Not Another Relgious Tract Dissection by Andrew Bean and Jessica Blum


Today's Candidate:


Gladys
© 2002 Jack Chick

Uploaded April 18th, 2016



With the help of her spirit guide, Gladys considered herself a "prophet." But in this Bible tract,
she learns that those with familiar spirits share the same fate with false prophets.

Page Index

Introduction
Cover | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21
Conclusion



"Gladys" is the continuation of the story line from "The Nervous Witch." In it, Sandy is visited by both the intractable Bob Williams and her Aunt Gladys, who claims to be both into astrology as well as a psychic. Bob confronts Gladys using the biblical story of Isaiah and so offends Gladys that she finally takes the advice of her spirit guide "George" and calls Holly Parker to come and pick her up. Shortly thereafter they both die in a car crash and predictably end up in hell, as Jack Chick's antagonists are wont to do.


Introduction
Sean:

And now time for Part 2 of the, uh, "epic saga" of Bob Williams and Holly. When we last left our intrepid hero, he had successfully talked his niece into accepting Jesus by telling her the story of Saul and the Witch of Endor (Though strangely enough, nothing about Harry Potter, which was pitched as the central focus of the tract. It's almost as if Jack Chick didn't actually read the books... nah, I'm sure that's not it). Anyways, this tract picks up where we left off, because there were just so many unresolved plot threads.

 

   
   
   

Sean:

*Shivers* I actually knew my Great Grandmother, she died when I was about 8 or 9 at the ripe old age of 93. Even she didn't look that old.

 

Jessica: Her head is shaped like some sort of overripe avocado or a prune or something.
   
   

Sean:

Heh, I like how even the Evangelical doesn't want anything to do with Gladys. Can't say I blame her, she did just show up unannounced for a 3 day visit. I am curious what an Astrology convention is like though, hopefully it's better managed than AX is these days.

 

Jessica:

Of course Gladys ends up not even staying for one day, but it says something about how Chick thinks the unsaved are inconsiderate as well as hellbound.

 

   
   

Sean:

That's a...really unimpressive feat Gladys. New Age Spiritualism books might as well be a dime a dozen. Try getting a Sci-Fi novel published, then I'll be impressed.

 

Jessica:

People don't often confuse "Prophets of God" with modern day psychics. I don't think either camp really cares to truck with the other.

 

   
   

Sean:

"Really Gladys? Which Network?" "Peoria Public Access, Wednesdays from 4-5 A.M.!"


The way she was talking, you'd think that she predicted major event like the day of a celebrity's death or something. Of course, Jack Chick's favorite show, "Laugh-In" somehow managed to predict both the year the Berlin Wall fell and who would be President of the US when it did. Plus Chris Rock predicted "If I did it", Angry Joe predicted "Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3", and Bill Maher indirectly predicted the hour of Scalia's death. Comedians seem to have a better track record than prophets.

 

Jessica:

Psychics and people who allegedly talk to the dead have been debunked again and again as simply employing a technique known as "Cold Reading." While it might be possible that Gladys is so deep down the rabbit hole that she's begun to swallow her own story I find it hard to believe she wouldn't know that her entire schtick is an act.

Additionally, her silhouette in the second panel reveals just how obscene her chin actually is. Human faces don't work that way, guy.

 

   
   
   

Sean:

Sheesh Gladys, ego trip much? All Bob did was ask how you were doing.

 

Jessica:

Again, psychic vs. Profit of God, not really the same thing.

 

   
   

Sean:

Huh, apparently "52 Pickup" is an insult to the lord.

Y'know, I didn't think I'd say this, but Bob's being way too polite to this wackjob.

 

Jessica:

Is it just me, or is it really fucking irritating the way she keeps calling her niece "pet?"

 

   
   

Sean:

I dunno why Jack spent so much effort on this demon's design, Gladys is far more hideous and terrifying.

 

Jessica: The horns on "George's" head kind of look like croissants.
   
   

Sean:

Dare I say it, Bob's got some serious social manipulation skills. I mean sure, your average heathen in a Chick tract has the intellectual capacity of a rock, but he knows  how to lead them on. That's some Ventrue or Syndicate level shit right there.

 

Jessica:

Nice... um... light house... I guess?

 

   
   

Sean:

"100% accurate" my Celtic ass. Isaiah's accuracy rating for prophecies ranks somewhere between Miss Cleo and a Magic 8 ball. Here's a quick rundown of a few of his big goofs:

  • Isaiah 19: 1-8 predicts that the Nile River would dry up. Even in the midst of Climate Change this has never happened. They've suffered droughts, sure, but the Nile extends well beyond Egypt's boundaries and has never dried up completely. Furthermore, this prophecy alludes to a Pagan Egypt, which hasn't been accurate since the 4th Century AD, when Roman rule made it predominantly Christian, and then later the spread of Islam took root there (Which is an Abrahamic faith, despite what Jack Chick thinks).
  • Isaiah 19: 18 states that (Pagan) Egypt will adopt a Canaanite language. Well, this never occurred, and since Canaanite is now a dead language they kinda missed the boat on that one. Some Biblical scholars have interpreted this to mean some form of Hebrew in general, which technically would apply... but that hasn't happened either, in fact they speak mostly Arabic over there right now. There might be some Hebrew speakers, but they are a very small minority, that's like claiming California's adopted Farsi as its native tongue.
  • And one of my personal favorites; Isaiah 45:1 states that Cyrus the Great will conquer Babylon through its gates. As it turns out, the earliest texts we have of this passage were written a whole 2 years after Cyrus had taken Babylon, and over 100 years after Isaiah had died. It's not a prophecy if you are commenting on an event that already occurred. Even if the text was written before the event, the grace period on the document basically means that whoever wrote it was predicting that Cyrus the Great, one of history's most badass and progressive conquerors, would overrun a Civilization whose heyday had expired. That's kind of like predicting Brock Lesnar would defeat Justin Beiber in a bareknuckled cage match, a year after Lesnar had turned Beiber into human paste.

 

Jessica:

Twenty percent accurate?!? Jesus, how great can she be if she only gets one out of every five "prophesies" she makes? That would make for a seriously shitty TV show.

 

   
   

Sean:

Okay first off, the actual Hebrew behind that passage does not strictly refer to a Virgin, just a young woman. Yes, Mary was both, but that's not really what the prophecy was referring to.


But that brings me to the next point, which I have probably argued with the Evangelicals a thousand times; the name "Immanuel". Obviously, Jesus was not named Immanuel, most of the time they fall back to the whole "But it just means 'God with us'! Jesus Christ means the exact same thing!" No. No it doesn't. "Christ" is actually not a name but a title, a severely anglicanized form of the classical Greek "Christos" which does mean something similar to "God with us". However, this title was given to him by the Greek converts, some decades after the Crucifixion, and by that point his followers had pretty much already decided that he was the Messiah. "Jesus" is often lumped together with it and erroneously assumed to mean the same thing. Well, for starters, "Geezus" is bastardized pronunciation of "Jeh-seuss", so you're off there. Following that though, both these names are not only rooted in Greek, a language that would not have been commonly spoken in Roman Judea, but they are in fact themselves mispronunciations! The letter "J" did not exist at the time, and its syllable was not in ancient Hebrew. This would make the name "Yeezus" or "Yeh-seus", neither of which were Hebrew names. As it turns out, it springs from the name "Yeshua", an old form of "Joshua". His name would have been "Yeshua Ben Yosef", which does not in any way connect to the meaning behind "Immanuel"

 

   
   
   

Sean:

Heh, look at the spot the Romans missed. Even back then they still had appreciation for Dat Ass. Now that's a serious Ghetto Booty on the Messiah there.

 

Jessica:

Were all demons at the crucifixion? I know this isn't the first time Chick has featured a demon who saw it take place in person.

 

   
   

Sean:

Actually, his real last words were; "When I said I wanted to get nailed, this isn't what I meant!"

 

Jessica:

But Jesus had to get crucified for the whole thing to work. Christians can't make up their mind whether the crucifixion was a good thing or a bad thing.

 

   
   

Sean:

I beg to differ.

 

Jessica:

She's had this grotesque pucker for most of the comic, like she's been sucking on a bag of lemons or something.

 

   
   
   

Sean:

Putting aside the fact that there is no historic evidence that the Israelites were ever enslaved by the Egyptians... you just admitted that Isaiah's a false prophet. The Nile's still here people, that's kind of a glaring unfulfilled prophecy.

 

Jessica:

Don't make us trot out all the parts of Deuteronomy you guys don't even try to follow again.

And yes, Charlton Heston. She was just indicating she knew who you were talking about, not that The Ten Commandments was actual recorded footage or something. Christ, you are thick.

 

   
   

Sean:

Whoa, that's one long, prehensile tongue. George must be very popular with the ladies.

 

   
   
   

Sean:

If the Seven Headed, 10-horned beast from the ocean is a metaphor, then why is the flaming pit a literal prophecy? Seriously I want to know the answer to that, and an Evangelicalsploitation flick that actually features the Beast from Revelations.

 

Jessica:

I once heard a sermon that likened the reference to "sorcerers" as being drug users stemming from the Hebrew word it was translated from. I doubt Bob is saying Gladys hits the pipe here.

 

   

 

 

 

Sean:

Gladys Glump... really? Really?!

 

Jessica:

"Unbelievers." Do you get it?!?! Because Gladys is totally the unbeliever according to Bob. It's irony people!!!!

 

   
   

Sean:

Nice to see that in the intervening time between Tracts, Holly's managed to complete her metamorphosis into a Picasso painting.

 

Jessica:

And Gladys has stolen Gandalf's hat.

Does Sandy own Fang? That seems to be the implication here. But he shows up so often and in so many different contexts there is no way he can have just one owner. Or be just an ordinary dog. Or be mortal in discernible fashion, for that matter.

 

   
   

Sean:

I don't think Michael Bay's entire filmography has as many car crashes as Chick Tracts.

 

Jessica:

Lousy women drivers.

What about the poor schmuck driver the tanker? Was he a psychic too? God took him out just so Holly and Gladys could get their comeuppance.

 

   
   

Sean:

Yes Gladys, you did make a mistake by trusting in your Fairy Tales of Astrology and Divination. What you should have done is put your faith in the magic zombie carpenter who's his own father.

 

Jessica:

I like that Holly gets all uppity and in the angel's face here. You'd think more people would do that instead of just rolling over like sheeple. Kick the guys in the nards!

 

   
   

Sean:

You know, in the Gnostic tradition, Yahweh is the false God known as the "Demiurge",  deceived humanity into accepting his illusory world. I'd like to think that this is the actual theology of the Chickverse, because it at least makes for a more interesting mythology.

 

Jessica:

Without excuse isn't exactly the case here. An omnipotent god would realize how flimsy the entire story is and a just god wouldn't hold people to that sort of a standard.

 

   
   

Sean:

As it turns out the lake of fire is really just a gigantic hotbox. It's still Hell though, so it's mostly stems and pipe residue.

 

Jessica:

The lake of fire is REAL! We swear!!! Believe us guys!

 

   
   

Conclusion
Sean:

Well that tied it up pretty neatly. Holly and Gladys went to Hell, I totally did not see that coming. This was still pretty good for a laugh, if only for the double standards surrounding Chick's view of New Age Astrology.

 

   
   
   

 
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Last Modified: April 18, 2016