Is This Jerk-Off Thief On Crack Or Meth, Inquiring Minds Want To Know

Robert Gibson Tilton (born 1946) is an American televangelist of the prosperity gospel widely known for his infomercial-styled religious television program Success-N-Life, which at its peak in 1991 aired in all 235 American TV markets (daily in the majority of them), brought in nearly $80 million per year, and was described as "the fastest growing television ministry in America."

Within two years after ABC's Primetime Live examined Tilton's fundraising practices, beginning a series of investigations into the ministry, his program was taken off the air. Tilton later returned to television via his new version of Success-N-Life airing on BET and The Word Network.  Scumbag owners stick together as long as their TV time bills are paid

Tilton was first spotted on earth presumably born in McKinney, Texas, on June 7, 1946.  He attended Cooke County Junior College and Texas Technological University, a school known for diversity in courses

According to Tilton’s autobiographical materials, he had a conversion experience to evangelical Christianity in 1969 and began his ministry in 1974, taking his new family (including then wife Martha "Marte" Phillips, whom he married in 1968) on the road to, in his words, "preach this gospel of Jesus."

Tilton preached to small congregations and revivals throughout Texas and Oklahoma. Tilton and his family settled in Dallas, Texas, and built a small nondenominational charismatic church in Farmers Branch, Texas, called the “ Word Of Faith Family Church" in 1976.

The church also started a local television program then known as Daystar (not related to the Daystar Television Network, though both were started in the Dallas area). Tilton's announcer on Daystar was Miami radio personality and voice-over artist Dave Mitchell, who was based in Dallas at the time.[citation needed]

Tilton’s young church was growing steadily, but Daystar failed to expand beyond the Dallas area until Tilton went to Hawaii as his self-described version of Jesus’s forty days in the wilderness and spent time fishing, drinking, and watching an increasingly popular new form of television programming: the late-night infomercial.

Tilton was particularly influenced by Dave Del Dotto, a real estate promoter who produced hour-long infomercials showing his glamorous life in Hawaii (which he constantly stressed anyone could achieve just by following the principles set up in his many “ get rich quick" books) as well as "interviews" with students who were brought out to his Hawaiian villa for said interviews, specifically for their on-camera testimonials about the success in life they were now enjoying thanks to his teachings.

Upon his return from Hawaii in 1981, Tilton, with the help of a US$1.3M loan from Dallas banker Herman Beebe, revamped Daystar into an hour-long “religious infomercial” with the title Success-N-Life.   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.

Exposed Greed Preacher Robert Tilton Is Still Fleecing Flocks for Millions  —  

Thirty years later I can still remember my first encounter with Robert Tilton. I had stopped by a room at the nursing home I worked at. On the TV screen was Tilton, eyes scrunched shut as he bleated a prayer for prosperity on watchers who had sent in donations.   My immediate response was, “This preacher is a fraud bilking money from the poor and hopeless.”  

Shortly after, first one and then other investigations concluded that Tilton was a charlatan.  Yet Tilton, not one to give up, has reconstituted his scam with a new church-based television program to garner an estimated $24 million per year.

Like other purveyors of the “prosperity gospel,” Tilton preaches that God does not want you the listener to be poor, stuck in a dead end job, sinking in debt, with renegade children, or other such calamities. 

The solution is to make a vow. “Your tithe (10%) of your income belongs to God and is what you owe in Thanksgiving for past blessings. A vow is something you promise God for future blessings. YOU CAN MAKE A VOW AND EXPECT A RETURN.”

Tilton goes into more detail.  “Step out in faith today and make a vow to God. Vowing is one of the best ways to stretch your faith-but only when your vow goes beyond your natural resources or abilities. I don’t need much faith to vow $100 if I have $2,000 in a savings account. But, if I don’t even have a savings account and can barely pay my bills, then a $100 vow will stretch my faith indeed. For I will have to seek God and focus on Him to supply the seed to pay that vow.”   

So the vow goes to Tilton’s organization. Even if one is poor and scarcely paying bills, somehow scrounge up $100 to give to Tilton. After all, he has a palatial estate on Miami Beach to keep up. “Gotta live somewhere, ya’ know.”  

Robert Tilton in disguise…According to reports of ex-employees, Tilton did not pray as promised over vows sent in by listeners, but took out the checks, cash, money orders, and dumped the prayer requests into garbage bags.   

Below are excerpts from Wikipedia, footnoted. ABC’s Primetime Live on November 21, 1991, alleged 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.

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.

Primetime Live’s original investigation and subsequent updates included interviews with several former Tilton employees and acquaintances. In the original investigation, one of Tilton’s former prayer hotline operators claimed the ministry cared little for desperate followers who called for prayer, saying Tilton had a computer installed in July 1989 to make sure the phone operators talked to no caller for longer than seven minutes. The former employee also revealed very specific instructions were given to them in terms of how to talk with callers and they were told to always ask for a $100 “vow” at a minimum. 

Also in the original report, a former friend of Tilton’s from college (who remained anonymous and was shown in silhouette) claimed both he and Tilton would attend tent revival meetings as a “sport” and would claim to be anointed and healed at the meetings. He added the two had often discussed the notion that after graduation they would set up their own roving revival ministry “and drive around the country and get rich.” 

In a July 1992 update to the investigation, Primetime Live interviewed Tilton’s former maid, who claimed prayer requests which were sent to Tilton’s house by the ministry were routinely ignored until he told her to move them out of the house and into the garage; according to the maid, “they stacked up and stacked up” in Tilton’s garage until he had them thrown away. In the same interview, Tilton’s former secretary came forward and claimed Tilton lifted excerpts from “get rich quick” books and used them in his sermons, and she never saw him perform normal pastoral duties such as visiting with the sick and praying with members.

And because government is partially handcuffed by the First Amendment in prosecuting fraud, Tilton continues to bilk viewers through his Success-N-Life television show.  

Synopsis  — In 1991, Diane Sawyer and ABC News conducted an investigation of Tilton (as well as 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, alleged 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.

Allegations Of Exploitation Of Vulnerable People  — Ole Anthony, a Dallas-based minister whose Trinity Foundation church works with the homeless and the poor on the east side of Dallas, first took an interest in Tilton’s ministry in the late 1980s 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 after he 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. Guetzlaff joined Anthony in the task of gathering details on Tilton’s operation and later did much of the legwork in finding and following the paper trail for the ABC News investigation.

Undercover Investigation  —  In a November 21, 1991, promotional appearance for the Primetime Live televangelist investigation on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, Diane Sawyer said that she had watched several televangelist programs, including Robert Tilton’s Success-N-Life, during her travels as a reporter and was "fascinated" by them, but also "disturbed". 

Stressing that she knew how sensitive people always are to reporters questioning religion, she said that she spoke with other reporters, and then eventually to ABC producers, who then decided to conduct their own investigation into a number of the more prominent televangelists, eventually settling in 1991 on the three featured in the Primetime Live episode: W. V. Grant, Larry Lea, and Tilton.

According to Sawyer, the ABC producers, including Tilton segment producer Robbie Gordon, learned about possible resources available from Ole Anthony and the Trinity Foundation, and contacted Trinity for information on Tilton. After comparing their accumulated notes, data and details, the two groups decided to pool their efforts and began planning the undercover portion of the story. 

Anthony agreed to portray himself as a Dallas-based minister with a small church looking into the ways televangelist ministries could grow so quickly, and the ABC producers would pose as Anthony's "media consultants."

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.  Most asked what drugs was he on and where you can purchase some of his stuff.

2018 - Robert Tilton – Best known for “speaking in tongues” on live TV, an ABC expose on the man revealed that he spent 67% of his on-air time asking for money. Unfortunately, Tilton’s ministry seems to be all about Tilton. He used his money to purchase his half million dollar vacation home in Florida, and is fifty-foot Carver yacht, among other things. The ABC expose found that most of the prayer requests his organization receives are simply thrown in the landfill, after the cash is removed.


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.

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.


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 —  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, 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 “ he Apple of God’s Eye”. 

 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.

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.

Current Ministry  —  When Tilton returned to television in 1997, he established his ministry's headquarters in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where his lawyer J. C. Joyce's offices were located, and set up a post office box as its mailing address. A woman employed by Mail Services, Inc., a Tulsa-area clearinghouse that handled mail sent to Tilton’s ministry, said that when she worked for Mail Services, Inc. in 2001, prayer requests were still routinely thrown away after donations and pledges were removed.                        

However, Tilton dropped the Tulsa address in late 2007 and used a Miami Post Office box to receive responses to his fundraising mailings. In January 2014, Tilton is currently holding services at the Courtyard Marriott in Culver City, California, while having donations again sent to a post office box in Tulsa.

In 1998, The Washington Post reported that Tilton's following disappeared after the investigation's, but he had "joined dozens of other preachers to become fixtures on BET". Consequently, Tilton, along with Don Stewart and Peter Popoff received "criticism from those who say that preachers with a long trail of disillusioned followers have no place on a network that holds itself out as a model of entrepreneurship for the black community.

Steve Lumbley, who worked for Tilton's ministry in 1991 when the original Primetime Live investigation took place, told a reporter for the Dallas Observer in 2006 that reports of prayer request disposal that were the centerpiece of the 1991 Primetime Live exposé were highly exaggerated. In an article for the blog “Unfair Park", Lumbley asserted that " the mailings all had some kind of gimmick. They weren’t godly at all. 

But the primary allegation that came outof that—that prayer requests were thrown away—was categorically untrue, and I can guarantee you that was not a normal practice." However, Lumbley, who now runs a Christian watchdog website called, does credit ABC and the Trinity Foundation for exposing Tilton’s unethical fundraising tactics, noting that "God was using Ole and ABC to chastise Tilton and bring him down."

The Trinity Foundation still monitors Tilton's television ministry as part of Trinity's ongoing televangelist watchdog efforts. In a 2003 interview published in Tulsa World, Ole Anthony estimated that with none of the Word of Faith Family Church overhead and with television production costs at a fraction of the original Success-N-Life program, Tilton's current organization was likely grossing more than $24 million per year tax-free.

Government involvement  —  Despite Tilton's repeated denials of misconduct, the State of Texas and the federal government became involved in subsequent investigations, finding more causes for concern about Tilton's financial status with each new revelation. After nearly 10,000 pounds of prayer requests and letters to the Tilton ministry were found in a disposal bin at a Tulsa area recycling firm in February 1992, along with itemized receipts of their delivery from Tilton's main mail-handling service in Tulsa rather than from the church offices in Farmers Branch, Tilton admitted in a deposition given to the Texas Attorney General's office that he often prayed over computerized lists of prayer requests instead of the actual prayer requests themselves, and that prayer requests were in fact routinely thrown away after categorization.

As each revelation became increasingly more damaging, viewership and donations declined dramatically. The last episode of Success-N-Life aired nationally on October 30, 1993. By that time, viewership had fallen 85 percent and monthly donations went from $8 million to $2 million.

Failed libel action  —  In 1992, Tilton sued ABC for libel because of its investigation and report, but the case was dismissed in 1993. Federal Judge Thomas Rutherford Brett, in his July 16, 1993, dismissal of the case, stated that information in Trinity's logs on prayer requests reportedly found in dumpsters on September 11, 1991, "could not have been found then because the postmark date was after September 11, 1991", but also noted that Anthony had recanted the erroneous entries in a subsequent affidavit. Tilton appealed the decision in 1993; although the findings of the original court were upheld in 1995, federal Judge Michael Burrage's opinion criticized ABC and the Primetime Live producers for their editing of the story and noted that ABC had been warned by their own religion editor, Peggy Wehmeyer (who knew Anthony from her work as a religion reporter at ABC affiliate WFAA-TV in Dallas), that, "Mr. Anthony could not be trusted and was obsessed with his crusade against [Tilton]."Tilton once more appealed the decision, this time to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1996, but the court refused to hear the case.

Tilton sued for fraud  —  Several donors to Tilton's television ministry sued Tilton in 1992–1993, charging various forms of fraud. One plaintiff, Vivian Elliott, won $1.5 million in 1994 when it was discovered that a family crisis center for which she had made a donation (and recorded an endorsement testimonial) was never built or even intended to be built. The judgment was later reversed on appeal.

As part of the defense strategy to the fraud cases, Tilton sued Anthony, Guetzlaff and four plaintiff's lawyers who had filed the fraud cases against him in federal court in Tulsa. The tactic is known to critics as a "SLAPP" (strategic lawsuit against public participation) suit. Tilton claimed that the individuals conspired to violate his First Amendment rights under a federal statute designed to protect black citizens from the Ku Klux Klan. (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1985.) 

Defense attorneys Martin Merritt of Dallas and ACLU lawyer Michael Linz, also of Dallas, with others, won dismissal for the six defendants in federal district court. On appeal, in Tilton v. Richardson, 6 F.3d 683 (10th Cir.1993), the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal on the grounds that 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1985 did not protect a nonminority individual against a purely private conspiracy, if one existed. The fraud cases continued until the Texas Supreme Court eventually ruled that the plaintiffs could not prove damages because they could not show that, if Tilton had actually prayed over the prayer requests, the prayers would have been answered.

The decline of Success-N-Life also led to the end of Tilton's 25-year marriage to his wife Marte, who had been administrative head of the Word of Faith Family Church and World Outreach Center, in 1993. Dallas lawyer Gary Richardson, who represented many of the parties suing Tilton for fraud, attempted to intervene in the Tilton’s divorce, citing the potential for the divorce settlement to be used to hide financial assets that were currently part of the many fraud cases; 

Richardson’s petition to have the divorce action put on hold until after the fraud cases were settled was denied.  Marte intervened in Tilton's second divorce from Leigh Valentine, who had asked the court to include the church and all its assets as community property in the proceedings. Under Texas law, property accumulated during a marriage is considered community property and thus subject to division between the parties in a divorce. The jury eventually ruled against the request. 

And he is still at it…. the Devil is a powerful Chef and the sheep line up to be slaughtered time after time again…and serve him….

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