Monday, March 17, 2014

Going On Indefinite Hiatus

Due to lack of reader interest, Pat Robertson's Vault is going on indefinite hiatus.

My thanks to everyone who's been reading, and especially to everyone who's used social media to apprise others of my work.

I will be glancing over at my Twitter notifications (@robertsonsvault) periodically, but for now it would be better to direct any further inquiries to my personal Twitter account, @astutepanther.

Friday, March 14, 2014

"The Princeton Review Says My Bible Law School Faculty Is In the Nation's Top Ten!" Mostly False.

Pat Robertson may have gone all ADD on Wednesday's broadcast of The 700 Club, but he was able to keep it together long enough to give us this whopper:

“I want to give a plug to Regent University. According to The Princeton Review, we have the top 10 law faculty in the nation.“ 
“Wow!“ – co-host Wendy Griffith
Just one little quibbling detail though:

Student questionnaires. Not academic credentials or peer reputation or legal-community assessment or any other metric used by legitimate law school rankings. Regent University School of Law came in 10th in the "Students Like Our Professors Best!" competition. Which might not be too surprising when you consider we're talking about 300 evangelical Christian students in an evangelical Christian school with evangelical Christian professors. Everyone's already drunk the Kool-Aid.

The best thing about all this? The 2015 U.S. News Best Law Schools list—a REAL ranking—also came out this week, and guess where Regent finished? Come on, guess. Actually, you can't: U.S. News stopped ranking the schools after the top 147 (out of 194) and Regent didn't make that cut. Then they just listed the rest alphabetically, as if to say, "These remaining 47 suck so hard it's not worth our time or yours to differentiate between them."

But my favorite part has to be the peer reputation rankings, as posted by TaxProfBlog:

That's the bottom of the list. Regent is tied for next-to-last. Liberty University School of Law? That's the late Jerry Falwell's outfit. You just know it chapped Pat Robertson's ass that no one thinks his law school is any better than Falwell's.

So no wonder Pat talked up the bullshi Princeton Review list. He's got to buck up his troops, who just got kicked in the teeth in a nationwide ranking.

"Everyone else says we suck, but our students like us more than most everyone else's students like them! Yay!"

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Pat Robertson Spent the Entire Show Acting Like a Distracted Child (March 12, 2014)

Just yesterday morning I wrote how Pat Robertson forgot that he himself performed the exorcism he said he had "heard about" someone else performing. Then I dismissed the possibility of Alzheimer's Disease because you'd imagine that sort of occasional mind-wipe would be obvious on live-to-tape television.*

But after yesterday's broadcast, I'm not so sure. Okay, it might not be Alzheimer's, but clearly there's something not right with Pat's brain—I mean beyond the usual things not right with his brain (like his worldview and his ideology and his extremism)—because Pat was losing focus more often than a non-union film projectionist.

Here's the rundown:
  • Did Someone Use a Satellite to Take Control of the Missing Malaysian Airliner Like a Bond Villain? Eh, Let's Talk About Something Else.
  • The Republicans Won a Special-Election That Was a Referendum on Obamacare! Oh Wait, No It Wasn't.
  • And Now for No Immediate Reason, Here's Some Chocolate
  • Yea, Christian Movies! Awww, I Miss Mel Gibson, Can't We Get Him Back?
  • People Just Don't Want to Believe Because Evolution and the Scientific Method

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Pat Robertson Was the Exorcist on That Demon-Possessed Girl He Mentioned Yesterday

Once again, a viewer question to Pat Robertson yesterday gave the world another opportunity to point and laugh at him and/or shake our heads in disgust at him. This time, a woman asked Pat if the horror movie she saw one night caused demons to crash her car the next day at church. And of course Pat said that could be the case because don't you know demons are real?

The beginning of Pat's reply isn't the meat of his answer, but I need to highlight it for my purposes here:
“A few years ago, I heard about a teenage girl who was demon-possessed. And people began to deal with the demon and try to cast it out. And you know what the demon said?  ‘I had permission.‘ And the permission was granted when this child had gone to some XX-rated movie, or whatever it was, and had allowed this thing to come into her.”
A few years ago, I HEARD ABOUT a teenage girl.

I think Pat's being modest, because here he is in 1997 (a few years ago?) telling pretty much the same story, except HE WAS THE EXORCIST on that poor demon-possessed girl:

“I personally have been involved in casting those things out of people. One young girl in particular. And I had the thing talk to me and say, ‘You can't have her, she's mine.’ And I said, ‘Oh no, you don't understand—Jesus is going to have her and you're going to let her go!’ But the little girl—tiny little girl; I mean, she was 17 but just tiny—said, ‘You can't have her, she's mine.’ Well, that's Satan talking.” 
Okay, so the 1997 version doesn't have the dirty-movie part, and You can't have her, she's mine isn't quite the same as I had permission. But I can pretty much guarantee you that Pat Robertson has told versions of this exorcism story many, many times over the years, and people often tend to embellish certain details in repeating their stories. And I had permission definitely sounds more badass, which is what you want for something coming from, y'know, SATAN. Besides, why would anyone swap out their very own bona fide exorcism story with one they "heard" someone else did?

Maybe he legitimately forgot that that was his own story and instead remembers it as happening to someone else. I know that sounds a little like Alzheimer's, but I know that's not the case with Pat—when he's hosting a TV show for an hour, that level of dementia would be patently obvious, especially if he's answering viewer questions completely off the cuff, oftentimes supplying the same answer that he has for years and years. But the man is 83, and he's definitely not as sharp as he once was.

The only conclusion that makes any sense is that the exorcism story is all one big invention. I don't believe for one second that some girl was actually possessed by Satan and went all Regan MacNeil on anyone, and I'm guessing if you're reading this, neither do you. Pat Robertson lied in 1997 about actually performing a real-live exorcism on someone, and he forgot about that part when he re-told the story yesterday—because when you lie, you sometimes forget the lies you told when you came up with the lie. Remember where I wrote two paragraphs back that people tend to add embellishments to their stories the more they tell them? That's especially the case when the story isn't true to begin with. Any police detective will tell you that criminals under interrogation get caught in their lies when they contradict themselves on the details, because you can never keep track of the elaborations of the lie you're concocting better than remember the truth that really happened.

So maybe Pat wasn't any kind of exorcist on any demon-possessed girl. But you'll still have to pry that "Pat Robertson Was the Exorcist" headline of mine from my cold, dead hand.


By the way, that video I posted of "Pat Robertson, Exorcist" has so much more after the portion I focused on: an earlier iteration of "miracles don't happen in America because we're too sophisticated," a brief disquisition on heavy metal lyrics, the demon Abaddon the Destroyer (who is, remember, totally real and not something out of Ghostbusters)—even a Bob Dylan quote! (Granted, from one of the Christian albums.) All leading up to his prayer with the audience to cast Satan out, a piece of work that tracks like it's a version in miniature of his supposed exorcism. Enjoy. Or facepalm or headdesk or vomit, your choice.