A longtime RZIM partner and associate has commented on the allegations of sexual molestation and perverse behavior by famed apologist Ravi Zacharias, revealing that he heard about the rumors for years and that he’s embarrassed that he so easily believed the explanations that were given to him by RZIM.
In an article for Eternity News, John Sandeman quotes a statement by John Dickson, an Australian author and historian with close ties to RZIM who has taught at many of their conferences and has been featured on their website and social media for years. Referencing the Baker-Hytch letter, whereby another famed apologist and co-laborer with Zacharias called into question RZIM’s response to the claims, he writes:
“I am devastated…I knew about the rumors, but it was always explained to me by RZIM officials as scurrilous gossip intended to bring down a good organization. Plausible explanations were offered, and I am embarrassed to say that I too easily trusted what I was told. But it is clear to me from this leaked letter – at least reading between the lines – that one of the most important intellectuals in the RZIM team (Max Baker-Hytch) fears the very worst about all of the allegations concerning Ravi.
He (Max Baker-Hytch) also seems to have experienced obfuscation and a lack of sincerity from the very top of the organization. That is not the organization I have known and loved for more than 20 years, but I also know that Max is about as trustworthy and mild-mannered a human being as you will ever meet. Apart from anything else, someone in leadership at RZIM – one of the recipients of the letter presumably – seems to have leaked this letter. I am sure Max is not alone in feeling that there is a very real possibility that RZIM has betrayed the public trust, numerous women, and the Lord himself.”
Dickson also spoke to Julie Roy, who informed her that he had severed ties with RZIM
Do you intend to continue speaking occasionally at RZIM events? Why or why not?
A: No. I had a Zoom meeting with RZIM leaders in October, in which they kindly allowed me to ask all the questions I wanted. I wrote to them a few days later advising that I could not in good conscience continue any connection with RZIM, including some academic teaching I was due to offer next month. Without going into detail—I hope you don’t mind—I basically explained to RZIM leadership that I did not have confidence the allegations were being taken seriously enough by the US leadership, nor that the path they had chosen was designed to bring everything into the light.
Q: What would RZIM need to do to restore trust with you (if it in fact, is broken)?
A: I believe RZIM is in grave peril. I cannot see how the organisation can survive. I count many of the people in the organisation my friends. Some of them are, to my mind, the most important Christian communicators in the world. But I can only see myself working with them, assuming they’ll still have me, if the Zacharias family releases Lori Anne Thompson from the non-disclosure agreement, if the RZIM board opens itself up to genuine scrutiny, if the Zacharias name is removed from the organisation, and, above all, if they somehow become the gold standard in transparency and grace toward alleged victims, wherever they are found.
We eagerly await the results of the investigation that is allegedly taking place at RZIM, though we have serious doubts about what it will find, given that it’s not an independent investigation. So far RZIM has not demonstrated any transparency or godly sorry but rather obfuscation and distraction.
If they want to show they are taking this seriously, the first thing they can do is release Lori Anne Thompson from her NDA which was enforced by RZIM under bad faith and an effort to conceal Zacharia’s sin.
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