Jonathan Bell, AKA Screaming Boy, first came to my attention via a VHS tape given to me in the mid-90s of the only two episodes of his Dallas, TX-based cable access evangelical program. He screamed a lot, talked (yelled) about Jesus, abortions, gays and how you were going to GO TO HELL! His favorite topics seemed to be abused children and how you were going to GO TO HELL. Twisted, twisted stuff. Picture a nelly blond Sam Kinison-type in a tux—and totally and deliriously insane—and you’ve got Jonathan Bell. Eventually The Daily Show caught up to Bell and did a memorable segment about him, but before that, the only information I was able to dig up about him, pre-Internet came from a “Kooky Kontemporary Kristian Kulture” zine called Snake Oil that is now online:
Upstart TV preachers flock to Dallas like young starlets drawn to Hollywood. So begins the story of Jonathan Bell who arrived in Dallas from Kingston, Ontario in early 1992 with a vision from God to start a television ministry. Accompanying Jonathan were Carrie Hart, a 71-year-old invalid and her 35-year-old retarded son. With the $1400 per month that the Harts received in government checks, the three got set up in a one bedroom apartment in the predominately gay Oak Lawn section of Dallas, and Jonathan Bell Ministries was on its way.
That first Texas summer, however, took its toll on the trio of transplanted Canadians. Their living arrangement had deteriorated to the point that on the night of July 28th, police were called to the scene of a domestic disturbance at the ministry apartment, whereupon Jonathan was hauled in on aggravated assault of an invalid.
The police incident report reveals a sorry state of affairs: Jonathan typically sent the Harts out early each morning on ministry errands, and they were expected back promptly at 9 PM. Being late, or not following instructions exactly resulted in a beating. Neighbors told police that they had seen the Harts with bruises and black eyes, and Harry Hart, the son, claimed that earlier in the summer Jonathan had tried to drown him at an area lake by holding him underwater by his hair. The Harts were given just a few dollars a month, and Jonathan got the only bed while they slept on the floor with no bedding.
Within a few days of Jonathan’s arrest, the Harts went back to Canada, and the charges were dropped.
This sordid little tale would not be worth telling if shortly thereafter Jonathan had not gone on to produce two of the most psychotic, disturbing religious programs ever made.
DVD-R also contains 45 minutes of THE REV BRUCE HOWARD, various clips, some screaming.
color, mono, fullscreen, DVD-R comes packaged as shown in color DVD case, wrapped in plastic.