Thursday, March 17, 2016

Bogus Pay for Pray

Source: Spiritual
Warfare Prayer
Warriors
The Washington State AG has shut down a website selling prayers and ordered the refund of nearly $8 million to about 125,000 customers in a settlement with the site's operator Benjamin Rogovy of Seattle. Truthfully, I don't see much daylight between this operation and those deemed more legitimate.

Rogovy's company, the Christian Prayer Center created a fake religious leader, Pastor John Carlson, claiming that he solely ran the sites. Pastor Carlson even had a LinkedIn profile (clever, clever). The site also had fake reviews. According to the AG's office, The website provided “fictitious testimonials from consumers using stock photos that claimed they successfully prayed to avoid home foreclosure, deliver a healthy baby, win the lottery, obtain negative results of an HIV test and put cancer into remission.”

So maybe their names are real but how many pastors begging for money have fake PhDs? I have caught a number of them and they insist on the “Dr.” honorific. There are any number of Christian sites requesting a donation for a prayer.

I submitted a prayer request to Catholic Online and they then asked me to buy “virtual” candles. Click on the candle that you like and then pay. They claim it is just a dollar but after you click they ask for $15. Oh, and there are three five-star customer reviews for the virtual candle that doesn't really exist. Sound familiar? I now expect to be inundated with vital emails.

Apparently over at LivePrayer.com God has not seen fit to answer their own prayers for financial sustenance:
MARCH FINANCIAL STATUS: "Oh God, where are you?" As we are now 17 days into March, we still have $12,000 of our February operations that are CRITICALLY PAST DUE and is threatening to shut down our daily ministry operations! I am feverishly praying for one of our friends in the Liveprayer family to help me with a special one-time gift of $12,000 to clear our shortfall TODAY so we can begin working on the $40,000 we require for our March internet operations and the $25,000 we require for our March TV programs.
For that matter, how different is the now closed Seattle operations from prosperity gospel preachers who claim that if you donate to them you will receive a financial blessing from God? Is that really any more legitimate? You may recall when that schmuck, Creflo Dollar, was seeking donations to upgrade his biz-jet for nearly $100 million. Apparently Dollar's ass is too good for an economy-class seat on a commercial airline.
Creflo Dollar
Super-grifter Creflo Dollar
Preaching is a business and so are religious organizations. Every few days I receive an email from Dr. Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission asking for money. His doctorate is phony and the money supposedly goes to nullifying Obergefell v. Hodges, something that Cass incorrectly calls a constitutional process (nullification is unconstitutional and unlawful). How many people, for no explicable reason, are so desperate to prevent gay couples from marrying that they are willing to fork over money to this guy who cannot succeed?

Bill May of Marriage Reality Movement is doing pretty much the same thing. In his case it's a combination of donations, sanctimony and prayer with no specifics of exactly how they are going to “take back marriage.” Nor, for that matter, do Mr. Cass or Mr. May explain why this is so important which is why they lost Obergefell in the first place.

National Organization for Marriage has been nothing but a grift for some time now. Donating to NOM wasn't going to change the outcome of Obergefell nor is it going to change the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. NOM raises money to stay in business in order to raise money to stay in business. It doesn't actually do anything. It would appear that their chosen candidate, Ted Cruz, has already lost the GOP primary.

How about all of the pray-away-the-gay “ministries?” At least there, in one very satisfying instance, SPLC invested enough money to have a judge conclude that it was consumer fraud. How much money is Christopher Doyle extracting from desperate parents in return for toxic and useless conversion “therapy?”

Ultimately none of this money would change hands were it not for two simple propositions:
  1. Conservative Christians are the most incredibly gullible people in the world.
  2. Taking their money are some of the most cynical people in the world.

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