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TBN Makes Founders Filthy Rich. Film at 11.

More revelations are coming out in the lawsuit filed by the granddaughter of Paul and Jan Crouch, owners of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, and they include details of a lavish lifestyle that includes multiple private jets and homes just for dogs.

The claims – by Brittany Koper, whose grandfather Paul Crouch founded TBN, and by Joseph McVeigh, another family member – describe exorbitant spending on mansions in California, Tennessee and Florida, private jets and even a $100,000 (£63,000) mobile home to house the dogs of Crouch’s flamboyant wife, Janice…

According to the lawsuit, reported in US newspapers, Paul Crouch Sr obtained a $50m luxury jet for his personal use through a “sham loan”, while church funds – many of which come from donations during events like its “Praise-a-thons” – paid for the dogs’ mobile home.

McVeigh’s lawsuit makes the most damning allegations, claiming “unlawful and unreported income distributions to Trinity Broadcasting’s directors” with “multiple jet aircraft, including a $50m Global Express luxury jet aircraft purchased for the personal use of the Crouches through a sham loan … as well as an $8m Hawker jet aircraft purchased by Trinity Broadcasting for the personal use of director Janice Crouch”.

It also describes the purchase of “multiple motor vehicles, including a $100,000 motor home purchased by Trinity Broadcasting as a mobile residence for director Janice Crouch’s dogs”.

Directors of the network are also accused of misusing funds to cover up sex scandals, including the alleged “cover-up and destruction of evidence concerning a bloody sexual assault involving Trinity Broadcasting and affiliated Holy Land Experience employees; the cover-up of director Janice Crouch’s affair with a staff member at the Holy Land Experience; the cover-up of director Paul Crouch’s use of Trinity Broadcasting funds to pay for a legal settlement with Enoch Lonnie Ford (a former TBN employee who said he had a homosexual affair with [founder] Paul Crouch)”.

In other words, business as usual for these televangelist con men. These are people who push the “prosperity gospel,” which claims that if you “sow your seed of faith” — by sending them money, of course — then God will send it back to you tenfold or a hundredfold. If they really believed that, of course, they’d be giving their money away rather than begging you to send it to them. But they don’t. Because it’s a big scam.

Comments

  1. raven says

    I don’t have a problem with Trinity Broadcasting wasting hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Money spent on jets, payoffs to sexual assualt victims, and dogs is money not spent attacking science, evolution, physics and trying to take over the US government and destroy it.

    For any fundies reading along, send more money to the Crouches. I’m sure they could use it to pay their lawyers off.

    while church funds – many of which come from donations during events like its “Praise-a-thons” – paid for the dogs’ mobile home.

    Not a bad idea. But dogs? I would have spent it on cats myself.

  2. Gregory in Seattle says

    “Sell your possessions, and give alms; provide yourselves with purses that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” – Luke 12:33-34

    “Jesus said to him, ‘If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.'” – Matthew 19:21

    “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.” – James 5:1-6

    “And all who believed were together and had all things in common; and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need.” – Acts 2:44-45

    “Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had everything in common…. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet; and distribution was made to each as any had need.” – Acts 4:32, 34-35

    “And Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Truly, I say to you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.'” – Matthew 19:23-24

    Then again, I suppose it is too much to ask for a televangelist and “man of God” to know anything about the Bible.

  3. Larry says

    All they need to do is go on TV, tears streaming down their cheeks, and blubber something like “I have sinned, dear Jebus” and the sheep will forgive them (again) and continue to send in money.

    Its sort of a Circle of Life thing they’ve got going on.

    1 Get on TV to preach
    2 Flock sends money
    3 Preacher wastes money on personal luxuries
    4 Waste is disclosed
    5 Preacher begs jebus to forgive him
    6 Go to 1

  4. Sastra says

    Whoa, sounds like God has really blessed these people. Surely, these must be His true followers. Who am I to argue with God?

    And it also sounds the the secular world is persecuting them. That’s another sign that they’re on God’s side.

    So I’m convinced: where do I send my money?

    Nice the way that works.

  5. Pierce R. Butler says

    The Evil-Ads algorithm thoughtfully provides us some useful perspective on this situation: Bluestar Jets, “the largest private jet wholesale broker in the country”, offers “luxurious heavy jets” for a trifling $5K/hr.

    So the Crouches’ investment* will pay for itself after only 10,000 hours in flight. How can their ungrateful granddaughter have any possible complaint that they haven’t acted in the best interests of their loyal donors?

    * not including any resources sunk into Enoch Lonnie Ford, on or off aforesaid aircraft.

  6. John Hinkle says

    I heard a beg-a-thon on Moody Bible radio the other day. They can be rather shameless in their appeals, one of which was something to the effect that even if you can’t give (because you’re destitute), you still should since it’s to help do god’s work. You can’t put a price on their ministerial work when it means someone’s eternal salivating. And then they made a joke about it. Har har har. Let’s joke about salvation and fleecing the destitute; those are knee slappin’ funny topics, you betcha.

    But like raven said, at least that’s money not being used for concrete, nefarious purposes.

  7. raven says

    that even if you can’t give (because you’re destitute), you still should since it’s to help do god’s work.

    I’ve never understood why god, the all powerful creator of the universe always needs money.

    If he could poof a 13.7 billion year old universe into existence 6,000 years ago, one would think he could just poof money into existence, even if it was just gold, platinum, and palladium.

    Fundies claim that their god is all powerful but act like he doesn’t really exist.

  8. dingojack says

    ” Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire”.
    Uh James – gold and silver have a lower electronegitivity than oxygen. (ie they don’t tend to readily oxidise. In fact they are resistant to most acids). And, technically, only iron ‘rusts’, since iron III oxide (Fe2O3) is called ‘rust’, informally.
    Bible zero, science several thousand.
    Dingo.

  9. doktorzoom says

    Gregory in Seattle @ 2: The “prosperity Gospel” folks have edited the New Testament down to the Parable of the Talents and the Book of Revelation, plus the parts of Paul’s epistles where he condemns homosexuality and women preachers. Sometimes they’ll also include the “I come not to bring peace, but a sword,” because they like the idea of Jesus smiting people they disagree with.

  10. F says

    <weeping>You guys just love basing on the job-creator class. They worked hard for their money, they deserve it, and the rest of us wouldn’t be anywhere without them.</weeping>

  11. kagekiri says

    Ah, it reminds me of all those excuses people (particularly preachers in sermons) like to make for televangelists who turn out to be entirely morally bankrupt.

    “Oh, Satan tempts the strongest and most visible among us!”

    As if having scum for leadership is a sign that they’re doing something right and “Satan is running scared,” rather than they’re doing something horribly wrong if even their biggest leaders and preachers can’t stand up to actual moral scrutiny.

  12. laurentweppe says

    a $100,000 (£63,000) mobile home to house the dogs of Crouch’s flamboyant wife, Janice…

    church funds – many of which come from donations during events like its “Praise-a-thons” – paid for the dogs’ mobile home.

    Hallowed are They Who Give Us Puppies

  13. Ben P says

    Here’s the part that always interests me.

    Why is it always the con artists that live the really extravagant lifestyles? Even with lesser means they live lifestyles that put the most ostentatious investment bankers to shame.

    You look at guys in the top rung of wealth, a surprising number of them do not live terribly ostentatiously.

    Don’t get me wrong, a great many of them live quite well. But you look at a bill gates, a steve jobs, a sam walton, you don’t see gold plated toilets and mobile homes for dogs. The last two of the three I named were famously tightfisted. Even the more ostentatious billionares like Larry Ellison buy very expensive toys, there’s no pretending that a $200m luxury yatcht is not ostentatious, but they still rarely spend money in ways that are so frivolous as con artists do.

    The only business people who approach that level of ostentatiousness are the investment bankers. Unlike many of the above people they’re famous not just for getting rich, but getting rich very quickly. If you happen run the next hedge fund to hit it big, wall street can make you an 8 figure net worth by your mid 30’s.

    If I had to speculate, it’s psychological. People who know that their money is the result of great accomplishments are secure and have no need to show off wealth merely for the sake of showing off wealth. Some of them buy expensive things, but it rarely seems they do it just because they can.

    Lottery winners and scam artists and to some extent investment bankers on the other hand seem to be operating under a fear that it will all just disappear one day, so who cases if you’re spending it on stupid shit?

  14. scifi the first (formerly scifi1) says

    Larry –

    Its sort of a Circle of Life thing they’ve got going on.

    1 Get on TV to preach
    2 Flock sends money
    3 Preacher wastes money on personal luxuries
    4 Waste is disclosed
    5 Preacher begs jebus to forgive him
    6 Go to 1

    May I respectfully suggest another couple that would sit somewhere between 3 and 5?

    – ‘Preacher is caught in sordid affair with gay man/prostitute/underage teen/animal/any usual target for his bigotry’ –

    (Or was this included as part of (3)?)

    and;

    – serial tax improprieties are discovered leading to jail sentence’ -

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