Why Benny Hinn Became Our Wacky Neighbor

By John Bloom | 05/20/2008


If you drive west from Dallas, through the neo-moderne lunarscape of a pod city called Las Colinas, past a massive international airport on a denuded prairie, into the warren of faceless office buildings that make up cosmopolitan Grapevine, you'll never find Benny Hinn.

He wants it that way. The nerve center of his worldwide organization is tucked away in a group of cheap white nondescript buildings that look like the kind of domiciles favored by Mafia fronts on the wharves of New Jersey. Inside, several dozen employees process an estimated $100 million per year in donations from people who believe in Hinn as a sort of Elmer Gantry for the 21st century. (Obviously they didn't read the novel.)

Now go the other way, into the cul-de-sacs and barrios of deep East Dallas. On a dead end street next to a nursing home, in an expansive two-story house once owned by the Dallas mob, the Trinity Foundation works 24/7 trying to find out just how much money passes through Grapevine, where it comes from and where it goes, running undercover operations, infiltrations, spying, surveillance, the cultivation of disgruntled ex-employees, and even going through Benny Hinn's garbage in an effort to . . . well . . . to make him prove he's not a fraud.

"All we want is for Benny Hinn to make good on promises he made to me in 1993," says Ole Anthony, president of the Christian watchdog organization. "He promised he would stop airing fake healings, that he would medically verify all healings, that he would wait six months after the healing before putting it on TV, to make sure it was authentic. He said he would do all these things, and he's done none of them. It would also be nice if he would submit himself to a real theologian for examination. Some of his teachings are off the scale, even bordering on necromancy."

What the heck is Benny Hinn doing in Dallas?

Las Colinas
Las Colinas, TX

It's weird. It was weird when he announced he was moving to Dallas in 1999, pretty much abandoning his church congregation in Florida. It was weirder still when he announced that God had ordered him to build a $30 million World Healing Center in Irving, making it sound like a combination theme park and New Age miracle spa. The way he laid it out, it would be a sort of shrine to famous faith healers of the past, complete with "stereophonic statue gardens," as well as a Holy Ghost Mayo Clinic for the halt, the lame and the afflicted. I had visions of wheelchair-bound hordes being lifted off jumbo jets at DFW Airport and convoying their way over to Las Colinas, like pilgrims pouring into a Disneyworld version of Lourdes. Isn't this the kind of thing that belongs in Tulsa?

Fortunately, God changed his mind in the summer of 2002 and told Hinn not to build the healing center after all, even though he had spent two years collecting donations for it. (God was apparently vague about what Hinn should do with the money. The county tax assessor was less vague, telling Hinn it was unlikely that his tax exemption would survive theme-park ownership.) Hinn said it was just a timing matter. God wants the healing center, but he didn't want it right then. (Since the only other building the Almighty is known to have ordered is the Temple at Jerusalem, maybe He's just unimpressed with Irving.) Hinn finally said he would keep his headquarters in Dallas because the central location saves him money.

"Good," says Ole Anthony. "I told him it will save us money, too."

If anything, the move to Texas looked like an attempt to spread his operations over as many geographical jurisdictions as possible. For example, Hinn's TV show, "This Is Your Day!," originates in studios in Orange County, California, and airs in 192 countries, making it one of the most widely disseminated programs in the world. Hinn is so ubiquitous on religious TV, in fact, that you would assume by this point--35 years into his preaching ministry--that he would have become one of those household names, like Billy Graham, who's expected to lead the invocation at the Super Bowl and counsel the President and appear on The Today Show in times of national crisis. But the opposite is true. Hinn HouseAside from his twice-monthly appearances at his own choreographed "crusades," held in the largest sports arenas on the planet, Hinn is a virtual recluse, surrounded by armies of bodyguards, ensconced in an $12 million oceanfront hacienda in southern California, traveling by private jet for "snorkeling vacations" in the Cayman Islands, staying in $10,800 per night presidential suites in Italy, a $15,000 per night suite in Greece, and claiming a level of financial secrecy and paranoid internal security that's more often associated with drug dealers than men of the cloth. Hinn PlaneBy surrounding himself with yes-men and stage-managing every detail of his public image--even to the point of stiff-arming the occasional paparazzo who tries to photograph him--he has more in common with Michael Jackson than Jerry Falwell. He may, in fact, be the first Christian rock star. The analogy is not Paul McCartney, though--Benny's career is more like Cher, as he makes it up as he goes along, re-inventing himself whenever necessary.

He has no church. He belongs to no denomination. He's not even affiliated with any particular religion, although his buzz words indicate he tends to dwell on the freaky backwoods fringe of Pentecostalism. As recently as three centuries ago, he probably would have been burned as a heretic. (To give you some idea of his doctrinal strangeness, he once preached that the Trinity is actually nine persons, because each member of the Trinity--Father, Son, Holy Spirit--is also a Trinity. He also says that God and the Holy Spirit have real bodies, with eyes, hands, mouth, etc. Various theologians have trashed him, of course, for preaching "new revelations" directly from God that turn out to be, when examined, variations of thousand-year-old heresies.) He thinks of himself as a prophet (even when his prophecies don't come true) and, in one burst of grandeur, "a new messiah walking on the earth." He believes that the Biblical Adam flew into outer space, that when God parted the Red Sea he made it into a wall of ice, that God talks to him more frequently than he talked to, say, Moses, that a man has risen from the dead in his presence, that a man turned into a snake before his eyes, that angels come to his bedroom and talk to him, and that the only reason we're not all in perfect health, living forever, is that there are demons in the world, attacking us. He's expressed opinions normally heard only on schizophrenia wards, and he's done it in front of millions of people--and still they come. They come in such numbers that thousands have to be turned away, and even the ones turned away gladly give him their money.

What's going on here?

Benny Hinn says that what's going on here is that he was "anointed." It happened either at the age of 11, when Jesus first appeared to either him or his mother while he was living in Jaffa, Israel, or maybe 18, when he had a conversion experience at a high school in Toronto, or maybe shortly after that, when he took a bus trip to Pittsburgh to see the faith healer Kathryn Kuhlman. It's difficult to say exactly when it happened, or what form it took, because Hinn parcels out little bits and pieces of his background as it suits him, then embellishes the stories so that isolating any one event in his life is like puzzling through a 30-year-old KGB file. What we do know--because he returns to it time and again--is that a transforming moment in his life occurred when, as a teenager, he was assigned to take care of a crippled arthritic woman on a pilgrimage to see one of Kuhlman's healing services, and he saw the woman apparently lose all pain in her legs and "untwist," as he put it. Depending on how cynical you are, he had either found his holy calling, or discovered one of the oldest American carnie games. Ever since then he's been praised as a true miracle worker--Oral Roberts himself is his biggest fan--and debunked by various investigative reporters around the world, including 60 Minutes Australia, which concluded, "Benny Hinn is a fake. A dangerous fake. What he does is prey on the sick, the desperate and the gullible." (Trinity Foundation does most of the legwork for all the various networks and newspapers who have investigated Hinn. Of the Australian report, Anthony says, "Apparently in Australia you can just go ahead and say the truth out loud.")

Hinn is a peculiar sort even by the standards of the ongoing circus called American televangelism. If you look at the superstars of the past 25 years--Bakker, Swaggart, Tilton-- they're all of a type: WASPY extroverts with good looks in a sort of dime-store gigolo way. (Even Jim Bakker had that lost-puppy look that's so attractive to lonely widows. Older women living alone are the number one demographic group when it comes to sending money to television ministries.) Hinn, on the other hand, is short, slight, semitic, round-faced, and often sports a haircut that looks like a scoop of Rocky Road ice cream that's been knocked off the top of the cone. He reminds you of a discount Persian rug merchant, not a spiritual leader. He's a Palestinian with a Greek father and Armenian Turk mother, raised in a Catholic school along with eight brothers and sisters who were stuffed into a tiny two-bedroom apartment in the Tel Aviv suburb of Jaffa. In Hinn's books he claims that his father was the mayor of Jaffa. As it turns out, Jaffa had no mayor after the year 1948, four years before Hinn was born. Like many factoids in the Hinn legend, this one seems to be a fib.

Hinn Yearbook

Toufik Benedictus Hinn, known to his family as "Tutu," didn't much like living in Palestine with an Arabic first name, so early in life he became Benny. He was not particularly noted by his classmates at College de Frere elementary school in Jaffa or, after the family emigrated when Benny was 14, at Georges Vanier Secondary School in Toronto. In his sermons and books, Hinn has portrayed his childhood as that of a social outcast, handicapped by a severe stutter, who was nonetheless a stellar student. But when G. Richard Fisher and M. Kurt Goedelman, two journalists who write for Christian publications, looked into Hinn's youth, they found that both claims were untrue: nobody remembered Hinn stuttering, and he had dropped out of high school after the 11th grade. The reason I use these particular examples--"white lies" that by themselves don't really mean that much--is to indicate how twisted Hinn's mythmaking can be. He invents things that reflect badly on him just as easily as he invents things that reflect well on him. Psychologically he can't stand the unadorned truth.

Occasionally, though, the enhancements expand into the land of the whopper. For example, Hinn claims to have preached at an all-girls Catholic school in Jerusalem in 1976 and "every single girl in that school got saved, including all the nuns." Since there's only one Catholic girls school in Jerusalem, Schmidt's Girls College, it was a fairly easy matter to question all the nuns who were there in 1976, as well as Father Dusind, who has overseen all religious instruction since 1955. The result? "This is nonsense, real nonsense," Dusind told Fisher and Goedelman. "It never happened and could not happen because a Charismatic healer or Protestant preacher would never ever be let in to talk to the girls."

Or how about the time Hinn went into a Catholic hospital in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and healed everyone there? The way Hinn tells it is that he, three other Pentecostal preachers, and seven Catholic priests held a service together in the hospital chapel, where everyone went to work with "anointing bottles" and patients were healed instantly. They were then asked to lay hands on all the patients in the hospital's rooms, so Hinn and his "Miracle Invasion" team went down the hall healing people, knocking them down with God's power, until "the hospital looked like it had been hit by an earthquake."

The reality--easily confirmed by speaking to officials at Sault Ste. Marie General Hospital and the Gray Sisters of the Immaculate Conception who work there--is that no patients were released the day Hinn held a small service in the chapel and that, furthermore, "Mr. Hinn's claims are outlandish and unwarranted."

Crusade

Okay, so what? Benny Hinn isn't the first flamboyant white-suited evangelist to play fast and loose with "miracles," and I'm sure he won't be the last. What makes Hinn different is that, after moving to Orlando in 1979 and founding the Orlando Christian Center in 1983, he became the most famous--some would add, "and richest"--evangelist in the world. When he preaches in the Philippines or Africa, for example, it's not uncommon to have 500,000 people at the service. And they all come for the same reason: supernatural events, miracles, ecstatic emotional experiences. He refined his technique in the eighties at the Orlando church, which was the scene of loud frenzied charismatic services almost from the moment he opened his doors. Hinn would frequently speak in tongues--something he no longer does now that his services are televised--and issue wild prophecies and reveal divine messages given only to him, as he essentially incorporated into his own services all the techniques he learned from watching Kathryn Kuhlman. Soon the Orlando church became a mecca for the suffering, and by the time Hinn started doing organized crusades in the late eighties, he was poised to fill the void left by the spectacular crashes of the Bakkers, Swaggarts and Tiltons.

India

In many ways Hinn is a throwback to the tent-revival meetings of the 19th century. Short on scripture, long on enthusiasm, these were originally ways to carry the gospel to backwoods people who weren't served by churches, and the tradition was to collect a little money for the minister's traveling expenses at the end of the service. As time went on, the tent revival fell prey to shysters and carnie men, who discovered they could make a sizeable haul by stoking the emotions of the illiterate and making them feel like they were in the presence of miraculous events. It was a short jump from there to Aimee Semple Macpherson, the now discredited healer of the 1920s who, oddly enough, Hinn reveres as one of his spiritual predecessors. Macpherson was the first to take the tent revival nationwide.

This is not to say that everyone who held a healing service was a fraud--but the ones who made an entire career of it tended to be. There even developed a body of sleight-of-hand that survived well into the nineties, notably practiced by Dallas's own W.V. Grant, who can make a leg look like it's grown longer or shorter simply by manipulating the shoe with a deft magician's move. The healing service, almost from the beginning, was a strange mixture of showmanship, ecstatic worship, and magic.

Stage

Hinn's services, for example, follow a strict pattern that's calculated for maximum emotional impact and, not so coincidentally, maximum offering collection. From the time the crowd enters the arena, they're massaged with mood lighting, repetitive music, responsive chanting, group gestures, group singing, various forms of choral and instrumental entertainment, all leading up to the moment Hinn makes his entrance. The song sung for the entrance is "How Great Thou Art," making convenient use of an ambiguous personal pronoun.

"There's power here, people!" Hinn will typically say. "Lift your hands and receive it."

All dutifully lift their hands.

"You will be healed tonight!"

They sob and shout hallelujah.

"All things are possible to him that believeth!"

People

Hinn repeats this same sentence three times, getting a bigger emotional reaction each time he says it.

Chant, song, gesture, salute--all the classic techniques used to submerge the individual into a group. It works for dictators and it works for Hinn. But now that he's joined them together in hope, he adds a dose of fear.

He speaks of huge disasters coming to the world. He tells them of the strange times we live in, a sinful world that will be cleansed by fire and earthquake. And there's only one slim hope to escape: "Only those who have been giving to God's work will be spared."

As a violin plays, money is collected in big white plastic buckets. And as the ushers do their work, Hinn's voice turns soothing. "Nothing will touch you. No one will touch your children. Nothing will touch your home."

Although he never says, "Donate money or you'll die," he comes close. There is a constant theme in his preaching of the connection between "giving" and "healing," making a "faith vow" and "having your needs met." He comes within a hair's breadth of saying, "If you give me money, you will be healed." And the collection always occurs between his promise of healing and the actual healing session--the same way street performers save their biggest trick until after the hat has been passed.

Hinn Blows

Along about 10 p.m., when all the checks and dead presidents have been collected, Hinn announces that God is speaking to him. Sometimes he sees angels in the room. Sometimes he sees ugly demon monsters that are fleeing from the building. ("You ugly spirit of sickness, go out of this place! Let God's people go!") Sometimes he just feels the presence of spirits, or angels. Once he saw the whole arena bathed in golden dust. And then, as though his body has been taken over by a force he can't control, he starts running around knocking people over. Sometimes he knocks them over with his coat, sometimes by blowing on them, sometimes by pushing their forehead with his hand--but when he touches them, they fall over. As he does this, he calls out the healings--a brain tumor, a cancer, a crippled left leg--as though he's watching something occurring that the rest of us can't see. And then, one by one, various people are brought up onto the stage, and an announcer describes their affliction so that Hinn can lay hands on them and pronounce the disease vanquished. On an average night he'll heal about 80 people, in addition to the ones he shouts out in a sort of "wherever you are, you're healed" way.

No wonder Hinn needs bodyguards. Very few, if any, of these people are actually healed. And when they die, or their disease becomes worse, their relatives tend to become angry. For the past 15 years this has been demonstrated over and over again by various investigative reports conducted with the resources of the Trinity Foundation, beginning with an Inside Edition show in 1993 hosted by Bill O'Reilly and reported by Steve Wilson.

Just a few examples:

He claims to have cured three people of AIDS, even though the Centers for Disease Control have never seen the HIV virus leave a body once it's infected.

He healed a case of brain cancer on stage, even though Inside Edition followed up with tests that showed the tumor was still present.

He pronounced a woman cured of heart disease, and she was so convinced that she threw away her heart medicine. Questioned about it, Hinn said, "It's not my job to call their doctor."

The "cure" of a deaf woman turned out to be a woman who, according to her doctor, was not deaf in the first place.

The cure of three deaf boys turned out to be bogus.

A Houston woman who thought she was cured of lung cancer ("It will never come back!" Hinn told her) rejected her doctors' advice and care--and died two months later.

The heavyweight boxer Evander Holyfield, banned from boxing because of a heart condition, went to a Benny Hinn crusade in Philadelphia, had Hinn lay hands on him, and gave Hinn a check for $265,000 after he was told he was healed. In fact, he passed his next examination by the boxing commission, but later his doctors said he never had a heart condition in the first place--he had been misdiagnosed.

Hinn claimed that God ripped the pacemaker out of a woman's body because she didn't need it anymore.

Hinn claims that a man in Ghana was raised from the dead on the platform. "We have it on video!" he says--although he's never produced the video.

I could go on, but you get the idea. Even sadder than the people who think they're healed are the ones so sick that Hinn's employees never allow them to be seen on stage. People suffering from paralysis, brain damage, dementia and the like--people who couldn't possibly make any "demonstration" on stage--are rejected at a screening session held backstage.

In two cases journalists have tried to verify all the healings at a particular crusade. For an HBO documentary called A Question of Miracles, researchers attended a Portland, Oregon, crusade at which 76 miracles were claimed. Even though Hinn had agreed to provide medical verification of each one, he stonewalled requests for the data, then eventually responded 13 weeks later--with only five names. HBO followed up the five cases and determined that a woman "cured" of lung cancer had died nine months later, an old woman's broken vertebra wasn't healed after all, a man with a logging injury deteriorated as he refused medication and a needed operation, a woman claiming to be healed of deafness had never been deaf (according to her husband), and a woman complaining of "breathlessness" had stopped going to the doctor on instructions of her mother.

Then in December 2002 NBC's Dateline tried to duplicate the HBO study. At a crusade in Las Vegas they counted 56 miracles. Of those, Hinn eventually provided data "proving" five of them. Four of those people refused to share their medical records with NBC. The remaining one, a woman supposedly cured of Lou Gehrig's Disease, had been misdiagnosed, according to her doctor.

There have been so many documentaries and investigations on Hinn--almost all of them orchestrated by Trinity Foundation--that they even have a common structure:

Here's what he looks like in action.

Here's what he claims to do.

Here's what his critics say.

Is he a fraud or is he a healer?

Let's find out.

Not much healing going on.

Okay, here's what Hinn says in his defense.

And one thing Hinn says in his defense--when confronted with evidence that someone claimed to be healed and then died--is that "The reason people lose their healing is because they begin questioning if God really did it."

This may be his cruelest teaching of all. If you're not healed--or, worse yet, if your sick child is not healed--it's your fault, for not having enough faith. It's at this point that Hinn's ministry almost passes over into the realm of primitive magic--i.e., if you want it bad enough, and you say the right things and feel the right things, it will come true.

As it turns out, though, the media investigations are the best thing that ever happened to Hinn. They made him more famous, and more recognizable, than religious TV ever could have. And since most of his audience is made up of the truly desperate--the chronically sick, the dying, people living with pain--Benny Hinn became one more "treatment" for them to take a shot at.

When the first investigation broke, in March 1993, Hinn must have thought his empire was about to fall apart. There was a nasty shoving incident at the Philadelphia airport with Steve Wilson of Inside Edition, followed by a damage-control campaign in which Hinn went on many radio and TV shows, and met privately with several of his critics, to admit that he'd made mistakes and vow that he would never again air "miracles" on TV unless they had been medically verified. "God has taken me by the neck," he said to his congregation. "I think I'm gonna stop preaching healing and start preaching Jesus." At the request of Inside Edition, Ole Anthony traveled to Orlando to meet with Hinn. At the only face-to-face meeting the two men have had, Hinn said he was reformed and that he intended to start medically verifying all miracles and holding them back from television for six months, so that they could be proven authentic. He even said at one point that worldly wealth was sinful--something you'll rarely hear fall out of the mouth of a TV evangelist.

If you study this particular year in his life–1993--he's remarkably consistent in his statements, very self-aware of exactly what errors he's made, very humble, very apologetic, very interested in getting "back to the gospel." He even says at one point that he'll stop doing healing services entirely. And most everyone believed him--including Inside Edition, in a followup report, and including Anthony. "I was disappointed," says Anthony today, "that a year later he was back to his old tricks."

By 1994, it was as though the soul-searching of the previous year had never existed. He geared up to be bigger than ever. He added crusades, he became more flamboyant, more theatrical, and the procession of "miracles" flitting across the TV screen every day continued unabated.

Slain-in

Apparently what he'd discovered is that scandal was good for business. Or at least this particular type of scandal was good for business. Bakker and Swaggart--he must have thought of them at some point--had been brought down by sex, which is difficult for the Christian world to forgive. Greed, on the other hand, can be overcome. Tilton had been brought down by money issues, but after a few years of lying low, he was back in action. This was a whole new type of media attention. The reporters simply said "Is he a healer, or is he a fake?" And because it was presented as an open-ended question, the crowds got even larger.

Fifteen years later, Hinn has become something of a media master. Whenever he's investigated now, he simply admits his "mistakes." He's especially fond of going on The Larry King Show at any time of crisis. He's also refined his view of what he does. He doesn't heal anyone, he always reminds the interviewer. He just creates an atmosphere so that God can heal people. By the time people get to the stage, they've already been healed by God, he says. If the healing turns out to be bogus, then the person was self-deluded. Besides, hope is a great thing.

He also says he has a doctor backstage now to counsel the miracle cases and encourage them to continue with their medication until the healing has been verified. This seems to satisfy the media, even though it amounts to an admission of his own inability to know whether someone is healed.

The image he presents to the faithful is the opposite, of course. To them he's a man possessed of special wisdom. He sees things no one else can see. He has conversations with Jesus that no one else has had. He witnesses the presence of God when no one else would be aware of it. And he constantly says his teaching is "new." ("You didn't come here to hear the same preaching you've been hearing for 50 years, did you?") Of course, to orthodox Christians, this alone makes him heretical. Far from being "new," they would say, the gospel is unchanged over 2,000 years.

But there's an even darker side to Hinn and his organization. In 1998 two members of his inner circle died of heroin overdoses. In 1999, after one of his many vows of reform, he fired several board members and hired an ex-cop named Mario C. Licciardello to do an internal investigation of his ministry. Licciardello was the brother of Carman, who is sort of the Engelbert Humperdinck of Christian singers, so many think Hinn considered him "safe." But Licciardello did such a good job--taking hundreds of depositions and getting to the bottom of the heroin use--that Hinn then sued him. While Licciardello was still his head of security, Hinn’s organization filed a lawsuit demanding that all his files be turned over and sealed, because their public release could result in the end of the ministry. Licciardello was a police investigator with 25 years of experience, and he felt like his whole career was being smeared, so he fought back with his own lawyers. His counsel continually tried to take Hinn's deposition, but Hinn fought him at every step. The judge, however, ruled against him and said that, if Hinn intended to enjoin Licciardello, he would have to make himself available for questioning.

On the very day that Hinn was supposed to give his deposition in the case, Licciardello had a mysterious heart attack and died. The Hinn organization made an out-of-court settlement with Licciardello's widow, which included sealing the court papers.

The U.S. Attorney in Orlando had seated a secret Grand Jury to investigate Hinn; but Licciardello was the chief witness. After his death, Hinn was no-billed.

Hinn Cover

Hinn runs the largest evangelistic organization in the world that is not a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. That means his finances are private, his salary is secret, and his income is anybody's guess. Royalties from his books alone are estimated at $500,000 per year, but he essentially has carte blanche to take anything out of the till he wants. "He lives the lifestyle of a billionaire," says Ole Anthony, "all on the backs of false promises and selling false hope."

As Hinn put it himself, in a moment of rare revelatory candor, "I don't need gold in heaven, I gotta have it now."

During 1993, his one year of "reform," he talked about being stung by being portrayed as a millionaire and how he wanted to be "more Christ-like." His solution: "The Lord said sell the Benz and the watch."

He got rid of his Rolex and his Mercedes. Notice he didn't give them away. He sold them--and then replaced the Mercedes with a $65,000 BMW. This is what God told him to do. And who better to know what God wants, because Hinn, after all, is only the third person in the history of the universe to have actually seen God and lived to tell about it. God, he says, is 6-2 or 6-3, with long hair of a light brown color, and eyes that can look right through you.

So what is Benny Hinn really doing in Dallas? He's having conversations with a God who thinks about Rolexes and luxury cars a whole heck of a lot. God really did pick the right city, didn't he?


Comments(407)

Anonymous | 12:50 pm on 1/28/2009

I keep checking also, but nothing new. Along with the demise of The Christian Alliance for Progress web site two of my favorite religious sites are silent.

At the very least, can't someone please give an explanation for what has happened here. Also, is there somewhere else to get my humor for the day at the expense of those "Christians" with that certain mindset?

Anonymous | 09:16 am on 1/29/2009

If I am not mistaken I think it was in 1993 or so when jack hayford spoke from the pulpit about Benny Hinn. While at one time he renounced him as heretical in his teachings, I beleive that was the yaea where he said the Hinn had repented. Tha he met with him personally and that Mr. Himm was making himself accountable to Jack Hayford. It was about a year later that I started hearing him spout his heresies again. I heard through the grapevine that Hinn was no longer in such a relation whip wit Hayford. Do yoyu know anything of this?

Anonymous | 03:59 pm on 1/30/2009

Yes, the Door is no more. Apparently, Mr. Ole made some bad investments, blah, blah, blah. Only two volunteers man the website part time. It's a sad thing. Maybe more so that the folks felt no obligation or responsibility to address their subscribers. Alas.

Anonymous | 12:55 pm on 2/01/2009

Your would think that feeling just a little obligation to subscribers (and fans) would be the "Christian" thing to do.

PLEASE

Pastor Mark | 01:18 pm on 2/02/2009

Thankfully, Jesus Christ is nothing like any of the money hungry frauds calling themselves men of God. I encourage all to follow Jesus Christ, and him alone. Check everything against what He taught.

A Benny Hinn witness | 04:04 pm on 2/03/2009

I read through your article and believe that GOD does work miracles...even when we least expect it.. so I know I saw people being touched by the Holy Spirit at one of Benny Hinn's crusades, and THEY were not in touch with the Ministry or the officials prior to the event... SO I believe the faith of the people all trusting in the LORD Jesus Christ, whom Benny Hinn gave the glory to... did the work that saw people struck down by the power of the Holy Sipirit... YES struck down ... AND I was witness to this..(COs I had relatives in the group that was struck down.. who confirmed that something touched them and weakened them so they all swooned ..)

So if he's a fake... as you claim... Who are YOU to judge... do YOU not fear the commandment that we should "JUDGE NOT LEST WE BE JUDGED"...
Could YOU possibly be the fake yourself...?? I'm wondering cause I know the LORD does work miracles through people we least expect. And YES maybe he now works REAL miracles through GOD's GRACE and MERCY...
May God bless you all... lest you should fall...Amen

Anonymous | 03:54 am on 2/05/2009

Im just wondering if they can charge him on falsely administering a medical practice? Since some have died at his hand,literally,within weeks to months of his preachings! Cant he be convicted of mediacal fraud? Or even more if your really think about this.He is killing people and no one is doing anything about this?

Anonymous | 04:55 am on 2/11/2009

Do me a favor, will ya dickhead? you've freakin got the time to sit down and analyse whether benny hinn is a cheat or not and "substantiate" your arguments.... if you're sooooooooooo bothered about the truth and showing the world the truth about god,, u would have freakin used that time to pray with or witness to somebody. you had better do somethin like tha t and stop blaming other ministers who are up and about doing the right stuff.

Anonymous | 03:43 pm on 1/03/2011

but wicked men must be cast out.this man has done more than enough harm

Anonymous | 11:23 am on 2/14/2009

Are we Christians or are we witches? I don't know about Hinn, but I do know the Bible asks us to bless others and not curse them. I didn't read all of the above comments, I stopped when they got to full on bickering. Hinn might be wrong and to interject personal opinion I think he is, but in the end my name is not Holy Spirit so it's not up to me (or you) to decide. What I found most heartbreaking in that article were the countless stories of people who believed God had healed them and died soon after. Because what this really taints is people's perception of God, not Hinn. I don't think it really matters what we think about Hinn, but if we let this man taint our view of who he represents, then we have our answer. Let's just pray for Hinn, if he's in the wrong he'll have to deal with it. And let's pray for all the people who look on and their hearts are hardened to the true Physician.

Anonymous | 04:44 am on 2/25/2009

Hi,

I would like to share something. First of all, I don't think it's fair for any christian to judge another christian. You call benny an anti-christ. I'm sure if people knew more about you who are judging, then they may think the same of you. So who is worse: A) a bank robber or B) A murderer and adulterer?

I think most of you are going to say B). And yet king David was B, benny hinn we can say is A (though I don't agree that benny is A...but lets say he is). Well King David is B...and yet God says about King David "He's a man after God's own heart". Point is, DON'T JUDGE if your a christian. Let the non-christians judge. To think believers agreeing with unbelievers (and you think nothing is wrong with this?)

Now Todd Bentley, I would argue is a different story. A man preaching an "angel" rather than "Jesus". Did Todd last ....obviously not...because he was not of God.

I'd also like to point out the fact, that benny's been serving God for over 35 years. I don't know of many christians who would be able to carry on for that long in a ministry (I certainly think it would take a toll on me). Everyone that is not from God....can they stand???? ...of course not! So how does benny stand....pretty obvious to me...he is a brother in Christ.

Sad thing is...let's just say Benny Hinn is taking your money. What do you care???? If benny is doing this...I'd hate to be benny. But does that give you a right to blaspheme God, accusing a brother to be the anti-christ. Even worse yet, i would guess that most of you who conmplain don't even give 10% of your income, as God requires of us. How do I know, because the people who judge, always have something to hide. The people who whine about money, always look for an excuse not to give. I don't need to boast, because freely God has provided for me and blessed me with more than I could ever ask for. Any yet, I would venture a guess that I give more than all of you who whine. And I don't whine and complain. Because as a steward of God's blessings, I can understand the toll, hard labour places on an individual. And no I'm not a factory worker, I'm an actuary.

I say blah to James statement "hard earned money of the faithful"...are you kidding me? Any believer, who claims to have earned anything is IGNORANT. God provides and blesses in all things. That's a fact!!!

Anonymous | 10:35 am on 2/28/2009

You're an actuary who doesn't know his Bible. God does not require 10% of our money - He requires it all. But if for some reason you want to play the OT game of tithing then you need to be giving all tithes - 23%+. And since you want to play that game, I assume you are Jewish because only they were allowed to give to the Levitical priests.

As Christians, we are certainly allowed to call out other Christians' bad theology. We are not to judge non-Christians. So I can certainly question/judge Benny (or maybe I shouldn't because I seriously doubt he's a Christian) - he's a snake oil salesman and I've seen a good friend destroyed after getting involved with this fool.

Shalom | 07:06 am on 5/08/2009

How do you expect Hinn to preach the Gospel to regions around the world if we don't support him? You must think beyond what the cost is to do all the travelling and time spent doing what Hinn is called to do to preach the Gospel through out the world.Try to think of all the work that is put in place just to set up the area for the people to see him. Hinn does not do the healing he even says so in his prayer for the person, he always says "give the glory to God , praise Him and give His thanks" he never takes credit for himself. .so please try to be witnesses to you faith and stop judging him or others . Peace to you all, Bless your enemies,Pray for one another.Peace

Chris Donnelly | 12:24 am on 3/06/2009

Wow. I'm just recovering from cancer treatments, and I think of all the vulnerable people I've seen who've been searching for answers. I think that part makes me want to wretch more than the chemo....

SRebbe | 11:44 pm on 3/10/2009

Madeoff! Madeoff! Give us Madeoff! Keep your Jeebus! Give us Madeoff! And Louisville Sluggers! LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTTSSS of Sluggers!

ClioSmith | 09:42 pm on 3/12/2009

I attended a small Bible Pentecostal Bible college in the early 80s and Benny Hinn came for a one evening rally in the fall of 1982. His hair was jet black then and he was thinner, but he displayed many of the same antics recounted in this article. Those antics have been a source of intriguing conversation for almost three decades by those of us who watched them and tried to figure out their meaning. Some of us--including me--have never been able to reconcile what we saw and heard with the central message of the Gospel.

The most telling example, perhaps, relates to one of our Native American students who had a small baby and who wanted to be in the service. Hinn had warned sternly that there were to be no babies in the sanctuary, because (as he explained it), the devil makes them cry and this breaks the anointing of the Holy Spirit just when the miracles are beginning to occur. Well, this particular student snuck her baby in during the healing service, and the baby did cry aloud, causing a shriek of extreme irritation from Hinn. I pretty much concluded then and there that Hinn's methods had more to do with hypnotism than with the Holy Spirit. I haven't seen much to contradict that since.

One of our Bible teachers, an older and relatively wiser gentleman whom we called Brother Davidson, believed that Hinn did have a special gift from God, but was majoring in theatrics. This professor was a stern man, and when the then young Hinn met with our college faculty, he (the professor) warned him in no uncertain terms to STAY AWAY FROM THE GOLD! Judging by his current lifestyle, Hinn didn't stick by this advice. Christian celebrityship is a damnable thing, in my opinion. I'd much sooner look to Ole Anthony for spiritual wisdom than to Hinn.

PurpleGirl | 09:53 pm on 3/12/2009

As I read the article I kept thinking that Hinn must have read about L. Ron Hubbard and decided to do the same thing to get rich -- start his own church (although in Hinn's case one that is vaguely Christian).

As I see it it, the man's a fraud and criminal.

Sandi B | 03:45 pm on 3/13/2009

It is illegal for anyone but you to reveal your medical records including your doctor.
On the other hand; let's find out what is happening with Susan, Benny's wife... RUMOR IS: she moved out of the mansion and was fired by a young man Benny recently hired and gave her job to...

???? the mystery continues... maybe we should hear from her....

Anonymous | 12:47 pm on 3/23/2009

Hinn sounds as if he's threatening people with sickness or personal peril of violence from unnamed enemies if they don't believe in him and his new doctrines and sens him more money.
That's not typical faith-healing and no one in the mainstream of faith-healing condones it. Most faith-healers ask for no money and are never widely known, because they don't seek fame. Additionally, most miraculous healings take place in private, when an individual prays and is healed quietly. No "professional", no "celebrity", is there or has anything to do with it.
I've had many diagnosed illnesses that doctors couldn't do anything about, which vanished the day I finally prayed over them. No one was there to gain anything from it but me and God. It wasn't autosuggestion. If autosuggestion could cure some of these illnesses, hypnotherapists would be the most sought-after specialists in the world and books on autosuggestive healing would outsell all other categories put together; it would be a matter of obvious supply and demand. There would be almost no other medical work going on anywhere. After all, autosuggestion is under the patient's total personal control. Limits to healing would vanish completely and long-term sickness would be all but unknown. This is clearly not the world we live in. Instead, sometimes a healing occurs that beats the odds, and the overwhelming majority of such healings occur right after a prayer for that particular healing. That is real faith-healing. No mansions, no strobe lights, no million-dollar vacations. Just a prayer in a living room or at a bus stop or in a laundry or store, and a successful recovery, contrary to prognosis.
Hinn may have failed to produce the real thing because of his false doctrines. If God doesn't choose to support Hinn's teaching, He won't support it.
Don't miss out on the real thing. A good way to make sure you never get taken in by a false healer is never to pay for it or go on TV for it. That way no one has anything to gain by faking it. if you do end up on TV getting a healing form a televangelist star, got o the doctor and have it verified. You can avoid prejudicing the doctor's diagnsis by not mentioning the healing show. If you just say you're feeling better and want it rechecked, perhaps the doctor will run a new test and see whether you're still afflicted with the condition. If so, then, keep doing what the doctor says. If not, then, praise the Lord.

Insightmedia | 07:07 am on 3/24/2009

PLEASE READ THIS POST

To begin with this Article isn't inspired by the Lord! John you have brought such judgement on your life for slandering Benny Hinn, he's a man of God I'd recommend you all read a book called God's Generals by Roberts Liardon! Many of the early Pentecostal Pioneers were slandered called fakes and maligned! It makes perfect sense that Benny's ministry is suffering the same abuses by people, you'll find that people who write such Pride full remarks on this site aren't walking with the Lord (probably never have and have never understood what dying to self is!) Do any of you have a ministry and then if you do is are sign's and wonders fallowing your ministry?? I really respect Benny for his ministry around the world bringing people to Faith in Jesus Christ and healing the sick and setting the captives free! As to Benny's lifestyle thats between him and the Lord. God Bless (especially to those who have been helped by this comment) please read the positive reports of Pentecostalism and then do your own research and you will find that God is with people like Benny Hinn. Again God Bless and Keep you in his Love. Danny

Anonymous | 02:41 pm on 4/02/2009

GREAT ARTICLE!!
Benny Hinn is such a scumbag that from the first time I saw him, I wanted to throw-up. I can't say anything more to add to this article, except I'm glad I found it. Someday, he may be roasting in Hell for all of his deceptive behavior.

Anonymous | 08:24 pm on 4/05/2009

i think you guys were all decieved. benny hinn is not out to get your money... it's about sowing a seed. in order to get something, give a little and then you reap your harvest. and to let you know, benny had to cut his salry back a lot because he felt bad that people thought he was getting paid too much. his crusades are truly real, i have been, and my mom was completely healed. it wasnt benny, but god through benny, and he wants people to know that he is not fake! but any honest christian knows the power of god when they encounter it. and benny lives in it because he had completely surrendered his life to the lord. so stop talking about him like he is dirt. that goes to show how mature you are. really.

Milton G. | 05:50 am on 4/07/2009

That men like this exist is why people turn away from denomination, religion, faith, hope and GOD. Most folks think that if one is guilty, they all are. Lets hope not. Do we really need these people on TV? Is just going to church in our hometowns not enough for us anymore?

Anonymous | 08:12 pm on 4/17/2009

Shame on all you self rightouss Christians. As a Christian, I always thought that we were not to Gossip or back bite and here you all are Backbitting and gossiping like this.I mean have any of you ever even met Benny Hinn? Futhermore the Bible says instead of Judging others we should judge ourselves. Examine yourself for once and you will be surprised at what you find. Does everyone at your work place know you as the guy or gal thats all about the LORD? If not ask yourself why not? We are supposed to be born again of the spirit and go after the things of the spirit. Do you even share your faith with folks? Do you pray for people. Do you obey the Lords laws? Do you know that hell is a real place?

Revelation 22:14-15 (New King James Version)
14 Blessed are those who do His commandments,[a] that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But[b] outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. People we should be operating out of love.

Shalom | 07:26 am on 5/08/2009

Oh!!!How it is so nice to have someone writing here that feels the same way I do.No one should judge another person. But we all are at fault as we are mere humans wbo make mistakes (sin) also.Not our calling to do so.We must pray for each other BLESSINGS not GOSSIP CURSES upon people belivers or not. Peace

Chris from Australia | 06:50 am on 5/13/2009

Good on you Shalom. Aren't we about following Jesus?! We are created in God's image for a relationship with God, as a community. Let's act like it. God is Love. Let's show it to each other.

Vito | 11:27 pm on 5/06/2009

OK, this guy is one of the most rediculous of all the health and wealth crooks. Here's the problem, there are a lot more out there less flamboyant and conspicuous and they are also fleecing the weak vulnerable and sorry to be brutally honest the ignorant. I was encouraged to see the Grassley investigation, hopefully it hasn't stalled. These guys are crooks and deserve to be punished just like any other thief. One more thing, how sad is it when you talk to the poor people being taken by these snakes and they can't see how they're being dupped.

rajan karki | 05:29 am on 5/13/2009

i have done very detailed research on most prominent of god i was very shocked and dismayed at what i found .plz to find out about them ur self in false prophets, false teachers, heresies, etc and u will surprise at what u will find . we r really in the last of the last day.

Chris from Australia | 06:44 am on 5/13/2009

Erm, I always thought that the proof of a good ministry was in the Fruits of the Spirit it displayed. It seems to me that there is a lot of effort to point the finger at what Benny is doing wrong. A lot of sheild thumping and the cry of "shoot him down" because we don't agree with his methods. Maybe they aren't the best. He is human after all. Why not look at the fruits his ministry is producing? Hmmm? If there is even one person who has come to Christ as a result ... And at the same time let's look at the fruits his critics ministries are producing? How many people have you won for Christ? Hmmm?
We look to the Bible to see that God uses flawed people to get his message out there. After all Moses was a murderer, David was an adulterer ... And what did Jesus say about casting the first stone?

Beloved Spear | 04:41 pm on 5/13/2009

For the defenders of Benny...hey, even the Apostle Paul laid into the charlatans of his day. Have you actually read Galatians? 2 Corinthians? Give it a try sometime. And Jesus wasn't all sweetness and light either, particularly with the wealthy and powerful. Again, you have to actually have read the Gospels to know this.

For the Door...oh, how we miss you. Still this site dangles, static, dead and unchanging as the Aristotelean Unmoved Mover. LIIIIVE! LIIIVE!

Stephanie | 08:30 am on 5/15/2009

I was sitting in Children's Medical Center in the Cardiac Ward holding my Grandson who had just had open heart surgery. He was 4 years old and in terrible pain. The night before while I was outside smoking with some of the other many family members with sick children..dieing children..dead children..for some reason I thought of Benny Hinn.
That same night while holding my Grandson and with the one free hand I had..(moving it through wires..moniters..etc) flipping through the channels I came upon this horrible man Benny Hinn. If God were to give someone an anointing that healed the sick..raised the dead..would he not have immediately sent him to this place of immense suffering..of the little children..innocent little children? I know it would be the very first place I would run to had I been "anointed" (whatever the .... that means.) I broke down in tears at the amount of people who are so empty..as to follow this demon...cause if there ever was one..he is it. (Satan = Father of Lies) I know people will read this and defend their "idol" Benny Hinn..but trust me..if I have to go to hell itself to see his day of reckoning..I swear it will be worth it. People..please..stop this man..don't give him anything..turn from his wickedness lest you go down with it..

Anonymous | 06:18 pm on 5/23/2009

YOU STUPIT EDIOT
GOT NOTHING NICE TO SAY THEN PISS OFF!!
BEENY HINN IS DA BEST =)

budda | 11:38 pm on 5/19/2009

Damn, what is it now, 5 or 6 months since the blessed Door was shut. Still, people are finding this site and commenting on an even older article. So very sad to see it go... What a loss to Christendom.

No more Cornerstone, no more Door. I feel old. Maybe the church is dying such a death that it isn't needed anymore. Maybe it's being so homogenized into a "Progressive Traditional" cookie cutter mold that the bad excesses and abuses are fading along with the good society changing influence it once had on the world.

Is the financial crisis so bad that we just don't care anymore. Is the era of the national ministry over. Are we going to completely abdicate our role as christians in society to the government, let Obama care for the sick and the needy, the widows and orphans. If we do that then we deserve whatever fate befalls us. Are we just goin... Wow, look at the time, I gotta go, it's the final vote on AMERICAN IDOL TONIGHT, like right now!!!

Anonymous | 03:09 pm on 5/24/2009

For those of you who miss the humor (at the expense of the RR) which was the hallmark of this site (which I found only a short time before its demise - sure wish it would start up again) I would like to give you two sites I have recently been led to and hopefully you will enjoy. They are "Republican Faith Chat" and "ChristWire" (Sorry, I'm not computer savy enough to provide links.)

If any of you know of other sites of interest please provide the information.

Thanks

Anonymous | 06:13 pm on 5/23/2009

YOUS ALL SHOULD GO 2 HELL
BENNY IS THE MAN! =)

Anonymous | 06:13 pm on 5/23/2009

YOUS ALL SHOULD GO 2 HELL
BENNY IS THE MAN! =)

pigseye | 03:16 pm on 5/30/2009

Dear anonymous,
Your point is so well thought out, your presentation so vivid, so alive. You LOVE Benny Hinn and that's that!!! Boy it doesn't get any more clear than that. Here's a little advise, THINK.
You are like a silly woman with no discretion. You may think, but he says Jesus a lot, and he is dressed in white, and of course he is. He looks fantastic. So he's made a lot of money so did Bernie Madoff was he so bad? After all he does send pretty trinkets like
green colored holy oil for those idiots who support him. Oh, I hope you're not one of them, if so I'm sorry. Hey have you seen the
Joel Osteen at Yankee stadium extravaganza yet? I'll bet he would really speak to your heart. He did mine.

Anonymous | 12:26 am on 6/13/2009

Speaking of fraud, some people just aren't what they seem to be. Isn't that so Bloom?

Anonymous | 07:29 am on 7/01/2009

ah yes In a nutshell what we have here is a case of a very rich vintage fruitcake. This fruitcake is tan in colour and is often seen in white dressing,it has 2 nuts and has been transported to the 4 corners of the world. It has also been believed to chanel divine healing powers.However this fruitcake is parasitic in nature in that it feeds on money. It does this by praying on the pity and trust of divine rewards in it's followers.To help it do this it plays "mood music" and has its followers chant so they fall into a more sugestible trance like state,however they are still concious in the process.
Here,we at the fruitcake detection agency have dubbed this fruitcake the Hinncake. We advise you stay away from this fruitcake least you take on its portrayed fruitcake way of reasoning too!

No seriously I have read one way to tell if someones in a sugestible trance is to see (with the exception of the room being dark) if their pupils are dialated.

C. Barton | 04:22 pm on 7/05/2009

When I was married, I knew when my wife was on the phone just by her voice. In fact, the relationship we had produced knowledge of her; I could identify her and her work whenever I saw it.
So why do we question, even for a moment, this bizzare drek? Do we really know God, or what He wants? C'mon!
And another thing, the Holy Spirit, as far as I'm concerned, doesn't cause people to fall down with seizures and crawl around barking like animals. If the Apostle Paul were alive he would make a whip of cords and drive these animnals out of our temples.

Cristian cuadros | 06:27 pm on 7/05/2009

Pues no me gusto una que salia Benny como Jesus, No asi no es...Él solamente es usado para esas cosas es porque el Espiritu Santo mora en Él !!!
No lo idolatren, miren que eso es un Pecado y no lo digo Yo,si no la Biblia ............DEJEN SUS BOBADAS !!
Porque el no los va a Salvar solo los que lo Salvan si se arrepienten es Jesus!! Ok que quede Grabado en tu mente...Gracias

Cristian cuadros | 06:28 pm on 7/05/2009

Pues no me gusto una que salia Benny como Jesus, No asi no es...Él solamente es usado para esas cosas es porque el Espiritu Santo mora en Él !!!
No lo idolatren, miren que eso es un Pecado y no lo digo Yo,si no la Biblia ............DEJEN SUS BOBADAS !!
Porque el no los va a Salvar solo los que lo Salvan si se arrepienten es Jesus!! Ok que quede Grabado en tu mente...Gracias

the apostle | 03:51 pm on 7/09/2009

I think before you judge a person or there ministry maby you should personally attend one of his fire conferences and sit up front where the Glory of God appears then and only then can you make the decision that this person is fake!!! I have been to a fire conference and I assure you the power of the holy ghost is more realer than you and I.

Floyd Reed | 05:51 pm on 7/09/2009

most people know or should know Benny hinn is on of the biggest crook around, him and Mike Modock, I write to my sentor all the time about him. Something neefd done about these crook TV preacher. Wake up people

Floyd Reed

rubysings | 06:43 am on 8/02/2009

Good idea to write to the senator about Murdock, he has been
preaching the same sermon for 20 years!!!! Who watches this stuff?
The ones I like are few and far between, but I am thankful for the freedom of Christian radio and tv etc The best ones are already dead
like J Vernon McGee, Lester Sumrall, James Kennedy...

Anonymous | 11:35 am on 7/13/2009

people can say whatever they want to say worse is the character assassination!!but the question is did they experienced it themselves?? u know how powerful words are! why don't u try to attend one of his crusade and see for your self..have you really experience God's pressence i guess not coz ur heart and eyes are centered on what u just wanna believe..no matter what Benny hinn does its between Him and God! OK not ur problem..

Anonymous | 04:17 am on 7/15/2009

I disagree. Benny Hinn is a public man. His so call ministry based on hypnosis, false prophecies, money leaching and bogus healing has destroyed the life of many.

Anonymous | 11:17 pm on 2/15/2010

I have certainly experienced being in God's pressence but it didn't cost me. It was FREE.

Attending a Benny Hinn crusade wont change the fact that he lives a very lavish life style on the expence of desprately sick, dying and aged people.

Anonymous | 04:13 am on 7/15/2009

I have seen on a video on youtube that an old lady was trampled to death and a young girl broke a leg in one of the most reverend Benny Hinn mass slain in the spirit seance of hypnotism. If anyone would know about that or if it could be added in this article exposing the illustrious carreer of the most renown faith healer, I would greatly appreciate

Keith | 04:04 am on 7/18/2009

Jesus loves you all. God beleives in you even if you do not beleive in him.

We have all been given a thing called "choice" what we do with that is up to us. Just remember we will all be held responcible for our sins no matter who we are when we are brought before our lord on judgement day.

"Dear lord, I know I am a sinner. I ask you to forgive me of all my sins. I beleive you are the son of god, that you were born to the virgin mary, that you lived a sinless life, that you were crusified on the cross and on that 3rd day rose again. You came as a sacrifice for us, to bair the burden of sin. Please come life in my heart, may the holy spirit fill my soul and help guide me on the right path to your glory oh lord. May you help guide me, keep me and show me the way and to do what you have set me on this earth to do for your glory. I ask you lord that you will keep us all in your sights lord and keep us from evil. Greater is he (My lord) then he that is in the world (satan/evil). Dear lord... I ask that you will bless me with that in which you have promised for me. I thank you lord and only you as I ask these things in the nameof Jesus Christ."

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