My brother receives Jesus Prayer Rug scam.


The prayer rug.


The sales pitch.

My brother contacted me through MSN Messenger last night to tell me about this amazing item he had received in the mail yesterday from the fine folks at Saint Matthew’s Church out of Tulsa, Oklahoma that just sounded amazingly wonderfully amazing: The Anointed Jesus Prayer Rug.

Now most of you don’t know my brother, but he’s largely responsible for my education in evilness and the darker side of my sense of humor is a result of his influence over the years, which is a fact I’m sure he’s quite proud of. This makes it perfectly understandable that someone out there might see him as a soul in desperate need of saving, but it turns out that’s not what this amazingly wonderfully amazing bit of mail was all about. No, the mail assumes that Wes is already saved and it offers to help bring the Lord’s blessing down upon him and his family. In particular, the mailing makes a point of emphasizing the idea that the Lord will grant him a financial blessing. All through the amazingly wonderfully amazing power of the Anointed Jesus Prayer Rug. As a bonus the rug itself will perform a minor miracle to prove its authenticity:

Notice the face of Jesus on this Church Prayer Rug. When you first look, you will notice that His eyes are closed. If you relax and continue looking straight into His eyes, you will see His eyes slowly opening, and He will begin looking back at you. Jesus sees your needs (Philippians 4:19). Use this unusual, important, Church Prayer Rug for tonight only.

Let us ask you: Would you like to have God’s blessings upon Your home, your family and your finances? Say, “Yes, Lord Jesus, I do need Your financial blessings upon me and my family’s finances!” Deuteronomy 28:6 Just put a mark (√) by your needs below, telling us that you want prayer. Also, check any other needs you are facing. Pray about sowing a seed gift to the Lord’s work. Give God your best seed and believe Him for His best blessing (St. Luke 6:38). Now, go and use this Church, Faith, Prayer Rug. The Lord is watching and waiting. You are about to enter the Holy Spirit of God right here in your home, through this faith exercise. Then, it is a must that you return it for another to use.

You can see part of the sales pitch by clicking on the image to the right underneath the amazingly wonderfully amazing Anointed Jesus Prayer Rug. As it turns out this whole thing is another religious based scam that promises the overly credulous true believers riches from God in return for a little “seed money” for Saint Mathew’s Churches, which only exist in the form of a Tulsa post office box, natch. The only person getting rich from this scam is the Rev. James Eugene Ewing who seems to have built up quite a racket with this and other similar scams to the tune of several hundred million dollars:

The approach reaped Ewing and his organization a gross income of more than $100 million since 1993, including $26 million in 1999, the last year Saint Matthew’s made its tax records public. And while much of the money is spent on postage and salaries, Ewing’s company receives nonprofit status and pays no federal taxes.

Though Ewing claims it is a church, Saint Matthew’s Churches, once called St. Matthew Publishing Inc., has no address other than a Tulsa post office box. It has two listed phone numbers in Tulsa and both are answered by a recorded religious message.

The organization is not related to other Tulsa-area churches named St. Matthew’s, though many of them have received calls asking to be removed from its mailing list.

Ole Anthony, founder of the Trinity Foundation, a nonprofit religious watchdog group, has tracked Ewing’s organization for years. The foundation was largely responsible for exposing televangelist Robert Tilton in 1991 after Anthony said he found prayer requests sent to Tilton in Tulsa trash Dumpsters.

Doing a Google search for Jesus Prayer Rug will reveal that a lot of people have written about this scam including our friends over at Chaotic Not Random as well as Ryan Cragun who handily provides a PDF of the complete mailing that he scanned in. This mailing and others like it are sent out at an estimated rate of 1 million a month and are aimed mainly at the hardcore true believers who are poor, uneducated, and most vulnerable to promises of financial reward for a demonstration of faith. The mailing includes a story about a woman who received a $46,000 windfall and another of someone receiving $10,000 after using the prayer rug. Gee, that God Guy sure is generous!

At the time, Tilton and Ewing shared the same Tulsa attorney, J.C. Joyce. Saint Matthew’s Churches is incorporated at Joyce’s downtown Tulsa law office and the organization paid Joyce’s law firm more than $2.6 million for legal services during three years, records show.

Anthony has also obtained documents that describe how Ewing and his organization use demographic data to target the poor.

‘He capitalizes on the isolation of the loneliest and poorest members of our society, promising them magical answers to their fears and needs if only they will demonstrate their faith by sending him money,’ Anthony said.

‘He is, quite literally, the father of the modern-day ‘seed-faith’ concept that fuels the multibillion-dollar Christian industry known as the ‘health-and-wealth gospel.’—Religion in America:  ‘St. Matthew’s Churches’ Mail Ministry is Highly Lucrative

It’s hard to say how illegal this sort of scam might be. While recipients are encouraged to send in money in return for the blessings promised in the mailing, there’s nothing that states it as a requirement so it’s technically not selling you anything other than a false hope. My cynical side says this is what you get when you buy into a concept as ridiculous as Gods and that those folks who are fleeced by it deserve the pain they’re bringing on themselves for being so credulous, but my sense of fair play also seeks to see people like the “good” Reverend here strung up by his testicles for taking advantage of the willfully stupid in the population.

It doesn’t take much cleverness to fleece folks who will believe wholesale in the idea of a Virgin Birth and who put more stock into Genesis than Evolution and that’s the biggest crime Christianity has visited upon so many of its believers. Some of you folks truly are like sheep and you’re just as defenseless when the wolves like Rev. James Eugene Ewing put on sheep’s clothing and come prowling around.

260 thoughts on “My brother receives Jesus Prayer Rug scam.

  1. You know what I think would be great.  It would be a great hoot if one of the fundies would come out and admit that they think that God loves them more than us heathens a la Fred Phelps.  That would really bring a smile to my face.

    I’m here to make you smile.  He (God, Jesus, Holy Spirit) DOES love us more than any human ever could.  1 John 4:7-8

    There seems to be more bashing of each other here than actual facts.  I don’t know that anyone here is an idiot, moron, or uneducated.  A true believer will not hold it against you, or think any less of anyone because that person does not share his/her beliefs.

    That said, (smile again here) I love you.  As a fellow human being.  I care that you have rejected Christ and His gift of Salvation.  Whatever though, you choose not to believe, it’s not my problem.

  2. Try again, Quimax, that’s not what SS was asking for. And, yes, we know what the Bible says about God loving us.

    There seems to be more bashing of each other here than actual facts.

    That depends on what you’re addressing. When it comes to discussing God(s) there’s a surprising lack of facts to be dealt with. When it comes to what this entry was all about then the facts are listed right in the entry itself.

    That said, (smile again here) I love you.  As a fellow human being.  I care that you have rejected Christ and His gift of Salvation.  Whatever though, you choose not to believe, it’s not my problem.

    You can love me all you want so long as you don’t try to force that love upon me. And, again, it’s not possible to reject something you don’t believe exists in the first place.

  3. Quimax,

    Yeah, what Les said! 

    All kidding aside, I actually think that there is reasonable debate here from time to time.  I will grant there is some bashing and fun poking.  I will also grant that I may be one of the worst perpetrators.  I do tend to poke fun when people say something silly and continue to poke fun long after it’s appropriate to do so.  However, when people present a considered and well thought out argument for their position I will address them in a considered and well thought out manner.  Moreover, it seems that most of the other people here would do that as well.  Indeed, I’m sure that most here are less inclined to poke fun and more inclined to serious debate.  Now I’m not sure what you consider bashing but if you consider the debating of ideas bashing then I would say that you’re using the term in an unusual manner.

  4. A true believer will not hold it against you, or think any less of anyone because that person does not share his/her beliefs.

    I could care less what True Believers think of me, because they have shown with their belief a decided lack of sense. And I do think less of True Believers, just as I think less of people who claim to have been abducted by Aliens. I think it shows an inability to see the difference between reality and fantasy and as such, EVERYTHING they say should be questioned.

  5. UMMMM. I DONT THINK THAT THE PRAYER RUG IS ANY WAY SHAPE PREFORM STUPID AT ALL. I WAS ACTUALLY SCARED BECAUSE I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT BEFORE IN MY LIFE.. ME AND MY MOTHER TRIED IT. IT’S PROLLY STUPID TO THE PEOPLE WHO DONT BELIEVE IN GOD.

  6. YOUR RITE! IT IS PROLLY STUPED TO PEOPLE WHO DONT BELIEVE IN GOD. AS IZ THE THUGHT THAT U WAZ SCARED OF THE RUG! ITZ JUST A STUPED BIT OF CLOTH! YOU CNA BLOW YOUR NOZE ON IT! LOLOLOLOL!!!!!1!!!

    pwned

  7. I’m surprised that people can’t move their finger that 1/8th on an inch to turn off that damn caps lock button.  That’s what I find scary….

  8. Schweinchen, it’s a medical condition with a long Latin name, which translates to “I can’t push the CAPS LOCK key twice.” It’s commonly diagnosed on trolls that are movement impaired to the point of having moss grow on them.

  9. I just got my prayer rug in the mail and right away knew it was a scam. I looked it up on the internet and found it right away. It’s so horrible that someone can do somthing like this.

  10. I got a prayer rug in the mail today! I didn’t care if it was a scam or not because I’m not about to send money to any “religious” place but I looked it up in yahoo! anyway and found your page. smile

    This is all so funny. Ok. That’s it. I didn’t have anything really valid to say; I just think it’s neat that you scanned the picture and everything in so thanks! :p

  11. If you think for one min this crap is real your nuts i took the thing and put it in the return envelope and on the back where it says your name i put jesus christ what a scam don’t send nothing to them

  12. Everyone please take the crap and use the return envelope and put all the stuff back in it and send it back the people will pay the postage and that’s one way to get back at the bastards and write scam on the back of it

  13. If I had one I’d sell it, sadly I know a few people who would pay good money for one.

  14. I just got mine, today. Annoyed enough to chronicle its contents as scans on my own journal, in an attempt to inform other patrons who might be gullible enough to send money in or look silly praying on this goofy thing.

    I think what disgusts me most is the “testimonial” that sending them money/praying on this “rug” can “bring back lost loved ones” and “cure diseases”. Surely they’ve taken better scam-letter-writing courses than that? They should offer prayers for something more appealing and more “Christ”ian, like world peace, staving off the hunger of the needy, and ending mass stupidty.

    I find the Jesus picture pretty freaky, his eyes in a “fixed stare” and zombie-like. What, is this the Jesus-in-a-Passport-Photo prayer rug? Deer in headlights, hello.

    I’m not very sympathetic to blind fools, but I also am not supportive of anyone looking to exploit blind fools, either. I plan on sending this back with an envelope full of my own “testimonials”, and some heavy rusted metal washers masquerading as “coin”.

  15. Hey- I got one of the rugs a while ago- thought it was pretty cool- ebayed it after I Prayed and returned the return envelope w/a quarter in it and the rug sold for 26 bucks!

  16. …and the rug sold for 26 bucks!

    Yet another proof of my brother’s “Principle of the Greater Fool”: no matter how foolish you are, if you look hard enough, you can probably find an even greater fool (and thus be entitled to consider yourself relatively unfoolish).  Having access to a large population, such as ebay, or chain mailing thousands of people, or spamming millions, gives you pretty good odds.

  17. I think most Christians are all right. Speaking as an atheist, about 90% of the Christians I have known were perfectly rational people who just happened to take comfort in the concept of their God and other trappings of their religions, and who were wise enough to work for what they wanted instead of waiting for God to hand them their rewards on a silver platter just for being a good sheep. I’m happy to let theists believe whatever they want if it makes them feel good and they keep it to themselves.

    That said, if anyone came up to me and told me that they saved their soul by praying with a rug, I’d not hesitate to tell them straight up that they’re a moron.

    I think Jesus was a decent enough guy who had some good ideas as a philosopher and eventually bit the dust when some insecure Romans got paranoid. Too bad his teachings got injected with the ole Roman superiority complex a couple centuries later. Too bad they’ve been perverted time and time again in the last two millenia by human greed and stupidity. Oh well. If not Christianity, some other religion would have risen to suppress rational thought, right?

    Incidentially, I came upon this page the same way as a few people above, ie, out of curiosity about this “prayer rug.” Heh. I’m glad we don’t get many fundies up here.

  18. I recieved the prayer rug, the 2 coins one to put in my purse and the other one to send back…I also just recieved a red #3 since I am the third person they need to pray for.  I am a christian and believe in Jesus Christ and I find it apalling for these people to prey on people like this.  I was just getting ready to write a check for $50.00 and send to them and something kept telling me to go to the internet and check them out.  Boy!!!! God is Good all the time cause he directed me to this site so I wont give up any more money…….I’m glad you have this site..Keep up the good work and God Bless You

  19. Well, at least all that does is separate the fools from their money.  Here is something that actually harms children: loveinaction.org

    They call themselves a Christian ‘refuge’ but what they really are is a place for stupid parents to send their homosexual children so these people can ‘correct’ them back to heterosexuality…for a price, of course!  And, sadly, all it does is make the child feel abnormal, worthless and, ultimately, suicidal and alienate him or her from their parents.

    Take a read from the link in the first post. For some reason it is blacklisted here.
    http://www.landoverbaptist.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=5066&hl=
     
    Welcome to Christianity! 

    cheers
    Pastor Al E. Pistle
    landoverbaptist.net

  20. vengence is mine saith the Lord Hell is going to be very hot for these workers of Satan you know what the Bible say’s about Evil people If possible they would fool the very elect This is a sign of the times.

  21. I know the Lord very well and I believe in the promises of God!!!  I feel the prescence of the Lord when I read and answer a St. Matthew’s letter!!! JESUS IS EVERYWHERE!!! He is in the St. Matthew’s Church Ministry also!!!  Stop thinking so negatively.  THERE ARE GOOD PEOPLE in this world!!!  I believe that and I believe in what St. Matthew’s Church is doing for the Lord!!!  You need to open your eyes to the love of JESUS and that is in this world!!!  Praise The Lord for His mighty deeds!!!  JESUS JESUS YOU ARE!!! YOU ARE!!!  HIS VERY EXISTENCE IS PRAISEWORTHY!!!

  22. I didn’t enjoy your comment about this man either.
    This man who you think you know has been a pastor for many years.  He has held crusades, not asking for money, but that people be brought to the Lord in Jesus’ name!!!  He has helped ministers and evangelists such as Oral Roberts and written letters for many ministries doing God’s will.  You need to find out who Jesus is before you go judging what others do!!!

  23. My bad. I didn’t realize you called your website that!!! I meant the rest though!!!

  24. Yeah, they say that the number of exclamation marks you use is directly related to your mental instability.  If that is true, then this nutter is about to climb a water tower and start picking off school children with a high powered rifle. 
    – Matt

  25. Wow, DoF – you took the time to count 39 exclamation points in some nut’s comments.  You must be really, really, really, really, bored.

    On the other hand, I counted them too, so the same goes for me- times 39!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Wow, DoF – you took the time to count 39 exclamation points in some nut’s comments.  You must be really, really, really, really, bored.

    I have been known to laboriously count silly things (and this certainly is silly).  But in this case I was far too lazy to actually count them, noticing the commenter hit his exclamation points in 13 sets of three, hence 39.

  27. I figured as much, DoF.  You remind me of the inverse of the shepardess renowned for her sheep-counting prowess.

    She was once challenged to count a rival shepard’s flock, and agreed to go to his pasture.  When they came over the ridge, she glanced at the baaing turmoil for a few seconds and calmy announced “There are 749 sheep there”.  The confounded shepard stuttered “How did you do that?”  Our heroine replied calmly:  “It’s easy.  I just counted the legs and divided by four”.

  28. I DID IT !!!
    I DID THE PRAYER RUG AND IT WAS POWERFUL !!!!!!!!
    I GOT EVERYTHING I PRAYED FOR AND MORE …
    LIKE THE REALIZTION I NEEDED TO UNDERSTAND THAT GODS WILL THROUGH ME IS MY ABILITY TO CREATE WHAT IS IN MY HEART ALL BY MYSELF AND IF I NEED HELP I NEED TO ASK FOR IT! WHEN I PRAYED FOR RICHES I GOT A REALLY HARD JOB! AND WHEN I PRAYED FOR HEALTH I FOUND A LUMP IN MY BOOB.
    I THINK THE ISSUE HERE IS WHAT WE PRAY FOR NOT THE RUG.
    WHY DOES IT WORK FOR SOME AND WHY NOT OTHERS AND WHAT IS THE INTENTION BEHIND ST MATTHEWS
    IT IS UP TO US TO LEARN HOW TO PRAY. HOW TO BRING OUR THOUGHTS AND DESIRES INTO REALITY NOW AND TO NOT BE ATTACHED AT HOW THAT IS GOING TO MANIFEST. IT IS UP TO US TO LIVE WITH THE CONSEQUENCES NO MATTER WHAT AND TO ACCEPT BEING THE FLY OR THE WINDSHIELD. IN THE BIG PICTURE, IT IS ALL THE SAME. THE TIMES WE GET WHAT WE WANT AND THE TIMES WHEN WE DONT GET WHAT WE WANT ARE ALL DIVINE. WHEN IS THE LAST TIME YOU PRAYED FOR YOUR HIGHEST GOOD?
    AND IF YOU DID AND YOU GOT CANCER WOULD YOU BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THAT WAS YOUR HIGHEST GOOD OR ARE YOU ADDICTED TO JUST THE PRAYERS THAT GO THE WAY YOU WANT THEM TO AND NOT THE WAY YOU THE BIG SPIRITUAL YOU DESIGNED THEM TO BE HERE NOW IN THE REAL EXPERIENCE OF THE REAL WORLD ????
    GOD HEARS AND ANSWERS OUR PRAYERS WE NEED TO LEARN HOW TO UNDERSTAND THE ANSWERS NOT THE QUESTIONS.
    DOES SAINT MATHEWS HAVE ILL INTENTIONS SENDING THOSE CHEEZY OLD PAPER RUGS OUT WITH THE PROMISE IF YOU SEND THEM MONEY GOD WILL DELIVER????
    WELL, IM THINKING GOD CAN DELIVER WITH OR WITHOUT ST MATHEWS SO TO EACH HIS OWN
    IF GOD COULD BE SO EASILY MANIPULATED AND MANKIND COULD ACTUALLY BUY THEIR WAY TO ALL THEY WANTED DONT YOU THINK GEORGE BUSH WOULD BE RULER OF THE WORLD BY NOW?
    PLEAZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
    IF SOMETHING GOOD HAPPENED TO YOU AND YOU USED A PRAYER RUG IT JUST GOES TO SHOW YOU HOW YOU THE BIG SPIRITUAL YOU CAN MANIFEST WHAT YOU WANT THROUGH THE SMALLEST AND INSIGNIFICANT THINGS AND HOW THE GUYS AT ST MATHEW ARE JUST ONE MORE SMALL AND INSIGNIFICANT THING
    IF THEY ARE GETTING RICH AND PEOPLE ARE EXERCISING THEIR ABILITY TO CREATE THEIR LIVES THROUGH THEM————WHAT IS THE PROBLEM AFTER ALL ARENT WE THE ONES WHO OPEN THE LETTERS ?????
    UG
    M

  29. Well done Mateyla, you managed to out-bullshit Isaac…now have a lie-down, you must be exhausted by all that shouting…

  30. Thanks Mateyla, that was pretty fucking funny. I look forward to seeing your website in operation if it contains even more thigh-slappers like your comment here.

  31. Just wanted to say I wasnt shouting – sorry if anyone took it that way I just type in caps because its easier for me to see and I didnt notice the caps earlier
    I appologize for the misunderstanding but not the content of my comment
    now if youll excuse me I have to go vaccume my prayer rug…..

  32. Hey mateyla – if you are having a hard time viewing the screen, hold down your Ctrl key and press the + key a couple times.  It will enlarge the text in your browser.  grin

    All caps = shouting when online.

  33. I just received that rug in the mail today.  Since I’ve been stressed out after having my home damaged in hurricane Katrina would it be wrong of me to stab someone and then wipe the bloody knife off with the rug and then send it back with a prayer??

  34. Depending on the State you live in, Sumer, that could be a violation of one or more ordinances. To be sure you should double check with your local sheriff office before acting. Better safe than sorry.

  35. Why do people send THEM money?  Why should I have them pray for me to get money?  Why can’t they just stop spending money on advertising, and just send me the money they just saved?  Wouldn’t that be “the work of god”?  Isn’t that more generous than asking people to pray for me?  When are people going to stop believing in god?  How old were you when you stopped believing in Santa Claus?  You know why people still believe?  Because you can’t catch him in the act of performing a miracle.  But you can catch your parents leaving presents.  Just once I wish I could see god when he’s curing me of some trife ailment, while he let’s my loved ones die painful deaths!  Maybe we should start a “church” of non-believers.  And push our non-belief on everyone.  Would that make them feel better?  And you can’t even have an intelligent conversation about religion with them because they’ve been so brainwashed that all you ever hear is the memorized cliches.

  36. I’ve tried but they don’t really listen.  They have that disease…. what’s it called?  Oh yeah!  Selective hearing.  Sorry, sorry.  They’re good people really.  They just have issues.  This imaginary friend that they have.  Sheesh!

  37. I seem to get several variants of this from the same company at every house I live in (and I’ve moved 13 times in the past 3 years.) I’ve gotten the coin replica (looks just like ancient roman coins, if they had had cheap tin trinkets from quarter machines back then!), the “Seed plan” book (instructions: place the booklet with all your bills. send in money with a different page each month, before paying the rest of your bills, thus ensuring we get rich as you’re electricity is cut off.), and now the prayer rug.
    but seeing as how they caught me on a very subversive day, and I feel the need to bleed dry scum like this in my own small way, I decided to use the busniess reply envelope to my advantage.

    I was gonna send a dead kitten with pentagrams carved into it (and my prayer requests!), but alas, the envelope is too small.

  38. lol this rug is ridiculous. i just received it in the mail today.  most junk mail i just throw away, but this one looked entertaining, so i kept it to read during lunch.

    i was very impressed with the quality of the rug.  i mean, i can see why they’d need me to send it back so someone else can be blessed with it. (pause)  it’s that good.

    it was also very convenient that my neighbor received the same package in his mailbox.  since when is God about equal opportunity?

    i’m going to write a nice reply to the letter and maybe start using their non-profit postage label to send letters to other countries.

    i’ll write again and let you know how it goes.

  39. If only Janice Joplin had got this rug…

    ‘Oh Lord won’t you buy me a SUV
    I’ve got my prayer rug, down on both knees
    Don’t wanna think- just get things for free
    So Lord won’t ya buy me that damned SUV

    (and Sadie- yep that’s doggerel- built around the 2nd line)

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