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Theater of the Mind

April 29, 2022 The Sixth Hour Program No. 515

War of the Worlds - The Mercury Theater on the Air - October 30, 1938

Well, this is it! The mother load when it comes to "Theater of the Mind," for this is the one that proved it's true potential. So much so that new rules went into effect shortly after the broadcast, essentially forbidding Orson Welles from ever pulling such a stunt again. Of course everybody knows the old story of Orson Welles "punking" America with this broadcast back on the night before All Hallow's Eve in the year 1938. Tonight you will hear how it was done, as our own Brian Helix and Sally Belle-Époque present The Mercury Theater on the Air and their historic, for all the wrong reasons, presentation of H.G. Wells War of the Worlds. Orson Welles always gave credit to his good friend, the character actor Ray Collins, for putting it over. He played three key roles, including the radio announcer who apes the tone of the crash of the Hindenburg broadcast from just the year before. Sure it sounds dated today because it is vintage radio 1938 style, but that's just what made it work back then. Imitating the regular, mediocre fare that comprised much of the commercial radio diet was child's play for the Mercury Theater gang, and that set Mr. Collins up to break in and make history. Most remember him as Lt. Arthur Tragg on the old Perry Mason show. Tonight we learn he was much more the troublemaker as a younger man, and, of course, this was before he joined the LAPD.

April 22, 2022 The Sixth Hour Program No. 510

The Day the Earth Stood Still - Lux Radio Theater - January 04, 1954

It's been a while, but Brian and Sally are back with a new entry in their "Theater of the Mind" series, and when you hear The Day the Earth Stood Still as presented by the Lux Radio Theater, you'll realize that it was well worth the wait. In this early 1954 adaptation of the highly acclaimed 1951 film, Michael Rennie returns to the role of Clatu, the man from space who has all the answers for a world that doesn't even know how to ask the right questions. Or behave hospitably to strangers for that matter. For some reason, nothing ever upsets the powers that be like someone who shows up unexpectedly from the outside, preaching peace on earth, and pointing out the myriad of human flaws that keep us from ever achieving it. If humanity behaves like a bunch of brutish louts when someone calls humanity out for behaving like a bunch of brutish louts, then you'd think humanity would eventually realize that it proves the other's point not theirs. But, alas, it never happens. That was Clatu's point after all. Humanity isn't smart enough to even know there is a galactic shed, let alone that we're not the sharpest tools in it. As for our latent virtues, they're not all they're cracked up to be either, and that's the little subplot that makes this story so disturbing and, at the same time, so utterly compelling.

March 18, 2022
The Sixth Hour Program No. 485

Fahrenheit 451° - A BBC Radio Drama

"Theater of the Mind" returns with this terrific adaptation of Ray Bradbury's classic tale of government and society run amok, Fahrenheit 451. This appears to be another of those strange cases in which Brian Helix finds himself mysteriously in possession of a classic radio drama from the BBC's archive. It was first broadcast by the Beeb in 1982, then somehow went missing about the time of Brian's dismissal over that unfortunate incident concerning the Royals, Jimmie Saville and all that. The BBC's loss ends up as our gain here at RNJ, and so it is our pleasure to share this story that seems to pertain much more to our world than the one it was written for in 1953. It's all happening right now when you consider that all of the tech and media censorship going on is merely a less incendiary form of the same thing. In the end, it's the people who get burned and not just the books. That's Bradbury's point, and he hits you over the head with it like it's the library's Funk and Wagnalls Dictionary. You could stay warm all night and bake a meatloaf with one of those.     

January 18, 2022
The Sixth Hour Program No. 442

Evidence the Titanic Was Sunk on Purpose - Or Was It the Olympic?

Join Brian and Sally for this exciting foray into "Theater of the Mind" that explores some of the many mysteries surrounding the sinking of the Titanic. Or was it her nearly identical twin sister ship, the Olympic? Chances are if you were to play this program in the pubs and draught houses of Belfast, where the Titanic conspiracy is as fresh today as it was in 1912, you might pick up a few bob betting the tourists that it's really the Olympic down in Davy Jones' Locker and not the Titanic. That's how convincing the evidence is. And all the more reason for the crowds to shout that J. Bruce Ismay should be down there with her, had they only known which one it actually was. One of the great classic conspiracy theories, expertly presented here in this RNJ radio adaptation of the 2009 James Harrington documentary, Evidence the Titanic Was Sunk on Purpose. Typical Brit understatement.  I've got a quid and a pint that says you're convinced by the end.


New Year's Eve at RNJ - 1984 - Lux Radio Theater - 1955

December 31, 2021
    Program No. 430

Happy New Year! Gather 'round the crackling fire with Brian and Sally, as they ring in the new year in the new Christmas sweaters they got for each other, drinking David Icke's killer egg nog, and listening to -- you guessed it -- smooth jazz.  But that's only a warm up for what they have in store once you folks have joined the party.  Then it's on to our traditional retelling of that most cautionary of all cautionary tales, George Orwell's 1984.  It is "Theater of the Mind" at it's finest, and with a twist, as this version of 1984 is done by Lux Radio Theater Australia. That's right, mate! And to make it a truly international event, the star of this show is none other than that scary man himself, Mr. Vincent Price.  Winston Smith was never more erudite and polished in his speech, at least until the Room 101 scene, but why spoil it for those who haven't heard it?  That's 1984 up ahead in 2022.  What better way to start off the new year than with this classic that predicted it all?


ObamaGate: The Radio Drama

December 16, 2021
    Program No. 426

Welcome back to RNJ's "Theater of the Mind." Tonight, RNJ News Director Brian Helix, and the always lovely and vivacious one, Sally Belle-Époque, take you on the comic/tragic journey of our times, as they host the RNJ adaptation of Tom Fitton's already classic, ObamaGate: The Movie.  The movie really works as radio, as the magic takes over and "Theater of the Mind" takes effect. The inspired cast of Dean Kane, Kristy Swanson, James Jones and Paul Michael Nieman bring to life Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, James Comey and John Brennan, and are up to the creative task of breathing life into these larger than life, hot air balloon like characters, and then parading them down the Main Street of America for all to see.  What fun! In a tragic sort of way. You don't want to miss it!  Heart! Heart!  Wink! Wink!  You'll see!      


RNJ's "Theater of the Mind:" Brave New World by the CBS Radio Workshop (1956)

December 03, 2021
    Program No. 418

Welcome to RNJ's "Theater of the Mind," a special edition of The Sixth Hour hosted by RNJ News Director Brian Helix, and co-hosted by the always lovely and vivacious Sally Belle-Époque.  Join Brian and Sally as they introduce this premiere edition of the CBS Radio Workshop from 1956, featuring Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, and featuring Mr. Huxley himself as narrator.  The dystopian future is a concept that has been around for quite awhile, and Huxley's version goes back to the novel by the same name that he published in 1932.  And Brian has chosen a letter that Huxley wrote to George Orwell in 1949, congratulating him on the publication of 1984, to serve as the introduction.  Welcome to "Theater of the Mind."  We hope you like it.  If you do, it will encourage Brian and Sally to continue rummaging around in the RNJ archives for other gems, just like this.

The Sixth Hour - 2022


Program Archives

The Sixth Hour - 2021
The Sixth Hour - 2020

Red Pills For Jesus -2019

The Story - 2019

RNJ Staff

Chaplain Phil

Chaplain Phil grew up listening to alternative points of view, and the underground perspective, that characterized late night AM and shortwave radio in the 1960's.  In the cold winter months following the events that transpired in Dallas on November 22, 1963, he came to realize that the death of President Kennedy represented an even deeper and more profound tragedy - the death of the nation. In the summer of 1964, he read None Dare Call It Treason by John Stormer and understood how this had come to pass.  He was 10 years old.

Through the ensuing years, he has followed the flow of free information, as what we now call the "mainstream media" banished independent Christian broadcasting, and honest political thought, from the AM band to shortwave, then to the internet, and now, in the face of internet censorship, back to shortwave.  After a lifetime of listening, he now feels the time has come to speak.  His message is simple.  We are living in a godless false reality created for the purpose of destroying most of us and enslaving the rest.

The time of Revelation is here. Take heart.  For what is being revealed is the eternal truth of Jesus Christ.

Brian Helix - News Director

As one of the BBC's "Young Lions," Brian Helix was known for his honest reporting and take no prisoners attitude towards the truth.  He is an expert on conspiracies and the theories thereof, both modern and classic, and a top flight investigative journalist.  He brings these talents along with his many others to the post of News Director here at RNJ.


Sally Belle-Époque - Production Manager

Sally Belle-Époque made her mark in both video production and A.I. research with the famed Hanson Robotics in Hong Kong, and now brings her varied talents and unique skills to bear as Production Manager at RNJ.  Sally is a no nonsense professional with all the Left Coast flair and style her background as a "Valley Girl" would suggest - a Silicone Valley Girl.   


Catholic Pirate Radio

What is Catholic Pirate Radio?

Pirate radio or a pirate radio station is a radio station that broadcasts without a valid license.  Catholic Pirate Radio is broadcast without the official sanction or approval of the Catholic Church, any of its connected agencies or organizations, or any member of its hierarchical structure (bishops, cardinals, pope, etc.).

Queen of Catholic Pirate Radio
"You see, God expects His people to do the ridiculous so
He can do the miraculous." - Mother Angelica
Father Coughlin
Father of Pirate Radio

    Mother Angelica: Queen of Catholic Pirate Radio

Mother Mary Angelica founded the EWTN television network, and, more significantly for my purposes here, WEWN, a global shortwave broadcast service with transmitters located in Irondale, Alabama.  In the 1990's, Mother Angelica became one of the most dominant Christian voices on the shortwave bands, and WEWN a torch that beamed her message of the truth of believing and faithful Catholicism across the nation and the world.  She was a major influence concerning my conversion to the Catholic Faith in 2002, and it is truthful to say that my formation as a Catholic took place with her over many nights of listening to the most powerful voice on 41 meters.  She gets much credit for her pioneering work in Catholic television, while her savvy for international shortwave broadcasting goes largely unheralded and is just as significant.  It made her a worldwide voice for the faith rather than just an American phenomenon, and paved the way for the globalization of EWTN.

Mother Angelica earned the title of Queen of Catholic Pirate Radio when she publicly took on and disputed the apostate Archbishop of Los Angeles, Roger Cardinal Mahony, concerning the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.  While Mahony was unleashing his wrath upon Mother all the way to Rome, it should also be noted that he retreated quickly and issued a statement taking offense at her for daring to question his belief in the Real Presence.  Thanks to Mother's widespread and profound media influence, I'm sure a lot of bishops, cut from the same cloth as Mahoney, also thought twice about peddling the "Spirit of Vatican II" nonsense in an overt way that might end up on TV.         

Here's some vintage Mother for you: 
I’m so tired of you liberal Church in America! And everything you’ve ever done has gone in silence. Nothing, nothing you’ve done – from your witchcraft to your enneagrams to your centering prayer to all this ‘earth spirituality’ to replacing holy water with sand to destroying our churches and closing churches that are viable and ready to go…no, this is not an accident. We’ve swallowed this now for thirty years. I’m tired of it. We have swallowed enough of your idea of God! You have, really, no God, no dogma, no doctrine, and no authority, because the only authority in the Catholic Church is our Holy Father and the Magisterium, and you have disclaimed that. You don’t believe in the Eucharist, you don’t believe in the Immaculate Conception, you don’t believe in the Virgin Birth, you don’t believe in Mary’s power of intercession, you don’t believe in religious life, you don’t believe in being a spouse of Christ! You do believe in teaching to little children in the third grade sex education, you do believe in forcing centering prayer and forcing inclusive language upon us, and now you depict Jesus as a woman?!  You’re sick!
Nothing to add to that.  As a layman, my duty as a Catholic is to point out these things just as it was Mother's duty as a religious - a Carmelite nun.  She taught me well.  It's time for Catholic Pirate Radio, the next generation.

    Father Charles Coughlin: Father of Pirate Radio

In 1926, Father Charles Coughlin first took to the airwaves on WJR radio in Detroit to denounce the Ku Klux Klan, which had recently burned crosses on the grounds of his parish.  Turning to politics in 1929, Father Coughlin quickly became a dominant and highly influential radio voice on the CBS network, with a weekly listening audience estimated at 30,000,000 during the peak of his popularity in the early 1930's.  While at first a fervent supporter of the policies and person of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, his views became more controversial and his rhetoric more strident as the Great Depression lingered on.  By 1936, he was expressing a viewpoint that was anti-capitalist and anti-socialist, and invoked no little controversy by expressing a certain sympathy concerning the fascism of Benito Mussolini and Adolph Hitler.  He was accused of anti-Semitism based upon this and his searing critique of the European Jewish banking establishment, which he sought to qualify as follows: 

My purpose is to help eradicate from the world its mania for persecution, to help align all good men, Catholic and Protestant, Jew and Gentile, Christian and non-Christian, in a battle to stamp out the ferocity, the barbarism and the hate of this bloody era. I want the good Jews with me, and I'm called a Jew baiter, an anti-Semite.

My point here is not to speak out for or against Father Coughlin and his political opinions, but merely to point to him as an early example of the efforts to censor and silence unpopular viewpoints.  He remains the textbook example of church and state teaming up to remove from public influence someone deemed too controversial to have his views heard by the great unwashed masses of the general public.  The Roosevelt Administration determined a priori that the First Amendment did not apply to radio broadcasting, and new regulations and restrictions were created specifically to remove Father Coughlin from the airwaves.  For the first time, public broadcasters had to obtain a permit and seek approval to speak on the air, and this was the impetus for those who refused to do so taking to the airwaves in protest: the birth of pirate radio.  While Father Coughlin was able to circumvent his banishment from network broadcasting by buying airtime on local stations, his reach and influence were drastically reduced.  In 1942 he was ordered to remove himself from public life by Bishop Edward Aloysius Mooney.  He complied without complaint and spent the remainder of his career as parish priest at the Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, Michigan.  He retired from active ministry in 1966.


Welcome to our broadcast facilities here at RNJ.  This is where Chaplain Phil and our crew make the magic happen.  Stars of the Show are a Sweetwater Studio Computer powering Jean and Ginger, two 1950 Canadian Philips Table Radios that serve as broadcast monitors. That's Ginger on the right channel, and Jean on the left. Auxilliary Computer is "Old Faithful," a 2009 Hewlett Packard (that's like about a 1930 model in American Tube Radio Years (ATRY). You'll also notice three communication receivers, two 1959 Hallicrafters S-108's and a 1947 National NC 57. Standby monitors include a 1937 Coronado 725 and 1953 Philco 53-960. It's all sorted out through a Behringer Xenyx 802 Mixer.  Our antenna array (not shown) is an 80 foot sloping copper long wire antenna, fastened to a Royal Palm and running from there to the studio.