PERSPECTIVE OF PROSPERITY SCAMS A’LA USA
1978/79 a visitor knocked on the door and it was opened to find a strange, well almost strange gentleman standing on the stoep holding 2 large packages. He was invited in and asked to be seated in the lounge. Which he carried out eagerly. He requested to see my wife and she arrived in a jiffy.
He ceremoniously handed my wife and myself, each, one of the packages and told us that God had spoken to him and commanded him to present a tape recorder to Mrs and Mr Pay. I thanked him profusely and stated it would come in handy when I dictate notes while studying. He reminded me that God did not quite have that in mind. He left the room and returned a minute later with 2 more book shaped packages and handed them to us. It was not a book but a file holding about 12 cassettes with tapped sermons by various American evangelists: Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Oral Roberts and others. An address was given and a request made that we attend their meetings over the coming weekend.
I asked if we owe him for the goods and he replied that God does not expect payment and left. After he left I asked my wife if she knew the man because I had a strange feeling I had seen him elsewhere. He turned out to be a welding inspector employed by an American company contracted to the Rossing Uranium mine where I was occupied. He was a lay preacher for the Kenneth Hagin Evangelical movement. Come Sunday evening we turn up on his door step. After the tea, samies and introduction the sermon started. For our benefit I assume, a long winded discourse took place to indicate the relationship of giving and receiving all in gods name. What we give so shall we receive ten times that given etc, Then the usual hand clapping biblical songs.
The main course soon arrived: The Power of Faith.. A text was read from the bible that if your faith was strong enough and you wished to move mountains then God will allow you to do so. I started checking out the escape routes. Later as I became more accustomed to the way of thinking one tends to go with the flow but something is always niggling deep down in ones mind. It is all to easy to move mountains or simply ask god for a tape recorder and all these things are issued by the Lord. Yet, somehow, against your better judgement you start believing what you hear. I mean hell, what did god have to loose by presenting me and my spouse with tapes and tape recorders.? You realize that someone had to pay for the stuff not God. The main theme was always: “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all his righteousness then all these things will be added unto you.” As time progressed so did the congregation: In one case 12 Ovambo Men were invited to sing to the congregation. They sang their own traditional songs and without instruments. That was one of the most beautifull sounds I have ever heard.
Slowly but surely the screws were tightened, the screws of prosperity and blind faith were turned down so deep it felt like a traitor to buy bread for the kids and not give the money to God. One day I mentioned to the preacher that I would arrive late the next day because I had to detour to purchase petrol for the vehicle. He angrily told me to pray and believe there is petrol in the car. Next morning I did come late due to my prayers not being acted upon. An outsider looking in may find it strange that persons belonging to these sects are brainwashed to some extent and have little free will to act out their own needs, requirements and freedoms. The call is always for more, more, and much more. No matter how much was fed into the passing basket God was never satisfied.
During the early sixties and Seventies the prosperity movements in the USA were highly active and successful in extorting money by nefarious methods from suckers like myself.
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