Jump to content

Type keyword(s) to search

S02.E25: Televangelists

  • Reply
  • Start Topic

Recommended Posts


Also, I had the same thought as peeayebee - that the concept of "seed money" is an awful lot like the lottery.


And yet, there is a meaningful difference. The lottery pays out. You give money to the lottery with the understanding that the lottery will be giving money back to someone, and it might be you. They'll even tell you the odds so you can make an informed decision. Televangelists ask for your money, and they themselves will give you nothing back, ever. They just say, "give us your money and God might give you something, maybe, it's up to Him, don't look at us." Which is much less like the lottery and more like panhandling. I've seen homeless people with signs suggesting that giving them your spare change is "good karma," which is the same idea, but actually slightly more legitimate, because IF karma exists or IF God rewards people for making donations, then it stands to reason that the "return" would be greater for helping someone in need than it would be for buying a charlatan a private jet (whether giving change to people on the street is the best way to help people in need is another issue altogether, but this is for analogy's sake). These pseudo-religious millionaire panhandlers are loitering on my airwaves, and I'm of a mind to call the cops and have them removed!

  • Love 6
Link to comment

So glad to see Ollie take this topic on. It is one of my hugest pet peeves!!! I find it absolutely disgusting how these people pray on the most poor, vulnerable, etc. They EXPLICITLY hunt out those who have the least to give, and take their money for their own gain.


The guy telling the viewer that they didn't have enough money for the house deposit they wanted, so they should give it to his ministry instead absolutely sickened me. The jovial, friendly, almost mocking tone of it was so wrong, the way he presents it as doing them a favour by taking that money so they can 'reap the rewards'. I think that annoyed me even more than the colossal douche bragging about buying two planes and then bitching at the audience to be happy for him.

  • Love 3
Link to comment
Desperation make people do strange things. Nine years ago while my daughter was dying of a brain tumor, I called every Televangelist on Daystar begging for prayer. This is coming from a pragmatist, if I daughter had survived I think I'd be almost broke now, giving them money for saving her life.


I am so sorry about your daughter.   


When I was watching the report two things occurred to me:  Recent studies show that a lot of people become more trusting as they age.  It's one of the reasons older people often rate their personal happiness as being higher (and how Fox News can get away with blatantly lying, but that's another rant for a different place) , but it's also part of the reason it's much easier to scam the elderly.  People often put that down to older people being lonely and I'm sure that is part of it of too, but I recall reading a story about a son in his fifties having to initiate legal action on behalf of his father.   He kept making "Loans" to the "nice young men" who had done some work for him at his home.  They turned out to be Meth addicts with something like seven teeth to their names, but this older man thought they were just nice young men.   His son was just horrified, because only if these jackasses had been wearing "We're Crooks" placards could it have been more obvious that they were. 


Clearly, not everyone will experience that same level of "so trusting, they can be scammed"  but it is more prevalent in the elderly.  


Plus, the other thing that occurred to me -- and please keep in mind that I'm an agnostic -- was that if my son was desperately ill, I could see myself doing that in act of pure "I'll try anything" desperation, without even believing it would work.  I doubt very, very much I'd have tried it more than once, but hell, if my son was sick and I had any reason, whatsoever to believe it would help him?  I'd walk out into the backyard and set fire to a twenty right this moment.  


Then I tried to imagine what might happen if I was a person of actual faith.   


I'm sure some people buy into that whole "gospel of prosperity" out of greed.  I'm sure others have an IQ equivalent to the lightbulb over my head, but mostly, I think that the people who are tuning into that kind of program are in such a desperate situation that they'd take any offered lifesaver.  


I liked Jon's piece and I really appreciate Athena posting the clip of what the voicemail says, but mostly I found it profoundly sad.  


I think I'd rather start a letter writing campaign to members of congress or the IRS demanding that these "churches" be audited, because whereas Doctors Without Borders is a worthy cause, I'd really like to see those horrible Vampires go to fucking jail.  

Edited by stillshimpy
  • Love 6
Link to comment
Is the Cuba deal at all controversial in America, or are those who would normally be outraged about it too busy being outraged about other stuff?


Not really answering the question here, but walking thru' JFK airport on Tuesday the weirdest thing was hearing "Flight ### departing fro Havana now boarding".

  • Love 1
Link to comment


Is the Cuba deal at all controversial in America, or are those who would normally be outraged about it too busy being outraged about other stuff?

Honestly, most people who would give a shit are probably dead. It's been 55 years and while I vaguely remember those days, it was frightening. But now that Fidel and Raul are very old and the USSR has gone by the wayside, there's really nothing to fear. We have strong relationships with China, unfortunately, and people are free to visit Russia and other Eastern Bloc countries. It seemed silly to keep punishing Cuba. No one else was doing it besides us anyway. We have bigger fish to fry these days.

  • Love 1
Link to comment

I just heard a story on the news that there is now growing pressure for the IRS to looking to these televangelists.   I'm sure mostly because of John's hilarious and most defininitely on target rant. 


But you know what's going to happen, don't you?  If the IRS does start trying to crack down on these people, people from a certain corner of the political spectrum will be yelling, "Emperor Obama is using the evil IRS to go after your church!"  "Attack on Christians is at all time high now!"


Or something such as that.  ;)  Still, I am all for it.  These people should be audited.  Now.

  • Love 5
Link to comment

I was thinking about that when watching Ted Cruz tell Ellen Page that anti-discrimination bills for LGBT people would amount to persecution of Christians that is about equivalent to ISIS beheading Christians in the Middle East. Cruz and his ilk would have a field day if con-artists claiming to be christian were scrutinized like everyone else.  They would probably rile up their base to give their money to televangelists and then the televangelists would turn around and donate loads of that money to politicians so those politicians would in turn make sure to keep the IRS off their backs.  

Edited by Human
  • Love 1
Link to comment

Just watched the piece of Televangelists on You Tube...I took issue with a couple of things..as I am Pentecostal by faith and understand to some extent why some people don't go to doctors but I'm not that extreme....and other points I disagree with..


I go to a church that isn't begging for money..I give and that's my thing..

Still, the piece raises a very real problem them modern Christian Church in the Evangelical realm it does have....and something the Prosperity Doctrine feeds into...


The God of self..send them money and God will bless YOU..God will heal YOU...Two things bother me....It makes Christianity not about us blessing Christ but  about what WE get from God...It makes God out to be all about the benjamins..which is weird because the NT is full of parables and lessons about how greed is NOT the road to the Kingdom...


My Mom called some preacha woman once..her prayer line and asked for prayer in her finances..the lady(not the actual minister) prayed with her and then asked her for a donation...Mom never watched her or any of the other preachas like that again...


Still ,Oliver's test with that one preacha was interesting...and so sad on so many levels...Perhaps this phony church will prove to have some worth...


Maybe..just maybe...it will cause those that preach this doctrine to think about what they really are doing...and if they don't..they will be judged here and the hereafter for their arrogance...

Just my two cents...

  • Love 1
Link to comment

If you're interested in Scientology, this piece (discussing the media coverage that has followed John Oliver's televangelist segment) is a good read. (Though some of it might be a little "inside baseball" unless you're a longtime Scientology watcher.)

  • Love 1
Link to comment

Not only did the show receive $70,000 in one-dollar bills - which it donated to Doctors Without Borders - it had to hire five interns to go through boxes of donations that included paintings, cross-stitch projects, "assorted pornographic ephemera" and "five vials of human sperm," only three of which "we were fairly sure were fake."




Link to comment

Seattle man to return as much as $7.75 million to people in online prayer scam


Rogovy used systematic deception in his operation of the Christian Prayer Center, creating fake religious leaders and posting false testimonials on its website to entice people to pay from $9 to $35 for prayers, Ferguson said. The attorney general says Rogovy collected over $7 million from consumers between 2011 and 2015 and that his actions violate the state Consumer Protection Act.

  • Love 1
Link to comment

A self-proclaimed prophet who specializes in “prosperity gospel” has taken to advertising his services via persistent robocalls, leading to multiple harassment lawsuits in federal court.


According to the Daily Beast, 25-year-old Yakim Manasseh Jordan offers a “prosperity” or “financial blessing” for a price, and claims to have even raised the dead — for a cool $1,000.




Refusal to stop making the calls is a violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), passed in 1991 by Congress to curtail aggressive telemarketers.


Despite the multiple lawsuits, Jordan has pressed forward, settling out of court and sealing the records.




Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...