Liberty U promoting biopic of Trump-idolizing conspiracy theorist

Liberty U promoting biopic of Trump-idolizing conspiracy theorist March 21, 2018

News item: Someone is making a movie based on Mark Taylor’s book The Trump Prophecies.

Knowing only that much, we have insufficient input to evaluate whether this is Good News or hilariously Bad News. Specifically, we need to know who is making this movie, and what they intend it to say.

Mark Taylor, the “firefighter prophet,” is not a household name. His “prophesying” and strident political punditry are only familiar to three subsets of people:

1. Devotees of Charismanews and of the fringier realms of charismatic INC Christianity and of right-wing AM and Internet “Christian” radio;

2. Readers of Right Wing Watch, which has been tracking Taylor’s influence and infamy for years; and

3. “Mainstream” white evangelical pundits who indignantly reject the suggestion that Taylor and his ilk are in any way representative of white evangelicalism as a whole.

The main thing to know about Mark Taylor and his “prophecy” is that he’s bonkers. He’s fully embraced the 8chan conspiracy theory of “The Storm,” adding it’s Grand Unified Theory of Satanic Baby-Killing to his prior stew of strange ideas and predictions. Kyle Mantyla of RWW summarizes some of Taylor’s highlights:

When Trump was elected president in 2016, Taylor penned a book titled The Trump Prophecies: The Astonishing True Story Of The Man Who Saw Tomorrow… And What He Says Is Coming Next and quickly made a name for himself as a modem-day prophet and radical conspiracy theorist.

In the last year, Taylor has claimed that God told him that Trump will replace five members of the Supreme Court, three of whom will be removed from the bench after being indicted for corruption, and that two of the five currently living former presidents will die as punishment for criticizing Trump, while the other three will be imprisoned and possibly executed for treason.

Taylor, who claims that Trump will release the cures for cancer and Alzheimer’s disease during his second term in office and asserted that God made journalist Megyn Kelly ill as a “warning shot” to all those who would dare to criticize Trump, believes that thousands of elite satanic pedophiles have been secretly arrested and that we will soon start seeing them prosecuted via military tribunals that will “make Nuremberg look like a cakewalk.” Taylor actually predicted that we’d see mass arrests in February, but the fact that that obviously didn’t happen doesn’t seem to have harmed his standing as a “prophet” in any way.

Last year, Taylor asserted that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which devastated parts of Texas and Florida respectively, were created and controlled by the Illuminati to punish the areas of the country that voted for Trump and to serve as a “training run” for a massive witchcraft attack against the president. On top of that, Taylor warned that the Freemasons and the Illuminati are using a special frequency to change people’s DNA in order to make them hate Trump so that they are unable to see how God is using him to save America.

Mantyla’s post includes 15 links documenting Taylor’s various assertions, so click over to Right Wing Watch and check those out if you want to take a deep dive into Taylor’s delirious fantasies.

For added fun, be sure to visit Taylor’s publisher, Defender Publishing, which offers a variety of titles on “ancient astronaut” theories, Vatican/Extraterrestrial conspiracies, Hollow Earth fanfiction, and the coming transhumanist OWG.

I would probably watch a movie version of any of Defender Publishing’s OTHER books.

In any case, this is who Mark Taylor is. This is what he believes. This is how he “thinks.” I haven’t read what he believes about chemtrails or fluoridation, but we can all confidently guess what he would say if asked about either of those. I don’t know specifically what he might say about the moon landing, but I’m certain he would insist the real story is far different from the official version that we sheeple think we know.

The idea of a movie “based on” Mark Taylor’s book is thus, potentially, Good News. He’s an ideal lens for storytelling in our current Trumpian age of “fake news” and “alternative facts” and Alex Jones and Breitbart and Sarah Huckabee Sanders. A story about Mark Taylor, a person who lives life believing all these things, could be a fantastic work of art, whether it was told as tragedy or as dark satire.

But then there’s also the hilariously Bad News possibility — that this won’t be a movie about Mark Taylor, but rather a movie meant to embrace and endorse all of the things Taylor attempts to believe.

So, then, who is making this movie? Charlie Kaufman? David O. Russell? Jill Solloway?

Nope. It’s the Liberty University Cinematic Arts Department.

Learning that, I briefly indulged the great hope that this was a bold, subversive move by Liberty students frustrated by Liberty President Jerry Falwell Jr’s obsequious fealty to Trump and Trumpism. Sure, they’re Liberty students, but the kids in the Cinematic Arts program are still art students, right? And there’s no way a bunch of art students could approach the subject of Mark Taylor and his far-far-right conspiracy nuttery without seeing that as the basis for incisive social commentary and a critique of the post-Christian partisan bondage exemplified by Jerry Jr.

But, no. It’s not that. It appears to be a full-on embrace and endorsement of all things Mark Taylor:

Commander is an adaptation of the book The Trump Prophecies.

The film, which is slated to be released in October, is the true story of an ex-firefighter named Mark Taylor who in 2011, while recovering from PTSD, had a vision that Donald Trump would be President.

Executive Director of the Cinematic Arts program and producer/director of the film Stephan Schultze said that the experience provided to students through this project is invaluable.

“There is no other film school in the country that makes feature films with their students,” Schultze said. “Not only do we make movies, but this’ll be the second movie we’ve had a national theatrical release, which is very hard to do.”

The message the film’s producer and financier Rick Eldridge wants to get across is how there is power in prayer and the impact it can have on a group of people mixed with patriotism.

“I really want it to be a patriotic, a God and country message that we can understand,” Eldridge said. “The best thing I can take away is when people leave the theater they are really feeling proud about their country and the things God has blessed us with.”

The IMDB page for Rick Eldridge does not dissuade me from interpreting this as hilariously Bad News. (That page also doesn’t include any mention of this project, FWIW.) Nor does that title: Commander. (I’m only inclined to watch a movie called “Commander” if that is the name of a dog in the film. And only then if I’m assured that good, faithful Commander does not die in the end.)

To their credit, the art students at Liberty don’t seem happy with the university’s choice of subject matter or the apparently approving perspective on Taylor’s whackaloon delirium. “Liberty University Cinematic Arts Students” have taken to Change.org to petition for a change in assignment.

The students recognize that the “true story of Mark Taylor” is not that Mark Taylor’s story is true. Forcing them to work on this project, they think, is unfair, and will (further) harm Liberty’s reputation and diminish whatever value remains in their eventual degree bearing the words “Liberty University”:

Some Cinematic Arts students have expressed that they are disheartened by being forced to be a part of promoting a man that they don’t agree with. They were originally told that they would be doing very different projects and were only told about this new film project at the beginning of the spring semester. Many do not want this movie on their resume and some are even considering using aliases on IMDB or dropping out.

And they don’t flinch from noting that Taylor’s Trump-worship is “unbiblical at best and heretical at worst.”

If you’re Jerry Falwell Jr or Rick Eldridge, then, it’s clear what this means: These art students have been exposed to frequencies from the Illuminati and the Freemasons, altering their DNA to make them resistant to God’s Revealed Truth about Donald Trump, who alone can save us from the international cabal of Jew-funded pedophilic Satanic baby-killers.

Two years ago, I was largely sympathetic to the pleas of those “mainstream” white evangelicals emphatically denying that people like Mark Taylor had anything to do with their kind of Christianity. That’s true — but it’s only true because this “mainstream” represents a shrinking minority voice within white evangelicalism. They’re increasingly outnumbered and sidelined by the louder, larger throng I described above as “Devotees of Charismanews and of the fringier realms of charismatic INC Christianity and of right-wing AM and Internet ‘Christian’ radio.”

When the “fringe” represents 81 percent of the whole, can it still be called the “fringe”? When the “mainstream” represents less than a fifth of the whole, how “mainstream” can it really be?

The largest white evangelical university in the country seems to be officially embracing and endorsing Mark Taylor, Savior Trump, and The Storm. Evangelical Christianity is turning into 8chan, only without the profanity. Denying that this is happening doesn’t help to stop it from happening.

 


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