Those who are unfamiliar with the kinds of things that happen at Pentecostal services might be shocked by the extreme nature of the things that the congregation can get whipped up into doing. Babbling incoherently (also known as ‘speaking in tongues’) and wildly gyrating as if they were having a fit are common. This video clip that I received from readers Lisa and Norm gives you some idea of how wild things can get.
It is a good example of how delusions can spread, with one person’s actions inducing others to think they feel the same thing and act accordingly. You should see the film Marjoe about a former star Pentecostal child preacher Marjoe Gortner who explained how with practice and coaching you too can convincingly babble so that it sounds like you are speaking some unknown language. He also said that as a preacher in his heyday, he would be able to get the crowd so worked up that they would really believe they were doing it because they had been possessed by the holy spirit. He himself did not take any of that stuff seriously.
The documentary can be seen in its entirety on YouTube and here’s the first part.
In the documentary Gortner explained that it was quite easy to get people to behave like this because these services are a form of entertainment for Pentecostals who are forbidden to enjoy almost all the forms of enjoyment that ordinary people can indulge in, such as watching films or TV, listening to the radio, dancing, drinking alcohol, and so on. So the religious services become the main source of entertainment and they can dance away with abandon while imagining that they doing it as a form of worship because you are possessed by god and glorifying him. It was their way of having a good time in an approved manner.