Peter Youngren’s Finnish organization AEM – guilty

In 2010 Peter Youngren (Grace TV, World Impact Ministries, Celebration Church Toronto) told ChristianWeek, the breaking fiasco in Finland was ‘frivolous and laughable at best.”

It doesn’t appear Youngren is laughing now.

A Finnish court has found Youngren’s  Finland organization AEM guilty of soliciting funds without a permit.  Youngren’s wife Taina Youngren ( nee Kuusiluoma), who was chairman of AEM, received a 30 day jail sentence (suspended).
Taina Youngren is a Finnish national who became Youngren’s third wife in September 2011. The Youngrens operate Grace TV and World Impact Ministries out of Celebration Church in Toronto.

AEM has been ordered to pay the Finnish government 49 thousand euros in compensation. That fine works out to $65663.00 Cdn.

In 1993 Youngren and his World Impact Ministries teamed up with the Finnish evangelical group EKM, working together on various crusades. Youngren joined the EKM board. In 2010, the relationship went sour when the EKM board asked Youngren to step away for a year to work on his second marriage.

Youngren refused and took to the mailing list to accuse two EKM leaders and friends of hijacking  EKM,  holding secret meetings and misusing funds. The letter went out to about 5900 supporters. Youngren had previously applied for a permit for AEM and had been refused.

The EU has strict privacy laws,  the list contained EKM bank account numbers.   Youngren and his now wife Taina had EKM’s permission to use the list once for a Pakistani crusade update. When EKM asked for the list back, Youngren refused.
In February 2010,  he was removed from the board of EKM.  Youngren and Kuusiluoma retaliated by sending out another letter in March 2010 accusing the EKM board of stealing mission money.

The two Finnish former friends and EKM board members went to police. Another criminal case is proceeding in Finland.

Youngren told ChristianWeek in 2010 that the list belonged to him.

“I claim ownership because all names on the list have been added at my personal invitation through public meetings and TV,” Youngren wrote. “All the people on the database have received promises from me that they will receive reports and teaching articles. This is my database, which I have allowed EKM to use.”

The Finland courts disagree.

On January 11th 2013, Youngren posted an update on AEM at World Impact Ministries. It appears AEM has been dissolved, any supporters who are left are being directed to his Swedish branch  or Canadian operation.   This is a Google translation:

Three difficult years of the AEM Association’s activities, will be closed. Life is too short to waste battles that will spring from the human deficiency hit rock bottom. Move forward with the gospel is a busy and precious task, and I want to invest in it all my energy.

…You can follow any ministry events and be in touch with me through the pages of the presentation, or e-mail. Contact ETAL-organization in Sweden and WIM-organization in Canada can be found on the website, so communication is easy in the future.

When ChristianWeek covered this investigation in 2010 Youngren wrote a bellicose letter to the magazine saying he’d started EKM, he wasn’t aware Finnish police were investigating him, and the ChristianWeek identified source was just a disgrundled store front pastor. He ended with this:

Readers must be bored. What has all this got to do with a Canadian Christian newspaper? Is ChristianWeek publishing relevant news or engaging in journalistic sensationalism?

I’d hardly call  Taina’s 30 days in jail (suspended) and the hefty fine sensationalism, anymore than I’d call it frivolous and laughable.

Coverage in Finland
ess.fi
Helsingin Sanomat
Aamulehti

On a related note,  Peter Youngren’s tv show is expanding into the US on CTN (Christian Television Network) in March. I hope potential US viewers do their homework before donating.

About Bene Diction

Have courage for the great sorrows, And patience for the small ones. And when you have laboriously accomplished your tasks, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.
This entry was posted in Grace TV, Peter Youngren, World Impact Ministries. Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Peter Youngren’s Finnish organization AEM – guilty

  1. Karl says:

    Idioms & Phrases

    filthy lucre

    Money; originally, money obtained dishonestly. For example, She didn’t like the job but loved the filthy lucre in the form of her weekly paycheck . This term comes from the Bible (Titus 1:11), where it refers to those who teach wrongly for the sake of money. In time it came to be used loosely, and usually jokingly, for money in general, and in the mid-1900s gave rise to the jocular slang term the filthy for “money.” Although both versions may be dying out, the expression filthy rich , for “extremely wealthy,” survives

  2. Ben B. says:

    PY is selling his TV station and planning to move to California. His younger brother David Youngren is situated in San Diego. Is this guy PY really a pastor – fleeces the flock in Toronto then deserts those who have been supporting him and flees to the sunshine in California. WIM owns the Toronto building so no doubt PY will keep a tight grip on developments there.

    Youngrens firm WIM sold the building where his previous church NCC was still operating in St. Cathrines. The son-in-law has been pastoring that church since Youngren stepped down in 2009 after moral failure and separation from his former wife. Now they meet in rented premises in a new location. More damage and disappointment for those many who had invested in this local church.

    So this sad story of deception, failure and greed continues. Its time to come clean!

  3. Bene Diction says:

    Hi Ben:
    I posted on the sale.

    I wasn’t aware Niagara Celebration Church had moved.

    You are the third person that has mentioned Peter Youngren is heading to San Diego.
    US citizens don’t know about him, I think he has pretty much burned all his bridges in Canada.

    We’ll see. He needs a home for Grace TV, so if the rumours are true, I suspect you are correct, he’ll keep a tight reign on the Toronto church and Grace studio.

  4. kellie burwell says:

    Hi, Mr Youngren has nothing about California on his Grace TV site. But on his ETAL site from Sweden, he plans “major investments” in Escondido CA. Why would he not let his Canadian people know? That’s interesting.
    Will he sell Grace TV? Don’t think so. He’s asked for donations to cover the renewal of his CRTC license, due Feb 19, 2013. Personal gain I suppose.
    Be well
    Kellie

  5. Vanbot says:

    IMAGE IS EVERYTHING

    For the narcissistic leader, the world revolves around the axis of self, and all other people and issues closely orbit them as they get caught in the strong gravitational pull of the narcissist’s self-absorption. The narcissistic leaders first priority is themselves – at the expense of the people they lead. This the characteristics of a narcissist include: self-centeredness, arrogance, intimidation, dominance and pride.

    This leader strives to succeed in public, to be better than others, to have more than others, to feel superior to others. So the key feature of the narcissist leader is that their drive to succeed comes from a hidden sense of inferiority and inadequacy. Because at their core narcissistic leaders don’t feel good about themselves they gather around them people who bolster their self-esteem and make them feel needed.

    However – and this is important – there is usually co-dependence between the narcissistic leader and his followers because very often they too suffer hidden feelings of inadequacy. Without realizing it, they cluster around the narcissistic leader to feel better about themselves by association. A deadly syndrome!

    After all, they are working with the impressive, important leader, the “Man of God” so they too must share these qualities to some degree – or so they believe. The point is this: there is a payoff for both narcissistic leader and followers in their relationship.

    A toxic narcissistic leader can be both hypocritical and hypercritical of others, seeking the illusion of high spiritual and moral virtue to hide their own workplace vices. This is of course unhealthy and dangerous. The best and only way to deal with a narcissistic leader is to flee – get out quick! Run far and don’t turn back! Save yourself while there is still time! (Lesson learned by personal experience)

  6. Zwaantje says:

    PY expects the highest standard, honesty, integrity, in others but it certainly does not reflect in his own life. His ministry is based on deception.
    Do not be silent any longer, you are not bound by the confidential clause. It is not gossip to expose the truth, Jesus had no problem exposing the Pharisee.
    Rise up all former hurt Youngrenites. Speak so others will not be VICTIMIZED, it is your duty.
    It is all a very sad situation, we sacrificed everything for the vision “One Scared Hour’
    It may not be any time soon that PY will move to the USA if his wife has a criminal record. I am sure PY will find a way & blame others.
    ZR

  7. Ben B. says:

    TRANSLATION FROM ETAL WEBSITE Sweden (Google translator)

    “World Impact Ministries – ETALs international parent organization – is now planning for major efforts to reach out with the Gospel in America. As part of this we have the pleasure to announce that we just opened up a new office in Escondido, California. The ambition is to be a blessing for believers in the United States but also to influence secular society.”

    Interesting that this news is not available on WIMs Canadian website?

    Youngrens old friend Morris Cerullo is also situated in the same area. (San Diego, CA 92186-5277). Perhaps they may join efforts? Beware!!!

  8. Bene D says:

    Ben:

    Also from Etal -

    “The business, which among other things will include promotions, pastor seminars and television programs, is expected to be in full swing during autumn 2013.”

  9. ZR says:

    Peter Youngrens brother Pastor David has a ministry in San Diego…
    (current residence: Escondido, CA) which PY mentioned on the program Monday where his office is located in the US and said he had been spending a fair amount of time there. .hmmm?
    Brother Pastor Sam Youngren had an affair with the drummer in the praise & worship team and is now also divorced… may he also move?
    Alarm bells everywhere…do we see a pattern?
    ZR

  10. Ben B. says:

    LOOSING ALL….

    This guy is loosing so much….. lost his second wife, lost his family, lost his first church, lost numerous workers and fellow ministers (quality people), lost multitudes of supporters, seems like he has lost his ministry in Norway and Finland, lost his Bible School (has withered down). Looks like he’s loosing his second church soon. Lost his credibility. Only DISGRACE-TV remains. He’s a TV-preacher – beware!

    And all this loss was NOT for the Gospel’s sake – it was squandered and forfeited through foolishness, arrogance and sin. Everything could have been so different. Shame and misery.

  11. mps says:

    @LOOSING ALL…

    PY hasn’t lost anything, if anything he “seems” to be the only one who keeps moving on and gaining: new tv network, new church in T.O., new wife, expanding into U.S. and of course the $$$ from GRACE TV that’s funding annual “festivals” to Indonesia, Pakistan, Haiti, India, etc. and let’s not forget Nathan/Megan Thurber’s salaries, David Imler’s salary and his newest acquisition Johan’s salary, plus the skeleton staff @ TICC. The annual trips to Israel must serve as much needed vacations from all the other ministerial efforts and now Escondido CA. Life definitely “looks” nothing like a loss – wake up television viewers! funding “Gospel Advancement” with PY at the helm is the same as funding “PY Advancement”.

  12. mps says:

    …Just saying…

  13. David says:

    Thanks Bene , for the continued posting of events in the PY saga . We appreciate the
    fact that the Courts in Finland saw through the Youngren’s lies and deception . As for the possibility of PY moving his Ministry to California – the Christian TV Community there needs to be warned of another serpent coming to fleece the flock . I think that
    PY’s trail of destruction here in Canada has caught up with him and he needed to make a major move .

  14. FCJ says:

    The fine makes sense.

    You need a license in most jurisdictions to run a business. And this is what it was…and it was certainly was not a ‘not for profit’ business.

  15. Ben B. says:

    THE LORDS OF THE ELECTRIC TV-CHURCH

    Like others who have a narcissistic personality disorder, the lords of the electric TV-church are self-centered and highly egotistic. People may be forgiving of narcissism in movie stars and beauty queens, but certainly not of Christian leaders. This is where they differ from the classic model of narcissism. Outwardly, they may put on a humble front. Their demeanor is always that of a humble servant, eager to follow God’s will. They cleverly mask their compulsive craving for attention and admiration.

    These TV-lords genuinely believe that what they are doing is right, which makes them far more dangerous. In their minds, they have a higher calling than others – a closer relationship with God – deeper revelation – unique annointing – making whatever they do seen justifiable to them.

    If someone gets in their way, that person is perceived as thwarting God’s will and fully deserves the retribution they receive from the narcissistic leader.

    To make matters worse, these electronic TV-lords are hypersensitive to criticism. For insulation from disapproval, the lords surround themselves with weak-willed servants who wouldn’t dream of disagreeing with them. Within ministries like these, there are two sets of rules: those for the narcissist and those for everyone else.

    Within these ministries, a tacit “no-talk” rule is maintained, which keeps the eccentricities of the leader a secret from the rest of the world. And this rule is aggressively enforced. Whenever an underling balks, that person is publicly humiliated. If that doesn’t shame the person into submission, the verbal abuse is intensified and the person is eventually terminated.

    The emotional carnage of wrecked lives left behind by these narcissists has become so extensive that it threatens to outnumber those blessed by their ministry efforts. At the same time, few are willing to call them to task, exposing their behavior to the light. But thank God for those courageous ones, who are starting to resist them and bring to light. The pace is accelerating and more and more these TV-lords are being uncovered and confronted.

  16. ZR... says:

    “Vengeance’s is mine says the Lord”
    It feels good not to cover up any longer & that people will know the truth.
    It is an addiction of Pastor Peter to continue the Jesus festivals. Peter needs it to feel good, just like an actor loves the applause; foreign countries don’t need PY’s hype.

    Thousands have been conned into giving of their hard earned money to support the Jesus festivals, believing that every person has a right to hear the gospel once.
    Africa certainly does not need another preacher, they have many qualified evangelists & preachers that speak the local language.
    Most people who attend these festivals are saved already but are conned by the promise of a healing in their body.
    We can honestly say, first hand, we have not seen one healing.
    Many of these people want to be recognized or get a free handout, so they will do anything to get up on stage. Some are mentally challenged, and many miracles are fabricated. One women gave her gold ring as an offering, hoping to be healed.

    We have been to Africa 10 times and have witnessed all this first hand.
    (funded ourselves & owe no man anything)
    Pastor Peter would say, it matters not where the money goes, everything from the carpet in the sanctuary, to the chair, to staying at the Sheraton is considered ministry.
    The volunteers sacrificed everything & stayed in guest houses and huts, while PY was paraded around like some god.
    We walked & took public buses to be among the people & help the needed.
    PY flew into remote areas and then was driven around in a nice rented SUV, funded by donors.
    We were jailed one night for influencing the local people, then to find out we did not have the right paper work.
    It could have all been avoided, had the ministry done their homework. It was all marked up as a learning curve.

    We could write a book from the Youngren Years….maybe that would generate some funds so we could return to Africa to help the needy, those who are overlooked by society & Peter Youngren.
    It may sound like sour grapes, but it is the truth, it is what it is.
    We don’t regret one moment and the hardships we endured.
    We were of no further use to Peter & he hoped we would disappear. Peter was scouting for the next victim.

    STOP him now.
    STOP donating your money.
    STOP funding GRACE TV….it is a DISGRACE
    ZR

  17. kellieburwell says:

    Hello, not that anyone visits now, but just an update.
    Mr Youngren as of June 13, 13 has sold 65% of his Grace TV to a Dallas firm
    called “Daystar” TV.
    Bye
    Kellie

  18. Bene Diction says:

    Hi Kellie:

    As far as I know Youngren cannot sell his station to a US buyer – he can sell programming time, which I think that announcement is about.
    A lot of programming on The Miracle Channel and Grace come from the US, as well as on CTS.

    Youngren is expanding into the US – more people, more money…

    I’ve written about Daystar here at BDBO. I would hope Canadians would chose not to watch Daystar programming on Grace or send money to Youngren. If he wants the US market so much, let US viewers foot the bills.

  19. hagere says:

    I don’t want to scapegoat Youngren but I do have a problem forgiving the guy.
    Peter Youngren used to make us feel guilty for existing on the planet.
    He used to rant and rave through his Sunday morning sermons that how losers we all are becasue we didn’t give enough $ or become missionaries or didn’t go to his so called ‘bible school’.
    He is a disappointment

  20. John Thompson says:

    While Peter Youngren may not be able to directly sell his Grace Television license to Daystar Television, nevertheless, it appears obvious that he is finding other ways by which to give over control of the network.

    Allowing Daystar to have all the say in terms of what U.S. programming is allowed to appear on Grace Television, is no small thing, since it represents 65% of broadcasting time! The only Canadian content is Peter Youngren doing his 30-minute program (no more 1 hour ‘Encounter’), about 4-5 times a day … along with some little music-based, picture montage and bible verses time-filler program … and maybe ( I don’t know for sure), Anthony Greco’s once-a-week half-hour program.

    As a side note — it hasn’t gone unnoticed that for two weeks there will actually be no Canadian programming on Grace Television. From August 19-September 2, 2013, it will be completely controlled by Daystar Television, who will be pleading for people to send in all their money in support of the Daystar Network — and they will be doing it all day long, 24 hours a day, for 2 weeks.

    For those of you weak in math, that amounts to 368 hours of unashamed begging.

  21. John Thompson says:

    My apologies … that should actually read — 336 hours of unashamed begging.

  22. George says:

    Peter Youngren and his wife Mrs Youngren (3rd) will appear in a Court of Appeal in Lahti, Finland on 27.8. They are going direct from Indonesia to Finland. This information is publically available. I found this through Google. I suppose they will be appealing against the conviction that was given earlier this year?

    Previous trail and conviction:

    Coverage in Finland
    ess.fi
    Helsingin Sanomat
    Aamulehti

    Lets wait to see the outcome.

    The media will catch on to it and Google translator gives a (poor) version in English.

  23. John Thompson says:

    By the way, in an interesting twist of events, concurrent with the ‘strategic partnership’ (so-called) with the U.S. based Daystar Television, there was a recent meeting of Peter Youngren and the board of directors of World Impact Ministries, where Grace TV was formally REMOVED from the books of World Impact Ministries, and made to continue operations by itself, as a separate entity.

    As well, Grace Television, which has been forever heralded as ‘Canada’s Gospel Voice to the World’ … is now labelled “YOUR Gospel Voice to the World”. After all, we don’t want to offend the Americans who now control the network, do we?

    Finally, I have noted that on the Grace Television website, it states that the ‘strategic partnership’ with Daystar Television allows both for U.S. producers to have access to a Canadian audience … and Grace Television will have ‘good quality programming’.

    What that really means is that the U.S. producers will now have a Canadian audience from whom they will be able to harass over and over again for money. But what I am wondering about in terms of Grace Television is: Does this not imply that prior to the partnership with Daystar, programming offered was not of ‘good quality’?

    Which brings me to my final point (for now at least):

    Peter Youngren preaches the ‘Gospel of Grace’, and that any other gospel is actually not the gospel at all — and then turns around when the money presents itself, and is now referring to the ‘non-grace’ programming of Daystar Television as ‘good quality programming’.

    Well you know the old saying: “When money talks — (the gospel of) grace walks.”

  24. kellie says:

    Hi,
    Mr Youngren’s application for CRTC renewal can be seen at
    CRTC , search “2012-1236-5″, “Broadcasting Notice of Consultation, CRTC 2013-19.”
    Scroll to item #65. It’s a downloadable Zip file.

  25. kellie says:

    PS, apparently he’s asking for the Canadian content of the programming to be
    lowered from 35% t0 15%

  26. John Thompson says:

    Kellie –

    Youngren asked for a lot of things, one of which was the lowering of Canadian content — and for which he was denied. I will deal with the application later today, on one of the other story threads here.

  27. George says:

    When dealing with this man, it must be remembered that what he expresses outwardly (the fruit of his life = divorces, adultery, family chaos, broken relationships, living in constant denial etc.) i s only the outward expression of his own inward turmoil. “By their fruit shall you know them” is how Jesus stated this.

    He is the “god” of his own little world and this makes it impossible for him to receive feedback, input and positive criticism. Being the “god” of his own world of course puts him under tremendous stress. This stress is poured out in anger and vengeance.

    Dysfunctional (read narcissistic) people justify their actions by placing blame on others. Their self-centeredness makes everything seem to be about themselves.This type of person displays arrogance, superiority and seeks to control. All this can take place in the name of God and the Gospel.

    The best advice is to flee!
    Don’t try to help or understand – get as far away as is possible and stay away!
    I am one of many who have fled and can now continue life in peace.

  28. I do not say flee. I say get informed and help infom others. Safeguard others. And join with people of integrity and fight (prudently confront). This is cetainly what a core group have done in the Nordic Capital Investment et al. fraud (a major part of this long-term fraud operated out of Sweden but also many other countries and church-mission organisations are affected). See links below.

    “A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of woes and shattered shields, when the age of man comes crashing down, but it is not this day…this day we fight.” Aragorn in The Return of the King (movie version).

    For more perspectives on confronting corruption and living in truth, see:

    PETRA People weblog and CORE Member Care weblog

  29. God loves Peter Youngren & YOU says:

    funny the Lord has forgiven us all for our wrongs and for our self righteousness, thank Jesus for that or we would ALL be in trouble. Just saying…Peter is still preaching the gospel and I believe that is a good thing, we need as much good news getting out there in this world today…stop focusing on the wrong and LOOK TO JESUS His love & grace is available to us all today…forgiveness we have his, peter has his …you have His…why not give a bit away, if JEsus has forgive Peter & You then that is ALL that matters…Thank God we humans are not God.

  30. Gps says:

    “Let us eat, drink and be merry cuz Christ has already paid da price in full n we r all goin to heaven anyway, after all He has paid da price once for all therefore divorces, lies, ripping people off, ordaining questionable people, having affairs, etc have all been paid for so its all good for “Youngrenites” after all he’s takin da good news of Grace to da world even da Muslim world. Let him go to Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan or Syria.

    God Loves Peter Youngren and US

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