Right-wing televangelist Jim Bakker is blaming “cancel culture” for his having to serve seven years in prison having been convicted of 24 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy in 1989 after he oversold millions of dollars worth of “lifetime partnerships” to his Heritage USA Christian theme park and kept the money for himself so he could live like a baller, as Jesus would have done.
The former felon complained on last Friday’s edition of his television program, The Jim Bakker Show:
They canceled me, and it was a group of preachers that I worked with. Mainly it was the media, and the media got a Pulitzer Prize for putting me in prison. That’s what they do, they reward the enemies of the gospel and the cancel culture. We had the largest ministry of its type in the world – Heritage USA -millions of people came there, and it was millions being saved around the world, and they literally took it away, put it into bankruptcy, said they were gonna care for it, and it was all lies. It was a takeover plan and it was done in front of the world. And that is what cancel culture is.
One of the biggest agencies of the federal government produced video from my show video and edited it and put me in prison. They said – they testified that it was that video that made people believe, ‘Well, something must be wrong.’ They made me say things I didn’t say. They just put pieces together, thousands of pieces of my show, and so when I went to trial for the last trial after prison, after I got out of a prison, I was put on trial again, and in that, the lawyers got all that tape that the government had edited – the government did it! Just like now, this is cancel culture and they took it apart and put it back the way it was on the show. And the lies – they made me tell lies that weren’t there – and when the courts heard this, they saw the first video that the government had edited and then they saw the one from the original, they voted unanimously that I wasn’t guilty. Nobody knows these things. It was in the paper that brought me down but it was like two inches in the back of the paper. ‘Jim Bakker wins.’ It was cancel culture. They did everything to cancel me. Everything to erase me.
Bakker had his 45-year sentenced reduced on appeal in 1991 and he was released from prison in 1994. But he was never determined to be innocent. He was represented by attorney Alan Dershowitz, now a close ally of former President Donald Trump.
Per The Washington Post on February 13, 1991:
A federal appeals court yesterday threw out televangelist Jim Bakker’s 45-year prison sentence and ordered that a new judge resentence the defrocked preacher for his 1989 fraud convictions — raising the specter of a Jim and Tammy comeback, if not right around the corner then certainly sooner than anyone dreamed.See Also
A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond said Bakker was fairly tried and convicted on 24 counts of wire fraud, mail fraud and conspiracy. But it ruled that the federal judge who sentenced him abused his discretion and violated Bakker’s due process rights by making scathing remarks about ‘money-grubbing preachers.’
Bakker, the charismatic TV preacher who fell from grace in a sex and hush-money scandal, was convicted of fleecing his flock of millions of dollars in a 1989 trial, a soap opera-style media circus interrupted when one witness fainted on the stand and, later, when Bakker was found cowering under his lawyer’s couch in a fetal position and suffering from hallucinations.
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.