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Early Days of Jesus / Hollywood's Godfather

Date Sunday - November 4, 2018
Host George Noory
Guests David CollisWillie Wilkerson

In the first half, author and student of humanities, art, and religion, David Collis joined George Noory to discuss his research into the early days of Jesus as well as Jesus' family, his missing years, John the Baptist, his ministry and his final days in Jerusalem. He structured his book 'Interviewing Jesus,' by mapping out all of Jesus' sayings, and correlating them with the history of his time period, in order to arrive at a conversational format. "I think that Jesus had a mind...to penetrate the divine," he commented. "Then, I think there was some very profound spiritual experience that occurred to him that changed his life. And from that moment on, he had the ability to do things that he normally did not have."

One of the topics Jesus talked a lot about, said Collis, was different types of money and people's financial resources, which like today, was a big concern during his era. Regarding his resurrection, the concept of immortality was circulating around the Middle East at the time, as well as earlier in Greece, Egypt, and Mesopotamia. "Jesus," he added, "through his ministry, was connecting us with a much deeper sense of who we are," and our divine nature. He was always on the move, and Collis believes Jesus traveled to Egypt before his ministry began. Further, some of Jesus' sayings and parables have a quality that suggests he went to places in the east such as India, he noted.

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In the latter half, author Will Wilkerson discussed the life of his father Billy Wilkerson, known as "Hollywood’s Godfather," who, with the help of organized crime, launched a campaign to crush the film studio monopoly. "My father," he said, "was very close friends with a mobster in Hollywood by the name of Johnny Roselli," who offered protection for him from another well-known gangster, Bugsy Siegel. His father started the trade paper the Hollywood Reporter and used the forum to fling mud at the studios and detail their misdoings. The studios, he recounted, retaliated by burning copies of the publication. But then Wilkerson fought back "by having his reporters climb studio walls in the dead of night, break into their offices, and steal sensitive information," which the paper then revealed.

In turn, the studios issued an all-out ban on the Reporter, but "my Dad would strike back by a news blackout on all their films...and my father hit below the belt...by going after their talent," and creating what we know today as the Hollywood Blacklist (a forerunner to Joe McCarthy's list). "My Dad did a lot of terrible things in the name of good," he remarked. By 1949, his father's efforts proved victorious. The destruction of this studio monopoly, says Will, finally led to the doors being open to fair and open competition in the film industry in Hollywood.

News segment guests: John M. Curtis, Lauren Weinstein

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