Church and Synagogue Libraries: "Among the scams uncovered last year was that of the New Era Foundation. Spreading good will by its promise of matching funds from wealthy, anonymous philanthropies (all non-existent), this phony foundation plunged some 300 creditors into an aggregate loss of about $551 million. Many were Christian organizations that had turned over much-needed reserves to New Era. Had Kathryn Lindskoog written this book in 1995, she would have used the New Era debacle as a prime example of misplaced trust. Even without it, she has no shortage of material to support her notion that tricking others is easy and widespread. She provides story after story showing the broad gamut of deception from childhood pretense to carefully plotted fraud. Some accounts tickle the funny bone; others are no laughing matter. Taken as a whole, they demonstrate how people bypass intuition, common sense, warnings, factual data, even criminal records, and let themselves be duped, sometimes with dire consequences. Beyond its entertainment value, 'Fakes, Frauds and Other Malarkey' aims at educating readers about the land mines in the purported fields of truth-telling. By describing the ingenious ways that human beings deceive each other, the author erects a 'Reader, Beware' sign. Reinforcing this warning are observations and advice from a variety of sources, including the author and the Bible., In reflecting on the New Era fiasco, church leaders and lay persons wondered how intelligent, well-informed boards could have bought into this pyramid scheme. Although Lindskoog's book does not supply an answer for each case, it demonstrates the folly of gullibility and the need for watchdog oversight. It might even deter the sheep-clad wolf from consuming the household of God.
About the Author
Kathryn Lindskoog, M.A., has been uncovering fakes and forgeries since she was 18 years old. She has taught at Fuller Theological Seminary, Biola University and Rancho Santiago College. She is the author of "C.S. Lewis: Mere Christian" and two other books that have been Gold Medallion finalists. She now lives in Orange, California with her husband John who is a history teacher.