Ravi Zacharias Responds to Sexting Allegations, Credentials Critique

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Bert Perry's picture

It strikes me that if Zacharias' behavior was blameless, he could have provided the full string of emails to the police, who would have initiated a criminal investigation.  Put gently, I don't think that Kentucky lawyer would have sent what can only amount to an extortion letter to Zacharias if he didn't have an idea that there was something there--you can lose your bar license over less, really.  

Jay's picture

This story may be nothing but it certainly seems like there is some kind of something at the core of it. 

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Julie Anne's picture

Does it concern anyone that CT gave Zacharias space for over 1,400 words to tell his side in two separate public statements? Sadly, Mr. Zacharias shut down the possibility of getting more directly from the defendants. 

In full disclosure, I have been in touch with the woman since January of 2017. Two highly respected and reputable Christians referred her to me since I also provided support to the victims of Tullian Tchividjian (and publicly exposed him).  My blog is certainly covering this story. But here is a much better analysis of the case:  https://www.ministrywatch.com/articles/rzim.php

I'm not thrilled that he refers to the defendants as extortionists, but this article is much more balanced than Christianity Today. 

CT did ask me for a statement, and I sent them one early this morning, so we'll see what happens.

 

Bert Perry's picture

Julie, it doesn't bother me at all, because his statements are probably the most factual of any out there, including the ones you've been covering.  If the complainant had had a good case, she'd have filed a complaint in Georgia using a Georgia lawyer with exhibits clearly indicating RZ's grooming.  She chose instead to hire a Kentucky ambulance chaser and provided only a tiny bit of evidence that did not give the context of the interaction.  She did so with a history of attempting the same on others, and she arguably stalked RZ's family in the process.  Really, for Mark Bryant to accept her as a client under those conditions is borderline ethics at best, legally speaking.  

All RZ had to do is provide some of the context that demonstrated what actually happened; RZ most likely fell for a honey trap, which he's all but admitted.  With that, the case for grooming falls apart and Mark Bryant is on notice that if RZ wants, RZ can (a) bankrupt his clients (or even get them imprisoned) and (b) probably get him disbarred.  Put gently, I believe RZ was nice to them because (a) he didn't want to spend his time in Kentucky to get Bryant disbarred and (b) RZ didn't want the embarrassment of the world seeing how he fell into a honey trap in the discovery phase.

Jay's picture

Again, without knowing all the details, this is the part that flabbergasts me:

Even so, Zacharias' own explanation in his court filing of how this situation developed over a period of two years raises questions about his judgment in this matter. He allowed a professional relationship with a prospective donor couple to develop into an online friendship with just the wife. This led to the woman giving Zacharias exercise advice for his bad back including photos of her apparently performing the exercises. These photos apparently progressed from normal photos to scantily clad pictures to eventually nude snapshots. It is hard to see how Zacharias allowed this progression to occur although he claims to have sought to block her messages to him and to cut off all communication with the woman. Nevertheless, communications at some level clearly continued and the filing does not offer an explanation as to how or why this happened. Nor did Zacharias attempt to involve his board of directors in this situation at an early stage of its development, allowing the situation to escalate.

I can understand building a relationship with a major donor, and I can kind of understand limiting it to the wife.  What I don't understand is why Ravi failed to utterly shut down any lines of communication the second he received an improper photo from the woman.  If I received any photos of a "scantily clad woman" in my email or on a text, the first thing I would do is block them from my account, and I don't have an IT person on staff to ask them to do it for me.  That was the largest and brightest red flag possible that it was long past time to delegate this relationship to anyone else at RZIM, possibly including the janitor.  RZIM, I am sure, has a team of people that manage donors and relationships, and Ravi should have excused himself the nanosecond something improper showed up from the wife.

The board at RZIM has probably heard all of his side of this, but at this point my questions are now more along the lines of "what on Earth were you thinking?" and "how could this have been allowed to continue?" and not nearly as much on what actually happened, as bad as that is.  This is not rocket science or something you need a BA to know how to manage.  The Bible is extremely clear about these kinds of dangers.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Julie Anne's picture

1)  It's pretty difficult to provide hard evidence in a case like this when they both deleted the evidence (except I do have the e-mails from the last part of the relationship where he threatens suicide).

2) She did not attempt the same on others. Her husband was involved in a $$ scam at their prior church, lost a ton of $$ and sued to recover some of his losses. Do the research on this case and see for yourself.

3) Why would RZ threaten suicide?

4) Did you read the link I posted above?

 

Bert Perry's picture

Julie Anne wrote:

1)  It's pretty difficult to provide hard evidence in a case like this when they both deleted the evidence (except I do have the e-mails from the last part of the relationship where he threatens suicide).

2) She did not attempt the same on others. Her husband was involved in a $$ scam at their prior church, lost a ton of $$ and sued to recover some of his losses. Do the research on this case and see for yourself.

3) Why would RZ threaten suicide?

4) Did you read the link I posted above?

Of course I read it, repeatedly.   Regarding the other case, there really isn't a whole lot of information that would allow me to track it easily.  Doesn't seem as if either CT or your source reveals it, either, and in any case, if the evidence were crystal clear, don't you think he might have won the case?  At any rate, having been around people suing former business partners, I know it's quite involved, and it is therefore hard to believe that the husband did this without the wife's consent and involvement.  Are we to really believe that the family took a financial bath and then hired a lawyer without the wife being involved?  Of course not; the husband's name would be on the court documents simply because his name had been on the financial documents.

What you're missing here, JA, is that you can infer quite a bit from how a legal action was filed, and how it was resolved.  RZ's lawyer basically took the couple and their lawyer to the woodshed, legally speaking, which means that whatever would have been exposed in discovery was overshadowed by the consequences for the couple and their lawyer.  I've given you an explanation above of some of the possibilities, and of how the couple basically broke every rule in the book for getting decent legal representation.