Scoundrels at Work
Back in Sandy Point, back in the day, they used some words that are not in common usage today. The old folks seldom used bad words and usually never in the presence of kids. One word that hangs in the back of my mind, though, is scoundrel. For my grandparents, on both sides, the word scoundrel had a special place.
One of the many definitions of a scoundrel from Urban Dictionary:
- A villain, a rouge
- An evil person
- A Roughneck
- A pirate
- A criminal
If you got on the scoundrel list for either of these families, you were as low as they come. Scumbag did not even come close. Other more profane words today that are bantered about on late night TV now do not make the picture as clear as calling someone a scoundrel. There was little room for misunderstanding: as scoundrel was the bottom of the human chain.
I worked with companies and individuals most of my life and thinking back, I can only think of a handful of people I would apply that title to. But there have been a few.
In December of 2015, I came in contact with a group of folks that I have to add to the list. This group of people are at the bottom, or top, depending on how you want to state it. This group was not one scoundrel but a family of scoundrels hiding behind religious platitudes and scriptural statements and calling out the most trusting of people to buy into their scheme. And many did, to their sorrow and regret. I’m still waiting on books in May of 2017 that were ordered in May of 2016. Ordered and paid for. I’m still waiting on the ads to be run on the major book store’s website that I paid for. Still waiting on those invitations to be mailed. Still waiting on the first sales report and royalty check. So I do not speak from hear-say. I am assessing the tree by the fruit it bears.
This family of scoundrels knew that there were many good people who wanted to tell some story and get their book published that, for some, had been a dream for many years. These scoundrels knew that these good folks would pay hard earned, borrowed, or life savings dollars to accomplish their dream. The scoundrels knew that these trusting folks would accept their excuses for not shipping books, not paying royalties or paying royalties a few cents on the dollar when they did. The scoundrels became better and better until it was their culture and their mode of operation. The scoundrels had no problem selling books with no compensation paid to the writers. The trusting writers kept coming and kept writing and the scoundrels kept taking their money coming and going. And all the while, using the Lord’s Name in vain: Calling themselves a Christian company.
Tate Publishing Company, hopefully, is done. Hopefully. They have already shut down and tried to come back. That could happen again. They will probably end up with little more than a slap on the wrist and be back up and running under some new ruse or guise. Many disappointed men and women around the world put their trust in these people and many still wish to believe something good may come of all this turmoil and hurt and financial loss. Many of these good folks have had their faith tested and feel that they have been robbed of their purpose. Their confidence and enthusiasm has been bashed. Many will just chalk it off as a bad experience and move on. Others cannot afford to do so or do not have the energy.
Scoundrels. That would be the name used to describe this band of thieves. Thieves, after all, is what people are called when they keep someone else’s money for themselves. Thieves are what they have officially been branded by the highest cops in Oklahoma. And when they try to join hands with Jesus Christ to carry out their assault on the innocent, scoundrel is the only name that fits.
I hope that the legal wheels will grind on until the injured parties can get restitution. I am not convinced they (we) all will at this time. More likely we are all still the unwitting victims not aware of what is going on behind the scenes. But we are all a little wiser and more suspicious as we journey ahead and know to watch for scoundrels in Sunday- Go- To- Meeting Clothes.