—Against the TV Evangelists!DO 23154/87
(While watching News Video: )
1. THE [ACS] ARE JUST REVELLING IN THIS EVANGELIST SCANDAL! They've really got them where they want them, & they found out it's popular! Imagine this outfit having the nerve to call itself "Operation Anti-Christ"!—An organisation of lawyers, businessmen & clergymen.
2. THAT'S LOGICAL TO ATTACK THE TELEVISION PREACHERS FIRST, which shows they're having the most influence which the [ACs] hate the most.
3. I'LL NEVER FORGET WHEN AS A YOUNG TEENAGER I WENT TO THAT CHURCH IN MIAMI BEACH WITH LORENA TURNBULL. It was when I was travelling with Mother & we came back to Miami for a visit & stayed at the Turnbull's hotel on Miami Beach. They had a small hotel by that time. It was Sunday morning & they suggested that we kids go to Sunday School, so I went with Lorena to her Sunday School. It was the only Protestant Church on Miami Beach, Miami Beach Community Church, some kind of a Methodist Episcopal church or something‚ very formal.
4. THIS IS JUST TO ILLUSTRATE HOW THE WORLD HAS EVANGELISTS IN CONTEMPT! Here I was literally an evangelist, or working for an evangelist, & I don't know what it was in connection with, but the Sunday School teacher made some crack in contempt of evangelists. I remember him saying, "Oh, he's one of those evangelists!"—With real contempt for evangelists.
5. IT SHOWS THAT THE FORMAL CHURCHES HAVE EVANGELISTS IN CONTEMPT, so they'd go right along with them & love to attack all these TV evangelists! The main churches, the Catholic church & all of them will certainly support the [AC] media in this attack on the television evangelists.
6. I THINK THIS ATTACK ON THE EVANGELISTS IS THE START OF SOMETHING BIG, THE START OF THE ANTI–CHRIST[S]' DRIVE AGAINST CHRISTIANITY!—In other words, the real organised worldwide concerted attack on all Christians! They're striking at the head of the biggest so-called Christian country first because they also control things there. It's been their objective for a long time‚ of course‚ to conquer the United States, & I think they're using this attack on the TV preachers as a test to see how far they can go! This attack on Jim Bakker is a platform to attack all of the TV evangelists!
(The following is a video transcript of two "Nightline" programs, along with Dad's comments:)
ABC NEWS "NIGHTLINE"—WASHINGTON
(Ted Koppel:) Just five weeks after stepping down in the midst of a sex scandal, TV Minister Jim Bakker is talking about a comeback, & talking tough! (Bakker:) "They're implying that I made some kind of deal, which I did not, & implying that if I don't do it, there would be a holy war!"—Holy War, or the end of an Evangelical Empire worth hundreds of millions of Dollars! Good evening, I'm Ted Koppel & this is "Nightline!"
Jim Bakker is facing new charges of misconduct‚ both sexual & financial—what happens if he tries to take over again? That's our story tonight!
Where does it go from here? The Charlotte Observer, which has been way ahead of all other news organisations on this story, reports in tomorrow morning's edition that the IRS wants to revoke PTL's tax exempt status for three years, because a substantial portion of its earnings went to Jim Bakker, his family & other officers of PTL. But the damage is unlikely to remain limited to PTL.
Critics of many of these television ministries have found themselves inhibited in the past because it is a delicate thing in this country to question any activities that are quickly shunted behind the protective shroud of a person's beliefs. But now the critics find that many of their charges are being substantiated‚ indeed enlarged upon by other television ministers. Here's "Nightline" correspondent Marshall Frady:
(Frady:) After an intermission of a few weeks, the scandal over TV preacher Jim Bakker's fleshly adventures has flared again with charges by a Southern Baptist minister of a much wider variety of sexual episodes than Bakker's single encounter with Jessica Hahn.
(Ankerberg:) We have heard taped statements by individuals who ought to know, who have stated that Reverend Bakker had been involved in episodes with prostitutes, & he's also been involved in homosexual incidents. We have reason to believe that those statements are true.
(Frady:) Ankerberg further charged this about some in PTL's inner circle:
(Ankerberg:) During the years of '78 to '80 there were specific incidents where there was wife-swapping on the staff.
(Frady: ) In fact‚ what is coming to be called "Gantrygate," after the rascally evangelist Elmer Gantry of Sinclair Lewis' novel, continued to escalate into the most profound crisis ever in the whole World of tele-evangelism! From the refuge in Palm Springs to which Jimmy & his wife Tammy retreated when the scandal first erupted, there came at last a voice, Tammy's, reading, she said, Jimmy's own denial of Ankerberg's allegations:
(Tammy: ) "I have never been to a prostitute, & I am not, or have never been a homosexual. Those who say such things should have those accusers come forward & give their names & prove these accusations!"
(Frady:) But in this interview with ABC's Charlotte affiliate, WSOC, a prostitute reports she had sex with Bakker three times. (Prostitute: ) "I really did recognise his face but I couldn't place him until they told me. I remember how shocked I was! Then after that I've seen him two other times."
(Frady:) It's all expected to come to a climax tomorrow at the PTL's estate South of Charlotte, with a meeting of Jerry Falwell's new improved version of a PTL Board. This amid feverish rumour now that Bakker probably entertains fancies of resurrecting himself from his Palm Springs exile to actually try redeeming leadership of his PTL empire, a concern taken seriously enough by Falwell for him to present it publicly on this morning's 700 Club broadcast: (Falwell: ) "If he decides he wants to come back, he will preside over a funeral‚ the funeral of his ministry! If Jim cares about that ministry surviving, he can't come back."
(Frady:) A central issue in tomorrow's meeting will be what to do about this particular member of the Board, Richard Dortch, PTL President & host of the PTL broadcast. "Nightline" has learned that Falwell will in fact give up PTL if Dortch insists on remaining‚ & that the rest of Falwell's reconstituted Board might quit with him. That's because it was Dortch who discreetly choreographed the financial arrangements to keep secret Bakker's Florida hotel room association with Jessica Hahn, & charges now that he also had a hand in dispersing other funds to keep other scandals within PTL quiet.
But considerably more is at stake in this unfolding melodrama than simply the fate of Jim Bakker & his PTL Kingdom. In fact, the implications of that scandal are already beginning to magnify, sending uneasy tremors through these other television ministries! Charges are now beginning to be heard of past improprieties in the way those other tele–evangelists have raised & spent the millions they depend on.
For instance, the Reverend Tim Waisanen, now an Assemblies of God Pastor in Garden Grove, California, who once served as director of marketing and planning for tele-evangelist Robert Schuller of the Crystal Cathedral's "Hour of Power." Reverend Waisanen reports he once witnessed Schuller dictate an urgent fund-raising appeal from his Orange, California livingroom, a letter claiming to be dispatched from China.
(Waisanen:) That particular letter was saying things like, "Here I am at the China Wall," & he was talking about actually being in China‚ & I was sitting with a group of about 8 or 10 people in his livingroom watching this man dictate a letter saying he was in China! And I'm sitting there going, "What is this? What's this man doing?"
(Frady: ) In that letter Schuller says, "I am writing to you today from Peking, China. The impossibility thinkers were wrong, I am here! I cannot give you any details of my conversations with the leading Chinese personalities, I must honour their privacy."
(Waisanen:) What's more, he had a photograph in there, which on the back of it he says something to the effect, "Here I am at the China Wall."
(Frady: ) The photograph was, in fact, shot in a studio in Southern California with a photograph of the Great Wall used as the backdrop!
(Waisanen: ) He raised in that particular thing I believe about 1.6 million Dollars in gross income.
(Frady:) Schuller's organisation admits the letter & photo were sent before Schuller's departure for China, but maintained it was a clerical error. Dr. Michael Korpi, now at Yale University, once worked as a cameraman for Jerry Falwell's television ministry. One of his early assignments was to shoot footage of refugee camps in Northern Thailand for a Falwell fund-raising campaign.
(Korpi:) Of the six million Dollars raised, only $150,000 went to those refugees.
(Frady: ) Korpi's second assignment was to film an expedition to help Vietnamese boat people for another Falwell appeal for contributions. Then a year later he & his wife were watching a telecast of Falwell's program.
(Korpi: ) Here's the footage we shot a year before which he used as a bait appeal. The difference this time, Jerry was saying, "We desperately need to raise $100,000 to help these boat people." It ran for a month, so they easily raised four million Dollars, probably more than that.
(Frady:) Of that, "Nightline" has confirmed some $200,000 went to refurbish the boat itself & only some $150‚000 went to boat refugee programs.
In a gathering atmosphere of charges like these, Falwell faces a showdown meeting tomorrow with his new PTL Board, a moment of truth made all the more complicated by a disclosure in tomorrow morning's Charlotte Observer, that Richard Dortch did in fact use ministry funds to pay Jessica Hahn $250,000. What happens tomorrow, then, could determine not only Falwell's own future at PTL, but whether a continuation of the bitter disarray among competing Gospel factions could set off now an irreversible decline of television evangelism itself! (Dad: This is what they are trying to do!) This is Marshall Frady for "Nightline," in New York.
(Koppel:) When we return we'll talk with Paul Roper‚ founder of a watchdog group called "Operation Anti-Christ." He estimates that half of all TV preachers are engaged in immoral acts or shady business dealings. And we'll be talking with Cal Thomas, former Vice President of the Moral Majority.
(Koppel:) With us now live in our New York studios is Paul Roper, founder of "Operation Anti-Christ," a watchdog group of attorneys, businessmen & clergymen. Mr. Roper personally took up Jessica Hahn's case against Jim Bakker back in 1985‚ & in our Washington bureau is Cal Thomas‚ whose column is syndicated by the Los Angeles Times & appears in more than 50 newspapers. Mr. Thomas was Vice President of the Moral Majority for five years.
You know, Cal, it almost seems as though there is not only a disregard for the morality involved here, there seems to be a general disregard in tele-evangelism even for the intelligence of the people who are watching. The kind of thing we just learned about Robert Schuller, I don't know how important ultimately that is going to be in the overall scheme of things, but to be posing in front of the picture of the Great Wall of China & then sending out the fund-raising letter & saying, "Here I am & I can't tell you about my conversations with the leadership yet because they've sworn me to privacy."—I mean‚ that is so dumb! Why would people do that?
(Thomas: ) Well‚ Ted, you know, it's kind of a moral erosion that goes on. I've heard many sermons, some from some of these preachers who have been mentioned tonight about the danger of beginning to tell little white lies because they always lead to other lies to cover up. We've seen that in government, with Watergate & other malfeasance in government. We see it on Wall Street‚ with the insider trading, & now we're seeing it in religion. I think there's kind of a moral receivership here. I think the credibility of certain elements of the Christian Church, particularly that which the unbelieving public is seeing on television is at stake, & I think it's incumbent upon by those who use television, some of them very effectively & some of them for very good purposes, to come to terms with a very bad image that they themselves have helped to create.
(Koppel:) All right, let me talk to you about you for a moment. Now, you were not only a member of, but a Vice President & Public Relations Director for Moral Majority for years. Were you not aware of the fact that some of the money that was being raised was not all being devoted to the causes for which it was raised, & when let's say a million Dollars might be raised for some of these boat people & only one hundred thousand or two hundred thousand Dollars was actually going to them, & if you were aware of it, why didn't you do anything about it?
(Thomas: ) I spoke often within the Council at some of these meetings about some of my own concerns about the fund raising. I asked at one time that I be allowed to sign off on some of it before I had to go out & defend it, that was allowed to occur for a couple of months. I was later refused that opportunity when I began to make marginal notes about the credibility of some of the fund raising, which frankly I felt skirted the truth. The boat people incident preceded my time there. I might also say there is tremendous pressure because of the cost of television in raising some of these funds to cut some of these corners, & everybody is on the same merry-go-round, nobody has felt that they can get off. Another problem is that there are very few men & women around some of these big leaders who will hold them accountable for cutting some of these corners‚ & so as a result, the truth is often a casualty in favour of raising the needed amounts of money to stay on television to raise more amounts of money to do some good works.
(Koppel:) Paul Roper (Operation Anti-Christ!), how widespread is this then? I'm not talking now about the kinds of morals charges that are being levelled against Jim Bakker, but just the misappropriation of money.
(Roper:) Well‚ obviously I don't know, but it is my opinion & from our investigation, I would say that you're talking about approximately half of the television people. I should clarify that & make a distinction between those in your normal clergy. In your normal clergy maybe 95% of them are totally legitimate. But it seems to us about half of the tele–evangelists seem to take great liberties with the way they use the money they've solicited over television.
(Koppel:) I'd like to know what you mean when you talk about your investigation. What kind of an investigation have you mounted?
(Roper:) Well, investigation is probably a wrong term. We receive unsolicited communications, telephone calls, letters & documents from all over North America that have to do with the funds that have been given & what those funds were used for. We've been inside of a number of these organisations. I was the general business manager for one of America's largest churches & saw first hand exactly how the funds were used & where they went.
(Koppel:) Well now, let me stop you right there. When we talk, for example, about money that's being misappropriated, on the one hand, you have the kind of charges that are being levelled against the Bakker group right now, not only that it was taken from one charity & given to another charity, but that they actually use the money for themselves. Is that going on in other ministries?
(Roper:) Yes, it is.
(Koppel:) Which ones?
(Roper: ) Well‚ just as a very simple example, you've got Oral Roberts with a 2-1/2-million-Dollar house over in Beverly Hills, & I don't remember him ever taking an offering that said he should use the funds that came in to buy a 2-1/2-million-Dollar house!
(Koppel:) Is it actually in his name or in his family's name, or is it under the name of the Oral Roberts Foundation‚ let's say, & he just uses it for as long as he wants to?
(Roper: ) Well, it's the same thing, it seems to me.
(Koppel:) Well, it isn't really. Let's draw a distinction there.
(Roper:) Well, if you have the beneficial use of a piece of property, you can buy it, you dispose of it, you can use it as you wish, don't you have ownership of the property?
(Koppel:) Yes, but I'm not sure you can sell it. In other words, if it belongs to the organisation, you might be able to use it for as long as you are the head of that organisation, but in theory, if you left the organisation, the house stays with the organisation when you go.
(Roper:) When you have a self-perpetuating board, the board votes for itself‚ you are the organisation. Oral Roberts is the Oral Roberts Organisation. He can't be hired & he can't be fired, & after he's gone Richard Roberts will be there & whatever that organisation has is theirs forever.
(Koppel:) Gentlemen‚ let's take a break. When we come back we'll be joined by Frosty Troy, an Oklahoma journalist who has covered religion & evangelism for 15 years.
7. (DAD: THIS IS A MAJOR ONSLAUGHT AGAINST PROBABLY THE MOST EFFECTIVE FORM OF CHRISTIAN MINISTRY IN THE UNITED STATES, which is probably winning more souls, & the [ACs] might say, proselyting more [non-Christians] than any other ministry, much more than the churches. Notice how he exonerates the churches, saying 95% of them are legitimate. They'd be happy to attack these television ministries because it's the major competition. The people are staying home & are channeling their money to the TV evangelists instead of the churches.
8. THEY'RE STRIKING AT THE TOP OF THE BARREL‚ WHICH IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE MINISTRY, THE MINISTRY THAT GETS TO THE PEOPLE! And they're striking in the most nefarious way by trying to destroy the people's credibility in these programs‚ their confidence & faith in these programs. They're trying to undermine them financially. (Maria: Cutting off their support, which is just what they try to do to us!) Yes, they're trying to alienate the people from supporting them by this drive in branding virtually all the TV evangelists.) (Video continues:)
(Koppel: ) Joining us live now from our affiliate KOCO TV in Oklahoma City is Frosty Troy, editor of the Oklahoma Observer‚ a bi–monthly newspaper focusing on social issues. Mr. Troy is a former associate editor of the Tulsa Tribune. You have written in the past, & I must say, I suggested much the same in the opening tonight‚ that the press has been kind of shy, perhaps even a little cowardly about attacking this issue frontally, why do you think that is?
(Troy:) The reason is very simple, it's the way people in this country feel about religion. We're very sensitive, we don't care if someone worships a stone, we believe in freedom of religion. As a consequence, we don't have any accountability in the press. The Charlotte Observer is an exception, & there have been a few others, the Tulsa Tribune, for example, my old alma mater, in the last year has finally turned on & started writing a little bit about Oral Roberts that the community didn't know.
9. (DAD: SO YOU SEE‚ THIS IS AN ABSOLUTELY ORGANISED‚ SYNCHRONISED CAMPAIGN NOW TO DISCREDIT THE MAJOR TV EVANGELISTS, starting at the top of Christians in the U.S.A., & then they'll work on down.—A campaign of the Antichrist, the [ACs]! One of these organisations even has the nerve to come out in the open & call itself "Operation Anti-Christ"!)(Video continues:)
(Troy:) The real question for these people, since they're treated as religions, Ted, is accountability. They simply have to be held accountable for the money. I think a lot of their donors wouldn't mind at all if they owned a home in Palm Springs or Hollywood or anywhere else. In fact, it was revealed that Oral Roberts had gone into the desert & was told by Jesus to build a 60-story hospital. Well, the desert turned out to be a million-Dollar home in Palm Springs‚ & it didn't hurt his donations. Frankly, what I've been doing every year is printing the Better Business Bureau's national letter called "Give Wisely." Those organisations that will account for the money, that have an outside audit that will tell what percentage goes for fund–raising & what percentage goes for the good works of the ministry, are protected.
10. (DAD: YOU CAN BET YOUR BOOTS THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU IS OF COURSE RUN BY THE BUSINESSMEN WHO OF COURSE ARE MOSTLY [AC]! They're the ones who run business & have the money & everything in the U.S.A. So now even the Better Business Bureau is attacking these TV evangelists & saying they ought to declare their finances & how the money goes & everybody will be happy, blah blah.
11. THE CATCH IS THAT THESE FELLOWS RAISED MONEY FOR VARIOUS CAUSES, VARIOUS CHARITIES OR CHARITABLE OPERATIONS, like 700 Club's "Blessing" ministry, & people will give to those things. People will not give to paying for television time‚ millions of Dollars‚ but they've got to raise millions of Dollars to pay for that time. So they raise the millions by putting out pleas for these various operations & these various charities & charitable actions, etc., & the millions roll in. But of course they have to pay their expenses‚ part of which is hundreds of millions of Dollars for television time & to produce these shows.
12. THESE GUYS ARE CRITICISING THEM FOR NOT PUTTING ALL THE MONEY THEY RAISE INTO THE CHARITY THEY'RE RAISING IT FOR, saying they're funneling off part of the money for their own expenses & for themselves & for their TV time. Well, what else can they do? They of course have to pay for their TV time or they'd go off the air & they couldn't raise any money or anything!
13. OF COURSE, SOME OF THEM OBVIOUSLY RAISE MONEY COMPLETELY OUT OF PROPORTION TO WHAT THEY SAY THEY'RE GIVING IT TO, like this one case, & apparently Falwell is going to defend himself on the next show. They accused Falwell of raising four to six million Dollars for the boat people & only spent $150‚000 on them, & John said in the next show apparently he comes back & challenges them on it, & Koppel actually apologises, so that is really something!)
(Koppel:) Tell me something, how many of the television ministries show up on their Better Business Bureaus?
(Troy: ) None of the top ten. In fact, Billy Graham has started his own organisation called the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, & he's the only one on that list. And when I say the top ten, the top ten tele-evangelists last year‚ they alone raised a little over a billion Dollars, & all the rest of television evangelism totally only raised 1.5 million Dollars. So if those folks would just simply account & let their donors, their prayer partners or whatever you want to call them, know how they're spending the money, I think you'd have some credibility restored to television evangelism. Television evangelism is going to be around a long time. This is not going to kill it, I think it's going to redefine it. (Dad: Oh yeah?—These [ACs] are out to kill it!)
14. (DAD: PAUL ROPER, FOUNDER OF "OPERATION ANTI-CHRIST," an organisation composed of attorneys, businessmen & clergymen, was accusing half of the television preachers of doing things dishonestly! It's a major attack against Christianity in the U.S.A. beginning at the top, which is the most vulnerable, these TV preachers which a lot of people don't like!)
Next "Nightline" Program begins with Jerry Falwell saying: "I'm convinced that these dark & difficult days can be turned around!" (Dad: He hopes!—Ha!)
(Ted Koppel:) Jerry Falwell tightens control over the PTL! Richard Dortch, PTL President & Jim Bakker's Number Two man is out! Bakker's salary is cut off, so is money for the other woman. And as for Bakker's future, Falwell says: "We did in the board meeting today indicate that his ministry here has ceased." Good evening‚ I'm Ted Koppel, & this is "Nightline." Our guest tonight is the Reverend Jerry Falwell‚ as the PTL Saga continues!
Dad: They are really whipping this up! The [ACs] are getting a lot of mileage out of this!)
(Koppel:) On one level, the supporters of Jim Bakker & his wife Tammy are acting as though they're passing through a dark, but brief, pause. At PTL's Heritage U.S.A. resort today, they're selling an 18–inch doll in the likeness of Tammy Bakker. She is wearing a white wedding dress & holding out a tiny heart-shaped pillow with the inscription, "Forgiven" on it. But forgiveness & leadership, as the Reverend Jerry Falwell pointed out today, are not always compatible. On this day‚ Falwell demonstrated that when the occasion calls for it‚ he can be a very tough leader indeed. The Bakkers are not only through, their salaries have been cut off, & some of their key allies rooted out. Here's "Nightline" correspondent‚ Marshall Frady:
15. (DAD: IMAGINE, BAKKER BUILT THIS MULTI-MILLION-DOLLAR MINISTRY & HIS FOLLOWERS WERE HIS FRIENDS & SUPPORTERS, & he makes the mistake of suddenly willingly resigning apparently in his embarrassment. He didn't have the toughness or the strength. I always thought he was a little bit weak & sweet, very sweet, the sweetest of the bunch, really, but apparently not tough enough, not a real fighter! So I think he resigned too suddenly. I think he should have fought it out, really. Now he wants to come back. (Maria: Probably because he's seen he does have a lot of followers.) Yes, he sees a lot of his friends are forgiving him, & no doubt he probably had a lot of mail encouraging him to stay on.
16. BUT NOW FALWELL'S TAKEN OVER & THEY'VE CUT HIM OFF FROM INCOME & EVERYTHING. (Maria: Before they said they were going to keep him on a salary.) But now they've cut him off & Falwell has completely taken over. He says if Jim Bakker tries to come back, that'll be his funeral, so to speak‚ a funeral for his ministry. So let's see what they have to say now. Now Jim Bakker is trying to make a comeback & take it back from Falwell, but Falwell is not willing to give it up. After all, Bakker is one of the major top ten competitors. Falwell figures if he can take it over‚ that will add to his ministry & income as well.)
(Frady:) As Jerry Falwell gathered his new PTL Board at the PTL's Amusement Park (Dad: Actually a kids' playground!—See how they blow things up!) Headquarters, rumours were rippling over its tidily groomed grounds that Jim Bakker was headed back to reclaim his domain from Falwell. But through the board's four-hour session behind closed doors, Bakker never materialised. Tele-evangelist Rex Humbard‚ one board member, did bolt out about midway, wearied by the talks‚ having resigned.
17. DAD: HUMBARD WALKED OUT APPARENTLY BECAUSE HE GOT SICK OF ALL THE INFIGHTING, because I really believe he's a good sincere humble man who loves the Lord, while all these other vultures were scrapping over who got what!)
(Frady:) When Falwell came striding sternly out from the meeting, it seemed clear he had secured his hold on the troubled PTL Christian complex, & meant now to try remaking it from its disrepair of the last several weeks. His announcements to the press gradually revealed the extent of how his will had prevailed.
A chief discomfort for Falwell is board member Richard Dortch, holdover from Bakker's rule, intermediary in paying $265‚000 in PTL funds to keep quiet Bakker's consort with Jessica Hahn, & up until today still President of PTL. (Falwell: "It was the feeling of the board today also, that under the circumstances that Reverend Richard Dortch resign from the Board of Directors & as president of PTL, & he has effectively stepped down today.")
(Frady: ) As for Jim Bakker himself‚ from whom Falwell had inherited the PTL operation‚ (Falwell:) "No further remuneration, salaries or bonuses would be paid." In fact, so confident was Falwell's hold now, he even retracted his earlier agreement to step aside should Bakker wish to return. (Falwell:) "We did in the board meeting today indicate that his ministry here has ceased, & that is a unanimous feeling."
PTL chief counsel Roy Grutman even delivered this chilling word about how many more payments Jessica Hahn could expect from PTL. (Grutman: ) "It is the present opinion of counsel that Miss Hahn has forfeited the right to any continuing receipt of those funds." (Jessica Hahn: ) "Why in God's Earth would I want that story in the paper? It does not benefit anybody, all it does is cause more pain & heartache, & it keeps this thing moving, & it keeps this thing growing!" (Dad: I wouldn't be surprised if that Jessica Hahn was a plant !)
(Frady:) Grutman also replied to a recent lawsuit against PTL for misuse of funds with this bluff warning: (Grutman:) "Let this conference serve notice on the lawyer who sponsored that irresponsible complaint that not one penny in tribute will ever be paid on that!"
(Frady:) Falwell used the occasion to attack a report on last night's "Nightline" by this reporter, which carried a statement by a former teacher at Falwell's college, Dr. Michael Korpi, who shot footage for two Falwell fund-raising appeals, one a relief mission to refugees in Thailand‚ which Korpi said drew in six million Dollars in contributions‚ with only $100,000 applied to the refugees. Another, a footage of Vietnamese boat people for an appeal, Korpi said, that drew in perhaps four million Dollars or more, of which we reported only some $150,000 went to the boat refugees.
(Falwell:) "The fact is, that did not occur. The whole month, by the way‚ we raised less than two million for everything, Liberty University‚ Thomas Road church, the whole shooting match! And I promise you‚ I'd brag if we'd raised more than that. We did not! And then every penny was applied just as it was raised. None of us were invited to come make a rebuttal."
(Frady:) And in fact we did err in neglecting to contact Falwell for a response, & in failing to specifically substantiate the figures cited. But Falwell today did acknowledge a major recognition has emerged from the last few weeks' tribulations.
(Falwell: ) "But I am saying that we've had a little sense of arrogance out there in the church, that it's none of your business or anybody else's what we do or how we do it. Pastors sometimes know what I'm talking about—the government is not going to regulate us, & neither are you, the media. That arrogance is over!" (Dad: Good for him!)
(Frady:) But Falwell's consolidation of control with Jim Bakker's PTL complex did not necessarily end matters for Tammy Bakker. (Tammy:) "We'd just like to tell the people that we really love them! We're very sad right now. We're going to miss them. Jim will be back soon, & he's going to give everyone a statement. He'll be back very soon & he'll come back & explain our side of what happened."
(Frady:) But after today's meeting, the only Bakker to be found on the PTL preserve from which Jim Bakker's dominion has passed, was his brother Norm sitting stunned in a hotel lobby: (Norm:) "I was hoping that Jim would come back & take control."
(Frady:) Falwell may have succeeded in shutting out Jim Bakker‚ but he conceded today his efforts to resurrect PTL won't necessarily dispel the larger cynicisms endangering now all of tele-evangelism. (Dad: Just what these ACs want!) (Falwell: ) "Out there in the general public there is the inability to write that check, because a lot of faith has been shattered." (Dad: That means the TV evangelists' income has been hurt!—Just what the [ACs] wanna do!—Destroy'm!)
(Frady:) Up to now, sheltered behind the 1st Amendment, people were reluctant to approach that line separating church & state. America's freelance electronic evangelists have been left to traffic in tens of millions of Dollars unmonitored & unregulated. All that money, all that license, that, probably more than any carnal escapades of Jim Bakker's, could make for the real crisis of mass tele-evangelism. This is Marshall Frady for "Nightline" in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Dad: See, they're trying to attack them all!—Destroy all Christian TV!)
(Koppel:) Before we go on with tonight's news, a couple more personal comments on our charge last night that Jerry Falwell's fund–raising activities in behalf of Cambodian refugees & Vietnamese boat people raised millions of Dollars‚ most of which was then diverted to other causes: Those charges were in fact made by people we interviewed, but we have not been able to substantiate the story, & failing that, we should not have put it on the air. We should also have given the Reverend Falwell or one of his staff the chance to respond. We did not, & I offer my apology. When we come back, we'll be joined by the Reverend Jerry Falwell.
18. (DAD: HOW ABOUT THAT! THAT'S THE FIRST TIME I EVER HEARD KOPPEL APOLOGISE TO ANYBODY! He's helped to put down a lot of people, including heads of state like Marcos & whatnot. That guy Falwell must have a real good lawyer to be able to get Koppel back on the air to apologise for what he said! He's probably going to sock it to him!
19. WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE IS TO MAKE THESE TV COMMENTATORS BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR WHAT THEY SAY & THE LIES THEY TELL & THE SMEARS! The press & the [AC] media should be held accountable for all the lies that they tell about not only them, but about us & a lot of other people & how they fry people in the press & stir up the public & smear people with absolute character assassination! If anybody needs to be held accountable, it's the press‚ the [AC] media, for all the damage they do!)
(Koppel: ) With us now live from his headquarters at the Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia‚ is the Reverend Jerry Falwell. Mr. Falwell‚ I've heard you say that you prayed long & hard, but what was it that ultimately decided you against quitting this job? Because when you were on "Face the Nation" on Sunday I guess it was, you were hinting rather strongly that you might quit.
(Falwell:) Yes, & for the last week or so, the pressures here in this ministry, the financial reverses that many of the ministries, ours included, have suffered because of the national distrust that exists, & then just a lot of my friends, advisors who loved me & were concerned for my ultimate welfare‚ have been advising me to get out. I suppose the complexities of the problem at PTL are a part of that. It really wasn't until maybe a half-hour or an hour into the board meeting this morning, & a few times during that first hour I was saying, "What on Earth am I doing here?" But I finally decided that I'm here for the duration. Our board, all but one‚ agreed that we should all stay for the duration, & we went about the business.
(Koppel:) I realise after these things are over & you come out is the time to put your arms around one another again & act as if nothing ever happened, but that must have been one rough board meeting!
(Falwell:) It was indeed. I slept two hours last night. I'm not a mean person, I don't like to hurt people, I don't like to dismiss people, I was conscious that if PTL is to make it, they have to have a new face, new direction, new administration, everything new. We've got to put off all the weights that put us into the dilemma in which we now find ourselves. And with a personal love for Jim & Tammy Bakker, & a personal love for Reverend Richard Dortch, the board had to do what we did do‚ & very frankly, this has been about the toughest day of my Christian life! (Dad: AC persecution wreaks its toll!)
(Koppel: ) Let's focus on those three folks for a moment. Let's start with the Reverend Dortch. Here is a man who was described to me just this afternoon by someone who knows him very well, as an exceedingly intelligent, very smart man who is absolutely certain to have known, because that's the way he is, what is going on around him. How, in Heaven's name, did it take him this long to come up with anything? I mean, apparently he never did anything about it!
(Falwell:) I think it was an intense loyalty to Reverend Bakker. Richard Dortch‚ I said this to him in the Board Meeting today, "I'm your friend, & I think a lot of the things that have happened here, the 30 years you've served as a District Superintendent for the Assemblies of God with an impeccable record," his service in Illinois‚ he was one of the 13 Presbyters, so many good things can be said about this man, that I think he will be known for the rest of his life‚ & these unfortunate incidents of PTL, my prayer is, will soon be put behind him & he'll go on to some effective ministry like the ministry he knew all through his earlier life.
(Koppel:) Mr. Falwell, I don't doubt that for a minute, I don't doubt what you said about him then, but what I'm looking at is his salary that increased from $100,000 to $200,000 to $300,000 to $350‚000. You let another man go today by the name of Dave Taggart, I'm told he was earning in excess of $600,000 & nobody seems to know what he did! Do you know what he did?
(Falwell:) He was a special assistant to Reverend Bakker, & with Reverend Bakker gone, the Board felt that his services were no longer needed. And we are looking at the entire executive payroll at this time, our own executive committee will in the next few days bring back recommendations to the full board.
(Koppel:) He must have been special indeed! What was he doing for 650 grand a year!?
(Falwell:) I'm not sure what he was making, but it was an excessive salary, & I would say that a job definition would be pretty difficult.
(Koppel:) Well, let me try & fill it in for you. I'm told he's one of the guys who was a procurer.
(Falwell:) Well‚ I don't know about that personally, & as a matter of fact, I'd rather not comment negatively on that.
(Koppel: ) What about the Bakkers? You've cut off their salary, there's no way they're coming back, what about the possessions that they have? What about the Rolls Royce? What about the house? Well, there's more than one house. Did they return it to PTL? You've got 15 million Dollars in red ink there, you can use the money.
(Falwell:) Well, of course, general counsel, who will be talking to you in just a moment, has given in the press conference today a commitment to do whatever is our judiciary responsibility. The counsel certainly is advising the board of our personal responsibilities to do that which conserves the assets of the institution. We did not get that far today. This was only our third meeting & we met four hours today with a lot of other heartrending matters, but we're getting down now with a new chief operations officer, Harry Hargrave‚ on duty now at PTL as of today, & new auditors just arriving today, Arthur Anderson, & with Dr. Jerry Nims & Mr. Dewit Brobear on site‚ new team members coming in daily, we will in a matter of a few days have at our fingertips the information we need to act responsibly, as we certainly will do.
(Koppel:) All right, let's take a break. When we come back, as the Reverend Falwell just said, we'll be joined by the PTL Ministry's chief attorney‚ Roy Grutman.
20. DAD: I THINK THAT'S ALMOST GOING TO KILL THE TV MINISTRY! Most preachers don't survive scandals. I've never known any of them to ever survive a major scandal, especially a sex scandal. I've known many many of them to be tumbled by it. Fred was one of the few who kept on going‚ but it virtually wrecked his ministry & all he had left was TV & Willy. He lost his total missionary ministry & many of the various ministries that he had. He lost all of his stations except the one in Los Angeles. So it either destroys them completely & they lose their entire ministry, or they're cut way down to almost nothing. They just don't survive it!
21. CHRISTIAN CHURCH PEOPLE SIMPLY WILL NOT TOLERATE ANY KIND OF A SEX SCANDAL IN PARTICULAR, & THE NEXT WORST THING IS A MONEY SCANDAL! So I think those TV ministries, except the ones that manage to survive without any scandal, without being connected, are all going to be hurt. Just like Falwell said, they talk to each other, they just won't write the checks any more. They're all going to be tremendously hurt & finally trimmed down. Bakker's leaving, imagine, with $15 million in the hole!)
(Video continues: )
(Koppel:) With us now live from our affiliate WSOC in Charlotte‚ North Carolina, is Roy Grutman, who has been general counsel for the PTL Ministry, both under the Reverend Jim Bakker, & now under the Reverend Jerry Falwell. Let's get back for a moment to some of these inflated salaries for staff members whose job definition seems to be a little hard to describe. Again it's been suggested that some of those salaries were as high as they were in effect because folks were paying hush money. These were people who knew what was going on, & therefore they were in a position to get more money than they really deserved.
(Grutman:) That's not correct, Ted. You earlier spoke with Chairman Falwell concerning the compensation paid to David Taggart. Well, the gross amount of Dollars involved is astronomically & insupportably high, the greatest part of that represented repayment to him for unreimbursed expenses as well as the tax consequences. If you shrunk that or dehydrated it out of the total compensation, it would drastically reduce the salary, although obviously it was still well beyond permissable limits.
(Koppel:) What kinds of "unreimbursed expenses" are we talking about?
(Grutman:) They were expenses that were advanced by Mr. Taggart on behalf of either Reverend Bakker, his wife, or other expenses incidental to the Ministry. Those are now the subject of an enquiry by the IRS.
(Koppel:) When you say "incidental to the Ministry," does it really have anything to do with the Ministry or are they in areas that have really become kind of the essence of the embarrassment of PTL?
(Grutman:) No, I think that if you think that all of that represented hush money or "under the table" payments or some other kind of illicit activity, that's not so. The only payment that constituted what might be regarded as blackmail money was the $265‚000 that was paid to Jessica Hahn.
(Koppel: ) Talk to me about Jessica Hahn for a moment. You probably heard what she said & you may have seen it in a couple of other places today too. The woman makes absolutely good sense! If there was anyone in the World who really had no motive for coming out & talking & saying anything, of blowing this story sky-high, it was Jessica Hahn!
(Grutman:) I have in my hand the compromise & settlement agreement which she signed on March 27, 1985. Paragraph E holds that any attempt on her part or anybody else to contact or disseminate either directly or indirectly the knowledge of the underlying circumstances of what she was paid that money for, results in a forfeiture of that payment. And while Jessica herself may contend that sashaying before the cameras & posing for the New York Post didn't constitute communication with the media‚ those of us who are lawyers know that things done by agents can have consequences that were down to the principle, & there's a provision which says that having done what she did, she forfeits rights to any further payments.
(Koppel: ) Sashaying in front of the camera, that was something, as you notice, that only happened after the story broke. What caused the story to break, was it anything that she did?
(Grutman: ) It appeared that either she &/or Mr. Roper (of Operation Anti-Christ!) & others acting on her behalf caused this information to be placed in the hands of the Charlotte Observer, & it was the fact that the Charlotte Observer was about to expose the Jessica Hahn story‚ that was the precipitating prick on the bubble that burst the entire PTL story. In a sense, there isn't any question that it wasn't Jim Bakker or PTL who brought any of this to light. The whole purpose of paying her the money was to keep her lips sealed‚ & the only way that story could have leaked was by Jessica Hahn or someone acting on her behalf. (Dad: Like the "Operation Anti-Christ"!—Who probably paid her to do it! She probably thought she was going to be paid both ways!)
(Koppel:) Now Jerry Falwell, in one sense, I suppose as a minister you must be rather relieved that all of this came out. Had it not come out‚ this thing would have gone on festering for years & years & years, & that couldn't be what you would have wanted.
(Falwell:) Not at all, & President Reagan has proclaimed May 7th as a national day of prayer, & Dr. Bill Bright & I have been designated co-chairmen. We are calling for a national day of prayer & repentance. Sin is far better uncovered & dealt with & repented of, than left, as you say, festering underneath. It would have come out, there's no way ... the Scripture says, "Cursed is he that doeth the work of God deceitfully." And I think the end result of this is going to be that all those ministries that care about surviving are going to develop a self-policing commitment to openness & accountability & reporting their own salaries & leaving nothing for the imagination. Those who are not willing to do that are going to go out of existence. And those ministries that raise money for certain causes & don't use it for those causes, can't expect to be respected. I personally want to thank you for the apology earlier on, & I think you're the greatest guy on TV, that just increased my opinion of you.
(Koppel:) Well, thank you. I'll tell you what, let's take a break here, because I want to have a few minutes left when we come back. We'll continue our conversation in a moment.
22. (MARIA: NO MATTER HOW MUCH THEY WOULD DISCLOSE & NO MATTER HOW LOW THEIR SALARIES WOULD BE, THE PUBLIC WOULD NEVER ACCEPT IT‚ they'd always think it was too much, no matter what! They'd always have fault to find & always be criticising.) (Dad: Exactly! This is what my Mother used to say: Never disclose your finances to the general public or the people, for very few people would approve. Some would say it's too much, others say it's too little, & others just simply wouldn't understand. It's going to be a great blow to tele-evangelism!) (Video continues:)
(Koppel: ) With us again now is the Reverend Jerry Falwell in Lynchburg, Virginia, & Attorney Roy Grutman in Charlotte, North Carolina. Mr. Grutman, let me get back to the question I raised with the Reverend Falwell earlier in this program having to do with houses & other real properties that the Bakkers may still control. In your mind, is that their property or is that the PTL's property?
(Grutman:) As far as I know or we've been able to discover, houses that they live in belong to them.
(Koppel:) And where did they get that money?
(Grutman:) Jim Bakker was paid not inconsiderable sums of money, & as far as I know those houses also have mortgages on them.
(Koppel:) When you say "not inconsiderable sums of money," Mr. Grutman, you're very gentle with your language!
(Grutman:) It's a euphemism. The annualised rate of 2.4 million a year is not an inconsiderable sum of money.
(Koppel:) Big bucks! Was he entitled to that money?
(Grutman: ) Apparently he thought so. It is of course in my view‚ probably hyper-compensation, but considering the fact that he was running a ministry of over a hundred-&-some-odd-million Dollars a year, the fact that Lee Iacocca is paid 20 million Dollars a year, I understand Johnny Carson gets 15 million Dollars a year, the euphoria of the heights may have carried him to a loss of his better judgement.
(Koppel:) The only difference is that neither Lee Iacocca nor Johnny Carson does it by virtue of 5- & 10- & 15- & 50- & 100-Dollar donations from the public, & neither one has a tax write-off for that either!
(Grutman: ) Nor are we justifying that. Chairman Falwell expressed his view about that compensation, he never approved it or endorsed it or ever would, & my opinion really doesn't count, because I don't decide on that‚ I'm just counsel.
(Koppel: ) No, I understand. But in your capacity as counsel, what I'm really asking you is whether you think the PTL has any hopes of getting some of that money back by getting those houses back. I think you're telling me no‚ they belong to the Bakker's, that's theirs, they've got it.
(Grutman:) As far as we can see so far, those real properties belong to them. We intend in the future, Chairman Falwell charged counsel with the obligation of compassionately but fairly working out an arrangement with Jim Bakker to see that his financial interests were treated in accordance with sanity, justice & love.
(Koppel: ) Mr. Falwell‚ the only reason I ask you this question now is because you've been answering it briefly all day, but I want to hear the answer anyway. The things that clearly preoccupy perhaps an overly large percentage of the American public, the charges of homosexuality, wife-swapping, the prostitutes, how come you didn't deal with that today in your board meeting?
(Falwell:) We did. Counsel went to most of those witnesses, brought the evidence, tape recordings, etc., with him to the board meeting. While no tapes were played, the information was passed on to the board, for some of them the first time that they've heard it, & then second-handed. There will be a bringing of these witnesses‚ if they are willing‚ before the entire board, & Reverend Bakker, if he wishes, will have an opportunity to confront his accusers in a Biblical sense with the board there. But we most certainly did discuss it, & since we in the Board decided until all of this has been completed that we should not discuss publicly our opinions, we agreed to do that.
(Koppel: ) Thank you very much. You've had a very long hard day, & I see you're going to be up for "Good Morning America" again also‚ so thanks very much. I appreciate your being with us, Mr. Grutman, thank you for joining us. That's our report for tonight. I'm Ted Koppel in Washington, & for all of us here at ABC News, goodnight.
23. (MARIA: WE CAN BACK UP OUR ACTIONS SCRIPTURALLY!) All these preachers that I ever knew that fell, it was over sex! Nearly all of them were scandalised because of some sexual behaviour & it destroyed them personally & their ministry almost without exception. We started off scandalised, so my so-called scandalous behaviour didn't surprise anybody but the churches! My followers loved it & still do!
24. SO WHEN THEY GOT CAUGHT & WERE PUBLICISED BY THE CHURCHES‚ THEY LOST EVERYTHING! When the churches started scandalising us because of our sexual behaviour, my whole church is in with me! They stick with me. They don't toss me out, because they agree with it! That's the difference. And that's a very remarkable difference because it shows that all the rest of'm had churchy backgrounds, churchy followers who were scandalised by any kind of sexual misbehaviour.
25. WE STARTED OUT WITH WHAT THE CHURCHES CONSIDERED SCANDALOUS SEXUAL DOCTRINES & MISBEHAVIOUR. We virtually were partly founded on such doctrines, so our followers are not surprised or shocked by almost anything I do! I think if I started behaving they'd be shocked! If I started being anything but sexy they'd be shocked, they'd think I was backslidden!—And they'd be right!
26. SO BY STARTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT & teaching my followers the right doctrines‚ the truth about sex, we have kept our own following & our own backing even though scandalised by the churches, for which we couldn't care less! We are sticking to our guns, including our sex gun!—And my followers love it! Thank God!
27. THAT IDEA CAME TO ME THE OTHER DAY WHEN I WAS THINKING ABOUT HOW THESE PREACHERS LOST EVERYTHING when their scandalous sexual misbehaviour became known publicly. We started out with so-called scandalous sexual misbehaviour, so none of my people are surprised about it, it's only the churches that are shocked. So, let'm be shocked! That helps keep us apart, thank the Lord! It's what really helps distinguish us from them! Praise God!
28. FIRST IT WAS OUR TURN TO GET PUBLICISED, WHICH SHOWS WE MUST BE AVANT GARDE, AT THE FOREFRONT OF THE BATTLE, BECAUSE THEY HIT US FIRST! I'm sure all the TV evangelists who hate us were happy we were getting it. You can bet your boots right now none of them are praying for us! They're probably getting some of what they deserve for fighting us! Now they've started on the TV evangelists, & all the churches are dancing with glee at the predicament of the TV evangelists, little realising that next it will be their turn! Next they'll hit the church preachers, & finally the Christians as a whole. Our churchy enemies are beginning to get it!
29. IMAGINE! THE NERVE OF THAT OUTFIT TO BE SO BOLD AS TO CALL THEMSELVES "OPERATION ANTI-CHRIST"! It shows they're getting ready! It shows they're apparently now ready to start revealing themselves & their true character. Apparently it's not going to be too long until the Antichrist is revealed. The World is going to Hell! It's going to blow itself up & go to Hell if the Lord doesn't stop it soon!
30. APPARENTLY "OPERATION ANTI-CHRIST" ARE THE ONES THAT GOT JESSICA HAHN, JIM BAKKER'S SECRETARY, TO SPILL THE BEANS! She was his personal secretary. And you know she wouldn't have done it without money. Apparently, they offered to pay her more money than Jim Bakker was paying her. That $265,000, remember‚ was spread out over a 7–year period. It sounds like a lot, but if you divide $265,000 by seven, you get only about $37,000 a year. That's about $3000 a month which he apparently gave her for support, like a salary.—Not a very good salary nowadays. So she was actually getting very little.
31. THAT'S ONLY $750 A WEEK! Nowadays in the U.S. the low-paid clerks & delivery boys & whatnot make that much! Auto workers make as high as $35 an hour! So spread out over seven years, she wasn't really getting paid very much, & I wouldn't be surprised if this Paul Roper & his "Operation Anti-Christ" persuaded her to spill the beans, & probably because they offered to pay her more.
32. WHEN I SAW THAT NAME, PAUL ROPER OF "OPERATION ANTI–CHRIST," THAT WAS REALLY A SHOCKER! My God, they're coming out openly now & calling themselves "Operation Anti-Christ"!—An organisation composed of attorneys‚ businessmen & clergymen! Apparently it was that "Operation Anti-Christ" which started the attack, using the girl to help them to try to destroy Jim Bakker & all of the TV ministers! So they were really out to get'm!
33. IT SHOWS THAT THE END IS NEAR IN THAT THE [ACS] ARE NOW BOLD ENOUGH TO OPENLY ATTACK THE CHRISTIAN FAITH & CHRISTIANS! It's the beginning of the End as far as I'm concerned!—And to boldly proclaim that they are "Operation Anti-Christ"! Think of it! Openly admitting it! In other words, this is the beginning of his operation to destroy the Christians in America! (Maria: It should wake the Christians up!) I should think it would!
34. THIS COULD BE THE BEGINNING OF THE END! This is the logical first place for them to attack, the most vulnerable, where they're apt to find the most fault to discredit Christian ministries, is with these TV evangelists. Now they've got the nerve to attack right at the top!—Not the churches yet, no no no, they're getting the cooperation of the churches, because as they say, they have clergymen behind them. The churches have always hated these TV evangelists & are jealous of them, the Scribes & Pharisees jealous of the ministry of the TV evangelists, & all the money they make too, & all the people & followers they have.—How they get people to stay home on Sundays watching television instead of coming to church!
35. SO IT'S BEGUN, OPENLY, AN ANTICHRIST ATTACK ON CHRISTIANITY, & BEGINNING AT THE TOP IN AMERICA OF ALL PLACES! Think of it! They said bad things about all of the TV evangelists except the 700 Club. Apparently they're afraid to attack them, or at least they haven't been able to find anything on them. They evidently have been very very careful in all of their operations. But you see now they sicced the IRS on the Jim Bakker Ministry & they called a three-year moratorium, in other words a cancellation of their tax exemption for three years while they're going over their books! That means from now on PTL will have to pay taxes to the government until they can prove that they are a non-profit religious institution!
36. APPARENTLY THEY'RE ALL—ALL THE TV EVANGELISTS—SUFFERING A BIG DROP IN INCOME NOW BECAUSE OF THIS SCANDAL! People are like sheep, & when the shepherd is smitten the sheep are scattered, they go astray & they forget everything. They have no one to lead or guide them & they've lost faith & confidence in their shepherds. All these exposés of the various top TV evangelists are going to cast all the rest of them in a shadow & everybody will suspect them all! That's the way the people are, they'll suspect them all of wrongdoing.
37. THEY'RE HITTING SOME OF THE VERY BIGGEST! They said some big lies about Jerry Falwell‚ but he made Ted Koppel retract them, which is the first time I've ever heard him say he's sorry! Falwell must have some real sharp lawyers! They must have really socked it to him right away quick & hard & said‚ "You'd better retract it or else!"
38. FALWELL'S GOT A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF POLITICAL CLOUT. He's head of Moral Majority, & they virtually got Reagan elected, & re-elected! So he's a very politically canny fellow‚ very very smart, or he wouldn't have that tremendous ministry!—And the 700 Club is pretty political, Pat Robertson is a lawyer & a politician & very smart, & so far they've apparently been afraid to attack the 700 Club. But boy‚ they've attacked some of the biggest: Oral Roberts, Jim Bakker, Falwell, Swaggart, Schuller!—And implied they're all a bit crooked!—The ACs are having a field day!—It's open season on TV evangelists!
39. THE NEWSCASTERS LIKE TED KOPPEL ARE DELIBERATELY CASTING A SHADOW ON THEM ALL, BECAUSE IT'S A CAMPAIGN TO TRY TO DESTROY THEM, because the TV evangelists are one of the greatest influences, in fact in a sense a uniting unifying influence on Christians everywhere, because it can be so far-reaching. If they can destroy this huge TV audience of millions of Christians all over the World who listen to them, if the ACs can destroy the programs & their leaders, they've destroyed the most powerful leaders & largest audience of Christians in the whole World!—Then they'll be strong enough to start on the churches!—They've already started on us!—In fact, have been attacking us for years!—We must be having quite an impact for them to attack so small a group as ours first! Beloved, I believe it's the beginning of the End!—Are you ready?