This story drew my attention in a way similar to the most recent PoI podcast. In the piece, Sam Harris states the following.
The problem of religious fatalism, ignorance, and false hope, while plain to see in most religious contexts, is now especially obvious in the black community. The popularity of “prosperity gospel” is perhaps the most galling example: where unctuous crooks like T.D. Jakes and Creflo Dollar persuade undereducated and underprivileged men and women to pray for wealth, while tithing what little wealth they have to their corrupt and swollen ministries. Men like Jakes and Dollar, whatever occasional good they may do, are unconscionable predators and curators of human ignorance. Is it too soon to say this in American politics? Yes it is.
I had read a news and comment article in the most recent Skeptical Inquirer that mentions Dollar and many others, the same day I read Sam’s piece. The SI article is about a senate investigation into “six prophets for profit.”
Of course the “prosperity gospel” is not limited to the black churches, fortunately, Senator Charles Grassley recognizes this and is investigating what appears the most obvious cases.
Here is a couple quotes from the SI article.
“The prosperity gospel has reached a fever pitch among televangelists’ elite cadre as their ministries flourish to the tune of billions…”
Senator Charles Grassley : “Whether it’s using a private jet, driving a Rolls Royce or Bentley, or installing a $23,000 commode, there is obviously money going down the toilet.” (From a letter written by Grassley about the probe).