Back", a two-hour weekday call-in show geared mainly toward teenagers and frequently focused on teen-oriented topics such as role-playing games and rock music. By this time Larson had come to embrace contemporary Christian music, including styles such as heavy metal and rap, and actively promoted the music and artists on his show.

By the late 1980s, in what would come to define his later ministry, Larson was often heard performing exorcisms of callers on the air. The subjects of Satanism and Satanic ritual abuse were frequent topics of discussion. Death metal performer Glen Benton of Deicide became a regular caller.

Larson tried his hand at writing fiction: Dead Air (1991) was largely ghost-written by Lori Boespflug and Muriel Olson.[8] His later novels Abaddon (1993) and The Senator's Agenda both linked Satanic ritual abuse to political corruption; the latter was largely written by Larson and his second wife. However, a former vice president of BLM (Bob Larson Ministries), Lori Boespflug, claimed that much of Dead Air, though presented as Larson's work, is actually her own. Supporting these claims is a letter from Larson's lawyer that warns Larson of his "potential liability to Lori", anticipating that "the role Lori has played" would lead her to "demand recognition and/or profit participation" in respect to Dead Air and its sequels.[3]

In 2004, Larson returned to the radio airwaves after a two-year absence with a daily talk show heard on a network of radio stations and simulcast and archived on the Internet.

Today, Larson remains active. His ministry professes to offer an alternative counseling outlet to people who have problems with violence, self-mutilation, multiple personality disorders, Satanic ritual abuse, or molestation.

Criticism

In 2013 Vice magazine taped a video of Larson's visit in several small towns in Ukraine where he performed exorcisms together with three teenage girls - his 18-years-old daughter Brynne Larson and her friends Tess and Savannah Sherkenback (18 and 21 respectively, all known as The Teenage Exorcists).[9] The Teenage Exorcists consequently published a reply to Vice Media's video stating that they "question the journalistic integrity of this Vice Media story and are disappointed by how we were falsely portrayed."[10]

Larson's seminars are free, but have been called a thinly veiled opportunity to sell books and DVDs, that are pushed frequently during his presentation, and where the audience is told that their attendance will be useless without such a purchase.[11]

Larson also offers to perform exorcisms over Skype (for a donation of $295).[12]

Bibliography

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Melton, J. Gordon (1999). Religious leaders of America: a biographical guide to founders and leaders of religious bodies, churches, and spiritual groups in North America. Gale Research. p. 321. ISBN 0-8103-8878-2. 
  2. ^ "Personals". McCook Daily Gazette. 1998-01-13. p. 4. Retrieved 2010-09-20. 
  3. ^ a b Jon Trott (1993). "Bob Larson's Ministry Under Scrutiny". Cornerstone 21 (100): 18, 37, 41–42. ISSN 0275-2743. Retrieved 2006-06-08. 
  4. ^ ""The First Family of Satanism"". 1989.
  5. ^ Bialik, Kristen (26 May 2012). "The Church of Satan Interviewed by Televangelist Bob Larson: Not the Conversation You Think It Is". Huffington Post. Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "Talk Back: First Family of Satanism". YouTube. 1989. Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  7. ^ ""Showdown with Satanism"". 1997.
  8. ^ Stollznow, Karen (2013). God Bless America. Pitchstone Publishing. p. 131. ISBN 978-1-939578-00-6. 
  9. ^ Charlet Duboc. "Teenage Exorcists". Vice (magazine). Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  10. ^ "Teenage Exorcists Respond to Vice Media Report". Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  11. ^ Stollznow, Karen. "Deliver Us From Bob Larson". Skeptic_(U.S._magazine). The Skeptics Society. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  12. ^ Gupta, Prachi. "“The Daily Show’s” Jessica Williams gets an exorcism via Skype". Salon (website). Retrieved 14 October 2014. 

External links