Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
OH, HEAVENLY FATHER!
Did televangelist Paul Crouch Sr., founder of fervently anti-gay Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), secretly date a gay employee?
That's the implication of a wrongful-termination lawsuit filed late last month in Orange County Superior Court by Brian E. Dugger, who spent 14 years as a TBN broadcasting engineer.
You may recall a 2004 Los Angeles Times revelation that Crouch denied he had homosexual tendencies but paid $425,000 to silence Enoch Lonnie Ford, another onetime male TBN employee who'd said he and the wealthy televangelist had a sexual affair.
In the latest court action, first reported by former longtime Timesman William Lobdell at his site, WilliamLobdell.com, Dugger says he met Crouch while working at the network's Tennessee offices in the mid-'90s. The filing stops short of claiming the men slept together, but alleges that Crouch "persistently" invited Dugger, then a TBN employee in San Antonio, to "private dinners typically followed by drinks at his home." In 2000, according to the lawsuit, the televangelist "insisted" that the men live closer. Dugger relocated from Texas to the Christian broadcasting network's headquarters in Tustin.
If Crouch was content to associate privately with Dugger, his relatives in Southern California were apparently aghast. Shortly after Dugger's transfer here, Jan Crouch, the elder Crouch's wife, infamous for showcasing big hairdos and heavy black eye makeup on broadcasts, and Danny York, a TBN vice president, began pressuring him about his sexuality.
"[Dugger] was told not to dress so 'gay' or to wear jewelry, as it would identify him as a homosexual," the lawsuit alleges. "Thereafter, throughout his employment, he was continuously harassed, mocked, taunted and told not to look gay."
According to the suit, Paul Crouch Jr., who has assumed greater control over TBN operations from his father in recent years, participated in the abuse, telling Dugger he "should quit being gay and act more straight."