Right-wing televangelist Jim Bakker this week asked his followers to send him $1,000 donations in exchange for books, a CD, a DVD, and a blanket that he and his panel of con artists claimed pays off people’s bills.
“I’m just going to reiterate that I want you when you order this $1,000 to do it in faith. Sow that $1,000 seed in faith believing that this is part of your seed into the kingdom of God. You’re doing something for the kingdom of God,” Bakker proclaimed on The Jim Bakker Show on Tuesday.
Seed sowing – the idea that one can buy their way into heaven because “God” is somehow always broke – has been a habituated grift among conservative religious leaders for centuries. The roots of the scam trace back to the Middle Ages in Europe when the all-powerful Catholic Church convinced a largely illiterate and superstitious population that they could pay “indulgences” to offset potential punishment in the afterlife for misdeeds committed in the physical world.
This transparent exploitation of the vulnerable poor and working classes was a catalyst for Martin Luther’s Protestant Reformation.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI resurrected the collection of indulgences in 2009 after a mere 32-year pause even though the Vatican had quietly banned the program in 1567.
Bakker, meanwhile, had to ask what the blanket was named.
“And so we’re sending out the – what do you call the blanket again – ‘Miracles Happen’ blanket. That blanket right there. Sleep under it, or do whatever you wanna do. Hang it on the wall. That’d be a great wall hanger,” Bakker continued as the blue tapestry was displayed on the screen.
Joan Hunter, the author of one of the books which Bakker peddled, interrupted to tout the “Miracles Happen” blanket’s magical might.
“Lay it over your finances. Lay it over your bills, cause healing of your finances. Put your wallet in there, or your credit cards, all the bills, you know, house, the mortgage, put it on there. We’re having houses paid off this week, last month, and this month, and I’m like, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah,” she declared.
“Amen,” Bakker replied.
Watch below via Right Wing Watch:
For a donation of $1,000, Jim Bakker will send you two books, a CD, a DVD, plus a miracle blanket which, if you put your bills under it, will miraculously help you pay them off. pic.twitter.com/wamAWWtGlA
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) August 11, 2021
The Twitterverse took things from there. Users understandably suspected fraud:
Pretty amazing this guy is still on the grift horse 30+ years later.
— CK (@HRCDemocrat) August 11, 2021
“What do ya call the blanket again?” Doesn’t have the decency to know the name of the damn thing. Illustrates the concern he has for his target audience. Anyone ( like myself ) who recalls his PTL scam knows how criminal this is. How he’s not in jail is the only “miracle” here.
— DevilDJ (@DevilDJ32) August 11, 2021
Only the idiots do, which unfortunately is most of folks who watch this
— American Dad (@EmersonBulldogs) August 11, 2021
No not really, see America has many backward minded folks living in the South. These people rely on religion to hope/pray God will bring them money, favor, and make all non-whites disappear…no joke. Miracle blanket? They believe it!
— American Dad (@EmersonBulldogs) August 11, 2021
Isnt this borderline fraud?
— Donald J. Turncoat (@DDumpsterfire) August 11, 2021
Or he miraculously disappears 😉
— Eric Rossoni (@EricRossoni) August 11, 2021
— Nusaybah (@hate_stopper) August 11, 2021
Wells Fargo: sir, pay your mortgage. Me: no, I put it under a blanket, it’s paid off.
— David Meloy (@Mcrynead) August 11, 2021
Use the miracle blanket as a giz rag
— Cool Breeze (@Billy15204527) August 11, 2021
Wow, Jim is about to come out from under that blanket able to F’ing machine pic.twitter.com/dbFL4UNpCa
— iSavage_PI 🔪 (@iSavage_PI) August 11, 2021
Funny when I was in HS on bus trips the miracle blanket had a whole different meaning
— Jamison Taters McFee (@JamisonMcfee) August 11, 2021
Others had some poignant questions:
So I send them $1000 and put the credit card bill in the blanket?
— Alpha Boss ⚡ (@alph43oss) August 11, 2021
A "miracle blanket"?! Did Bakker have a recent conversation with Bob Tilton?
— Mike Meadway 🇺🇸 🇩🇰 🇬🇧 (@mmeadway) August 11, 2021
You go back to your date's house and they have the Miracles Happen blanket, wyd?
— Wayward J. Horizons (@MrHorizons) August 11, 2021
Can they put this blanket on Mike Lindell’s cyber symposium?
— Radical Jesus (@RogueChristLord) August 11, 2021
How is he not in jail?!
— Grateful Ginger (@Grateful_Ginger) August 11, 2021
A grand for two books, one CD, and a DVD? Wait a minute… who uses cds anymore?
— Maxmackie (@OllieO70862237) August 11, 2021
If there weren't people falling for this stuff then Jim Baker wouldn't be on air, right?
— Jewels✨ (@JewelsLand) August 11, 2021
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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.