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Feb 20 2013

Pat Boone Pushes Christian Scam

I’ll give the fundies this: They never seem to run out of ways to fleece the credulous. Pat Boone is helping push a new Christian scam, selling one square foot pieces of property in Galilee to believers who want to feel like they own a piece of the holy land:

As part of the Jewish collective, and especially as the writer of “This Land Is Mine,” he said, he wanted to buy a plot of land in the Galilee that could be his in a real, rather than an emotional, sense.

This and a conversation with some Israeli friends led to the idea of selling 1-square foot plots and their GPS coordinates to American supporters of Israel in order to give them a stake in the land.

Even though most of those who buy will not come in person, he said, “you can go online and see it through Google Maps.” Those who do come in person can use their personal GPS units to find their spot and stand on it.

Boone said the Galilee region, between Nazareth and Lake Kinneret, was his favorite place in Israel because “Jesus as a young man walked between the Sea of Galilee and Nazareth,” and the plots are situated where he passed.

That would go really well with some of that “holy water” from the Jordan river (really from a municipal water system in the US, of course) given out by “faith-healing” frauds like Peter Popoff. PT Barnum was right.

37 comments

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  1. 1
    schism

    In a way, I actually support these scams. If the religious fanatics in the US actually pooled their resources into politics, they could probably do even more damage than they already manage. Shoveling their money into some millionaire’s offshore accounts en masse, however, effectively accomplishes nothing.

  2. 2
    Gretchen

    Even though most of those who buy will not come in person, he said, “you can go online and see it through Google Maps.” Those who do come in person can use their personal GPS units to find their spot and stand on it.

    How is this land zoned, though? Could I build a (tiny) house on it?
    Drill for oil?
    Raise (tiny) livestock?
    Post a sign saying “Jesus is a myth” which can’t be taken down, since it’s my property?

    So many questions…

  3. 3
    tacitus

    Why would I want to waste my money on buying a measly square foot of land in Galilee when I can buy an entire acre of land on Mars for only $19.95?

    What the hell, I might as well buy a whole star (or at least the naming rights for it) while I’m at it.

  4. 4
    shouldbeworking

    Christian scam? Redundant title…

  5. 5
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Gretchen:

    I want to build a tiny house.

    It’ll have trees, and a lawn, and a little piano in its little tiny living room.

    And inside that little tiny house is a perfect replica of that little tiny house and inside of THAT tiny little house is a..

    xkcd does a great job of explaining it.

  6. 6
    raven

    I’ll give the fundies this: They never seem to run out of ways to fleece the credulous/

    True.

    A lot of the money fundies donate is just wasted on mansions, fine wines and drugs, private jets, fast cars, jewelry, cute girls and boys, and of course, the occasional lawyers when someone decides to prosecute the fundie leaders for fraud and/or sexual abuse crimes.

    So any fundies reading this, check your bank balance. Send it all to your favorite fundie scammer. If you don’t have a favorite, buying square feet of Galilee will work as well as any.

  7. 7
    Tabby Lavalamp

    I just want to buy one and put a fence up.

  8. 8
    Raging Bee

    All the resource-rich land that was once both holy and necessary to heathen savages has already been bought up and strip-mined by generations of Good Christians before him, so he had to find a new way to pretend to be a part of that hallowed Christian tradition.

    Does Pat Boone’s Little Square Foot still come with mineral rights after it’s subdivided from God’s Little Acre?

    Suddenly I’m reminded of that scene in “Love and Death” where Boris talks about his uncle buying a piece of land and carrying it around in his cloak, taking it out to look at it when he’s alone. At the end, he showed Boris the little house he’d put on the land, and mentioned adding a shed.

  9. 9
    hamstur

    “Some day, I hope to build on it!”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFCTx1PFchY

    “Don’t let any strangers come on it!” (:36 in)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x56MtVXDbJ8

    Crap. Now I want to buy one. My question is this: Does it have to be an actual square? Or could I get, say, a 1″ by 144″ piece? (assuming I did the math right, which, if history is any guide, is a dangerous assumption at best)

  10. 10
    hamstur

    Apparently, Raging Bee and I are on the same wavelength. Or wearing the same underwear. Or maybe we just watch the same old movies. In any event, I’m not sure how I feel about that.

  11. 11
    eric

    I want to build a tiny house.
    It’ll have trees, and a lawn, and a little piano in its little tiny living room.

    Sure, but think of the tiny HA fees, and the tiny HA meetings to decide what color your tiny house front door can be, and how many tiny trees you can have. Madness I tell you, madness!

  12. 12
    Sharks Breath

    On the same topic. I found this.

    Former Republican: How the GOP Turned Into a Racket Ripping Off Vulnerable Americans

    http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/former-republican-how-gop-turned-racket-ripping-vulnerable-americans

  13. 13
    Raging Bee

    HA fees? Please — if you don’t like your neighbors’ collectivist actions, you can just put your land in a bag and walk it to another neighborhood. It’s a libertarian wet dream: land ownership plus the ability to vote with your feet!

  14. 14
    Tabby Lavalamp

    Question: Can Palestinians buy up the property?

  15. 15
    jameshanley

    It’s kind of like owning Packers stock.

  16. 16
    oranje

    Breitbart’s probably buying one up under the name “Friends of Hamas.”

  17. 17
    richardelguru

    Hah!!
    Whisky Distillers are so much better than Christians!
     
    I was given a square foot of Islay for nothing by the makers of Laphroaig (an excellent single malt) and they say they will even provide wellies to wear when you visit it! I hope to test if their veracity equals their whisky come the summer.
     
    (btw what’s with the ignorant slime encrusted spelling WordPress checker that can’t spell whisky?
    Isolationist swine!!! W
    Don’t they know that whiskey is a degenerate swill!!!!!)

  18. 18
    mvemjsun

    I very much liked Gretchen’s comment “Post a sign saying “Jesus is a myth” which can’t be taken down, since it’s my property”

  19. 19
    eric

    @14 – Check this out. Interestingly enough, a case of someone like Pat Boone trying to buy property has already come up, and the Israeli court system ruled the local authorities could not prevent the sale or ownership based on “un-relevant consideration as the identity of the buyer.” The only rule is the buyer must be a legal entity. This might rule out stateless individuals but should not rule out Palestinians who have a legal citizenship somewhere, or a legal corporation owned and operated by Palestinians.

  20. 20
    busterggi

    Heck, this was done by the radio show ‘Challenge of the Yukon’ back in the early ’50′s when they sold lots of gen-u-ine Yukon gold mining land for 10 cents each. It was called the Big Inch Land Company – I own the deeds to three square inches myself.

  21. 21
    whheydt

    Find it using a “personal GPS”, eh? They’re only accurate to better than 20 feet on a good day… Good luck finding a particular square foot that way.

  22. 22
    jnorris

    Hey Pat, can it cure acne?

  23. 23
    jnorris

    I wonder what the Israeli police will think of someone wondering around the countryside with a GPS.

  24. 24
    dugglebogey

    Why do people get upset when an organization that exists purely to separate stupid people from their money, is obviously trying to separate stupid people from their money?

  25. 25
    Nemo

    Tacitus beat me to it — I was going to say at least it’s less of a scam than those “titles” to land on the Moon or Mars, “titles” that are purely fraudulent and will never ever be honored in any way. A square foot of Israel by itself is worthless, but presumably you could buy multiple contiguous feet and put together a real plot. (?)

    @dugglebogey: Some of us don’t feel that stupidity alone is automatically worthy of punishment, and reserve our punitive impulses for the malicious. Like those who try to scam people.

  26. 26
    kermit.

    Seems like any HoA here would be controlled by US fundies. Gretchen’s sign probably wouldn’t be allowed, but I don’t know what Israeli law would say about a matter like this. Also, for anyone planning to build on their land, don’t forget to check on right of way. A lot of country plots in the US are required to provide access (e.g. a dirt road) for their neighbors who don’t border on a public road.
    .
    You’ll probably want to go with a satellite ISP also, there probably won’t be any cable. Or water.
    .
    Think satellite dish, septic tank, solar panels, and maybe form a coop with your neighbors for the water system.

  27. 27
    mikeym

    Jerry Falwell plied this same old scam in the 80s, selling plots on “Liberty Mountain,” now the home of his online diploma mill.

  28. 28
    martinc

    I think the fundies have missed a trick here. Why aren’t they selling plots of land in Heaven? Have any of these buyers seen Galilee?

  29. 29
    Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    @Katherine Lorraine, Tortue du Désert avec un Coupe-Boulon:

    xkcd also explains the little piano.

  30. 30
    d.c.wilson

    martinc@28:

    The Catholic Church already beat them to that scam. Only they called them indulgences.

  31. 31
    Childermass

    Would it not be better to obtain the amount of Holy Land dirt that two mules could carry à la Naaman.

  32. 32
    gregorypeterson

    I would expect the sacred land to be divided into square cubits. http://www.csgnetwork.com/cubitscnv.html

  33. 33
    bastionofsass

    When I was a young kid in the mid-1950s, one of the TV shows I watched was Sergeant Preston of the Yukon. Quaker Oats was a sponsor and gave away land in the Yukon Territory in cereal boxes–in one square inch lots. I still have my deed to my square inch of the Yukon packed away with my other childhood treasures.

    Of course, since I haven’t been paying taxes on my Yukon property, I assume it’s been seized for non-payment of taxes and sold by now.

  34. 34
    Crudely Wrott

    Neither Google Earth nor, I suspect, super secret spy satellites actually have one square foot resolution.

    Under perfect, and therefore rare, conditions there are orbiting eyes that can resolve objects less than twelve inches. They are recorded as a single pixel of a single color. The color value and temperature may also be part of the data but that is all and that is under ideal (read, hypothetically perfect) conditions. Not bloody likely at the time someone wants to look.

    Good luck finding your precious little piece of the holey land let alone reading a license plate.

  35. 35
    democommie

    “or a legal corporation owned and operated by Palestinians.”

    Corporations are people–UNLESS they’re not white, KKKristian KKKorporations. Sorry.

  36. 36
    Raging Bee

    Of course, since I haven’t been paying taxes on my Yukon property…

    Did the taxation office ever send you a bill?

  37. 37
    Rick Pikul

    Re: The Big Inch Land Company

    To begin with, those square inch deeds were never registered so you never actually owned your square inch.

    Second, the entire lot was seized in 1965 for failure to pay $37.20 in taxes. It is now part of a golf course.

    However, the deed itself may be worth $30-40 as a collector’s item.

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