oh-myyy-ribbon
News

California Church Leaders Charged In Scheme To Force Homeless People To Work For Them

ABC 10 News/YouTube

Twelve leaders of Imperial Valley Ministries in California have been indicted for forcing homeless people to perform labor.

With the promise of hot meals and beds, Imperial Valley coerced its victims into panhandling for nine hours a day, six days a week before locking them in group homes with deadbolts.


In the recently unsealed indictment, the homeless victims describe the lengths Imperial Valley went to monitor them. The ministry also took their identification and coerced many into sacrificing welfare benefits.

United States Attorney Robert Brewer said of the atrocity:

"The indictment alleges an appalling abuse of power by church officials who preyed on vulnerable homeless people with promises of a warm bed and meals. These victims were held captive, stripped of their humble financial means, their identification, their freedom and their dignity."

In addition to performing slave labor, many victims with illnesses and disabilities were denied medical assistance.

People were appalled to see the horrors imposed upon the victims—by a church, no less.









The church leaders—including the pastor—will be charged with benefits fraud, conspiracy, forced labor and document servitude.

Apparently they missed the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3–12):

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
  • Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
  • Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
  • Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
  • Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
  • Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
  • Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
  • Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

A frame ready copy of The Beatitudes is available here.

Amazon

********

Listen to the first four episodes of George Takei's podcast, 'Oh Myyy Pod!' where we explore the racially charged videos that have taken the internet by storm.

Be sure to subscribe here and never miss an episode.

Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images, NBC

As expected, the cold open of this past weekend's episode of Saturday Night Live lampooned the first two days of the public impeachment hearings.

Keep reading... Show less

Single people can be thrown the most invasive questions. So of course, they have to find witty answers. This is partially to save face, but also to make the other person embarrassed for even asking.

Keep reading... Show less

Being an exotic dancer is generally not necessarily people's vision for themselves as children, but the financial draw of the job is pretty great.

A person can basically pay tuition with the amount of money they walk away with from working in a club. It's a very lucrative thing. But it also draws a crowd that is rather unusual, as it is an unusual job.

Keep reading... Show less

Everyone is afraid of something, but for most of us it's something that "makes sense" like spiders, snakes, etc. That's not the case for everyone, though.

Keep reading... Show less

Being accused of things you didn't do is annoying and can be infuriating even in the best of situations. Sometimes, though, the thing you're accused of is so ridiculous that you can't even be mad.

For example, I had a group of friends I would chat with online. One day, the elderly father of one of those friends got a phone call from Florida saying the friend was in trouble and needed bail money.

Keep reading... Show less

Some of us are lucky: We have good neighbors. We each go about our business; no one makes any noise or brings any drama into each other's lives... It's quite simple, really.

But others aren't so lucky, and chances are pretty high that you've been one of those unlucky people. (As have I, sad to say.)

Keep reading... Show less