Published on December 5th, 2013 | by Rhonda Winter0
Mission Congo Reveals Robertson’s Charity Fraud
The Toronto International Film Festival recently premiered a new documentary which chronicles how multi-millionaire televangelist Pat Robertson perpetrated massive illegal fraud, raking in donations to allegedly help displaced refugees, while actually diverting most of the resources to lucrative mining operations in the Africa. Mission Congo explains how Robertson’s Operation Blessing christian charity did little to actually assist refugees, as he claimed, but instead channelled most of its tax-deductible donations to fund dredges for gem and mineral mines in what was then Zaire:
“With Mission Congo, filmmakers David Turner and Lara Zizic conduct a deep investigation based on years of research into what Operation Blessing actually accomplished. They interview aid workers, eyewitnesses and even the pilots of Robertson’s airplanes who describe a different mission: diamonds. With the help of a brutal dictator and ex-Navy SEALS, Robertson was diverting his planes away from refugee camps to a different part of the Congo to extract precious gems. If the devil is in the details, here the details are jaw-dropping as we confront the disconnect between what Robertson promised and what others experienced.”
Robertson’s Right Wing Gold Mine
This well-researched movie drew largely upon the investigative journalism of reporter Bill Sizemore, who had published articles accusing the Christian Broadcasting leader of operating an enormous gold and diamond mining facility under the guise of a charity. Mission Congo deftly illustrates how Robertson’s Operation Blessing International non-profit claimed to be giving money for relief work, but in reality, its primary focus was just exploiting the region’s limited resources. The documentary also helps to shine a bright light on the billions of dollars of unregulated and untaxed money that is raised each year by religious institutions.image via TIFF
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