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I Was Wrong: The Untold Story of the Shocking Journey from PTL Power to Prison and Beyond [Paperback]

By Jim Bakker (Author) & Thomas Nelson Publishers (Author)
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Item description for I Was Wrong: The Untold Story of the Shocking Journey from PTL Power to Prison and Beyond by Jim Bakker & Thomas Nelson Publishers...

The media circus gleefully trumpeted every detail of Jim and Tammy Faye's dizzying descent from the pinnacle of the multimillion-dollar Heritage USA Retreat Center and The Inspirational Network to ignominy, impoverishment- and in Jim's case - imprisonment. Yet the loss of his empire, his money, his home, and his reputation in the two years leading up to his imprisonment in 1989 was only the beginning. In prison, he was to lose even more-his freedom, his sanity, his dignity, his confidence in his faith, and eventually even his wife. Inmate 07407-058, one-time confidant to presidents, had hit bottom. In the humiliation, loneliness, and abject despair of prison, Bakker gradually began to realize that he had to dig deep and face things about himself that as a free man he had been too busy to face. What were those issues? How did he face them? How was he changed? Now for the very first time, Jim Bakker tells his own story-the glory days as a televangelist, the hostile takeover the emotional breakdown. How he got to prison, his experiences behind bars, and what he learned. Jim Bakker was wrong about many things. Exactly what they were and how he came to confess them will surprise you and inspire you. This is his story.

Publishers Description
The loss of Jim Bakker's empire, his money, his home, and his reputation in the two years leading up to his imprisonment in 1989 was only the beginning. In prison, he was to lose even more - his freedom, his sanity, his dignity, his confidence in his faith, and eventually even his wife. Inmate 07407-058, one-time confidant to presidents, had hit bottom. Jim Bakker was wrong about many things. Exactly what they were and how he came to confess them will surprise and inspire you. This is his story.

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Item Specifications...

Format: Abridged
Studio: Thomas Nelson
Pages   466
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 6" Height: 1.5"
Weight:   1.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 3, 2004
Publisher   Thomas Nelson
ISBN  0785271368  
ISBN13  9780785271369  

Availability  119 units.
Availability accurate as of Mar 26, 2017 11:07.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Jim Bakker & Thomas Nelson Publishers

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jim Bakker has been called one of the leading experts of our time on the book of Revelation. He is host of The New Jim Bakker Show, seen in 600 cities daily across America and Canada. Jim lives in Branson, Missouri.

Jim Bakker currently resides in the state of California. Jim Bakker was born in 1940.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Religious
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality

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Books > Inspiration > Motivation > Biography & Autobiography

Reviews - What do customers think about I Was Wrong: The Untold Story of the Shocking Journey from PTL Power to Prison and Beyond?

Excellent Read  Feb 8, 2008
This book was a good first hand account of Jim Bakker's prison experiences. I have read many books on the lives of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, and on televangelim. Although I don't think Bakker really took enough responsibility for his actions in this book, he at least admits he was wrong about the message he was preaching, and what it eventually did to his church, reputation, and family. I would encourage anyone to read this book, but also read Charles Shepard's book "Forgiven" which gives a more in depth look at PTL's operations, and the actions which led to Bakker's downfall. Overall, "I Was Wrong" is worth the selling price.
Resurrection  Feb 2, 2006
I picked up this book not because I had any interest in Jim Bakker or televangelist scandals but because, as a student of the Bible and theology, I was fascinated by Bakker's first paragraph revelation that he has renounced the false "prosperity gospel" which he had previously preached and which is becoming practically normative in his Pentecostal brand of Christianity. The "prosperity gospel" is the utterly non-Christian belief that God wants us to be rich and prosperous on this earth, so all we have to do is demand wealth and material goods from Him ("name it/claim it") and just wait for the goodies to magically roll in. So, I began to read the book hoping to learn more about Bakker's theological volte-face, but I was quickly drawn in to the incredible story of his epic downfall.

A 20 minute tryst with a young floozy in 1980 (which he somehow hoped would reconcile his failing marriage) resulted in the complete destruction of his life 7 or 8 years later when the woman re-appeared demanding hush money. His congregation would have forgiven him if had just told the truth but he tried to cover it up with lies and pay-offs. When the story went public anyway, Jim Bakker was finished. People he thought were his friends conspired to gain control of his PTL ministry and eventually stabbed him in the back when the government started looking into the ministry's financial dealings. It was those financial dealings which eventually earned Bakker a 45 year prison sentence, although Bakker claims he was completely innocent and was subsequently exonerated by the courts. In any case, Bakker's downfall was utterly complete. He went from mansions and luxury cars to scrubbing dried semen out of prison phone booths. He lost his fortune, his property, his reputation, his personal dignity, his wife (the completely insane Tammy Faye Bakker, who divorced him and married his best friend), everything except the love and support of his family and some friends. Bakker's prison experience is both harrowing and entertaining, as he goes through everything from an attempted sexual assault to soccer games with Columbian drug runners and political discussions with cellmate Lyndon Larouche. Bakker eventually had his sentence reduced and was freed in the early 90s. If nothing else, "I Was Wrong" is a fascinating account of a man who experienced a roller-coaster ride of a life, but for the faithful it is an instructive and inspiring tale of a man whose sin and pride brought him down into hell but who persevered and trusted in God and was brought to eventual redemption.
"I Was Wronged" true title   Jan 24, 2006
I agree with one reviewer that this is the true message of the book. True repentance says "I was wrong" PERIOD. Not "I was wrong BUT.........." It reminds me of children doing mischief together but when they are caught, each one shifts the blame.
I get the sense that Jim's greatest desire throughout the book is to receive pity from his readers and followers,not to state his fault in the whole matter.
Man's first sin, eating the fruit in the Garden of Eden. Man's second sin? Shifting the blame!
In case anyone is wondering, I love my Christian brothers and sisters and have been in full-time Christian work for over 30 years.I am just giving my evaluation of the book.
Interesting book, maybe worth a read  Nov 1, 2005
"I Was Wrong" is a kind of unusual title for an autobiography these days, and if he had called it "I Was Right", I don't suppose I would have read it. A number of reviewers on this site have said that they are not part of the target audience for this book. I am probably not either. I am a member of the reading public interested in current affairs, yes, but I am not a fundamentalist Christian. I grew up in the Anglican (Episcopalian) church and would now describe myself as very agnostic about religion.

Televangelist Jim Bakker had a TV show and ran a religious theme park that specialised in Christian counselling for married couples. So naturally, when his own marriage was rocky, he decideded that if he had sex with another woman, this would bring his wife back to heel. (Makes no sense to me either). He has sex with other woman, Jessica Hahn, but then decided maybe he won't tell his wife after all. It is not clear if Ms. Hahn was paid for the sex, but it is hard to figure out why she did it otherwise. We don't even know if a condom was used, come to think of it. Bakker has nothing to say about this.

This lack of specific information on questions that the reader would obviously ask occurs throughout the book, and makes me very suspicious as to how committed Bakker was, at the time of writing this book, to really get the truth out and clear things up.

Seven years later Ms. Hahn starts to blackmail Bakker, funds embezzled from his ministry are paid as hush money, and a process starts which ends with Bakker being convicted for enriching himself with funds solicited for some kind of timeshare vacation deal. This conviction remains controversial and Bakker maintains his innocence. However, Bakker and his wife pocketed $4 million over the previous four years, so they were definitely making out OK.

Bakker ends up with a long prison sentence which is eventually reduced to a more manageable 8 year stretch. During this time he realises that his original theology which held that God wanted Christians to get rich was a travesty. (This is the "I Was Wrong part.)

You might think that this would make him more wary of the fundamentalist Christian tendency to build a theology out of cherry-picked Bible verses, but other than this reversal, most of his thinking seems to have remained unchanged. After his release from prison he is shopping in a department store and his greeted by store clerks who tell him how much they love him and his TV show, but he says nothing to them about the fact that he has now totally repudiated the Jim Bakker of whom they are so enamored.

Interestingly Bakker never really questions the existence of God, or even whether God has abandoned him. He certainly never explains how he came to the conclusion that the Bible was an infallible encyclopedia to everything, rather than, say, a collection of historical writings asssembled by numerous authors over hundreds of years. His whole way of thinking is totally immersed in the fundamentalist religious mentality, which perhaps makes it hard for a not-very-religious reader like me to understand what was going on in his head. Bakker perceives himself at all times as a kind of actor in a morality play directed by God, in which his bad behavior is seen as morally equivalent to flubbing his lines.

There are fascinating passages and revelations in the book. For example, Bakker was seduced by an older male homosexual whose pseudonym is "Russell White" at the age of 11, a relationship that lasted some years. Bakker has forgiven "White" and never seems to have considered the possibility of exposing him, or if he did, this is not discussed. In this respect he is in the same boat as Oprah Winfrey, who has never named the family member who initiated her at a very young age.

(Interesting when you consider that hundreds of men have or are suing the catholic church for billions of dollars for the same offences.)

Bakker spends a lot of his time forgiving people who have wronged him, and comes across as somewhat self justificatory in the frequency with which he forgives people who have wronged him--regardless of any admission of guilt on their part. This reminds me a bit of the old joke about asking a man if he has stopped beating his wife.

In other parts of the book Bakker details his own problems with prescription drugs, the addictions of his wife--who was treated at the Betty Ford clinic--and alludes to substance abuse problems of his son also. The Bakkers seem very much to buy into the "pill for every ill" mentality, so it is no surprise that they are prone to substance abuse problems.

I am not quite as impressed as most of the reviewers of this book and I find myself constantly asking how frank Bakker really is in this account. There seem to be an awful lot of gaps in the narrative. For example, although he mentions that other ministers like John Ankerberg accused him of homosexual acts (falsely, he says) he makes no mention of an alleged longtime homosexual relationship with his right hand man David Taggart, about which others have spoken.

However, Bakker is a weird and wonderful person, and this book does give a bit of insight into one of the most bizarre episodes in modern American history, so it will probably still interest many readers.
When wrong is right ...  Mar 28, 2005
I had never really liked Jim Bakker and the seeming insincerity of his program, so the title "I Was Wrong" caught my interest immediately. Surprisingly, the book follows that theme, which is refreshing in itself. For any public and/or religious celebrity to admit his wrongs....shows that they have now got it more right! There are some awesome insights, and NO WHINING !!! I am ordering paperback copies to send into a local prison and will give one to my pastor.

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