It is an embarrassment to have to write about the John Todd phenomenon (see page 38). Several Christian leaders who travel the nation nonetheless tell us that Todd is the most talked-about topic of these days. Letters continually land on editorial desks, asking in effect, “Is what John Todd is saying true?”

No, it is not. Todd was not at the pinnacle of a witches’ conspiracy for global conquest as he claims to have been. He has not launched key organizations in the charismatic movement or the modern gospel music industry by signing a few checks for them from witch headquarters. He has not been to many of the places (like Duke University and Viet Nam) he says he has been.

His memory is fitful. He cannot even seem to remember his right age from one reporter to the next. Important details of the story he tells change from town to town. In 1973 he was a hero among certain charismatics. By 1978 he was well received as a supposedly converted witch by certain strongly anti-charismatic fundamentalists. Among them he tended to keep quiet about his former charismatic ties.

Todd has told many people about his conversion under Baptist auspices in San Antonio in 1972, but he has not breathed a word about how as early as 1968 he was a penniless storefront preacher in Phoenix who left trinitarian Pentecostalism for the Jesus Only brand. Instead he seems to indicate to his modern-day followers that in the sixties he was up to his amulet in witchly affairs.

Affairs? He has had many, according to the evidence. Indeed, even the “legitimate” witches blush: he has, they say, given the craft a black mark.

Some people call Todd an out-and-out liar. Some think he is out to make Bible-believing churches look silly—a ...

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