Do Leopards Ever Change Their Spots?


For those who have had a chance to read my book you realize that as a politically correct person may say, Hank Hanegraaff is a truth challenged individual (he lies to people a lot).

Originally my book was to be coauthored by a friend. However, he had to drop off the project and did not write the chapters he was planning. One of those was the chapter on how the CRI office in Canada, that had started some ten years before Walter Martin had died, was decimated by Hanegraaff in the mid 1990s. This was  after the director in Canada and staff began to realize the things they were hearing about the lawsuit of Brad Sparks against Hanegraaff and the damage that Hank had done to dozens of CRI staff who were fired without any actual cause (except for realizing how inept Hanegraaff truly was, due to his almost universal lack of knowledge in the areas that CRI specialized in) were true. Unfortunately, my friend had done the research on the CRI-Canada problems and I would have had to delay for months the publishing of my book to come up to speed with the information. Therefore, I did only a cursory treatment of the Canadian issue in my book.

A couple weeks ago my contact in Canada (a former CRI-Canada researcher) sent me a copy of a CRI-Canada board meeting minutes dated 11-12-1994. In the meeting that was attended by the Canadian board, Hank Hanegraaff, and Sealy Yates (Hanegraaff’s attorney from the US); the board asked Hanegraaff a series of questions about what they had been hearing of his problems down under in California.

One of the questions was why Stan Tonnesen left the board, after some 20 years of working with Martin, after Hank took over? Here was the response made by Hanegraaff , recorded in the minutes :

Re: Stan Tonneson [sic] leaving CRI’s board. This was during the 1990 coup. Everett Jacobson voted him off the board after having sat with him for 26 years on the board. Craig Hawkins tried to oust Hank and accused him of being demon possessed after Hank returned from a trip to Brazil.

Darlene Martin replaced Stan Tonneson [sic]. Stan offered a full apology and it was accepted however they agreed to not reinstate him because it was  felt that it would de-stabilize the board.  

First, if you wish to know the truth of Hanegraaff’s distain for Craig Hawkins, read the letters by Craig Nelson and Anthony Horpel found  starting on pages 45 and 57 respectively in my book (hint: Craig never accused Hank of possession). It had nothing to do with this fairy tale coup that Hank was trying to sell to the Canadian board. 

Second, Stan Tonnesen has written me a response to Hanegraaff’s absurd allegations (dated 3-11-2010). The following is the unedited content of his letter:

Dear Jay,

Thank you for sending me page 4 of the Nov. 12, 1994 Canadian Research Institute minutes, pertaining to me, which refers to  a 1990 coup attempt, IS A FLAGRANT LIE (emphasis in original letter). I took letters with me to show Hank the great concerns that the researchers and other staff members had for his irrational behavior (for our board meeting in Georgia). Hank said he would not hear their concerns and then he pulled out a letter he wanted me to sign. The letter stated I had to agree with everything Hank said and did (100%). After working with Walter Martin for more than 20 years, in a wonderful Christian Manner, being totally loyal to God’s word and will, I told Hank I could not be signing such a statement and walked away from the meeting – resigning from the CRI board. Since that time I have not spoken to Hank and NEVER (emphasis in original) “offered a full apology that was accepted” – Another lie.

I write you this note to confirm his paranoid behavior to demean anyone who raised a question about his actions, and give you permission to use this note if you need verification – to refute such lies. Keep up the good work in sharing that truth; so more believers in Christ will not be deceived.

Sincerely your,

Stan Tonnesen

Stan’s letter needs no comment from me. So once again people are going to have to decide who is telling the truth about Craig Hawkins and Stan Tonnesen’s statements about his leaving the board. Who is being truthful here:  Stan Tonnesen or the old leopard who has been shown through my book, and a host of other people to lie with impunity, over the last 20 years, when it benefits his agenda? Because as we all know, Truth Matters. Now, where have I heard that phrase before?

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2 Responses to “Do Leopards Ever Change Their Spots?”

  1. William Kimbler Says:

    I know Craig Hawkins personally, you could not met a nicer or God fearing man like Mr. Hawkins. When I met Craig he was a professor at Simon Greenleaf college, I wanted to learn apologetics but could not afford the college. He then went on my behalf and talked with the dean and got it ok to audit the classes for free. All because I said I wanted to learn the bible as well as the scholars.

  2. everyman2 Says:

    William,

    I can second your endorsement of Craig. I have met him a few times over the years and have occasionally spoken with him by telephone. He has always appeared to me to be rational (not prone to demonic ranting as Hanegraaff had suggested), he is
    highly educated and informed in areas of philosophy, cults and general apologetics. It was no wonder that Craig was Walter Martin’s “go to guy” when he needed someone to fill in on the BAM radio show. As you read my book, it is clear Hanegraaff coveted the BAM show and Craig was simply in his way. I keep hoping there are not more narcissistic leaders, like Hanegraaff, at the helm of Christian organizations. However, human nature being what it is, I’m sure there are some around.

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