Since readers generally like to know about the background of a writer so they can understand where he or
she is “coming from” in their literary work, the following is a brief outline of my life and career.
Born: Houston, Texas, 1933.
Grew up in Conroe, Texas, 30 miles north of Houston. Father owned a plumbing and heating company.
Mother was a third-grade school teacher.
Became a professional actor at age 12, touring Texas as co-star of a musical version of Tom Sawyer and
Huckleberry Finn. Later became staff announcer for the Houston Junior Theater’s Saturday radio
program, called “Juvenile Jubilee.” Since the program was broadcast live, I had to commute to Houston
every week for rehearsals and performance. Also did considerable public service work on radio for various
Along with several others, invited by governor Coke Stevenson to his office in Austin, to be presented with
honorary membership in the Texas Rangers for our public service activities.
Played clarinet in junior high band.
Switched to saxophone in high school band.
President of Junior Class.
President of Senior Class.
Became staff announcer and disk-jockey for radio station KMCO in Conroe during senior year.
Continued acting in Drama Club all through high school. Did numerous plays.
Graduated high school 1951.
Entered University of Texas in Austin as a Broadcasting Major, 1951.
Joined Naval Reserve unit in Dallas, commuting to Dallas once a month for training,1952
Transferred to University of Houston when they began planning world’s first educational TV station.
Helped build KUHT, channel 8, and had the honor to be booth announcer the night we signed on the air for
the first time, May 25, 1953. Debut of the student–operated station was covered by Life magazine.
Dropped out of college to attend Naval Aviation Electronics School in Atlanta, Georgia, 1954. After
graduation as AT3, went on active duty with the Navy to qualify for G.I. Bill. Spent two years stationed at
Naval Air Station, Beeville, Texas – training jet pilots. Bought a Studebaker sports coupe with Navy pay.
Returned to University of Houston, 1956, working as an usher at an “Art Theater.” Then hired as student
assistant at KUHT – rotating positions as director, camera operator, audio engineer, announcer, etc.
Associate Editor for college literary yearbook.
Cast in leading roles for several university plays.
Inducted into Red Masque Players, dramatic honor society.
Inducted into Alpha Epsilon Rho, broadcasting honor society.
Awarded scholarship to writers’ conference in Boulder, Colorado.
Nominee for Most Outstanding Student at U. of H.
Drove solo from Houston to Los Angeles, hauling 31-ft mobile home. Permanently set up the trailer at
mobile home park in Venice, 1958. I had traded my little sports car for my parents’ old Buick to pull the
trailer, but since the Buick was ruined by hauling the trailer through the mountains, I bought a motor
scooter for basic transportation.
Graduated from U. of H. (in absentia) 1958.
Worked at Southern California Gas Company during day and janitorial job at night, saving up for out-of-
state tuition to UCLA.
Hired as graduate teaching assistant for UCLA Broadcasting Department. Traded in the Buick and the
scooter for used Nash Metropolitan.
Elected president of Alpha Epsilon Rho, UCLA chapter.
During summer break, I helped build radio station KPFK, in Hollywood, and was once again the announcer
who signed it on the air for the first time, 1959. I also produced a weekly series called “This Land is Your
Land,” a program of Americana for older children. Dropped the program when my work load at UCLA
became too heavy.
During another summer break, I was assistant producer of the same version of Tom Sawyer and
Huckleberry Finn, this time at the Pasadena Playhouse. Also played the part of old man Finn.
Graduated from UCLA with M.A. in Theater Arts, majoring in Broadcasting, minoring in Cinema and
Theater, 1961. Began writing “Regarding an Angel’s Flight.”
Worked at CBS in Hollywood as junior executive, 1961-62.
Left CBS to accept teaching position at Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas, 1963. Taught
courses in Speech, Theater, Film, and Broadcasting. Produced weekly radio program, and numerous films.
Learned French and German, while teaching a full load, in order to qualify for doctoral program at
University of Southern California.
After saving enough money to pay tuition at USC, passed language requirements and entered doctoral
program, with major in Communications, emphasis Cinema and minor in Educational Technology, 1967.
Inducted into Delta Kappa Alpha, motion picture honor society at USC.
After finishing course requirements at USC, went to work at Los Angeles Valley College, in Van Nuys, as
head of the embryonic Cinema Department, 1970, while researching dissertation at night.
Dissertation was a scientific study of visual perception, comparing the way people perceive filmed images,
as opposed to the way they respond to televised images. The result was a 400 page book, titled “An
Experimental Inquiry Into the Effects of Pictorial Fidelity on Audiovisual Communication.” Specifically, it
tested Marshall McLuhan’s hypothesis of “hot” and “cool” media. I did find significant differences.
Accepted into Mensa, 1970.
I was featured in American Cinematographer Magazine for organizing the first professional film school in a
community college, Feb., 1973.
Dissertation was accepted by USC and the Ph.D. was awarded, June, 1975.
Included in “Directory of American Film Scholars,” Gordon Press Film Series, 1975.
Married Pamela Cadorette after graduation, Dec. 24th, 1975.
Published “Lucifer’s Handbook” under the pseudonym of Lee Carter, 1977. When the first shipment of
books was delivered, my wife, supposedly an apostate Catholic, filed for divorce. (Coincidence?
Perhaps). The material for “Lucifer” was based on philosophical and theological research I had done for
“Angel’s Flight.” This included reading all the world's major holy books, plus all the material I had collected
during a course on the history of world philosophy.
“Lucifer” became one of American Atheists’ best sellers. Several university philosophy departments
adopted it as a supplementary text for beginning students. It was even adopted by at least one seminary.
Became a member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE).
Became a member of the University Film and Video Association (UFVA).
Became a member of the Information Film Producers of America (IFPA)
Wrote, produced, and directed a feature length film called "Ghosts Never Die," based on Henrik Ibsen's
Went to China with a group of professors, as the first American tourists allowed into the mainland, 1979. I
shot a multimedia documentary of this historic event which was then exhibited at Valley College several
Wrote, produced, and directed a 23 minute music video called "Love Song" -- all singing, all dancing, all in
Hebrew -- supposedly in Tel Aviv -- using Israeli folk songs. This was exhibited at a UFVA convention, and
at several other venues throughout Los Angeles.
Our students at Valley College won numerous awards at film contests.
Took sabbatical leave from Valley College (1981) to write a specialized textbook for beginning Cinema/TV
students, since no film school had ever attempted what we were doing.
While on sabbatical, organized 30-year high school reunion in Conroe.
One of the founders of Atheists United, 1982.
Produced the first dozen programs of Atheist Commentary on KPFK, 1983, still using the pseudonym of
Lee Carter – hoping no one at the college would recognize my voice. Later turned program over to Ed
Peters of Atheists United, who eventually turned it over to Stan Kohls. The program ran for 15 years.
Promoted to full professor, February, 1983.
Published first edition of Orientation to Cinema – The Complete Guide to Career Planning, 1986. This
version was 247 pp.
Published second edition of Orientation to Cinema, 1988. This edition is twice as long and contains 427
photographs, about half of which are in color.
The textbook was adopted by several other film schools.
Included in Marquis’ “Who’s Who in the West,” 1989/90.
Marquis’ “Who’s Who in Entertainment,” 1989/90.
“Who’s Who in California,” 1990.
Marquis’ “Who’s Who in America.” (First listed in 1990/91, still listed.)
“Who’s Who in Education,” 1992/93.
Retired from L.A. Valley College, December, 1992.
Co-producer of “Atheists United Program” on Public Access TV, starting in 1993. The show was seen all
over Southern California.
Received award from Atheists United for our TV program, 1993.
Co-producer Lee Baker and I and I received $120,000 grant for video equipment and production expenses
from the James Hervey Johnson Charitable Educational Trust. We began an intensive schedule of
shooting all types of programs on location – speeches, panel discussions, debates, dramas, etc., and
delivering approximately three half-hour programs per month to the Foundation.
I received another award from Atheists United for “Matchless Service,” (1994) which included co-producing
the weekly TV program, designing the organizational logo, starting the radio program, helping organize
Freethinkers Toastmasters club, being guest speaker many times, writing theater, movie, and book
reviews for the newsletter, etc.
Finished first draft of “Angel’s Flight,” and began sending out copies for editorial suggestions, 1995.
By 1997 we had produced more than 100 TV shows for Atheists United, and the Foundation money for
production expenses had run out. Lee Baker and I turned all the video equipment over to another crew
who promised to continue the Atheists United Show. Then she and I began a more broadly humanistic
program, called “Food For Thought,” and went back to producing it at public access studios, this time
under a more relaxed schedule of one or two new shows per month.
Also, as a result of critiques from people reading “Angel,” I decided I needed to double check all my
sources regarding biblical history. While doing so, I unexpectedly came across a very rare book which
contained all the apocryphal stories of the New Testament. I was fascinated with the book and began
taking copious notes.
After several hundred pages of notes on biblical literature, I decided to go ahead and write a whole book
on the subject.
Lee interviewed me many times on Food for Thought, as an expert on Western philosophy and biblical
Early in 1998 I began contacting agents and publishers about “Angel,” while writing “Everything About the
Bible...” Lee and I were still producing at least one new “Food For Thought” show per month, which we
continued to do for the next seven years.
In the spring of 1999, the Center for Inquiry – West opened an office in a rented building in Marina Del
Rey. I immediately joined and began doing volunteer work for them. The Centers for Inquiry are jointly
sponsored by the Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), which
publishes Skeptical Inquirer magazine, and the Council for Secular Humanism, which publishes Free
In the spring of 2000, the Center for Inquiry (CFI) launched a subcommittee for CSICOP, called the
Independent Investigations Group (IIG). The magician James Randi, one of the founders of SCICOP, had
won a MacArthur Genius Award of one million dollars, which he then put up as reward money for anyone
who could prove paranormal or supernatural powers. The IIG became a preliminary screening committee
for Randi – to test anyone from the Western states who wanted to file a claim. I was one of the founders of
the IIG, and served on the Steering Committee for several years, in charge of Audio/Visual operations. Our
first investigation was of feng shui, for which I wrote a 15 page research report. We devised a method of
testing the claims of feng shui “masters,” but none of them would respond to our inquiries.
One of our next tests was of a dowser who claimed he could detect any kind of buried metal object. I
videotaped the tests then edited the footage into a documentary which was aired on our Food for Thought
program. (The dowser failed the tests.)
Jim Underdown wrote a report about our dowsing test which appeared in Skeptical Inquirer, for Sept/Oct. of
2000. I was listed as one of the principal investigators.
Other investigations with which I was involved included “Sparky the Mind Reading Wonder Dog,” the
“Telekinesis Machine,” a woman who claimed she could tell about our personalities by the color of our
"auras," a Hollywood "haunted house," the "Oklahoma Junkyard Ghost," and an astrologer who claimed
she could tell us the subject of a movie if we gave her the birth dates of the writer, director, and star.
(These cases are all detailed on our website at www.iigwest.com.) Before IIG was organized I had been
involved in Randi's sting operation of evangelist Peter Popov. Popov had claimed on his television
program that he was able to detect the ailments and other personal information about people in the
audience through supernatural revelation, but on the Johnny Carson Show, Randi demonstrated that
Popov was getting that information from a radio receiver hidden in his ear. I was one of the "plants" in the
audience, but I was not one of those selected for a "reading" that day. I was also involved in the sting
operation of George Jammal against the film company that produced a phony "documentary" about the
"Amazing Discovery of Noah's Ark" on CBS television. Jamal had been one of the people on the program
who claimed to have seen the ark on an expedition, and who had collected a piece of wood from the ark.
On our Atheists United program, Jammal revealed to the world that his story was all a hoax, in order to
demonstrate how unconcerned the production company was about whether their star witnesses were
telling the truth. The story made headlines around the world, and CBS cancelled its contract with the film
company. In December, 2000, I received an award from CFI for volunteer work.
In February, 2001, CFI held a Pseudoscience Fair, where I presented an exhibit on the perennial quest for
perpetual motion machines.
In late 2001, I helped CFI move into its new building on Hollywood Blvd. A few weeks later, Jim Underdown
and I went on the roof and shot some fake photographs of UFOs buzzing the Hollywood sign and the
Griffith Observatory. We used paper plates stapled together, the lid of a coffee pot, monofilament thread,
a fishing pole and a $7.00 disposable camera. The results were just as convincing as any that have been
published in news media. A few weeks later, the BBC interviewed Jim and showed the photographs to
illustrate the futility of trying to use photographs as evidence of extraterrestrial spacecraft. The shots would
later be printed in the May/June, 2002, issue of Skeptical Inquirer, for which I again received a byline.
In spring of 2002 I gave a six-week series of lectures on Critical Thinking at CFI.
In the summer of 2002 I was involved in an investigation of a network television show called "Beyond,"
starring James Van Praagh, in which he claimed to be talking to ghost relatives of various people in the
audience. We smuggled in a miniature audio recorder with which we taped everything that actually
happened in the studio. I then typed up the transcript. A videotape of the show, as aired, was also
transcribed. We found that in addition to the standard “cold reading” techniques and a lot of creative
editing, what people saw at home bore little relation to what had actually happened. We followed the same
procedure with the John Edward show, called "Crossing Over." Our report was published by Skeptical
Inquirer in the Sep/Oct issue of 2003. We like to think that our exposé is why those two shows went off the
air. Shortly afterwards I was interviewed on a television program, in which I discussed this case and several
others in which I was involved. You can watch that interview by clicking HERE
“Everything About the Bible...” published by Xlibris, fall, 2002. You can also watch a TV interview about that
book by clicking HERE
December, 2002, received another award from CFI.
Received Golden Pen Award from Atheists United for “Distinguished Writing” in “Everything About the
Bible...,” Sept., 2003.
Lectured on History of the Bible in the new Steve Allen Theater at CFI, to overflow crowd, October, 2003.
During the following months I repeated the same lecture at the Humanist Association of Los Angeles
(HALA), the Hollywood Library, and a Mensa convention.
Published "Regarding an Angel's Flight," March, 2004.
Began marketing campaign for both books, and ceased production of "Food for Thought," after several
Went to Paris with six other members of Atheists United to attend the IHEU 16th World Humanist Congress,
Launched this website, December 23, 2005.