Internet Goosing the Antithesis

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Religion-Related Fraud Getting Worse

According to ReligionNewsBlog, religion-related fraud is getting worse. This came as a bit of a surprise to me, because after reading only the title of the article I thought to myself, "What, the fraudulent claim of God existing somehow got even grander in scale?!"

But after reading into the article, I realized that they were talking about monetary fraud:

Billions of dollars has been stolen in religion-related fraud in recent years, according to the North American Securities Administrators Association, a group of state officials who work to protect investors.

Between 1984 and 1989, about $450 million was stolen in religion-related scams, the association says. In its latest count - from 1998 to 2001 - the toll had risen to $2 billion. Rip-offs have only become more common since.

"The size and the scope of the fraud is getting larger," said Patricia Struck, president of the securities association and administrator of the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, Division of Securities. "The scammers are getting smarter and the investors don't ask enough questions because of the feeling that they can be safe in church."

A fool and his money are soon parted.

But a few thoughts come to mind. For example, if self-professed Christians are correct, and atheists are fools, then I wonder if atheist-related scams are also getting worse? Or maybe it's the other way around, and the Christians who are getting scammed are actually atheists?

The end of the article has a line that I found incredibly ironic and amusing:

"Money has a way of blinding objectivity, even for we who are believers," Minkow says.

Excuse me while milk shoots out my nose!

But seriously, just about any way you spin it, this is a good sign for us anti-superstition folk. This is just one more major problem that organized religion in America faces. Let's go over some of the more important crises facing organized religion in America today:

1. Churches all across America are closing their doors due to decreased patronage.
2. They are importing preachers from third-world countries because not enough native-born Americans want the job.
3. They are filing for bankruptcy to protect themselves from kiddie-rape lawsuits.
4. They are weathering scathing criticism from various District Attorneys offices over their priest-protectionism tactics.
5. And on top of all this, their coffers are now being sucked dry by scammers at rates never before seen.

All I can say in response is, "Glory, glory, hallelujah!"

Post a Comment


At 9/05/2006 8:58 PM, Blogger BlackSun declaimed...

Good post, Aaron. As I said in a recent Vox Populi: "Sentimentality, and moralizing about quote human ‘goodness’ are as dangerous as unbridled aggression, because they give rise to false peace and false stability. Our modern sensibilities provide too many places for the opportunists among us to hide."

Looks like you discovered where they were hiding.

At 9/06/2006 10:25 AM, Blogger ollywompus declaimed...

Very good post Aaron, and you are right that the quote at the end gets about as ironic as they come. What cracks me up with this is that, while Christian's are screaming about the scam racket being run, they don't realize that their own faith is a racket in and of itself:

1.) convince people to believe in absurdities.
2.) convince them that a book backs up those absurdities.
3.) show them a line in the book that says they need to give a percentage of their income to the church.
4.) laugh all the way to the bank.

Besides all of the other depravities that the church has put upon it's followers, the 'pay me for your belief' is one of the worst ever.


At 9/06/2006 3:36 PM, Blogger Boss Foxx declaimed...

Crooked pastors and religious reps? Who'd a thunk it. I wonder if it would get better or worse if governments finally got around to taxing organized religions.



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