Man Behind Trinity Broadcasting Network Says Gays Are Tryng to Create a "Homosexual Special Race"
Jim and Tammy Fae Bakker co-founded Trinity Broadcasting Network, which broadcasts in South Florida.
Ever seen a gay man's living room? A bloody, mounted head of some Christian is not, I repeat NOT, there.
But Rick Wiles, a former marketing exec for Trinity Broadcasting Network, thinks otherwise. According to him, gay rights activists are the second-coming of Nazis, because both groups were trying to create a "homosexual special race."
Trinity Broadcasting Network was co-founded by Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker in 1973 and has a headquarters in South Florida. It went national through cable in 1978, all thanks to one Rick Wiles, the marketing director who peddled the programming to places like DirecTV and DISH Networks. He's as much to credit for making TBN a big deal as its hosts.
So what's the guy who made the world's largest religious television network doing today? Running a show about the "global regime," the Biblical end times and general wackiness. But more sinister is that it sometimes fills the void Fred Phelps left when he died in March.
One memorable Wiles broadcast was of an interview with Indiana pastor Jeff Allen. Charmingly, he was on air to criticize the Southern Baptist Convention for not being hateful enough. During the interview, Wiles offered some pretty, uh, interesting takes on history.
"Hitler was trying to create a race of super gay male soliders," Wiles said to start off his tirade, conveniently forgetting the thousands of gay people who died in the Holocaust. "Hitler was homosexual, the top Nazi leadership, all of them were homosexuals, it was a radical homosexual movement that gained political power."
According to Wiles, gay rights is the "new Nazism" and gay people want to "hunt [people] down" and "put [their] heads on the wall" as trophies.
In 1998, Wiles resigned from cable exec-dom, heeding a call to join the ministry and become full-time crazy. Today, he spews insanity on his site TruNEWS, which would be redundant if it lived up to either part of its name. Its first broadcast, in 1999, was called "America's Hope." On his site, Wiles refers to himself as a "citizen reporter" who covers "important news not heard on mainstream news channels."
Meanwhile, TBN is plugging along without him at the wheel. It's now run by Jan and Matthew Crouch. The Crouch patriarch was one of the original founders along with the Bakkers. In Florida, it has four affiliates in Cocoa Beach, Fort Pierce, Jacksonville and Miami/Fort Lauderdale.
Send your story tips to the author, Allie Conti.
Follow Allie Conti on Twitter: @allie_conti
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss New Times Broward-Palm Beach's biggest stories.