Got this from the news wire yesterday -------------- The real truth about Hank Hanegraaff After the death of Dr. Walter Martin (June 26, 1989), Hank Hanegraaff became president of the Christian Research Institute. Many feel Mr. Hanegraaff was (and is) not the right man for the job. Under Hanegraaff's leadership, the staff of the Christian Research Institute was decimated. Over 100 workers left or were fired - among them many established, respected researchers, apologists and cult experts, including Paul Carden, and Craig Hawkins, and Ron Rhodes. Not every one who left did so because of disagreement or other conflict. However, in 1994, some 35 ex-CRI employees formed the Group for CRI Accountability. Citing Hanegraaff's lack of theological training, poor interpersonal relationship skills, questions regarding his business dealings, and a number of ethical issues, they demanded his resignation. In 1997, Christianity Today published and article titled, "When Christians Fight Christians" A case study mentioned in the item is widely recognized as referring to the situation that, over the years, developed at CRI. Tim Stafford's article offers sound suggestions on how to deal with these type of situations, but to-date these controversies still remain unresolved. Objections to Hanegraaff's Leadership In April, 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported: Orange County's ''Bible Answer Man''--whose radio show, heard on 125 stations nationwide, has long been a thorn in the flesh of televangelists--is facing a new battle, criticism from within his nonprofit organization. Relatives of the late Walter Martin, founder of the Rancho Santa Margarita-based Christian Research Institute, contend that Hank Hanegraaff has departed from the organization's mission of debunking unusual religious claims. They are demanding his resignation. Hanegraaff, 50, was Martin's handpicked successor when the founder retired in 1979. But in recent years, Martin family members have expressed concern about Hanegraaff's leadership. After a public rift with Hanegraaff in 1996, Darlene Martin, widow of Walter Martin, resigned from the institute's board. Last October, the family sent Hanegraaff a letter detailing objections to his leadership. ''He's not the man we believed him to be,'' said Jill Martin Rische, Martin's eldest daughter and executor of his estate. ''We just want someone in charge who will continue the clear vision my father had for CRI.'' That vision, to be a leading think tank with a focus on evangelizing, has floundered, according to Rische, 42, who lives in St. Paul, Minn. Instead, she claims, Hanegraaff has used the nonprofit CRI as a platform to sell his books and promote his two for-profit organizations. She also said Hanegraaff hasn't returned some of her father's personal belongings and claims he has mismanaged personnel at CRI. [...more...] Casting Stones: Questions About Radio's 'Bible Answer Man' Are Coming From Within, Los Angeles Times, Apr. 15, 2000 Unfortunately, the article was poorly-researched and rife with inaccuracies. In a letter to the Editor, Darlene Martin, Walter Martin's widow, writes: * After reading your article ''Casting Stones'' (April 15), I am writing to clarify several issues. First, my husband, Walter Martin, never ''handpicked'' anyone to succeed him at Christian Research Institute and ''The Bible Answer Man'' radio program. This claim was handed to me by someone I thought I could trust as I approached the lectern at my husband's memorial service. I read it for the first time--aloud--while standing in front of 1,500 people. It took me completely by surprise and put me in a very awkward position. I wish to take this opportunity now to apologize for allowing this statement to stand for so many years. At the time of my husband's death, I believed Hank Hanegraaff was a man God could mold into a strong Christian leader, one who could play a positive role in leading CRI. I supported him loyally for six years before I came to see he was not the man I believed him to be. Secondly, one of our family's main objections to Hanegraaff's continued leadership is his mistreatment of fellow Christians. He has left a trail of wounded people behind him since the takeover of CRI in 1989. The testimonies against him include those who are his ''right-hand'' people, people who worked closely with him. Hanegraaff has called repeatedly for accountability in other Christian leaders and should be held accountable himself. DARLENE MARTIN San Juan Capistrano Darlene Martin, Letter to the Editor, Hanegraaff Wasn't 'Handpicked', Los Angeles Times, Apr. 30, 2000 Various Approaches To The Problems It should be noted that while the issues have become increasingly public, the publisher of Apologetics Index believes the controversies surrounding CRI are best handled by those directly involved - with the help of Christians recognized to be in a position to request and receive accountability. For example, professional Christian mediation is offered by such organizations as EMNR and the Christian Legal Society) But one reason why these issues increasingly are addressed in public, is that so far all attempts to arrive at a private solution appear to have failed. Over the years, various interested parties have tried different approaches - from the formation of the Group for CRI Accountability to private peacemaking attempts by individuals, and from the mature and Biblical approach taken by Walter Martin's family to the error-filled rantings and ravings of anonymous critics. Jill Martin Rische (Dr. Walter Martin's eldest daughter) and her husband, Kevin Rische, operate Walter Martin's Religious InfoNet RIN is dedicated to the continuation of Martin's unique and valuable ministry. Kevin and Jill write We will be focusing on evangelism and education by promoting Dr. Martin's tapes, lectures, books, etc., as well as building a research library and radio outreach. Our hope is that Walter Martin's Religious InfoNet (RIN) will provide answers to those searching for spiritual direction in their lives, as well as encourage and educate Christians to stand up for their faith. In an article answering the question, ''What is the Religious InfoNet's connection to CRI?'' RIN also includes the clearest, most helpful description of the current issues various parties have with CRI and/or Hank Hanegraaff. Former CRI staff member Robert Bowman has also publicly reported on one issue - alleged plagiarism on the part of Hank Hanegraaff. Bowman introduces his article, Is the Good News Bear a Copy Cat? : Hank Hanegraaff and Plagiarism as follows: Not satisfied to accept the secondhand research of anonymous critics, I decided to investigate the matter for myself. This report, first written in December 1995, is the result. In making this information available, my only interest is in letting the truth be known. Given the widespread dissemination of the plagiarism charge, there is no honorable benefit to be gained by avoiding the issue. I wish no harm to Mr. Hanegraaff or anyone else. However, I do believe that Mr. Hanegraaff ought to be held accountable by his pastor, his Board, and his financial supporters. These responsible parties need to decide, based on the evidence, whether Mr. Hanegraaff has indeed committed plagiarism, and if so, what they ought to do about it. Is the Good News Bear a Copy Cat? : Hank Hanegraaff and Plagiarism The ''anonymous critics'' referred to are the people behind a sensationalist internet publication called ''On The Edge (OTE).'' While it proclaims to be "a controversial yet supremely accurate publication dealing with religious hypocrisy and scandal in ministry" in reality it is a mean-spirited mixture of truth and error. In response to Apologetics Index's own links referring to OTE articles, a number of people intimately familiar with the issues declared that, regardless of their own take on the situation, they consider the OTE site to be riddled with errors and distortions. Indeed, clearly the approach of the anonymous people (some of whom are claimed to be Christians) behind the site is neither scriptural nor constructive. Thus I added the following disclaimer alongside my link to OTE: Back online since late April, 2000. Site critical of Hank Hanegraaff's leadership position at CRI. Note: It should be mentioned that some people intimately familiar with the issues consider the OTE site to be riddled with errors and distortions. Clearly, the approach of those behind the site is neither scriptural nor constructive. Unfortunately, due to the fact that some of the issues mentioned here have not yet been properly dealt with, or are indeed ongoing, speculative reporting isn't likely to die down any time soon - if ever.