August 25, 2015
Source: Robert Tilton
As I watched, I naturally noted what each journalist claimed was Benny Hinn’s ministry’s annual revenue at the time of their broadcast. Three hours later, my notes read:
1993: $15 million.
1995: $33 million.
1996: $50 million
1998: $75 million
1999: $120 million
I naively wondered why Ole Anthony and all these investigative journalists didn”t notice that every time they tried to destroy Hinn’s “ministry,” it actually grew. Something smelled off. I let my subscription to The Door lapse.
But I still took another, more serious, religious magazine, called First Things. That’s how I heard, six years later, that”you”ll never guess”Ole Anthony was, at least by some accounts, a pretty shady fellow himself: a “sociopath” and “cult leader,” some former Trinity staffers claimed.
And that initial Primetime Live investigation that made them famous and shut down Robert Tilton’s enterprise?
[A]n examination of thousands of pages of court documents in lawsuits triggered by the ABC exposÃ© shows numerous misrepresentations by Anthony and his cohorts at ABC, who employed deceptive journalistic techniques that ended up embarrassing Diane Sawyer. Tilton’s lawyers proved that the prayer requests discovered by Trinity could not have been found [in the Dumpsters] as claimed: Thus, the most memorable part of the Primetime Live story was bogus.
That’s from a long-form 2006 Dallas Observer piece called “The Cult of Ole.”
Fast-forward to late last week. Like so many outlets, CBS News is praising John Oliver’s “prosperity gospel” smackdown.
They quoted an expert on these huckster preachers, who mocked the notion that “the church community does a good job of policing itself.”
“My God,” the expert shot back. “They should at least say that fraud is illegal in the name of God.”
That expert, as you had guessed, was Ole Anthony.
Oh, and should you wish to “express your thankfulness” to pastor Benny Hinn, do feel free to click the bright red “donate” button right here.