09-21-2004, 08:01 PM #1
Major TV preacher caught in gay affair . . .
Looks like another major TV Preacher has been caught trying to hide his HOMOSEXUAL and ADULTEROUS affair . . .
For all those champions of the Ten Commandments,
particularly those of you who hold them in such high esteem that you think they should be posted in public schools, you will recall the Seventh: "Thou shalt not committ adultery," and its follow-up in Leviticus 20:10
"10": And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
This is just a little reminder to those who regard Leviticus 20:13
"13": If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
Just a little something to do with "what's good for the goose being good for the gander" to keep in mind . . .
Something else that gets me is this happened back during the Clinton adultery thing, and this guy was as bad as the rest in lambasting Clinton for his affair, and here he was busy with his own.
Liar liar pants on fire, let's see your empire come down . . .
Televangelist Paul Crouch Attempts to Keep Accuser Quiet
Sun Sep 12, 7:55 AM ET
By William Lobdell Times Staff Writer
Televangelist Paul Crouch, founder of the world's largest Christian broadcasting network, has waged a fierce legal battle to prevent a former employee from publicizing allegations that he and Crouch had a sexual encounter eight years ago.
Crouch, 70, is the president of Trinity Broadcasting Network, based in Orange County, whose Christian programming reaches millions of viewers around the world via satellite, cable and broadcast stations.
The source of the allegations against him is Enoch Lonnie Ford, who met Crouch at a TBN-affiliated drug treatment center in 1991 and later went to work for the ministry.
After Ford threatened to sue TBN in 1998, claiming that he had been unjustly fired, Crouch reached a $425,000 settlement with him. In return, Ford agreed, among other things, not to discuss his claim about a sexual encounter with the TV preacher.
But in the last year, Ford has threatened to go public with his story, prompting a flurry of legal maneuvers — conducted in closed court hearings, sealed pleadings and private arbitration.
In court papers, Crouch has denied the allegations, and ministry officials have described Ford — who has a history of drug problems and has served time for a sex offense — as a liar and an extortionist.
At stake are the public image of one of the world's most successful televangelists and, potentially, the fortunes of the broadcasting empire that Crouch and his wife, Jan, built over the last 31 years.
TBN and Crouch went on the legal offensive after they learned that Ford had written a book manuscript that included an account of the alleged sexual encounter.
In a dramatic flourish, Ford had appeared at a TBN broadcast studio in Costa Mesa, minutes before the start of a "Praise-a-thon" fundraiser, and, without comment, handed Crouch a copy of the manuscript
Ford's lawyer later told ministry officials that they could keep the work out of public view by buying the rights. After some discussion, he suggested that $10 million might be a reasonable price.
While negotiations continued, Crouch sued to enforce the 1998 secrecy agreement and obtained a restraining order barring Ford from seeking a publisher for his book.
Orange County Superior Court Judge John M. Watson also granted Crouch's request to conduct the case in secret, sealing all documents and expunging any mention of the suit from public court records.
Both sides eventually agreed to let a private arbitrator decide the matter. In June, the arbitrator ruled that Ford could not publish the manuscript without violating the 1998 settlement — an act that could subject him to monetary damages.
This account of the controversy is drawn from interviews with friends of Ford's, unsealed court records, correspondence among TBN lawyers and a copy of the arbitrator's confidential ruling. The arbitrator's decision contains details about the 1998 settlement and Ford's manuscript — both of which are under seal.
Records and interviews show that even as they battled to keep Ford's story from leaking, TBN lawyers worried that details would eventually come out.
"I am absolutely amazed that Lonnie hasn't gone to Penthouse or Dianne [sic] Sawyer with his manuscript, notwithstanding the [judge's] injunction," TBN attorney Dennis G. Brewer Sr. wrote in a March letter to the network's other lawyers.
In a subsequent letter, in May, Brewer mentioned the anguish that Ford's accusations had caused Crouch's youngest son, Matt, when he learned of them in 1998.
Brewer wrote that the younger Crouch had told his then-law partner, David Middlebrook: "I am devastated; I am confronted with having to face the fact that my father is a homosexual."
Middlebrook and Matt Crouch have denied that there was such a conversation.
Millions of Viewers
Paul and Jan Crouch started TBN in 1973, using a rented studio in Santa Ana. Over the next three decades, they built a worldwide broadcasting network by buying TV stations and negotiating deals with cable systems and satellite companies.
Today, TBN's 24-hour-a-day menu of sermons, faith healing, inspirational movies and other Christian fare reaches millions of viewers from Spain to the Solomon Islands.
Paul Crouch is the driving entrepreneurial force behind the network and one of its most popular on-air personalities. He and Jan, his wife of 46 years, have cultivated a folksy on-screen image as a devoted couple.
TBN officials have long been concerned about how Ford's allegations could affect the network, which relies heavily on donations from viewers. Officials said they were particularly worried about possible comparisons to the scandal that brought down televangelist Jim Bakker in 1987.
Bakker resigned from his PTL Ministries in 1987 after admitting to paying a secretary $265,000 in ministry funds to be silent about an earlier affair. Bakker later went to prison for bilking donors.
TBN officials said they were careful not to pay Ford with ministry funds in 1998. They declined to say whether the money came from an insurer, Crouch personally or some other source.
Ford, 41, said he could not discuss his manuscript or his allegations against Crouch but he did provide basic facts about his background and his time at TBN.
Ford, whose father and grandfather were ministers, grew up in Fairfax County, Va., moved to California in 1989 and worked in a string of jobs that included jewelry salesman, produce clerk and gas station attendant. For years, he struggled to kick a cocaine habit.
In 1991, he checked into a Christian drug treatment program in Colleyville, Texas, on a TBN-owned ranch. It was there that Ford met Crouch. In 1992 the network hired him to work on a phone bank in Orange County. Ford said he also ran errands for the Crouches and drove Paul Crouch to appointments.
Ford repeatedly ran into trouble with the law, but TBN stood behind him. In 1994, he pleaded no contest in San Bernardino County to having sex with a 17-year-old boy and served six months in jail, according to court records. TBN took him back after his release.
In 1995, he pleaded guilty in Orange County to possession of cocaine and served about 30 days in County Jail. Again, TBN took him back.
Lake Arrowhead Cabin
The alleged sexual encounter between Ford and Crouch occurred in the fall of 1996, according to Sandi Mahlow, a Tustin housewife who met Ford in a Fullerton church 10 years ago and became a close friend.
Mahlow, 50, who helped Ford write his manuscript, said he broke down in tears after returning from a weekend spent alone with Crouch at a TBN-owned cabin near Lake Arrowhead. Mahlow said Ford told her that he and Crouch had engaged in sexual acts.
"Lonnie had a lot of bad traits; one thing he isn't, and that's a liar," Mahlow said. She said she helped Ford with his manuscript for no pay, as a favor to a friend, and has no financial interest in the book.
After the alleged encounter, Ford continued to work at TBN. For a time, he lived rent-free in an apartment at the network's Tustin headquarters, according to Mahlow and another friend of Ford's, Diane Benson, who met him at an Anaheim church 14 years ago.
A third friend of Ford's said that in October 1996, about the time of the alleged Arrowhead encounter, ministry officials gave her a $12,000 check to pay back money Ford owed her. The woman spoke on condition that she not be named, saying she feared retaliation.
TBN officials acknowledged that the ministry paid some of Ford's debts. They said the network commonly extends such generosity to employees in financial trouble.
Within weeks of the Arrowhead trip, Ford tested positive for drug use and was arrested for violating terms of his probation. While Ford awaited sentencing, the ministry again came to his support, urging the judge not to impose more prison time.
Ford "has continuously shown a very positive attitude regarding whatever we have asked him to do," wrote Ruth M. Brown, Paul Crouch's sister and TBN's director of personnel. "He carried out his duties cheerfully and always tries to do more than asked."
The judge sent Ford to the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco, a drug treatment facility in the state prison system.
In August 1997, Jay Jones, TBN's director of telephone ministry, wrote prison officials that Ford would have a job with the network after he got out, despite his "extended leave of absence."
But Ford said that after he was released in February 1998, he was told he no longer had a position at TBN.
"There comes a point in time when you have to say, 'Enough is enough,' " said John Casoria, a TBN lawyer who is a nephew of the Crouches.
Ford responded with his threat to sue. The settlement followed.
Despite TBN's efforts to keep Ford's charges secret, they surfaced in an unrelated 1998 lawsuit. A former bodyguard for TBN personality Benny Hinn testified in a deposition that during a European bus tour that year, Hinn had told a group of associates about "a sexual relationship that Paul Crouch had with his chauffeur."
The witness, Mario C. Licciardello, quoted Hinn as saying: "Paul's defense was that he was drunk."
Hinn and six others mentioned by Licciardello, who died in 2000, told The Times that Hinn never made such remarks. However, Rick Jones, a retired police officer and ordained minister who worked for Hinn, said he heard Hinn talk about Crouch's alleged homosexual relationship on that bus.
Jones said he was disgusted by the talk and "got up and walked away. I didn't want to hear gossip."
Asking $10 Million
Meanwhile, Ford began to have second thoughts about keeping silent. Last year, with Mahlow's help, he wrote his manuscript, titled "Arrowhead."
Friends said Ford wanted to expose what he viewed as Crouch's hypocrisy. They said he also needed money and hoped to earn some by selling the manuscript. It's unclear how Ford spent his 1998 settlement, but today he leads a modest existence, living in a room of a Lake Forest home and working as a mortgage salesman.
Ministry officials learned of the book in April 2003, when Ford walked onto the set of TBN's Costa Mesa broadcast studio and handed a copy of the manuscript to Crouch.
Ford's attorney, Eugene Zech, said that Brewer, the TBN lawyer, called him the next business day. In court papers, Zech said that Brewer asked "if Ford might be willing to accept $1 million in exchange for the manuscript."
Zech said in the court filing that he suggested $10 million.
When the parties went to arbitration, Crouch's lawyers argued that publication would violate the 1998 settlement and cause irreparable damage to Crouch's reputation. Ford's lawyers argued that the secrecy agreement was overly broad and violated his free-speech rights.
Arbitrator Robert J. Neill ruled that Ford's right to make his allegations public "was sold to [Crouch] for $425,000." Ford "bargained away his right to speak on certain matters and now suggests that his right to free speech trumps that bargain…. [His] right to discuss these matters was bought and paid for. He relinquished that right."
Paul Crouch Jr., a TBN executive and the televangelist's oldest son, said that despite the favorable ruling, he wished his father had never entered into the settlement with Ford.
Crouch said advisors persuaded his father that it would be cheaper to settle than to litigate. He said TBN was particularly anxious to avoid negative publicity because the ministry was celebrating its 25th anniversary that year.
"In hindsight, we should have fought Lonnie tooth and nail," the son said in an interview. "We should have drawn the battle lines right there."
09-21-2004, 08:28 PM #2
Im not saying the guy isnt wrong but, Adultery is only a man having sex with another mans wife. Man and Man would not apply that would be a whole different sin.
09-21-2004, 08:31 PM #3AR-Hall of Famer / Retired
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If its true then certainly that is a terrible hypocracy - I have never really watched them or anything (not really into the big TV church thing) - but if its true then he has a lot to answer for.
Even so, I dont really see anything that gives real proof of what happened - some hearsay and the testimony of the guy himself and what seems to be a girlfriend - obviously with monetary motives that make their testimony quite questionable - the fact that they settled before doesnt really surprise me since its true that it would have cost them more to fight it (donations, legal) than to pay the guy - no matter how false it may or may not have been.
Again, if the guy proves his case, Crouch has a lot to answer for - but if not, Crouch should be exonerated - they helped that guy a lot out of some very bad situations - he was a pretty ungrateful wretch if nothing happend
09-21-2004, 08:46 PM #4Originally Posted by Anhydro78
Either way you wanna look at it, the Bible that guy preaches from, and the verses he HAS preached on, calls for the death penalty for both adultery and homosexuality.
Now that the foot is on the other shoe, let's see just how interested these folks are in practicing what they preach . . . If they need a volunteer executioner, I'll do it . . . I've had 6 months practice killing dogs and cats down at the Dallas Animal Shelter (about 12,000 in all). One more rat won't make any difference . . .
09-21-2004, 11:15 PM #5
He should be your buddy why are you so mad at him. No one is perfect. His sin was being a homosexual not a bad guy. I bet if he was gay he didnt touch on that topic to much.
This isnt related to this but do you think that a man that had the urges to sleep with another man but didnt act on it would make him a hypocrite for going to church??? Or even better yet do you think a Gay couple that went to church every week should be excluded??? I dont for either one....
09-22-2004, 01:19 AM #6Originally Posted by Anhydro78
Yah, he touched on that topic several times. I didn't spend too much time watching his stations, but ya, they know that they motivate people to send in more $$$ if they bleat about "militant godless homosexuals" than if they explain trinitarianism or compare the list of begats in Kings with those in Chronicles, so that's what they do. When you're gay, you notice these things.
It's significant because it shows how the folks who preach against something the most are sometimes the most guilty, the least sincere, and call for the harshest punishments. Sorta like when Jimmy Swaggart was in his heyday, preaching against "all manner of vile, despicable sins, belched from the grisly bowels of Hell itself" (an actual quote that's given me much mirth and merriment over the years), all the while patronizing those hookers by the airport motel. It demonstrates how the folks who portray themselves as being "sanctified by the Lord & washed in His blood & living for His glory" aren't any different than your average used car salesman. Just selling religion for $$$--in his case, Big Bucks. You've seen 'em before, you're seeing another one now. You'll see more in the future. Professional Religionists are a cankersore on society, parasites on old folk's social security checks, living in luxury while their "sheep" go hungry, hoping for a "miracle healing" that never comes, then blaming themselves for not having the "faith of a mustard seed" or fatalistically sighing, "It must be God's will for me to suffer with terminal cancer."
These scumbags take old folk's money to live in luxury, and then scare them into thinking that people like me are gonna bring God's wrath upon them unless they give more $$$ so they can "fight the rising onslaught of demon-inspired militant homosexuality." Then they go buy themselves fancy mansions and fancy cars ("the ox is worthy of its hire"), and buy more TV time so they can scare some more people.
Scumbag hypocrite parasite fearmongering professional religionists, that's what they are. In the world of Karma, Nature has something for him, and I'll be happy for him when he gets it.
09-22-2004, 02:49 AM #7
I totally see your point but relize that not all christians see homosexuality as the greatist sin. It is no different than anyone elses sin. If anyone tells you different they are not of God. You your self could be a christian if you choose to be. I just dont like people thinking they are exempt from god because they sin. And shame on anyone that tells you any different. Heres the thing even though Im not living like God wants me to I still know God loves me. And I know you are not gonna believe me when I tell you this but God loves you as well. You dont even have to go to church, you can simply try your best and read the word of God and see what god has in plan for you. Im not trying to convert you guy. Im out of that buisness. I just want you to know that all the people that tell you anything but God loves you are not of God. Trust me I know for a fact God is real, but as you know I have problems with what he wants me to do so he wont mess with me anymore. Maybe I wouldnt have as many problems as I have if I would only listen. He makes sure I live in misery untill I comply. SO that only angers me even more. I know he is real but I am not very happy with him right now.
09-22-2004, 06:09 AM #8
it just goes to show that religion as we know it now is full of hypocracy and is very buisness like now.. total turn off!!
09-22-2004, 06:18 AM #9Originally Posted by Anhydro78
homosexuality or adultery are both FORNICATIONS , and fornicating is a MAJOR sin itself ............ by the way , these kind of cases have started blooming everywhere , u should read the British newspapers , one case like this every week !
09-22-2004, 06:40 AM #10Originally Posted by Tock
Originally Posted by Tock
Originally Posted by Tock
09-22-2004, 09:09 AM #11
I found it funny Tock that you pointed this to the christians and then made sure you quoted the 7th commandment..hehe, of course we know that adultery is one of the 10 commandments..
Can I point out Tock that your mother theresa example from past posts could be brought into this. We really DONT know if people are true christians by their actions which is why actions dont get us into heaven.
09-22-2004, 09:19 AM #12
You shine a light on all people that are evil and hiding behind the bible. Shine the light on the ones who are not evil as well there are more good than bad. I feel that anyone with a TV ministry is a farce. Just my opinion.
Not trying to judge others but most of todays "Christians" miss the mark by a mile. They don't understand the concept nor practice Christ like actions and attitudes.
09-22-2004, 09:26 AM #13Originally Posted by 1victor
09-22-2004, 09:29 AM #14
It almost seems as if we Christians need some sort of internal affairs dept or something to flush the toilet on people like this.
09-22-2004, 09:39 AM #15Originally Posted by 1victor
09-22-2004, 09:50 AM #16
Ahmen Zoab, God willing there will be sooner than later.
09-22-2004, 10:03 AM #17
I think that as time goes on, you will start to see certain religious organizations sink lower, and others will rise above what has become "mainstream" religion. They will stand out more and more, as other churches start to change their teachings to "adapt" to modern ideologies, like a bad parent who gives in to a child throwing a temper tantrum. Not all churches are full of hypocrites, people just like to point out the ones that are to back up their belief that religion is a scam.......
09-22-2004, 10:14 AM #18
09-22-2004, 01:39 PM #19Originally Posted by hung-solo
"The ecclesiastical class generally prefers Revenue without Religion to Religion without Revenue."
--Robert G. Ingersoll
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