In what may be his best segment yet, John Oliver mocks and exposes televangelists and their puppet, the IRS, by becoming a televangelist.
From $65 million luxury jets to “big game” exotic animalÂ hunting trips, ministers of the “prosperity gospel” have been fleecing poor and vulnerable Americans for decades. HBO’s John Oliver last night exposed some of the worst offenders, the televangelists who unrepentantly â€“Â under the guise of healing your poor health, poor credit, or poor sense of self-worthÂ â€“ “ask” for money so you can get better.
â€œThis is about the churches that exploit peopleâ€™s faith for monetary gain,â€ Oliver explains, showing clips after disgusting clip of supposed men and women of God instructing their followers to send them money. One told his followers they’ll never be able to buy a house with the $1000 they have in the bankÂ â€“ so they should just send him the $1000.
Oliver exposed others, all of whom ask for “seed money,” a ridiculous concept that doesn’t even rise to the level of pyramid scheme, but makes the televangelists millionaires.
The “Last Week Tonight” host showed clips of preachers like Creflo Dollar, the televangelist trying to get his flock to donate their dollars to buy him a $65 million luxury jet,Â Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, whose big jet and big game hunting trip dreams came true,Â Mike Murdock, whose big jet reality includes two luxury jets that he bragged about buying in cash, andÂ Robert Tilton, with whom Oliver revealed a correspondence “relationship” going back to January, which included Tilton sending Oliver an envelope marked “check enclosed,” which was a check from Oliver to Tilton.
The Washington Post notesÂ Tilton “came under fire afterÂ an ABC investigation into his fundraising practices.”
Sadly, Tilton may have come under fire, but what televangelist fraudsters are doing is perfectly legal, thanks to “loosely defined” IRS regulations of tax exempt religious institutions. As Oliver explained, â€œif youâ€™re registered as a religious non-profit, or especially a church, you are given broad exemptions over taxation and regulation.â€
And thanks to those broad exemptions, Oliver, with comedic assistance from SNL’s Rachel Dratch,Â proceeded to explain that he has been able to create his own church,Â Our Lady Of Perpetual Exemption, a tax exempt “church.”
â€” Last Week Tonight (@LastWeekTonight) August 17, 2015
And remember, to learn more about our church, visit http://t.co/2OHLkgd7i3 or call 1-800-THIS-IS-LEGAL!
â€” Last Week Tonight (@LastWeekTonight) August 17, 2015
Noted on the Our Lady Of Perpetual Exemption website, as “Pastor, Megareverend, and CEO JohnÂ Oliver” mentioned, “church services are Sunday evenings at 7 PM CBS Studios, New York, NY.”
Image: Screenshot viaÂ LastWeekTonight/YouTube
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Former US Attorney Calls for ‘Full Investigation’ After Report Secret Service Failed to Share Threat Against Pelosi
A former U.S. Attorney is calling for a full investigation into the U.S. Secret Service’s failure to share intelligence it had detailing a violent threat against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats.
“This is deeply disturbing,” says Joyce Vance, who is now a law professor and MSNBC/NBC News legal analyst. She says it “requires a full investigation.”
“The Capitol Police are responsible for protecting the Speaker,” Vance continues. “If true” that the U.S. Secret Service “failed to pass on intelligence about threats, that’s very alarming.”
Vance points to a new report from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) that finds the Secret Service discovered a violent social media based threat on January 4, 2021, two days before the insurrection, but did not share that intelligence with the Capitol Police until nearly 6 PM ET on January 6.
The U.S. Secret Service is an agency under the Dept. of Homeland Security. The DHS Inspector General, Joseph Cuffari, is under investigation by two powerful House Committee chairs who on Tuesday accused him of “obstruction.”
In a separate report CREW reveals that “days before the January 6 attack on the Capitol, documents exchanged between the Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies outlined ‘threats of violence’ on the 6th, coming ‘predominantly from right wing groups’ with ‘plans to bring weapons into the District,’ according to documents obtained by CREW. The Secret Service knew that Trump’s supporters would be demonstrating around Freedom Plaza and the Capitol with the intent to cause violence, but the agency does not appear to have taken the threat seriously.”
“While the Secret Service downplayed threats posed by right-wing extremist groups and Trump’s supporters leading up to January 6, the newly obtained documents reveal just how grave and explicit the threats had actually been,” CREW alleges.
Image via Shutterstock
Secret Service Held Onto Violent Jan. 6 Threat Against Pelosi, Watchdog Says
Two days before the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump the U.S. Secret Service discovered a “series of violent threats” made on social media, including against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, but did not pass them on to the Capitol Police until the evening of January 6 – after the violence of the insurrection had ended, a watchdog reports.
“On January 4, Secret Service agents discovered a Parler account, which we’ve chosen not to name, posting a series of violent threats towards lawmakers. Other profiles with the same name appeared on Twitter, MeWe, Bitchute, Youtube and Facebook,” Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) reveals.
“On December 31, the account posted, ‘January 6 starts #1776 all over again…Fight for EVERYTHING’ and listed ‘Enemies,’ including Pelosi. At 5:55 pm on January 6, after hours of defending the United States Capitol from a violent mob, the United States Capitol Police received the post along with a message from the Secret Service.”
“The language used by the account, as we’ve now seen repeated in recordings released by the January 6th Committee, is a clear call for a violent overthrow of the American government on January 6, 2021,” CREW adds.
The Secret Service found what CREW calls other “troubling” posts tied to that account.
“Biden will die shortly after being elected,” the account posted on January 2, four days before the insurrection. “Patriots are gonna tear his head off. Prison is his best case scenario.”
“We’re all on a mission to save America. Lone wolf attacks are the way to go,” read a Jan. 3 post. “Stay anonymous. Stay alive. Guns up Patriots!!”
CREW takes the Secret Service to task.
“In the past month, we’ve learned that the Secret Service failed to prepare for violence on January 6 despite receiving explicit warnings, then deleted key evidence from the day, likely breaking the law,” the nonpartisan watchdog reports, presumably referring to the deleted text messages from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, 2021. “The delay in notifying Capitol Police about the threat to the Speaker of the House only adds to the impression that the agency failed to do its job, and leads to more questions. Why did the agency wait two days, until after the Capitol had been breached and Congressional leaders were in hiding to pass it along?”
Watch: Pence Says He Would ‘Consider’ Appearing Before J6 Committee if Offered ‘Invitation’ to ‘Participate’
Former Vice President Mike Pence, asked if he would testify before the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, said if invited he would “consider” participating.
“If there’s an invitation to participate, I would consider it,” Pence said Wednesday morning at a political event in New Hampshire, a state presidential hopefuls visit early and often. “It would be unprecedented in history for a vice president to be summoned to testify on Capitol Hill, but as I’ve said, I don’t want to prejudge.”
In fact, as NBC News producer Frank Thorp V noted, “It would not, actually, be unprecedented for a VP to testify on Capitol Hill.”
Pence, as he often does, tried to frame his remarks in a historic context.
“Under the Constitution, we have three coequal branches of government, and um, any invitation that’d be directed to me, I’d have to reflect on the unique role I was serving in as Vice President.”
Thorp notes that “Vice President Schuyler Colfax testified before the House Select Committee to Investigate the Credit Mobilier on January 7, 1873, which was while he was in office.” He also points out that President Abraham Lincoln and President Woodrow Wilson testified before Congress.
Politico’s Kyle Cheney adds that “many” of Pence’s “former top aides have testified at length, presumably with his blessing.”
Pointing to the video below, law professor and CNN contributor Steve Vladeck noted Wednesday morning that “Former Vice President Ford testified before Congress in October 1974 … while he was PRESIDENT.” He also notes that “former Presidents (to say nothing of former VPs) have testified before Congress *sixteen* times.”
NBC News presidential historian Michael Beschloss says the former vice president “needs to testify fully under oath before the House January 6 Committee — and he must not take the Fifth.”
Watch Pence below or at this link:
Former Vice President Mike Pence when asked if he would cooperate if the January 6th committee called on him to testify:
“If there was an invitation to participate, I would consider it.” pic.twitter.com/y9NFrHwYtf
— The Recount (@therecount) August 17, 2022
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