My audiotape investigative report, The Scandal of Christian Ghostwriting, has caused quite a stir. Some Christian celebrities who use ghostwriters are panic-stricken. Many are wiggling and squirming in discomfort. They are embarrassed that their money-making scam was finally unmasked for what it is: A deception on the buying public. Readers pay exorbitant prices for the books of Christian superstars, never knowing that the volumes are actually written by no-name "ghosts." Among the big names pulling this stunt: Hal Lindsey, Chuck Colson, Jim Bakker, Billy Graham, and Oral Roberts.
After my exposé, several of these men quickly circled their wagons and tried to come up with excuses. Charismatic faith healer Benny Hinn took the direct approach. He went on Paul Crouch's Trinity Broadcasting Network and personally introduced his ghostwriter! Hinn gave the lame excuse that his books were anointed by God, but he just needed help in getting it all into words and into book form.
David Wilkerson phoned me to discuss his situation. "I am responsible for my book, The Cross and the Switchblade," insisted the Times Square pastor.
Wilkerson went on to say, "I did go to Sherrill's office almost every day for over a year to work on the book. Together we hammered it out. But he was not really a ghostwriter. I personally approved every word, every page."
I do give David Wilkerson credit for at least admitting that someone helped him write his book. And I believe him when he states that he personally approved every word that was written. Moreover, I do not think that David Wilkerson was motivated by money when his book was published.
Wilkerson's book was a biographical account of his true-life experiences in New York City as a street preacher. His justification for obtaining help is that he is not called to be a writer—he's called to be a preacher.
I give Brother Wilkerson the benefit of the doubt. I do wish, though, that he had checked out the beliefs and background of writer-helper, John Sherrill. Sherrill, is, in fact, a rabid ecumenicist who enthusiastically promotes Roman Catholicism and is a member of the apostate, ultra-liberal Episcopal Church (World Council of Churches). Is such a man qualified to "assist" a bible-believing evangelist in writing a book?
Sherrill was also a paid writer on the staff of the late Norman Vincent Peale, a 33rd degree Mason. Peale was the guy who made a mint with his false teachings about "positive thinking." The liberal Reverend Peale promoted spirit channeling and automatic writing. He encouraged communication with the dead. (For proof, see Wanda Marrs' book, New Age Lies to Women, and my book, New Age Cults and Religions.) I am not implying, of course, that Sherrill has such beliefs, but he was on Peale's staff.
John Sherrill's own book, They Speak With Other Tongues, is well known in Charismatic circles—2.5 million copies of the book have been sold over the years to ecumenical-minded charismatics. Yet, the book is devoid of true salvation knowledge and woefully lacks a legitimate, born again Gospel message.
In his book, Sherrill promotes Catholicism; he praises the Popes and gushingly quotes Catholic priests who practice speaking in tongues. In agreement with Vatican doctrine, Sherrill writes that, "The Eucharist is at the center of our worship life."
Pat Robertson Admits to Ghostwritten Book
Then we have the case of Gene Kapp, who happens to be "vice president of public relations" for Pat Robertson's The 700 Club. In answer to an inquiry by a friend of Living Truth Ministries, Kapp blatantly misled when he stated: "Pat Robertson does not use 'ghostwriters' for any of his books."
In the very next sentence, however, Kapp contradicts himself. "Mr. Robertson," Kapp writes, "did utilize Mel White as a freelance temporary in 1984, before White publicly announced that he is a homosexual, to assist in the writing of America's Dates With Destiny."
Sorry, Mr. Kapp, but your lack of credibility is showing. In my possession and reprinted here is a letter signed by Pat Robertson, Kapp's boss. In the letter, Robertson admits that yes, he did use a ghostwriter for his more recent book, New World Order. In his letter, Robertson states flat-out: "The ghostwriter on the book was Mr. James Black."
O.K., Pat: Now, that you have finally admitted that you did use a ghostwriter—exactly as I reported in my audiotape report, The Scandal of Christian Ghostwriting—don't you think it would be proper to call Mr. Kapp, your VP for public relations, into your office, stand him upright, and plainly tell him: "Quit misleading people. It's not good public relations!"
While you're at it, Pat, why don't you just do the right thing yourself: Stop putting your name on books ghostwritten by others. That, in my opinion, is a form of lying.
The same can be said for John Ankerberg, Chuck Colson, Hank Hanegraaff, David Jeremiah, Hal Lindsey, Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, and all the others who handsomely profit from ghostwritten books.