TV/Radio Preachers: Scammers?

Discussion in 'Comparative Religion' started by Dinosaur, Apr 17, 2016.

  1. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    When I spent a lot of time in a car commuting & for social purposes, I mostly listened to talk radio because music & other programs tended make me inattentive or cause me to fall asleep. I often listened to TV radio preachers When I could not find a talk radio program.

    In searching for an interesting TV channel, I often notice TV preachers.

    I recently was told that some of these folks collect millions per month.

    God surely does not need money, so I am sure that the preachers & their staffs have quite an income.

    I wonder how many of these TV/radio preachers are sincere rather than motivated by the high incomes.

    BTW: While an atheist, I believe that local ministers, priests, & rabbis are sincere believers.

    I have a different & suspicious opinion of those beyond the lowest level in religious hierarchies, but think that many in those higher levels are also sincere. It is the TV/radio preachers who seem to me to be scammers.
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  3. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Me bein the sanest person i know of... i thank those (whether they are local or not... lol)... who are sincere (beyond dout thank that ther unevidenced religious beleifs are true)... are mentaly defective... ignorant or jus spoutin lies.!!!
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  5. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    My guess is if they weren't scamming in religion, it would be some other genre.
    They're basically opportunists.

    cluelusshusbund likes this.
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  7. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Some of their operations involve crisis-help, missionary assistance and refugee relief programs that require massive amounts of funding just as much as the secular versions of those. Others are indeed just the Peter Popoff and Jim Bakker types who, even after being exposed long ago, still outrageously set-up shop again. The latter category often seems to carry an internal shield of deception for protecting themselves from the actuality of their own parasitical motives -- a set of wandering arguments and reasons always on hand as balm for introspectively soothing their consciences. "Fool yourself to be all the more effective at fooling others."

    Israel, at yet another level, exploits Christian television itself in North America. Running numerous "community-interest commercials" begging for donations to offset all the "unjustified, unprovoked" evil and destruction wrought by Palestinian militants. Plus there's the ironic wonder of going out of their way to pamper Christian tourists to the Holy Land -- because, despite centuries of past persecution at the hands of the rehabilitated latter, the "immediate foe at hand" is of greater concern. "As a non-Muslim gentile, guarantee your being blessed in the rough era ahead by monetarily proclaiming yourself a friend and supporter of God's chosen people -- the Jews. Call to contribute your aid right now. And don't be bashful about scheduling a future visit to the Land of the Christian Savior. You'll be overwhelmed with the hospitality and services."
  8. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Why single out megachurches?
    Leaders of some non profit charities make just as much.
    The American Red Cross
    President and CEO Marsha J. Evans' salary for the year was $651,957 plus expenses
    It is called the March of Dimes because only a dime for every 1 dollar is given to the needy.
    The United Way
    President Brian Gallagher receives a $375,000 base salary along with numerous expense benefits.
    CEO Caryl M. Stern receives $1,200,000 per year (100k per month) plus all expenses including a ROLLS ROYCE.
    Less than 5 cents of your donated dollar goes to the cause.
    GOODWILL CEO and owner Mark Curran profits $2.3 million a year.
    34 top charity execs earn $1 million or more

    There are good churches and good charities led by people who are not motivated by greed, and then there are the other guys.
  9. Bowser Right Here, Right Now Valued Senior Member

    The Prosperity Gospel seems to be where the biggest fraud resides. It's like a pyramid scheme.
  10. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    About 30 years ago, a fundamentalist preacher named Peter Popoff had a huge TV ministry in the Los Angeles area--one of the largest in U.S. history. One of the reasons was that he appeared to actually perform miracles: making the lame walk, etc.

    James Randi, a professional stage magician, had made it his calling to debunk all paranormal claims: divining, mind-reading, fortune-telling, past-life regression, talking to the dead, etc. He founded CSICOP, the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal. I was a member for many years and enjoyed reading their monthly newsletter describing their successes. CSICOP had a branch in L.A. and I often attended their monthly meetings; Randi often appeared in person.

    Randi's greatest success was to bring down Peter Popoff. He suspected that the hearing aid he wore in one ear was actually a radio receiver, and by using a scanner he was able to hear his secretaries in the back office reading the pledge cards handed in by the faithful as they entered the church.

    However, Popoff used traditional low-technology means as well. His minions patrolled the parking lot as people drove in, and when they saw someone walking slowly, or with a cane, they would quickly bring over a wheelchair and wheel the person into the church. Later on in the service, Peter would start promising to "make the lame walk." And by golly when he asked those people to stand up and take a few steps, they were all able to do so--not just because they were not actually incapable of walking, but also because his kind, caring, encouraging sermons caused their metabolism to release endorphins, which made them a little stronger.

    But the highlight of the show was when his back-stage staff had scanned through the pledge cards and identified people who would be fabulous living examples of his healing prowess. "Is there a woman in the audience named Mary Kropotkin, or perhaps Marcie--who recently lost her husband?" Of course there was, and his staff had carefully tracked her to her seat when she first arrived.

    When Mary (or Marcie) had been ushered to the stage, with Popoff telling her how much God loves her and leading the entire congregation in a prayer for her, you can bet that Mary (or Marcie) felt like she had been "born again" and didn't stop smiling until she arrived home to discover that her husband was still dead.

    TV news reports (on all the channels except the one that hosted Popoff) and all the region's newspapers ran this story, and within a couple of weeks his audiences had shrunk to almost zero.

    He had to give up, and his ministry was over.

    Well, at least for a while. Six months later he started a new ministry in another part of the country and was back on the air. The Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution makes it very difficult to prosecute religious fraud.

    I understand why. All religions are nothing but collections of Bronze Age fairytales: pure lies. If you're going to prosecute religious fraud, that encompasses everything they say and do.
  11. Bowser Right Here, Right Now Valued Senior Member

    that was a very good post. I think what bothers many about the religious cons is that it's so flagrant.
  12. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    He says it all.

  13. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    What bothers me is that so many are so eager to be conned.
  14. Bowser Right Here, Right Now Valued Senior Member

    Yep. Itchy ears. They want to hear what is close to their hearts.
  15. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    People want to believe in something and since they just don't believe in themselves they turn to religion.
  16. Bowser Right Here, Right Now Valued Senior Member

    True. In some instances religion has saved people from personal pain, given hope where there was none, and given new meaning to their lives.
  17. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Life is hard. Who wouldn't be delighted to find a short cut?
  18. Spellbound Banned Valued Senior Member

    Fraggle Rocker,

    I noticed that if you replace the 'R' with an 'F' it spells a swear word.
  19. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    No it doesn't--at least not in English. "Focker" is not a word. Perhaps you're thinking of "fucker," which is indeed an obscene word.
  20. Bowser Right Here, Right Now Valued Senior Member

    If a person had a speech might apply.
  21. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    Grandpa was telling his grandson about his adventures in the Norwegian Air Force during World War Two. "One Focker came at me from the left and I shot him down. Then another Focker came at me from the right and I shot him down. Then another Focker came at me from straight ahead and I shot him down too."

    The grandson was eager to show Grandpa how much he knew, so he said, "A Focker is a German airplane, right Grandpa?"

    "That's right - and every one of them Fockers was a Messerschmidt."
    ajanta and Bowser like this.
  22. wellwisher Banned Banned


    One good example is the Clinton Foundation; Bill and Hillary. Below is a graph for their expenditures for 2013. The Foundation claim 88% goes to charity but this is based on including travel and salary as part of the charity. The TV and radio Evangelists can live high on the hog, travel first class, drive fancy cars, live in fancy hotels and then use the Clinton accountants.

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  23. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Like heroin!

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