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Paul Crouch is Dead.
December 3, 2013 10:09 PM   Subscribe

TBN head Paul Crouch died Saturday, November 30 at 79. Under Crouch, TBN grew to “84 satellite channels and over 18,000 television and cable affiliates around the world.” But he was a controversial figure, even among televangelists. (Previously on Metafilter, [via Slacktivist])
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me (35 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
After struggling to find something nice to say about the guy, I'm going to have to settle for saying something not mean: TBN, along with Word of Faith, 700 Club, and the like, provided endless hours of stoned entertainment for my stoned friends and I as stoned teenagers..
posted by item at 10:20 PM on December 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


They always had a nice Christmas light display outside the TBN building in Costa Mesa. Hope it still goes up this year so I can look at it on my way to visit the in-laws.
posted by LionIndex at 10:55 PM on December 3, 2013


Okay then.
posted by chance at 11:03 PM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


.
posted by mazola at 11:06 PM on December 3, 2013


At least one television station has dropped TBN from its lineup after viewers complained that at their promised blessings never occurred.

Is it too late to request a refund?
posted by Pudhoho at 11:11 PM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


He had big hair. Jan has bigger hair.

Hair!
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 12:30 AM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Please pay more attention to your grandparents.
posted by vapidave at 12:49 AM on December 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


the whole unapolegetic materialism thing? pretty sure Jesus woulda said not cool.
posted by skepticallypleased at 1:32 AM on December 4, 2013


Of course he was shady; he was a televangelist. I default to those people being con men and women unless convinced otherwise.
posted by zardoz at 4:11 AM on December 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


wasn's he gay or had some gay affair?
posted by robbyrobs at 4:35 AM on December 4, 2013


‘When the wicked perish, there is jubilation’
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:47 AM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is it too late to request a refund?

I was travelling recently and watching the lousy hotel TV which was basically either infomercials for kitchen appliances or informercials for Jesus. Anyway the latter industry has apparently wised up a little because they kept flashing up variations on the theme of "Miracles are blessings from God. Inspiration Ministries does not guarantee rewards for everyone who contributes. Sow your seed of $58 1-877-259-9690."

"Variations" mostly means bigger dollar amounts than that.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:26 AM on December 4, 2013


i am kind of fascinated by the Crouches realizing two kind of important things

a) the idea of media conglomeration, and most televangelists renting their property.
b) the realization that for Americans steeped in the language of prosperity gospel, scandals about money stick much less than scandals about sex, a might explain why the gay sex scandal didn't metastasize, and it does kind of explain why no one was completely angry about the 100k motorhome for his dog. (at least they didn't try to buy a university)
posted by PinkMoose at 5:35 AM on December 4, 2013


Sow your seed of $58 1-877-259-9690.

So on TV it costs $38 more than it does in town?
posted by cjorgensen at 5:49 AM on December 4, 2013 [9 favorites]


My husband, as trustee of his deceased mother's estate, just send TBN a check for $1000. Nine other charities and institutions received legacies, as he complied with his mother wishes, although very reluctantly in some cases due to the nature of of the organization.

Guess the name of the only organization that responded by demanding a copy of her trust, instead of acknowledging the gift?
posted by francesca too at 6:35 AM on December 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Why would they even know it was from a trust? Just curious.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:37 AM on December 4, 2013


This clip seems appropriate.
posted by pxe2000 at 6:40 AM on December 4, 2013


Well I guess my mom will be sad that that husband of a Tammy Faye wannabe won't be there to blather his bullshit anymore.

Jan can't touch Tammy Faye with a 10 foot pole.

Those two along with Benny Hinn seemed like the shadiest motherfuckers this side of Shadington, Shaderchussettes.
posted by symbioid at 6:54 AM on December 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


I once saw one of the 700 Club jokers beg his audience - "I want you to reach down deep into your pocket... I want you to find that last dime (emphasis his)... and send it to ME!

Rage is bad for me, so I'm gong to stop there, but the hive of villainy that exists within the TBN universe seems to know absolutely no bounds whatsoever. It's one thing to proselytize, and its another thing completely to prey upon the weak & the gullible, while laughing all the way to the bank. I only wish there were actually a hell for these leeches.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:03 AM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


In another lifetime, I had some contact with some members of the Crouch family.

Hoo boy.

That's all I can say.
posted by xingcat at 8:27 AM on December 4, 2013


I just put up with the usual Republican banter from my in-laws about how conservative religious middle Americans donate more of their income than secular minded coastal leftists. And I kept my lips shut tight.

But a major reason that is true is precisely because of conservative religious middle Americans reaching down for their last dime and sending it to the likes of the Crouches and the Osteens of the nation and maintaining them in tax-exempt opulence.
posted by ocschwar at 8:30 AM on December 4, 2013


Not sure it makes up for a lifetime of being a detestable human being, but he did inspire a pretty awesome Mr. Show sketch:
posted by seymourScagnetti at 8:51 AM on December 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's always hard for me to deal with the existence of televangelists, because while what they do is hateful and wrong, how the fuck can anybody with a functioning brain think they are not con artists? Just look at them! They might as well tattoo it on their foreheads.

For their victims who are actually not in their right minds, I feel true rage.

For the victims who just can't see what is in front of their faces, it's hard to know what to think. If you can't see these people coming, then somebody else is probably going to take your cash.

Which doesn't excuse these people being predators. But I wish I knew what on earth was going through the minds of their prey, and how to snap them out of it.
posted by emjaybee at 9:21 AM on December 4, 2013


RIP. I think all televangelists are scam artists, but at least Pat Crouch wasn't a mean scam artist. He and Jan always struck me as goofy and sweet, I'll take that over Pat Robertson bullshit any day. Also the TBN empire is a pretty impressive construction. I particularly liked how they fetishized their broadcast satellites in their fundraising pitches, turning a high-tech space transmitter into some sort of Hand of God kind of thing.
posted by Nelson at 9:42 AM on December 4, 2013


My Grandfather "tithed" way to much money to earlier versions of these vultures. Seems people never learn.

Just finishing Terry Pratchett's Going Postal. Reacher Gilt would have made an excellent televangelist. Just the right amount of con artist.
posted by jgaiser at 9:51 AM on December 4, 2013


These people bother me so very much. I am a Christian and fairly conservative, but I find most (nearly all) of televangelism is horseshit. I don't wish ill on him or his family but I struggle to see how you can think you're doing any good with this crap. I do my best to support my community and the larger world. The others in my church do the same. We do what might seem like very small things, but we try to do those small things every day for our neighbors. I have to think we're making more of a difference and living in a more Christ-like way than these goofballs and all of their money ever could.

I don't care what your beliefs are or aren't. I just want to live peacefully and respectfully with everybody as much as is possible. This type of evangelism doesn't speak to any of that and I am ashamed to be even very slightly associated with it.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 9:53 AM on December 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


In another lifetime, I had some contact with some members of the Crouch family.

Don't leave us hanging like that, spill it!
posted by zardoz at 12:13 PM on December 4, 2013


seymourScagnetti: "Not sure it makes up for a lifetime of being a detestable human being, but he did inspire a pretty awesome Mr. Show sketch: "

HAAAAAAAAAAAAIL SATAN... YOU'RE OUR LOOOOOOORD!
posted by symbioid at 12:17 PM on December 4, 2013


Clinging to the Wreckage: If you don't mind me asking (and I mean the question sincerely!): What's the exception to televangelism=horseshit? I'm curious, because it seems to me that this is the sort of thing that kinda CAN'T be done right? (But that might just be because of the multitude of bad examples out there.)
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 12:46 PM on December 4, 2013


Why would they even know it was from a trust? Just curious.

He told them he was the trustee in his cover letter.
posted by francesca too at 12:49 PM on December 4, 2013


*
posted by PMdixon at 12:53 PM on December 4, 2013


I've got it on good authority that this spiritual tune is going to be played pre-eulogy at Crouch's memorial service.
posted by item at 3:42 PM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


In college, some friends and I used to drink while watching Hour of Power on TBN. I watched a lot of TBN during that time purely for entertainment value, something to do while pregaming since the cable I got for free was kinda janky and didn't always get the channels I'd have preferred. I started to enjoy watching Paul and Jan, with her goofy two-tiered lavender wigs. This led to a friend and I jokingly going to a "tent revival" being held in an arena in town, one featuring Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, etc.

I remember us sitting way up back, cracking jokes and having a generally good time until this Dollar guy came on, preaching the prosperity gospel stuff and asking for money. Nothing much was happening until all the sudden this barefoot little girl with sad hair and a tattered dress comes up out of the crowd and runs up to the podium and throws money on it and then runs away. And he's all, look at this poor little girl who just gave her last dollars because she has faith now what about you?

And the pocketbooks opened up. Everyone was running up there throwing money on the podium, ushers suddenly materialized to collect money from the nosebleed seats. Once I picked my jaw up off the floor my friend and I left, to drink to excess wordlessly at a nearby bar.

This is why I can't humor televangelism at all anymore. It's dangerous stuff and at risk of sounding overdramatic, when I think of evil things I've witnessed in my lifetime that night is one of the memories that comes up.
posted by pandalicious at 11:29 PM on December 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


Clinging to the Wreckage: If you don't mind me asking (and I mean the question sincerely!): What's the exception to televangelism=horseshit? I'm curious, because it seems to me that this is the sort of thing that kinda CAN'T be done right? (But that might just be because of the multitude of bad examples out there.)

I suppose in the traditional televangelism sense there is no exception. Though I have seen many (mostly Christian or Jewish around here) programs on TV that actually are trying to do good and spread faith, knowledge, tolerance, goodwill, etc. without constantly asking for money. It can and does exist but I agree that those get very buried in the garbage that takes up most of the airtime for "religious programming."

As an example there is a local show where a Rabbi spends a bunch of time going on about history and patience and all living together. He's not the most articulate and I don't agree with everything he says, but he also isn't asking me for money at every turn and he does seem to live a very modest and honest life.

There have been others as well who were out to do good much more than raise money, but they seem boring to many today and are buried by the flashy evangelists that have light shows and loud music and then ask for money every 5 minutes.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 6:48 AM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes, everyone knows that televangelists are hucksters, yadda yadda, gold-plated dog beds, etc. etc. But the Crouches are worse than that.

Paul paid $425,000 to cover up a gay sex scandal involving himself and a ministry worker, and he and Jan covered up the rape of their 13-year-old granddaughter by a 30-year-old TBN employee, and were reportedly involved in multiple cover-ups of sexual and criminal scandals.

Telling a 13-year-old girl that "she was already sexually active", so her rape "doesn't matter, is not doing the work of Christ. Paul Crouch was an evil man, and I for one rejoice at his death.
posted by Fnarf at 6:43 PM on December 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


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