Ignorant skeptics sometimes compare Jesus Christ to Benny Hinn, on the basis of vague similarities like the fact that both men have been viewed by many people as miracle workers. I have an article here that discusses some of the many differences between the two men.
A resource on Benny Hinn that's seldom mentioned is Yves Brault's Behind The Scenes: The True Face Of The Fake Faith Healers (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Dorrance Publishing Co., 1997). Brault attended Hinn's church, and he writes about some of his family's experiences with Hinn and other individuals and ministries.
Hinn promises miracles, then tries to prevent investigation of his alleged miracles.
You can watch a devastating expose of Benny Hinn online, by CBC's The Fifth Estate, here.
Hank Hanegraaff of the Christian Research Institute asked Hinn for his three best-documented miracles. When the documentation was provided, all three were found to be inauthentic.
Hinn has repeatedly been documented to have made false prophecies. He predicted that Fidel Castro would die in the 1990s, for instance.
Members of Hinn's staff have been caught in various scandals. Here's some video footage I saw years ago in another context, in which Hinn seems to be giving some sort of drug to a member of his staff. I've seen this footage from three different sources, but I've never seen any documentation that would give it further authentication. It does look as though Hinn is encouraging some sort of drug use in the video, and his staff does have a history of heroin problems. The video appears to be taken from a story by Tony Pipitone from WKMG, channel 6, in Orlando. There might be additional information that exonerates Hinn in some manner, but the video looks bad, and I've seen it used by multiple sources.
I've found little information about this video online. If you go to this page, and use the Ctrl F feature on your keyboard and search for "Pipitone", you'll see a post by somebody (illusionbuster) who raises some doubts about the negative implications of the video. I find his reasoning unconvincing, though.
I have a longer version of the video that I saw years ago, found at the end of a VHS tape titled The Signs And Wonders Movement Exposed: Ministry And Music, Vol. 1. The tape series (of which the tape in question is the first part) was put out by National Prayer Network in England and features Dave Hunt, Roger Oakland, and some other critics of modern miracle claims like Benny Hinn's. You can watch an online version here. Go to the 47-minute mark in the first video.
At the close of the tape, they run a more extensive version of the video in question. They include footage of Tony Pipitone and some other reporters introducing the story. They explain that the video in question is an "amateur" video. They say that Hinn canceled an interview scheduled with them after seeing the footage. This edition of the video also includes subtitles of what somebody in the video was saying. It's hard to tell who's doing the speaking, but it seems to be David Delgado, who smokes the pipe after Steve Brock hands it to him. According to the subtitles, Delgado (or whoever is speaking) makes the comment "I thought this was vice." He then explains that he had hidden the pipe before Benny Hinn walked by. Apparently, Hinn saw the pipe and gave it back to Brock and Delgado to smoke. In the footage that follows, Delgado is clearly under the influence of some sort of mind-altering drug. But there's no indication of how that second footage relates to the first. It was soon after that when Delgado died as a result of heroin abuse.
Perhaps what Delgado and Brock were smoking, which Hinn gave them, was something more innocent. I don't know. But the video at least raises some significant questions. If Hinn was just giving the men tobacco or something else more innocent to smoke, why did he cancel his scheduled interview with WKMG? It's possible that multiple sources using this video are misrepresenting it in order to make Hinn look bad or that multiple sources have misunderstood it. But I find that unlikely. The people behind the VHS tape mentioned above don't strike me as the sort of people who would do that. The most obvious explanation of the evidence I've seen so far is that Hinn gave his staff a mind-altering drug to smoke. Why else would the people who put the video together run footage of David Delgado under the influence of something mind-altering just after running the video involving Hinn? If there's no connection between the two clips, then it's misleading to run them together in that manner.
But even if there's a more innocent explanation for the video, it would just mean that one scandal surrounding Hinn's ministry has been taken off the list, while many others remain.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Benny Hinn, Heroin, And A Long Trail Of Other Scandals
Justin Taylor has blogged about a Nightline interview with Benny Hinn. Hinn's performance in the interview is highly unconvincing. Below are some comments I posted in that thread, accompanied by some further comments on drug issues, which weren't accepted by Justin Taylor's blog for some reason. I suspect that something in the HTML coding from one of the links wasn't able to go through.