As fall turns to winter across this nation, many millions will converge on centers of worship large and small, to celebrate and give thanks to a familiar God. He tells us to buy now and pay later. He tempts us with promises of endless credit. As he leads us down the path to eternal debt. ‘Tis the season to be shopping…. There’s just one more thing you have to do before the end of the year and that is… Shop yourself silly! People are saying “Look, we can’t just let the terrorists win… …and just stay home.” Millions of Americans are hitting the stores… … Tradition on this Black Friday is… Get out and shop… till you drop. We used to be a nation of producers, and are now a nation of consumers. American stores, could already fit every man, woman and child in north America, South America and Europe, inside them, at one time. We love toys and Elmo… – We love Elmo! Our gadgets, appliances, tools… – I’ve a gift for you guys! – flat panel TV’s… we have to have that or it won’t be a happy holiday! For the first time, since the great depression, our household personal savings rate is below zero and 60% of us, are in long-term debt on our credit cards. …This is free financing for all your purchases… We now spend under one hour a week in religious or spiritual time, and over five hours a week shopping! Over 15 million Americans, may be clinically addicted to it. “…people saw that there is very limited supply and they begin behaving like animals. I just like to say as I always say, sometimes I enjoy my diamond ring much more than I enjoy my husband! If you’ve feed something that She doesn’t like, she says “Oh mommy I don’t like that! She actually goes potty… ” You know people will run over a pregnant woman to get to the Item they want, there is no surprise there. Three quarters of us, view Christmas with more dread than anticipation. Yet we’ll spend half a trillion Dollars on Christmas this year and create five million tons of extra waste. Some say it’s all gotten out of control, this Church of Stop Shopping is planning what it calls “a Shopocalypse tour”. Drive the demons out of those cash registers… Reverend Billy, what is the mission? What is you’re trying to tell people? We’re trying to get people to slow down their consumption, Amen! We’re addicted, conflicted! We’re hypnotized! consumerized! …consumers are expecting to spend around 40 to 57 billion dollars this holiday season, this weekend alone, is gonna be the busiest shopping weekend of the year. Stop shopping! Save us from our credit cards! You don’t have to BUY a gift, to GIVE a gift! Amen! Stop shopping children, we can go the other way! Folks, only 30 days of shopping to Christmas. Stop it! Slow down your consumption! It’s time to stop! Stop shopping… Stop, stop shopping, Halleluja, sing Halleluja… we will never shop again, forever and for… Halleluja! We won’t shop again! We’re gonna put those Nikes down and we’ll stop shopping, shopping we’re gonna put that Starbucks down and we’ll stop shopping, shopping we’re gonna put that Wal Mart down and we will start to stop, Halleluja! Halleluja! Let me tell you something, Who’s the man? Who cares the poor, on the big bad shopping mall he will stop you, he will shock you, he will test you, he will bless you children give up all your sin, ’cause he’s our reverend Reverend Billy! Help us! Bless us, Give us a power to… STOP SHOPPING! Amen! Yeah! We’re here today… 28 days before Christmas That’s behind so many layers of billboards and supermodels looking down at us… in their Christmas lingerie. Billboards covered with fake dickensian gingerbread lattes. They’re beating each other up at the cash register in the supermalls. I think I know what they’re doing. I have some compassion there, some part of me… feels pretty violent right now about Christmas. Oh, we’re gonna go out across… this shopping addicted country. Please remember us. We might be chased across that Wal Mart parking lot. We don’t know what kind of jail in might be in. Macy’s and Bloomindale’s have jails now. We’re gonna out there. We’re gonna keep those Biodiesel busses going on… and make sense of this journey into utter absurdity. I know that all we’re asking people to do, is to slow down their shopping. What am I saying? Stop shopping! happy holiday, happy holiday while the merry bells keep ringing, may your every wish come true. Happy holiday, happy holiday may the….. keep ringing happy holidays to you it’s not a traditional anymore, like we’re.. you can just be around your family and buy them small things and they appreciate it and now if you get people small things they don’t appreciate it. I would not want to celebrate Christmas if there were no gifts. gotta have the Christmas spirit, with some brand new rims. Material stuff ain’t important, I just wanna, cruise around flashing my rims so you can see me down the street… damn! look what he got for Christmas! This year for Christmas I want The Gucci dog tag with the free cuflinks….and Prada shoes. Whatever costs a lot, people want. People don’t what something that’s cheap. …And then you just throw them away, buy new ones. It’s not a bad holiday, it’s just more if… you go broke. And the news lets you know that you’re gonna go broke. I’ve had my life threatened, I’ve had people follow me out to the parking lot and try to beat me up as if I have all the systems in my car. I’ve had people curse me out, I’ve had people actually spit at me, I had a woman who’s about 60 years old curse me put and spit on me for not having a PS3 for her 6-years old grandson… That’s just me, too – we’ve had a lot worse in some of the other stores. What do we have here? Laser tag… drum set! It’s for the kids, for the kids. I don’t care if I go broke, it’s for my kids. I was living in Times Square and I couldn’t figure out where I was. My neighborhood had turned into a mall. Small shops were getting closed now, and here’s Mickey Mouse, here’s the Lion King, here’s all these Disney industries… Nobody really goes here anymore EXCEPT consumers. It’s lost. Than I asked myself “Who’s shouting here, who’s really getting out there and raising their voice a bit, …Repent….. – It was the sidewalk preachers! … For the kingdom of Heaven is at hand… I bind the spirit right now with the name of Jesus Father, I loosed the kingdom of Jesus Christ upon you. It shall be roasting on your roaster, while you’re toasting on your toaster, …as you’re coasting on your coaster. I went and bought a lupine puppet. I was catering tables at the time, so I had a tuxedo. And I just started bellow: “People…. tourists… listen to me! Mickey Mouse is the Antichrist! We have to start our own church that isn’t about the worship of the retail moment. Goofy’s come to steal the dreams and imagination of you children! Hallelujah! You’re under arrest. Turn your back. Stop shopping! Stop shopping! (Crowd shouting: Let him go!) If we were able to change Christmas …we would change the whole year. You know, the ‘Stop Shopping’ Church doesn’t necessarily… we don’t have the answer. And we’re trying to slow down our own shopping. I think we have …. the question… ..the question. Toasters, remember? Toaster! Now, see someone! Well, Billy and I fell in love before I ever saw Reverend Billy and really knew what he was up to. We were married by the time I started directing the show. I was intrigued from the beginning by the choir. I watched the choir grow from, you know, six people and a musician to 35 singers and a 7 piece band. We say ‘Stop shopping’ just to get your attention. Certainly nobody can stop shopping. But you can have a conscience about your shopping. Think about how it affects other people, just explore the options, that’s all we ask. We’ve got scientists… preachers’ kids, high-school teachers, recovering executives, and we’re all joined together in the ‘Church of Stop Shopping gospel choir.’ I’ve no idea how Billy does it really. I even don’t know how many times he’s been arrested. I couldn’t even tell you. Sometimes I worry… Billy is going to jail for a while. you know, it doesn’t slow him down at all. The Shopocalypse… it comes in the form of the Stonehenge of logos! And we pray today for protection and safety as we get into our two bio-diesel busses and if the fabulous unknown protects us and keeps us we’ll be in the Promised Land of customers! While many people hit the malls to do a little Christmas shopping today one man is on a mission to stop what he calls ‘The Shopop…. Shopo… Shopocalypse. It’s like Apocalypse and shopping together. The church of Stop Shopping! They’re on a month-long, cross-country tour to convince people to reject overconsumption and change their shopping ways. This year for Christmas I want a disposable sofa. XBox 360, Nintento ‘Revolution.’ -Nintendo DS for Christmas. All the kids are talking about it… This year I want so much! – I want an iPod! – a Batman mobile.. – An army knife and an army gun! What do you want for Christmas this year? – A ??? dog and ferries… and Rudolph the rednosed Reindeer to come to my house! How many presents do you think is ‘A lot of presents’? – 100! Oh, 100, that is a lot of presents. When you can afford it, it’s hard to draw a line sometimes between being moderate and giving them all they need and want versus spoiling them. All over here are The toys. And over here are my doll-house stuff. And my dream things are over here…. She has seen commercials on the Saturday morning shows, and anytime she sees something she yells out: “Mommy, come see this! I want this!” It’s a crocodile and I named him Chum-chump. My favorite toy is Chum-chump! Do you think you have too many toys? -Yeeees! – Well how did that happen? Because you and mommy gave them to me, and Christmas…. This… has nothing in it. Daddy, what’s this? The intriguing thing really is that most of the ‘togetherness’ is now created around the gift-giving. Christmas almost died out in America after the Revolution. Then it was realized this was a wonderful commercial opportunity because it combines this commercialism with a true feeling of love and affection. Our parents go to such immense trouble for making seem to children that nobody shopped for Christmas. The presents were all brought by Santa Claus who made them each by hand and disguise the fact that the gifts they bought for their kids have in fact come out of a shop and come out of a season of anxiety and sometimes – tragic desperation. From the very beginning all of us as babies are conditioned in this society to see Christmas in a certain way. And so they associate the material goods with the symbol of love, which is exactly what the marketers want them to do. In some countries it’s illegal to advertise to children under 12. But in America we spend over 15 billion dollars marketing to them. Studies reveal that until the age of 8 most children don’t know the difference between advertising and entertainment. American children now absorb over 40 hours of media exposure a week. While meaningful conversations with their parents will total less than .. 40 minutes. Despite suffering a shotgun blast through his chest Michael Penkala stayed focused on being one of the first US buyers of the new Playstation 3 from Sony. Penkala was on the floor coughing out blood and telling the workers to take the wallet out of his pocket to purchase the PS3. It’s like drinking dickens. I hear you brother. Had to plaaaay the XBox 360, WOW, it’s craaaazy, it’s just like Real Life! This is my secret…. Gonna go tackle the choir?…. Billy, that’s what I want you to say. I want you to really practice the thing we talked about yesterday: generosity, opening your eyes…. I want you to go in the other direction about connecting to people. Don’t go to the performance! Let the performance emerge, OK, from a real situation. Hallelujah. Exactly! So you ask ‘What exactly is the Shopocalypse’? It’s that discounted luxury item, that we are all buying as we are all dying. We’re proceeding into the shopping season under an enormous misunderstanding: We think we are consumers at Christmas time. NO! We are Being Consumed at Christmas time! Over there, that new XBox 360, Oh My God, NO, NO, I gotta have it, gotta have it, IT FEELS LIKE REAL LIFE! Somebody give me a Changelujah here. Changelujah! Can you do that brother? May this young man….. may the ability to distinguish between real life and simulated life come into his body yeeeeah! I can live in the mall. I dreamed about living in the mall once. It was a cool dream! It was like my parents owned the mall and I could get whatever I wanted. That just made me want to smile. I mean, I’m a pretty smart girl, I can tell when they’re trying to get us buy stuff, but then I wanna buy their stuff, so…you know… doesn’t really make a difference if it’s advertised or not, I still wanna buy it because everybody’s buying it. If everybody buys it then I’m gonna buy it. I just feel like sometimes you HAVE to buy your clothes at certain place, or else you won’t be considered… normal. People will laugh at you, rumors will spread. And that is a bad thing. Very bad thing. We lost our whole box of Lola’s Christmas outfits, everything’s just gone, we can’t find it. Noooo! – Her whole Christmas wardrobe is gone! Oh look! Here’s a Louis Vuitton bag with the cherries. I think she needs that, don’t you? Good bye, thanks a lot! This is Lola’s Christmas tree, she has her own ornaments; this is Lola’s closet, Her wardrobe is kept and organised, her dresses and fancier things here, sweaters, slacks and coats all across the bottom here. Hi sweetepie, you wanna put this on? That’s so pretty! Let me see you. That’s pretty. Cheers! Compulsive buying is something that overtakes someone. They need skills, tools and strategies to stop it; it’s not enough to say: ‘I’m not gonna do it anymore!’, because one has to respect all of the functions that it serves. I have a little reminder card that I give everybody I work with; it’s got questions: Why am I here? Do I need this? How will I pay? What if I wait? And Where will I put it? Holidays do trigger some people. Buying is equated with love, and happiness is just the next purchase away. Try to talk to me about your shopping sin. There’s a store that I love; and I faithfully go everyday at lunch. Every day?? – Every day, and they always have a bargain. And the last time I was there they had this great blue dress, and I really wanted it! And I knew it would fit, I mean, I knew until I took it to the dressing room and got undressed and I … got it up to my hips and I could not get that dress on. So I pushed the dress on; couldn’t get it over my shoulders, so I thought: ‘No, this dress is gonna fit!’ – and I put it on, and I wanted this dress SO BAD! And I pulled it at my…. Got It! Oh my…. I could not get it off. I tried every way: back down, back up, I could not call those ladies because I go there every day! I had to destroy it and I had little key scissors on my keychain and I cut myself out of it, cause I didn’t want to embarrass myself and not be able to go back to that store, so.. I can still go to the store. But I probably shouldn’t have done that. Sister, the fabulous Creator that gave you your wonderful body… is saying something to you at that moment. Your body destroyed that dress and it did the right thing. Maybe your needs will be what you refer to when you make the decision to shop. Go now and sin no more. – I just felt bad for ruining the dress, not for shopping! Yeah, it’s lovely, it’s got pictures of God holding semis in the air… hear my testimonial…. I just want to let you know that .. Travel John came in handy in my car last evening. It’s just…. can’t we shop? – We’re not shopping, we’re just…. uh.. My fear is that we’ll be perceived as weirdos or not taken seriously, but.. there are people here that totally left their lives behind to try to do something. Before the Stop Shopping! choir I always thought protesting was marching on Washington shouting with signs, but it’s a new serious political work in creative, fun ways; It’s incredible, like nothing I expected. The chipmunk was wearing a little robe made of leaves; inside there was a crucifix and some holy wafers, that have been missing from the church for a week. I’m a sinner, yes I am, and I own a lot. Okey-dokey, I think it’s a sale…. no, that’s a waste, I can’t pay 6 bucks on this crap… Thank you very much! I did not buy one thing! It was hard… What would Jesus buy? XBox 360! Jesus would probably buy a Playstation 3. Ooooh, this year he’d probably get a Wii, or a 360 if they didn’t have any Wiis available. Well I don’t think we’d see Jesus at Wal Mart buying a new pair of shoes, although it is cold down here and he might get socks. I don’t know… I don’t think he’d have to buy anything, well I guess he would. He would buy because, you know, you need bread, he’d buy the necessities. I think he was very conservative. Not a Republican! He might with love and maybe a bit of sternness in his voice, say: “Look, you’re reading the Scriptures, but you’re missing half the message! Why don’t you learn about what to do about the poor?” Why do the CEOs get 500% more than the one at the bottom? God is wonderful, he answers all prayers. ‘Cause for a long time I prayed: ‘Please get me off the streets of Outskid Row.’ And here I am with my own room, fully decorated for Christmas, and I’m just really, really thankful! “Buy the baby gift. Do we shop, do we die? Oh no that kind of gift! What would Jesus buy, whaaat would Jesus buuuuuy.” Sam Ruben live from Hollywood. This is WGM Morning news at 8. He’s the only reverend with a court order barring him from entering any Starbucks in California. He says Mickey Mouse is his own personal Antichrist. Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping! gospel choir are here this morning, Morning borther, how are you? – Hallelujah! – Nice to see you. So, you have a specific message, uh? – Oh yes, we’re trying to… get people to think about what to do in this Christmas time. You wanna express love for the person you’re giving the gift to with just another product from the supermall? Ask the question: ‘What would Jesus buy!’ – Right, I don’t do it! Exorcise your credit card… that’s all right, that’s OK. Hey, what if you sing a song here! I gotta get to the mall! Get out of here! That guy’s got a shopping problem. Follow him! Hallelujah! Blessed are the meek for they wil SAVE OUR CITY! Blessed are those with the golden gap, for they will SAVE OUR CITY! We will remoooove Starbucks! and Disney! Many shoppers have gone into the Magnificent mile and have never been seen again. Starbucks with a billionaire at the top and impoverished people at the bottom! Don’t spend four dollars on a latte in this cafe. We didn’t mean to create banana republic! It wasn’t our idea! The Dysney company still presides over sweatshop facilities around the world. Suddenly, we see where it came from! We back away! We won’t go back! We won’t we won’t, no more, no more! Hallelujah! Wake up America! Are you people, or are you sheeple, led to the Shopocalypse? I always wanted to have the high fashion shoes, and now I’m in debt. I’m 21 years old. Credit cards give you a false sense of economic security. That ‘Buy now and pay us later!’ – at high interest rates, that’s what people forget about. You turn 18 and you get your first credit card and it’s like this amazing thing… I’m just walking in, show this people this piece of plastic and I get what I want! It would typically take me until the end of fall next year to pay off Christmas bills. Christmas is when I go all out, you know, I always had nice stuff when I was growing up and I want them to have everything, I want them to grow up having name brand stuff and all the cool toys; and when their friends come over they can say they have it, My husband said No! We have a budget and we stick to a budget and there is not enough for… I don’t believe in credit cards or anything like that. We do have a credit card and if we use it we just pay it off every month. Here it is again: Christmas offers, getting cards and… I think he’ll just have a fit when he finds out, so… This is a card that was received in the mail and we maxed it out by the end of the day. When I was a girl there was no plastic. When I was a girl your credit was really just a matter of a handshake; that’s how my dad would hit the deal in my home town. You know that I’m gonna pay the store when I get paid, right? That was the credit line. American consumer credit debt has surpassed 2.4 trillion dollars, and 60% of us are carrying 13 000 dollars in credit card debt this Christmas. At over 1 mln. a year bankruptcies continue to rise especially after the holidays; yet Americans will still get over 4 billion new credit card offers and charge over 100 billion dollars on Christmas gifts this year. We’re seeing gift cards that function like credit cards; marketing to 12 – 13-year olds, we’re seeing the marketing of consumerism to children as young as 3-years old! Friend! Friend! Lock that door! There are people here with… too much credit! I want everybody here to reach down in your wallet and I want you to pry out that credit card and I want you to wave it in the air. Magnetic stripe facing Reverend Billy. We’re gonna exorcise the credit! One time Jesus got violent was the money changers; when the Visas, the Citybanks came into the temple – that’s when he got upset because of the outrageous users’ rates that were being charged. Two weeks until Christmas that year. Wrapped up your shopping yet? Have you wrapped up your presents yet? Matell is feeling swell, saying barbie doll sales are up this year. Matter of fact it`s the top toy for girls… How are you guys? I love the hair! I’m Reverend Billy and this is the Stop Shopping! gospel choir. All right, give me a cue here. I love this! OK, I feel you man!, I really do! Look at this! – Can we sing you a song? – Absolutely! Serious! The little boy loved the brat line. He had a good sense of humor about it. Maybe that’s the governor’s. A certain awareness. He invited us inside! Oh yeah! Time to end the workday. Probably one of the happiest Christmasses that I can recall we sold some pot models and some rags, my wife and I. We used to buy rags, haha. So we sold pot models and rags. We were able to buy some paraffin wax and we made candles. And we gave everybody! Everybody had candles; actually when we left that little appartment it still had candle wax all down the stove! We didn’t know we were poor, you know, because everybody was in the same boat. And my dad made Christmas so special because he always made sure there was oranges and apples along with maybe a pair of boots or something that we had to have. I was thinking that Santa was gonna come down the chimney and I was waiting for him every time and be all right the next day…I just felt very happy when we had candy in. With all the basic things we had… and I was happy. Amen! Dear Reverend, today’s my first visit to your website; I find that what you’re accomplishing ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL! Amin! This is Elisa and Grace and Uncle Billy… Christmas cards… Right, we’re supposed to be singing carols oncamp… Bill’s probably about 7 here? And here’s he’s about 11. This is South Dakota. We were really made to have a creative life. So Bill had piano and cello, and he was actually very gifted musically. You know, it’s one thing to be performing in the family in the living room, but it’s another thing to say ‘This is my life!’ We go out there in the world with my talent, my heart, and make this be how people know me, what I do. Arwin say the performance element came to be totally in service of the message; and the message became the reason the Reverend Billy is him. We have to take Starbucks into our bodies! It has come into our neighborhoods like space aliens! Would you please shut up! What is it that you feel when the corporation is your best friend? When the corporation, the multinational corporation is your lover? Is Starbucks my lover? It’s not my lover! Changelujah children! I call unto God that is NOT a product! Come into this evil Wal Mart! Exorcise this cash register! Don’t touch our children! Can I talk to you for a moment? – No! We’re in church here! We’re worshiping here! I just wanna ask the fabulous Unknown …… for forgiveness on this leg of the trip! We froze our vegetable last night because we ran out of heating in this bus! I feel like Jimmy Swagger in this church when he got caught at 4 in the morning with a prostitute. He was in his church, his wife was in the front row and he was: “Dear, dear, I’m so sorry dear, I HAVE SINNED! Forgive me! We’re back to fossil fuel. I’m so sorry! Forgive me!” Hallelujah brother! Amen! Amen! Amen! Give me your camera. Talk to him…. Liza! Stand on your knees….. we love you, we’re with you! Don’t move anybody! All injured, get out of the bus right now! Paramedics are here…. Where you’re hurting, buddy? Fractured ribs I believe…. Flight is coming here? – Yeah. We were rammed by an 18-wheeler headed for Minneapolis. I don’t know about the tour… Everybody’s hugging everybody… it’s …we’re getting medevacs… A semidriver apparently misjudged the speed of those buses and hit right into the back of that second bus. They’re apparently members of a performance activist group, in fact, and they’re on a nation-wide mission with an intriguing message for shoppers this holiday season. We’re on a mission to save Christmas from overconsumption; we want people to discover another way to give gifts to each other this year. And that right there was Reverend Billy. Although the group is based in comedy, their message is serious. Members say they’re fighting against false idols of the Christmas spirit. Yes, we’re the people that were touring in the bus together; we’d like to visit our friends… in the IC department somewhere. Oh, we can order medical university license plates. Don’t delay, order yours today! ……… in the background… Well, 13 people into the hospital, here, but they’re starting to come around. Hey champ! So we’re gonna try and charter a bus, I don’t know really how that’s gonna go. But, now everyone wants to just get back on the road. Of course, my mom was like ‘You need to stop that tour, you’re coming right home!’ My momma said the same thing! I told her we don’t give up! We will mooooove, yes we will! You know we’re gonna GET BACK, right back, oooon that roooad.. and we’ll spreeeeead, the gospel, of Stop shoppiiiing, and we won’t give up, we won’t give up; Push on! Push On! We will revive our church and continue, go on and on and we’ll find, somehooooooow, somwheeeeere and we’ll get on a brand new bus tomorrow early in the morning, and we won’t give up we won’t give up early Push on! Push On! PUSH ON! Are you the Reverend Billy? – Aaaaah, no. – We thought that’s pretty funny, because our reverend is Reverend Billy. – Oh, really? – That’s what he said. Reverend Billy. All right, your reverend is from what church? – The church of Stop Shopping. Interesting… – I’ve never heard of it! So, you’re trying to establish a church here? Oh, you’re just travelling…. – Oh, crusade! Way to go! You guys are doing a wonderful work! You are doing a mission! We here in Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, a missionary’s job is to spread the Word, not just keep it to yourself but spread it throughout the land. That’s the good thing. And it takes some guts to do that! Have you experienced the kind of electric charge as when you’re going to a Big Box, you’re going to a chain store, and you just get a little bit out of the proper prescribed behavior? Just a little bit outside of that, maybe raising an original issue; and maybe that issue goes to a table next to you… And it’s just your first amendment, that’s all. And maybe somebody finds you obnoxious? Nothing new for me baby! There are many places in America where there are no sidewalks. What does this say about us? It says that we have to either be in our car, or in our house, or in the mall! There are only commercial spaces in almost all of America, or private spaces. You’re either trespassing, or you’re buying. It’s as if we live under a kind of enchantment. In a 100 years from now we won’t be doing the things we’re doing. We would’ve figured out way more interesting things to do than go shopping as our main activity. Unfortunately I also know that we don’t have 100 years to make that transition. We gotta make it more quickly than it would happen naturally or else we’re gonna derail the Earth’s physical system, especially its climate. This consumer frenzy makes everything into a commodity – everything has become a thing. Even Christmas, even Christ. The shopping mall is a symbol of everything that has gone wrong with Christmas, This isn’t what Jesus had in mind for us. We would like to invite you to come to the Mall of America. We have 100 robes, we have this wonderful idea of sort of a anarchic mormontanemental choir. The once sleepy town of Bloomington, Minnesota. A monument for the ages has risen, with their own police force, an amusement park, a wedding chapel, and the first ever college campus built inside of a mall. Over 4 miles of storefront, with more than 42 million visitors per year! That’s more visits than to the Capitol, Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon and Disneyland combined. Behold! The Mall of America! We’re gonna spread the good gospel to Mall of America! Walk away from the product! Drive the money changers out of the temple! We’re all ending up inside these supermalls! These products are taking over our lives! Shall I just get up there…. Stop shopping! Hallelujah! Changelujah! Let’s change! We’re here in the heart of Mall of America. (Calling all security…) Taunts you to join out with many other Americans in saving Christmas FROM THE SHOPOCALYPSE! You’ve gotta stop protesting and you’re gonna have to leave, OK? You’ve gotta walk out of the property, you’re not allowed to be on the property. We’re just everywhere, you never known when we’re gonna show up. That’s fine but you can’t be here today. – You’ve gotta stop shopping! Your consumption is getting out of control! Hallelujah, that wasn’t nice! Try it now, it’s never too late. I’m sorry I yelled at you! I get angry at police pretty easily! We’ll see each other again somewhere. It’s Texas. Jay from the Dallas Morning News, Amen. Savitri, would you say hello to Mr. Jay? – Hi there, how are you? We try to… First of all, we know how hard it is to shop in America without compromising… these values. You know, I think you can go in any store and be hard-pressed to find a product that’s made in America. But first of all, we look for things that are made in America, then we try to shop in places where the money we spend will come back into the local communities, into local economies. Gordon’s Barber shop. You don’t need a haircut! Hello! We thought the whole store was empty! – Well I’m here, I didn’t want to get in your way… I’m Bill, how are you? What’s your name? – Mike. – This is my wife Savitri there. We just came up from Demoin this morning and we’re freezing, cause I just don’t have… I need a good sweater. Can I try it? Then if I don’t like it check the quality. – That’s all right. This one’s wool. Is this… made in America? – Let me see. Are you gonna take it back off? – No, I would never take it off. Made in USA. Yeeeeeeah! Hallelujah! The gentleman next door said there were Wal Marts on 20 miles in either direction. Has that affected your store? – Oh yeah. Wal Mart is killing small town life. Seriously. Saturday nights everybody came to town, and we’d be busy, be here and be busy until 11 – 12 o’clock at night! We have two sons and I have not encouraged them to come back to the store. I mean, there’s no future… and that’s sad. When you think of a business that’s been in our community for over 125 years, and it’s just ready to go. It all goes back to the mindset of the people, goes back to the Wal Mart mentality. We gotta buy this as cheap as we can buy it, we don’t care where it’s made, we don’t care they’re not paying the employees anything. As long as I bought that pair of socks for 50 cents instead of 2 dollars – I’m happy. Lots of folks think it’s inevitable – they’re gonna disappear into the big stores. We don’t have to feel that way. So let’s talk to each other, put our money back in our own community. As long as I get a good deal it doesn’t matter where it’s made in. It’s the price – I can get over it, it’s just the price. I doesn’t really matter to me where things are made, because I just get them, I don’t really wonder where they’re made, because that just takes too much of me, of my time. They go to other countries to make cheaper stuff, and then we end up with jobs in Wal Marts, K Marts and Targets, and we get paid less because of course cashiers don’t make a lot of money; stockers don’t make a lot of money. But you know, what are we gonna do? There’s nothing we can do! I can’t like boycott everything, cause I won’t buy anything…So… I really don’t know what to tell you, I’m sorry. Well, people have a choice: Are they gonna choose low prices or high wages? And that’s not a choice that I can make for them. Jesus said: Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick. There are more people being fed by Wal Mart than any government in the world. Globalization doesn’t mean that America is losing. It means that America is shifting its locations, It means maybe that…. the workers are not making as much in salary, but…. And they’re losing insurance, and they’re losing retirement benefits, which always says that…. that nothing is guaranteed anymore. Been at Wal Mart for 5 years. Started as plain clerk, now I got promoted to invoice clerk. Well, I put in about 6 days a week, over 70, no, 96 hours a saleweek. The benefits are good, we have…. Wait a bit, you got me…. Course, the benefits for as …. the wages that are coming here… you got me here. If companies are allowed to pit the American worker against desperately poor people in the developing world who don’t have the right to organize, who don’t have any form of democracy at all… You can’t compete against slave labor, it’s impossible. Well, how do workers live in Bangladesh that make all Wal Mart shirts? They get paid 13 to 17 cents an hour. Well those workers live in utter misery. Those wages translate into not being able to brush your teeth. They get up in the morning and brush their teeth with their finger, using ashes from the fire, because they can’t afford a toothbrush. And there is a certain decency to American people. When they stand face to face with a 13-year old kid, and that kid tells the American people that she works 7 days a week, and every other day they work until 3 AM, they keep them for an 19-and-a-half hour shift… She got 7 cents an hour sewing clothing for Wall Mart. And while we were walking away from her, she just blurted out: ‘I feel like I’m dying! I’m so sick and exhausted!’ 13-year old and she tells us she feels like she’s dying. Yet she works for the largest retail corporation on the face of the Earth, that had 11 bln. dollars of profits. Wal Mart led the way and now everyone wants to milk the system for as much as possible. The biggest fear for the corporations is that young people wake up and start asking not even negative questions. Just like: ‘Wait a second! Let’s slow down a bit! Who made this product?’ I had no idea…. Really… That would definitely cause me not to buy it. Yeah, but this thing…. everything is made there. Like, your shirt was made there… This one is Vietnam… We could call someone. Hi, can we have some information on where your clothes are made? – Our clothes? – Yeah, where they’re made? – Where we’re located? No, where your clothes are made. I asked my manager and she told me we don’t know. – Is there a law that you should know? You can double-check online. I never even thought about this. I had no idea. We’re gonna ask questions. So these are all laborage, so you can check the China Labor Watch, Carpwatch and Labor.net. So we should go to this ‘Responsible Shopper’.org. Ok, so they have special organisations in Bangladesh. Unpaid retirements…. and in some cases even endured beatings by their supervisors? Workers operating the hot glue machines had burn scars
and fresh burns on their hands. We’re going to Wal Mart Headquarters, because Wal Mart is the largest retailer in the world. The Walton family are 5 of the top 10 richest people in America, but they pay their workers very very little. They’ve gotten that wealthy on the backs of a lot of people. Lots of places, lots of towns have been devastated by them… They really destroy the American dream. We’ll park near a graveyard and we’ll have a funeral for small-town America. In that adjoining cemetery are the buried hopes of the American dream. There is a real vision after Supermalls – a complex, fun, big American dream in the future, that is not about betrayal. It’s not being cheated. The teenagers making these goods on the other side of the world, they won’t have that kind of life anymore! We will know better than to cooperate in that slavery. Be able to give a better life for our children. Can you see that future? We’re gonna exorcise Wal Marts. It’s waking up now…. I think it’s Resurrection time. Let’s go to that sign now. Let’s take the evil into our bodies now. Let the anger come out. We started this country with anger. There is a time for anger. There is a time to exorcise, with millions of Americans in our bodies. We have millions of Americans in us! We’ll give our own gifts this Christmas! Well, that was miserable. Millions of Americans in our bodies…. I thought that we’ll start levitating and fly over Wal Mart and something might happen. All I did was dive into the shrub. I hope nobody here hears us. Those that hear us, they SO don’t want to hear us! You look pretty tired. – I feel I need for what we do to have some impact on someone soon. The weather’s still … the weather outside is frightening. It’s gonna be a long ride. With convincing song and dance, wailing about the dreaded sins of retail chains and corporate conglomerates, Bill and his red-robed choir of followers faces questions of sincerity. She does tell them to stop everyone from shopping but she looks to the choir and says she was happy he was giving them work. They’re probably all on welfare, she said, so it gives them something to do. That’s incredible! I don’t think people are really stopping their shopping very much. It’s not surprising at all that we got hit by some truck in a hurry to deliver its goods. The malls are packed, the cars are packed, they look at us like we’re crazy. ‘Stop shopping?’ – Yeah, yeah, stop shopping! I think that the culture of shopping is so complete now that even just a single interruption is a kind of success. You really do have to start somewhere. We live right now in a dark time. Everybody is inside an automobile on the way to a television. We’ve got an emergency here! Oh, we can’t stop shopping in Dallas! And there’s a thing out there they call Christmas. Why are they throwing so many obstacles between us and the beginning of their hopes? Hundreds of thousands of grinning celebrities on labels, saying: ‘No, this is a gift, no, this is a reference to a gift, a simulation of a gift…’ Why the obstacle course? I’m gonna go to Wal Mart and sing! I’m gonna go to Target and preach! I’m gonna go to those obstacles and I’m gonna say: “WHY CAN’T I GIVE? WHY CAN’T YOU GIVE?’ Le’ts give a gift! A real gift! We survive the fire, the Shopocalypse…. Together we will penetrate the parking lot of the Big Box. We’ll go through the electric doors, past the cash registers, down the aisles to the devil itself! Oh, Victoria, we know your secret! We don’t need a million catalogs to have our sexual fantasies! Turn the camera off! – Can we take your picture too? We aren’t allowed anywhere near this mall! Yeah! They’re probably having the federal police already waiting. The guy in the white suit in the white bus. How do I talk to him? There are 5000 Reverend Billies with white suits. Sometimes a Reverend Jimmy, Reverend Jimmybob, Reverend Jimmybob Billy…. We will take the real life that we have within us, that originallity that we’ve got that has got nothing to do with products! Amen, hallelujah!…… Shop consciously this year! We have three days to go! Stop your shopping officer! We will sit down in the seats before these yellow feet of the most famous corporate logo in the world, the one that has chosen to steal our children’s imaginations for many years… The Devil, MICKEY MOUSE! …the other shows of this season, right, the Jingle bells, the Christmas carols… we’re talking as drivers are cursing each other… This promises to be the mother of all gridlock alert days. We’re so close here, it’s the last push. How you keep it together at the end, when you’re exhausted, is really the test. And if they continue to fornicate, after they know the difference, then they might cause a 9,2 earthquake to destroy Los Angeles. So a lot of us have to remain virgins until the day that we die. Let’s not give gifts based on cruelty this year! I just heard stop shopping.. Isn’t it ‘Stop shopping’ you sing? I wish I should’ve heard this before. Give a gift – out of love this season! I think it’s excellent to bring this message, why people are so much into consumerism, and we should really realize what is the true meaning of Christmas. It’s more about love for each other, than to be so much into consumerism, buying, buying…. What would Jesus buy? I don’t think he’d buy anything at Staple’s! We ask the fabulous Creator, the Mother Father God that’s not a product! Come into the soul of this blessed baby, give this child, give its parents the loving power to not be lost to the mindlessness of consumerism! Roxanne Elisabeth, let’s all sing! Aaaamin! Bless the child… Aaaaamen! Bless the child….Aaaaamen, amen, amen! You guys gotta leave. The manager… gotta leave. – Right, we’re leaving. We’ve just baptized a child, did you see? That felt so good, wow. Did you see that? Wow. That makes it all worth it. They can take me to jail now. America is a fascinating country in many ways. Of course, Los Angeles is the dream capital of the world, this is what we sell here. Disneyland is a perfect example of that. Disney is entirely fantasy, it is a simulation. Walt Disney built that place on the perfect little American town where he grew up. Everything is shiny, everything is beautiful. You’ll notice at Disneyland there’s no time – You can either live in the past, you can live in the future, you can never live in the present. So Disneyland is like following the yellow brick road and end up finding the Wizard of Oz and suddenly turns out that there’s nothing behind the curtain, except the frenzy that you came from in the first place. We’ve lost the real dream and we’ve replaced it with this artificial dream. In Disney it’s funny that it has this image of a magic kingdom and children’s dreams and all the rest, but even they are completely ruthless. That’s made in China, Disneypress. And I don’t think many people in the US may associate this Disney book with crushed and broken fingers, lacerated hands, broken bones, even deaths of women in China. And the workers of the factory that made this in Sri Lanka tried to organize a union, and they took the union leader out of the factory and broke his kneecaps. We don’t question things. We don’t think about the meaning of life enough. Christmas should be a time when we take a step back and we think about what really matters, what’s really worth it. A whole closet full of stuff that we never use is a testament to our dissatisfaction. So this endless cycle of not being satisfied, more consumption – less satisfaction. How about less consumption and more satisfaction? Christmas means the pathetic hope that the coming of one who would just set all things straight, turn things upside down. Christmas is meant to shake the world up, not just be an occasion for more shopping. ‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The children were nestled all snug in their beds while ads for new doodas played out in their heads. When the children awoke they spoke all-too honest: ‘Did we get what we wanted? What Santa Claus promised?’ We gotta do this. We gotta head over there, to Promised Land. First church of Brooklyn? We’re gospel choir from the First church of Brooklyn. Pasadena. The first church of Pasadena, and it’s Unitarian. Make sure your wrist watches are synchronized. Now arriving from a trip around Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Each one of you here today has forever become a part of the magic known throughout the world as Disneyland. May you forever treasure this very special Christmas day at the happiest place on Earth! In just 2 minutes Disneyland will present a Christmas fantasy parade! This magical place where dreams come true! Hello everyone, yooohooo! Mickey wants to know you’re rooting for him! Go Mickey go! Go Mickey go! He did it! He made it to the top! This is amazing! Christmas time in Disneyland! We got what Santa gave us and it was what we wanted! We’re so lucky! Christmas time on Main street in Disneyland! But wait a minute! This amazing Main street, it’s so prosperous, so beautiful, so healthy! The main streets across America they’re not this prosperous, they’re not this amazing! They’re empty, they’re shuttered, they’re outsourced! Everything here, Main Street USA, is Made in China! – Sir… – Something’s wrong! – Leave now! Let’s take our magic back to America! Let’s go shop at home! We can change! Sir, you need to stop… sir… – Let’s slow down our consumption! Hallelujah! Stop shopping here! We have the magic! The corporations stole Christmas! We can take it back! – Stop talking! You’ll be arrested! – Let’s give a real gift! Stop Shopping! Merry Christmas! Stop…. Leave Disneyland! Stop….ah! And the preacher back, he’s gonna go to jail. Everybody here will go to jail if you don’t stop what you’re doing. What if we did save Christmas from the Shopocalypse? A billion people pause at the cash register: ‘Wait a minute, should I buy this thing? What is this thing? What do I intend to do with that thing?’ What if they have…. Ohhhh, then we’ll have the opportunity to give the greatest gift of all! We can give the gift of Christmas itself! Let’s pray to the Fabulous Unknown! Give us the power to recognize the greatest gift of all, when we have the chance to give it. Cause there’ve been so many “Tickle-me Elmos” and cabbage-face dolls… I don’t know how to recognize Christmas with all these Christmas decorations! What would Christmas itself look like, how would you wrap it? Thank you so much for letting us come together to look at someone else that you can help, that you can reach out to – that’s what this is all about. What if we could change Christmas? What if the America we all saw together this December could change, even a little at Christmas time? Then we could change the whole year! Spend half as much as you spent last year for Christmas. Let’s buy half as much and give twice as much! Give my child my time; my loved one my love – a real gift! Amen! Amen! Amen! Hallelujah! What was Christmas before the shopping started? Christmas is the birth of the child we believe will grow up to teach us peace. You don’t have to be a Christian to hope that’s true. Amen? – Amen. Somebody give me a Merry Christmas here. – Merry Christmas! Hallelujah! Subtitles by the Amara.org community


  1. at around 3 minutes,—
    so it's okay when a lady says she loves her ring more than her husband, but when a man says he loves his truck or classic car more than he loves his wife, it's a big no-no! it's trouble waiting to happen. Why do women get away with this? 

  2. "Don't touch me elmo"
    I thought religion was fucked up, till I heard MM is the antichrist
    What I want is pet dragon, someone to love, to be loved, something that no amount of money could ever buy, and that's what christmas is all about

  3. Thank you!  You are not alone.  Many people feel as you do.  You DO make an impact.  Thank you for doing all you do to help people to wake up.  Don't be discouraged! We support you!!!!

  4. I love this film! You and your crew are such an inspiration! I watched this again last night and have decided that it will be a Christmas tradition to watch it every year, just like The Grinch!

  5. OK, just wanted to let you know that I finished the English captions and the Bulgarian translation of the movie. I really hope you do make a difference Reverend 🙂

  6. don't ever give up, and come to the UK before we get in the same state as the US. Those poor people who thought they were showing love by consuming. How sad:(

  7. This is gross… The people screaming as they run into the stores… It makes me think of screeching animals… Apes or something…
    But that freaky blonde preacher?
    Really not helping the cause… He sounds crazed.

  8. @***** @stateofdaniel @AWResistance @TheAntManChannel @Jackie Price @Philosophical Vlogs @TheCaptainSlappy @MisterThomasPAINE2 @BeranM @Rocking MrE @EkonRekon @donze52  Thought you guys would enjoy:)@psychodrilla @PsycheTruth 

  9. Great initiative, but there is nothing wrong with shopping if you buy the right thing, like trees from Better Globe. These trees are planted in East-Africa's drylands to maximize the environmental and social impact. Not only do they help poor communities and the environment, they even give a profit to those who buy, or receive them as a gift. Keep shopping, but shop sustainable!

  10. my browser alerted me to the possibility that i ws being redirected to a malicious site. please be careful. unfortunately, i've been hacked, i'm going to have to miss this.

  11. Watched this movie a time or two before, it seems appropriate time to watch it again, I would highly recommend this movie to so many people!

  12. Dear Reverend Billy,

    I just watched "What Would Jesus Buy?" and I feel very moved by it. I just started my MBA in Sustainable Systems, and there was specifically a part in the bonus features called "The 10 Commandments Are Made In China" and it absolutely blew me away and changed my life. Can you please make it available on youtube so that I can share it with others?

    Thank you for all you do to help us Americans live within our means!

    Lisa Pellegrino

  13. This Billy guy is probably banned from more places than I am, I wish he would stop consuming so much of that hairspray, it's destroying the ozone layer. As good as his hair looks and it does look good, it's not worth the price of earth's protective shield.

  14. The idea is good. Too bad the spokesman looks like such a con man — dyed hair, fake clerical get-up, commercial choir

  15. @Billy Talen If you had Jesus invited over to your place to spend #christmas  with you & your #family   & #friends  it could get awkward after all it is his birthday too & what do you get someone you know definitely has everything? #jokeoftheday  

  16. THat preacher guy appears as just an entertainer.. practicing his performance and getting "performance advice" from his "agent" ? Of course I agree with the overall sentiment, , and sure, I don't doubt his sincerity, but how can I take this guy seriously with his just "selling" prepackaged morality with all the "fire and brimstone" trappings for Christmas, instead of Macy's goods. 
     So… what would Jesus think
    Perhaps it's not entirely unexpected in America, and Rev Billy is of course a product of his environment, but far too many folks go on Sundays to be "entertained" for a couple of hours .. the only difference seems to be instead of magic tricks it's "God".. Perhaps a leftover from the old Barnum and Bailey "religious circus" tent revivals format . And if they can slip a little "Goddin' ", and maybe a few "Lawd Jesus Ah-mighty"  hollers, so much the better…

    So I don't mean to appear unduly critical, after all it's a good film, and point is well made. Perhaps I just see things differently .. I just kleep thinking that the Angels usually said the "Peace of the Lord be with you".. not the "hoopin and hollering of the Lawd be with you" 🙂

  17. THANK YOU, BILLY AND THE COIR OF THE CHURCH OF STOP SHOPPING!!! You are herions and heros, luminaries and (r)evolutionaries!!! All of us who dream of a brighter future for the earth and for humanity to continue being able to inhabit it, are with you~

  18. 500% ?! If only! Fast food CEO are hauling in 110,000% above average fast worker pay.

    500% would actually be closer to what most people think is fair. In America the actual number over all is  around 30,000% above average worker pay, in the 70's the number was closer to 2,900%.

  19. Better be careful with that statement Billy Talen.  Don't want to speak on behalf of our Heavenly Messenger without asking his blessing.  I would say Jesus would go with me to eat krispy kreme doughnuts on opening day of the restaurant and then ask me what I wish to be declared clean in society that is not currently declared clean at the moment and then tell me a cleaner way of balancing out the chemical embalances in society without creating a problem with worldly authorities.

  20. "We just baptized a child, did you see that?"
    "What a nice man."
    "You can take me to jail now."
    love this movie

  21. Thank you for the captions! There are so many good movies the hearing impaired can not enjoy. May you be blessed

  22. This video has so much impact, I watch it every Christmas with my daughter.

    Thank you SO much Rev.Billy. You are truly a blessing.

  23. This guy may not be a real preacher but he is a American savior. How lost we are in our lust for stuff. It has brought our society down.

  24. I try to post this every year before Christmas. The people in my family still don't get why I don't buy cards for the birthdays. Why I don't want to buy ANOTHER toy for nephew and niece. Why I don't ask for much for myself. Hopefully one day they will actually sit down and watch this too. Thanks for what you do Rev Billy!

  25. ABout the only thing i'm watching for the ha!lidays. May God Bless the Reverend Billy and his Choir. And i do mean that as a question.

  26. Brilliantly done Reverend Billy. What a great crusade you're on, I love it 🙂

  27. The simple message of Stop Shopping comes as a serious threat to the system. It also exposes the non-virtuous inhumanity of unbridled capitalism at the individual level. It confronts the naked consumerism that has hijacked religious concepts of love and sharing. The real question is would Jesus support the capitalist system that distorts Gods word to line the pockets of the few, while enslaving the masses with debt. Dealing with the "money changers" (capitalists of the time) was the only time Jesus physically lashing out against the system of men. In all reality, capitalism is not the problem, it is the unconscious shopper who is blinded by desire, and avoids taking responsibility for what and how they consume. These sheeple are baptized in the religion of Madison Ave. and the belief that happiness, confidence, and personal virtue resides in products. This is not consistent with humanity, or Jesus's teachings of love and contribution to others.

  28. it's is a good message, especially for this generation. Jesus said money was the root of evil. It's to bad the leader of that church acts like a sleazy televangelist when he's on stage. It detracts from the importance of the message itself.

  29. Love this, but they are a little hard on specific businesses. I mean, the problem of unethical outsourcing is pervasive. Just switching off Walmart, Disney, and Starbucks won't address the problem. But I love the "where is it made, where is it sold" criteria. That is a great start. And good lord, we don't need all this junk, amen!

  30. If Jesus was a carpenter he could just make all his own gifts instead of buying them. Or if he was a fisherman he could go fishing for everybody.

  31. Thank you for your film. I am giving the link to it to my children for Christmas, along with a jar of home-made jam.

  32. I agree with everything here, except the derision of Disneyland. Evangelical Christians should warm up to Disneyland. Walt was a good man.

  33. I have watched this every Christmas since it came out. I still tell people about it every Christmas. I still love this message. Thanks, to all the people who made this movie because… it needed to be made. I love ya'all. God Bless you.

  34. Thank you Kimberly Clark!! I see quite a few people here, myself included from your suggestion. You are doing good work!!!

  35. This is my Christmas tradition every year I watch this to remind myself to give simple gifts instead of overspending on things to which at the end most people don't want it at all. Just buy food… there is no thinking with that. Everyone eats fruits and vegetables, as well as use toilet paper. . ^_^ Save tons because of it.

  36. The part of the couple with the tiny dog though… WHHHHAAAT!?! O_O I love my dog, but he is a furry brother who enjoys food over material shit. >_<~ This must be a white people thing, because I never seen blacks or Hispanics do this at all.

  37. Roxanne elizabeth, Roxanne Elizabeth… Bless the Child!…
    what a nice man! Love the parking lot baptism.

  38. …Then there is me who buys a few gifts for birthdays, anniversaries and winter holidays in October, just to avoid the crowd. I barely leave the house when there is too many people, sooo antisocial. XD (Thank you Kimberly Clark for sending me here!)

  39. This is my tradition every year, watching this documentary at least once or twice before the holiday season and another third time during the season.

  40. I really love this film, and watch it at least once a year. It's inspirational, funny, and uplifting. Great music, too! Absolutely wonderful!

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