Hoax: Pat Robertson Did Not Attribute Chilean Earthquake to God’s Punishment for The Mistreatment of Augusto Pinochet

Various sites are reporting that TV evangelist Pat Robertson is again holding forth on seismic retribution. Robertson was quoted as saying “God is even angrier with them than he is with the people of Haiti” — which would explain the greater seismological magnitude in the 8.8 earthquake. The reason: what Chileans did to poor General Augusto Pinochet. Update: our earlier stated suspicions were confirmed and the author admits that the story was untrue.

We discussed earlier that this might be a hoax, but given Robertson’s past proclamations, it had a certain air of authenticity, here.

Robertson is quoted as saying:

“If I had to guess, I’d say it must have to do with Chile’s persecution and attempted prosecution of their great former leader, and a personal hero of mine, Augusto Pinochet – who, it should be noted, had never been convicted of a crime when the Lord called him home three years ago. . . General Pinochet not only assisted the CIA in the overthrow of Chile’s Marxist government, but is widely credited with personally arranging the meetings of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of his countrymen with Jesus.”

However, there is no reference in these articles to the forum where the comments were made. It turned out to be satire but picked up by dozens of sites as a Salon story.

Here is what the Salon writer posted on our site:

To Set the Record Straight: As the author,I feel qualified to say without equivocation that the referenced story is satire. While certain (linked) elements are factual and I thought worthy of shedding a little light on, I simply figured it was only a matter of time before Mr. Robertson would say something appalling (as he seems to after every major catastrophe like 9/11 and the Haiti earthquake) to blame the victims for bringing God’s wrath down upon them. And as it has recently come to light that Mr. Robertson has made his own “deal with the Devil” — in his case, Liberia’s Taylor, why not have him defend, as he did, in Taylor’s case to the American people and President for the purpose of enriching his bank account as opposed to his soul, someone who seemed to have much in common with Taylor? While I apologize to those who have been upset by this story (believing it was real), in my defense, I offer subtle hints included in the text of the piece, such as the fact the (the dead) “Pinochet … could not be reached for comment, even by Robertson…”

The problem is that this is not April 1st and the satire could have been based on an actual story.

For the full story and commentary, click here and here and here.

39 thoughts on “Hoax: Pat Robertson Did Not Attribute Chilean Earthquake to God’s Punishment for The Mistreatment of Augusto Pinochet

  1. Pinochet doesn’t have a very good record; many things that in the past were believed to be unfounded speculations of the left are now proven facts. For example that Pinochet transformed the Nazi colony, “Colonia Dignidad” into a torture centre, where many people were tortured to death and had their remains cremated. Pinochet gave sanction and promoted the nazi Walter Rauff as a security adviser of his secret police DINA. Walter Rauff had invented the mobile gas chambers in Nazi Germany which were used to exterminate hundreds of thousands of Jews before they got to the camps. Pinochet didn’t just kill atheist communists he murdered many practitioners of Christianity from all denominations. The most prominent cases involved Roman Catholic priests such as Fr. Antonio Llido, Fr. Michael Woodward, Fr. Joan Alsina and Fr. André Jarlan Pourcel. Fr. Jarlan Pourcel was killed whilst reading the bible by candlelight in a shanty town where he worked to help the poor. Most of these victims were not even Chileans they were Christian missionaries helping the poor in Chile. Pinochet is probably the closest thing to a Hitler in Latin America – to support him as a great Christian let alone claim God acts on his behalf is an insult to the memory of the thousands of people Pinochet killed and their relatives.

  2. I doubt this is a real qoute. If nothing else the reference to Pinochet leading a steady souls to meet Jesus is way to funny. Robertson wouldn’t know funny or satire if he was whopped over the head with either.

    Also, why would Robertson care about Catholics? Do you have any idea what a lot of fundies still think of “Papists”?

  3. I trade you a Karl Rove for Pat. Nah bad deal all the way around. Do not forget to submit your CCard number for processing in the latest 700 club campaign…..

    [the] Lord knows he needs the money …..

  4. That explains it!!! If what Robertson’s god wants is a steady stream of souls handed over by humans, that must be why the GOP is so godly. By holding up health care reform their god must be so proud that they are “…arranging the meetings of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of (their) countrymen with Jesus.”

  5. Prof. Turley,

    I don’t think this is a legit quote – because I don’t think the 700 club films on a Saturday. I just pray he doesn’t actually say something like this.

    Sincerely,
    Mike Brown

  6. To Set the Record Straight: As the author,I feel qualified to say without equivocation that the referenced story is satire. While certain (linked) elements are factual and I thought worthy of shedding a little light on, I simply figured it was only a matter of time before Mr. Robertson would say something appalling (as he seems to after every major catastrophe like 9/11 and the Haiti earthquake) to blame the victims for bringing God’s wrath down upon them. And as it has recently come to light that Mr. Robertson has made his own “deal with the Devil” — in his case, Liberia’s Taylor, why not have him defend, as he did, in Taylor’s case to the American people and President for the purpose of enriching his bank account as opposed to his soul, someone who seemed to have much in common with Taylor? While I apologize to those who have been upset by this story (believing it was real), in my defense, I offer subtle hints included in the text of the piece, such as the fact the (the dead) “Pinochet … could not be reached for comment, even by Robertson…”

  7. Following a disaster, it’s a safe prediction that Pat Robertson is going to make an ass out of himself.

    You know what would be an interesting blog post, Turley? Interviews with people who actually believe his pronouncements.

  8. DB:

    re: tax cuts and erectile dysfunction

    It is quite possible that tax cuts would have salutary results. Men would be working less and making more money. Stress is definitely a sexual inhibitor as it reduces serum testosterone levels. and as we all know money is an aphrodisiac.

    Therefore I agree with your post and it might explain why there much controversy.

  9. article: “The problem is that this is not April 1st and the satire could have been based on an actual story.”

    That about says all you need to know about how nuts Robertson is. When outrageous satire can’t be differentiated from the other insane pronouncements he’s made you know you’re dealing with a loon of the first order.

  10. Stupid interpretations of the Bible by people like Pat Robertson leads ignorant people to believe heresies…that God is an evil God. The Bible tells us that God is Love, that He is Light and that He is Good. We are still living in the Dispensation of Grace, God’s unmerited favor for his creation. God is not punishing anyone. However, after the rapture of God’s true believers, you can read in the Book Revelation when the Wrath of God will be revealed from Heaven on all ungodliness. Pat Robertson should know this. He is just trying to keep his name in the papers.

    Greedy human beings are constantly drilling oil off the coast of many continents and leaving a void in the earth’s layers. The earth is always trying to balance inbalance. Drain the earth of it s oil, you got big problems.

    Rev. Dr. AW Wicker, Prophet, Bible Teacher

  11. AW:

    “Greedy human beings are constantly drilling oil off the coast of many continents and leaving a void in the earth’s layers. The earth is always trying to balance inbalance. Drain the earth of it s oil, you got big problems.”

    a good deal of oil is in porous formations it does sit in a pool or void under a layer of rock or soil. When the oil is pumped out the formation is still intact.

    Please provide reference for your statement.

  12. […] This just keeps getting funnier. Apparently legitimate news sites picked up the “Robertson blamed Chileans for their mistreatment of dictator Pinochet” story. How funny is it that Robertson is such a gigantic asshole that people would gobble that line up? You’d hope that if someone said something outrageous about you, like “Tom Hammer was arrested for conspiring to smuggle heroin with his wife, a 16 year-old Shetland pony”, that people would pause for a moment to wonder if it was true. […]

  13. Cry me a river, Jonathan Turley. Obviously, if it were not so believable it would not have been so widely believed. On the other hand, who really cares whether Pat Robertson said this or not?

  14. “Most of these victims were not even Chileans they were Christian missionaries helping the poor in Chile. Pinochet is probably the closest thing to a Hitler in Latin America – to support him as a great Christian let alone claim God acts on his behalf is an insult to the memory of the thousands of people Pinochet killed and their relatives.”

    Actually NO, Pinochet was an anti-communist dictator not a fascist dictator.

    No fascist dictator would have allowed capitalist free market reforms promoted by doctor Milton Friedman (a jew).

    Besides you have to put the people killed in context, many died during the overthrow of the illegal regime of the marxist Salvador Allende, Chile was a part of the cold war and many of the ones who got executed really deserved it because they held extremist socialist views and were responsible for violent acts against innocent people.

    Lets remember that in those the socialist position wasnt to “help the poor” but to “kill the bourgeois”, they tried it…… they failed.

  15. By the way Walter Rauff met with Salvador Allende in 1971 who assure him that he wouldn’t be extradited.

    In part because Allende didnt like jews all that much.

  16. Dear Prof. Turley,

    I’ve always learned a great deal from your interviews with Keith Olbermann. Howewver, it was somewhat of a disappointment to hear you defend the recent SCOTUS decision to grant personhood to corporations. Interesting that you chose Res ipsa loquitur (“The thing itself speaks”) for your banner because now the thing (a corporation) does itself speak, and with constitutional protection. Alas.

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