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SO_315_Chapter_5_Powerpoint_Presentation - Chapter 5 Mass...

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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 5 Mass Media & Religion Kevin McClincy February 11, 2008 Costs of Fraudulent Actions by Mass Media & Religion Dollar loss to the victims Social cost of white-collar crime affects all of society, not just direct victims Violations of trust create distrust, lowers morale, and produces social disorganization Why Prominent Figures in Mass Media & Religion Commit Crimes Robert K. Merton-- In our society, money is the yardstick by which achievement is measured Financial success and competitive superiority are factors hospitable to white-collar crime Why Corruption of the Mass Media is Troubling Mass Media is the most influential sources for the social construction of reality It creates a "Worldview Cultivation" Television is the most dominant and pervasive of all modern mass media A corrupt mass media could reconstruct the reality of the masses Types of Mass Media Frauds Rigged quiz shows Fraudulent written articles and books The Quiz Show Scandals In 1955 two quiz shows the $64,000 Question and TwentyOne were found to be fraudulent "Geniuses" were fakes, programs "fixed" Effects of the Quiz Show Scandals Most alarming was the failure to scandalize the public Dishonesty became respectable Fueled national cynicism over selective prosecutions Only former contestants convicted--not the owners or program personnel, who made enormous profits May have given rise to fraudulent advertising, dissembled news reports, "dramatized" documentaries, and perfidious televangelists Payola The Early Years Bribes paid to disc jockeys and station managers to promote and play certain records over the air. In the 1930s, bribes were paid from music publishers to band leaders to play certain songs on radio shows Prominent band leaders were given financial interests in publishing house and song copyrights Argued that it was not payola but fee for service Alan Freed, the King of Rock n Roll--"What they call payola in the disc-jockey business is lobbying in Washington, D.C." Payola Dick Clark Era Dick Clark was the host of American Bandstand, "Clarkola" Clark had a more profitable system. He owned record companies, publishing houses, record pressing plant, distributing firm, and company managing singers. Performers with ties to his businesses got more and better play Maybe showed favoritism and did not realize it Received copyrights to 100 songs as "gifts" Payola Recent Times In 1976, a former president of CBS Records and another exec indicted on payola claim In 2005, Sony BMG Music Entertainment reached agreement with State of New York to stop paying bribes and contributed $10 million to fund music education in NY In 2005, Warner Music Group made a similar settlement Fraudulent Stories in Print Media In 1981 a Washington Post reporter won a Pulitzer Prize for fabricating a story about an 8 year old heroin addict In 1998, a writer for The New Republic, a weekly journal made up a story about a 15 year old hacker In 1971 The Autobiography of Howard Hughes, was nearly published by McGraw-Hill. It was written by Clifford Irving and totally fictitious. Irving was convicted of grand larceny and sent to prison. In 1999 fraudulent love letters of Presidential Kennedy were peddled as original In 2005, James Frey, the author of A Million Little Pieces , confessed it was fake on Oprah Winfrey after being outted by the Smoking Gun website exposed story Power of Religions Religion provides moral constraint, behavior reinforcement, attitudinal support to society Durkheim-- Religion is society's consciousness of itself Faith is the essence of religion and erosion of public trust damages religion more than other social institutions Types of Religious/Charitable Frauds Use of donations for personal wealth Phony faith healers Phony charities Sun Myung Moon Neo-Christian sect of Unification Church Anticommunist stance, allied with conservatives Moonies traveled across the country raising money selling flowers and tea Moon indicted for tax fraud and went to prison Resumed active leadership upon release "Lyin" Henry Lyons Former President of the National Baptist Convention USA, a large African-American Protestant denomination Lyons accused of swindling millions from companies who wanted membership list that was nonexistent Undone when list Lyons gives Globe Life Insurance is used to solicit KKK Grand Dragon and Lyons' wife sets fire to home shared by Lyons' mistress Attorneys argued that personal use of church money is how black churches do business Phony Faith Healers Practice is as old as religion itself The first was the Reverend William Branham a game warden turned tent revival preacher. He offered miraculous cures Oral Roberts and Rex Humbard discover the power of radio to enlarge their congregations Television turns preachers into media stars and faith healing into multimillion-dollar business A.A. Allen peddled jars of water and containers of dirt claiming the water and dirt could cure illnesses Peter Popoff Popoff ran the Miracle and Blessing Crusade that aired on 50 television stations in the United States He used computerized list of 100,000 contributors who were solicited for donations relentlessly every two weeks Requests for money always carried a sense of urgency One hoax was to float bibles into the Soviet Union by balloon. This was impossible and a violation of international law Sold Holy Shower Caps. Wears were to wear it, return it with cash Peter Popoff v. Amazing Randi James Randi is a nationally known debunker of paranormal claims Criticized Popoff for telling audience to throw pills on stage. The pills included diabetes medication, nitroglycerine tablets, and digitalis Popoff Exposed Randi used a huge mailman posing as woman with uterine cancer Popoff's wife Elizabeth moved through audience, her conversations transmitted to Popoff Electronics expert identified frequency, and taped Mrs. Popoff giving information to her husband along with derogatory comments Popoff laid hands on the mailman and purported to banish the cancer, wife recognized the mailman Randi goes on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show and exposes Popoff Televangelists Cable television spurred unprecedented growth in religious television Noted Televangelists Who Had Troubles with the Law Pat Robertson Jimmy Swaggert Jim Bakker Pat Robertson Pat Robertson--earned $183 million annually from Christian Broadcasting Network and contributions to 700 Club Robertson fined by IRS for using CBN money in presidential campaign, CBN loses tax exempt status for two years Jimmy Swaggert Was a singer turned preacher Owned luxurious homes and twin Town Cars with donor money Harangues against sexual immorality, tirades against Catholics, Jews, secular humanists, mental health professionals, intellectuals, liberals, gays Forced to admit long-standing obsessions with prostitutes, voyeurism, and pornography Dismissed from Assemblies of God church Jim Bakker The Early Years Bakker was a gifted preached started as a traveling revivalist Bakker invited to join Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network, Bakker--a gifted preacher Bakker angered when told he would not be paid while recovering from nervous breakdown Jim Bakker and PTL Bakkers start the Praise The Lord show for Paul Crouch's Trinity Broadcasting Network Jessica Hahn accused Bakker and his inner circle of sexual misconduct IRS attacks tax exempt status and FCC reports on five-year investigation Media focuses on extravagant lifestyle of the Bakkers, $5,900 playhouse for children Falwell calls Bakker a sexual deviate, liar, and embezzler The End of Jim Bakker Bakker defrocked for adultery and homosexual activity PTL $72 million in debt, files for bankruptcy Properties ordered sold, Bakker tries to buy Bakker indicted on 24 counts of fraud and conspiracy "Maximum Bob" sentences Bakker to 45 years--sentence later reduced to 18 years Effects of Televangelist Fraud Decline of the teleministries--audiences and money reduced substantially Even electronic ministries not directly tainted were damaged, public no longer trusts televangelists-- Billy Graham is the exception in that he has remained strong and scandal free Graham crusades notable for lack of appeals for money Weakening of organized religion in general Religious Affinity Scams Con artists lured by scent of money coming from religious communities Cloaking investment with religion gives a false aura of safety Church-based organizations targeted through religious television and radio programs Examples of Affinity Scams In 2004, seven arrested for affinity scam claiming access to $1.6 trillion fund created by Mormon Church founder Joseph Smith, wealthy investors targeted at prayer meetings--told of plans for religious theme park Raymond Knowles targeted fellow Jehovah's Witness congregation members, victims lose everything African-American churches invest in nonexistent debentures Christian Science church members invest in bogus investments Abraham Kennard Federal grand jury returns 91-count indictment in 2004, tight national network of African-American preachers, Black churches promised grants of $50,000 for $30,000 fee, churches "invest" $8.7 million Expensive cars/boats, Kennard gambled away money in Las Vegas, the money stayed in Vegas Convicted on all counts, 17-year sentence Difficulties in Investigating Religious Figures Government takes hands-off approach to religious white-collar crime--First Amendment concerns Nepotism also a problem with electronic churches Jimmy Swagert had 17 relatives on payroll National Religious Broadcaster passed new code of Ethics requiring members to submit annual audit reports except salaries NRB Ethics Code has changed little New Scandals Paul Crouch of Trinity Broadcasting Network (remember Jim Bakker?) ordained ministers so they can claim home deduction and he can pay them less and Crouch and wife also charge almost all living expenses to not-for-profit ministry Dallas evangelist Robert Tilton fined $80,000 for failing to provide records related to healing miracles Tony Alamo failed to file tax returns and he married eight women, one of whom was 15 years old. Some of the ex-husbands expelled after he claimed their wives. Non-Profit Charity Fraud William Aramony, president of United Way-- misappropriated $1.5 million, convicted of fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering Jacquelyn Allen-MacGregor, Capital Area United Way--embezzlement, bought show horses Daniel Wiant, American Cancer Society--$8 million embezzled, personal expenses and bank account in Austria FTC charged one fund-raising operations with using deceptive promises to swindle contributors. They used six bogus non-profit organizations to raise funds they used for personal profit Some Non-Profit solicitors keep 90 percent of funds raised ...
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