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Reverend X is the pseudonym of televangelist Don Vincent, the host of the late 1990s Los Angeles-based public-access television segment The Spirit of Truth. Following the launch of YouTube and other video-streaming sites in the mid-2000s, clips of Vincent’s coarse and aggressive religious rantings have resurfaced online.
According to Wikipedia, One Man Show was a television show broadcast on Los Angeles public access during the late 1990s for approximately five years. It featured a segment called The Spirit of Truth, hosted by the self-proclaimed deity and foul mouthed evangelical preacher Don Vincent (credited as Vincent Stewart). The show was eventually canceled when Vincent removed his pants on the air and requested for viewers to “look for sin.” On April 4th, 2006, an audio clip from The Spirit of Truth was played during a segment of the Florida-based radio show The Hideout. On April 20th, 2006, a video recording of the program was first embedded via the skeptic blog Religious Freaks, which received several comments remarking how humorous the video was.
The same day the video was posted to Religious Freaks, a YTMND site titled “Spirit of Truth” was submitted by user Shack, user Shack, who paired an animated GIF of the preacher with the audio “Repeat after me bitch: I come in the name of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit.” On June 9th, 2006, a clip was shown during an episode of the viral video television program Web Junk 20, in which host Patrice O’Neal dubbed the preacher “Reverend X.”
On April 30th, 2007, YouTuber emacc32 began uploading various episodes of The Spirit of Truth, one of the most notable being “The Healing Dance”, in which Vincent dances to the song “Here I Go” by the rap artist Mystikal:
“Could you back the camera off, you know, so they can see me dance?”
On May 14th, YouTuber paramicium07 uploaded an extended version of the original episode, followed by 11 additional videos over the next few months. On September 20th, 2008, a “Reverend X” Myspace page was created, featuring several embedded YouTube clips of The Spirit of Truth.
On July 27th, 2009, the single topic blog ReverendX.org was launched, containing an archive of the The Spirit of Truth episodes. The website has since been removed. On January 14th, 2010, the Internet humor website Heavy.com named The Spirit of Truth one of the “10 Craziest Public Access Shows in America.” On November 24th, an app titled “Spirit of Truth Soundboard” featuring isolated audio clips from the show was released on the Google Android Market.
On February 9th, 2011, the men’s entertainment blog The Man-Cave published a post about the origins of the YouTube clips titled “The Man-Cave Remembers: Spirit of Truth.” As of April 12th, 2012, a Facebook page for “Reverend X: The Spirit of Truth” has accumulated 1,138 likes.
On July 27th, 2006, Reverend X was identified as California resident Don Vincent when he appeared on a segment of The Howard Stern Show. During the show, Vincent claimed he was an incarnation of God and wanted to make Christian education government mandated.
On August 18th, 2010, Vincent appeared on an episode of “Web Redemption” for the Internet humor television series Tosh.0. In the segment, Vincent revealed that “The Spirit of Truth” was taken off public-access television after he exposed his bare buttocks on the air.
On May 2nd, 2011, Vincent uploaded a video to YouTube under the username Tapper7765, in which he refers to himself as “Bishop Nigga” and talks into his middle finger as if it were a microphone (shown left). Several other videos have since been uploaded to the channel, including a video of Vincent dancing for the camera uploaded on February 18th, 2012 (shown right).
The video clips spawned a series of animated GIFs and image macros featuring select quotes from the show.
Search query volume for both “spirit of truth” and “reverend x” reached their highest spike in May of 2006, shortly after the first videos began circulating online.