Pitting Benny Hinn's followers

Didn’t Billy Graham make some kind of whiny appeal for cash; “God’s going to kill me if I don’t raise x million dollars” or something like that?

No, that was Oral Roberts. IMO, a man named after the wrong end.

Just for the record, and to give credit where due, I’ve also never heard a single bad word about Billy Graham, other than from certain people on occasion who held slightly different beliefs.

Ah; my mistake.

In searching for info on Billy Graham, I came across this website:

I really, really want to believe that it’s a parody, like Landover Baptist, however, the only thing that looks even slightly indicative of this is that the proprietor claims to be called ‘Darwin Fish’ (I’m aware of the implications), but there’s even a page where he explains how that came to be (and curses the day of his birth). - Scary nutjob fundamentalists or clever spoof? Whaddya reckon?

I heard that Hinn doesn’t tip, but Jesus picks up the slack.

Looks like Darwin Fish is a real-life small-cult leader.

Hmmmm… I’m wondering if atruechurch.info and atruecult.info are actually run by the same individual as a mock-conflict, but I can’t seem to get swhois to work on the domains. That photograph on atruecult, supposedly of Darwin Fish carrying a banner looks photoshopped to me; it’s sharper than the rest of the image and the colours are straight out of MS Paint.

Regarding my comments on Billy Graham: the guy has usually 12-14 appearances per year-he goes to major cities and books a big conference hall for usually 3-4 days. people show up in the 100’s of thousands-and they pay a hefty admission. Also, they donate at the crusade itself. Has Graham ever released a financial statement? Again, I just don’t know where the money all ends up. A few years ago, Marshall Frady interviewd Graham…and he relates how Graham lives in a big hilltop estate in North Carolina…guarded by a private security firm and large vicious dogs. Again, I have no problem with the guy-people can contribute to him as they choose. But, I have never seen him account for all of this money.
Gaden-variety conmen like Benny Hinn: Hinn seems to be very successful. He is clearly supplying something that his followers want…although I cannot understand how any educated person could swallow these lies at face value.And, he is (as far as i know) the ONLY televangelist who wears “Nehru” suits! (are these due for a comeback)?

I’m surprised no one’s mentioned Bob Larson in this thread yet. He frightens me, because he’s willing to “restrain” someone to exorcise them. (He was careful to avoid the appearance of kidnapping when on camera, though some of what he said about not letting a person leave an intervention and “restraining” them smacks of it.) Dateline did an expose about him too, watching him in action was frightening. One of my brothers had recommended Larson’s ministry before I watched the Dateline expose and researched about him.

He’s also the same brother who (if I saw him in person) would continue to attempt to browbeat me into chaging my political stance to Republican and “go to church”. He doesn’t comprehend that I’m a 32 year old woman and have the right to make decisions for myself, he’s almost deluded in his refusal to admit that I should be allowed to make my own choices. (He is old enough to have been a teenage father to me.) I’ve given up arguing with him, and have decided to let his “disownment” stand. He disowned me because I dared to request that he not send me highly inflammatory political glurge. Thinking of how he also follows Bob Larson, I consider it not such a bad decision. Calling in Bob Larson to do an exorcism on me should he find out I’m Pagan (and Goth) would be something this brother would do “for my own good”. (From what I understand Bob Larson will do an intervention on someone whose family members hired him, against that person’s will.) Then he’d be bewildered as I filed charges.

You can order a copy at their website.

Independent confirmation of Reverand Darwin’s existance?

First the disclaimers: I’m not a Benny Hinn fan, nor would I say I have any *major * dislike for him. I don’t know enough about him to have an opinion, and I’ve seen him on TV just a couple of times. I don’t doubt God’s ability to supernaturally heal, but I have no opinion whether or not Benny has a healing anointing, mmkay?

That said, things like this really irk me:

** There’s nothing particularly surprising in their well substantiated claims about Hinn himself:

He lives a lavish lifestyle that includes a $10 million beachfront mansion, private jets, $10,000 per night hotel suites, major jewelry shopping sprees, tours with layovers in Acupulco, Switzerland and other resort areas, etc.*

Why is it ok for anyone else to do this, except a preacher? Nobody bats an eye when Hugh Hefner does it.

What I’m asking is what is the issue here. Do we have a problem with Benny’s financial state because he has a lot of material stuff (and pastors are “supposed” to be poor), or because it appears that he has it because of the ministry?

Let’s take TD Jakes for an example. He owns 3 companies and is a multimillionaire in his own right. He doesn’t even take a salary from the church he pastors. If he had the things above (private jet, etc.), would that be okay? Or are all pastors supposed to be poor to be holy?

I am NOT saying that high-profile pastors should live in luxury. Benny Hinn is probably causing more people to stumble than he is helping them: just look at the number of people in this thread who look at the way he lives and have decided that all televangelists must be cons. There are some good ones who have a good message and have lived straight-arrow lives and don’t deserve to be painted with the same brush. Billy Graham comes to mind.

IF he is living this way because he pays himself an enormous salary with ministry funsd, then yes, there’s a problem. I do think there’s a limit to what pastors should pay themselves, regardless of how much they’re taking in, but I certainly don’t think it should be a barely-getting-by amount as some would suggest. We’ve got corporate CEO’s exploiting people, ravaging the environment and stealing millions, yet it’s not ok for a pastor to live in a nice house regardless of how many wells they’ve dug in India, people they’ve fed, etc? They’ve got families to take care of, too, and they work a hell of a lot harder than your average suit on Wall Street, regardless of whether or not you agree with them. And no ministry is going to put 100% of contributions back into their projects: they’ve gotta pay the rent and pay their employees, too.

Mangetout, I appreciate your story but I think you were in a nutty group of people that were not representative of pentecostals as a whole. I believe in healing, but I would never tell someone to quit taking their medication — nor do I know any pastor-type that would. I’d test any spirit that told someone to, say, quit taking their insulin because they were suddenly healed. Can God do that? Sure. Does He? I’m sure. All the time, though? No. Many times healing is a gradual thing rather than something instantaneous. There’s a place for conventional wisdom in all of this.

So yeah, you shoulda kept the glasses on until you discovered you no longer needed them. It’s too bad you didn’t have anyone to tell you that, and it’s a shame that there are still people running around out there telling them to go without inverventions they need UNTIL the healing manifests. God heals people in different ways with different methods (as we can see if we read about how Jesus did it), many times that involves medicine.

There are a number of reasons why people fall over … here are a few of the possible non-spiritual causes (probably often being used in combination)

You left out “courtesy falls” – where people fall over because they’re “supposed” to and if you don’t, then obviously God didn’t do anything to you at the altar. :smiley:

I’ve fallen once, every other time I stayed standing. I’d run from any church that suggests that you’ve gotta “feel” something, or fall, to know that God has done anything.

although I cannot understand how any educated person could swallow these lies at face value.

I know quite a few educated doctors who will tell you that their patients who pray get better faster than those who don’t.

You can say what you want about whether or not people get healed — your mind is made up anyway. But if someone wants to pray for healing, what on earth could it hurt? The idea of a diety’s ability to heal sicknesses is certainly not unique to Christianity. Whether someone gets healed or not, I don’t see how it does any harm to pray. (It’s when you’re doing stupid stuff, like refusing a blood transfusion when you’re bleeding to death, is where you’ve crossed the line.)

Well, Abbie, I criticized the imbecile-Hindu version of Benny Hinn for the very same thing for the particular reason that in Hinduism the collection of excessive material goods and wants is expressly considered “action based on desire,” and something to be avoided by the Bhagavad-Gita, which is our major human text. The fact that SB spends his time pontificating on his advanced karmic state and rides around in a Rolls Royce doesn’t speak well of him, based on our religious teachings. At another level, I find it disgusting because despite his extremely wealthy followers, he also defrauds the extremely poor people of India, who support him as well. And India poor…well that is a poor on a level that I can’t even begin to express in words.

But on a level completely unrelated to my own religion-people who profess to minister to the masses spiritually, in my opinion, set themselves apart from regular businesspeople. Hugh Hefner expressly sells sex and capitalism. If you want your religious spokesperson to be selling your god, Jesus, whatever or if you see your religion as something which is a product, to be packaged and sold like Twinkies and Ho-hos…then that’s your priority. I think what characterizes the founders of at least the major world religions I know about (Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity) is that they gave more than they received and I, personally, want their spokespeople to behave in the same way.

I mean “major religious text”

Yo, Billy Graham is one of the good guys.

His financial summary is only so-so, however.

Benny Hinn, on the other hand, is a charlatan of the highest order.

By the way, Abbie, I agree with you that meditation/prayer can positively affect medical treatment. I have many relatives who are very well-educated doctors and they have seen this phenomenon. I know there are studies being done on it currently. However, this is no way mirrors what goes on at Benny Hinn conventions.

Good for Benny Hinn. This man’s been exposed for the huckster he is and people still send him money? I think he should raze his $10 million mansion to make way for a $50 million dollar one, reserve the entire hotel when he travels and purchase and restore a damn Concorde for his flights. If you ask me, he’s not living high enough on the hog.

I know. Most people have no idea how much work goes into keeping a straight face as you make an middle-aged, overweight woman with bunions fall over at the mere touch of your palm to her forehead.

[sub]Demon, come OUT![/sub]

I knew one nut case for whom meeting Benny Hinn was one of the highlights of his life. Of course the same guy also claims to have seen somebody fly across the room as an evil demon was exorcised from him.

I accidentally saw part of Hinn’s show while I was flipping channels. The guy was preaching hate, pure and simple. I had no idea he was a fraud as well. I don’t know which is worse - really believing the hate that you preach, or using it as a tool to bilk people out of their money. It makes me sad that so many people think the world’s going to hell in a handbasket if they show a tit on T.V., while true evil like Hinn is on the air.

He’s exactly the same as Hitler in every way. :wink:

Because there’s no aura of deception when Hugh Hefner does it.
If I were to give him $10, I’d expect $10 worth of porn. That’s what he’s selling, that’s what I’m buying. I would get exactly the service/product I paid for. The money is going exactly where I expect it to. Sure, I might like it more if he gave all his money to altruistic causes, but that’s not why I hypothetically gave him money.

If were to give $10 to someone claiming to “further God’s work” or “support a ministry” or some other phrase commonly used by certain “religious” celebrities, I expect the money to go directly to the costs of doing the work and the extra to be used for things like feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, healing the sick, etc. When it is used to put someone’s ass in a $10,000 per night hotel suite, I would feel lied to. If that’s what his followers really want to do, why doesn’t he say so directly in his pleas for cash?
Hugh Hefner says “Give me money, and I’ll give you pictures of naked women” (and he does exactly that). Benny Hinn does not say “Give me money, and I’m going jewelry shopping!! Jewelry shopping for God!” My guess is that he isn’t honest because there’d be less money coming in.
The deception, which isn’t just lying, but lying using God’s name, really bothers me.

The fact that he cannot medically document any of the hundreds of “healings” he claims or has footage of or that many of the “healed” have died of their conditions very soon after his annointing doesn’t influence your opinion? Hmmm… It’s rare to meet somebody of your character, you’re somebody I’d like to do business with. I tell you what, I have a little real estate venture I’m putting together and I have room as fate would have it for just one more investor…

Uh, how about…

  • People give money (often money they can’t afford) to him believing that it is going for a wide variety of noble causes they believe in including (but not limited to) eletronic proselytization, housing and healthcare for the most impoverished people on earth, the bringing of healings to ever more people and the care of the indigent and infirm throughout the world; I seriously doubt that the old widow eating peanut butter crackers because she sent in $100 from her social security check did so in hopes it would end up in the hands of a Rodeo Drive doorman

  • Hinn is spreading the word of Jesus (according to Hinn). Jesus is a man who was the owner of only one known possession (a robe) and he preached humility and a turning away from luxury and worldliness (e.g. eye of the needle). How good of a spokesperson for a humble peripatetic ascetic is a man who pays $120,000 per month for jet housing and maintenance (that’s an actual figure, btw) and refuses to file a statement as to how he spends his contributions (estimated at between $80 and $120 million per year)?

Nope. Hefner makes no false claims as to how he is using the money- that Hinn makes false claims is a verifiable proven fact.

And I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Hefner, agnostic and worldly as he is, doesn’t ultimately give much more to charity than Hinn. (Certainly he brings the men of the world a lot more peace.)

It appears he has it because of the ministry? Are you suggesting that that he has a $10 million mansion, a private jet, a fleet of Mercedes’s, etc., that he got from clipping coupons and investing the money saved on name brand aluminum foil in Intel or something? There’s no question: he has it BECAUSE of the ministry.

And while I couldn’t care less whether or not a minister is poor (certainly vows of poverty aren’t unheard of), I think there’s a slight difference between the ability to feed your family and jetting your family to Italy for a week to have their wardrobes fitted by Armani.

Please, you keep him.

It’s his money. He didn’t misrepresent his magical ability to heal to get it. If he wants to light cigars with original Shakespeare First Folio pages I couldn’t care less.

Again: slight difference between “poor” and “not spending $10,000 that was sent to you to support third world orphans for months on a one night luxury suite”. Even in London, that’s an insane amount to pay for a decent hotel room- he could as easily have paid $500 for a very nice room overlooking the Thames and used the pocketed $9,500 to pay three teachers for one year in a third world country, or feed 95 children for three months in Guinea, or pay for an operation for an indigent single mother with no health insurance. And this wasn’t a one-time thing- his suites routinely cost thousands of dollars FOR ONE NIGHT, and I don’t feel it is being delusional or wishing ill-will (though I will admit I do wish ill-will on Hinn, namely that he’ll be exposed in such a way that even the most gullible and self-deluded of his followers will see him lucidly) to say that I DO NOT BELIEVE THE REASON PEOPLE SEND HIM TONS OF MONEY IS SO THAT HE CAN LIVE LIKE WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST CA. 1925.

You certainly don’t seem to have a problem with it.

Hmm. I think ultimately dysentery hurts more people than it helps as well.

If it was just Benny Hinn that might be an invalid assumption. If it were just BennY Hinn and Jim & Tammy Faye Bakker it might even be. If it were just those two and Robert Tilton (multimillion dollar beach house among other perks), Pat Robertson (multimillion dollar mountaintop mansion in W. Virginia that he visits less than three weeks per year), Jerry Falwell, Jan & Paul Crouch and Jack Van Impe, it would be less unreasonable. When people spend ten times more money in one night on a hotel than most of their followers (again, not shareholders and not customers, but people who in good faith send them money they have sworn to use to do the work of Jesus) will spend on a vacation in a year, it’s overkill- it’s unreasonable- and that the same people will then get tears in their eyes and beg for money to save poor children or tell their followers that they should go without in order to pay broadcast bills or Satan will win, it’s more disgusting to me and to most reasonable people than any airbrushed slattern who ever spread her labia and smiled to buy more gold for Larry Flynt’s wheelchair. (Flynt delivers what he promises- he never claims that your money is going for anything other than to make him rich [though ironically his SCOTUS battles have possibly done more good for most Americans than Hinn will ever do for his followers).

Nice? You consider a $10 million 8,000 square foot oceanfront home “nice”? I consider it lavish… palatial… freaking posh.

$500,000 would buy a nice home in most cities of America. That would leave $9.5 MILLION (six-figures per year in interest even in these times)- think of how many wells THAT would dig. I guarantee you that
Norman Borlaug has done more to help the impoverished around the world than every televangelist who ever lived, and he doesn’t travel in a private jet.

Cite? (Do you have any remote idea of the average work week of Wall Street executives? Believe me, they didn’t get to be Wall St. “suits” because they answered an ad saying “Wanted: people to work for ridiculously high paying jobs in stress-free environments, very short work week, no experience or background needed”- they got there because they worked most of their asses off and they stay there because they’re still working them off. I’ve known Wall Street secretaries who put in 80 hour work-weeks.

You keep asserting points like this (ministers gotta eat, ministers shouldn’t be poor, churches have to have money, yadda yadda) as if somebody has argued it. It’s not that Hinn and other televangelists aren’t living like Mohandas “You have no idea how much it costs to keep that old man in poverty” Gandhi that has us pissed, it’s the fact that they are living like sultans.

And the great thing about the medicine and the surgery- they don’t particularly CARE whether or not you have faith in them. Phenobarbitol will bring the the seizures under control for atheists just as well as it does for Christians, Hindus and Muslims, and one helluva lot better than it does for those who attend Benny Hinn rallies. (And why hasn’t one- not ONE- televangelist ever been able to grow back anybody’s missing limb [I’d settle for a fingertip… even a fingerNAIL if it were done on camera).

And those who have really good insurance get better even fasther.

One hell of a lot if they decide to forego treatment to rely on prayer alone, and this has happened.

I was at his Daughter’s wedding, his daughter Jessica married a guy named Michael. Not saying I know them personally because it wasn’t a private wedding ceremony, I mean any of you could have gone but anyway his daughter is really, really pretty.
I also talked to Benny’s son and didn’t even know it was him, his son’s name is Joshua Hinn and he’s a funny kid.