There's a mystery brewing regarding tonight's Beck show at the Echo, which is being billed as a benefit for something called “Educating Children International.” The flyer, posted above, lists the organization's website as www.educatingchildreninternational.org, but there's nothing at that URL. We took the process one step further and did a domain search, and, lo, the address is listed as available for purchase.
So the question becomes, what lies at the other end of the $35 cover charge? Will Beck fans, a very devoted bunch, be unwittingly supporting the Church of Scientology, of which he is an avowed member? At least one blogger wonders as much. Sketchytown, which broke the story, writes:
Considering Beck's open affiliation with the ultra-creepy “Church” of Scientology, one can only wonder what this so-called “charity” is truly benefiting. Mr. Beck, are you trying to pull the wool over our eyes?
Putting aside whether you think Scientology is “ultra-creepy” or not, one truth remains: Beck is indicating that his performance tonight is a benefit for some sort of educational non-profit, but provides a dead-end domain name as the organization to which he will be donating the proceeds. Shouldn't we know where that $35 is going?
Yes and no. On the one hand, Beck plays secret shows around LA all the time, and doesn't always indicate that they're “benefits.” Anyone who follows the artist must know that a portion of any money Beck receives might likely be tithed to the religious institution to which he is a member, be it the Catholic church, the Church of Latter-Day Saints or the Presbyterians. That's fine, and part of living in a free society.
But by specifically indicating that this one is a benefit only to provide erroneous information on where the money is going opens yourself up to questions of intent.
So if I'm paying $35, where is that money going?