If it wasn’t for the reporting of Anna Massoglia at OpenSecrets.Org and her investigation into Maria Butina. She wouldn’t have opened my eyes about the dark side of Pat Robertson. This is an unlikely story, but in our crazy-world of Presidential Candidates becoming Teleevangelist and also conflict diamond exporter. That is clearly, the memo I got today, that Robertson was not only doing business in the midst of conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo or Zaire, but also promoting the dictatorship of Mobutu Sese Seko. Which a very rare thing.
I started to look for documentation of the exploits of Robertson, how he maneuvered from various of sources. Because, there had to be more to it. There has to be a drive for exploitation, the drive of greed and also the ambition for someone to associate themselves with a dictator. That is evident here, as there god sources from credible people. When the likes of Reno in African Studies Quarterly and Chaitkin in EIR has published stories on you. You know, there are something behind the claims.
What is topping the whole scheme off, is how the Teleevangelist used his position to create his “700 Club” with funding from conflict minerals, which again was a ploy in itself as that was supposed to be humanitarian aid for the conflict ridden area. Therefore, he lied about the funding of his religious fundraiser, he lied about the humanitarian aid and was a war-profiteer. That shows the sinister part of all. That you can make a combo of all these ills at the same time.
“Observers of the Zairean scene have long held that Mr. Robertson was a close confidant of Mr. Mobutu and a great supporter of the Mobutu dictatorship, in the main, because he allegedly was using the proceeds from his mining operation to finance much of his “700 Club” religious operation” (Marek Enterprise – ‘ Zaire Watch News Briefs 28 Apr 1997’).
What Robertson did do:
“Mobutu’s relationship with 1988 U.S. presidential candidate and evangelist Pat Robertson revealed a more innovative private diplomacy that reached beyond conventional public relations firm or lobbyist efforts. Mobutu recruited Robertson to his quest to secure a U.S. visa. More importantly, Robertson brought to Zaire his African Development Company (ADC), active in diamond, timber, gold, and power generation businesses. This commercial venture operated alongside Robertson’s Operation Blessing, billed as a humanitarian relief effort for Rwandan refugees in eastern Zaire. Operation Blessing included more obviously commercial ventures as well, running a 50,000 acre farm near Kinshasa. Robertson justified the profit-seeking nature of his religious venture as part of his efforts to generate cash for relief work” (Reno, 1997).
What his pilots claim:
“During 1994 and 1995, Operation Blessing cargo planes carried equipment and supplies for the river-dredging of diamonds, on behalf of the African Development Company. Robertson, the sole owner, had chartered that company in 1992. It suspended operations in October 1995. Before then, chief pilot Hinkle had quit in disgust at Robertson’s fraud and deception. Hinkle told EIR that he flew about 40 missions for the Robertson organization, headquartered in Goma, Zaire. Hinkle set up the cargo-flying operation and hired others, including pilot Tahir Brohi. Hinkle told of his flights from N’jili airport near Kinshasa, and from N’dolo, around 15 miles away, to Tshikapa, some 200 miles into the interior” (…) “Tahir Brohi, who flew for Robertson from November 1994 through September 1995, told EIR that he made “one or two flights a week.” The majority of these, he said, were related to the diamond dredging. One of Brohi’s flight bases was the Zaire port city of Matadi on the Congo River” (Chaitkin, 1997).
I’m disgusted at the hypocrisy, again that someone uses their religious background to deceive people to give to your “700 Club” and also to a made-believe “Operation Blessing”, while using both as a front for a conflict mineral business called African Development Company (ADC) is beyond disgraceful and should be indicted and sentenced for. This is fraud, this is deception at the highest level. There is nothing else to it.
That Pat Robertson has used his position, has used his ability to not only support and be a lobbyist at one point for a terrible dictator. But also, used his relationship with him to earn money on diamond exploitation and extractions, also using the front as a Humanitarian Operation, when it really was all Commercial is really insulting. While flagging for peace, he was funneling the war with new means, as he helped the dictator to export minerals. That is the reality of it all.
The Teleevangelist used his time and efforts to exploit Zaire, today’s Democratic Republic of Congo. He used his connections and tried even to get a visa for Mobutu. That says a lot about him, that his integrity and his belief can be bought.
You know it isn’t a joke, when Mary Dejevsky reported: “One possible channel, improbable though it sounds, may have been the television evangelist, Pat Robertson, who made a number of trips to rebel-held areas in private planes, ostensibly to see about his mineral interests” (Dejevsky, 1997).
With this all mind, this isn’t just a mare fad of a story. It is a story about greed, opportunities and lies. How someone, who you thought should spread the message of hope and care, are instead involved in sinister trade and acts, where he supported one of the worst dictatorships of his time.
Still, for many this story has forgotten and needs to be reminded of it. Because the reality stings and shows a mere reflection of who Robertson is. A greedy man, who in the hunt for wealth, apparently even trade with blood diamonds or conflict minerals to earn a living. That says something about him. Peace.
Anton Chaitkin – ‘‘Diamond’ Pat’s mining scam’, EIR Volume 24, Number 46, November 14, 1997
Mary Dejevsky – ‘US pretends it has a sound grip on Zaire diplomacy’ 10.05.1997, link: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/us-pretends-it-has-a-sound-grip-on-zaire-diplomacy-1260624.html
William Reno – ‘Sovereignty and Personal Rule in Zaire’ – African Studies Quarterly | Volume 1, Issue 3 | 1997