Last Week Tonight took aim at televangelists for taking millions of dollars out of the pockets of those unfortunate enough to believe them. These televangelists preach a particularly insidious form of Christian doctrine. They would have followers believe that the money they donate is an offering that will bring them blessings from their Lord. They preach that you can buy your way into God’s favor, tax free.

That’s right. There’s absolutely zero taxes levied on the donations made by viewers, and it helps make televangelists, like Kenneth Copeland, filthy rich.

How do these “pastors” justify their wealth in the eyes of their lord?

kenneth-copeland
We lie.

These manipulators rake in millions preaching something known as the “prosperity gospel”. It teaches that a person’s prosperity is a sign that God has blessed them. Part of their gospel relies on something known as “seed faith”, which is the act of placing your money in the church, and hoping that it will bring you greater rewards later.

This may not seem that terrible to you. What’s so bad about gullible idiots getting sucked up in a Ponzi scheme by their faith leader? The appalling part of it all is that it can lead to really disastrous, deadly consequences.

A number of these televangelists, like Kenneth Copeland’s wife, Gloria Copeland, preach skepticism for modern medicine. Take, for example, the case Oliver offers in his segment on Bonnie Parker. Bonnie believed that her best chance of being healed from cancer was to donate to Kenneth Copeland’s church, rather than seek medical treatment.

“At this point, I think it’s clear that seed faith is the most disgusting seed-based concept since whatever the f*ck Chia seed pudding is,” Oliver said.

Watch Oliver’s full segment below.

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Richard Eskow is host and managing editor of The Zero Hour, a weekly radio program produced by We Act Radio. He was the senior writer and editor for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. Richard has written for a number of print and online publications, was a founding contributor to the Huffington Post, and is a longtime activist. He is also a Senior Fellow with the Campaign for America’s Future.