Sunday, 10 March 2019

Christian Corruption News - Fleecing the Flock

Terry Waye and Brenda Millender
Virginia pastor gets 8 years for $2 million fraud scheme | Fox 5

What's the point of having a flock if you don't fleece them? The sentencing of a Virginia pastor to eight years in prison a few days ago illustrates this principle very nicely.

Christian pastor, Terry Wayne Millender and his wife Brenda, who together ran the Victorious Life Church in Virginia, USA, had been convicted by an Alexandria jury of fleecing their flock of $2 million. They faced up to 20 years in prison.

Terry Milender was convicted in December 2017 of 31 charges including wire fraud, money laundering, false-tax-return filing and obstruction; Brenda was convicted of 7. In a wonderful example of the fine Christian principle of a wife standing by her husband through thick and thin, Brenda's lawyers tried to distance her from his crimes, expressing pleasure that the jury has recognised her lesser role in the affair and implying that she had played little part in her husband's scam.

A judge later vacated all charges against Brenda.

Millender had set up the Micro-Enterprise Management Group that he claimed helped poor people in developing countries by providing short-term loans to set up their own enterprises as part of a 'Christian mission'. When his Micro-Enterprise company failed, he started another allegedly centred on the Nigerian oil industry. He promised their investors they would get their money back with interest while helping the poor and spreading the Good News.

Instead, he and Brenda spent the money on personal expenses, golf games and rent and on their $1.75 million home in Springfield, Va.

Terry offered two excuses:

  • He was inexperienced and incompetent and wasn't criminal 'in his heart'. He had hoped his friends would "be rewarded by God" for helping "make a difference in the lives of people" in Africa and South America. Apparently, for a Christian pastor to pocket the money and hope God will reward his victims is not really criminal 'in the heart'.
  • He needed to be rich so he could help the poor. "You can't do good and be poor at the same time. You can't help the poor and be poor, it makes no sense" he told the jury. So keeping the money intended for the poor, so you can be rich, is the best way to help the poor. This must be what Jesus meant.

Well, what's the point of religion if it doesn't provide excused for people who need excuses?

What we can now expect is for the Millenders to blame Satan for causing their plans to fail and leading them astray. In the time-honoured tradition of Christian evangelists falling foul of the law, Terry can be expected to emerge from prison a changed man who has now seen the error of his ways, been forgiven by God's Grace and is devoting his life to Jesus, to the cheers of his adoring flock who will do everything they can afford to help him get back to his old ways of becoming rich in order to help the poor and spread the Good News.

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