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Flim-flam televangelists ignoring Senator's requests for financial records

Well, well, what a surprise. Benny Hinn and the rest of the high-living preachers aren't cooperating with a probe by Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) into claims that the non-profit ministries are taking in money from their followers to fund lavish lifestyles.

Grassley had asked six televangelist ministries to turn over their financial statements and records to the Senate Finance Committee by December 6, 2007. The six ministries under investigation are led by Paula White, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long, Kenneth Copeland, and Benny Hinn.

But only Kenneth Copeland and Joyce Meyer have complied with Grassley's request. Creflo Dollar says he will not provide the information voluntarily and has raised the idea of a subpoena. Eddie Long has also said he is unwilling to cooperate, and Paula White has asked for additional time to respond. Grassley's office has not heard from Benny Hinn's attorneys since December 13, 2007.

Senator Grassley (R-Iowa) says in his past probes of non-profits he has always received full cooperation. “So I wonder, well, what do they have to hide? … That's the first thought that comes to my mind. The second thing is that maybe they do have something to hide,” he contemplates. “And maybe it's not so much illegal as being embarrassing.”

…The conservative lawmaker argues the ministries are displaying a poor testimony with their lack of transparency, and are “not fulfilling their responsibility to the tax code and taxpayers” as well as to their own constituency.

Maybe he should ask them “What Would Jesus Do”?

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding