Robert Tilton

Lost Robert Tilton pastor

 

Robert Tilton: Speaking in Tounge


"Komo badde soto ha!" If Bob Larson is televangelism's Dennis Rodman, then Robert Tilton is its Magic Johnson. Before his unfortunate 1991 dumpster-diving accident involving ABC's Diane Sawyer, the tongues-wagging Tilton was THE definition of "over the top." According to Trinity Foundation's Rev. Ole Anthony, Tilton had ordered prayer requests sent to him thrown in the trash -- before they were even read. And he ought to know: he dug some of them from the dumpster of Tilton's Tulsa bank.
Tilton distinguished himself with his innovative response, which probably had the virtue of never having been tried. Adamantly denying PrimeTime Live's accusations, he even went so far as to claim that the prayer requests were planted in the dumpster, and that he had prayed over them so hard that the ink on the requests had invaded his bloodstream, causing several small strokes. The treatment: plastic surgery to fix the bags under his eyes. Click here for the reference.

 

Robert Tilton: Pentecostal "prosperity gospel" Preacher

“At his peak he purchased 5,000 hours of air time per month and appeared in all 235 U.S. television markets. His daily Success-N-Life show reached nearly every television set in North America. Tilton's mass-market ministry pulled in an estimated $80 million per year, and his church drew as many as 5,000 worshippers to Sunday service.

Tilton gleaned the donations by pitching a narrow, well-oiled version of the Pentecostal "prosperity gospel." In exchange for $1,000 "vows" from followers, Tilton promised to lobby God for miraculous improvements in their health and finances. According to one survey, he spent 68 percent of his air time asking for money. "If Jesus Christ were alive today and walking around, he wouldn't want his people driving Volkswagens and living in apartments," explained Tilton, who favored a Jaguar or Mercedes-Benz and lived a lavish private life in mansions in San Diego and Dallas.

Then came November 21, 1991. On that evening, ABC's PrimeTime Live aired the findings of a six-month investigation into the ministries of Tilton and two other local TV preachers, W.V. Grant and Larry Lea.

The segment on Tilton was by far the most damning. At its heart was the accusation that Tilton never saw the vast majority of prayer requests and personal correspondence sent to him by faithful viewers. On the air, Tilton promised to pray over each miracle-request. But on the ground, ABC said it found thousands of those requests and viewers' letters dumped in garbage bins in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Checks, money orders, and in some cases cash, food stamps, and even wedding rings sent by followers had been removed for deposit at a nearby bank.

 

Robert Tilton - "We've Seen Migets Grow!"

 

Lawsuits from outraged followers quickly followed, along with further media exposes concerning dumped prayer requests. (Tilton claimed the trashed prayer requests were part of a plot against the church.) State Attorney General Dan Morales launched a fraud investigation of Tilton's ministry, and the FBI and U.S. Postal Service subpoenaed the church's records the day after the ABC broadcast” ….

“The problem is that mailing lists grow stale when the TV screen stays dark too long. Now, though, it's bright once more. Tilton's toll-free prayer line is up and running, and his Tulsa, Oklahoma, post office box awaits a hoped-for onslaught from the faithful. Every weekday between 11 a.m. and noon Eastern Standard Time, a fiberoptic telephone line carries the voice and image of Robert Tilton out of a small TV studio in Miami Beach. The signal runs under city streets and across Biscayne Bay until it reaches WPBT-Channel 2, a public television station in North Miami. A for-profit affiliate of the station called Comtel beams Tilton's brand-new Success-N-Life show up through the heavens to a satellite transponder.

What hasn't changed is Tilton's repetitious message. He quotes a bit of Scripture and speaks in tongues, but mostly he pushes emotional buttons: Cancer. Emphysema. Alcoholism. Credit card addiction. Job layoffs. These ailments can be cured through faith. But faith requires proof, a "vow." To make a vow, preferably $1,000, call the 800 number on the screen. (When a reporter called the hotline to seek solace regarding credit card addiction, a telemarketer took less than a minute recording his name, phone number, address, date of birth, and type of ailment, promising to pass on the information to Pastor Bob.)

Corporate records show that Tilton registered his nonprofit Word of Faith World Outreach Center Church Inc. in Florida more than a decade ago, but the registration is inactive. There are a few titillating hints in the Broward County court files: a trio of traffic tickets handed out over the years (one for doing 93 in a 55 m.p.h. zone on Christmas Eve, another for "failure to use due care," and a third this April for driving without registration documents.) Computer research reveals 12 addresses used by Tilton in the last decade, three of them in Fort Lauderdale. But two of those are commercial mail drops, and the last, a $500,000 waterfront vacation home in the Rio Vista, Florida, neighborhood, was sold last year as part of Tilton's divorce settlement with his first wife; ditto for his 38-foot fishing boat.

Federal records show that Tilton bought a 50-foot Carver motor yacht last year in Fort Lauderdale for $500,000. In July 1996, he told a judge in Dallas that he was living aboard and making $4,000 monthly payments on the boat, which he named the Liberty Leigh. (He is presently building a two-story home on a $1.39 million oceanfront lot on an island in Biscayne Bay off Miami Beach, and his ministry owns a 50-foot yacht. His ministry takes in about $24 million a year)

Cross examination of Leigh Valentine, September 4, 1996, court testimony:

"Bob's mail ministry is a lie and a total deception. He does not write those letters. He did not even proofread them during our marriage. He makes it sound like [he's] writing to you right now, this is what God spoke to me for your life, Jesus will appear to you tonight; if you sleep with this little red cord under your pillow, you will prosper. He doesn't even know what's going out to those people, and he doesn't care, as long as they send their money in. One time he said in one of the letters that was sent, I will be taking these to the East Coast to pray for you by the ocean where Jesus prayed for his people. So we flew to Fort Lauderdale and we checked into a four- or five-star hotel on the beach and got a nice penthouse view... That is stealing from people. Most of those people are on welfare. They're little Hispanics and blacks. And he even said, what I do is I look at a map and we go after the ghettoes, we go after those on welfare, we go after those that don't read, those that are lower socioeconomic backgrounds. That's who we send our letters to..." For the reference click here

 

The TRUE Prosperity Gospel (Paul Washer)