The most popular televangelist and faith healer in the world today is probably Benny Hinn. He is often featured on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). The itinerant preacher some call a “prophet” travels worldwide to stage his “crusades.” Thousands pack stadiums and amphitheaters hoping to be healed.

However, Hinn has failed to prove even a single “healing” objectively. And like the recent “clone” claimed by a “cult,” his claims of “miracles” also seem to lack meaningful proof through science. Instead, people apparently feel “healed,” therefore they are “healed.”

Again and again the media has scrutinized the minister and found him wanting, through either his apparent knowing manipulation of the faithful and/or just plain money grabbing.

The latest exposé about Hinn just was aired on Dateline NBC.

NBC reports that the Benny Hinn Ministry is now raking in more than $100 million dollars annually.

What is controversial about this cash flow is how Hinn uses it benefit personally

Benny Hinn is not a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, which includes the Billy Graham Crusade, nor is he legally obligated to disclose his finances publicly.

But Hinn has acknowledged that his yearly salary is somewhere between $500,000.00 and $1 million. And that doesn’t appear to include all compensation, such as travel expenses or other questionable perks.

Hinn’s travel expenses alone must be astronomical, given his penchant for luxurious presidential suites, which can easily run more than $1,000.00 a night. He also likes to fly to Europe on the Concorde, which is $8,000, a pop.

But perhaps the most outrageous of Hinn’s recently exposed perks is his so-called “parsonage,” which will cost $3.5 million dollar to build. The house has 7 bedrooms and 8 baths and includes 6,000 square feet, a view of the Pacific and room for ten cars in its underground garage. Benny likes BMWs.

And to think that Jesus was born in manger and rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. And the Apostles weren’t exactly high rollers either.

The money to fuel Hinn’s expenses and perks comes from contributions to his tax-exempt ministry.

For some time I have maintained an archive about Benny Hinn within my website. The response has been interesting.

Some visitors are happy to have access to the information.

One emailed, “Mr. Hinn should know that good works have value in the eyes of God, but not the fortune he has accumulated by preying on naive people.”

Another said, “I suspected Benny Hinn when he appeared on talk TV shows, and also because he is such a showman. I personally attended one of his crusades. I saw children that looked like they were dying, but couldn’t get to him. Benny Hinn is not giving hope to people, but destroying any hope that many had to start with. It’s my opinion that people who use God to gain power, money, fame, fortune and have no interest in the souls of the people they minister to, will have to answer to the Savior one day.”

But perhaps the most telling response is from Hinn’s fans that are not so happy with me.

One wrote, “I would be very careful about messing with God’s Anointed! Benny Hinn is anointed. God does love you. Please listen to God.”

Many of those who attend Benny Hinn crusades seem to think the faith healer and God are virtually synonymous.

And what about the money?

Another Hinn fan said, “It takes money to be on TV and to do crusades. By giving ‘into good soil’ we, are blessed. God Blesses His people and Benny Hinn is a man of God. Why is everyone hung up on money? The streets in heaven are paved with gold.”

But some of the faithful can get downright nasty. One angry Hinn groupie wrote, “Have you ever attended a Benny Hinn crusade or any other man of God? If you had, you would be ashamed of yourself and immediately destroy this website. However, I know you Satan. I know the deception you so cleverly weave around men.”

One of Hinn’s true believers put it more succinctly, “God rules not Satan you stupid idiot.”

According to the leader of the “Sci-fi cult” called the Raelians cloning claims may prove to be a “cash cow.”

In a recent interview Claude Vorilhon, who now calls himself “Rael,” stated that there are now 2,000 potential cloning customers on a waiting list willing to pay a fee of $200,000.00. That would mean the company he inspired named “Clonaid” could potentially take in $400 million dollars, reports Knight Ridder.

So far Clonaid seems has successfully bilked at least one couple out of hundreds of thousands of dollars to clone their dead son. But the father now says, “They weren’t doing anything, they weren’t working.” He feels embarrassed by the episode and believes Boisselier had no real intention of attempting the cloning, reports the Daily Telegraph.

How many more desperate and/or despondent people will pay Clonaid, for what appears to be little more than unfulfilled wishful thinking?

Brigette Boisselier, a Raelian bishop and the CEO of Clonaid claims “Eve,” the alleged “clone” her company supposedly produced, is coming to the United States for “testing,” reports USA Today.

However, can such “tests” be independently verified?

Based upon Boisselier’s track record it looks doubtful. And her “independent expert” Michael Guillen has already drawn sharp criticism and deep skepticism amongst credible scientists.

Real is having a great time though. The “cult leader” and apparent egomaniac has certainly cashed in on a media bonanza.

In Rael’s self-published book “Yes to Human Cloning” released just last year he boasts, “For a minimal investment of $3,000, it got us media coverage worth more than $15 million…I am still laughing, Even if the project had stopped there, it would have been a total success,” reports Reuters.

What was Boisselier’s 30 uninterrupted minutes of CNN live coverage worth?

Rael must be laughing even harder this time.

The FDA is now looking into the Raelian claims to see if they have done anything that might have violated US regulations, reports USA Today.

But it’s doubtful that the group has broken any laws. Pretending to produce a human clone isn’t illegal.

Senator Richard Lugar, the incoming chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, found time in his busy schedule last week to help out Rev. Sung Myung Moon.

The Indianna Republican attended a conference at a Washington hotel sponsored by the “Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace,” one of many front organizations used by Moon’s Unification Church.

Lugar was the “keynote” speaker, which drew many Washington notables reports the Washington Times, a newspaper controlled by Moon.

Rev. Moon was ultimately honored for his “33 years of activity in United States.” What “activity” is that? Critics say Moon’s activities in the US include “cult recruitment” and “brainwashing.” But of course that wasn’t mentioned.

It is also unlikely that Lugar and others who attended the coference discussed Rev. Moon role as a self-proclaimed “messiah,” supposedly sent by God to finish the job Jesus never completed. Or that Moon not long ago officiated over the marriage of Jesus in “spirit world,” so that the Savior of the New Testament would be able to enter heaven.

At the conference Lugar said, “The United States of America has in many ways rediscovered the world,” but apparently the senator hasn’t discovered much about Rev. Moon, or he’s deliberately ignoring it.

George H. Bush has a history of cooperation with Rev. Moon, who has paid the former president millions of dollars for speaking engagements internationally. Barbara Bush often accompanied her husband.

There were repeated pleas made to the Bush family from affected families devastated by the Moon “cult” to cease their seeming support. But despite those appeals they continued to appear at such events.

Mr. and Mrs. Bush Sr. claim Moon shares their “family values.”


What “family values” would those be, maybe mass marriage ceremonies?

President George W. Bush had a representative at the recent Moon conference. James Towey, director of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives was there. Towey said he hoped the administration would have “better results” in the coming year regarding the funding of “faith based” social welfare programs.

Does Rev. Moon hope to benefit from such funding?

Moon apparently stages these self-serving events for more than just his ego, they promote the impression that he is a “world leader.” Unlike Jesus, Moon is not an apolitical “messiah.”

And when well-recognized leaders like Lugar agree to speak at such events they help Moon succeed with that agenda, which assists the Unification Church in the recruitment and retention of members.

At the conference the Indianna senator observed that “ignorance…is inexcusable as well as dangerous,”

Shouldn’t this Hoosier heed his own advice? Lugar’s seemingly willful “ignorance” of how Moon is using him is clearly both “inexcusable” and potentially “dangerous.”

Actor Nicole Kidman has apparently tossed off the “cult” baggage of her failed marriage to Tom Cruise, reports the Star-Ledger.

The New Jersey newspaper reported that her exploration of the controversial church has “quietly ended.”

It was rumored that Kidman’s ambivalence about Scientology may have contributed to problems in her marriage to Tom Cruise, who is a devoted Scientologist. And she did seem to distance herself from the “religion” in many previous interviews.

Kidman’s father is a psychiatrist; a profession often viewed with contempt by Scientologists, who frequently demonstrate against psychiatry. Her commitment to Catholicism may have caused conflict with some of Scientology’s teachings.

Scientology claims its “technology” enables adherents to perform better in life.

However, it seems that Kidman’s performances have improved since leaving the church. Her turn in the movie “The Hours” is now drawing Oscar buzz, while her former husband Cruise is not doing so well in his most recent films.

Many observers have commented how much happier and more animated Nicole Kidman seems to be since her divorce. Maybe this is the result of dumping Scientology, or perhaps just breaking it off with a Scientologist.

South Korean officials have raided “BioFusion Tech Inc.,” a company controlled by Raelians with offices in Seoul, reports the BBC.

Cloning is not illegal in South Korea, but doing medical research without a license is.

The conclusion that is likely to emerge from documents seized in Korea will probably match what authorities found out through a previous raid on Raelian facilities in the United States. That is, the group is nowhere near achieving the technology and expertise required to produce a human clone. And that claims to the contrary are apparently a hoax concocted to gain attention.

But a Raelian leader enjoying a photo op in Great Britain of course thought otherwise. He insisted, “I believe completely that a human clone has been created. It is no hoax.” And then added, “I could be a clone and you would never know,” reports the Sunday Mirror.


It does appear that reality is often subjective to Raelians. And for them “science” seems to be something substantiated through feelings rather than facts.

This “cloning” story now appears to be sputtering to its inevitable end, which is the exposure of Boisselier and her company Clonaid as a fraud.

However, Rael’s followers are unlikely to lose faith even if the world scientific community firmly establishes that their group lied about its “science.” After all they are “true believers” and will continue to believe whatever Rael tells them.

Rael can simply explain away whatever he wants to his faithful flock. The apologetic for the cloning claim will probably sound like an “X-Files” script, some “conspiracy” to suppress the “truth,” which is still “out there.”

And Raelians are known for being “out there,” not for their critical thinking and piercing logic.

Mainstream society may not easily understand such seemingly mindless behavior, but it’s instructive to remember the preposterous Sci-fi stories Rael has already told, which are firmly accepted by his followers.

Raelians believe that Claude Vorilhon, now known as “Rael,” is actually the offspring of an alien being from outer space that artificially inseminated his mother and that Jesus and Buddha once met with him on another planet.

Is it really that difficult for these folks to swallow one more ridiculous story from their leader? I don’t think so. Don’t expect to see any mass defection of Raelians, if Boisselier’s and Rael’s cloning claims are proven false.

Reporters have commented about the “glassy eyed” look many Raelians have. Never mind, some say there is no such thing as “cult brainwashing.” However, “brainwashing” does seem to explain much of the denial and irrational behavior exhibited by the Raelians.

Michael Guillen, the so-called “independent journalist” recruited by Clonaid CEO and Raelian bishop Brigette Boisselier to verify her clone claims, turns out to be an old friend, reports the Boston Globe.

Guillen is a Ph.D. and former ABC science reporter for “Good Morning America.” He joined Boisselier at a recent news conference in Florida to announce his role as a supposedly objective expert, who would organize a “scientific team” to verify Clonaid’s claims.

However, in a recent interview Boisselier’s “spiritual leader” Rael (a.k.a Claude Vorilhon) said, ”I know he is very good friends with Dr. Boisselier. I think they communicated from the beginning. He was the first to make a positive interview about the project. I think that’s why she gave him priority.”

“Positive interview”? This appears to be Rael-speak for a “puff piece.”

Have Boisselier and the Raelians essentially stacked the deck?

Cult groups frequently recruit supposedly “independent experts,” that are often “friends,” to report about them and present papers. These academics have been called “cult apologists.”

Many “cult apologists” eventually cash in, either as expert witnesses defending destructive cults in court cases, or through future funding of book projects and “research.”

Bob Giles, curator of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard said Guillen “crossed a line of independence by appearing to be part of the team that is making the announcement.”

The former ABC reporter says he is “unpaid,” but is there some understanding between this self-described “free lance journalist” and the Raelians? If so, he certainly wouldn’t be the first Ph.D. recruited by a “cult” to provide cover and/or some “positive” spin.

Giles observed, ”It always raises ethical questions when a journalist works under the auspices of an organization such as this group.”

So far Guillen has not identified the supposed “world class experts” he expects to include on his “team” to verify Clonaid’s specious claims.

How will this verification be done? Supposedly by sending blood samples to “world class” DNA labs for testing. Guillen says he has already picked the “expert” to draw the blood, but some observers are skeptical and raising serious questions about the process and Guillen’s past performance.

Robert Park, author of a book on pseudo-science said, “How can they be sure that the samples really came from the mother and the child?”

A pathology professor at Washington University in St. Louis reiterated this point; “An absolutely neutral party has to obtain the samples. From point zero on, the arbitrator must be involved in the whole process. He or she must actually choose the laboratory that is going to do the analysis,” reports Knight Ridder Newspapers.

Giles inferred that without hard scientific evidence made public any alleged “verification” the journalist offers should not be taken too seriously.

Is Guillen simply preparing another “puff piece” for his “friends”? Is this another foray for the former ABC reporter into the realm of “Voodoo Science,” or is it a serious scientific inquiry to establish the facts?

Michael Guillen may have a Ph.D., but he has been “derided in Scientific circles for being overly fond of the paranormal,” reports Desert News.

Guillen’s past work is scrutinized within Park’s book, “Voodoo Science.” The author says the former science reporter has labeled astrology and psychokinesis “as open scientific questions, which they are not.”

It seems now that the real story emerging isn’t the “first human clone.” Increasingly it seems instead to be how Clonaid’s groundless claims became the focus of hard news coverage. Cloning may be part of Boisselier’s bizarre belief system, but why did a cable news network run her Raelian rant as “breaking news”?

CNN seems to have essentially given away 30 minutes of network time for a “cult” infomercial.

Rael must be pleased. What would that time have cost him if the “cult leader” had to pay for it? And there wasn’t even a disclaimer.

The so-called “press conference” seemed like little more than brazen self-promotion for the Raelians and their for-profit company Clonaid. And only those reporters approved by Boisselier were allowed to attend. Half of the media-representitives that came to cover the announcement at the Holiday Inn in Hollywood, Florida were “banned,” reports the Globe and Mail.

One couple has already stepped forward to call Clonaid “nothing more than a slick con,” after being taken for $500,000.00 by Boisselier who promised the parents a clone of their dead son, reports the Sunday Mail.

What’s next for CNN? Will they give a Unification Church spokesperson 30 minutes to announce that Rev. Moon’s mission has been confirmed in heaven? That story was run as paid ad in newspapers, not a news item.

CNN has lost credibility by providing a platform for the Raelians to make their claims without scientific evidence.

Who vetted this story?

The followers of Rael can be expected to uncritically accept whatever their leaders say, but what’s CNN’s excuse?

The announcement of the “first human clone” was clearly not a legitimate news story. Without peer-reviewed supporting proof first verified by the scientific community, all Boisselier’s statements amounted to was little more than prattle about her fanciful beliefs and “spiritual leader.”

And as for Boisselier, she is a major stockholder in Clonaid and stands to personally benefit from recent media exposure. The Clonaid CEO is also a member of the “Order of Angels” waiting to be a “hostess” for humanity’s space alien creators when they land on Earth, reports the Miami Herald.

How could someone like this be taken seriously as a credible source by a news network?

Obviously, CNN should have done the necessary research before giving Clonaid airtime. And by failing to do so CNN appears to be more like a supermarket tabloid than a cable news network.

What’s next on CNN, “Woman impregnated by outer space alien through artificial insemination gives birth”? Wait a minute, that’s Rael’s other story.

Scientology fought the IRS for many years in the United States before finally achieving tax-exempt status.

Now in New Zealand after almost half a century, the organization often called a “cult,” has been officially recognized as a “charity,” reports The New Zealand Herald.

However, Scientology has not done so well elsewhere in world.

In England it has been refused charitable status and in Switzerland it is seen as little more than a nuisance. Both France and Spain have prosecuted the organization criminally.

According to one Swiss report, “Scientology declares its seminar fees as donations…to legitimize tax exemption and justify the harsh business practices.”

And Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard once referred to the group’s methods as a “hard sell” approach. Sounds more like a “con” than a “church” doesn’t it?

Apparently, though the “hard sell” may have worked in New Zealand, Hubbard’s creation is still having difficulties in other parts of the world, where critics don’t seem to think it’s such a charitable concern.

“Cult leader” Dwight “Malachi” York is locked up without bail in Georgia on a 208-count indictment for sexually abusing children. He now faces the possibility of life in prison, probably housed in protective custody, where most convicted child molesters end up.

But York’s devoted followers still believe in him.

The man once proclaimed as the “Imperial Grand Potentate” has more recently received bad press, so his loyal disciples have created their own newspaper that they hope will influence public opinion and the potential jury pool.

A Nuwaubian newspaper called “The Macon Messenger” is now being passed out where York will eventually stand trial, reports the Macon Telegraph.

The “tabloid” of course claims that the “cult leader” has been framed and villifies the sheriff, who is supposedly to blame for York’s misfortune. Proof of the old adage, “If you don’t like the message, kill the messenger.”

This is also an old cult strategy. That is, attack others and try to shift the focus from your group and/or leader to someone or something else. Jim Jones and David Koresh both used such tactics, creating scapegoats and elaborate conspiracy theories, rather than face the consequences of their own actions.

The Nuwaubians even made the ridiculous claim that the McMartin School child sexual abuse case in California somehow paralleled York’s indictment. Nothing could be further from the truth. The McMartin case relied upon “recovered memories,” which were later discredited, while York’s charges are corroborated by mulitple witnesses who can’t forget what he did to them.

It has been said that some Nuwaubians knew that York molested children and did nothing. Now their denial appears to have reached new proportions.

Often cult members, who are deeply invested in a group through years of involvement, emotional commitment and/or personal sacrifices, will do or deny almost anything to protect their sense of equity.

Brigitte Boisselier the CEO of “Clonaid” and a bishop within the “cult” group called the “Raelians” announced this morning at a news conference in Hollywood, Florida that the first human clone has been born. And it was covered live by CNN.

Artist and pop icon Andy Warhol once said a day would come when everyone would have “15 minutes” of fame, but CNN decided to give Boisselier 30 uninterrupted minutes of exclusive coverage.

The Clonaid spokeswoman was often defensive regarding media reports that have frequently questioned her reliability and any claims made by the group about its cloning experiments.

The Roslin Institute who cloned the first mammal reported massive failure rates and unexplained abnormalities. They have said only 1% of their cloned embryos even developed into living offspring and many died late in pregnancy or soon after birth.

Never mind. Boisselier claims a stunning 50% success rate on Clonaid’s first ten implantations. And a successful first time birth for her Christmas clone.

Despite her position as CEO of Clonaid and the media description that she is a “scientist” Boisselier is not a medical doctor or a geneticist and is a “bishop” within the Raelian Church. The cleric did once teach chemistry at Hamilton College in upstate New York.

Boisselier stood at a podium alone. No baby, no parents and not even a single scientist from the supposed Clonaid “team” was there to corroborate any of her claims. She said that Clonaid scientists and the parents were not yet ready to face the public.

It must have been a slow news day for CNN.

The Cloning company CEO also said, “The Parents may have to go to some secret location depending upon how you treat them.”

The alleged clone is a baby girl named “Eve” and supposedly weighs 7 pounds. She is supposedly the clone of her 31-year-old American mother. The baby was born in an as of yet unidentified country, which Boisselier refused to identify.

The Clonaid spokeswoman stated, “There will be proof” and then introduced Michael Guillen. Guillen who is not a medical doctor came forward at the news conference. He identified himself as a “free lance journalist,” Ph.D. physicist and former employee of ABC News. Guillen then advised that it would be his unpaid task to coordinate an independent team of “world class” scientists to verify Clonaid’s claims.

Members of that scientific team were not identified at the news conference.

Guillen said it would take a week to conclude testing, but Boisselier added later that it might require 9 days.

The Raelian bishop and Clonaid CEO thanked her “spiritual leader” Claude Vorilhon known as “Rael.” She said though that he is not involved personally with Clonaid, which was established in 1997. But Boisselier said it was his “leadership” and apparent inspiration that launched the project.

Rael” and his Raelians believe that the human race is the result of alien science. And Boisselier acknowledged that belief during her press conference.

Vorilhon also claims that he has met alien beings from outer space that transported the future “cult” leader to another planet, where he was formally introduced to both Jesus and Buddha.

Boisselier, who is French, said that a court in France revoked her child custody largely due to her commitment to Rael.

According to the Clonaid spokeswoman four more mothers are now carrying clones. One is in Northern Europe, two are of Asian origin and yet another is North American. None are Raelians, Boisselier said.

The Clonaid CEO says those currently involved in cloning experiments have not paid for their participation, but admitted that they had all invested in Clonaid, which is a private company.

20 more implantations are supposedly scheduled for January, but Boisselier offered no further details. She also said that Clonaid plans to open more “clinics” around the world and that there are thousands waiting to become its customers.

The next cloned baby is allegedly due in a week and the remaining 3 will be delivered by February. Again, an astonishing success rate if it can ever be verified independently.

Is all this real or another Raelian publicity stunt?

Claude Vorilhon or “Rael” seems to have an insatiable desire for ego gratification through media attention.

His first sensational claim was that he was raising money for an “embassy” to greet visitors from out space, which brought him a few interviews. Then it was cloning. More recently his group encouraged cross burning in Canada to protest the Catholic Church.

Given the “race car driver’s” seeming addiction to media coverage the whole cloning process looks like just another publicity ploy to gain attention.

However this story ends up one thing will remain real for Rael. The “cult” leader has succeeded once again in extending his own “15 minutes,” and probably confirming his worldwide importance to faithful Raelians.

It also seems likely that the Raelians will soon come up with any number of excuses, rationalizations and/or fantastic stories to explain the failure of any credible scientists to independently verify their cloning claims.

Perhaps then cloning, like Rael’s outer space travel, will become part of the group’s religious mythology.

Maybe then Boisselier will have another news conference to announce that a “conspiracy” to suppress “science” and discredit her “spiritual leader” has taken place.

However, the “bishop”/CEO might just have a harder time getting CNN live coverage for that pronouncement, unless of course it’s a slow news cycle or a crucial ratings period.

A Sci-fi “cult” named the “Raelians” has ginned up their publicity machine to gain as much attention as possible and some Canadians are joking about it.

The group led by “Rael,” once known as Claude Vorilhon, says it’s going to produce the first cloned human any day now.

And Canadian columnist Mike Argento jokes, “It makes perfect sense that a group that believes aliens created us as an experiment would perfect human cloning.”

However, despite all the hype Vorilhon has not offered one piece of objective evidence to date that substantiate his grandiose cloning claims, reports Associated Press.

When he testified before the Congress of the United States he cited no proof that could be verified, he just talked and talked and talked. Rael likes to talk.

Brigitte Boisselier is shepherding this supposed “scientific breakthrough” for “Clonaid,” the company Rael and his group started. But the good doctor is not a geneticist or even a specialist in reproductive medicine; she is instead a chemist and a “bishop” within the Raelian Church.

Boissselier’s says her next client for a clone may be “Dracula.”

Uh huh.

Clonaid won’t tell where its facilities are, nor will they say where the cloned baby will be born. They allege a documentary is in the works, but won’t share the name of the Production Company.

This unidentified filmmaker will record the DNA testing to prove the Raelians have produced a clone.


So what’s at the bottom of this seemingly endless plethora of articles published about the Raelians and their coming clone?


It’s all apparently spin and fantasy without any meaningful substance.

So who is the joke really on?

Rael has had some fun, ego fulfillment, garnered much attention and free promotion. He certainly is happy. And when he abandons his latest publicity stunt the “cult leader” will walk away with a substantial stack of clippings, proof to faithful Raelians just how important he really is.

No, the real joke is on the media, and how easy it was for Rael to play them.