A 'Good Con Man needs....'

by Gill 23 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • fullofdoubtnow
    Linda - They must have just caught you 'at the right time!' Perhaps you were vulnerable and looking for some easy answers

    Oddly enough, I was pretty happy with life at the time. I had my degree in English, and was looking forward to a career as a teacher. I had a boyfriend who I'd been with for over 2 years, and we were thinking of getting married. I wouldn't say I was vulnerable at all really.

    It was just what they said about the new system and living in paradise that sounded so attractive to me that I decided to take a look at their beliefd. I had no real intention of becoming a jw, but I was intrigued by their beliefs, which were so differrent from mainstream religion. I went to a meeting, and liked the welcome I received, agreed to a study, and was soon hooked. My boyfriend moved on as he didn't share my enthusiasm, and instead of becoming a teacher I became a part - time office worker.

    They sure did a great job of conning me.

  • Arthur
    The funny thing is, that when people point out to JWs that when you study with them, you don't study the Bible just Watchtower publications, they really can't accept it.

    This is absolutely true. The "Bible study" is a myth. It is actually a Watchtower Society indoctrination session. How do they do this? The study publication always has a nice array of horrible pictures of starving children, tanks, war scenes, and crime. Next to that, is an artist's rendering of the paradise earth. The overall message being given, is that those who don't accept JW doctrines are those who are accepting "Satan's rulership" over God's. "If you don't accept the JW doctrinal system, you are really supporting all of these horrible things that are pictured here." The JW propoganda machine has convinced millions of JWs that anyone who doesn't accept a study with the JWs, and who doesn't accept the JW doctrines, is hard-hearted. JWs are convinced that people who don't believe in JW doctrines are "proud", "haught", and "goat-like". This in turn allows the average JW to not feel any discomfort over the slaughter of billions of people, because in the JW mind, those billions of wayward goats sealed their own fates. This level of irrational and delusional indoctrination is probably one of the biggest con games in history. It's an operation that would have made P.T. Barnum quite proud.

  • Gill

    Linda - Wow! You gave a lot up for a pile of BS!

    Arthur - I agree with you completely. They are saying that you want bad things to continue. 'You must love this system of things' if you don't support their doctrines.

    What they hold out as a hope is a) not real and b) not even in their hand to offer.

  • VM44

    "...a clergy man found guilty of trying to get two ladies to sign over their estates to him in their wills."

    That does not sound illegal by itself....Is there more to the story?


  • TresHappy

    The con, the grift, the smoke and mirrors...it's just enough truth to sound believable!

  • VM44

    I found the story. Here is a link to it. --VM44


  • VM44

    Sat 9 Sep 2006

    Church minister betrayed parishioners in scam to con pensioners out of homes


    A CHURCH minister tried to con nearly £300,000 out of elderly parishioners in an elaborate inheritance scam, a court heard yesterday.

    Tony Craggs led prayers at Charlesworth Congregational Church, in Derbyshire, and had the trust and admiration of its members.

    But the 43-year-old "took advantage" of that trust, Nottingham Crown Court was told, in an attempt to defraud two of the congregation's oldest members.

    He was sentenced yesterday to 240 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £4,000 in costs after admitting two counts of forgery.

    The judge, John Burgess, told him: "It's hard to imagine a meaner offence."

    In one case, Craggs altered the will of an 83-year-old woman who had suffered a stroke so he would inherit her £140,000 home when she died.

    Craggs claimed that a second elderly parishioner in her early eighties had also wanted him to have her house when she died, but a suspicious family member raised the alarm.

    When police searched Craggs' home, they found a document on his computer with the title "con man". The document contained the advice: "A good con man takes a bit of truth and a lot of lies and binds them together to pull the wool over the eyes of the ignorant."

    The court heard that Craggs now runs a bed-and-breakfast in Blackpool.

    Detective Constable Martin Bottomley, of Derbyshire Police, said: "The offence is particularly shocking because he has preyed on the most vulnerable members of society."

  • Gill

    Thanks VM44!

    The photo of this bloke standing outside the court reminded me of the arrogant look of Jaracz when 'Panorama' tried to get some sense out of him.

  • VM44

    Hi Gill,

    I am interested in these kinds of stories. Instead of helping people, this rev/conman was helping himself to their material assets!

    Here is the Times Online article that was published about the story. --VM44

    Web Address: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2349378,00.html

    Clergyman forged wills of elderly parishioners

    By Joanna Bale

    A CHURCH minister forged the wills of two elderly members of his congregation in an attempt to inherit property worth £280,000.

    The Rev Tony Craggs, 43, who ministered at Charlesworth Congregational Church near Glossop, Derbyshire, "took advantage" of its members' admiration and trust, Nottingham Crown Court was told. He targeted sick and frail women and even kept notes on his computer on how to be a conman.

    He became involved with his first victim, Margaret Shaw, now 83, when she suffered a stroke and he was summoned to hospital to give her the last rites. She then surprised her doctors by recovering.

    Craggs continued to visit her for several weeks and eventually the pensioner said that she wanted to leave some of her estate to his church. He falsely claimed to have legal qualifications and drew up a new will, disguising it as an unrelated document. He also tried to persuade independent witnesses to sign it. The will would have bequeathed him a house worth £140,000 and all of Miss Shaw's furniture.

    His second victim, Lilian Ratcliffe, also a member of Craggs's congregation, died in 2004 in her early 80s. Craggs illegally granted himself power of attorney over her estate. However, her relatives became suspicious of Craggs when they spotted him leaving her home with an envelope, Avik Mukherjee, for the prosecution, said.

    When police searched Craggs's home they found a document on his home computer with the title "conman". It contained the advice: "A good conman takes a bit of truth and a lot of lies and binds them together to pull the wool over the eyes of the ignorant." They also found practice versions of signatures for both women.

    When questioned, Craggs insisted that Miss Ratcliffe had often said that she regarded him as ?the son she never had? and that both women had agreed to the arrangements. Yet the court was told that Miss Ratcliffe had confided in a friend that Craggs had tried to dupe her before.

    Craggs had originally faced eleven charges of theft, three of forgery and one of intimidating a witness between February 2003 and December 2004. Yesterday he pleaded guilty to two forgery charges, with the prosecution agreeing to allow the remaining offences to lie on file.

    Sentencing Craggs to 240 hours of community punishment, Judge John Burgess said that only his guilty pleas had saved him from imprisonment. Craggs was also ordered to pay £4,000 in costs.

    Judge Burgess said: ?A jail sentence might have reflected the public?s disgust at this kind of mean behaviour. You had people in your congregation who trusted you. However, the truth was rather different. You abused their trust and prepared the ground for cheating them. Had you succeeded you would have netted yourself substantial benefits.?

    The judge added: "I hope your realise that what you did was deeply hypocritical."

    Justin Wigoder, for Craggs, told the court that his client had resigned from the ministry and his departure from the church represented "a big fall from grace". He said that Craggs had a history of depression and had attempted suicide in 1997. "He has been embarrassed and humiliated by his own behaviour."

    Craggs, of Blackpool, now runs an eight-bedroom guesthouse for vegetarians and vegans "in need of quiet retreat?"

    Two years ago he was involved in a scandal that led to the resignation of a colleague over claims of a gay relationship. The Rev Mike Hall, from Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, was subjected to a poison-pen campaign about their friendship.

  • fullofdoubtnow
    Linda - Wow! You gave a lot up for a pile of BS!

    Yes Gill, I did. I sometimes wonder how my life would have turned out if I'd listened to my then - boyfriend and/or my parents, who pleaded with me not to waste my education in such a way. Obviously, there's no way of knowing but, 25 years later, I am as happy as I've ever been, and a hell of a lot wiser, and no religious zealot will ever con me again.

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