Conspiracy-theorizing megachurch preacher visits Nunavut

“The whole of the Arctic depends on what is happening here tonight”

Rodney Howard-Browne, an evangelical pastor from Florida, preaches in Iqaluit on Aug. 27. (Photo by Thomas Rohner)

By Thomas Rohner
Special to Nunatsiaq News

A fundamentalist Christian evangelist known for conspiracy theories, climate change denial and marketing schemes brought his crusade to rid the world of the Antichrist to an Iqaluit church on Aug. 27.

Rodney Howard-Browne, a South African immigrant to the United States, told his congregation near Tampa Bay last year that those who rule the world worship Lucifer and drink the blood of human sacrifices.

He preached for over an hour at an Iqaluit church to more than 100 people.

But his message is not for everyone.

“The whole of the Arctic depends on what is happening here tonight. So if you want the fire [of the holy ghost], stand here [by the altar], otherwise you can leave. The choice is yours,” Howard-Browne said at the end of the 2.5-hour event. About 50 people crowded the altar.

“I didn’t fly thousands of miles to come play games here. I didn’t come here to be liked either, and I didn’t come here for your approval.… Remember: When Jesus was raised from the dead, he had to ask people to leave the room.”

The mostly Inuit audience included infants, youth and elders. Inside the Christian Fellowship church in Iqaluit’s Road to Nowhere neighbourhood, kids ran around and played between the rows of folding chairs. Outside, the church and mosque faced each other across a small parking lot, both overlooking Dead Dog Lake.

Howard-Browne’s sermon was part of an event organized by the Bill Prankard Evangelistic Association’s Arctic Hope Project, which is based in Ottawa. The association did not respond by Nunatsiaq News’ deadline to a request for comment.

The evangelist’s performance, number 119 on a tour of 300 one-night city stops he plans, began about one hour into the event.

First, a local Christian band opened the night followed by Iqaluit evangelist and singer Looee Arreak, who helped found the Christian Fellowship Church.

Eric Gonyon, an associate pastor with Howard-Browne’s Revival Ministries International, then held a 40-minute promotional session for his boss.

Looee Arreak, an Iqaluit evangelist and singer, performs before Rodney Howard-Browne speaks. (Image courtesy of Revival Ministries International)

“God loves a generous giver”

Gonyon asked the audience to provide their email address on registration cards and to follow Howard-Browne on Instagram. He gave out gift cards for Howard-Browne’s religious products. And he plugged Howard-Browne’s upcoming book, Killing the Planet, which he said follows the history of corrupt economic institutions over the past 200 years.

“It’s really the spirit of the Antichrist, is what it comes down to,” Gonyon said.

Gonyon then played an 18-minute promotional video of Howard-Browne’s evangelical career. Towards the end of the video, Howard-Browne prayed that those who donate money to his ministry will get credit before God for the souls his ministry saves.

“God loves a generous giver,” Howard-Browne said in the video.

Gonyon praised his boss when the video ended.

“One sows and one reaps and together we rejoice in the harvest, so that if you sow into this, whatever comes into this ministry’s account actually goes into your account. It’s really amazing.”

He then handed out offering envelopes and challenged people to do their “best gift for souls,” by either cash, cheque made out to RMI Canada, credit card or via smartphone.

“I always tell people, don’t let the biggest cheque you ever wrote be for a Sea-Doo or a new phone … let it be to revive the church and win souls. Amen?”

Many people filled and sealed the envelopes and put them into blue plastic beach buckets passed around. Some looked at others and held the envelopes in their hands. One Inuk woman folded the empty envelope and put it in her purse.

The call for donations comes in a city where poverty is widespread: Nearly half of Nunavut’s population relies on social assistance amidst long-standing crises in food security and housing.

Howard-Browne did not respond to an interview request from Nunatsiaq News, so how much money was raised is unknown. His net worth has been a closely kept secret but his website says he provides training sessions in 158 countries. It also says people who enrol in his Aircraft Donation Program will receive tax breaks.

Gonyon told the audience to hold their offerings to Revival Ministries up in their hands.

“Father, we just thank you for this offering, and we thank you for representing souls, that whatever comes into our account goes to their account,” Gonyon said. Three one-foot-tall buckets of envelopes were collected.

Rodney Howard-Browne preaches over a woman who he is about to lay hands on. (Photo by Thomas Rohner)

Preacher counts Patterk Netser as a friend

Fundamentalist Christian evangelism already has deep roots in Nunavut, with followers in almost every community. Bible conferences take place annually and, at least into the mid-2000s, were drawing bigger and bigger crowds. One advocate and organizer of such conferences, Roger Armbruster, told Nunatsiaq News in 2004 that the conferences are powerful magnets for those whose lives have been torn apart by abuse and addictions.

But Howard-Browne’s brand of capitalist and aggressive fundamental evangelism may be new to the territory.

Patterk Netser, a long-time defender of fundamentalist Christianity and current Nunavut minister of housing and Arctic College, is what Howard-Browne calls one of his “Eskimo friends” who tell him climate change is a hoax.

Netser declined an interview request by Nunatsiaq News but said, “Rodney is a friend of mine and we connect regularly.”

When asked to respond to Howard-Browne’s many run-ins with the media, which includes saying a U.S. Supreme Court Justice should be shot for insulting the American Constitution, Netser said, “What goes on in the States is none of my business. My primary concerns are for my people and Nunavummiut.”

Rodney Howard-Browne preaches in Iqaluit on Aug. 27. (Image courtesy of Revival Ministries International)

“Tonight will be fire on ice”

One hour into the event, Howard-Browne—the main act—took to the altar.

“Tonight will be fire on ice,” the evangelist said to over 100 people, mostly Inuit, of all ages.

“If you don’t want the fire, you better make a run for the door now while you can.”

Over the next hour, Howard-Browne’s voice rose and fell rhythmically. He paused for effect and shouted for emphasis at times. And he told jokes.

“I know I don’t look like I’m African, but it’s only because my parents kept me in the house most of the time, they never let me outside,” he said to scattered laughter.

“Moses was the first one to use a tablet. He broke the first one and had to go out and get another one. And Adam and Eve were the first ones to use an Apple product.”

Howard-Browne rose to fame, in large part, for his laughing revival meetings where worshippers were seized with laughter for minutes at a time. His granddaughter was visited by the Holy Ghost when she was two years old, laughing for 12 minutes straight, Howard-Browne said.

Howard-Browne has been criticized by many in the international evangelical community. He has been called a false teacher who substitutes Christian teachings with frenzied laughter and hysterical emotionalism. Howard-Browne has responded to that criticism by saying those who insult him are insulting the Holy Ghost and are therefore bound for hell.

Arreak, the Iqaluit evangelist and singer who helped open the event, was the only member of the audience to be gripped by laughter during the sermon.

“This is not a funeral, why are people sad?” Howard-Browne said. Arreak laughed.

“We are serving Jesus and he is alive.”

Arreak laughed loudly.

“I like this pastor,” he said to Arreak, whose sustained laughter grew even louder. Howard-Browne laughed with her as others in the audience laughed softly.

“Such joy. With joy shall you draw forth water, out of the wells of salvation.”

Arreak’s laughter hit a shrill pitch and echoed off the ceiling.

“This is legal. Nobody’s going to be arrested tonight.”

Arreak, who told Nunatsiaq News she refused to speak to media, whooped with more laughter.

Howard-Browne also spoke in tongues, which he claimed was once understood in the obscure native dialect of a Papua New Guinea pastor.

“Man-gah-no-ra-pa-ta. Ran-bum-go-pah-tah,” he said.

Rodney Howard-Browne calls the audience around the altar to receive the fire of the Holy Ghost. (Photo by Thomas Rohner)

Not all laughs

But not everyone found Howard-Browne’s sermon captivating or funny.

He lashed out at those who tried to leave before the end of his sermon. Before he lay hands on a few audience members, Howard-Browne harangued two people as they left.

“Where are you going brother? Hey. Hey! You leaving?” Howard-Browne said to one man as he quietly left the church. “You come in here, you were filming with your phone and then you leave? Are you the reporter for the daily newspaper here?” The audience laughed.

“I wonder what he would do if I would run and grab him and bring him back in…. Find out who he is and why he’s filming and why he left,” he said to one of his staff.

As he called the audience to the altar at the end of his sermon, Howard-Browne seized on two women sitting in the second row because he didn’t like the looks on their faces.

“Are you guys born again? What are you, Jehovah Witnesses?” The audience laughed. “I’ve never seen people so indifferent sitting in the second row. So you can either jump in with the rest, or you may be better than everybody else.” The two women stood up and began walking out of the church. “I’m just asking a question. I do this, you know, this is my job. I know what body language is. Don’t scoff at me. It’s not a joke. The whole of the Arctic depends on what is happening here tonight.”

Event staff told the audience not to take pictures or recordings. Meanwhile, they photographed the entire event. That included running up to people who were sobbing as Howard-Browne laid hands on them and taking close-up pictures. A photo album on Revival Ministries International’s website shows pictures of nameless audience members at their most vulnerable—pained facial expressions, eyes closed, mouths wide open, or collapsing to the floor.

A woman on whom Howard-Browne just laid hands lies crying on the floor beneath a thin blanket. In front of her, Howard-Browne and his staff advance to lay hands on an Inuit couple. (Photo by Thomas Rohner)

Event originally scheduled for St. Jude’s

The event was originally scheduled to be held at St. Jude’s Anglican Cathedral in Iqaluit, but was changed at the last minute.

That change came from those who invited Howard-Browne, a receptionist at St. Jude’s said.

David Parsons, the Anglican bishop for the Arctic, said he was not aware that Howard-Browne was set to preach at St. Jude’s. And if he had known, he said he would have stopped the event because Howard-Browne is an extremist. In this case, local Anglican officials failed to follow protocol by getting the bishop’s approval before such an event, Parsons said.

The Anglican church has a reputation as a caring, compassionate church and, at times, works closely with other denominations, Parsons said.

“But there’s a lot of trust there, that you’re not going to be doing things that would, first of all discredit Christianity or the ministry of the people who are there.”

Howard-Browne appears to take a different approach.

“I’m not here to appease religious people. If religion was going to shake the Arctic, it would’ve shaken the Arctic,” he told the audience.

“I don’t go by invitation, I go by commandment.… When you have the fire, you don’t need an invitation.”

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(130) Comments:

  1. Posted by Evil Incarnate on

    These people are the most un-Godly on earth. They are preying, not praying, on vulnerable people.

    • Posted by Emoji on

      Last time I checked it was a free country. People are able to decide for themselves what they want to believe in. Inuit have always been spiritual people even before the quablunaqs arrived. If they blessed by this ministry they are free to give to it no matter what anyone else says.

    • Posted by Kingwatsiak Qinguatsiak on

      There all sick actor’s who use religious beliefs for an income.

    • Posted by K Newport on

      Rodney Howard Brown lives at 9500 Nations Dr, Webster Florida 33597. His home is 8,796 sq.ft. It has 5 bedrooms & 6 bathrms.
      It last sold for $1,800,000 in 2004. It’s on a property size of 26 acres. The yearly property taxes are almost $13,000 per each year. It has a tile roof, brick exterior, 3,998 sqft basement, fenced yard, & built in pool.

  2. Posted by omg really on

    Patterk and Looee should be ashamed of encouraging this type of activity in Nunavut. This guy was robbing people and didnt feel bad about it what so ever. Hard earned money and quite possibly social assistance money as well. As a MLA, Patterk, should not be involved in this type of controversial activities. He out of all people should not have been there. He pretends like he cares about his constituents but obviously not. The mere fact that he let this guy take money from us only to benefit himself is absurd.

    • Posted by Igloo born on

      Amen.

    • Posted by Emoji on

      Inuit are able to decide for themselves what and how they wish to believe. If Inuit want to support this ministry they are doing so with open eyes, no one is deceiving them. I am sure that the amount collected in this one meeting’s offerings is no where close to the cost of flying up to Iqaluit and back again.

      • Posted by see on

        He didn’t pay his own way.

        • Posted by Emoji on

          Then who did?

          • Posted by see it on

            Aw. Do you actually think this man earned money (by working, not preaching, which should be done for free), saved it and bought his own ticket or fuel for his very own airplane? He had his way paid for him. Even the apostle Paul didn’t want to be a burden on people he preaching to and teaching, so he made tents. He didn’t just live large and expect people to bankroll his lifestyle.

  3. Posted by this is bad on

    If you want to go to church and pray to Jesus because it makes you feel better, than fine.

    But these evangelists are EVIL. They’re very bad people. Greedy, mean, deceitful. Please don’t give your money to him and Bill Prankard and the people brought him here (the Arreak). They dont care about you or the arctic. They just want your money.

    And shame on that climate change denying fox news-watching Netser. Grow the hell up. Stop taking your orders from these southern con artists.

    • Posted by Emoji on

      Name me one other organization besides the Bill Prankard Evangelistic Association that has travelled to every community in Nunavut to hold meetings in support of suicide prevention amongst our youth. Sounds pretty evil to me…not!

      • Posted by money money money on

        He must see a lot of $$$ in the north if he flies to every community.

        You dont need to give 10% to your income to a fanatical book-selling preacher to get over the loss of a loved one. They are here because PEOPLE WHO ARE SUFFERING ARE EASY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF! I wish people like you could just stop and think for a second about what’s really happening. But the fact that so many of you are defending this con man shows how much time Bill and Friends have put into brainwashing vulnerable people.

        • Posted by Chris Mullington on

          I agree. This man is a parasite. He is profiting from the historical injustices inflicted upon the Inuit people. Nobody needs his message and nobody should give him money. It’s better to reclaim Inuit culture and be strong and proud of who you are. The world can learn from you.

  4. Posted by shame on you on

    Looee: you’re inviting really bad people to the Arctic. How can you live with yourself when these rich fake pastors come here and take people’s money when that money should go to their families. I hope you’re ashamed but by the sounds of it you’re already too far gone.

    • Posted by Emoji on

      Inuit are not stupid, they can decide themselves what and how they want to believe. Please give them some credit to make those decisions. They feel blessed by this ministry and want to give back to it that is there right in a free country.

      • Posted by money money money on

        Yes it is a free country, which is why people are speaking up against this money making scheme that our family members have fallen victim to.

  5. Posted by Satan has entered NN on

    Satan has successfully entered Nunatsiaq news to put these people down and make them look bad. Shame on Nunatsiaq news for putting this up. Why don’t you do one on the mosque and what their extremist do? Very poor and disgusting reporting .
    This should be removed or comments disabled.

    • Posted by wrong on

      1. All the reporter did was attend the event and reported what was said. If you find that offensive than maybe you need a reality check.
      2. The mosque does not harbour any extremist element unlike your church. They’re no different than the catholic or Anglican church. Just regular people trying to do charitable things. They have a food bank. Maybe your church should consider running a food bank instead of giving it to rich con men who pretend to love God.

      • Posted by Clarity on

        They Mosque is more extreme then you think. They separate men and women during their prayers as a starting point. Why do they do that? Let’s reflect that patriarchal aspect among other things.

        • Posted by nope on

          That’s probably true and I don’t agree with it. And I also don’t agree that women can’t be priests and gays can’t marry in the Anglican church (thanks to hardline conservatives in the arctic). Most religions have dumb private club rules that don’t make any sense in the modern world.

          But you’re just deflecting attention from your awful church that’s doing legitimate harm to people in the north. You’re also spreading Fox News alt-right bullshit and asking people to question whether or not they have extremists at the mosque. You’re so delusional that it’s putting people in harm’s way.

          • Posted by Clarity on

            That’s mere deflection and moral relativism. It’s quite presumptuous to assume that because I made that statement that I’m an alt-right follower, that’s both simplistic and absurd. I seem to remember the days when Dawkins and Harris, both Atheists, who were not far-right just anti-religion and the byproducts of religions, as whole were applauded by the left (which I am a part of by the way, but the true Left, not the current relativistic Left).
            The fact is they both relgions who control over 50% of the World’s populations are equally bad and your desire to defend one and not the other, or to be frank you should be defending neither and attacking both for its hypocrisy, ant-feminist and anti-gay views and worse) and side with me. Choosing not to means your morals and human rights are questionable and you are merely attacking Christianity. Attack both or none. You can’t play the White knight while stomping on women and gays being subjugated.

            • Posted by not so clarity on

              Wasn’t absurd to think you were alt right. Your atheist knitpicking was confused for cookiecutter alt right whattaboutism.

        • Posted by Reality on

          Gender separation during prayer is hardly extreme. It is practiced by Muslims, Jews as well as many Christian denominations.

          • Posted by Rethink on

            That gender separation is practiced by all the monotheistic religions does not make it an acceptable practice. I’m not sure if extreme is the best word for it, but either way it is an antiquated, sexist practice rooted in a patriarchal worldview that devalues the role and power of women. The local Mosque should absolutely be excoriated for this.

      • Posted by Believer on

        I can’t believe this reporter went to observe the service with his or her own agenda. A good report always has 2 sides of the story. It would have been good if you asked the people in charge, their side of the story. How can Nunatsiaq News allow this kind of reporting without consulting the congregation if they can go and do a story or even ask them how they feel or what they think. I am not sure if you know anything about journalism. Seems to me it is more of a sensationalist reporting. To the people who read, do not believe everything you hear, hear both sides before you conclude and make assumption which obviously was what reporter did. Shame on you!

    • Posted by Angel on

      That Mosque is not extreme as your church, the mosque I’m sure is more worried about your extremist views and hate towards them, I am glad this newspaper is opening this up for everyone to see, it is good for everyone to see how extreme your church can be and with your comments how hateful your church is.

      I am worried that we have this type of extreme religion in our community, having these type of people are scary, brainwashing people, spreading fear and hate. Not good for the community.

    • Posted by anon on

      You mean the mosque that does community outreach and has organized biweekly food distributions to Iqalummiut? Get out of here with your ‘extremist’ garbage, you’re a racist.

    • Posted by Arctic Atheist on

      When was the last time the Iqaluit Christian Fellowship ran a foodbank? Ohh wait…yahh…they don’t do that…the only religious group that does that in Iqaluit is our Muslim community.

      • Posted by Bunny on

        😂😂😂 nothing else for the Mosque to do I guess

        • Posted by Funny bunny on

          Stupid come back, but seriously, what has your extreme church done for the food back and the community? Oh wait they sent most of the money to this guy. 😅

    • Posted by bob on

      ummmm, look at your own racist comment. YOUR comment should be removed. Sometimes blind faith is just that- BLIND! Blind to the crazy that is being spread. When peoples go to response to any criticism is anger and all catch all phrase of “it’s god’s will” then things get really shady.

    • Posted by Snow Snake on

      satan has always been in Nunavut, the whole world for that matter.

  6. Posted by This is a cult on

    If you have a family member who has fallen prey to the nonsense going on at the Road to Nowhere church, please talk to them. They’ve been brainwashed. They’ll probably be very defensive. These pastors train their followers to laugh at people who question them. But if you love your family don’t let them get hurt by these people. Bring them to another service, Anglican, Catholic, or a therapist, whatever you can do to get them away from that cult.

    • Posted by Christianity is a Cult on

      All Christianity is dependent on brainwashing, even the more ‘moderate’ strains you mentioned. It is one of the most subversive forces of Inuit culture, and look at all who still embrace it here in Nunavut.

      • Posted by one step at a time on

        One step at a time. It’s easier to quash the newest and wackiest cult than the ones that have deep roots. And to have less extreme options available to people who fall victim to these evangelical scams can be useful.

        I’d like to simply remove religion from society too, but despite everything we’ve learned it’s still not going to go away. The good news is that a decent number of churches are moderate and don’t require you to believe in anything other than “love they neighbour”. And prayer is simply another form of meditation. If you have a family member who’s fallen victim of these evangelical scams and simply want Jesus in their lives 24/7, then a mainstream church that doesn’t do much harm is a decent consolation prize. Wishing religion away doesn’t help family members in the real world.

  7. Posted by Charlie on

    I hope the good people of Nunavut aren’t fooled by this kind of con man. The core message of Christianity has nothing to do with filling the pockets of “preachers” passing through.

    In short form, God created the universe and all that is in it. Mankind fell in to sin and is accountable to God for those sins.

    Rather than letting us all pay that price through an eternity in Hell, he sent His only son, Jesus to first live a perfect, sinless life and then to give his life as payment for our sins.

    If we put our trust in Him for that free rescue, we really are saved.

    That’s all there is to it – trust in Jesus and you will see Him in Heaven. No works are necessary on your part – nor would any amount of good works be enough to buy your way into Heaven on your own. Trust in Him.

    It really is that simple!

    • Posted by iRoll on

      Sorry Charlie, but there is no god that created the universe, you’ve been conned just as badly as the people who attended this event.

      • Posted by so what on

        Yeah you’re probably right, but if Charlie is being a charitable guy and isn’t hurting anyone, who cares? You telling him he’s wrong right off the bat is why so many people bunker down and get defensive with their anti science rhetoric. And then they go to extreme lengths to defend their ignorance and start going to services at the road to nowhere church to listen to Howard Brown and Prankard spew their hateful version of christianity.

        • Posted by iRoll on

          My goodness, I didn’t realize the consequences to telling the truth would be so dire.

          • Posted by He Is Risen Like Bread on

            Neither did Jesus.

    • Posted by Joe on

      Charlie, Thank you. Best comment and most intelligent one also of all these posts. Read your bibles people. Have faith in Jesus Christ our Lord. Follow his teachings.

  8. Posted by good on the anglicans on

    Happy to hear the Anglican church came to their senses. I hope the local reverend gets a stern talking to by the bishop for almost allowing an extremist hate mongering hack into the church.

    • Posted by Emoji on

      The Bishops of the Anglican Diocese of the Arctic were among those that voted against changing the marriage cannon to allow homosexual marriage in their churches. They voted that way because that is what they believe the word of God says and the fact that most of their Inuit parishioners feel that same way as well. Is that what you consider hateful because someone disagrees with your views?

      • Posted by Fake Plastic Tree on

        Depriving others of a right is what some might consider hateful, which is much more complex than whether we agree with someone or not. It never ceases to amaze me how many times people fall back on this simplistic understanding of issues like this though.

  9. Posted by bnuts on

    the stars of Hollywood sacrifice children and drink their blood, alleging cannibalism has been going on for years. claiming the devil is planning an attack against Donald trump and the americans. did anyone check him for a handgun? lol. im surprised the people of Iqaluit let this happen. im sorry to the ones who actually gave him money. saying the whole of the arctic depends on what is happening here tonight LOL!

  10. Posted by neighbor on

    It is written in
    Matthew 7:15 ” Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”
    Matthew 10:17 ” But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues”

  11. Posted by Iqaluit Local on

    I grew up a christian following my grandparents but seeing extremist like this done it for me. I believe Christianity can help people with problems like alcohol abuse and spousal abuse but I think becoming an extremist promotes Hate.

    Google “Rodney Howard Browne”, this guy is messed up.
    He flew up here on his private jet with a goal of taking as much money as he can from people. He reminds me of that guys who used to sell “holy water” on infomercials.

    • Posted by Emoji on

      Believe what you want about this guy, but to think that he took in anything close in the offering of a few people compared to the expense of flying up to Iqaluit is simply stretching the truth… something that you are accusing him of doing.

  12. Posted by Survivor of the Jesus People on

    Having attended events like this through my youth I have some reflections I will share. In my opinion evangelical preachers like this suffer from, or should I say ‘enjoy,’ a form of megalomania, in their minds they live a more purposed life than those around them, they believe they are anointed and under the directive of a special calling and that, in part, underpins their abusive behavior (as related in the story).

    It angers me to see these grifters coming in to our territory, but they have a following and are met with a good reception because they appeal to, and ultimately prey on people who are wounded and vulnerable and, most of all, who lack a sense of meaning and purpose in their own lives. People like Rodney are empowered because they can wield charisma and the emotive power of their “story” which has for many people been deeply ingrained since childhood. This gives someone like Rodney the adoration, validation and sense of personal worth and, most of all status that, at the core of it all, he deeply needs. The anti-dote to these predators is two fold: a good education that has focused on critical thinking skills (kind of sad that the Minister for our territorial College is an acolyte of this fraud. Come on Nunavut can’t we do better?), and lives that are connected and meaningful.

    • Posted by Bob The Builder on

      Well put!!

  13. Posted by Angel on

    Satan has entered Nunavut with this kind of man, how much money is he making off people from Nunavut?
    It is one thing to be a Christian and have faith but these kinds of extreme Christians who’s leaders are multi millionaires preying on people for their money is pure evil. Wolf in sheep clothing. It makes me think if the ones who allowed this Browne to come up here and preach are making a lot of money too?

    These types of extreme religions only spread fear and hate and look to benefit themselves, I hope people that are being taken advantage of in this church will open their eyes and stop supporting them, read the bible, do your own research and stop giving your hard earned cash to people like this millionaire. You don’t have to pay for holy water or pay to be pray for, this is pure greed on them and it is pure evil.

  14. Posted by Raymond Kaslak on

    “…those who donate money to HIS ministry will get credit before God for the souls HIS ministry saves…” How can people fall for this line? Where in the bible is HIS Revival Ministries International mentioned?

    • Posted by HONESTY ??? on

      The people in charge of religion, education, policing, retail
      stores, justice systems, they all say people should be honest
      and tell the truth— right ?
      Well it has been my experience in Nunavut , that a lot of those
      people I have mentioned are dishonest and tell as much lies
      as any one else.
      If God wants me to give money, then God will tell me.

  15. Posted by Sad on

    I am glad that different speakers comes to Nunavut to help. I know most go up to help in anyway they can. The pope would be a pleasure to have too. I know this man means well and it seems he is a friend to a lot of christians both Catholics and Anglican’s and yes, Christians.
    He didn’t hurt anyone physically so it’s the people’s choice to attend the services. I am sure the people who attended the church got blessed.
    I am a bit bothered by this quote,”Patterk Netser, a long-time defender of fundamentalist Christianity and current Nunavut minister of housing and Arctic College, is what Howard-Browne calls one of his “Eskimo friends” who tell him climate change is a hoax.
    Climate Change is a HOAZ? How can Mr. Netser say that?? It seems that’s the way he talks thou, one extreme to the other. A Political Minister should be more careful what comes out of mouth. I’m really shocked why he said this about climate change. He must be in his own little world and not attending to issues around him.

    • Posted by Adam and not eve on

      He came here to rob Inuit. Patterk and Looee encouraged him to rob their own people. That’s what’s sad.

    • Posted by Northern Guy on

      First off comparing this guy to the Pope of the Roman Catholic church is like comparing a dog catcher to the Prime Minister of Canada! Secondly when the Pope does visit poor and/or marginalized communities he doesn’t demand money from those who come to see him!

  16. Posted by These people are Hypocrites on

    “And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.”

  17. Posted by josy wales on

    “Religion is the masterpiece of the art of animal training, for it trains people as how they shall think” Authur Schopenhauer

  18. Posted by harold (iqaluit) on

    i was once brought to a service by an old friend of mine visiting town . i dicided to wear my best cordoroy pants though i was having probloms with the zipper but i managed to mask the opening by cleaverly covering it with my red cotton vest .

    when the service began and people started laffing histarecally like they were watching a steve mertin movie . i then deduced that they were probably all gawking at my gaping fly . i covered up but turned so beet red that they had to stop because they thought i was choking ! how humiliateting .

    never again will i attend a church that laffs instead of good old fashioned praying . my wife and i watch the pasters on the computer when we can get the darn thing to werk . i have also trained my trustee companion toby to kneal and we call him little fibbing judas which sends my wife and i into fits of roaring laffter .

    • Posted by harold (iqaluit) for PM on

      Nunatsiaq News, please give this man a column.

    • Posted by Karine on

      So happy you are back harold! And your little dog toby! Are these the same pants that split open on the plane?

      • Posted by harold (iqaluit) on

        toby and i have been here the entire time we have not left the house in months .

        i gave those pants to good will . i sinsirly hope they retain their intigrity for the next owner .

        thank you for sending me a message and keeping touch . all the best to you and youres .

        -harold

  19. Posted by Hot seat on

    Time for the Premier and his team to have a little chat with Minister Netser. This type of delusional extreme right wing thinking in their ranks doesn’t look good on the government at all. Especially the posible climate change denial. Does that contradict and of the Arctic College’s Environmental Tech program’s goals? Does it contradict the housing corp’s stance on permafrost thawing which causes problems for houses?

    Voters have a right to know if this is just a little hobby of his or if climate change denial is influencing his decision making.

    • Posted by Spicy on

      This is where it gets interesting. Netser has long been involved with the Conservative party (Leona’s constituency assistant), which is perfectly fine. But associating with the likes of this pastor is a whole other level of crazy. He should have nipped this in the bud when he ran for the premiership, but now because of this ill timed visit by this foolish pastor, we’re left wondering how deep down the rabbit hole he’s gone. Who could have guessed that a 12 hour visit by a South African pastor from Tampa would have caused such a PR nightmare for a Nunavut cabinet minister.

    • Posted by I remember on

      Let us not forget Mr.Netser’s opposition to and attempted removal of sexual orientation from the list of protected grounds in Nunavut’s 2003 Human Rights Act.

      • Posted by Ken on

        He should not hold a Minister position with our government let alone be a mla, who votes for a guy like this?

        • Posted by Wow on

          A leader of Nunavut is promoting this type of ideology, manipulation, robbery, etc etc of his own people? I think the premier has some serious investigating to do.. this is absolutely absurd! These types of religious leaders are responsible for so many cult organizations around the world, particularly taking sexual advantage of young girls.

          I am so utterly disgusted that this man was brought and welcomed to Nunavut by one of the leaders in the legislative assembly!!!!!!!

    • Posted by Lucifer, bringer of light on

      If he’s NAC minister then isn’t he also responsible for the Scientists Act and the Nunavut Research Institute?

      Those must be interesting briefings.

  20. Posted by Joby Tiktu on

    How did this american grifter get into the country let alone Iqaluit. Go home you jerk.

  21. Posted by Putuguk on

    Bono sang it best…”Well the God I believe in is not short of cash, Mister”.

  22. Posted by Crystal Clarity on

    This guy has been outed numerous times as a hateful, narcissus, nut-bag, false prophet, charlatan, etc….as are most of these Fundamentalist Evangelical types. As P.T. Barnum stated…There’s a sucker born every minute” He has a personality similar to Jim Jones and we know what happened to his followers. He claims so many things including the ability to speak in tongues. By the sounds of him he doesn’t even understand what “speaking in tongues” is. I bet him and his wife laugh all the way to the bank. These types are always collecting large amounts of money at these revivals, from poor people who can’t afford to give away money. He is a crooked thief preying on the vulnerable and gullible. I wish these churches would stop bringing these crooks into Nunavut. What business do Anglican and Catholic churches have with fundamental evangelicals answer ; absolutely nothing. It is a disgrace.

    https://www.backtothebible.ca/articles/problem-false-teachers-give-us-bad-reputation

    http://so4j.com/rodney-howard-browne-false-teacher

  23. Posted by This is Good Journalism on

    Thanks to Thomas Rohner for reporting this. This is important stuff and we should be grateful to him for attending. I have to wonder if he was harassed while at the event? How did he manage to take those pictures without interference? Either way, hats off to you Thomas! Great work.

    • Posted by Victoria on

      I am not sure if this was a good journalism. Obviously, it was only on his observation. Good journalism is usually 2 sides to the story and it was one person who came in to :observe” without permission. What he should have done is ask and tell the people organizing it that he will go there and make a story. I’m not surprised how Nunatsiaq News allows these kinds of sensationalism stories. Shame on you!

      • Posted by iThink on

        I disagree with your assessment. This piece takes a critical look at what was marketed to be an exercise in spirituality and connection to god. What it exposed was an abusive megalomaniac who manipulates people who are weak and vulnerable to economic and intellectual predation. That IS the other side of the story and I am grateful that someone had the nerve to show up and point out what was happening to the rest of us. That takes some nerve. Bravo, Thomas!

        • Posted by Vicotira on

          I still don’t agree with your argument. Inuit are able to make their own judgement, if they so agree to give or not. I am pretty sure as well they are able to make judgement if they are able to give or if they don’t have anything to give. I find this story to be more like tabloid, sensationalism story like American tabloid. Awful journalism!

          • Posted by iThink on

            Sure, we can nominally attribute responsibility to anyone for their financial decisions, though that tells us nothing about forces of coercion or emotional manipulation which can be overwhelming factors to some people, and was clearly involved here. Do you not recognize that? Thank goodness someone was there to cast light on this darkness for us to see.

            • Posted by Victoria on

              When I go to these kind of meetings, I never feel like I’m being courced nor do I give on my emotions and I’m pretty sure other Inuit people are mature enough to do the same thing. They can give on their free will, no one is putting gun on your face to give money. We live in Canada, we have a freedom of choice. We are not helpless stupid people.

              • Posted by iThink on

                Coercion is often invisible to us, it takes effort to see it but it is there. In this case it follows from emotional and intellectual manipulation; consider the fear you feel at the idea that god might one day reject you and you will suffer an eternity in hell. It creates a cycle where people perform these ritual acts of performative fidelity and self flagellation all in order to maintain their place with ‘god’. It’s a never ending mind game. You think you are free, but you are a slave to fear.

      • Posted by Funny on

        Funny that it’s called ‘sensationalizing journalism’ when the article is about a religious figure but ‘just a journalist rightfully sticking up for the community’ when it’s a one sided article about price-gauging airlines, corporations, internet service providers etc..

        If it negatively affects the people, provides false promise of good fortune and benefits in exchange for money, is money sucking with no return to the community we need to hear all sides – which is what has been reported here. It’s a double kick in the face to this community to have welcomed this man in Iqaluit.

  24. Posted by Amos Tamanik on

    The time is likely way overdue for Inuit to realize that there probably shouldn’t even be a Nunavut?

  25. Posted by Northern Guy on

    What is almost as troubling as this charlatan coming into Iqaluit and fleecing so many people out of money that would have otherwise gone to rent, food and clothing is the fact that a Minister of the Crown and an elected official of the Government of Nunavut not only condones this nonsense he actively supports it. Minister Netser needs to be removed from his portfolio and the residents of his constituency need to have a really hard think as to whether or not this guy is representing their interests or the interests of the likes of the fundamentalist Christian hooligan who came into town to take their money.

  26. Posted by Steve L on

    There is no such thing as bad press, lengthy articles like this just encourages them.
    I expect the comment section hasn’t been this busy – ever. Unfortunately reasoned debate has been ignored.
    There are far more important issues that deserve detailed reporting.
    This isn’t the UK’s Sun, stick to a short headline next time.

    • Posted by Norther Guy on

      Sorry Steve but the most effective disinfectant is sunlight. Exposing the activities of Howard-Brown and his ilk as well as their association with influential Nunavummiut like Patterk Netser is the only way to ensure that it people know what is going on. Cudos to Thomas Rohner and Nunatsiaq News for running this piece.

    • Posted by Reasoned Debate? on

      “Unfortunately reasoned debate has been ignored…
      There are far more important issues that deserve detailed reporting.”

      This is interesting, Steve. You complain about a lack of “reasoned debate” then invoke a classic “red herring” (some call this a ‘whataboutism’). My goodness, the irony is just dripping.

  27. Posted by bob on

    Kick them out. Demon inspired false prophets.

  28. Posted by Arctic Guitarist on

    This minister has a sinister plan, to save our souls with credit card scams.

  29. Posted by Anguta on

    Behold! These revelations are not unlike the story of Angutisugsuk, for he and his family were bewitched into fighting each other. The Great Satan has not infiltrated Nunatsiaq News, for he is in the eye of the beholder. Indeed, there were times when we felt the oppressor’s yoke and allowed it to create conspiratorial thought streams among the people. That was not a false flag, for the flags that were given by the Downpressor Man were false. Flags which were planted by our very presence alone. In varying tongues we spake, blood was drank and cannibalism shunned. We survived and you brought the Great Satan and the White Jesus, more falsehoods for to fuel the fray. This is the way it was.

  30. Posted by I’m with Steve L on

    I’m with Steve L. Why such an incredibly long article?

    I can still make my own judgement and assessment of the preacher’s ulterior motives and the underlying permeation of overzealous religion influencing our politicians, in two or three paragraphs. You got me convinced of your intention to show transparency and evidence of preying on the vulnerable, just by skimming, but even then, that was a long skim for me.

    • Posted by Kaptain Kurious on

      I think a more in-depth article like this is actually refreshing. Short stories and brief overviews can miss important detail and nuances that add to the human dimension of a story. As readers we simply learn more.

      I’m curious though, what would motivate someone to complain about an article being too long? This seems very odd to me.

      • Posted by Not Mcleans or Time Magazine on

        Someone who doesn’t have time to read long articles akin to McLean or Time Magazine lengths?

        • Posted by Hilarious on

          No time to read that much, but time to write a whiny complaint. Funny world isn’t it? I mean, just don’t read it then. Who cares? Priorities I suppose.

  31. Posted by OMG on

    First Air, the NorthWest company, Qiniq, etc. are robbing the shet out of all of us to our faces without even a promise of fire and ice, or whatever that full on malarkey was… they should have put that snake oil charlatan on the funeral home step instead of that poor deceased person… taking money people had put aside for smokes, cokes and poutines

  32. Posted by Qavvigarjuk on

    In Iceland, people like him are banned from preaching in their country. We should do the same here. It just brainwashing, fear mongering and stealing from people.

    • Posted by Yes! on

      Those Icelanders are smart, they can see something like this is wrong and it only makes things worse, I agree, we should do the same here in Nunavut, stop these misleading thief’s from taking advantage of the people of Nunavut.

    • Posted by Israel MacArthur on

      Then it will ll get quite complicated deciding who to keep out of the Canada, wouldn’t it? I know many people who would petition to keep the Pope out because of all the evil done by the Catholic Church, as we in Nunavut know more than most.

      So what would be the criteria to keep them out of Canada?

  33. Posted by The Old Trapper on

    If you’ve read this far in the comments – congratulations! You may be a masochist, or are laughing uproariously.
    .
    I love seeing the biblical quotations from “Christians” arguing against “Evangelicals” (also Christians BTW). Just about any viewpoint can be supported by a biblical passage if you look hard enough.
    .
    Personally;
    I don’t believe in Zeus.
    I don’t believe in Apollo.
    I don’t believe in Odin.
    I don’t believe in Quetzalcoatl.
    I don’t believe in Cthulhu.
    I don’t believe in Vishnu.
    I don’t believe in Sedna or Sila.
    I don’t believe in Jesus as the son of God.
    I don’t believe in Muhammad as the prophet of God.
    .
    In short I probably believe in one less god than most people. Rodney Howard-Browne may well believe every word that he says, it doesn’t mean that he is right. Personally I think that he knows it’s all a con and an easy way to get and stay rich. Just my humble opinion.
    .
    Let me leave you with some thoughts;
    – Would you believe in the god that you do if your parents had not constantly told you about their “god” when you were growing up?
    – Would you believe in the god that you do if you were not conditioned to praise your god and to pray to him/her every meal, every night, every special occasion?
    – Would you believe in the god that you do if you did not go to church every Sunday and be told that this is necessary for everlasting life by a priest/preacher/rabbi/imam?
    – Would you believe in the god that you do if you were born in another country where there is a different state religion, or if your parents were a different religion?
    – Do you believe the scientific consensus that the universe is 13.8 billion years old, and that the earth is 4.5 billion years old? So what was “God” doing to pass the time until he sent Jesus down here just over 2000 years ago?
    .
    There are 100 billion trillion stars in the universe. My guess is that most stars have multiple planets. 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars. Probably 5-10x as many planets. If even 1 in a billion has intelligent life on it, that’s a lot. Think about it.

    • Posted by Karine on

      But…but…Cthullu? Everyone knows that the Old Ones are real! C’mon!

      • Posted by Arctic Guitarist on

        Ia! Ia!

      • Posted by The Old Trapper on

        Hehehe, I just couldn’t resist adding in Ctlhulhu a totally made up vengeful god,…wait a second, do you think that the other ones could be made up as well? OMG!

    • Posted by Paul Murphy on

      Which all goes to say – you believe in Santa Claus I hope!

      • Posted by The Old Trapper on

        Of course there is a Santa Claus! Just ask any young child, or look at the child that remains in all of us. Santa Claus is real!

  34. Posted by Please come by on

    I read they are opening a healing center in Nunavik, they need help, he should go by.

    • Posted by Luisa on

      Hey, it is not a healing centre, it is an alcohol treatment centre, we used to get a lot of Nunavut people that came all the way to Nunavik, cause Nunavut does not have a alcohol treatment centre, not a [healing centre] misinformed as usual you are.

  35. Posted by Austin on

    Stunner.

  36. Posted by Amazed on

    can you say CULT Leader….. I am so surprised this man was invited to such a nice group of people….this almost shows their true colors on how they see things around here…..
    Kappii….

  37. Posted by Mac Alade on

    Here we go again, another megalomaniac
    “Seems like everybody’s got a price,
    I wonder how they sleep at night
    When the sale comes first
    And the truth (the word of God) comes second.
    It’s all about the money, money, money
    We just want to to give your money, money, money
    We just wanna make the world give, give, give and
    Forget about the price tag
    ““God loves a generous giver”

  38. Posted by Genius! on

    This guy is an absolute Genius! He brings in millions of dollars for just talking a promoting lies. If I was capable of making millions like him, I would do it! LOL

  39. Posted by Great Open Talks on

    So many posts. I don’t even think some went to see and hear to form an opinion.
    The matter of climate change is so self defeating. It has nothing to do salvation of souls. It is a burden of sin on the planet, much of which is promoted and defended by the Christian right.
    The tread also speaks of many people who are separated and hostile to God and Jesus Christ.
    Never mind outrageous preachers, call on God yourself and ask Him to forgive you.
    You will know the truth for yourself and always be spiritually discerning. It means do not accept brainwashing.
    Brainwashing is done by world knowledge. Ask God to forgive you and give you revelation knowledge.

    • Posted by Soothsayer on

      I don’t think anyone here is being hostile to god or Jesus, because for many of us those are entities that simply don’t exist. Hostility towards a persistent epistemological system that celebrates ignorance as a virtue is another story. I see that in your comment when you use a term like knowledge, as if it were really the product of some kind of supernatural magic. This is not only a lazy and completely unnecessary and unjustified form abuse of the term knowledge, but that it persists in this day and age is completely unacceptable; magical thinking is a liability to the survival of our species. That children are raised into these systems of thought is nothing less than a form of child abuse in my opinion.

  40. Posted by Anishinaabe on

    It always shocks me that any Indigenous person could possibly have faith in Christianity or Catholicism. Europeans brought these awful beliefs to North America to brainwash and control our people. These are not religions. These are controlling cults used as excuses for the horrible things many white people have done to others.

    • Posted by Euro-Canadian Athiest on

      The Europeans that brought those beliefs were just as brainwashed. They certainly did use it to control people, in the same way they too were being controlled. That said, I agree with you, it is a marvel how people have embraced such a patently absurd system of ideas that have served so well to undermine their cultures.

      • Posted by The Old Trapper on

        It’s not hard to see how it’s done. People who believe in a god pass this on to their children from Day 1 – ‘thank God that my child was born healthy’ plus the thousand other daily comments. Add in saying grace, nightly prayers, Sunday school, etc. And many kids are indoctrinated before they start school. Kids are sponges and pick up everything, especially from their parents who they trust implicitly.
        .
        Then add in some variations like Catholicism with confession and you have just given your priest all your secret thoughts and enough confidential information on yourself, your family, business, and neighbours for them to blackmail everyone or profit due to their knowledge. Is it any wonderful that the Catholic Church is so rich?
        .
        As silly an idea as ‘God’ is, actual organized religion is a thousand times worse.

  41. Posted by Eski Moses on

    RELIGION, all religion, is the root of all evil on this earth

  42. Posted by Jeniffer on

    Petition to remove Netser as Minister in the GN, please sign here.

    • Posted by Yup! on

      I will sign!

    • Posted by Where is the petition? on

      Where is the petition?

  43. Posted by snapshot on

    I never knew ppl in computers all day and religion would go hand in hand.

    This has so many comments. Like my popcorn is long gone and it’s still going.

    Qanurlikuriali lol

  44. Posted by The Only One ? ? on

    Sure this guy is a rascal,but he is not the only one in Nunavut.
    We should start printing the names of people who only
    give things from the G.N. to their own relatives instead of
    being fair to there community.

  45. Posted by Aani on

    It’s call a Jesus thing, call the Family

  46. Posted by Evelyn Thordarson on

    I remember years ago when Benny Hinn came to Rankin Inlet preaching and towards the end he said loud and clear for all the participants to hear we only want your brown bills and red bills no toonies or loonies..OMG I was totally disgusted when I heard this….

    • Posted by Empty Barrel on

      That’s almost funny in a way. The deeper question really is, why would anyone be interested in Benny Hinn’s fantasy world to begin with? Or, in this case, the one created by Rodney Howard-Brown? As humans we are quite susceptible to the lure of stories that offer us a route out of our suffering, that offer us meaning and hope and give us a sense of purpose and, most of all, offer us a beautiful vision of our future. Christianity does all these things by solving the problems that it creates; telling us we are dirty and sinful, polluting our minds with a broken self esteem then offering us an anti-dote through obsciense to its sacrificed idol. The cost of entry into this club is very high; the suspension of reason being the most notable and consequential. We need to devote more energy to asking how can we protect ourselves and our children from this?

  47. Posted by Angut on

    Hello Inuukatikaa, before any other culture arrived on this continent. Inuit had a belief that there was a greater power that we could connect with, to help us find animals, heal sick people, or even had the ability to take a soul. Today, Inuit have abandoned their beliefs that helped them survive for thousands of years. To now adopt another cultures belief system, that has been complicit in trying to remove our languages and our belief system. Now Inuit have lost their way of who they were before. Inuit now fight for these religions that tried to destroy our languages and our culture. I for one do not buy that our belief and our ways were wrong as these religions tell us. I will gladly hang onto the belief that Inuit way of life was NOT wrong.

    • Posted by taimatsiaq on

      You hit the nail on the head, now we have Inuit bringing people like this to use Inuit for their own benefit.
      Its time to bring back our own beliefs, learn about what was taken away by the churches.

      We have churches today and look at all the suicides and issues today. We seem to be lost and these kinds of people are taking advantage on lost Inuit. We need to reclaim our beliefs and values, learn about them and use them while we have the elders here. We don’t need someone from south Africa or the US, we don’t need these Inuit who bring such people here to steal money from vulnerable Inuit.

      • Posted by snapshot on

        ‘Our own belief’ actually derived from Tibet.

        Inuit adopted shamanism back in Mongolia and this belief system came from Tibet.

        What I believe is YAH. Actually, Inuit have always praise YAH in our language, when we sing AYAHYAHYAH AYAHYAH.

        Our ajaja songs tells us that our original belief is in YAH.

  48. Posted by Addictions on

    As with any other psychological addiction, religious fanaticism can become an extreme psychological addiction, similar to gambling, online addictions etc. Preachers who make alot of money feed off people’s religion-related addictions, similar to how drug dealers make a lot of money feeding of persons with marijuana addictions. Evangelical addicts get really high on endorphins and dopamine caused by natural highs. This was how Benny Hinn was able to amass a fortune by manipulating those natural brain hormones, getting them to believe they were touched by God or Jesus. There is no rehab for evangelicals.

  49. Posted by Noah on

    What I have noticed with this church is that they actually believe they are good and doing good, at the same time being hateful and threatening towards others. It is like a superiority complex with these evangelicals, thinking because they go to this church that they are more superior and look down at others that are in a different church or even worse for them a different religion. But I think it is more about compensating for an inferiority complex so they pick on individuals who are in a weak spot and vulnerable and how they get them to follow their ways. Ever notice the heads of these churches have that I’m better then you attitude?

  50. Posted by Thank you on

    Thank you for writing this article, Thomas.

    I was raised in a similarly manipulative cult environment. My parents came from broken homes and seemed to find structure and guidance they felt they needed in the religious cult environment. One of my parents still believes and uses those religious concepts to deal with what I consider to be untreated complex PTSD. I am deeply that my parent has never experienced the true relief of proper therapy and other supports that can help someone heal (like having a rational, god-free conversation about the impacts of developmental trauma).

    But I don’t think these cults should be banned—that would only give them more power and mystique. The best way to protect people from cults is to provide a range of better, reliable supports and other spaces to enjoy healthy community connections. I can easily understand why my parents chose the cult they did—they were desperate and that’s what was available. I wish something better had been available to them as it might have prevented them — and their children — from years of pain caused by resolvable but unresolved trauma.

  51. Posted by Annie Mitsima on

    According to this evangelist, a lot of us are not going to enter heaven as we don’t have cash to donate to his extravagant lifestyle of jet-surfing, body guards and lush lifestyle! Since when did “Christianity” dictate what you can think on current affairs, shaming those of other denominations, shame those unable to donate money and it’s free country where we can film & express our thoughts? He sounds like he’s just a money mongering asshole that uses fear to keep his “sheep” giving so he can stay rich! We all pray to the same God/Higher Power/Creator regardless of our spirituality.

Comments are closed.