“Having grown up within the inner circle of televangelism’s largest player, TBN, I can say that Jackie Alnor’s book ‘The Fleecing of Christianity’ paints an accurate portrayal of the false hopes and distorted philosophies used by some of televangelism’s largest players. Being the granddaughter of Paul and Jan Crouch, I had firsthand experience witnessing how people can misuse and manipulate the Gospel for their own personal financial benefit and gain. I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to better understand the inner workings and distorted philosophies used by some of our nation’s largest prosperity gospel preachers.”
I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person. – 1 Cor 5:9-13
Since The Fleecing of Christianity was published in 2009, there have been dramatic changes to the Christian television landscape. Time changes things, but the faulty foundation as documented in this book remains the same.
The deaths of the founders of Trinity Broadcasting Network, first Paul in 2013 and then Jan in 2016, altered its personality. The younger son, Matthew Crouch, became the sole heir of the fortune, after beating out his elder brother Paul Crouch Jr. who was railroaded out of the family business after his daughter, Brittany, turned whistle-blower. In her position as the chief financial officer of TBN, she allegedly uncovered suspicious transfers of funds that benefited her Uncle Matt’s for-profit movie business, Gener8Xion Entertainment, among other misuses of non-profit assets.
Her honesty resulted in the termination of her job, the ousting of her dad, brother, and sister from their positions, and harassment in the form of 22-plus baseless lawsuits.
Chairman of the Board Matthew Crouch made immediate changes to the program line-up to make TBN appear a bit more sophisticated. He eliminated his mom’s favorite heretic, Benny Hinn; he ditched shows that focused on Bible prophecy; he redesigned the sets so they no longer reflected his mom’s sleazy taste; and he threw out all the hillbilly-style musicians. He added programs starring more mainstream hosts such as former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, scandalized apologist Ravi Zacharias, Mega-church pastor Robert Morris, and popular speakers Beth Moore, Christine Caine, and others.
He also ditched some of TBN’s other networks, including the Church Channel which he turned over to Hillsong’s Brian Houston to manage and is renamed the Hillsong Channel. [See: https://christiansentinel.com/2017/08/03/fcc-pays-billion-dollars-religious-broadcasters/ ]
Subsequently, Matt sold off many of TBN’s assets. The Costa Mesa studio and offices which had long been an eyesore for drivers on the 405 Freeway, while valued at $40 million, was sold for $18 million. TBN received $634 million from the sale of seven TV station frequencies back to the FCC. The resulting revenue made it possible to eliminate the Praise-a-Thons his parents produced to fleece the people with various arm-twisting scams for pledges.
So, the overall appearance of TBN has improved, however the spread of false Christianity may be more subtle. It’s just the same old hag in new and improved rags.
Another Christian television network that has seen changes in the past decade is Britain’s GodTV. Its founders, Rory and Wendy Alec, had a rather public marital battle and divorce in 2014. Rory admitted that he got caught up in a “moral failure” and is now married to the singer with whom he committed adultery, Carola Caye. The couple live in Austria producing music and he has a blog called ‘Spirit, Soul and Body’.
Without the visible power couple, God TV has been moved out of England and into Orlando, Florida under the parent organization, Angel Christian Television Trust and its CEO Ward Simpson. They have resorted to fanciful ways to bring in much needed revenue. They partner with mystic Patricia King, who has her own show on the channel, with her online school called “Christian Learning: Powered by God TV”. [https://www.christianlearning.com/] – They offer online E-courses for $39 to $59 from sketchy teachers with no academic credentials — they make Tetzel look benevolent. At the time of publishing, they do not offer a single class on Bible teaching — they are all about paranormal pursuits. Here are some of the class titles and their professors:
- ‘Mystical Encounters’ and ‘How to Partner with Angels’ – Patricia King (Xtreme Prophetic) $59.00
- ‘How to Open Barren Wombs’ – Dr. Charles Karuku $49.00
- ‘Shifting Atmospheres’ – Dawna De Silva (Bethel Church, Redding) $59.00
- ‘Basic Training for the Prophetic Ministry’ – Kris Vallotton (Bethel) $59.00
‘Christian television’ continues to produce the worst of the worst in flock-fleecers. A recent report by the watchdog group, Ministry Watch, posted a graph of the top paid ministry personnel.
The top two spots with a combined salary of over $5 million were awarded to the former PTL — Inspirational Network, which was founded in 1978 by Jim and Tammy Bakker. Opportunist, Morris Cerullo, took advantage of the situation and bought it in 1990 for a proverbial song when the network was in bankruptcy. David Cerullo, took it over from his pops, and maintained the tradition of selling airtime to a host of religious con-men and false teachers. However, when it was expedient, the network cut their ‘Christian’ programming down and now airs a variety of secular television reruns such as the inspirational ‘Walker Texas Ranger’ and ‘Bonanza’. The Cerullos perhaps learned their trick from Pat Robertson and CBN in taking a non-profit network built on Christian donations and turning it into a for-profit secular treasure trove. That explains why The Inspiration Networks have four in the top ten.
As the popularity of ‘Christian’ celebrities wane in the aftermath of so many scandals involving the immoral behavior among the elite, religious networks are branching out. Many of these networks are selling off their studios and/or renting space on their cell towers to telecommunication companies. Statistics show a major decline of church attendance among young people, and as the older ones die off, the demand for inspirational television peters out. The con of the prosperity gospel and movements like the laughing revival have failed the test of time. This contributed to the rise of the so-called ‘nones,’ those who say they follow Christ but want nothing to do with traditional church.
The false facade of Christianity has created a pandemic of cynicism toward the Bible — collateral damage. All expressions of Christianity have fallen on rough times. The Roman Catholic Church leads the way in this implosion in the aftermath of the pedophile priest scandal. Both Catholic and Protestant churches have been seen in the headlines of one financial or sexual scandal after another.
The death of organized religion happened before our eyes. “They have sown the wind and have reaped the whirlwind.” (Hosea 8:7)
My prayer is that the true faith in the Jesus of the Bible will make a comeback as the prophesied birth pangs of the last days begin to hit people where they live. Christian TV networks have distorted the face of Christianity worldwide. The world sees through the false prosperity gospel and hears the boasting of the televangelists such as Kenneth Copeland and Paula White decree and declare that the world is their Kingdom and they’re “taking it back.”
When sound teachers form alliances with false teachers and false prophets, they lend their good names to what is evil and share in their judgment.
I am making my book available on my Christian Sentinel website without charge in hopes that believers will wise up to the snare one might fall into should they in any way partner with the evil workers and false brethren. Do not give them credibility. Your faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ is being tested — don’t fail the test!
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God:
and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them
that obey not the gospel of God? – 1 Peter 4:17
Feel free to share the link, but please do not post this copyright material to your own websites
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
- My 2012 Interview with Brittany Crouch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lY2ygUXWpc
- Interview with Carra Crouch’s attorney David Keesling https://studio.youtube.com/video/6ysX5lVriRg/edit
- Christian Sentinel article about Carra Crouch
- Christian Television in Light of Bible Prophecy by Jackie Alnor
- Excerpt from Brittany Crouch’s unpublished autobiography