In early 1993, Bob Larson Ministries suffered financial turbulence as a result of the negative publicity generated by articles in World and Cornerstone magazines. But in 1994, BLM has gone into a 'Tilton tailspin'. Revenues have fallen steadily since September, and there is no end in sight. Like Tilton (and, convicted felon Troy Snowdon) before him, Larson has been doing all he can to project an image that everything is under control. However, reports from inside the walls of his third-floor fortress strongly suggest otherwise.
In recent months, Larson has been forced to cut back on everything -- except, in all likelihood, his bloated compensation package. Five BLM employees left at or around the end of the year, but only one has been replaced, and a hiring freeze is said to be in effect. While staffers have been run ragged to make up for those losses, plans were announced in January to cut as much as an additional 25% of the Min istry's staff.
With the Grim Reaper peering over one shoulder -- and Larson, look ing over the other -- staff morale reportedly is nonexistent. Para noia has become the order of the day, as Bob frantically searches for the leaks in his badly-listing ship. The information flow has become so constricted that employees are having difficulty doing their jobs. The Ministry has lost its' sense of mission ... and a sense of direc tion.
Reports are that the staff has been stretched so thin that, for his recent trip to the National Religious Broadcasters' (NRB) convention in Washington D.C., Larson coaxed former sidekick Bonnie Bell out of retirement. Not that Bob had to twist her arm very hard; she has had only one radio gig since leaving the Ministry -- and was fired after four days.1
And there's one question on everyone's mind: How bad is it?
Last week was a good one for Bob Larson employees -- their fearless leader was out of the office for most of it. But when he got back on Wednesday, he almost managed to make up for his absence. Our sources tell us that, after what appeared to have been a less-than-successful NRB convention, Bob came back to the office loaded for bear.
The Larson scandal has long been common knowledge within the Chris tian broadcasting fraternity, but determining how it has affected his standing has been somewhat problematic. However, Bob's acidic intro duction of Satanic artist and journalist Tim Butler gives us an indi cation that all definitely is not well:
"[T]he reason I came to be aware of Mr. Butler is that he is also a journalist doing an article about me for the official publication of the Church of Satan, and requested an interview. These days, I don't talk to anybody from the press, especially if they say, 'Christian' press
, but I will talk to Satanists....2"
Bob Larson -- that consummate press hound -- has suddenly performed a Michael Jackson. He's canceled his Dangerous ... uh, I mean, "Save Our Kids from Satanism" tour, a consistent money-maker for years. He will answer the call of the Church of Satan's house-organ, the Black Flame, but whenever a Christian reporter comes knocking, he evidently tells him to "just beat it!" And while Bob did his level best to make that remark in jest, his voice betrayed resignation. He has, by and large, lost the battle to cabinin the news of his misdeeds -- and it sounds as if the NRB convention hammered that point home.
Bob has finally made the "A" list: those preachers who have distin guished themselves by their avaricious antics. For instance, in Per sonal Freedom Outreach's Quarterly Journal, cult-busters Kurt Goedel man and Richard Fisher put Bob in an interesting kettle of fish:
"Spencer's book comes to the defense of men such as Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Bob Larson, Robert Tilton and Mike Warnke while impugning the research of ministries such as Per sonal Freedom Outreach, Christian Research Institute and Cor nerstone magazine."3
"It is difficult to fathom why [Jim Spencer, in Heresy Hunt ers] spends time trying to exonerate men such as Kenneth Cope land, Robert Tilton, Mike Warnke and Bob Larson."4
As it was with Jim Bakker, it seems as if everyone is getting into the act. The erstwhile Robert Tilton Fan Club Newsletter (now Snake Oil: Your Guide to Kooky Kontemporary Kristian Kulture), came out with a delicious interview with Satanist Boyd Rice, entitled "My Din ner with Bob Larson." Therein, Rice relates one of Larson's numerous brushes with death:
"BOYD: Ironically, his life was saved that night. Because he came over with, um, what's the guy's name? The son of the guy who publishes Penthouse... SO: Guccionne? [sic] BOYD: Yeah, Bob Guccionne, Jr. came over to dinner as well. I've got these shelves of all this weird stuff in my kitchen, and there's a gun on one of them. And just before they came over I took the bullets out of the gun, just in case. And as they were leaving, Bob Guccionne, Jr. picked up the gun, pointed it into Larson's stomach, and pulled the trigger. If I had not taken those bullets out an hour before, Bob Larson would have been dead in my kitchen."5
I wasn't invited to the party, but my sources were at least able to confirm that Larson did invite himself over for dinner, and Bob Guc cione, Jr. was staying at his house at the time.
Snake Oil's "Brother Randall" has a world-class sense of humor, and he does his homework. For example, he ran a picture of the cover of one of Larson's albums, "Peace Within My Soul." Seeing a younger Bob -- with hair! -- is a real shock; he looks a lot like Opie with side burns. Nature abhors a vacuum, and Bob Tilton is off the air....
The Larson files ought to keep pundits in one-liners for the better part of 1994. Still, there is a poignant slant to this sordid story. From all I have been able to gather, Bob Larson is a tortured soul -- a man whose achievements are overshadowed by a pervasive inadequacy. And nowhere is that more evident than in this love letter, which Lori Boespflug claims Bob gave to her in early 1991:
"A PERSONAL, ORIGINAL MESSAGE FROM SOMEONE WHO, IN SPITE OF HIS EXTENSIVE PERSONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS, AT TIMES FEELS AS THOUGH HE CAN'T QUITE MEASURE UP THE ACHIEVEMENTS HE WANTS MOST IN LIFE, AND AT TIMES FEELS THE ONE PERSON WHO MATTERS MOST SEEMS MORE PRONE TO ACCENTUATE THE NEGATIVE THEN NURTURE THE POSITIVE:
REFLECTIONS ON A TEMPESTUOUS RELATIONSHIP
The deepest roots grow against resistance,
The strongest bonds are forged from conflict,
The greatest friendships are produced by honesty,
The most secure feelings stem from forthrightness,
And the deepest love abides in hearts tested by adversity.
WHEN IT'S ALL SAID AND DONE, THIS IS HOW I REALLY FEEL.
THANK YOU FOR BEING THE BEST FRIEND I'VE EVER HAD!
THE ABOVE POEM COMPOSED IN GRATITUDE TO MY BEST FRIEND, 2/27/91"6
The poem was unsigned, but the evidence that Larson was infatuated with Boespflug -- a rather attractive lady, by the way -- is substan tial. He showered her with gifts, obtained the loan on her Grand Am, and other staffers reported7 that he had been courting her. Assuming that it is authentic, it offers us a furtive look into Larson's 'dark night of the soul'. It is only one piece in a composite of a man who is obsessed with his failures ... and constantly needs to be reminded that he IS somebody.
It is said that whom gods would destroy, they first make mad....
The 'New Math'....
Long-time Larson listeners have told me that, if things aren't bad, they invariably are worse. As such, it is easy to tune out the cries of impending doom. But this time, he may be telling the truth.
Larson often reveals more in what he doesn't say as in what he does -- his claim that he has had to cancel sixteen stations has a glimmer of truth to it. Still, what Bob calls a cancellation letter is typi cally a ploy for renegotiating his contracts. It is little more than a polite threat: If you don't reduce your price, we'll take our busi ness elsewhere. For the most part, the stations make concessions, or in some instances, accept capped revenue-sharing arrangements. It is rare for Bob to abandon a market, and then, he does so only as a last resort. But station managers don't know that ... and neither do most of his listeners.
The situation in Salt Lake City is an excellent example. It serves as a sort of loss leader: Even though Utahns don't support it, Larson more than makes it up in other markets, where people see it as a missionary outreach. He has played that perception to the hilt, periodically mounting campaigns to "Save Salt Lake." He wants to keep that market, but it appears that the local U.S. Bankruptcy Court has a few ideas of their own.
An informant advises me that the Court is trying to arrange a sale of the station to another religious broadcaster. When the sale goes through, all of the existing contracts will be null and void, and Bob will almost certainly lose that affiliate. And while it is difficult to predict the future, odds are that the loss will be attributed to a lack of listener support.
Under normal circumstances, the threat of losing an affiliate could be taken lightly. However, as donations plummet, and he is forced to dip into reserves, Larson is in less of a position to haggle. And on the other side of the table, the station managers read World and Cor nerstone, too -- they are less liable to bet on Talk-Back's comeback. As such, more stations will be inclined to reject Larson's overtures.
In terms of profit margin -- aside from Dallas-Ft. Worth, which is a special case -- Bob Larson Ministries' most profitable markets are 'second-tier' cities like Columbus, Denver, and Seattle. The cost of air time is far more reasonable than that in a New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago, and the out-of-pocket cost per listener reached is lower. Smaller cities (e.g., Anchorage, Wichita, and Salinas) are almost as lucrative, but they don't offer the same profit potential.
Problem is, Larson's premier markets are large enough to support a commercial Christian music station. His Denver affiliate, KLTT, went to an all-music format in November; Detroit's WLQV is rumored to fol low suit in March.8 Bob pays well -- and on time -- and at one time, that made Talk-Back a fairly hot commodity. Today, given Bob's other well-known liabilities, his 'star' has lost much of its' luster. And as Christian radio station owners adjust to the realities of the mar ketplace, he sees the handwriting on the wall.
This was the impetus behind Bob's call to 'revive Christian radio': Successful and well-respected ministries like Focus on the Family and the Christian Research Institute will survive this industry shakeout, but Larson's antics have earned him a place on the endangered species list. With a rapidly-declining donor base, he can't compete with his brethren, and with Ministry morale being nothing short of disastrous, just keeping the BLM ship afloat is a formidable task.
Bob will leave the air when Bob is good and ready, and not a moment sooner. Even by conservative estimates, Bob still has a $2.5 million war chest. Even if most of his donations dried up tomorrow, he could last the year without serious difficulty; eliminating less-profitable stations and renegotiating existing contracts stretches his reserves even further. He could even (God forbid!) take a pay cut -- cashing in his split-dollar life insurance policy would enable him to pay his airtime bill in Denver for more than a year. Money is not an object.
If he leaves the mike, it will likely be as a result of the accumu lated pressure. Potentially, Bob has as much to fear from the IRS as the Christian press, and if anyone on his senior staff goes to either one, it would be the beginning of the end. Senior Vice-President Angelo Diasparra may be the biggest risk -- he's a tough (and from what I'm told, when he's not playing the heavy, rather likeable) old bird, and Bob won't be able to intimidate him. And like Garyl Gibson did with respect to Troy Snowdon, he might decide that it is better to get out while the getting is good. Even Laura, his youg bride, is a possible security risk.
A variety of Larson confidants have reported that Bob has a vicious temper, and is prone to be verbally abusive. Lori Boespflug told me that he could get so out of control that she was "afraid to leave him alone" with any of her three girls. Furthermore, my BLM sources have also reported that the initial year of Bob and Laura's marriage was a particularly rocky one. Laura's parents are divorced, and let us not forget that both of them are working on their second spouse. And Bob can't help but bring his stresses home with him. If there was ever a prescription for marital trouble, that is about as close as it gets.
Simply coming to work in the morning must be a formidable challenge for Bob. From the boardroom to the mail room, he reportedly suspects everyone of being a possible mole. Every caller is a potential land mine. The next P.R. blow could come from anywhere from 60 Minutes to Christianity Today, and when he expects his opponents to strike, they just sit back and laugh. For a 'control freak' like him, that has to be intolerable.
But let us not cry for Bob. When it comes to getting money out of "his" Ministry, Larson rivals L. Ron Hubbard for sheer ingenuity, and you can rest assured that he'll do everything in his power to ensure that his escape from public life is a profitable one. For instance, while the Ministry has cut back on frills like Compassion Connection and the Hope Line, it continues to lavish compensation on Bob. BLM's alleged financial difficulties didn't stop it from buying a $200,000 split-dollar life insurance policy for his benefit:As part of the president's employment agreement, the Ministry purchased a split dollar life insurance policy for the presi dent's benefit. The Ministry pays the annual premium, of which $1,470 constitutes compensation to the president in accordance with Internal Revenue Service regulations. In the event of termination of the plan, the Ministry would receive the lesser of the policy cash surrender value, or the accumulated non- compensation premium payments (split) and the president would receive the excess of accumulated retirement benefits over the policy cash surrender value, if any. In the event of premature death of the president, the Ministry would receive an amount equal to the accumulated premium payments and the president's named beneficiary would receive the balance of the death bene fit proceeds. For the year ended December 31, 1992, the Minis try paid $52,719 in total premiums. As of December 31, 1992, included in other assets on the balance sheet is the cash sur render value of the policy which is $27,564.9The key to understanding a split-dollar life insurance policy is in who benefits. The Ministry puts up the cash -- and takes the risk -- but gets only a guaranteed rate of return. However, if the insurance company's investments are profitable, and the value of said policy at termination exceeds its' cash surrender value (as it generally does), the surplus goes to the executive.
Let's put this into perspective. The Ministry used over $52,000 of sacrificially-given funds in 1992 to give Bob Larson a $200,000 split dollar life insurance policy. BLM could have bought $200,000 in term life insurance for less than $1,500, and used the remainder to 'save' stations. But, what the heck, it is Bob Larson's ministry....
And The 'New Bob'....
Before Tuesday, Bob Larson seemed as if he was on a fairly unevent ful ride toward oblivion. He skillfully steered his shows away from anything that might permit a discussion of his financial and personal woes, hoping perhaps to 'ride out the storm'. And this was not unex pected: Bob can be quite a cool customer when he wants to be, and not drawing attention to himself was certainly a viable strategy. Things were quiet ... almost too quiet.
And then, it happened.
The surreal (and, from a tactical perspective, long-overdue) sequel to his classic "Bob on the Block," Tuesday's show "Bob Bares All" was another remarkable tour de force from The Mighty Larson Art Players. No one seriously expected that Bob would give straight answers to his listeners' legitimate questions, but then again, no one expected that he would become completely unglued. He didn't just jump off the deep end ... he tried a triple somersault with a half-twist. Whenever Bob does anything, he does it in style.
It didn't take long for the Internet articles to come up in conver sation. The second caller, a fellow from Vancouver, popped the ques tion -- and Bob sidestepped it like a Bill Clinton wannabe:CHRIS: "I just wanted to talk with you about this, there's a large file of information on -- about you, or..."
. BL: "A large file? Oh, there's all kinds of files of information on me. Goodness knows, you can get it on computer bulletin boards, you can write people -- write people who publish their addresses and they will send you more information about me than I know about myself. It's all there -- it's there for the taking, it's there for the asking, and no, you can't give the address over the air. I do have some scruples." CHRIS: "I don't want to. I just wanted to ask you a question about it, actually." BL: "I don't know ... what do you want to ask me about it?" CHRIS: Well, it's pretty -- pretty damaging. I'm just wondering about this Evangelical Council for Financial Responsibility [sic]. Is it true you guys withdrew from that?" BL: "Yeah. I suggest that you write them and you ask them who serves on their standards committee, how they are chosen, what they are paid, and ask for a biographical profile of the people who judge the other people and see how fast you get that information. And from vividly vivacious Vancouver, goodbye."10
The NRB's Pat Mahoney told me in a telephone interview that it was her understanding that the allegedly private information Bob was com plaining about would be given out to anyone who asked.11 After all, NRB potentates' salaries are matters of public record, and a man with legitimate credentials has no reason to hide them.12
NRB president E. Brandt Gustavson declined to comment with respect to the Larson scandal -- but an unofficial source inside the NRB sug gested that there is a reason for his silence. It was reported that, when Larson withdrew BLM's ECFA application, he warned Gustavson that if he ever breathed anything to the press about why BLM withdrew its' application, he would sue. Assuming the veracity of that report, and given Larson's well-earned reputation for using lawsuits as offensive weapons, such a threat could not have been taken lightly.
No one was safe from Bob's wrath on Tuesday -- even self-confessed Bob-backers were waylaid by his staccato blasts. Consider this call, from Jim in Anchorage:JIM: "I've always wanted to know, I know that people talk to you about money and what-not--" BL: "Yeah, why do they always want to do that, Jim? Why do they always pick on me? Why doesn't -- I want to know -- why doesn't anybody ever call up Charles Standley or Chuck Colson or Jim Dobson and say to them, 'Please could you publish your financial IRS return and let us know all of your sources of income, how you got it, and where it came from? Why doesn't anybody ever ask them?'"13I wasn't the first person to report on Bob Larson's financial con dition, but I should be qualified to respond. To be blunt, Larson is a relative nobody -- almost a cult figure. No one in the Evangelical community would permit me to write this story, and few in the secular world have even a vague notion as to who he is. That's why I offered the story to Jay Grelen in the first place, and satisfied myself with working the fruits of the investigation into two of my books. If, as Larson has publicly insinuated, I was out to destroy Christianity, or at least, a prominent Christian leader, I would have gone after some one significant, like Jim Dobson.
It is not -- nor, will it ever be -- my role to be the watchdog for the Evangelical community. As such, I haven't really made it a prac tice to rummage through every evangelist's bank account. Based on my dealings with them, I am fairly satisfied that Focus on the Family is a class act. And, on the other side of the fence, it's tough to pick on Howard Stern -- he is perfectly honest about what he is doing, and he hasn't parked his snout at the federal trough. But, since Bob has thrown down his gauntlet, I decided to make a quick inquiry into Wat ergate alum Chuck Colson's Prison Fellowship ministry.
Prison Fellowship is run the way you would expect a ministry to be run -- they almost seem to invite scrutiny. Colson doesn't have any outside sources of income: all his honoraria and royalties are given to his ministry. Indeed, he was recently awarded the Templeton Prize ($1,000,000) and he had the check made out to Prison Fellowship.14 And, just in case anyone is sufficiently curious to inquire further, Prison Fellowship's taxpayer ID is 62-0988294, their mailing address is P.O. Box 17500, Washington DC, 20041, and the applicable IRS form is 4506-A.
Or That Same Old Song and Dance?
In the Bob Larson Theater of the Absurd, the outer limits of credu lity are tested daily. Like Mike Warnke, Larson is a master at using gross exaggeration to drive home his points. It's not intellectually honest, but as former Christian talk-show host John Stewart put it to me, talk radio isn't exactly brain surgery. Ergo, it works.
On the February 8 show, in a desperate ploy to win back the 'hearts and' minds of the legions of listeners persuaded by his critics, Lar son tried his hand at not-too-subtle satire:"It's absolutely amazing to me that people -- the things that people think about me -- I mean, I don't believe it. A while back, we got a phone call, and somebody said, 'You know, I'd like to know about Bob's Arabian horse farm
. I mean, is it really true that Bob has an Arabian horse farm?' No, it's not really true. And then, we get these people who say, 'I know what Bob's doing with his money -- he's driving a Mercedes.' Absolutely. Or maybe, a Lanborghini . I mean, it's-- you would not believe some of the things that people come up with. So, I mean-- I mean, what are they going to accuse me of next? Are they going to accuse me of having my own private baseball franchise? ... Oh, and then, there was the one about my LearJet . I mean, I don't know where people get this stuff."15
And during the second hour, Bob continued to hammer on that theme:"I'll tell you what gets to me: This is the stupid garbage -- yes, it's stupid garbage -- stupid garbage people believe. I get this stuff printed about me, written about me, said about me ... and I read this stuff. I mean, I wasn't joking about the Arabian horse farm. We actually got a phone call, and somebody said I, uh, ... that was before they said I owned five houses--
. I wish I did own an Arabian horse farm. I'd love to own an Arabian horse farm. I don't own an Arabian horse farm -- or five houses."16
As with other common examples of 'Larson logic', it doesn't bear up well under close examination. Distilled to essentials, Bob is argu ing that, because uninformed individuals are allegedly spreading out landish rumors, the carefully-tempered and well-documented reports in the Christian press should likewise be disregarded. To the best of my knowledge, no one in the media has accused Bob of owning a LearJet, a stable of Arabian horses, a top-of-the-line Mercedes, or broadcasting from the side of his indoor swimming pool. However, there is one of these arguably absurd allegations which may have some basis in fact: the claim that Bob owns five houses.
I haven't reported on this aspect of the Larson story on grounds of relevance, but since Bob has made such a federal case of it, the sub ject has become germane.
Jay Grelen and Doug LeBlanc started this ball rolling in the first World article, "This Is Me, This Is Real," by writing that "Larson's papers in the divorce case also report that: ... When they divorced, the Larsons owned five pieces of real estate, including two in the Rocky Mountains, worth $539,200."17 And since Bob signed the papers in question under penalty of perjury, their report was presumptively accurate.
Grelen and LeBlanc didn't present Larson's financial information as adroitly as they could have; it's easy to see how five pieces of real estate can be translated into five houses. Still, one of the parcels was a vacant lot -- albeit, a valuable one -- scheduled to be sold as a result of the divorce. A second one was nothing more than a cabin, and a third was ex-wife Kathy's townhouse. The family home was sold. The only significant piece of real estate he got from the divorce was the ski condo. With everything that Grelen and LeBlanc had an oppor tunity to have reported on, the division of the marital estate was a questionable choice.
Yet, once his divorce was final, and the success of Dead Air buoyed his confidence, Bob got back into the Colorado real estate market in a big way. And to the best of our knowledge, he now owns the follow ing properties:
Bob Larson's Parade of Homes18
Property Purchase Date Description Price Evidenced by Ck'd
28XXX Meadowlark Dr., $440,000 Deed (reception # 2/93 Golden, CO 91112013)
13XXXW. Ohio Ave., $79,900 Deed (reception # 2/93 Lakewood, CO 92089695)
Hearthstone Mountainhomes $199,000 Deed (reception # 2/93 at Aspenridge Condos, illegible on Unit 2, Building 1, copy; bought Summit County, CO 9 Dec. 1987)
Winterland condo(s?) $32,50019 Bob's affidavit N/A
We also have an unconfirmed report that Bob owns a townhouse in the greater Phoenix area. If that report is true, and he hasn't sold any of the aforementioned properties, then he owns five houses. Granted, it might look bad, but there is no evidence to suggest that he leaves his second, third and even fourth homes vacant when he is not around. For instance, there are all sorts of reasons for him to own the house his parents live in, and resort-area condos are easily rented. Thus, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter one whit whether Bob owns three, four or even more houses; what ought to matter is whether he improperly used sacrificially-given funds to pay for them.
[What I find more remarkable is that a man who insists that he con- stantly receives serious death threats, and is forced to travel under assumed names, should take so precious little care to protect himself from the rogues' gallery of assorted crazies who purportedly threaten him. All Bob would have had to have done is set up some out-of-state partnership to buy the property, hold his partnership interest in an innocuously-named trust, and tell those few staffers who need to know his whereabouts that he is only renting his house. The casual yahoo from Columbus shouldn't have any hope of finding him, and all but the most persistent and well-financed reporter would have difficulty fol lowing the trail. But Bob has done everything short of taking out an ad in the Black Flame -- anyone who wanted to find him could do so in five minutes, tops. Either he doesn't take the alleged death threats seriously, or he is incredibly stupid.]
It is written that 'the wages of sin are death' -- and it is beginning to look as if Bob Larson Ministries is gradually slipping into a coma. A good show -- one that would have drawn $12-15,000 in pledges only three years ago -- reportedly pulls in around $3-5,000. And, like the proverbial three-year-old that blames the family cat for knocking over the cookie jar, Bob is looking desperately for a scapegoat. Bob is rather creative in that respect -- he may be the only radio minis ter in history to blame a drop in Canadian donations on the election of a U.S. president -- but the fact remains that if the cookie jar is broken, all the excuses in the world won't fix it.
Was Bob's bizarre outburst of February 8 merely another in a seem ingly endless repertoire of mindless theatrics, or was it a harbinger of troubles to come? I don't suppose that we'll ever know. But what Bob said to his listeners, his critics will openly second: He doesn't need luck; he needs prayer -- and repentance.
1Ministry sources informed us of Bonnie's unfortunate situation; Fred Wheeler confirmed with the radio station in question that she was no longer employed there.
2 Bob Larson, "Talk-Back With Bob Larson," Radio broadcast, 2 Feb. 1994 (tape on file).
3M. Kurt Goedelman and G. Richard Fisher, "Charged with Character Assassination: PFO Responds to Heresy Hunters by James R. Spencer," Personal Freedom Outreach Quarterly Journal, Vol. 14, No. 1, Jan.- Mar. 1994, p. 5. (The Quarterly Journal can be downloaded from the JPUSA bbs [(312) 878-6030], or you can obtain a copy by writing PFO, P.O. Box 26062, St. Louis, MO 63136.)
4Ibid., p. 12.
5"My Dinner with Bob Larson" [interview with Boyd Rice], Snake Oil, Issue #2 (no date), p. 5. ("Brother Randall" has been actively doing research on Larson, and, as is my standard practice, I'm loading him for bear.It's tough to pin these guys down theologically, but they appear to limit their criticisms to the Word-Faith crowd: Jim Bakker, Dr. Gene Scott, Paul Crouch, and David Koresh are representative 'targets' of their inoffensive barbs. You can obtain a copy by writing Snake Oil, 6102 E. Mockingbird #374, Dallas, TX 75214. The cover price is $2, and the good Brother insists upon cash. For those interested in the other Bob, he has compiled a piece titled "The Beast of Robert Til ton" [check for $6.66 payable to D. Rose; same address].)
6Unsigned, "Reflections on a Tempestuous Relationship," 27 Feb. 1991, p. 1.
7E.g., Anonymous, Letter (to Edward Atsinger, President of Salem Com munications), 1991. (The authenticity of the letter was confirmed by former Salem employee, attorney, and Christian talk-show host John Stewart.)
8Courtesy of our Detroit correspondent, who doubtless will be going off-line with LQV; his presence will be missed.
9Bob Larson Ministries, 1992 Consolidated Financial Statements (obtained from Bob Larson Ministries, 25 August 1992, balance sheet reprinted in summary form in K. Smith, "The Cowering Inferno," also on file with Internet), p. 10.
10Bob Larson, "Talk-Back With Bob Larson," Radio broadcast, 8 Feb. 1994 (tape on file).
11Patricia Mahoney, Telephone interview, 9 Feb. 1994.
12Cf., Mt. 5:14-16.
13Bob Larson, "Talk-Back With Bob Larson," Radio broadcast, 8 Feb. 1993 (tape on file).
14Lee Vaughn (Prison Fellowship Development Dept.), Telephone inter view, 9 Feb. 1994. (As I recall, I'd first heard the part about the Templeton Prize on an interview he did on William F. Buckley's Fir ing Line.)
15Bob Larson, "Talk-Back With Bob Larson," Radio broadcast, 8 Feb. 1993 (tape on file). 16Ibid., ibid.
17Jay Grelen and Doug LeBlanc, "This Is Me, This Is Real," World, Vol. 7, No. 32, 23 Jan. 1993, pp. 7-8.
18Copies of deeds on file. Since the property description for the first two parcels double as street and mailing addresses, I have deleted the last three digits in the description. This strikes what I submit is a reasonable balance in shielding the Larsons from unwanted communication but providing enough information so those who wanted to check my work may do so.
19"Affidavit with Respect to the Financial Affairs of Bobby E. Lar son," Larson v. Larson, No. 91 DR 226 (Jefferson County (Colo.) Dist. Ct., filed 18 July 1991, at 7. (The divorce file itself was sealed by order of the Court on 13 Feb. 1992.)
Copyright 1994 Kenneth L. Smith. All rights reserved. Copying is permitted for non-commercial use only. Please direct your questions to the author at P.O. Box 280305, Lakewood, CO 80228. Posted to the Net by Scott Mikusko, email@example.com.RETURN