Predatory Christianity, A.K.A. "Adopt A Jew"
I usually stay away from the religious stuff, because it's all so earnestly wacky, it doesn't really count as a crappy infomercial or consumer product. It's like its own thing, you know? But I just couldn't give a pass to Project 77, which may be one of the most insulting, if not outright reprehensible, things I have seen advertised on television.
I stumbled across the Project 77 infomercial in the wee hours of a Sunday morning, which is when the Discovery Channel gets religion. It's usually four hours of Joel Osteen or whatever, but this Sunday it was something very different. It was a half-hour infomercial for a product that can essentially be described as "Adopt an African child, but it's a Jewish person, and you're trying to convert them to Christianity."
I'll just pause here for a moment to let you digest that tidbit.
There are several facets to the Project 77 come-on. It's a surprisingly complex set of products. First you have Sid Roth, the man behind it all. Roth is a Jewish guy who was converted to Christianity through the Love of Our Lord and Savior, or whatever inappropriately capitalized phrase you want to use.
Roth has received a suitably crazy-pants prophecy: we are currently in a supernatural window of time when Jewish souls can be converted to Christianity and saved, just before the End Times start. (That's right: buckle down for a year of wacky prophecy and overheated rhetoric.)
To this end, Roth has written a book which is designed to convert Jews to Jesus. (I should mention that throughout this infomercial, Roth is illustrating his point by cutting to entry-level actors portraying incredibly insulting Jewish caricatures.) How, you may wonder, do you get the book into the hands of a Jewish person?
That's easy: you send Roth $77. Every $77 you send him will "sponsor" seven Jewish people. Or you can send $777, which is enough to "sponsor" 70 Jewish people, what Roth describes as "an entire neighborhood of Jews." I don't know what it is about that phrase that sounds so Holocaust-y, but it really gives me a shudder.
I suppose Roth has a mailing list of Jewish people, and he just ships these books out blind. Imagine what would happen if, oh I don't know, some Muslim dude started shipping copies of the Koran to Christian people.
"Act now, before this supernatural door closes again!" Roth urges. You get a tacky Bedazzled keychain, plus a list of the names of seven Jewish people to pray for. Order today - a smug sense of self-righteous satisfaction is included FREE with every order!