In the summer of 1990 Carl De Keyzer accompanied by his wife and three-year-old son takes the plane to LosAngeles, California. There he buys a camping car - which will be his home for a year - and immediately heads for the northern states, before winter sets in. He has only one subject on his agenda: religious groups. The United States are a breeding ground for about 3700 different religious groups. Religion is an essential part of the American wary of life, if only because of the particular attention given to it by movie stars, pop artists, politicians and the media. Churches are not subsidised in the US but they are exempted from taxes. Otherwise they have to be fully self-supporting. Most churches are doing well, very well. It appears that God as product is the gap in the American market of the 90s; hence, God Incorporated.
Traveling month after month from one state to another Carl De Keyzer has photographed Americans in their religious experience. His approach is both aesthetical and critical, his attitude is one of surprise and relativisation. “I was shocked to find that religion plays such an important part in American society, that it was so widely spread. One year long I wondered why Americans are so intense and emotional in their religious experience. I have found no answer to my questions, but then why should I ? I am no philosopher. I just pointed out and registered things, in my own way.”
"C.U.T." - The Church Universal and Triumphant, Claire Prophet.
The members of this cult live in and around two large ranches next to the Yellowstone National park. They believe in a wide range of Gods from Buddha to Shiva. They are led by Claire Prophet, a successful writer of new age books and the daughter of the founder of the cult. Most of her followers have an atomic shelter built underneath their houses. Claire Prophet predicts the end of the world now and then which is the sign for the followers to live in their shelters for a few months. A rich lady left the cult the ranches after she died.
The Boys Choir - Washington and Lee University Chapel. Members of a boys choir before concert using deodorants and dressing up in the local museum of American History in the Washington and Lee University.
The Power Team - Carpenters Home Church. John Jacobs and his team. The Power Team is a group of body builders and power athletes touring the USA and the world to convert people for Jesus. The show consists of very spectacular stunts with fire, ice, breaking base ball bats, ... and attracts mainly young people. They sign very willingly the "I am saved" forms after the show. For their publicity The Power Team operates trough TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network), one of the major evangelistic TV networks.
Latter Day Saints, The Mormons, Hill Cumorrah Pageant.
Rehearsal for The Hill Cumorrah Pageant, an annual event depicting the Book of Mormon and the life of Joseph Smith (the first prophet of the Mormons). The event lasts for two weeks and attracts more than 20.000 spectators every night.
Epiphany Day - St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. Boy with last years trophy before the contest. On Epiphany Day, the Greek Orthodox Church of Tarpon Springs holds a special contest. After the mass and procession to the bayou close to the church, app. 30 young boys try to find a cross in the water thrown by the arch bishop from a platform. the boy who catches the cross is the hero of the year in the predominantly Greek Orthodox village. He also receives gifts from most of the shopkeepers in the village.