Cory and Ike

I was surprisingly saddened by the death of Corazon “Cory” Cojuanco-Aquino last week, only in part because she led a peaceful revolution that toppled the corrupt Ferdinand Marcos regime in the Philippines two and a half years after the assassination of her husband. Interesting how there have been several presidents and prime ministers in Asian countries with relatively short post-colonization periods, but not yet in the USA.

I’m also reminded, though, of the father of an ex-girlfriend of mine. The ex and I have remained friends, so I would visit her from time to time. Her father, living only a couple blocks away from her, would come over and we’d all play hearts. During the game, he would test us on our knowledge of current events. On one visit back in 1986, all he said, “What does this mean?” He put his hand in the shape of the Aquino liberation L. Fortunately, I knew the answer. He died a few years back, and when I heard about Cory’s death, I found myself mourning again his death.

Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter II, better known as Reverend Ike was a radio and television evangelist, a proponent of a prosperity gospel known as thinkonomics. Long before pikers like Joel Osteen, Ike was doing his thing. I thought he was a charlatan, a snake-oil salesman, but this was the 1970s, in my unchurched period, and I found him an entertaining charlatan.

Here’s just a bit of his schtick, as reported here in 2007:

His mail ministry has long included an ever-changing variety of items: miracle prayer cloths, lucky coins, prosperity bracelets and the like, each said to help the user tap into his or her own inner divine power (Reverend Ike suggested, for instance, that the prayer cloth be used to rub lottery tickets or horsetrack betting slips). His latest offerings are “Musivation Ringtones,” ringtones for cell-phones he says will motivate followers towards prosperity and success.

The Reverend Mrs. Eula M. Dent Eikerenkoetter (“Rev. Mrs. Ike”), B.A., M.A., D.Sc.L., his wife, serves as Senior Co-Pastor, and his son, The Right Reverend Xavier Frederick Eikerenkoetter (“Rev. Ike’s Son”), B.A., M.Sc.L, D.Sc.L., is his “Bishop Coadjutor.”

“I love money and money loves me.”
“The lack of money is the root of all evil.”
“The Bible says that Jesus rode on a borrowed ass. But I would rather ride in a Rolls Royce than to ride somebody’s ass!”
“Be proud of the way I look, because you spend $1,000 a week to buy my clothes.”
“The best thing you can do for the poor is not be one of them.”

Like the writer, I was surprised he was still around, and I had missed his passing until I saw it mentioned on ABC’s This Week.

Another death to report: our cordless phone. My in-laws got it for us the week our daughter Lydia was born. I poo-pooed the need, but now I’ve miss it terribly the last four days. My father-in-law said it only cost about $15, and to replace the battery would cost about $12; talk about your planned obsolescence.


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