On a Wing and a Prayer

Minister to despots across the globe, evangelist K.A. Paul just needs a few tons of jet fuel--and a safer plane--to keep up Godís work

Both she and Dodson said the girl's diabetes came as a surprise, even though he said all of the orphans at Kilari's facility received health care.

And even though the girl presumably lived in Kilari's orphanage, Dodson told City Paper, "I'm so glad we brought her over here, because she would have died in India."

So who will answer questions about Kilari?
Dr K.A. Paul can talk at great length about how humble he is. Ask a tough question, though, and you'll see another side.
Dan Kramer
Dr K.A. Paul can talk at great length about how humble he is. Ask a tough question, though, and you'll see another side.
Kilari's ministry, which has boasted supporters such as Dallas millionaire Nelson Bunker Hunt, has its headquarters in Houston.
Dan Kramer
Kilari's ministry, which has boasted supporters such as Dallas millionaire Nelson Bunker Hunt, has its headquarters in Houston.

Well, not his ministry's international director, Doug Dodson. Not after an initial phone call, anyway. Speaking from his home in Tijuana, Dodson attributed the ministry's problems to Condi Rice's vendetta. When we spoke to Dodson, he said the United States was tapping his phone and monitoring his e-mails. He had recently received a death threat from a stranger with an African accent and covered his apartment's windows to thwart any snipers.

Nor is Kilari talking, not after an amiable two-hour conversation turned to tougher questions.

When Kilari is asked tough questions, he takes it as an insult. Whoever talks to Kilari must buy the K.A. Paul story, which is his trademark response to any threatening inquiries: K.A. Paul is poor and humble, but presidents bow before him. K.A. Paul's donors are among the richest in the country. K.A. Paul's private plane allows him to respond quickly to natural disasters like tsunamis and earthquakes. His word is his bond. Skepticism is retardation.

This is why he shouts, "You're asking stupid questions!" and adds, "You write that story, boy, you write that story and you wait for the response...Benny Hinns and T.D. Jakes are becoming millionaires and billionaires, and you're now talking to a village preacher, broke completely, can't even pay his own salaries anymore and doesn't own a $100 property anywhere in the world--"

At which point we had to ask Kilari, "You don't own a $100 property anywhere in the world, but you own a freaking 747?"

"No, I don't own freaking 747, you idiot. I don't own!"

"Who owns it?"

"It is the organization owns it, you chicken!"

Kilari demanded the rest of our questions in writing. After answering a scant few, he hired a lawyer and threatened to sue.

None of Kilari's former major donors would comment for this story.

Houston's Jim McIngvale appears to be the only solicited millionaire to talk openly about Kilari and his skepticism for the man with his own 747.

In 2004, when Carl Lindner Jr. gave Kilari a few million bucks to fly medical supplies to tsunami victims, Lindner alerted the media and made sure his altruism was well documented. But when asked to describe his relationship with Kilari today, Lindner would not comment. A spokeswoman said Lindner's relationship with Kilari is "a private matter."

Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is another curious figure. The Republican has made overtures of mounting a presidential campaign, and e-mails between Huckabee and Dodson show that Huckabee was extremely eager to meet Lindner, a major Republican backer.

Huckabee scheduled a fund-raiser for Kilari's people at the governor's mansion last year. But when asked if he's still friends with Kilari, Huckabee's response was vague: "It's been many months or maybe a year since we have talked," Huckabee replied in a written statement. "I have not had much contact, but it has always been cordial."

Former board member Nelson Bunker Hunt was too ill to comment, Evander Holyfield did not return numerous requests for comment, and no staff members besides Dodson wanted to talk.

Promise Keepers spokesman Steve Chavis first characterized Kilari's relationship with Promise Keepers founder Bill McCartney as passing, despite the fact that McCartney had described Kilari as God's favorite preacher.

Today, Chavis says, "That was an old association, and there's no reason for Promise Keepers or Bill McCartney to work with Mr. Paul's ministry...I do not foresee us working with him in the future."

None of the others, who were once so willing to lend their names to Kilari's cause, has given a public explanation as to why they've distanced themselves. Which is precisely why Kilari has been able to move from one millionaire to the next for nearly 10 years.

From the start, his ministry has depended solely on the wealthiest evangelicals in America. With such a tenuous infrastructure, it would have shattered Kilari's ministry if any one of these Christian men had publicly criticized him.

Fortunately for Kilari, none ever has, which is why the unairworthy Global Peace One is still in Kilari's possession, awaiting the day when it can carry another group of orphans across the ocean.

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