The Times Weighs in on Reverend Billy

by Shaun Manning on November 15, 2011

Coinciding with his appearances at Occupy London events, The Times (UK) has recently featured University of Michigan Press author Bill Talen–best known in his Reverend Billy persona–twice within its pages. In the first, occasioned by the reviewer receiving The Reverend Billy Project: From Rehearsal Hall to Super Mall with the Church of Life After Shopping just at the moment when November 5–Guy Fawkes Night–took on the new significance of Bank Transfer Day, The Times’ Erica Wagner said (subscription required):

Listening to the Archbishop of Canterbury speak about the protest made me wonder what the Rev would say. … Too few voices in this movement have thought hard about what they want and what they believe in — the Rev is one of them. Listen out and hear the word — amen.

The November 9 edition of the Times (subscription required) recapped Reverend Billy’s appearance the previous afternoon outside St. Paul’s Cathedral. The paper reported that Talen drew a crowd as he warmed up his Reverend Billy persona.

Wearing an oversized dog collar, white cowboy boots and a white suit, the 6ft blond threw his hands in the air as he cried: “Revolujah!” “Stop your shopping, stop your Starbucks!” he shouted in an impressive baritone. “Except to use the toilet — praise the Lord — or use your computer. Amen.”

Talen has also released a video titled “We are the 99%,” which he describes as an anthem for the Occupy Protests:

As the Occupy protests continue on Wall Street, in Oakland, and elsewhere around the world, Reverend Billy plans to stage events in many locations. For updates on Reverend Billy and the Church of Life After Shopping, visit

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