Mike Warnke, one of the most famous "ex-witch-turned-Christian" types, was caught lying. A lot. His 1972 book The Satan Seller is 99% lies (I think he spelled his name correctly, but just about everything else in it is false). Mike is a phony.
The Satan Seller is a fraudulent little book that perpetuates the Big Lie: that Wicca and Paganism are nothing more than entry-level Satanism, and are used by the Prince of Darkness to lure people into a dark world of evil and human sacrifice.
People can tell this lie a million times, and a million times it's STILL a lie.
The Satan Seller, along with
Michelle Remembers (another book that has been exposed as a lie), initiated the "Satanic Panic" phenomenon a whole industry of "Christian" authors and speakers warning of the evils of occult activity. They travel from church to church scaring the living daylights out of people. "If your daughter has any occult paraphernalia ... don't just throw it away ... burn it!!!!"
Mike owes an apology to all the Christians who were taken in by his dishonesty. He has yet to come clean.
Jim Bakker (of "PTL") committed adultery with Jessica Hahn, and got caught, and he confessed. The title of his book was I Was Wrong. He admitted what he had done, and apologized for it. Say what you will about Jim Bakker ... he did come clean.
But what do we get from Mike Warnke, who (a) lied in print [and told the same lies in hundreds of personal speaking appearances] about his experiences, (b) cheated on his wife after he was saved, (c) used offering money to buy expensive liquor, and (d) got caught ... he was exposed by an article in a Christian magazine?
We get Friendly Fire, a whiney, evasive little book that doesn't even respond to the specific, documented charges that have been made against him.
Here are some excerpts from Friendly Fire:
I was in the middle of the worst period of my life. For nearly 22 years I had reigned as the number-one Christian comedian in the world, performing to sellout crowds around the globe ... My books and tapes were steady best-sellers ... I even had my own private plane.
Then suddenly, it all fell apart. In the summer of 1992, a Christian magazine
[Mike, why can't you say Cornerstone?]
published an article that called into question virtually every aspect of my life, my Christian testimony, and my ministry. I was accused of lying about my testimony in particular my past involvement with the occult and as a satanist and of operating a false ministry[.] ...
The fallout was immediate. My concert schedule dried up and disappeared. My record company pulled all my tapes from the stores and cancelled my contract. Many people I thought were my friends were no longer talking to me. For months I was subjected to a very brutal and very public whipping by the media, both Chistian and secular. ...
Was I a fake, a charlatan, a deceiver, and a liar? No. I never lied about my testimony and I never ran a fake ministry. ...
My road to restoration began by my humbling myself to the biblical process of submitting to the spiritual oversight and accountability of a group of elders. ... One of the earliest and best pieces of wisdom they gave me was not to fight back. "Don't try to answer your critics," they told me, "or that's all you will ever be doing." [emphasis added]
That takes us up to page 19 of the book.
"Don't try to answer your critics." How convenient! No, Mike, don't try to explain how, in a period of only nine months, during which time you were a 19-year-old college student, you supposedly
joined a witch/Satanic coven;
rose to the rank of high priest;
were given a lavishly-furnished apartment by the coven ... which had 1500 members in three cities, and was financed by a worldwide Satanic organization;
were also provided with two beautiful sex slaves, courtesy of the coven;
5. became addicted to drugs and became "strung out" to the point that your skin turned yellow;
6. dyed your hair blond;
7. grew your hair down to your waist;
8. grew 6" long fingernails that you painted black;
9. lost weight ... down to 125 pounds;
10. got shot in the leg by a pimp;
even though your college friends (including Lois, your Christian girlfriend/fiancee at the time, whom you failed even to mention in The Satan Seller), with whom you had almost daily contact during those nine months, never noticed any of this stuff! They say you looked completely normal ... never lost any weight ... never even let your hair grow out! (NOTE: Not all of the lies on the above list appear in The Satan Seller. As Mike became famous and was interviewed, and wrote subsequent books, and had speaking engagements, he embellished the story of his nine-month "Satanic spree").
The rest of Friendly Fire (it's 173 pages long) is filled with platitudes ... there's not a single reference to the ridiculous lies that he told in his 1972 book. There are subheadings such as "I May Be a Mess, but I'm God's Mess," "What the World Needs Now is Love, God's Love," "You Can Survive the Church," "Relationships Help Us Survive Religion," "It's Always Darkest Before the Dawn," "You Can Go on From Here," "God's Grace is Always Sufficient." Are you getting the picture? Not a hint of remorse for the damage he's done (making people believe that witches are rapists and Satanists), and no apology for his outrageous lies. All of Mike's experiences, the fallout from his having been caught lying ... it happened to him (i.e., he's a victim) ... it's not something he did to himself ... it's just God's way of teaching him, of humbling him, through a Bad Experience.
And then, on page 160, there's a passage that sickened me:
My road to recovery over the last ten years has been long and bumpy, but I wouldn't take a million dollars for what I have learned
[have you learned how to tell the truth yet?]
or how I have grown.