The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


David Hoskins: Money, Women & Power

By Rod Thomas
The 700 Club - David Hoskins had one passion as a young boy – he wanted to be like James Bond.

“James Bond had the respect of everybody. You know, he drove the latest sports cars, he traveled to exotic places.  And he was surrounded by beautiful women.  In my heart that’s who I wanted to be.”

But the reality was, David was awkward and didn’t have many friends. 

“I was really poor at sports. I just had a terrible self image. And so, when you grew up with that you start looking for ways to get attention. You start looking at what’s going to bring me value. You know, “How do I get attention from people?’”

As the son of an evangelist, David grew up going to church. But his dad was often away because of his ministry obligations.

“I didn’t get a lot of time with my dad. These are the people that should love me the most, and if they’re not giving me their most valuable asset, which is their time, ‘What’s wrong with me?’”

So he looked for other ways to get the attention he craved.

“What I quickly discovered, making money was better than sports, and better than being good at school. Because that got you immediate recognition and respect anywhere the only reason I wanted money, is because I wanted women.  And I realized that in order to have the women, I needed the money.” 

But he needed a plan. So when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, David saw a business opportunity. He turned to his father for help.

“We’d seen TV of what was happening in the former Soviet Union with lines of people standing out waiting in line for basic needs. So my dad gave me 500 bucks, and his credit card, we bought a ticket and I went to Russia.”

David discovered he had a knack for business.  He started a printing company and then expanded into other areas.

“I started contracting with big U.S.companies that knew what the future of business was in Russia. So we’d bring in all kinds of things from panty hose to cosmetics. And the money was just pouring in.”

Then he made connections with the Russian mafia to secure his business.

“You had what was called your comecon. That was the man that did the business. Then you had what was called your krysha, which was your roof. The roof was the person that protects your business and made sure that you’d get paid. They were the real mafia at that point. Throughout the time we did business there, about 20% of your expense was security, was as your business grew the more guys you had to hire, almost this army, this personal army, to make sure people respected you.”

He expanded his businesses to restaurants and night clubs.

“I had clubs. I had strip clubs. We did big raves, big concerts. So, to get yourself up for the night, I usually had an ecstasy around seven o’ clock and then by eight, nine o’ clock we were doing coke until 4 or 5 o’clock in the morning. Then you’d have another joint in the morning just to calm down. And you do that over and over again, day after day.”

David felt invincible. He had the money, women and power, but his family back in America, never gave up on him.

“My parents had always been praying for me; the friends had been praying for me.”

Then David’s life began to fall apart. It started at a rave party.

“I had had the bar man put some ecstasy in the punch bowl, and we’d invited the heads of mafia from all over Russia. One of the wives of one of the top guys had an allergic reaction to the punch and they had to rush her to the emergency ward.”

Afterward, the mafia families turned against him. They took over his businesses. In one day, he lost everything. They spared his life, but still, he had to answer to the mob boss.

“They made me an offer I couldn’t refuse and said I had to leave St. Petersburg, basically in exile.  When I got to Moscow, I was as depressed as I’ve ever been.  I was drinking. I was on drugs.”

While he was in exile, his father visited.

“He’d you know, put his arms around me and say, ‘David, never forget that God has an incredible purpose for your life.’ He could tell that I was really down.  And before he left - he had a Bible with him - and I said, ‘Dad, could you leave me your Bible?’”

As David read the Bible, he realized that God still loved him.

“For the first time in my life I was broken. I got to Romans where it says, you know, ‘nothing can separate us from the love of God. No angels or demons, life or death.’  And I just said, ‘God, please, just love me.’ And for the first time in my life I felt the presence of Jesus and I felt this overwhelming love flow over me.”

David eventually moved back to America. He says that in God, he’s found the love and acceptance he was looking for.

“Once that desire for the women was gone, the desire for money was gone - also with the alcohol and the drugs. You know, so once that primary addiction is gone, the other addictions tend to lose their power.”

“What I really realized was that it was that little 12-year-old boy that needed to be loved, and needed to know he was all right. When I realized, how much God loved that little boy and that God had brought that little boy where I was at that point, and felt God’s love, that was the healing process. That was the moment that I was free.”

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