After posting a statement from a Christian leader about the allegations against Ravi Zacharias, I was inundated with critical comments from Ravi supporters both on my blog and on YouTube. One person, in particular, even claimed without evidence that I fabricated the entire statement. This sad state of affairs prompted Rick Manafo, former Programming Director for RZIM in Canada, to send me a statement by way of the Christian leader whose statement I posted on Sunday. I have reproduced that statement in its entirety below.
This is a reply to some concerns from Rebecca and others relating to The Ravi Zacharias Sex Scandal: A New Personal Statement.
My name is Rick Manafo, former Programming Director for RZIM in Canada. Please allow me a few observations as it pertains to Randal Rauser and the source in question.
Randal is a respected academic who treats any issue he faces fairly. I am not making any statements on Ravi Zacharias per se, but I can assure you Randal did not make up this “imaginary witness”. I know the witness. He is a very credible Christian leader and pastor.
Randal is not so immoral or unscrupulous as to make up the 1500 word posting. However, if you believe this to be the case, I urge you to inform his university that he willingly manufactured such lies.
As well, I know the sensitive and “personal” reason why the unnamed writer did not go public. It is an absolutely convincing reason and it has nothing to do with him being afraid.
A careful read of his post would glean that he did not get help from a friend who is a private investigator in order to attack or stalk RZ. Rather, he asked the friend to help figure out the truth on controversies about Ravi.
This person you suggest might not exist is known by and is being taken seriously by RZIM leaders. Various Christian leaders around the world rely on his in-depth research on other matters and take this person very seriously on his investigation into the Thompson case, the spa issue, and the abortion incident. They know his main concerns were to find out what is true on these matters and help those who continue to be harmed by false allegations, cover-ups, etc.
I know this person well enough and am positive that he would come to the defense of Ravi and RZIM on any matter where deserved. In fact, he has convinced Steve Baughman that he was wrong on several matters against RZ.
This Christian leader understands the weaknesses in remaining anonymous. That is why he wrote such a long post to give some indication that he exists, that he had done major work and that allegations against Ravi should be taken seriously, as should counter-evidence in Ravi’s favour. He also wrote at length because he thought that something should be said to defend Randal and Steve Baughman against nasty and false things said against them.
Last and not least, Ravi knew the person who wrote the post and respected him greatly.