“Brother, I Couldn’t Write Those Books Today”: Inside Gospel For Asia Part 2

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37 Responses

  1. Jim says:

    “…I have worked with these men and have learned from the values of commitment and wholesale dedication. K.P. Yohannan lives and breathes integrity. This integrity has filtered to the very fiber of his ministry. I am honored to be a partner with GFA.” -Skip Heitzig

  2. Nonnie says:

    Anyone seen “Going Clear” documentary, about Scientology?

    Reading these articles and former GFA staff testimonies reminded me of that documentary .

  3. Marty says:

    Has Skip Heitzig resigned from the GFA board yet? If not, now is the perfect opportunity for the skipper and the existing GFA board members to do.

    If you are a board member and you remain on board it communcates loudly and clearly to all…….that you are an enabler or worse a participant in these abusive practices. Please dont remain, have the integrity and grace to step down.

  4. UnCCed says:

    I can assure you the $45M development will go unnoticed, just look at the Calvary Chapel Albuquerque facility. The multi-terraced baptism day spa cost about that.
    I can’t imagine people who give to a man whose home costs a third of that batting an eye at someone telling them KP’s ministry headquarters must be that lavish.
    I’ve personally been to 3 CCs where the sound guys told me their A/V systems were half to a million dollars. And that’s not counting the electricity bill, other stuff.
    Oh by the way, I didn’t ask the cost of CCs A/V systems, all the ongoing maintenance is pretty hard not to notice the cost – they have to get multiple POs, then there’e discussion, etc., even the janitor has an idea.
    After all, God can’t be heard or seen unless in HD!

  5. brian says:

    “It was a great schtick, it brought in money by the carload, and in mega ministry, the end always justifies the means”

    always and in every single situation bar none, always this has to be true, it is more sure than even “god”. You know back in the day I did all that work hard, sacrifice and all that other nonsense, I did eventually learn that it made no difference what so ever and that nihilism is far more preferable to well, this.

  6. Linnea says:

    Ah…I remember the bar of soap schtick! Then I heard from a friend who worked for GFA– our donations ceased after her testimony.

  7. Michael says:

    Linnea,

    That had to be at least 10 years ago…and that’s when I decided that the guy was a liar.

    CA was fertile recruiting ground for GFA…

  8. Surfer51 says:

    @1.JIm

    Nice quote from the slippery eel Jim!

  9. Scott says:

    These stories are what cause many to stumble and to either stop attending church or at a minimum, stop giving at all.

    I wonder if Skip Heitzig, Gayle Irwin and the other leaders who give their support to a man like this realize they are actually working with satan himself to stumble christians and unbelievers alike?

    Do they care? Are they just blind or co-conspirators?

    Where is pastor Tim from Fremont by the way?

  10. Scott says:

    Another thing, where is or was the discernment of the hundreds of pastors who sponsored this man over the years with millions of dollars given in good faith by decent hard working members of their churches?

    This stuff just makes my stomach churn.

  11. Michael says:

    Scott,

    I’ve thought this guy was a fraud for ten years.
    I stopped saying anything because people would come unglued…he has an incredible sway over people.

  12. Scott says:

    Michael, it’s going to be a long road back for the people who surrendered their will to the man’s leadership and sway. There’s a cultic element to this.

  13. Kevin H says:

    Scott,

    One of the things I started saying about GFA as I was learning about them was that they were cult-like. I didn’t think they were a full blown cult because they didn’t seem to be deny any fundamental truths of Christianity and they didn’t seem to be to the degree of control or radicalness as say a Jim Jones or the Branch Davidians. But the oaths taken to K.P. and the power and sway that he seemingly wielded and the way top leadership controlled and manipulated the staff certainly smacked of cult-like ways and practices. It is good that these things are coming to light now because who knows how much even worse things could have gotten had they continued.

  14. ChainsBroken2x says:

    @13 Kevin H expresses very valid and real concerns. As a recent former staff I echo his concern for the future outlook because one of KP’s main goals of the new compound was to recruit 75-80% of his staff as School of Discipleship students. I think most everyone reading this would understand why now.

  15. I always wonder about folks who follow a character like this KP (and I know I am probably breaking one of the commandments here, as outside of this blog I know nothing of KP) but aren’t the followers idol worshipers?

    I think of this as people remain under the celeb pastor long after his fall is revealed.

  16. Scott says:

    Kevin, I agree. I know it’s easy to use terms like cultic pejoratively, however, the testimonies presented here regarding Yohannon pass the smell test.

    There’s a little book out of print now I think that is available in .pdf for free. It’s called, “Churches That Abuse” by Ron Enroth. He provides quite a few insights on how to spot abusive and cult like leadership, the damage it does to the soul, and the sometimes long process of recovery when a person has been surrendered their will to individuals and organizations like this.

    The .pdf can be found by a cursory search on your favorite search engine.

  17. Jim says:

    The Walter Martin method of identifying a cult based on doctrinal integrity is an old model.

    If an org practices cult-like behavior, they are a cult.

  18. Scott says:

    Jim, I agree. The Martin method has been used as a smokescreen by abusive cult like leaders for decades to deflect.

  19. openeyes says:

    The problem in America is that India is hot right now and especially the 1040 window. If one is working in that area, or with Muslims, money from foreigners comes rolling in. It is easy to tell Americans what they want to hear concerning those two groups and get away with lies.If one can make foreingers believe they are getting huge numbers you are in! India has a Christian base so it can be utilized to reach the lost. India also has a large cross cultural network going on. Americans are wanting to tap into it. All top Christian American leaders want to be THE PERSON to make that huge dent into India. KP merely could read the trend and hopped on it, then he turned it to his advantage. The huge problem here is corruption. Americans do not understand it and can’t wrap their minds around it enough to be effective. Another problem is that organizations in the West refuse to listen to those of us that live and work in India. When they are looking for information they will not include the foreign worker into the mix and Indians have learned it is cool to say we don’t understand the culture as a buzz phrase. The insinuation is that the national will educate the donor but to be honest the education is skewed to that person’s advantage. If you don’t ask the right questions you won’t get a complete picture. It is a totally different mindset than America.

    We have had many KPs here in India.I have talked to several Indians here about it and they practically yawn when discussing KP. It is no surprise and to be honest they can pretty much tell who is what and how long they will be on top of that ladder due to experience. KA Paul did almost the same thing. HE was in rooms making deals with the rich Hunt brothers. I was in the States when the tsunami hit and he was on FOX news begging for money. How many of us can meet with the Hunt brothers or get on FOX news? He also went up the ladder fast and then came down like KP. It is not only Christians that do this. There are many, many godmen here that come to the States and go up the ladder and fall down. It is either money or sex that gets them it seems. I think in the end they are stashing money in a variety of ways in India so when they fall off the ladder they land on the cushion.

    I think GFA will go down eventually. KP has already made his exit plan and he will survive. He is working on the next image makeover and don’t be surprise if he joins the Catholic Church in India and claims he FINALLY found the truth now. He will write a book about how God had to get him to fall in order to get his attention so he could find the one true church. Course what he won’t tell you is that the Catholic Church is the biggest and most powerful here in India.

  20. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Yes, it is said among the clinical profession that the treatment outcome for Narcissists and their kindred (psychopaths) reflects an increase in more sophisticated levels of exploitation of their intended victims. Meaning that they learn what is expected, but in their hearts, they have not changed one iota, only have become even more clever and able to take on the part that enables them to do what they have always done.

    So they learn that if they don’t deny the essentials of Christianity, others will say they are of the body of Christ. They are in: Gates are opened and voila’. We, as Christian must become far more educated in understanding that we need to look beyond what people say and more upon what or how they treat others, particularly those of their own household—–even then this can be deceiving as those of their own household might have been conditioned to give an appearance as a result of the abuse they have and are suffering at the hands of such a person, but have been so worn down that they are fearful of speaking up, since no one had or now would believe them, give the mask they wear among others, that causes doubt when hearing such things that contradicts what they have been led to believe by this duplicitous seducer and disingenuous person.

  21. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    “I think GFA will go down,” eventually. KP has already made his exit plan and he will survive. He is working on the next image makeover ‘

    Precisely what these who wear the “Mask of Sanity,” do. When expose, they move on and reinvent themselves. Often taking on the very characteristics of the victims they exploited and abuse, and then turning the table claiming the very offenses that they inflicted upon others.

  22. Muff Potter says:

    So how does this work? Does Heitzig (or any other church used as a marketing venue by a huckster) get a piece of the action?

  23. once a cc guru says:

    So how does this work? Does Heitzig (or any other church used as a marketing venue by a huckster) get a piece of the action?

    Sssshhhhhhhh! that’s called, “greasing the palms” and there sure are a lot of dirty hands in the bigger CC’s.

  24. walkinthespirit says:

    I hear it actually is getting more dangerous and cult-like than ever this year on GFA’s compound – many reports of staff and students being interrogated, sometimes angrily, and asked to report on roommates etc., are now surfacing from current and recently departed staff.

    I pray for the current staff’s eyes to be opened because every time you think they’ll see, e.g. surely when ECFA drops GFA, they only defend the ministry even more and continue to parrot whatever their puppet-master says:

    “You can’t trust any Christian media outlets or bloggers (except GFA World as they must be the one source of truth)”

    “Anything negative about us is an evil report (while anything negative about ex-staff is gospel truth meant to protect you) and even merely looking at ‘evil reports’ puts your salvation in peril.”

    “All these people are bitter and spiteful and seeking their own gain” (but by accusing without ever citing any specific evidence, they are actually the ones slandering.)

    I’m grieved for these people and on my knees daily for their rescue, and for their leaders to be taken down.

  25. Fisherman says:

    #14 I can think of two words, “submission” and “control”

  26. Ian Elsasser says:

    Scott earlier referenced Ronald Enroth’s book Churches That Abuse.

    You may download both of Enroth’s books — Churches That Abuse and Recovering From Churches That Abuse — in pdf at this webpage.

    http://www.arlev.co.uk/enroth/

  27. Scott says:

    Ian, thanks for posting the link. I was posting on the fly and really didn’t have time to look it up at the time.

  28. James says:

    All of this, and you haven’t published a word of dissent. I am appalled by the viciousness of brothers and sisters in Christ. Alright, you’ve talked to a few former and current staff members. They are all completely innocent, and not a one was kicked out or chose to leave for anything less than a noble purpose. Does that not raise even the slightest bit of doubt in your mind? Everyone quotes this “100+” staff members. Do you have a list of names. Are there 100 separate testimonies?

    And then you post things that have no purpose other than to tear down or sow discord. And, if we take a close look, don’t really hold up to scrutiny like “Yohannan never updated those books to describe the all the homes he now owned,” The home KP lived in in the Castle Hills (walking distance from the Carrollton office) neighborhood was given to him by a friend who wanted him to have a home close to the new office location. No ministry or even his personal funds used there. He now has a home on the new campus, and while he does not technically own it; it is for all intents and purposes his. He has a house that he stays at in India that could not be described as lavish or even that large. I don’t know if the Castle Hills house has sold, but if not it is in the process. So we have 2 houses. We won’t debate the technicalities of whether he truly owns them. One in the US, and one in India. For someone who spends a lot of time in both countries, is there anything wrong with that?

    The house in Castle Hills was one of the few single story houses in the whole development. It had, if I remember correctly, it had 3 bedroom, I forget how many bathrooms. Oh, and no swimming pool even though most of the houses in that development do. The current house on campus looks really big, but that’s just because of the way they designed the roof. It has 3 or 4 bedrooms, and the second floor has an office, bathroom and small closet. Not exactly palatial.

  29. once a cc guru says:

    James, who starts a $40 million construction project in the boonies an hour east of Dallas, with only $7 million to start, then takes $20 million designated by donors to go “to the field” to support missionaries and orphan children, and secretly wires it back from India, then keeps spending so extravagantly that another $11.5 million has to be borrowed from a commercial bank in Texas? So there is less than 20% cash equity in the project, and 80% debt? And they claim it was an “anonymous donation”?

  30. Weary Traveler says:

    James (#28), your rationalizations, some correct and some incorrect, are all too familiar. Yes, there is an actual list of over 100 names. Yes, each has a story. No, they are not all written out. If they aren’t written out, they still exist. Let’s not place more blame on the victims. They have had enough of that. I can’t speak for others, but leadership never had problems with me. I was well thought of because I knew the rules, both spoken and unspoken, and I followed them. I left totally for reasons of conscience after many years of service, and it broke my heart to feel forced to do so.

    It’s interesting to me that you know the layout of KP’s Wills Point home. Not many do. You and I are both among that small group. I agree that compared to the average millionaire prosperity gospel pastor, KP’s three homes are not palatial. However, at least the prosperity pastors practice what they preach. KP preaches financial sacrifice and submission to authority. His life demonstrates that he exempts himself from both. Are you aware that KP’s son was also supposed to have a large custom home right beside KP’s? On the Google Earth pictures of the campus, taken in the summer of 2014, both pad sites are clearly visible. One leader fought against that particular example of nepotism, and managed to win the battle, but he was also subsequently pushed out of the ministry.

    Although there is no pool at KP’s Castle Hills home, payment of the high homeowner association fees for Castle Hills afforded his family access to two private Castle Hills pools. KP also did have a beautiful zero depth entry pool installed at his Kerala, India home. I believe that was in 2009. Also, the real estate taxes alone on the Castle Hills home exceed the entire mortgage payments of many other staff members (when they still owned homes in Carrollton).

    How do you know that the house in Castle Hills was given to KP by a friend? I have heard that story, but I have also heard that it was given to them by Gisela’s parents. KP himself has never addressed it during the past decade to my knowledge. It is the elephant in the room that is never discussed. After finding out where the $19.8 million dollar anonymous gift for the campus actually came from, I have become more suspicious of other large anonymous gifts that often came in for KP’s desires. For example, staff were told that an anonymous gift came in specifically for the $3.7 million chapel on the campus that was KP’s pet project. Anonymous earmarked gifts are good for squashing dissent, because no one wants to criticize the personal choices people make in their giving. However, I now realize that was probably used as a way to avoid scrutiny on controversial expenditures.

    What makes you think that the Castle Hills house is for sale? I have never seen any indication of any attempt to sell it.

    There are so many examples of the disparity between the way KP lives and the way the rest of the staff are expected to live, it’s hard to know where to start. I’ll just mention one issue – garages and driveways. I know of a long-time senior leader who had to choose a different home on the campus, because the garage in the one he originally chose (a two bedroom, one car garage home) was so narrow that it was impossible to open the car doors on both sides of his car to get out. Meanwhile, KP has a three car garage. I remember him bragging in a staff meeting about how he made sure we all got automatic garage door openers. Thanks a million. If only he wouldn’t have made the driveways shared and half the normal width. They are a nightmare. People are always having to move cars for other people to get out. One young lady blew out a tire trying to park in her driveway in the dark. Her narrow driveway had a culvert running under it. There were no street lights, and she tried to back up with only a foot or two of clearance on either side. She went off the side of the driveway, blowing the tire.

    I could come up with dozens of other things to write about, but I’m worn out for now. It’s tiring to deal with the scorn of those who just don’t know but think they do.

  31. ChainsBroken2x says:

    @28 Jim- Weary Traveler (#30) has very valid points. There are a lot more examples that could be given about KP’s deception and double standards. He exempts himself from the expectations he places on all others.

    He has more than one house in India. I have seen at least 2 others than the one in Kerala and even been in one of them. They may belong to BCI on paper but I was told they were constructed and purchased for him to use. There may be more in India. Although it is not a sin to have an expensive house (compared to the standards you apply to those around you ie the staff) it is questionable to represent your lifestyle in one way but live completely different. The last figures I saw on the construction of the Compound homes showed KP’s custom home costing about 3 times as much as the most expensive staff home. Funny that it turned out that way when he said on more than one occasion to staff that he was looking forward to scaling down to a 2 bedroom size living quarters. Why would 2 people need 4 and a half bathrooms as his custom home has on the compound? Danny was supposed to have a custom home built beside KP but Weary Traveler is correct. Push back from a godly Sr leader (not there anymore) became too risky for KP to force his way on the issue. Too much potential for exposure.
    The real concern for so many of the former staff is the spiritual abuse that is rampant. It has been covered up for years but now it is being brought into the light and GFA is IMO a cult in the making with regard to their leadership behaviors. Much real damage has been done and it has been done in the name of Jesus. That is the real story that needs to be told. ECFA and whatever other Federal agencies potentially involved will do what they need to in order to find any criminal activities but as I said the real damage is the abuse. The hurt and damage extends into the donors and volunteers as well.

  32. James says:

    I dearly love the leadership here at GFA. I have been blessed beyond measure in so many ways by them. I am learning to be leave our defense to the Lord, and that is what I will do.

    I continue to pray the the Lord would give discernment to all those who seek Him. To God be the glory.

  33. Scott says:

    James, at least you didn’t “shake the dust off of your feet.” 😉

    It would of been nice to read your reply as to why the ECFA kicked GFA out for violating 5 of their 7 core values and principles of financial integrity. But alas, no response and now you’re gone.

  34. Steve Wright says:

    Odd to see someone praying for discernment for the Body of Christ while rebuking the presentation of objective information to the Body of Christ (like the ECFA decision)…..

    That’s a little like praying for a healing but refusing to see a doctor in the process.

    Praying for a job, but refusing to fill out any applications..

    So much for the Berean mindset….don’t do your own homework. Don’t listen to any outside sources. Just keep writing checks

    Question though? Why would any longterm donor to GFA bother to pray for discernment if he/she never gets exposed to any information that there is a little trouble in paradise????

    Anyone pray for a job who is fully employed? Pray for healing after getting a full bill of health from the annual physical.

    Tip – The opposite of leaving one’s defense to the Lord is actively going on offense against the larger Body of Christ…

  35. walkinthespirit says:

    James, on the GFA Diaspora website, there’s a response letter written from GFA acknowledging 37 initial signers plus “an untold number beyond that”. This is proof that there are at least that many ex-staff who put their names to it:

    http://www.gfadiaspora.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/2014-07-03-FROM-GFA-JD-Response-Letter-corrected.pdf

  36. walkinthespirit says:

    Also please look at the personal testimonies of former staff, which everyone who has worked at GFA can recognize as having been written by real people who really served at GFA – even their leaders acknowledged that in their responses and criticisms of these testimonies to the staff.

    Here are the testimonies of 29 ex-GFA people: http://www.gfadiaspora.com/testimonies-2

    Naturally not everyone who signed the second letter (the one with 75 signatures) wrote a testimony. But it’s evident from fact that 29 people put their testimonies on the website, that there are a good number more than that who didn’t.

  37. Barry says:

    Wow, I just gave GFA $70.00 today. Fortunately a $314.00 donation was declined by my bank. The Lords intervention most likely! What a bunch of greedy scoundrels some christian ministries have become. Now I know why K P looks like an Indian Guru! Judgment Days a coming, and we know where it will begin. Time to repent brothers and sisters! In Christs’ Love Always I Repent

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