Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Monday, June 25, 2012

TBN Employment Discrimination Suit Settled (Complaints/Cross-Complaints Included): Senior Workers "Too Old, Too Sick and Too Lazy"

One could argue that the current tumult at Trinity Broadcasting Network came to light in the wake of one Horst Brandt.

Brandt, a man of German descent who oversaw the TV ministry’s computer systems, filed a lawsuit one year ago against Trinity Christian Center of Santa Ana, Paul Crouch Jr., and his daughter, Brittany Koper, who was then head of human resources.

In addition to hiring Brandt as an independent contractor rather than a regular employee (which is cheaper for TBN), and in addition to slurs referencing Brandt’s national origin (“Horst runs his department like Nazi Germany during World War II”), the suit maintains that Trinity fired Brandt because he was getting long in the tooth.

“During the last year of Brandt’s employment, CEO Paul Crouch Jr. and HR Director Brittany Koper, made repeated discriminatory remarks about older workers,” Brandt’s complaint says. “For example, in the meeting at which he informed Brandt that he would be fired, Crouch Jr. commented that Paul Crouch, Sr. and Ruth Brown were ‘getting up there in age too’….

“Crouch Jr. also stated to a vendor (after firing Brandt) that ‘there are some older people here and it is time for a change.” Crouch JR. told another vendor that Chief Financial Officer Ruth Brown, ‘is getting up there in age and should find something else to do.’

Ruth Brown is the sister of the network’s founder, Paul Crouch Sr.

In its answer, Trinity denies the allegations. And in a cross-complaint against Brandt, it accuses him of breach of contract, fraud and misappropriation of trade secrets.


Jan Crouch, Brittany and Michael Koper, Paul Crouch

Her grandfather and others referred to Brandt as “an old dinosaur,” Koper said in court papers. The building where Brandt worked was regularly referred to as “the old folks home” by her grandparents, Jan and Paul Crouch, attorney John Casoria and other senior management, and “These individuals in particular were extremely concerned that the average age of TBN’s workers was over 50 years,” Koper said.

(The irony, if there is one, is that Paul and Jan Crouch aren’t exactly spring chickens themselves.)

The problem with an over-50 work force, of course, is that older workers earn more money and their medical insurance grows ever more costly.

“In my capacity as Human Resources Director, I was told by senior management to ‘find ways’ to ‘make these individuals retire’ or be ‘less of an expensive drain’ on TBN,” Koper’s filing says. “I spent a considerable amount of effort researching these questions before proposing a retirement incentive program.”

That was rejected, however, and Koper said she was told to implement other “alternative reforms.” She was instructed by her grandfather, Crouch Sr., to run an updated age report on the workers, and ”I was then told to fire everyone over 65 years of age, because they were too old, too sick, and too lazy. The plan was stopped before it was fully implemented, when it was explained to Dr. Crouch that the monetary impact of the inevitable age discrimination lawsuits would exceed the costs of maintaining the insurance plans for these elderly employees.”

The efforts continued, Koper said: Her grandfather, Crouch Sr., was “particularly adamant and excited” about switching workers older than 65 to part-time status, but then compromised on an “over 80″ plan, moving octogenarians to part-time status.


As we said, Trinity denies that there was discrimination on the basis of age or national origin.

And in its cross-complaint against Brandt, Trinity says that he “improperly accessed ” its main computer and network and the proprietary information contained in them, and made numerous unauthorized copies.

“The proprietary information on (Trinity)’s main computer and network, including, but not limited to, databases, lists, and electronic documents and programs and the design/schema of thereof, contain information that is not known to the general public or to other persons who can obtain value from their disclosure or use,” it says. “(Trinity) has maintained the secrecy of this information, which derives economic value from not being generally known.”

That, it said, constitutes trade secrets.

Each party seeks redress from the other, and they are currently battling in court on this, and many other, fronts.


Koper, far left, and the Trinity Broadcasting family

It’s a bit labyrinthine, but stay with us:

Koper, the granddaughter, was human resources director when Brandt brought his suit. She was soon promoted to finance director, and Trinity’s lawyers, Davert & Loe, were supposed to be representing her.

The swirl of suits and counter-suits lets outsiders see deeper inside Trinity — which bills itself as the world’s largest Christian network — than we have ever been able to see before.

The picture isn’t particularly pretty.

If you’d like to read source documents on the Brandt case, have a look at these:

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