One of the chief problems is business ethics today is the seizure of public resources by private interests. Hospitals, schools, public parks, etc. are all considered fair game for private ownership. Here we also have a conversion, public trust into private profit. It is not unusual for a minister or other church authority to misuse their authority, their standing in the community for profit. The story is not new but this episode is particularly cruel. This was not a case of embezzlement or working the elderly for a place in their will, this was a form of slavery using the power of the federal government as an enforcement mechanism to avoid compliance with the law.
Students from foreign countries came to the United States in the belief that they would receive a Christian education, instead they were given hours and hours of work each week while being denied decent housing and an education.
It is the understanding in this country that both churches and religions are not for-profit organizations. This is not always the case but it is the expectation. This “Christian” organization appears to have been a money making bonanza utilizing foreign labor at a small fraction of the minimum wage under the threat of expulsion from the United States for non-compliance.
This is a business ethics problem pure and simple. A Christian College was used as a cover for a racket. Religion was used as a cover for crime. Public respect and status were converted into cash. This college, if the testimony of these students is accurate, was as much about religion as Bernie Madoff was about legitimate investments. The scam played it from two angles, a reliance on the cover provided by both American respect for religion and college education.
This does little for the American image overseas that we treat visitors to our country so brutally. It is embarrassing but I am even more worried about the outcome of the case. This has become increasingly a nation with two tiers of justice, one for the majority of us and another for the well placed and influential. Our villain here is in the influential group. What will it be, probation and community service? Will they stall the sentencing until the public outrage subsides and something appropriate for an upper class member of society can be worked out?
I am not hopeful. I have seen who gets prosecuted and what sentences are given for a good number of years now.
We only get a little justice.
South Carolina Bible College President Busted For Slavery, Forced Labor | Crooks and Liars
The president of a South Carolina Bible college was charged last week with essentially treating foreign students as slaves by forcing them to perform work for little or no pay.
According to The Sun News, federal prosecutors filed a criminal complaint against Cathedral Bible College President Reginald Wayne Miller, accusing him of forced labor.
An affidavit included with the complaint said that students “described a pervasive climate of fear in which their legal status as non-immigrant students was in constant jeopardy, at the sole discretion of Dr. Miller, who threatened expulsion and therefore termination of their legal presence in the United States for noncompliance with his demands.”
Students told investigators that classes at the school “were not real,” and that the real purpose of the school was to force them to work over the maximum of 20 hours per week that federal law allows for student visas. The students alleged that Miller often forced them to live in substandard conditions without hot water, heat or air-conditioning.
Some Additional Information: The Raw Story.
Miller was arrested in 2006 on charges of lewdness and prostitution after he exposed himself to an undercover officer in a bathhouse at Myrtle Beach State Park. Records indicated that Miller participated in a pre-trial intervention program, allowing his record to be expunged.
During a Friday appearance at Florence Federal Court House, a federal judge set bail at $250,000. He was also ordered to stay away from Cathedral Bible College, and its students. The former pastor could spend 20 years in jail if convicted.
From Around the Web.
From the web site, World.Time.Com.
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny made a historic apology on Tuesday to the survivors of the notorious Magdalene Laundries and the families of more than 10,000 women who were forced into unpaid labor from 1922 to 1996. In an emotional speech to the Irish Parliament, Kenny told the surviving women and their families “this is a national shame for which I say again I am deeply sorry and offer my full and heartfelt apologies.”
For more than seven decades in the 20th century, thousands of unmarried mothers, women who had been sexually abused and young girls who had grown up in the care of the state lived and worked in the Irish Magdalene Laundries operated by four orders of Catholic nuns. Ignored by Irish society, 26.5% of these “fallen women” were sent there by the Irish state to work without pay for an average of six months. The Irish government had previously denied playing a role in sending young women to work in laundries.