Trouble at TBN

Problems within the Crouch clan, the family that controls the Christian broadcasting company Trinity Broadcasting Network. According to The Orange County Register:

The granddaughter of Trinity Broadcasting Network’s Paul and Jan Crouch has accused the world’s largest Christian broadcaster of unlawfully distributing charitable assets worth more than $50 million to the company’s directors.

The charges are leveled in a federal lawsuit filed by Crouch granddaughter Brittany Koper last week against her former lawyers, who also do legal work for TBN.

Paul and Jan Crouch have always struck me as a more successful version of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker of the PTL Club. But Jim and Tammy’s son Jay went on to reject his parents’ lifestyle and politics, and maybe that is the same thing we’re seeing here. Certainly the Crouch family have matched the Bakker family in terms of conspicuous consumption:

“Observers have often wondered how the Crouches can afford multiple mansions on both coasts, a $50 million jet and chauffeurs,” said Tymothy MacLeod, Koper’s attorney. “And finally, with the CFO coming forward, we have answers to those questions.”[...]

Trinity Christian Center, a nonprofit in the eyes of Uncle Sam, does not have to pay taxes on its income. It reported revenues of $175.6 million, expenses of $193.7 million, and net assets of $827.6 million at the end of 2010, according to its tax returns.

Its highest-paid officer was Paul Crouch, with compensation of $400,000.

Its officers, directors and key employees included Paul and Jan Crouch, Paul Crouch Jr., Matthew Crouch, Koper and her husband, among others, according to Trinity’s most recent tax returns. It has offices in Tustin and a studio in Costa Mesa.

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  • The Other Weirdo

    That picture… Why do those people always look like such freaks? Is there a legal requirement or something?

    • drax

      I believe that it is a federal law that requires TV Evangelists to sport very bad and/or outdated hairstyles. Perhaps it shows that they are serious about what they are doing so they can get their tax exempt status.

    • UrsaMinor

      It’s kind of a sexist double standard. Both men and women must sport bad hair, but the women are also required to apply mascara and eye shadow with a trowel.

      • Kodie

        The men tend to look like they could be teachers at my high school, the same look they’ve had since they graduated college in the 1970s.

    • thread_of_fire

      the fuck? people can look however they want thank you very much everyone!

      • Elemenope

        Of course they can. Of course, nothing stops other people from having opinions about those looks, either.

      • UrsaMinor

        No one here has questioned the right of anyone to look any way he or she wants to.

      • The Other Weirdo

        Sure they can. I’m not questioning that. It’s everybody’s right to look like idiots, even as it is my right to point out the fact.

        My point, however, is that there seems to be a very specific type of look that these sorts of people adhere to.

  • DuckSoup

    What I do not understand is. How does a Theme park (The Holy Land Experience) get tax exemption as a Church? When TBN management themselves call the HLE a Theme Park and request its followers to go to:

    To vote The Holy Lane Experience the best Theme Park.

    If it is a Theme Park, then it is not a church and should not be tax exempt.

    • plamaborne4rel

      DuckSoup, Christians have manipulated the word “Church” for centuries. We have cousins who’s church has a basketball court and a tennis court inside it and say they are community building with children when in fact all they’re doing is luring innocent children to their church so they can steal their soul for satanic Jehovah. This is why Christians resist secular pubic spaces where a child’s soul is safe and basketball is just a game..

      • Derek

        “secular pubic spaces”, how very Freudian.

  • Ty

    Religious leaders living lavish lifestyles at the expense of their parishioners?!

    the Pope is shocked. SHOCKED!!!

  • mikespeir

    I’m in the wrong line or work. Why, with a bit fewer scruples I could be a rich religious broadcaster. It’d take some training, say six months in front of the mirror lying to myself until I could look myself in the eye without flinching. I think I’ve got it in me, though.

  • busterggi

    There was no money lost, it was just misplaced in her hair.

  • Karmageddon

    I think they need a sex scandal to top it off. With all that money there has to be some dirty secrets. Holy rolling in the hay!

  • Thin-ice

    You look at TBN and it seems to be alive and moving, but really, it’s a corpse filled with maggots eating their way out.

  • Bertrand T Russell

    Yup….. P.T. Barnum was right…… but he underestimated. There are many more than one sucker born every day. Keep giving your money away to these CROOKs christians, they depend on your ignorance and gullibilty. You deserve everything you get….. which is, NOTHING!!!!!

  • Sue Blue

    First of all – what’s with that hair? Is there some sort of rule amongst the deluded dictating that the smaller the brain, the bigger the hair? With all that money, why is she scrimping on wigs by draping road kill over her head? Does she buy AquaNet by the case at WalMart? Just goes to show that money can’t buy taste.
    Second, it’s way, way past time that all these religious scam artists were taxed up the ass. Want to get rid of this travesty altogether? Do away with the tax-exempt status of churches. If you wanna play, you gotta pay – no exceptions.

  • George S

    Churches should NOT lose their tax-exempt status, just because you have a few people/organizations which are corrupt and take advantage of that status. A Christian who actually knows his or her Bible will generally not be taken in by such corrupt organizations like TBN. But the unfortunately, you have some well-meaning, but deceived people, usually who are older, get taken in by smooth talking con-men. This happens outside of religious circles also, which points to a common problem among older people in general.

    Christians Churches were and are the backbone of the moral fabric of this country. You don’t get morals from school, or TV, but at Church.

    By your reasoning, we should get rid of the entire justice system, because there are corrupt judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and cops.

  • Rev John J Wilson

    It amazes me that the masses will gladly make Charlatans rich as long as they are entertained, the grass root missions like mine can’t even build a Church building. Oh well, the good news is we will not live forever and then eternal reward!

    • TrickQuestion

      It’s equally despicable when people help others only to convert them to the “gospel”
      It’s coercion of the worst kind, really. Believe what we say and get food and supplies. True good is doing good just because it IS good, not to fulfill some edict by an imaginary being.
      Your link shows that you are no better than those you are here to condemn.

    • Kodie

      How do you think teaching them about your imaginary friend is supposed to help them?

    • Kodie

      From your facebook page:

      Our expenses were met in a miraculous way. (Someone donated the funds after seeing our website)

      We have already have had a house donated to us in Montalban for as long as we need it. Praise God!

      A person donated money, and you call that a “miracle.” A person donated a house for you, and you praise god. I’m very confused who you are calling a charlatan? You suppose that if there were a god, there wouldn’t need to be so many churches, or people, physically having to bring bibles to eat. Oh, you can’t eat a bible. If people could have the word delivered directly from a deity rather than another misguided person, and if their needs could be met without the help of other people – I mean, does god provide for these children in the garbage heap? No, you think by going there to feed them bibles, you are doing his work. Why can’t he do his own work? Why do you have to beg and wait for donations, and when they do come, deliver your praise to god? And when they don’t come, you just, expect to go to heaven, since you have already decided you’re one of the good ones, since going to Payatas to feed children bibles is better than being on TV in a megachurch. How dare you judge, you are not the judge!

    • Yoav

      Oh well, the good news is we will not live forever and then eternal reward!

      So once we peal the annoying smugness you help people as a way to gain jesus points, not because it’s the right thing to do, how does it make you any better then the rest of the conmen?

    • Sunny Day

      “Oh well, the good news is we will not live forever and then eternal reward!”

      Death Cultist.

  • Elaine

    I think it is very sad that these people will take the last nickel from the beggar on the street in Christ’s name telling them the “blessing will come back to them ten fold” when in fact they are using Christ’s name to fatten their own lashes. The bible warns against FALSE profits. People need to open their eyes instead of their wallets and get down on their knees and worship the Lord not the televangelist. We should be doing as Jesus did and I’m pretty sure he didn’t live a lavish life style on the bloodied backs of his parishioners. It is sinful the way these people present themselves and I realize they are not presenting themselves as anything except for what they are…thieves! They pray on people down on their luck and looking for Their savior!! Well let me tell you you are not going to find salvation with likes of them.