By Dave MacPherson
Are you aware that some major evangelical publishers have been trafficking in stolen items?
Before I load you up with brand-new details about a stunning development in this regard, I need to put this vehicle in reverse.
Surfers of non-pretrib sites may remember the "Deceiving and Being Deceived" article of mine I began distributing last June. In it I included the names of many well-known pretrib authors who had been plagiarizing the writings of others, and also revealed the names of some evangelical publishers who'd been a party to such piracy.
But this shocking story really began in 1997. That was when I discovered that much of a 1990 book, Escape the Coming Night by David Jeremiah and C. C. Carlson, was a brazen plagiarism of Hal Lindsey's 1973 book There's A New World Coming. I can't recall which part of Escape made me suspicious and led me to do a thorough examination. It may have been the description of the 144,000 as "Jewish Billy Grahams"----an unforgettable phrase I knew Lindsey had used. (Originally published by Word Publishing, Escape had later been taken over by Thomas Nelson Publishers, the largest Bible and inspirational book publisher on earth.)
The year 1997 also found me working on a new book, one that came out the following year. After I ran across even more plagiarism in some influential evangelical publishers including Moody Press, I decided to confront them.
The first publisher contacted was Thomas Nelson in 1998. I chose to write to Mrs. Sam Moore, the wife of Thomas Nelson's chairman and CEO. (At times it's easier to get the attention of a busy executive if a request or problem is addressed to his wife and marked "personal"!)
Mrs. Moore evidently turned the letter over to her husband because I soon received a letter from Thomas Elmlinger, associate counsel in Nelson's legal department, who asked me to send him evidence of plagiarism in Escape. After I sent him a stack of photocopies of marked pages in both books (Escape had massive plagiarism on 47 pages!), a November 2, 1998 letter from Elmlinger stated:
"Thank you for your letter of October 19 and the enclosed photocopy of the suspect portions of Escape the Coming Night. Word published this book in 1990, two years before Word became a part of Thomas Nelson. Obviously, we were unable to check every title that Word had published for possible problems.
"Nevertheless, we at Thomas Nelson are very concerned about this matter. Accordingly, we are destroying all our current inventory of this title and will not reprint the book.
"Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention."
During the next few years I sent many copies of this letter to Christian leaders and praised Thomas Nelson publicly for its honesty. And in my recent "Deceiving" article on numerous worldwide sites, I referred to Nelson as a "happy exception to publishing dishonesty" while discussing the thievery in Escape.
Well, clouds can suddenly blot out the sun. In mid-2001 I happened to spot the 1999 reprint of Escape the Coming Night which featured a totally different front cover. This was the first time I'd had a chance to see the new printing and I was wondering what it would look like minus the plagiarism that Elmlinger said would never again appear in that title.
However, I was amazed and dumbfounded upon finding out that ALL of the plagiarism was still in it and that the publishing of it hadn't missed a beat ever since Elmlinger's misleading letter in late 1998!
In addition, I noted that the title page listed the publisher as "Word Publishing" and called it "A Thomas Nelson Company"!
On August 31, 2001 I sent a letter to David Moberg, president of Word Publishing (which now calls itself W Publishing). I told him what I've just told you and added:
"How can a Thomas Nelson company continue to publish a dishonest book? Was your company informed of the plagiarism? If so, why is it still in the book? Thomas Elmlinger at Nelson reviewed the evidence I presented. If you would rather have the proof from me, I can send you a stack of photocopies of marked pages in your latest edition plus marked pages in the Hal Lindsey book that was plagiarized by Jeremiah and Carlson."
(HE HAS NEVER RESPONDED!)
A number of weeks later, on October 1st, I mailed the same questions to Mrs. Sam Moore.
(SHE HAS NEVER RESPONDED!)
Several weeks later, on October 23rd, I put the same questions to Mr. Elmlinger, the man who gave me a rapture runaround in 1998 while evidently planning all the while to cover up the continuation of dishonest promotion of the pretrib rapture view, a view easily lending itself to such practices simply because it's been riddled with dishonesty since its 1830 birth!
(HE HAS NEVER RESPONDED!)
Whenever ancient Israel failed to do right or deliberately did wrong, she brought terror upon herself----that is, she provoked the Lord which forced Him to allow men and even angels to terrorize her. In effect, she was her own terrorist, bringing terror upon herself.
Not all of the terrorists these days are in the Middle East or Afghanistan. In Western "Christian" countries there are those who terrorize millions of the unborn in "hospitals" and those who terrorize the already-born on highways. And also those who terrorize the born-again ones by promoting a latter-day end-time view that's already terrorized and killed unprepared millions in Russia, China, Korea etc. and promises to terrorize and kill many more unprepared and exploited millions.
If terrorists include those who aid and finance terrorism, as President Bush has stated, then those who operate from publishing "caves" in Tennessee or Michigan or Oregon while secretly aiding literary thievery are actually Laodicean enemies in our midst who will force God to terroristically chasten all of us who continue to support such dishonesty----no matter how many flags we wrap ourselves in, and no matter how often we chant our superficial Americadabra slogans!