Friday, December 01, 2006

God's Own Pyramid Scheme

Well, well, looks like Oregon has their own home grown religious charitable scam artist.

KATU is all over it:

A local pastor who raises cash, cars and more for charities he runs is drawing harsh criticism from former employees and members of his ministry who said he owes them tens of thousands of dollars .

The pastor, Corey Pritchett, runs a ministry called "Changing Lives" out of a southeast Portland office and also operates a Christian Web site called Northwest Deliverance.

A brochure for Pritchett's ministry states that it focuses on drug and alcohol rehabilitation, feeding the hungry and housing the needy. The Web site tells of an upcoming mission to help Louisiana hurricane victims.

But former employees said the charity did next to nothing.

Churches and ministries don't have to file tax forms that show financial details, including how much of the donations go to services. So except for the word of Pritchett, there's no way to know where the money is going.

Pritchett, however, didn't want to talk to KATU about the charities' activities. After failing to arrange a time to meet to address the allegations, Pritchett was confronted by a reporter outside his home near Sandy. When pressed, Pritchett said his charity is legitimate but he failed to give specifics on upcoming charity events.

There's an obvious joke when one names their website "Deliverance", so no need to make it here.

What's not so funny is that this Corey Pritchett guy seems to be taking a bunch of true believers for a hefty chunk of change.

I'm not a Christian. But I am a spriritual person. I believe there is an especially nasty karma in store for people who exploit the vulnerable spirituality of others in order to screw them over for money.