They're probably having a hell of a party in heaven about now. Famous teacher and televangelist Dr Gene Scott died on Monday, February 21, 2005 at age 75. You could really see him having a good old time arguing philosophy and theology with the saints. St Peter's probably picking up some new theological insights right now.
HIS WEBSITE BIOGRAPHY
Lengthy 1994 Los Angeles Times profile
Gene Scott was the only preacher on tv worth watching. Over 30 years on the tube, he grew long hair and a big shaggy beard, and was usually chewing on a cigar. He came off as more of a really nutty professor rather than a preacher per se, given to reading extensively on air from obscure historical works and history books- with commentary, of course.
Then for a break, he'd talk about his fancy cars and race horses. Queue up the video, and he'd be out in the barn inspecting his prize race horses- with a couple of big-breasted model types on his arm.
This purely boyish delight in showing off his goodies and getting the goats of all the church ladies (religious and secular) naturally enraged all kinds of self-appointed guardians of public morality. He had run-ins with different official types, trying to make some kind of case of fraud or financial impropriety. The California Attorney General's office screwed with him for a couple of years in the 70s before legislative reform finally trimmed their harassment abilities.
They never got anywhere, most likely because he was clean and above board. Also, he was famously resistant to auditors. Robin Williams once imitated him, saying, "The word 'audit' does not appear in the Bible." I'd presume that Williams made that up, but it's not far from stuff I heard him actually say on a regular basis. It was also hard to really justify being indignant when his followers were sending in donations marked with statements like, "Gene Scott can do whatever he wants with this money."
Really, these attorney generals and tax folk just provided grist for his mill. Among other things, this Renaissance man was a painter. (He's said to have his own paintings displayed in his private museum alongside original Rembrandt and Monet.) At one point in the early '90s, I saw him hawking prints of an impressionist painting he'd done called "A Bureaucrat (And what to do with him)."