Since charges surfaced in July that Mike Warnke’s ministry was built largely on false claims about his past, Warnke has repeatedly denied CHRISTIANITY TODAY an interview. But recently Warnke talked freely with independent syndicated journalist Perucci Ferraiuolo. That interview forms the substance of this story.

No sooner was the ink dry on the Cornerstone magazine article that dealt him a heavy professional and personal blow (CT, Aug. 17, 1992, p. 50), and on the Lexington Herald-Leader story that augmented his financial anguish at the hands of the IRS (CT, Oct.26, 1992, p. 67), than Mike Warnke began a counterattack, saying his ministry is in desperate financial straits.

In an exclusive interview obtained by CHRISTIANITY TODAY shortly after the charges were levied, Warnke claimed that those attacking him, including Cornerstone, are actually members of a Satanist cult seeking to destroy his ministry. And his former (third) wife and business partner, Rose Warnke, lashed out at Word, Inc., which has published 13 audio and two video recordings by Warnke.

“We’re being attacked by Satan,” said Warnke, “and I really feel that, in order to combat what he’s doing, we just can’t sit back and wait for the final blow. I’m going to fight back on this whole thing, and when the truth comes out, heads are going to roll.”

Yet Warnke now admits that at least one claim made in the Cornerstone article—that he did not lead a Satanist group of 1,500—is substantially true.

Warnke was charged in July by Cornerstone with fabricating his Satanist past, including claims in his 1973 best-seller, The Satan Seller, that during his college years he was in bad health from drugs and alcohol, had long hair, and led a large Satanist group. Cornerstone produced ...

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