PASTOR EDDIE LONG (REALLY DIRTY)
AVVO - PASTOR Eddie Long—According to Eddie Long, Jesus wasn’t broke, and leaders of churches shouldn’t be either. Long has earned millions in salary from his ministry, owns a million dollar home on a 20-acre lot, has use of a $350,000 Bentley, and pulls in a host of other benefits too.
Long was also in the group of televangelists who refused to give the Senate the information requested of the ministry.
Senator Grassley, the leader of this investigation, said “When I hear about leaders of charities being provided a $300,000 Bentley to drive around in, my fear is that it’s the taxpayers who subsidize this charity who are really being taken for a ride.”
Mega-church pastor Eddie Long, Atlanta's favorite son (of) has been accused of accused of coercing young men into sexual relationships. At this point, there are three very detailed civil lawsuits against him.
A third lawsuit against Long was filed Wednesday, and it prompted Pastor Long to decline to do a radio show scheduled for thursday. The suit filed in DeKalb County, Georgia, State Court was brought on by Jamal Parris, now 23, who was a teenager at the time he joined Long's church. He also names the church and a youth academy as defendants.
Allegations that Long coerced young male church members and employees into sex are at the head of the controversy. Parris joined New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in 2001, when he was 14.
The suit, also filed by attorney B.J. Bernstein, claims Long engaged in sexual acts with Parris. The young man eventually became a church employee and served as personal assistant to Long and traveled with him, the suit says. The pastor continued to engage in sexual activity with Parris and gave him money, trips and gifts, the suit says.
It says Parris left the church in late 2009, "disillusioned, confused and angry about his relationship with Defendant Long." The bishop manipulated and deceived Parris into thinking that the acts were a "healthy component of his spiritual life," the suit states.
Additional lawsuits filed Tuesday in DeKalb County by two men allege that Long used his position as a spiritual authority and bishop to coerce young male members and employees of his New Birth Missionary Baptist Church into sex. CNN was the first to report on the lawsuits.
"Defendant Long has a pattern and practice of singling out a select group of young male church members and using his authority as Bishop over them to ultimately bring them to a point of engaging in a sexual relationship," the suits allege. Long is considered one of the nation's top African-American preachers. His church has more 25,000 members, according to the suit, and was the site of Coretta Scott King's 2006 funeral, attended by then-President George W. Bush and three former presidents. Luther King Jr.
One of the men, Anthony Flagg, 21, alleges in his suit that Long took him on overnight trips to a half-dozen American cities in recent years. "Long shared a bedroom and engaged in intimate sexual contact with plaintiff Flagg including kissing, massaging, masturbating of plaintiff Flagg by defendant Long and oral sexual contact," the suit says.
The other man, Maurice Murray Robinson, 20, claims Long took him to Auckland, New Zealand, in October 2008 for his 19th birthday and engaged in oral sex with him, Robinson's suit alleges.
"Following the New Zealand trip, defendant Long regularly engaged in sexual touching, and other sexual acts with plaintiff Robinson," Robinson's suit alleges. Bernstein, who represents Parris, Flagg and Robinson, said Wednesday that the youths' accounts are "really strong."