For many reasons, we have only just now begun the process of looking through Dad’s phones. It is very early in the process, so there are many things we are still looking for information on. The examination is by no means complete, yet. That will take time by us and time by experts. But it has already proven very helpful.
I can tell you that so far I have not seen any questionable/concerning photos in both of the phones I have searched. I also have not found any questionable/concerning correspondence or data. This includes the device they supposedly found the most information.
But what is also of interest is what I did find. The report said Dad had a note in his phone for how to say “a little bit further” in Thai. They (Miller & Martin) presented that information in a way that alleged that his interest in, and use of, the phrase were for illicit/sexual reasons.
Well here is where I found the phrase. The context is….not what they said, to put it mildly.
Directions. That’s why he had the phrase noted. “Just a little bit further” is in a list of terms to direct a cab driver. Left. Right. Straight. Bridge. And “a little bit further.” The context could not be clearer.
What is also clear, is the dishonest intent of the people who wrote that report. There is no reasonable way you can see that list and think that phrase has an inappropriate connotation. Their misrepresentation of this detail is blatant.
So if their case was so rock solid, why did they need to lie about the context of this note?
And what other information and “evidence” did they lie about, misrepresent or manufacture?
One of the (many) ways that bloggers and media have intentionally spun details in a dishonest and negative way is in regards to the spa Dad helped start. They keep referring to it as a massage parlor. That is not at all what Jivan/Touch of Eden was. (It was one place, not two. They changed the name at one point.)
Massage parlors are basically fronts for sexual behavior. That is really the only context in which that term is used now. Jivan/Eden was not a massage parlor. What’s interesting about people insisting about using the term massage parlor, is that they’re the same people who say they are championing women and declaring these sources of the story as victims. But by calling it a massage parlor they’re implicating these same women as essentially sex workers who would have regularly provided illegal services to clients of Jivan. That is what massage parlors do. So they can’t have it both ways in the way they frame this.
My guess is that the former employees of Jivan would not take too kindly to being categorized as having worked at a massage parlor. Nor would any legitimate massage therapist anywhere.
Jivan was a legit spa/salon. Several people have written me saying it’s hard to believe dads innocence since he opened a “massage parlor.” One person asked why Dad couldn’t just go to a place like Massage Envy or Massage Heights. That is a result of writers using the massage parlor term. They know full well what they’re doing.
Well, in response to that comment I received, Jivan was meant to be exactly like a Massage Heights business. It was meant to be that kind of reputable establishment. That was the style of business they were offering. They offered, massages, facials, manicures, etc: all the things a legitimate and fully professional spa offers. The same kind of set up you’d find in a five star hotel. Not to mention the fact that the property owner was a well respected Christian business man who also would not have allowed an inappropriate business at one of his properties.
Not the Behavior of a Guilty Man
Dad included some big names at the opening of the business, and encouraged them to visit the spa. The Mayor of the city and Governor of Georgia spoke at the grand opening. Do you think Dad would include them – and do you think they would come – if the business appeared to be suspicious in any way? He wouldn’t, and they wouldn’t.
Vicki Blue was one person who dad would hire to come give chair massages to the entire staff? If he was doing the things she claims he was, do you think he would invite her to interact with the entire office? The risk of her saying something to someone would be huge. But he regularly connected his friends and staff with her, and he sent any and everyone he could to Jivan. A guilty man would not have done either of those things if the people and environment of Jivan were ground zero for inappropriate behavior from him or anyone else.
Jivan was not a massage parlor. The critics know it. And their insistence on the term shows their disingenuousness in examining this situation.
This has nothing to do with the report, but I’ll share it anyways. One of the things Steve Baughman accused my Dad of lying about at one point, was his address at the African Heads of State Prayer Breakfast.
That accusation was especially entertaining for me since I was actually at the event. But while cleaning out some of Dad’s things I found the program from the event. So I’m posting it here.
I doubt Steve still cares about this particular claim at this point. He may have even stopped talking about it a while so. If he does still care his issue might be the use of “Dr.” in the program. He and the rest of the Western academics who weren’t invited to speak at this event can grumble about the fact that the inviting party had no issue with the title.
But I do care about the things he’s said about my Dad. So here is the proof of this event for those who still question it.
My sister, Sarah, recently gave a video statement on the situation with my Dad. There was no new information given, and she did not say anything she has not already said in her previous statements over the past few months. It was the same talking points.
She is not speaking for the family. As has been clear, we do not share her take on this situation. A while back she chose the path of doing what she felt was best, strategically, for the organization. We disagree with her opinions and stance very strongly. And we do so for very legitimate reasons.
So I will simply close this response with this: I love my sister, but I stand by my belief in my Dad. I continue to reject the report and narrative put forth for all of the reasons I have already laid out on this blog.
In a few hours after posting this, it will have officially been a year since my family lost Dad. It still feels like it can’t be. I miss him so much every day. As I told him on one the last days he was conscious, he was my compass. He consistently pointed me to what was important and good and right in life. He never wavered in his message and advice. It was as consistent as he was over the years.
He overcame so much pain and trauma in his own youth to amazingly be a dad whose presence I knew I was always safe in, regardless of any disagreement we were in. He taught me how to be a gentleman and a gentle man. He was my Dad. One of two great parental cornerstones given to me by God. He was my example. He was my friend.
The year that has followed his loss has been a hellish experience that I never would have imagined, incurring more trauma that hasn’t even allowed for the time and space to process the impact of his absence.
I’ve said a lot on this subject the last few months. But, today, as I navigate this unwanted anniversary, I will just close with this story.
31 years ago, when we were living in England during Dad’s time studying at Cambridge, our family was out on a shopping trip on a typical rainy day. As we walked out of a store, I stayed with my mom and sisters while Dad was a few paces back. Being only 9, I wasn’t paying any attention to my surroundings and as I went to open my umbrella, I unknowingly hit someone behind me and kept walking.
The person behind me was not amused, and started to approach me in such a way that indicated he was going to shove me or kick me. What he didn’t know was that Dad was behind him. Dad saw what he was about to do, rushed up behind him and knocked the guy off stride so he couldn’t hit me. The guy backed off and left me alone. I was oblivious to all of it at the time.
My Dad loved his family. He always fought for us. He fought for us even when we were oblivious to it.
I don’t know if Dad is aware of what is happening down here. I actually hope he isn’t. But now I will fight for him, even if he’s as unaware as I was during his battles on my behalf.
One year ago, surrounded by his family, he drifted from our arms info the arms of his Savior.
One year ago, I was by his side. And I’m proudly still by his side today.
I love you Dad. I miss you. I can’t wait to see you again one day.
I will continue to defend my Dad with whatever force necessary for these reasons. First, I believe this report to be driven by a predetermined agenda, not actual evidence and truth. I’ve already given examples of that and will continue to do so.
But the second reason is this: even if the report were true, I would strongly disagree with the way RZIM has handled it. Why?
I’ll do my best to explain it.
I worked at RZIM for a total of 15 years, and lived it for nearly 40. I sat through countless messages, then listened to and edited countless more through my work in their media department. It is safe to say my views of the Gospel were formed by listening to the entire team at RZIM; the same team and message that was supported by the board then, some of whom still remain. I say “some“ because those that disagreed with what the majority did have since resigned.
I thought I was on the same page with all of those people for all of those years. I watched them tell people in the audience that they were not defined by their mistakes. I listened as they said that fact was not dependent on their repentance. I heard them say that regardless of what they did, God did not see them as their mistakes, even if consequences were necessary.
And as such these speakers said that’s how they saw those people, because that’s what Jesus commanded. No, that doesn’t mean you ignore possible sin. But it most certainly does mean that you do not condemn someone to a legacy known only as their sin. And they never said there was any fine print to this. They didn’t say you weren’t defined by your sin unless you committed “x.”
But we certainly haven’t heard any of that from them as it relates to Dad. I’ve had one person within RZIM tell me they still love my Dad. But he helped author a statement that wouldn’t even hint at the fact that there could still be love for my Dad. Not only have none of them had the courage to publicly say that they still love my Dad, they’ve embraced words and conclusions they privately doubt, like abuse and rape. They silence the love they supposedly feel, and preach the verdict that privately don’t.
That’s not the Gospel I heard them preach. Either I was wrong, or they have betrayed their message in an effort to preserve their platform. Here are a few examples as to why I believe they departed from the Gospel in their scorched earth response.
Numerous speakers and leadership have gone on record as not just condemning the alleged actions of my Dad, but also condemning the man himself.
Cameron & Stuart McAllister referred to him as a former friend. The context of that comment was not that he is “former” because he is not here, but “former” because they no longer claim him as one.
Vince & Jo Vitale, have distanced themselves from Dad, not just moving forward, but expressed regret for their ministry alongside him even while they were unaware of any alleged behaviors. (As a side note, they can say they failed to ask questions about the LAT matter all they want and say that is why “truth” wasn’t found. But the fact is that the people who have all of the information there is to be had, have interacted with both sides, and know everything about the NDA still to this day believe that my Dad’s account of that situation is 100% accurate.) So had that taken a different approach it wouldn’t have changed a thing. Dad faced plenty of questions from far more key people and he is still believed by those who knew every answer there was to find.
I thought of all those statements made by staff while I was at church last week, when my pastor talked about Jesus’ interaction with Judas. Jesus, knowing what Judas already had done, and would still do, still washed Judas’ feet at the Last Supper. Judas was in the midst of committing the worst betrayal in history, and Jesus still served him in an act of incredible grace. Then, as Judas approached him in the garden to turn him over, Jesus still addressed him as “friend.”
Think of that. Jesus did not distance himself from Judas. He straight up claimed him in that moment. Judas, one of the greatest sinners, came face to face with Jesus, the only one in that garden who knew the true depravity of his heart, and he was still called friend. Jesus claimed him until the very end. And He most certainly did not issue a public statement saying he no longer considered Judas a friend, or regretted doing ministry with him.
Someone out there will say “Ravi’s son equates his father to Judas.” And Christianity Today might run with that, what with their history of writing for clicks. Hey CT, among a host of other suggestions, next time you do a hit piece you might consider these two little words before you determine the credibility of your initial sources – background check.
But no, I am not comparing my Dad to Judas. What I am saying is that the story of Jesus and Judas is an example of how Jesus did not withdraw from one of the most famous sinners in history. Yet RZIM feels they are evidently more just than Jesus, as they must withdraw from Dad.
Leadership has cited God’s ability to forgive…themselves, that is. Not Dad. They never mention that. They just say that “we serve a God who forgives” in donor communications when they say they are in need of it. God’s ability to forgive Dad is nowhere to be found.
They cite James 3:1 as a reason for their decision to try this in public and to take on their supposedly God given command to be legacy executioners.
For a ministry that was founded on the importance of thought, they haven’t given much of that to their cherry picking of that passage.
First, the way that verse is worded, both in tense and Greek wording, is that it speaks to God’s judgment of teachers when He ultimately judges them later.
Now, while RZIM has taken this opportunity to add the title of God to their list of responsibilities, such a title isn’t a name it and claim it kind of deal. They are not God. This verse speaks to what God will do. Not what He is asking us to do.
Second, the context of that passage talks about stricter judgmentfor whatthey say. In other words, teachers are not being warned that their sins will incur greater judgment. They are being warned that their teachings, specifically their incorrect teachings, will incur stricter judgment because those words stand to influence more people.
But RZIM has abused that verse. They have altered that verse to empower and deify themselves. And they have misrepresented it to indicate stricter judgment (aka we will erase you from the face of this earth kind of judgment) for personal failure, regardless of how good your content was, simply because you were a preacher.
Due to what I know about what they’ve said in private, I can only assume they’ve said it so they can find a home amidst the mob mentality that masquerades as spiritual sensitivity. It’s the best way to protect themselves, which they would see as ultimately protecting the Gospel because of their calling to preach it.
But last I checked, God never said to embrace lies or half truths. or to bow to cultural expectations of judgment just so you could keep your foot in the door of culture. He is in charge of all of our callings. So, scapegoating someone else to preserve your own influence is never a formula He commanded.
They haven’t just reduced Dad to his sins, they’ve ensured that that is all he ever will be in some peoples eyes. Instead of allowing for both good and bad to be attached to a man’s earthly legacy, they have published the bad and erased the good, making sure that his life can never do any more good though his teachings. They have given people no other option but to only remember his alleged sin.
It that verse in James is true, as I believe it to be, then it is RZIM who ought to be worried as their actions against my Dad have been made under the guise of doctrine. They could be pure as the driven snow in their lives, but if they are wrong about how they’ve handled this, they will answer heavily for it when they meet the Lord.
Early on in this process, someone left a very insightful comment on my Instagram post. They referenced Joseph and his handling of Mary, when he had doubts about the spiritual origin of her pregnancy.
Matthew 1:19 says:
“And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.”
Other translations say he was a “righteous” man. The cause and effect in that description is powerful. Because he was a righteous/just man, he did not want to handle this publicly. He did not want to air her dirty laundry. He wanted to handle it privately.
He was righteous, and his behavior was considered a logical outworking of that righteousness. His intent was the exact opposite of RZIM’s, and the Bible praises him for it.
Last example. And the most important.
Sam Allberry was a speaker at Rzim. A gifted one. And he was one who positioned himself as comforter and pastor for my family when Dad was popular. Once Dad wasn’t, that desire to comfort and pastor us evaporated in an instant. Then he became pastor to twitter and completely abandoned and ignored my family, except when he decided to lie about my sister’s message to him. (That was such a blatant misquote that it has to be intentional. She, being a better person than me, did not respond. But if Sam would like to challenge that accusation he can feel free. I have the letter he misquoted so I’m ready.)
Not too long after Sam’s social media crusade and the report’s release, he tweeted something that was one of the greatest examples of an intellectual disconnect that I’ve ever seen.
Sam is right – that is what Jesus did. But that is not what Sam has done. When I read that I shook my head. How could a man who just spent months working to exclude/redefine my Dad’s presence from history then talk about the example Jesus gave us of embracing and communing with the sinner? The same man (Sam) who doesn’t even want to share a website, bio, etc with my Dad, is suddenly talking about how appreciative he is that Jesus shared a table with sinners – an act that signifies far more in Jesus’ day than it does in our culture today.
Jesus did confront the sinner, no doubt. But He drew as close to them as He could when He did it. He separated their value from their sin. He made it clear that were sinners, but they were not their sin. He condemned their behavior but embraced their soul. He never ostracized them or distanced Himself from them. He went closer.
Sam and RZIM have done none of that.
In fact, the harshest words Jesus had were for those who claimed to know everything about the sinners hearts; what they were and were not worthy of. You might say He condemned those who had a habit of making public statements about someone else’s sin and where they stood in eternity. Those are the people he responded to with great force and anger. They bristled at the fact that a grievous sinner could commune with the Lord. They hated the fact that they were considered on par with themselves in the Lords eyes. Both in equal need of Him. Both with equal access.
Rzim has played the role of those Pharisees. They have gone far beyond condemning actions they only partially believe in. Even if they believed all of it they have gone far beyond condemning sin.
The Bible is full of characters where God shows us the good and the bad of a person. God always used sinners to do mighty things. Some of them weren’t even believers, but God was not afraid to use them or to make it clear that He had done so.
He made them a part of His story to spread his truth, regardless of where their hearts were. He didn’t erase those who would be inconvenient vessels for him. He let their good and bad live on in history.
But RZIM – they must know better than God. There’s no place for a broken vessel to still have done any good or communicated any truth. They feel the right course is to erase any sign that God used my Dad. They have decided for us – and God – who we can choose to learn from.
They can quote a good game. They can use all the right words Twitter wants them to. But the fact is the Gospel they preach from the pulpit doesn’t match the Gospel them demonstrate in their PR statements.
At the beginning of this I mentioned the audiences who heard RZIM speakers preach of God’s love for them no matter ever, and their worth in the eyes of the Lord no matter what. I would venture to say many of those listeners now would steer clear of ever confiding in one of those speakers. For if they could see their “former friend” as only bad, why would they view anyone else any differently?
In this post I’m sharing some more information in response to my brief appearance on Julie Roys’ blog last week.
In the comment section of Julie’s blog, Vicki Blue tried to give an explanation for the text message I released. Among other things, in her response she says these two things:
“I believe that must have been my last contact”
“if there is any other text, it was before then…”
Those are false statements.
We have texts after that. The text messages I posted were in January, 2016. She then says she would like to help find and train a dog for my parents, and shares at length about two service animals she’s working with (Jeli and Sage). She says she would love to come do massages for both my mom and dad. (It was Dad who constantly brought my mom and the family into the conversations with Vicki.)
In March of 2016, she writes him on his birthday and refers to him as “most precious Mr. Ravi Ji” and “my dear Mr. Ravi Ji.” Ji is a suffix often used in Hindi to convey great respect for the person you are addressing with it. Vicki either got this from hearing Michael Ramsden use it, or more likely from hearing Anurag use it. Anurag regularly used it when addressing Dad (and frequently in the text messages of his that I have released, and in those I haven’t, yet.) Vicki and Dad even exchange messages that August for her birthday.
In all of this communication, Dad does not always respond to all of her messages. She always responds to his. She was clearly the one driving most of the conversation.
PHONES & PHOTOS
Once Julie allowed my comment and wrote back, she expressed disbelief that we could find text messages on his phone and not see photos.
Well, Julie, I don’t know what else to say, but that’s the truth.
Actually, I do know what else to say.
Dad regularly gave his phone to the family for help with one thing or another. He was not technically savvy, so he often needed my help with something on the phone. I never – not ever – saw any inappropriate, questionable, or ill advised photo on his phones or computer.
Despite the report making it look like Dad went out of his way to avoid digital oversight at RZIM and kept them away from his phones, that is just not what happened. Quite often, Dad handed over his phones to get their help with troubleshooting, software updates, backups, syncing to his computer, etc. IT staff regularly had access to his phones and data. They never saw anything.
In Dad’s last weeks, my mom and sister had full access to his phones at all times. They never saw one of these alleged photos, questionable contacts, or anything of the sort.
ABOUT THOSE DAYS
That last paragraph brings another thought to mind. I think I’ve mentioned that at many times in Dad’s final weeks there were times that he was not in his normal mind due to the influence of various pain medications. But not once did he ever mention a concerning behavior, another woman’s name, a strange comment.
In fact, in one of his worst moments of confusion and unfiltered speech, though his understanding of what was going on was impaired, his concern was still for my mom’s well-being and care. In other times during those days, he regularly talked about new ways to spread the Gospel, and he had imaginary (or not, perhaps) conversations with Christian leaders already in heaven.
I find something else interesting about those days. All these messages they say they have, yet there’s not a single questionable communication they can point to in his final months? Keep in mind, in January and February Dad thought his dramatic increase in back pain was fixable. He thought surgery and a couple months off of the road would do the trick. Being off the road meant canceling time in Asia at some point. But there’s no communication with one of these people saying he won’t be able to see them?
The report claims he had history of expressing disappointment when travel was canceled because it limited his ability to see one or more of these therapists. And they say he expressed anticipation of his next trip. But there’s nothing in their report from those final months. There are no messages to any therapists saying he won’t be able to see them because of his surgery and subsequent healing period.
And then when he realized he was facing cancer, there were no messages then, either. All of these women he supposedly had “amorous” contact with over the years and there’s not a single message telling one of them what’s happening? No goodbyes? No message from one of them after they may have heard through other sources?
Even in the times when he was under the influence of medication, he never fired off a quick text or email or WhatsApp message. All of those accounts were continuously logged in on his phone and could have been viewed by any of the family members that were constantly by his side. The report claimed to have gotten some information that had been deleted off of the phones, so the answer can’t be that he sent those messages but just deleted them.
If the things they accuse him of are true, it seems completely unbelievable that he wouldn’t have sent or received a communication to/from any one of these women while these things were happening. But there are no such messages.
FRAMING THE PHOTOS
As with other aspects of the report, there are a lot of holes within their presentation of the photo evidence. At times it seems like they were intentionally manipulating the reader. And many of the details – or lack thereof at times – seem inconsistent with the story they want us to believe.
On key points, they clearly give precedence to the narrative above the actual evidence. The report goes into great detail when it benefits them, then leaves out important detail when it would hurt their case.
First, the introduction of the photos is clearly meant to manipulate the reader. The first paragraph creates shock with the number of photos. They even mention that total twice – once at the beginning of the report and then again when they actually expand on the information. They break down how many photos were of what person, and include Lori Anne Thompson and all of the assumptions her name brings into the scenario. They even blatantly speculate about the ages of the women when they have no idea.
But then after one very long paragraph with a whole bunch of stats and dates, they say this:
In the majority of these photographs the women are fully clothed and posing as anyone would for a selfie.
That’s what you call burying the lede.
The writers knew full well that people would read the first paragraph and mentally determine the photos were all nudes. That was clearly delivered in such a way to have people come away thinking he had 200 nude photos on his phone. They were successful, as evidenced by some of the comments I get and the way the press covered that detail.
But approximately 197 of the 200 photos were clothed. You really think a man who is supposedly sexually aggressive and has a habit of asking for nude pictures would have 197 clothed “normal” photos compared to 3 nude photos?
Another strange detail of the way they describe the photos – they don’t seem to know who most of them are. Only a couple are allegedly linked to other communications, and they don’t seem to know much about any of them. They speculate about their ages, where he saw them, etc.
Why is that significant? Because it would seem to indicate that none of them are from their witness list. And if you’re claiming a man has a pattern of behavior, it doesn’t make sense that you don’t have any examples of that pattern from any of the twelve massage therapists interviewed.
If these sources were real and telling the truth it seems these pictures would have included their own pictures and proof that he requested them.
(Yes there are supposedly 6 clothed photos of LAT, but his defense against those is already well documented. So I’m talking about the other 194 photos, apparently none of which include their supposed multitude of witnesses. And that is strange.)
There’s an incredible lack of communications surrounding those photos. The investigation likes to quote his own words, supposedly, but when it comes to picture exchanges they don’t use his words. They decide to speak for him at that point and just tell us he asked for them, letting our imaginations do the work of what the tone of those requests were.
200 photos wanted and requested would have a significant communication trail to go with them. But they seemingly have very little of that.
When it comes to nude photos, they offer no evidence for his role in those at all. They cite two anonymous people who say he asked for nude photos but they declined. And there is no proof of that exchange. So we’re back to the “they say” aspects of the report, trying to overcome the massive lack of evidence with unproven verbal information.
The other piece of info conveniently left out is where the photos were found. Were they found in his photos library or in his deleted files? The answer to that makes a big difference, which is why I suspect the report skipped past that detail.
Some or all of these could have been deleted for any number of vindicating reasons: because he didn’t want them, ask for them, or didn’t have have sordid motives with them.
As one attorney told me, it is very easy to get Dad’s information. She told me exactly where I could find Dad’s private phone number online. Anyone could get it and send unsolicited messages…. repeatedly. Ask any public figure out there and I’m sure you’ll find many get contacted with unwanted photos.
That all makes it hard for me to trust in any of the information they are giving.
My Mom recently sent an email to some friends and family that is being circulated. She’s since asked me to post it here to ensure it’s ongoing accuracy.
Good am, Family. I love you all.
I wanted you all to know that I have spent the last week going through every paper and article in Ravi’s desk, closet and drawers. I moved last Monday as RZIM told me I had 90 days to vacate our home, which had been promised to me specifically in the case that Ravi died for as long as I wanted it. Before I left the house I wanted to be certain that nothing was left of Ravi that anyone could take and twist and create a story to use against him. Included in this were the suitcases from his last international trip last Jan, which have stood unemptied in our closet for the past year. Seeing his shoes in it really undid me. I went through every scrap of paper, all his financial documents, letters, cards he had kept etc. In short, everything he valued and needed in life.
Ravi was not very organized. His filing system was to designate a drawer (kind of) and throw everything into it. He threw nothing out, and I mean nothing. I found receipts dating back into the 1980’s, including receipts for every restaurant he ever ate in, I think. I lost track of the garbage bags and the hours spent shredding financial & personal documents, as well as confidential & personal documents relating to RZIM.
I found dozens of cards he had kept from the kids & me. I found family pictures, mostly of the kids & me but also some from your growing up days in India. He had a picture of me with my father on my 16th birthday, another of when I graduated from high school. I found notes I had written to him. I found an anniversary gift for me for last year when we were in Houston and a birthday gift for me for last year when he was in heaven. I found cards he had bought to give me but never had the chance.
I found multiple denominations of money in multiple currencies in multiple boxes. I always wondered that he always had cash in the appropriate currency upon arrival in any country I went with him and never had to visit the exchange booths in any airport to pay porters and cab drivers.
I found drawers and drawers of medications he took for the medical issues he was dealing with, including in no particular order sleep aids, metamucil, pain medications, metamucil, energy boosters, metamucil, prostate medications, metamucil, hair growth tonics.
I found boxes of pens and watches never worn as they were good watches, usually given to him, and he was afraid they would create the wrong impression of him.
I found the bag of crosses he gave to every therapist who helped him and which have been used against him, called expensive gifts used to bribe or “groom”…I’m not even sure what that is. I guess normal, civil discourse is grooming because you want to make a good impression on someone. The bag has clearly marked on it who gave them to him (he did not buy them), a friend who is a jeweler. He gave one to me, to Naomi & Sarah & Sarah Kay, to Elizabeth & Barb one Christmas & described how he used them to open a conversation about the Lord with people he met along the way. He had literally dozens of them and gave them out liberally. They were not intended to convey a special or romantic interest.
I am reminded of when Ravi spoke for Billy Graham at Amsterdam ‘86 on The Lostness of Man. Afterward, Billy told Ravi that he had never heard such a powerful sermon on the subject and asked if he could use it. Ravi was really flattered until someone, either Leighton Ford or Cliff Barrows, told him not to put too much stock in what Billy had said as he said that to everyone who spoke for him.
These crosses were the same. They conveyed no special interest. He gave them to everyone. They were what he said they were, an opportunity for him to open the conversation to be about the Lord.
I found a receipt book from which he issued a receipt for every massage he received at home, with the name of the therapist and a description of the treatment, signed by the therapist and by him.
I found multiple cards from people, including some therapists, thanking him for the blessing he was to them, for his encouragement to them, for leading them into a deeper walk with the Lord or being instrumental in bringing them to the Lord. I found letters from people offering him all kinds of advice in boosting his energy levels, on staying healthy, on making his hair grow, on treating his back.
I would also like to tell you that both Naomi and I have had frequent text messages from the therapist that treated his back most often in recent years, affirming the love and respect for him and for us that she and her family still hold and telling us they continue to pray for us and are here for us. She and her family were present at the dedication of the RZIM building.
All of this is to tell you what I did not find: no suspicious financial documents, no financial or real estate arrangements that I did not know about. No investments that I was not aware of. No suspicious letters or cards of a romantic nature from anyone but me. No suspicious expenditures. No products to treat conditions unknown to me.
In short, I want you, his family, to know beyond a shadow of doubt that I found not one suspicious receipt, letter, card, expenditure…absolutely nothing to support the claims being made or the charges against him.
As I said, he was not an organized person, except in his logical, philosophical & theological thought processes. He had no filing system. He was not complex. He was not duplicitous, he was not an actor. As you recall, he wasn’t hired for the role in that Christian movie as a teenager b/c he cldnt act. I cldnt even tell him about a surprise I was planning as, like an excited child, he couldn’t keep it secret. I could always tell if there was more to a story b/c his nose would do something funny. Like Jack Delany, a friend here, who wasn’t supposed to eat chocolate: his wife could always tell if he had had chocolate as his nose would get red.
He could never have kept a secret like they are alleging (alleging, I say, as there is not one whit of evidence to support what they are saying). At the very least, with all the medication he was on at the end and his hallucinations something would have come out if something were there.
When Ravi learned his cancer had metastasized he said he was ready to meet the Lord. He had no regrets, he said, except that he would have to leave us behind. He had no fear of dying, of meeting the Lord. His conversations at the end when he was seeing things we couldn’t and talking to people we couldn’t see were not filled with angst or fear or guilt. He was talking about strategy for sharing the Gospel with his unseen visitors. So much for Randy Alcorn and John MacArthur.
He never uttered another woman’s name, even in his sleep. His first thoughts every morning were of the Lord, his first words, “Thank you, Lord.” His Bible is marked up and underlined, notes in the margins, interacting with what is written and applying it to himself. I found written in his Bible the following. It has no date. It has no author. But Ravi obviously resonated with it.
Lord, I renounce my desire for human praise,
For the approval of my peers,
The need for public appreciation;
I deliberately put them aside today,
Content to hear you whisper,
“Well done, my faithful servant.” Amen.
More than any other poem I ever heard him quote was this one by Amy Carmichael, Make Me Thy Fuel, Flame of God:
From prayer that asks that I may be
Sheltered from winds that beat on Thee,
From fearing when I should aspire,
From faltering when I should climb higher,
From silken self, O Captain, Free
Thy soldier who would follow Thee.
From subtle love of softening things,
From easy choices, weakenings,
(Not this are spirits fortified,
Not this way went the Crucified,)
From all that dims Thy Calvary,
O Lamb of God, deliver me.
Give me the Love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay,
The hope no disappointments tire,
The passion that will burn like fire,
Let me not sink to be a clod:
Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.
He was not perfect. He was a man. As his wife of 48 years, I know this more than anyone else. But his failures were not in this area. He was spectacularly self-disciplined in his conduct, especially where it would reflect poorly on the Lord. He denied himself every single day in order to fulfill his calling and be pleasing to the Lord. He trusted me implicitly and I, him. He loved me completely, even the aspects of my personality that he found frustrating. He was fully committed first to his God, then to me and to his children, and finally to those who looked to him as an example.
Such a man could not be guilty of what is being alleged and there is no evidence at all to support those allegations, not in his personal effects, his financial records, his correspondence, his actions observed by all who knew him over 74 yrs. Even the so-called evidence in his emails is phrases, words taken out of context and never confirmed with those who knew him, who could give some context. Anyone of any celebrity status who gives his email to any who ask because he didn’t want to offend them by refusing, always cautioning them to “be careful what they did with it,” receives hundreds of pictures and selfies from fans & admirers, often inappropriate ones. That is pandemic in our society today. And everything you receive on your phone or computer is there for eternity, as we are constantly warned, and can always be “forensically retrieved.” So there are pictures. The investigator never told us their origin, whether he researched them or they were sent to him. Is he responsible for what is sent to him? If he is, then so is everyone else.
There is absolutely no way that Ravi is guilty as charged, convicted, canceled and executed, some even going so far as to claim that he never knew the Lord. I knew him, inside and out. I trust him & believe in him no less than I did on May 18th last year when he called me to him and kissed me as long as he had the strength, his last physical act in his life. It is not because I am in denial. It is because I knew him and because there is absolutely no evidence to support anything contrary.
I have written this because I feel it is important that you, his family, know what I know, know what I have found and not found, so that you may have confidence to continue to love and respect the man you knew, and that you may know that he was the man you knew.
With much love, and confidence in Ravi and in the God he knew and loved and served,
In responding to a piece written by Julie Roys, someone referenced my posting of text messages on here. But they questioned why we had those when we said we didn’t have the phones. I responded with essentially the same wording I’ve used on here to explain:
Julie, being the kind of “journalist” that requires quotation marks around the title, read the line about “But we knew those two were involved…” and thought/hoped it meant the “two” were my Dad and Vicki. That is absurd, false, and not at all what I meant. Given that Anurag and Vicki are the subject of that comment, they are the “two” to which I was referring. As in, we knew Anurag and Vicki were involved in the story put forth by Baughman.
So posted below are Julie’s response, and then my follow up. I’m posting them here since she has so far been selective about what comments of mine she keeps and which ones she deletes. And in case she decides not to share my further explantation I want it to be visible here.
UPDATE: It looks like Julie did initially delete my response, as evidenced by its absence in the photo below. Note the same timestamped comment header from Vicki Blue in both the before and after photo, showing where my comment was and then mysteriously wasn’t.
Just as mysteriously, it reappeared some time after I pointed out it’s departure. She has still withheld other comments I made on her thread.
And this is supposed to be a “transparent” and “unbiased” person providing key witnesses and information to Miller & Martin?
As mentioned before, my mom was not allowed to be a part of the report presentation that was given directly to the board and a number of individuals, some of whom weren’t leadership or even on staff. The reason she was given was that she couldn’t be there because of witness confidentiality reasons.
But page 2 of the report says this:
“The overwhelming majority of those we interviewed requested confidentiality and asked to have their identities kept anonymous. To encourage witnesses to speak candidly, both RZIM management and the committee of the RZIM Board to which we report agreed that they would not have access to witness identities. As a result, and because most witnesses spoke to us in reliance on our assurance of confidentiality, we are not revealing names of any witnesses in this report or otherwise.”
So either the report is lying by saying they withheld witness identities from RZIM, or RZIM is lying in saying my Mom couldn’t be there for the presentation because it contained confidential witness identities.
Given the blatant inaccuracies by the report, and RZIM leadership reportedly trying to strong-arm dissenting board members to secure a unanimous vote (something they failed to get), the answer to which side is lying on the witness anonymity claim is a toss up.
One of the main pillars of the report is Dad’s travel to Asia. So I have a few things to share on that.
As mentioned in the report, Dad had two apartments that he purchased in Bangkok. There are a couple of reasons for this.
First, Dad enjoyed the idea of a good investment. These units were cheap by American standards, and it seemed like a good way to build his investment portfolio. But more importantly, he looked for more opportunities to invest because he was trying to build for retirement.
To give context, during the majority of Dad’s ministry at RZIM, the organization did not pay anything towards his retirement. That decision was made in the early days of the ministry when budgets were tight and never revisited. He was on his own for those things for a long time. It was only in the last fifteen years, or so, that the board realized what had happened and took steps to try and correct that.
Even before the report, people have put out completely absurd, judgmental, and inaccurate information about Dad’s salary at RZIM. Depending on the source, those numbers are straight up lies or a complete manipulation of the data.
If an organization offers benefits to their employees, the cost to an employer is significantly more than what the employee earns. Some people have taken the amount RZIM paid towards Dad’s employee benefits and lumped it together with the salary he received. Adding those numbers together made Dad’s salary look much higher than it was.
Dad and the board always focused on keeping his salary in line with comparable positions at similar ministries. I think his final raise, something he didn’t take often, was meant to help give him more to invest and save for retirement. The salary bump and new retirement fund contributions were RZIM’s way of trying to help correct what had been overlooked for 20 years.
Dad invested to help gain ground, and the apartments were part of that. It was far less expensive to invest in real estate in a place like Thailand and still make a profit on it. Doing so in the United States would have cost far more up front. It also made sense to do it in a place he often traveled to because it would actually save RZIM money.
It was cheaper to reimburse him for time spent there for speaking engagements or writing, instead of paying for a hotel. He got an investment, they got a savings.
Why did he write there? One, invitations from Asia were a huge percentage of his ministry opportunities. While US universities are closing their doors, Asia is opening theirs. So it was easy to add writing time into his itinerary there since he was in the region so much. But secondly, being Indian, Dad felt at home in Asia.
The apartments were not a secret. We knew about them. He offered them to the family if any of us were ever going to be traveling there. And I believe he even offered them to other people who were in need of them at times.
ACCORDING TO THE REPORT
Now, on to what else the report says about the apartments. Actually, first, let me point out what it doesn’t say: all of these supposed “amorous” communications they say they have, and they do not mention a single one inviting one of these people to his apartment. It seems like if he had this double life there would be mentions and uses of this apartment with some of these people. But they don’t seem to have any of that.
All they claim to have, as it relates to the apartment, is that he “housed” his massage therapist in one of them. The evidence presented for this claim is this: in the notes section they found initials that matched hers with the phone number to the second unit. Is that it? Because that seems inexact.
Here are a few arguments against why even that is not compelling.
For one thing, the initials matching a known therapist could be a coincidence.
Even if it was her, the “note” does not prove that they were ever or regularly there at the same time. I already mentioned he offered the accommodations to other people when he wasn’t even going to be there.
Even if he did have a therapist staying there, the scandalous tone with which they mention it is confusing. Wouldn’t that actually be the preferred way of doing it? Wouldn’t this be evidence of putting up a boundary? And wouldn’t this boundary be out of character for a man they say had no boundaries?
DON’T FOLLOW THE EVIDENCE, APPARENTLY
Go where the evidence leads. That’s how the saying goes. Just not in this case.
Lynsey Barron spent a great deal of time using supposed emails/text messages to paint a picture of Dad’s alleged behavior in Asia. Their own report says that the greatest amount of evidence came from his phones. So naturally, when they found all this evidence pointing towards behavior in Asia, they pursued those people to find out what these messages meant and how far this supposed behavior went.
Actually, no. They didn’t do that. And that is very odd. The report says at the beginning,
“we did not not enlist resources on the ground in Asia, where Mr. Zacharias frequently traveled, to locate and interview witnesses there.” (Page 1)
So the most damning “evidence” they had pointed to people and behavior in Asia. He spent a significant time in Asia, as much time there as anywhere else. The evidence they say is so credible pointed to Asia as ground zero of his behavior. And where did they choose to not do interviews, or devote any resources from the investigation? Asia.
Dad spent a significant amount of time in Asia. They could have spoken to hotel staff, doormen from the apartments, security from hotels and the apartments. There are a lot of people who witnessed Dad’s behavior and could tell you whether they saw any signs of anything suspicious. But they didn’t talk to them. Instead, they focused on people sent to them by biased sources: Anurag Sharma, Vicki Blue, Julie Roys, and Steve Baughman.
And before I wrap this post up, there’s one more telling thing from the report. After spending time talking about the frequency of Dad getting back treatments in Asia, they just drop this little gem into the report:
“we have very little insight into whether Mr. Zacharias engaged in inappropriate massage behavior when in Asia.” (Page 6)
And yet the fact that he received back treatments in Asia is included in the same section as allegations of abuse and misconduct in massages, despite their lack of “insight.” The reason is clear: the receiving of back treatments in Asia is meant to look extreme and give weight to the accusations of the people alleging misconduct. The question they want readers to ask is why would someone get a back treatment so often unless there was something else going on?
So they use the accusers’ stories to help “sell” concern about his travel in Asia since they have no proof about his behavior during back treatments there. But they use his travel in Asia to “sell” the accusers stories since they have no proof of the behavior in those either. That’s what you call circular reasoning. (If A, then B. If B, then A).
When it comes to abuse, there is no evidence. However, we do know of evidence that shows accusers changing their stories. So the abuse investigation is definitely incomplete.
When it comes to traveling in Asia there is no testimony, and apparently “no insight” into massage behavior there. There is only an indication of receiving regular back treatments. That component is incomplete.
When it comes to inappropriate communication, the one charge that allegedly does have documented proof was left at that. No further investigation was done; they strangely stopped with what was stored on the phones. They didn’t talk to people and witnesses in Asia who could have shed a lot of light on the subject, not even enough to verify if there was a physical relationship. They had their “strongest” leads in an area where he spent a large percentage of his time and did nothing to get more clarity on them. So that part is incomplete.
In fact according to Julie Roys herself, leads and names of “accusers” came from her. She says she gave Barron the names of the people to talk to.
At the presentation of the report to the boardboat, Ms. Barron was asked if she had investigated the possibility that any of these witnesses had colluded or been coordinated by an outside source. She said no, declaring that her only job was to investigate my dad.
But based on her own report, it doesn’t seem like she even investigated him.