Independent Conservative, a blog operated by Darnell McGavock, reports that Benny Hinn and his organization have succeeded in getting YouTube to remove many videos critical of his teachings and practices.
Direct links to many of the videos now result in the display of a notice:
This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Pastor Benny Hinn and the World Healing Church d/b/a Benny Hinn Ministries
Evangelist Benny Hinn is controversial for his frequently aberrant - and at times heretical - theology, his unorthodox practices, his lies, and his false prophecies — not to mention his love of money.
Using the DMCA to stifle criticism
Hinn and his business are claiming copyright infringement under the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) — an ill-conceived and much criticized piece of legislation also misused by such cults as the Church of Scientology as well as cult-like businesses like Landmark Eduction, in their efforts to stifle criticism. [Scientology example | Landmark Education example]
The DMCA has been criticized for making it too easy for copyright owners to encourage website owners to take down infringing content and links when it may not in fact be infringing. When website owners receive a takedown notice it is in their interest not to challenge it, even if it is not clear if infringement is taking place, because if the potentially infringing content is taken down the website will not be held liable. The Electronic Frontier Foundation senior IP attorney Fred von Lohmann has said this is one of the problems with the DMCA.
- Source: Digital Millennium Copyright Act - Criticism, Wikipedia entry. Last accessed, May 29, 2007
Regarding the videos removed by YouTube, McGavock — whose own video regarding Hinn was removed as well — writes:
Some were videos that were of Benny Hinn, others were videos simply talking about Benny Hinn and for some odd reason some of the videos removed were not about and did not mention Benny Hinn at all, but were still removed and carry a notice that he asked for them to go. All vidoes removed exposed false teaching and examples of abuse from the pulpit.
- Source: YouTube Videos Removed by Benny Hinn via Use of Legal Force, DMCA
On his blog, McGavock keeps track of the list of videos YouTube has removed at the request of Benny Hinn.
Do You Believe in Miracles?
Among the videos removed was a copy of Do You Believe in Miracles, an expose broadcast by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s investigative documentary program, The Fifth Estate.
That documentary, which can be viewed in full at the CBC website, is still available via Google Videos.
It pays to watch the program, as it goes a long way toward explaining why Benny Hinn might not want you to see it:
The Many Faces of Benny Hinn
Another documentary about Benny Hinn, this one produced by the Trinity Foundation, is also still available via Google. Titled, The Many Faces of Benny Hinn, the latest updated version (over 6 hours of video) can be purchased from their online store.
This is the video Benny Hinn filed a lawsuit over. It is “… a unique blend of searing exposes by some of the world’s leading news organizations, the biting satire of Door TV’s Godstuff (as seen on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show) and Hinn’s own outrageous statements.”
In late 1999, Greg Hartman posted - in section of About.com that is no longer online - an interview with the editor of The Door. He later wrote an article in reply to some negative or incredulous reader feedback regarding that interview. It helps to know that The Door [in January, 2005 again renamed “The Wittenburg Door”] describes itself as “pretty much the only satirical Christian magazine in existence.” But it’s satire comes with a serious edge. As Hartman writes, the magazine is published by “The Trinity Foundation, a controversial evangelical watchdog group headquartered in Texas. Working in tandem, Trinity and The Door have been instrumental in several federal investigations of prominent televangelists — even sending one to prison.”
Let me start by answering the question uppermost in everyone’s mind: Yes, she really says it. Suzanne Hinn really says ”You need a Holy Ghost enema” right in front of a packed house at Benny Hinn’s home church in Orlando, Fla. She also yells something incoherent about how women need to forget their high-heeled shoes, says that people-pleasers are ”butt-kissers,” and she really, truly actually says this: ”If you can’t get your motor started, you need a Holy Ghost enema right up your rear end!”
There’s a reason I got that out of the way right at the start: Because the Holy Ghost enema clip — for which The Door and Comedy Central are being sued by Hinn hisself — comes at the tail end (no pun intended) of ”The Many Faces of Benny Hinn,” which is three solid hours of some of the best investigative reporting I’ve ever seen.
The concept is simple: The Door has collected as many investigative news stories on Benny Hinn as they could lay their hands on and put them in chronological order, with a bare minimum of the comedy in the other Godstuff tapes. In other words, this tape isn’t very funny. In fact, it’s downright sickening.
- Source: The Many Faces of Benny Hinn, About.com Dec. 8, 1999 (No longer online)
Watch an earlier version of The Many Faces of Benny Hinn online.