November 22, 2004

Onward Christian Soldier

Onward Christian Soldier

William Lobdell is a Times staff writer who covers religion.

Reprinted from the Los Angeles Times December 8, 2002.

In 1989, Anthony launched his own war on dishonest religious broadcasters, using the skills he learned as an intelligence operative with the U.S. Air Force to ferret out corruption. "I do enjoy the hunt," he says. "But I'd much rather be out of a job."

For now, he and his half-dozen investigators soldier on in a target-rich environment: the unregulated industry of televangelism is estimated to generate at least $1 billion through its roughly 2,000 electronic preachers, including 80 nationally syndicated television pastors. Trinity's forces dig through trash bins, search computer databases and go undercover with hidden cameras. Their victim's hotline turns up informants, victims and new scams. They enlist double agents in their fight. And they provide their research to academics, fellow watchdog groups, government agencies and the media, including The Times. (more...)

Posted by Kyer at November 22, 2004 01:27 PM