Vic Nischik, author of Jack Hyles expose "The Wizard of God", passes

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Jim's picture


Vic Nischik testified: 

“These were passionate love notes from Jack Hyles to Jennie, all signed ‘Your aching guy, Jack!’ They expressed undying love, telling Jennie that she was the only woman he loved. … There were references to secret meetings with him in different places” (Nischik, The Wizard of God: My Life With Jack Hyles, pp. 57, 58). 

Hyles arranged for Jennie Nischik to work as a secretary in an adjoining office in the late 1960s, and she would not allow her husband to touch her by 1971. 

Her office had a door opening to Hyles’ office, but there was a drape in front of it so that no one coming into her office could see it. Their offices each had a door opening to the hallway as well as the private door connecting the two rooms. 

Hyles lied about the existence of the door, saying, “There IS no door,” which was technically true at the time, since it had been removed after the matter became public! With America’s supposed Bible-believing preachers lying like this by abusing the tenses of verbs, it is no wonder that the president of the country testified under oath some that “it depends on what the definition of IS is.” 

Various other people testified of the existence of the door, including Dave Hyles’ wife and a preacher who was long associated with Hyles but left in 1988 because he could no longer tolerate the deception and who wrote to Robert Sumner about the matter in 1989. This preacher, who had held Hyles up as his hero for 20 years and loved the man deeply and prayed for him passionately, approached him in fear and trembling about the matter of the door. The preacher quoted 1 Thessalonians 5:22, “Abstain from all appearance of evil,” but Hyles brazenly replied, “My people need to trust me.” 

In 1971, Hyles, without his wife, took Jennie and three other women to Hawaii and stayed in the same hotel, being the only male in the group.

In a scene right out of some cheap romance novel, Hyles arranged for Vic Nischik to sleep in the basement of his own house and to pay rent to Jennie. Later Hyles paid to have a room built for Vic over the garage, where he lived without being allowed any conjugal relationship with his wife. 

When Nischik confronted Hyles in 1985 and demanded that he leave his wife alone, she filed for divorce at Hyles’ insistence. Hyles made the arrangements for and settled the terms of the divorce, and Hyles even paid for it! After the divorce, Jennie moved into a brand new $150,000 condominium at Hyles’ generous behest. 

Nischik twice tried to present the matter before the deacons of First Baptist, but he was shut down. When he tried to read a three-page letter, Hyles cried out, “You are trying to destroy fundamentalism!” and the deacons chimed in by shouting the poor man down. Nischik’s letter, which he later publicized, said in part, 

“MY HOME WAS TAMPERED WITH AND MY MARRIAGE DELIBERATELY WRECKED BY JACK HYLES. HE STOLE MY WIFE, HER LOYALTY AND AFFECTION, and when the divorce hung in balance, unilaterally met with the two attorneys and negotiated the divorce settlement.”

After Nischik went public with the dirty business, Hyles tried to blacken the man’s reputation and turn attention away from his own deeds in a self-serving letter he mailed to 60,000 pastors. He claimed that he had long heard reports that Nischik was immoral, but the following important observation must be taken into consideration in this matter: 

“Throughout all of this, Hyles being privy to most if not all of it by his own testimony, Vic remained a member in good standing of the First Baptist Church, song leader in Dr. Hyles’ own adult Sunday School class, choir member, a key worker in the bus ministry (where the ‘pickings’ would be delightful among love-starved, fatherless, teenage girls), a trustee of Hyles-Anderson College, a financial adviser and assistant who helped him obtain a $1,500,000 loan for the purchase of the Hyles-Anderson campus, as well as a respected deacon in the First Baptist Church! On the basis of Dr. Hyles’ own admissions, I rest my case about the massive cover-up of sin under his leadership. In passing, it is interesting to note that Hyles’ evidence against Vic is loose, unsubstantiated, secondhand, hearsay gossip from unnamed sources” (Robert Sumner, The Jack Hyles Story, chapter 5: “The Hyles Reply”). 

Pastor Joe Roof's picture

What kind of impact do you believe the Hyle's scandal had on fundamentalism?

1.  No impact, there have always been cases of failing preachers.

2.  Some impact, scandals always do.

3.  A huge impact, fundamentalism has never been the same since.

Other possibilities?

Jim Welch's picture

I vote for 3, not because Hyles was in a true sense a historic fundamentalist.

Hyles fractured the Independent Fundamental Baptist movement after being exposed as a fraud.  The strong KVJ only movement can be traced back to Hyles' being exposed.  Hyles used the KJV movement as a cloak to hide his own sin.

Hyles claimed that he was the leader of fundamentalism.  After being exposed, he developed his phony tests of 'true baptist fundamentalism.'    


Bert Perry's picture

Hyles is certainly not the only guilty party, but he's dominant among those who have persuaded too many fundamentalists (and evangelicals) that the way to pastoral leadership is to be a dictator and not a shepherd.  He is therefore responsible in part for the huge shrinking of the entire movement--even beyond Hyles-esque churches, he helped persuade people that Stuff Fundies Like is a pretty good documentary.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.