Are all ministers, clergy, etc. legally guilty of fraud?

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Alembé's picture
Are all ministers, clergy, etc. legally guilty of fraud?

I was out walking the other day and I thought, “Is there a way to speed up the ‘War on Religion’? Are ministers, clergy, etc. legally guilty of committing fraud? Could we use the legal system against them?”

Consider the following (from


A false representation of a matter of fact – whether by words or by conduct, by false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of what should have been disclosed – that deceives and is intended to deceive another so that the individual will act upon it to her or his legal injury.

Fraud must be proved by showing that the defendant's actions involved five separate elements:
(1) a false statement of a material fact,
(2) knowledge on the part of the defendant that the statement is untrue,
(3) intent on the part of the defendant to deceive the alleged victim,
(4) justifiable reliance by the alleged victim on the statement, and
(5) injury to the alleged victim as a result.”

Consider also:

“The perfect, infallible, and inerrant “Word of God” (or Yahweh or Allah) is, in truth and reality, the imperfect, fallible, and errant word of unknown men marketing their own manufactured versions of the Abrahamic religions.

When asked, a few honest clergy have acknowledged these historical facts and offered two revealing rationalizations. First, the laity cannot handle these truths, and, second, they undermine the credibility and authority of the church that has preached otherwise for centuries.”
(John Compere, Why I retired from Religion, Free Inquiry, June/July 2015 Vol 35, No. 4, Pages 58-60.)

To continue to preach “the Word of God” in the face of such knowledge seems fraudulent to me.

I foresee several problems, at least, with this legal option:

1. Demonstration that a minister’s declaration of the existence of God is “a false statement of a material fact.”

2. Seating a jury that would consider just the evidence presented independent of their religious beliefs.

3. Given the current social and political climate in the USA, there is no way that a prosecutor would ever bring a criminal action or a lawyer attempt a trial in a civil court.

Could Europe lead the way?

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cooperc2's picture
It's not quite the same I

It's not quite the same I know but there was a church that ran an advertising campaign in the UK which carried a strong implication that they healed the sick. Someone complained to the advertising standards authority who take a very dim view of any advert that makes unsubstantiated claims & the offending material was withdrawn.

All they had to do was prove that they were being truthful & that they had successfully cured cancer, aids etc but for some unfathomable reason, they chose not to do so ;)

watchman's picture


In the UK there is the 1939 Cancer Act......which makes it a criminal offence for ANYONE to advertise to treat cancer.

The act has been used successfully on several occasions against various supposed spiritualist healers as well as churches and preachers.

@Alembe .....

Good points....not sure as to the legality of the claim of a deity..... but pretty damn sure many clergy should be prosecuted as

accomplices and for aiding ,abetting and covering up the criminal assaults of their co-religionists.

Nyarlathotep's picture
check out http:/

check out

it's a group for helping religious "professionals" who don't actually believe.

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