ATLANTA (LALATE) – One issue left unanswered by the Bishop Eddie Long scandal (photos below) is where all this money came from that allegedly funded trips, cars, free housing, and cash for at least four young men. The money trail of the Bishop Eddie Long scandal is one asserted by the complaint of four men; yet it is an issue that has long been questioned of Bishop Eddie Long by local news and even by Washington’s leaders. .
Long may have started in 1997 nonprofit charity, but by 2005 news reports confirmed he was driving a $350,000 Bentley, living in a $1.4 million 20 acre home, and getting $3 million in salary and benefits. A 2005 report said that Long’s charity was incorporated, not in Georgia, but New York. In a three year period, Eddie Long’s made $3.1 million in donations to others. During the same period, Eddie Long was paid $3.07 million in salary and benefits. What exactly was Eddie Long doing with his salary during that period? And how exactly was Eddie Long using federal granted money?
Jeff Krehely, deputy director of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, investigated the salary levels of Eddie Long in 2008. He told news at the time that when you combine Long’s cars, house, and salary, he had “never seen anything quite like [it]”.
Long’s conduct prompted even one Senator’s concern at the time. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) issued a news statement then about Long’s financial dealings. “I’m worried that a few people are confusing the ringing of a church bell with the ringing of a cash register. When I hear about leaders of charities being provided a $300,000 Bentley to drive around in, my fear is that it’s the taxpayers who subsidize this charity who are really being taken for a ride.” Long denied any wrongdoing.
In 2004, Long’s ministry received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Administration of Children & Families under the Bush Administration. What was the money for? Bill Pierce, a spokesperson for the Health & Human Services office, said at the time that Eddie Long’s organization received the money as a faith-based, “individual development account” grant.
The question is what type of “faith” and what type of “individual development” was Long really doing with federal funds? Long is cited in 2007 telling his congregation in a sermon his approach to faith at the time. He said that society currently is “raising our young boys to be just like the women. We keep telling men to get in touch with their [sweetens his voice] sensitive self. The problem today and the reason society is like it is, is because men are being feminized and women are being masculine. You can not say, ‘I was born this way.’ … I don’t care what scientists say.”
And while Eddie Long received a “faith-based” grant under the Bush Administration, he is accused in the current four lawsuits of using church funds to fuel his alleged bedding of teen boys. The lawsuit does not explain the money trail allegations with any specificity. The complaint also makes no mention of the 2004 U.S. grant. But BJ Bernstein’s plaintiff(s) alleged did take church funds to alleged entice young men into men.
“Defendant Long uses monetary funds from the accounts of Defendant New Birth and Defendant Longfellows … to entice the chosen Spiritual Sons with cars, clothes, jewelry and electronics.” “Defendant Long’s Spiritual Songs are taken on public and private jets to U.S. and international destinations house in luxury hotels and given access to numerous celebrities including entertainment stars and politicians.”