Los Angeles Times (USA), Sep. 20, 2004, excerpted from www.religionnewsblog.com/8717-.html
By William Lobdell, Times Staff Writer
Excerpts, Part 2
Ole E. Anthony, founder of the Trinity Foundation in Dallas, a televangelist watchdog, said he knew people who had given the last of their savings to TV preachers, hoping for a windfall that never came.
"The people on TBN are living the lifestyle of fabulous wealth on the backs of the poorest and most desperate people in our society," Anthony said. "People have lost their faith in God because they believe they weren't worthy after not receiving their financial blessing."
Thomas D. Horne, of Williford, Ark., a disabled Vietnam-era veteran, said that in 1994 he was swept away by the rhetoric of TBN pastors and donated about $6,000 in disability benefits.
Time went by and he did not receive the promised surfeit of money. Last year, he found out that TBN had purchased a Newport Beach mansion overlooking the Pacific. He wrote to the network, asking for his money back.
"I want to recoup my hard-earned disability money I sent to these despicable people," said Horne. He said he has received no reply.
Philip McPeake is another donor for whom God's economy of giving did not deliver. Out of work and out of luck in November 1998, McPeake heard the Rev. R.W. Schambach make an impassioned plea for donations on TBN's Kansas City television station, KTAJ.
Schambach promised that if viewers sent $200 as a down payment on a $2,000 pledge, God would give them the rest within 90 days — with a bonus to follow.
McPeake sent in his money and waited for his luck to change. When it didn't, he complained to the Missouri state attorney general's office and the Federal Communications Commission. TBN refunded his donation.
Carl Geisendorfer, who runs a low-power Christian television station in Quincy, Ill., offered TBN programming for 19 years — until, he said, he grew disgusted by the televangelists' financial appeals.
He said he pulled TBN off the air in 2002 after watching a preacher tell viewers that they should pledge $2,000 — even if they didn't have it — in order to receive a financial miracle from God.
"I should have canceled TBN several years earlier, but I thought Paul Crouch would finally see the light on how foolish and prideful that false gospel is," said Geisendorfer, president of Believer's Broadcasting Corp., a small media group. "I'm sorry I waited as long as I did . . . ."
[TBC: God’s Word says: “And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not” (2 Peter:2:3].