- Bob Larson
Bob Larson (born 1944 in
McCook, Nebraska) is a radio and television evangelist, currently based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Larson has authored numerous books on the subjects of rock music, cults, and Satanism, written from a Christian perspective. He has an active following in the Usenetcommunity at alt.fan.bob-larson.
Larson plays guitar; he has claimed his early experiences as a musician led to his concerns about
occultand destructive influences in rock music.cite journal | author = Jon Trott | year = 1993 | title = Bob Larson's Ministry Under Scrutiny | journal = Cornerstone | volume = 21 | issue = 100 | pages = 18, 37, 41–42 | id = ISSN|0275-2743 | url = http://www.cornerstonemag.com/features/iss100/larson.htm | accessdate = 2006-06-08 ] 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. Less flamboyant than the Peters Brothersand less sensational than Jack Chick, Jeff Godwin, or Jacob Aranza, Larson is still remembered as one of the most vocal fundamentalist Christian critics of rock music.
By the 1970s, however, much of Larson's teachings concerned
Satanism. Larson originally rejected Christian rock music based on its similarity in sound and image to secular rock music. Larson frequently appeared as a guest on secular and religious talk shows.
"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 abusewere frequent topics of discussion. Death metalperformers Glen Bentonof Deicide and Trey Azagthothof Morbid Angelbecame regular callers. Larson's willingness to accept callers' stories of Satanism and demon possession at face value was admirable, but regularly taken advantage of.Fact|date=March 2008 Many pranksters such as the 'Inner Circle' took delight in getting past Larson's call screeners.Fact|date=March 2008
The increasingly sensational tone of the show, combined with allegations of ethical and financial misbehavior Fact|date=March 2008 led many affiliates—including all of
Salem Communications' stations simultaneously—to drop the show in the early 1990s. Larson's marriageto his wife Kathryn ended in divorcein 1992. Larson eventually married his secretary with whom he has three daughters.
In the 1990s, "Talk Back" began losing much of its teen focus, though Satanism and exorcisms remained as the show's cornerstones. The show began incorporating more
right wingpolitically-oriented topics. Despite the new focus, the number of affiliates continued to decrease until Larson ended the show
Larson tried his hand at writing fiction: "Dead Air" (1991) was largely ghost-written by Lori Boespflug and Muriel Olson. His later novels "Abaddon" (1993) and "The Senator's Agenda" both linked
Satanic ritual abuseto 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.
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. His team is called "Doing What Jesus Did" and has branches all over the United States where people who are looking for help can find a contact person to come to their home for intense prayer and/or exorcisms.
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.
John Safran's Exorcism
Australianfilm maker John Safrancame to do a story on Bob Larson for John Safran vs God, a comedy/documentary series on world religions. The final episode was devoted entirely to this encounter. It lacked some of the humorous flair of the previous seven episodes, starting with a brief introduction to Bob. He talked about his past, and showed John a series of photographs of him with prominent political figures including Margaret Thatcher, George H. W. Bush, John Major, and Colin Powell, saying; "no one impresses me more as a human being than Colin Powell".
Soon after this the
exorcismstarted with Bob ordering Safran to speak on behalf of his Jewish ancestors and forgive Adolf Hitler. Safran's behaviour seemed to change; he lost his lisp, became violent and angry, and began to speak in the characters of several of the spiritual figures he investigated in previous episodes, including the voodoospirit Papa Gede[http://www.gede.org/lwas/gede.html] and the Hindugod Hanuman.
*"Rock & Roll: The Devil's Diversion" (Creation House, 1967)
*"Hippies, Hindus, and Rock & Roll" (Creation House, 1969)
*"Rock & the Church" (Creation House, 1971)
*"The Day Music Died" (Creation House, 1972) ISBN 0-88419-030-7
*"Hell on Earth" (Creation House, 1974) ISBN 0-88419-072-2
*"Babylon Reborn" (Creation House, 1976) ISBN 0-88419-006-4
*"Rock, Practical Help for Those Who Listen to the Words and Don't like What They Hear" (Tyndale, 1980) ISBN 0-8423-5685-1
*"Larson's Book of Cults" (Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Ill, 1982) ISBN 0-8423-2104-7
*"Larson's Book of Family Issues" (Tyndale, 1986) ISBN 0-8423-2459-3
*"Strange Cults in America" (Tyndale, 1986) ISBN 0-8423-6675-X
*"Larson's Book of Rock" (Tyndale, 1987) ISBN 0-8423-5687-8
*"Your Kids and Rock" (Tyndale, 1988) ISBN 0-8423-8611-4
*"Satanism: the Seduction of America's Youth" (Lightning Source, 1989) ISBN 0-8407-3034-9
*"Straight Answers on the New Age" (Thomas Nelson, 1989) ISBN 0-8407-3032-2
*"Tough Talk About Tough Issues" (Tyndale, 1989) ISBN 0-8423-7297-0
*"Larson's New Book of Cults" (Tyndale, 1989) ISBN 0-8423-2860-2
*"Dead Air: A Novel" (Thomas Nelson, 1991) ISBN 0-8407-7638-1
*"Abaddon: A Novel" (Thomas Nelson, 1993) ISBN 0-8407-7796-5
*"The Senator's Agenda" (Thomas Nelson, 1995) ISBN 0-7852-7879-6
*"In The Name Of Satan: How the Forces of Evil Work and What You Can Do To Defeat Them" (Thomas Nelson, 1996) ISBN 0-7852-7881-8
*"UFO's and the Alien Agenda" (Thomas Nelson, 1997) ISBN 0-7852-7182-1
*"Extreme Evil: Kids Killing Kids" (Nelson Reference, 1999) ISBN 0-7852-6870-7
*"Larson's Book of Spiritual Warfare" (Nelson, 1999) ISBN 0-7852-6985-1
*"Shock Talk: the Exorcist Files" (WestBow, 2001) ISBN 0-7852-7009-4
Larson's Book of World Religions and Alternative Spirituality"
John Safran vs God"
* [http://www.boblarson.org Bob Larson's official website]
* [http://www.cornerstonemag.com/features/iss100/larson.htm Cornerstone Magazine article critical of Larson]
* [news://alt.fan.bob-larson Usenet newsgroup devoted to Larson]
* [http://c.faculty.umkc.edu/cowande/ccp/larson.htm Analysis of Larson's teachings and history]
* [http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm/bay/search.summary/orgid/9082.htm Charity Navigator rating for Bob Larson Ministries]
* [http://www.holysmoke.org/sdhok/larson.htm Bob Larson critique]
* [http://www.equip.org/site/c.muI1LaMNJrE/b.2717045/k.B14C/DD806.htm The Devil is in the Details: An Examination of the Teachings of Bob Larson]
Recordings of Larson
* [http://www.ubu.com/outsiders/365/2003/138.shtml A 17-minute recording of "Talk Back" from 1990,] in which Larson debates 13-year-old Mandy about her love of
* [http://www.ubu.com/outsiders/365/2007/224.shtml A 20-minute recording circa 1988] , of Larson conducting an on-air exorcism via telephone.
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