Mr. Ravi Zacharias and the Emails/Sex Scandal UPDATED

UPDATE 12/2?17 Julie Anne removed the emails and I wold have done the same thing.  You can read her explanation at the link. I am under no obligation not to post the emails and I am trying to figure out what to do…

Julie Anne Smith over at Spiritual Sounding Board just posted Ravi Zacharias Must Explain: Lawsuit, Narratives, and Emails: Ravi Zacharias, Lawsuit, RZIM (Ravi Zacharias International Ministries), Sex Scandal

I believe this account be true  because the victim called me sometime in the last year. She asked me for confidentiality at the time. I told her she needed an attorney. Glad to see she did so.


Comments

Mr. Ravi Zacharias and the Emails/Sex Scandal UPDATED — 296 Comments

  1. Unfortunately, and under the current sexual harassment climate, I believe it too, Dee. Unreal! The devil and his minions are on a rampage!!! No Christian is exempt from his wiles of deception!!

  2. The narrative, the emails, pretty much the whole thing, has the ring of truth. Nowhere does RZ deny what happened, just tries to control the outcome and/or hush things up. Same pattern holds with the legal action.

    This and so many other things these days make me glad I left evangelicalism years ago. I thought things were bad then, but they only seem to have gotten worse as time goes on.

  3. My comment on the last thread was about being able to check the motives of people making allegations was about all abuse accusations not particularly this one alone. Its necessary to try and distinguish motives but i want to be clear that from my reading the emails its my conclusion that when this woman emailed Ravi about her shame and guilt and needing to confess her sin to her husband it was before anyone had counseled her to seek a lawyer. In her email she pointed out how vulnerable she had been at their initial contact and what really bothers me is that this seems like a case of a vulnerable woman seeking counsel from a pastor that had a very good reputation in the christian world and that he did use that for his own gratification. Two consenting adults is different than a person dealing with trauma from a past experience seeking help from someone in a powerful position of authority.
    It also is one of the biggest reasons i am outspoken against the Biblical Counseling Movement. Not just that people get unsound mental health advice but the sheer vulnerability of many that seek that counseling.

  4. @ Cindy Meyers:

    i know what you mean — although i tend to see it as “Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above.”–Rose Sayers to Charlie Allnut, The African Queen.

    i’ve seen too many christians shirk personal responsibility on so many levels by ascribing all forms of tension and their response to it to Satan.

    (or to God, for that matter: a bemused “God’s trying to teach me something….” if God is truly involved in such various & sundry unfavorable circumstances, i suspect the lesson more often than not is simply remedial cause and effect.)

  5. I just remembered that Ryan Ashton (he reminded me) was also contacted at the same time I was. he believed her as well.

  6. Glad this clown isn’t part of my life. Times like this, I find my secular worldview a real blessing.

  7. Cindy Meyers wrote:

    The devil and his minions are on a rampage!!! No Christian is exempt from his wiles of deception

    Sometimes we give the devil too much credit. Blaming him abrogates personal responsibility. This is free will in action.

  8. Jack wrote:

    Times like this, I find my secular worldview a real blessing.

    Let me push back just a little. The Bible discusses the pervasiveness of sin so it does not shock me when someone does this stuff. They need to be called out and slapped upside the head.

    Having grown up in a nonreligious home and secular culture on the North Shore of Boston, I get secular.My guess is that a pure secularist perspective does not do any better in the lying and cheating department. However, I could be wrong

  9. Jack wrote:

    Blaming him abrogates personal responsibility. This is free will in action.

    I agree. I think a better perspective is this. We all sin and jump into the flames and the devil is there fanning the flames. Totally my responsibility.

  10. Jack wrote:

    One word “power”. Sexual abuse and the thrill of power are always interlinked.

    You may find this post relevant.

    https://futuristguy.wordpress.com/2008/07/11/recovery-from-spiritual-abuse-part-3c-power-addiction-is-like-porn/

    [QUOTE] Our addiction to power is like porn. In both, we objectify people, dehumanizing them to the status of props in our own melodramatic “Story of Me.” We become their invincible masters, whether through aggression or submission, dissociation or seduction. And they become some meaningless but necessary extras whose only role is to let us manipulate them in whatever distinct ways ensure that we receive increasingly stronger and longer doses of our all-important, most-preferred, and well-deserved brain biochemicals that offer us ongoing ecstasy. The power we hold over them subordinates their story to ours, removing them from the possibility of fulfilling their own providential story with a plotline in which they are their own main character and in which we should play a supporting role. But that’s worth it for the pleasure of our own endorphin-enhanced story …

  11. Ok, but how do you know that any of the so-called evidence is real? You have redacted emails, which would be fairly easy to make up. You have phone calls to three people, so far, but how do you know who you are talking to? You have a single person who looks like he has been trolling RZ for two years, and who posts on practically every story/blog/twitter I have read so far. Until RZ actually responds to these accusations, all you really have is accusations.

    Plus, the language used in these “stories” is pretty troubling. People are commenting like they are judge, jury, and executioner. I am not seeing a whole lot of christian love here or anywhere for that matter. This is the internet after all, how do we know what is real in these situations?

  12. Jack wrote:

    Cindy Meyers wrote:
    The devil and his minions are on a rampage!!! No Christian is exempt from his wiles of deception

    Sometimes we give the devil too much credit. Blaming him abrogates personal responsibility. This is free will in action.

    Surprisingly, the Spanish Inquisition would agree. When they rolled on a Witchcraft charge (a rare occurrence; Inquisitors were paid on a fixed salary, not a cut of the confiscated take), the actual charge they brought was the Heresy of Attributing Too Much Power to The Devil.

  13. dee wrote:

    My guess is that a pure secularist perspective does not do any better in the lying and cheating department. However, I could be wrong

    No, I don’t think you’re wrong. Secularists are no better but invoking a divine mandate as many holy abusers are prone to do is a force multiplier that can’t be ignored.

  14. @ I love everyone:

    “Why is there do much sexual sin in the Christian ministry?”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    because sexuality is so sensationalized with a huge white spotlight in christian culture, like nazi concentration camps at night (or so i’ve seen in movies). of course you want to escape, right?

    every moral, emotional, spiritual nerve and fiber is on edge — erect, if you will. it follows that physical nerves and fibers will also be on edge. the Queen Mutha’ of forbidden things becomes so darn ALLURING!!

    but also, those wielding the spotlight have power. One way power corrupts is the powerful start believing they are above the rules. They become emboldened with entitlement, with taking liberties.

    (…i think i just read these very words in articles on Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, and Harvey Weinstein)

  15. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    I’m not blaming the devil but simply stating that the devil knows his time is short and he’s ramping up his game. We, as Christians, should know that and be that much more vigilant in “guarding our hearts (and minds) for out of it/them flow the issues of life!” We can’t be that stupid as to relax and let that guard down even for a second!! I’m always amazed when another person with years of knowing and teaching the Bible falls miserably. It’s so sad!

  16. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    Ok, but how do you know that any of the so-called evidence is real? You have redacted emails, which would be fairly easy to make up.

    The emails that I have posted include the original email addresses which match the email addresses on the lawsuit. I redacted them.

    Two people reached out to me before June contacted me to let me know she was contacting me. Then when she contacted me, she named those 2 who referred her to me. When I compared notes with one of those people later on, we were given the same info. At least one has met her in person. She’s the real deal.

  17. Those emails are pretty damning. Such a sad thing that this seems to have happened. I thought RZ was/is more honorable than that. Disappointing…to say in the least.

  18. Jack wrote:

    Cindy Meyers wrote:

    The devil and his minions are on a rampage!!! No Christian is exempt from his wiles of deception

    Sometimes we give the devil too much credit. Blaming him abrogates personal responsibility. This is free will in action.

    Maybe but not always 🙂

    Hosea 4:12
    My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declareth unto them: for the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God.

  19. Jack wrote:

    No, I don’t think you’re wrong. Secularists are no better but invoking a divine mandate as many holy abusers are prone to do is a force multiplier that can’t be ignored.

    I’ve seen equal in the SRA and other ‘secular’ arenas.

  20. Cindy Meyers wrote:

    I’m always amazed when another person with years of knowing and teaching the Bible falls miserably. It’s so sad!

    I think that often that means they will be under greater attack and have more temptations and more frequent. I dont know enough about Ravi but i’ve noticed it in other christians.

  21. sandy c wrote:

    Well if a woman was trying to slander me and emailing me to try and entrap me so she could falsley accuse me and make big bucks in a lawsuit that is not the response i would use

    I don’t know who said it was false, but I never suggested that the trap was false at all. Trap yes, false no. Notice all the alleged slush fund payoffs in the current problems with several members of congress. They paid off to keep things quiet-not to avoid ‘false’ accusations. The best thing is to get some goods on somebody, some evidence to prove it, and then state your price.

    And, yes, I think that the one who set the trap was, like I said, the ‘roaring lion’ who roams about seeing whom he can devour. They both fell into the trap, but perhaps for different reasons. The real object of the ‘trap’, however, the big payoff, may be those who trusted RZ and whose faith may now be shaken. No need to say that said faith need not be shaken by this sort of thing, like who ya goona have faith in anyhow and all that-because we have heard comment after comment here on TWW over a long period of time from people who say that their faith is shaken or perhaps gone based on what they have seen in christianity. Something about smite the shepherd and the sheep will scatter, or words to that effect.

    What I am thinking is that perhaps ‘he’ thought that he could just get away with something, and maybe ‘she’ thought who knows what but her need to go public is suspicious if she felt all that guilty, when all the while behind the scenes is the ultimate trap setter whose aim is doing as much harm as possible to the followers of the one he really is after-Christ himself.

    And it may be that the husband is just some poor innocent in all this. At first I thought not, but perhaps he really is just one more victim in a pile of victims. Or maybe he is still trying to get something in writing from RZ to serve as further evidence-though surely there is enough evidence already. Probably he is just being batted around and used by other people for their own agendas-including perhaps the counselor who apparently wants him to forgive now even with not enough information to process what actually went on.

    I am aware that there are people who are uncomfortable with this paradigm, but I think it is biblical and I think it is reasonable, and I think it is diabolically clever in that it leaves free will intact. Nobody is compelled to do anything-just yield to temptation-whatever temptation works for you.

  22. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    Until RZ actually responds to these accusations …

    … I will not speculate, explicate, or ruminate on this matter any further. I am getting a check in my spirit at this point; something is amiss.

  23. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    People are commenting like they are judge, jury, and executioner.

    A few, but not most. Everyone will come at it with a different perspective. Generalizations about responses isn’t usually helpful.

  24. elastigirl wrote:

    i know what you mean — although i tend to see it as “Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above.”–Rose Sayers to Charlie Allnut, The African Queen.

    Great movie! From a time when they really did have style and grace. But the world has moved on (as Stephen King would write). Style and grace is as gone as the lemon groves in my area.

  25. I love everyone wrote:

    Why is there do much sexual sin in the Christian ministry?

    Because (my opinion) Christianity (or any religion for that matter) has never come to grips with what human sexuality entails. It has never dealt with it in a realistic and responsible pragmatism.

  26. okrapod wrote:

    I am aware that there are people who are uncomfortable with this paradigm, but I think it is biblical and I think it is reasonable

    One of the reasons i like this blog is that there are people that dont all agree on everything and i truly appreciate your views because sometimes i have been known to go full speed ahead without considering other possibilities. Thanks to you and everyone else that shares their perspective!

  27. @ dee:
    **** and **** and ***- sorry- i wanted deebs to see this before it auto posted and am hoping profanity sends it to moderation. If you think its valid to post please edit my profanity out!!

    Another account of Ravi incident which alludes to extortion and past litigious behavior by the couple involved and mentions Athiest Steve.

    “…it seems appropriate to give the benefit of the doubt to Zacharias rather than a couple with a litigious history seeking a $5 million extortion payment from him.

    Even so, Zacharias’ own explanation in his court filing of how this situation developed over a period of two years raises questions about his judgment in this matter. He allowed a professional relationship with a prospective donor couple to develop into an online friendship with just the wife. This led to the woman giving Zacharias exercise advice for his bad back including photos of her apparently performing the exercises. These photos apparently progressed from normal photos to scantily clad pictures to eventually nude snapshots. It is hard to see how Zacharias allowed this progression to occur although he claims to have sought to block her messages to him and to cut off all communication with the woman. Nevertheless, communications at some level clearly continued and the filing does not offer an explanation as to how or why this happened. Nor did Zacharias attempt to involve his board of directors in this situation at an early stage of its development, allowing the situation to escalate. And RZIM is not willing to share any additional details to address the concerns we raised about how Ravi handled this unfortunate extortion attempt. We have asked why the court filing did not include more evidence of Zacharias’ e-mails or text messages to the woman that would back up his case about not soliciting the pictures as well as other matters, but RZIM stated they could not respond due to the case being in the courts at that time. The only evidence of an e-mail from Zacharias to the alleged extortionists included in Zacharias’ court filing was an edited e-mail to the woman’s husband which seems to include an admission of Zacharias’ guilt regarding letting an online relationship with the woman go too far while simultaneously denying he ever requested nude photos. Here is that section of Zacharias’ court filing:
    https://www.ministrywatch.com/articles/rzim.php

  28. Oh **** !!!! You gotta follow that link i posted the pdfs have complete lawyer emails docs! Thanks sorry **** again to get this into moderation plz delete this!

  29. @ Muff Potter:

    “From a time when they really did have style and grace. But the world has moved on (as Stephen King would write). Style and grace is as gone as the lemon groves in my area.”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    too much awareness of self. an inability to get lost in the art form because of getting stuck on “how am i looking?” “how am i coming across?” “is the camera catching me just right?” “i’m a celebrity” “yes, I AM all that”

    kills inspiration instantly

    all that’s left are pretenders who do sort of an ok job.

  30. Julie Ann Smith’s blog post is excellent.

    I have heard of RZ over the years, but have never heard him speak and have never read his books. I am glad for that because it is easy to imagine how this will discourage people who have been blessed by him.

  31. Jack wrote:

    No one expects the Spanish inquisition!

    I can sum up why I like TWW in one word: diversity, and openmindedness.

  32. I like it because of the mathematicians.

    Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Jack wrote:

    No one expects the Spanish inquisition!

    I can sum up why I like TWW in one word: diversity, and openmindedness.

  33. Muff Potter wrote:

    the world has moved on … Style and grace is as gone as the lemon groves in my area.

    Muff, current generations would call us nostalgic, but past days in America were really better; a higher moral standard loomed over the nation. I’m not surprised any longer when I turn on the news to find yet another fallen big boy … from politician, to media elite, to Hollywood celebrity … and, yes, even popular preachers. The world is fleshing it out in all corners of the culture. “Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?” (Prov. 20:6)

  34. @ elastigirl:

    i’m kind of exaggerating — it’s not all like this. but i think largely so.

    there’s more to it, though — even in basic story-telling. i don’t know if it’s becoming a lost art form, or if it was always not a common thing, and too many people who haven’t the gift are wearing the hat.

    one i thing i do know — the ability to tell an honest story and see it through with artistic integrity is compromised by money and the politics of things.

  35. @ elastigirl:

    hmmm… all my pontificating applies to the christian institution as well. the distractions of self, money, the politics of things, wearing a hat for reasons that do not include possessing the gift to fill it. many with the gifts are not wanted by the powerbrokers. and so we have pretenders who do sort of an ok job. but there’s no inspiration. it’s merely going through the motions.

    it’s all flat. like flat coke. flat fresca. drinkable, but….

  36. @ sandy c:
    I saw it a few minutes ago! Thank you.

    This case boils down to another *he said/she said.* I spoke to the *she* of this equation at some point just prior to March 2016. I am working to get my ducks in a row just in case. This woman sounded extremely nervous and very upset. She told me about how much she and her husband had admired RZ and how this occurred.

    I can speak to her nervousness during the call. She sounded embarrassed as she discussed this situation. She would not allow me to post her story which I was inclined to do because her presentation of what occurred was convincing. She never mentioned money or restitution. In fact, it was I who urged her to contact an attorney.

    It now appears that she and her husband are being presented as shake down artists. I did not get that from our conversation.

    I have not received an answer to my inquiries into RZ at the Geopolitical Insititute of Moscow. I cannot find it anywhere and neither could Burwell Stark. Please feel free to try to find it as well.

  37. @ sandy c:

    Interesting. On a lighter note, in my decades as a health care professional I have seen an awful lot of human bodies but I certainly never saw one worth that much money-clad or unclad. I guess it is another case of context! (sarcasm)

  38. @ dee:

    Betcha she already had a lawyer before she talked to you. Betcha the call was putting out a feeler for what sort of response there would be. Betcha that if all she wanted was ‘healing’ she would have jumped at the opportunity to tell her story. Betcha she does not look all that great in the nude, but maybe a lot of people are going to be able to decide on that for themselves-nothing facilitates ‘healing’ like nudie pics if they go public.

    Or, maybe she was used by both her husband and the lawyer. All I know is that you don’t need a lawyer to repent if you regret your actions. Though I have known of a few lawyers who themselves needed to repent. And you do need a lawyer if somebody threatened you first.

  39. Okay, I should not have said what I just did at 11:58 AM

    I truly repent of saying it and I request that it not be printed here. For all I know these people are all angels in disguise and their lawyer(s) may be also.

  40. @ Max:

    “…but past days in America were really better; a higher moral standard loomed over the nation”
    ++++++++++++

    i tend to think that in past eras moral compromise was better hidden, and feeling entitled to do such things was cushioned in bubble wrap. cognitive dissonance was asleep. the collective conscience was not as pricked and aware as it is now. veneers had not been pulled back as they now are as more and more varieties of people are being empowered to have a voice that is heard.

  41. @ elastigirl:

    Comparing the past as Max speaks of it and the present as you speak of it, if I am hearing you all correctly, one of the major differences is different values hierarchy. For example, holding a marriage together even in the face of some serious difficulties and disappointments was more highly recognized as a value in itself back then than it seems to be now, while today individual satisfaction with the marriage is more highly valued than before. This change in hierarchies of values can be seen in lots of things.

    It is a matter of opinion as to which set of values was better and which worse.

  42. dee wrote:

    This case boils down to another *he said/she said.* I spoke to the *she* of this equation at some point just prior to March 2016. I am working to get my ducks in a row just in case.

    This case has two main stories. One is the false credentials. It looks pretty clear that RZ falsely claimed credentials – I don’t see any possible way for his ministry to put a positive spin on this. But the even bigger story here is how all of his colleagues, associates, publishers, and ministry partners allowed this to go on for so long. Surely others knew but let it go – that is an even bigger story than RZ’s untruthfulness. Perhaps he was used a bit as a pawn by the christian industrial complex because of his great communication skills. Perhaps they were the ones encouraging the scam because they profited from his ministry. I think there is much more to this story that needs to be discovered and told. Many heads should roll, not just RZs.

    The other part of his story is the affair. The “evidence” on both sides seems much more fishy to me – I don’t think this is a slam-dunk case yet. While I believe victims should be taken seriously, there is a danger in unconditionally believing every self-confessed victim. One good example is the Salem Witch Trials where some young girls made false accusations resulting in people being tortured and executed. This is a case where the “victims” should not have been believed. Had the authorities taken a more balanced view maybe the outcome would have been more just.

    Our current culture is rightly exposing sexual abuse (finally), but there is the risk of letting the pendulum swing too far by assuming every victim is truthful. It should ok to check facts.

    The other thing that bothers me about the RZ case is what comes across to me as almost a sense of glee from some of the commenters on the sites exposing this. It is a tragic case that should be investigated and taken seriously and sadly, not something to celebrate.

  43. @ dee:
    It is very difficult to separate fact from fiction with RZ. The fullest account he gives of his visit to theUSSR can be found here.

    https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=4wf_NIK1CyMC&pg=PT149&lpg=PT149&dq=“yuri+kirshin”+“ravi+zacharias”&source=bl&ots=Oh4FbjMhE8&sig=9BkCvIhKXbTtOHolMZXOpjGJnpQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwirh5X95evXAhXCYVAKHSL1D3AQ6AEIJTAA#v=onepage&q=“yuri%20kirshin”%20“ravi%20zacharias”&f=false

    It sounds all very impressive but some of his claims are simply not true. There is a Centre for Geopolitical Strategy but his claims that President Gorbachev and General Mikhail Khatusov (of Napoleonic War fame) both attended it, is false. Gorbachev was educated at Krasnogvardeiskoye high school and Moscow State University where he studied law. Katusv attended the Military Engineering School in St Petersburg, aged q2 and was a corporal by the age of 14.

    Furthermore, you have to put what he says in context. The Berlin Wall came down in November 1989. There was a coup against Gorbachev in August 1991so his visit had to be between these two dates.

    He claims he met General Kirshin at a Campus Crusade meeting in LA. He invited him to a further meeting at Greenbrier Inn (Green Brier Resort West Virginia) where he led Kirshin Christ and travelled to Moscow at a later date. He references the Green Brier meeting by mentioning a World Series game between Atlanta Braves and Toronto Blue Jays. That game was in Oct 17-24 1992. General Kirshin was a delegate to the Dartmouth Conference in 1992 but this appears to have been held in Moscow between 19-24 October. This was one of six conferences held in 1992. The only one held in the USA was in Washington DC in December 1992. (https://www.kettering.org/sites/default/files/product-downloads/Dartmouth_50_Years.pdf).

    Amateur sleuths with time on their hands could further unpick the claims. (Smiley Face)

  44. @ elastigirl:
    You’re probably right. The heart of man has always been bent toward sin; generational shifts don’t make much difference. But God …

  45. I take serious issue with the fact that Rivi Zacharias ex-Dr. will not answer anyones questions on any issues. There are lots of people asking him and RZIM to respond to both the Dr issue and the woman issue.

    “The only reason we can see why Zacharias would settle this case before It went to trial and use an NDA is that the trial would bring out damaging evidence against him. If Zacharias had evidence which would prove those seeking to extort money from him were lying, it is hard to imagine he would not pursue this even if the legal costs were high. It was our sincere hope the legal process would completely exonerate Zacharias and MinistryWatch delayed sharing anything about this case for months on the hope evidence would be presented clearing Zacharias. Due to the settlement, which one can only presume was achieved by Zaharias personally paying the alleged extortionists some sum of money, it now appears clear he was likely guilty of something in this situation which would cause him significant reputational damage, above that which is already known about this case, had it become public.”
    https://www.ministrywatch.com/articles/rzim.php

  46. @ elastigirl:

    I hear ya. Take for instance another Bogie classic The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. It couldn’t be done today because at its root it’s a good old fashioned morality play, not something the Weinstein’s and other H-wood execs want to touch.
    They’d rather focus on celebrating darkness and nihilism.

    There’s a reason why Wonder Woman packed out the cinemas and Aronofsky’s new film Mother bombed so miserably.
    People are hungry for good stories, stuff they can resonate with, not the crapola the current crop of studio execs want to push on them.

  47. Hi, Dee. The link in your post no longer works. JA took down her original post. See her explanation below.

    Removed Two Posts
    Posted by Julie Anne
    I think this is only the second time I have done this in my nearly 6 yrs of blogging. I was requested by the victim to remove the posts containing personal emails between Ravi Zacharias and the victim, and have done so.

    I will be following up with a statement shortly about this and will add it to this post.

  48. I dont think this is merely a “he said, she said” at all. There were other people involved besides the people that Ms Thomson reached out to.
    The claim that the Thomsons were “extortioners” was based on Ravi’s response to press questions and from the law suit he filed against them. And the Thomsons werent the only people, they had witnesses that were there as the initial “break up” occured.

    When Ms Thomson said she was going to tell her husband about the online affair, Ravi threatened suicide and Ms Thomson was so concerned that she spoke to her counsellors about it.

    From the court documents:
    “We are Lori Anne’s counsellors and she is currently receiving
    intensive counselling with us to find healing and restoration for her marriage. It is not her intent to share what has happened to anyone except her husband—which is necessary for any hope of marital restoration. And we are bound by confidentiality. We
    need assurance from you that you will not harm yourself.
    Otherwise, we will find it necessary to contact 911 in your location. We await your prompt response. Thank you.”

  49. In response to Ms Thomson getting a lawyer Ravi Zacharias got one too, (Ministry watch tried to find out who paid for both Ravi’s Lawyer and his settlement payment but got no answer from RZIM.) Not just a little lawsuit either.

    Ravi Zacharias filed suit against the Thomsons charging them with 7 counts, including Rackateering against his organazation, conspiracy, and causing him emotional distress.
    He also demanded a jury trial.
    There were no nude pictures of Zacharias- Ms Thomson is the only one that would be hurt by a jury trial.
    That suit is the one that Zacharias dropped. A big ministry with wealth and no lack of lawyers dropped the suit and gave Ms Thomson a cash settlement to be quiet. And not release his emails/phone calls to her, i am certain.
    And that is why

  50. Lowlandseer wrote:

    @ dee:
    It is very difficult to separate fact from fiction with RZ. The fullest account he gives of his visit to theUSSR can be found here.
    https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=4wf_NIK1CyMC&pg=PT149&lpg=PT149&dq=“yuri+kirshin”+“ravi+zacharias”&source=bl&ots=Oh4FbjMhE8&sig=9BkCvIhKXbTtOHolMZXOpjGJnpQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwirh5X95evXAhXCYVAKHSL1D3AQ6AEIJTAA#v=onepage&q=“yuri%20kirshin”%20“ravi%20zacharias”&f=false
    It sounds all very impressive but some of his claims are simply not true. There is a Centre for Geopolitical Strategy but his claims that President Gorbachev and General Mikhail Khatusov (of Napoleonic War fame) both attended it, is false. Gorbachev was educated at Krasnogvardeiskoye high school and Moscow State University where he studied law. Katusv attended the Military Engineering School in St Petersburg, aged q2 and was a corporal by the age of 14.
    Furthermore, you have to put what he says in context. The Berlin Wall came down in November 1989. There was a coup against Gorbachev in August 1991so his visit had to be between these two dates.
    He claims he met General Kirshin at a Campus Crusade meeting in LA. He invited him to a further meeting at Greenbrier Inn (Green Brier Resort West Virginia) where he led Kirshin Christ and travelled to Moscow at a later date. He references the Green Brier meeting by mentioning a World Series game between Atlanta Braves and Toronto Blue Jays. That game was in Oct 17-24 1992. General Kirshin was a delegate to the Dartmouth Conference in 1992 but this appears to have been held in Moscow between 19-24 October. This was one of six conferences held in 1992. The only one held in the USA was in Washington DC in December 1992. (https://www.kettering.org/sites/default/files/product-downloads/Dartmouth_50_Years.pdf).
    Amateur sleuths with time on their hands could further unpick the claims. (Smiley Face)

    Thank you. The Gorbachev coup is significant in this situation. I really appreciate your insight into this. Quite a few people are now on a tear to get this stuff documented before I all disappears.

  51. dee wrote:

    I now have a dilemma since I can post the emails since I am not under obligation not to do so. I am thinking…

    Why would you post them if the victim does not want them posted? Shouldn’t the victim’s request be honored?

  52. okrapod wrote:

    Betcha she already had a lawyer before she talked to you.

    Actually, I do not believe that is true. JA and I had a talk today and I was able to get my timeline in order. In March of 2016, I brought my mother in law, who was on hospice and living with me (she passed away on August 1, 2016.), to Lancaster, PA to see her nieces and nephews and to visit the graves of her relatives.

    During this time, I met at the Hampton Inn at which we were staying with a couple of people from a PA church which was undergoing a crisis. During our conversation, the topic of Ravi Z. came up. I mentioned to them that I had received a disturbing phone call in the recent past from a woman who had a run in with him. I did not mention to them the allegations.

    This time frame puts it well before the time frame the the lawyer was hired. The initial letter from the lawyer was at least 16 months later-pretty slow for any attorney. In fact, it was I who suggested she get an attorney and she seemed very afraid and reluctant to do so.

    Over time I put the phone call behind me since nothing seemed to happen. That is why I am putting the time line together now. I do remember that it was in late March and it was snowing while in Raleigh the flowers were coming out.

    Victims can sometimes be manipulated by lawyers and family members and that must always be taken into consideration.

    I believe that the lawsuit was settled in favor of the victim but I cannot offer proof of that.

  53. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Why would you post them if the victim does not want them posted? Shouldn’t the victim’s request be honored?

    I cannot explain why I believe that I might be able to do so. Assume that I always care about and think first of the victim. I promise you that is the case in this instance.

  54. In the court documents Ms Thomsons lawyer also requested from Zacharias the preservation of any documents related to any online conversations he may have had with other women.

  55. @ dee:

    I think that is significant. Thanks for the information. And yes, people can be influenced and manipulated by lawyers and family members.

  56. dee wrote:

    I believe that the lawsuit was settled in favor of the victim but I cannot offer proof of that.

    Ministry Watch came to that same conclusion.
    “The only reason we can see why Zacharias would settle this case before It went to trial and use an NDA is that the trial would bring out damaging evidence against him. If Zacharias had evidence which would prove those seeking to extort money from him were lying, it is hard to imagine he would not pursue this even if the legal costs were high. It was our sincere hope the legal process would completely exonerate Zacharias and MinistryWatch delayed sharing anything about this case for months on the hope evidence would be presented clearing Zacharias. Due to the settlement, which one can only presume was achieved by Zaharias personally paying the alleged extortionists some sum of money, it now appears clear he was likely guilty of something in this situation which would cause him significant reputational damage, above that which is already known about this case, had it become public.”
    ” RZIM has only communicated with us via e-mail and has often not answered many of the questions we have asked, claiming they could not do so because the matter was before the court. Most of those questions were also posed before the NDA was in place. As noted earlier, RZIM claimed in their e-mails that Zacharias was going to fight this extortion attempt “vigorously”, but then Zacharias settled the case before it went to trial where RZIM’s assertions of the “false claims” made against Zacharias could have been proven to indeed be false. One can reasonably conclude, therefore, the couple extorting Zacharias actually did indeed have damaging e-mails and texts from him.”
    “In MinistryWatch’s opinion, these troubling developments are significant enough to warrant making donors to RZIM aware of this situation.”

  57. I think Ravi Zacharias has a huge problem already as he’s claimed credentials he does not actually have. I would hope focusing on that deception would be sufficient.

  58. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    I think Ravi Zacharias has a huge problem already as he’s claimed credentials he does not actually have. I would hope focusing on that deception would be sufficient.

    I suspect all the Christian-Industrial powers would rather focus on the affair because that will keep attention off of all the powerful organizations that benefited from RZ’s books and speaking engagements. Many people share responsibility for allowing his false credentials to go unchallenged for so long. He did not do this in a vacuum.

  59. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    Ok, but how do you know that any of the so-called evidence is real? You have redacted emails, which would be fairly easy to make up. You have phone calls to three people, so far, but how do you know who you are talking to?

    A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    I am not seeing a whole lot of christian love here

    A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    Until RZ actually responds to these accusations, all you really have is accusations.

    I need to respond to these things.

    I know Julie Anne Smith and I know how this situation developed. Those emails are real. However, you are free to think that they are not. JA. is just blowing smoke and pulling a con job. But , is that the JA you know?

    Be sure that you are not suspending judgmenton on RZ because you have liked RZ in the past. That is exactly what TGC bfs do when it comes to CJ Mahaney. He is one their boys so he is OK. But the Scriptures that you hold to are indicative that all men are capable of great sin and RZ is no different.

    I spoke to the woman involved sometime prior to the end of 3/2016. I heard her voice. I heard her embarrassment. I heard her shakiness and could hear the tears via her sniffles.I have talked to hundreds of abused people since starting this blog and I heard the discomfort.

    Maybe I was conned by a consummate actress. This woman did not strike me as Meryl Streep in her abilities. This conversation took place approximately 16 months prior to the lawsuit. That means you believe she was conning a bunch of people for a long time prior to the lawsuit. Sorry- but that is a stretch.

    True story: I thought she was so weak when I talked to her that I thought she would never go through with making this public. I was frustrated because I believed her story and would have posted it after the phone call if she had given me permission. She didn’t and I didn’t. I was glad to see the truth finally come out. I did not know she was going to do this. I haven’t been in touch with her since 3/2016.

    Christian love involves the truth. If you choose to believe the big name guy over the no name victim, you may be guilty of not showing *love.* Truth and love go hand in hand. You are a Christian. Would it be loving not to tell people what you believe about life after death because it is hard? Is it loving to ignore sin that hurts other people in order to protect an image that you or others choose to believe about someone who you didn’t know, only read or heard?

    So, what if RZ responds and says it is not true? Then all is well, right? However, what do you think about him not saying anything about it? You do understand what is involved here, don’t you? There was a settlement with the victim. She cannot say anything. He is allowed to present what he filed prior to the settlement.

    You will not have the truth nailed down for you in a way that you know for sure that he is or is not 100% to blame. However, you rarely have that assurance in this life. Even if this had gone to trial and a verdict has been set, you may not have been satisfied unless you are one of the few people in the world who think OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony are innocent.

    Truth can be hard, Tumbleweed. But as aa Christian, you are compelled to hear clearly the story of the hurting and let down because that is who Jesus focused on. Their lives have just as much meaning as RZ. In fate in heaven, we may find out the she did ore than RZ to stand for the truth.

  60. Steve Baughman wrote:

    Zacharias is silent speaks volumes.

    There is so much wrong in RZ’s biography that I bet he doesn’t know where truth starts and stops any longer. I believe that if this continues and we find out the extent of the lying that we may be dealing with some sort of pathology.

  61. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    I think Ravi Zacharias has a huge problem already as he’s claimed credentials he does not actually have. I would hope focusing on that deception would be sufficient.

    Actually it doesnt seem so. I have been reading that its ok and quite customary for people with honorary degrees to use them as if they were legit degrees and the online consenses seems to be: ‘nothing to see here, keep walking, dont stop and stare…but do keep sending donations!’

  62. sandy c wrote:

    In the court documents Ms Thomsons lawyer also requested from Zacharias the preservation of any documents related to any online conversations he may have had with other women.

    And the lawsuit got settled and we will never see if there was anything like that. However, if RZ did this once, it is highly likely that he did it before or since.

  63. @ dee:
    The link to that page is not working? Could you also please give me a link to the Centre for Geopolitical Strategy located in Moscow? I cannot get anything to come up so I must be doing something wrong.

  64. What?
    “I am delighted that you would like to learn more about the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics.
    “Under God’s grace, we seem to have gone from strength to strength since our founding and we are looking to the future with eager anticipation. Every year that passes reinforces the need for the church to have leaders who are skilled in the art and science of commending and defending the Christian faith, and passing on those skills to their congregations.”
    “The OCCA has set out to raise up a new generation of Christian leaders, in church and society at large, who can carry on the succession of great apologists of the past and present. Who will carry on the work of C.S.Lewis? Or a Ravi Zacharias?
    It could be you – and the OCCA could help you to do it.”
    “Now, more than ever, we need business leaders, lawyers, academics and other professional laypeople who can exercise a marketplace ministry among their peers.
    Revd Professor Alister McGrath
    Founding President of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics
    Andreos Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at the University of Oxford”
    http://www.theocca.org/endorsement-alister-mcgrath

  65. @ sandy c:

    “The Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics (OCCA) is an autonomous study centre based in Oxford, England. Established in 2005, OCCA offers a range of programmes.

    The OCCA is a part of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. The primary mission of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries is to reach and challenge those who shape the ideas of a culture with the credibility of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Distinctive in its strong evangelistic and apologetic foundation, the ministry of RZIM is intended to touch both the heart and the intellect of the thinkers and influencers of society through the support of the visionary leadership of Ravi Zacharias.”

    http://www.theocca.org/occa

  66. “By coming to study at the OCCA you will:

    Receive solid biblical grounding based upon evangelical conviction
    Be taught how to face today’s challenges to Christian thought with philosophically astute academic excellence
    Apply your learning in practical evangelistic settings
    Have the opportunity to question and respond to material you encounter
    Be encouraged to take research initiative, helping to sharpen your mind
    Receive training that will shape a lifetime
    Be taught and discipled by leading theologians, apologists and scholars including Alister McGrath, John Lennox, Os Guinness, Amy Orr-Ewing and Michael Ramsden
    Be equipped to be able to speak for Christ in the public sphere

    http://www.theocca.org/occa

  67. The problem of calling himself “Dr. Z” is minor. The bigger issue is systematically failing to disclose that his doctorates are all honorary. He refused to put the word “honorary” at his web bio. Then he put it there and took it down. Now it is up. Very odd behavior. @ sandy c:

  68. Looks legitimately connected to Oxford.

    http://www.theocca.org/training-overview“The OCCA Programme is designed to be optional means of additional training for students enrolling on the Certificate in Theological Studies (CTS) at Wycliffe Hall. The CTS is a University of Oxford course taught by the award-winning faculty of Wycliffe Hall and the wider university. CTS students are full members of Wycliffe Hall and its vibrant, evangelical, worshipping community and have the full status and benefits of being University of Oxford students. The CTS provides an opening for people of all ages to receive an excellent framework for both academic theological studies and its practical outworking in Christian service. A prerequisite of acceptance to the OCCA Programme is acceptance to the CTS.”

  69. Ravi Zacharias

    Ravi Zacharias is Founder and President of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM). Zacharias has spoken all over the world for 45 years in scores of universities, notably Harvard, Dartmouth, Johns Hopkins, and Cambridge. He has addressed writers of the peace accord in South Africa and military officers at the Lenin Military Academy and the Center for Geopolitical Strategy in Moscow. At the invitation of the President of Nigeria, he addressed delegates at the First Annual Prayer Breakfast for African Leaders held in Mozambique.

    Zacharias has direct contact with key leaders, senators, congressmen, and governors who consult him on an ongoing basis. He has addressed the Florida Legislature and the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast in Texas and Louisiana, and has twice spoken at the Annual Prayer Breakfast at the United Nations in New York, which marks the beginning of the UN General Assembly each year. As the 2008 Honorary Chairman of the National Day of Prayer, he gave addresses at the White House, the Pentagon, and The Cannon House. He has had the privilege of addressing the National Prayer Breakfasts in the seats of government in Ottawa, Canada, and London, England, and speaking at the CIA in Washington, DC.

    Born in India in 1946, Zacharias immigrated to Canada with his family twenty years later. While pursuing a career in business management, his interest in theology grew; subsequently, he pursued this study during his undergraduate education. He received his Master of Divinity from Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois. Well-versed in the disciplines of comparative religions, cults, and philosophy, he held the chair of Evangelism and Contemporary Thought at Alliance Theological Seminary for three and a half years. Zacharias has been a visiting scholar at Ridley Hall, Cambridge (then affiliated with Cambridge University, now more recently allied with Cambridge and affiliated with Durham University) where he studied moralist philosophers and literature of the Romantic era. He has been conferred ten honorary doctorates, including a Doctor of Laws and a Doctor of Sacred Theology.”

    *I am recently recovering from a head injury which required 7 day a week care giver, honestly, and i cant totally remember copyrite laws (or correct spelling) please dont feel necessity to remind me 🙂

  70. dee wrote:

    And the lawsuit got settled and we will never see if there was anything like that. However, if RZ did this once, it is highly likely that he did it before or since.

    THIS! This is my whole concern! People may think i am overjoyed to see this man fall but honestly i dont “follow” christian famous people and it wouldnt bother me a bit if Ravi Zacharias went on the rest of his life teaching online, on radio, or writing books, EXCEPT if he is another powerful authority figure in american religious circles that is leaving a pile of abused women behind while he does it. If that is the case then I will rejoice loudly that a man is no longer able to do that under the guise of ‘preaching the gospel’ i am currently looking into his school which he advertises often and probably makes a fortune off of. Guess what- i havent found anything amiss and i am posting that also! The old tired line of ‘dont look into abuse’ because the devil is using you just doesnt cut it. If its of God it will stand the test. Jesus had no issues with people doing a background check on Himself, He had nothing to hide and was open about it.

  71. @ Steve Baughman:
    I honestly dont speak christianese…could you explain to me what a Master of Divinity is? Is that a doctorate level, and is the Trinity school an accredited school? I am asking because in reading up on Biblical Counseling Movement it seems some guy started his own ‘university’ hired some educaters that had no degrees, enrolled in some of their classes and got a degree!!! Sheeesh!

    Ravi’s creds say this:
    “He received his Master of Divinity from Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois. “

  72. Hi Sandy. A master of divinity is a professional degree, but depending on the school it can be fairly rigorous with some academic classes in there. Ravi got one at Trinity. I am told that the Trinity program is quite demanding. But the issue is that Mr. Zacharias has referred to himself as a doctor for so many decades and has failed routinely to disclose that he only has an honorary doctorates. This has nothing to do with the master of divinity. @ sandy c:

  73. @ sandy c:
    Looks like they still have some erasing to do…. if you go to RZIM web page, and look up the “International Board of Directors”, they list a “Dr. Ravi Zacharais”. I wonder if he has a twin? If not, i bet the “Dr” disappears quick…lets see how long it takes!

  74. Dee. Scary stuff. My new video “the case against Ravi Zacharias” as disappeared from YouTube search Fields.

    It cannot be found although it still exists at my channel.

    This is the second time my Ravi videos have been messed with. Very scary that someone can suppress videos they don’t like.

    Please help get this word out. It looks like a Ravi and/or his people are willing to fight very dirty.

  75. Dee. This is scary stuff. My new video “the case against Ravi Zacharias” as disappeared from YouTube search Fields.

    It cannot be found although it still exists at my channel.

    This is the second time my Ravi videos have been messed with. Very scary that someone can suppress videos they don’t like.

    Please help get this word out. It looks like a Ravi and/or his people are willing to fight very dirty.

  76. sandy c wrote:

    Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    I think Ravi Zacharias has a huge problem already as he’s claimed credentials he does not actually have. I would hope focusing on that deception would be sufficient.

    Actually it doesnt seem so. I have been reading that its ok and quite customary for people with honorary degrees to use them as if they were legit degrees and the online consenses seems to be: ‘nothing to see here, keep walking, dont stop and stare…but do keep sending donations!’

    Uh, no, it may be ok in Evangelical circles, but I can tell you that outside the bubble, using degrees you have not actually earned will get you canned from your job. It’s wrong for people who do not have an earned doctorate to be called “Dr.” And I know people who hold PhDs who don’t want to be called “Dr.” They would prefer to be called “Professor” or, in the case of one of my friends, by his first name.

  77. There is definitely something funky going on with Steve’s YouTube account. I’m asking my cyber security friends about this. It’s certainly a way to silence Steve. I don’t like this one bit.

  78. Does anyone have a link to the actual emails?

    How do we know the case was settled? Is that confirmed?

  79. Julie Anne

    How do you guys reconcile, or maybe a better word “understand” the $5 million dollars the lawyer tried to get from Ravi?
    http://www.raviwatch.com/public/assets/9-1.pdf

    I’ve read the personal emails that are no longer available. They show emotion on both sides, but there’s not clarity that both sides agree what the emotion is based on. It’s hard to see those emails and then look at the $5 million demand and reconcile it. They don’t seem to fit together.

    It’s also difficult to understand this:
    http://www.intelligencer.ca/2008/10/07/man-claims-1-million-in-damages

    And this:
    http://mail.maranatha-church.com/oldconcerned/timeline.html

    Which show the couple were involved in suing previous Christian leadership. They have very unfortunately been hurt by Christian leadership, and have felt the need to sue that leadership on multiple occasions…..or this is something else entirely.

    The only thing we know for sure, Ravi, and the Thompsons, are loved by God, created by Him to serve Him, and we should pray that there would be repentance, healing, and forgiveness experienced by them all.

  80. dee wrote:

    @ dee:
    The link to that page is not working? Could you also please give me a link to the Centre for Geopolitical Strategy located in Moscow? I cannot get anything to come up so I must be doing something wrong.

    Jerome posted these links on 30th November in first article posted.

    Center for Geopolitical and Military Forecasting/Centre for Geopolitical and Military Prognosis:
    https://www.google.com/search?biw=1280&bih=297&tbm=bks&ei=MYsgWqTULpjOjwPSwaigCQ&q=Center+for+Geopolitical+and+Military+Forecasting
    https://www.google.com/search?biw=1280&bih=694&tbm=bks&ei=FosgWt-XFIqh0wL3pIkw&q=Centre+for+Geopolitical+and+Military+Prognosis

  81. If i enter “the case against ravi zacharias youtube in my browser search engine it goes right to it”.

    If i youtube search i get a youtube page with steves channel where i assume has all his vids, along with alot of ravi zacharias’s vids and some other vids of other people questioning points Ravi has made. Even if i spell atheist wrong, which i did. Lol

  82. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    Uh, no, it may be ok in Evangelical circles, but I can tell you that outside the bubble, using degrees you have not actually earned will get you canned from your job. It’s wrong for people who do not have an earned doctorate to be called “Dr.” And I know people who hold PhDs who don’t want to be called “Dr.” They would prefer to be called “Professor” or, in the case of one of my friends, by his first name.

    My comment wasnt agreeing with online consensus, i agree with your comment actually and think that christians should have the humility as you described at a minimum since they are claiming to follow Jesus.

    I was gauging the responses online to see if the christian community thought that Ravi should have some consequenses for using the Dr title and i saw none thinking he should. Mostly just media/peers explaining that its actually not that uncommon, ‘lots of people do it’

    When it came to his alleged online affair however, people were commenting that if true he should be asked to step down but that there wasnt sufficient evidence and the possibility he was being extorted.
    Also the Ravi story hasnt gotten alot of press so what i saw was just comments from a few places with christian views that actually covered it.

  83. @ sandy c:

    Good morning Sandy. About this use of the title ‘Dr’ in the case of an earned MDiv, if in fact as has been said he has that from an accredited seminary? I certainly agree that professional degrees are not the same as PhDs and I agree that some are more rigorous than others. That said, I am not aware of any actual rule about the MDiv, and apparently who can use the title Dr is determined by custom.

    Do you have any authoritative source about the customary practice concerning professional degrees that are ‘D’ something or other. I really do not do research worth even mentioning, but you seem to be good at it. In my family the lawyers have the JD degree but do not call themselves Dr. I have an MD and insisted on Dr on the job but off the job I could care less what people called me. Our rector has an earned MDiv from an accredited denominational seminary but we still just call him ‘father’. And in the school system where one of my younguns works the people who have doctorates in education are called Dr.

    So usage seems to be all over the place and is based on whatever is common practice as well as what is individual preference in the area of professional degrees with the magic ‘D’ in them. Am I correct about that or are there official rules about this?

    I am asking specifically and only about professional degrees earned from accredited institutions of higher education.

    Thanks in advance. I know that research takes time, and if you are busy right now I understand. But since the issue has been raised I think this information is needed.

  84. @ okrapod:
    Good morning, Doctor Okrapod.
    I’m thinking if his fans want to call him Doctor there’s no stopping them now. But maybe the bigger issue, as Steve has mentioned, is the fabricated history at Oxford, Cambridge etc, with very clever wording calculated to deceive.
    As for the sex scandal, I’ve found myself in agreement with much you have said.

  85. Now more of Ravi’s followers are starting to ask questions and some are asking when he will respond on the post RZIM posted earlier saying he was traveling and would respond later. Also it seems that some of the comments are being erased because when someone comments and facebook shows 3 replies to the comment there are actually none showing. Could be my phone. Will be interesting to see if Rzim does post a Ravi response.

    https://m.facebook.com/?stype=lo&jlou=AfccGuVT9EH6lNT7NCWLrUnUuPjpQeOqJIx0BMJKqTn72P3S0rFjz0vqrY4QrFMZbKvRZY4nbQ2sDVfbuqu4oelyD8KNPdhKbYlsJkJuHGZlxQ&smuh=5596&lh=Ac919awLHWlo2BV6&_rdr#!/story.php?story_fbid=10155448937921284&id=35947206283

  86. okrapod wrote:

    Do you have any authoritative source about the customary practice concerning professional degrees that are ‘D’ something or other.

    I dont actually and thats why i posed that question to Steve B. I am not sure but I believe Trinity, the school that Ravi attended is an actual accredited university and he did get a valid degree there. Its been my understanding (not confirmed) that many pastors (ie methodist that i have personallly met frequently) do use the term Dr often. Dr of Divinity has always been the doctorate unless otherwise specified.
    I wasnt aware that some used an honorary degree and used the term Dr until i heard online that it was common practice. Every pastor/reverand i have ever met that used the title Dr would happily explain what his doctorate was in and what university he got it at.
    I did a brief newspaper column several years ago interviewing pastors from different churches for a small town newspaper.
    If i run into any place online where i can find actual facts as you mentioned i sure will see, because i think it would clear up alot.

  87. okrapod wrote:

    , if in fact as has been said he has that from an accredited seminary?

    I know my response is lenghty but in fairness i have made lenghty posts questioning the validity of accredations of pastors/christians.
    I wanted to see if it was an accredited university first:

    “Trinity International University (TIU) is an evangelical Christian liberal arts institution of higher education headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, United States.[3] It comprises an undergraduate college, a graduate school, a theological seminary (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School), a law school, and a camp called Timber-lee —together with about 2,700 students.[2] Trinity Law School is located in Santa Ana, California; the university also maintains campuses in Florida and Dolton, Illinois ; the camp is located in East Troy, Wisconsin. TIU is operated by the Evangelical Free Church of America”
    TIU’s undergraduate college, its graduate school, its divinity school, and its law school are all accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA-HLC),[12][13] one of the six US Department of Education (USDE) and the USDE-sanctioned Council for Higher Education (CHEA) approved regional accreditors in the United States. Its divinity school is further accredited by the USDE- and CHEA-approved Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS).[14]”
    TIU’s law school, located in Santa Ana, California, is accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners (CBE) of the State Bar of California (CALBAR).[16] The normative nationwide USDE- and CHEA-approved accreditor of law schools is the American Bar Association (ABA). Within the state of California, though, law schools accredited by CALBAR CBE, which is neither USDE- or CHEA-approved, are often considered to be as credible as those accredited by the ABA. However, outside of California, a CALBAR CBE approved law school is treated with less respect than an ABA approved law school.[17] TIU’s Trinity Law School (Santa Ana campus only) is also included as part of TIU’s regional accreditation by the USDE- and CHEA-approved NCA-HLC.[12]

    TIU is one of around 3,000 institutional members of CHEA,[18] one of the two entities (along with USDE) that approves two of its accreditors.

    The organizations of which TIU is also a member include the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU),[19] the Christian College Consortium (CCC), and the Christian Adult Higher Education Association (CAHEA).[20]”

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_International_University

  88. sandy c wrote:

    Could be my phone. Will be interesting to see if Rzim does post a Ravi response.

    ‘We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your telephone set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to – The Outer Limits.’
    I was just looking at the same thing. What’s really funny is where a fan’s replies to a critic are still there, like “Jack, you’re a monkey’s uncle” but Jack’s comment has been erased.

  89. Stephen wrote:

    Does anyone have a link to the actual emails?

    I took screen shots and am deciding what to do. Yes, it is confirmed that the lawsuit was settled.

  90. @ sandy c:
    have requested a response on a couple of items from his PR guy-Mark DeMoss. No response and I doubt there will be. There is a real problem with RZ’s bio.

  91. ? Is it customary to use the title Dr of Divinity
    Wikipedia

    (Photo)
    Aquatint of a Doctor of Divinity at the University of Oxford, in the scarlet and black academic robes corresponding to his position. (The Doctor appears here in his Convocation habit, rather than his full ceremonial dress.) From Rudolph Ackermann’s History of Oxford, 1814.

    Doctor of Divinity (D.D. or D.Div.; Latin: Doctor Divinitatis) is an advanced or honorary academic degree in divinity.”

    “In the United Kingdom, the degree is a higher doctorate conferred by universities upon a religious scholar of standing and distinction for accomplishments beyond the Ph.D. level.”
    Typically, the candidate will submit a collection of work which has been previously published in a peer-reviewed context and pay an examination fee.[2] The university then assembles a committee of academics both internal and external who review the work submitted and decide on whether the candidate deserves the doctorate based on the submission. Most universities restrict candidacy to graduates or academic staff of several years’ standing.”

    In the United States, the degree is generally conferred honoris causa by a church-related college, seminary, or university to recognize the recipient’s ministry-orientated accomplishments.[3] For example, Martin Luther King (who received a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Boston University in 1955) subsequently received honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees from the Chicago Theological Seminary (1957), Boston University (1959), Wesleyan College (1964), and Springfield College (1964).[4] Billy Graham (who has received honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees from The King’s College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is regularly addressed as “Dr. Graham,” though his highest earned degree is a B.A. in anthropology from Wheaton College.[5][6]

    Under federal law, a 1974 judgement accepted expert opinion that an “Honorary Doctor of Divinity is a strictly religious title with no academic standing. Such titles may be issued by bona fide churches and religious denominations, such as plaintiff (Universal Life Church), so long as their issuance is limited to a course of instruction in the principles of the church or religious denomination”.[7] However, under the California Education Code, “an institution owned, controlled, and operated and maintained by a religious organization lawfully operating as a nonprofit religious corporation pursuant to Part 4 (commencing with Section 9110) of Division 2 of Title 1 of the Corporations Code” that offers “instruction… limited to the principles of that religious organization, or to courses offered pursuant to Section 2789 of Business and Professions Code” may confer “degrees and diplomas only in the beliefs and practices of the church, religious denomination, or religious organization” so long as “the diploma or degree is limited to evidence of completion of that education”; institutions “shall not award degrees in any area of physical science”, while “any degree or diploma granted under this subdivision shall contain on its face… a reference to the theological or religious aspect of the degree’s subject area… a degree awarded under this subdivision shall reflect the nature of the degree title, such as ‘associate of religious studies,’ ‘bachelor of religious studies,’ ‘master of divinity,’ or ‘doctor of divinity.'”[8]”

  92. Dave A A wrote:

    What’s really funny is where a fan’s replies to a critic are still there, like “Jack, you’re a monkey’s uncle” but Jack’s comment has been erased.

    Nothing to see here, Move along.

    It would be a snap to resolve this in one quick statement. if it isn’t true, they could do something like this. “You idiots. Here is the proof of his doctorates, etc. Yes, he had communication with that woman but “No, they weren’t R. rated. Here’s proof. Now shut up and get busy bringing the truth of Christ to the world.”

  93. If only RZM would actually respond to the situation. It is now over a week after Thanksgiving and he should respond in depth. Also, are his friends involved in cleaning up his bio?

  94. RZ’s bio changed again. Go to the latest version at RZIM…… He does not list any degrees or associations now….. how odd….

  95. Steve Baughman wrote:

    Dee. This is scary stuff. My new video “the case against Ravi Zacharias” as disappeared from YouTube search Fields.

    I wish I knew something about how this all works. I am a technopeasant. It looks like JA is looking into this

  96. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    RZ’s bio changed again. Go to the latest version at RZIM…… He does not list any degrees or associations now….. how odd….

    Good night! Are you taking screen shots?

  97. Pretty good article on Dr of Divinity vs PH.d :

    http://education.seattlepi.com/differences-between-divinity-phd-dd-3431.html

    “Students of theology, divinity and religion are often unsure about the differences between a Ph.D. in divinity and the Doctor of Divinity degree. At first glance, the two seem to be identical. A deeper overview of the respective degrees reveals, however, that a Ph.D. and a D.D. are substantially different and are awarded to very different groups of people. Significantly, the Ph.D. is an earned degree, while the D.D. is strictly honorary.
    Admission to a Ph.D. in divinity is rigorous and competitive, while admission to a D.D. program is usually nonexistent, since the degree is purely honorary. The Ph.D. in divinity is an academic degree and, as such, the credentials for admission have more to do with academic than religious achievements. Typically, a Ph.D. in divinity is found in an institution’s religion department, as is the case at Duke University, for example. Admissions is assessed based on normal academic credentials, such as GRE scores, GPA and evidence of scholarly research. A committee thinking about awarding a D.D., on the other hand, considers a clergy person’s religious achievements over a lifetime, including seminarian accomplishments and ability to inspire the faithful…….”

  98. dee wrote:

    Stephen wrote:

    Does anyone have a link to the actual emails?

    I took screen shots and am deciding what to do. Yes, it is confirmed that the lawsuit was settled.

    @athiest steve
    I just saw them on steves story on gentlemans….

  99. Dave A A wrote:

    We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your telephone set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to – The Outer Limits.’
    I was just looking at the same thing. What’s really funny is where a fan’s replies to a critic are still there, like “Jack, you’re a monkey’s uncle” but Jack’s comment has been erased.

    Hahaha- i needed that laugh! Thanks!

  100. dee wrote:

    I took screen shots and am deciding what to do. Yes, it is confirmed that the lawsuit was settled.

    I am soooo not a lawyer, but I was involved in a lawsuit once way back when.

    Somebody sued the hospital and named everybody in sight. The case was settled in chambers right after opening arguments, and we were told that the reason was that the judge did not think it was worth the time and expense of a trial, so he brought pressure (so we were told) to settle. We do know that the hospital paid some monies, but I was led to believe that not all of us named in the suit were part of the monies paid. Either way, we were all forbidden to discuss it thereafter-not any way and no how. I do also know that they told us that the lawyers for all the different insurance companies involved agreed to everything-that means all parties agreed, even I who was never even informed of the details.

    If this is how it works, and if that is the case in this legal action, then both parties through their attorneys have agreed to drop it in so far as the case went. If that is the case, would it be honorable for you or anybody to proceed knowing that the parties had agreed otherwise?

    The attorneys here can shed some light on this from a legal standpoint as in what would the principals in this case most likely want you to do under the circumstances. Those here who have a lot more spiritual insight than I have can shed some light on it from the viewpoint of what would be wise to do. But I have a serious case of the doubts as to what now.

  101. dee wrote:

    have requested a response on a couple of items from his PR guy-Mark DeMoss. No response and I doubt there will be. There is a real problem with RZ’s bio.

    Maybe i am tired but why do i remember the name Mark DeMoss as scary or rediculous? Driscoll days??

  102. dee wrote:

    If only RZM would actually respond to the situation. It is now over a week after Thanksgiving and he should respond in depth. Also, are his friends involved in cleaning up his bio?

    He has so many websites and facebook pages that it takes awhile to clean up first before his statement i think. There is a page for RZIM, one for Rzim school, one with links for summerschool, one for inernational, two in Facebook under “Ravi Zacharias” both his …..

  103. @ okrapod:
    I am thinking that as a Dr the things i posted will make more sense to you than me. But i have no reason to think that Ravi Zacharias doesnt have a masters of divinity, except for comments and the fact that he did erase the title Dr from most online references about himself. Maybe he only has a honorary degree but even so as my link explained many Reverends have done that including Dr Billy Graham. I dont know how others view this but i certainly dont see it as rising to ‘illegal or immoral’ but i could be wrong. And i cant really personally call it deceitful because in my experience it has been a well known customary practice for decades in the US. My interviews years ago showed me that some of the pastors used honorary degree and some had actual earned degrees and if asked they would explain. If i found out a Physician was doing this it would be a whole different issue in my opinion.

  104. sandy c wrote:

    Maybe he only has a honorary degree but even so as my link explained many Reverends have done that including Dr Billy Graham.

    It is Christianese baloney. Billy Graham is part of the told order of not questioning things. However, Franklin tried it a few years ago. He has only an undergraduate degree from Appalachian State University. He was forced to drop it.

  105. Just to explain my thinking in this sort of maybe misrepresenting someones professional credentials-
    a) a huge amount of americans already disregard christian doctorates and titles because as i found when i was looking online for what Dr of Div meant i found tons of ‘free d of d degree!’ web links, and almost anyone can get a pastor of whatever church online in 5 minutes.
    b) i look at importance of issues based on the degree of injury and the vulnerability of those harmed. If Rivi is defrauding people, he is defrauding highly intelligent people that apparently can afford his expensive seminars and that should have checked his creds themselves. Benny Hinn on the other hand is frauding thousands of elderly poor and vulnerable people out of their life savings by promising them his annointed hankerchiefs will keep them from dying of whatever they are dying of.
    c) If Ravi Zacharias, because of his powerful stature as a revered minister is taking advantage of vulnerable women by convincing them to have internet sex with him, he needs to be exposed and go.
    Just my opinion.

  106. dee wrote:

    RZIM had a business leaders conference this weekend.

    http://rzim.org/business-leaders-conference/

    It is all abut integrity. “Why does integrity matter in business? How do I build a values-based culture in a secular workplace? “

    He’s gonna start getting hecklers soon if his facebook comments are any indication! And also i wouldnt be surprised if media starts going in and interrupting wich inconvenient questions lol I noticed Roy Moore’s atty advised him to just not talk about it and Roys been pretty much doing that. Wonder if Rivi’s atty told him same thing? Ignore it until it blows over? We shall see…

  107. dee wrote:

    However, Franklin tried it a few years ago. He has only an undergraduate degree from Appalachian State University. He was forced to drop it.

    Hehe no one will let Franklin get away with anything! I thought he dropped out of high school! He is no Billy Graham! Anne Graham Lotz has preached just like Billy before but….she’s a girl so nevermind.. Hehe christian crack ups!

  108. @ dee:
    Hey Dee i’m not implying that you shouldnt pursue this. I am just coming from a whole different world here. I once went to country club dinners and expensive churches. in the last 17 i have lived in neighborhoods where the median monthly income was $750-$900. My credentials arent how many shipwrecks but how many drive by shootings i have survived by the grace of God. I will cheer you on, i see you are doing what you are called to do, even though i am calloused sometimes when it involves rich guys with big churches that live in mansions…Go Girl!

  109. @ sandy c:
    But, in the past RZ was presented at para-church invited conference at Universities and the organizers would really play up the “degrees” and “big name” university associations of RZ and others. This is pure deciet/deception, and when the “seekers” find out, they can be disgusted with Christainty…. so this is a “big deal”….
    Years ago i saw through (and got burned a few time) this deciet and and hidden agendas of “campus Ministries” and will only associate with them if I control the agenda… i do not trust them otherwise.
    The real stinker is the way they can make you feel like a “bad christain” for not playing by these “campus ministry” rules…. my life experinces, and gray hair, gives me the strength and confidence call out the BS of these groups now…. i wish I had more of it when I was 21!

  110. Steve wrote:

    At 17 and 71 Ravi “used” suicide. He might need a real DOCTOR.

    I could not helo but notice similarities between the deleted email from Mr T and the email from the cuckolded husband of one of the late Mr Campbell’s ladyfriends over in Scotland. And that each spiritual leader was at a loss for words to explain why he did it.

  111. sandy c wrote:

    Nothing to see here, Move along.
    It would be a snap to resolve this in one quick statement.

    But his team has already resolved it with their statement of 11/27. The assertions are false, our team is grieved, the claims are egregious, the slander is destructive, Ravi is traveling, we ate too much turkey, your comments are vanishing, and we’ll respond in greater detail when we’re darn good and ready.

  112. What an awful situation. I have not particularly been a fan of RZ in recent years due to the questions of honesty with his credentials and the lack of discernment with some of the leaders he has associated with. Nevertheless, I am praying for him and RZIM. May God do His will. I would like to address a comment Steve Baughman made regarding the scandal showing the blood of Christ is not efficacious (or some similar words). He may not be interested in this theological point, being an atheist, but I think it is important. Christ’s blood IS efficacious for sin. The issue is, will the sinner repent? 1 John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

  113. @ dee:
    My prior comment actually quoted Dee.
    I some prior comment I believe Dee used the term “victim”. In this case I’m more inclined to speak of “victims” plural, which includes Mrs Z and Mr T. I’m looking now at the email exchange between Mr T and Mr Z, in which Mr T is trying to be a good and forgiving christian, but wonders WHY!? Mr Z promised him an answer later that day. So do you or JA know whether that answer ever came, or was it like the forthcoming “answer” from the “team”?

  114. Marie wrote:

    Christ’s blood IS efficacious for sin. The issue is, will the sinner repent? 1 John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

    Amen! Scripture is full of “If” – “Then” conditions. Contrary to Calvinist belief and practice, believers have to ‘do’ something in their walk of faith. To activate the “Then Will I” of God (2 Chronicles 7:14), His people must humble themselves, pray, seek His face and repent.

  115. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    But, in the past RZ was presented at para-church invited conference at Universities and the organizers would really play up the “degrees” and “big name” university associations of RZ and others.

    I get your anger. If i had 10 honorary degrees i might also play that up.

    No one is mad at Sir Elton John because he didnt actually ride a horse and fight Sir Galihad to get Knighted.

  116. @ Steve:
    I am kind of wondering what your motives are that you would spend over 2 years trying to make the world see his suicide and use of ‘honorary’ degrees as he had.

  117. Why do you think that the victim agreed to settle this case with a non-disclosure? Did she realize that her story would be silenced, even doubted, because of the scarcity of email/phone documentation that could be examined?

    Julie Ann ~ Can you give us an idea about how much documentation/evidence you saw? Were there dozens of emails, or only those that you previously posted?

    Thanks for helping me sort through all of this!

  118. In light of the statements released by Ravi Zacharies and RZIM I just read, I am satisfied with their explanation and consider this whole saga a non issue. Given the history of the couple, they seem bent on extortion. The statements are available on Christianity Today, and should be published here. There is a lot of shame to go around, including here and other blogs.

  119. sandy c wrote:

    @ Steve:
    I am kind of wondering what your motives are that you would spend over 2 years trying to make the world see his suicide and use of ‘honorary’ degrees as he had.

    Sorry ‘steve’ i just realized there is drsteve, steve and @stevebaughman which is where i meant this to go.

  120. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    In light of the statements released by Ravi Zacharies and RZIM I just read, I am satisfied with their explanation and consider this whole saga a non issue. Given the history of the couple, they seem bent on extortion. The statements are available on Christianity Today, and should be published here. There is a lot of shame to go around, including here and other blogs.

    I looked into the prior “extortion” issue, and it doesn’t look at all like extortion. There was a situation in the church where people invested and lost money, including the pastor and the man who sued the pastor. It looks like a situation where hurting person felt betrayed and taken advantage.

    I am shocked that Ravi’s lawyered statement was constructed to make them look like Gold Diggers. Sorry it smells worse from up here.

  121. DrMike wrote:

    I am shocked that Ravi’s lawyered statement was constructed to make them look like Gold Diggers. Sorry it smells worse from up here.

    I spoke to the victim in March 2016. She sounded like a hurting woman who was afraid to tell her husband about what happened. I was willing to write a post about it but she asked me to keep the conversation confidential. I advised her to get an attorney. It looks to me it took er about 16 months to do so.

    I believe her story and plan to post Ravi’s suicide email tomorrow since it appears he is deciding to pretend there is nothing to see when we now know his bio is baloney.

  122. DrMike wrote:

    I am shocked that Ravi’s lawyered statement was constructed to make them look like Gold Diggers. Sorry it smells worse from up here.

    Glad you looked into that i didnt but also thought ‘extortioners’ was not accurate. Also that Ravi tried to make it into a rackateering conspiracy. And also that he demanded a jury trial because she was the only one that would have been shamed with nude photos. I probably would have taken his $ and settled just to avoid the possibility of photos being leaked online. And that he dropped his case.
    Those are reasons i think Ms Thomson has credibility.

  123. @ dee:
    dee wrote:

    DrMike wrote:

    I spoke to the victim in March 2016. She sounded like a hurting woman who was afraid to tell her husband about what happened. I was willing to write a post about it but she asked me to keep the conversation confidential. I advised her to get an attorney. It looks to me it took er about 16 months to do so.

    I believe her story and plan to post Ravi’s suicide email tomorrow since it appears he is deciding to pretend there is nothing to see when we now know his bio is baloney.

    For those of us who are not regulars on this blog, or Julie Ann’s blog, or any blog that spends time bringing light to things like this…I ask this, why would the alleged victim contact you bloggers, or you Dr. Mike about her story?

    1. why does she even know you exist?
    2. why would she trust you with this information ?
    3. what did she accomplish or think she would accomplish by sharing this with Christian bloggers back in 2016 ?

    I just don’t understand that, and I don’t understand the $5 million dollar demand letter from her and her husband to Ravi.

  124. You attempted to pull up what you thought was tares, and instead you were tugging on the wheat.

    Exodus 23:1
    Do not spread false reports. Do not help a guilty person by being a malicious witness.

    Exodus 23:7
    Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty.

  125. You owe him a formal apology on the internet, on any page in which you discussed this case as if he was guilty.

    An apology that will live on in perpetuity on the same webpages in which your accusations will live on in perpetuity.

  126. @ Stephen:

    Welcome Stephen. You seem to be upset. You also seem to believe Ravi without question. You are also making quite a few demands.

  127. @ Stephen:
    Did you skip the part in the court filings where Ms Thomson said she was going to confess her sin to her husband and Zacharias threatened to end his life if she did, at which point Ms Thomson contacted her counselor, who then contacted him to make sure he didnt do that, (the 3rd party which was a witness indicated in the legal letter sent by her lawyer to Zacharias) which he has never denied? And that after that Mr Zacharias dropped his ‘RICO’ suit against her and paid them some money to not talk about it?

  128. dee wrote:

    JA. is just blowing smoke and pulling a con job. But , is that the JA you know?

    You know what kind of smoke they’ve got blowin’ in my state, doncha, Dee?

  129. @ sandy c:

    Can you post a link to the court filings you’re talking about and reference what page shows this information? Or are you adding together the unverified emails that have been posted on some blogs + the legal letter from the husband/wife’s lawyer?

    How do you know he paid money to this couple? Do you have a link to verified information on that?

  130. dee wrote:

    This case boils down to another *he said/she said.* I spoke to the *she* of this equation at some point just prior to March 2016.

    Dee, you are off by one year. I just looked through my notes. She wasn’t calling anyone in Mar. 2016, as she was in the midst of the relationship with RZ and didn’t know what was hitting her. I also found an e-mail from her where she mentioned talking to you and I think it was Feb 2017. That makes sense because my first phone call with her was also Feb 2017. My first e-mail with her was Jan, after 2 people referred her to me. I think it’s important to note that she contacted both of us (and I have the email to prove it), because this shows a victim reaching out for support. You and I both connected with her.

  131. @ Julie Anne:

    Why would she reach out to Christian bloggers? I say this sincerely, I feel like I’m missing something in that that is obvious to you. What does sharing this with bloggers have to do with finding healing if one was taken advantage of?

  132. @ Stephen:
    I have already previously posted all of that and no i wasnt referencing unverified emails that were up and now taken down. I think you should take your own advice and read your own comments on attacking people character, like mine for instance.

  133. @ Stephen:
    Ministry watch reported on that and said they felt it significant enough to warn donors. Ministry Watch is not affiliated with bloggers or athiests or commenters online, i posted their info on the Thompsons and Zacharias issue days ago because they are a highly regarded ministry known for fairness.

  134. Julie Anne wrote:

    I also found an e-mail from her where she mentioned talking to you and I think it was Feb 2017. That makes sense because my first phone call with her was also Feb 2017. My first e-mail with her was Jan, after 2 people referred her to me. I think it’s important to note that she contacted both of us (and I have the email to prove it), because this shows a victim reaching out for support. You and I both connected with her.

    And i think its important to note that all of this occured before she contacted a lawyer. It truly seems that she took Dees advice and got one, and i think that was very wise because Zacharias had FOUR lawyers representing him! (That info from the christian post article link above that stephen posted)

  135. Stephen wrote:

    Why would she reach out to Christian bloggers? I say this sincerely, I feel like I’m missing something in that that is obvious to you. What does sharing this with bloggers have to do with finding healing if one was taken advantage of?

    Gosh Stephen ^this is your comment responding to Julie Anne’s comment that said this: “”””My first e-mail with her was Jan, after 2 people referred her to me.”””””””

  136. Can anyone help me with the question I posted on Sunday night? Why would she take a settlement?

  137. Here is my original question:

    Why do you think that the victim agreed to settle this case with a non-disclosure? Did she realize that her story would be silenced, even doubted, because of the scarcity of email/phone documentation that could be examined?

  138. sandy c wrote:

    @ sandy c:

    At first glance it looks like an actual University of Oxford program. someone else probably knows more about this than me and could explain.
    ” Meet the team”
    http://www.theocca.org/team

    I’m pretty sure it’s nothing to do with Oxford University. The website mentions studying in the same town as the famous Oxford University, but describes itself like this:
    “The Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics (OCCA) is an autonomous study centre based in Oxford, England.”

    Autonomous says to me that it’s nothing to do with the university, which doesn’t surprise me. Universities generally don’t support the kind of distinctly religious-focused training that this kind of apologetics organisation is trying to do. The type of courses offered there are frequently not rigorous or broad enough to meet accreditation criteria.

  139. Stephen wrote:

    You attempted to pull up what you thought was tares, and instead you were tugging on the wheat.

    There is no Biblical justification for pulling up tares anyway. Jesus said, in effect, to let them alone until the harvest. Many believe that it is their job to expose so called false christians. It leads to all kinds of problems, many of which are manifest here. I’m still waiting for the bloggers to post biblical justification for their past actions, and their planned actions regarding the release of private communication in a case that was under a non-disclosure agreement. But that’s not the least of their sins in this matter. Sad.

  140. @ mot comment dated Fri Dec 01, 2017 at 10:12 AM

    “Please tells you are joking?”

    No, mot, I was not and am not joking. A trap was laid and these people fell into it. And behind this sort of thing is exactly who I said it was.

    The article in Christianity Today includes the RZ and RZIM admission of carelessness in the area of the use of and perhaps allowance of the use of the title Dr. in an inappropriate manner and an intention to remedy that situation. RZ admits carelessness in internet use in this situation, and he apparently intends to remedy that. He says that he accepts responsibility for his own behavior.

    The article also includes information about the couple and about the results of the legal action, to the extent that can be said.

    This is over. Over. Everybody can pack up their biases, in whichever direction said biases lie, and go home. And we can all look to ourselves and identify our own unguarded areas lest we ourselves fall into some sort of so far unidentified trap of one sort or the other.

  141. okrapod wrote:

    @ mot comment dated Fri Dec 01, 2017 at 10:12 AM

    “Please tells you are joking?”

    No, mot, I was not and am not joking. A trap was laid and these people fell into it. And behind this sort of thing is exactly who I said it was.

    The article in Christianity Today includes the RZ and RZIM admission of carelessness in the area of the use of and perhaps allowance of the use of the title Dr. in an inappropriate manner and an intention to remedy that situation. RZ admits carelessness in internet use in this situation, and he apparently intends to remedy that. He says that he accepts responsibility for his own behavior.

    The article also includes information about the couple and about the results of the legal action, to the extent that can be said.

    This is over. Over. Everybody can pack up their biases, in whichever direction said biases lie, and go home. And we can all look to ourselves and identify our own unguarded areas lest we ourselves fall into some sort of so far unidentified trap of one sort or the other.

    Sure seems to me you are giving Ravi a big pass, and you can say it is over, but it is not.

  142. mot wrote:

    Sure seems to me you are giving Ravi a big pass, and you can say it is over, but it is not.

    I am giving them both a pass in accepting what they have said and not said and accepting the legal resolution of the issue. If you choose to pursue it, then that is your choice. I do not believe that we are called to do this sort of thing.

  143. okrapod wrote:

    mot wrote:

    Sure seems to me you are giving Ravi a big pass, and you can say it is over, but it is not.

    I am giving them both a pass in accepting what they have said and not said and accepting the legal resolution of the issue. If you choose to pursue it, then that is your choice. I do not believe that we are called to do this sort of thing.

    I did not say I would pursue it.

  144. You’re assuming he paid off these people based upon anothers website’s conjecture on the situation?

    MinistryWatch said “On November 9th, however, the case was settled without going before a judge and/or jury and therefore, we may now never get answers to the questions that naturally arise from that which we do know at this point. As part of the settlement, all parties to the suit are governed by a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) which means none of the parties to the case can comment on any aspect of it to the public. ”

    I must be missing something, but Ravi sued them….not the other way around. Any settlement in a legal case where you are suing someone else for extortion would not end in you paying them money.

    Bottom line is this entire method of the way you on this website presented this information, including completely unverified information, as if it was true, and judged and sentenced someone without that information is wrong and has nothing to do in any way shape or form with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    As Mr. Tumbleweed said, we are not even called to pull up the tares, lest we pull up the wheat at the same time. You’ve got an entire crew of tare pullers here, and you know what you’re doing? You’re pulling up the wheat with it. Maybe you should consider that.

    This is not edifying for anyone’s sake, this is not saving anyone from the pit of hell, this is a complete diversion. I’m bowing out.

    God bless you guys.

  145. The CT article seems based on what Ravi Zacharias and his ministry and lawyers are reporting. We don’t hear anything from the other side at all in this article. It seems quite one sided to me.

    I believe these sure do need to be reported because of situations just like what has been discovered with Weinstein and other people with money and power. The same sorts of settlements were going on in that case and victims could not speak up and warn others about the predator. Lawyers, of course, are the ones that really make out in these cases. When the victims are silenced then the predatory behavior can continue.

    So, whoever you believe or don’t believe in this case, it is good that it is all in the open and people can be warned. As for me, I trust Christians and their organizations not one iota more than anyone else.

  146. Stephen wrote:

    I must be missing something, but Ravi sued them….not the other way around. Any settlement in a legal case where you are suing someone else for extortion would not end in you paying them money.

    Just wondering where this verified information exists. Thanks.

  147. Bridget wrote:

    “sure”

    Should be “issues.”

    I have been a Christian for a long time. It has taught me to not give anyone or any entity with “Christian” in name a pass.

  148. Stephen wrote:

    I must be missing something, but Ravi sued them….not the other way around. Any settlement in a legal case where you are suing someone else for extortion would not end in you paying them money.

    Actually you are. Ravi sued them in response to an attorney’s letter to him. He knew they would sue and he preempted them. This situation is on both sides. I am going to present the statement in Christianity Today in a post and go through it, He did not categorically deny writing emails to the women. Instead, he claims he needs to be *more careful* on social media.

    Frankly, it has been proven that we are dealing with a man who pads his bio to look better than he is. Wel have the statements from others that they knew about his ridiculous bio for 20 years.

    Ravis is not pure as the driven snow. Anyone who is willing to stretch the truth about his life is someone for whom truth’ s boundaries are a bit shaky.

  149. Stephen wrote:

    This is not edifying for anyone’s sake, this is not saving anyone from the pit of hell, this is a complete diversion. I’m bowing out.

    Sadly, Stephen, who has bowed out to go save others from the pit of hell, doesn’t appear to realize that Zacharias’ claims have earned him the scorn of atheists like Steve Baughman and Richard Dawkins.

  150. okrapod wrote:

    The article in Christianity Today includes the RZ and RZIM admission of carelessness in the area of the use of and perhaps allowance of the use of the title Dr. in an inappropriate manner and an intention to remedy that situation. RZ admits carelessness in internet use in this situation, and he apparently intends to remedy that. He says that he accepts responsibility for his own behavior.

    He said a bit more than that. That statement was written by a lawyer, without a doubt and I intend to review it today. His statement led me to believe that he was in contact with the victim.

  151. Trish wrote:

    Why would she take a settlement?

    Why would anyone take a settlement? To avoid the embarrassment of having to go to court and get cross examined and have your entire sexual history probed. Ask any victim.

  152. dee wrote:

    Sadly, Stephen, who has bowed out to go save others from the pit of hell, doesn’t appear to realize that Zacharias’ claims have earned him the scorn of atheists like Steve Baughman and Richard Dawkins.

    Based on this, I too am done. You seem to put more stock in avowed enemies of the Gospel than you do in those who are defending the faith, who will always have the scorn of atheists. Do you not realize that they are tools of Satan, as are all those who join in with them? Seriously, you can’t be that biblically illiterate. Unreal. Time for a reality check ladies.

  153. Julie Anne wrote:

    dee wrote:
    This case boils down to another *he said/she said.* I spoke to the *she* of this equation at some point just prior to March 2016.
    Dee, you are off by one year. I just looked through my notes. She wasn’t calling anyone in Mar. 2016, as she was in the midst of the relationship with RZ and didn’t know what was hitting her. I also found an e-mail from her where she mentioned talking to you and I think it was Feb 2017. That makes sense because my first phone call with her was also Feb 2017. My first e-mail with her was Jan, after 2 people referred her to me. I think it’s important to note that she contacted both of us (and I have the email to prove it), because this shows a victim reaching out for support. You and I both connected with her.

    Well, darn. That is the way I remember it. I’m willing to admit that I may be wrong about the date, Looks like I need to do some sleuthing in back phone logs. There is one possibility. I met again with one of those folks from the March 2016 meeting, earlier this year. Perhaps I mixed up the two meetings. Argghh

  154. dee wrote:

    He said a bit more than that. That statement was written by a lawyer, without a doubt and I intend to review it today. His statement led me to believe that he was in contact with the victim.

    Indeed, and he also said that he was in error for not having a system in place for internet interaction similar to his plan (which sounds like the BG rule) for personal interaction. I do not see from his statement that he has ever said that he did not interact with her. He seems to me to have freely admitted to his error in getting involved in this in the first place-using my words to summarize what the statement seems to say.

    Which is precisely my point. He has taken responsibility for his own actions.

  155. dee wrote:

    Why would anyone take a settlement?

    Probably because their attorney advised them that it was in their best interest to do so, victim or not, as a general principle not limited to these sorts of cases.

  156. Stephen wrote:

    Julie Anne
    How do you guys reconcile, or maybe a better word “understand” the $5 million dollars the lawyer tried to get from Ravi?
    http://www.raviwatch.com/public/assets/9-1.pdf
    I’ve read the personal emails that are no longer available. They show emotion on both sides, but there’s not clarity that both sides agree what the emotion is based on. It’s hard to see those emails and then look at the $5 million demand and reconcile it. They don’t seem to fit together.
    It’s also difficult to understand this:
    http://www.intelligencer.ca/2008/10/07/man-claims-1-million-in-damages
    And this:
    http://mail.maranatha-church.com/oldconcerned/timeline.html
    Which show the couple were involved in suing previous Christian leadership. They have very unfortunately been hurt by Christian leadership, and have felt the need to sue that leadership on multiple occasions…..or this is something else entirely.
    The only thing we know for sure, Ravi, and the Thompsons, are loved by God, created by Him to serve Him, and we should pray that there would be repentance, healing, and forgiveness experienced by them all.

    Did you read this lawsuit? There was some pretty strange stuff going on at the church. There was lots of money involved, The pastor’s role seemed very odd as well. I don’t think this situation helps in the RZ case.

  157. @ okrapod:

    Let me add, again from experience. In the latest family divorce case the other side wanted a legal agreement entered into as to distribution of assets, some of which were in each other person’s name. Both lawyers advised against it because the legal fees to do that would exceed any financial benefit in pursuing the issue. Both sides dropped it.

    The can be a variety of reasons why people call a halt to legal proceedings.

  158. @ Dee Parsons:

    I don’t feel comfortable with anything-from either side. What I feel comfortable with is dropping it because (1) they already got lawyers and been there/ done that, and (2) I see nothing good to be gained by either party to pursue it further.

  159. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    You seem to put more stock in avowed enemies of the Gospel than you do in those who are defending the faith, who will always have the scorn of atheists.

    And what about the call to believers to be blameless before men? I don’t find RZ to be blameless. And all this information can be found without the help of an atheist. So, being upset that an atheist brought it to the forefront just seems like shifting sand on your part.

  160. @ Lowlandseer:

    I hope so. And I hope that people reconsider how wise it is to send compromising pictures and/or messages to other people. Then there is the matter of cheating on one’s income tax and polluting one’s computer with commercial sites of ‘pics’ and sneaking one in with somebody at work and cheating on tests at school and malicious gossip about something which one knows to be not true, and there is always the philosophy that business ethics is an oxymoron so why bother, and-and-and.

    I think we need more R and R in the church. Repentance and restoration.

  161. dee wrote:

    There is one possibility. I met again with one of those folks from the March 2016 meeting, earlier this year. Perhaps I mixed up the two meetings. Argghh

    Dee, it’s not like you had nothing going on in your life, right? LOL As I recall, you were not only dealing with your parents/in-laws, but also your health issues. No biggie. At least we now have good records for a documented timeline.

  162. @ Lowlandseer:

    I am saying the we the church are doing all these things. How would I know what he or she or they or their lawyers or anybody else specifically may or may not have done.

  163. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    Based on this, I too am done. You seem to put more stock in avowed enemies of the Gospel than you do in those who are defending the faith, who will always have the scorn of atheists. Do you not realize that they are tools of Satan, as are all those who join in with them? Seriously, you can’t be that biblically illiterate. Unreal. Time for a reality check ladies.

    So even if an atheist provides valid information he or she is a tool of Satan–really??

  164. okrapod wrote:

    I hope so. And I hope that people reconsider how wise it is to send compromising pictures and/or messages to other people.

    Why do I hear Chris Hansen reading off the chat log (including describing pictures sent) in To Catch a Predator?

  165. STOP IT! She was NOT a victim. She was a PARTICIPANT bearing EQUAL responsibility. Stop with the nonsense of calling these VERY ADULT WOMEN–VICTIMS. The Bible warns men over and over again about sensuous women setting snares for men and that men need to avoid them. The Bible warns about them destroying men, powerful men. The BIBLE does NOT warn women about men laying these sexual snares for them, or sensuous men, does it? PROVERBS 30:20– “This is the way of an adulteress: she eats and wipes her mouth and says, “I have done no wrong.” Proverbs 9: 1-18–read that also. Proverbs 7:24-26. Proverbs 5: 3-4. Proverbs 2:16. Proverbs 22:14. Proverbs 7: 8-12. THIS WOMAN WAS NOT A VICTIM. ALL of these ADULT WOMEN claiming sexual abuse or victimhood when they were WILLING participants are doing IRREPARABLE DAMAGE to TRUE victims of sexual abuse or assault–and those of you REPEATING THE VICTIMHOOD LIE are also doing irreparable harm to true victims. SO PLEASE STOP.

  166. Anyone can be tools of Satan, even believers. Jesus said to Peter “get behind me Satan”. But to use it in this context is wrong. Atheists can do research and in this case they have a valid point. If you were to take this statement to its logical conclusion you would not to a non-Christian doctor, mechanic or shopkeeper.

  167. @ Julie Anne:
    Here’s one of my concerns, Julie Anne. You’ve been frequently mention the out-of-court settlement as if this proves some guilt on the part of Mr Z. But——- But—— HE SUED THEM. He had no need to do so. When their lawyer sent the friendly note demanding $5 million to keep quiet, he could have at that time:
    A: Negotiated a smaller amount. Nothing would have gone public.
    B: Told them to go to hell. They then could have sued him if they thought they had a real case. If they proceeded, then it would have gone public and he could defend himself in court or negotiate a smaller amount. But they may not have proceeded.
    C: Sued them, and gone to court Which he did and it went public but no one paid much attention. Since HE SUED THEM, he was also perfectly free to DROP the lawsuit any time he darn well chose for whatever reason he darn well chose.
    BUT– Once he sued them and it went public, it would have been loonier than a tune for him to THEN have paid them anyway in exchange for HIM dropping the suit.
    I think your sources need to put up and post the details they have about the monies supposedly paid out by Mr Z, or this aspect of the whole thing is meaningless.
    BTW, I found the evidence you did post but deleted to be very interesting, and clearly showing Mr Z to be a cad and a scoundrel who caused a woman not his wife to fall in love with him, but NOT showing anything about him being an abuser in the usual meaning of the word. Unless any rich and powerful married man who gets s little nookie on the side is automatically abusive just because he’s rich and powerful. Which makes the term abusive meaningless and hurts real abuse victims. Just my opinion.

  168. sandy c wrote:

    Mostly just media/peers explaining that its actually not that uncommon, ‘lots of people do it’

    As in “EVERYBODY’S DOING IT!”?

    “Everybody’s Doing It” was also a line used years ago by a sexual predator trying to get into my pants. He failed.

  169. And one last thing– if there are victims in this case, unless something comes forth actually showing Mr Z abused Mrs T (and “Grooming” does not count unless something abusive follows) the victims are 1) The kind folks who donated millions to Mr Z under false pretenses 2) Mr T, the canoodled husband– And may I ask again from anyone who’s seen all the e-mails Did Mr Z get back to Mr T as promised and explain WHY he did it? This is so similar to the Campbell case except Mr Z did NOT end it all.
    3) Maybe Mrs Z — this will depend upon whether or not she knew about previous cases and did nothing, as I suspect may come out later
    I am most happy to believe Mrs T as an abuse victim when evidence to that effect comes out, as I hope it will in today’s post.Until then I’m sure she’s a victim of loving and believing the wrong man, who apparently promised her they’d be together forever. Wisely she realized only Jesus will do that. Foolishly, I think, she hired the wrong lawyer, who seems to me to be crooked, incompetent, or both, Really, everyone should reread that letter— a lawyer accuses Mr Z, among other things, of being SELFISH.
    I really hope An Attorney, Law Prof, or Judge Tim will analyze that for us, together with the filing by Mr Z’s lawyers. Sorry to rant but must work today and will tune in tomorrow.

  170. @ okrapod:
    The pointlessness of your point is demonstrated by your saying, on the one hand, that the church is doing these things but, on the other, you don’t know what RZ and the lawyers are doing or have done. If you don’t know one, you don’t know the other either. Unless you have proof.

  171. @ Dee Parsons:

    These articles are very interesting.
    From the timeline:
    2003
    “John Visser diagnoses Brad Thompson with Social Attachment Disorder in a sermon. This diagnosis can be found on the tape “the father’s discipline” on the blessing and curses tape series. It is unethical for an un-accredited counsellor to impose a psychological diagnosis upon a client.”

    “This is one of many instances of this sort of diagnosis being shared from the pulpit. In some cases the diagnosis’ were for disorders that even trained psychologists contend are very difficult to diagnose with any accuracy.”
    2005
    “John Visser a director of Essence Communications Ltd. and pastor of Maranatha, announces from the pulpit that low cash flow was making payments on their business loan to the bank impossible and unless something happened within a week or so they would face insolvency”

    Which, from the first article – it was referenced that Bradley Thompson was making a $300-500,000 loan to Visser for his personal business. Who wants to place bets that Essence Comm LTD was that business. Oh, but wait…there’s more.

    “It is suggested by an Essence executive that $500,000-$600,000 would be needed to pull the company out of trouble.”

    But WHY is the Pastor Visser asking for money for his personal business ventures FROM THE PULPIT?! Odd.

    And it gets weirder:
    “The money collected from the members and their businesses was to be deposited to a separate numbered company using a C.I.B.C. business account. The numbered company was set up by David Visser through his lawyer. All the money collected was supposed to go through the C.I.B.C. account for the protection of the investors. Once the funds were in place, they could be transferred into Essence for paying off the debt. Brad Thompson and Bill Barrett were signing officers for the new numbered company. Only approximately $70,000, of the money collected was given to Brad and Bill to be deposited. The $70,000 that was deposited was eventually invested into Rock Media. The balance of the collected money remains unaccounted for.”

    My oh my. Unaccounted for? Will wonders never cease. How about a little cooking of the books? And,hey – where did this new business come from. And WHO’S RUNNING THE CHURCH? There is a church here, right? O, wait, silly me – they voted to run it like a business – CEO and everything a few years back. All documented on this timeline. In fact, a hordes of people left the church because of it if I’m not mistaken.

    Then…everything went into bankruptcy and stuff hit the fan. Visser steps down right before Essence declares bankruptcy – after raising more money to shore up Rock Media which is also in financial trouble. Visser’s son takes over Essence. And then:

    “In the fall of 2007 the CIBC asks Brad Thompson to close the Rock Media account and bank elsewhere with any accounts relating to the Vissers or their companies. Shortly after this event, Mr. Thompson received a surprise from Hasting County Sheriff’s office. It was a writ of seizure of personal assets for non-payment of government remittance by Rock media. According to Brad he was surprised to find $85,000 in remittances was not submitted to the government for the 6 months Rock Media had been in operation.”

    “Brad and Lori Ann Thompson take a sabbatical from the Church over concerns with how the Vissers were handling their business affairs. Brad relinquished his owner/directorship on November 1, 2007 and Juliet deWal became sole owner/director of Rock Media Inc.”

    “In the fall of 2007, Brad and Lori Anne Thompson sent a letter to council asking to talk with them without any of the counselling staff present about their concerns regarding the counselling ministry. Council did not allow this to occur until the spring of 2008. Brad and Lori Anne asked Council, in a letter, for an independent review of the counselling ministry.”

    “In the spring of 2008 Brad and Lori Anne Thompson finally are able to meet privately with council without counselling ministry staff present. For three hours they shared their hurts and concerns. When they had finished sharing their hearts with council and the meeting ended, the chair of council and another council member were seen going next door to Pastor Vissers house. It was 11 pm.”

    “Much later Brad and Lori Anne discovered that several other members, as early as 2001, had written very similar letters to council with the same response.”

    “Around that time the chair of council stated that the healing ministry is God’s inheritance for Maranatha and Brad and Lori Anne Thompson were “the dragon at the end of the bed waiting to devour the baby” from Revelations.”

    Nice.

    “February 11, 2008, at a meeting it was announced that the Shield newspaper, owned by Rock Media was about to be sold. A proposal for repayment schedule is submitted by David Visser for the investors. Brad Thompson, one of the largest investors, is not named on the first year of the payout list. It had been promised that those taking the greatest financial risk since August 1, 2006 would be paid first. The explanation offered by John Visser was that he had “broken covenant” by leaving the Church and would therefore not be in the first payout.

    Brad Thompson secures notes payable from Rock Media to protect his investment. Mr. Thompson has his lawyer request a portion of the money he was owed just as the Sheild deal is completed. The deal cannot move forward until Brad is assured payment. The Rock Media management agrees and pays him his share. This payment represented less than half of the considerable investment Brad made in the company and is the only payment he ever got from the Vissers.”

    2008:

    ” In the fall of 2008, Brad and Lori called in the Church Visitors and Classis and CRC Grand Rapids as council was unwilling to take action. Around that time Brad is told by Dwayne Visser, Head of Pastor Church Relations in Grand Rapids that he will have to go the legal route as the denomination has no real power if a Church council will not submit to its authority. According to Brad, this helped him to decide to file the lawsuit.”

    “In 2008 Brad Thompson files a lawsuit against Maranatha Christian Reformed Church, 27 of its past and present directors, two church visitors and several organizations affiliated with the church. The document charges Maranatha senior pastor John Visser took advantage of his relationship with Thompson as his personal and religious counsellor, and that Visser “intentionally failed in his fiduciary duty of care toward” Thompson. It charges Visser “preyed upon” Thompson to obtain loans and investments for Vissers own business interests and those of the pastor’s family. It also claims that relationship resulted in Thompson suffering damages including the loss of $300,000 to $500,000 in loans or investments plus emotional and psychological damages. ”

    2009:
    Visser declares personal bankruptcy at over $700k

    “In the spring of 2009 John Vissers statement of defense is filed. In it he denies having counselled Brad Thompson but does divulge private information gained in the course of counselling to the courts in his defense.”

    2010:

    Thompson drops the lawsuit.

    “According to Brad Thomson, the lawsuit was started in order to bring to light what had been going on at Maranatha in regards to business, the counselling and the leadership at the Church. He wanted to hold leadership to account for the events of the past few years. He dropped the lawsuit because Council, Classis and Synod claimed they could not proceed with an investigation of numerous complaints from concerned members surrounding the actions of Maranatha Church and its pastor while the lawsuit was before the courts. Secondly because private personal information pertaining to Brad, gained in the course of counselling, was submitted as evidence to the courts by John Visser. Mr. Thompson felt his family and business would suffer if this deeply personal and private information was made public. Thirdly, he was advised that the cost would be considerable to bring the lawsuit to a conclusion and there was no guarantee he would get his money back because John Visser had declared personal bankruptcy. His legal advisor stated that if Brad wanted his “pound of flesh” he could go forward but it would be a very costly, lengthy and drawn out procedure.”

    “Mr. and Mrs. Thompson continue to this day to be characterized as the cause of the problems facing our Church leadership in sermons and in private conversations. Contrary to the suggestion that leadership “earnestly desires reconciliation”, those who speak out about their concerns at the Church are all discredited by them.”

  172. @ Lowlandseer:

    Of the things that I listed: tax evasion, computer ‘p’, malicious gossip, cheating in school and shady business practices which have you not either done, or seen, or know somebody who has done or read something about how prevalent it is?

  173. @ Charis:
    This is a excellent summary. I found the whole thing very bizarre, especially the $500,000 loan to the church and the subsequent threats afterwards. To even suggest that this is like the situation like RZ is naive.

  174. @ okrapod:

    So, if I say that these are being done in the church, why would you or anybody assume that unless they are each done by each and every person in the church then they are not being done in the church?

    Again, how would I know for example about who does or does not have ‘p’ on his/her computer, but none the less we have seen reported statistics of how prevalent that is in the church.

    So let me restate what I am trying to say. It is not just the people involved in this current foofaw who need to make some changes, but also it is the whole church which needs to clean house, each person individually as needed.

    I don’t know how to make it any more clear than that.

  175. @ Sheila Girl:
    Wow…she was not a victim. I disagree. And if you want me to play dueling Bible verses, which would be easy peasy given your penchant of quoting from Proverbs, I will. I would suggest that you do a word study on this matter and be cautious about overly literal interpretation.

    Sheila Girl wrote:

    Proverbs 9: 1-18–read that also.

    Let’s take a look at this. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+9

    Is this talking about an adulterous woman just running around, attempting to bring men down? Read it carefully. This is discussing the difference between wisdom and folly.

    https://www.gotquestions.org/seven-pillars-wisdom.html

    I think you should do some reading on the psychology behind grooming and becoming a victim. I think it would be helpful to you. Or you can go through life like this You Tube video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow0lr63y4Mw

  176. @ okrapod:

    Aha, I think I have just realized the problem. When I say ‘the church’ I mean the church, not some particular organization. Could this be where you took exception to what I said? Did you think that I was calling the RZ organization ‘the church’?

    Danged if I know, but if you want further conversation on this issue let me know.

  177. @ dee:
    And lost in the shuffle– yesterday former pastor P Noble launched 2nd Chance Church!
    And his sermon? “So I screwed up. Now what?”
    Isn’t America a great place?

  178. @ dee:

    Dee, I am not going to “play” dueling Bible verses. THIS IS NOT A GAME. I am very familiar with grooming and sexual abuse–I’ve worked extensively and professionally with true victims (male and female) of SEXUAL ABUSE, pedophilia, and incest– Not only that, I’ve worked with the perps and offenders (male and female–YES–WOMEN CAN BE SEXUAL PREDATORS, TOO)–as has my spouse..we have decades of combined experience. You have no idea what you’re talking about. People who are claiming adult women LIKE THIS are victims have no idea what true sexual abuse is about. You are out of your league commenting on this. It is to the point where the majority of women involved in sexual sin, be it adultery, fornication, or prostitution, are now claiming to be victims of sexual abuse and that is simply a lie. I personally know several victims (male and female) of true sexual abuse as children and teens, as well as women who were raped who are a mess right now BECAUSE of people calling women who were NOT victims, victims–and women who were NOT victims, claiming to be victims. The truth is, if RZ had heeded the warnings of Proverbs, he wouldn’t be in this mess right now–but to promote the CONCEPT AND TRUTH that this woman is a victim is outrageous. Was this woman a child? Was she mentally disabled? Was she held captive? Was she inexperienced sexually and naive about sexuality? NO. She was an adult, married, experienced woman, who snuck, hid, and sinned…and is equally as guilty as ALL OF US WHEN WE SIN–Myself included.

  179. @ dee:

    Yes it is curious. The church is bizarre – if it can even be called a church. And, why would the pastor make Brad Thompson a signatory in charge of financial deposits and other important duties if (in his estimation) Brad exhibited characteristics of Social Affective Disorder? Calling him out in public humiliation during a sermon?! And why would Brad accept that duty after such a grievance?! I would like to think I would have gotten up and walked out – never to return.

    That whole organization is odd, starting with Visser who may, himself be mentally unstable! Ha.

    Just – odd.

    And, no, not the same as RZIM.

  180. One comment not approved. if only said person had left it saying that the sex scandal was false, it would have been. The comment then went overboard.

  181. Descriptions given by Mr. Ravi Zacharias of his visit to the “Center for Geopolitical Strategy in Moscow”:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=6rGmC_V63F8C&pg=PA184

    “I remember on one occasion being ushered in to speak at the Center for Geopolitical Strategy in Moscow. Some of Russia’s biggest names either studied or taught there at some time. The general who accompanied me took me first to a large hall, ostentatiously appointed with royal colors, much inlaid with gold, and adorned with a wealth of art. The ceilings rose upward like that of a cathedral. Halfway to the ceiling, pictures of Russia’s great generals surrounded the room, from Peter the Great to Kutuzov, of fame during the Napoleonic wars.”

    https://books.google.com/books?id=4wf_NIK1CyMC&pg=PT149

    “The Center for Geopolitical Strategy in Moscow is twelve stories in all, eight above ground and four below. Every Russian premier or president has graduated from the Center, from Mikhail Gorbachev dating back to General Mikhail Kutusov, who fought against Napoleon. When we arrived, the meeting room was filled with professors formally dressed in their imposing military uniforms.”

  182. https://books.google.com/books?id=JrbtwyFBTe0C&pg=PT189

    “A few years ago I took part in a discussion with seven military generals at the Center for Geopolitical Strategy in Moscow. The imposing structure stands eight stories above ground and descends four stories below ground. As one enters, the ceiling of the welcoming hall towers high above while the massive and highly decorated pictures of all the famous Russian generals throughout history line the walls. Staring into the faces of men like Peter the Great and Mikhail Kutuzov, who led the Russian forces against Napoleon”

    I did find several independent references to a Moscow think tank, the Center for Geopolitical and Military Forecasting, all circa 1993-1994, and there is another similarly named outfit, the Center for Geopolitical Expertise, founded in 1999. Neither seem to fit the timeframe and description given by Mr. Ravi Zacharias.

  183. @ Sheila Girl:

    I have no idea what I am talking about? Sorry, that dog won’t hunt… You know why I find your comment off putting?

    First you misuse Bible verses to make a point they were not intended to make.

    Secondly, you claim that I do not know what I am talking about. In order to do so, you must know me rather well which I do not think you do.

    Thirdly, and most importantly, I have been writing about clergy sex abuse for years. You only showed up, all huffy like, when I wrote about Ravi Zacharias. I checked. Your interest is not academic. It is personal.You may find my series exposing the problems with biblical counseling interesting.

    I am starting a ministry with human trafficking victims so I get the prostitution thing rather well. I will be posting on this shortly.

    Until you go back and read all of our posts on abuse and actually get to know what we claim to know, I have nothing further to say to you.

  184. @ Sheila Girl:

    There is such a thing as spiritual. And no one said this was case was exactly like other sexual abuse cases. There are different kinds of abuse.

  185. @ dee:

    You find my comment off-putting because you’re part of the problem to which I’m referring.

    This isn’t about RZ–He lost credibility with me years ago when he started teaching with and associating with false teachers. This is about women claiming to be victims who are clearly not victims. And you, ma’am, do not know what you’re talking about if you consider this woman to be a victim. Women need to stop enabling sin in other women by encouraging the perpetual cry of victimhood–when it is consensual sin.

    Writing about victims and perpetrators of sex abuse, and working, eating, living, and breathing with them in clinical and law enforcement settings are two different things. You admit you don’t have that experience.

    God help any “victims” you try to “counsel”.

  186. Jerome wrote:

    Current bio of General Yuri Kirshin, the sponsor in Moscow, lists the positions he’s held in his career, but not “the chief historian of the Center for Geopolitical Strategy” claimed by Mr. Ravi Zacharias:
    http://scicenter.online/politicheskaya-filosofiya-scicenter/kratkaya-biografiya-130935.html

    These documents specify precisely the positions held by the General in his distinguished career.

    https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/nukevault/ebb285/vol%20II%20Kirshin.PDF

  187. Colleen wrote:

    I cannot 100% clear Ravi of any wrongdoing without evidence. But since we are questioning the character of Mr Zacharias, shouldn’t we, if we are truly to be objective, question the character of the plaintiff?? Below is an article depicting the alleged victim in another light. And the plot thickens http://www.intelligencer.ca/2008/11/17/church-led-me-astray-woman

    The woman in that article wasnt related to the Bradley Thompson that filed suit against Maranatha and she didnt file suit. Also the woman in the article would be 46yrs old now and it appears from photos that Lori Anne Thompson is much younger than that. You may have something if its the same Bradley and he marries women just to file lawsuits against churches i suppose.

  188. Trish wrote:

    Why do you think that the victim agreed to settle this case with a non-disclosure? Did she realize that her story would be silenced, even doubted, because of the scarcity of email/phone documentation that could be examined?

    I dont know, alot of people do that. I think the fact that he had nude pictures of her was one reason not to want it out in the publics eye. I dont know why the origonal lawyer letter complaint requested money either. They claimed that the issue had resulted in their needing counseleling and her husband wasnt able to work full time as a result. That would be reason to seek monetary recompense. Ravi Zacharias also claimed “emotional distress” in his counter claim. They said they didnt want to take it to court in their letter to him but then ravi filed the suit against them so the “settlement of the suit” would have been his suit against them, they hadnt filed one. His suit included 3 RICO counts- which is rackateering. He filed notice with the court on Nov. 9 2017 of voluntary dismissal of his lawsuit against them. As part of the settlement they were required to sign a non disclosure agreement. I think at that point it may have been agree or walk away with nothing. I would note that Ravi claims he also is prevented from talking about the case but he talked ALOT about it in the Christian Post article, including about how she did all this emailing and he didnt do anything wrong. This makes me think he isnt prevented from talking at all, or he broke his non disclosure.

  189. Liz wrote:

    Universities generally don’t support the kind of distinctly religious-focused training that this kind of apologetics organisation is trying to do. The type of courses offered there are frequently not rigorous or broad enough to meet accreditation criteria.

    Thank you for responding i appreciate the many learned people on this site.

  190. okrapod wrote:

    @ Lowlandseer:
    Of the things that I listed: tax evasion, computer ‘p’, malicious gossip, cheating in school and shady business practices which have you not either done, or seen, or know somebody who has done or read something about how prevalent it is?

    If you add marital rape, emotional and physical abuse of children and me, slanderously destroying my reputation within our little community, bald faced lying, you can look at the groom in my wedding picture as Exhibit A from over 30 years ago. Pastor and church sided with him. Divorce 1 year anniversary next week. So grateful for the rescue and healing I have found.

  191. Sheila Girl wrote:

    God help any “victims” you try to “counsel”.

    I never counsel. I send them to qualified counselors which you would know if you actually read my blog. You are obviously really upset and I do not think this discussion can go any further. I wish you God’s blessings.

  192. Bridget wrote:

    I believe these sure do need to be reported because of situations just like what has been discovered with Weinstein and other people with money and power. The same sorts of settlements were going on in that case and victims could not speak up and warn others about the predator. Lawyers, of course, are the ones that really make out in these cases. When the victims are silenced then the predatory behavior can continue.

    The recent publicity of big name celebraties had several women and men victims that publicly said they werent going to go the legal route because of the non disclosure requirements that are put on victims. They said they wanted to warn others and not have to hide in shame. They did a heroic thing in my opinion. Im not judging people that do go to court- many had their lives destroyed and deserve financial recompense. But i did want to say Hooray! for people that came forward without it.

  193. Whatever the couple wanted, even if they were extortionists, Ravi fell for it. By his own court documents it took him a very long time to report the nude photos to his governing council. He did not do that until the legal threats arose. Most explosively he has not denied sending the suicide threats. Those are now matters of public record and the fact that he refuses to deny them tells us that he probably sent them. @ Stephen:

  194. Dee Parsons wrote:

    And this:
    http://mail.maranatha-church.com/oldconcerned/timeline.html

    Gosh so glad he brought this up!

    “. A letter was written to Council by long-time members Kent and Marg Kirkland stating concerns over the changes in structure and the new healing ministry and specifically the use of psychological counselling without proper training… In the letter, the Kirklands shared their concerns that, over the past two years, the council had become smaller and less information was being shared by them with the congregation. They went on to state seven primary concerns that they wanted to be addressed. These concerns are almost identical to the specific concerns currently being raised and, it should be noted, this event was eleven years ago and those concerns have still not been dealt with. “John Visser diagnoses Brad Thompson with Social Attachment Disorder in a sermon. This diagnosis can be found on the tape “the father’s discipline” on the blessing and curses tape series. It is unethical for an un-accredited counsellor to impose a psychological diagnosis upon a client.
    This is one of many instances of this sort of diagnosis being shared from the pulpit. In some cases the diagnosis’ were for disorders that even trained psychologists contend are very difficult to diagnose with any accuracy.”

    · John Visser a director of Essence Communications Ltd. and pastor of Maranatha, announces from the pulpit that low cash flow was making payments on their business loan to the bank impossible and unless something happened within a week or so they would face insolvency

    · Suggestions were made by a staff person to some members after the service that the congregation could raise money for Essence through equity loans on their homes.

    · It is suggested by an Essence executive that $500,000-$600,000 would be needed to pull the company out of trouble.

    · On March 12, 2005, on the Sunday following Pastor Johns revelation of the financial situation of his family company, an announcement is made by Bill Barrett (a former member who has now left the Church over concerns) with Felix Boer (a Deacon) that a meeting would be held at the Essence offices. Arrangements for the announcements were made without the knowledge or permission of Council. Discussions were had, days prior to the service with Pastor John who supported the idea and designated a place in both the 9 and 11 o-clock service schedules for it to be done. John Visser was not in attendance at either service when the announcements were made. On March 14, 2005 the meeting was held. It was organized by Bill Barrett and Felix Boer to solicit funds for the Vissers failing business. At the meeting the financial situation was explained by David Visser. David, Michael and John Visser were all present with 90 to 100 Church members. David Jones, a local pastor gave a message at the meeting on “mammon” and led the group in prayer. Pastor Jones has now spoken out publicly as a person with concerns about the goings on at Maranatha and the decisions of its leadership….”
    Wow just wow. And Bradley Thompson was called an “Extortioner” for objecting to this and having lost money that he attempted to recoup in court????

  195. As a lawyer I think I know exactly what went on with this lawsuit. Ravi got some extremely bad advice from a lawyer who is not specialized in this field. I have looked his record up.

    The first mistake was filing a lawsuit knowing full well that this becomes a matter of public record.

    They should’ve tried harder to work a pre-litigation settlement. But the lawyer probably encourage Mr. Zacharias to file thinking it would scare the Thompson’s away.

    The huge mistake the lawyer made was filing Exhibit 1 to the complaint, the highly confidential legal letter that revealed that Mr. Zacharias at threatened suicide in writing.

    The sad thing is that the Thompson’s agreed to settle the case and probably made quite a bit of money in exchange for their silence.

    To Zacharias would’ve paid them handsomely because he knows that they had a great deal of dirt on him.

    Fortunately, Ms. Thompson had previously released much of that dirt to parties not bound by confidentiality. Some of that dirt recently became a matter of public record.

    I am attempting to get those suicide emails before as many ideas as possible. This is morally outrageous thing for an evangelist to do,not only the online sexually charged relationship.

    Not only the online sexually charged relationship, but then encouraging her not to confess it to her husband and work on repairing her marriage.

    The most astonishing thing to me of all is that the Christian press has not bothered to ask Mr. Zacharias to confirm The most astonishing thing to me of all is that the Christian press has not bothered to ask Mr. Zacharias to confirm or deny sending those suicide emails. He will never, ever deny sending them because he did write them. He will hide behind legal confidentiality and I hope that nobody notices the irony of him doing so in light of his extensive press release yesterday.

    A true coward, scoundrel and hypocrite. Thank you all for helping keep the story alive.

    Incidentally, two of my Zacharias videos that mention the sex scandal have recently been compromised, one has disappeared from the YouTube search field. A Christian blogger in Georgia posted a critical video about the sex scandal 48 hours ago and the next morning it had been removed from YouTube. He appealed and was able to get it reinstated.

    Ravi and/or his people are willing to play nasty.

    @ Dave A A:

  196. Dee Parsons wrote:

    http://mail.maranatha-church.com/oldconcerned/timeline.html

    “June 2, 2005, Rock media is incorporated with Brad Thompson named as sole director. The company’s operations were run by David Visser. Brad Thompson had an arm’s length relationship with the operation. Rock Media was formed to protect a newspaper division owned by the Vissers that was still profitable.
    The money collected from the members and their businesses was to be deposited to a separate numbered company using a C.I.B.C. business account. The numbered company was set up by David Visser through his lawyer. All the money collected was supposed to go through the C.I.B.C. account for the protection of the investors. Once the funds were in place, they could be transferred into Essence for paying off the debt. Brad Thompson and Bill Barrett were signing officers for the new numbered company. Only approximately $70,000, of the money collected was given to Brad and Bill to be deposited. The $70,000 that was deposited was eventually invested into Rock Media. The balance of the collected money remains unaccounted for.
    In January of 2006 it was discovered that Essence was in fact over two million dollars in debt the majority of which was owed to members and staff of Maranatha and their businesses. Much of the money bypassed the numbered company and went directly into Essence in contravention of the terms of the agreement reached at the meeting one year earlier.

    · In the fall of 2006, an additional $445,000 to $475,000 was raised from the congregation to inject money into the new company, Rock Media. This money was primarily earmarked to purchase equipment and to expand the newspaper division.

    · John Visser stepped down as president of Essence in the fall of 2006, a few weeks before it goes bankrupt. His son David became President.

    · In the fall of 2007 the CIBC asks Brad Thompson to close the Rock Media account and bank elsewhere with any accounts relating to the Vissers or their companies. Shortly after this event, Mr. Thompson received a surprise from Hasting County Sheriff’s office. It was a writ of seizure of personal assets for non-payment of government remittance by Rock media. According to Brad he was surprised to find $85,000 in remittances was not submitted to the government for the 6 months Rock Media had been in operation.

    · Brad and Lori Ann Thompson take a sabbatical from the Church over concerns with how the Vissers were handling their business affairs. Brad relinquished his owner/directorship on November 1, 2007 and Juliet deWal became sole owner/director of Rock Media Inc..

    · In the fall of 2007, Brad and Lori Anne Thompson sent a letter to council asking to talk with them without any of the counselling staff present about their concerns regarding the counselling ministry. Council did not allow this to occur until the spring of 2008. Brad and Lori Anne asked Council, in a letter, for an independent review of the counselling ministry.

    · John Visser personally solicited money from members of the congregation on several occasions around this time. He has admitted this fact to council and they have extended forgiveness to him but this has never been revealed off the pulpit.”

  197. @ sandy c:
    “In the spring of 2008 Brad and Lori Anne Thompson finally are able to meet privately with council without counselling ministry staff present. For three hours they shared their hurts and concerns. When they had finished sharing their hearts with council and the meeting ended, the chair of council and another council member were seen going next door to Pastor Vissers house. It was 11 pm.

    · Much later Brad and Lori Anne discovered that several other members, as early as 2001, had written very similar letters to council with the same response.
    Leadership at Maranatha begin distributing John Beveres book, “Under Cover” around the Church. Valerie Peters, a staff person at the Church offered a course for the Thursday night electives. This period introduced a widespread acceptance of “covering theology” in the Church. This theology contends that Christians must be submitted to authority in order for them to come under the covering provided for their protection by God through their leaders. Dissention or rejection of authorities would mean, of course, that the believer is unprotected from the attack of Satan. Members of Maranatha were encouraged to have unquestioning submission to the authority of Church leadership. It should be noted also that this belief system was introduced shortly after John Visser lost the support of key members of the Church and during a time where those members were questioning the motives and ethics exhibited by him and staff. February 11, 2008, at a meeting it was announced that the Shield newspaper, owned by Rock Media was about to be sold. A proposal for repayment schedule is submitted by David Visser for the investors. Brad Thompson, one of the largest investors, is not named on the first year of the payout list. It had been promised that those taking the greatest financial risk since August 1, 2006 would be paid first. The explanation offered by John Visser was that he had “broken covenant” by leaving the Church…”

    Thats enough for me, sheesh

  198. Go to church, be taught that all ‘those people in the world’ are dangerous sinners, and if you dare question leadership the devil is using you? SMH

  199. mot wrote:

    So even if an atheist provides valid information he or she is a tool of Satan–really??

    There were lots of pastors that rushed to the #ChurchToo twitterfeed and said the same thing, that the first tweets were from a lesbian and a yoga teacher and it was from the devil and told the women to stop posting. My response was ‘God said judgement begins in the house of God but the church refused, so He got a lesbian and a yoga teacher to do it and said ‘Thanks ladies!’

  200. sandy c wrote:

    Go to church, be taught that all ‘those people in the world’ are dangerous sinners, and if you dare question leadership the devil is using you? SMH

    I don’t know if you mean that you experienced this or that you heard about it or what, but I can’t pass up the opportunity to say that not all churches are like this. It may take some looking around to find one that is compatible with what the individual thinks a church needs to be, but I found getting out and looking around to be a great idea for our family.

  201. Dave A A wrote:

    And may I ask again from anyone who’s seen all the e-mails Did Mr Z get back to Mr T as promised and explain WHY he did it?

    This reminds me of a conclusion that Ministry Watch came to- if Zacharias had indeed sent Ms Thompson emails telling her to stop sending him unsolicited emails why didnt he just produce those and prove his innocence and they would have had no case whatsoever!

  202. okrapod wrote:

    It is not just the people involved in this current foofaw who need to make some changes, but also it is the whole church which needs to clean house, each person individually as needed.

    I don’t know how to make it any more clear than that.

    Agreed, and i loved your R & R comment.
    I personally also though see a real value in bringing to light church leadership s. abuse of vulnerable people because it thrives in closed communities, and victims feel no one will believe them if they try to get out of it. I think many women are now more confident in saying no to abusive men in the media etc without fear of losing their jobs or being publicly slandered because it has come into the spotlight.

  203. Sheila Girl wrote:

    the CONCEPT AND TRUTH that this woman is a victim is outrageous.

    A male or female counselor that has a distraught person come to them for counseling is indeed seen as an abuser if they lead the counselee into a sexual relationship. The ‘victim’ is a victim if one uses their authority or position as a means to seduce. I think that is what you have missed in all of this. A police officer, judge, teacher, Dr Minister etc are always guilty in a situation involving someone without equal power, even if the victim is a slut. Or whatever biblical term you would use.

  204. Charis wrote:

    Thompson a signatory in charge of financial deposits and other important duties if (in his estimation) Brad exhibited characteristics of Social Affective Disorder? Calling him out in public humiliation during a sermon?! And why would Brad accept that duty after such a grievance?! I

    I think that was exactly the manipulation. If i publicly shame someone that holds me in high esteem instead of running out (Cause i have God on my side) i can get him to do almost anything i want!
    I noticed when Visser steped down he left everything in his sons hands too. Earlier visser was noted to have appointed 2 of his children into church high leadership positions without consulting the congregation.

  205. Steve Baughman wrote:

    Yes. Ravi is being a coward. He claims he cannot discuss the lawsuit but he releases a lengthy press release about it.

    Hey lawyer! 🙂
    If he also had a non disclosure on himself how could he have given so much insight into the court case and Ms Thompson as he did? Do you think he has to remain silent? I think he just used that as an excuse to not answer questions he didnt want to answer.
    If one has a non disclosure agreement how can he go into the whole affair in his press release statement after the settlement?

    His public response:
    “In October 2014, I spoke at a conference in Canada. At the conclusion of my talk, I met a couple who expressed an interest in our ministry. The wife asked if I would reach out to her husband because he had questions about the Christian faith. As requested, I followed up by sending an email and a book to him, and invited him to consider attending one of our educational programs at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM).

    “Some months later, I traveled with my wife and one of our daughters to another part of Canada for a speaking engagement. The couple attended this event and invited my wife and me to dinner at a local restaurant afterwards. That was the second and last time I was ever in the same room with either of them.

    “Subsequently, she began to contact me via the email address I had used to contact her husband after first meeting them. My responses were usually brief….blah blah blah”

    * Me thinks he is being dishonest about being not required to talk about it…

  206. I just want to say this again-

    if Zacharias had indeed sent Ms Thompson emails telling her to stop sending him unsolicited emails why didnt he just produce those and prove his innocence and they would have had no case whatsoever, there would have been no lawsuit

  207. okrapod wrote:

    I don’t know if you mean that you experienced this or that you heard about it or what, but I can’t pass up the opportunity to say that not all churches are like this. It may take some looking around to find one that is compatible with what the individual thinks a church needs to be, but I found getting out and looking around to be a great idea for our family.

    I agree, i made that comment while reading the ‘new reformed maranatha’ church scandal interspersed with reading the comments Stephen was posting here.

  208. Sheila Girl wrote:

    The BIBLE does NOT warn women about men laying these sexual snares for them, or sensuous men, does it?

    Wrong. Men are not these innocent creatures in the face of perverted, sensuous, deceitful women.
    “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

    6They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

    It is hard to hear it when a respected Christian leader messes up. But it happens. After all, the whole story of our faith is that all of us are sinners deserving death, and Jesus came to rescue us from that. So we should not be surprised when reputation, intellect, money and power do not protect people from that sin.

  209. The odd thing about his supposed attempt to get her to stop contacting him is that he clearly did not try hard to terminate the relationship. His lawsuit documents are over at my http://www.RaiWatch.com. Ravi claims both that he cut off contact with the woman but also that he remained “amicable” with her for fear of his reputation being tarnished. What was it? Cut off contact or remained amicable? The complaint (his court filing document) is worth reading to see how he contradicts himself in his own papers. @ sandy c:

  210. Liz wrote:

    lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God — having a form of godliness but denying its power

    When confronted with sexual sin, too many church leaders reject the power to overcome it. In that moment, they become lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.

  211. Steve Baughman wrote:

    documents are over at my http://www.RaiWatch.com. Ravi claims both that he cut off contact with the woman but also that he remained “amicable” with her for fear of his reputation being tarnished. What was it? Cut off contact or remained amicable? The complaint (his court filing document) is worth reading to see how he contradicts himself in his own papers.

    Correction @steve typo-
    http://www.raviwatch.com/

  212. I was trying to understand why atheists were the loudest people speaking out against Ravi Zacharias. Several people accused Steve Baughman of ‘attacking’ him and other well known atheists have been very vocal against Ravi also. I think i figured out why atheists particulary have been offended by Ravi….
    I didn’t know anything about Ravi but since looking into his ministry i found that
    Ravi has built his career based on being an intellectual and he’s been publicly challenging athiests for years! I think Ravi targeted them and they are responding as any group that was particulary singled out by a famous evangelist would.
    Rzim has 10 podcasts against atheism, and there are over 20 youtube vids on Ravi vs the atheists, i didnt check ravis vimo channel but would guess theres a bunch there also.

    “The primary mission of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries is to ****reach and challenge those who shape the ideas of a culture**** with the credibility of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Distinctive in its strong evangelistic and apologetic foundation, the ministry of RZIM ****is intended to touch both the heart and the intellect of the thinker and influencers of society***** through the support of the visionary leadership of Ravi Zacharias.”
    http://rzim.org/about/vision/

    I am not defending atheism- just saying if ravi had targeted say planned parenthood or some other particular group- they also would be more outraged to find out he’s been lying about alot of things.

    If your going to portrait yourself as David against Goliath, you should be sure when you go out publicly to fight him that you have the right stones for your slingshot (the Rock of your salvation) and that you can stand in Truth and not have to explain hiding behind falsehood.

  213. Something else i did not know about Ravi Zacharias:

    “Statement of Faith
    We believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord……
    We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church….”
    http://rzim.org/about/vision/

  214. There is nothing new under the sun. Be it Infidelity….Academic manipulation….
    Power mania ….etc. What was….is today….will be tomorrow….
    Solution: Confess. Repent. Get right. Face repercussions. Move forward….walk through the labrynth of life…..get to the exit point to meet the King of Kings……..

  215. There is nothing new under the sun. Be it Infidelity….Academic manipulation….
    Power mania ….etc. What was….is today….will be tomorrow….
    Solution: Confess. Repent. Get right. Face repercussions. Move forward….walk through the labrynth of life…..get to the exit point….guiltless to meet the King of Kings……..

  216. The “victim/abuser” paradigm really takes focus away from what seems most important here. Ravi Zacharias threatened suicide to cover up whatever it was, victim, abuser, whatever, that went on between him and Ms. T.

    Given his status as a renowned and highly influential apologist, I consider that explosive. Whether the woman was a willing participant or a grooming victim on today’s fashionable spectrum seems not so interesting. We all know that Mr. Zacharias threatened suicide to keep it private. That is the explosive stuff that the Christian media apparently does not want to touch. Sad.

    @ Sheila Girl:

  217. Sandy. I was offended by Ravi long before I knew he targeted intellectuals. Apart from his bogus credentials and his sexual scandal, he dumbs down complex philosophical issues and pretends to his unsophisticated audiences that he has the answers all figured out. I find that very offensive, especially given the fact that there are dedicated professional philosophers (who make a tiny fraction of the money that he does) struggling with those issues in their careers. Ravi trivializes the issues by pretentding to have the answers. @ sandy c:

  218. sandy c wrote:

    Something else i did not know about Ravi Zacharias:
    “Statement of Faith
    We believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord……
    We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church….”
    http://rzim.org/about/vision/

    That is the Apostles’ Creed. Millions upon millions of us believe that and recite that. We may disagree a tad on exactly what is meant by some of the words, but that does not stop us from accepting the creed.

  219. I have never heard the catholic church part in ‘the apostles creed’ was it written by the catholic apostles?

  220. @ sandy c:
    The “catholic” in the Apostles’ Creed is small-c catholic, just a word meaning “universal” (one worldwide church), not meaning the Roman Catholic Church (big-C). Plenty of Protestants affirm that creed with that understanding of the word “catholic”.

  221. @ Steve Baughman:
    Thanks Steve. I was thinking the Thompsons got a bad lawyer, but it appears Ravi has a whole team of them who got the whole thing into the public domain — why didn’t they just settle up to begin with? But you put the em phas is on the right syl la ble — the emails (and the facts about the T’s previous pastor) prove that the RZIM spiel about the T’s plotting a stalking and extortion campaign is pure hogwash.

  222. sandy c wrote:

    This reminds me of a conclusion that Ministry Watch came to- if Zacharias had indeed sent Ms Thompson emails telling her to stop sending him unsolicited emails why didnt he just produce those and prove his innocence and they would have had no case whatsoever!

    Yes! Plus– the snippets of Mr Z’s email (absolutely authentic) which we did get are IMPOSSIBLE to have come from a victim of unsolicited sexts, stalking, and extortion. Those to Mrs T are desperate to avoid being outed. The later one to Mr T is apologetic.

  223. Rev. David Burder wrote:

    There is nothing new under the sun. Be it Infidelity….Academic manipulation….
    Power mania ….etc. What was….is today….will be tomorrow….
    Solution: Confess. Repent. Get right. Face repercussions. Move forward….walk through the labrynth of life…..get to the exit point….guiltless to meet the King of Kings……..

    Your comment is SO good it bears repeating a third time.

  224. bendeni wrote:

    The “catholic” in the Apostles’ Creed is small-c catholic, just a word meaning “universal” (one worldwide church), not meaning the Roman Catholic Church (big-C). Plenty of Protestants affirm that creed with that understanding of the word “catholic”.

    Last month RZIM faith statement said “Universal catholic” and i had never heard either version before. I thought the Apostles were Methodists 🙂

  225. Dave A A wrote:

    Rev. David Burder wrote:

    There is nothing new under the sun. Be it Infidelity….Academic manipulation….
    Power mania ….etc. What was….is today….will be tomorrow….
    Solution: Confess. Repent. Get right. Face repercussions. Move forward….walk through the labrynth of life…..get to the exit point….guiltless to meet the King of Kings……..

    Your comment is SO good it bears repeating a third time.

    It is! I need it framed and on my wall!

  226. I think Mark Bryant’s demand letter bordered on extortion. But that does not change the fact that Ravi gave the Thompsons plenty of ammo to blackmail him with.

    I found Bryant’s letter to be legally vapid. The Thompson’s would have lost the case if that’s all the legally relevant stuff they had.

    But Ravi never had to worry about a legal attack from the Thompsons. It was that explosive dirt that made him settle the case.

    Dee Parsons wrote:

    Stephen wrote:

    Julie Anne
    How do you guys reconcile, or maybe a better word “understand” the $5 million dollars the lawyer tried to get from Ravi?
    http://www.raviwatch.com/public/assets/9-1.pdf
    I’ve read the personal emails that are no longer available. They show emotion on both sides, but there’s not clarity that both sides agree what the emotion is based on. It’s hard to see those emails and then look at the $5 million demand and reconcile it. They don’t seem to fit together.
    It’s also difficult to understand this:
    http://www.intelligencer.ca/2008/10/07/man-claims-1-million-in-damages
    And this:
    http://mail.maranatha-church.com/oldconcerned/timeline.html
    Which show the couple were involved in suing previous Christian leadership. They have very unfortunately been hurt by Christian leadership, and have felt the need to sue that leadership on multiple occasions…..or this is something else entirely.
    The only thing we know for sure, Ravi, and the Thompsons, are loved by God, created by Him to serve Him, and we should pray that there would be repentance, healing, and forgiveness experienced by them all.

    Did you read this lawsuit? There was some pretty strange stuff going on at the church. There was lots of money involved, The pastor’s role seemed very odd as well. I don’t think this situation helps in the RZ case.

  227. Hi Dee. Ravi’s suicide emails are available at http://www.RaviWatch.com.

    Fortunately, I am not under any obligation, professional or otherwise, to keep them a secret. In fact, I am spreading them as far and wide as I possibly can.

    Ravi needs to confirm or deny writing these. And he cannot deny it because he knows that forensics will show that they are legit.

    I imagine he is working frantically with his high-priced PR firm to come up with talking points to minimize the impact of what are clearly suicide threats to suppress an online affair he had with a married woman.

  228. New post up at Spiritual Sounding Board: “Resource Archive and FAQs on the Ravi Zacharias and RZIM Situation.” It includes numerous links to primary source documents, plus links to posts with observations, analysis, and interpretations.

    This was developed in response to what look to be the most frequently asked questions about all the parties involved. So far, concerns addressed include about the lawsuits, RZIM board of directors and staff, Mr. Zacharias’ credentials and titles, updating of biographies and titles, and impact of the non-disclosure agreement.

    https://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2017/12/08/resource-archive-and-faqs-on-the-ravi-zacharias-and-rzim-situation/

  229. Sheila, Even if everything you say is accurate, the question remains, did Mr. Zacharias threaten suicide to cover it all up?

    That is the question that so far the Christian press has not published a single thing on. I find that astonishing

    @ Sheila Girl:

  230. Sheila Girl wrote:

    Was this woman a child? Was she mentally disabled? Was she held captive? Was she inexperienced sexually and naive about sexuality? NO. She was an adult, married, experienced woman, who snuck, hid, and sinned…and is equally as guilty as ALL OF US WHEN WE SIN–Myself included.

    Sheila, if you had spoken with this woman and read her person account, you wouldn’t be saying the things you are saying. It’s quite foolish to come to a conclusion based on the only information available publicly – the story that an attorney defending RZ wants you to see.

  231. @ I love everyone:

    That’s easy to answer. As one Ex-Satanist testified; It is the mission of Satan to discredit everything Christian and anything to do with Jesus. Satanists actually set up pastors by sending in women who need counselling and their sole mission is to make the pastor fall, sexually.

    You can’t discredit Jesus. But you can discredit the one that brings the message of Jesus.

  232. Anne wrote:

    As one Ex-Satanist testified; It is the mission of Satan to discredit everything Christian and anything to do with Jesus. Satanists actually set up pastors by sending in women who need counselling and their sole mission is to make the pastor fall, sexually.

    Bless your heart. Do you really believe this? Satanists send women to MAKE theater fall sexually?

    1. That is ridiculous
    2. Nobody can MAKE someone do anything he doesn’t want to do.

  233. I have been involved Mr. Zacharias ministry for more than 10 years. Ravi is one of the nicest, most humble men I have ever met. He absolutely adores his wife and family.

    During his travels he goes through great pains to vanquish any possibility of getting into a compromising position. He has people all around him all the time. These people accompany him everywhere. He goes almost nowhere by himself. He and his employees have put these measures in place spicifically to guard him against unwanted contact. Physically it would be nearly impossible for him to be compromised even if he wanted to.

    However, as he stated, he did not have enough safeguards on digital communications.

    If you look at the track record of the couple in Canada you can clearly see this was extortion pure and simple. Several years ago this couple filed suit against a pastor named Visser at a Maranatha Church. The verbiage they use to describe the complaint against Visser and Maranatha is almost exactly the verbiage they use to distribute the wrongs perpetrated on them by Ravi. Their lawyer even contacted Ravi to demand $5,000,000 in hush money.

    Bottom line, when you look at the facts it is nearly impossible to conclude that Ravi did anything wrong. Other than what he said which was to engage in communication with a woman who was not his wife. Even though his intention was to help her and her husband.

    Frankly, the actions of this couple make me sick to my stomach.

  234. John Stoll wrote:

    If you look at the track record of the couple in Canada you can clearly see this was extortion pure and simple. Several years ago this couple filed suit against a pastor named Visser at a Maranatha Church. The verbiage they use to describe the complaint against Visser and Maranatha is almost exactly the verbiage they use to distribute the wrongs perpetrated on them by Ravi. T

    Frankly, I am quite disappointed by your response. I have no problem with you saying you don’t believe the charges, including all the stupid stuff on his resume. You can go ahead and call him *Doctor* and I don’t give a rip.

    However, when you claim to have been involved in RZM for years and then claim that the couple did *almost exactly* the same thing in the past, I have to wonder if you are just a Ravibot who has been trained to spew out talking points.

    I wrote on the previous lawsuit. Did you read it? Carefully? It was NOTHING like the current situation. This couple gave $500,000 to a pastor who promptly lost it in some sort of scheme. The husband asked for his $500,000 back and another $500,000 on top. You know, I think you know this and have been told to spin it.

    You want to hear my take on the *extortion?* You won’t like it.

    This couple was burned once by a pastor, losing gobs of money. Then the wife has some *interesting* emails with RZM himself. I saw the emails. I heard this woman. I believe that they are two people who got duped by some men who claim to be *pastors* and used their positions to play games and they are fed up.

    I don’t believe in extortion but did you ever once stop to think that this couple has not been hurt by two pastors and have reached the end of their rope and they are responding out of hurt and anger? Of course not.

    You take the unbiblical approach that there is no way that RZM could do such a thing even though his resume has been laughed about for years. So, he plays games with his resume and pretends he is a *Dr* and studied *quantum physics* (ROFL) and you are telling me to *trust* him. I think it is you that needs to get a reality check.

    Oh, and have you checked out how much his family members are being paid through the organization.This is not a ministry. It is a big business and I, for one, am tired of this nonsense.

    So, go back and do your homework and don’t try to pull the wool over our eyes. We actually look into this stuff instead of sticking our fingers our ears and crying “La, la, la. I can’t hear you”. Never forget-RZ is sinner just lie the rest of us and that couple but I bet that kind of upsets you, doesn’t it?

  235. I don’t believe its fair to brush off opposing views as sticking head in sand. Be careful yourself not to only see things that validate your own beliefs or unbeliefs. Of course we are all ‘sinners’ and prone to temptation, me…you…RZ. But that does not mean how it is being spun here is how it happened. I know of this couple, and of the female for longer than they have been a couple. This is the fourth stunt like this that the female in the relationship is pulling something. Not the second, the fourth. This is the second stunt like this for the couple since they became a ‘couple’. They are not the ones who are being victimized and ‘burned’. There is a very long history of her in her lifetime making false accusations linked to demands for big sums of money. The male is no less a victim. The male has a successful business that was obtained at the expense of others (again throwing false accusations that destroyed other employees and got him to the top). This couple lives in a multi-millon dollar mansion. They also have a cottage worth near $800,000 or more. Please do not feel sorry for them as victims. They are expert fraud artists who feed off of vulnerable well-intentioned people. They usually pick christians as they are easy to ‘hook’with their dramatic stories of victimization and the targets fall for it wanting to help them. Thus starts the trap.

  236. @ dee:
    lol…bless your heart too. 🙂

    Sorry, I don’t know what you meant by “Satanists send women to MAKE theater fall sexually? What do you mean by theater falling?

    And I didn’t say that anyone was *made* to do anything. The women involved are willing. The man of course makes a choice as well and is willing.

    But yes, I do believe that goes on.

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