Cory Parella is part of a wave of born-again Christian filmmakers. He’s a recovering Catholic of Italian heritage who now lives in Denver.
We talk by Skype Monday night.
Cory has a new book out called, Witness Protection: The Prophet Returns. “After a second civil war subsides, a filmmaker with gifts in basketball returns to the US at the request of his close friend, a former assistant coach who has become the President-Elect. The Constitution was edited by Evangelic Christians, and now everything they did while in military power must be re-examined despite their best of intentions.”
Cory: “When I first started as a writer of the born-again Christian genre, I got caught up… I nicknamed it snake handling without the snakes. I was in the front row.”
“I looked at what was the most controversial topic in church and it was porn. You could have a guy walking into a church with a heroin needle sticking in his arm and there was compassion for that, but anything sexual in nature was [shocking].”
“I looked at, how many of these performers would have chosen to do that if they could have done something else? I saw a lot of smart kids because of tax penalty laws drop out of college [and go into stripping]. Most of them were just trying to survive economically.”
“When I come across folks who are addicted to works, there are issues. When I come across folks who are secure in their own faith, we get along well and tongues get loose. That’s when ministry really happens.”
“I listened to one guy who was convinced that Jack Nicholson was a Satanic priest and for years I bought it until I met people who had worked with him, and they said, no, he’s done a lot of research for movies, but those are different things.”
Luke: “What’s it like being not Jewish in a Jewish industry?”
Cory: “I don’t perceive the media as a Jewish industry anymore. It used to be. I remember Beverly Dean. She said that the only people who’ve come to my aid as a Christian are Jewish. The other Christians ask me for money. Most of the time, Christian works get financed by Jews trying to piss off Palestine. I died laughing when I heard that. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
“The only time I felt racism against my faith from the Jewish community was completely apart from the entertainment industry.”
“To my knowledge, it hasn’t cost me a deal. People who are good at their jobs don’t factor that in.”
Luke: “How did you get into the sex industry?”
Cory: “I couldn’t get a job. I was a Caucasian living in a town [Tucson] where you needed to be bilingual or brown. Racism is a remnant of the Spanish Armada… The remnant of it there is that they are latino first and ideology second. If you switch that, you’re living the dream Martin Luther King described.”
“I did DJing for ten years. One of the last places I worked up the courage to walk into was this dive of a strip club. I walked in and this guy throws me a t-shirt and says that if you can show up, you’re hired. What I didn’t know is that it is the highest likelihood of getting a cold. It’s worse than an elementary school. Getting wrapped up with the social life is hazardous to your health. The girls are carrying stuff, so are the boys. Drugs flew in there like an airport at Christmas. The owners walk around like characters in a Scorsese movie.”
“Why are people coming in for this? They want to pay for love. The church is fumbling with matchmaking. Most of the dancers were starving. Most of the bouncers were too. A lot of addictions. The clientele was also desperate. It was all about using chocolate to feed the masses. You eat too much chocolate and it will kill you. You need the healthy stuff.
“I witnessed a lot of dark stuff, ambulances taking girls home more than their rides after a shift. Drugs took their toll. Every parasite you can think of would feast on vulnerable people.”
Cory also published, Repeat After Me:
From 1979 to 2013, Joe Cavaleri was known as the Ooh Aah Man to Tucson fans of the University of Arizona Wildcats. His live-wire fully body spell-outs of “ARIZONA” and his kid-friendly, hyper charged cheers became not only crowd favorites, but often changed the momentum of the games themselves, fueling the Wildcats to at least 2 national titles in baseball and four Final Fours in basketball as a result.
Once a competitive college basketball player himself, a freak accident ended his career, but sent him into an unlikely career, becoming the first non-student cheerleader in NCAA sports, a role he would play for 30 years. During that time, he walked with sports icons – Steve Kerr, Lute Olson, Jim Nehls, Bob Elliott, Sean Elliott to name a few, and taught the crowds that came to see them play how to cheer like a Wildcat. Official mascots Wilbur and Wilma were based on Joe, and he inspired the creation of Zona Zoo.
In 2009, Parkinson’s Disease ended his career, but his legacy lives on. He transformed West Coast basketball from what it was, when John Wooden’s UCLA fans and players were polite and quiet. Because of Joe, Pac-12 and other leagues rebranded their sports: real fans cheer real loud.
After our interview, Cory emailed:
One thing I wanted to emphasize is that lust, connected to motion pictures or not, is not a male-only issue.
It is shared by both genders and is not directly derived from or codependent with photography.
If a blind man can lust, and a married couple can masturbate each other while watching animated sex cartoons, and no Scripture has been violated, then this means the majority of what is being taught, preached and sold through series like Every Man’s Battle and XXXChurch.com is a false Gospel.
Yet people buy it to avoid accusations and guilt — neither come from God.