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Author Topic:   A Closer Look at Pat Robertson
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 160 (237515)
08-26-2005 6:52 PM


I'm jumping back into the game to address what I felt where some unsupportable statements about Pat Robertson in the thread devoted to his recent, despicable remarks advocating the assassination of Hugo Chavez.

While I felt that the heavy-handed ridicule directed towards Robertson was inappropriate, neither did I find the attempts by Faith and randman to style him as some kind of humanitarian and good Christian very truthful, either. So I'd like to share some facts I recently learned that speak to the character and conduct of Pat Robertson, and invite his defenders to respond to the allegations if they wish. Also I'll close with some remarks on why I find the response of the Christian and evangelical communities rather hollow.

The Wiki article on Pat Robertson alludes to several controversies surrounding his person. Out of deference to evangelical positions on redemption, I'll refrain from judgement on the substantiated reports of his pre-conversion conduct (drinking, sex with prostitutes, etc.)

Embezzlement from his own humanitarian funds

I might as well start with this since I find it the worst. According to columnist Greg Palast:

quote:
Robertson faces a separate investigation by the State of Virginia. In 1994, his charity, 'Operation Blessing', bought airplanes to ferry medical supplies to refugees in Rwanda.
Virginia is now completing an investigation into the diversion of the planes to ferry equipment to a diamond mine in the Congo owned by Robertson. But the president of Robertson Financial, Neil Volder, says Operation Blessing received donations from the clergyman exceeding the planes' worth.

According to one of the pilots hired, ostensibly to fly planes full of medical supplies and personnel to aid Rwandans:

quote:
Robert Hinkle, the chief pilot told reporter Bill Sizemore that of about 40 flights within Zaire during the half-year period he was there, "Only one or at most two" were related to the humanitarian mission of Operation Blessing. The rest were "mining-related."

"We got over there and we had 'Operation Blessing' painted on the tails of the airplanes, Hinkle told the Virginian-Pilot, "but we were doing no humanitarian relief at all. We were just supplying the miners and flying the dredges from Kinshasa out to Tdshikapa."


While Virginia's investigation did turn up enough evidence to charge Operation Blessing with violations of its non-profit status, Virginia's Attorney General Mark Earley declined to prosecute. Earley had recieved a $35,000 campaign contribution from Pat Robertson.

Support for humanitarian abuses

Contrary to Faith's attempts to promote Robertson as a humanitarian and philanthropist, Robertson's business interests support human rights abuses in several African countries. Several times, on his 700 Club program, he has supported African dictators who have committed war crimes, such as Mobutu Sese Seko and Charles Taylor. Here's Robertson advocating on Taylor's behalf on his program, via CBS:

quote:
Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson accused President Bush of undermining a Christian, Baptist president to bring in Muslim rebels by asking Liberian President Charles Taylor, recently indicted for war crimes, to step down.

How dare the president of the United States say to the duly elected president of another country, 'You've got to step down,'" Robertson said Monday on The 700 Club, broadcast from his Christian Broadcasting Network.

So we're undermining a Christian, Baptist president to bring in Muslim rebels to take over the country, he said in the broadcast.


What Robertson did not mention on that program were his $8 million dollars of investments in Liberian gold mines.

Robertson's aforementioned Congolese (then called Zaire) diamond mines? Human rights disasters:

quote:
Diamond Miners are Disproportionately Exposed to HIV/AIDS

Many diamond mining camps enforce all-male, no-family rules. Men contract HIV/AIDS from camp sex-workers, while women married to miners have no access to employment, no income outside of their husbands and no bargaining power for negotiating safe sex, and thus are at extremely high risk of contracting HIV.

Diamond Mine-Owners Violate Indigenous People's Rights

Diamond mines in Australia, Canada, India and many countries in Africa are situated on lands traditionally associated with indigenous peoples. Many of these communities have been displaced, while others remain, often at great cost to their health, livelihoods and traditional cultures.

Slave Laborers Cut and Polish Diamonds

More than one-half of the world's diamonds are processed in India where many of the cutters and polishers are bonded child laborers. Bonded children work to pay off the debts of their relatives, often unsuccessfully. When they reach adulthood their debt is passed on to their younger siblings or to their own children.

Conflict Diamonds Fund Civil Wars in Africa

There is no reliable way to insure that your diamond was not mined or stolen by government or rebel military forces in order to finance civil conflict. Conflict diamonds are traded either for guns or for cash to pay and feed soldiers.

Diamond Wars are Fought Using Child Warriors

Many diamond producing governments and rebel forces use children as soldiers, laborers in military camps, and sex slaves. Child soldiers are given drugs to overcome their fear and reluctance to participate in atrocities.


(This is why Mrs. Crashfrog sports a lab sapphire and not a diamond on her engagement ring. That, and we were really frickin' poor.)

from http://www.fguide.org/Bulletin/conflictdiamonds.htm (supported with references down at the bottom.)

Outrageous calls for violence

We've already discussed his call for assassination (what Jon Stewart has hilariously called the "Patwa"), and his prior suggestion of violence against the State Department has been alluded to. These statements don't represent isolated instances of "wacky" behavior - Robertson is only 75, a little too early to be having "senior moments" - but a continual pattern of calls for violence against persons and groups he percieves as being contrary to his business and political interests. (As his current cash-cow, the Christian Broadcasting Network, caters to conservative evangelicals, these business interests are often, I believe, mistaken for religious dogma. Robertson decries homosexuality not because it's against the Bible, but because it puts money in his pocket.)

The hollow protests of the evangelical community

Both Faith and randman have decried Robertson's recent statements, and for that they should be commended. Indeed, as they have stated, no Christian organization is on the record as supporting Robertson in this regard.

So the fuck what? I find it very disingenuous for Faith, randman, and indeed the entire evangelical community to act as though their responsibility in this matter ends with lip service. The evangelical community has done nothing to truly extricate themselves financially and politically from Robertson; he continues to be allowed to speak on behalf of evangelicals and profit from their support of his assorted ministries, his CBN channel, his political aspirations and organizations (most notably the various incarnations of the Christian Coalition, which he started), and his attacks on the Federal judiciary.

The pattern is familiar. Robertson shoots his mouth off, Christians condemn him, and then nothing. No calls for ABC to cease broadcasting of the 700 Club. No boycotts of those who advertise in or around that timeslot. No calls for cable companies to drop CBN. No calls for the FBI to rescind the award they gave to him in 1978, the least they could do considering he's called for the mass murder of government officials.

No calls for President Bush to cease meeting with Robertson, something he has done many times in the past.

Faith and Randman, and others, I'm heartened by your vocal repudiations of his comments on this forum, but what next? Don't you think you have a little more to do? How about some letters to your local ABC affiliates and cable providers? How about some letters to your senators asking the FBI to rethink the decision to award him a Department of Justice award in 1978?

For a man who regularly makes terroristic proclamations against democratically elected leaders and innocent civilian personnel, Robertson enjoys remarkable wealth and enviable status among the evangelical Christian community, something they appear very reticent to do something about. Faith and Randman's rejections of his comments are hollow indeed unless they're prepared to take steps to distance their communities from this dangerous and amoral figure.


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by mick, posted 08-26-2005 7:18 PM crashfrog has not yet responded
 Message 3 by Faith, posted 08-26-2005 8:04 PM crashfrog has responded
 Message 4 by joshua221, posted 08-26-2005 8:10 PM crashfrog has responded
 Message 10 by working out eating chips, posted 08-26-2005 10:42 PM crashfrog has responded
 Message 28 by randman, posted 08-27-2005 2:06 AM crashfrog has responded
 Message 29 by randman, posted 08-27-2005 2:35 AM crashfrog has responded
 Message 31 by randman, posted 08-27-2005 2:56 AM crashfrog has not yet responded
 Message 136 by DorfMan, posted 09-12-2005 11:25 AM crashfrog has not yet responded
 Message 141 by riVeRraT, posted 01-09-2006 6:56 AM crashfrog has responded

  
mick
Member (Idle past 2639 days)
Posts: 913
Joined: 02-17-2005


Message 2 of 160 (237521)
08-26-2005 7:18 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by crashfrog
08-26-2005 6:52 PM


Owning a congolese diamond mine is always a bad sign
Hi Crashfrog,

As a general rule, ANYBODY who owns a Congolese diamond mine is a monster. People at this forum should please read up on the diamond trade, especially labour practices in those mines, and check that if you buy jewellery containig diamonds that they are from a country that doesn't use slave labour and currently doesn't have a civil war going on - because the money from the diamond trade funds extreme violence.

Mick


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by crashfrog, posted 08-26-2005 6:52 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

  
Faith
Member
Posts: 26863
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 3 of 160 (237537)
08-26-2005 8:04 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by crashfrog
08-26-2005 6:52 PM


Accusations always sound righteous until the other side is heard, and how will the other side be heard on this forum? I don't have that information but without it, judging the man on the basis of these allegations would be foolish.

As for your call to punish Robertson for his mistakes, sorry. When you and the Left in general apologize for your outrageous uncalled for remarks against Bush and his supporters I'll give it another thought.

This message has been edited by Faith, 08-26-2005 08:06 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by crashfrog, posted 08-26-2005 6:52 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by crashfrog, posted 08-26-2005 8:13 PM Faith has responded
 Message 34 by Nuggin, posted 08-27-2005 3:06 AM Faith has not yet responded

    
joshua221 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 4 of 160 (237540)
08-26-2005 8:10 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by crashfrog
08-26-2005 6:52 PM


quote:
I'm jumping back into the game to address what I felt where some unsupportable statements about Pat Robertson in the thread devoted to his recent, despicable remarks advocating the assassination of Hugo Chavez.

Small people talk about people, Great people talk about ideas. - some famous woman


porteus@gmail.com
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by crashfrog, posted 08-26-2005 6:52 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by crashfrog, posted 08-26-2005 8:15 PM joshua221 has responded
 Message 7 by Omnivorous, posted 08-26-2005 8:52 PM joshua221 has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 160 (237543)
08-26-2005 8:13 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Faith
08-26-2005 8:04 PM


Accusations always sound righteous until the other side is heard, and how will the other side be heard on this forum?

I was hoping that you or randman would present it. I was unable to uncover any "other side" in my own research, but I imagine you have your own thoughts on how hard I probably looked.

I don't have that information but without it, judging the man on the basis of these allegations would be foolish.

What if you don't have that information because that information doesn't exist? What if there is no other side? Haven't you just essentially argued that the man is innocent of these actions because all the evidence says he's guilty?

I'm trying to turn over a new leaf, here, and proceed from a much more respectful and evidenced basis than I have in the past, but this post of yours is reminding me why I post the way I do. You really haven't addressed my points at all; you've simply asserted that information exists that exonerates him without actually telling us what that is. Additionally you've attempted to erect a smokescreen and drag us off-topic by bringing up the left's criticisms of Bush.

When you and the Left in general apologize for your outrageous uncalled for remarks against Bush and his supporters I'll give it another thought.

I've made no remarks against Bush that weren't called for and supported by the evidence; moreover comments about Bush are not on topic in this thread.

That goes for absolutely everybody. I won't be baited off-topic in my own thread.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Faith, posted 08-26-2005 8:04 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Faith, posted 08-26-2005 9:18 PM crashfrog has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 160 (237544)
08-26-2005 8:15 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by joshua221
08-26-2005 8:10 PM


Ad-hominem attacks against my person are the best you can marshall to defend Robertson?

Disappointing, and also completely off-topic. Robertson's status as a humanitarian is the topic here, not how large a person I am.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by joshua221, posted 08-26-2005 8:10 PM joshua221 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by joshua221, posted 08-26-2005 10:43 PM crashfrog has responded

  
Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 621 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 7 of 160 (237550)
08-26-2005 8:52 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by joshua221
08-26-2005 8:10 PM


irrelevant insult edited out
quote:
Small people talk about people, Great people talk about ideas. - some famous woman

"some famous woman", huh? Good work.

Welcome back, crash.

Although I personally cannot find any ridicule too heavy-handed where Robertson is concerned, I appreciate the material you present.

This message has been edited by Omnivorous, 08-26-2005 09:38 PM


This message is a reply to:
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Faith
Member
Posts: 26863
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 8 of 160 (237554)
08-26-2005 9:18 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by crashfrog
08-26-2005 8:13 PM


We are not a court of law here. You have levied some serious allegations. If the other side doesn't get a hearing I'd say you are seriously at fault for slanderous hearsay. I do not KNOW that contrary information exists, and I did not say I did. It is simply a general rule that you can't condemn a man without hearing his side of it. I appreciate your saying you are turning over a new leaf, and I did not mean to be provocative with my statement about Bush. I simply regard your statements about him to be as offensive and false as others here allege that Robertson's have been.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by crashfrog, posted 08-26-2005 8:13 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by crashfrog, posted 08-26-2005 9:22 PM Faith has responded
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 160 (237556)
08-26-2005 9:22 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Faith
08-26-2005 9:18 PM


It is simply a general rule that you can't condemn a man without hearing his side of it.

I'm listening. Are you willing to present his side?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Faith, posted 08-26-2005 9:18 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by Faith, posted 08-26-2005 11:22 PM crashfrog has responded

  
working out eating chips
Member (Idle past 1191 days)
Posts: 1623
Joined: 01-12-2004


Message 10 of 160 (237581)
08-26-2005 10:42 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by crashfrog
08-26-2005 6:52 PM


I have recently read an article, in which it states that the "conflict" diamond or blood diamond atrocities no longer exist.

This was brought to my attention after a rapper named Kanye West made a song, with lyrics describing the conflict diamond problem in Africa with his song Diamonds(From Sierra Leonne).

The world wide humanitarian agency "Amnesty" has apparently worked hard over the years in the 90's and now the diamond atrocities which are mentioned in your post are virtually nonexistent now.

99% of killing and forced child labor has stopped.

The horrors you mentioned most certainly happened. But it would seem Pat Robertson would have had to participate before the 90's most likely

I'll get that article hold on.*

"Vibe.com, did Kanye do his homework"

http://www.vibe.com/news/news_headlines/2005/07/kanye_diamonds_from_sierra_leone_debate/

I am in no way trying to justify Pat Robertson, I don't know him.

Judging by his words and apparent actions I don't want to.

Just trying to establish a timeline.

This message has been edited by Chris Porteus, 08-26-2005 10:50 PM

This message has been edited by Chris Porteus, 08-26-2005 10:51 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by crashfrog, posted 08-26-2005 6:52 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
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joshua221 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 11 of 160 (237582)
08-26-2005 10:43 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by crashfrog
08-26-2005 8:15 PM


I don't get why people insist on the insults to Pat R. We all understand that his views are radically different than that of the Christ. I thought picking on the poor guy would 'get old'.

quote:
So the fuck what? I find it very disingenuous for Faith, randman, and indeed the entire evangelical community to act as though their responsibility in this matter ends with lip service. The evangelical community has done nothing to truly extricate themselves financially and politically from Robertson; he continues to be allowed to speak on behalf of evangelicals and profit from their support of his assorted ministries, his CBN channel, his political aspirations and organizations (most notably the various incarnations of the Christian Coalition, which he started), and his attacks on the Federal judiciary.

quote:
The pattern is familiar. Robertson shoots his mouth off, Christians condemn him, and then nothing. No calls for ABC to cease broadcasting of the 700 Club. No boycotts of those who advertise in or around that timeslot. No calls for cable companies to drop CBN. No calls for the FBI to rescind the award they gave to him in 1978, the least they could do considering he's called for the mass murder of government officials.

I will respond with something that I have known for a very long time, when a preacher who was very old stood up and said something that resonates loudly as truth.

He talked about 2 Timothy, when in a letter to Tim, Paul talked of "the world", and warned him to "stay away from the things of this world". In Herman Hesse's Siddhartha, the word "samsara" meant the things that today would make us forget about one's self, or God, or life, destiny. This would entail anything immediately gratifying, things that satisfy, but do nothing for me. Commonly called sin. Samsara in Buddhism, the things of this world from Paul in Christianity, all block ourselves from our purpose.

I would say that Pat R.'s 700 club, and his TV network are of this world, and that we shouldn't dwell on these things.

That's what I was attempting to say, when I posted that quote I guess, but you gave me trouble, so I had to explain, which is good I guess.

This message has been edited by prophex, 08-26-2005 11:10 PM


porteus@gmail.com
This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by crashfrog, posted 08-26-2005 8:15 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
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joshua221 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 12 of 160 (237583)
08-26-2005 10:45 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Omnivorous
08-26-2005 8:52 PM


Re: irrelevant insult edited out
quote:
"some famous woman", huh? Good work.

Forgot her name, but the point is clear in the quote.


porteus@gmail.com
This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Omnivorous, posted 08-26-2005 8:52 PM Omnivorous has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 13 of 160 (237587)
08-26-2005 11:08 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by joshua221
08-26-2005 10:43 PM


I thought picking on the poor guy would 'get old'.

I don't understand in what sense you think I've insulted him, or have picked on him.

I have, on the other hand, presented a factual case that Robertson probably diverted resources from a non-profit humanitarian aid mission to fund for-profit diamond mining, and then escaped prosecution for that act because of a monetary contribution to the Virginia Attorney General. (That's more commonly known as a "bribe.")

It's fine if, like Faith, you opt not to challenge the factual basis of my post. But if all you're going to do in this thread is misrepresent the content of my OP, then it would be better for you not to participate at all. Don't you agree?

And if you object to the subject of the thread as a whole, then your side shouldn't have described Robertson as such a great humanitarian before you did the research to see if that was the case.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by joshua221, posted 08-26-2005 10:43 PM joshua221 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by joshua221, posted 08-26-2005 11:11 PM crashfrog has responded

  
joshua221 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 14 of 160 (237588)
08-26-2005 11:11 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by crashfrog
08-26-2005 11:08 PM


hehe, read the edit, sorry!

quote:
It's fine if, like Faith, you opt not to challenge the factual basis of my post. But if all you're going to do in this thread is misrepresent the content of my OP, then it would be better for you not to participate at all. Don't you agree?

I can see the future

quote:
And if you object to the subject of the thread as a whole, then your side shouldn't have described Robertson as such a great humanitarian before you did the research to see if that was the case.

My side?

Great humanitarian?

Back up these accusations, I already knew this guy and his whole network was a fluke.

This message has been edited by prophex, 08-26-2005 11:13 PM

This message has been edited by prophex, 08-26-2005 11:15 PM


porteus@gmail.com
This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by crashfrog, posted 08-26-2005 11:08 PM crashfrog has responded

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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 160 (237590)
08-26-2005 11:21 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by working out eating chips
08-26-2005 10:42 PM


Great article. Good find. And I love the context - rappers and diamond jewelry.

The horrors you mentioned most certainly happened. But it would seem Pat Robertson would have had to participate before the 90's most likely

Remember how I said that his diamond mine was in DR Congo?

quote:
The Kimberly Process was adopted in December 2000, and to date 68 countries participate - excluding the Republic of Congo which was kicked out in July 2004 for being unable to account for the origin of many of their rough diamonds.

Probably they mean the other Congo, but due to the similarity between the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo, it's ambiguous. Certainly violence and civil strife continue to wrack DR Congo, and has for decades. Amnesty International has some critical things to say about the effecacy of the "Kimberly Process" in general.

99% of killing and forced child labor has stopped.

In many countries, I hope so. It's not clear to what extent this can be substantiated for the mines of DR Congo, and even if labor conditions have improved the sale of diamonds to fund warfare still occurs, and was during the time period in question.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by working out eating chips, posted 08-26-2005 10:42 PM working out eating chips has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by working out eating chips, posted 08-27-2005 9:46 AM crashfrog has responded

  
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