Thursday, March 03, 2005

How to debunk a shady televangelist...

I saw a GREAT show on CBC tonight. The Fifth Estate ran a story on the infamous Benny Hinn (go directly to the story here). You know the guy. You've flipped through channels and found him begging for money to support his ministry. He's the guy that "lays on hands" and heals everybody. Or does he? The Fifth Estate essentially just completely debunked him. Surprise! He's a fake. Hidden cameras and testimonials from a former security guard and people that didn't get healed don't lie. He's a damn snake -oil salesman...and thousands, if not millions of people believe him. He's claimed on television that he has NEVER lied to his followers and that he gets NONE of the money. Wrong. Here are a few interesting facts..
His ministry brings in about $200,000,000.00 a year. Tax free.
His California home, which is listed as his parsonage, is worth about 10 million. As it's his parsonage it's paid for by the church. All bills are paid for by the church.
His private jet is paid for by the church.
He has a 7-figure salary.
He stays in the swankiest rooms in the swankiest hotels in the world.
He sometimes spends over $10,000 a day on a hotel room and then thousands more on dining.
None of the people that are invited on the stage to be healed are ever in wheelchairs, have crutches, or have a visible condition.
He "cures" people of conditions they don't have.
There is a crew of people, led by his brother, that weeds out candidates to go on stage to be "healed".
The more you give, the more you're cured.
The average "crusade" brings in about $500,000 or more. That doesn't include mail-in payments, merchandise, etc.
His ugly suits are VERY expensive.
His church will not release their financial records to the public.
Petty cash is doled out in chunks of $25,000 to Benny and his wife.
People are gullible.

I'm not surprised by any of this. Televangelists piss me off! I may not be the most religious person on earth (if at all), but I believe that it's important to have faith in something. Put your faith in God (if you believe in God), not in Benny Hinn. I want to vomit as soon as I see him on TV, yet thousands and thousands of gullible people believe every word he says. I think they all live in "Red States". This same "my guy is infallible although all the evidence points against it" mentality can also be found in G. Dubya supporters. Hmmm...they're both fundamentalists and LIARS! I wonder if they're in cahoots? Benny Hinn is Canadian, so at least he can't run for President...unless Arnold has his way. It really sickens me that people can take advantage of people like this.

This TV story essentially PROVES that he's a fraud. If people can't see the truth and keep supporting Benny Hinn I'll probably lose all faith in humanity. Maybe if we had a similar expose about the President that would interrupt a NASCAR race...

I actually have a customer who comes to town once and a while who not only is a part-time evangelist, but also claims to be a prophet. I'll leave him alone as he and his crew are pretty nice in person and his bodyguard is frickin' HUGE. He also spends a lot of money on some GREAT wine. I don't believe in anything he's about publicly, but he's a good customer and I treat him as such.

I think CBC will be re-airing the episode a few times this week. Be sure to check it out!

The only good thing that I learned about Benny Hinn from the report is that he's a GREAT tipper.



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