Yesterday I received yet another spam which said in part:
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
"We’re starting a new kind of church and would like you to be a charter
member. CyberChurchOnline will open its virtual doors in 30 days. A
church with no doors..no walls and no limits!!"
Yes, that's right -- spam from God's believers!
Once you sign up -- just look at the benefits:
"You’ll have access to 24/7 instant chat time with live counselors.
They’ll pray with you, talk with you, and help you through needs and
problems in your life. We’ll make it our mission to pray for you, your
family and your needs each and every day!"
Now we're talking!
However, something doesn't quite smell right about this heavenly solicitation.
First-up, the email claims that you'll have full access to this new cyber-church's
website -- but they don't seem to have one!
Secondly, for an organisation which professes to have their own website, they
don't seem to have a domain name and they're using a throw-away free email
The domain names Newchurch2000 .com/org/net are all still available for
registration although the name
has recently been registered and is "under construction."
And the coup de gras? -- how about this little trinket at the bottom of the
"To be removed from our list click on the
link below and type remove in the subject line: Newchurchremove@excite.com"
Sorry -- I'm sure that God doesn't condone spamming and signing people up to
mailing lists without their expressed permission. This smells far too
much like an attempt to dupe gullible worshipers into verifying their
email addresses so that some snot can build a higher-value mailing list.
I Use The Net, Therefore I Am Gullible
Following on from that spam, I have to wonder why so many people consider
the Net to be loaded with gullible worshipers?
For example, have you ever seen the magical Benny Hinn on TV?
Now I should make it quite clear that I acknowledge and respect the right
of people to believe in whatever religion or denomination they like -- but
Benny has a real credibility problem in my book.
King of the "careful combers"
and sporting a sheet of "swept-over" hair that often
makes him look a bit like the Sydney Opera House, Benny calls people up on the
stage and, simply by touching, causes them collapse to the floor (where
some twitch and wriggle a bit) before arising -- cured of whatever ailed them.
Dont' believe me? Just read the account on
of the "young boy, just 7 years old,
[who] attended in a wheelchair. He had been diagnosed with a rare condition
that causes complete destruction of the hip joints. Following prayer,
he stood up and walked around without pain!"
Naturally these exhibitions of healing power are a part of his "Miracle Crusades"
which he takes on the road (along with his donation plate).
Central to each of his TV shows is the pitch to sell one of his
books or the solicitation for donations. Of course his website sports
its own e-commerce center (albeit Benny obviously doesn't care about Netscape
users -- perhaps Mozilla looks too much like a serpent?)
Of course if you can't make one of his travelling road-shows, Benny is
kind enough to offer you all manner of remote healing through the Net!
Yes, visit his website
and you can go to the
where your request will be "automatically be introduced into our Mighty Warrior
Intercessors Army Prayers Center where it will be visible to the tens of thousands of
Mighty Prayer Warriors worldwide". You even get an impressive list of ailments
or problems you might want cured or solved from a very comprehensive pull-down list.
Of course as soon as you've submitted your prayer request -- you get a screen that
hints gently that you might want to make
(why aren't I surprised?).
Once again, let me say that I'm not trying to ridicule religion of any kind,
it's just that I find Benny's TV programs and his website to smack more than
a little of hocus-pocus and commercialism than pure religious ideology.
I'm not so sure that God would be impressed with this kind of thing would he?
Hmmm... maybe I'm just too cynical to be using the Net.
If anyone who has been cured or saved by Benny is reading this, please
let us know! so that I can publish a suitable
And tomorrow Aardvark will ask the perplexing question:
"If this guy
is really a psychic, why does he need to ask my credit card number?"
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