Re: John Mackay.
From: Creation Ministries International (Australia) – formerly Answers in Genesis (Australia), previously Creation Science Foundation. April 2006 [See footnote re modifications made late May 2010]
Nearly 20 years ago, our ministry prepared a detailed information pack, one which for many years now we did not think we would have much use for again. The contents of that pack are now in the form of two readable (or downloadable) pdfs, about 2.7 megabytes each.
- The full text of the booklet Salem Revisited by Margaret Buchanan
- The remainder of the documentation
The pack was originally prepared in response to the aftermath of a horrific attack (February, 1987) on our ministry (then called Creation Science Foundation) by Mr Mackay. The mechanism of attack involved a monstrous series of allegations without evidence—the basis was alleged ‘spiritual discernment’, involving ‘black cats’ and similar. These slanderous allegations concerned Margaret Buchanan, at the time a well-regarded Christian widow working for the ministry as Ken Ham’s personal secretary. John said she had been ‘specially sent by Satan’ to undermine him and the ministry, involved in covens, attending séances, etc.—never was there any eyewitness testimony or other evidence, merely ‘discernment’.
When his attempt to sack her and take over the ministry failed, due to the Board’s refusal to violate biblical principle, Mr Mackay resigned. This was followed by a campaign of widespread innuendo and slander, involving actual fabrications which if accepted would tend to bolster his claim of ‘demonic infiltration’ of our ministry and thus would tend to undermine public confidence in our ministry. This included the bizarre and incredibly offensive claim that Margaret had claimed to have had post-mortem intercourse with her late husband (!).1
Sadly, these horrific sins have never been repented of, nor forgiveness sought, nor restitution offered—despite a Baptist church excommunicating Mr Mackay and urging people to respect this decision in the Lord.
IMPORTANT CLARIFICATION NOTE, ADDED 2013, RE EXCOMMUNICATION: The excommunication letter featured in the compilation herein (No. 2 above, pp. 31–34) was issued by the then Redlands Baptist Church. Years later, this dissolved and some time after that a new church formed under the same name. Of course, this is a totally different body, and so does not have any record of John Mackay being excommunicated, hence enabling a cunning campaign of claiming that "CMI is spreading the devil’s lies—check for yourself that Redlands Baptist Church has no record of excommunication of John Mackay!"
As of April 2015 there has not been the slightest indication of any repentance, either towards the ministry or the church or any other victim. Offers of meeting have never been withdrawn by CMI.
When Ken Ham left ICR in about 1996,the rumour mill from this source again swung into action; the story this time was that Margaret was to blame for this ‘split’, somehow using demonic ‘powers’ to damage another creation ministry. Again, the real ‘target’ of the rumours was clearly public confidence in our ministry; if it could be undermined, it would be more likely to leave the Australian ‘creation public’ diverting the support in other directions. It might also be seen as a ‘vindication’ of the original offensive actions.
Currently, the issue has surfaced again in the context of the recent tensions between the Australian ministry and AiG-USA, with John Mackay’s newsletter suddenly urging supporters to pray for the ‘attack’ the US ministry is allegedly under.
In fact, it appears that new alliances are being forged, and talk of ‘reconciliation’ is being used to rehabilitate Mr Mackay in creationist circles—again the aim appears to be to undermine the Australian ministry, only from a different angle. Reconciliation is a wonderful and most desirable thing, but can never occur except on a biblical basis; the original slander must be withdrawn, and there must be a repentance and forgiveness sought from the main victim, Margaret, for a start.
No one likes to keep things alive that are best forgotten, but to cover up serious sin or attempt to sweep it under the carpet can never earn God’s approval. There is a cost to taking a strong stand in defence of truth and integrity, not the least being that it can easily be misrepresented.
However, we will quietly but persistently maintain our stand, especially as the ugly stain of these rumours is encouraged to resurface to once again undermine the ministry—until and unless these seriously sinful actions are dealt with under the cross, not whitewashed for ‘political’ convenience or excused on the basis of any ‘personalities’ involved. Anything less would not only dishonour God, it would ultimately be running away from our responsibility of Christian love to the perpetrator himself.
- Footnote added late May 2010: This sentence originally said “ … have had intercourse with the corpse of her late husband” and was changed in the interests of painstaking accuracy. Why now? In 2006 when the c. 20-year-old information pack was posted (because of the large number of people who were asking about newly published claims by Mr Mackay, clearly intended to damage our credibility in the eyes of potential supporters, and needed a quick email reference), we had not long moved buildings, and while we still had heaps of documentation, the diary notes of an Adelaide meeting seemed to be missing, though Peter Sparrow still had a copy. When they turned up some 4 years later we had the chance to reread them, hence this modification, and also the change footnoted in the 2006 cover note for the Salem Revisited booklet, accessible from this page.