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August 11th, 2004 Janine Robben | News Stories
 

The Enriching Quiz

Megachurch finances still puzzling.

     
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Three months ago, a WW cover story raised a lot of questions about the Living Enrichment Center, a Wilsonville megachurch founded by the Rev. Dr. Mary Manin Morrissey ("The Prophet Margin," May 19, 2004).

Since then, the LEC and Morrissey haven't come up with all the answers--but enough for a short quiz:

1. Who will repay the $8 million reportedly owed to LEC parishioners?

A. The Dalai Lama

B. Mary Morrissey

C. No one

2. Who is the aptly named Moses who apparently has succeeded Morrissey as the LEC's spiritual leader?

A. California-based author, speaker and motivational trainer Harry Morgan Moses.

B. The lookalike brother of actor William "Billy" Moses (Cole Gioberti on Falcon Crest).

C. A former consultant for the Morrisseys' financially disastrous for-profit company, New Thought Broadcasting.

3. Is it moral for a religious organization to leave its creditors--including its own parishioners and the tax-paying public--holding the bag?

A. Yes

B. No

Answers:

1. C (probably). Although the LEC and Morrissey verbally assumed responsibility for repaying the parishioner loans, Morrissey (who recently has been sued personally by several lenders) says that she and her husband will file for bankruptcy, as will the church. Parishioners will likely have to get in line behind other creditors, including various government entities who are owed upwards of $300,000.

2. All of the above.

3. Who knows? To WW's knowledge, the LEC's congregation has not publicly discussed this issue.

 
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