Apologists say that televangelist Pat Robertson’s recent remarks were an aberration; in reality they were only scratching a darker surface. Mr. Robertson has a long career of what most Americans would call despicable behavior. Consider the following: Robertson’s support of former Liberian president Charles Taylor. In various episodes of his 700 Club program during the United States’ involvement in the Liberian Civil War in June and July of 2003, Robertson repeatedly supported Liberian President Charles Taylor. Robertson accuses the U.S. State Department of giving President Bush bad advice in supporting Taylor’s ouster as president, and of trying “as hard as they can to destabilize Liberia.”
Robertson has been criticized for failing to mention in his broadcasts his $8 million investment in a Liberian gold mine. Taylor had been at the time of Robertson’s support indicted by the United Nations for war crimes. According to Robertson, Freedom Gold, the Liberian gold mine, was intended to help pay for humanitarian and evangelical efforts in Liberia, when in fact the company was allowed to fail leaving many debts both in Liberia and in the international mining service sector. Regarding this controversy, Richard Land, head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s public policy said, “I would say that Pat Robertson is way out on his own, in a leaking life raft, on this one.” [Source]
Here is a case where he supported a ruthless dictator so he could personally profit. He tries to spin and play down the story the other way on his web site:
I regret that my sentiments in support of the suffering Liberian people were misinterpreted by The Washington Post as unqualified support for Charles Taylor, a man whom I have never met, and about whose actions a decade ago I have no firsthand knowledge. [Source]
Perhaps if Liberia was a white Christian country he would have felt differently. Pat has in fact shown a consistent side of racism. Take his comments about China:
If every family over there was allowed to have three or four children, the population would be completely unsustainable.
I think that right now, they’re doing what they have to do. I don’t agree with forced abortion, but I don’t think the United States needs to interfere with what they’re doing internally in this regard. [Source]
Apparently abortion is ok as long as the babies being aborted are not white. Pat first showed signs of his hatred for Asian women during the Korean War, where according to fellow veteran Paul Brosman, who testified in a pretrial deposition about rumors during the war that Robertson had been carousing with prostitutes and hassling Korean women. Brosman stated that Robertson himself talked about his exploits with prostitutes. [Source]
In the late 1980s, Pat Robertson sued Congressman Pete McCloskey and Representative Andy Jacobs for libel. McCloskey, who served with Robertson in Korea, made claims that Robertson was spared combat duty when his powerful father intervened on his behalf. Brosman’s comments came out as a result of this lawsuit. Shortly there after Mr. Robertson dropped his lawsuit claiming he was to busy to attend the trial proceedings.
The real more likely reason is that he knew he would lose and that he only filed the lawsuit as a way for political cover. Thereafter he could say, “Those are nothing but lies, I sued that guy for libel.” However, suing somebody doesn’t change ones shameful history.
In fact Mr. Robertson has so many embarrassing episodes that his homepage is covered with highly spun explanations.
Mr. Robertson has plenty to be embarrassed about too. Take for example “Operation Blessing”. This is one of his so called charities run thru the 700 Club organization. Robertson claims to have spent $1.2 million bringing aid to refugees in Rwanda. His critics, such as Greg Palast claim the money was actually spent to bring heavy equipment for Robertson’s African Development Corporation, a diamond mining operation.
It is very curious why he hasn’t been indicted for criminal fraud. You can’t get much lower than to solicit money to feed the starving and spend it on a diamond mine to line your own pockets. Televangelists have a long history of doing this. In the USA, with the exception of the PTL ministry run by Tammy Faye and Jim Baker, virtually none have been taken to task by the government. If somebody like Howard Stern was soliciting money for say Tsunami relief and instead spent it on strippers, how long do you think it would be before he was sitting in jail?
What is even more infuriating is the government’s utter and complete lack of action against Pat for his “terrorist” threats.
In interviews with the author of a book critical of the United States Department of State, Robertson made suggestions that the explosion of a nuclear weapon at State Department Headquarters would be good for the country, and repeated those comments on the air. “What we need is for somebody to place a small nuke at Foggy Bottom,” Robertson said during his television program, referring to the location of the State Department headquarters. [Source]
There is no valid excuse why Pat Robertson is not being charged with his countless crimes of promoting and inciting terrorism and criminal fraud.
Written by John Bill, founder of independent think tank the Jmaximus Institute of Freedom.