By Logan Moeller
August 9th, 2012
Note from the editor: The following essay is by writer and filmmaker Logan Moeller. He recently graduated from Ball State University and now lives in Cincinnati, pursuing odd jobs and generally avoiding a career. Right before he graduated, the following event took place.
Two years ago, I met Paul in Metamora, Indiana. Paul has a castle on a hill that I thought would make a good story.
We sat at a corner table in a small café. I had an omelet with lots of cheese. Paul ordered egg whites and dry wheat toast. He’s in great shape for being in his late sixties. He walks 8 miles every day, and holds the world record in racewalking for 100 miles in 18 hours.
“So when you called yesterday,” he said, “I nearly passed out.”
Paul has been waiting for me. There’s danger in all this, he warned during our first chat—even in just talking with him. He asked me to keep an open mind.
“Logan,” he said, “I believe you’ve been sent by God to fulfill prophecy.”
Paul explained how he has sacred relic stones that open up a portal to let Jesus through, and this will start the end of the world. It’s my job to get the message out and warn everyone. A movie, radio, CNN coverage, an article in TIME, possibly a book.
The decision, he said, is up to me.
For the next two hours, Paul covered five pages of notes. He told me about the Holy Cross—a five-foot tall cross made of mother of pearl. He talked about the Holy Card, sent by God. He told me about the Ark of the Final Covenant, Indian yogis, angels in Guatemala, Christ in Spain, and about Satan hiding in the corner of the room.
He looked at me from across the table and said he had acquired some of the psychic abilities his father had. How when he was a teacher he knew a couple students were going to die just by looking them in the eye.
“And two weeks later …” he snaps his fingers, “Gone.”
After another glass of Coke, he paid for our meal. I was ready to get in my car and go 100 miles in any direction, but Paul offered to show me some stuff. Getting into his pickup, I realized I’m the perfect candidate for human sacrifice. Nobody knew I was there.
At his property, we parked between a statue of Mary and an outdoor baptismal font, then walked toward a building resembling a hog shed, totally dark. Paul flipped on the lights to reveal a museum of Pre-Columbian art, voodoo dolls, and Native American art. There’s a Mayan death rattle, shrunken heads and glass cases full of skulls. Death everywhere.
“I’m going to leave you alone with this.” Paul backed out of the room.
In my head, I pictured Paul coming back in a black robe. I snapped pictures as if the only thing someone might find of me would be my camera. The smell in the room became stronger.
Oh my god, he’s gassing the room.
When he returned, I told him I needed to go. I had no intention of ever calling Paul again.
Two years later, I’ve found an investor, started a little production company, captured over 200 hours of footage, and have written many pages about Paul. On my weekly visits we talk about death, natural disasters, and women. I ask him to describe the voice of God or what an apparition of Mary smells like. He offers advice about the importance of a good business card and which suppositories actually work for hemorrhoids.
Still not able to make it solely on freelancing, I wait tables when cash is tight. I also build websites, create videos, design magazines and layouts—any project I find interesting. The other day I worked on selling my brother-in-law’s horse.
Sometimes I’m not sure how I’ll pay next month’s rent or send in a check for school loans. But I’m sure about one thing. In a few months I’ll be on top of a hill in southern Indiana. My camera pointed at the sky, I’ll have a front seat and be ready to capture the first real life footage of Jesus and see if he really does have blonde hair and blue eyes like so many think.
Below: Logan’s trailer for a film about Paul and Mount Metamora Castle.
Logan Moeller currently lives in Cincinnati where he is pursuing a career in avoiding a career. Born and raised in South Dakota, he transferred to Ball State University and studied English and telecommunications. He’s picked apples, seeded lawns, baled hay, waited tables, delivered pizzas, planted trees, designed floral arrangements, mowed grass, wrote copy, annoyed you with phone call solicitations, washed urinals, designed boulder walls, built houses, and made movies. He still needs to front a band, sell blood, give legal guidance, organize a protest, join the rodeo circuit, stich up a dangling finger, discover and name a species of beetles, write a book, host a TV show, and finish uncovering the meaning of life. Find out more about his projects at loganmoeller.com and metamora2012.com.
Culture Film Personal Essay Reporting