Jan Crouch, whose distinctive Bride of Frankincense look was aped (and toned down) by fellow televangelist Tammy Faye Baker, died early Tuesday of a massive stroke. She was 78.
The announcement was made from Trinity Broadcasting Network’s (TBN) worldwide headquarters in Costa Mesa, but though she and her late husband and TBN co-founder Paul Crouch also had a house in Newport Beach, the matriarch died in Orlando, Florida, like a Disney princess stepmother.
The queen of the world’s first mega-sized “prosperity gospel” helped to oversee a nearly $1 billion empire that was under siege from younger Crouches years before Paul and Jan’s trip to meet their maker, who may have a thing or seven to say about all those poor widow pensions that were soaked.
Jan Crouch has been such a fixture in OC Weekly that this list of 10 remembrances was compiled just like Commandments from Mt. Sinai (only less C.B. DeMille-y, more Jodorowsky-y).
Enjoy. Repent. Repeat.
1. Jan Crouch’s breasts: Flipping channels on a recent Sunday evening, one couldn’t help but pause on Trinity Broadcasting Network, where Jan Crouch appeared, complete with pink cotton candy hair, raccoon eyes and HUGE BREAST IMPLANTS! Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick! We almost threw up our lasagna! (Orange County’s Scariest People, 10/29/1998)
2. So he went across the San Diego Freeway to the Trinity Broadcasting Network. “From the freeway, it looks like a wedding cake, but inside, it’s all gilded marble with these great statues of Michael sitting on the devil,” [John] Fleck said. “Here I am dressed in this ridiculous bright-orange jump suit with a millennium cap. And we met Jan Crouch, and they took us to her studio and let us roam around with the camera. We came home, and I was thumbing through the Weekly and saw a phone-sex ad for hot, wild, nasty Orange County babes. So I thought it’d be fun to call the number and ask what makes Orange County babes wilder and nastier. I got ahold of Sarah, a true artist. She said it was all the repressed Republican stuff that makes you want to lash out. In the middle of her sex fantasy, which she was doing by rote, I asked her if she knew Jan Crouch. She went into this tirade and wound up telling me she was on all fours, telling me to fuck her devil hole.” (Finding the Devil Hole, 6/10/1999)
3. A meeting took place at the Crouch family mansion in Newport Beach, where, according to the lawsuit, Jan “became furious and began screaming at Ms. [Carra] Crouch” and began telling her “it is your fault.” (Granddaughter of Paul and Jan Crouch Alleges Cover-up of Rape by TBN Employee When She Was 13, 6/25/2012)
4. Sex scandals are merely crumbs from the table of a lawsuit filed this week against Trinity Christian Center of Santa Ana, which includes allegations that founders Paul and Jan Crouch fetched a $50 million jet through a “sham loan to an alter ego corporation” and that a $100,000 motor home was purchased for Jan’s pooches. (Sinful Sex at TBN and a Motor Home for Jan Crouch’s Dogs Alleged in Lawsuit, 2/24/2012)
5. WEDNESDAY, Aug. 27: I received an email today from Jan Crouch inviting me to “Spark My Love Life” and purchase some discounted Viagra at $1.74 a dose, “plus a free giveaway,” which I’m pretty sure is a set of appropriately sized toss rings. Now, I can’t be certain this is the same Jan Crouch who is one of the moving forces—and leading melting face—of TBN. I’m still trying to figure out if the Hunter Thompson who sent me information about the No. 1-rated penis-enlargement pill on the market—which promises 3 full inches in length and 20 percent more girth—is the same guy I think it is. (Diary of a Mad County, 9/4/2003)
6. Guy Fieri and Paula Deen are Paul and Jan Crouch: The four exude sappy, faux down-home wisdom, although Fieri’s dose is that of the bro and not the Southern old guard. Each keep distinctive hairstyles and travel the country to wild crowds. The women wear the pants in the relationship, even though it’s platonic in each. And while Crouch paid off a guy to not spill the beans about an alleged homosexual affair, Fieri remains firmly is the closet as a guy whose real surname is the WASP-y Ferry. (Matching Food Network Stars with their TBN Alter Egos! 8/2/2010)
7. Stories abound, by the way—and I’m not saying they’re true, only that they ought to be—that Trinity Broadcasting Network’s Jan Crouch used to hand-feed her magenta-dyed poodle at a famous South Coast Metro eatery. And we wonder why husband Paul is gay?! (Training You, 11/18/2004)
8. MARCH 23: Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) lands on Ministry Watch’s Donor Alert list, and ministry watchdog Rusty Leonard says today it’s because of financial and theological mismanagement and people who question the board or Jan and Paul Crouch about it getting threatened. A lawyer for TBN counters that Leonard has a theological axe to grind with the charismatic evangelicals. What We Learned: So that explains Jan Crouch’s warpaint and bad wigs; she’s hiding from the Almighty. (What We Learned, March 10-23: Double Fantasy Live Edition, 3/23/2012)
9. TBN went to the [Costa Mesa Planning] Commission to get official approval to broadcast outside their Roman bathhouse of a headquarters, which they had been doing for some time. Not only does the planning commission not give them approval, but they also slap the praise-billies with a bunch of new restrictions including that tour busses must be gone by 10 p.m. and can’t park near neighboring residents’ walls. Most glaring, literally, is that TBN can only have its garish/immoral “million lights” display up from Thanksgiving week to Jan. 15. What’s more, the lights must be turned off by 10 p.m. The commission puts off making a decision on outdoor taping for nine months and also tables a proposal to rezone Jan Crouch’s hair for landfill. With the decision, Costa Mesa sends two clear messages: 1) We will always do what’s right for the welfare of our citizens. 2) We hate God. (Diary of a Mad County, 4/3/2003)
10. That [Jan Crouch was dead] was my assumption about the queen of the Costa Mesa-based Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) when I opened up the Orange County Register home page. . . . Next to the headline “Deathbed Power Struggle at TBN?” (Jan Crouch is . . . Dead!?! 9/14/2012)