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May 23 2009

Christian radio hypes gold. A lot.

I’ve been listening to Christian radio lately, and I’m hearing a LOT of commercial programs hyping investments in gold. Now, I’m not really up on current prices of precious metals. I did do a show where I mentioned Liberty Dollars, which I consider to be a massive ripoff.

I’m generally interested in scams and ripoffs, and my skepticism sensor get triggered loudly when I hear a program (1) on Christian radio (2) involving pushy marketing hype, that (3) pushes an investment that is perfect for EVERYONE, and (4) predicts financial doom for anyone who does not participate.

This last bit, as I have probably said before, is a hallmark of both sneaky advertising and religion. It short-circuits your ability to think rationally about an idea on its merits, instead cutting straight to emotions and panicking you by making you think that you’ll be tortured forever (or whatever) if you dare to even ask questions about the concept.

So in this case, what’s at stake is the total meltdown of all world markets, where stocks will be worthless and a dollar in the bank will be about as valuable as a Russian ruble. Only precious metals can save you from a fate of scraping food out of dumpsters for your children. Very, very soon now.

Look. I don’t have a problem with gold as an investment. It is indeed the case that as the economy gets worse, the value of gold rises with respect to the dollar; as, indeed, will your pounds, francs, lira, and yen. If the dollar is doing badly, it makes sense to own something that is not a dollar. Simple as that.

Unlike most stock indices, the value of gold has actually increased pretty significantly since the year 2000. With hindsight, it’s been a good recent investment.

But watch out, because after a commodity rises in value is not the best time to buy. There was a stock bubble, then a housing bubble, and the fact that gold is not rising doesn’t mean that gold is going to do well forever. I’m not saying it’s a scam, but the hype currently surrounding gold does set my spidey-sense tingling like crazy. When lots of voices start loudly pitching something, it usually means there’s money to be made — not by you, but from you. They’ve probably latched on to a pretty good gig in convincing people to shell out their money for something much more expensive than it’s worth.

Anyway, the question is, why Christian radio? Is it just because there are so many gullible people there who are already conditioned to respond to threats of impending doom?

45 comments

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  1. 1
    Stephen

    There are ads like this on Chicago’s progressive talk, too.

  2. 2
    Kazim

    To clarify, I’m not just talking about commercials between shows. I mean there are entire half hour shows where they do nothing but talk about buying gold.But yes, when Air America was playing in Austin, I did notice a lot of similar ads directed at the gullible — lots of new age woo stuff also. Kind of depressing, actually.

  3. 3
    Danny Boy, FCD

    Pat Robertson has invested money in African gold mines. Maybe that has something to do with ads in Xian stations. Also, there are Xian survivalists and millennialists who are always preparing for some grave disaster.

  4. 4
    Volly

    What Danny Boy said.This has been going on for at least 2 decades. I’d hear these ads on Xn radio in Atlanta.Speaking of Pat Robertson, I suspect he was a heavy investor in the sweetener Cyclamate. You young pups may not remember, but around 1970, cyclamate was banned because research showed adverse effects on lab mice. Tune into the 700 Club (which I used to, back in the late 1980s and 1990s) and he’d periodically rant about the “evils” of aspartame, all the while complaining that “there was nothing wrong with cyclamate” — the research was suspect, etc. So obvious that this particular little gravy train had derailed for him, and he was still holding a grudge after all that time.

  5. 5
    D.A.N.

    Inherently there is a winner and loser with commodities and stocks. They are both markets and a gamble.When the big ten sell off their stock the market takes a dive and we are the losers because its all done between bells. Same with gold. Gold may on the surface seem to be a good idea especially now because of China. You still have a little time before the entire world market crashes and the freeze on gold sales will be a reality. China is buying gold and that will raise the prices quite a bit.When, and I do mean when, the economy collapses (stage 4) and the shelves go empty in one week, the government suspends the Constitution and we become a police state. You no longer can sell gold, you can no longer buy gasoline for your vehicle. You will experience what it’s like to live in a third world country at war. At this stage in the game guns and ammo and survival knowledge will be the most important things. Soon the world will be in total chaos, God tells us not to worry at all about things (Matthew 10:8-10, Matthew 6:24-26)We Christians will be provided for. As for Atheists. Do what ever you can or want, the end will indeed be soon. Live it up.

  6. 6
    Kazim

    You know, I’ve got almost no patience left for Dan and I considered deleting the above post. However, I cannot in good conscience remove a post which so precisely illustrates the gullibility that I was talking about, and then combines it with the blithe, smug certainty of unquestioned faith.

  7. 7
    Rasputin

    Cheap ad rates imo.I assume that christian radio stations wouldn’t allow advertising for things they consider unchristian, ergo smaller customer base for ad sales.They aren’t going to allow just any programming and they still have to make money so they sell infomercials.And Volly, let me ask, where in the Constitution does the Constitution give “the goverment” the authority to suspend the Constitution? Which branch of “the government” does it give it to?Ahhh, who the hell cares?

  8. 8
    minus

    I’ve been following gold for four or five years now and believe it is a safe place to hedge your bets.That being said, and with apologies for not having heard these programs, I have heard and seen a bunch of scams and fishy deals involving sale of gold certificates, gold futures, and other smoke and mirror transactions. You can’t buy gold over the radio. The only sensible way to buy gold is to walk into the store with cash in your hands and walk out with gold. I’ve never heard of a legitimate gold dealer advertising on the radio. they don’t need to, they sell it as fast as they can get it.I vote for the gullibility angle. These guys are probably selling snake oil and fit right in with the crowd. Kazim, you gotta stop listening to that crap; it will rot your brain.P.S. I hope this makes it into the comments. I haven’t been able to get past typing the funny words in my previous attempts.

  9. 9
    Ing

    At this stage in the game guns and ammo and survival knowledge will be the most important things. Soon the world will be in total chaos, God tells us not to worry at all about things (Matthew 10:8-10, Matthew 6:24-26)We Christians will be provided for. As for Atheists. Do what ever you can or want, the end will indeed be soon. Live it up.”…Did he just threaten to SHOOT us?

  10. 10
    DavidCT

    There is some misunderstanding about gold being different than any other commodity. With the resent steep decline in equities there was a spike in the value of gold. This is unlikely to continue at anything like the same rate. It is not the best time to move to gold.Gold coins are like jewelry in that they are both highly overpriced forms of gold by weight. You need a booming economy to see any appreciation of value for gold in this form. They will have little use as a medium of exchange if there is complete economic collapse. l

  11. 11
    cipher

    As is the case with so many of them, Dan imagines we’re doing all of the illicit and immoral things he longs secretly to do, but can’t, so he bides his time, indulging in fantasies of us getting what’s coming to us, while he’s safe in the arms of Baby Jesus, laughing his ass off – the mother of all “Told you so”‘s.

  12. 12
    Martin

    I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but over the last 3 years, Dan has actually gotten dumber.Yeah, the world will fall into chaos, the cupboard will be bare, and roving gangs of mutant zombies will roam the streets. Kind of like the way it happened on Y2K. Remember that?

  13. 13
    M. J. Hacker

    I’m pretty what Dan’s imagining is a world closer to Fallout’s world, where we heathens are left in anguish after the nuclear winter while the true believers are up in their sky kingdom, smiling down on our misfortune.Nice to spread some of that Christian “love thy neighbor” stuff around, hmm?

  14. 14
    D.A.N.

    Michael,Nice to spread some of that Christian “love thy neighbor” stuff around, hmm?  Sorry brother you have me confused with people that believe in pre-tribulation rapture. I do not. Do Christians suffer now? Sure they do, so what makes you think we will avoid suffering in the future? If you are hungry because there is no food left, our family will feed you. If you need shelter we will help. If you indeed have wounds from nuclear fallout then I tend to them personally. We are here, as Christians, to shine during the darkness not to escape and avoid it. Hopefully we can show you all someday there is no choice better then honoring Christ. Christ is love and I love you enough to help and give you the truth. Look me up for some help when the world crumbles around us.

  15. 15
    Ing

    @DanCome to me when you’ve wasted your life looking foward to a magic “EASY” button while the rest of us actually make something of ourselves and help the world. I’m fine with you throwing away the world, but I urge you not to as it is all you have.Dan is dangerous since he not only looks forward to people suffering, but I think people like him are willing to make it happen and sabotage good works by others to create the end times they want.

  16. 16
    Thomas

    Can someone explain to me the logic of preparing for a global economic collapsed followed by a final battle against demons, by loading up on a substance whose only use is the production of luxury goods and electronics?Don’t get me wrong. If you’re preparing to fight demons, then I’d rather you stock up on HDMI cables, than firearms, but it still does not make much sense.

  17. 17
    cipher

    but it still does not make much senseYou were expecting it to make sense?

  18. 18
    Thomas

    “You were expecting it to make sense?”heh. Point taken.

  19. 19
    Ing

    Maybe Uwe Bole is right and they believe demons will be vulnerable to elemental Gold?

  20. 20
    D.A.N.

    Maybe the Pope’s clothing has gold daemon repellent. I did think it was hypocritically hilarious that the RCC criticizes the pursuit of wealth. Now that was Ballsalicious.

  21. 21
    Ing

    “I did think it was hypocritically hilarious that the RCC criticizes the pursuit of wealth. Now that was Ballsalicious.”Megachurchs? Prosperity Gospels?Pot calling kettle black much?

  22. 22
    D.A.N.

    Ing,Megachurchs? Prosperity Gospels? Amen brother, Preach the truth! I perfectly agree with you on both of those points. Christ isn't here to make the ride better.Keep in mind that there is a huge difference between professing Christians and Christians. One could say “night” and “day” difference. Thanks.

  23. 23
    Thomas

    Dan, now you’re getting into “true Scottsman” territory. How do you know who the real Christian is?Or to clarify, how do you know, on more controversial issues, if your belief about Jesus’ wishes is more correct than someone else’s?

  24. 24
    D.A.N.

    Thomas,Allow me to address the “no true Scotsman” claim that many atheists droningly follow that some atheist dude made up.Look at the definition of ‘nationality’: “people having common origins or traditions and often comprising a nation. The status of belonging to a particular nation by birth  or naturalization"Now that's a true Scotsman, true Japanese person, true Chinese person, or born again  Christian. The Bible is the ultimate authority to determine what is or what is not a Christian. No one can claim Christianity unless they meet the criteria of a Christian. Same with Chinese or another nationality. Can I call myself Chinese? Not unless I meet the criteria. I stand by my claim. What is a "true Christian" you ask? Well, its outlined in one of my posts. tinyurl.com/FallAway

  25. 25
    Thomas

    Ok. so there’s the Orwellian statement that anyone who ever falls out of favor is retroactively declared to not be a true christian.But how do you know the exact requirements? I’m sure you can think of a few example, like abortion, the passage in Leviticus that commands Christians to commit hate crimes against homosexuals, the exact day of the Sabbath, or some other criteria where you might say “A true Christian would never do this”. The world is full of people who disagree, and who would say the same about you. So, how do you know that you are the true Christian and not them?The article linked contains several vague assertions, which basically amount to “A true christian follows the criteria necessary to be a true Christian”.But do you have any practical way of knowing what those criteria are, or how to turn someone into a true christian? To further beat this horse, the Bible says that the following are ok.Murdering anyone who: is gay anyone who has ever had premarital sex An unruly child Who has ever worked on a sabbath day (with no exemption for doctors or nurses).But Slavery is ok, and marriage to thirteen year-olds is ok.Just to name a few…How does a true christian know which passages to follow and which ones to ignore?

  26. 26
    cipher

    Thomas, seriously man – that way lies madness.

  27. 27
    D.A.N.

    Thomas,First I appreciate you asking these very important questions since your salvation is the most important thing in this entire world. But all those things you claim can be best explained in the name we hold as truth. We are “Christians” which means we are followers of Christ, not OTians or Mosesians. We are indeed in Christ’s New Covenant Church KingdomIf you want to know who is a Christian, it will be very apparent by their fruit. Plus, whoever repents of their sinning and trusts Jesus with their heart, mind and soul is indeed a Christian. Forgiven of all sin and saved forever, never to leave God’s grasp. Even you today!

  28. 28
    Kazim

    Dan,While your lecture on what "nationality" means, it has diddly to do with the True Scotsman fallacy, which is at this point considered a staple of logical fallacies, whether droning or not.The point of the True Scotsman fallacy is that the proposed definition of the Scotsman is fluid and can be changed based on the whims of the person who is defining it. More or less exactly like the definition of a Christian that you've proposed, since it depends entirely on the perspective of the person who is declaring whether someone is or is not a Christian."If you want to know who is a Christian, it will be very apparent by their fruit."Well, whoopee. That of course tells us exactly nothing about how you actually define a Christian, which leaves you free to fudge the definition based on your personal feelings. Of course, you've denigrated megachurches, so I'm sure if we pulled a pastor from them they would say that YOU'RE not a True Christian™. This puts us atheists in the pointless position of trying to mediate between the two of you and guess which one is right, because there really isn't any definition that you can propose ahead of time rather than making it post hoc.

  29. 29
    cipher

    Kazim, he’ll just claim that it isn’t his definition, but God’s.

  30. 30
    Kazim

    Of course he will… but we have no way of verifying that, since God has apparently not seen fit to tell anyone the correct interpretation except for Dan and a handful of Dan’s friends. After all, if he had done that, there wouldn’t be so many fake Christians in the world.

  31. 31
    D.A.N.

    Kazim,…since God has apparently not seen fit to tell anyone the correct interpretation except for Dan and a handful of Dan’s friends.  We do not interpret the Bible, or the Constitution for that matter. I digress. There is a real failure by interpreting, which leads to a deconstructionism approach just like in THIS awful Bible study.It reminds me of these more liberal “paraphrased” Bibles, like The Living Bible. These spurious attempts to interpret the message is a horrible way to reveal God’s truth. They actually shut God out and replace it with someones opinion of what is being said. Instead of retelling God’s message, we need to move to a more perspicacious approach.We need to move away from interpretation of the Bible, and move towards a sensitive discernment. That of course tells us exactly nothing about how you actually define a Christian, which leaves you free to fudge the definition based on your personal feelings. Kazim, It would be an honor to call you a brother in Christ if you, today, repented and trusted in Christ. (the definition of a Christian in God's Word)Something tells me that you already know this information though. So then you have possibly moved from misunderstanding to hostility towards God. I hope that I am wrong but if that is the case you do not have the strength to change your presuppositions. Only God can perform that miracle.

  32. 32
    Ing

    Kazim, It would be an honor to call you a brother in Christ if you, today, repented and trusted in Christ. (the definition of a Christian in God's Word)"Am I the only one who finds it VERY VERY disturbing when someone says this to a Jew? There's…I dunno. I mean…there's something that just feels OFF.

  33. 33
    Kazim

    We do not interpret the Bible, or the Constitution for that matter.Surely, SURELY you must recognize that this is an utterly nonsensical and meaningless statement. No one reads any piece of work without interpreting it. It requires interpretation just to look at symbols on a page, translate it into language, and extract meaning from it. If you don’t interpret the Bible then you haven’t read it. Which, I must admit, would not surprise me in the least.Kazim, It would be an honor to call you a brother in Christ if you, today, repented and trusted in Christ. (the definition of a Christian in God’s Word)You can bite my shiny metal ass if you think that this sort of personalization will distract me from the question of how you define the word “Christian.” In the first place, I have no interest in honoring you. In the second place, I don’t believe you. Only two posts ago, you looked at pastors of megachurches — people who, on numerous occasions have declared that they repented and trust in Christ — and stated that they are not real Christians. So evidently you feel quite at liberty to INTERPRET who really means it and who doesn’t. Therefore, I can already tell that this is not your definition. Try again.

  34. 34
    D.A.N.

    Ing,I am a Messianic Jew myself.Baruch Hashem

  35. 35
    D.A.N.

    Kazim,Living a life of sin, like Ted Haggard, renders you a non Christian and at the very least a false convert. But don’t get me wrong here a truly retentive broken and contrite heart with a total trusting in Christ will see the kingdom. Its never too late and I could care less what you feel about me. I would be humbled and in awe to witness your conversion. Glory to Christ if that day happens soon.

  36. 36
    cipher

    Surely, SURELY you must recognize that this is an utterly nonsensical and meaningless statement. For heaven’s sake, Kazim – of course he doesn’t realize it. He’s one of your more deranged trolls. I can’t for the life of me understand why some of you seem to be expecting something resembling rational discourse.Ing, I find it disturbing when they say it to anyone. As far as Dan being a “Messianic Jew” (a term I refuse to recognize as legitimate) is concerned – it’s a phenomenon within evangelical Christianity. The vast majority of people who belong to Messianic congregations and refer to themselves as “Messianic Jews” have, in fact, little or no Jewish ancestry. And, of course, the belief system itself has noting to do with Judaism; they get all of their theology (and some of their clergy) from the Southern Baptists. They’re attracted to the label because they tire of plain, “vanilla” fundamentalism, and it affords them the opportunity to indulge in something they see as exotic while still remaining under the salvific umbrella of evangelical Christianity.

  37. 37
    Kazim

    Living a life of sin, like Ted Haggard, renders you a non Christian and at the very least a false convert.So yours is a theology of works, not faith. This alone renders you a false Christian in the eyes of a great many true believers.But don’t get me wrong here a truly retentive broken and contrite heart with a total trusting in Christ will see the kingdom. Its never too late and I could care less what you feel about me. I would be humbled and in awe to witness your conversion. Glory to Christ if that day happens soon.Dan, you have a massive ego. Every time you plead with me to become a Christian, it’s all about you.

  38. 38
    Ing

    “Messianic Jew myself”So you’re a Jew in every sense save that you have forsaken your heritage, abandoned all rites and cultural traditions and actively defame them as a one way trip to the planes of freezing fire?Other than that 100% kosher?

  39. 39
    cipher

    So you’re a Jew in every sense save that you have forsaken your heritage, abandoned all rites and cultural traditions and actively defame them as a one way trip to the planes of freezing fire?Ing, see my comment above. In all likelihood, he isn’t Jewish.However, in general – yeah, this is how the few real Jews involved in it are. They’ve remade themselves into Christian fundies. I have nothing but contempt for them. There’s a controversy over whether or not to grant them Israeli citizenship under the “Right of Return”. I’m very much opposed to it.

  40. 40
    Ing

    “I would be humbled and in awe to witness your conversion. Glory to Christ if that day happens soon.”What is this, conversion by spite? make yourself so annoying people convert just to prove you wrong?

  41. 41
    D.A.N.

    For the record I am a Jew and a Christian. It doesn’t matter because we are all related since we all came from that one couple not so long ago. My Dad is German/Jew if you could imagine what happened for that combination, and my Mom was french. My family followed Judaism as far as I know but my Dad in turn became an Atheist in his 20′s. So I grew up in an Atheist home not a Jewish home like my grandfather and his 13 brothers in New York. If you wish to take a look at my circumcised penis as proof then you will just have to take my word for it, pervert. :7) (Notice the Jew nose)

  42. 42
    cipher

    My Dad is German/Jew if you could imagine what happened for that combination, and my Mom was french. My family followed Judaism as far as I know but my Dad in turn became an Atheist in his 20′s. So I grew up in an Atheist home not a Jewish home like my grandfather and his 13 brothers in New York.Utterly depressing, but it doesn’t surprise me. It pretty much follows the pattern. They get a lot of children of mixed marriages with a predisposition to mental illness.

  43. 43
    Ing

    “If you wish to take a look at my circumcised penis as proof then you will just have to take my word for it, pervert”Wow, thanks for proving yourself a repugnant person.

  44. 44
    Ing

    "My Dad is German/Jew if you could imagine what happened for that combination"I…actually don't get what you're inferring. Or I have a guess but it seems so …off…that I'm sure that's not what you meant.

  45. 45
    radorth

    Well I am a Christian and I bought gold not because I thought Armageddon is near, but because I think an economy which has lost 12 million mfg jobs forever is doomed. Our children can soon look forward to importing all our goods from China, paying for them with printed money, getting jobs selling each other hamburgers, and using their meager pay to pay off a 10 trillion national debt. No democracy like ours lasted long either- about 200 years max before it became so corrupt, and people so abused their freedonms, they had to go under.You have to dig minerals out of the ground and make stuff if you want an economy like China will have. It's that simple. US can't do that anymore.Gold IMO just has a history of being worth something in bad times. That's all.

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