Yakim Manasseh Jordan can predict the future, heal the sick, and for the low price of $1,000, the 25-year-old can even raise the dead. But the self-proclaimed prophet of God is not above cold calling.
“The Lord began to speak to me and he showed me major losses that you have experienced within the last two to five years,” the 25-year old Brooklyn native’s breathy, warbly, slightly British-inflected message starts. But, he goes on, there is “a miracle favor cloud,” “a prosperity blessing,” and a “financial blessing,” coming your way, and to a loved one, as well.
Which loved one? “It’s almost as if the second letter of the second syllable in the name is like a vowel making an ‘ah’ or an ‘a”’ sound,” he says. “I must know how much money you are asking God to release. So write me back, and email me immediately...I have to give you this prophesy.”
Jordan’s constant, sometimes daily, robocalls are anything but heavenly, according to dozens of lawsuits and hundreds of exasperated recipients, some of whom report daily calls from the newest prophet to hit the prosperity religious circuit.
“It is miserable,” said 20-year-old Tyrell Crosby, a sophomore at the University of Oregon, in a Twitter DM. “I have no idea how they got [my number] but they've been calling for over a year.”
“I press 1 every so often. Lets you leave a message,” said Allen Lee Scott, 41, describing how he handles the recurring calls. “Sometimes I read poetry or just leave extreme farting sounds.”
Jordan has been sued 16 times in federal court within the last 3 years for the incessant calling in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), a 1991 law passed by Congress to address tenacious telemarketers. Jordan’s legal team’s go-to response is settling, and then sealing the terms of the settlement. This year alone, Jordan has been sued four times for the harassing calls by plaintiffs in Texas, Florida, Illinois and most recently this month, in New York.
“Unsolicited pre-recorded robocalls to people without consent, that’s a problem, and it’s why he’s being sued,” said Ian Ballon, an intellectual property and Internet attorney who serves as executive director of Stanford University Law School's Center for E-Commerce. The TCPA is a statute Ballon said is more commonly abused by plaintiffs’ lawyers, who file frivolous lawsuits, but in this instance, the annoying calls seemed to be not only a terrible recruiting method but apparently illegal.
“These lawsuits can be expensive to litigate,” he continued. “He may view it as it being worth any price to keep on reaching out to people, but that’s not typical.”
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) couldn't comment on whether Jordan was or ever had been under investigation for violating the TCPA, but a spokesman did point to a citation, basically a warning, it issued to Jordan’s father in 2010 for a similar telemarketing tactic.
Calls to Jordan’s most recent cell phone number, emails to him and his lawyer, Facebook messages, and a Twitter DM to his mother were not returned.
Those who aren’t suing Jordan in court are turning to social media to vent their frustrations.
“Dear God, please strike "Prophet" (profit) Manasseh with lightning if he calls my phone one more time,” one tweeted.
“Who is Prophet Manasseh, and how did he get my number, and if he's such a prophet... how doesn't he know I'm hanging up everytime he calls?” tweeted another.
It’s a fair question.
According to Jordan’s bio, the miracle worker began preaching at eight years old, leading followers called him “The Young Prophet.” As the legend goes, his birth was foretold by Benny Hinn, one of the richest and most famous televangelists and faith healers in North America.
At 19, Jordan, known for his signature long braids and shiny high-collar suits, joined Hinn in earnest during his crusades, mega-events where thousands of the faithful would pack arenas to hear Hinn preach and heal the sick. A CBC investigative program, “The Fifth Estate,” reported Hinn’s miracles were more likely due to the screeners who would bar the truly disabled from reaching the stage for a healing, including a little girl who wanted him to give her the power to walk and a pastor with cerebral palsy. It also contacted several of the men and women who did make it on stage to be healed by Hill, only to find that their illnesses had not been affected by Hill’s laying of hands.
While Jordan does claim to be able to heal the sick, he says his real God-given gift is his ability to prophesy—and the future, according to recordings of his services, is almost always filled with riches. It’s a spiritual focus that places him with the likes of Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, and T. D. Jakes, preachers who shout the so-called prosperity gospel: namely, that Jesus wants you to have lots of money.
Jordan’s own father, Bishop Bernard Jordan, is a “master prophet” known for inviting church members to litter church altars with dollar bills. At one event, he invited congregants struggling with financial hardships to raise their purses to the heavens, then open and speak into the empty billfolds, “Shift is happening.” The elder Jordan then demanded that to see the shift, an offering should be made, and $50 would do just fine. The parishioners lined up, the music swelled with women singing “Shower down, Lord,” some people made change, and to those for whom parting with such a sum might leave a grimace on their face, he reminded them, “God loves a cheerful giver!”
By the end of the service, thousands of dollars covered the place where the devout would usually kneel to pray.
The younger prophet shares a style and often a stage with his father and Hinn, according to a number of videos posted online.
In several videos, Jordan paces before different congregations, blows into the microphone, speaks in tongues (“Ra-ta-ta-ta”), and pushes people to the ground to cure them of financial, physical, or spiritual woes.
Jordan appeared on Hinn’s program and in the language of prosperity preachers, invited viewers to send an $111 “seed”—a show of faith in God, backed by a very real financial contribution, the amount of which is either arbitrary or heaven-sent based on your belief in the gospel or your faith in Jordan as a prophet.
“This was from the Lord,” Jordan said of another inspiration that television viewers should send him $52 to receive a financial blessing for each week in the year.
The more one gives, the greater the reward.
In several sermons, Jordan relays a tale of raising someone from the dead.
For $1,000 from “the Johnson family” in Texas, Jordan brought a woman named Glenda back to life. “When he got outside the hospital called and said your mother that died a couple of hours ago came back to life,” he told a room full of believers.
Also in Texas, Jordan relayed the story of Kathy, who for $2,000, also came back to life after hearing the voice of the prophet.
The Daily Beast was unable to verify these accounts, but did connect with a woman whom Jordan featured on stage during a Hinn crusade.
Here’s what happened at the faith healing:
After telling an unknown man that God will “release the oil mines,” Jordan turns to the audience and says Jesus had told him on the plane to ask about a Ruth Glass. A small woman makes her way onstage, where Jordan reveals she will release a $300,000 seed. Jordan says he knows she’s doubting, that she’s asked God why the millions she’s already donated haven’t worked, why her husband David could be sick with cancer. It is all a test, Jordan assures her, describing a table and a window in Glass’s home. But now, “It is the Glass family’s time,” Jordan says.
He pushes her down. He picks her back up.
“God says that You’re going to stretch and you are gonna stand with that seed of $300,000 and God says you are gonna see a turnaround in the next 30 days, thus saith the spirit of almighty God.”
Ruth Glass, 75, is the wife of David Glass, a former Wal-Mart executive and owner of the Kansas City Royals. Mrs. Glass sits on the Royals’ Board of Directors. When reached for comment, her assistant relayed that Mrs. Glass didn’t want to comment.
“That was several years ago and [Mrs. Glass] hasn’t kept up with him. But [Mrs. Glass] said there were several things that he said that were absolutely true,” she said.
Indeed, Mr. Glass did have cancer, according to Mrs. Glass’s assistant. “Shortly after this video was taken they tested him again and he was cancer-free then and still is to this day,” she said. But apparently that turnaround had nothing to do with a donation. The assistant also said that Mrs. Glass denied donating $300,000 and said her employer knew nothing of Jordan’s current activities.
Manasseh Jordan Ministries is a 501(c)(3) public charity, and as such, the IRS doesn’t require Jordan to disclose how much he earns, nor does it collect taxes on the income. It’s enough, however, to fund a “lavish lifestyle” that includes multi-million dollar homes and a fleet of luxury cars, according to the newest civil complaint filed against him.
And God is good. Jordan’s most current listed addresses include a $2 million luxury condo on Sunny Isles Beach and a $4 million waterfront mansion in North Miami Beach, Florida.
His phone number is unlisted.