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Letter to Councilman LaBonge
Real People as Fictional Characters
Female Actors, Part Two
One Culture Hero Award
Adelante Gay Pride Gala
Best Work of Fiction?
Tom of Finland: Sexual Liberator or Enslaver
Lying Writers
Review of The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson
Promiscuous Thoughts
A Crime of the Heart
A Letter to Michael Silverblatt
"Have you no decency, sir?"
Political Incorrectness: Female Actors and Trojans
He Hugged Moms and Dads
What is a Girly Man?
Review of Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
From Sunset Boulevard to Mulholland Drive
The Gay Mammies
A Writer Protests
Review of Beyond Paradise: The Life of Ramon Novarro
A Spirit Preserved in 'Amber'
The Supreme Court Case
Review of "Live from Golgotha: The Gospel According to Gore Vidal"
Review of "Lost Years: A Memoir 1945-1951" by Christopher Isherwood
Review of "Out For Good"
Review of "Hoyt Street: an Autobiography"
Review of "Sergei Eisenstein: A Life in Conflict"
Review of "Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation"
Review of "Whores for Gloria"
Muscles and Mascara
Review of "Blonde"
Brother Paul, Sister Jan, Brother Hinn, God and the Folks
Advice to the Next Generation
Sins of the Fathers
Beatin' Around the Bush

Cruise Not Gay! The Judge Has Spoken

The Horror, The Horror
LA--a Cliché?
Dominick, Mark & Orenthal
Holy Drag!
Ms. Hill & Mr. Tom
Mrs. guy Ritchie 
Supreme Court 
Tom Cruise 
New Times Article 

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Brother Paul, Sister Jan, Brother Hinn, God, and the Folks (Continued)

     "Come and be saved in the blood of the Lamb!" Brother Benny invites the congregation.

     Motley squads of women in dated prints, men in aged suits, oily-faced young women and young men with bad complexions--the old and gnarled, the young and gnarled, the stammering young and the stammering old, dozens of them, the bruised, the pleading, the desperate, the destitute--all rise, march forth, advance, crawl, roll on wheelchairs, are carried to the stage, hurt bodies, pained souls, dozens of them, dozens and dozens, advance in a tide of God's wounded army toward Brother Hinn, who is basking in the radiance of a heavenly stage light. Arms outstretched, he welcomes the bereaved.

     "I have headaches that never end!"

     "Be gone, accursed misery, festering evil!" Benny Hinn plants a hand on the woman's forehead, shoving her back for "catchers" to intercept as she falls "slain in the spirit." She quivers in the arms of the catchers before she staggers up. "I yam cured! Head don't hurt, pulsin's gone, praise the Lord! I yam cured!"

     "Let's hear it for the Lord!" Benny exhorts, selflessly.

     "Can't see, gotta grope 'round, keep stumblin'." 

     With a jolt and an assertive push from Benny's hand, the man falls back onto the arms of the catchers, who thrust him forth, and he hops about in circles. "I can see, I can walk!"

     "Let's hear it for the Lord!" screams Benny, generously.
More supplicants come, more, more, still more--begging, suffering witnesses to the mysterious ways of God and the healing powers of Brother Hinn, who understands their hurts, don't you know, feels their miseries, longs to heal them all, God bless, Lord love. Brother Hinn knows because he's one of us, hear us, Jesus. 

     "I cast you out, Satan!" 

     A pretty, out-of-place young girl trembles, falls into eager arms, is shoved forward and shouts, "I am saved from sins of the flesh!" 

     "The devil done possessed me." A stout woman, meaning serious business, thrusts the saved girl away.

     "I cast you out of this good soul, demon!" Brother Benny declares war.

     The heavy woman does not budge, does not fall back into the arms of the catchers. Her face grows fierce, fiery red. She growls. "Debil still done got me! Won't let go! Grrrr, grrr!"

     Benny hammers his fist on her forehead, harder, again, harder, the catchers grab her, hold her back, down. The woman wrests free, screeches, growls, moans, twists. "Debil don't let go! Grrrr, grrrr!" 

     (Well, Lord, if da Debil don't let go, push him outta the damn picture, Benny Hinn!) 

     The camera sweeps away, and when it returns to Brother Benny the woman is gone--trotted off with da Debil--and Brother Benny is ministering to more cooperative sinners. 

     Lord, Lordee, what come here? A jar! What do the jar contain? A tumor! A tumor ripped out by the Lord from the very flesh of a lonely old woman who was sitting in her living room praying with Benny on TV and she touched the screen and out pop the tumor, which she sent special delivery in a jar, along with a pledge of all her savings that she had long begrudged the Lord.

     "Let's hear it for the Lord!"

     "Praise Jesus!"

     Soon the show will end. An old star from Grand Ole Opry is singing happy gospel. Paul and Jan swing and sway. Brother Hinn takes a bow for Jesus, humbly..

     What next, after all this? What to do with the empty hours before more relief from pain is proffered, more donations made that attest to a responsive, caring God? Sad, lonely, abused folks before their TV screens--what, now, for them?
They shift to the Shopping Channel and wait for tomorrow and the possibility of less pain.


From the Los Angeles Times, January 1999:

By Ruth Ryon

"Televangelist's Jan and Paul Crouch of the Costa Mesa-based Trinity Broadcasting Network have purchased a Newport Beach House for $5 million.... The home was described as `a palatial estate with ocean and city views.'... [It] has six bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a billiard room, a climate-controlled wine cellar, a sweeping staircase and a crystal chandelier. The three-story, nearly 9,500 square foot house, which has an elevator, also has a six-car garage, a tennis court and a pool with a fountain.... Trinity Broadcasting ... has more than 768 TV stations on the air worldwide. The Crouches oversee a $100-million-plus-a-year enterprise. [F]aithful viewers are said to consider the couple, who are in their 60s ... as everyday folks. The house is on slightly more than an acre. Jan Crouch has been wanting a bigger yard for her dogs."

According to an article from the Associated Press, Saturday, April 27, 2002: 

Benny Hinn once predicted the World would end by 1999 and Castro would die in the 90's. Hinn once wished for a "Holy Ghost machine gun" to zap his critics. Claiming to absorb psychic power from the graves of dead faith healers, he upheld that women originally were designed to give birth from their sides. Benedictus Hinn, a Greek-Armenian, now in his 50s, earns an estimated million dollars a year and generates close to $60 million in donations. Criticized for driving a Mercedes-Benz, he retorted: "Where in the Bible does it say I have to drive a Honda?"

John Rechy
Los Angeles, California
September 2002


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