We see a lot of TV preachers today preying on desperate people, but Oral Roberts was the original. The grand old con artist has died at age 91.
He claimed that God spoke directly to him every day. He performed fake healings for thousands of gullible followers who promptly handed over their meager life savings to him. In 1987, he said on a special worldwide television broadcast that unless his followers sent him $8 million immediately, God would “call him home.” He received $9.1 million.
Later that same year Roberts’ son (and eventual successor) claimed his father had raised a child from the dead. More millions arrived. Then in 1998 a whistle-blower was forced off Oral Roberts University’s board of regents after he revealed that Roberts led a lavish Beverly Hills lifestyle, including owning a $17 million mansion there.
He took from the gullible and never looked back.