The Prodigal

This is the journal of the Actor who played Jimmy Barclay.

Many of you may have wondered, “whatever became of that guy?”

My name is Dave Griffin and this is my story of how a child actor playing an iconic character on a show produced and distributed worldwide by Focus on the Family goes from being a diehard Evangelical to a diehard Democrat. And not just any Democrat, I’m currently an elected Delegate to the California State Democratic Party and Executive Director of my local county party (Yolo).

How does this happen? What are the life factors involved?

How does an adherent to the most popular religious community in America– white evangelical christianity– ultimately walk away and join the other side?

This story will involve some difficult subjects for many who read these pages.

Suicide. Addiction. Self Harm. Mental Illness. The Abomination of US Health Care. Religious hypocrisy. Politics.

So be warned. There will be some ugly stuff coming.

Another fair warning: I swear a shit ton. Like a fuck load of swearing.

I do this intentionally to disrupt people’s pious meter. It’s very common in Evangelical circles to clutch pearls whenever anyone says, “fuck”. This helps me weed out those who care more for surface appearances rather than the deeper integrity of the message.

My goal is to make you uncomfortable. If it’s uncomfortable for me to write the stuff I experienced, then you should share the pain. Also, one of the larger problems in Evangelical circles is how people will duck the truth if you drop an f-bomb, but they’ll swallow a lie if you deliver it with a smile and PG language.

I will make no attempts to fake who I am on these pages. I have hidden myself long enough. Largely, because for a long time I’ve been encouraged to stay silent about my journey.

“…it would not be safe for your family if you were to share your story with the public.”

Those words were written to me by one of the head writers of the show I gave 10 years and half my childhood to when I asked for help to rebuild my career and life and pick myself up from the story you’re about to read.

I’ve been told to keep quiet.

And after 45 years on this planet… I’m not gonna do that anymore.

I intend to speak.

And my goal is to use my voice to help tear down the institution of white evangelical christianity and expose this movement for what it actually is: an apocalyptic political cult.

Lastly, I’d like to explain who the primary audience for this material is.

This project is aimed squarely at the Adventures In Odyssey fanbase who grew up listening to the show and the Adventures of a young Jimmy. Maybe you now have kids yourself and enjoy the show together. This is for you.

This is also for my political colleagues and constituents should they wander in wondering about my past. But, y’all are secondary. I’ve got unfinished business with my Evangelicals.

And so much of the presentation of this, the language used, will be directly aimed at the white evangelical community. It’s about to get a little churchy in these parts. If you’re a lefty, you’re in for a surprise about my childhood affiliations. And if you’re a white evangelical fan of Adventures in Odyssey, boy are you REALLY in for a surprise.

Buckle up.

Pour yourself a glass of wodfamchocsod spiked with vodka… (wodfamchocsodVOD?)

Shit’s about to get real.

Oh and… before we go any further… go back and listen to all 3 episodes of Aloha Oy.

Because that’s where this particular adventure begins.


Dave Griffin

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4 responses to “The Prodigal”

  1. Bex Avatar

    Okay… you had me at WodFamChocSodVod. And I think I will be making myself one tonight. Cheers you you, Bimmy Jarcley (and, more importantly, cheers to you, Dave), and to your future posts. I’ll be here reading them. 🥂

  2. Ian Chai Avatar

    Happy birthday, Dave.

  3. Michael Pere Avatar
    Michael Pere

    As a DEVOUT fan of Adventures in Odyssey growing up (always Team Jimmy-duh) who’s now very Democratic/Gay/Expose-The-Cult I couldn’t be more thrilled to stumble upon this blog! I’m so interested to read through these. Thanks for sharing your story and for the work you’re doing!

    1. dave Avatar

      Welcome Michael!

      So wonderful to have you along for the journey. I would love to know your thoughts as you read on 🙂


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