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Pat Robertson's Scottish 'Bank Deal' Exposed

U.S. and U.K. Activists Uncover Desperate Plot

Ask Rescinding of Preacher's State Appointment

Compiled By GayToday

Washington, D.C.--The full implications of a lucrative deal between the highly-respected Bank of Scotland and anti-gay activist Pat Robertson, whose political empire is reportedly in desperate financial trouble, have been exposed by America's Log Cabin Republicans and the Equality Network of Scotland. The two organizations are joining forces to inform citizens in their respective countries. rbtscotland.jpg - 7.08 K Pat Robertson

The deal involves Bank of Scotland financing 65% of a new direct-banking subsidiary in the United States with Robertson, who would retain 25% ownership.

Like the Bank of Scotland, the new entity would have no branches and would provide banking services to subscribers through mail, telephone and over the Internet. Analysts say Robertson will target his mailing list of the Christian Coalition and the "700 Club" television ministry for the company.

"It seems amazing that such a respected institution would get into bed with someone like Pat Robertson, a man obsessed with knowing who everyone else is getting into bed with," said Kevin Ivers, LCR director of public affairs.

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As news continues to spread throughout Britain through the efforts of Equality Network, a gay and lesbian organization, investors large and small have been angrily canceling the business they do with Bank of Scotland.

A letter of protest circulating among the staff of Edinburgh University threatens to cancel the school's account, a loss of £235.5 million in annual turnover.

The head of London-based DLP Management, a property management firm, has announced it will no longer accept mortgages with Bank of Scotland.

One of the highlights of DLP's £37 million portfolio is London's Heron Wharf, with over 300 properties. Edinburgh Scotsman has reported, in a series of articles, that Bank of Scotland officials were "stunned by the vehemence of the protests" and "seemed to be panicking."

The deal, announced last week, comes at a time when there are growing reports of serious financial troubles and top resignations at the Christian Coalition, Robertson's main political arm.

srothenberg.gif - 7.78 K Stuart Rothenberg Roll Call columnist Stuart Rothenberg reported in that publication's March 8 edition that "the Christian Coalition's financial problems have already begun to impact the group's effectiveness," adding that its staff and budget were cut in half from 1996 to 1998.

"[The Christian Coalition] is plagued by such significant internal problems that some social-issue conservatives now wonder whether the organization will follow the Moral Majority into obscurity and extinction," Rothenberg wrote.

Robertson's desperation for cash may partly explain the need for a large infusion of capital by Bank of Scotland to finance the new banking venture. But in denying a link to his political organizations, Robertson has claimed that the Bank of Scotland investment cannot be used to support his CBN television company, the Christian Coalition or any part of his political empire.

But past and ongoing investigations by the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Elections Commission have raised widespread suspicions in the United States of whether Robertson and his organizations have been illegally spending funds for political purposes.

Robertson's bizarre political ideology comes across frequently on his daily television show, the 700 Club, on which he once warned that the city of Orlando would be struck by a meteor for its support of gay rights.

He also wrote in his book, The New World Order, that former President George Bush, late singer John Lennon and 18th century Bavarian freemasons were linked a vast conspiracy driven by Satan to turn America towards "a new world order."

He argued the satanic conspiracy included the Federal Reserve Board, the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, the JP Morgan bank and the Trilateral Commission, among other organizations and individuals.

Robertson also wrote in his book: "When I said during my presidential bid that I would only bring Christians and Jews into the government, I hit a firestorm ... 'How dare you maintain that those who believe in the Judeo-Christian values are better qualified to govern America than Hindus and Muslims?' My simple answer is, yes, they are."

"There is still time for the Bank of Scotland to preserve its long-honored reputation and good name by taking a second look at this deal," Ivers said. "We will continue to work closely with Equality Network and other organizations to be sure that everyone knows precisely who they are dealing with in Pat Robertson."

Virginia is Asked to Rescind
Robertson's Appointment

In a separate Robertson controversy, Americans United for Separation of Church and State has urged that Virginia Gov. James Gilmore should reconsider his decision to appoint the TV preacher to a business development board because Robertson is under investigation in the state for alleged unethical business practices.

Last summer, the Virginia Office of Consumer Affairs issued a report to Attorney General Mark Earley, examining allegations that Robertson's tax- exempt charity, Operation Blessing, was misusing the organization's airplanes to assist Robertson's diamond-mining operation in Zaire. Last week, Gilmore appointed Robertson to the board of directors of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

"We have been informed this morning that this matter is still under investigation, and lawyers in the consumer division of the attorney general's office are currently reviewing the allegations," Lynn said in a letter sent to Gilmore today. "With these serious legal matters still unresolved, it is imperative to wait and see the results of the investigation before appointing Mr. Robertson to an important state board relating to business practices.

Lynn noted that the governor may be under political pressure on this matter, in light of Robertson's contributions totaling over $100,000 to Gilmore's campaigns for attorney general and governor in recent years. "However," Lynn added, "I am confident of your ability to put the interests of the public far ahead of any political allegiances.

"To appoint Robertson now, while he is under investigation, sends a terrible message to the public that your office lacks a commitment to taking the inquiry seriously," Lynn concluded. "Accordingly, the only appropriate course of action is to rescind Robertson's appointment to the state board, or at a minimum, suspend the appointment until the investigation is completed."

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