Paul Crouch died of heart failure on Saturday, at 79. Forty years ago, he founded the Trinity Broadcasting Network, now the country’s most successful religious TV enterprise. In a good year, TBN takes in close to $100,000,000 in tax-exempt donations, mostly from lower-income Americans.
If you’re not familiar with Crouch and his wife Janice, they are the Jim and Tammy Faye that time forgot.[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="499"]Paul and Jan Crouch[/caption]
Here‘s a little flavor:
Janice Crouch, called “Mama” on the air, is known for her pink-tinged wigs, which look like huge swirls of cotton candy, and for talking emotionally about the Lord’s blessings. Mr. Crouch, or “Papa,” is relentlessly upbeat as he quotes flurries of Bible verses on signature programs like “Praise the Lord.”
The New York Times published an exposé of the Crouches’ financial tricks last year. It tells you volumes about how the darling duo spent all that revenue from donations, TV rights, and investments.