Excerpts from the Testimony of Jerry Falwell

December 4, 1984
(beginning Volume 2, page 10 of trial transcript)

JERRY FALWELL, the Plaintiff, was called as a witness, and after having first been duly sworn, testified as follows:


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Q.  As the years have gone on, Mr. Falwell, have you devoted the entirety of your professional working life to the development of your ministerial activities starting at the Thomas Road Baptist Church?

A.  There is no time left for avocations of past-times.  I stopped golfing twenty-five (25) years ago, not because I don't like it; you just can't do it at 3:00 in the morning.

Q.  Approximately how many hours a day do you work on your ministries?

A.  I usually arise at 5:45 in the morning, wherever I happen to be, and I usually go to bed at 12:00 or midnight or 1:00 a.m.

Q.  Is that a regime that you have followed consistently for all of your professional working life?

A.  It is, and the past twelve (12) months, a typical year, we have traveled four hundred thousand (400,000) miles speaking over twelve hundred (1,200) times.

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Q.  Would you tell His Honor and the members of this jury what your personal reaction was when you read this ad in Exhibit One over for the first time?

A.  I think I have never been as angry as I was at that moment.  My first impression was that Campari had purchased an ad in the magazine because I had seen a similar ad in decent magazines earlier, and my first thought was to get on the phone to Campari.

Our in-house attorney and I talked it over.  My anger became a more rational and deep hurt.  I somehow felt that in all of my life I had never believed that human beings could do something like this.  I really felt like weeping.  I am not a deeply emotional person; I don't show it.  I think I felt like weeping.

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Q.  Mr. Falwell, are your [sic] familiar with the three (3) letters that I have just handed up to you and which have been presently marked as Exhibits 2-A, B and C for identification respectively?

A.  Yes.

Q.  Would you tell us what they are?

A.  Exhibit A and Exhibit B are actually one letter sent on the same day to different segments of the mailing file of Moral Majority.

Q.  What was the difference between the segments to which they were addressed.

A.  Twenty-six thousand (26,000) of the people, approximately, who received what is called here Exhibit A are the major contributors to Moral Majority, and the four hundred and sixty thousand (460,000), approximately, which are listed here as Exhibit B are to the rank and file grass-root membership but who would not be major contributors.

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Q.  Now, let me address for the moment Exhibit 2-A and 2-B which was sent, as you say, by the Moral Majority.  Can you tell us, please, I think you have indicated there was approximately five hundred thousand (500,000) of these sent out.  First, with respect to the twenty-six thousand (26,000) that went to your major donors, within the first thirty (30) days in response to those letters, how much money was received by the Moral Majority?

A.  Forty-four thousand, nine hundred and thirty-one dollars and ninety-one cents ($44,931.91).

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Q.  With regard to the larger number that went to the grassroot supporters of the Moral Majority, which I think you said was four hundred and sixty thousand and some odd people, within the first thirty (30) days how much revenue was received?

A.  Seventy-seven thousand, eight hundred and twenty-four ($77,824).

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Q.  Now, within thirty (30) days what was the total amount of money received by the Old Time Gospel Hour in response to these three (3) types of mailings that went out on November 18, 1983?

A.  Six hundred, twenty-three thousand, two hundred and sixty-eight dollars and eighty-one cents ($623,268.81).

Q.  Subsequently, was additional money received beyond thirty (30) days?

A.  With an additional thirty (30) days, another forty-nine thousand, one hundred and eighty dollars and sixty-nine cents ($49,180.69) received.

Q.  Making the total receipts for the Old Time Gospel Hour in response to the survival fund solicitation for the letters of November 18, 1983, a total of how much?

A.  Six hundred, seventy-two thousand, four hundred, forty-nine dollars, fifty cents ($672,449.50).

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Q.  On Page 20 the same ad that was published in the November issue appears again.  Did you learn that this re-publication of the ad on which you were suing in this lawsuit had again been inserted into the pages of Hustler Magazine?

A   I did.

Q.  When you learned of that, Mr. Falwell, what was your reaction or response or feeling?

A.  It was a re-opening of an already very deep wound of personal anguish and hurt and suffering, such as nothing in my adult life I ever recall before.

Q.  Did you feel debilitated by it?

A.  I did, indeed.

Q.  Now, you have mentioned what your reaction was within the first days after first seeing the November '83 issue.  Had those feelings that you have earlier described to us gone away between October or November of '83 and February or March of '84?

A.  They had not.

Q.  To what extent did they continue to affect you in your daily living, thinking and feeling?

A.  I have never been to a psychiatrist or psychologist in my life for personal help.  I am not sure but what I feel that as a Christian and a minister -- I am not sure it would not be wrong for me to do it.  I just have a personal feeling that as a Christian I should be able to take my personal burdens to the Lord.  I did not cut my schedule back; I did not stop anything I was doing, but I can tell you it has created the most difficult year of performance, physically, mentally, emotionally, in all of my life.  Those who work near me can tell you that my ability to concentrate and focus on the job at hand has been greatly, greatly damaged.

MR. ISAACMAN: Your Honor, I am going to object to his testifying as to what other people could tell; it is hearsay.

MR. GRUTMAN: I agree.

THE COURT: All right.



Q.  Mr. Fallwell, just tell us: As you know yourself, was there any change or difference in your ability to focus on the tasks and responsibilities that you were fulfilling in the year that has passed?

A.  A very severe difference.

Q.  To what do you attribute it?

A.  To the hurt inflicted upon me personally and the defiling of my reputation; of the hurt inflicted upon me because of the embarrassment my family has gone through repeatedly; the injury and emotional anguish inflicted upon me due to the besmirching and defiling of my dear mother's memory; and my feeling of personal frustration because it not only appeared once, now it has appeared the second time, and according to Mr. Flynt's own testimony, he will do it whenever and as ever he pleases.

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Q.  Mr. Falwell, as a man active in public life and who has taken positions about subjects which may be considered controversial, have you been criticized or opposed in your ideas by various publications?

A.  Daily, almost.

Q.  Have you ever had caricatures drawn of you by cartoonists?

A.  Again, almost daily.

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