Friday, October 15, 2004

Paul Crouch "vindicated"

TBN sent out a press release today titled "Paul Crouch Vindicated". Here's the whole thing--

TUSTIN, Calif., Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Arbitration Association Arbitrator, through Honorable Robert J. O'Neill, Judge Retired, submitted to the Orange County Superior court its final ruling that it has awarded Paul Crouch Sr., founder and president of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, $136,000 in legal fees from former TBN employee and convicted felon Enoch Lonnie Ford.

Ford, whose current whereabouts are unknown, violated an April 2003 court order that barred him from discussing his 1996 allegations of wrongful termination and sexual harassment.

"As a man of faith, I took the advice of advisors to avoid a long and costly court battle with Mr. Ford and reluctantly agreed to a $425,000 settlement. The fact that Mr. Ford abrogated the agreement and is now avoiding service of the court's process to hide from legal responsibility for his conduct is vindication for me, my wife and the entire TBN family," Paul Crouch Sr. explained.
Vindication means "To clear of accusation, blame, suspicion, or doubt with supporting arguments or proof." This isn't vindication.

Here is what happened. Ford alleged that he and Crouch had a gay affair while employed by TBN and that he was then fired afterwards. Crouch denies everything. Ford considered suing Crouch and TBN. He didn't sue them, but was considering suing them. TBN agreed to settle with Ford. The agreement said both parties couldn't talk about the agreement or what happened to precipitate it.

Ford decides years later his story might be worth some cash. He writes a book. TBN offers Ford $1 million for the book. Ford says how about $10 million. Paul Crouch sues Ford to enforce the secrecy agreement. Crouch wins. This press release is saying that an arbitrator has ruled that Ford must pay Crouch's legal fees. This isn't vindication.

This is a court proceeding, initiated by Crouch, that Ford is getting the bill for. Now, I know that Ford has culpability in all this; but, to have a guy pay your TBN legal team $136,000 when you have (literally) $269 million in cash and bonds on hand--this just aggravates me the more I think about it.

These are not the actions of a man of faith, a Christian leader. A Christian leader would not pay a settlement for something that he says is not true. A man of faith would not put his trust in the legal system in order to preserve his reputation; but, puts his trust in God in all things. TBN and Paul Crouch should be ashamed of themselves over their handling of this whole matter, not claiming vindication.