Senator Grassley Investigating 6 Top Evangelists- Turn Over Your Financial Records, Please!


 

Senator Grassley Investigating 6 Top Evangelists- Turn Over Your Financial Records, Please!
 


6 November 2007 at 8:15:02 AM
salon

Maybe you remember when Robert Tilton, who had a television ministry based out of Carrollton, Texas, was busted for not only using money for a second vacay home in Florida, but reporters found sacks and sacks of prayer requests in the dumpster. Notice who exposed him.

When ABC producers, who had started working on their own investigation into a number of televangelists in early 1991, contacted the Trinity Foundation for information on Tilton, the two groups pooled their efforts. Anthony agreed to portray himself--a Dallas-based minister with a small church looking into the ways televangelist ministries were able to grow so quickly--in a hidden camera operation to get behind the scenes at Response Media, the group handling Tilton's mass mailings. The director of Response Media, Jim Moore, described for Anthony and the hidden cameras (concealed in the undercover Primetime Live producers' glasses and handbags) many of the techniques used by Tilton to raise funds for his ministry, and disclosed that the prayer requests returned by the donors not only were never read by Tilton, but that they were never even intended to be read by him; instead, the mailings were forwarded unopened to the many banks the ministry used in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Trinity Foundation members, acting on this information, started digging through garbage dumpsters outside Tilton's banks and the office of Tilton's lawyer, J.C. Joyce, and found tens of thousands of discarded prayer requests, bank statements, computer printouts containing the coding for how Tilton's "personalized" letters were generated, and more, all of which were shown in detail on the Primetime Live documentary.[19] In a follow-up broadcast on November 28, 1991, Primetime Live host Diane Sawyer said that the Trinity Foundation and Primetime Live assistants found prayer requests in bank dumpsters on 14 separate occasions in a 30-day period.[20]

Tilton vehemently denied the allegations and took to the airwaves on November 22, 1991 on a special episode of Success-N-Life entitled "Primetime Lies" to air his side of the story. Tilton also asserted that the prayer requests found in garbage bags shown on the Primetime Live investigation were stolen from the ministry and placed in the dumpster for a sensational camera shot, and that he prayed over every prayer request received, to the point that he "laid on top of those prayer requests so much that the chemicals actually got into my bloodstream, and...I had two small strokes in my brain."[21]

Primetime Live's original investigation and subsequent updates included interviews with several former Tilton employees and acquaintances. In the original investigation, one of Tilton's former prayer hotline operators claimed that the ministry cared little for desperate followers who called for prayer, saying that Tilton had a computer installed in July 1989 to make sure the phone operators were off the line by seven minutes. Also in the original report, a former friend of Tilton's from college (who remained anonymous and was shown in silhouette) claimed that both he and Tilton would go to tent revival meetings as a sport and would claim to be anointed and healed at the meetings, adding that the two had often discussed the notion that after graduation, they would set up their own roving revival ministry "and drive around the country and get rich." In a July 1992 update to the investigation, Primetime Live interviewed Tilton's former maid, who claimed that prayer requests that were sent to Tilton's house by the ministry were routinely ignored until he told her to move them out of the house and into the garage; according to the maid, "they stacked up and stacked up" in Tilton's garage until he had them thrown away. In the same interview, Tilton's former secretary came forward and claimed that Tilton lifted excerpts from "get rich quick" books and used them in his sermons, and that she never saw him perform pastoral duties such as visiting with the sick and praying with members.[22]

Despite Tilton's repeated denials of misconduct, the state of Texas and the Federal government got involved in subsequent investigations, finding more causes for concern about Tilton's financial status with each new revelation. After nearly 10,000 pounds of prayer requests and letters to the Tilton ministry were found in a disposal bin at a Tulsa-area recycling firm in February 1992 along with itemized receipts of their delivery from Tilton's main mail handling service in Tulsa rather than from the church offices in Farmers Branch, Tilton admitted in a deposition given to the Texas Attorney General's office that he often prayed over computerized lists of prayer requests instead of the actual prayer requests themselves, and that prayer requests were in fact routinely thrown away after categorization.

Did you see the Trinity Foundation in there? (I'm not sure, wonder if that's the same organization that used to be in that gorgeous building on 183 in Irving?) Anyway, they have collected information on some evangelists and given it to Congress to investigate.

According to Grassley's office, the Iowa Republican is trying to determine whether or not these ministries are improperly using their tax-exempt status as churches to shield lavish lifestyles.

The six ministries identified as being under investigation by the committee are led by: Paula White, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long, Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn. Three of the six - Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and Creflo Dollar - also sit on the Board of Regents for the Oral Roberts University. ...

The letters sent Monday were the culmination of a long investigation fueled in part by complaints from Ole Anthony, a crusader against religious fraud who operates the Dallas-based Trinity Foundation, which describes itself as a watchdog monitoring religious media, fraud and abuse. "We've been working with them for two years," Anthony told CBS News. "We have furnished them with enough information to fill a small Volkswagen."

Anthony said after twenty years of working with media organizations to expose televangelists, he saw little reform. He says that's why he turned to another tactic, going straight to Grassley. He is confident that Grassley's inquiry will be different, "What we hope is that this will lead to reform in religious nonprofits."


Permalink Tags:          
     Views: 7335 
Latest Blog Post by salon -Why Does Jack Graham of Prestonwood Baptist Church Support Sexual Predator Donald Trump?
Comments!  
1 - john modler   22 Jul 2008 @ 10:18:54 AM 

This is an attack on religious freedom. THE TRINITY FOUNDATION HAS NO CREDIBILITY. LET ME REPEAT. NO CREDIBILITY. BASICALLY THEY LIE AND MAKE EVERY THING UP. OLE ANTHONY THEIR FOUNDER IS A LOON. HE IS ANTI CHRISTIAN-ANTI CHURCH. BUT HE IS A CULT LEADER. ROBERT TILTON IS UP AND RUNNING IN FLORIDA. ALL ALLEGATIONS AGAINST HIM WERE UNFOUNDED. ANY ONE THAT TAKES THE TRINITY FOUNDATION SERIOUSLY NEEDS TO GET THEIR HEAD EXAMINED. DR. SHERMAN C.G. ALLEN SENIOR PASTOR OF SHILOH CHURCH MINISTIRES IN FT. WORTH TEXAS. PERSONALLY REMOVED OLE ANTHONY AND HIS LOONS FORM HIS CHURCH. ITS GOOD TO SEE SOMEONE TAKE ACTION



2 - salon   22 Jul 2008 @ 11:50:54 AM 

Um. Surely you are KIDDING> I remember the reports at the time on the DFW television SHOWING the prayer requests IN THE DUMPSTER.. and later on a dump in Oklahoma found MORE prayer requests that had been dumped. It was shown by ABC news, for gosh sakes. Tilton filed a libel suit against ABC and LOST. He also filed one against Trinity and DROPPED it.

Look, you want to send money to any charleton masquerading as a man (or woman) of God? You go, bud. But if someone wants to call a religious organization that gets non-profit status from the government on whether they deserve the designation, they can, too.

I see that Tilton is apparently still at it in Florida. Proves that there is a sucker born every minute.


Latest Blog Post by salon -Why Does Jack Graham of Prestonwood Baptist Church Support Sexual Predator Donald Trump?
3 - REV. JOHN MODLER   15 Mar 2011 @ 7:07:54 PM 

ole anthony has no credibility. and since my last log to this site. which i see no one responds to- robert tilton is back  on tv and has his chruch up and running in tulsa



4 - salon   15 Mar 2011 @ 8:23:37 PM 

@John. You'll have to peddle that story somewhere else to find the gullible who think Robert Tilton is worth supporting. We have freedom of religion in this country so you can give your hard earned money to Tilton if you want. But don't expect a significant portion of those of us who remember what he did to do the same.


Latest Blog Post by salon -Why Does Jack Graham of Prestonwood Baptist Church Support Sexual Predator Donald Trump?
 You! Leave a Comment! You Know you Want To!
You must be a registered member to comment on the blog.
Your first post is held pending approval to make sure you're not a spammer bot

 Not registered? Or you can login!

LOGON - Name:Password:

New poster comments are moderated, meaning they won't show up until approved... or not.  Be patient-we have lives outside this blog, so it might take awhile You want to be rude? totally stupid? inappropriate? Racist? Bigoted? Flame war baiter? Your post may be deleted. Spammers or people posting pretend interest comments but really wanting to hawk their latest book or sell stuff or govt propaganda flacks won't see their posts published. Comments do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the site owner(salon).
If you have a problem with logging in or registering, please speak up right away. Love your comments. Oh, except spammers
More on commenting



Click Here for Main Page

Latest Posts

Why Does Jack Graham of Prestonwood Baptist Church Support Sexual Predator Donald Trump?
salon 11/20/2017

Did you Vote Against Texas Toll Lanes? TXDOT Trying a Bait and Switch
salon 11/16/2017

Religious News and Notes from the Distaff Side - 11/4/2017
salon 11/4/2017

Remember How Gov Greg Abbott (TX) Ordered a Winter Solstice Nativity Removed from the Capitol?
salon 11/3/2017

On Prayer at School Board Meetings- AHA Goes to the US Supreme Court
salon 11/3/2017

Ruminations of the Easily Amused for 11/3/2017
salon 11/3/2017




Comments

salon > From the Dallas Observer in 2015 Prestonwood Baptist Church and its supporters have never liked talking about the convicted pedophile who once worked there and have let that be known in very pointe.... (Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas Back in the News-Internet Sex Sting with Pastor)

salon > Saw this video today   (Pesky Black Buzzards)

salon > Adding a comment after Donald Trump's false equivalence of the KKK/Nazi/White Supremacy rally in Charlottesville. (Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas Back in the News-Internet Sex Sting with Pastor)

salon > Update on letter grading from Texas Lege May 2017 In the compromise version of the bill, schools and districts would be graded in three categories: student achievement, student progress and closi.... (Letter Grades in 2017 for Glen Rose ISD and Brazos River Charter Schools)













Home | Blog Home | About | News | Piazza | Calendar | Audio/Video/Open Rec | Search
Write!  |profile | quotes |
top Daily | top Weekly |top Month | top Year | Top All! | archives | subscribe RSS