Remember John Oliver’s Investigation of Televangelists? The IRS May Have Gotten the MessageWho knew political comedy could make such an impact?
Last week, comedian John Oliver revealed how some televangelists make inordinate amounts of money, which they spend on themselves. You can watch the segment by clicking above or clicking here. Oliver went so far as to set up his own church to show how ridiculously easy it is to establish a tax-exempt religious institution. In the aftermath, two things happened, both of which can make a difference.
First, according to Bustle, there has been media speculation about whether the Internal Revenue Service, aka the Tax Man, will audit televangelists now that the agency has been put on the spot.
Since Oliver’s episode, an organization called the Trinity Foundation, which probes religious fraud, has received more fuel for its fire. The organization argues that the IRS is contributing to religious fraud and the insane success of televangelism by not auditing churches. Trinity Foundation’s founder, Ole Anthony, said the IRS needs to step in so that the vulnerable people who might donate to televangelists are not continually duped and so that other churches can maintain their integrity, according to CBS News: “A few years ago, the IRS named Scientology a church. Since that happened, anybody can call themselves a church.”
The second thing that occurred after the segment aired is that thousands of donations were sent to the “Last Week Tonight” host’s fake church.
But not to worry—those donations won’t go into Oliver’s pocket. Instead they’ll all be sent to Doctors Without Borders.
—Posted by Natasha Hakimi ZapataWait, before you go…
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