I remember back in the 80′s when TBN was controversial because they were showing Christian music videos and listening to Led Zeppelin backwards to see if they could hear the devil speak. How I wish it was those days again. Today the TBN controversy is not about doctrine or the return of Jesus or anything that might be construed as constructive but it is about a family feud that is more than likely going to bring the Christian TV network down the same way that PTL was brought down. It will be brought down by financial hanky panky and internal infighting. The Orange County Register has again released some pretty damning evidence against TBN and the way they use the donations sent in by viewers. This evidence was given by Brittany Koper, the granddaughter of Jan and Paul Crouch in a deposition given by her concerning the lawsuit that is ongoing between the grandparents and the granddaughter.
To me all of this is sad. The amount of family strife that is going on just because of the love of money. It has to break the heart of Jesus as well. It is obvious that Paul and Jan Crouch, regardless of whether they are violating IRS regulations about the dispersal of funds for ministry purposes or not, love their reputation and their organization more than they love their own flesh and blood. Here are some excerpts from the story.
TBN Family fighting like cats and dogs.
May 22nd, 2012, 12:00 am
posted by Teri Sforza, Register staff writer
We’ve been detailing charges of “extravagant” spending at the world’s largest Christian broadcaster – allegations leveled by a granddaughter against her grandfather, grandmother, uncle and aunt. We’ve been detailing IRS codes and compliance reviews and internal memos, but the drama over money at Trinity Broadcasting Network is at heart a family drama, with all the attendant emotions of betrayal, anger and, presumably, heartache.
Paul and Jan Crouch founded TBN back in 1973 — God spoke to Paul as he was driving on MacArthur Boulevard, he has said on air — and he promised to put up his last dollars to make it work. As soon as he made that sacrifice, the donations poured in, he said — and the prosperity gospel TBN preaches has become more wildly successful than he ever imagined. Trinity brings in nearly $200 million a year and has amassed net assets of nearly $1 billion, according to its latest tax returns. It is ”Jesus’s only network,” Jan Crouch has said, and has employed extended members of the Crouch family clan. Until recently.
Brittany Koper, the granddaughter at the root of the current ruckus, is the daughter of Paul Crouch Jr. — the founder’s namesake. After becoming Trinity’s finance director last summer, she tried to correct what she saw as financial excesses, she said in a 180-page declaration filed in Orange County Superior Court — objecting to, among many other things, the free-spending ways of her uncle Matthew Crouch and his wife, Laurie.
Her attempts were not well-received by others in her family, by her account. Soon, her grandfather told her “that Janice and Matthew Crouch ‘want your heads,’ referring to the biblical account of John the Baptist’s beheading by King Herod after John reproved Herod for certain transgressions,” Koper’s declaration reads. Grandmother Jan Crouch accused her of “biting the hand that feeds you,” and told her that she was a “naive little girl,” the declaration says. Her grandmother told her “that I must either do as I was told without asking questions or find myself ‘out on your ass,’ director Matthew Crouch likewise confronted Michael Koper (Koper’s husband) and I and said he would ‘destroy’ us in response to the specific financial improprieties concerning Matthew Crouch’s compensation that had been reported by me.”
Koper was fired shortly thereafter, and those closest to her went down with her, according to her account. “Each of the primary individuals who had supported my short-lived efforts as director of finance to reform TBN’s unlawful financial practices was subsequently terminated by TBN in retaliation for our stand and objection, including my father Paul Crouch, Jr, my husband Michael Koper, my number two in personnel, and myself,” her declaration says.
Koper’s declaration says, ”It is an understatement to say that I encountered tremendous resistance, particularly by TBN directors — and most particularly by my uncle, director Matthew Crouch, who I believed was guilty of the most glaring and dangerous violations of law concerning excess benefit transactions, kickbacks, self-dealing, and outright fraudulent conduct.”
She particularly objected to $50 million transferred from TBN to Matthew Crouch’s Gener8Xion film company over a decade, she continued. She pointed to invoices for $1.2 million to Gener8Xion
“related to the non-existed 3D Jesus movie,” as well as invoices for $19,527 sought by Matthew Crouch and his wife “to renovate one of their many company provided homes.”
“I was specifically instructed by John Casoria at TBN (attorney and family member) that one of my primary functions as TBN’s new head of finance was to invent ‘business purposes’ for every expenditure submitted for reimbursement or payment by TBN’s directors, or for personal expenses run through company credit cards by the director.”
Attorneys for Trinity have said that Koper and her husband are guilty of the true financial misdeeds, and accuse them of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from Trinity by granting themselves and others company loans. Trinity has called her assertions in this declaration nonsense and an attempt to divert attention from her own bad behavior — but it was Trinity who tried to keep Koper’s declaration under wraps.
Any problems for Trinity would likely come from the government side, if from anywhere. Koper made documents available to the Internal Revenue Service; the IRS has no comment on what, if anything, it is doing with them.
If you’d like to peruse the Koper declaration for yourself, it is posted here.
Does anyone think that the family feud at Trinity Broadcasting Network is just sick?
Here you have the whole morbid story. Grandparents pitted against a grandchild. An uncle trying to cover his proverbial backside. A father shoved in the middle of family strife and a grandchild that was trying to get people to obey the law. How sick is that? And to top it all off, people sending their hard earned money to pay for it all. This has got to stop! I am calling on all of you to do 2 things. If you support Trinity Broadcasting Network then please send them a letter informing them that until they clean up their financial house and show total compliance and transparency in their financial dealings that you will no longer support them. Hit them in the spot they love the most. Secondly bring this story to it’s full light. People with nothing to hide have no fear of the light being shown on what is happening. So far TBN has threatened, used the courts, and claimed they are being treated badly. Well make them bring it all out in the open. Make them show the truth. Make them open their books to a non partisan Evangelical financial accountability firm that will either expose or vindicate what they have been doing.
How do you do that? You are not powerful you say? Do you know the power of social media? Get this story out and into the public until there is such a public outcry that the government, and the supporters of TBN have to do something. It can be done. It has been done before.