compiled by Dee Finney


Matthew 24

 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.

 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.  (SEE BELOW)

 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.  (SEE BELOW)

 10  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

 11  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.  (SEE BELOW)

 12  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

 13  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

 14  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.  (SEE BELOW)

 15  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)   (SEE BELOW)

 16  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

 17  Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:

 18  Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.

 19  And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!

 20  But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: (SEE DREAM)

 21  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

 22  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.

 23  Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.

 24  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

 25  Behold, I have told you before.

 26  Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

 27  For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

 28  For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. (SEE BELOW)

 29  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

 30  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

 31  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

 32  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

 33  So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

 34  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

 35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

 36  But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

 37  But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

 38  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,

 39  And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

 40  Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

 41  Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

 42  Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

 43  But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

 44  Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

 45  Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?

 46  Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

 47  Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.

 48  But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;

 49  And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;

 50  The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,

 51  And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  (SEE BELOW)


8-21-08 - DREAM - I was with my family, somewhere in Wisconsin. 

Some of the family was moving into a long white tent to withstand what was coming to be safe.  My choice was to stay in the rickety old wooden cabin - it wasn't even painted inside or out.  The wood was dark and old.  I was going to be staying in it alone and I thought I would be okay there.

I watched as my family enter the white tent, and they closed the flaps on it.

I then went inside the cabin and closed the door.

Immediately, I felt the lonliest I had ever felt in my life. I had no idea how long it was going to be before I saw them again.  It was a terrible feeling to be that lonely.

It seemed like only moments had passed and a knock came on the door.

I opened the door and saw my husband standing outside in huge drifts of snow. 

He said, "There was over 6 feet of snow".

I replied, "Oh, my gosh, I never heard of 6 feet of snow falling all at once."

He said, "Oh yes!  There has been that much snow before, and there will be again!"

Then, another man came up whom I didn't know.  He was dressed in a black snowmobile suit.  He said, "Quick!  Get in your car and drive the roads to open them up before the snow gets hard."

He quickly started driving his own car and making black tracks in the snow, going every direction to pack down the snow so others could see where to drive and we wouldn't be snowed in.

For some reason, I didn't think that would be a good idea. Then everyone else would know where we were.  We didn't want anyone to know where we were.  That wouldn't be safe.

Commentary on Matthew Chapter 24:1-34

Matt 24:1-3 -- Christ announces that the second Temple, God's dwelling place among mankind, would soon be destroyed and earthly Jerusalem made desolate. The Jewish followers of Christ, as citizens of the Old Covenant dispensation, inquire as to the future of their nation, having been informed that the end of that age would be accompanied by the annihilation of the entire Mosaic Temple system and state. These disasters came to pass in accordance with the prophecies of Christ: The Jews launched the Great Revolt in AD 66 under messianic king Menahem (Josephus, Wars of the Jews, 2:17) and set fire to the Holy Temple at the desolation of Jerusalem at AD 70 (Josephus, Wars, 6:2:9; 6:3:5; 6:4:5; 6:6:2). At the end of this tribulation, Roman armies took apart the Jerusalem Temple stone-by-stone to get the gold that had melted down between the cracks (during the fires) and to remove the headquarters of the Jewish revolt. The Temple vessels and utensils were then plundered and taken to Rome by General Titus (Josephus, Wars, 7:5:5-7).

Matt 24:4 -- Shaken by the prospect of the destruction of their glorious Temple, and knowing from the destruction of Solomon's Temple 600 years prior that such calamities mark God's visitation to them (Jer 7:1-20,29-34), the apostles ask, "When will these things be?" and "What sign signifies thy coming at end of the age?" The questioning highlights the fact that the parousia and the end of the Old Testamental age would be discerned and comprehended in the passing of calamitous signs.

Matt 24:4-5 -- Christ predicts the intensification of false messianic movements within Israel and around the empire. First-century examples: Dositheus the Samaritan (Origen: Contra Celsum, VI, ii; Hom. xxv in Lucam; Contra Celsum, I, lvii), Simon Magus (Acts 8:9-24) who was deified in Rome, Theudas (Acts 5:36-37), Judas the Galilean (Acts 5:37), Herod Agrippa (Acts 12:20-23), Menahem (Josephus: War of the Jews; 2.433-450). Under the government of Felix, deceivers rose up daily in Judea and persuaded the people to follow them into the wilderness, assuring them that they should behold conspicuous signs and wonders performed by the Almighty. (Felix, from time to time, apprehended many and put them to death.) During this period (52-58 AD) arose a celebrated Egyptian deceiver (Acts 21:38), who collected thirty-thousand followers and persuaded them to accompany him to the Mount of Olives, telling them that from there they would see the walls of Jerusalem fall down at his command as a prelude to the capture of the Roman garrison and their obtaining the sovereignty of the city (Josephus: War of the Jews, 2.259-263; Antiquities of the Jews 20.169-171). Such messiahs and magicians were often as powerful in the display of miracles as were the apostles (see: Simon of Samaria in Acts 8:9-11; Apollonius of Tyana). Partial list of first-century false messiahs: Judas, son of Hezekiah (4 BC); Simon of Peraea (4 BC); Athronges, the shepherd (4 BC); Judas, the Galilean (6 AD); the Samaritan prophet (36 AD); King Herod Agrippa (44 AD); Theudas (? AD); the Egyptian prophet (52-58 AD); anonymous prophet (59 AD); Menahem, the son of Judas the Galilean (66 AD); John of Gischala (67-70 AD); Vespasian (67 AD); Simon bar Giora (69-70 AD). Related link: Livius.org - Messiah Overview.

Matt 24:6-8 -- Jesus promises His apostles that they will have famines, wars and rumors concerning wars. This prophecy had special significance during that period of the great Pax Romana ("Roman Peace"), when the outbreak of these wars transpired: Claudius' Roman war with Britain/East Anglia; at least three Jewish insurrections against Rome prior to the 60s AD (one violently put down by Cuspius Fadus); the Jewish / Alexandrian revolt upon Caligula's death; Claudius declares martial law in Palestine after the Jewish insurrection at the death of Agrippa I; the Germanic tribes in present-day Belgium and Germany made perpetual trouble for the legions throughout the reign; a smoldering Balkan war was in continuous progress. As these conflagrations escalated, Rome started its own civil wars in 68-70 that nearly toppled the empire. As Tacitus writes, "Four princes [Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Domitian] killed by the sword; three civil wars, several foreign wars; and mostly raging at the same time. Favorable events in the East [the subjection of the Jews], unfortunate ones in the West. Illyria disturbed, Gaul uneasy; Britain conquered and soon relinquished; the nations of Sarmatia and Suevia rising against us; the Parthians excited by the deception of a pseudo-Nero." For more on wars of this time and false prophets, see: Josephus: Antiquities, 20:5:1-4; 20:8:5-10; Wars, 2:10:1; 2:13:4-7; 6:5:2. As for famines, Acts 11:28 records a worldwide famine. Josephus reports famines in Jerusalem in the 60s AD which killed hundreds of thousands during the Jewish War (AD 66-70). There were accounts of infanticide and cannibalism (as foretold in Deuteronomy 28:53,57) -- Jewish women cooked and ate their babies (Josephus; Wars 6:3:3-4; Wars 5:1:4). Concerning earthquakes, Seneca writes: "How often have cities in Asia, how often in Achaia, been laid low by a single shock of earthquake! How many towns in Smyrna, how many in Macedonia, have been swallowed up! How often has Paphos collapsed! Not infrequently are tidings brought to us of the utter destruction of entire cities" (Seneca Ad Lucilium Epistulae Morales, trans. Richard M. Gummere, vol. 2, 437). Josephus says of Jerusalem, "the city was besieged on both sides...there broke out a prodigious storm in the night, with the utmost violence, and very strong winds, with the largest showers of rain, with continued lightnings, terrible thunderings, and amazing concussions and bellowings of the earth, that was in an earthquake. These things were a manifest indication that some destruction was coming upon men, when the system of the world was put into this disorder; and any one would guess that these wonders foreshowed some grand calamities that were coming" (Wars, 4:4:5).

Matt 24:9-10 -- Jesus foretells the persecution of the early church by the Jews and later by Nero, who falsely blamed the Christian sect for burning up to half of Rome. This persecution went on the entire AD 30-66 by the Jews, and Nero's persecution was precisely 3.5 years, from 64-68AD. It is essential to note that Matthew 24:9-13 is exactly parallel to Matthew 10:16-23, a passage which all scholars assign to a first-century fulfillment. Jesus predicts the civil wars of the Jews (Matt 24:10; 10:21), and the great Jewish civil war occurred in 66-69AD (Josephus; Wars, 2:17:1-10; 2:18:1-11; 4:6:2-3; 5:1:2-5; 5:6:1; 5:13:6; 6:2:1).

Matt 24:11-13 -- Jesus teaches more on false prophets, emphasizing their key role in the delusion of the nation, as per 2 Thess 2:7-11 (see also: Antiquities, 20:8:6; Wars, 6:5:2). Josephus says false prophets were related to the messianic movement of the seditious Zealots, who promised a redemption for the Jewish rebels at the Temple but were met with total destruction at the hand of the Romans. In Matthew 24:13 Jesus holds out hope for the believers who might endure to the end. (Verses 24:12-13 are parallel to Matthew 10:21-22.)

Matt 24:14 -- A key sign of the end of the Jewish age was the gospel's rapid proclamation to the whole world (Greek: "oikoumene" = "inhabited earth;" "Roman Empire" -- Strong's # 3625). This sign was rapidly fulfilled in the apostles' generation, especially through Paul's ministry (Col 1:23, Col 1:5-6, Romans 10:14-18, Romans 16:26, 1 Tim 3:16; Acts 13:47). The "whole world" spoken of in the Bible pertained to the extent of the Roman Empire (compare the geographic boundaries of the "whole world" in Matt 24:14 with that of the same "whole world" in Luke 2:1, Acts 11:28, Acts 2:5, Romans 1:8 and and 2 Chronicles 36:23). The use of the Greek word "oikoumene" (Strong's #3625) in Matt 24:14 speaks of the Roman Empire -- the "whole world" ("oikoumene") of the scriptures was contextually centered in the area of the Ancient Roman Empire (see: Luke 2:1). Early Church fathers such as Clement of Rome, Eusebius, and Chrysostom said Matthew 24:14 as fulfilled in the apostles' generation. The immediate and rapid spread of the Christian faith throughout the entire Empire signified a covenantal shift to a new dispensation wherein all nations participate equally in the blessing of Abraham through faith (Gen 12:1-3; Gal 3:6-9,14,29).

Matt 24:15-20 -- Christ tells of His nation's Great Tribulation (cf. Luke 21:20-23). The famous historic account of the exodus of the Jerusalem Church in AD 66-67 is recorded by Eusebius (Ecclesiastical History, iii.v.). The Judean remnant saw the armies of Cestius Gallus in 66AD surrounding Jerusalem (and Vespasian's shortly thereafter; compare to the parallel account in Luke 21:20-24). At the same time, The Temple was captured by the Jewish Zealots as Paul had foretold (2 Thess 2:4-7). Messiah-King Menahem and the Zealots turned the temple into a military outpost, defiled it with murderous blood, and made evil of their own high priest while launching the Great Revolt. During this time, the daily sacrifices offered to Rome were ended, which was a declaration of war against the Roman Empire. These events signaled the faithful Jewish remnant to flee according to our Lord's commands to them in Matthew 24:16-20 and Luke 21:20:23. Just after they escaped the city, the Zealots seized the city, guarded the gates, and prevented all escape. Eusebius writes, "But the members of the Church in Jerusalem, having been commanded before the war in accordance with a certain oracle given by revelation to the men of repute there to depart from Jerusalem and to inhabit a certain city of Peraea called Pella, all the believers in Christ in Jerusalem went thither; and when now the saints had abandoned both the royal metropolis itself and the whole land of Judaea, the vengeance of God finally overtook the lawless persecutors of Christ and His apostles." At the end of the great tribulation the Romans made sacrifices to their standards at the Temple (Josephus, Wars, 4:5:1; 5:1:2,3,5).

Matt 24:21-24 -- Jesus tells more about Israel's Great Tribulation (also: Luke 21:20-24; Josephus, Wars of the Jews, entire). The Roman Jewish war is the documented history of the Great Tribulation. Josephus declares that the war with the Romans was "the greatest of all ever heard of" (see: Matthew 24:21). Josephus writes, "the war which the Jews made with the Romans hath been the greatest of all those, not only that have been in our times, but, in a manner, of those that were ever heard of" (Wars of the Jews, preface, section 1; Wars, 5:10:5). Jesus calls this time the "Days of Vengeance" (Luke 21:20-22; Isaiah 61:2/Jer 46:10; Matt 23:31-38; Luke 19:40-44; Matt 21:40-22:7), and "wrath and distress upon this people" (Luke 21:23; see also Josephus, Wars, 2:10:1; 2:22:1; 6:3:3-4; 6:9:2-4; 7:1:1). Lakes of blood and fires (Wars, 2:18: 4:5:1; 5:1:2-5; 6:4:6; 6:5:1,2; 6:8:5). Jerusalem divided into three (Rev 16:19; see also Wars, 5:1:1,4). Genealogical records destroyed (Wars, 6:6:3; 6:9:1). God took the Kingdom away from them (Matt 21:40-45; see also Josephus, Wars, 6:8:4:; 6:9:1,4). Jerusalem called "That Great City" and "Sodom" (Rev 11:8; Rev 18:21-24; see also Josephus, Wars, 5:10:5; 5:13:6; 7:8:7). Jews sold into slavery (Luke 21:24; see also Josephus, Wars, preface, section 11; Wars 6:8:2; 6:9:2-4). City of Jerusalem is leveled (Matt 24:2 and Luke 19:40-44; see also Josephus, Wars, 7:1:1; 7:8:7). Jesus warns his generation: "You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of gehenna? Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate (Matt 23:33-38).

Matt 24:25 -- Jesus explicitly tells the apostles that these dire events will be experienced by them (as also in Matt 24:33-34). They will be the generation to see these things Jesus is describing come to pass (not some distant future generation). By comparing Matt 24:25 with similar statements in John 14:28, John 13:19 and John 16:4, we see that they all signal events in the apostles' near future. Christ always told his apostles things they would need to know beforehand, that it could be to their benefit when the things came to pass before their eyes.

Matt 24:26-28 -- Jesus forewarns them not to follow false messianic movements in the desert or in the Temple chambers, which had precise first-century relevance for them (Antiquities of the Jews, 20:8:6; Wars, 6:5:2). The desolation is like lightning over the whole land from east to west, and where the carcasses are strewn, there will be the Roman Eagles (i.e, the infamous Eagle Ensigns of the Roman armies that were planted all over Jerusalem during the Roman Jewish war). The Roman eagle ensigns served as a symbol of the Jews' defeat at the hand of their enemies. Most commentators believe this war and passage also was the fulfillment of Moses' predictions in Deuteronomy 28:49 and the verses following. All this came to pass in 66-70AD (see also: Josephus, Wars, 4:5:1; 5:1:2,3,5).

Matt 24:29-31 -- Christ speaks of the end signs. This passage hinges upon the apocalyptic language of the great prophets Isaiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, David, etc. in exactly the same way they used such language for God's judgments against nations and individuals in their own times. Compare Christ's words with God's coming to O.T. Babylon in 539BC (Isa 13:10-13, 13:1, and 13:17), God's coming to Edom in 703BC (Isa 34:3-5), God's coming to Egypt in 572BC (Ez 32:7-11), God's coming to Nineveh in 612BC (Nahum 1). So, in like manner, Jesus Christ is now also seen as coming in that same glory of the Father (cf. Matt 16:27; John 17:5). Jesus came to first-century Israel and demolished it in the same glory as the Father's cloud-comings in the OT era (cf. Isaiah 19:1-2). Thus, this passage speaks of Christ's full equality and oneness with Jehovah. The Parousia of Christ is signified by the fall of Jerusalem and the Holy Temple. Many cosmic signs were also witnessed in that period: the angels, voices, and glorious brightness of God are witnessed at the temple and around Jerusalem as recorded in Josephus, Tacitus, and the Midrash (Josephus, Wars, 6:5:3; 2:22:1-2; 4:4:5; 6:5:2-3; Tacitus, Histories, v. 13; Midrash, Lam 2:11). All torah-observing, Messiah-rejecting Jews were gathered into Jerusalem from all over the world at Passover Feast in 67AD and were shut in by the Zealot and Roman armies. Now, locked in the giant furnace of the city, millions were destroyed (see: Matt 13:40-43, Luke 19:40-44, Matt 23:33-38, Luke 23:28-31; Matt 21:40-45). It is no surprise that rabbis today call 70AD the "end of biblical Judaism." Indeed, the faithful and newly consummated Church-bride was gathered and spared God's desolations and wrath. The Church-nation of Christ, thus fully built and established, is never to be destroyed. The Church becomes the eternal Temple and Priesthood of God (2 Cor 6:16; Eph 2:19-22; 1 Peter 2:9). Christianity emerges distinct from Judaism and becomes the universal and one true Faith of the Living God and the Holy Nation. Christ's followers were destined to occupy all nations to gather the elect from all peoples into Abraham's blessing (Gal 3:7-9.14,16,26-29; Gen 12:1-3). The teachings and prophecies of Christ and the apostles are fully and historically vindicated by this historic destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in AD 66-70.

Matt 24:32-33 -- Jesus gives a parable about trees and their seasons (Luke 21:29-31). The shooting forth of leaves signals that summer is now near at hand. Jesus applies this natural phenomenon to his apostles and the season of the end of the age: "So likewise you too [the apostles], when you shall see all these things know that it is near, even at the door" (cf. James 5:8-9; Rev 3:20). In Luke's account, Christ's promise to the apostles is as follows: "So also you, when you see these things come to pass know that the kingdom of God is near at hand" (Lk 21:31).

Matt 24:33-34 -- In this passage, the climax of the Olivet Discourse, Jesus promises his apostles that they will see all these signs come to pass as well as His glorious return in their generation: "So likewise you, when you shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.




James Orsen Bakker (born January 2, 1940, in Muskegon, Michigan) is an American televangelist, a former Assemblies of God minister, and a former host (with his then-wife Tammy Faye Bakker) of The PTL Club, a popular evangelical Christian television program. A sex scandal led to his resignation from the ministry. Subsequent revelations of accounting fraud brought about his imprisonment and divorce and effectively ended his time in the larger public eye.
In 1960, Bakker met Tammy Faye LaValley while both were students at North Central University in Minneapolis, Minnesota.[1] Tammy Faye worked in a boutique for a time while Jim found work in a restaurant inside a department store in Minneapolis. They were married on April 1, 1961, and left the Bible College to become itinerant evangelists. They had two children: daughter Tammy Sue (Sissy) Bakker Chapman (born March 2, 1970) and son Jamie Charles (Jay) Bakker (born December 18, 1975). Jim and Tammy Bakker divorced on March 13, 1992, and he married Lori Graham Bakker in 1998.
In 1966, the Bakkers began working at Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network, which at the time barely reached an audience of thousands. The Bakkers greatly contributed to the growth of the network, and their success with a variety show format (including interviews and puppets) helped make The 700 Club one of the longest-running and most successful televangelism programs.[2] The "Jim and Tammy Show" was broadcast for a few years from their Portsmouth, Virginia, studio. It was aimed at young children, whom they entertained with such films as "Davey and Goliath", a claymation Bible-story series. The Bakkers then left for California in the mid-1970s.

Teaming with Paul and Jan Crouch, the Bakkers created the "Praise the Lord" show for the Crouches' new Trinity Broadcasting Network in California. While that relationship lasted only about a year, this time the Bakkers retained the rights to use the initials PTL and traveled east to Charlotte, North Carolina, to begin their own show, The PTL Club. Their show grew quickly until it was carried by close to a hundred stations, with average viewers numbering over twelve million, and the Bakkers had established their own network, The PTL Television Network (also known as PTL-The Inspirational Network). They attributed much of their success to decisions early on to accept all denominations and to refuse no one regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation, or criminal record.

By the early 1980s the Bakkers had built Heritage USA in Fort Mill, South Carolina, (south of Charlotte), then the third most successful theme park in the U.S., and a satellite system to distribute their network 24 hours a day across the country. Contributions requested from viewers were estimated to exceed $1 million a week, with proceeds to go to expanding the theme park and mission of PTL. In justifying his use of the mass media, Bakker responded to inquiries by likening his use of television to Jesus's use of the amphitheater of the time. "I believe that if Jesus were alive today he would be on TV," Bakker said.

In their success, the Bakkers took conspicuous consumption to an unusual level for a non-profit organization. According to Frances FitzGerald in an April 1987 New Yorker article, "They epitomized the excesses of the 1980s; the greed, the love of glitz, and the shamelessness; which in their case was so pure as to almost amount to a kind of innocence."

PTL's fund raising activities between 1984–1987 underwent scrutiny by The Charlotte Observer newspaper, eventually leading to criminal charges against Jim Bakker. From 1984 to 1987, Bakker and his PTL associates sold $1,000 "lifetime memberships", which entitled buyers to a three-night stay annually at a luxury hotel at Heritage USA. According to the prosecution at Bakker's later fraud trial, tens of thousands of memberships had been sold, but only one 500-room hotel was ever completed. Bakker sold more "exclusive partnerships" than could be accommodated, while raising more than twice the money needed to build the actual hotel. A good deal of the money went into Heritage USA's operating expenses, and Bakker kept $3.4 million in bonuses for himself, along with the $279,000 payoff for the silence of Jessica Hahn, a Bakker staff member.[4]

Bakker, who apparently made all of the financial decisions for the PTL organization, allegedly kept two sets of books to conceal the accounting irregularities. Reporters from The Charlotte Observer, led by Charles Shepard, investigated and published a series of articles regarding the PTL organization's finances.

On March 19, 1987, following the revelation of a payoff to Jessica Hahn, whom Bakker's staff members had paid $279,000 from PTL funds to keep secret her allegation that he had raped her, Bakker resigned from PTL.[4] Bakker acknowledges he met Hahn at a hotel room in Clearwater Beach, Florida, but denies raping her. Following Bakker's resignation as PTL head, he was succeeded in late March, 1987, by Jerry Falwell. Later that summer, as donations sharply declined in the wake of Bakker's resignation and the end of the Bakkers' popular PTL Club TV show, Falwell raised $20 million to help keep the Heritage USA Theme Park solvent, including a well-publicized waterslide plunge there.[7]. Falwell called Bakker a liar, an embezzler, a sexual deviant, and "the greatest scab and cancer on the face of Christianity in 2,000 years of church history."[8] In 1988, Falwell said that the Bakker scandal had "strengthened broadcast evangelism and made Christianity stronger, more mature and more committed".[9] Bakker's son, Jay, wrote in 2001 that the Bakkers felt betrayed by Falwell, whom they thought, at the time of Bakker's resignation, intended to help in Bakker's eventual restoration as head of the PTL ministry organization.

Legal problems

Following a 16-month Federal grand jury probe, Bakker was indicted in 1988 on eight counts of mail fraud, 15 counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy. In 1989, after a five week trial in Charlotte, the jury found him guilty on all 24 counts, and Judge Robert Potter sentenced him to 45 years in federal prison and a $500,000 fine.

He served time in the Federal Medical Center, Rochester in Rochester, Minnesota.

In early 1991, a federal appeals court upheld Bakker's conviction on the fraud and conspiracy charges, but voided Bakker's 45-year sentence, as well as the $500,000 fine, and ordered that a new sentencing hearing be held. At that hearing, Bakker was sentenced to 18 years in prison.[11]

In 1993, after serving almost five years of his sentence, Bakker was granted parole. Bakker's son, Jay, spearheaded a letter-writing campaign to the parole board on his father's behalf, urging leniency.

A federal jury subsequently ruled that PTL was not selling securities by offering Lifetime Partnerships at Heritage USA, as Bakker had contended.

On July 23, 1996, a North Carolina jury threw out a class action suit brought on behalf of more than 160,000 onetime supporters who contributed as much as $7,000 each to Bakker's coffers in the 1980s.

The Charlotte Observer reported that the Internal Revenue Service still holds Bakker and Roe Messner, Tammy Faye's husband from 1993 until her death in 2007, liable for personal income taxes owed from the 1980s when they were building the PTL empire, taxes assessed after the IRS revoked the PTL ministry's nonprofit status. Tammy Faye Messner's new husband said that the original tax amount was about $500,000, with penalties and interest accounting for the rest. The notices reinstating the liens list "James O. and Tamara F. Bakker" as owing $3,000,000, on which liens the Bakkers still pay.


Bakker has renounced his past teachings on prosperity theology, saying they were wrong. In his 1996 book, I Was Wrong, he admitted that the first time he read the Bible all the way through was in prison, and that it made him realize he had taken certain passages out of context - passages which he had used as "proof texts" to back up his prosperity teachings. He wrote:

The more I studied the Bible, however, I had to admit that the prosperity message did not line up with the tenor of Scripture. My heart was crushed to think that I led so many people astray. I was appalled that I could have been so wrong, and I was deeply grateful that God had not struck me dead as a false prophet!

In 1998, Bakker released another book, Prosperity and the Coming Apocalypse, and, in 2000, he published The Refuge: The Joy of Christian Community in a Torn-Apart World.

His son, Jay, who is now a minister at Revolution Church in New York City, wrote of the PTL years in his book, Son of a Preacher Man: "The world at large has focused on my parents' preaching of prosperity, but...I heard a different message — one of forgiveness and the abundance of God's love. I remember my dad always seating a mentally handicapped man in the front row and hugging him. And when vandals burned an African American church down, Dad made sure its parishioners got the funds to rebuild. His goal was to make PTL a place where anyone with a need could walk in off the streets and have that need met."

Later career

In January 2003, Bakker began broadcasting the daily Jim Bakker Show at Studio City Cafe in Branson, Missouri, with his second wife, Lori Bakker. It is carried on the DISH and DirecTV satellite networks and the CTN cable network.

In January 2008, Bakker's ministry moved into a new, elaborate television studio near Branson. The studio is housed within a 600-acre development that resembles Bakker's former location, Heritage USA. Most or all of the property in the new development (named Morningside) is owned by associates of Bakker, rather than Bakker himself. As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has pointed out, Bakker is still in debt to the IRS for about $6 million.


Jimmy Lee Swaggart (born March 15, 1935 in Ferriday, Louisiana) is a Pentecostal preacher and pioneer of televangelism who reached the height of his popularity in the 1980s. Swaggart is first cousin of recording artists Jerry Lee Lewis and Mickey Gilley. The sons of three sisters, all of them share similar middle names and play the piano. All were born within a year of one another.

Jimmy Swaggart's parents, Sun and Minnie Belle, had been fundamentalist Baptists. His father was a deacon in their small fundamentalist church. They became Pentecostal in 1943 while Jimmy began to preach on street corners and lead congregations in singing at age nine. In 1952, at age seventeen, he married Frances Anderson. They have one son, Donnie, who has also become a minister.

In 1958, Swaggart became a full-time traveling preacher and began developing a substantial revival-meeting following throughout the south. He became a licensed minister in the Assemblies of God in 1959. In 1960, Swaggart began recording gospel music record albums while he was building another audience via Christian-themed radio stations. In 1961, after attending bible college, he was ordained with the Assemblies of God. By 1969, his radio program, “The Camp Meeting Hour,” was being aired over numerous radio stations throughout the American Bible Belt. He also founded a church called Family Worship Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which was also under the Assemblies of God. He also began airing a weekly 30 minute telecast over various local television stations in that city. He also purchased a local AM radio station. In September 1985, in a broadcast sermon Swaggart said

"I believe Armageddon is coming, Armageddon is coming. It is going to be fought in the valley of Megiddo. It is coming. They can sign all the peace treaties they want. They won't do any good... It is going to get worse... My Lord! I am happy... I don't care who it bothers. I don't care who it troubles. It thrills my soul."

In 1986, Swaggart debated with Ahmed Deedat, a well known Muslim scholar of the Bible on the topic Is The Bible the Word of God[2] which was witnessed by about 8,000 people. Henry Hock Guan Teh, a well-known Christian writer described the debate in his article The Law of Evidence as:

The debate is on the reasonableness of their competing faiths which was held at Louisiana State University. Great expectations were generated since both were experienced public speakers. Sadly, Swaggart merely relied on TV showmanship to influence the crowd. When Deedat challenged him to prove the Bible as the Word of God, Swaggart simply quoted John 3:16 and claimed that his life was changed by it. Even such a claim was shattered to pieces when Swaggart’s personal sexual weaknesses were later exposed in the press. Although faith is necessary but without being thoughtfully presented its witness would not seem to be credible.

Ordination and a new focus

In the 1970s, his radio ministry grew and he purchased a couple other stations. His television ministry gradually grew to more stations as well by 1975. It was at this time that Swaggart decided to use television as his primary preaching medium. He also began to preach to large audiences by traveling around the southern region of the Unites States. In 1978, his weekly telecast was expanded to an hour. In 1980, he began a daily weekday telecast. His weekday telecast featured Bible study and some music. His weekend hour long telecast was either a sermon from Family Worship Center or from a traveling crusade. In the early 1980s, he expanded his crusades nationwide, visiting major cities. By 1983, he had become the most popular television preacher in the United States. Upwards of 250 television stations broadcast his program; “The Jimmy Swaggart Telecast” was regularly watched by two million households. Jimmy Swaggart Ministries, at this time headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, grew from a small local congregation of 100 people in the 1970s at the Family Worship Center to more than four thousand members, a printing and mailing production plant, a television production facility, a recording studio, and later a Bible college in 1984. The college had been formerly named Jimmy Swaggart Bible College ("JSBC"). Presently, it is renamed as the World Evangelism Bible College & Seminary. The Seminary opened in the fall of 1983.

While the Assemblies of God is conservative, Jimmy Swaggart was by far one of their most conservative ministers. While the church endorsed (and still does) Contemporary Christian Music, fellowshipping with mainline branches of Christianity (even Catholicism to some extent), Christian Psychology, and going to public motion pictures, Jimmy Swaggart shunned such practices. At one point he even said his own sometimes turned against him. On more than a few occasions he even stated that there were some Assembly Of God Churches that he would never send anyone to. He was critical of Billy Graham because of his willingness to fellowship with Catholics. While Jimmy Swaggart has great disdain for Roman Catholicism, he stops short of calling them a cult in league with the Mormons, for example. Musically, Jimmy Swaggart records and plays Southern Gospel music. He also embraces Black Gospel and Inspirational music. Swaggart also is opposed to the health and wealth gospel while still accepting signs and wonders.

Controversies and criticisms

Sex scandals 

1988: TV evangelist quits over sex scandal
Jimmy Swaggart, America's leading television evangelist, has resigned from his ministry after it was revealed he had been consorting with a prostitute.

In front of a congregation of 7,000 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he sobbed and confessed to "moral failure" without actually going into any detail.

"I do not plan in any way to whitewash my sin or call it a mistake," he told shocked members of his Family Worship Centre.

Turning to his wife, Frances, he said: "I have sinned against you and I beg your forgiveness."

VIDEO: http://news.bbc.co.uk/player/nol/newsid_6510000/newsid_6519500/6519529.stm?bw=nb&mp=wm&news=1&ms3=6&ms_javascript=false&bbcws=2

VIDEO - JIMMY SWAGGART RETURNS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVHTv0CHwVw

Mr Swaggart's confession is all the more scandalous since he himself unleashed fire and brimstone against rival TV evangelist Rev Jim Bakker a few months ago for committing adultery with minister and secretary Jessica Hahn.

Rev Bakker was subsequently defrocked and fired from his multi-million-dollar Praise the Lord TV station.

This time it was Mr Swaggart's turn to repent after officials from the Assemblies of God church were given photographs showing him taking a prostitute to a Louisiana motel.

They were handed in by rival TV evangelist Martin Gorman who was also defrocked after Mr Swaggart accused him of "immoral dalliances" in 1986.

Mr Gorman, who ran a successful TV show from New Orleans, had launched an unsuccessful $90m law suit against Mr Swaggart two years ago for spreading false rumours.

He also suggested Mr Swaggart was trying to undermine rival TV shows.

Big business

TV evangelism is certainly a lucrative business.

The Jimmy Swaggart Hour is watched by up to two million families and donations raised amount to about $150m a year.

After the Bakker scandal, donations from the faithful dropped dramatically and the same is likely to happen to Jimmy Swaggart's show.

The resignation will also displease Republican presidential contender Rev Pat Robertson. He is currently trying to drum up support in the "Bible Belt" southern states ahead of the Super Tuesday primaries on 8 March.

Rev Robertson has threatened to sue anyone who calls him a TV evangelist and prefers to be described as a businessman.


In 1986, Swaggart exposed fellow Assemblies of God minister Marvin Gorman, who was accused of having an affair with another pastor's wife, who was at the time undergoing counseling with Pastor Gorman. Some said this was done out of fear that Gorman was taking away from Swaggart's audience and donations. Gorman was based in New Orleans and was adding stations throughout the southern region and was beginning to add stations on the west coast and the northeast. Gorman was also in the planning stages for a weekday telecast. Once exposed, Gorman was defrocked from the Assemblies of God and his ministry all but ended.

The following year, Swaggart exposed fellow Assemblies Of God televangelist Jim Bakker's sexual indiscretions and appeared on the Larry King Show, stating that Bakker was a "cancer in the body of Christ." He and similarly-minded Baptist evangelist Jerry Falwell investigated Jim Bakker and eventually discovered his indiscretions. In 1987, Jim Bakker's ministry was falling apart as a result.


As a retaliatory move, Marvin Gorman hired a private detective to follow Swaggart. The detective found Swaggart in a Louisiana motel on Airline Highway with a prostitute, Debra Murphree, and took pictures of the tryst.[4] Gorman presented Swaggart with the photos in a blackmail attempt to force Swaggart to come clean, but Swaggart refused. Gorman then presented the pictures to the presbytery leadership of the Assemblies of God, which decided that Swaggart should be suspended from broadcasting his television program for three months. This fact was heavily satirized by musician Frank Zappa in a three-song medley referred to by band members as the "Texas Motel Medley", consisting of three songs by the Beatles with the lyrics changed to reflect the events. While the Texas Motel Medley itself was never released due to copyright concerns, several references to the incident can be heard on the live albums The Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life and Broadway The Hard Way.

On February 21, 1988, without giving the details of his transgressions, Swaggart tearfully spoke to his family, congregation and audience, saying, "I have sinned against you, my Lord, and I would ask that your precious blood would wash and cleanse every stain until it is in the seas of God's forgiveness."[5] On a New Orleans morning news show four days later, Murphree stated that while Swaggart was a regular customer, they had never engaged in intercourse.

Against the ruling of the governing body of the Assemblies of God, Swaggart returned to his television pulpit long before his three-month suspension expired. He stated, "If I do not return to the pulpit this weekend, millions of people will go to hell." Believing that Swaggart was not genuinely repentant in not submitting to their authority, the Assemblies of God immediately defrocked Swaggart, removing his credentials and ministerial license.

On October 11, 1991, Swaggart was found in the company of another prostitute, Rosemary Garcia, when he was pulled over by the California Highway Patrol in Indio, California, for driving on the wrong side of the street. According to Garcia, Swaggart stopped to proposition her on the side of the road. When the patrolman asked Garcia why she was with Swaggart, she replied, "He asked me for sex. I mean, that's why he stopped me. That's what I do. I'm a prostitute." Rather than confessing to his congregation, Swaggart told his flock this time that "The Lord told me it's flat none of your business." His son Donnie then announced to the stunned audience that his father would be temporarily stepping down as head of Jimmy Swaggart Ministries for "a time of healing and counseling."

The Ozzy Osbourne Conflict

Prior to the prostitute controversy, Jimmy Swaggart was a fierce opponent to heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne, who released the infamous song "Suicide Solution" in 1980. Vehemently castigating Osbourne, Swaggart christened Osbourne as a satanist who ordered teenagers to accept Lucifer as their savior and/or to commit suicide. Following Jimmy's newfound dilemmas, Ozzy decided to retaliate. On October 22nd, 1988 Ozzy Osbourne released the album No Rest for the Wicked. The first song and single from the album is entitled "Miracle Man" (see the music video here.) " The music video was shot in a cross between a church and a pig sty while Ozzy opens the video wearing a "Jimmy Swaggart" mask, mocking his public plea for forgiveness. The lyrics hint to real anecdotes in the fiasco: Jimmy "got busted" "with his pants down" and after, he went "on TV cryin'" confessing to his sins. The song, which refers to Jimmy throughout as "Jimmy Sinner," ends with the repetitious line, "Miracle Man got busted".Criticism of Christian rock and metal

Swaggart wrote a book criticizing the Christian rock and metal movements entitled Religious Rock n' Roll – A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing in 1987. The book criticized the scene for using heavy metal music to preach the gospel of Christianity, calling rock music the music of the devil. Ironically, it was Swaggart that helped convert Michael Sweet and Robert Sweet, two of the founding members of the band Stryper.[13][14] Also criticized by Swaggart were Larry Norman (the "father of Christian rock"), Petra, Mylon LeFevre and other notable Christian rock and metal bands.

In 1986, Swaggart called rock music "the new pornography." That comment has been cited as the inspiration for the naming of the Canadian indie-rock band the New Pornographers, but frontman Carl Newman claims not to have heard the quote until after having named the band

 Print and recorded media

Swaggart is the on-record author of several Christian works offered through his ministry, as well as an autobiography To Cross a River and a personal account of the 1988 scandal The Cup Which My Father Hath Given Me: A Biblical Revelation of Personal Spiritual Warfare.

He has also sold over 15 million Gospel albums.Current ministry

A worldwide multi-million-dollar ministry, Jimmy Swaggart Ministries today mainly comprises The Jimmy Swaggart Telecast, radio and television programs called A Study in the Word, (SonLife Radio Network),, and a website, JSM.org. Jimmy's wife, Frances (very much behind the scenes); and son, Donnie, control the ministry's preaching and leadership. Jimmy's grandson, Gabriel, is a preacher, and leads the Family Worship Center youth ministry, "Crossfire". Sonlife radio is heard in 22 states

In popular culture

One of the most famous samples in industrial music is Swaggart thundering "No sex until marriage!", as heard on the Front 242 track "Welcome to Paradise" -- released, ironically, in 1988, the year his first sex scandal broke.

Swaggart was played by actor Alec Baldwin in the 1989 Jerry Lee Lewis biopic Great Balls of Fire!


James Warren "Jim" Jones (May 13, 1931 November 18, 1978) was the American founder of the Peoples Temple, which became synonymous with mass suicide after the November 18, 1978 death of over 900 people from cyanide poisoning in their isolated agricultural intentional community called Jonestown, along with the death of 9 other people at a nearby airstrip and in Georgetown. To the extent the actions in Jonestown were viewed as a mass suicide, it is one of the largest such mass suicides in history, perhaps the largest in over 1,900 years and the greatest single loss of American civilian life in a non-natural disaster until the incidents of September 11, 2001. One of those dying at the nearby airstrip was Leo Ryan, who became the first and only Congressman murdered in the line of duty in the history of the United States.

Early life

Jones was born in Crete, Indiana, to James Thurman Jones, a World War I veteran, and Lyneta Putnam. He would later claim part Cherokee descent through his mother. In 2007 interviews with PBS, childhood acquaintances recalled Jones as being a "weird kid" who was "obsessed with religion ... obsessed with death;" they further claimed that Jones frequently held funerals for small animals, and heard a story of Jones fatally stabbing a cat.[3][dead link] He graduated from Richmond High School in Richmond, Indiana. In 1951 Jones and his wife Marceline moved to Indianapolis, where Jones enrolled in Butler University attending night school and earned a degree in secondary education in 1961.

Founding of the Temple

Main article: Peoples Temple

Indiana beginnings

In 1951, Jones began attending communist meetings and rallies in Indianapolis. Jones became flustered with harassment he received during the McCarthy Hearings, particularly regarding meetings between Jones and his mother with Paul Robeson. He also became frustrated with what he perceived to be ostracism of open communists in the United States, especially during the trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. This, among other things, provoked a seminal moment for Jones in which he asked himself "how can I demonstrate my Marxism? The thought was, infiltrate the church."

Jones' interest in religion began during his childhood, primarily because he found making friends difficult, though initially he vacillated on his church of choice.Jones was surprised when a Methodist superintendent helped Jones to get a start in the church even though he knew Jones to be a communist and Jones did not meet him through the American Communist Party. In 1952, Jones became a student pastor in Sommerset Southside Methodist Church, but left that church because they barred him from integrating African Americans into his congregation. Around this time, Jones witnessed a faith-healing service at the Seventh Day Baptist Church, observed that it attracted people and their cash and concluded that with financial resources from such healings, he could help accomplish his social goals.

Jones then began his own church, which changed names until it became the Peoples Temple Christian Church Full Gospel. Jones sold pet monkeys door-to-door to raise the money to fund his church.

Jones moved away from the American Communist Party and Maoists when ACP members and Mao became critical of some of former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin's policies.

In 1961, Jones helped to integrate churches, restaurants, the telephone company, the police department, a theater, an amusement park, and the Methodist Hospital and became the executive director of the Indianapolis Human Rights Commission.

Jones received considerable criticism in Indiana for his integrationist views] In addition, Jim and Marcy Jones were the first white couple in Indiana to adopt an African American child, and they also adopted other children of Korean-American and Native American ancestry.

Move to California

Los Angeles (California)
Los Angeles
San Francisco
Santa Rosa
Some of the Peoples Temple's California Locations

After traveling in Brazil from 1962 to 1963, in 1965, Jones claimed that the world would be engulfed in a nuclear war on July 15, 1967 that would then create a new socialist Eden on earth and that they must move to Northern California for safety. Accordingly, the Peoples Temple began moving to Redwood Valley, California.

While Jones always spoke of the social gospel's virtues, before the late 1960s Jones chose to conceal that his gospel was actually communism.  By the late 1960s, Jones began at least partially openly revealing in Temple sermons his "Apostolic Socialism" concept. Specifically, "those who remained drugged with the opiate of religion had to be brought to enlightenment -- socialism." Jones often mixed those concepts, such as preaching that "If you're born in capitalist America, racist America, fascist America, then you're born in sin. But if you're born in socialism, you're not born in sin."

By the early 1970s, Jones began deriding traditional Christianity as "fly away religion," rejected the Bible as being white mens' justification to subordinate women and subjugate people of color and stated it spoke of a "Sky God" who was no God at all. Jones authored a booklet titled "The Letter Killeth," stating what he felt were the contradictions, absurdities, and atrocities in the Bible.

By the Spring of 1976, Jones began openly admitting even to outsiders that he was an atheist. Despite the Temple's fear that the IRS was investigating its religious tax exemption, by 1977, Jones' wife Marcy admitted to the New York Times that, as early as age 18 when he watched his then idol Mao Tse Tung overthrow the Chinese government, Jim Jones realized that the way to achieve social change through Marxism in the United States was to mobilize people through religion. She stated that "Jim used religion to try to get some people out of the opiate of religion," and had slammed the Bible on the table yelling "I've got to destroy this paper idol!"

 Political involvement

Due to the Peoples Temples' instrumental participation in the mayoral election victory of George Moscone in 1975, Moscone appointed Jones as the Chairman of the San Francisco Housing Commission.

Jim Jones as portrayed in a brochure of the Peoples Temple
Jim Jones as portrayed in a brochure of the Peoples Temple

Unlike most other figures deemed as cult leaders, Jones enjoyed public support and contact with some of the highest level politicians in the United States. For example, Jones and Moscone met privately with vice presidential candidate Walter Mondale on his campaign plane days before the 1976 election and Mondale publicly praised the Temple. Likewise, First Lady Rosalynn Carter personally met with Jones on multiple occasions, corresponded with him about Cuba and spoke with him at the grand opening of the San Francisco Democratic Party Headquarters where Jones garnered louder applause than Mrs. Carter .

In September 1976, Willie Brown served as master of ceremonies at a large testimonial dinner for Jones, also attended by Governor Jerry Brown and Lieutenant Governor Mervyn Dymally, among others. At that dinner, while introducing Jones, Willie Brown stated "Let me present to you what you should see every day when you look in the mirror in the early morning hours ... Let me present to you a combination of Martin King, Angela Davis, Albert Einstein ... Chairman Mao."

After Jones fled to Jonestown following allegations of criminal and cult activity, Brown, Harvey Milk and Art Agnos attended a rally against Temple enemies at the Temple.  Milk, who had spoke at political rallies at the Temple, wrote to Jones after a visit to the Temple: "Rev Jim, It may take me many a day to come back down from the high that I reach today. I found something dear today. I found a sense of being that makes up for all the hours and energy placed in a fight. I found what you wanted me to find. I shall be back. For I can never leave."

Jonestown's formation and operation

Main article: Jonestown

In the summer of 1977, Jones and several hundred Temple members moved to the Temple's "Agricultural Project" in Guyana after they learned of the contents of a newspaper article by Marshall Kilduff to be published, in which former Temple members claimed they were physically, emotionally, and sexually abused.[25][19] Jones named the settlement Jonestown after himself.

Jonestown (Guyana  )
Peoples Temple Agricultural Project ("Jonestown", Guyana)

Jones purported to establish Jonestown as a benevolent model communist community stating, "I believe we’re the purest communists there are."  Jones' wife, Marceline, described Jonestown as "dedicated to live for socialism, total economic and racial and social equality. We are here living communally." Jones wanted to construct a model community to show others and stated that Prime Minister of Guyana Forbes Burnham "couldn’t rave enough about us, uh, the wonderful things we do, the project, the model of socialism." In that regard, like the restrictive emigration policies of the then Soviet Union, Cuba, North Korea and other communist republics, Jones did not permit members to leave Jonestown.

In spite of the allegations, Jones was still widely respected for setting up a racially mixed church which helped the disadvantaged; 68 percent of Jonestown's residents were black.Religious scholar Mary McCormick Maaga argued that Jones' authority waned after he moved to the isolated commune, because he was not needed for recruitment and he could not hide his drug addiction from rank and file members.

Political support for Jones after he fled to Jonestown

After Jones' move to Jonestown, as a show of support, Willie Brown spoke at a rally at the Peoples Temple, also attended by Harvey Milk and Art Agnos, stating "When somebody like Jim Jones comes on the scene, that absolutely scares the hell out of most everybody occupying positions of power in the system." Harvey Milk wrote Jones a handwritten note stating "my name is cut into stone in support of you - and your people." Most importantly for Jones and the Temple, Moscone's office shortly thereafter issued a press release saying that Jones had broken no laws.

Amidst growing pressure in the United States to investigate the Temple, on February 19, 1978, Harvey Milk wrote a letter of support for the Peoples Temple to President Jimmy Carter. Therein, Milk wrote that Jones was known "as a man of the highest character." Regarding defecting Temple members pressing for an investigation of the Peoples Temple, Milk wrote "they are attempting to damage Rev. Jones reputation" with "apparent bold-faced lies."

Further pressure for investigations of Jonestown

On April 11, 1978, the Concerned Relatives of Peoples Temple members distributed a packet of documents, including letters and affidavits, that they titled an "Accusation of Human Rights Violations by Rev. James Warren Jones" to the Peoples Temple, members of the press and members of Congress. In June of 1978, escaped Temple member Deborah Layton provided the group with a further affidavit detailing alleged crimes by the Peoples Temple and substandard living conditions in Jonestown.

In the summer of 1978, Jones also hired famous JFK assassination conspiracy theorists Mark Lane and Donald Freed to help make the case of a "grand conspiracy" by intelligence agencies against the Peoples Temple. Jones told Lane he wanted to "pull an Eldridge Cleaver", referring to a fugitive Black Panther that was able to return to the United States after repairing his reputation.

Visit by Congressman Ryan, murders and mass suicide

Main article: Jonestown

In November 1978, U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan led a fact-finding mission to the Jonestown settlement in Guyana to investigate allegations of human rights abuses by relatives of Temple members in the U.S. Ryan's delegation, which included Don Harris, an NBC network news reporter, an NBC cameraman and reporters for various newspapers. The group arrived in Jonestown on November 15 and spent three days interviewing residents. Ryan's delegation was originally denied access to the camp, where it was later learned that the residents were practicing songs and dance. The delegation was granted access on November 17. However, it left hurriedly on the morning of Saturday November 18, after an attempt was made on Ryan's life by a man armed with a knife. The attack was thwarted, bringing the visit to an abrupt end. Congressman Ryan and his people succeeded in taking with them fifteen People's Temple members who had expressed a wish to leave. At that time, Jones made no attempt to prevent their departure. However, Peoples Temple survivors reported that a group from Jonestown left shortly afterwards in a truck with the intention of stopping the delegation and members from leaving the country alive.

Port Kaituma Airstrip shootings

Surviving delegation members later told police that as they were boarding two planes at the airstrip, the truck with Jones' armed guards arrived and began shooting at them, killing Congressman Ryan and five others. At the same time, one of the supposed defectors, Larry Layton, drew a weapon and began firing on members of the party. An NBC cameraman was able to capture footage of the shooting. When the gunmen departed, five people were dead: Congressman Leo Ryan; Don Harris, a reporter from NBC; Bob Brown, a cameraman from NBC; newspaper photographer Greg Robinson; and one defector from the Peoples Temple. Surviving the attack were future Congresswoman Jackie Speier, then a staff member for Ryan; Richard Dwyer, the Deputy Chief of Mission from the U.S. Embassy at Georgetown and allegedly an officer of the Central Intelligence Agency; and Bob Flick, a producer for NBC News. The murder of Congressman Ryan was the first and only murder of a Congressman in the line of duty in the history of the United States.

Deaths in Jonestown

Later that same day, 909 inhabitants of Jonestown, 276 of them children, died of apparent cyanide poisoning, mostly in and around a Pavilion. This resulted in the greatest single loss of American civilian life in a non-natural disaster until the incidents of September 11, 2001.] No video was taken during the mass suicide, though the FBI did recover a 45 minute audio of the suicide in progress.

On that tape, Jones tells Temple members that the Soviet Union, with whom the Temple had been negotiating a potential exodus for months, would not take them after the Temple had murdered Congressman Leo Ryan, NBC reporter Don Harris and three others at a nearby airstrip. The reason given by Jones to commit suicide was consistent with Jones' previously stated conspiracy theories of intelligence organizations allegedly conspiring against the Temple, that men would "parachute in here on us," "shoot some of our innocent babies" and "they'll torture our children, they'll torture some of our people here, they'll torture our seniors." Parroting Jones' prior statements that hostile forces would convert captured children to fascism, one temple member states "the ones that they take captured, they're gonna just let them grow up and be dummies."

Given that reasoning, Jones and several members argued that the group should commit "revolutionary suicide" by drinking cyanide-laced grape flavored Flavor Aid (often misidentified as Kool-Aid) along with a sedative. One member, Christine Miller, dissents toward the beginning of the tape. When members apparently cried, Jones counseled "Stop this hysterics. This is not the way for people who are Socialists or Communists to die. No way for us to die. We must die with some dignity." Jones can be heard saying, "Don't be afraid to die" and, regarding death as "just stepping over into another plane" and that "[death is] a friend." At the end of the tape, Jones concludes: "We didn't commit suicide, we committed an act of revolutionary suicide protesting the conditions of an inhumane world." Children were given the drink first and families were told to lie down together. The mass suicide had been discussed in simulated events called "White Nights" on a regular basis, while members drank liquid Jones first told them was poison during at least one of those White Nights.

Jones was found dead sitting in a deck chair with a gunshot wound to the head that Guyanese coroner Cyrill Mootoo stated was consistent with a self-inflicted gun wound. An autopsy of Jones' body also showed levels of the barbiturate phenobarbital which would have been lethal to humans who had not developed physiological tolerance.His drug usage (including various LSD and marijuana experimentations) was confirmed by his son, Stephan, and Jones's doctor in San Francisco.

Other issues

In MacArthur Park, Los Angeles on December 13, 1973, Jones was arrested and charged with soliciting a man for sex in a movie theater bathroom known for homosexual activity.  The man was an undercover Los Angeles Police Department vice officer. Jones is on record as later telling his followers that he was "the only true heterosexual," but at least one account exists of his sexual abusing of a male member of his congregation in front of the followers, ostensibly to prove the man's own homosexual tendencies.

Jones had sexual relations with multiple male and female members of the Peoples Temple.

One of Jones' sources of inspiration was the controversial International Peace Mission movement leader Father Divine. Jones had borrowed the term "revolutionary suicide" from Black Panther leader and Peoples Temple supporter Huey Newton who had argued "the slow suicide of life in the ghetto" ought to be replaced by revolutionary struggle that would end only in victory (socialism and self determination) or revolutionary suicide (death).


Jones married Marceline Baldwin, a nurse, in 1949. In June 1959, the couple had their only biological child, Stephan Gandhi Jones. Two years later, in 1961, the Joneses became the first Caucasian couple in Indiana to adopt an African American child, James Warren Jones, Jr.

In addition, the couple adopted three children of Korean-American ancestry: Lew, Suzanne and Stephanie. They also adopted a part Native American daughter, Agnes. Agnes Jones, the oldest of the children, was adopted at the age of eleven in 1954. Suzanne Jones was adopted at the age of six in 1959. Jones referred to them as his rainbow family, and stated: "Integration is a more personal thing with me now. It's a question of my son's future." The couple also adopted another son, who was Caucasian, named Tim. Tim Jones, adopted from a Peoples Temple mother, was originally named Timothy Glen Tupper.

When Jonestown was first being established, Stephan Jones had avoided two attempts by his father to relocate to the settlement. He eventually went to Jonestown after a third and final attempt. He has since said that he went because of his mother.

Stephan, Jim Jr., and Tim Jones did not take part in the mass suicide because they were in Georgetown playing with the Peoples Temple basketball team against the Guyanese national team. Stephan and Tim Jones were both nineteen and Jim Jones Jr. was eighteen at the time of the events. Tim's biological family, the Tuppers, which consisted of his three biological sisters, biological brother, and biological mother, all died at Jonestown. Three days before the tragedy, Stephan Jones refused, over the radio, to comply with an order by his father to return the team to Jonestown for Ryan's visit.

Lew and Agnes Jones both died at Jonestown. Agnes Jones was thirty-five years old at the time of her death. Her husband, and four children  all died at Jonestown. Lew Jones, who was twenty-one years old at the time of his death, died alongside his wife and son. Stephanie Jones had died at age five in a car accident. Suzanne Jones married Mike Cartmell, both of whom turned against the Temple, and were not in Jonestown on November 18. After this occurred, Jones referred to Suzanne openly as "my goddamned, no good for nothing daughter" and stated that she was not to be trusted. In a signed note found at the time of her death, Marceline Jones directed that the Jones' funds were to be given to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and specified: "I especially request that none of these are allowed to get into the hands of my adopted daughter, Suzanne Jones Cartmell."Cartmell had two children and died of colon cancer in November of 2006.

Jones fathered a son, Jim Jon (Kimo), with Carolyn Louise Moore Layton, a Temple member.[72] They both died during the events at Jonestown.

Jones claimed to be the biological father of John Victor Stoen, although the birth certificate lists Timothy and Grace Stoen as the parents of the boy. The Temple repeatedly claimed that Jones fathered the child when, in 1971, Tim Stoen had requested that Jones have sex with Grace Stoen to keep her from defecting.[75] The custody dispute over John Stoen would be the lynchpin of several battles between the Temple and the Concerned Relatives. Specific references to Tim Stoen, including the logistics of possibly murdering him, are made on the Temple's final "death tape," as well as a discussion over whether the Temple should include John Stoen among those committing "revolutionary suicide."

Stephan Jones is now a businessman, who is married with three daughters. He appeared in the documentary Jonestown: Paradise Lost which aired on the History Channel and Discovery Channel. He stated he will not watch the documentary and has never grieved for his father. Jim Jones Jr., who lost his wife and unborn child at Jonestown, returned to San Francisco. He remarried and has three sons from this marriage, including Rob Jones, a high-school basketball star who went on to play for the University of San Diego.




HERE'S HOW IT ENDED - VIDEO  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S75N4r5VmuU&NR=1

David Koresh (August 17, 1959 April 19, 1993) was the leader of a Branch Davidian religious sect, believing himself to be the final prophet. A 1993 raid by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and subsequent siege by the FBI ended with the burning of the Branch Davidian ranch. Koresh, 54 adults and 21 children were found dead after the fire, though the time of death is in dispute.

Early life

He was born Vernon Wayne Howell in Houston, Texas, to a 15-year-old single mother, Bonnie Sue Clark. His father was a 20-year-old carpenter named Bobby Howell. The pair remained unmarried. Two years later his father met another woman and left. He never met his father and was raised by "a cruel stepfather." Koresh described his early childhood as lonely, and it has been alleged that he was once raped by older boys. A poor student diagnosed with dyslexia, Koresh dropped out of Garland high school. Due to his poor study skills, he was nicknamed "Mister Retardo" by his classmates, but by the age of 12, he had memorized the entire New Testament.

When he was 19, Koresh had an affair with a 16-year-old girl who became pregnant. He claimed to have become a born-again Christian in the Southern Baptist Church and soon joined his mother's church, the Seventh-day Adventist Church. There he fell in love with the pastor's daughter and while praying for guidance he opened his eyes and allegedly found the Bible open at Isaiah 34, stating that none should want for a mate; convinced this was a sign from God, he approached the pastor and told him that God wanted him to have his daughter for a wife. The pastor threw him out, and when he continued to persist with his pursuit of the daughter he was expelled from the congregation. A member of the congregation is reported to have said that he never "thought above his belt buckle."

In 1981 he moved to Waco, Texas, where he joined the Branch Davidians, a religious group originating from a schism in the 1950s from the Shepherd's Rod, themselves disfellowshipped members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the 1930s. They had established their headquarters at a ranch about 10 miles out of Waco, which they called the Mount Carmel Center (after the Biblical Mount Carmel), in 1955.

 Ascent to leadership of the Branch Davidians

In 1983 he began claiming the gift of prophecy. Koresh then had a sexual relationship with Lois Roden, the prophetess and leader of the sect who was then in her late seventies, eventually claiming that God had chosen him to father a child with her, who would be the Chosen One. In 1983, Roden allowed Koresh to begin teaching his own message which caused controversy in the group. Lois Roden's son George Roden intended to be the group's next leader and considered Koresh an interloper. When Koresh announced that God had instructed him to marry Rachel Jones, there was a short period of calm at Mount Carmel, but it proved only temporary. In the ensuing power struggle, George Roden, claiming to have the support of the majority of the group, forced Koresh and his group off the property at gunpoint. Disturbed by the events and the move away from the philosophy of the community's founders, a further splinter group led by Charles Joseph Pace moved out of Mount Carmel and set up home in Gadsden, Alabama.

Koresh and around 25 followers set up camp at Palestine, 90 miles from Waco, where they lived rough for the next two years, during which time Koresh undertook recruitment of new followers in California, the United Kingdom, Israel and Australia. In 1985 Koresh traveled to Israel and it was there that he had a vision that he was the modern day Cyrus. The founder of the Davidian movement, Victor Houteff, wanted to be God's implement and establish the Davidic kingdom in Palestine, Israel. Koresh also wanted to be God's tool and set up the Davidic kingdom in Jerusalem. At least until 1990, he believed the place of his martyrdom might be in Israel, but by 1991 he was convinced that his martyrdom would be in the United States. Instead of Israel, he said the prophecies of Daniel would be fulfilled in Waco and that the Mount Carmel center was the Davidic kingdom.

At the Palestine, Texas, camp, Koresh "worked it so that everyone was forced to rely on him, and him alone. All previous bonds and attachments, family or otherwise, meant nothing. His rationale was if they had no one to depend on, they had to depend on him, and that made them vulnerable." By this time, he had already begun to give the message of his own "Christhood," proclaiming that he was "the Son of God, the Lamb who could open the Seven Seals."

Lois Roden died in 1986. Up until then Koresh had been teaching that monogamy was the only way to live, but suddenly announced that polygamy was allowed for him. In March 1986, Koresh first slept with Karen Doyle, aged 14. He claimed her as his second wife. In August 1986, Koresh began secretly sleeping with Michele Jones, his wife's younger 12-year-old sister. In September 1986 Koresh began to preach that he was entitled to 140 wives, 60 women as his "queens" and 80 as concubines, which he based upon his interpretation of the Biblical Song of Solomon. Koresh then built up an entirely new theology around his "marriage" to Doyle. This theology was called the "New Light," with a doctrine of polygamy for himself, which he called "The House of David." According to this doctrine, Doyle was supposed to have a daughter named Shoshanna who would then be married to Koresh's firstborn son Cyrus. However, Doyle failed to conceive, so Koresh then transferred his attention to his wife's sister. Former Davidian David Bunds said that Koresh's doctrine of polygamy "rose out of his deep desire to have sex with young girls. Once he was able to convince himself that it was God's will then he was able to be free of guilt and have sex with as many young girls as he could get his hands on."

By late 1987, George Roden's support had withered. To regain it, he challenged Koresh to a contest to raise the dead, even digging up one corpse to practice on it. Koresh returned to Mount Carmel in camouflage, with seven armed followers. All but one - who managed to escape - were arrested by the local police, who had been alerted by the sound of gunfire. When deputy sheriffs arrived and ended the shoot-out, they found Koresh and six followers firing their rifles at Roden, who had already suffered a minor gunshot wound and was pinned down behind a tree at the Compound. As a result of the incident, Koresh and his followers were charged with attempted murder. At the trial, Koresh testified that he went to Mount Carmel to uncover evidence of corpse abuse by George Roden. Koresh's followers were acquitted, and in Koresh's case a mistrial was declared.

In 1988 Roden murdered Dale Adair with an axe blow to the skull after Adair stated his belief that Koresh was the Messiah. Roden was convicted of murder and, as he owed thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes, Mount Carmel was placed for sale. Koresh and his followers raised the money and purchased the property, which he subsequently renamed "Ranch Apocalypse." A methamphetamine laboratory was discovered on the property, which Koresh reported to the local police department and asked to have removed.

 Name change

Koresh allegedly believed himself to be a modern-day Cyrus the Great, who had permitted the Jews to return to Judea upon liberating them from Babylonian rule. In the documentation involved in his legal change of name, Koresh stated that the change was for "publicity and business purposes." Some critics say the switch arose from his alleged belief that he was now head of the biblical house of David, from which Judeo-Christian tradition maintains the Messiah will come. The name Koresh is a transliteration of the Hebrew name of Cyrus, the Persian king who allowed the Jews who had been dispersed throughout Babylonia by Nebuchadnezzar to return to their homelands. He chose the names "David," and allegedly, "Koresh" evinced his belief that he was an anointed one, a belief that stemmed from a vision he claimed to have received from God in 1985 during his trip to Israel. During the siege, Koresh would explain to the FBI negotiators that (in Koresh's mind at least) "koresh" had a deeper meaning:

Koresh: "What is Christ revealed as, according to the fourth seal?"
FBI: "Pale... a rider on a pale horse."
Koresh: "And his name is what?"
FBI: "Death."
Koresh: "Now, do you know what the name Koresh means?"
FBI: "Go ahead..."
Koresh: "It means death."

Texas Death Records list his name as Vernon Howell, despite the legal change to David Koresh.

Accusations of child abuse and statutory rape

Koresh himself denied all allegations of polygamy and child abuse in public interviews. The popular media, disaffected Davidians, and spokespersons for the US government, however, tell sordid tales of Koresh's personal life.

Allegedly, Koresh advocated polygamy for himself, and asserted that he was married to several female residents of the small community. Some former members of the cult also alleged that Koresh felt he could claim any of the females in the compound as his. Allegedly, he fathered at least a dozen children by the harem. Allegedly, his harem included girls as young as age 12. The other adults at the compound were told by Koresh not to tell anyone else about this "because they wouldn't understand."

The 1993 U.S. Department of Justice report sets out detailed evidence of historical child sexual and physical abuse. ATF Special Agent David Aguilera had interviewed former Branch Davidian Jeannine Bunds, who claimed that Koresh had fathered at least fifteen children with various women and young girls at the compound. Some of the girls who had babies fathered by Koresh were as young as 12 years old. She said she had personally delivered 7 of these children. According to Ms. Bunds, Koresh would annul all marriages of couples who joined his cult. He then had exclusive sexual access to the women. According to Mrs. Bunds, he had regular sexual relations with young girls, who ranged in age from 11 upwards. In his book, James Tabor states that Koresh acknowledged on a videotape sent out of the compound during the standoff that he had fathered more than 12 children by several "wives," some of whom were as young as 12 or 13 when they became pregnant. DNA testing of the women and children in the video who died in the subsequent fire confirmed that the children were his. At the time, in Texas, the age of parental consent for a minor to marry was 14, as was the age for consent to engage in sexual relations. Kiri Jewell, daughter of Branch Davidian Sherri Jewell, claimed in testimony before Congress in 1995 that she was sexually molested at the age of 10 by Koresh, who then read to her from the Bible.  She originally related the incident in a 1992 custody battle, and the judge ordered that she be kept away from Koresh and Mount Carmel. While conceding that Jewell's testimony may be "100 percent true," Schneider's attorney expressed doubts about her veracity.

Twenty-one children, aged from 5 months to 12 years, were released from Mount Carmel over a 3-day period at the beginning of the siege. These children were placed in the custody of the Child Protective Services and housed together in a single cottage. Over the next two months, these children were in the constant care of a multidisciplinary treatment team consisting of child care and mental health professionals from a variety of institutions and organizations, who carried out extensive evaluation and assessment. They concluded that the children had been raised in an abusive setting, and that Koresh's regime at Mount Carmel was clearly "a psychologically destructive environment for children." Koresh deliberately undermined the traditional parent-child relationship and replaced it with a dependence upon a central figure, himself. The children related at various times that they had been instructed to call their natural parents "dogs" and to call Koresh "father." Children who were not biologically Koresh's or 'adopted' by Koresh were called "bastards." Koresh continuously undermined all relationships within the Branch Davidian community, including sibling relationships, husband and wife relationships, and friendships. Any attachment judged by Koresh to be more important to an individual than the dependence upon him or God was not tolerated. By 1992 the children were being taught to view Koresh as their father, and soon after they were taught that he was God.

The children demonstrated inappropriate and age-inappropriate behaviors and significant gaps in general understanding, reflecting practices present in the compound. Very young children, including a 6-year-old girl, knew an incredible amount about weapons, while they knew almost nothing about common age-appropriate concepts.

Child psychologists concluded that the children were significantly traumatized by previous harsh and inappropriate disciplinary techniques including severe corporal punishment, extended isolation and severe food restrictions. They were continually exposed to "harsh, capricious, and humiliating" disciplinary techniques. Children, as young as 8 months, were beaten for trivial matters, and older children were beaten for not fighting hard enough in bouts arranged by Koresh between the children as part of their "paramilitary training." In the building where the children were first housed after leaving Mount Carmel, one spotted the door to the basement:

"Do you have a whipping room down there?" she asked her new guardians. '"No, do you have one?" "Yes," said the little girl. "When they don't want everyone to hear us, they take us down there."

The children were also threatened with death if they revealed aspects of life inside the compound to the "non-believers." As is typical when an abusive adult threatens a child, they were told that outsiders would not understand "our special ways." The children were convinced that Koresh would return from the grave and punish them if they betrayed the Davidians by interacting with, or disclosing information to, the "bad guys" (e.g., law enforcement and non-Davidians).

TIME magazine cover, depicting the Waco Siege and David Koresh, May 3, 1993.
TIME magazine cover, depicting the Waco Siege and David Koresh, May 3, 1993.

Koresh was exploitive and manipulative of children and exposed them all to a variety of inappropriate sexual content — such as graphically describing intercourse and sexual technique in his hours-long sermons at which the children were present. Furthermore, the girls were socialized to believe that sex with Koresh, by age 11-12, was normal, appropriate, and desirable as part of "God's plan" as revealed to and by Koresh. All of the young girls were being prepared to be his wives and to view that as a healthy and desired position to be in. One of the older girls expressed distress, now that she had been released from the compound, that she would not be able to be picked by Koresh as one of his brides. Koresh created an environment which had "an unhealthy, malignant and predatory quality of sexuality," and all of the girls were 'groomed' for sexual activity at an early age.

Several of the children mentioned dead babies, and stated that dead babies were kept in the freezer until they could be buried or burned. Amongst the children there was an ongoing secretive quality to these occasional allusions to births, dead babies, miscarriages, storage of dead babies in the freezer, burning bodies, a ceremony with a male baby underwater and other incomplete and unformed stories. When any of the children mentioned these subjects, there was evidence of peer-group monitoring, group censoring and avoidance of disclosing any more information.

Dr. Bruce D. Perry states:

"The fact that the name of God and religion were used to obscure this exploitive and abusive practice make these activities even more heinous and destructive to the long term development of these children. The fact that responsible adults, either parents or 'academics', would minimize these activities is shameful. David Koresh systematically exploited the members of the Branch Davidian community, slowly but surely coercing that community to play out the tragic and destructive visions of his own disturbed inner world."

Raid and siege

Main article: Waco Siege

On February 28, 1993, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) raided Mount Carmel. The raid resulted in the deaths of four agents and six Davidians. Shortly after the initial raid, the FBI took command of the federal operation and contact was established with Koresh inside the compound. Communication over the next 51 days included telephone exchanges with various FBI negotiators.

As the standoff continued, Koresh, who was seriously injured by a gunshot wound, along with his closest male leaders negotiated delays, possibly so he could write religious documents he said he needed to complete before he surrendered. His conversations with the negotiators were dense with biblical imagery. The federal negotiators treated the situation as a hostage crisis despite a two hour video tape sent out by the Davidians in which the adults and older children/teens appeared to explain clearly and confidently why they chose of their own free will to remain with Koresh.

The 51-day siege of Mount Carmel ended when U.S Attorney General Janet Reno approved recommendations of veteran FBI officials to proceed with a final assault in which the Branch Davidians were to be removed from their building by force. In the course of the assault, the church building caught fire. The cause of the fire was later alleged by the "Danforth Report," a report commissioned by The Special Counsel, to be the deliberate actions of some of the Branch Davidians inside the building. However this hypothesis is disputed in the documentary "Waco: The Rules of Engagement," which argues that the fire was deliberately set when the FBI fired an incendiary device into the building after loading the building with CS gas. At the subsequent trial of the surviving Branch Davidians, the jury listened to edited parts of a tape-recording from hidden microphones inside Mt. Carmel during the final attack and fire of 19 April. These consisted of sounds of static during which one could faintly hear a voice saying ". . . fire . . . ". A government expert testified that through electronic enhancement, he had reconstructed some clearly incriminating comments, even if the jury couldn't hear them. It later transpired that the FBI, when meeting Koresh's demands that milk be sent in for the children's wellbeing, also sent in tiny listening devices concealed inside the milk cartons and their styrofoam containers.

Barricaded in their building, seventy-six Branch Davidians, including Koresh, did not survive the fire. Seventeen of these victims were children under the age of 17. The Danforth Report claims that those who died were unable, or unwilling, to flee and that Steve Schneider, Koresh's right-hand man, probably shot Koresh and killed himself with the same gun. "Waco: The Rules of Engagement" claims that FBI sharpshooters fired on, and killed, many Branch Davidians who attempted to flee the flames. Testimony by the few Branch Davidians who did successfully flee the fire supports this claim. Autopsy records indicate that at least 20 Branch Davidians were shot, including 5 children. The Danforth Report concluded that the adults who died of gunshot wounds shot themselves after shooting the children.

David Koresh is buried at Memorial Park Cemetery, Tyler, Texas.

Branch Davidians believe that Koresh will someday return to Earth. Some hoped, based on Daniel 12:12, that this would occur 1,335 days after his death: December 14, 1996. The Hidden Manna faction believed that it would take place on August 6, 2000, then October 20, and now March 2012. Other followers avoid date-setting.



Impact of sex scandals felt worldwide

Since 1990, 11 Catholic bishops outside the United States have resigned after allegations of sexual misconduct, on their own part or of those they supervised, became public.

PHOTOS AT: http://www.boston.com/globe/spotlight/abuse/extras/bishops_map2.htm

Sources: Associated Press, BBC, Catholic World News, Globe archives, and other news reports

Vatican Told Bishops To
Cover Up Sex Abuse
Expulsion Threat In Secret Documents

By Antony Barnett
Public Affairs Director
The Observer - UK

The Vatican instructed Catholic bishops around the world to cover up cases of sexual abuse or risk being thrown out of the Church. The Observer has obtained a 40-year-old confidential document from the secret Vatican archive which lawyers are calling a 'blueprint for deception and concealment'. One British lawyer acting for Church child abuse victims has described it as 'explosive'.
The 69-page Latin document bearing the seal of Pope John XXIII was sent to every bishop in the world. The instructions outline a policy of 'strictest' secrecy in dealing with allegations of sexual abuse and threatens those who speak out with excommunication.
They also call for the victim to take an oath of secrecy at the time of making a complaint to Church officials. It states that the instructions are to 'be diligently stored in the secret archives of the Curia [Vatican] as strictly confidential. Nor is it to be published nor added to with any commentaries.'
The document, which has been confirmed as genuine by the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, is called 'Crimine solicitationies', which translates as 'instruction on proceeding in cases of solicitation'.
It focuses on sexual abuse initiated as part of the confessional relationship between a priest and a member of his congregation. But the instructions also cover what it calls the 'worst crime', described as an obscene act perpetrated by a cleric with 'youths of either sex or with brute animals (bestiality)'.
Bishops are instructed to pursue these cases 'in the most secretive way... restrained by a perpetual silence... and everyone... is to observe the strictest secret which is commonly regarded as a secret of the Holy Office... under the penalty of excommunication'.
Texan lawyer Daniel Shea uncovered the document as part of his work for victims of abuse from Catholic priests in the US. He has handed it over to US authorities, urging them to launch a federal investigation into the clergy's alleged cover-up of sexual abuse.
He said: 'These instructions went out to every bishop around the globe and would certainly have applied in Britain. It proves there was an international conspiracy by the Church to hush up sexual abuse issues. It is a devious attempt to conceal criminal conduct and is a blueprint for deception and concealment.'
British lawyer Richard Scorer, who acts for children abused by Catholic priests in the UK, echoes this view and has described the document as 'explosive'.
He said: 'We always suspected that the Catholic Church systematically covered up abuse and tried to silence victims. This document appears to prove it. Threatening excommunication to anybody who speaks out shows the lengths the most senior figures in the Vatican were prepared to go to prevent the information getting out to the public domain.'
Scorer pointed out that as the documents dates back to 1962 it rides roughshod over the Catholic Church's claim that the issue of sexual abuse was a modern phenomenon.
He claims the discovery of the document will raise fresh questions about the actions of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales.
Murphy-O'Connor has been accused of covering up allegations of child abuse when he was Bishop of Arundel and Brighton. Instead of reporting to the police allegations of abuse against Michael Hill, a priest in his charge, he moved him to another position where he was later convicted for abusing nine children.
Although Murphy-O'Connor has apologised publicly for his mistake, Scorer claims the secret Vatican document raises the question about whether his failure to report Hill was due to him following this instruction from Rome.
Scorer, who acts for some of Hill's victims, said: 'I want to know whether Murphy-O'Connor knew of these Vatican instructions and, if so, did he apply it. If not, can he tell us why not?'
A spokesman for the Catholic Church denied that the secret Vatican orders were part of any organised cover-up and claims lawyers are taking the document 'out of context' and 'distorting it'.
He said: 'This document is about the Church's internal disciplinary procedures should a priest be accused of using confession to solicit sex. It does not forbid victims to report civil crimes. The confidentiality talked about is aimed to protect the accused as applies in court procedures today. It also takes into consideration the special nature of the secrecy involved in the act of confession.' He also said that in 1983 the Catholic Church in England and Wales introduced its own code dealing with sexual abuse, which would have superseded the 1962 instructions. Asked whether Murphy-O'Connor was aware of the Vatican edict, he replied: 'He's never mentioned it to me.'
Lawyers point to a letter the Vatican sent to bishops in May 2001 clearly stating the 1962 instruction was in force until then. The letter is signed by Cardinal Ratzinger, the most powerful man in Rome beside the Pope and who heads the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - the office which ran the Inquisition in the Middle Ages.
Rev Thomas Doyle, a US Air Force chaplain in Germany and a specialist in Church law, has studied the document. He told The Observer: 'It is certainly an indication of the pathological obsession with secrecy in the Catholic Church, but in itself it is not a smoking gun.
'If, however, this document actually has been the foundation of a continuous policy to cover clergy crimes at all costs, then we have quite another issue. There are too many authenticated reports of victims having been seriously intimidated into silence by Church authorities to assert that such intimidation is the exception and not the norm.
'If this document has been used as a justification for this intimidation then we possibly have what some commentators have alleged, namely, a blueprint for a cover-up. This is obviously a big "if" which requires concrete proof.'
Additional research by Jason Rodrigues
From CM Ross
Dear Jeff,
Regarding the article asserting the Vatican had covered up the child rape scandals since 1962 because of a certain document bearing the papal seal. Perhaps this happened, perhaps it didn't.
Nevertheless, it may indeed be possible that that the Vatican did cover up knowledge of sex crimes before the 1960s, and here's why: Bella Dodd, former head of the Communist Party USA, testified before the US Congress that hundreds of Communist agents had infiltrated the Catholic hierarchy, and that they were poised to create a new church, one that would appear Catholic, but was not in actual substance, Catholic.
Former KGB agent Anatoliy Golitsyn also asserted that the Catholic Church had been infiltrated by Communists in his book "The Perestroika Deception." The anonymous Catholic priest author of "AA1025" said he was the 1,025th Communist agent to infiltrate the Catholic Church; that they already had a Catholic Bishop in the 1930s; and had been infiltrating the Catholic Church since that time.
Joe Douglass wrote in his book "Betrayed" that the Communists were working to destroy Catholic confidence in their clergy by the creation of sex scandals. So it should not come as a surprise that the problem of child rape in the Boston Archdiocese goes back to the 1940s, when the Communist / seminarian infiltrators would have had time to go through seminaries and become ordained as Catholic priests.
In the meantime, their comrades in Rome were working hard with the Masons at boring away from the Church hierarchy from within like termites. Which may explain why the Rosicrucian Pope John XXIII was quite cozy with the Communists, too.

PS -- If these allegations are true, then I find it interesting that it happened on Pope John XXIII's watch. He did, after all, take the name of an anti-pope Pope John XXIII who ruled as Pope from 1410-1415 and was deposed for immorality, heresy, and schism. (page 23, "What has Happened to the Catholic Church?" Rev. Francisco Radecki, and Rev. Dominic Radecki).
Kind regards,
Miss Ross


Why should any of us be even remotely surprised by this? Those who run to the defense of the Roman church are trying to obfuscate the real issue, even suggest that this is all pre-1962 when we've seen it's been an ongoing policy in the church not only for centuries, but right up to the present day scandals. Right now another infamous "Christ Cult" (not the true church) is under investigation for rampand child molestation/rape going back more than 50 years, the Jehovah's Witnesses. It won't be long before someone breaks the silence over the Mormon cult, too. Polygamy isn't their only skeleton in the closet.

Catholic sex abuse cases

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  (Redirected from Roman Catholic sex abuse cases)

Clerical sexual deviancy allegations have been made against a variety of religious groups including but not exclusively Roman Catholic priests, monks, and nuns. Philip Jenkins estimated that prior to 2001 0.2% of Roman Catholic priests had been proven to be abusers. Several major lawsuits emerged in 2001 claiming that priests had sexually abused minors. Some priests resigned, others were defrocked and jailed and financial settlements were agreed with many victims. In the US, where the vast majority of sex abuse cases occurred, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops commissioned a comprehensive study that found four percent of all priests who served in the US from 1950 to 2002 faced some sort of sexual accusations. Although public school administrators engaged in a similar manner when dealing with accused teachers, the Church was widely criticized when it was discovered that some bishops knew about allegations and reassigned the accused instead of removing them. Some bishops and psychiatrists noted that the prevailing psychology of the times suggested that people could be cured of such behavior through counseling.  Many of the abusive priests had received counseling before being reassigned.Pope John Paul II responded by stating "there is no place in the priesthood and religious life for those who would harm the young". The Church instituted reforms to prevent future abuse by requiring background checks for Church employees and, because a significant majority of victims were teenage boys, disallowing ordination of men with "deep–seated homosexual tendencies". They now require dioceses faced with an allegation to alert the authorities, conduct an investigation and remove the accused from duty. In 2008, the Church asserted that the scandal was a very serious problem and estimated that it was "probably caused by 'no more than 1 per cent' of the over 400,000 worldwide Catholic priests.

While attorney Marci Hamilton says that the Roman Catholic Church is one of the most vocal adversaries to legislative reform that would protect children Some commentators, such as journalist Jon Dougherty, have argued that media coverage of the issue has been excessive, given that the same problems plague other institutions such as the US public school system with much greater frequency.

During a recent visit to the United States Pope Benedict admitted that he is "deeply ashamed" of the clergy sex abuse scandal that has devastated the American church. The American Catholic Church has paid out $2 billion in abuse costs since 1950.

Benedict pledged that paedophiles would not be priests in the Catholic Church.

Sexual abuse

Apart from direct family connections, many Catholic families sent their children to Catholic schools, where priests taught as teachers or visited regularly as the local parish priest or curate. Participation in the Catholic faith involved a close association with, and proximity to, priests. While the vast majority of priests are thought never to have abused any children (99.8%), the small minority of priests who are known to have committed offenses had easy access to children.

One of the most startling examples of sex abuse occurred in Ireland, where Father Brendan Smyth systematically raped and sexually abused hundreds of boys between 1945 and 1989. The investigation of the Smyth case was obstructed by the Norbertine Order. This was also seen in other cases, such as that of Fr. Jim Grennan, a parish priest, who abused children as they prepared for First Communion, and Fr. Sean Fortune, who committed suicide before his trial for the rape of children. The abuse by Grennan and others in the Diocese of Ferns in south-east Ireland led to the resignation of the local bishop, Brendan Comiskey.

In Canada the Mount Cashel Orphanage sex abuse cases in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Duplessis Orphans in the province of Quebec were of great public concern.

Ferns Report

Main article: Ferns Report

The Ferns Inquiry (2005) was an official Irish government inquiry into the allegations of clerical sexual abuse in the Irish Catholic Diocese of Ferns. The Inquiry recorded its revulsion at the extent, severity and duration of the child sexual abuse perpetrated on children by priests acting under the aegis of the Diocese of Ferns. The investigation was established in the wake of the broadcast of a BBC Television documentary "Suing the Pope", which highlighted the case of Fr Seán Fortune, one of the most notorious clerical sexual offenders. The film followed Colm O'Gorman as he investigated the story of how Fortune was allowed to abuse him and countless other teenage boys. O'Gorman, through One in Four, the organisation he founded to support women and men who have experienced sexual violence, successfully campaigned for the Ferns Inquiry.

John Jay Report

Main article: John Jay Report

The John Jay Report was commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and was based on surveys completed by the Catholic dioceses in the United States. The surveys provided information from diocesan files on each priest accused of sexual abuse and on each of the priest's victims. That information was filtered, so that the research team did not have access to the names of the accused priests or the dioceses where they worked. The report presents aggregate findings. The dioceses were encouraged to issue reports of their own based on the surveys that they had completed. The Report found accusations against 4,392 priests in the USA, about 4% of all priests.


Abusers moved to different locations

Some bishops have been heavily criticized for moving offending priests from parish to parish, where they still had personal contact with children, rather than seeking to have them permanently removed from the priesthood. Instead of reporting the incidents to police, many dioceses simply submitted the offending priests for psychological treatment and assessment. The priests resumed their previous duties with children only when the bishop was advised by the treating psychologists or psychiatrists that it was safe for them to resume their duties.

An example of the policy of shifting offenders from place to place is demonstrated in the case of Fr Ramos. Typical of these examples he was reassigned to another parish after treatment. An unknown Church official in 1985 took telephone notes that indicate an awareness of his continuing child molestation by Church officials well after his initial psychological treatment in the late 1970s. In spite of this knowledge that he re-offended, he continued to molest for a further two years and accumulated 25 allegations of abuse in total.

In response to questions, defenders of the Church's actions have suggested that in re-assigning priests after treatment, Bishops were acting on the best medical advice then available, a policy also followed by the US Public School System when dealing with accused teachers. Critics have questioned whether bishops are necessarily able to form accurate judgments on a priest's recovery.

Failure to report criminal acts to police

From a legal perspective, the most serious offense, aside from the incidents of child sexual abuse themselves, was the active institutional cover-up by the Roman Catholic Church's most senior Church leaders for failing to report these felonies to the police.

In response to the failure to report abuse to the police, lawmakers have changed the law to make reporting of abuse to police compulsory. An example of this can be found in Massachusetts, USA.

Allegations of systematic plots to conceal evidence

Reviewers of the Smyth case differ as to whether it was a deliberate plot to conceal his behaviour, incompetence by his superiors at Kilnacrott Abbey, an institution presuming that what happened to its members was its own business, a failure to grasp the human and legal consequences, or some combination of factors. Cardinal Daly, both as Bishop of Down and Connor, a diocese where some of the abuse took place, and later as Cardinal Archbishop of Armagh, is recorded as having been privately scathing at the Norbertine "incompetence".[citation needed]

William McMurry, a Louisville, Kentucky lawyer, filed suit against the Vatican in June 2004 on behalf of three men alleging abuse as far back as 1928, accusing Church leaders of organising a cover-up of cases of sexual abuse of children. Legal experts predict an unsuccessful outcome to this case, given the sovereignty of the Holy See and the lack of evidence of Vatican complicity. Sovereign immunity however, was recently denied upon appeal in a separate (WW II/ Vatican Bank/Ustazhe Genocide) United States federal lawsuit.

 Payments to victims

Some have alleged that Church members paid off victims of child abuse, either in settlement of compensation claims, or in order to prevent them reporting to the police.  In the mid-1990s, Archbishop (later Cardinal) Connell of Dublin lent money to a priest, Ivan Payne, who had abused altar boy Andrew Madden; this money was used to pay compensation to Madden and to prevent him from reporting the abuse to the police. Connell later claimed never to have paid money to a victim, insisting that he had simply lent money to a priest who independently used the money to pay off his victim.

Roman Catholics spent $615 million dollars on sex abuse cases in 2007.

Implications of the accusations

Seminary training

Clergy themselves have suggested their seminary training offered little to prepare them for a lifetime of celibate sexuality. A report submitted to the Synod of Bishops in Rome in 1971, called The Role of the Church in the Causation, Treatment and Prevention of the Crisis in the Priesthood by Dr. Conrad Baars, a Catholic psychiatrist, and based on a study of 1500 priests, suggested that some clergy had "psychosexual" problems.

Rome's Congregation for Catholic Education issued an official document, the Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders (2005). Drawing a parallel between homosexuality and paedophilia, the document states that the Church "cannot admit to the seminary or to Holy Orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called 'gay culture'".

Declining standards explanation

In the book, The Courage To Be Catholic: Crisis, Reform, and the Future of the Church, George Weigel holds that it was the infidelity to orthodox Catholic teaching, the "culture of dissent", which was mainly responsible for this problem. By "culture of dissent" he meant priests, women religious, bishops, theologians, catechists, Church bureaucrats, and activists who "believed that what the Church proposed as true was actually false."

Also, traditional Catholics have made the charge that the Second Vatican Council itself (1962–1965) fostered a climate that encouraged priests to abuse children. The council essentially directed an opening of the doors to meet the world. This was considered an appropriate way of going forth and spreading the Good News. However traditional Catholics believe that this led to a conversion of Catholics to secularism rather than vice versa. In the January 27, 2003 edition of Time magazine, actor and traditional Catholic Mel Gibson charged that "...Vatican II corrupted the institution of the church. Look at the main fruits: dwindling numbers and pedophilia." However it is important to note that abuse by priests was occurring long before the start of Vatican II and that many of the Roman Catholic sex abuse cases did not, strictly speaking, involve pedophilia. For instance the apostolic constitution Sacramentum Poenitentiae which established general notice of the problem of sexual abuse amongst the clergy was published by Pope Benedict XIV in 1741.

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, a retired Archbishop of Washington, blamed the declining morals of the 1960s as a cause of the high number of sexually abusive priests. However it must be realised that the increased reporting of abuse in child-care institutions during this time was concomitant with rising police interest, investigation and prosecution of such crimes. As such it is not certain that a sudden "crisis of abuse" ever existed, instead the dramatic increase in reported abuse cases may simply have heralded the end of a long-term endemic problem found throughout a number of institutions, both secular and religious, prior to the introduction of quality control measures specifically aimed at preventing such abuses from occurring.

Supply and demand explanation

Catholic clergy are in short supply in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Catholic doctrines and this understaffing combine, it has been claimed, to make Catholic clergy extraordinarily valuable. It is alleged that the Catholic hierarchy acted to preserve the number of clergy and ensure that they were still available to supply priestly services, in the face of serious allegations that these priests were unfit for duty.

Others disagree and believe that the Church's mishandling of the sex abuse cases merely reflected prevailing attitudes of the time towards such activity, in which the tendency was to suppress the information lest it cause scandal and a loss of trust in the institution. Evidence for this view includes the manner in which the media and secular organisations hid damaging information or ignored it, from the sexual promiscuity of leading politicians to domestic violence. They see the Church as having made horrendous but genuine mistakes resulting from their leaders being out of touch with society's increasing demand for accountability.

Celibacy explanation

It has been said that there is no indication of a higher level of child-oriented sexual activity among the unmarried Catholic clergy than that of the married clergy of other denominations and of schoolteachers.

Molestation of pre-pubescent children was rare in the Roman Catholic sex abuse cases and opinion is very divided on whether there is any connection between the Catholic institution of celibacy and the incidence of child abuse. Factual analysis is difficult for a number of reasons, including that there are relatively few statistical studies on the issue of sexual abuse among the clergy and that sexual abuse rates among the general population are almost impossible to determine, since not all of the instances are reported.

In 2005 the Western People, a conservative Irish newspaper, commented that celibacy itself had contributed to the abuse problem in another way, as it created a "morally superior" status that was then misapplied by abusing priests. "The Irish Church’s prospect of a recovery is zero for as long as bishops continue blindly to toe the Vatican line of Pope Benedict XVI that a male celibate priesthood is morally superior to other sections of society."

Advocacy for mandatory celibacy

Philip Jenkins, a Conservative[citation needed] Episcopalian and Professor of History and Religious Studies at Penn State University, published the book Pedophiles and Priests: Anatomy of a Contemporary Crisis in 1996. In it, he calculated that approximately 0.2 percent of Catholic priests are child molesters. His 2002 article "The myth of the 'pedophile priest'" expresses his views. In contrast to Louise Haggett's statement, Professor Jenkins states:

"My research of cases over the past 20 years indicates no evidence whatever that Catholic or other celibate clergy are any more likely to be involved in misconduct or abuse than clergy of any other denomination—or indeed, than nonclergy. However determined news media may be to see this affair as a crisis of celibacy, the charge is just unsupported."

Supporters of celibacy claim that Catholic priests suffering sexual temptations are not likely to turn immediately to a teenage boy simply because Church discipline does not permit clergy to marry. Supporters of clerical celibacy suggest, then, that there is some other factor at work.

Crimen solicitationis

Crimen sollicitationis (translated from Latin as The crime of solicitation or The crime of harassment) is a document issued by the Holy Office of the Vatican (now named the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) in 1962, instructing bishops about how to deal with cases in which priests were accused of abusing the sacrament of penance to sexually proposition penitents, thus its title. The same legal procedure, but with some adjustment, is also extended to clerics accused of homosexuality, child sexual abuse and zoophilia. The document calls for all cases to be handled in secret but did not require the silence to extend to criminal investigations. In 2006 the Panorama documentary television series did an episode on Crimen sollicitationis named "Sex Crimes and the Vatican" which investigated how the document was used to cover up sexual abuse by priests. Crimen Solicitationis was preceded by the apostolic constitution Sacramentum Poenitentiae, which established general notice of the problem of sexual abuse amongst the clergy was published by Pope Benedict XIV in 1741.

Media hype explanation

Philip Jenkins claims that the Catholic Church is being unfairly singled out by a secular media which he claims fails to highlight similar sexual accusations in other religious groups, such as the Anglican Communion, various Protestant churches, and the Jewish and Islamic communities. He also claims that the Catholic Church may have a lower incidence of molesting priests than Churches that allow married clergy because statistically child molestation generally occurs within families but Catholic priests do not have families. He also claims that the term "pedophile priests" widely used in the media, implies a distinctly higher rate of child molesters within the Roman Catholic priesthood when in reality the incidence is lower than most other segments of society".Jenkins later authored the book The New Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice in 2003, touching on some of the same issues.

Other Catholic teachings, practices

The Catholic Church clearly teaches the sexual abuse of children to be gravely sinful. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church's list of moral offences, one finds:

"...any sexual abuse perpetrated by adults on children or adolescents entrusted to their care. The offense is compounded by the scandalous harm done to the physical and moral integrity of the young, who will remain scarred by it, all their lives; and the violation of responsibility for their upbringing." (CCC 2389).

In the Bible's New Testament, Jesus tells his disciples, "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea." (see Matthew 18:6; Mark 9:42; and Luke 17:2)

The Apostle Paul in his 1st and 2nd letter towards Timothy notes that, if they are to marry at all, "Bishops, Presbyters, and Deacons, should be the husband of one wife...". This tradition can be seen practiced in the Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, although no bishop of any church may be married, and bishops are therefore either widowers or lifelong monastics.

Despite these teachings, some critics have charged that specific doctrines or traditional practices in Catholicism contributed to the problem. Catholic teaching affirms that so long as the officiant has been validly ordained, his personal sins have no effect on the validity of the Masses, absolutions, baptisms, and other sacraments he has administered. The doctrine of apostolic succession makes valid ordinations and institutional affiliation the chief consideration in clerical status.

Abuse by priests in Catholic Orders

As distinct from abuse by some parish priests, under diocesan control, there have also been sexual abuse cases concerning those in Catholic orders, which often care for the sick or teach school. In the United States, Salesian High in Richmond, California lost a sexual abuse case, whilst in Australia there are allegations that the Salesians moved a priest convicted of abuse in Melbourne to Samoa in order to avoid further police investigation and charges.

  • The Christian Brothers in Canada more than 300 former pupils were physically and sexually abused at the Mount Cashel orphanage in Newfoundland. When allegations of physical and sexual abuse started to surface in the late 1980s, the government, police and church conspired in an unsuccessful cover-up. In Ontario in January 1993 the Christian Brothers reached a financial settlement totaling $23 million with 700 former students who alleged abuse. In Ireland in March 1998, the Congregation of the Christian Brothers published full-page advertisements in newspapers apologizing to former pupils who had been ill-treated whilst in their care. The unprecedented advertising campaign expressed "deep regret" on behalf of the Christian Brothers and listed telephone lines which former pupils could ring if they needed help. In Australia the Christian Brothers protected Brothers accused of sex offenses.
  • In July 2007 in the United States a lawsuit was filed against the Brothers of the Sacred Heart which alleged that they moved around a Brother who was accused of sexual misconduct with an adolescent.
  • A eight-year (1999–2007) enquiry and report by Dr Elizabeth Healy and Dr Kevin McCoy into the Brothers of Charity Order's "Holy Family School" in Galway, Ireland, and two other locations, was made public in December 2007. Eleven brothers and seven other staff members were alleged to have abused 21 intellectually-disabled children in residential care in the period 1965–1998. By 2007, two members of staff were convicted of abuse, eight had died and the rest had retired. It emerged that the Order had attempted to transfer at least one accused brother to another place.
Dr Jimmy Devins, a junior government minister, regretted that "some of the most vulnerable people in society were let down in the past". Brother Noel Corcoran, head of the Order's services in Ireland, apologized sincerely. However the report was criticized by Dr Margaret Kennedy for not naming the sex offenders who were convicted or dead, and for interviewing just 21 out of 135 complainants.
  • On 19 December 2007 a Fr Patrick McDonagh of the Salvatorian Order admitted eight counts of sexual and indecent assault on four girls (aged 6 to 10) in the period 1965–1990 in Ireland. He was sentenced to four years in prison, with the last 30 months suspended. He gave the police the names of three girls, but also admitted to assaulting six other victims whom he has refused to identify. The judge described this as "remorse" and suspended most of the sentence for his guilty plea. Aged 78 in 2007, he had joined the Salvatorians in 1955 and retired in 2004.
  • In Sligo County Sligo, St. John's School had five teachers who have faced abused charges, of which three were Marist Brothers. In January 2008 "Brother Gregory" (real name Martin Meaney) admitted to abusing a boy 20 or 30 times in a four-month period in 1972, apologized unreservedly and was sentenced on five sample charges to two years imprisonment. He described the boy as "a weak little lad", and told police he had "picked on children who were not getting love at home". Meaney had previously served 12 years of an original 18 year jail sentence imposed in November 1992 where he admitted eight sample charges of buggery, rape and indecent assault on other boys, out of 109 charges. These charges arose when he was teaching at Castlerea, County Roscommon.
  • In the 1990s, abuse by a Father Eugene Kennan (baptismal name John Joseph), a priest of the Passionist Order, originally from Liverpool, came to light. An extremely powerful man who had held high positions in the order, he had given retreats and counselled vulnerable girls over many decades, including those in care and approved schools in the 1960s. A man of great charisma, he was able to abuse girls in whom he inspired devotion. It was, however, the sexual abuse of a former novice nun that first brought the abuse to light, after which many women came forward with their own testimonies of his sexual abuse. One story he would tell the girls was that he had trained as a gynaecologist, which led to intimate physical examinations. In the late 1990s Father Eugene was relieved of his official duties and was investigated by the police, however his age and failing health saved him from prison. He died in 2002. The scandal was largely covered up by the superior of the Passionist Order, Father Nicholas Postlethwaite, who managed to keep it out of the English newspapers, though it was mentioned in the Irish press. In 2003 another Passionist priest in Chicago, Father John Ormechea, faced his sixth accusation for allegedly abusing young boys. As in other cases, it was alleged that the local diocese knew of similar allegations, but did nothing.
  • The Norbertine Order (or White Canons) neglected to inform the police about the abuse by Brendan Smyth from the 1950s. He was eventually charged in 1994.
  • Father Jeremiah McGrath of the Kiltegan Fathers was convicted in Liverpool in May 2007 for facilitating abuse by Billy Adams. McGrath had given Adams £20,000 in 2005 and Adams had used the money to impress a 12-year-old girl who he then raped over a six-month period. McGrath denied knowing about the abuse but admitted having a brief sexual relationship with Adams. His appeal in January 2008 was dismissed.

Episcopal resignations

  • Bernard Francis Law, Cardinal and Archbishop of Boston, Massachusetts, United States resigned after Church documents were revealed which suggested he had covered up sexual abuse committed by priests in his archdiocese. For example, Father John Geoghan was shifted from one parish to another although Cardinal Law had often been informed of his abuse. In December 1984 auxiliary Bishop John M. D’Arcy wrote to Cardinal Law complaining about the reassignment of Geoghan to another Boston-area parish because of his “history of homosexual involvement with young boys." In 1987, after at least 23 years of child molesting by Father Joseph Birmingham during which time he was shuffled to various parishes, the mother of an altar boy at St. Anns wrote to Law asking if Birmingham had a history of molesting children. Cardinal Law wrote back "I contacted Father Birmingham. ... He assured me there is absolutely no factual basis to your concern regarding your son and him. From my knowledge of Father Birmingham and my relationship with him, I feel he would tell me the truth and I believe he is speaking the truth in this matter."  The Vatican announced on December 13, 2002 that Pope John Paul II had accepted Law's resignation as Archbishop and reassigned him to an administrative position in the Roman Curia and named him archpriest of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. Cardinal Law later presided at one of the Pope's funeral masses. Bishop Séan P. O'Malley, the Capuchin friar who replaced Law as archbishop, was forced to sell a good deal of valuable real estate and to close a number of churches in order to pay $120,000,000 in claims against the archdiocese.

Church Actions in Dealing with Sex Abuse Cases

Apology and Meeting with Victims

In Sydney's St. Mary's Cathedral, Pope Benedict XVI made a historic full apology for child sex abuse by priests and clergymen in Australia, on July 19, 2008. Before a 3,400 congregation, he called for compensation and demanded punishment for those guilty of the "evil": "Here I would like to pause to acknowledge the shame which we have all felt as a result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy and religious in this country. I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured and I assure them that, as their pastor, I too share in their suffering." The Pope added: "Victims should receive compassion and care, and those responsible for these evils must be brought to justice. These misdeeds, which constitute so grave a betrayal of trust, deserve unequivocal condemnation. I ask all of you to support and assist your bishops, and to work together with them in combating this evil. It is an urgent priority to promote a safer and more wholesome environment, especially for young people." On the 21st of July before flying out of Australia Pope Benedict met with a group of four victims of sexual abuse. He met them at St. Mary's Cathedral in Sydney, listened to their stories and celebrated mass with them.

The Pope met two male and two female victims of sex abuse by priests at St. Mary's Cathedral. Broken Rites criticized the meeting as hand-picked: "I'm afraid that what they've done is selected victims who have agreed with what the church's policies are. The pope should have met with Anthony Foster, the father of two girls abused by a priest, who cut short a holiday in Britain to return to Australia in the hope of meeting the pontiff.  The New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma hoped "it will be a sign of righting the wrongs of the past and of a better future and better treatment by the church of the victims and their families." The victim's rights advocacy group Broken Rites welcomed the Pope's apology.

Compensation payouts

  • In December 2006 the Archdiocese of Los Angeles (its archbishop was Roger Cardinal Mahony) agreed to a payout of $60 million to settle 45 of the over 500 pending cases concerning abuse by priests. In July 2007 the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles agreed to pay a $660 million settlement to hundreds of people who claimed to have been abused by clergy.
  • In December 2006 the Diocese of Phoenix agreed to pay $100,000 to William Cesolini, who claimed he was sexually assaulted as a teenager by a priest.
  • In Canada the Christian Brothers have paid out approximately $35 million (Canadian) in compensation.
  • In May 1994 the Diocese of Lincoln (Nebraska) agreed to pay Rob Butler, FKA Adam Butler, $40,000 after he claimed he was abused weekly for two years.


  • Citing monetary concerns arising from impending trials on sex abuse claims, the Archdiocese of Portland (Oregon) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on July 6, 2004, hours before two abuse trials were set to begin, becoming the first Catholic diocese to file for bankruptcy. If granted, bankruptcy would mean pending and future lawsuits would be settled in federal bankruptcy court. The archdiocese had settled more than one hundred previous claims for a sum of over $53 million. The filing seeks to protect parish assets, school money and trust funds from abuse victims: the archdiocese's contention is that parish assets are not the archdiocese's assets. Plaintiffs in the cases against the archdiocese have argued that the Catholic church is a single entity, and that the Vatican should be liable for any damages awarded in judgment of pending sexual abuse cases.
  • The Diocese of Spokane in December 2004. The diocese of Spokane in Washington as part of its bankruptcy has agreed to pay at least 48 million dollars as compensation to people abused by priests. This payout has to be agreed with by the victims and another Judge before it will be made.
  • The Diocese of Tucson filed for bankruptcy in September, 2004. The Diocese of Tucson reached an agreement with its victims, which the bankruptcy judge approved June 11, 2005, specifying terms that included allowing the diocese reorganization to continue in return for a $22.2 million settlement.

 Government solution in Ireland

In May 1999 the Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern apologized for an overall lack of supervision and funding by past Irish governments. Despite the eminent position of the church in Irish society, suing it (as in the case of Sean Fortune) was found to be equivalent to suing any club or social group. In 2002 his government agreed to take on €128 million in church property and investments and in return it would pay compensation to all church abuse victims, so that bankruptcy could be avoided. This deal was estimated to cost over €1 billion to Irish taxpayers of all religions, and the relevant minister, Michael Woods, was criticized by some for undue leniency to the church. Criminal actions could still be brought separately against alleged abusers.

The compensation arose because many of the victims had been placed in the care of church Orders by the Irish government, with inadequate supervision. Victims could claim for a range of other wrongs as well as sexual abuse, including mistreatment, to the Residential Institutions Redress Board. This included cases of alleged starvation and cruelty between 1920 and 1970, but claims had to be made by 2005. This was later extended, and over 14,500 have applied to the Board by 2007. Most of these were not cases of sex abuse but indicated a general lack of compassion by some church officials in the past. However, some families of claimants have publicly disagreed that there was abuse; see "Kathy's Real Story" below.

The main Dáil debate on the Ferns Report was in two parts on 9 November 2005. The Irish Senate debate started on 10 November.

Continued Allegations

While the church in the United States claims to have addressed the issue, others maintain the only change is the church has hardened its defences while allowing abuse to continue. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops convened a meeting in Dallas on June 12, 2002 to address the sex abuse scandal. However a Dallas Morning News article revealed nearly two-thirds of the bishops attending had themselves at one point covered for sexually abusive priests.

 Abuse in literature

The Magdalene laundries caught the public's attention in the late 1990s as revelations of widespread abuse from former inmates gathered momentum and were made the subject an award-winning film called The Magdalene Sisters (2002). In 2006, a documentary called Deliver Us From Evil was made about the sex abuse cases and one priest's confession of abuse. A number of books have been written, see List of books portraying paedophilia or sexual abuse of minors, about the abuse suffered from priests and nuns including Andrew Madden in Altar Boy: A Story of Life After Abuse, Carolyn Lehman's Strong at the Heart: How it feels to heal from sexual abuse and the bestselling Kathy's Story by Kathy O'Beirne which details physical and sexual abuse suffered in a Magdalene laundry in Ireland. However grave doubts have been expressed about the authenticity of the latter book. A new book 'Kathy's Real Story' published by Prefect Press, Ireland in October 2007 (Title: Kathy’s Real Story by author Hermann Kelly ISBN 978-1-906351-00-7) In it 'Kathy O’Beirne’s family tell the story behind her bestselling book, casting light on a destructive culture of false allegations hurting innocent people in Ireland, all fueled by the government compensation scheme.' (cf. www.prefectpress.com)

Abuse in film

There were numerous movies made about sex abuse within the Catholic church, some are included here:

 Roman Catholic sex abuse cases by country

 See also

Sexual abuse in other environments

Education - Jehovah's Witness communities - scouting


VIDEO http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TV4MV86fmxA&feature=related

List of Christian evangelist scandals

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This is a list of scandals related to American Christian evangelists. (Roman Catholic clergy and high-profile leaders from New Religious Movements, are not within the scope of this list.)


List of Christian Evangelists

Aimee Semple McPherson, 1920s-40s

Prior to recent events, the most famous evangelist scandal involved Canadian-born Aimee Semple McPherson in the 1920s, who allegedly had an extramarital relationship and faked her own death as a cover. She later claimed that she had been kidnapped, but a grand jury could neither prove that a kidnapping occurred, nor that she had faked it. Roberta Semple Salter, her daughter from her first marriage, became estranged from Semple McPherson and successfully sued her mother's attorney for slander during the 1930s. As a result of this she was cut out of her mother's will. Aimee Semple McPherson died in 1944 from an accidental overdose of barbiturates.

Lonnie Frisbee, 1970s - 1980s

Main article: Lonnie Frisbee

Lonnie Frisbee was an American closeted gay Pentecostal evangelist and self-described "seeing prophet" and mystic in the late 1960s and 1970s who despite his "hippie" appearance had notable success as a minister and evangelist. Frisbee was a key figure in the Jesus Movement and was involved in the rise of two worldwide denominations (Calvary Chapel and the Vineyard Movement). Both churches later disowned him because of his active homosexuality removing him first from leadership positions then, ultimately, firing him. He eventually died from AIDS in 1993.

Oral Roberts, 1977 and 1986

Main article: Oral Roberts

In 1977 Roberts claimed to have a vision from a 900-foot-tall Jesus who told him to build City of Faith Medical and Research Center and the hospital would be a success.[1][2] In 1980, Roberts said he had a vision which encouraged him to continue the construction of his City of Faith Medical and Research Center, which opened in 1981. At the time, it was among the largest health facilities of its kind in the world and sought to merge prayer and medicine in the healing process. The City of Faith was in operation for only eight years before closing in late 1989. In 1983 Roberts said Jesus had appeared to him in person and commissioned him to find a cure for cancer.[3][4]

In 1986, during a fund raising drive, televangelist Oral Roberts announced to his television audience that unless he raised $8 million by that March, God would "call him home" (a euphemism for death). Some of his listeners feared that he was referring to suicide, given the passionate pleas and tears that accompanied his statement. (He raised $9.1 million. Later that year, he announced that God had raised the dead through his ministry.)[5][6]

 Jim & Tammy Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart, 1986 and 1991

Main articles: Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker

In 1986, evangelist Jimmy Swaggart began on-screen attacks against fellow televangelists Marvin Gorman and Jim Bakker. He uncovered Gorman's affair with a member of Gorman's congregation, and also helped expose Bakker's infidelity (which was arranged by a colleague while on an out-of-state trip).[7] These exposures received widespread media coverage. Gorman retaliated in kind by hiring a private investigator to uncover Swaggart's own adulterous indiscretions with a prostitute.[8] Swaggart was subsequently forced to step down from his pulpit for a year and made a tearful televised apology in February 1988 to his congregation, saying "I have sinned against you, my Lord, and I would ask that your precious blood would wash and cleanse every stain until it is in the seas of God's forgiveness."[9][10]

Swaggart was caught again by California police five years later in 1991 with another prostitute, Rosemary Garcia, who was riding with him in his car when he was stopped for driving on the wrong side of the road. When asked why she was with Swaggart, she replied, "He asked me for sex. I mean, that's why he stopped me. That's what I do. I'm a prostitute."[11]

 Peter Popoff, 1987

Main article: Peter Popoff

A self-proclaimed prophet and faith healer in the 1980s, Popoff's ministry went bankrupt in 1987 after James Randi and Steve Shaw debunked his methods by showing that instead of receiving information about audience members from supernatural sources, he received it through an in-ear receiver.[12]

Mike Warnke, 1991

Main article: Mike Warnke

Warnke was a popular Christian evangelist and comedian during the 1970s and 1980s. He claimed in his autobiography, The Satan Seller (1973), that he had once been deeply involved in a satanic cult and was a satanic priest before converting to Christ. In 1991, Cornerstone magazine launched an investigation into Warnke's life and testimony. They investigated Warnke's life, from interviews with over 100 personal friends and acquaintances, to his ministry's tax receipts. Their investigation turned up damaging evidence of fraud and deceit. The investigation also revealed the unflattering circumstances surrounding Warnke's multiple marriages, affairs, and divorces. Most critically, however, the investigation showed how Warnke could not possibly have done the many things he claimed to have done throughout his nine-month tenure as a Satanist, much less become a drug-addicted dealer or become a Satanic high priest.

Robert Tilton, 1991

Main article: Robert Tilton

Tilton is an American televangelist who achieved notoriety in the 1980s and early 1990s through his paid television program Success-N-Life. At its peak it aired in all 235 American TV markets. In 1991, Diane Sawyer and ABC News conducted an investigation of Tilton. The investigation, broadcast on ABC's Primetime Live on November 21, 1991, found that Tilton's ministry threw away prayer requests without reading them, keeping only the money or valuables sent to them by viewers, garnering his ministry an estimated $80 million USD a year. In the original investigation, one of Tilton's former prayer hotline operators claimed that the ministry cared little for desperate followers who called for prayer, saying that Tilton had a computer installed in July 1989 to make sure that the phone operators were off the line in seven minutes. Tilton sued ABC for libel in 1992, but the case was dismissed in 1993, and Tilton's show was off the air by October 30, 1993.

Frank Houston, 2000

Main article: Frank Houston

Frank Houston was a Pentecostal Christian pastor in the Assemblies of God in New Zealand and Australia. In 2000 he was advised to resign his ministerial credentials by his own son, Brian Houston, the National President of the Assemblies of God in Australia (and pastor of Hillsong Church), after Houston Sr. confessed that he had engaged in paedophile sexual activities with a teenage boy while ministering in New Zealand some thirty years earlier.

John Paulk, 2000

Main article: John Paulk

John Paulk is a former leader of Focus on the Family's Love Won Out conference and former chairman of the board for Exodus International North America. His claimed shedding of homosexuality is also the subject of his autobiography Not Afraid to Change. In September 2000, Paulk was found and photographed in a Washington, D.C. gay bar, and accused by opponents of flirting with male patrons at the bar. Later questioned by Wayne Besen, Paulk denied being in the bar despite photographic proof to the contrary. Initially, FoF’s Dr. James Dobson sided with Paulk and supported his claims. Subsequently, Paulk, who himself had written about his habit of lying while he openly lived as a homosexual, confessed to being in the bar, but claimed he entered the establishment for reasons other than sexual pursuits. Paulk retained his Board seat for Exodus, however he did so while on probation. Paulk did not run again for chairman of the board of Exodus when his term expired.

Douglas Goodman, 2004

Main article: Douglas Goodman

Douglas Goodman, an evangelical preacher, and his wife Erica were Pastors of Victory Christian Centre in London. He came into notoriety when he was jailed for three and a half years for the sexual assault of 4 members of his congregation in 2004. VCC was closed by the Charity Commission but his wife Erica started a new church Victory to Victory in Wembley. The church was one of the largest in the United Kingdom.

Kent Hovind, 2006

Main article: Kent Hovind

Kent Hovind is an American Young Earth creationist. He is most famous for creation science seminars, in which he argues for Young Earth creationism, using his self-formulated "Hovind Theory". He has been criticized by both the mainstream scientific community and other creationists. In 2006, Hovind had been charged with falsely declaring bankruptcy, making threats against federal officials, filing false complaints, failing to get necessary building permits, and various tax-related charges. He was convicted of 58 federal tax offenses and related charges, for which he is currently serving a 10-year sentence.[13]

Ted Haggard, 2006

Main article: Ted Haggard

Ted Haggard was the Pastor of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado and was the president of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) from 2003 until November 2006. Haggard's position allowed him occasional access to George W. Bush. In 2006 it was alleged that Haggard had been regularly visiting a male prostitute who also provided him with crystal methamphetamine. Haggard admitted his wrongdoing and resigned as pastor of New Life church and as president of the NAE. The high-profile case was significant also because it immediately preceded the 2006 mid-term elections and may have even affected national voting patterns.

Paul Barnes, 2006

Main article: Paul Barnes

Paul Barnes is the founder and former senior minister of the evangelical church Grace Chapel in Douglas County, Colorado. He confessed his homosexual activity to the church board, and his resignation was accepted on 7 December 2006. He started the church in his basement and watched it reach a membership of 2,100 in his 28 years of leadership. This scandal was notable because it was similar to Ted Haggard's (above), it occurred in the same state (Colorado) and around the same time (late 2006).

Lonnie Latham, 2006

Main article: Lonnie Latham

In 2006, Latham, the senior pastor of South Tulsa Baptist Church and a member of the powerful Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, was arrested for “offering to engage in an act of lewdness” with a male undercover police officer.[14]

Richard Roberts, 2007

Main article: Richard Roberts

In October 2007, televangelist Richard Roberts (son of Oral Roberts), was president of Oral Roberts University until his forced resignation on November 23, 2007. Roberts was named as a defendant in a lawsuit alleging improper use of university funds for political and personal purposes and improper use of university resources.

Bishop Earl Paulk, 2007

Main article: Earl Paulk

Earl Paulk (no relation to John Paulk) was the founder and head Pastor of Chapel Hill Harvester Church in Decatur, Georgia from 1960 until the 1990s. A number of women from the congregation came forward during the 1990s claiming that Paulk had sexual relations with them. Some of these claims have subsequently been proven correct. Moreover, Donnie Earl Paulk, the current senior pastor of the church and nephew of Earl Paulk, had a court-ordered DNA test in 2007 which showed that he was Earl's son, not his nephew, which means that Earl and his sister-in-law had had a sexual relationship which led to Donnie's birth.[15]

Coy Privette, 2007

Main article: Coy Privette

Privette is a Baptist pastor, conservative activist, and politician in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Privette was president of the Christian Action League and a prominent figure in North Carolina moral battles. In 2007, Privette resigned as president of North Carolina's Christian Action League and from the Board of Directors of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, following revelations July 19 that he has been charged with six counts of aiding and abetting prostitution.[16]

 Phil Driscoll, 2007

Main article: Phil Driscoll

Famed Grammy winning Christian trumpeter, singer and evangelist was convicted on federal income tax charges on June 8, 2006.[17] Driscoll was found guilty on one count of conspiracy to avoid paying income taxes and two additional counts of income tax evasion. He was also found not guilty on one count of income tax evasion.[18] He served one year and a day in a minimum security prison, which began on March 13, 2007.

Joe Barron, 2008

Joe Barron, one of the 40 ministers at Prestonwood Baptist Church, one of the largest churches in the United States with 26,000 members, was arrested on May 15, 2008 for solicitation of a minor after driving from the Dallas area to Bryan, Texas, in order to allegedly engage in sexual relations with what he thought to be a 13 year-old girl he had met online. The "girl" turned out to be an undercover law enforcement official.[19][20][21]

Todd Bentley, 2008

Main article: Todd Bentley

In August 2008, Todd Bentley, best known as the controversial key figure of the Lakeland revival in Florida "has agreed to step down from his position on the Board of Directors" of Fresh Fire Ministries, "and to refrain from all public ministry for a season to receive counsel in his personal life." This was after the ministry revealed he had an "unhealthy relationship on an emotional level with a female member of his staff".[22]The announcement comes one week after Bentley's ministry announced he and his wife were separating.[23]

Senate probe

In 2007, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) opened a probe into the finances of six televangelists who preach a "prosperity gospel".[24] The probe follows years of reports of high living and lavish lifestyles by televangelists including fleets of Rolls Royces, huge palatial mansions, private jets and other excesses paid for with monies from, more often than not, poor television viewers who donate due to the ministries incessant pleading for tithings. The six under investigation are Kenneth Copeland and Gloria Copeland of Kenneth Copeland Ministries of Newark, Texas; Creflo Dollar and Taffi Dollar of World Changers Church International and Creflo Dollar Ministries of College Park, Ga; Benny Hinn of World Healing Center Church Inc. and Benny Hinn Ministries of Grapevine, Texas; Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and Bishop Eddie Long Ministries of Lithonia, Ga; Joyce Meyer and David Meyer of Joyce Meyer Ministries of Fenton, Mo; Randy White and Paula White of the multiracial Without Walls International Church and Paula White Ministries of Tampa [25].


Despite their respective scandals and temporarily diminished viewership, televangelism has resurged, such as in the case of the scandalized PTL Club company that was taken over by Jerry Falwell and brought into a state of financial responsibility.[26][27][28]

See also


  1. ^ Ideas and Trends: Oral Roberts's Word on Cancer," New York Times Jan 30, 1983
  2. ^ "Oral Roberts' Ministry Hits a 'Low Spot'," Dallas Morning News Jan 5, 1986
  3. ^ Time, July 4, 1983
  4. ^ "Oral Roberts Seeking Millions for Holy Mission Against Cancer," Washington Post, Jan 22, 1983
  5. ^ .Randi, James (1989), The Faith Healers, Prometheus Books, ISBN 0-87975-369-2 and ISBN 0-87975-535-0 pages 186
  6. ^ Ostling, Richard (1972-02-07). "Raising Eyebrows and the Dead", Time. Retrieved on 2007-01-04. 
  7. ^ "Transcript: Interview with Jessica Hahn". Larry King Live. CNN (2005-07-14). Retrieved on 2008-04-17.
  8. ^ Swaggart Is Barred From Pulpit for One Year, New York Times, 1998-03-30, <http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940DE6D7143EF933A05750C0A96E948260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all>. Retrieved on 17 April 2008 
  9. ^ King, Wayne (1998-02-22), Swaggart Says He Has Sinned; Will Step Down, New York Times, <http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940DE0D71F30F931A15751C0A96E948260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all>. Retrieved on 17 April 2008 
  10. ^ Swaggart, Jimmy. "Reverend Jimmy Swaggart: Apology Sermon". americanrhetoric.com. Retrieved on 2007-01-25.
  11. ^ "Swaggart Plans to Step Down", The New York Times (1991-10-15). Retrieved on 2008-04-17. 
  12. ^ Randi, James (1989). The Faith Healers. Prometheus Books. ISBN 0-87975-535-0 page 141. 
  13. ^ Hovind v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2006-143, CCH Dec. 56,562(M) (2006).[1]
  14. ^ Lonnie Latham scandal
  15. ^ J. Lee Grady, It’s Time to Blow the Whistle on Corruption, Charisma Magazine, October 19, 2007
  16. ^ Moral activist Privette arrested
  17. ^ "Phil Driscoll Reports To Atlanta Minimum Security Federal Prison". The Chattanoogan (2007-03-13). Retrieved on 2008-04-11.
  18. ^ "Phil Driscoll Found Guilty Of 3 Counts Of Tax Evasion" (2006-06-08). Retrieved on 2008-04-11.
  19. ^ Eiserer, Tanya, and Sam Hodges, Minister at Prestonwood Baptist charged in Internet sex sting, Dallas Morning News, retrieved 2008-05-17
  20. ^ Police say Texas minister caught in Internet sex sting, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, May 16, 2008, retrieved 2008-05-17
  21. ^ http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/05/16/minister.sex.sting.ap/index.html?eref=rss_latest
  22. ^ http://www.freshfire.ca/printpage_content.php?id=1065
  23. ^ http://www.onenewsnow.com/Church/Default.aspx?id=219700
  24. ^ "Grassley seeks information from six media-based ministries" (2007-11-06). Retrieved on 2008-04-11.
  25. ^ Sen. Grassley probes televangelists' finances
  26. ^ Ostling, Richard (1987-08-03). "Enterprising Evangelism", Time. Retrieved on 2007-01-27. 
  27. ^ "NY TImes Scandals Aside, TV Preachers Thrive", NY Times. 
  28. ^ "Preacher Scandals Strengthen TV Evangelism, Falwell Says", Washington Post.