Jim Bakker Claims The Religious Right To Sell Fraudulent Cure To The Coronavirus

Jim_Baker_-_PTL_Broadcast_(1986)We have been discussing most recent case against televangelist Jim Bakker.  Bakker was mentioned in my recent column on why some religious claims raised in the pandemic are dubious.   Now, Bakker is making sweeping claims that he has a religious right to sell a fraudulent cure for the coronavirus.  His new lawyer, former Gov. Jay Nixon, is arguing that the free exercise clause gives Bakker the right to sell (for profit) a cure that could discourage the stricken from getting medical treatment or taking real precautions.

Republican Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt sued Bakker and Morningside Church Productions Inc. to enjoin Bakker to stop selling Silver Solution as a treatment for the coronavirus on his streaming TV program.  Nixon has declared “Jim Bakker is being unfairly targeted by those who want to crush his ministry and force his Christian television program off the air. The video recording of The Jim Bakker Show clearly shows the allegations are false. Bakker did not claim or state that Silver Solution was a cure for COVID-19.”

However, here is a broadcast on February 12th with Sherill Sellman:

Bakker: This influenza that is now circling the globe, you’re
saying that silver solution would be effective.

Sellman: Well, let’s say it hasn’t been tested on this strain of the
coronavirus, but it has been tested on other strains of the coronavirus and has been able to eliminate it within 12 hours.

Bakker: Yeah.

Sellman: Totally eliminate it, kills it. Deactivates it.

Bakker: Yeah.

Sellman: And it boosts your immune system so then you can
support the recovery, ‘cause when you kill the virus then the
immune system comes into action to clear it out, so you want a
vibrant immune system as well as an ability to deactivate these viruses.

Sellman: Silver Sol has been proven by the government that it
has the ability to kill every pathogen it has ever been tested on
including SARS and HIV.

Bakker used broadcasts like this to pitch Silver Sol products to viewers for
donations such as $80 or $125.

The fact that Bakker is offering a fraudulent cure as part of a religious pitch does not insulate him from civil or criminal laws.  If that were the case, criminals could simply adopt religious forums to defraud people with false investments, cures, or products.  This is precisely the type of conduct that led me to write an academic work entitled “Laying Hands On Religious Racketeers” some thirty years ago.

This was not a faith healing pitch. This was a product pitch that this “silver solution” could “eliminate” and “kill” the virus in 24 hours.  Many could assume that such a claim would not be allowed if it were untrue.  It was untrue but Bakker is claiming that such fraud is constitutionally protected.  Bakker has dedicated his life to defrauding people in the name of religion. He is now going to create bad law as part of his already disgraceful legacy.

39 thoughts on “Jim Bakker Claims The Religious Right To Sell Fraudulent Cure To The Coronavirus”

  1. Hmmm, so who is a bigger danger to the Republic – TV preachers selling snake oil-miracle cures, or TV Talking Heads, like Rachel Maddow, selling snake oil-Russiagate silliness.

    I bet Rachel Maddow is much richer than Jim Bakker. But her marks have more education and money to start with, so maybe we should grade on the curve.

    Or maybe the Patent Medicine Peddlers at the Southern Poverty Law Center?
    ———-
    For years, former employees revealed, local journalists reported and commentators have lamented: The Southern Poverty Law Center is not what it claims to be. Not a pure-hearted, clear-headed legal advocate for the vulnerable, but rather an obscenely wealthy marketing scheme. For years, the left-wing interest group has used its “hate group” list to promote the fiction that violent neo-Nazis and Christian nonprofits peacefully promoting orthodox beliefs about marriage and sex are indistinguishable. Sometimes, it has apologized to public figures it has smeared, and it recently paid out millions to settle a threatened defamation lawsuit.
    The SPLC has its own troubles

    These shameful secrets are no longer hidden in shadows. The New York Times, Politico, NPR and a host of other mainstream publications are reporting on the corruption and widening credibility gap. The SPLC dismissed its co-founder in March, and its president has resigned amidst numerous claims of sexual harassment, gender discrimination and racism within the organization — a parade of disgraces that vividly force the conclusion: The SPLC is hollow, rotten and failing at the very virtues it pretends to celebrate.
    Jessica Prol Smith in Scottsdale, Arizona, in February 2019.

    The criticism comes from many corners. There’s the Current Affairs editor who seems sympathetic to the center’s progressive mission but decries its “hate group” list as an “outright fraud” and a “willful deception designed to scare older liberals into writing checks to the SPLC.”

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/08/17/southern-poverty-law-center-hate-groups-scam-column/2022301001/
    ————-

    So if you think about it – there are a lot of Jim Bakkers out there, but they are just more sophisticated.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  2. I have always disliked the charlatan Bakker but silver does have virucidal properties

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6264685/

    Virus infections pose significant global health challenges, especially in view of the fact that the emergence of resistant viral strains and the adverse side effects associated with prolonged use continue to slow down the application of effective antiviral therapies. This makes imperative the need for the development of safe and potent alternatives to conventional antiviral drugs. In the present scenario, nanoscale materials have emerged as novel antiviral agents for the possibilities offered by their unique chemical and physical properties. Silver nanoparticles have mainly been studied for their antimicrobial potential against bacteria, but have also proven to be active against several types of viruses including human imunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B virus, herpes simplex virus, respiratory syncytial virus, and monkey pox virus. The use of metal nanoparticles provides an interesting opportunity for novel antiviral therapies. Since metals may attack a broad range of targets in the virus there is a lower possibility to develop resistance as compared to conventional antivirals. The present review focuses on the development of methods for the production of silver nanoparticles and on their use as antiviral therapeutics against pathogenic viruses.

    Keywords: silver nanoparticles, virus infection, antiviral therapy

  3. Frauds In The News:

    FCC Levies Record Fine Against Trump-Friendly Broadcaster

    The federal agency that regulates the U.S. television industry slapped the largest civil fine in its history on Sinclair Broadcast Group — a company with links to the Trump administration — as punishment for deceiving the government.

    Sinclair agreed to the $48 million fine and entered into a consent decree to close three separate ongoing investigations by the Federal Communications Commission.

    Sinclair, based in suburban Baltimore, owns and controls more than 190 stations across the country. That makes it one of the nation’s largest players in local TV. It had sought to become even more dominant by taking over Tribune Media, the television properties of the former Tribune Co.

    In July 2018, the FCC blocked Sinclair’s $3.9 billion bid to buy Tribune Media. The agency said the company sought to deceive regulators in selling off stations in markets where it would control multiple properties. The buyers were two companies to which Sinclair’s founding family had deep and longstanding ties.

    Tribune Media sued Sinclair later that summer. Nexstar struck a deal to buy Tribune Media in December 2018 for $4.1 billion.

    “Sinclair’s conduct during its attempt to merge with Tribune was completely unacceptable,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement released by the agency on Wednesday afternoon. “Today’s penalty, along with the failure of the Sinclair/Tribune transaction, should serve as a cautionary tale to other licensees seeking Commission approval of a transaction in the future.

    “FCC Fines Sinclair Record $48 Million For Deceptive Bid For Tribune Stations”

    Today’s NPR

    1. You mean the FCC screwed $48 million out of a media company for complying with a relict regulation in a way they didn’t like? You fancy this sort of plunder is worth celebrating?

      (Well, it’s likely to never happen to a Democratic outlet).

      1. Absurd, the FCC has been largely under Republican control. That is, in fact, what makes this story surprising.

  4. If his flock of True Believers believe him then why object? If only the gullible will buy this potential cure why object? If only his flock will be affected why object? Sure, his churches’ members will die at the same rate as everyone else so why object?
    There are now dozens of clinics around the world showing great success with HCQ +AZ +Zn taken early. There is still a death rate maybe even .5% even among those with this drug cocktail even when taken early. Those who have had HCQ prescribed for years for Lupus and others have had a very low infection rate which implies that perhaps HCQ would be even better if taken before any symptoms. As a prophylaxis.
    ——-
    Random facts…

    One of the ways means that HCQ works (there my be others) is in its function as a Zn-ionophore.

    An OTC plant flavinoid Quercetin functions as a Zn-ionophore. Google it for details.

    An ER doctor who is treating COVID19 patients takes a cocktail of quercetin, Zn, NAC, and other stuff. See details at http://www.medcram.com

    The below is copied from a Medical School site.

    Prophylaxis
    While there is very limited data (and none specific for COVID-19), the following “cocktail” may have a role in the prevention/mitigation of COVID-19 disease. While there is no high-level evidence that this cocktail is effective; it is cheap, safe and widely available.
    • Vitamin C 500 mg BID and Quercetin 250-500 mg BID
    • Zinc 75-100 mg/day (acetate, gluconate or picolinate). Zinc lozenges are preferred. After 1 month, reduce the dose to 30-50 mg/day.
    • Melatonin (slow release): Begin with 0.3mg and increase as tolerated to 2 mg at night
    • Vitamin D3 1000-4000 u/day

    Advice from Eastern Virginia Medical School: https://www.evms.edu/media/evms_public/departments/internal_medicine/EVMS_Critical_Care_COVID-19_Protocol.pdf

  5. Interesting one. Just quoting from the introduction ( of the lawsuit):

    ” Defendants Jim Bakker and Morningside Church Productions, Inc., d/b/a Jim Bakker Show Ministry (collectively, “Defendants”) have violated or are violating the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (Chapter 407, RSMo.) by falsely promising to consumers that Silver Solution can cure, eliminate, kill or deactivate coronavirus and/or boost elderly consumers’ immune system and help keep them healthy when there is, in fact, no vaccine, pill, potion or other product available to treat or cure coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) ”

    One can reach the lawsuit ( or rather motion for restraining order) here:

    https://www.ozarksfirst.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/65/2020/03/TRO-Bakker-and-Silver-Sol.pdf

    Thanks

  6. I’ve said for years (and, perhaps here on Mr. Turley’s blog) that 99.99% of televangelists give the rest a bad name. From my understanding, God takes extreme exception to false prophets. That 99.99% would be well advised to reexamine their chosen path.

    1. 99.99% of televangelists give the rest a bad name.

      It’s not an optimal medium for Christian ministry. However, this is unfair. Pat Robertson is very peculiar. He’d be very peculiar if he’d never been on television at all. ‘Very peculiar’ does not mean crook (although he’s had less than impressive excursions in his past, especially his time in the Marines). There really isn’t any dirt of significance on the Falwells, just banal human shortcomings. Liberals are haters and haters gotta hate. Ditto Mother Angelica. Ditto John Ankerberg. Ditto Bishop Sheen. Ditto Robert Schuller. Ditto Billy Graham. Gene Scott was a puzzle, leaving you with the idea his performance was entirely ironic.

      Broadcast services and sermons should be an odd, occasional sort of thing. Discussion programs (such as you have on EWTN) should be the order of the day.

      1. TIA: I’ll take the opportunity to revise and amend my previous remarks. “99% of televangelists…”

        You rightly point out that pockets of earnest, honest pastors/teachers do indeed exist. But sadly, they are seldom used to define the genre. They are also seemingly ignored by nonbelievers when voicing their …disdain (?) for “organized religion” in general and Christianity in particular. Unfortunately, the bad apples seem to greatly out number the potable ones (a wide vs a narrow way?), which makes it all-too-easy for nonbelievers to succumb to confirmation bias.

        That is the greatest harm done by the 99% in their faithless, outward-only religiosity (empty sepulcher), IMHO: the ease with which their actions make possible the apostasy of others.

        1. The entire thrust of the early Christian Church was growth. Their belief was that Evangelization was the sole task Christ wanted them to do. Nothing else. He told His Apostles: go out and tell all nations. In the very beginning of the church there were no parishes, no dioceses, no bishop conferences and no satellite television broadcasters. But there did exist evangelists

          These evangelists lost their lives: they were tortured, raped, beheaded, devoured by lions, all performed as entertainment for elite pagans. It has been said for centuries that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.

          When St. Ignatius of Antioch was led to his own martyrdom in the Colosseum, he stated:

          Now I begin to be a disciple of Christ. I care for nothing, of visible or invisible things, so that I may but win Christ. Let fire and the cross, let the companies of wild beasts, let breaking of bones and tearing of limbs, let the grinding of the whole body, and all the malice of the devil, come upon me; be it so, only may I win Jesus Christ.

          We just passed Easter and since then our Sunday Mass readings have been from the book “Acts of the Apostles“ in the New Testament. It naturally relates what the early Church did. This Sunday’s Lectionary, the 5th Sunday of Easter, is similar to the previous Sunday readings: growth, growth, growth.

          No matter what tool you choose, our growth for decades has been collapsing. There is a reason for that. Secularization. Americans have become obsessed with belonging instead to one of 2 factions: Liberal vs Conservative. That is their only metric, their “great commission”.

          Jim Bakker isn’t the problem

          Christ adopted 12 bumbling fools for His Ministry and they literally turned the world on fire. We can too. We should too.

          http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/051020.cfm

          May 10 2020

          Fifth Sunday of Easter
          Lectionary: 52
          Reading 1 ACTS 6:1-7

          As the number of disciples continued to grow,
          the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews
          because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table. Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

          The proposal was acceptable to the whole community,
          so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit,
          also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas,
          and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism.
          They presented these men to the apostles
          who prayed and laid hands on them.

          The word of God continued to spread,
          and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly
          even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

        2. TIA: I’ll take the opportunity to revise and amend my previous remarks. “99% of televangelists…”

          How do you get to “99%” from the examples of Angeley, the Bakkers, Swaggart, Roberts, Humbard, and the Armstrongs (father and son)?

        3. That is the greatest harm done by the 99% in their faithless, outward-only religiosity (empty sepulcher), IMHO: the ease with which their actions make possible the apostasy of others.

          Again, you’re putting your focus on flashy and obtrusive people (among whom the dubious characters are nowhere near 99% of the total). This is a bright shiny object. The problems the churches suffer from are to be found in everyday parish life, in the seminaries, and in what’s left of the Christian colleges.

          Village atheists tend to be arrested-development cases who aren’t paying careful attention to any aspect of Christian practice because their focus is on their own disordered inner life.

          1. MT 7:21-22 – Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (22) Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

            And we all know the response they receive.

            Yes, “99%” may be somewhat hyperbolic. However, whatever the percentage of faithful leaders actually is, I still contend that they, “are seldom used to define the genre” and that “Unfortunately, the bad apples seem to greatly out number the potable ones.” Against that backdrop–or even independent of it–my larger point of “faithless, outward-only religiosity” stands making apostasy their greatest harm still stands.

            I agree with you that the faithless televangelists are “flashy and obtrusive,” but would only quibble to add that they are tinkling brass and proffer themselves (rather than the Gospel) to shore seeking to “heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.” (II Ti 4:3)

  7. Praise The Lard and pass the ammunition! But first. I am passing the plate. Pay up Chuck .

  8. Jim Bakker likes picking up hitch hikers on cold, foggy rainy nights

    It’s the Twilight Zone. You wanna see something really scary, then pull over to the side of the road.

  9. Some fraudsters play the religious angle, some the mainstream science one.

    Not sure where to put this so I’ll just put this here.

    25 minutes long. May be worth your while.

  10. WGAF. We have a major crisis on our hands and an incompetent liar prancing and preening while refusing to act as the President.

    If we are to be distracted, let it be fun and beautiful.

  11. Colloidal silver does have some health benefits, when used properly. If used in excess, it will turn you permanently blue. Most people know better than to drink it every day for years. It is also used as an antimicrobial when incorporated into fabric.

    It is available for a fraction of the cost that these hucksters are selling it for. And, of course, it has not been proven on Covid-19. If he claims that any product will cure Covid-19, then he is in violation of the FDA. Using religion is no excuse, as he does not belong to the religion of the holy silver. I’m not sure he believes in any religion, at all, at this point.

    “The use of silver for the treatment of various maladies or to prevent the transmission of infection dates back to at least 4000 b.c.e. Medical applications are documented in the literature throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. The bactericidal activity of silver is well established. Silver nitrate was used topically throughout the 1800s for the treatment of burns, ulcerations, and infected wounds, and although its use declined after World War II and the advent of antibiotics, Fox revitalized its use in the form of silver sulfadiazine in 1968.”

    “Silver remains a reasonable addition to the armamentarium against infection and has relatively few side effects. However, one should weigh the benefits of silver-containing products against the known side effects and the other options available for the intended purpose when selecting the most appropriate therapy.”

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4955599/

    Silver has been used for at least six millennia to prevent microbial infections. It has been effective against almost all organisms tested and has been used to treat numerous infections and noninfectious conditions, sometimes with striking success. Silver also has played an important role in the development of radiology and in improving wound healing.
    CONCLUSION:
    Silver was the most important antimicrobial agent available before the introduction of antibiotics.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19566416

  12. It’s a testament (no pun intended) to our free society and its extreme (and much abused) protections for religion that this huckster and flimflam man is still allowed to operate. My only hope is that he’s actively simultaneously using all of his hocus-pocus on himself. That may take care of the problem intrinsically.

  13. If it works on everything it has been tried, seems to give it some validity. I am with Bakker.

      1. YNOT – see my post below with a couple of links to the National Institute of Health, which indicated that silver was effective against nearly all organisms against which it was tried.

        I have absolutely no idea if colloidal silver has any effectiveness against Covid-19. That would need to be tested. But silver, is, actually, used in the medical field, as well as by private individuals.

        In no way should self treatment with silver replace going to a doctor if someone has severe symptoms of Covid-19, such as respiratory distress. There is a valid concern that people would try to treat something at home that has a narrow window when they may be saved.

  14. In 1987, a quondam associate of the Bakker’s said, “I don’t know if Jim has any conscience left at all”. If Bakker and his late wife weren’t grifters to begin with, they certainly qualified as grifters by about 1974. The people who pay them any mind at this juncture are the sort of people who might drink fish-tank cleaner. A number of televangelists were (to one degree or another) dubious characters. (Ernest Angely may have been the worst, followed by the Bakkers, followed by Rex Humbard, followed by Jimmy Swaggart, followed by Oral Roberts, followed by Herbert W Armstrong). There was an element of comedy in the Bakkers you didn’t find in the others.

    1. Silver has been used in a HIV test.

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32254992

      But of course you are right. If colloidal silver was a magic bullet to cure HIV, scientists wouldn’t have bothered with the past few decades of research.

      Silver does have medical uses, recognized by the medical community, but it is not some magic panacea.

Leave a Reply

Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks
%d bloggers like this: