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Hanegraaff Wasn't 'Handpicked'

April 30, 2000

* After reading your article "Casting Stones" (April 15), I am writing to clarify several issues.

First, my husband, Walter Martin, never "handpicked" anyone to succeed him at Christian Research Institute and "The Bible Answer Man" radio program.

This claim was handed to me by someone I thought I could trust as I approached the lectern at my husband's memorial service.

I read it for the first time--aloud--while standing in front of 1,500 people. It took me completely by surprise and put me in a very awkward position. I wish to take this opportunity now to apologize for allowing this statement to stand for so many years.

At the time of my husband's death, I believed Hank Hanegraaff was a man God could mold into a strong Christian leader, one who could play a positive role in leading CRI. I supported him loyally for six years before I came to see he was not the man I believed him to be.

Secondly, one of our family's main objections to Hanegraaff's continued leadership is his mistreatment of fellow Christians. He has left a trail of wounded people behind him since the takeover of CRI in 1989. The testimonies against him include those who are his "right-hand" people, people who worked closely with him.

Hanegraaff has called repeatedly for accountability in other Christian leaders and should be held accountable himself.

DARLENE MARTIN

San Juan Capistrano

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