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Don't Call Me Brother Hardcover – April 1, 1989


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 331 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (April 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879755075
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879755072
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,750,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Tom Hinkle on March 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
First published at the height of the televangelism scandals of the late 1980's, "Don't Call Me Brother" recounts the story of a boy who ran away to join the circus, became a well-known ringmaster, found Jesus after a miraculous healing of an audience member that occurred after Miles asked for silent prayer for the man, and later became a fixture on the PTL Club. Much of the material here will not be shocking to anyone who followed PTL scandal (and who didn't?), but the slander, hatred, and hypocrisy shown by rank-and-file ministers of the Gospel was quite surprising, at least to me. Also surprising is the contention by Miles that homosexuality and adultery run rampant in the Assemblies of God denomination. I can't help but think he's overstating this just a little. But, there's more to the story than what is emphasized.
Miles is somewhat mysterious early in the book about his first marriage. It almost seems like his daughter just arrives on the scene with scant explanation. As the story unfolds, it seems that his first wife was responsible for getting him caught up in a conspiracy concerning the Kennedy presidency and Marilyn Monroe. Thus, Miles has to go through a name change from Al Maddox, his previous stage name, to Austin Miles. Toward the end of the book, we learn that the FBI has been harrassing acquaintances of Miles, paying them off (or not paying them off, in the case of the good church folks) to come up with dirt on him to destroy his reputation. Therefore, the FBI seems to be as much or more to blame than the church. The hostility he received from the church could have simply come from fear of the FBI. But then, this is a book attacking the church, not the FBI. Miles will probably never write that book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "sagebrushsam" on April 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The author is not a particularly loveable guy. After all he was one among the traveling preachers whom he exposes here. However you probably will feel for him as his life and family fall apart. His stories of the evangelists who travel from church to church rang true to me. My childhood church was involved with the things Miles talks about and he even mentions my former church's pastor by name. (See Angels on Assignment.) I have a childhood memory of a one eyed traveling preacher coming to preach at our church. After having someone blindfold his good eye he proceeded to `read' people's names off their driver's licenses. Once the congregation was all worked up by this `miracle' they passed the collection plate. (If you're wondering how he may have managed this trick of reading with an empty eye socket read James Randi's book The Faith Healers.) Read this book for an eye opening peek behind the scenes of Pentecostalism, televangelism, and the Assembly of God church. If you or someone you care about is involved with this movement I especially urge you to read this book. The connection to Jim Jones (remember poison kool-aid?) was a shock to me.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Stricker on October 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover
...parts of this are hard to believe. Mr. Miles became a circus ringmaster on the way to his dream of Hollywood stardom, and got entangled in the late-80s web of evangelical Christian corruption. That part of his book, and the surrounding stories, are (relatively) believeable. What isn't is the connections to the Kennedy assasination, Marilyn Monroe's death/murder/suicide, and the Jim Jones religious cult mass suicide in Guyana in 1977. Otherwise, those with an appetite for this kind of stuff will, as Austin Miles himself puts it late in this book (quote approximate), "[you] will read this book, cover to cover, because it [has] lots and lots of juicy gossip and that will certainly appeal to the likes of you!"
Whether it will appeal to the likes of anyone unfamiliar with the PTL scandal--now more than a decade removed--is difficult to say at best.
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Format: Hardcover
Austin Miles was a famous circus ringmaster, as well as a minister in the Assemblies of God for 10 years. He has also published Setting the Captives Free: Victims of the Church Tell Their Stories. He wrote in the Preface to this 1989 book, "The author of [this book] is the first ordained Assemblies of God minister to leave the denomination and write a book revealing the true character of this church whose 'mission' is to take over the world... Future historians will find that this work contains some of the most informative, accurate material ever published on The Assemblies of God, the televangelists, and the greatest religious scandal of all time. A scandal that will damage the credibility and effect of Christianity for many years to come." (Pg. 3-4)

He notes, "I knew a thing or two about J. Edgar Hoover, the late head of the FBI. He was the most ruthless, despicable, power-mad individual who ever inhabited Washington, D.C. Suspicions about his bizarre sexual perversions were confirmed by the revolting pornography found in his home after his death. The great personifier of truth, justice, and the American way had been an unbridled homosexual!" (Pg. 105)

While Miles was being reviewed for acceptance into the ministry, another minister involved in his reviewing process was dismissed because of an "improper relationship with a church organist." Miles says, "I was stunned. At the very moment that [Ernest] Steffensen was passing judgment on me to determine my 'fitness' for the ministry, he had been engaged in an unusually sordid adultery." (Pg.
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