Benny Muttom has Improved from Exaggerations to Fact-Based Criticisms
By Professor Ezhamkulam C. Samkutty, Louisiana (April 4, 2017)
Pastor Benny Kunjumon Muttom seems to have paid agents and volunteers everywhere to supply him the true and false news, fact and fiction, exaggerations and matter-of-fact items.
Benny’s future success depends on his ability to critique in respectful language, capacity to weed out the lies and exaggerations from his reporters, as well as his ability to follow journalistic ethics. His future also depends on whether he has enough money to pay compensations --- in case a few people from Kuzhikkala to Delhi, from Texas to Louisiana decide to take him to Federal Courts for character assassination.
I feel that now it will be hard to stop Benny, because he has already gained the momentum and the necessary supporting agents to go on hunting down the corrupt shepherds thriving in our midst. If he continues his old style of posting things without verifying, he will be in jail soon.
If he adopts a more truthful and non-vulgar style, he may drive many fake prophets and evangelists to federal prisons or cause them to retreat into a life of poverty.
I like what Benny is doing except his occasional bloated lies, low-standard cartoons, his occasional digging into personal matters without considering the feelings of innocent spouses and children, the symbolically voyeuristic habit of peeping into other people’s bedrooms. I am also not in support of his occasional exaggerated reporting, as well as his tricky misleading titles on top of his posts.
Benny Muttom has somewhat succeeded in snatching away Mr. T. S. Balan's mantle with a double portion.
Benny is impacting the Malayalee world with his social media posts filled with utter lies sometimes, half-truths a few times, exaggerated items frequently, misleading titles occasionally. But recently he has posted some convincing and fact-based video-clips. Fake evangelists need to fear him. Forensic prophets need to stay away from his hidden cameras.
Friends, I personally support Madam Beena Abraham, if what she wrote is well documented and verifiable.
No person is beyond criticism. No organization or top leader is beyond criticism. People who oversee organizations should not keep silent when serious accusations are raised. Public officials are duty-bound to answer accusations. If Beena Abraham's article is without merit, let IPC leaders answer and refute her accusations item by item, line by line.
I will gladly share the defense of IPC leaders on my Facebook page. Facebook readers deserve to know both sides of the issue so they can arrive at a well-balanced conclusion. I am requesting IPC leaders to respond to Beena's original article point by point---either to refute her or to admit the failures that had happened during the planning and execution of the building projects. If a response is mailed to my email, I will post it without adding or cutting any part of it.
Beena Abraham is welcome to send me her original article which I will be glad to post. Providing a LINK to her article seems to be the best option. I will share the LINKS, if received from both sides. I had one major confrontation with Pastor Benny Kunjumon Muttom Dallas a few months ago about three disagreements with him.
(1) One of my major objections to Benny was related to his use of wounding language against many servants of God---especially Evangelist Tinu George Kottarakkara. He was following the footsteps of Mr. T. S. Balan sir whose language was very vulgar and occasionally obscene. T.S. Balan also had published a few items without proper verifications which later were proven to be utter lies in the Chengannur judicial court. But I was not against Pastor Benny Muttom exposing the abominations that happen in the Pentecostal churches.
We are not justified to demand that we must publish the misdeeds that happen in Catholic, Orthodox, and Mar Thoma churches, at the same time hide the misdeeds that happen within our own churches. Some demand that we present only the good side of the Pentecostal movement. This is not honest journalism. When we admit our own mistakes and point out the fake leaders in our own churches, we will be respected as genuine people. Presenting only flattering and rosy image of our church will earn us the title “hypocrites.”
(2) My second point of disagreement with Pastor Benny Muttom was his efforts to dig out minor mistakes a few pastors and evangelists had done decades ago---sometimes almost half a century ago. Some such pastors have done years and years of faithful services to our community through their dedication and hard work.
(3) My third area of disagreement with Benny is a personal one. A few months ago, Benny had published an article in which he raised a few accusations against me personally combined with some offensive cartoons. His accusations are 100 percent lies which I can prove in any court of law. Suggested by freelance writer Mrs. Beena Abraham, Benny and I talked on March 29th Saturday morning. He told me that he wrote the article about me based on some information given by some other people. I guess they were my enemies who were using that opportunity to discredit me out of pure jealousy.
Of course, Benny and his informers failed miserably. Benny through that article against me has given me many weapons that I can effectively use against him if I decide to sue him. My lawyer has told me that if I file a defamation suit against Benny Muttom Kunjumon, I can easily win the case and collect a huge compensation for the damage he had inflicted on me.
I can build ten houses for poor people in Kerala with the compensation I am guaranteed by my lawyer to collect from Benny. Of course, if I file a lawsuit, the final decision belongs to the honorable judge.
I have not taken a final decision on whether to sue him or not. I will take that decision when I get a few weeks off from work in May-June.
I will subject myself to prayer, elderly advice, and my own inner voice(conscience) before I decide to make Benny answer for lies he published against me and the mental anguish he caused to my innocent relatives in Tennessee.
I have another advantage over Benny. The Federal Court that has jurisdiction over Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana is near my house in New Orleans----but 500 miles far from Benny Muttom. So, Benny has the disadvantage of traveling one thousand miles round-trip each time there is a hearing of the case.
Knowing all these disadvantages, Benny has stopped his attack on me with only one shot one time. He seems to be smart enough to realize that he has fallen in the same ditch he dug for me. He was in a hurry to attack me, so he based his attack article against me on some utter lies given to him by habitual liars. He was too careless that he did not verify the information received from his lying assistants.
However, I noticed that Benny's language had improved after his initial attack on me. First, he bombarded me fiercely with many wounding cartoons thinking that I will retreat in fear and hide in a cave. Actually, he was giving me many weapons to face him in a court of law. This realization made him stop his attacks on me. Another good news is that his recent criticisms are becoming more factual and less verbally violent.
Recently Benny seems to be fact-checking before publishing items. That is a big change from his old style of attacking innocent people in a hurry without verifying his accusations.
If Benny avoids vulgar language and publishes only those things that are truthful, I plan to share them for public benefit.
It will be unfair for me to criticize Benny for publishing the moral failures of pastors in leading pastors or those who are running for leadership elections.
Any person in leadership positions including writers like me are accountable to the public and must answer when complaints are raised against us. I am not an exception. I am also a servant of the people I minister to. My objections to Benny's exaggerations are still valid.
For example, in one of his recent titles, he indicated that IPC General Secretary Pastor K.C. John sir offered the inaugural prayer for a Movie Complex at Thodupuzha. The truth is that K.C. John prayed only for a Food Court(Restaurant) located in the movie complex compound. I have confirmed that the Movie Complex was inaugurated one year ago in 2016. It is advisable for Benny to avoid misleading and confusing readers with half-truths. A half-truth is a lie.
There is a common consensus that T.S. Balan did help to minimize immorality and gimmicks that were rampant a few years ago in the Christian world.
Unfortunately, Mr. Balan’s language was very vulgar and at times profane. He had put tears in the lives of many families by exposing things that were too personal. He did not consider the feelings of innocent spouses and children when publicly discussing rumors.
The Bible did not hide that Saint Peter took the sword and attacked a soldier, cutting his ears off. Bible did not hide David's sexual offense. Bible plainly says that Demas loved the world and left Paul. Bible did not fail to mention that Achkan stole gold from the camp and was stoned to death.
No organization will thrive unless someone like Benny Muttom courageously exposes leaders who practice adultery, gundaism, forgery, and misappropriation of funds.
The Bible does not give a rosy picture of the Children of Israel. The seven churches are not presented with flattering words in the Book of Revelation. The real condition of the churches was openly exposed.
Many Pentecostal publications have failed to identify leaders who commit abominations. They have failed to alert the public. Benny Mutton is thriving because our major weeklies have failed to fulfill their duty as watchmen. Even though Mr. Muttom habitually uses exaggerations and at times half-truths, I acknowledge that at least some of his criticisms do serve the duty of a watchman.
I hope his personal life is clean. I have not heard any negatives about his personal morality. Only God knows him inside and out.
Benny is responsible only for himself. He cannot be blamed for everything that happens to his relatives or local church. None of us must stand before God with our relatives or local church people to give an account of our lives. We will be asked to give an account of our own lives---not anybody else’s.
What about Noah? Job? Jacob? Abraham?
Noah’s children were not that good. Job’s wife was an atheist / God-hater. His ten children including his daughters were Epicureans. Jacob’s children were jealous and brother-haters. Abraham’s uncle Lot was greedy and selfish.
Let us not demand perfection from journalists in every aspect. They are responsible only for what they did and said, but not for what others around them have said or done.