32 / CHRONICLESnin the midst of a mystery, GerardnStraub made a pit stop at PentecostalnFundamentalism, from which he hasnfashioned this “expose of Christianntelevision.” Feeling “a responsibility tonshare with the public the dangers . . .nin the electronic church,” he movesnfirst to expose the “born-again phenomenon”nto an “unsuspecting”nAmerica. These revelations are worthngoing into because in addition to beingnthe big come-on for this book, theynprovide the only laugh break on a verynlong trip.nMr. Straub, who spent two and anhalf years in Pat Robertson’s ministrynas a born-again producer of The 700nClub, was “stunned” repeatedly duringnthat time by his discovery of thenfollowing facts. Hold on to your hat.nIgnoring all opportunities for “criticalnexamination,” Pentecostals believe innthe inerrancy of the Bible and a literalninterpretation of Scripture. They believen”they are in direct contact withnthe Almighty” and have a personalnrelationship with Jesus. They believenHell is a real place and that all unsavednsouls end up there, “even if they arendevout Jews [or] Muslims.” What’snmore, they “disregard” Gandhi’s “tremendousnrespect for Jesus” and consignnhim to Hell too. They believe innsalvation by grace, divine healing.nBOOKS IN BRIEFnspeaking in tongues, and the power ofnprayer. They believe also in the SecondnComing and the events surroundingnit (about which the author says:n”This was all news to me”). Theynspend much time, effort, and moneyn— often through the medium ofntelevision—trying to convince othersnto believe as they do. This makes themna “secret kingdom.” Finally, alongnabout 1984, well after leaving the “fortressnof fundamentalism,” Mr. Straubn”could not help but notice” that evangelicalnChristians had become “extremelynpolitical.”nHumdingers all, especially that lastnone, a discovery whose timing suggestsnthat Mr. Straub spent at least one legnof his spiritual odyssey in a cave somewhere.nAs for the promise of “shockingnanecdotes” about Pat Robertson’s ministry,nthat promise is as rich as thenauthor’s account of the born-againnphenomenon. Ready? Pat Robertsonnbelieves what he says he believes, totally.nSo do the people around him.nHe employs on his audiences “allnkinds of oratorical tricks to bring [his]nmessage alive,” including the abilityn”to exhort, rebuke, threaten, cajole,nand entice,” as well as the “persuasivenand moving power of frightening . . .nmetaphors, parables, allegories, [and]nJane Austen, Feminism and Fiction by Margaret Kirkham, New York: Methuen; $10.95.nWritten, edited, reviewed by women, about a woman, for women, this book gives literatenmen a good opportunity for surveillance.nThe Creative Process, edited by Brewster Chiselin, Los Angeles: University of CalifornianPress; $8.95. “We know so much, we feel so little,” wrote D.H. Lawrence in a piece chosennby the editor of this anthology to illustrate the wonders of creativity. Though “we know of sonmuch …” would have been more apt to explain why such books are compiled at all, Yeats,nEinstein, Henry James, Kipling, et al. conspire to make delightful reading, Brewster Chiselinnnotwithstanding.nReader in a Strange Land: The Activity of Reading Literary Utopias by Peter Rupert,nAthens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press; $19.00. To hope or to daydream may be thendichotomy posed by this well-researched and well-annotated look into the mechanics and thenmotives of human search for painlessness.nTalking Back to the Media by Peter Hannaford, New York: Facts on File Publications;n$17.95. Or “What to do when Mike Wallace calls?” is an instructive manual on publicnsurvival, by an insider. Peter Llannaford, a two-time media adviser to President Reagan, hasnput his money where his mouth is: At the present, he is the president and owner of his ownnPR company, in Washington, DC.nUnending Blues by Charles Simic, San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; $14.95. Therenmust be something in the nature of poetry, especially in his native Yugoslavia, that has madenCharles Simic decide upon the mournful mode. Yet, whereas Serbs have good cause to thinknof soul as an outcome of suffering, in Simic’s case one suspects a mannerism. Adequatelynsung, Simic’s fat, lame, and poor heroes people a landscape perversely intent on denyingnthem tragedy.nnnparadoxes.” (Could this be what’snknown as preaching?) He asks fornmoney from viewers, who voluntarilynsend him a lot of it. He once offered anspontaneous, sincere, and apparentlyneffective prayer for the healing of anman in his studio audience, but nevernrevealed that the man died soon after.nHe is a blunt and demanding boss.nThere’s more. Some salvation andnhealing testimonies that come intonRobertson’s Christian BroadcastingnNetwork are later filmed by CBNncrews who have no interest in functioningnas “investigative reporters” orn”a team of skeptics.” While in Jerusalem,nCBN staffers left Christian tractsnon the pavement, in the hope that theynwould be seen by Orthodox Jews.nTwenty-four employees were oncenfired for economy reasons. No one atnthe Christian Broadcasting Networknever wanted to discuss the teachings ofnGandhi with Mr. Straub.nLast, apparently on the unheard-ofnprinciple that the man in charge getsnto call the shots, Pat Robertson hasnstrict rules against smoking, drinking,nand extramarital sex, rules that werenaccepted by all employees and brokennby some employees, including the author,nwho was observed breaking thensecond rule, caught lying about thenthird rule, and summarily canned. Henclaims to have been followed beforenthe firing and to have been told by “thenvice president” (no names are everngiven) that his office phone wasntapped. These are unattractive facts, ifntrue, but in any case, they did notnprompt a flood of indignation fromnMr. Straub. He was sorry for the affair,nsorry for the lie, and “devastated” bynhis “forced exodus” from a job hen”loved” among “the nicest people withnwhom [he] had ever worked.” (A largenportion of the book is devoted to thisnaffair, and to the author’s failed marriage,nand to his explanation that bothnare connected somehow to his “parents’nsexually repressive attitudes” towardnwhat he calls his youthfuln”arousement,” and then there’s somethingnabout life being “like wearing anHalloween mask in June,” and taken