The Problem of Religious Fraud

A growing number of TV preachers were appealing for funds and receiving millions of dollars with no accountability using the broadcast airwaves. In many cases we found they were breaking IRS and FCC regulations with impunity. Living luxurious lifestyles while at the same time preying on society’s most vulnerable, they were preaching a gospel that promoted materialism and greed — using the language of Christianity while mocking its most valued historical tenets, like self-sacrifice and humility.

Similar to the countermeasures used to fool air defenses in war, these prosperity preachers were scattering a cloud of electromagnetic strips to “confuse the radar.” With so many false echoes, the real Christian message was getting lost, at least on religious TV and radio.

So we adjusted our mission to reveal and expose this deception, and try to make televangelists accountable to the rule of law and common decency.

We believe the freedom to practice religion protected by the Constitution does not include the freedom to defraud. And that needs to be reflected in our sanctuaries, our town halls and our courthouses.

Our goals:

–Increase public awareness by continuing to provide information requested by various news media organizations and giving interviews when appropriate.

–Enable the establishment of civil case law regarding religious fraud.

–Enable the establishment of criminal case law regarding religious fraud.

–Work with government agencies toward establishing greater accountability for religious, non-profit organizations.

To be clear, we investigate out of love for the church, working from the inside toward reform, not from a hostile or secularist agenda. And eventually we hope to work ourselves out of a job once the danger is past.

Our hope is that once the false echoes of the “prosperity gospel” disappear, the true message and meaning of the Cross will be available for comparison, and people will reject the “gospel of greed” for the shabby knock-off that it is.