As the Canadian division of RZIM is closing this blog is proposing some possible solutions that can possibly mitigate the Ravi Zacharias scandal and help Lori Anne Thompson and the spa victims in Georgia. This post is designed to spark some discussion, and possibly lead to other developments. Regardless RZIM needs to close as the brand is forever tarnished and can’t be reconstituted in another form. In its closing let’s help the victims of Ravi Zacharias in this dark scandal.
“The formulation of a public relations strategy properly begins with listening, not talking.“
Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. 16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.
Romans 14:13-19 ESV
Starring on Friday this blog has been spending some time thinking about the Ravi Zacharias scandal and how it can be mitigated. As I thought about it a few ideas came to my mind that could help resolve this situation. This blog post hopes that this can give employees of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries some suggestions to consider.
RZIM Employees Seeking Forgiveness From Lori Anne Thompson
Last week I wrote about an experience with a RZIM employee at The Falls Church Anglican back in 2019. You can read about that post with Logan Gates in, “A Sunday Morning at Falls Church Anglican With Logan Gates From Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. And Considering Church Support For a Scandal Plagued Apologist.” An attempt by Alanzo Julian Paul occurred on Friday. Paul pointed out the issues with the board statement and how it can be more specific. That is a good start but there is more. This suggestion should be run through Lori Anne Thompson’s attorney. But all the employees should ask to submit statement of forgiveness or make themselves available to apologize to Lori – through her attorney. According to the RZIM webpage there are 59 employees. Each of them should initiate a statement and offer condolences for the abuse Lori Anne endured and realize that no matter where their role in the organization they should acknowledge how they kept the machine going. Even if they did not realize it. Its also possibly that the regular speakers such as Logan Gates, Cameron McAllister, Nathan Betts, and others were also manipulated by Ravi Zacharias. Unless evidence emerges that suggests that RZIM employees at the bottom of the organization did not only know but played an active role in a cover-up. Those individuals at the top of RZIM and those related to Ravi Zacharias through family ties who can’t accept the facts as I read about on Twitter the other day should be treated differently.
RZIM Should Take Care of All Psychological and Mental Health Counseling for Lori Anne Thompson and Georgia Spa Victims
RZIM should take care of all psychological and mental health treatment for Lori Anne Thompson for all counseling she and her husband need. If Lori Anne is in debt due to mental health counseling then RZIM should take care of that debt for her. This should be non negotiable and common sense. Also those in the spa in Georgia that Ravi Zacharias abused should also receive mental health counseling and support from RZIM. Each person should be able to choose the counselor of their choice. And while this blog would encourage secular, instead of Christian counseling, if selected then the Christian counseling should not be the Christian Counseling & Education Foundation garbage which this blog has written about in the past.
RZIM Should Take Lori Anne Thompson’s Advice
RZIM should engage with Lori Anne Thompson and offer to her what she would want to see happen. Lori is the victim and her say should became policy within RZIM. Its my understanding that the Canadian division of RZIM is closing. If Lori Anne tells RZIM that she wants RZIM closed globally, that should be honored and RZIM should work at closing its doors and dissolving itself. Lori Anne and any other victims should have the final say and what they say goes. If RZIM is going to be repentant then they will follow through on what Lori Anne desires. If RZIM says, “Okay…BUT…” then there is a problem that exists on the RZIM side. In this dark situation the victims have the final say, always.
RZIM Should Be Prepared to Help any of Ravi’s Victims in Thailand
My gut instinct tells me that this will be the next shoe that will drop. I know the sex trade in Thailand is hard and that traders have control of people in the sex trade in the country. If Ravi’s victims are known then RZIM should work at freeing them from the sex trade and providing them education, health care, housing, and a fresh start. If possible, they should be brought to the United States or Canada and given a new life. Now this blog acknowledges this will be hard and in fact it may be impossible. If the victims are gone ten RZIM should take some of its assets and liquidate them and use them to help some organization or trafficking watch organization rescue a number of sex slaves. After its done ad the victims are safe it should be acknowledged.
RZIM Should Prepare Individual Impact Statements for All Evangelical Denominations
This blog focuses on the Evangelical Free Church of America, I realized that the EFCA is going to have to address this internally. You can read about that in, “Greg Strand Needs to Take the Lead in the Growing Ravi Zacharias Scandal. He Should Guide and Help the EFCA Navigate Through the Spiritual Crisis.” RZIM should create and distribute fact guides for all evangelical denominations. Lori Anne should be able to okay a template or model. In taking this action RZIM should then admit that Ravi Zacharias is a fraud and they should encourage each denomination to educate their churches and also encourage churches, seminaries to remove his material. This is not cancel culture, this is properly dealing with a fraud. For example packets should be sent to denominations like the Southern Baptist, EFCA, Church of God in Anderson Indiana, ANCA, Assembly of God, United Methodists, Christian & Missionary Alliance, and so forth. This will be good for the denominations, churches and people in the pews. This action will help deal with the facts.
RZIM Should Give an Apology to Steve Baughman
Steve Baughman has been criticized and and their are text messages that put him in a bad light. RZIM should apologize to Steve and admit that the organization is wrong. They should thank the atheist for his honesty and commitment to the truth. In the end facts prevail – always and the Raci Zacharias scandal just confirms that scandal or malfeasance can’t be hidden. Many people owe Steve Baughman a deep debt of gratitude for his hard work at exposing a fraud. Also Michael Ramsden should unblock Steve Baughman’s Twitter account.
Closing Thoughts on this RZIM Post
These are just some thoughts. Hopefully they will stir discussion and contribute to the needed policies that need to be implemented. Its this blog’s desire that this mess be resolved in a way that brings peace and closure for Lori Anne Thompson and the others from the RZIM scandals. This blog would like to see RZIM shut down and dissolved. There is little to no purpose for a scandal plagued ministry reconstituting itself under a new name so it can move forward. It will always be tarnished and that is done through the hand of Ravi Zacharias himself. If Ravi’s family doesn’t like that or pouts, that’s their problem. They will have to come to terms that Ravi Zacharias was a predator and an abuser.