Benny Hinn is a Fake!

by David J. Stewart

       At Benny Hinn's crusades—he dazzles the crowds, plays captivating music, and manipulates the emotions of the audience; BUT, he is not of God.  What is happening is not of God.  Benny Hinn is a master con artist, who fully understands the human psyche.  I was watching one of Benny Hinn's crusades the other day on TV.  At first impression, Benny Hinn appears as a man of God.  He has that curious and distinguishing look that mesmerizes the crowds.  Benny Hinn comes across as an extremely interesting character, with the power to hypnotize the masses with his charm, music, and exploitation of the Bible. 

As I watched Benny Hinn perform on stage, it reminded me more of a rock star in concert.  There were many thousands of people in the audience, and no doubt, millions more on TV.  Just as rock-n-roll fans, the audience was in the palm of the performer, Benny Hinn.  Hinn never mentioned the word "sin," never mentioned the word "Saviour," but just kept talking about how wonderful Jesus is.  This is one of Satan's greatest deceptions. 

We read in Acts16:16-18, "And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.  And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour."  Just as the demon possessed woman in Acts 16:17 who spoke the truth while also serving the Devil, so does Benny Hinn speak of Jesus Christ while serving the Devil.

Hinn's money comes mostly from people in TV land, who are foolishly conned by what they see on TV.  It couldn't be more obvious that Benny Hinn has hired a top-notch group of manipulators to work with him. 

One of the camera tricks which Hinn employs is to zoom in on certain audience members who look like they're having a religious experience.  Seeing someone having such an uplifting experience, while hearing the emotion-producing music, and listening to Hinn ramble on with religious lingo, easily mesmerizes the viewer. 

As I watched Benny Hinn, he told the audience to get ready to receive the power of the Holy Spirit.  Next, hundreds of people towards the front, dressed differently than the people in the back, all fell backwards to the floor.  It was apparent to me that the event was staged.  Then came the alleged healings.  During the healing period of the crusade, several dynamic, sharp-looking, and trained people bring forth the alleged recipients of Hinn's healing power.  To no surprise, as is COMMON to self-proclaimed faith-healers like Oral Roberts, ALL of the healings are unable to be substantiated.  A small boy was brought up on stage, allegedly deaf in one ear since birth, but now able to hear. 

Another woman in a wheel-chair was wheeled up to the platform, allegedly crippled from diabetes, then she walked on stage.  Another man was claimed to have been deaf in both ears from birth, but now was healed.  Then Hinn prompted the man to speak in an attempt to confirm the healing, and he did speak.  So when did the man learn to speak if he was deaf his whole life? 

I'd like to see someone with no legs receive their legs back.  Why doesn't Benny Hinn ever go into a hospital and empty it out of all it's sick patients?  Why only on stage, behind the camera, while asking for money?  Benny Hinn ministries took in over $100,000,000 last year alone.  Again, I ask, why doesn't Hinn ever use his alleged power to heal the sick people in hospitals?  The reason is abundantly clear ... Hinn is a fraud. 

Hinn, like John Edward, Sylvia Browne, Oprah Winfrey, Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, and so many other false prophets, EXPLOITS Christianity and God's Word to gain wealth, prosperity, control, influence, and popularity.  God's power is not for sale.  Do you really think God would allow anyone to exploit his power on stage, for money, and to a false prophet who praises the cult of Catholicism?  Satan is working relentlessly through today's false prophets to UNITE Christianity with false religion, which is APOSTASY!  When Constantine declared Christianity as the official religion of Roman in 380 A.D., it led to total apostasy, and the beginning of the formal Roman Catholic cult. 

Don't be deceived, Benny Hinn and Billy Graham are false prophets who are leading ecumenical churches into the New World Order (the beast system of the coming Antichrist).  Satan knows that the easiest way to deceive people is to obscure and blur the truth of God's Word.  This is why we see so many watered-down Bibles nowadays.  This is why we see Protestants praising Catholics, and Catholics protecting homosexual priests, and homosexuals twisting the Bible around to claim that Sodom and Gomorrah's sin was only a lack of hospitality.  The Word of God is under attack!

The Bible teaches that the gift of healing ended with the Apostles.  The sign gifts were only to validate the message of the Apostles.  This is evidenced by the Biblical fact that the Apostle Paul, who had once been healed of a deadly snake bite, couldn't find relief for his thorn in the flesh later in 2nd Corinthians 12:7.  2nd Timothy 4:20 also states that Paul couldn't heal his friend Trophimus, "...but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick."  Paul spoke of Timothy's "often infirmities" in 1st Timothy 5:23, but he couldn't heal his friend Timothy either.  Clearly, the "gift" of healing had ceased.  If you want to read an excellent in-depth Biblical examination of tongues, healing, and gifts, then please read FACE TO FACE WITH TONGUES by Pastor Max D. Younce.

In Benny Hinn's crusades, he sings, he praises the name of Jesus, he places his hands on people and they fall to the ground; BUT, it is not of the Holy Spirit.  I'd like to see Benny Hinn cry one time.  I'd like to hear Benny Hinn expose the demonic Catholic religion.  Benny Hinn is a fraud!  According to a Dateline investigation in December of 2002...

Where does world-famous televangelist's money go?

Benny Hinn has millions of believers and millions in donations

NBC News

Dec. 27, 2002 - Maybe you spotted him while you were channel surfing one night
or maybe you were already tuned in. Either way, he's hard to ignore. Benny
Hinn - televangelist, faith healer, and appointment viewing for millions of
believers. His popularity and his wealth are matched only by the devotion he
's shown by his followers, many of them desperate for help. Their stories
and his ministry play out almost every night in made-for-TV mini-dramas. But
there are other stories, other scenes that reveal much more about Pastor
Benny, caught on Dateline's hidden cameras. Correspondent Bob McKeown

   HE ALWAYS ARRIVES onstage when they begin to sing the hymn, "How Great
Thou Art."

    And whether you measure success in his TV ratings, attendance at his
live services or crusades around the world, or the money he raises, he is
unquestionably one of the most popular and successful televangelists in the
world today. His television show is available around the globe. He attracts
capacity crowds at arenas and stadiums at home and abroad. And scenes like
this one in his TV studio are a big reason why:

    Benny Hinn: "Yes Lord. A lower back is being healed. Thank you Lord.
Emphysema is being healed. We rebuke it in Jesus' name. Somebody's legs have
just been healed."

      On television or at his crusades, Benny Hinn promises that wherever
he goes, miraculous healing will follow.

    Benny Hinn: "In the name of Jesus, I rebuke the allergies out of you.
Touch! - The glory of God is in the studio. We are having a visitation in
the studio today as we have been taping these TV programs."

    Those miracles, Hinn says, can cure injury and illness - even
terminal disease.

    Benny Hinn: "The healing may happen instantly, and may happen
gradually but surely as God is God, your legs will work again, and your body
will be healed again."

    And according to Benny Hinn, it gets even more miraculous than that.

    Benny Hinn: "On the program today, you are going to see a clip of
this man who was raised from the dead."

    Those dramatic claims - and his dynamic preaching style - have
attracted millions of devoted followers, like Carlotta Moore.

    "When I go to a crusade, I'm going because I need to be refreshed. I
need to be renewed. I need to be revived in my spirit," says Carlotta Moore.

    Moore says she also watches Benny Hinn's TV show everyday.

    "The Bible speaks of spiritual fathers," says Moore. "That is my
spiritual father. He's a leader. And he is a mentor."


    And he is a master fund raiser as well, so along with that devotion
comes money - a lot of it. Though pastor Benny denies it, estimates of total
ministry revenue exceed $100 million a year.

    Benny Hinn insists his only mission is to preach the gospel, save
souls, and heal the sick. But is there more than that to the man they call
pastor Benny?

    "Dateline" looked at the ministry of pastor Benny Hinn, who claims
miraculous power flows from God through him. We'll take a closer look at all
his healings and at all the money that goes into his collection buckets.

     Hinn was born in the Middle East, raised in Canada, and modeled
himself after a faith healer, the legendary Katherine Kuhlman. Hinn started
a church in Orlando, almost two decades ago. By 1999, he'd left Florida,
building his ministry's administrative headquarters in Dallas and his TV
studio in southern California where he now lives.

    Hinn's claims of miracles have made him immensely popular, but those
healings, combined with his ministry's enormous wealth, have also triggered
scrutiny of a different kind.

      "I say he's in the business of raising money and spreading his own
celebrity," says Ole Anthony, who heads the Trinity Foundation - a Christian
watch-dog group that examines the workings of television ministries. The
organization operates on donations, grants, and sales of its magazine and

    Ole Anthony himself has been highly critical of television preachers
who don't divulge the details of how they raise and spend their money -
especially Benny Hinn.

    "We've gotten most of the complaints lately from Benny's organization
and Benny's followers," says Anthony. "That became our focus, we've been
following him intently since 1993."

    "Dateline" asked the Trinity Foundation to provide access to, among
other things, documents and videotape it's collected about the Hinn
Ministry. We reimbursed the foundation for its costs.

    And we also went looking for some answers ourselves. For almost two
years, "Dateline" sought permission to videotape Benny Hinn's crusades, to
see how this affluent television ministry really works.

    Eventually we were allowed to bring our cameras to a crusade in
Atlanta. But the ministry made it clear we were only permitted to tape the
first hour or so. Then after Hinn's entrance, a few hymns and some saving of
souls, we were told to stop.


    So, in order to try to find out what really goes on behind the scenes
of the Benny Hinn Ministry, we attended a number of other crusades and
walked in right though the front door with everybody else. Only this time,
the cameras were hidden.

    At least once a month, somewhere in the U.S., 50,000 or 60,000 people
attend one of Benny Hinn's two-day crusades. Over the past two years, we
followed pastor Benny around the country to Hampton, Virginia; Las Vegas;
Buffalo, and a few cities in between.

    At each of the crusades we attended, the faithful began to arrive
hours before the service. And so did we with our hidden cameras.

    But even when you get there early, the best sections are already
taken - reserved for major donors, church VIPs and, at the back, for the
disabled and those in wheelchairs.

    In Buffalo, we found our seats high up in the bleachers and we began
recording the service in the middle of that noisy crowd with a hidden
microphone and camera.

    What brings the faithful out to see Benny Hinn is the healing. The
expectation that sometime tonight they're going to see, or perhaps even be -
one of those people who arrive desperately ill and leave miraculously cured.
 What brings the faithful out to see Benny Hinn is the healing. The
expectation that sometime tonight they're going to see, or perhaps even be -
one of those people who arrive desperately ill and leave miraculously cured.

      The script - Benny Hinn's tried-and-true formula - was always the
same. And it always started with the music. There's an orchestra, a heavenly
host of local church choirs, and an all-star cast of Christian headliners.
The crowd's emotional temperature seems to rise, as they anxiously wait for
pastor Benny.

    "It's organized more closely than a political convention," says Ole
Anthony, of the Trinity Foundation. "There's the repetitive music, there's
the mood lighting, there's this whole arrangement of waiting and waiting and
waiting until he comes on stage. The band is playing, "How Great Thou Art"
and then the process starts."

    Once he arrives onstage, pastor Benny preaches, prays and spiritually
tends his flock.

    Benny Hinn: "If you mean business with God, he means business with

    At a Benny Hinn crusade, you can't help but notice the faith of his
followers and how much they appear to believe in him and his healing

    The impression one gets being among that crowd is that whatever's
happening down there on the stage, however it may or may not be
choreographed, these people have come because they truly believe.

    "There's no question that the people that are there have strong
belief or a strong want-to-belief," says Anthony, "and so they respond."


    In fact, all evening, throughout the arena, the tension keeps
building because everyone here knows what's going to happen next.

    Benny Hinn: "There's power here, people. Lift your hands and receive

    According to pastor Benny, that "power" will soon lead to miracles:

    Benny Hinn: "By moving those legs that have been crippled for all
those years."

    This is from a highlights tape we bought from the ministry's Web

    Benny Hinn: "You're tired of all the pills you've taken, and all the
needles they put in your body and all the pain you felt. Well, I'm here to
tell you, you will be healed tonight!"

      After the preaching, there's the passing of the collection buckets.
And then comes the moment when Benny Hinn makes his much-anticipated
announcement - God is speaking to him, he says, revealing a multitude of
miracles, actual healings now taking place throughout the arena, some of
them very specific.

    Benny Hinn: "There is a young man named George. George has HIV. But
my brother George, the holy ghost is burning it out of your body!"

    At all of the evening crusades we attended, it was about 10 p.m. when
Hinn announced God was speaking to him.

    Benny Hinn: "Another arthritis has been healed."

    Benny Hinn's ministry says that in order to verify the miraculous
healings that have taken place, it screens those who claim they've been
healed before they get up on stage.

    First, Hinn staff members talk to the people who get in line. This
screener is even a doctor and he evidently thinks this woman is a good
candidate to announce her healing up on the platform with pastor Benny.

    Doctor: "No pain? Great job. You couldn't do that before? (As she
moves her head around.) That is neat. Yeah, take her up there."

    The people selected by the screeners are then introduced to Benny
Hinn and the capacity crowd. Those who've been healed, and others who attend
each service, are given a blessing by pastor Benny with his own personal
touch. And whether he blows or flicks or waves his hand, the faithful are
strewn across the floor like bowling pins. So what exactly is at work here?


    "They'd fall down," says Michael Cohen. "They'd fall backwards. He'd
blow on them. They'd fall over. And I thought these were actors that came in
and they paid them so much. And they had a string and they pulled them

    Even some who were skeptics at first soon became believers, like
Michael Cohen.

    "And when I finally went up there, I ended up falling down," says
Cohen. "I closed my eyes but I knew that Benny didn't push me. I knew I wasn't
 pulled or tugged. I knew that was God touching me."

    But Ole Anthony says he thinks it's a phenomenon that has much more
to do with mass hypnosis than religion.

    "And they watch him on television over and over and over for years,"
says Anthony. "And they see it, they expect it, they see other people
upstage are falling over right and left. Sometimes Benny falls over the
place. It's a circus. It's like professional wrestling."

    Bob McKeown: "But in fact he's been on the record time and time again
saying he is not a healer."

    Ole Anthony: "Of course."

    Bob McKeown: "It's God who heals."

    Ole Anthony: "Of course."

    Bob McKeown: "He's just the vessel that's been chosen."

    Ole Anthony: "What's the reason that people come to the crusades?
What's the main thing that happens onstage? That's his attraction. He
promotes himself as a healer, as a healing ministry."

    But according to former Hinn insiders, there's a great deal more to
Benny Hinn's crusades than what you see on television - and what we've found
supports that. A woman who worked at crusades said she was instructed to
look particularly for those standing in front of their wheelchairs.

    Benny Hinn: "Look at all the empty wheelchairs here in Las Vegas,

    Empty wheelchairs apparently imply there's been a lot of healing
going on. But for every one of the people declared healed by pastor Benny on
stage and on TV, many more leave the arena still sick or disabled.

    "Desperate people, the really desperate ones, the ones that break
your heart are at the back on the crusade, they won't let them up in the
lines," says Anthony.

    The broadcasts of Benny Hinn's crusade in Buffalo did not include
what our hidden camera captured. This man was escorted from his seat by
security guards after crying out for pastor Benny to touch his apparently
ill son. "I wanted to take my son up there and get prayed. That's all I
wanted," he said.

    So not everyone who wants to get up on stage is allowed to. But what
happens to those who are called up on the platform to be touched by pastor
Benny? To try to find out, we attended a crusade in Las Vegas, and we did
our best to keep track of each and every one of the miracles Benny Hinn
proclaimed. By our count, there were 56 of them in all - many of which ended
up on this videotape we purchased through the ministry.

    This little boy said his damaged vision was cured: "And as soon as
God healed me, I could see better."

    According to one woman, her cancer was gone. Hinn said God told him a
demon had caused the cancer, and he cast it out.

    Benny Hinn: "Go out of her! It's gone!"

    One woman said she had a diseased lung.

    Benny Hinn: "The lord is asking me now to ask him to give you a new

    According to pastor Benny, she got that new lung, right there on

    Benny Hinn: "That's why she's coughing... that's why she's coughing."

    And there was this woman, who said she was cured of lung cancer. She
says: "She had cancer in the lungs. She don't have it now!"


    In his 25 years of healing, there have been thousands of similar
stories from Hinn's followers - none of them more famous than this one. At a
crusade in 1994, Benny Hinn came to the aid of the former heavyweight
champion of the world. Evander Holyfield had lost his boxing license because
a medical test had revealed a serious heart ailment.

    Benny Hinn (at a crusade): "The Lord is telling me right now he is
repairing Holyfield's heart completely."

    Reportedly, Holyfield promised Hinn a check for $265,000, and before
long, he got a clean bill of health, and won the world title back.

    But Benny Hinn doesn't only minister to the rich and famous.

    Bob McKeown: "And you needed a miracle."

    Belva Ventura: "Oh, did I."

    Bob McKeown: "You and your son."

    Belva Ventura: "Yes."

      We met Belva Ventura at a crusade in Worcester, Massachusetts. She
and her son had both been diagnosed with cancer. Both had been told it was
terminal. Before long, she and her son were on stage in front of 14,000
people, right next to pastor Benny.

    Bob McKeown: "And what did Pastor Hinn say to you?"

    Belva Ventura: "Oh, he hugged us. And he put his arm around me. And
he couldn't believe all the cancer in one family. And he said we're gonna
get this cancer out of this house right now. It's not gonna bother you no
more. And we came home, we were happy. I was healed. I know I was."

    The question is, despite all the claims, how does anyone really know
if Belva Ventura or any of the others was indeed miraculously healed at one
of Benny Hinn's crusades?

    So we asked pastor Benny to help us follow up on some of the people
we saw on his stage. Then we did some following up of our own.

    Bob McKeown: "As far as you know, the ministry has no idea whether
your cancer is still there or not."

    Belva Ventura: "No."

    Bob McKeown: "Whether you're alive or not."

    Belva Ventura: "No. No. they don't."

    Benny Hinn: "But as surely as God is God - your legs will work again,
and your body will be healed again, and your lungs will breathe again, and
your eyes will see again!"


    At all of his live crusades, Benny Hinn proclaims a breath-taking
litany of miraculous healing. Pastor Benny has said that everyone who gets
up on his platform has been checked by a doctor. His ministry also claims it
has a follow up process with people afterwards that it describes as
"exhaustive" and "thorough," and that medical information it collects is
reviewed first by a nurse, then by a doctor.

    So we wanted to find out how that process works and which of those
claims of miracles actually can be verified. We thought a good place to
start would be with the ministry itself. Last year, we asked Benny Hinn to
help us confirm the 56 healings we counted at just one of his crusades - the
one in Las Vegas.

      By the time we asked, dozens of those "miracles" had already been
broadcast around the world on his TV show, including the woman who Benny
Hinn said had grown a new lung right there on stage.

    Woman: "Feels like something in there, like someone was reaching in
my heart, in my lung."

    Benny Hinn: "I want you to go back to your earthly doctor, have him
give you an X-ray. I want to hear about it. I want a full story."

    But if Hinn knows the full story about who was healed in Las Vegas,
he's not sharing it with us. In a letter from its lawyer, the ministry
refused to provide proof of any of those healings to "Dateline."

    So since the ministry wouldn't give us any information, we did some
checking of our own about Las Vegas, and other reported healings.

    Remember the woman we met in Las Vegas who said she'd been cured of
lung cancer? With our hidden camera, we were able to go back stage to her
follow-up interview.

    Hinn staffer: "Now, what happened tonight that makes you feel God
touched you?"

    She did speak to a Hinn staff member, but it's hard to know how from
this conversation alone he could have known whether she was cured of cancer,
or even if she had it in the first place.

    Staffer: "That primary tumor can be one cell."

    She was asked a few questions, but it didn't appear to us that there
was any medical examination.

    Staffer: "Keep trusting God. Follow it up with your physicians. Thank
you so much. The Lord bless you all."

    Unfortunately, there's one thing we were able to determine about this
woman without the ministry's help. She died two and a half months after the
crusade. The cause was lung cancer.

    And then there was Evander Holyfield's heart ailment - which seemed
to disappear after that crusade in 1994 - touted as one of pastor Benny's
greatest healing successes.

    When Holyfield then won his world title back, it seemed a storybook
ending - except for one problem. According to the Nevada Athletic
Commission, two different clinics determined that Holyfield had been
misdiagnosed. His doctor had been given incomplete information about his
condition. In other words, there was nothing seriously wrong with Holyfield'
s heart in the first place. But three years later, pastor Benny was still
claiming credit for the champ's miraculous healing.

    On the "Larry King" show with Pastor Benny, he was aksed: "Evander
Holyfield credits you with curing his heart problem, although doctors said
that maybe it was misread in the first place."

    Hinn: "God healed him in one of our crusades, yeah."

    Evander Holyfield had no comment through his lawyer.


    And remember Belva Ventura, who said Benny Hinn cast out cancer from
her and her son?

      A few weeks after that crusade in Worcester, Massachusetts, Belva's
son died of cancer. When we visited several months later, she said she hadn'
t had a follow-up call from anyone in the Hinn organization.

    Bob McKeown: "As far as you know, the ministry has no idea whether
your cancer is still there or not."

    Belva Ventura: "No."

    Bob McKeown: "Whether you're alive or not."

    Belva Ventura: "No. No. they don't. Otherwise, they would have got
hold of me. Nobody did."

    Her physicians evidently were not convinced of her claims of healing.

    Bob McKeown: "What do your doctors say?"

    Belva Ventura: "They laugh. They look at me and they laugh. They don'
t believe me."

    Belva still believed apparently until the end. A month after our
visit, she died. The cause, her doctor told us, was cancer.

    Bob McKeown: "If Benny Hinn, by whatever means, can give people like
that hope, is that not a good thing?"

    Ole Anthony: "Then why don't we just - why doesn't the FDA approve
snake oil? And we could have snake oil salesmen run around offering and
saying, "This little tube of water here, cost you $1,000. And if you take
it, you'll be cured of cancer." It's the same thing except he's doing it in
God's name, which makes it terrible, terrible. He's lying. False hope has to
always be exposed. It must be exposed."

    Benny Hinn says it's possible for someone to be healed at one of his
crusades only to have the illness or injury return later. Here's how he
explains it:

    Benny Hinn: "This is your Day Vegas... My Friend, hear this well. The
reason people lose their healing, is because they begin questioning if God
really did it."

    That, says Ole Anthony, only makes matters even worse for those who
are desperately ill.

    "Now they're twice as bad off as they were before because now,
according to Benny, they've done something wrong," says Anthony.

    After repeated requests to verify healings - specifically the 56 we
saw at the crusade in Las Vegas - Benny Hinn's ministry sent us details of
what it said were five irrefutable and medically proven miracles, but none
was from the Las Vegas crusade we were asking about.

    The cases they gave us ranged from a herniated disc, to heart
problems, cancer and Lou Gehrig's disease. When we called them, all five
people insisted they had been healed, but four of them wouldn't or couldn't
provide their medical records, and we could not speak to their doctors.

    As for the woman who said she'd been healed of Lou Gehrig's disease,
for which there is no known cure, we did speak to her neurologist, who said
he suspected she didn't have Lou Gehrig's disease in the first place.

    Though the ministry says publicly that the medical information it
collects is reviewed by a nurse and a doctor, in a letter to us from its
lawyer, the ministry acknowledged to us that it is "... Impossible to
investigate and substantiate each and every one" of the healings proclaimed
at pastor Benny's crusades.

    But with our without absolute proof of the miracles, millions of
followers keep coming to the crusades, and continue to donate millions to
his ministry.

    But now, people who've worked inside the Hinn organization are
raising questions about where some of that money has gone.

Part two: Former insiders question what happened to some of the church money

Benny Hinn (at his crusade): "Only those who have been giving to God's work
will be spared."

    The money starts pouring in at Benny Hinn's crusades, thousands of
people filling hundreds of pastor Benny's collection buckets at every
service we attended.

    Chris Hinn: "One side cash, one side checks."

    A 1994 security tape shows Hinn staffers and volunteers counting the
collection money at a crusade.

    For three years in the mid-1990s, Mike Estrella says he was one of
those responsible for counting crusade collections in his capacity as Benny
Hinn's head usher.

    At the time, Estrella says, he was a devoted follower, and still
credits pastor Benny with curing his heart condition.

    Bob McKeown: "In cash, what was the biggest night you counted?"

    Mike Estrella: "In cash? Well, one night I counted $420,000."

    Steve Brock: "A dollar a day. Everybody say it with me - a dollar a

    It may sound like they start out small, but the numbers soon get very
big. According to documents provided by the Trinity Foundation, and
published reports - Benny Hinn has more than 100,000 people who promise to
give him a dollar-a-day. If they keep that pledge, that would add up to at
least $3 million a month - $36 million a year.

    The people on this list seemed to be even more generous than that -
it appears some of them pledged or gave more than $100,000 apiece last year.

    Benny Hinn: "The greatest thing you can do for your finances is to
give to the work of God."

    On TV, and at his crusades, Hinn promises that not only will God
improve your health, but your financial life as well - perhaps by getting
you out of debt with an unexpected financial windfall. But first, you have
to give money to his ministry. Hinn calls it "sowing the seed."

    Benny Hinn: "Amen. So expect a financial harvest but you have to sow
a seed to see it happen... you may want to call your seed in today. Our 800
number is on the screen."

    Hinn follower Carlotta Moore told us she sows a seed of $12,000 a
year with pastor Benny, and that she expects to be financially rewarded.

    Carlotta Moore: "Because the Bible say [sic] what you sow, you gonna
reap. Now if you sow good things, you gonna reap good."

    Bob McKeown: "But might that mean that if you give money, you get
money back?"

    Carlotta Moore: "Oh yes, you will get money back. You will get money
back. Out of the clear blue sky, checks will come from somewhere. You go to
put on a dress or something, or take out a pocketbook up there in the
closet. There is $50 or $60 laying up in there. You'll be like, 'Woah, woah,
woah. Thank you, Lord.' You understand?"

    And the money Benny Hinn's ministry gets is not only in the form of

    "He sells his books, he sells his tapes, he sells everything, and is
just a money machine, and money pours in," says Ole Anothony. "He's one of
the most successful money raisers in history."

    In recent years, the Hinn ministry's total annual income has
increased dramatically from $50 million in 1997 to the latest estimates -
that the ministry says are inaccurate - of more than $100 million a year.
And because the ministry is registered as a church, all that money is
tax-free and Benny Hinn is under no legal obligation to make his finances

    Bob McKeown: "Is there any way to know how much Benny Hinn makes?
Whether he's personally benefiting or not, and where the money goes?"

    Paul Nelson: "There really isn't, and that's why an organization like
ECFA has been formed."

    Paul Nelson is president of ECFA, the Evangelical Council for
Financial Accountability. Billy Graham, Pat Robertson, and the Salvation
Army are among its 1,000-plus members who voluntarily disclose to potential
donors more financial information than the law requires.

    "We believe that most people would like to know that the charities
that they give to are governed responsibly, that they practice disclosure of
their finances and other activities, they willingly answer questions, and
that they raise funds with integrity," says Nelson.

    Members release audited financial statements, including the salaries
of their ministers.

    Benny Hinn is not an ECFA member. He wouldn't tell us his annual
salary, but five years ago he acknowledged it was then between $500,000 and
$1 million a year.

    And Hinn won't specify how his ministry's money is spent, except to
say he doesn't personally benefit from any of it.

    Benny Hinn: "Every dollar you give this morning is going to the work
of the Lord."

    What Benny Hinn does tell his followers is that all their donations
are spent on God's work - for example, the expenses of his TV show and
crusades, the salaries of his staff, supporting churches and orphanages
around the world and more importantly.

    Benny Hinn: "So everything you give this morning is going for souls.
Is going for what?"

    The crowd repeats: "Souls."

    And many of his faithful, like Carlotta Moore, say they have no doubt
that's true.

    "We're not giving it to Pastor Benny, we're giving it to the ministry
to do the work the Pastor Benny has been entrusted to do," says Moore.

    But this former Hinn ministry staff member says he has reason to
question pastor Benny's sincerity.

    "And Benny was laughing and joking and saying, 'Hey guys watch how
much money I make tonight,'" says Michael Cohen.

    For years, Michael Cohen and his wife were church members. He also
belonged to Hinn's security detail, traveling the world with him. Cohen
recalls an incident after a service at the church where he says pastor Benny
bragged about his financial conquests.

    "Like one little grandmother one time came up and cried, I think she
said, this is my last $5. And we got back in the Green Room and he said,
'Ha, I got her last $5, guys,'" says Cohen.

    The ministry says the incident never happened.

    As for his lifestyle, pastor Hinn has explained that some of the
perks he has enjoyed like custom-made suits and expensive cars have been
paid for by his personal income, including the royalties from his many

    While that may be true and legal, it's only part of the story.
According to the Trinity Foundation, the biggest customer for pastor Benny's
books is pastor Benny's own ministry. Trinity says the Hinn ministry buys
thousands of the books for which Hinn apparently collects the royalties.

    The ministry then offers them for sale at crusades and on its Web
site, and gives them away to donors.

    According to Paul Nelson of ECFA, that kind of business deal is too
close for comfort, and wouldn't be allowed if Hinn belonged to his

    "Our standards prohibit the royalty in that case going to the
individual," says Nelson. "The royalty must go for the benefit of the

    The Hinn ministry also spends a great deal on pastor Benny's
lifestyle when he's on the road. These records show hotel suites for well
over a thousand dollars a night and transatlantic flights on the Concorde -
at more than $8,000 round trip. That is, before pastor Benny began flying in
a multi-million-dollar private jet.

    But Hinn contributor Carlotta Moore says that use of money given to
Hinn's church for God's work is just fine with her.

    "I'm pretty sure NBC's man that owns NBC probably got his own jet and
multimillion dollars," says Carlotta Moore. "Probably got houses here,
houses there, and this that and the other. And I believe that the preachers
of the gospel, I believe they should live better than even NBC's president."

    But Benny Hinn's followers may not know about how all of their
donations are spent. For example there's Hinn's palatial new home, now being
built for $3.5 million in an exclusive gated community overlooking the
Pacific Ocean.

    The plans call for more than 6,000 square feet - 7 bedrooms, 8
bathrooms and a basement garage with enough space for ten cars. Who's paying
for that? Not pastor Benny. That mansion on the Pacific is considered the
Hinn ministry's church residence or "parsonage," and the ministry is picking
up all the expenses for land, construction, even property taxes.

    The ministry says the house is a good investment, but Paul Nelson of
ECFA says Benny Hinn should be concerned about the perception of that house
deal. He says the expenditure of millions of dollars of church money on a
house for it's leader, is almost unprecedented.

    Bob McKeown: "Are you aware among your membership of any church
residence, parsonage, that is worth $3 million?"

    Paul Nelson: "I am not aware of that."

    Bob McKeown: "Not Billy Graham's..."

    Paul Nelson: "I don't believe so. No."

    Bob McKeown: "...residence? Pat Robertson's?"

    Paul Nelson: "I don't believe so."

    However it managed to pay for his house. Benny Hinn's ministry has
apparently had problems finishing other special projects.

    Since February of 2001, the Hinn Web site has been soliciting
donations for a new orphanage to be built in this little town outside Mexico
City saying it would be finished "soon."

    But when we checked in Mexico, more than a year-and-a-half later, we
could find no sign of any construction. But the Hinn web site kept promising
that construction would be finished in, "a few short months."

    That was news to the local official in charge of construction in the
town, who told us the Hinn ministry hadn't even been issued a building
permit yet.

    What we did find, however, was this sign - curiously not in Spanish,
but English - attached to a house the ministry called it's 'temporary
orphanage,' which appeared to be empty. The Hinn Web site continued to
solicit donations.

    And then there was pastor Benny's most ambitious project - his $25
million healing center to be built in Texas.

    Benny Hinn: "And the Lord said to me to build a healing center that
people can come to 24-hours a day, any day of the week to be prayed for and
get healed."

    That was Benny Hinn raising funds for the project in 1999, but this
was Benny Hinn on a Christian telethon a year later: "Many of our wonderful
friends have called and said, 'What's with the healing center?' and
basically what the Lord has said to me is to wait for his voice."

    Hinn announced that God had told him to postpone construction, so he
said he was going to spend that money on other things.

    Benny Hinn: "I am putting all the money we have in the ministry to
get out there and preach."

    According to ECFA's Paul Nelson, that kind of unilateral diversion of
funds would simply be unacceptable.

    "They're creating a backlog of funds and they're not really released
to spend those funds on anything else," says Nelson.

    But now apparently, pastor Benny has changed his mind again and says
the money raised for the healing center is being held in special ministry
accounts until the time is right.

    Benny Hinn: "The day will come, I am in no hurry, neither is God. The
day will come I will fulfill that vision."

    Remember Mike Estrella, who was the head usher at Hinn crusades? He
says one night, the ministry's chief executive officer offered him a wad of
cash taken from the collection.

    How much money? Mike Estrella says thousands.

    According to Estrella, the man who took that money from the
collection buckets was pastor Benny's righthand man, CEO Gene Polino.

    "I just push it back," says Estrella. "One day he told me these
words, he says 'Mike, if you follow me and listen to me, I guarantee one
thing, you never have to work again.'"

    After that Mike Estrella says, he began to watch Gene Polino more

    Estrella: "One time, Polino says give me all the hundreds and all the
fifties. And I did that. And many of them went to his pockets."

    Now how does he know that? "Because I saw him doing it," says

    In a telephone interview, Gene Polino, now retired as Hinn's CEO,
denied those claims.

    Gene Polino told "Dateline" he has "no problem" with Mike Estrella,
but that the former head usher sometimes got "confused." But two years ago,
in a deposition given under oath, Benny Hinn's 's brother Christopher, who
worked in a crusade counting room, testified he too saw Gene Polino
regularly stuff $50 and $100 bills into a bag. Christopher Hinn also
testified that the ministry CEO told him "...don't worry about it." Hinn and
Estrella both say they don't know if Polino kept the money they described
seeing him take.

    But Gene Polino told us none of it happened, insisting he never took
any money from the collections.

    Bob McKeown: "You categorically deny that?"

    Gene Polino: "Surely."

    Polino was never charged with any crime and the ministry says he did
not engage in any wrongdoing while employed by the church.

    Christopher Hinn and Mike Estrella both say they told Benny Hinn what
they saw, and we wanted to ask him about it. Through his lawyers and
spokesmen, Hinn repeatedly turned down our request for an interview. We
finally approached him outside his hotel after a crusade in Buffalo last

    Bob McKeown: "Pastor Hinn, I'm Bob McKeown from 'Dateline, NBC.'
Could we have a word with you? We would like to arrange an interview. As you
know, we've been trying to contact you."

    Benny Hinn: "I'm so tired right now. I'm worn out."

    Bob McKeown: "Well, we would be pleased to do it at any time you'd be

    Benny Hinn: "Alright."

    Bob McKeown: "In the near future. But as you know, we've been trying
to do this for several months now."

    Benny Hinn: "I know, I've been so busy."

    Bob McKeown: "And we haven't had much luck with you."

    Benny Hinn: "No, no, no, no, hey, hey, hey, gentlemen, please."

    Bob McKeown: "We seem to be having a bit of a problem with your
security detail here."

    Benny Hinn: "I know, I'm sorry about that."

    We did eventually get a final answer from Benny Hinn to our interview
request - it was still "no."

    Benny Hinn's brother Christopher has left the ministry after a
dispute with his brother, and the church says it has had no further dealings
with him.

    As for those other former Hinn insiders, head usher Mike Estrella and
security man Michael Cohen, they say that when they tried to complain to
pastor Benny about abuses in his organization, they were fired.

    In another letter from its lawyer, the ministry says Mike Estrella's
allegations are "unfounded and unsubstantiated," and that he was "... Acting
irresponsibly, maliciously or suffered from some impairment when making the

    As for Michael Cohen, the ministry says, "he is motivated by a
misguided personal vendetta against pastor Hinn and the church..." and
called him an "...unstable and unreliable source."

    Bob McKeown: "What would he say about you now, and the things you're
saying about him?"

    Michael Cohen: "He may tell people that haven't been around for
years, that I'm a disgruntled employee. The fact is, when I first started
working for him, for two years, I wouldn't even take a paycheck."

    Bob McKeown: "Do you believe that he has healed people? "

    Michael Cohen: "No."

    Bob McKeown: "Or that people are healed because of him?"

    Michael Cohen: "No. I don't. I believe that people have been healed.
It's God's power, it's not Benny's. Benny, in the last couple of years,
wields this power around likes it's his power."

    Cohen and Estrella maintain they were true believers, who put their
faith in a man they thought could bring hope and healing to millions.

    "What I saw was a big business rolling millions of dollars every
year, many people getting rich," says Mike Estrella. "And the rich getting
richer, and the poor getting worse."

    But then, there's Carlotta Moore, a pastor herself, who like millions
of others says she still believes in Benny Hinn.

    She says, "Pastor Benny's job is the work that God has called him to
do, to be that mediator, that channel for that anointing that God has placed
on his life, the work that God has called him to do, to carry that work out
here on Earth."

    Benny Hinn (at a crusade): "Stand up, lift your hands, and receive
from heaven, in the name of Jesus!"
What more information do you need?  Benny Hinn is a manipulator who EXPLOITS the Gospel and Christianity.