Ravi Zacharias, RZIM, Steve Baughman, Apologist, lawsuit, sex scandal
This article was originally posted at the blog, Ordinary Times on culture and politics and was reprinted by permission.
It is written by attorney Steve Baughman who has spent the last 2-1/2 years trying to get Ravi Zacharias to come clean with his exaggerated academic credentials and claims. Why would I want to post an atheist’s writings here on a Christian blog? Good question. I found Steve to be a very interesting and respectable guy. He got upset when he discovered that Mr. Zacharias wasn’t completely honest about his academic credentials because he was led to read his works based on his so-called credentials. It’s kind of like when I once poured 1% milk in my kids’ whole milk jug. They were expecting what was on the label: whole milk. The jug concealed the true color of the milk, so when they poured it, they saw that it was not as creamy, and felt cheated. It was upsetting to them. Would they feel certain that the milk in the jug was always going to be whole milk after I tricked them? Probably not. We all can understand that disappointment. (I don’t do that anymore.)
A couple of things to note: this dinner invitation came about soon after social media was picking up on the story of Mr. Zacharias’ inflated academic credentials. Take special note that Mr. Baughman mentioned getting together many times before, but now that there was negative pressure spreading in social media, Mr. Zacharias made that dinner happen.
Why was that? Was it so Mr. Zacharias could soothe things over with Mr. Baughman? Think about it – if you have a nice and friendly dinner with someone, and they pick up the tab, is it going to make it more difficult to write negative things about the person? I suspect so.
As I have studied the ways in which religious leaders work to draw people in, the first thing that happens is the charm. You will read about this in Mr. Baughman’s account. Steve and I talked before going to dinner. I’m pretty sure I reminded him to try to stay on topic so he could get his questions asked. That didn’t happen. He was charmed.
It’s important to note that neither I, nor Steve Baughman, mean any ill-will toward Mr. Zacharias. What we are looking for is honesty and transparency. What we’ve seen publicly is a failure to deal with these issues head on. We hear a lot of fluff, but no real substance.
In Mr. Baughman’s dinner account, you may read some new information that has not been released by mainstream media. (I have shared some of this info on Twitter.) It’s important to note that I have the e-mails from Ms. Thompson and Mr. Zacharias. I received them long before there was any threatened lawsuit. I also have a 20-page narrative. We’ve only heard from Mr. Zacharias, yet Ms. Thompson must remain silent.
But I was not part of that settlement agreement. And until Mr. Zacharias comes clean, I will continue to release more information. Ms. Thompson was not the instigator in sending nude photos as Mr. Zacharias has publicly claimed. He needs to own up to his part in the relationship. There will be more to follow. ~Julie Anne Continue reading