By Brandy Zadrozny
Yakim Manasseh Jordan can predict the future, heal the sick, and for the low price of $1,000, the 25-year-old can even raise the dead. But the self-proclaimed prophet of God is not above cold calling.
“The Lord began to speak to me and he showed me major losses that you have experienced within the last two to five years,” the 25-year old Brooklyn native’s breathy, warbly, slightly British-inflected message starts. But, he goes on, there is “a miracle favor cloud,” “a prosperity blessing,” and a “financial blessing,” coming your way, and to a loved one, as well.
Which loved one? “It’s almost as if the second letter of the second syllable in the name is like a vowel making an ‘ah’ or an ‘a”’ sound,” he says. “I must know how much money you are asking God to release. So write me back, and email me immediately…I have to give you this prophesy.”
Jordan’s constant robocalls are anything but heavenly, according to dozens of lawsuits and hundreds of exasperated recipients, some of whom report daily calls from the newest prophet to hit the prosperity religious circuit.
“It is miserable,” said 20-year-old Tyrell Crosby, a sophomore at the University of Oregon, in a Twitter DM. “I have no idea how they got [my number] but they’ve been calling for over a year.”
“I press 1 every so often. Lets you leave a message,” said Allen Lee Scott, 41, describing how he handles the recurring calls. “Sometimes I read poetry or just leave extreme farting sounds.”
Jordan has been sued 16 times in federal court within the last 3 years for the incessant calling in alleged violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), a 1991 law passed by Congress to address tenacious telemarketers. Jordan’s legal team’s go-to response is settling, and then sealing the terms of the settlement. This year alone, Jordan has been sued four times for the harassing calls by plaintiffs in Texas, Florida, Illinois and most recently this month, in New York.
“Unsolicited pre-recorded robocalls to people without consent, that’s a problem, and it’s why he’s being sued,” said Ian Ballon, an intellectual property and Internet attorney who serves as executive director of Stanford University Law School’s Center for E-Commerce. The TCPA is a statute Ballon said is more commonly abused by plaintiffs’ lawyers, who file frivolous lawsuits, but in this instance, the annoying calls seemed to be not only a terrible recruiting method but allegedly illegal.
“These lawsuits can be expensive to litigate,” he continued. “He may view it as it being worth any price to keep on reaching out to people, but that’s not typical.”
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) couldn’t comment on whether Jordan was or ever had been under investigation for violating the TCPA, but a spokesman did point to a citation, basically a warning, it issued to Jordan’s father in 2010 for a similar telemarketing tactic.
Calls to Jordan’s most recent cell phone number, emails to him and his lawyer, Facebook messages, and a Twitter DM to his mother were not returned.
Those who aren’t suing Jordan in court are turning to social media to vent their frustrations.