Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How the kupat ha'ir style scammers lie to steal your money

Oh brother. If you have some extra cash lying around, and you're still not convinced that organizations that promise miracles in exchange for money are cheats and liars you've invited to send your dough to Israel where 2000 small children are willing and waiting to pray for your safety on the roads.

But only if you pay up. See it's like this: The small children only pray for members. If you haven't sent in some cash, you're out of luck. It's roadkill city.

And that's one of the things about programs such as this that announce them as scams. If the small children actually have the ability to create force-fields of protection from road accidents isn't it an act of abject cruelty to restrict the benefits to paid-up members? I mean, if the organizers actually believe that small children have this awesome power, by what right do they restrict the magic to donors alone?  Only a villain in a fairy tale refuses to use his supernatural abilities to benefit as many people as possible. 

After a glance at the website, I've found some other reasons to vomit. In what follows, I explain. Their text is in blue. My complaints are in black.

 A child rides the school bus...A mother pushes her baby stroller across the street...
A family travels to Israel for Yom Tov.

Our Torah leaders have recognized the increase in worldwide travel accidents. 
Wow. You mean that as more and more people are using cars the roads have become more crowded and their have been more accidents. Such rare insight! And note, I'm not mocking the Torah leaders here. I'm mocking the irresponsible authors of this text, who think telling us that Torah leaders can perceive the obvious is a respectful way to write about them. Imagine if I said, our Torah leaders have recognized that 2+2=4. You'd hate that right? So this pious website is doing the same thing .

That's why they are so enthusiastic about this powerful, protective measure:Shemirah Bidrachim - Protection on the Road.
Actually, this is an exaggeration.The folks behind this program were nice enough (or perhaps foolish enough) to provide the actual text of the actual rabbinic endorsements. You can find them here. Seven great rabbis are included, and I dont detect "enthusiasm" from any of them. 

For instance, here is Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach's enthusiastic endorsement. It reads in full: Ask the Posek Hador. Harav Weiss agreed, so I agree.

Three others aren't much better.

Harav Ovadya Yosef's enthusiastic endorsement doesn't seem very certain about the efficacy of the program. In fact its not much more than a blessing. He writes: "... may it be the will of Hashem that their prayers are answered."

Harav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv similarly demonstrates no enthusiasm. He merely says "According to Halacha this is allowed to be done... it should be with hatzlacha" This is an enthusiastic endorsement? . Then why does he sound like if he has no faith in the enterprise, but iswilling to begrudgingly admit the con was permitted?
Harav Pincha Alter, the Ger Rebbe, seems to share Rav Elyashiv's discretion. He writes: "If the poskim say this is permitted you can do it." That's enthusiasm? So how does the Ger Rebbe sound when he really hates an idea, but it to polite to say so?
Even the most legitimately enthusiastic endorsement of the seven, the one supplied by Harav Shmuel Wosner, is lukewarm. He calls it a "good thing" and says that everyone who trusts in Hashem gets the SAME ASSURANCE with no payment required. See it here.

In this revolutionary initiative, thousands of people just like you are protecting themselves with an effective method that has proven itself throughout our history: the merit of pure Jewish children whose prayers and Torah study keep the world in existence.

Proven? Like with blind tests, and hard data? Because so far as I know, that's the only way to prove something. You need to track results and make an analysis. I'm certain this hasn't been done here, because if such proof was available, all of us - including the gedolim who are being so unscrupulously used by this disreputable organization - would be overflowing with genuine enthusiasm.

Search for more information about the lies people tell about the gedolim at 4torah.com.

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