March 25, 2003
The ECFA communicates to the ex-staff members through Jen Hubbard, apprising them of their finding that Hank and CRI were in non-willful violation of the following three of the ECFAs Seven Standards:
Standard #2 Board of Directors and Audit Review Function
Every member organization shall be governed by a responsible board of not less than five individuals, a majority of whom shall be other than employees/staff and/or those related by blood or marriage, which shall meet at least semi-annually to establish policy and review its accomplishments. The board or a committee consisting of a majority of independent members shall review the annual audit and maintain direct communication between the board and the independent certified public accountants.
Standard #4 Use of Resources
Every member organization shall exercise management and financial controls necessary to provide reasonable assurance that all resources are used (nationally and internationally) to accomplish the exempt purposes for which they are intended.
Standard #6 Conflicts of Interest
Every member organization shall avoid conflicts of interest. Transactions with related parties may be undertaken only if all of the following are observed: 1) a material transaction is fully disclosed in the audited financial statements of the organization; 2) the related party is excluded from the discussion and approval of such transaction; 3) a competitive bid or comparable valuation exists; and 4) the organization's board has acted upon and demonstrated that the transaction is in the best interest of the member organization.
Unbeknownst to the concerned employees, the ECFA releases its first public statement (not a press release) regarding the CRI situation available by request only which outlines the results of their investigation. The ECFA and CRI begin a process intended to restore and renew donor confidence.
No word of the ECFAs investigation is made known publicly by either ECFA or CRI. CRIs donors remain largely unaware of any wrongdoing by Hank or the ministry.
May 19, 2003
Joshua Scott, dissatisfied with the lack of open communication of the ECFA and CRI, and noting the incomplete process of biblical restoration, calls the Bible Answer Man broadcast, raising a question about Matthew 18 and confronting Hank about CRIs serious breach of ECFA standards. At first Hank agrees that Matthew 18 requires an apology to offended parties, but then he lies to his nationwide audience, denying that CRI is in violation of the ECFAs Standard 4, and accuses Joshua of slandering the ministry. (For a transcript, see <http://www.blogspy.com/contend/rantCRI2.html>.)
May 21, 2003
The recorded Bible Answer Man broadcast of May 19 is removed from CRIs archiving site, <www.OnePlace.com>, never to return. (As of this writing, neither CRI nor OnePlace will make complete copies of the show available to the public.)
June 8, 2003
After being contacted by Marshall Allen, a reporter for Christianity Today magazine, Jen Hubbard, Thad Williams, and Joshua Scott agree to an interview.
June 25, 2003
The ECFA releases its second public statement (again, available only by request) about CRIs financial situation, stating that CRI is back in compliance with the three violated standards and that a compliance review is ongoing.
July 16, 2003
Christianity Today releases its article regarding the financial integrity of CRI. (The full text of the article is available online at <http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2003/008/6.19.html>.)
Late July 2003
Shortly after the release of the Christianity Today article, Jen Hubbard is contacted by William Lobdell, staff reporter of the Los Angeles Times. Jen, Thad, Joshua, and several other concerned ex-employees, including Stephanie Richardson, are interviewed.
August 17, 2003
The Los Angeles Times releases its article on the mishandling of funds at CRI, maintaining a more balanced viewpoint but still not telling the whole story. The Times article is the first time Hank speaks publicly about these issues since his comments on the May 19th Bible Answer Man broadcast. (An abridged version of the article is available online at <http://www.religionnewsblog.com/html/4040-.html>.)
September 16, 2003
A Pittsburgh-based radio program, Talking Truth with Marty Minto <http://www.talkingtruth.org/>, does a show regarding the article in Christianity Today and interviews Stan Guthrie, the magazines associate editor.
Our group has received repeated confirmations of CRI's intent to relocate to North Carolina. At this time, all CRI employees have not been made aware of the move. It does seem to us that the move would be an attempt to run from the recent controversy and start anew. But, as mentioned above, until the issues are handled Biblically - the problems will remain.
Source: Please pray for the Christian Research Institute, CRIrestoration.com (no longer online)
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