Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wealthy holy man needs our help

Southern California's own Benny Hinn...
Oops ...
Benny Hinn was one of the most celebrated faith healers of the past twenty years.  His specialty has been mass faith healing rallies where through a mixture of sensory overload and hypnosis he can make entire rows of people fall over.   Expect to see the stage area filled with people twitching on the ground at one of his shows.  He's also part of the prosperity gospel trend, so besides bringing sudden unexplained healing power, his followers can also depend on unexpected financial windfalls (but not really, of course).   Hinn's conducted charity and missions all over the world.  But he hasn't been living the life of a pauper, and that doesn't come cheap.  Hinn's ministry has taken in $200 million per year at its height. The private Gulfstream jet (dubbed "Dove One") isn't going to pay for itself.

But despite his claims to having been chosen by the Divine, Hinn's galloping success has slowed to a crawl.  Earlier this year his wife of thirty years filed for divorce.  Now the IRS is investigating him (along with several other televangelists) to determine his ministries' non-profit status.  Offerings are down, and so Hinn has made an appeal for two million in donation to cover expenses.

From a humanist perspective, Hinn offers two basic services.  First there is the psychological boost given by his preaching, which offers hope and some life lessons in the sermons.  And then there is the charitable work that Hinn performs around the world.  But the followers could buy a lottery ticket and some self-help books, and donate to established charities.  They could achieve the same effects more efficiently and with less overhead.

No comments:

Post a Comment