Jan Crouch and her husband Paul built a religious empire called Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) based in Costa Mesa California.

TBN is the largest Christian television network in the world and broadcasts from more than 5,000 stations. Its revenue in 2001 alone totaled $160 million.

Controversy has often surrounded the Crouch family and its kingdom.

Their authoritarian control of TBN, which is run something like a family business, charges of plagiarism and the earthly compensation the couple receive, are examples of persistent criticism.

Perhaps more troubling are allegations amongst conservative Christians that TBN promotes a “Prosperity Gospel,” and what some call the “Word of Faith” message.

One of the most popular preachers on TBN is Benny Hinn; a flamboyant faith healer often derided as a “fraud” through numerous television and press investigations reports D Magazine in Dallas.

Hinn claims numerous “miracles” have occurred at his revivals staged around the world. People that attend routinely say they have been “delivered” from cancer and Hinn supposedly has even helped to raise the dead.

However, none of these purported “miracles” have ever been proven objectively and conclusively.

Hinn may now have the opportunity to not only disprove his critics, but also to assist his long-time friends and sponsors at TBN.

Jan Crouch has been stricken with cancer.

The blond grandmother known for her tearful testimonies and heavy mascara almost as much as Tammy Faye Bakker was diagnosed with colon cancer in May.

But rather than relying upon a miracle the televangelist chose to undergo surgery.

Despite that surgery, at the end of May Crouch’s doctors found that the cancer had spread to her lymphatic system.

Will Benny Hinn now help to heal Crouch through divine intervention and demonstrate to skeptics that he is not a “fraud”?

Or will Paul Crouch become a widower while waiting for Hinn to facilitate such a “miracle”?

Stay tuned.

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.”