Dark Christianity
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May 2008
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dogemperor [userpic]
Benny Hinn


People are discussing Benny Hinn on another forum, so I contributed this essay:

Benny Hinn has placed death curses on his critics! Admittedly, I have a bee in my bonnet towards Hinn. My aunt donated to his ministry generously for over a decade before she finally succumbed to Alzheimer's. Her constant "witnessing" drove a wedge between her and her family - and also her boyfriend, who was himself a Christian but just didn't want to get married again. It made me sad, as she had been such a nice person back when she was a "sinner" - one who had genuine insights into life, not just regurgitated sermons! In retrospect, she may have turned to the church for structure as her own mind began to fail. But no one from that church came help when she could no longer write a check. - Jeni

Hinn hypnosis

As a teenager, Hinn traveled with a drama group. He was known as a showman.... He learned his skill well. His prophecies on Dec. 31, 1989 were all a stage play.... Hinn evidently knows that his kind of a show feeds the sensational and fuels his followers’ emotions. As in his “healing crusades,” he has taken them on yet another adrenalin and endorphin high. These kind of highs become addictive and make one less able to discern. Judging from his congregation’s response (heard on the cassette tape) they loved every second of it.

"All we want is for Benny Hinn to make good on promises he made to me in 1993," says Ole Anthony, president of the Christian watchdog organization. "He promised he would stop airing fake healings, that he would medically verify all healings, that he would wait six months after the healing before putting it on TV, to make sure it was authentic. He said he would do all these things, and he's done none of them.

A Houston woman who thought she was cured of lung cancer ("It will never come back!" Hinn told her) rejected her doctors' advice and care – and died two months later....
Even sadder than the people who think they're healed are the ones so sick that Hinn's employees never allow them to be seen on stage. People suffering from paralysis, brain damage, dementia and the like – people who couldn't possibly make any "demonstration" on stage – are rejected at a screening session held backstage.
In two cases journalists have tried to verify all the healings at a particular crusade. For an HBO documentary called A Question of Miracles, researchers attended a Portland, Oregon, crusade at which 76 miracles were claimed. Even though Hinn had agreed to provide medical verification of each one, he stonewalled requests for the data, then eventually responded 13 weeks later – with only five names. HBO followed up the five cases and determined that a woman "cured" of lung cancer had died nine months later, an old woman's broken vertebra wasn't healed after all, a man with a logging injury deteriorated as he refused medication and a needed operation, a woman claiming to be healed of deafness had never been deaf (according to her husband), and a woman complaining of "breathlessness" had stopped going to the doctor on instructions of her mother.

At one crusade, a man Hinn had "slain in the Spirit" fell on a prostrate elderly woman and broke her hip, resulting in her death. The lawsuit was settled out of court.... An elderly Hinn follower was turned away from one entrance to ARGO Stadium in Sacramento, CA because she had not given enough money to enter there. Later, on the stage she was "slain in the Spirit," and while she was lying on the floor a huge man, likewise "slain," landed on top of her, breaking her leg. In 1993 in Basel, Switzerland, Hinn prophesied over a man with cancer that he had many years to live. He died two days later. In Nairobi, Kenya early in May 2000, four patients released from a hospital to attend Hinn's "Miracle Crusade" died while waiting for prayer....

Benny Hinn: "I see quite something amazing. I see rows of caskets lining up in front of this TV set and I see them bringing them closer to the TV set and as people are coming closer I see actually loved ones picking up the hands of the dead and letting them touch the screen and people are getting raised as their hands are touching that screen. With this program -- I'm not talking about my program -- I'm talking programs, plain programs aired -- the glory of God will be so on TBN that there's going to be divine resurrection happening as people bring their loved ones to the TV set."

Hinn prophecy: “The Spirit of God tells me an earthquake will hit the east coast of America and destroy much in the Nineties.” [Oh well.... Fidel Castro was also to die in the Nineties! - K.]

The Miracles and the Money

Fifth Estate: "Do You Believe in Miracles?"

Video excerpt from a "Dateline" expose. Hinn has a private jet and stays at hotel suites charging thousands per night; he racks up $6,000 clothing bills and $900 dinner bills - all paid for by donations to his ministry.


But there's an even darker side to Hinn and his organization. In 1998 two members of his inner circle died of heroin overdoses. In 1999, after one of his many vows of reform, he fired several board members and hired an ex-cop named Mario C. Licciardello to do an internal investigation of his ministry. Licciardello was the brother-in-law of Carman, the popular Christian singer, so many think Hinn considered him "safe." But Licciardello did such a good job – taking hundreds of depositions and getting to the bottom of the heroin use – that Hinn then sued him. While Licciardello was still his head of security, the ministry filed a lawsuit demanding that all his files be turned over and sealed, because their public release could result in the end of the ministry. One day before Hinn was supposed to give his deposition in this case, Licciardello had a mysterious heart attack and died. The Hinn organization made an out-of-court settlement with Licciardello's widow, which included sealing the court papers.

Older women living alone are the number one demographic group when it comes to sending money to television ministries.

Our church here in Dallas includes many who were formerly homeless. Some of them had given money to televangelists, but were turned away when they asked for help in their time of need. We tried to talk to some of these televangelists but the walls were impenetrable. As we collected more and more information about them, we saw the same pattern develop in each one. We established a hotline for victims of televangelists at 1(800) 229-VICTIM and received thousands of calls.

The money that pays for mansions and silk suits and limos is blood money. It was earned from the honest labor of hard-working men and women. And it is being burned at the rate of $2,500 an hour for the aviation fuel to propel yet another slick pretty boy to yet another spa. Meanwhile, Grandma mails another check to bless the ministry. All is well.