Rev. Robert Schuller: Pimping God To The End

moxley-confidential-crystal-cathedral-robert-schuller.6219959.40.jpg
Brother, can you spare several dimes?
The Reverend Robert Schuller and his wife recently quit the board of the Garden Grove-based global televangelist church they recklessly drove into a massive $50 million bankruptcy and one of their daughters has announced she intends to create a new church.

Most mainstream media accounts of the developments, especially on Los Angeles television and radio stations, have struck a bereaved pose as if the end of the Schuller family era at the Crystal Cathedral is worthy of a collective sympathetic community sigh.

Schuller deserves credit for all of his lifetime achievements. He built a highly profitable, international televangelist empire. He undoubtedly inspired millions of people. Along with Disneyland, massive traffic jams and kooky politicians, his glass church was one of Orange County's best known icons for decades.

But let's not forget reality.

There was an ugly side to the Crystal Cathedral operation. Schuller hauled in as much as $25 million a month in tax-free donations with appeals mostly to dirt poor Latinos. His pitch was often shameless: "Spare a dime" for "the helpless" and Jesus "will show [you] the path of life."
 
As I revealed in an April 2011 column based on bankruptcy records, Schuller, his extended family and closest aides--all of whom you could fairly call helplessly rich--diverted large sums of church donations to live exceptionally well. Not many American families enjoy vacation homes in Laguna Beach, Big Bear, Hawaii and Colorado--all private retreats that gave the Schullers much needed breaks from counting all those stacks of incoming dinero. The church's top ex-businessman lives behind guards and gates in Newport Coast--Southern California's most exclusive, ocean-view residential neighborhood that has been called home by mega-millionaires Kobe Bryant and Dean Koontz.

The bankruptcy records annihilated the deceitful, cemented facade that Schuller's every waking moment was devoted to helping the needy. For example, at one point when the ministry nabbed donations of more than $14 million, the Schuller clan directly grabbed hundreds of thousands of dollars while it spent just $22 a day to feed the poor.
 
It's no surprise then that the final straw in Schuller's decision to angrily leave the church board and threaten legal action involves not God, not the poor, not preaching but rather his own finances. Despite the millions and millions of dollars he, his family and closest aides have taken over the years, the reverend wants the faltering church to guarantee him payments of almost five times the local median household income: $320,000 a year.

Perhaps it was just a coincidence that a recent Schuller family televised sermon was titled after the motto on American currency, "In God We Trust."

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20 comments
Dgilson15
Dgilson15

What has happened to scullers daughter Christina? They used to be on a show called laguna beach n am sure they made money doing that for a while.

Robert Burke
Robert Burke

Well, Here is what Craig Bernthal wrote regarding possibility thinkers, sometimes called Romantics, who don't ever teach, don't ever preach, don't ever think that they -- themselves -- are possible of self-dealing shenanigans... and moral failings.  (It's the problem with Churchianity, TBN, Benny Hinn, et al.  They preach man sins, but -- not them, and we lessors will never understand why they must self-deal so much!  We're not to look behind the curtain!)

"Chesterton understood, way early in the game, the tendency of Romanticism to produce cultural elites. Commenting on Thomas Carlyle’s love of the aristocracy, Chesterton cautioned:The weak point in the whole of Carlyle's case for aristocracy lies, indeed, in his most celebrated phrase. Carlyle said that men were mostly fools. Christianity, with a surer and more reverent realism, says that they are all fools. This doctrine is sometimes called the doctrine of original sin. It may also be described as the doctrine of the equality of men. But the essential point of it is merely this, that whatever primary and far-reaching moral dangers affect any man, affect all men. All men can be criminals, if tempted; all men can be heroes, if inspired. And this doctrine does away altogether with Carlyle's pathetic belief (or anyone else's pathetic belief) in "the wise few." There are no wise few. Every aristocracy that has ever existed has behaved, in all essential points, exactly like a small mob.The men who wrote the constitution and debated it in The Federalist Papers had a deep understanding of universal human moral failure. They tried to write a document that would protect us against ourselves. But the moral aristocracy has now grown to include perhaps the majority of voting Americans. Despite tough economic times and an Islamist threat which is still very much alive, we are living in the “circumambient gas.”  I don’t think we can stay there forever."http://victorhanson.com/articl...

David Owen
David Owen

This looks like textbook-style fraud. Why doesn't the IRS investigate them for illegal inurement?

Crystal Evans
Crystal Evans

Ironically, their Latino church has twice as many members as their Anglo congregation.

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

Funny how all these televangelist huckster types always forget what Jesus said about how it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for the rich man to enter heaven. Even I, an apostate, remembers that!

Sacks
Sacks

 ma ma dipshit...what the fuck do you think his 'personal assistant' is going to tell you?how many more checks do you have coming?people arent as stupid as your donors so take your spin right the fuck down to the unemployment office.

Liliana_Theodra
Liliana_Theodra

Copy of the discharge is mailed by the bankruptcy court clerk for the debtor. In case you have not received the Bankruptcy court records or securely placed, not traceable in the moments of needs. You can find the same at http://goo.gl/rbveC to posses a copy of your bankruptcy discharge and and prove that your bankruptcy case is finished.

Ma Ma Creek
Ma Ma Creek

You are so full of it! What planet are you from? 25 million a month? In 2007 CC brought in 60 million dollars a year according to Charles Smith, Schuller's personal  assistant who was the liaison between him and the biggest donors. He told me in a friendly chat "look around, everyone thinks we have so much money here but while we do bring in about 60 million a year we pay it all out because the church is really a television show". Schuller and his various kids made between 70 and 150k a year. Look it up, the OC register published all the salaries last year. How much does a television producer of a show that 20 million people a week watch in 13 languages make? I think a lot more than 150k!As far as the beach house and cabin Schuller did buy those, and then gave them to the church, look it up...You know he was a New York Times bestselling author. He did have another income source besides the church. Nothing wrong with that!Schuller is really a good guy, did you see his response last year to his daughter's "anti gay covenant" He said everyone is welcome at his church and publicly denounced it.The architect of the CC Philip Johnson was openly gay.That being said, I think he made some mistakes like appointing his daughter Sheila Coleman as senior pastor. She is not a gifted public speaker like her father.I can understand mocking TBN, or Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, and Jerry Falwell but Schuller is quite left of center, look how many right wing nut-jobs hate him!I know the CC is an easy target, but I encourage you to do your due diligence, find out the truth. Tell me this, how many Protestants would sell their cathedral to the Catholics? He is taking a whole lot of shit for that, Chapman University bid higher...

Pedro Goldstein
Pedro Goldstein

The Schullers are the mirror image of the Crouches (TBN) absent the interracial gay sex accusations.

Sukhavati77
Sukhavati77

How can someone take in $25MM a month and not save for a rainy day?  Did they think the gravy train was going to last forever?

mitch young
mitch young

"Schuller hauled in as much as $25 million a month in tax-free donations with appeals mostly to dirt poor Latinos. "

I got the impression that Schuler etc appeal to the remnants of the white working class that still reside in Central Orange County ('coffin-dodgers, I believe your esteemed redactor likes to call them'), or those people and their children in diaspora. In fact, the 'changing demographics' of OC is the reason the CC is closing.

Alan Ching Ada
Alan Ching Ada

The Schuller family, just the new Borgia family of this century.

Tpd2000
Tpd2000

Great place to see for worship and other things

Ma Ma Creek
Ma Ma Creek

Actually I'm one of the vendors along with the camel lady, and being self employed I couldn't get anything from the unemployment office: I settled my claim for 90 cents on the dollar. And by the way I checked out what I was told and shit, it happens to be true. I've grown up around and worked for, some of the biggest holy roller carnies in the world, and been stabbed in the back by my " brothers and sisters in the Lord "more times than I can count. I think this whole bankruptcy could have been avoided but they fucked up. That doesn't mean Robert Schuller is the devil. That kind of black and white thinking is very similar to what you may hear on TBN just in reverse. This issue is a little more complex than " Televagelist Trick. Take money Uh Poor people Good!

Bill T.
Bill T.

Freeloader spamming scum. Not enough integrity to pay for their advertising, how can you trust them to deal with you with honesty?

Support OCW's paying subscribers, blow these shitheals off.

BTW, WTH domain is "gl"? Oh, just looked it up, Greenland apparently, is that the new Nigeria (ref: "The Lads From Lagos")?

Jack Grimshaw
Jack Grimshaw

Methinks you doth protest too much - and too hysterically ...

Sacks
Sacks

  ma ma dipshit...what the fuck do you think his 'personal assistant' is going to tell you?how many more checks do you have coming?people arent as stupid as your donors so take your spin right the fuck down to the unemployment office.

Bill T.
Bill T.

Oh, I'm sure he actually believes the crock he's selling. It's still a crock.

Ma Ma Creek
Ma Ma Creek

Bill, just for fun, what crock is that? Having been around Big Time Religion a while his "crock" isn't too bad compared to most. I mean come on, I would rather hear some guy tell me to "dream big, take a chance, and believe I can do the impossible" than "I'm a dirty sinner deserving of nothing but everlasting damnation in Hell unless I join their "special" Jesus club". So yeah I admit I have a bias, big deal... I found some encouragement from Schuller's message. On the other hand the shame, guilt, and condemnation I hear from some other televangelists does a serious disservice to people.I'm curious to see how this whole thing pans out...

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