I Killed Osama Bin Laden

Jason Morris

Lying is so common these days, well, its kind of why the background screening industry exists.  As screeners we see it everyday, some could say we even become numb to it after a while.    Because of this I like to highlight stories I find on the internet that may give a little “shock and awe” to the general public.

This guy get’s my vote for moron of the week but I will let you be the judge.  A Pennsylvanian Pastor, Jim Moats,  had been telling his congregation for years that he was a former Navy SEAL.  In the wake of the Osama Bin Laden killing, a local paper interviewed him about his time as a SEAL during the Vietnam war.  The story smells a lot like past stories made up by current US Senators Mark Kirk and Richard Blumenthal.  In 2005, President George W. Bush signed the Stolen Valor Act into law–legislation that made it a federal crime to claim false military honors. A recent federal appellate court ruling determined that the law’s provisions were an unconstitutional abridgment of free speech. A version of the same legislation is now before Congress, with language designed to avoid the free-speech quandaries raised by the 2005 law.

My question is this, why not just go all the way and just say you are Osama Bin Laden, its easy enough!

Local pastor made up elaborate Navy SEAL tale

In the wake of the dramatic Navy SEAL raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound earlier this month, it was perhaps to be expected that some expansive soul would step forward to claim the prestige of a fabricated tour as a SEAL for himself. Such tall tales are not uncommon, after all, amid high-profile military actions.

This time the exposed fabricator was a preacher–though people who monitor this brand of public lie note that members of the clergy are often tempted into such misrepresentations. More curious still, the prevaricator in question seems to have lifted at least some details of his account from the 1992 Steven Seagal SEAL-themed blockbuster, “Under Siege.”

Yes, as his area newspaper, the central Pennsylvania Patriot-News, pulled together a dispatch on the exploits of the elite Navy operation, Jim Moats, the pastor at Christian Bible Fellowship Church in Newville, Penn., spun some fantastical details of his alleged time as a Navy SEAL during the Vietnam War.

Moats told his church for five years that he was a former SEAL, and even once wore the elite program’s gold Trident medal around town. He elaborated on that tale when his local paper contacted him last week as it was reporting a story about the rigors of SEAL training in the wake of the SEAL raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound.

Among other things, Moats said he was subjected to waterboarding when he trained at Little Creek Amphibious Base in Virginia Beach in 1971 and was assigned dishwashing duty for his bad attitude. “I had almost no discipline. I was as wild as they came. That was my nemesis,” he told the paper. “They weren’t looking for a guy who brags to everyone he is a SEAL. They wanted somebody who was ready but had an inner confidence and didn’t have a braggadocio attitude.”

Several former SEALs wrote into The Patriot-News casting doubt on the reverend’s account of his service.

“We deal with these guys all the time, especially the clergy. It’s amazing how many of the clergy are involved in those lies to build that flock up,” said retired SEAL Don Shipley. Shipley also speculated the waterboarding and kitchen details came from the action depicted in “Under Siege.”


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Jason Morris

President & Chief Operating Officer at EmployeeScreenIQ
A veteran screening and risk management professional, Jason Morris founded EmployeeScreenIQ in 1999 and acts as the company’s chief operating officer and president. Morris is a frequent speaker delivering captivating, interactive discussions on background checks, global screening, recruitment and staffing. He educates audiences in best practice initiatives as they relate to organizational employment screening programs. Morris has been quoted in numerous business and industry publications including The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC.com, USA Today, New York Times, among others. He is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas, Arizona and Nevada.
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