$100,000 is hardly chump change. But 70-year-old Leroy Tessina, a former delivery man, estimates that's the amount of money he's spent on psychics, UFO paraphernalia and other paranormal pursuits over the past few decades. He nearly lost his house in the process.
Among his purchases: several trips to UFO-friendly Roswell, N.M., countless books on extraterrestrials, nearly a decade's worth of sessions with a personal psychic and even a special helmet that supposedly prevents aliens from reading his mind.
But Tessina, a Los Angeles man, said he's a believer no more.
After a mind-bending, life-changing journey with independent filmmaker Blake Freeman, Tessina said he's "reformed" and won't pay peddlers of the paranormal any longer.
"I was into sci-fi as a child and young man and I guess it just evolved from that. I let it rule my life," he said. "Blake told me, 'You screwed up for a while, but now let's go see if we can straighten you out.'
"He showed me the error of my ways, so to speak."
In 2008, the thirtysomething Freeman and the then-sixtysomething Tessina went off on a cross-country adventure to interview so-called experts on alien abductions, ghost hunting, crop circles, psychic healing and more, all in an effort to expose the truth behind their wild, other-worldly claims.
The result is "Gawd Bless America," a documentary opening in theaters March 4, that blends "Borat"-like antics with "Religulous"-like irreverence to reach, Freeman said, something "real."
-- Ki Mae Heussner - on what looks like a hilarious NewAge "spirituality" debunking documentary "Gawd Bless America" - for ABC News.
Where was this Blake guy when I was married?