Tag Archives | snake handling

Salvation’s Grim Price: Reality Show Snake-Handling Preacher Dies of Snake Bite

1785273_snake-salvation_uvhdsogk4caf4elzjl6uxwu4z3ncurxrbvj6lwuht2ya6mzmafma_610x343

Pic: National Geographic (C)

When Jamie Coots and his family made headlines last year, it was for all the wrong reasons and under quite a dubious cloud. The National Geographic Channel featured Coots and his congregation in the show “Snake Salvation”. Soon, the internet began to light up as the family sold their particular brand of “salvation” and “gospel truth” to the ever hungry meat-grinder of popular media and fast-food reality television.

Jamie Coots was arrested in 2008 in Kentucky for possession of venomous snakes without permit. He had 74 snakes in his home at the time. His legal trouble resurfaced in February of 2013 in a court in Knox County, Tennessee, when he received a year’s probation for transporting venomous snakes through the state of Tennessee while en route to Kentucky. During both investigations, the snakes were found to be severely neglected, infested with parasites, extremely ill and dehydrated. The snakes that were seized from Coots in 2008 and 2013 had to be euthanized.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Authorities Seize 55 Diseased Poisonous Snakes From Tennessee Pastor

snakesShould we be concerned about charismatic religious leaders hoarding doomsday arsenals of deadly reptiles? Via WBIR-TV:

All of the snakes that were confiscated from a serpent-handling pastor in Campbell County have now been euthanized.

TWRA seized 55 poisonous snakes from Andrew Hamlin in November. He handled the snakes as part of worship services at the Tabernacle Church of God in LaFollette. Hamlin was cited for having animal dangerous to humans, but a grand jury did not indict him on criminal charges.

The confiscated snakes were taken to the Knoxville Zoo, but were in such poor condition, they could not be saved. According to Michael Ogle, Curator of Herpetology at the Knoxville Zoo, “The 14 remaining snakes are highly suspected of being infected with the same pathogens that have proven fatal for the other snakes brought to us.”

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Read this Proclamation to the Snake Worshipers! This Practice Must Stop!

Handling serpents at the Pentecostal Church of God. Lejunior, Harlan County, Kentucky., 09/15/1946 (Photographer: Russell Lee)

American Evangelicalism is best know these days for its brash political pandering and social engineering attempts, but deep in the Appalachian mountains the tantric tremor of serpents and strichnine has been a staple of worship in some churches since 1910 when George Went Hensley brought the practice of snake handling to his pastorage of the Cleveland Church of God in Cleveland, Tennessee.

Dismissed by the orthodox on all sides, scientific, skeptical and religious, these folks cook up some of the best rockabilly that you’ll ever hear (check out the Jolo, West Virginia snake handling clips on YouTube if you don’t believe me) and the only trouble they cause is usually one of their own members dying from a snake bite.  The extreme nature of their rites reflects the dismal living conditions that attend the areas where these churches find a home.… Read the rest

Continue Reading