Wouldn’t You Like to Be a Prophet, Too?

Here’s a perfect example of an obvious religious con game, a school in Israel that will teach you how to be a true prophet of God for one low, low prices. To be fair, it does seem to have upset many religious authorities. To be accurate, of course, their views are just as absurd as this “blasphemy” they reject.

For just 200 shekels, about $53, and in only 40 short classes, the Cain and Abel School for Prophets says it will certify anyone as a modern-day Jewish soothsayer.

The school, which launched classes this month, has baffled critics, many of whom have dismissed it as a blasphemy or a fraud.

On a religious level, Jewish tradition recognizes a few dozen prophets from the biblical era — from the monumental figures of Abraham, Moses and Elijah to lesser known foretellers of doom and tormented questioners like Micah the Morashtite and Habakkuk. Tradition says no one can be a prophet ever since the Romans destroyed the second temple in Jerusalem in the year 70 and the era of prophecy can only be revived with the arrival of the Messiah and the temple’s rebuilding. As one Talmudic phrase puts it, the only prophets now are children and fools.

I think they should start doing informercials like the ones for Shamwow or the Ron Popeil pocket fisherman. A huckster is a huckster, whether the product they’re selling purports to be a religion or not.

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  • Larry

    I signed up for their abbreviated, half-price version of the course.

    They showed a couple of ancient clips of Johnny Carson doing his Karnak bit and then taught us a couple of card tricks.

  • bahrfeldt

    Your prophet is their profit.

  • frankb

    That is in the same fine tradition as residential diploma mills and on-line seminary courses. Now if prophets got a discount at restaurants and movie theaters, then we’re talking.

  • janiceintoronto

    Hey, at least ShamWows work…

  • That is in the same fine tradition as residential diploma mills

    A diploma mill is an organization that gives degrees to people who haven’t really earned them. How do you “earn” being a prophet?

  • AsqJames

    The school, which launched classes this month, has baffled critics, many of whom have dismissed it as a blasphemy or a fraud.

    I am baffled by this sentence. I am bewildered, confused and perplexed by it and am unable to explain its meaning.

    Thus, as a sentence, I dismiss it as blasphemous (or maybe fraudulent).

  • John Horstman

    Christian Mingle is still my all-time favorite obviously-blasphemous religious scam (it, like all dating services, is essentially a really bad brothel as it monetizes sexuality; it enables lust and wife-coveting; it, like most churches, positions a supposedly-omnipotent Yahweh as needing the help of a for-profit corporation to match you with His Choice for You; seriously, Christianity is just incompatible with contemporary life and culture, hence the need for Christian apologists).

    @5: You can’t, so it’s an apt analogy – granting a certification no one can legitimately earn necessarily means that one is giving that certification to people who haven’t really earned it, just like degree mills (that fact that people could potentially legitimately earn a degree elsewhere is of no consequence).

  • Reminds me of the time I spent $250 to get my horse P-nut certified as an “equine massage therapist” The diploma’s hanging up in the barn…

  • @Gretchen – How do you “earn” being a prophet?

    Hang on, lemme get my hammer and some nails and I’ll show you.

  • sezme

    #7 mentions Christian Mingle. I went to their web site (www.christianmingle.com) and got a nice chuckle. Looks to me like the lady in the main picture is wearing a wedding band! Holy adultery, Batman.