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Names: Paul and Jan Crouch
Ages: 77, 74
Occupation: founders, Trinity Broadcasting Network
Last Seen: Costa Mesa, CA
Bee-otched For: proving to be greedy, lying televangelists
I knew it. I knew it, I knew it, I knew it. TBN is a joke, and somebody has stepped out to prove it.
And that person is its founders' granddaughter.
Brittany Koper (second from the left in her wedding photo) is alleging that her grandparents, Paul and Jan Crouch have been using viewer-supported funds from the non-profit network they founded to support their lavish lifestyle. In a lawsuit the 26-year-old filed, it claims that the Crouches took $50 million from the TBN cookie jar to purchase mansions, private jets and even a $100,000 RV for Jan's dogs.
The lawsuit came about after Koper's husband was sued by a loan-collection company for embezzling over a million dollars from TBN. Both sides have contacted the police and even the IRS. Koper's father, Paul Crouch, Jr. resigned from his Vice President and Chief-of-Staff post at the company last year and it may or may not have had to do with Koper's allegations.
Right now, TBN is pretty much hiding behind its lawyers, who are making up lame-o excuses for the Crouches' ritzy-or-not lifestyle. They did mention that the reason why they fly on private jets is due to the fact that they 'receive more death threats than the president'. The two sides are undoubtedly fighting each other like wolves, but the outcome is a sad one: TBN is just like all the other televangelists, out to get your money.
TBN was founded in 1973 by the Crouches along with (surprise) Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. The two had a falling out and the Bakkers left and created PTL, which as we all know went belly-up because of the Bakkers' own shenanigans of lavish spending and even sexual allegations brought up by ex-secretary Jessica Hahn. The late 80's were a terrible time to be a televangelist, but somehow, TBN survived the storm.
But, TBN isn't prone to scandal, either. In 1998, Crouch paid former employee Enoch Ford $425,000 to keep quiet about a sexual encounter he allegedly had with him. Crouch has denied the encounter up and down for years, but only paid Ford the money to "avoid a costly and embarrassing trial". The Crouches even fought with the FCC after they claimed that they created sham companies to own more TV stations.
Sadly, I have an uncle who loves religious programming. He's 56 years old, barely graduated high school, single and lives in a trailer park in the Detroit area. About two years ago, he decided to purge selected titles of his tape collection to me (and thankfully, they weren't crap like The Passion of the Christ). One of the things he gave me was a tiny Jesus statue that he got for donating $25 to TBN. Supposedly, when you give to TBN, your life is supposed to improve only because you're giving to God, right? Well, not too long ago, he lost his job due to a change of management at the car dealership he worked at for years. Now, he's living off of my grandmother since nobody wants to hire a 56-year-old who worked as a jitney driver.
Chuckamaniacs, Trent Reznor is right. Bow down before the one you serve, you're gonna get what you deserve. You give to a severely wealthy person like Paul Crouch and he's going to spend it on things me or you cannot afford. The fucked-up world of religion and using Jesus to make a quick buck will leave that person financially dead while Paul and Jan's dogs will get the air conditioning many of their viewers will never have. It's networks like TBN and others that target those financially weak and will use them for their financial gain. Most of their viewers live on low, fixed incomes and barely have a pot to piss in. I've known for years that TBN is a joke, and I'm happy that Mrs. Koper has finally stepped out to reveal the sad truth behind one of the world's largest religious broadcasters.
Paul and Jan, if you're reading this, please refer to Matthew chapter 19, will ya?
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