One of two civil claims brought against religious group Agape Ministries may be settled out of court, a lawyer has told the Adelaide District Court.
One of the plaintiffs cannot be named because of a temporary suppression order.
That plaintiff and another former church member, Martin Penney, are suing pastor Rocco Leo and two of his associates, Joe Venziano and Mari-Antionette Veneziano.
They want their money back, claiming they handed over more than $400,000 and $1 million respectively to the church based on lies about a doomsday scenario.
Look, I hate scams as much as the next skeptic. To me, there’s nothing more despicable than someone who takes people’s money and gives them nothing but lies and cop-outs in return. So to that extent, I say “good riddance” and I hope Agape Ministries goes bankrupt for their irresponsibility and deceit.
On the other hand, given the 100% failure rate of all doomsday prophecies thus far in human history, it’s a little hard for me to feel bad for these people.
Don’t let the title mislead you, though. I’m not one of these “blame the victim” assholes. I’m only concerned that a lawsuit like this will set the precedent that giving a million dollars to doomsday prophets might turn out to some day be a wise investment. It’s not. It never will be.
Jesus ain’t coming back, people. I’m sorry to burst the fairy bubble of delusion you or your religious leaders have built around you, but do you know how many times people have predicted the apocalypse in history? A shit-ton. And not one has ever been right.
The people of Jesus’ time expected him to return right away. That’s precisely why they were encouraged to give away their belongings and abandon their homes and prepare for the second coming. But it’s been two thousand years. At what point do you say, “we were wrong… he’s not coming back”?
Sometimes I think there’s a razor-thin line between faith and outright gullibility. And sometimes I’m convinced it’s a gradient.