Jet-setting, “faith-healing” fraud Hinn still begging for money

This guy just keeps getting more and more vile. Ol’ Pastor Benny Hinn, whose bogus “faith-healing” extravangazas were thoroughly exposed in this Canadian television documentary, is claiming that he’s four months in arrears on his airtime bills to TBN, which he says total $450,000 each month. As if Paul Crouch, who’s entirely complicit with Benny in fleecing the gullible, would ever kick his cash cow pal off the air.


The face of sleaze.

Of course, if Benny’s so hard up for cash, what the hell’s he doing buying a $46 million Gulfstream jet? What’s he doing staying in lavish hotel suites costing up to $4000 a night, and living in a palatial $10 million mansion? If he’s so broke, why doesn’t he sell off some of his $1000 designer suits and pick up a few things from the Men’s Wearhouse instead? Why not trade in his $80,000 Mercedes SUV for a Corolla? Hinn’s ministry reportedly raises in the neighborhood of $100 million every year (compare that to the pittance a group like the National Center for Science Education has to subsist on, and feel the steam emerge from your ears), and its finances have gotten the IRS’s attention. Really, at a cool hundred mil a year, Benny could meet his broadcasting bills to TBN with ease, and still have $94,600,000 to play with.

Benny whines that it’s the evil secular media that distorts his spending. But that isn’t the case. Hinn has refused to join the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. A Christian watchdog group, MinistryWatch.com, has issued a warning about associating with or donating to Hinn’s ministries. Among their conclusions:

[Facts presented] on NBC DATELINE – coupled with MinistryWatch.com’s previously stated concerns about Hinn espousing the self-serving “prosperity theology” message – has caused MinistryWatch.com to recommend that donors consider redirecting their gifts to one of the many biblically-based ministries that are not only more transparent in their dealings with the public but also treat donor’s funds as a sacred trust dedicated exclusively for the Lord’s work.

I’ll say it again with glee: This swine should be in prison. But I suspect that, unlike Kent Hovind, he’s probably just a bit smarter about hiding anything he could get really nailed for from the proper authorities. Sadly, our culture’s insistence upon treating religion, no matter how absurd or exploitive the practice of one might be, with “respect” means we can’t exactly criminalize the guy for standing up on a stage and lying to idiots that he can cure them of any ailment they’ve got (including AIDS) as long as the cash buckets are appropriately filled. Am I wrong in insisting that’s gotta change?

Snake oil on a plane! Hinn sleaze flying higher than ever.

Benny’s just bought God a new Gulfstream jet, and he wants his flock of dupes to pay for it. Ay-mayzing. Check the transparently manipulative language in the sales pitch here and boggle that anyone’s brain could be so calcified as to buy it.

…Now we must pay the remainder of the down payment, and I am asking the Lord Jesus to speak to 6,000 of my precious partners to sow a seed of $1,000 in the next ninety days. And I am praying, even as I write this letter, that you will be one of them!

I know that as you obey the Lord, He will open heaven wide and cause a mighty harvest of blessings to descend upon your life and all that you do!

Take special note of the phrasing, “I know that as you obey the Lord…” This bit of smarm is very much in keeping with the language of something called NLP, or neuro-linguistic programming, which is all about how to phrase sales pitches to rubes using careful turns of phrase that make them think they’re doing something other than what you’re really trying to get them to do (buy your product, have sex with you), and that the decision to do it is their idea, that they arrived at all on their own because it was really the only sensible thing to do, and why would they even consider not doing it? He wants his “precious” partners — the ones who are already forking over loads of cash they can probably barely spare in the first place, so that Benny can live it up in places like this — to “sow a seed” of six million dollars for his fancy jet, and he’s equating doing this with “obeying the Lord”. Confronted with meretriciousness and hubris of this degree, I don’t know whether to tip my hat in grudging respect, or buy an ad banner on the Al Jazeera website seeking shoe bombers.

That last bit was a joke.

How do you spell “scumsucking filth”? B-E-N-N-Y H-I-N-N.

Yes, yes, we all know what a vile charlatan this clownish “faith healer” is. But to see what this son of a bitch does with your own eyes, to see how cold-bloodedly he exploits the hope of the truly desperate and pathetic while whooping it up in $10 million mansions and $4000-a-night hotel suites, just makes you sick to your stomach. This kind of hard-hitting exposé, from the CBC news program The Fifth Estate, is the kind of badass investigative journalism America hasn’t seen since the Watergate scandal, and which we’re not likely to see in this day and age, when conservative mouthpieces own the U.S. airwaves and they’re only too willing to pander to the most egregious forms of religious lunacy. This runs 42 minutes but it’s worth every one. Bask in how low one man can go. All in the name of Jesus.