What kind of gift can you get for the budding survivalist in your life? How about a great big Jim Bakker food bucket.
The disgraced televangelist is now hawking survivalist gear and books about the apocalypse on his website almost 20 years after he was released from prison on a conviction of bilking followers out of millions of dollars.
Back from the evangelical wilderness, Bakker now tapes a daily TV show from the rolling Ozarks of Missouri and uses his website to pitch what he calls “love gifts,” essentially a variety of odd products including “Tiffany style” jewelery, fuel-less generators and buckets of dried food.
For just $500, you can get “Jim’s All American 4 Star Vegetable” buckets. A cool two grand will get you the “Jerry Jones Special,” which promises “over 3,300 servings of food and enough fuel to cook 480 meals.”
Preparing for the end of the world is nothing new for Bakker, who served almost five years in prison following his conviction for the $158 million rip off of his followers. “Pastor Jim,” as he calls himself now, published a book in 1998 called Prosperity and the Coming Apocalypse, which he sells on his site for $20 and proclaims: “This is not just a book of prophecy, it is a book of survival.”
His longtime wife Tammy Faye having divorced him while he was in prison, Bakker married his new wife, Lori, the same year he published the book. She now works beside him as a pastor at the Jim Bakker Show and offers her own line of products like the “Lori’s Little Lambs Chrystal Necklace” for $35.
Most of the goods, the Bakkers assure their followers, are at least partially tax deductible.
And by the way, if you buy into Bakker’s new pitch and end up getting impatient waiting for the end of the world or the next earth-changing disaster, there’s another place where you might be able to put the survivalist gear to use. As io9 noted earlier this year, Bakker’s long abandoned amusement park called Heritage USA is something of a “post-apocalyptic ghost town” these days.
Ed Note: A previous version of this post misidentified the name of the Bakker’s former amusement park.
Nick Martin is an associate editor at TPM in New York City. He came to the site in 2011 as a reporter for TPMMuckraker. Previously, he worked in Arizona, first as a staff reporter for a local newspaper and later as a freelance journalist. He also ran the news blog Heat City. Contact him: nick [at] talkingpointsmemo.com