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D Magazine’s 40 Greatest Stories: Ole Anthony Teaches Joe Bob Briggs About God

This week in our ongoing 40th anniversary victory lap, featuring the 40 greatest stories ever told in the pages of D Magazine, we have muckraker Ole Anthony of East Dallas’ Trinity Foundation giving that old-time religion to the guy behind Monstervision.

John Bloom, who has performed for years in the guise of redneck movie reviewer Joe Bob Briggs, wrote in the December 1999 issue of D Magazine of his long relationship with Anthony, which began when the two of them worked (and in the case of Anthony, lived) in the same Oak Lawn office building in the late 1970s.

***Spoiler Alert***: He ends up as one of the converted, working with Trinity Foundation. The organization is part church, part nonprofit investigators in search of malfeasance and fraud in the big business of televangelism and mega-churches. News organizations have reported extensively on Trinity’s findings over the past 20-plus years. You can see above the greatest hits compilation that Trinity posted to YouTube a couple years ago.

I checked in with Bloom this week, and he reports that he’s still a believer and still a supporter of the Trinity Foundation, even though he now lives in New York. He was the last editor of the organization’s magazine, the Wittenburg Door, which ceased publication in 2008. (Though its website remains frozen in time.)

In late 2012, when our own Krista Nightengale stopped by Anthony’s place for waffles one Saturday morning, he told her he had no plans to retire:

He says the Trinity Foundation will flourish under the leadership of lead investigator Pete Evans. He thinks that instead of Dumpster diving, he’ll lead Bible studies at some of the churches around the country that have spun off from the Community on Columbia.

“I don’t understand the word ‘retire,’ ” he says. “Retire from what? Doing what I want to do?”

What he wants to do is help the homeless, have intellectual conversations with the members of the church, and keep people—particularly televangelists—honest.