Before I started writing regularly here, Michael posted an article of mine wherein I expressed my concerns about Gospel for Asia (GFA).
At that point in time, it had only been a month or two since Warren Throckmorton had been posting about the organization and only a few days since the GFA Diaspora website had been made public. I had not yet come to any definitive conclusions about GFA, but saw a lot of red flags and was also concerned with the feedback I had received in personal conversation from a GFA executive who is pretty high up in the organization.
I expressed my misgivings because it sure looked like a good possibility that the evangelical church was being taken for a ride, most especially Calvary Chapels, including the very large one I attend. And this is why I had originally written a form of the article on Facebook to my friends. Additionally, not only did it look like many Christians were being hoodwinked into who or what they were giving to, but it appeared as if the GFA staff potentially was being abused and who knows what was happening to the poor and destitute in Asia, primarily in India, to whom the donor funds were supposed to be going to help.
After several more months of dogged reporting, mainly by Throckmorton and also some here at this blog, the answers became painfully clear that GFA, along with its convoluted association with Believers Church in India, was a thoroughly corrupt organization that deceived its donors, abused its staff, and forsook much of what it could have been doing for those they were supposed to be serving. Not that the corruption seeped throughout the whole organization, as many on staff were faithfully serving the Lord. But the top of the organization, and primarily Grand Imperial Kiss My Ring Poobah His Majesty K.P. Yohannan, were exposed to be exceedingly crooked.
It is now about a year and a half later since these reports first started coming to our awareness. GFA has undoubtedly lost a good amount of its support. We know of churches and individuals, myself included, who have pulled their support and stopped giving. GFA appears to have lost its favored status within Calvary Chapel as a whole, and seemingly the same has occurred in others churches, too. How much support they still receive is anybody’s guess as that would require GFA to actually release their financials, and release them in a manner that could actually be vetted and trusted. Good luck with that ever happening.
Things have been mostly quiet on the GFA front for a little while now. We know of a lawsuit that has been brought forth against GFA on behalf of its donors. As far as I know, the lawsuit is still proceeding. We know these types of things do not move quickly, but maybe it will eventually bring some semblance of legal justice upon the organization. Whether from the suit itself or from criminal investigations and indictments that possibly could be spurred by the findings in the suit.
It seems as if GFA has holed itself up in self-defense. K.P. Yohannan ostensibly stays in India as much as possible, leaving the U.S. executives to fend for themselves. There never have been any signs that K.P. and/or GFA are interested in real repentance, reform, or reconciliation. Their strategic plan to ignore and deflect does not seem to have worked out real well for them. Yet, the organization still survives. K.P. still lives the good life in India. GFA still must have a significant donor base to keep going. Plus, they have all those millions and millions of dollars in supply that they fatted up on all those previous years. Who knows how much money they generate from all those for-profit businesses that they started in India from donor giving?
At this point, I don’t know much else to do but to wait. With my limited abilities, resources, and circle of influence, I did what I could to bring awareness to the GFA ruse. But now, I wait. We wait.
The best case scenario is for K.P. Yohannan and the other top executives of GFA to repent and seek serious reform and reconciliation. Get GFA back on track to what they should have been doing all this time, and maybe even were at some point in the distant past. But all signs and behavior from GFA point to this as being a pipe dream at best. It sure appears as if this is a very unlikely outcome.
So beyond the best case scenario, I yearn for justice. Yes, there is a part of me that carnally and gleefully wants to see the weights of justice crush K.P. and GFA. But I also pine for justice because I desire for things to be made right. For donors to receive back the money they gave under deception. For the GFA staff, former and even current, a confirmation that they did, indeed, work and live under abusive conditions and some form of restitution for the ills they suffered under denigrating leadership. For the poor and destitute in India and other parts of Asia to somehow be compensated with the full help and support they should have received.
What or how or when this will all happen, I cannot venture a guess. I pray that the Lord will see justice done. I know He will in the next life. But I pray He also has it to happen in this life.
Some measure of justice has already come as Gospel for Asia has been exposed and has taken some serious hits. But I pray for justice to come more fully as GFA continues to carry on. They should be held accountable for what they have already done and I do not want them to continue taking advantage of their donors and doing harm to their staff and potentially those that they are supposed to be serving.
And so I write about GFA once again. Maybe it will catch the attention of another soul or two who are still donating to GFA because they were unaware of their problems. Maybe it will cause a soul or two who are still donating to GFA despite knowing of their problems, to reconsider their giving. Perhaps maybe my writing is just simply my empty lament.
But above all I pray that God makes things right. That hearts would be healed, both the abused and the abusers. That the poor and disadvantaged would receive the help due to them and would see Christ. And that the name of Jesus Christ would not continued to be sullied by a corrupt ministry.
I have sent numerous emails to Assist via the “contact me” feature of their website asking if these are paid releases and if so why they are not labeled as such.
This is the latest;
“This is the last of multiple emails I’ve sent inquiring about your relationship with GFA. I will be running an article on this matter and would like a statement. The question is this. Why are you running paid stories as “news” in the light of the fraud and abuse allegations surrounding this organization? I hope to hear from you soon as to how you justify potentially defrauding your readers.”
Crickets…there has been no response to any of my inquiries.
I do not know if Wooding is paid to post these missives or not.
I do know that (allegedly) there is no way of knowing where money sent to GFA goes.
I do know it’s not journalism to post these pieces without posting coverage of the controversy.
If the allegations against Gospel For Asia are proven true, Wooding is giving his readers just enough information to get robbed.
In these days when it’s so hard to determine what is really “news”, Christians should expect better.
Update: The former head of GFA communications has affirmed that Wooding is paid to post these “reports”.
The suit alleges that Gospel For Asia has engaged in fraud and racketeering for the benefit of its directors.
“Soliciting charitable donations to benefit the poorest of the poor while covertly diverting the money to a multi million dollar personal empire is reprehensible; using a Christian organization as a front to attract and exploit the goodwill and generosity of devout Christians is a particularly vile scheme. But that is exactly what K.P. Yohannan and the organization he controls, Gospel For Asia, have been doing for years.”
This is also a class action suit…if it is successful GFA could be forced to reimburse donors before it collapses in a heap of avarice.
I would suggest that people read the facts presented in this document, facts that have been presented previously, but stand out when put in this format.
For example, between 2010 and 2013 GFA collected 4.2 million dollars for “Widows and Abandoned Children”.
Only 31,265.00 was actually spent on “widows” and nothing was spent on abandoned children.
That’s just a sample…read the entire suit to get a grip on the extent of the fraud alleged.
If these allegations are true there’s a special place in hell for people like this.
Instead, they have been stonewalled in the same manner as donors who have inquired have been.
They are finding out first hand what we’ve been saying for years…autonomy that leads to a complete lack of accountability serves the causes of sin and the aspirations of despots.
The only encouraging point to be made here is that some men are asking questions and seeking the truth in this matter.
We commend them.
Meanwhile, Heitzig has been named one of the speakers at the annual Costa Mesa pastors conference.
I’m not sure if he’s speaking before or after Bob Caldwell…
I’m hoping he’ll teach on how ethics are irrelevant if your church is large enough.
It’s the only subject he’s qualified to address.
In the meantime, while leaders refuse to lead, Gospel For Asia is still spending tens of thousands of dollars advertising their (allegedly) fraudulent programs and inducing more large hearted people to donate to what appears to be one hell of a family business.
The leaders of Christendom whose main calling is to protect the flock sit back in mute silence and watch the slaughter of the lambs while gathering speaking engagements.
I’m sure that at this conference they will rail against the evils of the world and those that hold different doctrines than they do.
They will name all they see as wicked and against Christ…after all the mirrors have been removed from the facility.