Jesus Never Existed – The Christianization of the Americas
Franchise Holders of Jesus Inc.
After the civil
war, Southern Baptists inherited the soul of the South
whereas United Methodists became the conscience of the
Catholics huddled around the cities of the northeast while Lutherans settled a region akin to their native Scandinavia. Home-grown
Mormonism established a final frontier in the West.
to the Poor?
thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that which thou hast, and give
to the poor."– Matthew 19.21.
you kidding? The "social gospel" that evangelised some
parts of America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries has no
place in today's winner-take-all society.
awash with so much love of Jesus, America is not the land of charity
and compassion. It is ruthlessly selfish and woefully violent.
money, more Goodness!
greed – "Wealth"
gets a makeover
Yes, grabbing everything
in sight (aka "material abundance") is no longer
It's not at all like
those unrighteous tax collectors of the Bible, taking from the poor
to give to the rich.
Land the poor are a thing
of the past (well, at least, past thinking about) and
everyone is on their way to being rich, Rich, RICH.
Not yet rich – in
need of more prayer.
a Supersized portion of Jesus!
out the largest bill or check you have. That $100, $50, or $20 bill,
it in your clean hands and say, 'In
Jesus's name I dedicate this gift to God's work and expect a miracle
Word of Faith scam.
of vanities, all is vanity”
7,500 seat multi-media
Jesus auditorium at Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington,
Illinois, a wealthy suburb of Chicago with a population of 4000.
Lakewood Church, Houston.
16,000 happy clappies repurpose the Compaq Center arena and replace
their brains with Jesus mush.
In larger and larger auditoriums rationality and judgement
fall victim to orchestrated hysteria and Jesus frenzy.
Adolf Hitler would have been impressed.
Not yet rich. An obvious
sinner gets a wake up call from the Lord.
The "fringe" members
of American society – the downtrodden, the homeless, the poor – are
held in contempt in a "winner" society.
First Baptist Church, Huntsville,
This dashing, tasteless,
superchurch features a 229' prefabricated steel, aluminium and zinc
steeple, complete with air con and an elevator.
park for Jesus
Faith Chapel Christian
Center, Birmingham, Alabama.
The $15 million 280-foot
diameter "Word Dome" (all 86,000 square feet of it) is covered
by porcelain Marazzi tiles. At a further cost of $16.5 million 6 additional
smaller domes are to be added.
What fun! What fellowship!
the Son of man has nowhere to lay His head."
Not yet rich. Needs to
"And Jesus saith
unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests;
the Son of man hath not where
to lay his head."
– Matthew 8.20.
6,000 square feet of glass
standing on 100 tons of flagstone.
4 million people have visited "Thorncrown" Chapel,
Eureka Springs, Arkansas, a town of just 2,000 residents.
Jesus loves those tourist
Tower of Power
Oral Roberts Christian
University, Tulsa, Oklahoma, features this awesome 200' Prayer Tower
complete with observation deck and a "Journey into Faith" multi-media
The tower houses a team
of "professional prayers" offering a 24/7 prayer service
for those of you too busy to pray yourself. Just call 918-495-7777
or submit an email prayer request here.
And guess what: you can
also "Plant a Seed-Faith Gift". Be sure to have your credit
card at the ready!
Ron Hubbard – "Thetan" in chief
The United States loves
its flimflam – not just organized religion, in supersized portions,
but astrology, psychic awareness, rebirthing, UFOs – any form
A sci-fi writer who saw a market
opportunity was Ron
Hubbard, originator of the "science" of Dianetics,
a kind of latter day "Christian Science" in which mental and physical
ailments are cured
by "clearing" so-called engrams (unconscious memories).
Appropriately enough, Dianetics first
appeared in the May 1950 edition of Astounding Science
Delighted by the success of
his wacky idea Hubbard finessed his "science" into a full-blown Church
to the gospel of Ron, a tyrant called Xenu dropped us humans off
on earth 75 million
A vast literature combining
elements from Star Trek and jargonised psycho-babble promises
greater "self-fulfillment". A favourite
with the Hollywood set. Kinda says it all.
adroit, unscrupulous fellow, who knows the world, has only
to get among these simple souls and his fortune
is quickly made; he plays with them.”
– Lucian of Samosata, "The Passing of Peregrinus." (2nd
1200 Christian organizations, the USA has a greater
number of Jesus fan clubs than any other country in the world.
The proliferation of variegated brands of Christianity in America
is so extreme that it acquires a comic dimension. One might discern
only a subtle difference in name between, say, the "Evangelical
Congregational Church" and the "Evangelical
Covenant Church", or the "Church of God
in Christ" and "Church of Christ" but
miss a gulf of doctrinal distinction.
who is bothered about doctrine anyway? Denominations, a source
of so much anguish and bloodshed in the past, have diminishing
importance in the era of evangelical psychosis, mega-churches
and apocalyptic blockbusters. The important thing is to "have
religion". "With religion" you
are a patriot, defending the American way of life; without
religion you are a subversive radical, an enemy.
USA is all show business and emotional razzmatazz.
Organised as international
corporations, with a globalised "mission" of subsidiary
offices, its product is propaganda, pouring in prodigious
quantity from a network of TV and radio
stations and publishing houses. The intent
draw further millions
mass of devotees.
extravaganzas Pastor whips up mindless love of Jesus and serious
raising, and then retreats to his opulent
sanctuary, content in knowing that he is a tireless servant of
Cash for God!
what did God do? He GAVE the very thing He needed – His
only begotten Son, the best gift heaven could give! What did
God receive? Yes, we know – billions of sons and daughters!
God lives by His own law – you GIVE if you expect to
Crouch of the Trinity Broadcasting Network espouses
the "theology" of fleecing the sheep on behalf of a
the notorious ecclesiastical scam which was a catalyst of the
is alive and well in 21st century America. So-named from Simon
the magician in Acts who tried to buy the power
of miracles, Pentecostal con-artists shamelessly sell "the power
of God" to the gullible,
the elderly, and the desperate. These purveyors of false hope and
empty dreams repackage Christianity as a "cargo cult",
in which they solicit for "seed" donations
of gain". Like any good
scam, the con appeals to the base instinct of greed, but with
a veneer of feel-good "Christian charity". You give,
for godsake, and then wait for your divinely sponsored dividend
to come rolling in a hundred fold.
Pyramid Selling of Jesus
are not new. There have always been inspiring, charismatic,
guru-like leaders who have been able
to persuade devoted bands of followers that they have
the answer to the big question: the meaning of life."
– Jean Ritchie, The Secret World of Cults.
ego, an insatiable appetite for adoration and applause,
a rampant libido, and above all, an eye on the big money,
mark out the "charismatic" personality well-suited
to the business of religion. All he needs is oratorical
skill, unbridled ambition and a leg-up from a "name" already
in the business.
Many have trod the path. The roll-call
of dishonour speaks volumes. Hiding behind their Bibles
bunch of crooks and hucksters, womanising egotists and
Rich.Author of "How to Improve Your Preaching" and
guardian of unsullied fundamentalism.
are the poor."
– Luke 6.20.
Bigot from the Boondocks
of a Confederate soldier and Alabama sharecropper,
the young and poorly educated Bob Jones (1883-1968)
discovered a youthful talent for memorizing scripture.
natural flair for oratory, the "boy preacher" warmed
the hearts and softened the brains of the yokels. At
15 Bob was already an itinerant Methodist and on his
way to Jesus loot, an enterprise he continued for half
a century, until upstaged by the new boy on the block
and dangerous liberal, Billy Graham.
intolerant, Jones was a racist, anti-Catholic, anti-Darwinian,
who supported the Klan. In 1927, with the tide of history
moving against religious reactionaries, BJ put money
into the Bob Jones College (later University), the
purpose of which was to train missionaries and teach
the "Christian alternative" to reality.
Rich. Seeds the faith and collects the $$$.
rackets were "prayer cloths", sold
in their 100,000s, and faked "healings".
numerous books include "How I Learned Jesus
Was Not Poor."
Faith – Harvesting a Fortune
Oral Roberts was a 1940s pioneer in the business of extracting Jesus
loot. In fifty years he went from tent to TV station.
Like Bob Jones, Oral cashed in with his very own "God-centered
Christian University" in Tulsa which schools other
fund-raiser, for his campus Medical Centre alone Oral
scooped over $9 million (although the centre lasted
less than a decade). His Ministry now offers a 24/7
prayer-by-proxy service for the mentally challenged.
contribution to the art of Jesus scamming was "Seed-Faith" (you
give him your cash and then wait for God to return
it to you 100-fold), such a cutie of an idea other
operators copied the "Give and Receive" scam-ology.
funded the purchase of $multi-million houses for Oral
in Beverly Hills and Palm Springs. His son Richard – also
gifted with a hot-line to God – inherited the
throne. Sure beats working.
yet rich – Where are their faith seeds?
Kenneth Hagin (1917-2003) – Southern
Baptist who sold Jesus for nearly 70 years.
gospel" was summed up in the catch-phrase "Confess
it and Possess it."
Mantra of "Word Faith"
it in your heart; say it with your mouth. That is the
principle of faith. You can have what you say." – Charismatic
Chaos, p. 285.
to Brother Kenneth Hagin, God – bless
him – wants every believer to be rich. The "positive
confession" of Word Faith (does that sound
like Seed Faith to you?) makes your wildest
dreams possible. Harness the power of God and conjure
up your heart's desire.
In essence, Word
Faith is the "mind over matter" mantra
of Mary Baker Eddy's Christian Science with
a fresh lick of paint. Hagin's Ministry, it seems,
is ushering in the Second Coming. In his book I
Believe in Visions Hagin claimed several personal
encounters with Jesus. Well there's no doubt he encountered
a lot of Jesus dollars.
Rich. Graham got to better parties by shrewdly moving from
fundamentalism to evangelicalism.
said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto
you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into
the kingdom of heaven." – Matthew
Crusader - 417 times
Billy Graham got the televangelist circus on the road.
What a star – still serving up hot Jesus half
a century later. Pastor-in-Chief helped George W Bush
hear voices. Don't mention anti-Semitic indiscretions
of the 1970s.
package from Bill Graham Evangelistic Organization "modest" by
Jesus Inc. standards (estimated
at $450,000.) Instead, Billy basks in the presence
of the rich, famous and powerful.
Billy Graham Newspapers estimated Graham's Christian
empire, which had over 10 million followers, grossed
$100 million annually.
yet rich – have they accepted Jesus?
Rich. Devine purpose?
over a hundred years the United States has been
an instrument of judgment in the hand of God." – Copeland, December, 2001.
Word is Money
Kenneth Copeland – ex-pop
singer and flunky of Oral Roberts and Kenneth Hagin, set
up his own operation in the 1970s under the "Word
of Faith" label. It may be the Last of Days
but there's still plenty of time to get your Christian
merchandise from the Copeland Christian store – "more
faith-building titles, 300 Christian films and 20,000
till the rapture?
Not rich, dead. Jones: sold
pet monkeys door-to-door to finance his first Jesus
business ("Wings of Deliverance"). Fled to Guyana after tax evasion
to be Saved
Temple. 913 died after former Methodist minister and
Bible cult leader Rev. Jim Jones told followers he
was the Messiah and they should commit "revolutionary
suicide". Most were poor blacks; 276 were children.
Jones's "theology" had been an eclectic mix of Pentecostalism
and welfare socialism.
cultic Christians high and dry on Flav-R-Aid.
Swaggart – God's cashier and a cousin of of rock legend
Jerry Lee Lewis. Jimmy himself claims sales
of 15 million gospel recordings.
"It is more blessed
to give than to receive.” – Acts 20.33,35.
of God" whoremonger Jimmy Swaggart, televangelist
extraordinaire, raked in $150 million annually from
gullible Jesus lovers during the 1980s.
rags-to-riches story. Swaggart had a poor
start in life: depression-era rural Louisiana. But
he had a natural charisma, and the growth of radio
and TV presented the opportunity. Ordination as a minister
by the AoG and conservative politics meant that
was on a
the fiercely competitive
1. But he had made enemies on the way up and they
helped ensure that a pornography and hookers scandal
brought him tumbling
If you would
like to help Jimmy get back on the gravy train click here.
David Koresh (aka Vernon Howell), rock guitarist turned
Koresh: 7th Day
Davidians 80 died in fireball after former 7th Day
Adventist and Bible cult leader David Koresh told followers
he was Messiah and that the Apocalypse had begun.
is easier for a camel to go through the eye of
a needle than for a rich man to enter
heaven." – Matthew 19.24.
erstwhile force behind the PTL ('Praise the
Lord') TV Network, raked in so much cash that he even
set up his own theme park ("Heritage USA").
AOG minister Jimmy Bakker admitted to squandering
$158 million of Church donations on luxury cars, private
mansions and female liaisons.
prison term, he's still working the rackets. Here's
the link if
you want to donate to Jimmy's "television miracle".
himself the son of old time revivalists, moved
about the world with his Family of Love, maintaining
his keen interest in pedophilia.
to enlightenment – "sex with hot chicks"
more interested in the sexual rather than the monetary
rewards of selling Jesus.
Early in the
1970s this run-of-the-mill apocalyptic evangelical and
TV preacher received the call to be God's "last
prophet". 'Mo' set
up the "Children of God" with a strong emphasis
on sex. Recruitment was by "flirty fishing",
earning his cult the name "Hookers for Jesus."
much later evangelicals by predicted apocalyptic events
and ultimately the "tribulation" that
would begin in 1989 followed soon after by the second coming
of Jesus. The poor old pervert died in 1994.
Not rich. Dead.
Born son of a
Presbyterian minister, Applewhite and
his happy band of fools graduated
to the "Level
Gate. 87 die after Bible cult leader Marshall Applewhite tells followers they should "graduate" to
meet Jesus behind the Hale-Bopp comet. Obviously watched
too much Star Trek.
to meet Jesus
Rich. Jerry Falwell, pastor of the 22,000-member Thomas Road Baptist
Church, Lynchburg, Virginia.
1999 Falwell alerted the nation to the danger
that Tinky Winky from "Teletubbies" might
to you that are rich! for ye have received your
consolation." – Luke 6.24
hope to live to see the day when, as in the early
days of our country, we won't have any public schools.
The churches will have taken them over again and
Christians will be running them. What a happy day
that will be!"
– Falwell ("America
Can Be Saved!" 1979)
1960s Falwell began his "Old-Time Gospel Hour" on
TV and radio. The "Moral
Majority" followed in 1979 but Jerry famously
failed with his lawsuit against Hustler magazine
Larry Flynt in 1988. Falwell has continued to
rail against secular schools, sodomites, feminists,
abortionists and anything
else he decides is unbiblical. During 1990s, he
bankrolled anti-Clinton propaganda.
moral, nor in majority, but fiercely
competitive in the mega-church stakes. During 2006,
Falwell's Thomas Road Baptist Church will move
to a new building – a "state of
the art sanctuary" of
a million square ft. Should be large enough even for
yet rich – are they righteous?
giving and receiving ... Not because I desire
a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to
your account." – Philippians
fraudster Robert Tilton ("Word of Faith Church")
cut himself a fat slice of the Jesus pie with a "Success-N-Life" scam.
Tilton solicited $1000 vows in exchange for the "presence
of God" and raked in an estimated $80 million
per year until a TV exposé in 1992 forced him
into a lower profile.
can't keep a good Jesus con man down. Tilton's recent
books include How
To Pay Your Bills Supernaturally.
with Jesus, third wife and three poodles.
Rich. Christian "Broadcaster
of the Year, 1989".
to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries
that shall come upon you."
– James 5.1.
friend of Jesus and Mobutu Sese Seko (late dictator
Zaire); Jorge Serrano (former dictator of Guatemala);
Frederick Chiluba (boss of Zambia); Charles Taylor
(warlord of Liberia).
will never be peace until God's house and God's people
are given their rightful place of leadership
at the top of the world. How can there be peace when
drunkards, drug dealers, communists, atheists, New Age
worshipers of Satan, secular humanists, oppressive dictators,
greedy money changers, revolutionary assassins, adulterers,
and homosexuals are on top ... there is absolutely no
way that government can operate successfully unless led
by godly men and women operating under the laws of the
God of Jacob."
– Pat Robertson, The New World
media mogul Pat Robertson became well-known as a fund-raiser
for the Contras anti-government guerillas.
1999 estimated worth of Robertson's Christian
empire, including the Christian Broadcasting
Network TV station, gold and diamond
mines, and university – $312
aspirations died with false claims of "combat
marine" service but he turned to building his
own political organization, the Christian Coalition,
which helped put Bush in the White House.
A man of
questionable friendships with African dictators and – glory! – in
2003 this hot-gospelling faith healer turned not to
the power of prayer but to the power of modern surgery
to fix his prostate cancer. A racist and anti-Semitic
bigot. "Satanists ... homosexuals – the
two things seem to go together."
indiscreet comments about Venezuela's president and
Israel's prime minister cost him his seat on the National
Religious Broadcasters' board of directors in March
saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds;
'Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves!
Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?'" – Ezekiel 34.2.
meets West in Hindu for Jesus
Zacharias: $2000 business suits plus an exotic
Hindu background, this showman serves up Jesus schpeel
for a discerning pallet. He found Jesus after a botched
suicide attempt and went on to "minister" to
US troops in Vietnam. Billy Graham gave him a leg
up and for thirty years Ravi has targetted "opinion
leaders" across the globe. The "thinking" wing
yet rich. Are they praying for those dollars?
Bernard Law, a name synonymous with Church scandal.
many years, Law covered up the sexual misconduct
of his priests. He was more concerned with the
image of the church than the well-being of children.
in frocks: Why
change the habits of a millennium?
The Roman Catholic
Church is synonymous with the institutional abuse of nuns
and children on a massive scale. Its moral turpitude has
cost it dearly, with a haemorrhaging of priests, nuns and
In the US, the
number of clerics accused of sexual abuse from 1950-2002
was 4,392. Over 800 priests were removed from the ministry.
Known cost financially to dioceses and religious orders
exceeded $600 million.
was the biggest head to roll – sort of. He was transferred
to an administrative post in the Roman Curia and appointed
archpriest of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, one
of the five major basilicas of the Roman Church. As a member
of the College of Cardinals Law was an elector in the 2005
papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI. No
harm done, then?
Rich – has
God's cell phone number and an even more useful
hot line to George W Bush.
Now? Favours a ferocious preemptive war against
sin. Haven't we heard that somewhere?
fascism, 'Free market' globalisation and Jesus Jihad
Haggard, CEO of "New Life Church" cut his teeth
staking out gays bars and smuggling Bibles into Eastern
Europe. Now has an $18 million "worship centre" in
Colorado Springs and presides over the National Association
Ted’s true genius lies in his organizational
hierarchy, which ensures ideological rigidity ... the
pyramid of authority into which it orders its 11,000
members. At the base are 1,300 cell groups, whose leaders
answer to section leaders, who answer to zone, who
answer to district, who answer to Pastor Ted Haggard" – Harpers
Magazine, May 2005.
diet – never miss a trick for those extra $$
Cry? Pastor Ted caught with his pants down. Resigns in gay
sex shocker !
Child-star turned evangelist Kirk Cameron effortlessly demolished more than a century of scientific understanding of evolution by knocking up a 'crocoduck' in Photoshop.
Gee whizz. Why can't it always be that easy?
Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron, et al.
Prolific self-publicist Ray "Gawd invented bananas" Comfort, and Kirk Cameron, erstwhile star of TV-movie The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, are a would-be Dynamic
Duo of rabid evangelists. If you fancy some sort of christ-fu, why not visit their website "The Way of the Master"?
Celebrity preachers to keep an eye on: 'The Purpose Driven' Rick Warren (chosen in December 2008 by Obama to give the invocation at his inauguration) and Joel Olsteen, mega-mouth of the Lakewood mega-church.
of whore-mongering, money gabbing egotists with an enthusiasm
for Jesus would be mildly amusing if it were not for
the fact that they have political clout and financial muscle. They
attack rational education and have intruded an agenda of doomsday
scenarios and apocalyptic meltdown into the political mainstream.
Their propaganda extends far beyond the Bible belt
and has global reach. "World
erode other cultures, arrogantly assuming exclusive possession
of civilised values and moral rectitude. Their God-given mission
is to "Bring Jesus" to the whole of humanity.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Sources: Harold Bloom, The American Religion: The Emergence of the Post-Christian
Nation (1992) Will Herberg, Protestant, Catholic, Jew (1950)
Andrew Sinclair, A Concise History of the United States (Sutton, 1999)
Kevin Phillips, American Dynasty (Allen Lane, 2004)
Sam Harris, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason
David Domke, God Willing? Political Fundamentalism in the White House (Pluto,
D. R. McConnell, A Different Gospel (Hendrickson,
L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics, The Evolution of a Science (Church of Scientology,
organisation, authority and membership preceded
rather than followed the justifying doctrine. As
the organisation and its needs changed so has the ‘Testament
of God’ adapted accordingly. Dogma – The
Word in all its Savage Glory