This is a crosspost from soc.religion.christian concerning one of my heroes, Mike Warnke, a Christian comedian who God has built an incredible ministry on over the past few years...does anybody on r.m.c know anything more concerning this? I really hope it isn't true...but then again, does Cornerstone have any reason to print lies?
Hi, I'm one of the senior editors for Cornerstone magazine. We are responsible for publishing "Selling Satan: The Tragic History of Mike Warnke," by Jon Trott and Mike Hertenstein, in our latest issue. We are convinced that the information we published is accurate and thoroughly researched. The main article carries 170 footnotes, and there are four supplementary articles (two sidebars, heavily documented, and an article by Bob and Gretchen Passantino on the validity of Christian investigative reporting, and another article by Glenn Kaiser on accountability in the contemporary Christian music scene).
The interviews are devastating to Mike Warnke's claim to having been a high priest in Satanism. People who knew Warnke during the time of his alleged involvement (1965-1966), Warnke's closest friends and family members, univocally tell a different story. Moreover, when you work out a chronology of events (try matching the book with a real calendar), you'll find there isn't time for Warnke to have done what he says he did. Warnke tried to get two of his **high school** friends to sign affidavits in 1972 that his upcoming book was true, and they turned him down flat.
Photographic evidence: on an interview broadcast on "Focus on the Family" (James Dobson's ministry) on March 16, 1985, Mike Warnke told the audience that when he was at the height of his satanic power, "I had white hair. It was down to my belt . . . I had six-inch \long! fingernails; I painted them black." We published a photograph of Mike Warnke, dated April 30, 1966, next to his fiancee, Lois Eckenrod (never mentioned in "The Satan Seller"). He's a straight, almost nerdy looking young man, whose hair is so short it doesn't touch his ears| Normal looking hands and fingernails.
Finally, in addition to internal conflicts (e.g., anachronisms) and external difficulties (e.g., all of Mike's college friends say he never had drugs, a satanic following, nor two "love slaves" locked in his apartment), we must realize that Mike Warnke has NEVER produced one person who will (or can) admit to having been actively involved with him in Satanic worship.
It doesn't matter if they're Christian now or not ... if Mike had been leader of 1,500 Satanists, is it too much to expect that he could remember 15 names of his chief lieutenants, underlings, or others he recruited or directed in his coven? Though we would expect him to be able to provide at least a few people who might be able to corroborate his story (even if they're still Satanist, it'd be **something**), it appears that the reason he has not done so is because he CANNOT do so. He has lied to the Christian world about his background.
We are all to well aware of the negative impact this will have on
Christians who have trusted him, and on those in the secular world who
are already looking for reasons to dump on Christianity. However, it is
better to tell the truth than to piously hide a fraud and a deceiver for
the sake of appearance. No, Cornerstone has no reason to print lies.
pray for Mike and Rose and their family...whether this is true or not,
they're in for a long haul...
Believe it or not, we **have** prayed for Mike and his family. You should know, however, that Mike and Rose divorced on Sept. 4, 1991, after 11 years of marriage. Mike married his fourth wife, Susan Patton, on Nov. 18, 1991. Mike is in for a difficult time; he does not yet see the need for public confession and repentance here. He's played the game for too long to back down.
Please post to both boards, as I expect there are people in r.m.c and s.r.c who are very interested in this issue...
If I'm able, I'll try to cross-post it in soc.religion.Christian.
Yes, Mike Warke has responded and the faxes are flying furiously around here. By and large, his response is to offer names of well known people who affirm that his story is true (first wife Sue, co-author Dave Balsiger, radio host Bob Larson, writer Johanna Michaelson), but there is no **positive** evidence in support of his testimony. Mike also claims to be submitted now to certain people, and to know God's forgiveness for his past sins. He quotes the Bible from Philippians 3:13 ("forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things that are before ..."), and expresses his hope that we will do the same.
Mike Warnke's latest concerts included some in Canada. Someone who MCed one of the shows talked to Mike and the Cornerstone expose wasn't entirely unexpected. email@example.com
True. Mike learned that we were doing this article many months ago. He didn't contact us. We contacted him about a month before going to press, and he didn't want to have anything to do with us without his attorney present. We're Christian journalists, and we're interested in truth, honesty, holiness and repentance -- not plea bargaining. The subtle but tacit pressure of possible legal action is not what we're all about, and the opportunity for dialogue, confession, or confrontation broke down right there. We asked him to bring church leaders instead ("you pick one, we'll pick one, and we'll let them pick a third") to moderate the discussion, but it was no dice.
We'll try to stay abreast of the postings on this area, and answer as many direct questions as we can. Thanks.