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Updated by Frances Locke on Aug 18, 2015
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6 Charlatan Televangelists Taken Down By Their Own Greed

In honor of John Oliver's epic takedown of boob tube preachers, here is a list of six charlatan televangelists who were taken down by their own avarice.
This is part one of what may prove to be an on-going series.

1

Rev. Jonathan Bell, aka Screaming Boy

Rev. Jonathan Bell, aka Screaming Boy

Rev. Jonathan Bell, also known as_ 'Screaming Boy'_ was a lesser-known fixture in the televangelist world in the early 1990’s. Bell’s was nickname well-earned because boy did he scream. He screamed about Jesus, ‘the gays,’ hellfire, brimstone, abortion, hellfire, abused children, going to hell, Satan, and the apocalypse. Did we mention hell? This ‘best of’ segment from The Daily Show says everything you need to know. Thankfully, Bell is now a former televangelist (and a hell of a lot calmer, apparently).

2

Benny Hinn

Benny Hinn

Benny Hinn is a legend in the televangelist community, as well as a legendary piece of shit. His abuse of tithing, the religious practice of giving money to one’s church, is well-known: Hinn has gone as far as telling followers to stop supporting their local churches in favor of sending their meager social security checks to him instead. Benny was even the subject of a Dateline investigation that exposed his numerous frauds, including bullshit healing and promises of “waking the dead.”

Hinn’s faith healing antics are so famous there are even YouTube videos dedicated to making them. This one, set to “Bodies Hit The Floor” is my all time fave.

3

Pat Robertson

Pat Robertson

I think we all know about Pat Robertson, Mr. "homosexuals caused the holocaust" himself. But don't worry, guys and gals, Robertson doesn't just hate "the gays." He also has some kind words for feminists, saying:

Feminism is a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.

Class act, amirite? Like every other bozo on this list, the only thing Patty boy loves more than hyperbolic bullshit is YOUR MONEY. Are you an 80-year-old who can't pay his bills? Too fucking bad, old man, because Pat needs his money or you _will _go to hell. Tithing is serious business.

4

John Hagee

John Hagee

Televangelist John Hagee is the guy famous for blaming Hurricane Katrina on Black people and, of course, "the gays." Which didn't stop John McCain from kissing his ass during the last election, because Republicans are nothing if not consistently awful.

Like Pat Robertson, however, Hagee is generous with his bigotry. He has also made disparaging remarks against the Jews, Island, Catholics, women, and even the bible itself. He's really a man amongst men. And by that I mean he's a man who should be shamed into exile then left to fend for himself on that island they think *Amelia Earhart *died with the giant crabs.

5

Jim & Tammy Faye Bakker

Jim & Tammy Faye Bakker

The Jim Bakker sex scandal from 1987 is one of my earliest memories, thanks to my dad's love of cheesy talk shows (Geraldo Rivera, you rat bastard), and to this day I genuinely feel sorry for poor, mascara-challenged Tammy Faye. But putting aside Jim's wayward wang, the couple made a LOT of money from religious schlubs who bought their holier-than-thou bullshit.

When the sex scandal did break, in 1987, we learned that Jim paid a lot of money to former secretary Jessica Hahn (who was also a victim, in my opinion), to keep quiet about a sexual encounter from 1980. Unfortunately for Jim and Tammy, he paid her with church funds, and thus his weaving of lies and deceit began to unravel. Questions were raised about the Bakker's finances, and in 1989 Jim was sentenced to 45 years in jail for scamming $158 million from his congregation. In the true American tradition of rich white men getting away with everything, Jim served a mere five of those years and went on to scam another day.

6

Jimmy Swaggart

Jimmy Swaggart

What I remember most about** Jimmy Swaggart** from my childhood is seeing his big plastic-looking face weeping all over my family's 24 in Zenith TV. Boy, could that man put on the waterworks. Swaggart's story is interesting because he was one of Jim Bakker's most vocal critics after the Jessica Hahn scandal broke. I remember when Swaggart famously claimed to have never kissed a woman besides his wife.

I think we all know where this is going...

Almost immediately, it came to light that Swaggart had been frequented a number of New Orleans hookers, which he tearfully confessed on national TV, humiliating his wife but securing his massive fortune (which included a $12 million a year salary and over 10K employees). This would have been the end of it, but he was caught AGAIN with a hooker in 1991, which was the beginning of the end for this emotional scam artist. A few lawsuits and an IRS tax lein later and...well, not much. Swaggart can still be found on television preaching about Jesus while (probably) still boning paid-by-the-hour women on the side.