A Guide to Religions, Religious Information and Help in Search for God

Religious Fraud

Christian Television Ministries

On October 5, 1989, Jim Bakker, who was one of America's greatest televangelist and Assemblies of God (Pentecostal) preacher, was convicted of 23 counts of fraud and one count of conspiracy for stealing donations from PTL, the television ministry he founded. According to an article in The Wall Street Journal (issue dated February 13, 1991 by Milo Geyelin and Arthur S. Hayes), "Mr. Baker also was convicted of diverting $3.7 million toward the purchase of vacation homes, a fleet of Rolls-Royces and Mercedeses, furs, Rolex watches, face lifts for himself and his wife, and an air-conditioned doghouse for their pet."

In 1987, Marvin Gorman was criticized by Jimmy Swaggart, another Assemblies of God (Pentecostal) minister, for his extramarital affair. (From multiple sources including

In 1988, Jimmy Swaggart admitted to sinning, after being caught on film taking a prostitute to a motel. His television ministry was receiving about $150,000,000 a year in donations and had 8,000,000 television viewers (in U.S.A.).

In 1987, Oral Roberts was criticized by many for a claim that he made in one of his final fund drives to keep his medical center operating.

In November 1991, ABC Televisionís Primetime Live announced that the prayers sent along with the financial donations to televangelist Robert Tilton (of the Success-N-Life television program) were not being taken notice of and found in rubbish bins behind his Tulsa bank with money removed. His television ministry was receiving over $80,000,000 a year.

Other subjects of Primetime Live were preachers W. V. Grant, Jr. and Larry Lea for certain claims that they made on television. Also, televangelist Benny Hinn has been the subject of criticism by Religion Watch. (From multiple sources including

So, before you donate money to any television ministry, it may be wise to check them out first. Does the minister live a life of excess luxury? From the Holy Bible (- The New Testament in the Language of Today by William F. Beck (B.A., B.D., M.S.T., Th.D.), 1963 Concordia Publishing House) ,

a) Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, "How hard it is for rich people to get into God's kingdom." - Mark 10:23

b) Jesus Christ of Nazareth warned: "No servant can be the slave of two masters....You can't serve God and money" - Luke 16:13


1) The above individuals are mentioned solely as evidence of religious fraud. Know that religious fraud exists.

2) Religious fraud is not limited to a few Christian televangelists, but exists in many other religions as well. ( will not hesitate in reporting fraudulent religious entities that have already been exposed by the media, but will not identify those who have not yet been reported and convicted.)

3) does not condemn any of the individuals who commit religious fraud. The Law of Karma assures us that each and every sin of theirs (and ours as well) will be punished in an appropriate and just manner.

4) If you want to forgive any or all of those who are guilty of religious fraud, that is good. The act of forgiving is always good.

Additional sources of information regarding religious fraud:

Religion-Related Fraud Getting Worse - Investigators Say Religion-Related Fraud Getting Worse As Fake Organizations Bilking Millions (By RACHEL ZOLL, Associated Press Religion Writer - Aug 13, 2006)

Religious Fraud Growing - (By J. Grant Swank, Jr., The Post Chronicle - Jun 22, 2007)

Scams use name of God to con Christians - (By Greg Farrell, USA TODAY - Aug. 8, 2001)


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