Cruz backer preaches against ‘predatorial lifestyle’ of gays

September 11, 2015

Farris Wilks and his younger brother Dan are billionaires thanks to the recent oil-and-gas drilling boom. They’re also the biggest donors in the 2016 race for the White House, giving $15 million to a Super PAC backing Republican presidential contender Ted Cruz.

A Reuters investigation published today finds that the largely unknown Wilks family has outspent the billionaire Koch brothers, Charles and David, who have pledged to use their Freedom Partners network of conservative donors to pour $1 billion into the campaign.

Farris Wilks and his wife Joann

Farris Wilks and his wife Joann are shown in this undated photo released to Reuters on September 9, 2015. REUTERS/COURTESY OF JON FRANCIS/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS

Some other key facts about the Wilks brothers:

  • The bricklayer-turned-billionaire brothers grew up in a goat shed and used to beg local dealers to give them credit. Now they have their own private airport, a plane and 17 children between them.
  • In sermons, Farris Wilks has called homosexuality “a perversion tantamount to bestiality, pedophilia and incest.” “It’s a predatorial lifestyle in that they need your children, and straight people having kids, to fulfill their sexual habits,” he said.
  • Climate change, Farris Wilks said, is God’s will. “If (God) wants the polar caps to remain in place, then he will leave them there,” he told congregants at a service in July 2013.
  • Women have to “keep silence” during Farris Wilks’ assemblies and are advised to adhere to a dress code of no cleavage, bare skin, tank tops or skirts above the knee.
  • The Wilkses say their support for Cruz is motivated by their political beliefs, not their religious convictions. Together with Cruz they share a passion for unbridled markets and are skeptical of the IRS.
  •  Farris, who still likes to wear jeans, work boots and a baseball cap, is partial to the 2 for $1.61 burritos at the Stripes gas station; Dan still rearranges chairs at local community gatherings.


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