Christian Fraud to Address Pentagon Prayer Breakfast (Update: Not Anymore)

The Pentagon is hosting a prayer breakfast on Wednesday and the keynote speaker will be Ray Giunta, a man with a rather sordid past and another in a long line of Christian frauds who bought a worthless degree and then went around calling himself a doctor. Amanda Terkel reports:

In 2008, the Las Vegas Sun did an extensive article on Giunta, who was a respected member of the local community and known as “Dr. Ray.” A church sent him on medical mission trips and county officials gave him a contract to provide drug and alcohol counseling to teens.

But Giunta wasn’t a doctor; he purchased a Ph.D. for a few hundred dollars online, and he occasionally wore a lab coat and stethoscope, the Sun reported.

In the mid-1990s, Giunta served as director of the California Cemetery Board. As the Sun reported, a state audit found that he “took more than $10,200 in cemetery trust funds intended for graveyard upkeep from the owner of a cemetery that he regulated. Giunta opened a bank account with the money and wrote more than $5,800 worth of checks to his wife, Cathy, credit card companies, a child care provider, a dry cleaner, the phone company and We Care Ministries.”

Giunta responded that the money was intended as payment for repairs that We Care Ministries made at the cemetery, but said he shouldn’t have mixed the money with personal funds.

In 2005, Giunta volunteered with a group aimed at helping young pyromaniacs, sponsored by the Fire Prevention Association of Nevada. Giunta, according to the Sun, went far beyond the usual counseling, diagnosing children with mental disorders and recommending treatment — despite his lack of any advanced degree.

Sounds like Kent Hovind. And Carl Baugh. And all the other fake “doctors” involved in Christian evangelism.

Update: Not so fast. After my friend Mikey Weinstein and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation raised a stink about this, Giunta is suddenly “not available to speak” at the prayer breakfast. Purely coincidental, I’m sure.

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  • billdaniels

    How long before the Pentagon comes to its senses and stops having prayer breakfasts?

  • coragyps

    Helping young pyromaniacs!!???!!

    Holy CRAP! I have missed my calling! I know a couple of dozen fantastic ways to start fires that I didn’t have an inkling of back when I was a young pyromaniac! Where’s my 70% hydrogen peroxide?

  • Nick Gotts (formerly KG)

    I guess they just wanted a representative religious leader.

  • steve84

    The real question is why is there a fucking prayer breakfast in the first place?

  • Marcus Ranum

    I’m sure the pentagon hosts regular islamic prayer breakfasts. Right?

  • ah58

    Why in the hell is the Pentagon hosting a prayer breakfast in the first place? I’d be curious to know where the funds for this are coming from.

  • timgueguen

    Anyone read that and instantly think of Dr. Nick Riviera?

  • davidhart

    “Anyone read that and instantly think of Dr. Nick Riviera?”

    Inflammable means flammable?