Megan Fox Talks About Speaking in Tongues and Faith-Healing in Esquire Interview

In an interview with Esquire, Megan Fox showed a side of herself that we’ve never seen before: The one that speaks in tongues:

Fox began speaking in tongues around the age of eight, when she attended a Pentecostal church in Tennessee.

“I have seen magical, crazy things happen. I’ve seen people be healed. Even now, in the church I go to, during Praise and Worship I could feel that I was maybe getting ready to speak in tongues, and I’d have to shut it off because I don’t know what that church would do if I started screaming out in tongues in the back.

“It feels like a lot of energy coming through the top of your head — I’m going to sound like such a lunatic — and then your whole body is filled with this electric current. And you just start speaking, but you’re not thinking because you have no idea what you’re saying. Words are coming out of your mouth, and you can’t control it. The idea is that it’s a language that only God understands. It’s the language that’s spoken in heaven. It’s called ‘getting the Holy Ghost.’”

It’s also called “bullshit.”

What Fox doesn’t seem to understand is that the sort of babble she’s talking about can be induced through pressure — you will yourself to do it. It’s kind of like being in a hypnotic trance.

Dan Barker once spoke in tongues, too. In his book Godless, he talked about how, even now as an atheist, he could make himself fall back under the spell:

I do not deny that spiritual experiences are real. They happen all over the world, in most religions. I deny that they point to anything outside of the mind. I had many religious experiences, and I can still have them if I want. As an atheist, I can still speak in tongues and “feel the presence of God.”

It seems rather silly now, since there is no God — and I only speak in tongues once every few years just to see if I still have the touch…

Fox’s glossolalia was only one of many revelations made in the interview. Others included her belief in leprechauns, the Loch Ness Monster, and Bigfoot.

I guess it’s not surprising that someone who believes in so many other kinds of make-believe would also accept speaking in tongues. It’s also not surprising that a celebrity would believe in it — how much of their world is truly “real,” anyway? It’s just disappointing that someone with that much fame would lend any sort of support to such a false belief.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.westley Brian Westley

    (insert snake-handling joke here)

  • http://www.facebook.com/misanthropemike Mike Davis

    I don’t understand… she seems so intelligent otherwise…!

  • RobertoTheChi

    Another brain fart courtesy of Megan Fox.

  • Duke OfOmnium

    Well, I knew she was an imbecile. It’s nice to have confirmation, though.

    • nardo800

      Suggestibility doesn’t necessarily correlate with low intelligence. Many people just don’t have the education in critical thinking necessary to frame their subjective experiences.

      • Duke OfOmnium

        But besides the tongue-speaking, she also married a never-was actor from the original 90210. And she was in Jonah Hex!

      • RobMcCune

        Agreed, argument from positive subjective experience is common bit of evidence for god used by moderate christians, theologians, and “spiritual” people. Most of whom are more intelligent than your average fundie.

  • CultOfReason

    How much longer before the Church of Scientology gets a hold of her?

  • http://twitter.com/TheBlackBot Black Bot

    I was a Christian until I became an adult. I grew up in a Pentecostal church, where everyone could speak in tongues. She used to ask me if I had been given the gift, and I always lied and said I could. I prayed for it, but god never took over. I wonder why I was never able to speak in tongues and if my inability has anything to do with my current atheism

    • Thackerie

      Nah. I’m an atheist and I can speak in tongues along with the best of the delusionals. All you have to do is open your mouth and let loose with a string of gibberish. Scares the bejesus out of fundigelicals when they hear a heathen tongue-talk just as they do; they think it’s the voice of Satan. LOL!

      • Thin-ice

        Plus lots of other non-christian cults and religions around the world also practice glossilalia.

  • Tainda

    Marjoe. Watch it

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=608057740 Greg Scott

    Pretty, stupid and crazy. what a combination.

  • http://www.facebook.com/todd.stiefel Todd Stiefel

    “I’d have to shut it off” is soon followed by “you can’t control it”. So she can willingly stop the thing she can’t control, huh?

    • http://www.sunstonescafe.com/ Paul Sunstone

      It’s a miracle!

    • Ibis3

      No. She clearly means, you can use your will to prevent yourself going into the trance, but once you’re in it, you can’t control it. This is no more ludicrous than saying, “If I feel myself getting sleepy when I’m driving, I have to do something to keep awake like listen to loud music.” and “Once I’m asleep, I have no control over myself.”

      When you’re speaking in tongues, you’re in an altered state of consciousness in which you have little or no conscious control.

  • Bird_of_Space

    “And you just start speaking, but you’re not thinking because you have no idea what you’re saying.”

    Kind of like this interview?

  • sandchigger

    What really gets me is that even if these people believed they were being touched by God when they were babbling incoherently, that’s not what the Bible says speaking in tongues is! Speaking in tongues is speaking a language that everyone around you can understand perfectly because God is your translator. This nonsense is literally the opposite of what they’re calling it. Yanno, in addition to being a bunch of made up garbage.

  • http://blaqueplastique.blogospot.com/ beautifulblackatheist

    I was in the Pentecostal church as well. I found the tongues to be ridiculous even when I was a believer. I encountered pressure from leaders wanting me to receive the ‘gift’ Lol later, I told them I received the gift. I could not bring myself to do that in the church out in the open so I’d practice in the car Lol I’d challenge Megan to provide proof of those are still healed, once outside the confines of the church. But then again, she also believes in leprechauns and the loch ness monster smh

    • Thin-ice

      Me too. I practised in the basement.

      • http://blaqueplastique.blogospot.com/ beautifulblackatheist

        Lol so did I while washing clothes Lmao

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    another celebrity reveals herself to be stupid. i’m shocked.

    other news at 5: water is wet. also.

  • Darthcynic

    That entire Esquire article is an abuse to reason and the written word, it’s insane as some choice pieces demonstrate.

    “Megan Fox is not an ancient Aztec. She’s a screen saver on a teenage
    boy’s laptop, a middle-aged lawyer’s shower fantasy, a sexual prop used
    to sell movies and jeans.

    “It’s so similar. It totally is,” she says quietly.”

    “The brow is in perfect balance, like a problem of logic, like a visual
    labyrinth. It’s not really even that beautiful. It’s closer to the
    sublime, a force of nature, the patterns of waves crisscrossing a lake,
    snow avalanching down the side of a mountain, an elaborately camouflaged
    butterfly.”

    “On the way out, I notice something I hadn’t seen on the way down. In
    the hallway sits a tall pedestal topped by a red-and-gold Byzantine icon
    of a crucified Christ and rows of white candles. The candles are
    usually lit, she tells me, before she leaves to go upstairs to take care
    of her newborn son.

    His name is Noah. In the ancient story of the flood, Noah and his
    family are the only ones who escape the general destruction of the
    corrupt world.”

    Wtf!?

  • witchgawd

    She’s so hot. Who cares what she says? She could worship Smurfs and it wouldn’t bother me one iota. Nom nom nom…

  • http://profiles.google.com/conticreative Marco Conti

    There I was hoping that Megan Fox, once done with acting could finally go on to solve the mysteries of the universe at CERN and when she was done with that help out in Cancer Research…

    When I listen to people that speak in tongue I am always amazed at how puerile and artificial their languace sounds. They fixate on a few sounds and repeat them over and over with the same exact intonation. Just listen to the Fart Preacher (forgot his name). He sounds like ba ba ba na ba ba se ba….
    Real languages don’t sound like that. I don;t understand Mandarin Chinese, but I can tell they are communicating. When people speak in tongues they are clearly just making sounds and aside from a few, they sound worse than babies learning to talk. At least the babies are trying to imitate a real language.

    • smrnda

      I’ve witnessed this as well. Languages typically require a certain number of phonemes to be able to handle an adequate number of words. Most ‘tongue speakers’ just go through the same set of syllables over and over again. I mean, I’m pretty well-traveled so I’m used to hearing languages I don’t know, and they don’t go “mumma shumma humma wumma ummu shummu etc.”

      I think the phenomenon is both group pressure and just lowering the bar for evidence.

    • David Starner

      Linguists have transcribed it before, and it’s pretty clear what language they’re babbling in. The power of God never puts a uvular plosive (an Arabic q, vaguely speaking) in the mouth of an English speaker or a dental fricative (English th) in the mouth of a German speaker.

  • http://twitter.com/Outcast_Kyle Edgar

    Well, sh’es famous for being “hot” (personally I don’t find her attractive), not for being smart. Also, women’s nature is being gullible as hell. If she weren’t christian, surely she’d be something like new age or something else.

    • Thackerie

      If you’re wondering why you’re little remark is getting downvotes, it’s this statement:

      “Also, women’s nature is being gullible as hell.”

      That statement puts you on an intellectual standing equal to or lesser than Megan Fox.

      • http://twitter.com/Outcast_Kyle Edgar

        As I would care if some persons I don’t know cannot handle the truth. Truth hurts. If you don’t like it, deal with it.

        • Thackerie

          We don’t know you, either. So why should anyone here believe that your baseless assertions represent “truth” for anyone but yourself?

          • http://twitter.com/Outcast_Kyle Edgar

            If you don’t beleive me, just go to any atheist/sckeptic reunión and you’ll se that most of the time they’re a total or almost a total sausage fest. And most of them go because their husband/boyfriend/lover brought them with them, it’s rare see women going on their own Then go to a Deepak Chopra’s or any other quack conference and you’ll see that most of the people attending are women.. Women are really emotional and when you are conected way too much to your emotions, you don’t use reason properly. If you don’t beleive me after all this, just go to any place where scientific research is done and tell me how female researchers are there. I’m not saying that there aren’t Smart, reasonable women; just that they are a really small minority.

            • http://www.facebook.com/callice.lieder Callice Equality Lieder

              “And most of them go because their husband/boyfriend/lover brought them with them, it’s rare see women going on their own”

              I’m a little curious as to where you got this idea from? In my relationship I was not only the first to deconvert, but I was also the one who was interested in going to conferences and freethinkers meetings. I know several women who go to the freethinkers meetings without being dragged along by their boyfriend or lover. The truth is that there are more consequences for women who deconvert than there are for men.

              ” If you don’t beleive me after all this, just go to any place where scientific research is done and tell me how female researchers are there.”

              It couldn’t have anything to do with years of women being told that they aren’t good at science and math, right? I think you are only seeing what you want to see and ignoring inconvenient facts.

              “I’m not saying that there aren’t Smart, reasonable women; just that they are a really small minority.”

              I think it is deliciously funny that you are calling yourself intellectually superior when your comments are littered with typos and atrocious grammar. ;) If you are interested in not coming off as a complete moron in the future I would suggest looking in the research on gender roles, sexism, and their effects on both women and men.

              • http://twitter.com/Outcast_Kyle Edgar

                You have proven my point, I wasn’t talking about and you took everything personally. Like some people say: “if the boot fits…”. The best you could do was criticizing my grammar? That’s the most emotional response I could receive. Thanks for proving my point again. :)

                • http://www.facebook.com/callice.lieder Callice Equality Lieder

                  Reading comprehension is a wonderful thing, I suggest you start cultivating that skill. ;)

                  1.) I clearly pointed out to you that I know many women who attend meetings for freethinkers without being dragged along by their boyfriends or lovers. I also included myself as an example because I am one of those women.

                  2.) Au contraire, I criticized you for claiming to be intellectually superior even though your comments demonstrate otherwise and for not knowing what the research says about the effects of gender roles, sexism, and their effects on both women and men.

                  So how you made that connection that I took it personally is beyond me. I guess rationality isn’t your forte. Let me guess, any woman who criticizes you for ignorantly running your mouth is just reacting emotionally? ;) Nice victim complex you’ve got going on there.

                • http://twitter.com/Outcast_Kyle Edgar

                  You should take your own suggestion a maybe a dictionary, then maybe you’ll learn the difference between “most” and “all”.

                  But don’t worry, you don’t need to accept the truth. Religious people do the same; you can live in little pink world of denial. Too bad we already know that you aren’t part of the minority I mentioned before.

                  I have spoken.

                • http://www.facebook.com/callice.lieder Callice Equality Lieder

                  … A maybe a dictionary? Come again?

                  I don’t believe I ever made the claim that you said all. My objection is that you are engaging in confirmation bias, the omission of inconvenient facts, and being a moron.

                  Indeed, you have spoken, although not very well. ;)

                • http://twitter.com/Outcast_Kyle Edgar

                  Well, I’m on the internet. writing on my phone, doing it really quick (sorry, but I have some other things to do; I cannot pay attention to my internet pets the whole time), and I’m arguing whit an idiot. So why would I bother in writing slowly in order to not make mistakes or even doing a small proofreading? The answer: it’s not worth it.

                  keep talking about science; I’m pretty sure yo don’t know what that means. It’s cute how you try to blame everything on sexism and the “evil” men instead of accepting your own faults and maybe some day, reality. But keep trying, maybe someday you’ll spout something good, or at least you’ll keep confirming what I said.

                • http://www.facebook.com/callice.lieder Callice Equality Lieder

                  The answer: Thus far you have come off as a complete moron in every comment. This is more than a few typos here and there, you have shown a persistent inability to spell and form coherent sentences. Your vacuous justifications don’t cut it either, if you are going to claim intellectual superiority I expect you to act like someone who made it past fourth grade.

                  I don’t believe I ever said evil men were to blame, but you seem to be fond of pulling nonsense out of your ass. If you’ll recall, I talked about how sexism affects both women and men. If you were versed in what the research says, you would understand what I meant by that. However, it is painfully apparent that you have no idea what I am talking about.

                  Dawh, how adorable. Yessir, you’re right, I’ve spent the past five years working at earning my doctorate in Behavioral Neuroscience and I haven’t picked up a damned thing about science. ;) By god, I might as well drop out now seeing as how I’ve wasted my time.

                  Keep trying little man, you might actually come up with an argument one day ;).

                • Thackerie

                  I like you posts, but I lack your stamina. You can keep arguing with a sexist moron if you like. I’ve lost interest in trying to communicate with such a little man who makes so little sense.

                • http://twitter.com/Outcast_Kyle Edgar

                  Too bad you won’t recognize an argument, even if it hits youy. Mybe that’s what you need. If only you weren’t getting so PMSy we could get somewhere. Too bad i can’t do what Sean Connery does with unreasonable women.

                • http://www.facebook.com/callice.lieder Callice Equality Lieder

                  U mad bro?

                  Dawh, look at that, Edgar is accusing me of PMSing when he’s the one saying he wishes he could engage in physical violence. How very rational. I could explain the irony of that, but I’m sure your simple mind wouldn’t be able to grasp it. For the record, I haven’t had my period in six months — this new birth control is awesome! ;) All facetiousness aside, you do realize that threatening violence is a crime, correct? In the future, you might want to avoid throwing a temper tantrum like that.

                  Edgar, your only ‘argument’ is that you’re angry that every woman you meet thinks you’re an illiterate and uneducated piece of shit. Because working to correct your obvious flaws is too difficult, you’ve decided that there must be something wrong with the women who continually reject you.

                  In conclusion, here’s a lovely well-known quote that you might identify with: “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent”.

                  Thackerie — Lol I understand. I argue partly for my amusement and partly because I know ‘men’ like this. They count on women being silent and ignoring their stupidity, it makes them feel emboldened. Plus, I just like seeing him squirm and regress to acting like a two year old. :D

                • http://twitter.com/Outcast_Kyle Edgar

                  You know what’ This is getting a bit boring and I have most interesting pets, so I’ll give it to you babe. You win. I’m dumb, you’re smart; I’m wrong, you’re right; I’m bad, you’re good. Now you can return to your normal life oh big, strong, borderline genius woman. go and help to save the world; you already proved the error of my ways. Surely you must feel so realized.

                  Keep enlightening the world oh great goddess, the quintessence of femininity.

                • http://www.facebook.com/callice.lieder Callice Equality Lieder

                  I’m flattered that you have such an unrealistically high opinion of me, I’ll have to let the fiance know that he has competition. ;)

                • Random_acct

                  Wow…I can see now that you atheists are very friendly. You know, just like the blog name suggests! Ha.

              • Random_acct

                FYI…everyone is a “freethinker”.

  • TheExpatriate700

    Who cares? It’s her business what she believes. Unless she tries to force her beliefs on others, it’s really not our problem.

    • Thin-ice

      Except that thousands of other vulnerable people will read her story and give it credibility, want to try it for themselves, and perpetuate the ignorance. So no, it’s not just “her business”.

      • Random_acct

        Yes. We need to protect the masses with laws to keep them from falling prey to this dangerous practice! (cough)

  • LesterBallard

    I wonder if she thinks the Transformers are real?

    • Sindigo

      Careful now. I can take your intolerance only so far.

  • Supermoves3000

    I believe researchers have found that activity in the brain during “speaking in tongues” is similar to a seizure. So Megan isn’t that far off when she says it’s like “an electric current”, but it’s an electric current running in disorganized waves through certain areas of her brain. There’s a rational physiological explanation for glossolalia and the euphoria its practitioners feel afterwards, and it has nothing to do with god.

  • roberthughmclean

    Many many many of them do get “touched” by god or his representatives. All of it un-taxed.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    When I first heard about speaking in tongues, I assumed that meant speaking in French.

  • Sindigo

    Doesn’t she believe in the Yeti as well?

  • Darwin’s Dagger

    Who cares what Megan Fox says or does or thinks?

  • http://www.facebook.com/lindsey.stock.7 Lindsey Stock

    If only her god could also bless her with some decent acting skills. There’s a reason nearly everything she’s in is crap.

  • kaydenpat

    She’s still pretty.

  • Vini Marques

    Pertinent:

  • Unskew

    Your commentary is as emotional as hers… using Megan Fox as a vehicle to do a serious (ok, semi-serious… but you did get the faithful foaming at the mouth) commentary on glossolalia… pretty lame!

    • Sarah Elaine Fuqua

      I never claimed not to be emotional, I’m not a newspaperwoman sticking to an unwritten code of unbiased research and reporting. I honestly just googled the term speaking in tongues to see if anyone had any new insights and I came across several different websites with almost no one sharing any more knowledge on the subject than I already had. It’s a bit frustrating really. I neither know Megan personally, nor do I claim to own her image or person to be able to do anything with her, let alone use her as a vehicle. I was giving her props for stating for the record that she was unhappy with her former image and looking into a future more concentrated on her family life. Am I not allowed to tell someone well done? Is the fact that I cheer someone on for being honest, for wanting to be more, do more with their lives than what’s plainly seen by the human eye lame? Sure if that’s lame then cool. I’m okay with being lame by your definition of the word.
      I have yet to call anyone a nasty name for being an Atheist or not aligning to my personal beliefs, that would be uncaring and cruel.
      All I’m saying is, perhaps a little mutual respect and compassion is in order, a little basic human decency.
      Oh and the woman on the other site you refer to (not stalkerish at all are you hmm?) She picked a fight with me, and I felt compelled to defend myself. I had to block her because she was being so rude, and clearly attacking my faith, yet somehow still claiming to have the same faith. Just odd.
      I realize Christianity and Christians are offensive to a growing number of people. However, as with everything, generalizations, uninformed opinions, hate speech, and the downright inability to see another human being as just that, human, that’s bigotry.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bigotry
      And before you give the very predictable response of wiki being an unreliable source, remember, I’m not writing the blog here.

  • Colene

    This is certainly a conversation – demeaning others.

  • disappointed

    Yeah, “friendly atheists” – about as real as leprechauns.

  • Random_acct

    Some of you atheists freak out over anything. I thought you were the cool, rational ones. El-oh-el.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sarah.e.fuqua Sarah Elaine Fuqua

    Calling someone else’s faith-based experience BS is a bit unfair. It sounds like even Megan doesn’t have a full understanding of what she’s going through, but at least she’s being honest about it. If you want to know the Christian definition of tongues, you’d have to do a little research and look up Acts chapter 2 and I Corinthians chapter 14. It even says in the Bible that if tongues can’t be translated it’s best not shared with the congregation, meaning it can be translated sometimes, just not all the time. I see no biblical basis for speakers of tongues being in an entranced state. If you don’t believe in the Bible then you won’t believe in this at all, which is your right, but you come off as closed-minded and verbally abusive when you accuse people of stupidity simply for having faith. That in and of itself is a form of bigotry. Come one guys lighten up and just admit that you don’t know everything, and there is stuff out there you’re not familiar with. Commenting on something you’ve done zero research on and calling it stupid really doesn’t do much for your intelligence either.

  • mike

    What fame does she have really? She did a few movies and sucked in all of them, it was the movies that were big, not her. All she is is attractive, not talented, & now she is a nutjob on top of it lol. Pretty much, she has the talent, looks, (and brains now apparently!), of a porn actress. (And I’m not talking down to all porn actresses, there are smart porn people, you just don’t need a lot of talent to be one)

  • Guest

    “And you just start speaking, but you’re not thinking because you have no idea what you’re saying. Words are coming out of your mouth, and you can’t control it.”

    A fairly accurate description of her acting ability.

  • Topaz

    It is real… why would someone lie about that? And good for her if she is able. Its a gift.

    Turn for sin and believe in the death for our sins burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and eternal life is yours!


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