"You know, if everything, every ugly thing everybody has ever said about me was true, you know something? Man, am I in good company! You look at David, you look at Moses, you look at Elijah -- I mean, uh, it-it's not true, but if it were true -- I mean, if it were true, I'm in good company!" [RealAudio]Frankly, considering that some of the rumors surrounding Bob Larson include not only extramarital affairs with multiple partners -- including the wife of a Lutheran minister! -- but allegations of Satanism and yes, even child molestation, somehow I don't think Moses and Elijah would appreciate that comparison. Here at the Bob Larson Fan Club page, we stick to what we can document and present documentation (where space limitations allow), thereby enabling you make up your own mind. The text of the original pamphlet is in white (it should still print), quotations are in green, references to documentation are in orange, and additional commentary is in purple.
What Bob Larson Doesn’t Want You to Know!
Courtesy of the Bob Larson Fan Club and Watchdogs for Christ
Well, you’ve heard whispers about it on his radio show from time to time. You’ve heard the "dead air" on Bob’s show when he silences people who try to reveal this information.
Bob Larson routinely dead-airs anyone who brings up his litany of sins [RealAudio: Example 1, Example 2, Example 3], and even when doing secular interviews, he often threatens to take his ball and go home. When faced with a knowledgeable opponent like myself, he has even hung up in the middle of a scheduled two-hour interview! If Bob Larson can even face the demons of hell without fear, then why is he SO afraid to answer a few simple questions?What exactly does Bob have to hide? Why aren’t you, the people who support him, informed about Bob’s doings? You support Bob, and you have a right to know how your money is being spent.
An expanded discussion of the evidence against Larson, and why it can be relied on, is at "You Can't Fake This!"
Whenever something damaging makes it out over the air, Bob makes a point of calling it a "lie", without allowing any follow-up. Rest assured, all you are about to read is extensively documented in the form of ministry memos, court documents and Bob’s personal diary entries. At the end of this document, you will find out where you can read a large collection of documentation (much of it accepted in court), for free!
Bob’s ministry seems to always be on the brink of financial collapse. Did you ever wonder how a ministry could exist for ten years constantly on the brink of bankruptcy?
Because it isn’t ... and never has been. In his fundraising letter dated December 7, 1990, Bob wrote to contributors claiming that "By December 31, I must erase a $185,000 deficit in paying for our air time. If I can’t, we could lose so many stations it would be difficult to continue TALK-BACK." By February 4 of the next year, the deficit had jumped to $213,000. But according to the Ministry’s federal tax return for that year, it had a surplus for the year of over $500,000, and a net worth of almost $2,000,000!
Bob Larson claims we are lying about him ... but if we are lying here, it is because he is lying -- in some instances, under penalty of perjury. Every document supporting this claim came either directly or indirectly from Bob Larson himself! (See The Perpetual Going-Out-of-Business Sale for a detailed presentation of documentation.)
If Bob Larson Ministries was in true financial distress, you would expect to find its founder and CEO living a modest lifestyle. But on September 8, 1995, Bob and young second wife Laura borrowed $1,000,000 to buy a new vacation mansion in the Colorado’s Vail Valley.
Since most Netizens can't simply drive down to the Eagle County (Colorado) Clerk and Recorder's Office, all I can realistically do is show you the $1,000,000 trust deed, the Revocable Trust Rider (showing that "The Valley Trust" is one of Bob Larson's alter egos), and a certification of authenticity from the County Clerk's office (the actual document is more than one page). If you want to gaze wistfully at Bob's Vail Valley vacation mansion -- the one he scammed so much of your hard-earned money from you to buy -- go to Be it Ever So Humble, but if you just want stats, visit Dirt, Cheap!.
A strange purchase, for someone whose ministry is failing. It is quite a nice little 5200 square-foot vacation home, in an exclusive gated community with a private golf course, walking distance to Vail’s Arrowhead ski area. Has Bob ever invited you up there? He should, because you helped pay for it!
Evidence that Larson's list of Ministry-funded indulgences include first-class air travel, deluxe hotel rooms, and even a "staff retreat" in Maui is presented at "I Don't Fly First-Class -- I Fly Coach!"
Whenever Bob is asked about his salary, the figure he usually cites is $69,000. And if that were a true representation of what he made from the ministry, we would applaud him for his selflessness. But when Bob testifies under oath, either in tax returns or court papers, he sings a radically different tune.
According to Ministry tax returns for the years 1990-93, Bob received over $1,200,000 in compensation. That doesn’t include the roughly $50,000 per year in "consulting fees" he received from the Bob Larson Ministry Society of Canada, the $150,000 bonus he claimed was for salary from previous years, or the money he earns from "his" books. Bottom-line, he makes about $500,000 a year – almost all of it from his ministry.
This allegation is analyzed in detail at What Bob Larson REALLY Makes from the Ministry; Bob's tricks for using the Ministry to subsidize his book-writing business are outlined at Ghost-Writers in the Machine -- Part I and Part II and "I Don't Get a Dime from Books I Give Away to Donors". The relevant divorce documents are on-line at Divorce is Divorce.
When Bob is asked about the source of his wealth, he makes vague allusions to money made in rock-and-roll or on the lecture circuit. But when he was asked to testify under oath about this during his 1991 divorce, he again told a different story:
"Well, the lifestyle was pretty austere in the beginning. We had no possessions at the time of the marriage. I had a car that I was making payments on and a few hundred dollars in the bank. And it was that pretty much that way for quite a while…"
Subsequent investigation, especially that by Cornerstone "super-sleuth" Jon Trott, has established that young Bob Larson's alleged rock and roll exploits were grossly exaggerated, if not a complete fraud. See Bob Larson: Superstar or Red Dwarf? for pertinent details and appropriate documentation.
Bob has also claimed that he made a pile of money in real estate. But his divorce records didn’t reveal extensive holdings. What’s more, local records suggest that his most successful real estate deal was a shady one involving the building currently housing his ministry.
In October of 1985, Bob and ex-wife Kathy bought the office building in Lakewood, Colorado for $1,415,000, taking out a $1,550,000 mortgage that same day to finance it. Less than 15 months later, with Colorado real estate prices dropping, they sold it to his ministry for $1,800,000. While the Larsons made an apparent profit of $385,000 from the deal, his Ministry was left holding the bag – taking a $650,000 loss, paid for by your faithful contributions.
By his own admission, Bob didn't have the money in those early years to make significant real estate investments, and neither the real estate records from his home county nor his divorce records bear any suggestion that he was an active investor. Moreover, courtroom testimony shows that he didn't take a salary from Bob Larson Ministries during its' formative years. Nonetheless, as Terry Martin of the Colorado Christian News (a former real estate agent) noted in a recent article, the records do show that he made one incredible investment:
"The history of the ministry's building at 575 Union also raises questions. Larson first acquired the property under the name of Can-Am Enterprises, a business owned by Larson and his first wife, Kathy. Can-Am bought the property in 1985 for slightly over $1,400,000 and sold the building to Bob Larson Ministries in 1986 for $1,800,000. There is a question of whether this was truly an "arms' length" transaction, particularly since real estate experts recall that 1985-86 was not a year in which commercial property appreciated 20%. On the surface, it appears Larson sold the building to the ministry at an inflated price. This is somewhat borne out by the price at which he sold it in 1995 to its new corporate owners. They paid a mere $1,150,000 in a real estate market that has enjoyed a great deal of appreciation in the last five years."
Larson made a small fortune on the deal ... but the Ministry was left holding the bag. It is a theme that persists throughout the Bob Larson saga: whenever he sticks it to the Ministry, he prides himself in being "wise." As he explained on a local Denver radio broadcast, he "made some wise real estate investments...."
For a man who needs your money desperately just to stay on your station, he seems to be doing rather well for himself. But he does need your money – the $8,000 or so he needs each month to pay his mortgage.
While Bob loves to pin the "adulterer" tag on President Clinton, he has some Clintonesque situations to his own credit. In November of 1990, Bob went to Florida, staying at the Disney Yacht Club Hotel with Lori Boespflug (one of his attractive female staffers) and her three young girls. Faithful wife Kathy stayed home.
If that wasn’t enough, according to his handwritten personal diary, Bob made a little return junket to the Disney Yacht Club Hotel with attractive Ministry staffer Margo Hamilton, a mere 48 hours after his divorce became final. A curious entry appeared for that day:
"strange to be back @ the hotel where 9 months ago I came with L [Lori]."
Ministry staffers made station managers aware of Bob’s indiscretions as early as 1990. Check out this piece from a piece of anonymous correspondence from a BLM staff member to Salem Broadcasting president Ed Atsinger:
"Mr. Larson has had other traveling and bed companions such as Mrs. Boespflug, who most likely supposes as the others that she is unique and something special. And she is for the moment. Why not ask Ms. Behrens who was his "best friend" for four or five years and traveling companion to many 5 star hotels in such places as San Francisco, San Diego, San Francisco [sic], Tucson, and Hawaii."
An extensive examination of some of Bob Larson's allegedly adulterous adventures is located at "Lying Lips, a Cheating Heart, and a Wandering Eye.
When WVEL (Peoria, IL) station manager Brian Cooper confronted Bob about the allegations, he asked Bob to pray with him about the matter. According to Cooper, Bob angrily retorted that he "would not cast his pearls before swine," and shortly thereafter, threatened to pull TALK-BACK from the station if Cooper’s boss didn’t fire him. Cooper was gone in two days.
Unlike President Clinton, Bob appears to have gone to extreme lengths to ensure that no Paula Jones or Gennifer Flowers will ever "kiss-and-tell" on him. As World magazine reported (and later confirmed by deposition), the woman Bob accompanied to the Disney Yacht Club Hotel after his divorce, Margo Hamilton, is bound by a "confidentiality agreement" which prevents her from ever saying whether she slept with him. If Bob was faithful to his first wife (not to mention his second), why would he need to go to such lengths to silence his reputed bed partners?
Even if Bob didn’t break his wedding vows on his frequent junkets, the fact remains that his divorce and subsequent marriage to a woman young enough to be his daughter was without a hint of Scriptural cause or justification. According to his handwritten diary, the discussion of divorce came up after Kathy accused Bob of having an affair with Margo Hamilton. Not only did Kathy not want the divorce, but the diary says that she "begged" Bob not to divorce her. Would a man lie to his diary?
Bob would like to convince his listeners that he’s a world-class author, having over 20 "best-selling" books to his credit. Well, apparently Bob’s staffers didn’t think much of his writing talent. The evidence suggests that Lori Boespflug, the same attractive divorcee who traveled with him to Disneyworld, wrote the bulk of Bob’s most renowned work, Dead Air, under contract. Unfortunately, she did quite a good job. The lurid story about the adventures of Larson-clone radio-preacher, Wes Bryant, became his most notorious work. This success brought about a letter from Bob’s attorney, William T. Abbott. The opening of the letter is below:
"With the passing of each day, I become more and more concerned about your potential liability to Lori in connection with Dead Air and its sequels.
The time table is immediate. You will soon know if Dead Air is to be a publishing success and, quite possible, if theatrical rights are to be optioned. Assuming success, and knowing the role Lori has played, it would amaze me if she is not sufficiently astute to use the opportunity to both secure her financial future and to launch her own literary career."
That last sentence raises an obvious question: If Lori did not write the bulk of Dead Air, then how could she use her experience to launch her literary career? You’ll never get the story from Lori. She was browbeaten by Bob’s attorneys into signing a dubious confidentiality agreement, effectively denying the incriminating facts Bob’s own attorney admitted.
An extensive discussion of the Dead Air scandal, and why Bob Larson's authorship of his most notorious work is legitimately called into question, is at Ghostwriters in the Machine - Part I. The story surrounding the Boespflug retraction, and evidence that it was obtained under substantial duress, is at Our Files Are Sealed. Articles examining other aspects of Larson's lucrative "book-writing" scam are referenced above.
Well, it seems that like minds think alike. One of Bob’s long-time sponsors is Craig Smith, president of Swiss America Trading Corporation. Craig, like Bob, likes to make it seem that he’s got your best interests at heart by trading your worthless dollars for Godly gold and silver coins. But it appears that Craig also has a bit of a past that he doesn’t want you to know about. Check out this passage from the 7/30/95 issue of The Arizona Republic:
"Pat Millsop of Phoenix recalls the time she took a check to [Craig] Smith in the 1980s for the purchase of some coins. They talked for a few hours, and ‘we ended up basically praying and crying together about this conversion (to Christianity) that he made,’ said Millsop, who with her husband, James, later sued Swiss America, claiming it misrepresented the values of nearly $200,000 in coins they bought. Smith denied the misrepresentation, as he had with similar complaints, and the suit was settled July 12.
…Smith’s business has blossomed since a personal and business crisis in 1986, when he fell into debt and then was arrested on charges of racketeering and aiding a money laundering scheme involving an undercover agent for the Internal Revenue Service. Smith pleaded guilty in federal court to attempting to defraud the IRS and was sentenced to five years’ probation and fined $50,000. In an affidavit, the agent wrote that Smith sold him coins whose value was much less than what was represented and that there was evidence that the coin’s plastic sealed holders had been tampered with."
Why should we be surprised that Bob hangs out with such people? After what you’ve read about Bob, you shouldn’t be surprised at all.
Many of Larson's known associates and supporters appear to have checkered pasts, including one of the Ministry's Board members. See, e.g., Larson Board Member Arrested for Stealing Condoms.
For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. (Rom. 10:2,3)
History is replete with examples of teachers who have had a great ‘zeal’ for God, but not from knowledge. Bob is one of them. When considering the accuracy of a teacher, there is one primary source for knowledge – the Scriptures. If a teacher at any time teaches something contrary to the Word, and they refuse to recant or repent, then let him/her be anathema (Gal. 1:9).
There are primarily three theological points where we can find substantial evidence for the ‘anathema’ of which Paul speaks. Any one of these three issues should cause even the most unlearned Christian great discomfort. Combined, they create a deadly mixture of heretical doctrine that must be eliminated (1Cor. 5:13).
1. Christian demon-possession. Bob utilizes the trichotomous view of the constituent parts of man (man being comprised of body, soul, and spirit) to justify his belief that Christians can and have been possessed by demons and, in worst cases, the adversary himself. The Scriptures teach that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1Cor. 3:16), and that light and darkness have no fellowship with one another (2Cor. 6:15), and that a house divided against itself cannot stand (Mk. 3:24). Bob ignores the truth and branches out in his own brand of heresy, using ‘experience’ and emotion to prove his claims. Do you believe the Scriptures or Bob?
2. Religious dualism. Bob presents a Star Wars-style world where there are two forces fighting against one another for control. He states in the introduction to his book, In The Name Of Satan "Christians are combatants in a conflict between good and evil, light and darkness, God and the devil." The Scriptures are full of examples in which this thinking is not only wrong, but heretical:
Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. (Col 2:15)
For the Christian, demons are defeated foes. Bob instead teaches the Peretti-like nonsense of "demons under every porch". Bob teaches not a victorious Christ, but rather a nail-biting Christ, waiting to see who will win the ultimate battle for souls. This teaching is heresy (Gal. 1:9).
3. Christ-complex. The most dangerous aspect of cult leaders is their belief that they contribute to the salvific aspects of their followers’ lives. Bob has proclaimed on his show that his prayers carry more "weight" than the prayers of his listeners. Written evidence, moreover, is found on page XI of ITNOS:
I’ve made mistakes along the way, but I have done what I could, when I could, to set at liberty those who have been bruised by Satan (Luke 4:18).
In a clear misinterpretation of Scripture, Bob places himself in the very shoes of Christ. This Scripture passage is authentication that Christ Jesus, not Bob Larson, had fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah. In this passage, Christ is clearly speaking of Himself, not His followers. If there were ever any evidence to prove that Bob Larson is a false teacher, this is it.
Ron Black of Watchdogs for Christ has done a nice job of outlining a fair number of Bob Larson's heretical teachings; see Larson Crushed in Columbus by CHRISTIANS for a sample of his work, and visit the Watchdogs site for even more.
While an exhaustive outline of Bob Larson's heretical and/or ludicrous teachings is beyond the scope of this article, even as augmented, we have focused on his penchant for proclaiming that God has somehow "endorsed" his career-enhancing schemes, and attributed criticism of his antics to a bizarre Satanic plot to bring down good ministries -- like those of Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, and Robert Tilton. (Read It's a Miracle! Bob's Ministry in Motion to examine the evidence for yourself.)
What About Demons?
A pro-Bob caller who brought this pamphlet up on the air during a recent edition of Talk-Back complained that:
A pro-Bob caller who brought this pamphlet up on the air during a recent edition of Talk-Back complained that:
"They never mentioned [in the flyer] one time about you casting out demons, 'it's a fake, it's a fraud'. ..." [RealAudio]I have recently become privy to evidence which raises grave doubt as to whether the "exorcisms" Bob Larson claims to conduct are genuine. NBC in Lubbock started the ball rolling by establishing that some of the people "exorcised" by Larson's videos had in fact been exorcised more than once, thus suggesting that they were paid shills. Additional evidence to this effect is expected to make its public debut in another forum, and will be revealed here shortly thereafter in "The Exorcisms Are FAKE! Film at 11...."
"... Your helping people on the HOPE Line, 'it's a fake, it's a fraud'." [RealAudio, same quote]We have never disputed the claim that some people have been helped by Bob Larson Ministries but instead, assert that those who have been helped have been helped more in spite of Bob Larson than because of him. To that end, we have published an open letter to Bob from former skinhead and Ministry volunteer Jake Ashcraft, and the testimony of the mother of a girl Larson exploited for dollars, who absolutely refuses to have anything to do with Christianity as a result of her dealings with him. Besides, a lot of current Talk-Back listeners wouldn't even know what we were talking about --the HOPE Line has been closed for years.
Where’s the evidence? Bob likes to say that all of this is a pack of lies, made up by the demon-possessed servants of Satan to discredit him. Bob doesn’t mention that many of these supposed "demon-possessed" people are Bob’s former supporters! The facts you have read above have been meticulously documented. As mentioned before, you can browse all of the evidence for free if you have Internet access. Just go to the WWW addresses below.
Where’s the evidence?
Bob likes to say that all of this is a pack of lies, made up by the demon-possessed servants of Satan to discredit him. Bob doesn’t mention that many of these supposed "demon-possessed" people are Bob’s former supporters! The facts you have read above have been meticulously documented. As mentioned before, you can browse all of the evidence for free if you have Internet access. Just go to the WWW addresses below.
It’s all there. You can read all the documents mentioned above. You can read much more documentation than will fit on this small page. If you wish to discuss this document with the authors, feel free to discuss it at the Internet newsgroup alt.fan.bob-larson
Who are we?
The Bob Larson Fan Club is a loose coalition of people, from born-again Christians to Atheists, who have set aside our religious differences for a common goal: to inform Bob’s listeners about his misdeeds.
We feel that what Bob does is an affront, not only to Christianity, but also to common decency. If you disagree, realize that the Scriptural warrant for exposing Rev. Larson is clear. He has been confronted, as the Scriptures require (Matt. 18:15-16), to no avail. Christians have a duty (Ezek. 33:1-6; Eph. 5:11) to rebuke him, both privately and publicly (1Tim. 5:20). And while commercial radio stations can do as they please, Christian ministries should have nothing to do with him (1Cor. 5:11-13).
We ask you do to as the Bereans (Act. 17:10-15). Check the facts, in light of Scripture. Or better yet, we invite you to investigate Bob yourself. Call up Bob’s stations. Ask him about these things yourself, on the air, at 800-821-TALK.
Brought to you by:
The Bob Larson Fan Club - http://www.bitsmart.com/boblarson
Watchdogs for Christ - http://www.bitsmart.com/watchdogs