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Scores lose jobs as Holy Land undergoes extreme makeover (Orlando, FL)

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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-21-07 09:40 PM
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Scores lose jobs as Holy Land undergoes extreme makeover (Orlando, FL)
Scores lose jobs as Holy Land undergoes extreme makeover

By Mark I. Pinsky
October 21, 2007

Paul and Jan Crouch, founders of the world's largest Christian media empire, walk a little slower these days. But that hasn't slowed down the whirlwind transformation of their newest acquisition: Orlando's Holy Land Experience theme park.
When their Trinity Broadcasting Network purchased Holy Land for $37 million in June, longtime employees and supporters hoped the takeover would usher in a new era of financial stability for the park. However, once the first family of old-school American televangelism settled in, they began reshaping it.


But for many of the longtime Holy Land workers let go since Trinity took the reins, the Crouches have been more like a wrecking crew. Paul, Jan and their management team have acted like "a cross between the Sopranos and the Beverly Hillbillies," said Keith Wright, Holy Land's former security chief.


Since Holy Land passed into the control of the Crouches, it also has undergone a theological shift -- from its founder's Baptist roots to a branch of Pentecostal Protestantism.

The Crouches are proponents of what is known as the "prosperity gospel." It is based on the precept of "sacrificial giving by faith," which encourages followers to donate to their financial limits -- and in some cases beyond -- believing the contribution will miraculously multiply.
While Baptists, such as Holy Land's founder, the Rev. Marvin Rosenthal, do not subscribe to the prosperity gospel, the doctrine has worked for Trinity and the Crouches. They drive luxury cars, occupy 30 houses across the country and fly on a 19-seat corporate turbojet -- all owned by Trinity.


In their inaugural broadcast from Holy Land, the couple introduced the park to Trinity Broadcasting Network's audience. Taping their signature Praise the Lord talk and variety show, 69-year-old Jan was resplendent beneath her blond coif. Frequent tears during her 10-minute appearance caused mascara to run down her cheeks.

"Holy Land Experience is our latest and most recent miracle," said Paul Crouch, 73. "And we love you with all of our hearts."


Because it has been less than forthcoming about reporting its financial dealings, Trinity was downgraded from a "C" to an "F" this year by the Christian watchdog organization
But that hasn't shaken their fans and followers.
"The people who watch Trinity are emotionally tied to the Crouches, and they cannot see the reality of the situation," said Rusty Leonard, founder of "We admire their faith, but we are alarmed at their lack of discernment."

Also, this graphic at the link:

Holy Land at a glance

Feb. 5, 2001: Holy Land Experience, $16million theme park, opens on 15acres on Conroy Road at I-4, to a barrage of national and international publicity.

Aug. 19, 2002: Scriptorium, $8million, multimedia biblical-antiquities museum opens.

July 20, 2005: Holy Land founder, the Rev. Marvin Rosenthal, steps down as head of the financially troubled park.

June 6, 2006: Gov. Jeb Bush signs a law exempting Holy Land from Orange County property taxes.

June 6, 2007: Trinity Broadcasting Network acquires Holy Land in a $37million deal. SOURCE: Sentinel research

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WorseBeforeBetter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-21-07 09:55 PM
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1. Luxury cars, 30 houses across the country and a 19-seat corporate turbojet?
Doesn't sound very Jesus-y to me! I'm sure the blonde coiffed missus gets the $12 'do at Hair Cuttery, so it's all okay.

A proverb about fools and money is coming to mind...
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