Barnabas Fund is known globally for the help it gives to oppressed Christians. Lately, however, its image has been heavily tarnished by accusations against its leader, Dr Patrick Sookhdeo. I have been asked to give my assessment of this crisis, which has badly affected operations at Barnabas Fund. However, given the complexities of the case, and certain reservations I and my co-founder have concerning similar operations, my assessment may not be to the liking of others. (Note: We have no problem with the basis for Barnabas work, but only with this kind of work in general; see later sections).
My time is very limited, so I will take the text of my secondary-source material from a booklet published In January 2016 by the Fund, ‘Hard Pressed on Every Side’. I will refer to this booklet’s text with page and paragraph number, so any reader interested should obtain a copy of the booklet, or read it online (https://barnabasfund.org/downloads/PDF/booklet/2016/hard-pressed-on-every-side_A4.pdf ). I assure readers that any quotes from this text will be accurate. Barnabas Fund only allows brief quotes, so I will adhere to this stipulation and supplement any quotes with my own wordage.
My initial impression when I quickly scanned the document was that someone, somewhere, was ‘out to get’ both Barnabas and Sookhdeo, even though I had not read the whole booklet. The evidence given against the Fund and this man are very much the kind of nastiness I have come across before in other circumstances. I also recognise tactics similar to those used against myself in 2005, by my then employer: lies, deception and even rogue illegalities were the order of the day, and because I had no money to fight it, or to appeal to a tribunal, I was forced to let the employer win. The same kind of wickedness appears to be found in this case. I will negate or support this impression as we go through the text of the booklet. I will also use knowledge gained from my studies in forensic linguistics.
Why This Booklet Had To Be Written, P5
Supporters of the Fund asked the Fundees for answers, but some could not be given because of the legal situation. (para 1).
It seems that the Fund and Sookhdeo have defended themselves for some years against certain accusations (para 2). I must say, and warn others in similar ministries as my own, that accusations can be made at any time, in order to silence us, and we can do very little about it, unless we take the accuser to law (if we are indeed not guilty). The Fund felt that doing this would bring the church into disrepute, so they attempted to defend themselves privately. Sadly, it is a fact that by doing it this way, later observers would suggest they were hiding something. So, their decision to fight accusations as they came along, and keeping them private, may be part of the problem. It does not mean they were hiding anything, but I have discovered this kind of response inadequate in major disputes.
This is why, in my own ministry, I have made criticisms public knowledge. Another reason for this is that when such issues arise, the one who later defends himself is always on the ‘back foot’ – because observers think that the accusations that came first ‘must be right’, and that when the accused defends himself, he ‘must be lying’. Thus it is that the one who jumps in last is treated with suspicion, even if he is telling the truth.
This is a psychological game that usually plays out in the same way, time and again. It is better to come out with the facts immediately, so that nothing is hidden or kept secret. Whilst I believe Sookhdeo made a mistake by keeping these things private, and by doing so his case was harmed, it does not prove he was guilty, or that he was not guilty, only that he made a mistake in keeping these things quiet. No-one wants others to hear of such distasteful accusations, especially if they are untrue. The accusations will be looked at a little later.
The booklet speaks NOT of everyday criticism or dislike, but of sustained, heavy, and brutal statements against both parties, that were well above what is normal (para 3). That is, “destructive opposition, seemingly aimed at breaking individuals and crippling organisations.” At BTM we have had this level of evil aimed at us frequently, and that is why I look upon such a statement as perhaps very close to the truth, if not THE truth. My perception, however, is not to be taken as a legal certainty, but only as a very strong possibility.
Then, in 2015 matters became far more serious (para 6). An editor (Mark Woods) of ‘Christian Today’, an internet-based publication, wrote what the Fund says was “a series of misleading and often inaccurate articles between August and December 2015. He has also been very active on social media forums and is continuing what seems to us to be a campaign of sorts. The Fundees are mystified as to his true motives, but it seems that his aims were to (1) discredit Sookhdeo Sookhdeo and force him out of Barnabas Fund (2) persuade Barnabas Fund supporters to divert their financial giving to other charities, with a view to damaging the work of the Fund. We tried to respond to some of Rev. Woods’ early articles but Christian Today was very unhelpful.”
Now, the worthiness or not of the Fund and its work is not the issue here. What we are looking at is a sustained attack on one man, for reasons unspecified by the one making the accusations. This has happened to me for the past fifty years, so I understand the frustration! I, too, was intimidated by the EA’s bosses, Joel Edwards and the previous office-holder, Clive Calver, and had my name maligned time and again in my own area by pastors who hated my anti-Toronto Blessing views. I simply reported what happened, as it happened. And, as our ministry is supported by ourselves, we had no finances to lose! Even so, Calver and Edwards cast shadows over my ministry for no reason, trying to intimidate us to conform to charismatic heresy. They did it in retaliation because I identified their hand in spreading the vile Toronto Blessing to UK churches.
This attack by the editor of Christian Today (whether true or not) led to Sookhdeo’s resignation as a Fundee and as International Director, in November 2015. The Fund booklet describes Woods’ articles as “hostile, biased and error-prone” (p5, para 7). This is always the case with writers who simply want to attack without providing proofs of the validity of their arguments.
It also seems that Sookhdeo’s car was sabotaged; the implication was that it was designed to kill the occupants. The sabotage was apparently confirmed by a vehicle inspector. Just a week later, Sookhdeo was arrested for a sexual impropriety supposedly committed three decades earlier (para 7). Given these two incidents, and to protect his family, he decided to take himself away from the Fund. Let us be frank – Obama has been implicated in the deaths of high-profile critics. People have been murdered for opposing big business or by giving true scientific answers that conflict with those of big-names. My own life was threatened. I recognise intimidation when I see it. The truth or not of Sookhdeo’s claims are not the issue... the real issue is the hatred and intention to harm.
It might be thought that ‘Christians’ would not be party to such underhanded tricks. If people think this way, they are very naïve. I have witnessed MANY wicked activities amongst ‘Christians’, who are capable of doing immense harm to those who happen to oppose them! And, during the early stage of the vile Toronto Blessing, some who opposed it in their own churches actually received death threats. This is not normal Christian activity. It is Satan working out his strategies via violence and hatred. It does not matter, in this context, if Sookhdeo or the Fund had done anything wrong. Even when Sookhdeo resigned, Woods continued his attacks. Again, this is NOT normal behaviour, nor is it ‘Christian’. Once more I recognise this kind of personal hatred... after I was forced out of my job in 2005, the owner and his manager continued to send police and other forms of attack to my door.
But, all is not as it seems (P6, para 2). Sookhdeo was under threat in 2012-13, possibly from former Fundees, who, as is usual when one person wishes to harm another, only gave partial information, enough to blacken the name of the Fund.
Barnabas Fund Now (P6)
A long time ago I stopped using the title ‘Director’, instead preferring ‘co-founder’ alongside my colleague in the ministry, James Waddell, also a ‘co-founder’. I felt that ‘director’ portrayed a certain business image, so it did not properly reflect what we were or what we do. At this point I must express a dismay with so many ‘ministries’ who work along business lines, or who take on the legal entity, ‘charity’. These do not sit well with me, or James. Their status certainly helps to gather much by way of finances and status, but offer nothing spiritually suitable.
EVERY Christian has a ‘ministry’, whether small or big. A ministry is given to individuals, not to whole corporations. It is initiated and sustained not by what people want from it, but by the Holy Spirit. Thus, the one given a particular ministry is the one who God leads. I cannot see God in the many huge organisations that claim to be ‘Christian’. I only see vast sums of finances, marketing, paid employees, etc. But, what does a founder do when the organisation becomes too big? He HAS to rely on others... and this seems to be a problem area. Really, jobs caused by expansion should go only to those people known personally to the founder, whose spiritual heart can be known. It seems that one major problem with Barnabas is the hiring of people who are not known to the founder, and along business lines. They tend to be, from what I can see, Anglican... and Anglicans are not known for their love of Christ.
It might be argued that I am only saying this because I have never received a salary for my ministry (neither has Sookhdeo). Yes, that could be true... but it is not. We have always said that God will lead us as He wishes. For this reason we shrugged off the idea of being a charity, or some other formal organisation, and our growth and influence has been directed by God, not ourselves. And, when a ministry becomes a charity, it is automatically chained to government and its laws. We wanted none of this interference, even though our ability to have more finances was thus diminished, if not stopped. It is why the two of us pay for expenses out of our own incomes, which is not much. (I am on a basic state pension).
So, when we read of the Fund as a huge formal organisation handling huge sums of money, we are dismayed. To us it seems to be more of a business than a ministry. (This is our perception, which may, or may not, be accurate). Businesses are easy prey for nasty work by conspirators. In any large enterprise there can be backstabbing individuals keen to progress. And the larger such an organisation gets, the less likely it is to keep a necessary eye on all who work for it. In the case of the Fund, it has many overseas offices as well as its HQ. It also seems to us that its ability to check on applicants must be scant and harmful to its own survival.
Once again I must say that though I see it this way, it does not necessarily mean Sookhdeo or the Fund has been doing anything wrong. Mistakes maybe. Is the work of the Fund honourable and good? Frankly, without very close scrutiny I cannot really tell. Much depends on WHO receives its financial help, WHY they receive it and by what means. It also depends on how much charity funding is paid out on any salaries. It is my personal view (of other charities) that the most urgent aim of them all is to pay a very large income to the top figure, and to maintain salaried workers in their jobs. How it is with the Fund I do not know (but I do know Sookhdeo, to his credit, did not have a salary at all)
It is true that the Fund supports persecuted people. Are these all believers? That is, believers as per scripture? Given the people associated with the Fund, I have to ask such questions. God Himself warns that we should give no help to those who hate Him or His people.
It seems that Sookhdeo has warned the churches for decades, of several major issues that were not then given adequate treatment (P7, para 2). In my own ministry I know how even fellow Christians can rise up against you for telling the unsavoury truth. For all those years he has been ‘stalked’ by those who hate him and what he does. It is bound to happen... and it has forced him out of what he has been doing.
In para 8 we see a very strong contender for an antagonist – the Church of England. The Fund claims it has shown racist undertones towards Sookhdeo, and this does not surprise me. The Anglicans admitted to its racism (Jonathan Wynne-Jones, “Church of England ‘institutionally racist’”, The Telegraph, 17th June 2007). What other evils lurk behind the Anglican façade?
Here is another problem area – Anglicanism. I have referred to Anglicanism in dark tones, believing it to be apostate, even though a few within its ranks are truly saved. So, linking to this apostate group is bound to be injurious to anyone who holds to genuine Christian views and aims. I suggest that by aligning with Anglicanism, or any other ‘ism’, the Fund is inviting its own doom.
Truth, Justice and Righteousness (P7)
“Barnabas Fund and Sookhdeo stand for truth, justice and righteousness, and we have sought to tell the truth no matter what the cost, in order to help those who are suffering discrimination, oppression, harassment, injustice, false accusation, violence or other forms of persecution.” (Para 1). This continues as:
“Our work helps Christians, especially women, who are suffering in any context of persecution, whether that context is Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, nationalist, communist or humanist. But the majority of Christian persecution is occurring at the hands of Muslim extremists, which is why Barnabas Fund and Sookhdeo are particularly vocal about Islam.” (Para 1).
The reader should access the Fund’s statement on the four principles it holds towards Islam. On point one, we would say that though we should love Muslims because they are fellow human beings, this cannot extend to ‘compassion’. We say this because God Himself does not show compassion for those who follow a pagan idolatrous religion. He does not show compassion, because they worship a false god, and this is totally offensive to Him. As we say in our own literature, we may only help Muslims on an individual basis IF, and ONLY if, the Christian is led by the Holy Spirit to that particular Muslim. We cannot show compassion to those who are hated by God! Nor may we respect Islamic religion.
Point two does not adequately distinguish love for fellow believers and the lesser love for Muslims, which must, by definition, be about respect for fellow human beings, but not respect for their false beliefs.
Point three says there must be scholarly accuracy. This point is described in better terms and we generally agree with it. We are not really sure what is meant by ‘working with moderate Muslims’. In our own research we know that in the current atmosphere there are no real ‘moderate’ Muslims, only Muslims who have not yet been intimidated and responded to Islamic demands. We see no reason to work with Muslims if our ministry is from God. We only see God’s loathing of the Islamic religion.
Point 4 is truth – to be faithful to Christ, no matter what the cost.
We are concerned with the statements by the Fund concerning Islam:
“For example, in September 2015 Barnabas Fund and Muslim Aid issued a joint statement to press the British government to recognise the needs of both Christians and Muslims in its plans to bring 20,000 Syrian refugees to the UK, and also pledging to help newly arrived Syrians to settle and integrate.”
Concerning this, we must be open about our opposition to this plan:
Anyone who has read our VERY detailed information on the ‘refugee’ problem will know that we do not support bringing Syrian Muslims to the West. There are compelling reasons for this, including that we cannot tell who is a terrorist and who is not. Also, because of the Islamic teaching on Taqqiya (lying) we do not know who is from Syria anyway, who is a real refugee, and who is a terrorist. A bigger reason is that we offend God when we invite Pagans into our midst.
Muslims do not integrate. Very early Muslims did, but those now arriving in the West are a totally different kind. They openly warn they will not integrate, so it is a fool’s errand to expect them to do so. There are other reasons.
We believe this (points 1 and 2) will itself undermine any work done by the Fund. We cannot expect pagans to understand or comply with what God demands.
However, the Fund has accrued enemies for helping the brethren (P8, para 1), by people whose aim is socialistic – to help even those who are evil (when God warns us against it).
Sookhdeo’s view of Islam might not be our own, but his attempt to differentiate Islam and Christianity is reasonable. Even so, it drew hatred, and this hatred is probably part of the Fund’s problem. Many have said that to critique Islam is to harm Christian-Muslim relations (Para 2). It is right to make the distinction in the light of current hatred for Christians in the Middle East and around the world. Even so, we think maybe the Fund has not properly described this. Apart from that, many who hated Sookhdeo for his views against ‘political’ Islam are now seeing the truth in what he said (para 3). The only problem with this view is that ALL of Islam is ‘political’, a means to an end using pseudo-religious terms as a backdrop. His views on this have touched Muslims in the USA who have a sinister allegiance to ISIS and sharia.
Para 4 shows us Sookhdeo’s belief, that Christ is the only Saviour, there being no salvation in any other religions. Sadly, when one mixes relationships with Muslims and false believers, there will always be hatred from them when we ‘step on their toes’. It is part of their ‘religion’ to lie.
Who Is Sookhdeo Sookhdeo and Why Did He start Barnabas Fund? (P9)
Patrick Sookhdeo was born in South America, to a Muslim family, whose ancestors came from India and what is now Pakistan. At age 12 he moved with his parents to the UK, to live in poverty (at a time when Muslims DID try to integrate). He became a Christian in his late teens and knew the hatred of Muslims for doing so. An architecture student, he left his course to study at the London Bible College (1967-9). He then married a white woman, Rosemary. This became an issue when he applied to missionary societies, who did not like the fact that their marriage was ‘racially mixed’ (para 1). In other words, they were racist (and some still are).
Note that I do not know what is here meant by becoming a Christian. Nor do I know what he studied. So, I cannot comment on these.
Because of the problem with missionary societies, Sookhdeo obtained a job with a Scripture Union shop, and was later asked to work with the Evangelical Alliance. I have to warn that this organisation is not as it was when it was formed. I have found it to be unbiblical and ecumenical. Most recently Joel Edwards (who, with Clive Calver in the 1990s, tried to intimidate me when I opposed the Toronto Blessing) urged Christians to join with Muslims. The task undertaken might have been acceptable (I cannot tell), but working with the EA rings alarm bells, for those who are employees are always subject to the employer’s whims and unbiblical beliefs/practices. This would not have helped Sookhdeo, no matter how keen he was to serve the Lord, and this association would affect his thinking.
After five years Sookhdeo started his own ministry, church-planting in inner cities (In Contact Ministries). Whether or not this was a genuine ministry prompted by the Holy Spirit, I cannot tell, for I do not have sufficient information. Sookhdeo pastored one of these churches until 1998. As the ministry expanded, the name was changed to Servants Fellowship International (SFI). During his time with the inner city ministry he refused a salary, believing he should live on the same economic level as those he wished to serve. This is commendable and starkly highlights the money-grabbing of so many ‘pastors’ in the churches today. For most of his time since he has ‘lived by faith’ (again, not sure what this truly means in his case) and was unpaid (para 3).
How Barnabas Fund Began and Grew (P9)
20 years after completing his Bible-college* training (1989), Sookhdeo became international coordinator for Islam, with the World Evangelical Alliance and the Lausanne Movement. The latter is Anglican in tone and does not sit comfortably with me. It was a time when Islamic persecution of Christians was given scant attention (P10,Para 1). (* When I studied with London Bible College I had occasion to seriously query a certain unit because of its error).
After receiving requests to do so, he began the International Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity (IISIC), which provided information on the Church in Muslim countries. He found that appeals for funds from missionary societies and Christian Aid societies garnered almost no funds at all to help persecuted Christians in Muslim countries. In this I recognise the saying, “If your face doesn’t fit...” Of course, they may have had genuine reasons not to help, but I do not have the details. Because of this non-response, he began to ask for funds from Christian individuals. Out of this came the name ‘Barnabas Fund’ (para 2). Since that time 22 years ago, the Fund has grown to international status. Funds are sent to local Christians who are persecuted under Islamic rule, rather than through middle-men.
In this I see a possible problem – asking for financial help to further a ministry. The help given is sound, but should we ask for funds? We rarely, if ever ask for funds for BTM, believing that if God is in the venture, then He will provide. The problem with asking for regular funds is that the one receiving the funds becomes reliant on human resources. Perhaps if the Fund was not called a ‘ministry’ it would allay my fears. In itself, though, this is not a personal criticism, only an observation based on my own attitude towards my own ministry, which receives almost nothing by way of funding from fellow believers. When does a ‘ministry’ become a business? (These are my opinions, and no criticism is given against Soodkhdeo).
The Fund currently has about £18 million per year, and this helps to support suffering Christians with about 450 projects in 60 countries. A question arises here – what is meant by ‘Christians’ in these countries? Roman Catholic? Or, some other sect that has wrong doctrine? The meaning of ‘Christian’ in these countries can often be very far from scriptural meanings.
An interesting break-in occurred in 1998, where whoever was responsible targeted the information on the computer rather than anything valuable. This immediately raises the suspicion that the break-in was part of a conspiracy by God-haters or Fund-haters. Make no mistake, this could easily come from those who outwardly identify as ‘Christians’, or even from government ‘secret’ agencies.
To me, the break-in is a key component in this whole sorry mess. The police also had similar suspicions and advised the Fund to move to other premises, where sensitive information could be even more professionally guarded. In particular, the police advised that the location in East London was then a hot-bed of Islamic radicalism (para 4). This is the second major key in this story. Islamists will, and do, hate ANY help given to Christians on their ‘patch’, no matter what country they live in. If they could get names of such Christians from a computer they could then target them with not just hate, but murder.
Other Roles and Service (P10)
Because of his specialist knowledge of Islam, Sookhdeo was asked to assist secular agencies such as the special branch, other security services, and the military (para 1). This expanded to assisting the USA and NATO. His roles are indeed impressive, and this implies very strongly that he would be targeted by Islamists, or even by liberals in government who would want his life and work to end. Note that his work began solely as a ministry, but then quickly expanded to secular organisations of a top secret nature. I cannot comment on this, because I do not know how God was dealing with Sookhdeo, and what He wanted him to do. Note how Islam has increased its power and hold over the West with governmental approval in the past two or three years. This is another possible source of attacks.
However, I also note that he was given an honorary doctorate from Western Seminary for work on ‘pluralism’ (P10, para 2). For me this sounds wrong. He also holds a remarkable number of positions in a variety of churches, all of them Anglican. It does not sit well with me, given the general Romanist nature of Anglicanism. Sookhdeo left the Church of England because of its racism, but he is still connected through the Anglican churches of Africa and Pakistan. Perhaps my doubts on this are unfounded, but I cannot tell from a distance, or from the brief material provide by the Fund. I can only say that normally I do not give ‘house room’ to Anglicanism (or for ANY denomination for that matter, so my own view might be getting in the way of a full assessment).
Added to these rather odd connections, Sookhdeo has been honoured with high-ranking awards for peace. One of these came from the Syrian Orthodox Church. I am concerned that if an Orthodox church awarded him the position of ‘Commander’ (similar title to some given by Rome), that his work can be construed as ecumenical (P11, para 3). Even so, many church leaders dislike his attitude towards Islam, though his earlier predictions have since come true as Islam bares its wicked fangs to the world.
Some Principles and Priorities
Barnabas continues to send financial support via local church leaders rather than through missionary and other ‘tainted’ organisations, so that money reaches those it was intended for (para 1). The Fund will work with like-minded groups, though. Another key factor is found in the last sentence on page 11: “But some organisations who do not have a similar vision have reacted strongly against Barnabas Fund and Dr Sookhdeo.” Just as a woman scorned can bring a whole heap of trouble to a man, so those with secular ideas in our churches can destroy the reputation and work of another, if they refuse to hold hands with them! Perhaps these links are only in my own mind, for his predictions concerning the rise of Islamism have thus far been accurate.
Hostility to Sookhdeo’s Position on Islam
The readers should bear in mind that Western governments literally hate all who oppose Islamic migration and who criticise their policies. We see them silencing police, judiciary and people, so that Islam is given a clear run, wreaking havoc in all countries it is found in. So, hatred towards Sookhdeo is to be expected and put him in grave danger. Whilst his warnings about Islam have been used by many agencies, those same agencies are now probably turning against him, because governments are afraid to act against evil Islamists who kill.
One of those groups showing enmity towards Sookhdeo is The Network for Inter Faith Concerns across the Anglican Communion (NIFCON) (P12, para 1). To me, this organisation is anti-God and anti-Christian. Its work is heretical. Sookhdeo has not had links to this evil group. He might not agree with my definition of NIFCON, but it is my own and I adhere to it. Various of its leaders have aimed strong criticism at Sookhdeo. This is yet another key factor in the story.
Lambeth Palace (P12)
A Muslim leader, Sheikh Muhammed Al-Hussaini, has spoken of the wicked way certain Anglican leaders would visit his office and speak antagonistically against Sookhdeo (para 1) (Muhammad Al-Hussaini, “The Gospel, Race and Anglican Power”, 23 December 2015 http://www.virtueonline.org/gospel-race-and-anglican-power). This implies they visited him regularly. It also means they were more than willing to show hatred for a fellow Christian before a pagan follower of Allah. That is, if they really were Christians in the biblical sense, which I doubt!
The Muslim commented that this hatred was shown because Sookhdeo was ‘un-Anglican’ (Anglican=heretical) by describing Muslim hatred for Christians in straight-talking rather than in the veiled language of ‘diplomats’ (bearing in mind one definition of ‘diplomacy’ is the ‘art of lying’!). The Sheikh was told that Lambeth Palace (that is, the archbishop and his cronies) said “Sookhdeo is the most dangerous man in Christendom.” Another key in this unsavoury tale. Dangerous to whom? It very much appears that he was a danger to the godless activities of those who wished to join Christianity with Islam! (I have had the same accusation aimed at me for denying homosexuality a place in decent society).
“Mr Keyes told Dr Al-Hussaini that he intended, with the help of Lambeth Palace, to marginalise and eventually eliminate Dr Sookhdeo from a Christian-Muslim initiative that Dr Sookhdeo himself had started, in partnership with the Prince of Wales, for the purpose of advocating on behalf of persecuted Christians in Muslim-majority nations. This they succeeded in doing.”
(para 2) (Mr Keys was Director of St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace). Another key in this tale)
Jerry Kramer and other Western Missionaries (P12)
It has been my personal view for some years that large charities are just money-grabbing entities, who flourish not because they do anything, but because they maintain the status quo – whatever they claim to help simply continues unabated. Thus directors always get their high salaries and workers get their wages. I have a similar view of certain missionary organisations. They all work as businesses rather than as ministries.
Some were enraged by Sookhdeo’s lone-wolf activities and bypassing established missionary societies. One even accused him of being a CIA agent. The claimant was a ‘Father’ Jerry Kramer (Father??). Kramer has since apologised to Sookhdeo for making a false accusation... but it was another attack on Barnabas and Sookhdeo. As with all accusations made publicly, they are mud-flinging and mud always sticks, even when one is proved to be innocent and the accusations are lies. I know – it happens to me many times. I, too, have enemies listed in a Google search.
The 2007 ‘Yale Letter’ P13)
The Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, Jordan, published an open letter to Christians, entitled “A Common Word Between Us and You”. It was sent out by 138 Muslim scholars, asking for ‘dialogue’ (that killer of faith) to explore the ‘common ground’ of ‘loving God and loving your neighbour’. The biggest response came from the Yale Centre for Faith and Culture, 2007, signed foolishly by more than 300 ‘Christian’ leaders. Sookhdeo warned of the implications of signing the response.
He correctly stated that to sign would be a strong statement – that Christianity and Islam were equal in content, worth and faith. The same fatal folly is found in ANY supposed faith ‘dialogue’ with ANY false religion. No Christian can legitimately have ‘dialogue’ over ‘shared beliefs’ or principles with these fake faiths, because to do so would be like slapping God in the face. ALL religions other than true Christian faith, are false and unworthy of dialogue.
For pointing out this obvious truth, he was ‘reviled’ and ‘strongly criticised’ by evangelicals. Those evangelicals were not just foolish, they were ignorant, and probably unsaved. No saved person can look upon Islam, a pagan, heathen, idolatrous pseudo-religion, and say it was equal to the Church of Christ! If you think the label ‘evangelical’ is the same as ‘saved’, you are acutely (or maybe chronically) wrong and bound to be disappointed! Some very wicked statements and actions emit from these ‘evangelicals’, as I know to my cost. So, this is another key in the scenario.
Open Doors, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) and Release (the UK arm of Voice of the Martyrs) P13.
These (and Barnabas) are held to be the three major organisations dealing in matters concerning the persecuted Church, but not in providing aid. They did not give practical help through financial gifts to national Christians in Muslim run countries. Of course, this work is now mainly subverted by intense and growing hatred for Christians by Muslims. Barnabas is the only one of the agencies listed above to speak out strongly against anti-Christian thought and acts against believers (para 1).
We should say at this juncture that we consider ALL of Islam to be anti-God, even if it does not show hatred and does not persecute. We base this on plentiful Old Testament texts that indicate God’s utter loathing for Islam (that is, for paganism and idolatry). He also hates it because it worships a false god. Thus, there can be no ‘dialogue’, only a full condemnation of its founder and beliefs. We have a duty to be courteous and friendly towards Muslims who are outwardly peaceful, but we cannot go any farther in our relationships. We certainly cannot respect their beliefs. To do so is to condone their paganism.
Open Doors (supported by some internet readers of this paper) describes Sookhdeo as an ‘extremist’ (how I recognise such an accusation, often made against myself!) (para 3) and has attempted to persuade the Evangelical Alliance (itself apostate) to omit him from any initiatives on Islam. At a meeting of Lausanne, an Open Doors person tried to poison a Barnabas delegate against Sookhdeo, advising that he should be removed from leadership. This is yet another key to what I increasingly see as a conspiracy against Sookhdeo. (Please remember I can only go by what the Barnabas booklet says. Even so, the information appears to point to such a conspiracy. It is my view that many of his associations were with people I would never have considered as ‘running mates’ in any context. Was he too trusting? Or, was his former Anglicanism a problem?).
The three organisations above never invite Barnabas to meetings about the persecuted churches. Sadly, onlookers appear to interpret this as ‘aloofness’ by Barnabas. They do not appear to see that they are not aloof – they have been ‘hung out to dry’ by other organisations with secular minds (para 4).
As a ministry we NEVER join with other organisations, though we might support some of their work. The reason is not aloofness, but reliance only on the Holy Spirit. I have been given my ministry, and all ministries are personal. I have to ‘make or break’ in my own name and work, regardless of what others are doing. When we join hands with others, even if they call themselves ‘Christian’ we are open to their attitudes and ways of working. We find this unacceptable, and so suggest that Barnabas and Sookhdeo should not even contemplate joint ventures for these reasons.
CRIB, Fulcrum and Ben White (P14)
Christian Responses to Islam in Britain (CRIB) held a conference at All Nations Bible College, July 2008, soon after Open Doors tried to sabotage Sookhdeo’s position with Barnabas. Attendees conspired, shamefully, to “exclude and marginalise” Sookhdeo. One missionary exposed this plot (para 1).
Here a journalist, Ben White, an anti-Israel writer, was asked to collude with the conspirators, by writing a ‘negative review’ of Sookhdeo’s book, ‘Global Jihad’. In itself this was a conspiracy because (a) a writer with known opposition to Israel was deliberately asked to skew his opinions, and (b) it was part of a plot to discredit Sookhdeo. I have not read Sookhdeo’s book, but conspiracy is conspiracy! (Para 2)
A further proof of this wickedness came when the journalist sent his adverse review to an Islamist website! Only after that was it sent to Fulcrum, an ‘evangelical’ Anglican organisation. As the booklet properly says, posting the critical review on an Islamic website endangered Sookhdeo’s life. I do not hesitate to say that the journalist was well aware of that, that it was part of the conspiracy, and that his criticism as an anti-Israel writer should never have been requested. No matter what Sookhdeo has done or said, it does not give reason to expose him to Islamists. Shame on Open Doors and on Ben White, who is no genuine journalist!
Other mission leaders confronted CRIB who initially denied plotting against Sookhdeo and denied knowing Ben White (P14, para 3). But, at a later meeting they admitted to all charges. This means they deliberately conspired to silence Sookhdeo and Barnabas by underhanded and harmful means, then lied about it before admitting to what was a very sinful activity. And they call themselves ‘Christians’!
The Islamic website that ran the critical review passed on details to other Islamic websites (para 5), which called Sookhdeo a ‘devil’. A death threat soon followed. As one who has received death threats I understand how wicked and scary this is. It is what Islamists do all the time, because they claim to follow the Koran. The Evangelical Alliance did nothing to allay these fears or to investigate what had been done by its member organisations, because they are themselves pro-Islam.
The EA is moving towards joining hands with Islam, and this is heinous (http://www.christiantoday.com/article/evangelical.alliance.urges.christians.to.build.links.with.muslims/78781.htm ). (Christians Urged to love their neighbour by visiting a mosque, https://www.premier.org.uk/News/Society/Christians-urged-to-love-their-neighbour-visit-a-Mosque ). The Lord does not want us to build bridges between His word and false gods. We are to shun them if they insist on following their godless paths. In no way are we to join with them.
The current Director General of the EA, Steve Clifford, says we must join Muslims because they are being ‘victimised and marginalised’. What? He says nothing of the way huge numbers of Muslims agree with ISIS and beheadings, and with sharia, or with the thousands of deaths they inflict on Christians! Marginalisation is nothing compared to these! If Muslims are now under suspicion, this is their own fault; they must show everyone that they do not want to cause us harm. But, on the other hand, with taqiyya as a feature of Islam, how can we believe them? (See my detailed articles on this).
This shocking anti-god activity is to be expected. The EA did what it could to silence me when I spoke out against the vile Toronto Blessing, and hundreds of its member churches reviled me from their pulpits. But, because I am independent of them, their threats and actions, though wicked, were not effective. Again, this implies that Sookhdeo and Barnabas should not be enjoined with other so-called ‘ministries’. The EA not only endorses and supports charismatic evils, but it is also a supporter of Islam. Even in 2008 most missionary societies did not accept that Islam had an ‘evil side’! (para 6). It is not that Islam has an ‘evil side’ – ALL of Islam is evil, given that it is a heathen, idolatrous pseudo-religion with violent and murderous intent.
I suggest that their ‘ignorance’ is more to do with their structures, aims and finances, than with truth. Islam as a ‘religion of peace’ is a worldwide lie, a taqiyya. Spread by wicked heathen to subdue the West. (See my various recent articles on this).
Bob Lambert and Powerbase (P14)
Bob Lambert was a Special Branch officer who approached Sookhdeo for information. He later became ‘notorious’ (Melanie Phillips has written of this incident in a blog dated 9 March 2009 about the emergence of an axis between a section of evangelical Christians, the hard left, Islamists, and the far right. http://www.melaniephillips.com/beware-the-new-axis-of-evangelicals-and-islamists ).
After this meeting, Sookhdeo served the Branch for ten years as an advisor on Islam... but this relationship changed to one of antagonism. The only reason for this in my view is that governments began to appease Islamists and threw a cordon of protection around Islam for political reasons. This, too, is wickedness, one that sucked Sookhdeo dry until he was deemed to be an ‘enemy of the state’. As early as 1999 Special Branch concluded that Islam was a ‘good guy’ and did not produce Islamic terrorists (a notion shattered two years later in New York)! Until that time the Branch saw Sookhdeo as an ‘asset’ and even gave him a special plaque! This, friends, is godless politics in action. It also shows how dangerous it is to align with unsaved people.
In 2001 the horror of 9/11 took place and views on Islam began to change - but not in a truthful and strong sense. When New York experienced this grave evil, Lambert again asked Sookhdeo for help in tracking down the perpetrators. In every way, then, Special Branch, commanded by government, was a ‘user and abuser’. Special Branch again resumed an interest in Islam in January 2002, the same Islam they said was full of ‘peace’ just two years previously.
But, Lambert took the Unit along lines alien to lines taken by other anti-terrorist units, and, against advice from Sookhdeo. Instead of doing what any decent man would do, Lambert began to support Islamic extremists, hoping young Muslim men would fall under the rule of sharia in mosques. This, to me, was treasonous, and very stupid, as later activities by ISIS and others prove. When Lambert retired from his evil path, he did a PhD and accused Sookhdeo of being an ‘Islamophobe’.
At this point it would be very easy to suggest that Lambert had been heavily influenced to be pro-Islam by becoming so close to extremists, perhaps also in undercover operations. It was certainly a wicked accusation that again opened Sookhdeo up to potential Islamic attack. Before too long, Sookhdeo’s name became ‘mud’, particularly as an ‘Islamophobe’. This liaison shows how potentially harmful undercover work can be, for to infiltrate Islam one has to BE Islamic. In Christian terms this is not just dangerous – it is foul and sinful. Sadly, too many undercover agents have crossed the line by joining with those they infiltrated, to their own costs and damage to their souls.
Take note: ‘Islamophobe’ is a term implying guilt, but it is an invented term. It was used first by Islamists who followed the same tactic as homosexuals who coined the ridiculous term ‘homophobia’. I know this because I closely followed both uses from the start. Those who use the term are intellectually challenged. Yet, its use is effective in silencing opposition, even when that opposition is true and factual. It is effective because those accused of it are ignorant and spineless.
At that time a high-ranking police officer (retired) warned Sookhdeo to cut all links with the Metropolitan police (who are no strangers to accusations against themselves) and Special Branch, because they “could not be trusted” (para 7) and because the link was putting his life at risk. Sookhdeo, however, believed he should help the country that had taken him in, in the light of growing Islamic violence. Thus, he helped the military, and the Association of Chief Police Officers as moderator of their counter-terrorism conferences (P15, para 7).
(Footnote on page 15: Bob Lambert was exposed in October 2011 as a spy and agent provocateur who had infiltrated animal rights activist groups from 1984-88, going as far as fathering a child with one of the genuine activists and burning down Debenhams department store in Harrow in 1987. In 1998 or earlier, he arranged for an undercover agent to infiltrate the family circle of Stephen Lawrence, the black teenager murdered in a racially motivated attack by white youths in London in 1993. This infiltration occurred in the context of the Macpherson Inquiry, which had exposed incompetence, corruption and institutional racism as the root causes of the Metropolitan Police’s failure to investigate the murder properly. The infiltration was an attempt to spy on, smear and discredit the Stephen Lawrence family who were campaigning to expose the police failures.
Ed. An undercover officer places himself in extreme danger when infiltrating Islam in any country. But, an even greater danger is that he will be influenced badly by Islam itself and then become a follower; this is an almost foregone conclusion, because to infiltrate he has to pretend to be Islamic, saying the ‘right’ things and supporting jihad and sharia. This is not a good or honourable thing to do).
Hostility for Unknown Reasons (P16)
The late Len Ashdown was treasurer for several Christian organisations. It was discovered he was defrauding them by stealing money (para 1). It appears that he also acted on behalf of Barnabas (?). The Fundees urged Barnabas to contact the police, who investigated and found Ashdown to be guilty. They also asked Sookhdeo to tell the other affected organisations what had happened.
Sookhdeo contacted the Evangelical Alliance, who began an enquiry. But, shockingly, the EA turned on Sookhdeo – a real case of ‘shooting the messenger’! (Para 3). I have no time for this faux-‘ministry’, given its unbiblical stance and work, and this disgusting action is not a surprise to me. Also of no surprise is that the EA wanted to cover everything up. From my own experience, this is typical of the EA. They told Sookhdeo to shut up and even to pay Ashdown off! Remember, the EA works in the guise of ‘Christian’ and hides many sins of its members.
When Sookhdeo then approached one of the organisations defrauded, the chairman became angry and treated Sookhdeo abysmally (para 3). He, too, wanted to just forget what had happened. Soon afterwards, Ashdown counter-accused Sookhdeo of fraud, removing the spotlight from himself. A key appears here, too, for the police said they did not have enough evidence to prosecute Ashdown. This does NOT necessarily mean Ashdown was innocent. It just means they had evidence but not enough to satisfy a court.
The Evangelical Alliance UK (P16)
The EA is pro-charismatic and pro-Islam, and hides many a heretic in its membership. So, I expect nothing truly biblical from it. It seems that the EA ‘preferred’ certain other organisations to the exclusion of Barnabas. Another key in this elaborate jigsaw, because the EU protects its membership even when it is unbiblical.
Barnabas therefore resigned from the EA in 2013, and rightly so (para 2). I believe the EA should be flagged as harmful to the churches: “... the EA’s earlier General Secretary Joel Edwards had urged churches to open their pulpits on Sundays for Muslim preachers, which Barnabas Fund and Sookhdeo disagreed with as a policy.” There has been no real Christian outcry against this apostasy, which, as I have said, is yet another key to this awful situation.
On this matter I would say that Christians should not join the EA, and churches and organisations should avoid it like the plague. It has proved itself to be anti-biblical for many years. Having joined the EU in the first place, Barnabas was sure to be in its ‘bad books’ if it questioned or argued against its policies.
I did so in the 1990s but its threats/intimidation could not harm me, because I was not a member and not touched financially by its obvious heresies and influence with churches in my home city. But, being a well-financed organisation with many associates, Barnabas was a ‘sitting duck’, ready to be pulled down. The Christian mafia is alive and well! This is another key to the demise of Barnabas – it should never have joined the heretical EA.
Using previous erroneous articles, the EA urged the World Evangelical Alliance not to have any dealings with Barnabas (the pot calling the kettle black!). The WEA asked the EA to contact Barnabas direct to discuss any concerns. But (again typically), the EA has not done so. Nor will it ever do so... its commands must be obeyed! Obnoxiously, this has been the case even though Barnabas has given many grants to the WEA and to local EAs in various countries. “The Fundees are very sad to see how the EA UK’s current leadership is moving away from conservative evangelical values.” To me, this funding was an error, because local EAs are simply little-brothers of the main EA.
This concerns me, because I saw the heresies of the EA twenty years ago! Its strong pro-charismatic leadership in the Toronto Blessing fiasco was enough for me to dismiss the EA as an apostate organisation. So, why did Barnabas not know about this? Or, did it join even though this heretical position was known? Being a part of apostasy will never bring God’s rewards, and will certainly bring enemies. Even so, this error (to my mind) does not excuse the EA or any other organisation that have acted so wickedly.
2012-13 Dispute with Barnabas Fund UK Former Fundees (P18)
Barnabas believes that one or more former Fundees, with chagrin, have given “selective, misleading and confidential information” to Mark Woods (Christian Today), who then allegedly abused his position as editor, to write inaccurate articles about Barnabas and Sookhdeo (para 1). Please note that such inaccuracy or not cannot be proved by myself – my information is from the Barnabas booklet. Thus, I am commenting only on what has been given to me.
It seems that current Fundees have built bridges with three former Fundees (para 2). Whilst I do not have insider information, this implies that those former Fundees did have destructive views, but that intervention by current Fundees have given another view, such that they have changed their minds. This suggests that the idea, that former Fundees gave bad information for articles is correct.
As Barnabas grew so did its board of trustees. They did not interfere in daily running of Barnabas but ensured it was correctly interpreting its policies. There were more non-executive Trustees than executive trustees. All trustees had privileged information about Barnabas and its work. However, some who left did not voice concerns before they left. Instead, they ordered a second audit of affairs, but found no tangible or material problems. All others connected with the Fund were satisfied that it was run correctly and did a good job.
Some trustees felt that the majority of trustees had an “...inexcusably casual attitude to compliance and to modern norms of management”. Also, certain members of staff complained of racism and bullying by some trustees (para 5). This led to staff going off work with stress, and three formal grievances handed in to Barnabas. This is yet another key to the whole mess. I should add that I know two former bosses of two high-profile charities, who have reported to me the same kind of problem inherent in any large charity. The combination of voluntary workers and paid staff appears to be toxic. The unpaid people do not comply with the strictness of business policies and personnel requirements, and there are many grievances both ways. So, I can well believe these issues raised in this section.
Most of the trustees were Anglican (para 6) (which explains a great deal!), so I do not doubt they had similar attitudes to the rest of Anglican high-level dealings. It is very likely that most were also unsaved. Unsaved and saved in a purportedly Christian organisation simply do not mix, except in an explosive way. It seems these trustees did not understand ‘living by faith’. (Note: Commendably, 87% of Barnabas income is given to grants for persecuted Christians. This surpasses all other big charities. Also, unlike so many charity bosses who take huge salaries, Sookhdeo paid his workers but not himself).
Strangely, disgruntled trustees kept asking why Sookhdeo did not take a salary. Because he did not draw a salary they were suspicious and hinted at financial corruption. None of this sounds like the attitude of saved men, but they suggest projections onto Sookhdeo of their own corrupt hearts. (I came across this myself, where a twice criminalised company owner thought every one of his employees were just like himself in character, including me). The current board believes that the former Trustees had one motive – to remove Sookhdeo from his role. (They voted him off the board and suspended him in 2013). Another Key!
These people refused to discuss issues properly, preferring to secretly keep things at boiling point rather than to be dealt with; a volcano waiting to erupt. They also refused to deal with the various departments, each of which had its own manager. The accusers, too, refused to give specific reasons for their anger. Instead, they issued a long list of complex questions – none of which could be answered adequately in the one day specified.
Again, I can relate to this conspiratorial activity. Before I was thrown out of my senior position in one job, I had a full year of grievances aimed at me by an unknown person. They were given to my immediate superior, who refused to tell me who the person was, or what the details of the complaints were. It had a bad effect on my health. Whenever I asked for details, I was not given any. I was asked many questions, but because I had done nothing wrong, I was confused by their breadth and type, so I could not give proper answers! In the end I brought in an adviser from my professional association, who plainly told the owner and his manager to stop what was obviously mischief-making and harassment.
But, the accusations continued, behind my back. It was obvious that those involved wanted me to leave. Just before I was forced out of my job, I gave an ultimatum – either give me written details of each complaint, or shut up. Then, by a fluke I discovered who was behind the accusations. It was a person I had helped personally in the past, and who wanted my job! I therefore did not keep quiet but drew up 22 charges against her, all true. I had hoped to settle each issue privately, but I was left no choice.
So, the accusations were now on the other foot. Rather than deal with the real culprit (who I later realised was used by my superior to get rid of me), it was easier to get rid of me... which they did, using two false accusations (homophobia and racism). My lawyer was told to his face by the owner that he would do everything in his power to get rid of me, even if he had to lie (which he did). That was the point at which I saw no way back, and I lost my job.
All of this I see in Sookhdeo’s case. Of course, I could easily be duped, but I do not think so – each issue I have witnessed and experienced in my own life. I recognise how evil people can be. I have known similar evils from pastors and churches and the EA. This is why I lean towards believing Barnabas.
The former trustees did not raise any concerns at board meetings, but chose to be clandestine. (Another key). Instead, they called for special board meetings and did not allow observers into them. In itself this was suspicious (P19, para 10). The troublesome trustees simply did not like Sookhdeo’s way of working, or his deeply held beliefs about who to help, etc.
Footnote in booklet, P19, regarding the form and work of a charity: “The Hallmarks of an Effective Charity”, Charity Commission publication CC10 (first published 1 July 2008), states that a charity which is fit for purpose “recognises, promotes and values equality and diversity in beneficiaries, staff and volunteers, and in all aspects of its activity”.
This is a big reason why BTM will never be a charity. We could not subscribe to ‘equality’ where there was inequality, and we could not be open to ‘diversity’, which automatically means allowing homosexuals, or even atheists and Islamists into our structure. The Christian life and mission cannot deal in ‘equality’ as defined by government. We believe this issue of being a charity is a grave error on the part of any Christian ministry, because it allows for compromise. To us, this is another key issue that badly affected Barnabas.
The Tactics of the Dissenting Fundees (P19)
The early leader of the trustees had solicited complaints from staff against Sookhdeo (para 1). He also told one supporter that he “would not rest until Sookhdeo was gone.” I find this kind of underhandedness reprehensible. Those who work their machinations in darkness do not impress me. Sookhdeo knew of accusations, but the leaders refused to tell him what they were. (See my own testimony above). These are the tactics of conspirators, not friends, and not Christians.
Sookhdeo tried for months to get the board to mediation, but was refused (para 5). When mediation finally came, it was unsuccessful. Why? I remember doing this in my own life, but the accuser was so filled with hate that no reconciliation on my part had any effect and the hatred continued; thus, an agenda took the place of truth and fact. That is what I see in this case. After seven months, almost all of the trustees resigned. Meanwhile all the staff were under stress. Does this not sound like a hidden agenda? It is certainly not scriptural.
One promoted member of staff complained that a trustee (the original leader) had racist opposition to his promotion and showed it by his attitude towards him. Using Barnabas procedure, Sookhdeo called three other trustees, but they all rejected the idea of racism by the chairman. They would not cooperate with any investigation, and once again Sookhdeo was turned against. Again, this sounds very familiar.
The International Director of Projects also put in a formal complaint against the chairman, of harassment and bullying. In short the chairman tried to force her to divert finances from chosen projects to people he knew personally (para 8). Immediately after all this the chairman continued to abuse the woman.
Over the seven months of their false complaints, the trustees ran up a legal bill of £14,000 – all paid for by the Fund and so lost to deserving projects. Barnabas are still trying to retrieve these appalling costs.
Who Were the Dissenting Fundees? (P22)
This section will only be summated. The full names are available in the Barnabas booklet.
Rev. PC. He is Chair of the Jersey Evangelical Alliance. That tells me a great deal about his character and Christian stance. He was also acting chair of Barnabas Fund through most of the time of dispute. He gave airfares to other trustees even though they had specifically said previously they would not take such remuneration. He paid for an airfare for the husband of a trustee even though this is unlawful. Although Sookhdeo had told PC this was not allowed, he went ahead and paid the money anyway. A meeting of staff and trustees was called in short time, when Sookhdeo was away (a tactic to keep him away from business at Barnabas). The same trustees refused to hold a meeting convened by Sookhdeo a few months before. Suspicious?
PC told staff that the Charity Commission had told him to get rid of three people, including Sookhdeo. Staff asked for evidence for this, but he did not give any... and the Commission confirmed that no such instruction had been given to PC. To be frank, this means PC was and is a liar, and someone who intended doing harm.
The majority trustees (who opposed Sookhdeo and the minority trustees) wanted to take control of the Fund. The Charity Commission felt this was ‘premature’ as a review was already underway to look at the governance of Barnabas. The Commission spokesman warned of a possible detrimental effect on the charity if they went ahead with ousting Sookhdeo and others.
Rev. RdB. A retired vicar who had been accused of racism twice, before his retirement. He spied on staff movements, though he had no mandate to do so. He was dismissive of due diligence, compliance and regulations. Though some staff complained of his racism and bullying, he said that such things could not be levelled at him as a trustee! In 2013 he misled auditors about financial affairs and acted against auditors’ advice. He gave a letter of complaint to Sookhdeo, but when Sookhdeo attempted to discuss the matter he refused. He later tried to obtain letters of complaint against Sookhdeo, but refused to tell him what the allegations were about. In my own profession I came across this time and again, a tactic used by liars and deceivers. When challenged about this backstabbing, he failed to admit to what he was doing... but admitted it at a later date.
Mr IH. Was in the army and intelligence service, giving material against Islamists. He was given materials against Sookhdeo by RdB. A complaint of bullying was made against him.
Mrs GMcD. She moved to the USA with her husband whilst still a trustee and wanted to continue in that role. She promised not to charge Barnabas for her airfares, but later went back on the promise. She even charged for her husband’s fares, though this is against charity law, and her husband had nothing to do with Barnabas.
Mrs AR. This woman did not share the vision of Barnabas (then why be a trustee??) and had no real concern for persecuted Christians. She also disagreed with giving help “across all denominations”. Whilst her attitude was injurious to Barnabas, I must say that this phrase gives concern. What is meant by ‘denominations’? And what do those denominations mean with regard to doctrine? Does this include Roman Catholic? Or, Orthodox? She was active in rejecting the accusation against RdB of racism. She was instrumental, too, in passing on allegations against Sookhdeo of sexual impropriety to the General Synod via a ‘friend’, though Sookhdeo was not yet charged. I should add that accusations of a sexual nature are notoriously hard to prove but very easy to make.
She alleged that the complainant was a member of staff, who was ‘touched’ by Sookhdeo. This wrong way to deal with matters by AR was made worse, because there was no press interest until she made the issue public. She continued to make disparaging and harmful comments for months, and tried to stop supporters giving finances to the Fund. She, and not the alleged ‘victim’, kept pushing this harmful activity, which suggests she had more against Barnabas than she dared to speak of.
Two trustees suggested that an independent retired judge could review the facts. The police warned that such a panel of investigation might lead to charges of perversion of justice, so the idea was dropped... but, who told the police in the first place? Mrs AR seems to be the obvious person.
Rev NWJ. A retired vicar and one of those against Sookhdeo. He opposed an investigation into RdB, when he was accused of bullying and racism.
Allegations by Former Staff
Number of staff in UK=60. A further 20 are in foreign locations. Some of the staff who left have used the internet extensively to write against Barnabas and Sookhdeo, basing their comments on the untrue articles by Mark Woods.
Mr AA. He made several online complaints against Sookhdeo. He said Sookhdeo had been thrown out of a job, and also thrown out of his position as minister of St Andrew’s Church in Plaistow (where Barnabas Fund was once based, before it had to be moved on the advice of police – see previous section). Both allegations are completely false and can easily be disproved. But, accusations always stick.
Mr JD. Complained about Sookhdeo, who he worked for less than eight months. He complained of being ill-treated, but he was actually treated with “great patience and courtesy”. In my own work I have come across these deeply unhappy people, for whom nothing is ever right, and everyone else is at fault. Such people can be responsible for much harm and injury to others. (Of course, my comment relies totally on the truthfulness of the Barnabas account).
EB. In 2012 when finances at Barnabas dipped, some staff were made redundant. EB, a barrister, was one of them, though her term of office was known to be short-term anyway, but highly paid. She rejected the original salary offer, demanding more. She also wanted to work from home rather than from HQ. Both these demands should have warned Barnabas of her character. She wrote a statement for the trustees, saying that Sookhdeo was an ‘incubus’ (a demon having sex with a woman). The trustees who already had issues against Sookhdeo circulated the document containing this accusation, and even sent a copy to the Charity Commission. As a barrister EB should have realised that such an open allegation was libellous (but it seems Sookhdeo did not fight it).
MJ. Took voluntary redundancy in 2012, and then wrote a long criticism of Barnabas and Sookhdeo. The person who received the report had, before Mr MJ was employed, warned Sookhdeo about his suitability. This proved to be a key problem. Only after MJ was employed did the person say that MJ was a ‘dangerous person’.
This proved to be the case when MJ claimed that Barnabas was “a Muslim operation with a very clever façade”. The accusation was that Sookhdeo was a Muslim ‘plant’ pretending to be a Christian and set on damaging Christians. This idea was circulated by the former trustees outside Barnabas Fund. This was incredibly hurtful to Sookhdeo.
RevIW. When he joined Barnabas’ Australian office he was given an agreed salary equal to a minimum stipend for Baptist ministers in Queensland. This was IW’s own suggestion. As time went on he became the highest paid employee of Barnabas. However, when finances were hit, Barnabas said they could no longer afford his ever-increasing salary – and several redundant UK staff proved it. The refusal to keep raising his salary was at the centre of his chagrin. The Australian accountant for Barnabas tried to explain to IW that he had to share the same downturn that affected all other Barnabas staff.
There also appeared to be a racist element, as IW refused to employ a non-white person, though Sookhdeo had asked him to. (I believe staff should be appointed on merit, and not because of their skin colour. It is an error to appoint just because someone is coloured. On the other hand, it is wicked to not appoint a coloured person just because he was coloured. Merit, not colour, should be the rule).
IW finally resigned and once again became a minister of a church, but continues to spread rumours and bad words about Barnabas (last para).
Allegations in 2014 (P29)
In February 2014 a female member of staff alleged to senior staff that Sookhdeo had touched her sexually, a few days previously. There were no witnesses, and she made formal complaints to the police and, for some reason, to ACAS. Three investigations ensued, though Sookhdeo denied the allegations (P29, para1).
The internal investigation took 14 weeks. The investigation gave the view that the allegations were unsubstantiated. This was especially since Sookhdeo always had a door open when a female was in his office. This was suitable, but not enough, given the propensity of people to lie. He should have had another person present each time. He had also brought in a modesty dress code. The reason for this code is intriguing, for it was devised to please members of different religions who visited the offices. (?? Sounds like appeasement of Muslims?). Sookhdeo pleaded not guilty to the accusations in court, but a 10-2 jury verdict charged him with one count of sexual assault. Please remember – such charges do not prove guilt.
Witness Intimidation (P29)
Sookhdeo was accused of witness intimidation in June 2014, by two witnesses at a staff meeting of about 60 people. The police arrested him at home a few days later. Armed police?? Why? The meeting had been called by the international Board of Barnabas (trustees), when Sookhdeo’s re-instatement was talked about. Sookhdeo only agreed to attend very reluctantly. Everything he said was secretly recorded by a member of staff, who then passed it on to police. WHY? This implies an act of hatred. And, though trustees warned one woman NOT to attend because it would breach Sookhdeo’s bail conditions, she attended anyway. Later, in court, she lied and said she attended because she had the impression she had no choice! (P30, para 5).
The same woman said she feared she would lose her job. In reality, it was she who told Barnabas BEFORE any allegations that she was going to leave. She told the court that Sookhdeo had convened the meeting (which he did not) in order to put pressure on the prosecution witnesses (though she was warned not to attend). Sookhdeo did not even know the witnesses were at the meeting. The trustees all agreed that no intimidation occurred, and that the jury was misinformed. Sookhdeo was again found guilty... but, it seems, because of false testimonies based on lies.
Appeal Against Convictions (P30)
Sookhdeo appealed against the conviction. However, a senior barrister advised him to drop the appeal, because it would place him under too much stress (he had recently undergone a cancer operation), and though he might win the appeal it might also lead to yet another court trial with high costs. He therefore advised Sookhdeo to “live with the injustice”. I had to do that with a former employer, who even placed a ‘gagging order’ on me, so I was harmed twice. The first time because he told my lawyer that he would do everything in his power to get rid of me, even if it meant lies. (This he did). It is very, very hard to accept such injustice, but I had to swallow my pride, or, rather, my wish to be free of injustice. But, in Sookhdeo’s case, the charges were surely to harm him all his days. Sookhdeo went back to his duties.
One factor in the reason to ditch the appeal was the ongoing crippling financial costs involved. This was my own reason for not taking my employer to a tribunal – my lawyer warned that if I lost (which would be inevitable because the employer would lie, and had large funds to do it with) I would have to pay significant costs. As one without money, even to this day, I could not carry on. So, Sookhdeo carried on...
But later (February 2016) he re-opened his appeal.
Allegations in 2015 (P31)
Method of Arrest
I simply do not get what happened! Sookhdeo was arrested by armed police (again) at Heathrow Airport in November 2015, for alleged ‘indecent touching’ in 1977! This allegation led to an ‘all ports’ alert, as if he were a terrorist or big time drugs baron! The police said he was not at home, so they issued the alert. Yet, Sookhdeo had been at home almost continuously for the previous month. In anyone’s language, this incident was ‘over the top’ by any standards! It also seems to have had a top-level initiative behind it (para 1, 2).
Detention and Interrogation (P31)
Following his bizarre arrest, Sookhdeo was held in an unheated cell overnight, and though he is diabetic, was given no food. The police refused a request for a warmer cell. This, and lack of food and rest, made his daytime interview less than suitable. By lunchtime he was still left without food, with the excuse that everything contained sugar! The police warned that the accuser was a well-respected member of the ‘establishment’. If he or she was as respectable as most MPs and others of high rank, then we can question how respectable he or she was! The police told him not to trust his lawyer, but only them. This whole thing seems so very odd, bizarre, and most weird. It seems to me to be the actions of a police force controlled by establishment figures for their own ends. And to say the case was ‘strong’ just because the accuser was of the establishment is, well, unbelievable (except that the unbelievable happened).
Damage Caused (P32)
A comment in para 1, to me, hints at the real cause of the pandemonium surrounding Sookhdeo and Barnabas: “This could not have come at a worse time, given that Islamist terrorism is surely the most urgent world threat and Dr Sookhdeo’s decades of expertise are needed now more than ever before.”
Many odd and unbelievable things are happening around the world, instigated by Islam-influenced individuals and governments, who silence anyone who offers even a hint of criticism of Islam. For me, this is a very big key. It is at this very point, when Islam is destroying free speech, democracy and Christian views, that Christian views should be heeded. And even the non-Christian views of those who do not want sharia pushed in their faces.
Much time has been wasted by Barnabas staff, who are constantly trying to put right the harm done by Wood’s articles and subsequent incidents. And one contractor who did work for Barnabas has even lost work because of its contacts with the Fund. Christian publications are refusing to place Barnabas ads, but also refuse to talk about reasons (P32). I, too, am familiar with this kind of unbiblical silence.
It seems the Christian world is divided over these sad issues and even a special Anglican meeting came to the conclusion that Sookhdeo is innocent and has been targeted (mainly by people from its own fold, we should add). “It also accepted that ‘there had been a concerted move to take Sookhdeo down and destroy Barnabas Fund’.” (P33, para 3).
The conclusion sums up the core of the problem – allegations of racism, attitudes to Islam, and the persecuted Church, adding “But many mysteries remain.” Even if the writers of the booklet are professional word crafters, the whole thing is like a trip into fantasy land, where unknown trolls and evil spirits attack humans at will.
Why are Christian organisations refusing to work with Barnabas even though Sookhdeo is no longer part of the organisation? Does this not smell of something deeply offensive and unchristian? I have had articles refused because of an unfavourable view of me from people who themselves are wicked or unbiblical. The evil EA has also tried to poison the well by trying to persuade the World Evangelical Alliance to break away from Barnabas. Well it WOULD, given its growing love of Islam. And opposition from the Church of England is decades old.
On top of this, individuals and groups have engineered Google ads, and so references to anti-Sookhdeo and anti-Barnabas are ranked high, making sure they get prominence with readers (which is why I usually go far beyond the first few pages to find information I need on topics). It all points to someone, somewhere, doing a big assassination job on Sookhdeo and Barnabas. A look at the forensic linguistics of the case show me, time and again, that there is a conspiracy.
Security specialists have identified certain Muslim organisations in the USA as secret agents doing this work (para 3). They live in Colorado Springs. In my own work I was once advised by a ‘well-wisher’ that a particular website that featured my articles (all listed as number one in ranking) was being manipulated by hackers to reduce the prominence of my work, and to replace it with unworthy material. So, it happens.
It also seems that the original articles by Woods were fed by disgruntled former trustees. There has been a lot of inter-accusatory information passing between people whose very secrecy suggests wickedness rather than truth. And how was it ethical for the same barrister to represent both the former trustees AND the accuser (of sexual impropriety)?
Mark Woods has never mentioned many other ‘Christian’ ministries who have had far more major controversies. Why not? Why has he singled out Barnabas Fund and Sookhdeo? It all smells like a fish-market whose freezers have broken down! It also smells like what it is – conspiracy and corruption.
Why Do The (Current) Trustees Support Sookhdeo?
Harassment and threats have come at Barnabas and Sookhdeo for many years. Much has come from “the Church establishment”. Personally, I would write the word with a small ‘c’, because the Church is not an establishment, but a living relationship with Almighty God. I am not at all surprised by this. Many years ago I said that “If you want to be abused, join a church”. I meant it. In no way does this bring down the true Church of Jesus Christ – but it speaks ill of all who abuse their positions and their title (Christian) by acting in such a weak and wicked way. And that includes the ever sinful Evangelical Alliance. (See my article on what happened with myself).
Another key: “Dr Sookhdeo is not an establishment figure. He comes from an immigrant, inner-city background. As an Asian he has been subjected to appalling racism by the Church, this coming on top of the alienation he suffered as a convert from Islam.” (para 2).
“Much of the harassment has been in the form of slanderous rumours that people will never discuss openly with him.” (para 3). This kind of activity has been aimed at myself for decades. But, it built to a crescendo when I dared to speak out against the Toronto Blessing and the effects it had on churches and individuals. Leaders from my home city travelled about 300 miles to visit the offices of a Christian newspaper. They barged into the editor’s office to complain about me, and even ordered him to print libellous evidences against me.
The editor actually spoke to me on the ‘phone, repeating what they had said, and commenting that one of the leaders (I know who it was – he had once warned his youth meeting that I was filled with a devil!) was red in the face and spitting, such was his venomous anger. My crime? I spoke out against the Toronto Blessing, calling it demonic. Ever since, I have been slandered and libelled in my home city and surround (over 400 churches). The same anger was spread out to Bible colleges and newspapers. This is all done secretly, so that I cannot defend myself. So, you can believe what happened to Barnabas and Sookhdeo!
Barnabas counters those who demand instant hanging for Sookhdeo, by saying there have been no witnesses to the supposed crimes (which, in terms of severity, were very minor. I do not cover-up such supposed ‘crimes’, but the ensuing furore did not match the severity). But, in English law just one accusation can lead to arrest, even without witnesses. Thus, in these cases, the courts rely only on circumstantial evidences, or even less. This almost turns English law on its head, following Roman law (as per continental law), in which a person is guilty until proven innocent. Proving innocence is far tougher than proving guilt!
The pressure was too much, for Sookhdeo was forced to resign from his own work.
I totally believe that Sookhdeo has been ‘set up’ by persons unknown and known, working through others they used as pawns. This was only possible because some (a large number) hated Sookhdeo and his work and, in particular, his views on Islam. Despite the fact that he has no problem with individual Muslims as people (neither do I), he has rightly highlighted that Islam produces wickedness, violence and murders, especially against Christians. This is probably why he was targeted by USA Muslims, who did not just ‘stir the pot’ of hatred, but financed and led attacks on both Sookhdeo and Barnabas.
Why? Because in the West Muslims are busy trying to make themselves appear to be clean and wholesome, so that westerners are on their side. Such westerners have no idea about taqiyya and the openly declared aim of Islam to take over the West with sharia!
Obviously, from a distance, I cannot claim for sure that all is well with Barnabas and Sookhdeo. But, I have evidences before me and they strongly suggest a wicked conspiracy against both parties. It appears to come from very deeply hidden and influential sources that have sufficient pull with police, courts, Christian organisations and media. I can empathise because I recognise the key factors, which have all happened to myself.
In some parts of the booklet I recognise these factors even though the text did not deliberately highlight them. For me, the evidences suggest Sookhdeo and Barnabas are innocent of all charges. The fact that those adversaries involved refuse to discuss the matter fully proves a great deal about their characters, their motives and their sinful reactions. They are done in darkness.
Other issues came to mind, and I have mentioned some of them:
A ministry is given to an individual not to an organisation. In my ministry I have proven support from a gifted and Christian co-founder, but not even he can move me one step from what I believe God has given me to do. Therefore, I question that trustees should have this kind of influence. I ruled out a board of trustees for my own ministry.
It seems to me that Barnabas is so big it is now a business rather than a ministry. It is good that even a ministry is run properly, but the running of a ministry cannot rule over the aims and God’s commands.
I have serious questions about the Anglican core of Barnabas. To put it simply, I do not trust Anglicanism and do not count the denomination as ‘Christian’. For me, this is one huge reason why Barnabas is now in trouble, though other factors are involved.
I also question what is meant by ‘denominations’ re giving of money to projects. Do these include those who are not Christian – Roman Catholics, Orthodox? This would have a reverse effect on any ministry.
If Barnabas follows the law on charities, what does it make of ‘diversity’? Does this mean it employs, say, atheists, or homosexuals?
And why does Barnabas need to have close relationships with people of other religions?
All of the above can harm a true Christian ministry.
Note: An acquittal in law does not necessarily prove the defendant is innocent, any more than a guilty verdict proves him to be guilty. Law cases are games of chess, where one lawyer tries to outwit the other. Justice rarely comes into it; fairness or truth have no place in a court case, because they get in the way of the big game played out with human lives.
My conclusions follow on from what I have read in the booklet. So, they are not based on close connections with Sookhdeo or Barnabas Fund. This, however, is how most conclusions are reached in any sphere of life, so my views are not invalid. The reader must read for himself. But, in doing so, note the conspiracies that fly out and hit one in the eye! I have no doubt whatever that Sookhdeo is a target of evil people and liars, who want him silenced so that Islam in particular can grow unchallenged, and unscrupulous other ‘Christian’ charities resume precedence.
Though Sookhdeo has in-depth knowledge and information concerning jihad and Islam, liberal writers do not like the fact that he writes from a Christian perspective, and saying, “[there is a] danger facing the West, particularly with Islam, might Islam be the rod of God’s anger?” ((“Understanding Radicalization and Islamicization,” Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington DC, 2007).
“In a 2009 interview, he said: “I think we need to understand that there is, in the very nature of Islam itself and its followers, an inherent sense of superiority.” He also said, “everything about the West is inimical to Islam” (“Clash of Cultures,” Australian Presbyterian).
“More recently, at a talk organized by the Family Research Council — a right-wing organization noted for attacking gay men and lesbians — Sookhdeo said that the West had removed Muammar Gaddafi in Libya only to replace him “with a political ideology rooted in a religion that wants our destruction”. (“Responding to Islam: Lessons from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Karl Barth, and Bishop George Bell,” Family Research Council, 26 January 2012).
Liberals hate it when Christians get it right. Even secular experts agree that these observations are correct, and say so in the media. If Islamists had said it, that would be acceptable. If liberals had said it, that would be acceptable. But, when Christians say it, it is evil! Yet, a man’s faith and beliefs cannot alter observable facts.
“Sookhdeo has not just written about international “jihad;” he has also expressed concern about dangers from within the British Muslim community, wondering if there could be up to “thousands” of “potential suicide bombers.” (“How television creates terrorists,” The Spectator, 31 May 2003). He has claimed, too, that “we are faced in Great Britain with an Islamic Britain” (“Religious Freedom for All? A Critique of ‘A Common Word between Us and You’,” Ethics and Public Policy Center, 25 January 2008).
Sookhdeo has warned of the prospect of Britain experiencing “Muslim secessionist violence” as seen “in Kosovo, the Philippines, Thailand and elsewhere,” describing the Muslim community as “form[ing] a spine running down the center of England from Bradford to London, with ribs extending east and west” (“7/7 A Response,” Barnabas Fund, July 2005).
The above quotes come from an article critical of Sookhdeo, written in 2012 BEFORE Europe was invaded by Muslims, covering the truth that many jihadists were amongst them. (https://electronicintifada.net/content/why-critic-islam-advising-britains-military/11505 ). The article was written by the infamous Ben White, an anti-Israel journalist and attacker of Sookhdeo. The article was published on a pro-Palestinian website, so it would have been used detrimentally against Sookhdeo. A key factor.
Another writer wrote that Sookhdeo was stoking “anti-Muslim conspiracy theory” (quoted from http://barthsnotes.com/2009/02/21/muslim-blogger-endorses-critical-review-of-Sookhdeo-sookhdeos-book-barnabas-fund-whips-up-hysteria/ ). Ben White was identified as a racist who had no time for non-white people caught up in hatred against them by jihadists:
“Ben White’s review of “Global Jihad” soon appeared on the Church Mission Society, and also on the website of Richard Sudworth, one of their missionaries, who urged people to read the review and see what really underpins the ministry of Barnabas Fund, headed up by Sookhdeo, is an aid agency sending practical help to persecuted Christians. If Sudworth’s comment damages its work, he will have reduced the support available for faithful Christians living courageously in hostile contexts. But of course, they are mostly non-white and many of them are converts, so their wellbeing is perhaps of little interest to him…What on earth is going on in the evangelical camp right now? Not only have they turned on each other, but they have even enlisted the aid of a radical Muslim in their attempts to destroy one of their own…I am writing this because of my concern about what I see happening, in particular the attacks on and betrayal of Christian converts from Islam and other non-white Christians by white Western Christians.”
“The criticism of Sookhdeo which appeared on Indigo Jo’s website – and the epithet he coined, “Sookhdevil” – have now appeared on a number of other Muslim websites, some of which appear to be radical. One of them calls for Muslims to go and fight in Gaza. So we are very concerned for Sookhdeo’s safety and that of his family… he feels especially acutely this betrayal and plotting by fellow Christians, as well as the malicious stories being circulated about him.” (Joel Richardson, Joel’s Trumpet.com)
Thus, any number of jihadist groups would have read the malicious material written by White, putting Sookhdeo’s life in danger; this I see as deliberate. I have included reference to the meeting referred to below, in a previous section:
“More recently, and back in the UK, consider the case of CRIB (Christian Responses to Islam in Britain), a body which appears to be administered by the umbrella mission organisation, Global Connections. An invitation-only meeting was called by Bryan Knell of Global Connections, on behalf of a group which included Tim Green, Howard Jones, Steve Bell and Colin Chapman. The 22 participants, who met at All Nations Christian College 21-22 July 2008 and included someone from the college, were sworn to secrecy. At the meeting a document was drafted called “Gracious Christian Responses to Muslims in Britain Today”. It is embargoed until the CRIB conference this summer in London, but various prominent Christians in the UK are being approached privately to sign up to it.
So what was this secret meeting for? What is this secret document about? Believe it or not, a main aim of both was to discredit two British Christian leaders who are converts from Islam (one being Sookhdeo) and a British Christian ministry not connected to either of them…Ben White, whose foolish, ignorant and spiteful review of “Global Jihad” was prominent on the Fulcrum website for some time, claims to have lectured at All Nations Christian College.” (Virtue Online).
The second Christian targeted by this ugly unchristian meeting, was Sam Solomon who has a ministry called ‘Maranatha’. He, too, speaks against Islam. One centre of controversy is the Anglican leadership, who dislikes Sookhdeo for upsetting its applecart by showing a violent side to Islam. This is an absurd stance to take, given that violence against Christians and Jews is part of Koranic teaching and is happening all over the world!
“The investigation is now over and the Barnabas Fund has been cleared but it is disturbing that this process took place at all. There are mosques and Muslim associations up and down the length of Britain inciting hatred against infidels and enjoying their charitable status undisturbed.” (Following a Charity Commission investigation into Barnabas Fund activities, 2012)
“...However, Sookhdeo said the booklet focused on addressing the issues of how Islamic extremism is beginning to affect society and how in turn it is affecting Christian communities within parts of Britain. The material is not meant to be hateful, he said.” In its summation, the Commission said:
“...The Charity Commission issued a response to the complaint, which Barnabas Aid published in its recent press release.
The commission stated: “The charity, in its campaigning around ‘Operation Nehemiah’ appears to be acting within its objects, as the campaign can be seen as promoting ‘the advancement of the Christian faith.’ A charity can become involved in a campaign which furthers or supports its charitable purposes.”
The commission added, “The Commission acknowledges that the campaign material fits within its aims, and that the booklet quotes sources for the claims that it makes. They quote its statement of intent, not to promote anti-Muslim fear or hatred, but to address seriously the challenge of Islam to society.”
“The campaign does not appear to be inciting racial hatred and the charity believes that it has public benefit in that it is committed to maintaining Christian values of freedom of conscience, speech and religion for the next generation in church and society.
“We are therefore content that the charity, in carrying out this campaign, is operating within its objects and within the terms of our guidance,” the commission concluded in its statement.”
Yet, a hate campaign was started against Sookhdeo and Barnabas, arising, it seems from several sources, by Anglicans and Muslims. A hidden USA government involvement is also hinted at. (https://stream.org/us-christian-groups-prioritizing-muslim-over-christian/ ). Barnabas is deemed to be directly against Obama’s policies, which heavily favour Islam over Christians or Jews.
It is my view, having watched Obama closely over the past few years, that he is capable of bringing hostility against Barnabas and Sookhdeo. Indeed, there is widespread EU hatred for anyone who opposes the current Muslim tsunami, which has brought jihadists into our midst. This is probably why Obama is so set on urging the UK to stay in the EU. When the attacks on Barnabas Fund and Sookhdeo are viewed as a whole, the wickedness of a conspiracy are easy to detect. It is about time Christians began to think critically!
Additional Notes: Ref ‘JD’ on page 20
As I have made clear, I relied totally on the details given by Barnabas Fund, because I could not contact those involved. I also have significant misgivings about those whom Barnabas counted to be ‘running mates’. In certain sections, we did not give names of people referred to, because we were unsure. In light of this, we were contacted by ‘JD’, and we publish his comments as given (with a few minor edits for reading flow). We cannot be fairer.
I must also add that while I gave a reasonable commentary, I did not have access to those involved, so I had to work with whatever material I had. Publication of these new comments is a courtesy – one that I have never been shown in my own life. Though JD gave us his full name, I will continue to NOT use it, for the sake of his privacy, and I can neither confirm nor deny the factuality of the comments.
"Mr JD. Complained about Sookhdeo, who he worked for less than eight months. He complained of being ill-treated, but he was actually treated with “great patience and courtesy”. In my own work I have come across these deeply unhappy people, for whom nothing is ever right, and everyone else is at fault. Such people can be responsible for much harm and injury to others." (page 20)
“My name is J D. And, you're writing about me.
I am not, "a deeply unhappy person for whom nothing is ever right and everyone else is at fault."
I have worked for a number of organisations, and on the whole they've been lovely. My last line manager (I don't have one currently) has been an absolute pleasure to work for. Not a Christian, and yet they were humble, genuine, nice people - and very competent and very professional.
Not sure where your, "he worked for less than eight months", came from? - when their document says eight and a half months. (Ed. An error of transcription)
If the BF are going to mail this stuff to 1,000s of Christians around the world, let me tell you what actually happened (by the way I found out about this document - that mentions me - only because they mailed it to one of my friends)...
(Still, it doesn't matter what the truth is does it, all that matters is who has the biggest mailing list, resources, website audience, and who can reach the most people - and I can't match the BF's (or Virtue Onlines) reach).
I felt bullied out of the BF, specifically by Patrick (you might want to reflect on the fact he has 2 criminal convictions for witness intimidation); Caroline didn't help the situation (Rosemary was fine though). When I made the decision to resign, there was no-one I felt I could turn to. Patrick handled things directly. I tried to e-mail Rosemary after I left (as she'd been my line manager), and Patrick replied on her behalf - he cited her ill health. Some years back, having left, I even asked one of their trustees (bumped into him online by chance) to look into my situation, but he cited ill health (again) as the reason why he couldn't do so (it didn't seem to occur to him to ask someone else to do it). Of course, you don't want to 'jeopardise the charity' - so you let things lie.”
JD also added the following:
“I moved to Coventry with my wife (and left behind a good church, good friends, and a job - it cost us £1000s to move) - because Patrick read my CV and thought I'd be suited for a work he wanted to start in Coventry. Then, months down the line, while working for him he came back tired from a NZ tour that hadn't gone very well (and he looked really tired). He told us the donor who was funding our work in Coventry had pulled out - leaving me wondering if I even had a job left.
He also chose to embarrassed me (because of course he's in charge and so can do whatever he wants), in that same meeting, criticising the number of talks I'd done in front of everyone - even though I'd expressly been told by Rosemary (my line manager and his wife) that I wasn't to solicit talks on the ‘phone because they wanted to send out a pamphlet presenting the work in a uniform and professional way - I got her reasoning. Also, Rosemary was aware of the number of talks I'd done and the kind of response I'd got from Churches on the ‘phone before she'd suggested the pamphlet. I didn't have any control over the production of that pamphlet, and it's completion was delayed and delayed and delayed - I was personally frustrated they'd gone on tour in NZ (I didn't even know they'd gone) without telling me where they were at with it because I wanted to do more talks too.
After criticising me in the meeting, Patrick's solution was basically to tell me what I'd been told not to do - he wanted me to make ‘phone calls immediately to get more talks. Rosemary mentioned the pamphlet, but Patrick spoke over her, "that's not the point Rosemary". From there, I went on pre-planned A/L for a week which I couldn't enjoy at all because of the work situation, but before I left I was told the guys at Coventry would make some calls while I was off ready for when I got back. When I returned, no calls had been made; instead there was a letter from Patrick on my desk listing perceived 'problems' with my work.
Some of the stuff it contained were misunderstandings, some was just unfair, but - in the areas where more reasonable points were made - they were phrased in such a way to maximise the damage. i.e., reading between the lines, it wasn't just trying to correct me, it was being written in such a way that if someone reads 'the record' at a later date it makes things look worse than they actually were because of the phrasing. (You know, e.g., if a man steals 2 apples (I didn't steal anything!) and that's known, and you choose to say, 'they stole *at least* 2 apples - yes, you might be "not wrong" but you're also deliberately being misleading).
Also, as I understand things, if an employer is unhappy with someone's work they should tell them verbally (to give them a chance to change things), then put it in writing, then if there's no change, go further. Here, Patrick (/Caroline) went straight from that 'verbal', immediately to writing (I'm discounting the week of A/L because I wasn't working,) without giving me a chance. The whole situation left me feeling like I was being pushed out, like they were preparing 'the record' against me, and that they were back-tracking from the job itself they'd employed me to do.
In my view, after getting my resignation letter, they should have checked I was actually okay (showing some kind of 'humanity'), or asked themselves if (in terms of HR) they had a responsibility to see I had some kind of representation - given that Patrick(/Caroline) were both pressurising me AND doing their HR function. But they just marginalised me.
They write correspondence that appears very 'spiritual', but there's a marked disparity between what they write 'on record' and the way they are treating people around that correspondence. As it seems now, any criticism of their management skills (which I never did while I worked for them) is deflected as a personal 'attack' on them, or and attack on 'God's work'. A call to actually check former employees are okay (which I think would been normal for a Christian organisation in this situation) is interpreted as part of a 'conspiracy' against the Barnabas Fund. And, for the record, I haven't personally heard from anyone in the document. In fact, when I read someone had tried to contact former employees I was surprised because no-one contacted me.
In my case, what I wanted was for some entity at the Barnabas Fund that remotely resembled a modern HR department, (or even trustees, anyone) etc., to look at what happened to me (and others) and at the very least hear them say - "yes you were treated badly". The guy has a criminal conviction(s). Where's the follow up? It's not there because this whole thing is being portrayed as some kind of war.”
Here we have a problem, for what JD describes I have seen myself in many organisations. Basically, it comes down to establishing who is giving credible facts... but, without an opportunity to do some VERY detailed investigative work, we on the outside can only observe and make general comments. In such circumstances, it comes down to who appears to be more credible. On the other hand, it might also be a case that those with most clout gain the upper hand. For myself, I am neither pro- nor-anti Barnabas Fund; my task was to comment on what was available.
As it stands, I was impressed that JD contacted us with his objections. As he is not actually named in our article, this implies that his concerns are genuine... but, we cannot say; only Barnabas, Patrick and JD can know the truth. Unless we receive more details from others involved we can only give what we receive, and readers should realise this limiting factor. Whatever the reality, it is a very sad case.
Please also remember our deep misgivings about this kind of operation, which automatically takes on the persona of a business when it reaches a certain size. We are also concerned with the whole Anglican ethos, for doctrinal and behavioural reasons. These reasons leave me with no surprise that things have gone wrong.
© May 2016
Published on www.christiandoctrine.com
Bible Theology Ministries - PO Box 415, Swansea, SA5 8YH
Please 'Make a Donation' to support the work of Bible Theology Ministries