Los Angeles’s KCOP-TV News Profiled Dr. R.L. Hymers in 1988

by Little Miss Attila on June 1, 2010

This is the first installment of a three-part special report on R.L. Hymers, Jr., from the late 1980s. I will be running all three transcripts.

Los Angeles, KCOP (Channel 13) News
Monday, 15 August 1988, 10:00 p.m.

Announcer: If you have read a newspaper or watched the news on T.V. in the last few months you have probably seen the Reverend R. L. Hymers a few times. He’s
that flamboyant minister who has stormed off talk shows, and re-enacted the crucifixion while protesting Universal Studio’s new movie The Last Temptation of Christ. We wondered who this Reverend Hymers really is, and so we asked Pat Anson to find out. Pat, what did you find?

Anson: Well, Wendy, it may seem like Reverend Hymers just suddenly appeared in Los Angeles this summer, but in fact he has lived here most of his life and has been the pastor at three different churches in the past decade. The latest one is the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle on Hope Street. His style of preaching is flamboyant and controversial—a mixture of Billy Graham and P. T. Barnum.

Hymers: “I found out a long time ago the world isn’t gonna like me,
anything I do; so I might as well do what God wants and let the world do what it wants.”

Anson: “The Reverend R. L. Hymers doesn’t just preach at Sunday services; he dominates the proceedings. Most of his services over the weekend were devoted to his own personal media campaign against Universal Pictures.”

Hymers: “The news people say, ‘I don’t like R. L. Hymers.’ Well, the feeling is mutual.”

Anson: “When Hymers does talk about God he talks about a vengeful one . . . A God that is punishing America with everything from AIDS to killer bees, because America has become an evil place.”

Hymers: “God is cursing America with these false prophets because of our love of sin and sex rather than him.”

Anson: “The 400 people who attend Hymers’ church are bombarded with
this theme that everything outside the church is evil. One of Hymers’ pastors even says the average Hispanic home is an unfit place to raise children.”

[Hispanic Hymers Minister]: “I believe the average Spanish home is not a good place. It’s increasingly upset by divorce; men that don’t pay child support; men that have two or three wives; children in 3 or 4 locations.”

Anson: “This emphasis on evil outside the church seems to have created a very devoted congregation.”

Hymers: “Hallelujah!” [Applause; Standing Ovation]

Anson: “Hymers’ sermons are often interrupted by standing ovations.”

John Cook [Member]: “The thing I like about him the most is he
sticks with the Bible. He’s faithful; he’s consistent; he’s not afraid of what
people are gonna think of him.”

[Unnamed Member]: “He makes a very good pastor … and I enjoy his sermons and everything else.”

Anson: “What makes him a good pastor?”

[Unnamed Member]: “He speaks the truth about sin and about Jesus.”

[Another Member]: “I like his sincerity; I like his love for Jesus Christ.”

Anson: “But former members of the Tabernacle and others where Hymers has been pastor tell a very different story.”

["Linda"]: “I believe that he’s an egomaniac. He wants you to perceive God as the way he perceives God. There is no room for discussion.”

["Frank"]: “The hold is morality. He uses morality as a weapon against them. He teaches them that what they are doing is right: obeying the Bible; obeying Christ. And once somebody buys that . . . it’s a tremendous weapon . . . He emotionally abused everyone that he came in contact with; and [some] physically.”

["Linda"]: “I’ve seen him, personally, hit someone repeatedly in the face. I’ve seen him do that.”

Anson: “Sometimes the emotional abuse can be very public, even if the transgression appears to have nothing to do with religion. In this old church bulletin, one woman is attacked for ‘the soul damning sin of gluttony.’ Another is condemned for an alleged ‘unnatural sex crime,
her second.’”

["Linda"]: “I know of one woman that he refused to let her come in while he counseled her son. He asked him how many times he masturbates. This is a young boy, nine years old.”

Anson: “Anna says she was humiliated in church for not clapping loud enough.”

["Anna"]: “I felt sick and I wasn’t doing it fast enough, so he grabbed me by the arm, pulled me all the way to the back, and told the usher not to be putting ‘demonized people’ up at the front. I didn’t know what to do—I started crying. I just walked out.”

Hymers: “Ridiculous. No basis for it whatever.”

Anson: “Hymers says the allegations about his hitting people are lies.”

Hymers: “Why are they attacking me for standing up for Jesus? I think there’s something wrong with them. And they know perfectly well that what they’re saying is 90 percent false and 10 percent distorted, and I think that these people, that are saying that, have a real problem . . . ”

Anson: “The former members of Hymers’ church have a lot of horror stories to tell; you’ve just seen a few of them. Now, this is a covenant he used to make people sign. It makes them promise not to date or marry anyone outside of the Church. They also had to give Hymers complete authority over their lives. Tomorrow, we’ll look into allegations that Hymers is running a religious cult.”

[Other Newscaster]: “And indeed—serious charges from those people we shot in silhouette. But there are people with him now who don’t buy any of that?”

Anson: “Right. The current members are, from what I could tell, anyway, extremely devoted and loyal to him. They think he’s a great man, which is… what he keeps telling them. The services I went to yesterday lasted for four hours. A four-hour service, with 250 people there, or 300—and I saw only one person leave early during those four hours.”

[Other Newscaster]: “And they come from what denomination, do you know?”

Anson: “Well, you know, he’s been accused of being a racist and a bigot—but I would say two thirds of his congregation is minority.”

[Other Newscaster]: “The people in silhouette, are they scared of him? Is that why they’re in silhouette? Or just to protect their identity in case of a lawsuit?”

Anson: “To protect their identity. They’re embarrassed by their former affiliation with the church.”

[Other Newscaster]: “Looking forward to tomorrow, Patrick.”

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Robert Leslie Hymers III: Sniveling Wanker [Updated Below] « The Camp Of The Saints
June 2, 2010 at 12:48 pm

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They Say / We Say June 2, 2010 at 7:40 pm

And so the hold gos.
Rev. Ike and Jim Jones to name a couple.

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