Followers Sue Church After Doomsday Fails To Come

What do you do when you hand over all your money before a promised Doomsday, but Doomsday never comes? You go find the next best thing: a lawyer. That is the situation in Australia where a court has frozen the assets of Pastor Rocco Leo and his associates at Agape Ministries after followers demanded their money back. While there appears to have been no written contract, this appears a novel inverse of a force majeure claim: the act of God never came.

Former church member, Martin Penney, and another plaintiff are suing to get back more than $400,000 and $1 million they gave respectively to the church based on promises of a Doomsday.

It appears that Judgment Day will be relocated to a more mundane forum at the Adelaide District Court. Of course, the pastor still has time to make good on the Doomsday promise.

Source: ABC.

47 thoughts on “Followers Sue Church After Doomsday Fails To Come”

  1. FFLEO,

    That’s a fine tune. Seriously, you could teach a course on modern American music history if you were so inclined.

  2. FFLeo:

    I like the artistic progression from honky-tonk singer to balladeer.

  3. Yes, Mespo, that is great tune by Mr. Price; however, this one by him in 1956 is the best honky-tonk tune of all time. That intro/fill/back-up fiddle is heaven and is played by a fiddle hero of mine—Tommy Jackson, who was later sometimes accompanied by Dale Potter for a unique twin fiddle country swing style for this timeless tune.

  4. Hey FFLeo! I just ran across something I’d thought you might like. It’s, by leaps and bounds, the finest country song I know:

  5. Well, where there is a ‘beginning’…spatial law requires there be an ‘ending.’ It’s the ‘life’ we live between the two which matters greatly!

    Carolyn

  6. Vince,

    Are you sure during the “w” years that we did not get both?

  7. I have missed your presence more than you know. I see a future in you for the straight one liners….

  8. These guys should look at the bright side.

    All they lost was money, and all they suffered was abject and total public and private shame and humiliation.

    At least they did not have to undergo castration and commit suicide like the end-of-the-worlders in the science fiction ufo flying saucer Heaven’s Gate cult out in California years ago.

    Better dumb than dead.

  9. If God *does* blow up the world I’m going to sue him for propety damage. I put a lot of work into building that deck in the back yard.

  10. EC,

    My Love where hath thou been…..

    The Robert Tilton part is funny. When asked by a reporter about his tossing of the envelopes and all the various estates that he had or has inside of the US and outside, regarding his austere lifestyle, his answer was well God never meant for me to be poor.

    If you have ever seen a picture of the rat-bastard he looks like he could play the role of the Joker in Batman.

  11. I read last week that SCOTUS (yeah i know this case is in Oz) has ruled that promises to perform miracles aren’t enforceable.

    The case was mentioned in the Texas case about the school that wanted to offer a MS in science education to teach creationism as science.

    What’s funny about this, and why I mention it, is that the defendant in the case is “Pastor Bob” Tilton. Sounds just like him to be promising miracles in exchange for money. His name seems to show up a *lot* in court decisions — either as plaintiff, defendant or by a court referring to one of his cases.

    My favorite is his appeal of a felony conviction for fraud — he promised, for $1000 a crack, to “personally pray your prayer”. Investigators found sacks of envelopes in the dumpster behind his office, full of envelopes with checks removed and prayer requests still in them. I think his attorneys tried to cite the “miracles aren’t binding” case, but the judge ruled that since his “church” was incorporated as a for-profit business, and he essentially promised to perform a service, it’s a simple business transaction and he didn’t do his bit.

    If you want to spend a fun day of reading, google him up and read some of the court case documents.

  12. Rowan Atkinson as the devil welcoming sinners–including lawyers and atheists–to hell.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rC6UrMTC73A&hl=en_US&fs=1]

  13. Bonjour BIL – No cookie monster – just hovering around, enjoying the discussions…

  14. Good to see you, EC.

    I was starting to think the Cookie Monster got you.

  15. It appears to a bit stranger than just a promise that doomsday was coming:

    “Their claims allege the religious group promised them a haven on a South Pacific island, to protect them from microchips the government was planning to implant in all humans.

    It claims the religious group told its members they would go to hell if they were microchipped and that the government would put them in concentration camps, gas or behead them if they refused the chips.

    The legal claims allege the religious group told members they had to give money to help relocate all members to the island and build infrastructure.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/06/16/2928339.htm

    So, I’d say the plaintiffs are more than just your average, run of the mill fools – they must be barking mad.

  16. Blouise,

    Some say that the Adventists are a derivative of the Millerites. I think that it is very coincidental that the paths of escape, for both Miller and Smith run so parallel.

  17. This suit surprises me. There have been studies on religions which preached the endtimes, those giving a specific date or even time. Most normally, when the prophesied time somehow fails to occur, members become more bound to the cult leader than ever before. The formula is: failure = success!

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