Ernest Angley is one of the old-school TV evangelists. Now 93 years old, his ministry goes back more than 60 years. He’s such an obvious con man that it’s difficult to imagine how anyone could fall for his schtick, but people do. And now some of those people are blowing the whistle on a whole of weird shit going on, like forcing men to get vasectomies and Angley fondling them routinely.
He and others say Angley holds so much sway over his members’ lives that he has persuaded them to get abortions and vasectomies even when they didn’t want to.
“None of us have kids because he makes all the men get fixed,” said Becky Roadman, 32, who quit the church last year and now lives in Georgia. “You’re not allowed to have babies there.”
That assertion is seconded by Akron resident Angelia Oborne, who worked in the church’s restaurant, the Cathedral Buffet, for 20 years before quitting the church a year and a half ago.
“My husband and I can’t have children because my husband had a vasectomy,” she said. “We were looking at getting it reversed, but I’m 35 years old and … may not be able to have children anymore.
“And that breaks my heart, because that choice was made for me, because of the brainwashing, the mind control. We weren’t allowed to have children. If you turned up pregnant, it’s almost as if you had sinned.”
Oborne says Angley once advised a friend to think of her growing fetus as “a tumor.”
“She was four months pregnant and she sat in the [abortion clinic] waiting room and told her baby that she was so sorry that she was doing this,” Oborne said.
“I know another girl — she won’t come forward — but she was forced into having four abortions.”
Here’s how he responded to these accusations:
The dispute exploded on July 13, when Angley and two others in his camp addressed the situation in a 2½-hour open service. The service was recorded by one of the attendees and shared with the Beacon Journal.
In response to swirling accusations that he is a homosexual who has abused both his associates and members of the congregation, Angley, 93, had this to say to a large Sunday gathering.
“I’m not a homosexual. God wouldn’t use a homosexual like he uses me. He calls me his prophet, and indeed I am. …
“They called Jesus a homosexual, did you know that? And still do. Because he was with men. Oh, Mary Magdalene and a few women. But you can’t stop the people’s lies.”
Then he addressed his history of urging the males in his congregation to submit to vasectomies.
“I’ve helped so many of the boys down through the years,” he said in his slow, singsong cadence. “They had their misgivings. Sure, I’d have them uncover themselves, but I did not handle them at all.
“And I would tell them how that would work. And they’d have to watch it. I’d have some of them come back to me that I felt needed to. And I would tell them, I would look at them, their privates — I, so I could tell how they were swelling.
“One young man, he decided to put in a garden [doctors advise against physical exertion after a vasectomy]. And he’d like to died. If he’d just told me — ask me. …
“Another one was constipated. It was awful. And he was just dying deaths.
“And another one, one of his testicles fell out, absolutely fell out. ‘It’s dangerous, you should have a nurse.’ But I knew they wouldn’t get one.
“And men’s — I was a farm boy. We thought nothing about undressing. We didn’t know about homosexuals. We talked about women.
“And some of these turned against me.”
Yeah, that sounds totally credible. And I’m sure it goes without saying that this is all the devil attacking Angley. That’s always their excuse.