Shocking Footage of Palin Praying with 'Witch Hunter'
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On September 20 and 21, I attended services at the church Sarah Palin belonged to since she was an adolescent, the Wasilla Assembly of God. Though Palin officially left the church in 2002, she is listed on its website as "a friend," and spoke there as recently as June 8 of this year.
I went specifically to see a pastor visiting from Kiambu, Kenya named Thomas Muthee. Muthee gained fame within Pentecostal circles by claiming that he defeated a local witch, Mama Jane, in a great spiritual battle, thus liberating his town from sin and opening its people to the spirit of Jesus.
Muthee's mounting stardom took him to Wasilla Assembly of God in May, 2005, where he prayed over Palin and called upon Jesus to propel her into the governor's mansion -- and beyond. Muthee also implored Jesus to protect Palin from "the spirit of witchcraft." The video archive of that startling sermon was scrubbed from Wasilla Assembly of God's website, but now it has reappeared.
The Youtube version is below (Palin appears after about 7:30):
Editor's note, for those who can't play video, a description provided by Sam Stein at The Huffington Post :
In it, the minister implores Jesus to protect Palin from "the spirit of witchcraft." Earlier, he states, "We need God taking over our education system. If we have God in our schools, we will not have our kids being taught how to worship Buddha, how to worship Muhammad. We will not have in the curriculum witchcraft and sorcery." He also preaches, "The other area is the media. We need believers in the media. We need God taking over the media in our lives."
Since Palin was nominated as vice president, Wasilla Assembly of God has taken a draconian line with reporters. The church now forbids members of the media from filming, taking notes, or bringing voice recorders to its services. I was able to record Muthee's recent sermons only by deploying an array of tiny cameras and hidden microphones. Though the quality and comprehensiveness of my footage was severely compromised by the church's closed door policy to the press, I was not going to be deterred.
By the end of the second day of Muthee's sermons, the church had been tipped off about me, the liberal media member in its midst. An associate pastor told me he had received an email from an anonymous source warning him about me. When I tried to interview members of the congregation in the church parking lot, my questions were either met with silence or open hostility. I strongly suspect the McCain campaign has mobilized the Wasilla Assembly of God against perceived threats from the media.
Max Blumenthal is a Nation Institute Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow whose work regularly appears in the Nation. A winner of the USC Annenberg Online Journalism Award, he is also a Research Fellow at Media Matters for America.