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Glenn Beck, The Holy Land and the Better Business Bureau

Reported by Aunty Em - May 31, 2011 -

When Fox News’ Glenn Beck announced he was taking his shtick to The Holy Land, howls of derision echoed across the county. A charter trip costing $5k, that can only be booked through approved companies, was sure to raise eyebrows—not to mention, keep out the riff raff.* Glenn Beck, as usual, has been undeterred by the criticism. As The Magical Mystery Tour accumulates enough baggage to make a one-year ocean voyage, Beck continues to promote it and and his web site relentlessly. Makes one wonder if Beck has a piece of the action. If so, he should know that not everything is rosy with his tour operators.

Humanitarian Travel, as Media Matters found out by doing a bit of digging, has had some troubles with the Better Business Bureau.

The link to Beck824.com redirects to Humanitarian Travel, a business whose address is in Draper, Utah. The site sells Beck travel packages starting at $4,997 per person. This travel company has apparently done business under at least four different names (Voyager Travel, Humanitarian Travel, Meridian Trips, and LDS Travel) all with the same management and business address.

More importantly MMfA discovered:

The Better Business Bureau website gives LDS Travel a rating of "C-" on "a scale from A+ to F."

Meridian Trips LLC is also listed on the Better Business Bureau website with the same Draper, Utah address, with "Brian Mickelsen" listed as the owner. That page lists its rating as "F" on "a scale from A+ to F."

While Beck has yet to comment on Humanitarian Travel, it’s clear Beck was for the Better Business Bureau before he was against it.

Goldline, an advertiser on Beck's radio show, TV show, and website, faced allegations of deceptive business practices and was the subject of a congressional hearing. Beck repeatedly defended Goldline, citing its "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau as proof that the allegations were false. ABC News later reported that BBB gave ratings to nonexistent businesses and raised the ratings for businesses who gave them money.

In another article MMfA unpacks the information that the owner of the other Beck authorized travel agency, DuCar International, was BFF with Jerry Falwell, in this life—and the afterlife presumably:

Duke Westover [owner of DuCar, along with wife Carlene. Geddit?], worked as executive assistant to the late Jerry Falwell. According to Religion News Service, Westover prayed near the beginning of Falwell's funeral in 2007, describing Falwell as, "The one who dared to believe that he could change a city and a country and a culture and maybe even the world." In his self-published book Wow! What A Ride Westover describes Falwell as "my pastor, my mentor, my boss, my traveling companion and most of all, my best friend."

What could possibly go wrong?

*I’m still taking donations to travel incognito on The Glenn Beck Mystery Tour. Contact me if you’d like to contribute, or if your name is George Soros.



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