Religion

Benny Hinn, Religious Fraud?

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Sorta transcript:

The offices of Benny Hinn have been raided by the IRS in the midst of a huge investigation. If you don’t know who Benny Hinn is, have I got a super depressing story for you!

Since the early 1980s, before most of you were born, Benny Hinn has been a famous televangelist — a bombastic TV preacher who claims to be able to heal people by letting Jesus Christ use his body as a conduit. He claims to treat a wide variety of ailments, including but not limited to broken bones, the common cold, and AIDS. Man, that sure escalated fast.

Hinn promises to pray to heal people of horrific injuries and diseases, but there’s never been a documented case of him having doing so, despite preaching to millions of people over the decades. In fact, he’s been repeatedly, publicly debunked. A CBC investigative team with hidden cameras found that he had screeners who wouldn’t allow anyone with an obvious physical disability take the stage at his “healings” since he wouldn’t actually be able to pretend he healed them. He’s even debunked himself, by predicting that thousands of dead people would be resurrected by the Trinity Broadcasting Network. Spoiler alert, all those people are still dead.

He also thought God would destroy all gay people in 1995. Spoiler alert, most of those people are still alive and now we have pride parades, to boot.

So basically Hinn has spent nearly 40 years taking people’s money and convincing them to stop taking life-saving medications. And despite 40 years of skeptics pointing out that he’s full of crap, he’s still out there today fleecing his flock. Even a Senate investigation couldn’t stop him, ending after a few years with a shrug and an inability to find “definitive” examples of wrongdoing, which, yes, should make you worry about the intelligence level of your senators.

Luckily, as we’ve learned time and time again, and as even Al Capone learned in the 1930s, where the police and FBI and other authorities fail, the IRS will persevere. And so while Benny Hinn was relaxing in France, 40 to 50 agents with the IRS spent two full days raiding his headquarters and carting away boxes and boxes of evidence.

If Benny Hinn ends up being busted for tax evasion, it won’t be the worst thing he’s ever done. But hey, at least it will be something.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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