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The Truth Social Evangelist
“Lord, we thank you this morning that we were able to invest in an internet platform, a social media platform that will spread truth. And so, Father, we ask in the name of Jesus that your truth goes out on this platform. Lord, that you bless the people making it. That you bless the people investing in it. And that you would prosper it, Lord, by your hand.”
That’s how Canadian worship leader Chad Nedohin prayed in June during his online show promoting former President Donald Trump’s social media platform Truth Social. A little-known musician in Alberta with just a few released songs, Nedohin has been livestreaming for months to defend Truth Social and, more importantly, encourage people to invest in the financing vehicle seeking to merge with Trump’s company and bring it to the public markets. As Nedohin pushes investors to help Trump, he mixes in Christian practices and references to baptize this investment as a holy mission. And his crusade is getting noticed.
This week, the Trump financing plan faces the possibility of being forced to liquidate, which would cost numerous Trump-backing investors — including apparently Nedohin — lots of money. Ahead of a critical deadline today (Sept. 8) for a shareholder vote to back an extension, Nedohin’s internet show preaching the gospel of Truth Social showed up in an official filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. While the SEC’s rules required that disclosure for financial reasons, Nedohin’s focus is on how investors can join a divine fight for Trump against liberal opponents.
“Jesus, thank you for shedding your blood. Jesus, we pray your blood over this investment today and these people who are standing in the way of the Deep State taking down truth. We ask for your strength for every investor right now like never before,” Nedohin prayed during his show last week.
Throughout the episodes of his show, Nedohin depicts himself and his fellow investors as key in this fight against evil.
“[God’s] given us everything we need to say ‘no’ to the world, to say ‘no’ to lies and ‘yes’ to truth,” he added last week. “We are the tip of the spear like Trump said. We are the outside funding company that they want to take down, and we’re saying ‘No, not today, devil.’”
And then as he closed that program, Nedohin encouraged everyone watching to pray five minutes every day for the success of the investment effort. Such rhetoric isn’t unusual for Nedohin or his guests. He opens each episode with a Bible passage that he connects to why people should believe in Truth Social and invest their money. He then prays, throws out a bunch of numbers to justify his faith that the investment will pay off, rants about news critical of Trump, and ends with a blessing before a graphic of a dancing Pepe the Frog (which has become popular with White Supremacists) comes on screen.
This Canadian online evangelist singing the praises of Trump’s fledgling social media site offers a look into MAGA believers who invest their money — and their faith — as a divine mission to defend their embattled leader. So, in this issue of A Public Witness, we index the bearish state of Truth Social, invest our time listening to Nedohin’s show, and warn against selling short the gospel of Jesus.
Taking Stock of Truth Social
Truth Social experienced a rocky launch in 2021. Early on, the alternative social media site struggled to attract users, and those who did engage the site experienced a variety of technical issues. Even Trump, the former tweeter-in-chief, rarely bothered to post on the platform at first.
The FBI search for presidential records and sensitive national security documents at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort proved a boon in terms of downloads and usage. But it also prompted an increase in violent rhetoric toward law enforcement and the flourishing of conspiracy theories, including many promoted by Trump. Google refuses to make the app available in its Play store until it introduces better mechanisms for handling violent content.
On the business side, the story only gets worse. The Trump Media & Technology Group agreed to go public via a merger with Digital World Acquisition Corporation (ticker symbol: DWAC), which is structured as a special purpose acquisition company (known as a SPAC). News of the merger initially sent DWAC shares soaring and valued TMTG at over $10 billion. Devin Nunes, a stalwart Trump ally, gave up his seat in Congress to lead the company, receiving a nice pay hike and an equity stake in the company.
Despite the initial fanfare, red flags emerged quickly. DWAC’s leader, Patrick Orlando, came with a thin resume. A former business partner sued Orlando for “brazen fraud” after the announcement of the deal. Given Trump’s frequent tirades against China, a controversial Chinese firm’s role in funding the SPAC added a sense of irony to the saga.
Perhaps more consequential, the proposed merger may have broken SEC laws because Orlando and Trump discussed the deal before the SPAC was even formed. Regulators are investigating, with a round of subpoenas issued over the summer and a shadow left hanging over the company.
Meanwhile, Fox Business reported late last month that Truth Social “finances are in significant disarray,” with key vendors not being paid. Advertisers are staying away and the company is burning through cash, stating in its own filings that it “expects to incur significant losses into the foreseeable future.” The organization is also experiencing governance challenges, with filings indicating substantial board turnover that includes Trump himself (though Truth Social disputed the story).
To complicate matters further, its stock price is declining as the company tries to reach the necessary threshold required for an extension to consummate the deal. Without approval, the main sponsors of the SPAC would be required to either invest more of their own money to secure the delay or dissolve the company and return money to shareholders at what would be a significant loss to many.
Which is where Nedohin comes in. With the future of the company, hundreds of millions of dollars, and the business reputation of the former president all on the line, Orlando turned to an obscure Canadian worship leader who hosts an internet streaming show to get his message out to retail shareholders.
Preaching to the Faithful
To get a feel for Chad Nedohin’s online show, “DWAC’d Live,” take the passion of a hip youth church pastor and mix in the frenetic analysis of a day trader, the paranoia of an online conspiracy theorist, the devotion of a Trump rally attendee, the apocalyptic fervor of a charismatic prophet, and the over-the-top declarations of a sports bettor insisting his team will win even as the clock runs out for a comeback — all with a slight Canadian accent.
Nedohin frames buying DWAC as a righteous act. And he credits God for rises in the stock price. When he saw a small tick upward during a show last month, he looked up and pointed toward the ceiling as he declared, “The price just keeps getting better! God, thank you. You deserve this glory, Lord, thank you.” And he frequently prays for the investment to grow.
“Father, we pray for continued strength for this investment group, to hold and buy and be strong in building what we know you’ve put us up to, Lord. We know you put us here for this. You’ve made us for a time such as this,” he prayed in June.
“Father, in the name of Jesus, we pray for this investment. Lord, we’ve invested, we’ve bought the truth, we’ve followed your word, we are spreading your word, we are part of a platform that is completely filled with your people,” he declared in July.
Even when stock prices don’t look good, Nedohin encourages investors not to sell. Instead, he frames holding the shares and even buying more as a sign of faith in God. In June, he invoked the crypto slang HODL (which means buy and hold indefinitely) as he exhorted, “Keep the faith, stay in the Lord’s joy, and keep buying and HODLing.” The next month, he read Hebrews 11:1 about faith and hope to encourage people to stay committed to DWAC.
“This is the crux of what we’re fighting for with the DWAC team. We have an end goal that we can actually see because we see the mathematical evidence, but it’s not here yet. But we have faith and it’s something we hope for,” Nedohin said before adding that he invested because Jesus told him to do so.
He sees proof in the Bible that investing in DWAC is God’s plan, especially since the Bible talks about truth and Trump’s social media platform is called Truth Social. Thus, a favorite verse is Proverbs 23:23, as he explained last week: “‘Get the truth and never sell it; also get wisdom, discipline, and good judgment.’ Because that’s what we’re doing here, folks. We literally, as a team of investors, we have bought into truth and we are never selling because we are diamond-handed HODLers.”
Nedohin even claimed people can help the cause of the DWAC stock by praying, worshiping, and evangelizing.
“If you want to help the investment, pray and say, ‘God, what can I do? Father, in the name of Jesus, what can I do to help build this investment, to make the win happen? What do you want me to do, Lord?’” Nedohin said in June. “The next thing is worship. Get in worship. Be in church. Sing songs to him. Sing praises to him. When you worship him through the highs and the lows, the highs get that much higher, I promise you. Get the message out. Be on social media. When you’re hanging out with family on the weekend say, ‘Hey, are you guys on social media? Have you tried Truth Social?’”
These references to Christian behaviors fit since he even casts DWAC in ways that make it sound like a church community. In several episodes he took prayer requests, often praying for healing for a family member of another investor. And he described Truth Social in ways similar to a local congregation.
“Lord, we pray for the people who are watching, that you bless this team, this DWAC family that you have ordained because it is an investment in Truth, a social media platform where your word reigns, where your people congregate,” he prayed in July before adding that Trump is “the leader you have anointed to take care of your Christians here on this earth.”
But this is a critical time, Nedohin argues. In one episode, he said, “I feel like we’re moving into the third seal on the scroll in Revelation 6.” In another, he argued that buying and holding DWAC stock is “a spiritual fight.” In a different episode as he read Ephesians 6, he invoked the “armor of God” to fight back against those trying to stop DWAC’s success — and he excitedly noted that the first part of the armor is … truth. And in another episode, he said, “There’s no more left versus right anymore. This is a Jesus versus Satan battle. And Trump is the one that’s been anointed to be on our side, so they’re doing what they can do to take him out.”
With these mashups of Christian theology and stock prices, Nedohin also frequently mixes in Trumpian political rantings, including declaring Hillary Clinton is “going to prison,” attacking the persecution of patriots with the “J6 scam,” warning against the COVID-19 vaccines, condemning “woke” groups like Disney and World Vision, and warning about “groomers” on school boards. He also pushes Christian Nationalism from north of the border, saying the U.S. “was founded on Christian beliefs” and “Jesus was with George Washington in the founding of that country.”
And, of course, he repeatedly lies about the 2020 election. He denounced Biden as “the fake, illegitimate president that nobody voted for.” And Nedohin insisted Trump won.
“I’m going to call him President Trump and we’re going to continue calling him President Trump cause he is the rightful president. And he was president and he will be president again,” Nedohin said in June, adding in later episodes that Trump might be back in the White House before the 2024 election.
In the first episode after the FBI searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago to retrieve classified documents, Nedohin opened with Psalm 2 but added to the text.
“Why are the nations so angry?” he read. “Why do they waste their time with futile plans and FBI agents raiding Trump’s house? The kings of the earth prepare for battle, they hire 87,000 IRS agents. The rulers plot together against the Lord and against the anointed one at the DOJ and the FBI.”
This mix of worship, politics, and money all seems to fit with his stated ambition as he seeks to emulate his role model — a goal he hopes his DWAC investment will help fund.
“The guy I love most in the worship world is Sean Feucht and what he is doing for you folks in the U.S.,” Nedohin said in June. “We don’t have somebody like that in Canada. I’ve been praying about it and the Lord has put that on my heart to get out there.”
Old Song, New Tune
Nedohin’s pitches and pleadings have historical echoes. Back in 1987, evangelist Oral Roberts drew attention — and a fair share of ridicule — for claiming God would strike him dead unless supporters of his ministry sent him $8 million over the next year (he ultimately raised over $9 million, which spared his life and filled his coffers). Televangelist Jimmy Bakker notoriously raked in money from followers but diverted its uses and eventually went to prison for fraud. He even returned to his old tricks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Creflo Dollar tried to get his supporters to buy him a $65 million airplane.
The list of religious figures fleecing their followers is long, but Nedohin represents an evolution of the genre in at least two ways. First, he’s not asking for money directly. Like the broader meme stock phenomenon, his efforts are about rallying others to invest in DWAC and drive up its share price. He’s looking to protect his own investment by asking others to join him in this risky adventure.
“I gave people advice a long time ago to buy DWAC. … That’s where you need courage because you’re bringing more people into this community where they understand the value of what they’re investing in. And that this is a buy and it will go up. We just all need to keep holding and promoting it,” he told listeners in June (when the stock price was much higher than today). “Now, I want to talk about this versus Ponzi schemes and all kinds of other things. This is different. We are helping promote a company that has the potential to be a trillion dollars easily. Trillion dollar market cap, easily. There’s actual value. It will give dividends. It will be paying out. It is growing.”
Of course, all of this is speculation. The company today is worth less than a billion dollars with a shaky balance. Nedohin’s supposedly sure thing may rest on a foundation of sand, but like other evangelists peddling investments that “can’t miss” or “will only go up,” his audience only hears a slanted story.
A second important difference with Nedohin is that appeals from earlier religious figures were nominally tied to the work of their ministries. Roberts sought to strengthen the financial foundations of his university. Bakker raised money to build homes for underprivileged kids (who happened to be related to him). Dollar claimed the demands of his ministry necessitated an airplane. However ludicrous, they offered a pretense to their donors that the money would advance their version of God’s purposes.
Nedohin profanely ties the purpose of Truth Social to the desires of God. The work of Trump is the mission. Preaching that gospel is treated as a cause worth giving toward. Yet, DWAC is a for-profit enterprise. The goal here is to generate wealth, while simultaneously advancing an ideological agenda pursued with a religious fervency.
Nedohin’s prosperity gospel, however, faces a significant obstacle (beyond the declining price of DWAC stock): the basic teachings of Jesus.
“No one can serve two masters,” Jesus proclaimed in Matthew 6:24. “Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
Nedohin’s show reveals he’s an effective worship leader, but even his prayers and scripture references indicate that his true loyalties belong to partisan causes rather than God who is love. He might be putting his money where his mouth is, but that doesn’t mean he’s preaching the truth.
As a public witness,
Brian Kaylor & Beau Underwood
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