ROBERT TILTON


ROBERT TILTON
Born June 7, 1946

Pastor, Author, Televangelist and Fake.  Word of Faith World Outreach Center Church, Muck Maker and Snake oil - Vitamin Salesman, Debaucher, Druggie, user of most drugs and makes a lot of money lying and cheating people.


SYNOPSIS
He is an American televangelist who shot to the top of the charts from the  late 80s to early 90s. He was a fore-runner in the infomercial-styled religious television programs. His how Success-N-Life,  peaked in 1991 on all 235 American TV markets where he grossed nearly $80 million per year.

However, within two years after ABC's Primetime Live aired an expose into Tilton's fundraising practices, which started a series of investigations into the ministry, Tilton's program was no longer being broadcast. Halleluya! 

Tilton later returned to television via his new version of Success-N-Life airing on BET and The Word Network. In 2008, Tilton stopped broadcasting his program on television and is now utilising internet media alone for his broadcasting.  At a recent convention of Shamans, Fakirs  Witch Doctors, Noted Hypnotists  Voodoo Practitioners, Alien Supporters, Peyote Enthusiests, the Boogyman Association, and Meth Lab owners,  Mr. Tilton was considered too fake to really know the word and was not sent an invitation to attend.


REVELATIONS

The bolt of lightning, replacing the "Burning Bush", struck Rev. Tilton with Christianity in 1969.  He began his ministry in 1974, taking a new wife and an old car on the road. Tilton preached to small congregations and small tent revivals throughout Texas and Oklahoma. 

Known as the The Bible belt and he had the Babel to go with the Bible.  Tilton and his family settled in Dallas, Texas, and built a small church in Farmers Branch, Texas called the "Word Of Faith Family Church" in 1976.

The second God Tilton found was Dave Del Dotto, a real estate promoter who produced hour-long infomercials showing his glamorous life in Hawaii who sold "get rich quick" books, as well as "interviews" with students about the success in life they were now enjoying thanks to DDD. 

Upon his return from Hawaii in 1981, Tilton—with the help of a US$1.3M loan from Dallas banker Herman Beebe aka "the Putz" got started.   Before the ABC News investigation, in a deposition video for a lawsuit that was taped August 18, 1992, Tilton admitted; Having robbed a fruit stand as a teen; Abusing marijuana, LSD, and various barbiturates;  Drinking lots of alcohol and using lots of drugs" before his conversion.

EXPLOITATION OF
VULNERABLE PEOPLE

In 1991, Diane Sawyer and ABC News conducted an investigation of Tilton and two other Dallas-area televangelists, W.V. Grant and Larry Lea. The investigation, assisted by Trinity Foundation president Ole Anthony and broadcast on ABC's Primetime Live on November 21, 1991, found that Tilton's ministry threw away prayer requests without reading them, keeping only the accompanying money or valuables sent to the ministry by viewers, garnering his ministry an estimated US$80 million a year. He also went after Mike Murdock.  Yes televangelists eat their own.

Ole Anthony, a Dallas-based minister whose Trinity Foundation church works with the homeless and the poor on the east side of Dallas, took an interest in Tilton's ministry after some of the people coming to the Trinity Foundation for help told him they had lost all of their money making donations to some of the higher profile televangelists, especially fellow Dallas-area minister Robert Tilton. 

Curious about the pervasiveness of the problem, the Trinity Foundation got on the mailing lists of several televangelists, including Tilton, and started keeping records of the many types of solicitations they received almost daily from various ministries.

Former Coca-Cola executive Harry Guetzlaff came to the Trinity Foundation for help and told Anthony that Guetzlaff had been turned away from Tilton's church when he found himself on hard times following a divorce. 

He had been a longtime high-dollar donor, and gave up his last $5,000 as a "vow of faith" just weeks earlier. Guetzlaff's experience combined with the sheer magnitude of mailings from Tilton's ministry spurred Anthony, a former intelligence officer in the United States Air Force and licensed private investigator, to start a full investigation of Tilton's ministry. 

CAUGHT
Guetzlaff joined Anthony in the task of gathering details on Tilton's operation, and would later do much of the legwork in finding and following the paper trail for the ABC news investigation.  The evening of Nov. 21, 1991, ABC News aired a dramatic hidden-camera report that lifted the veil on Tilton's "fulfillment" operation in Tulsa, Okla.  Video showed workers opening donor letters and setting aside checks and cash for deposit. They entered donor names and addresses into a computer, which then spit out a form letter saying Tilton had received their prayer request and was now asking God to help them.  Investigators found many of the donor prayer requests in a Dumpster, according to the ABC report. 

Marte Tilton, the evangelist's first wife, with whom he had four children, recalled watching the broadcast and described the experience in a memoir published in 2000.  "We sat motionless and speechless through the entire program," said Tilton's former wife, whom he divorced in 1993. "Overnight, we became objects of public ridicule and a flurry of lawsuits."

The television report was devastating because Tilton had promised his viewers he would prayerfully ask God to help them with specific problems. The revelations prompted more than a dozen disgruntled donors to file lawsuits alleging that Tilton had engaged in fraud.  Tilton migrated to South Florida, where he had maintained a vacation home. After a short second marriage, he found Maria Hortensia Rodriguez, 13 years his junior, and embarked on his third marriage.


1991 Primetime Live documentary (“The Apple of God's Eye")
Trinity Foundation members, acting on this information, started digging through dumpsters outside Tilton's many banks in the Tulsa area as well as dumpsters outside the office of Tilton's lawyer, J.C. Joyce (also based in Tulsa). Over the next 30 days, Trinity's "garbologists", as Anthony dubbed them,[13] found tens of thousands of discarded prayer requests, bank statements, computer printouts containing the coding for how Tilton's "personalized" letters were generated, and more, all of which were shown in detail on the Tilton segment within the Primetime Live documentary, now titled "The Apple of God's Eye".[1] In a follow-up broadcast on November 28, 1991, Primetime Live host Diane Sawyer said that the Trinity Foundation and Primetime Live assistants found prayer requests in bank dumpsters on 14 separate occasions in a 30-day period.


Denial
Tilton vehemently denied the allegations and took to the airwaves on November 22, 1991, on a special episode of Success-N-Life entitled "Primetime Lies" to air his side of the story. Tilton asserted that the prayer requests found in garbage bags shown on the Primetime Live investigation were stolen from the ministry and placed in the dumpster for a sensational camera shot, and that he prayed over every prayer request received, to the point that he "laid on top of those prayer requests so much that the chemicals actually got into his bloodstream, and... he had two small strokes in his brain."Tilton remained defiant on claims regarding his use of donations to his ministry to fund various purchases, asking, "Ain't I allowed to have nothing?" with regards to his ownership of multiple multimillion-dollar estates. Tilton also claimed that he needed plastic surgery to repair capillary damage to his lower eyelids from ink that seeped into his skin from the prayer requests.

Further revelations
After Trinity Foundation members spent weeks poring over the details of the documents they and ABC had uncovered, sorting and scrutinizing each prayer request, bank statement, and computer printout dealing with the codes Tilton’s banks and legal staff used when categorizing the returned items, Ole Anthony called a press conference in December 1991 to present what he described as Tilton's "Wheel of Fortune," using a large display covered in actual prayer requests, copies of receipts for document disposition, and other damaging information which demonstrated what happened to money and prayer requests which the average viewer of Tilton's television program sent him.  When both Tilton and his lawyer J.C. Joyce reacted to the news by claiming the items Anthony was displaying had somehow been stolen by an insider,  Anthony responded in a subsequent interview that  Joyce was our mole—a lot of this stuff came from the dumpster outside his office.


And he is still at it....

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