December 13, 2011

Bizarre-o feats of human endurance


St. John of Patmos, writer of the psychodelic death-trip, the Book of Revelations.

Tom Meyer recited the entire Book of Revelations (one hour, from memory) to the thirty people assembled at the Imperial Community Church in El Centro, California, on Sunday night. “Meyer, 35, performs the unique skill as a profession through Wordsower Ministries which helps support orphanages in West Africa, India and Haiti on a love offering basis, Meyer said,” according to this report in the Imperial Valley Press.

“It’s dynamic. It’s mesmerizing. To think that he memorized all this,” Frances Eager, Imperial Community Church parishioner, told the Press.

According to the Press report:

Meyer spent the past four years in Israel as a student. He said he learned memorization techniques from a variety of cultures including the Bedouins in the desert and Christian monks living in the wilderness there. They taught him memorization methods of oral repetition, reading and writing.

It took him a full year to memorize word for word the entire book of Revelations, which takes him about an hour to recite. He said writing memorization methods work best for him. “By writing it out, you’re using your mind, eye, mouth and hand together,” he said.

Meyers also told the Press that, “he tries to create the feeling that the author of whichever Bible passage he’s reciting is speaking to the audience, at times using costume as well.”

There are several other bible reciters making their way around the country for the Wordsower Ministries. Meyers, who is also a professor at Shasta Bible College in Redding, CA, has traveled through eighteen states in five months, and is booked well into the new year, with Indiana and Illinois up next.

Book of Revelations, King James version is about 12,000 words or 18 manuscript pages. Seems like it should take under an hour and 1 year… care to give it a go?



Valerie Merians is the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House.