Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Christian televangelist scandals
Most scandalized televangelists continue preaching, though with a far diminished viewership. Despite their respective scandals, they each often retain a core group of "faithful" followers.
Jimmy Swaggart admitted sinning against God and his wife in 1988 after being caught on film taking a prostitute to a motel. He built his ministry into a $150m-a-year (£65m) concern. The following year after allegations of a 10-year affair his 2 million television audience turned their backs on him.
In 1987 Oral Roberts addressed his television audience telling them that God had told him to raise $8m (£4.5m), if he did not God would “take him home” – he raised $9.1m. By 1989, due to financial difficulties, he had to close down his ministry. Former employees have alleged that he used ministry funds to buy clothes, jewelry and fund travel in a private jets.
By late 1980s Robert Tilton was pulling in $80m (£45m) a year through his Success-N-Life television program. In 1991 ABC’s Primetime Live announced that prayer requests sent along with financial donations to Tilton's organization were being thown away without being read.
The Independent, ‘Bad faith, blackmail and a troubled TV evangelist’, 14.9.2004
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