IFAS | Freedom Writer | March 1995 | empire.html

Pat Robertson's empire

Pat Robertson has a mammoth media, educational, and legal empire with an estimated value of a billion dollars. These enterprises work hand in hand to further Robertson's agenda.

Robertson's message is carried daily on the "700 Club" talk/news program, via his (now private, for profit) Family Channel, broadcast on almost 10,000 cable systems and reaching some 59 million homes.

The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), producer of the "700 Club," was founded in 1977. The network changed its name to the Family Channel in 1989. To protect the tax-exempt status of CBN, Pat Robertson and his son, Tim, 40, spun off the Family Channel in 1990, legally separating it from CBN. In 1992, the Robertsons began selling shares of stock for the Family Channel, which will result in a payoff of over $500 million for CBN. The Robertsons who also own a block of stock, will likely accrue millions in profits.

Robertson also runs Standard News, a secular news bureau working in tandem with Reuters, which is aired on more than 400 radio stations. A different version of Standard News is distributed to Christian stations.

Regent University, founded by Robertson, has on its sprawling campus a journalism school and law school. Regent receives funding from Coors beer through the Coors Foundation.

The American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) is a legal advocacy group founded to aggressively promote the Christian Right agenda through the courts. The ACLJ is Pat Robertson's response to the ACLU.

"Someone has got to stop the ACLU in court," Robertson said. "And that's exactly what we are going to do at the American Center for Law and Justice. Our attorneys are defending Christians in courtrooms all across America."

The ACLJ is headed by Keith Fournier, Esq. Jay Sekulow, Esq., serves as its general counsel. The ACLJ absorbed Concerned Women for America's legal staff when CWA disbanded that aspect of its work.

Sekulow boasts of having SWAT teams, which he defines as "spiritual warfare assault teams," to defend religious liberty and fight anti-Christian bigotry.

Using leased and chartered jets, lawyers from the ACLJ's Virginia Beach headquarters leave at a moment's notice to defend its agenda anywhere in the nation.

The ACLJ is a non-profit 501(c)(3) public-interest law firm and educational organization. Contributions are tax-deductible.

The ACLJ's main office occupies the fourth floor of Regent University in Virginia Beach. There are regional offices in Atlanta, Mobile, Phoenix, Nashville, and New Hope, Kentucky (a suburb of Louisville this office handles most of the ACLJ's anti-abortion cases), as well as a legislative office in Washington, DC.

According to the Rev. Paul Chaim Schenck, chief operations officer, the ACLJ staff includes 17 full-time lawyers and more than 500 affiliated lawyers. (Paul Schenck, well-known for his anti-abortion activities, joined the ACLJ last year. He told The Freedom Writer that at the ACLJ they like to call him by his middle name, Chaim.)

© 1998 Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc.