Reposted from HumorOutcasts
Reason #9,567 to tax religious organizations: Taxpayer-subsidized grifters
Maybe you won’t be surprised to learn that Pat Robertson operated a fake charity following the 1994 Rwandan genocide that actually funded his Liberian diamond mines.
In 1999, The shit bag pastor and former Republican presidential contender signed a deal with then Liberian President and war-criminal Charles Taylor, allowing ol’ Pat to own diamond and gold mines in Liberia.
Prosecutors at the human rights trial of the former Liberian warlord alleged Robertson had lobbied the White House on Taylor’s behalf in return for a gold mining contract. Pat met with then-President George W. Bush on Taylor’s behalf, allegedly in return for a contract to mine gold and diamonds in southeast Liberia’s mineral-rich countryside – a contract they say that Taylor had no legal right to grant and skirted the Liberian legislature.
Robertson made widely publicized public statements in support of Charles Taylor, despite the fact that he was harboring Al Qaeda operatives who were funding their operations through him. In response to Taylor’s crimes against humanity, the United States Congress passed a bill In November 2003 that offered two million dollars for his capture. Robertson accused President Bush of: “undermining a Christian, Baptist president to bring in Muslim rebels to take over the country.”
Later, a spokesman for Robertson, denied to ABC News that Robertson ever discussed Taylor with Bush.
The Rwandan humanitarian crisis gave Robertson golden opportunity. He starts a ”charity”, “Operation Blessing International,” through which he raised and continues to raise millions of dollars for Rwandan refugees in Zaire and Congo.
In 1994, Two Operation Blessing pilots reported to the state of Virginia for investigation, claiming that Robertson used his “Operation Blessing” planes to haul diamond-mining equipment to Roberts’ mines in Liberia, while telling his 700 Club viewers that the planes were sending relief supplies to the victims of the genocide in Rwanda. Robertson ordered an airstrip carved out of the bush next to the town of Kamonia, 800 miles from Goma and on his television show implied that this was part of his aid operation. Hey, an airstrip’s an airstrip, right? Robertson himself was/is raking it in with a diamond mining operation in Congo. Former aid workers at Operation Blessing describe how mercy flights to save refugees were diverted hundreds of miles from the crisis to deliver equipment to a diamond mining concession run by the televangelist. A pilot says that of the 40 flights he made with Operation Blessing, only two delivered aid; the rest delivered mining equipment:
“We’re not doing anything for those people. After several months I was embarrassed to have Operation Blessing on the airplane’s tail.”
The humiliated pilot had the lettering removed.
The shitbag televangelist was also raising donations for Operation Blessing’s other activities in Congo. These included a 100,000-acre farm near the town of Dumi, which Robertson claimed had produced a large harvest of corn and was a “tremendous feeding station”. ”The soil is unbelievable. You stick anything in the ground and it grows. You put a shovel in and it starts sprouting,” he said in appealing for donations. In fact, the farm at Dumi had already failed. The soil was of poor quality and Operation Blessing brought seeds from the US unsuited to the region. To this day, Robertson continues to solicit donations on the back of the project, on the grounds that although the farm failed, it left a legacy with a school that established a “foundation of education” in the town.
Then, suddenly everything changed. “Operation Blessing, several weeks into the operation, decided not to send any more medical teams,” he said. The flights to Goma dried up.
Robert Hinkle, the chief pilot for Operation Blessing in Zaire in 1994, said he received new orders:
“They began asking me: can we haul a thousand-pound dredge over? I didn’t know what the dredging deal was about”.
The dredges were used to suck up diamonds from river beds, delivered hundreds of miles from the crisis in Goma to a private commercial firm, African Development Company, registered in Bermuda and wholly owned by Pat Robertson. ADC held a mining concession near the town of Kamonia on the far side of the country.
“Mission after mission was always just getting eight-inch dredgers, six-inch dredgers … and food supplies, quads, jeeps, out to the diamond dredging operation outside of Kamonia.”
Robertson regularly raised funds using film of doctors and nurses from Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières, or MSF), while claiming that they were volunteers for Operation Blessing. Over pictures of a large tent of children on drips being tended by nurses and doctors, Robertson said:
“These are tents set up with our doctors and our medical teams that came from here to work as hard as they could to save lives,”
Operation Blessing had just one tent and a total of seven doctors and MSF officials who worked in Goma said they had no recollection of even seeing Operation Blessing – let alone working with it.
On the other hand, Operation Blessing did send bibles and “enough Tylenol to supply all of Zaire,” according to one volunteer, so it would be inaccurate to say they did “nothing.”One tent, 7 doctors, some bibles, and a bunch of Tylenol vs. hundreds of millions of dollars in donations. That’s one heck of a business model, brownie.
Methinks this Pat Robertson fellow is a just plain terrible person. On the other hand, we’re beginning to understand why fundamentalists make such a big deal about salvation depending on faith alone — their “works” are so often pure bullshit. I’m just glad our big newspapers and teevee stations and news magazines have so many investigative journalists working on this and keeping the public informed about this sort of thing. I am happy that our media is able to expose these hypocrites so that they are not allowed to continue to exploit the poor superstitious fools that call themselves “believers”. Folks, God didn’t make anything, but religion gave dear old Pat the means to defraud people of millions of dollars to run his diamond mines, effectively killing thousands by diverting funds from genuine aid agencies like MSF, all the while remaining ‘respected’ by millions and safe in the thought that he’s god’s special little soldier.
Remember when he said he would not to shake hands with gentlemen in SF because gay men with HIV were wearing special rings intended to cut and infect you with HIV? Now that I think about it, I wonder if the stories about his crazy ideas aren’t actually planted by him intended to make him seem a clown and further distract onlookers from seeing his true deviousness.
“You just don’t understand. When Jesus commanded us to help the poor he only meant Bibles and aspirin substitutes. Anything else would not be letting them pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. Well, sure, they don’t have boots, but there is nothing in the Bible about giving people free boots. Jeez, you’d know these things if you went to church once in a while!”
This whole mess kind of reminds me of Wayne Newton role where he plays an awful hypocrite evangelist who is using donations to fund his lifestyle along with conspiring with a brutal druglord in that one Bond movie with the Bond no one liked or cared about, except for me, I did really like that James Bond and thought he got a raw deal, and now I am sad.