The following script was taken from key scenes of the “mockumentary” and has been posted on the internet for serious independent film buffs. The title of our film was suggested by the name given to Charles Lindbergh’s plane—the Spirit of St. Louis—in which he made his famous “first ever” transatlantic flight. Why we chose that film title will be apparent early on in the film. Those of us who worked on this film are excited because we are aware that we have created a new film genre. We call it a “mockumentary” which is similar to a Michael Moore documentary but with more integrity. And also, unlike Michael Moore, we have constructed a series of questions around a vision that leads to a revelation of reality, not a predetermined goal fraught with bias and hidden agendas.
The film centers around a dialogue that occurred between God and the Reverend Billy Graham (I know, I didn’t know he was dead either—but the guy was as old as oranges) and amazingly has somewhat the same spirit as the Book of Job and a cosmic My Dinner with Andre combined. The roles are, however, reversed from those in the Book of Job in that in the biblical story Job is “teaching” God how to be more compassionate and aware. He is, in other words “raising” God’s consciousness. In our film what we see (and our editing has reinforced this insight) is God attempting to get Billy to wake up and smell the roses. A formidable challenge even for God. We think the film reveals how well God achieved his objective. You decide.
Our camera crew catches the Reverend Billy Graham approaching the fabled “Pearly Gates” where God has relieved St. Peter for his morning coffee break. The Pearly Gates are a painted “Hollywood set” and in fact we are on an outdoor studio lot in Burbank. We were not surprised that “Heaven” was on earth but Billy sure was, he was practically in a state of shock. We were turned on to this fateful meeting by the angel Michael who is somewhat of a film buff ever since that Travolta thing. He has a great sense of humor, Michael we mean, well Travolta too, probably. But anyway, that Michael is one sadistic dude—just our cup of tea. Here is the opening scene of the film—we don’t mess around with a lot of unnecessary “buildup.”
God: Reverend Billy Graham! Have I been anticipating your arrival! I’m God.
Billy: Looking around somewhat bewildered and plainly ill at ease at actually meeting God at last. His voice is tentative and anxious. How does one greet you Lord Jehovah?
God: How about: What’s up Dude? Just kidding—hi and a handshake will do. They shake hands. I am, after all, familiar with social conventions in your dimension. Here in heaven we watch you guys like you watch HBO. We don’t have time for chit-chat though—gotta get you on your way.
I know you were expecting St. Peter but he’s sucking on some nicotine and ingesting caffeine. He abuses this eternal life thing but what am I gonna do. We have free will here too and even saints take a while to adjust to life here without their “crutches.” I am going to ask you a few questions that will help you decide whether you want to live here in heaven or here in hell—your choice.
Billy: What do you mean here in hell?
God: Never mind that for now. The answer will gradually dawn on you like a blinding sunrise. Can’t resist a little poetic imagery now and then. Relax Billy you’ll be fine. The following is a standard question for Americans and gives me a starting point at which to begin our process. By the way we are being filmed as you probably noticed. Just a film crew that that crazy Michael arranged. They are making a documentary. Just ignore them as best you can.
God: And now our first question. Which American in your opinion best exemplified the American spirit?
Billy: Still in shock but able to come up with an answer. I think uhhh it would be Lucky Lindy because of his courage and entrepreneurial spirit. Americans are all about frontiers. And since the American geographical frontier had closed in 1890—he headed for the frontier of the skies. A typical American spirit always pushing the envelope and …
God: Billy, would you try to keep your answers a little shorter—we don’t have a Hollywood budget here. The producers tell me that in this film they are interested in the truth not the bottom line. And try to keep it real too. That answer smacked of the American myth not the American reality.
Billy: What do you mean, the American myth?
God: Well, for starters you are idealizing a human being—projecting. Do you know what that means?
Billy: I’m not sure.
God: Well, chew on this as an example. I know you noticed my subtle effeminate mannerisms and it has made you uneasy.
Billy: Inaudible mumbling and head down posture.
God: That’s OK don’t sweat it. But here’s the point. I am a projection! Yea that’s right. Each month a different city on earth that qualifies with at least 500,000 people gets to project me. You guessed it, this month I am being projected by the city of San Francisco. You ought to see me when it’s Salt Lake City’s turn. I’m bizarre baby! Freaks me out. Now do you see the influence of projection?
Billy: Mumbles again.
God: Speak up man you don’t look so good. Anyway, let’s get back to the distinction between your “projected” Charles Lindbergh and the real man, the human being. Stay with me Billy, your next step in Self-realization is being determined here. Take responsibility man!
Billy: Weakly replies. I’ll try.
God: You’ll be fine—reality can be a little sobering and you were about as out of touch with where the garter belt meets the panties as any one I can think of sweetie. Pause. Now your idealized version of Lucky Lindy has got to go. Take a whiff of this ammonia man.
A small chorus of angels off camera begins to sing America the Beautiful as a jazz riff with the lyrics to the Wizard of Oz’s “Hi Ho the witch is dead” but with the word “witch” becoming “bitch.”
God: All right! That’s enough ladies. The chorus stops. Turning again to Graham. Lindbergh had mistresses in Europe and more than a few bastards.
Billy: An expression of disbelief creeps across his face.
God: That’s a fact. I’m God remember. He could have been called the “salacious Swede.” With a little chuckle. Or Lascivious Lindy, Chasin’ Charlie, or Lindy the Lothario. Laughing out loud. The guy was a Nazi supporter for God’s sake! Sorry about the profanity. OK you get my point. San Francisco projects me. You project onto Lindbergh. You don’t know where you are man, or who you are. We don’t let lost sheep into heaven—only “found” sheep. You gotta get it together or back “down” to hell you go for some more reality work.
Billy: Expression of shocked disbelief.
God: Well you have heard of “Hell on earth” haven’t you? That’s where it is and there’s no escaping it with a free pass of grace, or a life of good works or some savior who never existed. It’s up to you and always will be until you wake up. I know this is hard on you but think of it as “tough love” a “revelation of reality.”
Billy: Continues to stand motionless, wide-eyed.
God: Now I’m going to give you the “short test” on our Evaluation of Consciousness examination. Only one short-answer question. You ready?
Billy: Slowly shakes his head yes.
God: I picked this one because you seem so enamored of America, the land of the free and the brave. Smirking. Be careful of this one Billy—you got a lot riding on this response. Is the apparent success of the United States in the World of Nations more attributable to its entrepreneurial spirit or greed? It’s best to go with your first instinct—don’t over-think it.
Billy: Entrepreneurial spirit.
God: So much for that theory. Sorry my brother. Reaching for an emerging computer printout. Let’s see what your next go-round will be. Hmmmm. Tenth century, third wife to a Muslim shopkeeper in Islamabad.
Billy: Faints and falls off camera as soft Arabic music transitions to the next scene.
St. Peter walking up to God: I’m back. Any interesting people while I was gone?
God: Billy Graham.
St. Peter: Goo Onnn. For real?
God: Yeah and as you might have imagined he won’t be with us long.
St. Peter: Which concept didn’t he learn?
God: Concepts plural. You kiddin’ me? He went down in flames on one false-self dichotomy illusion, question number 32. You know how clueless those Christian fundamentalists are or any fundamentalist for that matter. Back he goes. I’m going to go now and give him his pre-reincarnation briefing.
St. Peter: Catch you later—have fun. Camera follows God into an adjacent room.
Conceived, written, produced, filmed and directed by Roy Henry.
Any resemblance between people and stuff in this film to names and places existing in the world of reality are purely coincidental. Like duh—it never happened so don’t freak out. Not that it couldn’t happen, so you are entitled to a reasonable amount of anxiety and anger. Next month God comes to you, courtesy of the people of Newark, New Jersey and he says that if any of you are thinking of suing me—fooorgedaaaboudiiit.
Interpretation and Analysis of Spirit of America
Since the mockumentary Spirit of America was conceived in a hypnogogic or dreamlike state it warrants an interpretation. To the degree that it is a “film” it can be subjected to a critical analysis or “review.” In both cases the experience seems to have a number of archetypal symbols.
The Spirit of St. Louis flown by Lindbergh was a bright and shiny aircraft, an “ideal” soaring above the reality on the ground. It provided the context for or container for the American illusion. Inside the plane sat the hero in the process of slaying the dragon. America is all about conquering frontiers and bringing light to regions of darkness. Chopping down the primeval forests, banish the wild beasts and let the light reach the planted corn. Pushing the indigenous peoples, the carriers of darkness, away from the areas of light and containing them in deserts of darkness. And finally slaughtering the dark other, both animal and human, to extend the regions of light until the land was illuminated sea to sea.
Then the light has to be extended into the space above the land. The darkness of distance itself would be next. All in the name of extending the realm of light but in fact it involves fleeing the real source of darkness within each American soul. In his trans-Atlantic flight, Lindy was fleeing his own inner darkness, slaying his own inner dragon that he had projected onto the forbidding sea—the ancient symbol of the unconscious. His victory resonated with the American people and all humanity who were looking for a savior to symbolically slay the dragon that they were too terrified to acknowledge—the very dragon that they knew subconsciously awaited them in the caverns of their own creation.
Lindbergh, like all of us, was driven by his ego’s need to be esteemed. His other true motivations would elude him all his life as he denied his darker nature, his shadow. To those of us observing from afar we could see this darkness revealed in his failed relationships and his flirtation with fascism.
The chorus singing about the “bitch” is referring simultaneously to both Graham who represents the paradigm of religion in general and to God who represents the illusion of a projected anthropomorphic god. Both are “dead” in the new paradigm, the new myth that is emerging in the trans-modern consciousness of humanity.
References and notes are available for the essays in this blog.
Find a much more in-depth discussion in books by Roy Charles Henry.