Evangelical diet book blames your big ol' butt on Satan

Categories: Studies in Crap
Each Thursday, your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from basements, thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets. I do this for one reason: Knowledge is power.
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Help, Lord - The Devil Wants Me Fat!

Author: C. S. Lovett
Date: 1977
Publisher: El Camino Press, La Verne, CA
The Cover Promises: The devil tends the dessert tray at Denny's.
Representative Quote:
"The idea of being starved didn't originate with your stomach. It came from your MIND. It was SATAN'S IDEA. How do we know? A healthy body doesn't begin to starve until it has gone 40 days without food." (page 37)

"Everywhere you look you see fat Christians," C.S. Lovett complains in Help Lord - The Devil Wants Me Fat!, the rare diet book to deploy prayers, visualization exercises, and reckless use of the caps lock in a war against Satan. "We have Christians who wouldn't think of lying or stealing or committing adultery unabashedly going around with bulging bellies," he writes, somewhat insensitively.

He opens the book with this illustration of the problem.

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This is what sets Lovett apart from the diet-book pack: his belief that there's nothing funnier than a woman embarrassed about her body. (Try getting on Oprah with that attitude) This might have seemed less cruel to him than it does to us. After all, he argues that obesity among believers is in no way their own fault.

Instead, it's the result of something much simpler: your helplessness as Satan, the very embodiment of evil, personally reaches out to take command of your appetites.

That should make you feel better, scale lady!

As Lovett puts it, the devil has "unleashed an army of glutton demons on American Christians." Lovett calls food "the most subtle way the devil gets us to defile our bodies" and writes "We head for the cupboard or refrigerator without realizing that we're OBEYING THE DEVIL. From his stronghold he sits back and beams."

Crazy as this sounds, if you swapped every "devil" here with "Archer-Daniels Midland," this would be a best seller at Whole Foods.

So, what can we do about all these fat people we can't help but chuckle at? For Lovett, the first step in any diet plan is to learn to stand up to the devil and his lies.

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Here's how it works. Sit around your house until the devil throws a "fiery dart" from the "food stronghold" he has established inside of you. This might have the whiff of the gastrointestinal, but for Lovett these terms are psychological. The devil's "fiery dart" inspires a "food thought" that sends you scrambling to the refrigerator. Lovett points out that this happens most often during commercials.

Once you're darted, give that old devil a piece of your mind!
"You're still seated on the sofa. Don't get up. Close your eyes if you wish. That usually helps when addressing someone in your imagination. Very quickly now . . . 'Satan, in the name of Jesus go away. I know what you're up to, but I don't need any food. Take your suggestion and get away from me, for it is written My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.' Wow! Does that catch him by surprise! He's stunned!"
Hollering at the air is just the first step in Lovett's plan. The rest of the book lays out a complicated system involving prayer, subliminal weight-loss cassettes, and projection techniques:

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One thing to visualize: giantesses chatting at the Arch in St. Louis.

Lovett explains his projection technique with this helpful diagram.

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See, there is a computer inside a tiny penis inside your brain. It's job? To spot the flying snakes that attempt to eat your eyes.

Also, you are Conway Twitty for some reason.

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Shocking Detail:
But the cornerstone of Lovett's technique is simpler than his charts suggest. In fact, it comes down to two words and a period: stop eating. He writes, "Fasting is the most powerful attack we can make against the FOOD JERICHO Satan has built in our minds."

Also:
"A ten-day fast can be FUN - if you do it with Lord Jesus."
Then, for 65 pages he lays out the whys and wherefores of fasting. He points out that Moses twice journeyed to Sinai with no food or water. He suggests that a good fast will destroy Satan's food stronghold and insists "Satan doesn't want Christians discovering the awesome power of a spiritual fast." He explains that "well meaning friends and doctors . . . will not only try to KEEP YOU FROM FASTING, but invariably they will try to get you to break it." He reminds us, "Since God designed the body for fasting, it is far wiser for the believer to take God's Word on it over the theories of doctors. . . Besides, the body is SMARTER THAN THE DOCTORS."

To get started, first consult with a Ringwraith.

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Don't think you have to deny yourself all pleasures!

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Of course, fasting means avoiding meals altogether, which will lead to changes around the house:
"Think of all the times your family will be eating and you will be off by yourself. Spend that time with Jesus."
In short, C.S. Lovett, evangelical minister, argues that American Christians should halt consumption and avoid their families.

Highlight:
The idea of a computer in your brain is common to lunatic 70s self-help books. (Check this Studies in Crap classic!) Lovett opens one chapter by vowing to address that computer directly:
"NOTICE: WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO READ NEXT IS FOR YOUR COMPUTER. THE INFORMATION MUST PASS THROUGH YOUR EYES AND INTO YOUR BRAIN TO GET INTO THE COMPUTER. THEREFORE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS NOT FOR YOUR COMPLIANCE, BUT TO EDUCATE YOUR COMPUTER. SO DON'T REACT AGAINST WHAT YOU READ. YOUR COMPUTER NEEDS THIS INFORMATION IF IT IS TO ASSUME CONTROL OVER YOUR EATING HABITS."
It's kind of like when a singer announces this next song is for the ladies, except with computers and without promises of sexin'. But for some reason the chapter that follows looks just like the others: chatty prose, lots of caps and sketches, lists and type-os, and not a single burst of the 1s and 0s his target demo demands.

Also, it turns out that the tiny penis with a tiny computer inside it all inside your Conway Twitty head also contains a nude man with no penis at all.

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This is intelligent design!

[The Crap Archivist lives in Kansas City, where he originates his on-line Studies for the Voice's sister paper, The Pitch.]


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