Religious SCAMs...and how to avoid them!

Lies, Fakery, Greed and Tomfoolery

A collection of mailed SCAMs

Quotations from a (2 Red Flag rated) SCAM letter sent by: Legionaries for Christ, RC

Please remember, the quotations below are from the SCAM letter of “Legionaries for Christ, RC” _not_ by

“Founder: Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado

Legionaries for Christ logo

“Discover a way to bring new priests to your children and grandchildren in our Columbus Day Sweepstakes and get 50 chances to win up to $5,000!

“September 2012

“Dear Friend,

“Christopher Columbus discovered America 520 years ago. Catholic missionaries arrived soon after, and millions of Americans were evangelized.

“Yet the work of evangelization is never done. Every generation is a new challenge. Our culture today is a mission field, as much or more in need of transformation as any that has gone before it.

“Are there still young people capable of giving up everything in order to bring Christ to others? Yes, and among those many generous young people are the seminarians at the Legion of Christ’s seminary in Cheshire Connecticut.

“Our seminarians are training to be holy Catholic priests. They try to put Christ at the center of their lives, getting to know and love him personally and deeply. They consecrate their lives to Mary. They have a special love for Christ’s Vicar, the Pope.

“I am writing to you today because they need your help.

Please remember, the quotations above and below are from the SCAM letter from the “Legionaries for Christ, RC” _not_ by

“Will you help me take care of the practical needs of these American seminarians, who are now taking their first steps towards the priesthood, by participating in our Columbus Day Sweepstakes?

“Our seminarians live simply and spend their day in prayer, study and work. They want nothing more than to prepare themselves to be priests Christ can count on to spread his Gospel and bring his sacraments of grace to everyone. But they still need your help with the practical needs of their lives, like food, shelter, books and clothes.

Red Flag  # 1  “Your offering of $25, $15, $30 or more will help give our country some of the missionaries it needs! Just think of the number of lives each priest will touch as the years go by. How many people will bless the generosity that gave them those priests!

Red Flag  # 2  “Thank you for your faithful generosity, and please pray for the seminarians as they do for you. Your charity toward them will build up a treasure for you in heaven and help bring the Gospel and sacraments to thousands of people in the future.

Back to top

“May God bless you,

Supposed signature of Fr. Aaron

“Fr. Shawn Aaron, LC

“P. S . Send in your tickets today along with your offering of $25, $15, $30 or more to have 55 chances to win in our Columbus Day Sweepstakes. You will discover a way to bring new priests to the Church and you could also win $5000!”

Big winner writing Early Bird winner

Please remember, the quotations above are from the SCAM letter from the “Legionaries for Christ, RC” _not_ by

Red Flag  # 1  There is some fairly small print that suggests that “An offering of $5 per ticket is suggested, however no donation is required to enter.” In even finer print, we find the following: “No contribution, donation or purchase is required to enter or win this sweepstakes. Making a contribution, donation or purchase will not increase your odds of winning. This is standard text for any sweepstakes, the “author(s)” didn’t even bother to remove the text about “purchasing” which is entirely irrelevant. The text, however, is in such fine print that not many will be able to read it without at least using a magnifying glass. (return to # 1 Red Flag above)

You can, of course, contribute any amount of your money to anyone or any group you want. I would simply suggest that you investigate who that person or group is and how they might spend your gift. One good site for this information is:Charity

Red Flag  # 2  If “a treasure for you in heaven” is your goal, why would you be looking (gambling!) on winning any amount of money? The primary intent is to entice you to expect something for nothing or at least much more than is being provided. That is an appeal to the base instincts of man, it’s often called greed. A subject most religions usually oppose. Instead, the Legionaries seem to think it has a useful purpose, regardless of who it may hurt. (return to # 2 Red Flag above)

I wonder if the “needs” mentioned are because of the scandals and law suits brought against this group? You may recall that this group’s founder was ordered, in 2006, by Pope Benedict XVI, to spend the rest of his life in prayer and penance for his reprehensible actions. That was the beginning of a severe drop in contributions and spending by the Legionaries. I suppose that is why they have resorted to enticing us to gamble by entering their sweepstakes. I can only assume that gambling on a Legionaries lottery is not a sin.

Their loss of monies may also have something to do with their lack of mathematical skills, however. The envelope plainly states that there are “50 chances to win.” But the very first paragraph of the letter claims there are 55 chances! Apparently, the letter’ author forgot about the “EARLY BIRD” drawing. Your five entries will also be used for that drawing. I received the sweepstakes letter on September 18. To win the “EARLY BIRD” drawing, the letter states that entries must be sent by September 25. However, the fine print states that the drawing for that “EARLY BIRD” prize is also September 25! Obviously, mailing an entry on the date of the drawing is a guarantee that it would not be a winner. So, why put that info in such small print? Only reason I can think of is an attempt to reduce the number of “EARLY BIRD” entries.

For more information on Legionaries for Christ, you can visit some of the following sites:

Back to top