This Scamster Stole More Than Rothstein

Guest Columnist

One of the biggest con artists of the Twentieth Century died last week.  No, I am not talking about Allen Stanford or Scott Rothstein

Dollar wise, they were pikers compared to him.
No, this guy was up there into Madoff numbers.  And he bettered Madoff in at least four ways:

  • He lasted over sixty years.
  • He didn’t have to return a dime to the suckers.
  • He never spent a day in jail.  
  • Best of all,  the scam he sold was Constitutionally protected.

I am, of course, talking about Oral Roberts, who recently died at his California mansion after selling superstition and snake oil to the uneducated, gullible and the desperately ill.
His mantra was simple:  “Give me your money and I’ll cure your cancer, arthritis, diabetes.  And I’ll throw in eternal salvation.
And the suckers just kept on coming.
He took their money and bought mansions and jets. 

And the suckers just kept on coming.
While eternal salvation was nice, his bread and butter act was faith healing. 
At his revivals, the sick and the lame would slowly make their way to the stage where they would tell the good reverend that the doctors had given up and they had just weeks to live. 

At the most dramatic moment, Roberts would put his hands on him/her and proclaim the cancer, tuberculosis or prickly heat had gone away.
The suckers would cry Hallelujah!  They would yell that they felt a spirit cleanse them from top to bottom.
Needless to say, none of this was substantiated.  It couldn’t be because it was a scam made up of shills and the pre-selected that would be willing go along with the act.
He consistently declined to have his so-called healings examined by an independent group.
It was an old fashioned medicine show that was exempted from FDA scrutiny because it was protected by the First Amendment as the “free exercise of religion.
Every time he tried to go mainstream the money would start to dry up. He had to return to the faith healing act to keep the cash flowing.  
After all, how many would go to a Led Zeppelin concert if they knew they were not going to play Stairway to Heaven? Without faith healing, a Roberts revival was Hamlet without the “to be or not to be soliloquy.
As my readers know, I entertain no belief in an afterlife.  But in the remote possibility that I am wrong and there is a just God, then this mofo’ should spend eternity with a red hot poker up his ass.

25 Responses to “This Scamster Stole More Than Rothstein”

  1. costanza says:

    Google noetics and you will see there is something to “faith healing”. Don’t think its god behind it, but there certainly is more than what we can currently explain.

    Hope you had a good festivus sam.

    The airing of grievances must have taken all day.

    G. Costanza

  2. Chaz Stevens says:

    Though, to be fair, his first name was Oral.

  3. J. Parker says:

    I was no particular fan of Oral Roberts, but is there anyone Sam Fields does not hate? Each and every rant leaves the reader feeling the same — depressed, disgusted and deceived. My but Fields is one miserable human being.

  4. Lady Law says:

    Sam is a very humorous individual.

    I agree with J. Parker that inside he must be very sad and lonely. Maybe he becomes depressed because he has to deal with all those criminals.

    Lighten up, Sam. You’ll live longer.

  5. Sam Fields says:

    Dear Parker Writing about jerks and hypocrites is more fun.

    But there are many who I like. Clarence Darrow and Thomas Paine are two historical figures.

    They are real people, flaws and all, who spoke their mind.

    I could write about them but it wouldn’t be very provocative for the readers.

  6. Sam Fields says:

    I have reasons to be sad and lonely but nothing about me could be further from the truth.

    Ask Buddy, Howard Finkelstein, Lori Parrish or anyone who actually knows me.

    I never let life get me down. I have shaken off tragedy and quickly moved on.

    I don’t look forward to fun in some cockamamie afterlife.

    I have been fortunate to have good mind and good health and I taken full advantage of it to live life fully and with fun.

    Special note to Lady Lawyer–I hope you analyze venire better than you analyze me.

  7. hmmmm says:

    nice try sam,
    you know putting up an article so the alleged corruption around your buddy seidman is not the first article someone sees when they go on this site.

  8. dk says:

    i love the way u write! lol. my sister lives in tulsa, so she took me to see his “shrine” university years ago. i remember the praying hands statue. other than that i never knew much about him. now i know all i need to know. again, u could be the next larry david!

  9. What Would Reagan Do? says:

    Sam doesn’t really have a problem with anyone who makes a penny off of the misery and despair of others. Otherwise he would have refused his law degree and entrance to the bar.

  10. Sam Fields says:

    Dear Hummm

    So this was about covering for Lee Seidman???

    Note to Buddy: I told you before you have to start urine testing some of these folks. Start with this one.

    Dear What would Reagan do

    Apparently you support the notion that it is morally wrong to help people who have been accused of wrongdoing by the government.

    Lawyers, and the criminal defense bar in particular, are the last civilized bulwark against and tyranny.

    Shakespeare’s Henry the VI said it best when Dick the Butcher cries out: “First, we kill all the lawyers” Contrary to popular belief it is the idea of someone who wants to overthrow the King and set up a populist dictatorship. Although said somewhat in jest, he knows he needs to get the lawyers out of the way to accomplish his goal.

    While the government needs a taxpayer paid lawyer to put you in jail you seem to think it is wrong for the accused to hire his own lawyer to stoip the government.

    The next time you or one of your family members tangles with the government I suggest you live by your principles and go it alone.

    I’ll see you on visiting day.

  11. Chaz Stevens says:

    Much, if not most, of the Bible is arguably fiction. Quit being so intellectually dishonest, Christians – this is the twenty-first century. That means the burden of proof is on YOU. If you make a claim about the universe, it is up to you to prove it is true, not the other way around. It is not up to us, the rest of the world, to prove your claims false – that is not scientific thinking, that is anti-scientific thinking.

    Because I am a man of my times, and believe in correcting ignorance, what I am doing here is out of courtesy to YOU, just as if I were to argue publicly that there is a Flying Spaghetti Monster orbiting Venus preparing to blow up Planet Earth, one of you would probably, out of simple human decency attempt to correct me and point me towards the truth. This is my way of doing that.

    Now, back to the Bible being fiction… that part’s easy. Find me a snake with vocal chords, water that is dense enough for a human being to walk on, or a chemical process that converts complex carbohydrates to fish. Until then, you’re out of luck, sucker. The evidence wins, and the evidence sides with me. These are invented stories… fictional dramas meant to impart some moral lesson. They are not real.

  12. Blue Man Scoop says:

    WOW. Chaz and I agree!! Mark this day on the calendar. Oh yeah, other then this: “Find me a snake with vocal chords, water that is dense enough for a human being to walk on, or a chemical process that converts complex carbohydrates to fish.”

    I’m sure some charlatan from 2000 years ago figured out how to make people with a 2000 years ago education believe those things were happening without the water actually having to be dense, etc, etc.

    But as a genius you already knew that!

  13. Sam's Groupie says:

    And Billy Graham wasn’t all that different, just a little more polished and had better press. Isn’t always about sending them the money?

  14. Poor Chaz says:

    Poor Chaz doesn’t seem to know much about religions or science.

    Religions doen’t need to prove the existence of God. Faith requires no proof. Unlike scientific hypothesis which, no matter how convicing, absolurely requires proof to be accepted.

    Here lies the first tragic crash of “Logic by Chaz” science does not, can not, and doesn’t even attempt to prove or disprove the existence of God. It remains open to the possibility, this being a possible outcome that remains to them unknown for sure. Indeed, many of our finest scientists are so awed by their work that they have entertained the possibility of a God even if they have also expressed doubts.

    Assuming arguendo that Chaz is correct, and many of not most of the stories in the Bible are made up and not factual, what in the wide world of sports does that have to do with the existence of God?

    Cannot those stories be dead wrong and yet God still exists? On the other hand, could it be that miracles do happen and when they do, they don’t follow the rules of science — why? Because that’s how miracle behave.

    And nothing is more fleeting that science. It is the short term harbor for the arrogant. ‘Twas only a heartbeat ago in society’s relatively short history that “scientists” believed that when sailing westward into the Atlantic from Europe one had to be very careful to not fall off the edge of the earth.

    A man named Columbus decided to test that theory. He was a true scientist. Do you think he did so without faith?

    Must God only exist in the way that religions say it does? And why must the rejection of any religious dogma justify a denial of God?

    What arrogance could justify anyone on earth to summarily dismiss with such certitude the denial of anything that is so much greater than all of us put together that we could hardly recognize it in the first place?

    What arrogance justifies the denial of the unknown by any spieces that relatively speaking knows so little?

    When it comes to the existence of God, I’m keeping my options wide open for two reasons and I’ll give you three good reasons for that.

    First, there is no downside. If it doesn’t exist I am no worse off. Second, belief makes the search for God more interesting and searching for it makes us smarter people. And last, the denial of God, which has no scientific justification, makes us boring, arrogant and uninteresting.

  15. Sam Fields says:

    Dear Poor
    Columbus proved the world was round? That is a great thought if your education stopped after the third grade.

    I challenge you to name one pre or post Columbian “scientist” that promoted the belief that the world was flat.

    Do you just make up this crap?

    You do not have to know the correct answer to a scientific puzzle to exclude patently wrong answers.

    For example I have no idea how magicians do levitation. But I exclude the notion that they can selectively reverse the law of gravity even though under the “anything is possible” rubric that David Copperfield has made such a discovery and chooses to confine, what would be the discovery of the century, to a nightclub act.

    A belief in a god is not harmless. It sets us off into the wrong direction in the search for the truth. How many more millions died in the Plague because Popes and dopes thought it was an act of god and spent their energy praying, flagellating (read the story of the Flagellents in 1349) and killing the Jews.

    So you think that denying god makes one boring and uninteresting. Presumably you would have rather spent your time with Oral Roberts than say Mark Twain or the 85% of the winners of Nobel Prizes in science who admit to being non believers.

    Apparently in seeking the truth you would rather rely on the truth as offered by some gap toothed yahoo sitting on his Appalachian porch singing the praises of Jesus rather than one of the 85%.

    You are a frightened, arrogant, ignorant little man who raps himself and his ignorance in a rather thin veneer of piety.


  16. Las Olas Law says:

    Get a life. Or some sex.

  17. Sam Still Confused says:

    You continue to confuse the point being made. Let me try again.

    There is a DIFFERENCE between GOD and RELIGION. Your disagreement with the latter does not directly justify a conclusion regarding the former. One can be a believer in God and not be religious. Or one can believe both or neither.

    Your argument seems to be with religions. There you make some interesting points that may not persuade someone. My problem with your summary denial of God is that your arguments connect the two as if the are mutually exclusive. They are not.

    God becomes a very different question when you unlink the definition of same to religious dogma. God need not be defined so narrowly and historically has not been. It is understandable that people would worship (subordinate themselves if you wish) to powers greater than them.

    People in power have been worshiped that way, though I take issue with that.

    The Sun used to be worshiped that way and frankly without it we’d be eliminated. So that concept was probably not so far from the mark. It was a good start. But the Sun is a star, only a medium quality star at that, our star for sure, but only one among billions. And so that is not God. So what is God? I have an answer that works for me. You don’t have to believe it but I do.

    God for me would be the source and the creater of all suns, all galaxies, the creater of the force that binds molecules together, indeed the creater the molecules, that without which we would be nothing. It unlikely looks like us or wears a toga and a beard.

    God is the epitome of sine qua non, if you will. The “but for” of existence. That without which there would be nothing. This is God at the most basic level; a level that we cannot grasp.

    We may be as different from it as an ameoba is from us. It may be the ameoba and we just don’t understand it. It may not be a thing at all but some kind of energy that we don’t comprehend.

    Science over time chips away at that definition. We as a species have come to better understand God and ourselves through our search for it and to understand it. To give up on the concept of God is to end the the search for it. Without God our existence is meaningless because we have nothing to aspire to or compare ourselves to or contrast ourselves with. Whether true or not God offers that utility; the desire to understand it.

    And so your arguments with religion, however entertaining and they are, are woefully insufficient to exclude God either as a fact or possibility. Further, if your mind is even the tiniest bit open that possibility, then you are a believer.

    Something is the source of it all. I have no trouble referring to that as God.

    I am a believer in God because I reason that there is a source to it all, though I lack the knowledge to grasp it. But like you I am not religious. Possibly like you, I do not object to the core teachings of religions because basically what they tell us at the core is to be kind to one another and I think that’s a good thing.

  18. J. Parker says:

    Sam, the more you respond the worse you sound. Save the theology lessons for those who truly understand. You are in a distinct minority, and no amount of your rhetoric will make the majority of us feel the way you and Chaz do.

  19. Sam Fields says:

    Dear god freaks

    Simple questions.

    1.Does your belief system have a god that gives a crap whether you live your life as Hitler or Jonas Salk?

    2. And when you die will it make any difference in your afterlife fate?

    3. Without a supernatural belief system would you lack any moral center?

    Try to put a “yes“, “no” or “I don’t know” somewhere in your answer”.

    Every time I hear someone say “I’m not religious, I’m spiritual “ I know I am about to get a stoner speech: “Man, like, what if turns out like, ya know, our whole universe is just like, ya know, one atom in some really big giant. Whoa dude, that would be really cool.”

    Before you start saying that all religions have a core value of “being kind to each other” I suggest you read their operator manuals such as the Bible or the Koran. While they all give lip service to that sentiment the “devil is in the details” and the details are hellacious. There are countless stories regaling their god promoting murder, rape, genocide and threats of an eternity of the same if you don’t kiss god’s fat ass (e.g. John 3:16).

    But most of all god wants you to know he loves you.

  20. Senator Steve Geller says:

    Chaz Stephens:

    Have you too been touched by the noodly appendage of the FSM? Happy “Holiday”


  21. The Long Black Robe (ret.) says:

    I have known Sam Fields for a long time and, although he wears the face of a clown, he has a deep seated dissatisfaction about the conditions in the world and is obsessed with religion, which he often brought up. He has very little tolerance for other points of view. Anybody who knows Sam has heard it all before.

  22. Chaz Stevens says:

    From an objective, scrutinizing view, there is no reason to believe one story in the Bible over another. We cannot honestly engage shades of truth here – either the books in the Bible are historically true or they are not. Since they almost ubiquitously contain material to make the scientific person skeptical, we can chance to say the same is true of the entire book: either it happened, or it didn’t. Therefore, it is no less plausible to disbelieve the Jesus myth than the myth about Enoch the nine-hundred year old man or the creation myth wherein God pats the first humans out of clay. Here’s a hint: humans, like all other complex organisms, reached their present condition by millions of years of natural selection through the self-preservation of certain greedy genes. We can observe this happening today; anti-biotic resistant bacteria are a good example. Plus, we’ve mapped the human genome – we know our ancestry, and it’s simian. Even Pope John Paul II said evolution is a historical fact. People did not come from clay.

    By definition, intellect, or “reason” is the ability to revise one’s beliefs in light of better argumentation. Taking simple, empirical data from the the world around you should make it easy to determine that the physical laws of the universe DO NOT CHANGE. It therefore stands to reason that “miracles” can only possible be one of two phenomena: A, an outside agent actually interfering with the laws of the universe; or B, hyperbolized coincidences. Considering the Bible was written in a time when allegory was the most common form of journalistic reporting and most people still believed spitting on a wound was an appropriate way to cure it, it is far more reasonable to assume the latter.

    *Side note: Seriously Hoss, let me clue you in on something: things that are impossible to do now – like walking on water, resuscitation after days of biological death, and wine magically turning into blood – were just as impossible 2,000 years ago. There’s a much greater power in the universe than “belief.” It’s called “observation.”

    To believe these stories, you must create strange rationalizations that do not hold up to true intellectual scrutiny. This brings us to the issue of honesty. Without deluding yourself, can you honestly answer the following questions? Such as, why doesn’t God heal amputees? He heals everyone else miraculously, right? But neither you nor I have ever seen an amputee grow back a leg. Oh wait, God has a special plan for them. But isn’t he supposed to be loving and just? What’s with the discrimination, man? Or how about Jonah surviving in the belly of that whale? Wouldn’t he be partially digested after three days? Maybe Baby Balooga had a slow metabolism?

  23. Chaz Stevens says:

    If Jesus is the one true messiah, the only God, whom you shall hath no other gods before him, yada yada, how come so many gods DID come before him having nearly identical biographies? There are no less than two dozen god-men of the ancient Mediterranean whose birth was heralded by a bright star in the East (Sirius, for those who don’t practice astronomy), who were also adored by wise men, walked on water, fed the hungry, resurrected the dead, were crucified and rose again, etc. Many even had the same birthday as Jesus – December 25th! Not coincidentally, this was the Roman Holiday of Saturnalia centuries before the clergy decided to call it Jesus’ birthday. Surprise! Christians plagiarized earlier religions. I cannot spell it out any clearer than that. Knowing that, how can one believe anything Christian doctrine teaches? How do you even begin to separate what was invented from what was borrowed? You don’t. The cold, hard truth is, it was an old story then, and it’s an old story now. These messianic archetypes – the man that is god, the man who conquers death – existed long, long before Jesus came around. They were old news when soap was a cutting-edge technology, before written language was even invented. They are ancient fucking history. Jesus was not the antitype of these messianic figures, he was their distillation.

    If you are skeptical of this information (and you should be, as doubt is the seed of all knowing), investigate the matter for yourself. One hugely recurring problem I find when debating with Christians is that they either know very little about other religions or are ignorant of their existence entirely. This is counter-intuitive to me, and perhaps my own fault in failing to understand the religious mind. Shouldn’t it be fairly crucial to make the most educated decision in choosing a religion, if practicing the “right” one is important to you? For example, you wouldn’t want to choose a religion based on plagiarism, would you? Or one that literally absorbed every earlier belief system it encountered through endless politicizing or the diplomacy of the sword? Well, better crack those books then – there’s a whole heap of gods who fit the Christ mold long before Christ. I suggest you begin by researching Mithra of Rome, Attis of Frigia, Dionysis of Greece, Krishna of India, and Horus of Egypt. The last should be of particular interest to you, as his mythology is almost an exact carbon copy of Jesus’, right down to the twelve apostles and three-day rebound time after being murdered by jealous clergy. Though, I should point out that Horus was worshipped nearly 1000 years BEFORE Christianity began spreading through the Hebrew-populated Roman colonies. This should come as no surprise to you, as it’s written right in the bible that the Hebrews came out of Egypt.

    On a more serious note. Western civilization may have been “built” on Judeo-Christian values (at least the “don’t kill” and “don’t steal” parts), but we have become a modern society and have adopted the scientific way of thinking. While the aforementioned values have indisputable merits, maintaining the dogma in its entirety is no longer necessary, especially when we consider the violence and segregation it has caused throughout the ages. Furthermore, philosophically speaking, Christian ethics are severely outdated. Since the Enlightenment, the Western World has seen far superior ethicists to Jesus of Nazareth. Kant and Mill, for example, created life-affirming ethical systems that can be applied to a wider range of people without destroying their culture or beliefs about where the universe came from and what kind of sex they should consider perverse. Truly, there is no reason to cling to the old way any longer. We have adopted science and reason in every other aspect of our lives… yet somehow we have retained Bronze Age ethics? It makes no sense. Why should we continue to believe it is better to be tribalists than to be humanists? This mentality is not compatible with a just, egalitarian society. Besides, Jesus may tell us to love one another, but he also says we should maintain the Old Testament in its entirety – no cherry-picking – which means we technically must condone rape, incest, slavery, and genocide (!). If we can do away with these parts (and we have), why not do away with the whole thing?

  24. Chaz Stevens says:

    In the grand scheme of things, it would be generally permissible for one to believe in Christian ethics if it were readily understood that Jesus was not a historical person, and the story is allegory. However, if you are a Christian, you probably do believe that Jesus was a real human being. This is a threat to both the advancement of science and the absolution of religious conflict in the world, two issues that are paramount to our survival as a species as our planet nears carrying capacity and is dangerously on the brink of overheating. It creates too slippery a slope for other theocratic nonsense to take hold; for example, tthe mindset that human beings can literally live after death (how many soldiers would we send to die if everyone believed this is the only life?); or that preserving the existence of cell clusters which bear no conceivable human traits is somehow a better aim than alleviating actual human suffering; or that sex is harmful, but killing, bigotry, and total obedience to clandestine authority are healthy practices; or that blood sacrifice is a value modern societies should endorse. But Jesus WAS a real person, you say! There’s a plethora of evidence! No, not really, outside of the gospels. And those hardly count as “evidence.” They are secondary sources at best. Here’s why: if a historical Jesus really lived and died between 0 and 33 CE, then we know beyond a doubt that at least forty years passed before the earliest gospel – the one written by Mark – was scribed. Because the aforementioned gospel discusses the destruction of Solomon’s temple, we know it was written in or sometime after 70 CE. Given the lifespan of the period, that means the author or authors were at best infants or young children when Jesus of Nazareth was supposed to have been crucified. Moreover, the gospel writers are not themselves mentioned in the gospels, and they make no claim to actually having met Jesus. None of the apostles who walked with Jesus nor anyone who even met him wrote accounts to that effect. Granted, there are certain mentions of a “Christ” in the writings of Mediterranean historians from that period (not Justin Martyr or Pontius Pilate – sorry, but those are proven forgeries). However, if are a serious Christian, these should be of little consideration to you, as you know “the Christ” is really a title that simply means “the Anointed,” and was taken up by many rabbis of that time. In not ONE of these documents is a man named Jesus, or Yeshua of Nazareth mentioned.

  25. What Would Reagan Do? says:

    One day science will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that life begins at conception. Then we’ll see how willingly Chaz and Spaz continue to cling to their blind allegiance to science.