Stay Classy, TBN
The latest allegations of sleaze to ooze out from under everybody’s favorite televangelical empire run by those Saints from Santa Anna, Paul and Jan Crouch:
McVeigh’s lawsuit, which was first reported by the Orange County Register, alleges “multiple cover-ups of sexual and criminal scandals” including: the destruction of evidence concerning a bloody sexual assault involving Trinity and its affiliated Holy Land Experience employees; the cover-up of Jan Crouch’s affair with a staff member at the Holy Land Experience; the cover-up of director Paul Crouch’s use of Trinity funds to pay for a legal settlement with, the the former Trinity employee who claims he had a homosexual affair with Paul Crouch; the cover-up following Matthew Crouch’s [he’s also a director] exposure of his genitals to cleaning staff on multiple occasions; under-the-table payments to avoid liability and punitive damages in the ongoing David Rhodes wrongful death suit, including payments funneled through All American TV, Inc., a nonprofit corporation controlled by Trinity lawyer John Casoria.
The suit alleges that Trinity has a gluttonous appetite for the things of this world, from multiple residential estates [including ones in Newport Beach and Miami] falsely reported as guest homes or church parsonages to “avoid income disclosures”, to meal expenses up to $500,000 for each of the company’s directors, as well as “multiple backchannel distributions, kickbacks, and related schemes, such as tens of millions of dollars distributed through a company owned by TBN director Matthew Crouch, called Gener8xionEntertainment…”
If that’s not enough, there’s more here (h/t, DA), but I think you get the idea. As most of you know, I’m willing to give performers (which is what the Crouches are to be sure) some latitude in constructing a persona on stage that may not - indeed, probably couldn’t ever - line up a hundred percent with the person off stage. But this is just beyond the pale: if even half of what is alleged in this suit is true, the wild disjunction between piety and profligacy here goes way past any allowance for the constructed identity of fallible celebrity and heads deep into the dark heart of congenital corruption.
Among other things, we may need to revise Dolly Parton’s axiom about how much money it takes to look this cheap. Apparently, it may turn out in the case of televangelists, it takes a lot of money and malfeasance off-camera to look so cheap onscreen and constantly claim you don’t have two nickels to rub together in the green room. But don’t worry, I doubt any of this latest reminder of the Crouches’ proximity to corruption will stop some of our favorite southern gospel artists from finding forgiveness in their hearts just long enough to sing for Paul and Jan’s
reliable income stream legions of faithful followers.