Mission Congo, by David Turner and Lara Zizic, opens at the Toronto film festival on Friday. It describes how claims about the
scale of aid to Rwandan refugees were among a number of exaggerated or false assertions about the activities of Operation Blessing which pulls in
hundreds of millions of dollars a year in donations, much of it through Robertson's televangelism. They include characterising a failed large-scale
farming project as a huge success, and claims about providing schools and other infrastructure.
But some of the most damaging criticism of Robertson comes from former aid workers at Operation Blessing, who describe how mercy flights to save
refugees were diverted hundreds of miles from the crisis to deliver equipment to a diamond mining concession run by the televangelist.
Throughout the Rwandan refugee crisis, when more than 1 million people fled into neighbouring Zaire and started dying en masse of cholera, Robertson
told his viewers that Operation Blessing was at the forefront of saving lives.
"It was the most important first medical shipment on the scene out of everything," he said of one aid delivery as he appealed for donations.
In another broadcast, Robertson said Operation Blessing was saving thousands of lives.
"The death toll in this particular camp went down to almost zero because of our people being there," he said.
Robertson claimed that Operation Blessing sent plane-loads of doctors.
"These are tents set up with our doctors and our medical teams that came from here to work as hard as they could to save lives," Robertson said over
pictures of a large tent of children on drips being tended by nurses and doctors.
But the film was of MSF medical staff at work. Operation Blessing had just one tent and a total of seven doctors. MSF officials who worked in Goma
told the documentary-makers that they had no recollection of even seeing Operation Blessing – let alone working with it.
"What's really unacceptable is that Operation Blessing took photographs of MSF workers and then used this in their fundraising," said Samantha
Bolton, the former MSF spokeswoman in Goma.