by Lorette C. Luzajic
Part 20 of the Pillars of Faith series
The Bible says not to “touch God’s anointed,” and that’s how faith healer con artist Benny Hinn gets away with murder. Kings and prime ministers welcome him as royalty, giving him the poorest countries so he can take whatever Indian farmers or Kenyan coffee growers have left. The Pentecostal prosperity pastor is filthy rich, now raking in around 100 million a year.
He has zero issue asking for what he wants: in one case, for a $36 million dollar jet. People drop dead at his Miracle Crusades, but with that kind of income, his audience pays his settlements. Skeptic Magazine (Vol 14, #4, 2009) reported that Ella Peppard fell down at a revival, and was denied medical intervention by Hinn, who declared God would heal her. She died.
Hinn settled out of court with millions paid for by the hopeless and the gullible desperate for God to bless them if they give. Hinn has a trail of people who have died or been injured at his crusades the globe over. Skeptic also noted that in 2004, three patients left their hospital beds in hopes of a miracle at a rally, and all died during the revival. Hinn didn’t even bother trying to heal them. At that same event, ten fell out of trees where they were hoping for a better view of God’s anointed. All were badly hurt with broken bones. Hinn did nothing except ask for their money. Then there were the cancer victims who gave up treatment to trust in the Lord, and they also died.
Despite Hinn promising doctor’s notes and other proofs, investigators have not found one who has truly been healed. But Hinn threatens critics like myself with death. “I curse that man who dares to speak a word against this ministry… ” he said to thousands. He also said, “I speak this under the anointing of the Spirit… Don’t touch God’s servants; it’s deadly… You’re going to pay.” He has threatened to harm the children of his critics, all under the “anointing” of course.
No one really knows much about Toufik Benedictus Hinn, born in Jaffa (now Israel). He was part Greek and part Armenian, and moved to Toronto in his youth. He was born-again in 1972. The Lord healed him of a childhood stutter, and he decided to be a miracle maker. “Everything I say happens,” Hinn has also said. In October, Daniel reported on Hinn’s failed prophecies — that God told him the homos would burn, Castro’s death, and other things that did not come to pass. Who was lying — Benny or God?
Some things are just plain weird. Hinn has said if we placed the hands of the corpses of our beloved on the TV screen during his crusades, there would be a mass resurrection. He says God literally enters him to perform healings and prophecies, and says he doesn’t remember the things he says or does when he is “drunk” on the holy spirit. He also speaks to the dead. Weirder still, two in his inner circle died from heroin overdoses. On the night of one OD, Hinn was shown on video passing a pipe of something intoxicating to his brother in Christ.
Then there was another brother in the Lord caught having gay sex with the chauffeur, and also the case of PI Mario Licciardello. The former cop was hired to help Hinn root out corruption. Mario saw so much of it that he threatened full disclosure. He died suddenly of a mysterious heart attack before his story got to court. Hinn allegedly settled with Mario’s widow — but why? And then, there was the worthy orphanage cause that never materialized, for which Hinn bilked the masses. Without flinching, Hinn said God told him not to build it after all.
I’m no shrink but Hinn is mentally unhinged. But it would be unfair to equate him with other sufferers of schizophrenia, because Hinn is also a psychopath. He has learned to mimic human emotions, which he does not have, to further his own power and profit. He fancies himself Hitler in sheep’s clothing.
His biggest rush is not the jet or the hotels, but the millions of minions bowing their heads to the lord their god Pastor Benny. We still live in terror of questioning even obvious abuses of the gentle words of Jesus, for fear of eternal hell. Only in this environment could a deceiver like Hinn thrive. The more things change, the more things stay the same.
Lorette C. Luzajic writes about all kinds of interesting people at Fascinating People.