A Seattle man who ran a website called the “Christian Prayer Center” along with other deceptive faith-based businesses has agreed to pay back millions of dollars to his customers after admitting they were all scams:
As part of an agreement, Benjamin Rogovy will pay back as much as $7.75 million to approximately 165,000 customers who were victims of Rogovy’s deceptive business practices in several companies he ran, Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Wednesday.
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.
So if I have this right… prayers + money + fake religious leaders + false testimonials = big scam!
But prayers + money + real religious leaders + testimonials people only think are true despite no evidence to back it up = church. It’s so legal there’s practically one on every block in the country.
Obviously, you don’t need to give anyone money to answer your prayers. And we’re long past the age of indulgences. I’m glad Rogovy is being punished for trying to take advantage of people. But let’s admit that the main difference between what he was offering and what so many church leaders offer is that the latter group genuinely believes this stuff and there’s an infrastructure in place to support them.
The results are going to be the same either way.
Isn’t that what the whole televangelist segment on Last Week Tonight was all about?
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