It was only a matter of time, truth be told I’m surprised it took so long. Jim Bakker – remember him? I do. It’s been a while since 1980’s baked Notes stumbled home Sunday morning, lit up television to catch televangelist Jim Bakker’s frenetic gospel culminating in wife Tammy Faye’s tears bleeding mascara from lash tip to chin.
Jim had a good run, ’74 – ’89, 15 years of bank before hush money paid to a church secretary alleging rape and felony fraud conviction forced his resignation. Initially sentenced to 45 years for fraud and conspiracy, on appeal incarceration was reduced to 8 years. Tammy Faye divorced him. Bakker served 5 years, paroled in ’94 owing the IRS $6 million. What’s a disgraced televangelist to do? Start another ministry of course!
In 2003 the Jim Bakker Show began daily broadcasts from Studio City Café in Branson, Missouri. Rehabilitated Bakker condemns “prosperity theology” implicit in his fall from grace. shifting focus to the apocalypse, end times and hawking freeze-dried survivalist rations. Oh Jim, overpriced doomsday food aside you won the lottery when a devotee named Jerry Crawford credited you with saving his marriage, wrote a $25 million dollar check, facilitated a move to Blue Eye, Missouri under the moniker Morningside.
One might dismiss Bakker’s Morningside end times infomercial as buyer beware. Who are we to condemn survivalist lust for pricey dehydrated prunes. Trouble is end times rations have a limited audience, enter miracle cures – that’s where the money is.
For several years Bakker’s ministry has promoted Silver Solution, miracle cure for all sexually transmitted disease, HIV and immunity to any virus. Coronavirus delivered a snake oil televangelist wet dream. On February 12th Bakker asked naturopathic “doctor” Sherrill Sellman – “This influenza that is now circling the globe, you’re saying that Silver Solution would be effective?”
“Well, let’s say it hasn’t been tested on this strain of the coronavirus,” Sellman replied, “but it’s been testing on other strains of the coronavirus and has been able to eliminate it within 12 hours.”
“Totally eliminates it. Kills it. Deactivates it. And then it boosts your immune system, so then you can support the recovery,” she said.
Amidst vacant jibber-jabber an ad appears on the screen. Those seeking a cure for coronavirus or any other illness can purchase four tubes of Silver Solution gel for $80, or Silver Solution variety pack – two bottles of liquid, two of gel and three lozenges for $125.
Fear not, the State of New York said oh hell no Bakker, issuing a cease and desist order. Here’s hoping they mean to follow-up with stern consequences. Surely viral snake oil warrants formal charges. Sheesh!