Meet My Favourite Batshit New Zealander

The leathery Bishop of New Zealand who's recently become obsessed with Marduk

Here in New Zealand we have a religious leader who’s become particularly unhinged over the last decade, and it’s been truly amazing to witness.

If you live in New Zealand, you will know him & be sick of him. If you’re not familiar with New Zealand, then I suppose this is a reminder than even down here in paradise we also have our fair share of absolutely deranged morons. America doesn’t have dibs on that.

His name is Bishop Brian Tamaki. The “Bishop” bit he gave to himself at an elaborate bishop’ing ceremony.

He’s a leathery-skinned man who alternates between suits-so-terrible-they’ve-gotta-be-a-parody, and leather jackets trying to say I’m-a-super-badass-cool-boy-in-a-gang.

The two dress codes seem to have endeared him to some people (who happily tithe 10% and more each Sunday) who both admire his snappy dress sense, but are also attracted to the fact he looks like Reno Raines from Renegade.

It’s almost boring in how much of a cardboard cutout he is of the American televangelist: He doesn’t like females in charge. He believes God will make you rich… if you first give the Grand Bishop money via tithing. And he really hates the gays. He leans hard into that one, claiming the 2010 and 2011 Christchurch earthquakes were divine retribution for New Zealander’s who had engaged in homosexual behaviour. LOL.

Anyway, the one upside is that his increasingly unhinged behaviour can be quite funny. I was reminded of this when he tweeted this over the weekend (screen-shotted so I don’t direct any traffic to him):

It’s kind of batshit, because you clock he’s just introduced a bunch of ancient God’s into his one-God monotheistic Christian narrative. Which is amazing!

Plus it’s like he’s been mainlining God’s of Egypt, or maybe reruns of Stargate:

To top it all off, he hasn’t even got it fucking right. Those two jackal characters on the left don’t represent Marduk and Molech, it’s Anubis - the Egyptian God of the afterlife & mummification.

Anyway, I thought it was a very funny tweet.

But the sad fact is, he’s not a very funny man. Those poor kids in that church, learning their world outlook from that man. The amount of hate he spews blows my mind.

When I was in university, studying journalism, I made my third-year documentary about his church, Destiny. This would have been in 2005. Back then, the Church wasn’t quite the freak-show it is now, but all the signs were there.

It was a pretty average bit of deranged-student documentary-making, but the more I think about Destiny, the more I’d like to return there sometime. The stories I’ve heard from former members over the years have blown my mind. There is so much there. One day, maybe.

In the meantime, I’ve fired off an email to Destiny Church. I’ll let you know if I hear back.

Stay safe out there everyone. Especially you, Marduk.

David.