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Mullahs & Media: Paul & Jan Crouch, Trinity Broadcasting Network
Founders of TBN (Trinity Broadcast Network) with Jim Bakker (who later left under a cloud of scandals and divorced his wife Tammy Fay), the Crouches preach a form of Evangelical Christian theology which assures the viewers that if they send money (to them, of course) Jesus will give them back even more worldly riches. It's worked for the Crouches; their network broadcasts all over the world, and they even purchased a $5,000,000 home in Newport Beach in the late '90s, and they have political influence in many 3rd world countries because of their wealth and worldwide media infiltration. Paul's "Captain of the Hosts" phrase, seen at the end of the credit crawl of their shows, refers to a host ponzi-scheme he seems to be running: as the main "host" and owner of the network, he then leases time to many other "hosts," ministries and programming, including Benny Hinn (the ultimate in big-scale theatrical money preachers), D. James Kennedy and many "Christian Rock" videos and concerts (including Carman, the clean-cut Christian Wayne Newton). These other hosts raise money through their programming, and Paul gets his cut before Jesus (or anyone else) gets theirs. But Jesus, of course, is the "Captain" of all hosts, apparently shining down on Paul, who rests at the top of the earthly host heap (take that Robertson!). It's just lucky for Paul that the son of god doesn't show up every week with a paper bag demanding his protection money.
Together with his wife Jan (with her white dogs and huge fluorescent wigs) they seem almost clown-like and not a serious threats to democracy as we know it, but like George W with his aw-shucks demeanor and word gaffs, don't be deceived by the surface - the Crouches own and actively run the largest over-air broadcast network on the planet! Although these days they seem more concerned with being Hollywood movie producers and attacking their critics (both internal and external), they have amazing access to world political and economic leaders. The media power and the money that they wield, along with the extremist Christian Fundamentalists ideology that they and their programmers hammer 24 hours a day into homes across the world, force upon them a certain amount of responsibility for what they hath wrought - the idea that a return to superstition, top-down authoritarianism and intolerance are the "Christian" way to live.
But it's a good thing Jesus also forgives - just recently it was revealed that Paul has been paying off a former driver/personal assistant to keep their homosexual trysts a secret (whoops, not anymore).
"The parade of guests who are featured on Paul and Jan Crouch's TBN programming runs the gamut from the serious, sound Christian thinkers and ministers to the superficial, silly, and outright heretical. How many viewers can tell the difference? How many care to try? Spiritual gullibility is widespread throughout out culture, of course, but the Word-Faith movement is part of the problem, not part of the solution" ("The Word-Faith Controversy" by Robert M. Bowman Jr.)
"God, we proclaim death to anything or anyone that will lift a hand against this network and this ministry that belongs to You, God. It is Your work, it is Your idea, it is Your property, it is Your airwaves, it is Your world, and we proclaim death to anything that would stand in the way of God's great voice of proclamation to the whole world. In the Name of Jesus, and all the people said Amen! Speak, declare, prophesy the victory and purpose of God for TBN. No license will be revoked. No station will be shut down. This is the Word of the Lord. No station will be shut down. Oh, no, exclamation point! I am giving into your hand more licenses and more stations even more powerful than those that was threatened by the enemy."
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© 2004 Joel Pelletier, joelp.com, email: email@example.com, web design: the Way Home media
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