Wednesday, June 13, 2007

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,, has issued a warning about associating with or donating to Hinn's ministries. Among their conclusions:

[Facts presented] on NBC DATELINE – coupled with’s previously stated concerns about Hinn espousing the self-serving “prosperity theology” message – has caused 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?

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