On May 5th, 2017, Dr. Michael Brown interviewed Jennifer LeClaire on his call-in radio show "The Line of Fire," and after the interview segment was finished Chris Rosebrough called the show to ask Dr. Brown some tough questions about Jennifer LeClaire and her "Sneaky Squid Spirit." There was a brief and interesting exchange between the two men.
I (Steven Kozar) wrote a blog post about the exchange where I said this about Dr. Michael Brown: "He's a hyper-charismatic cheerleader with a big microphone and a very gullible audience." (Here's the full blog post with audio of the "Sneaky Squid Spirit" exchange between Dr. Brown and Chris Rosebrough: Michael Brown Can't Defend "Sneaky Squid Spirit"-Repeatedly Changes the Subject)
Dr. Brown decided to make light of my quote and garner support from his Facebook friends by posting this:
I decided to comment on Dr. Brown's Facebook page and ask him some serious questions; here's a screenshot of my first comment plus a few more. I figured that as long as I might get through to a few Dr. Brown fans, I'd add two of my articles; by now some other people were starting to ask Dr. Brown some really good questions and make their own comments:
Chris Rice, A.K.A .The Museum Boy, really took Dr. Brown to task about the "Sneaky Squid Spirit." Also, notice how William George Metz's comment has been removed:
Here's where Dr. Brown responds to us; he starts with Chris Rice and really "steps in it" right from the start. His comment about studying God's Word (in Hebrew no less!) all the time is self-refuting: he's on Facebook responding to his own comments, but he says he studies God's Word (in Hebrew!) all the time. How can he write books, speak at conferences, host a daily radio show... when he's studying God's Word (in Hebrew!) all the time? This is just a deflection technique; he's got time to do some research on false teachers, but he's choosing not to. Dr. Brown has decided to make himself a multimedia personality who speaks out on a number of different topics; he's not just a Bible scholar who spends all of his time on that one thing. Instead of studying God's Word (in Hebrew!) he wrote a post on his Facebook wall to poke fun at me, and then he went on Facebook to defend his actions, and then he says he has NO TIME to research any of the false teachers he's partnering with and/or defending. Remember, this is the guy who wants everyone to trust him because he's such a good scholar.
Next, he says he went on Benny Hinn's show one time (but hey, haven't we all?) and anyway, how can he possibly have a clue what Benny Hinn teaches? Next he confirms his continued support for Jennifer LeClaire's "Sneaky Squid Spirit" saying that no chapter and verse in the Bible speaks against the Sneaky Squid Spirit, so who are we to question Jennifer LeClaire? Remember, Dr. Brown believes that a "Word from the Lord" is 100% from God, but it's not the "Word of God." Got it? (Neither does anyone else who isn't brain dead yet.)
We could finish the article right here, because he's already destroyed his own credibility, but he's going to "step in it" even deeper before he finally abandons ship and deletes everything.
First, let's think about what Dr. Brown says about the "Sneaky Squid Spirit." Brown says "As for a sneaky squid spirit, first, I haven't heard Jennifer's actual words; I only heard what Chris (Rosebrough) represented. Second, on the face of it, I can't say if it's false or true... Please give me a chapter and verse that tells me to say there is no such thing."
Chris Rice and I take about one minute to find and post a response with Jennifer LeClaire's ridiculous article from Charisma's website, the same website that Brown writes for. So Brown acts like he just doesn't have enough information (I guess he has not yet heard of "Google") and then he goes on to defend the Sneaky Squid Spirit because... (he actually said this): Scripture doesn't tell him that there's no such thing. Seriously, let that sink in for a moment. This man writes (many) books, hosts a daily call-in radio show and is the Grand Poo Ba of the College of Supernatural Wizardry or whatever it's called. Chris Rice rightly ridicules his idiotic argument by asking: "What's to stop me from saying there's a big purple demon named Larry who gives atomic wedgies? Under your standard I might be right, since the Bible doesn't speak against big purple demons named Larry who give atomic wedgies."
Dr. Brown digs himself into an even deeper hole by telling Chris Rice that he has to prove from Scripture that the Sneaky Squid Spirit isn't real. Really. Brown makes one of his craziest comments here: "There are many unusual creatures described in the Bible, so based on sola scriptura, I can't say either way." This is the ranting of a delusional person. This is so incoherent that it's breathtaking. Brown is basically saying, "because of sola scriptura (Bible Only) we should believe in something that isn't in the Bible."
Dr. Brown goes on to use a tactic that displays his lack of confidence in this conversation: he starts referring to other important scholars who have absolutely nothing to do with this Sneaky Squid Spirit discussion. I couldn't fit the whole exchange on one page, but here's most of it. Chris Rice has the last comment to which Dr. Brown doesn't reply to:
Now let's take a look at how Dr. Brown answered my initial comment (and he also responds as the older, more mature "bully" to Kevin Much's comment):
No surprise here: Dr. Brown brings up cessationism right away, even though I said this "has nothing to do with cessationism, but you always divert people's attention to that topic." I call this tactic "The Dr. Michael Brown Death Spiral." Crocodiles are not good at fighting on land, so they attack their prey in or near the water and drag them under. Then the crocodile starts violently spinning around under water, and quickly kills its prey. Dr. Brown wants to pull his "prey" into a cessationist battle whenever possible, because he's a highly skilled debater who knows how to "win" that battle. (Obviously, I'm not saying he's a violent person-I'm just using that as an analogy.) He then says "I rarely go after other believers on my radio show." Except for all the time he spends convincing everyone how terribly wrong cessationists are, that is. He brings up the Strange Fire book, and then tells me how he's been correcting errors in the charismatic camp for 40+ years. So he doesn't "go after believers" and he's really busy studying the Scriptures (in Hebrew!) all the time, but he's also been correcting a lot of errors in his own movement. I believe him when he says he's been addressing some errors, but the NAR movement (that he's right in the middle of) is a doctrinal train wreck, where any Christ-centered, Gospel-centric preaching is a rare exception.
Now Dr. Brown gets to the one thing he may have been entirely correct about: I don't know how much money Heidi Baker makes, and she may not actually be getting rich off the church. She's a really bad false teacher (for sure), but I honestly have no information about her income. Sorry if I lumped her in wrongly with the others, as I was lumping together a bunch of NAR people he has associated with and made general claims about all of them in my comment.
UPDATE! As of January 2018:
Here's a PDF of Heidi Baker's Iris Global Ministries Financial statement from 2013: Form 990
It looks like Iris Global Ministries does a lot of good work in helping the poor, but Heidi and her husband Rolland, are making a very nice income from their ministry. If you add up all of their income it comes to $219,703. Here are a couple screenshots:
It's very interesting that Michael Brown ignored my comment about these people twisting Scripture, and he didn't refute the idea that all the other people I mentioned were getting rich off the church. In fact, he didn't remove my article about Kris Vallotton being a prosperity preacher for the entire time that this post was public. My guess is that he knows most of these people are somewhat shady, but for some reason he doesn't say anything. He called my comment "libelous" but he didn't refute most of it, just the "Heidi Baker getting rich"part. By the way, I do wonder how Heidi Baker can be living such a "sacrificial life" among the poorest of the poor (in Mozambique, no less!) when she's also on the speaking circuit for much of the year...
Here's Heidi Baker doing whatever it is she does:
Before we go on to reveal more of Dr. Brown's blundering, let's talk about the little man in Dr. Brown's closet: Benny Hinn.
Dr. Brown has been avoiding, obfuscating and deflecting ever since he was on Benny's TV show. Here's the thing Dr. Michael Brown really hopes you don't know: he wrote a book against John MacArthur's book called "Strange Fire," which is a book packed with information about Benny Hinn. Brown's book was written specifically to refute the book "Strange Fire," it's called "Authentic Fire."
Do you think he read the book that he refuted? Of course-he had to read MacArthur's book!
Chapter 8 of MacArthur's book is called "Fake Healings and False Hopes" and it's largely about Benny Hinn. Here are some jpegs I took of the pages that refer to Benny Hinn and the false Word of Faith teaching he espouses:
Those are 17 pages with a lot of specific information about Benny Hinn. But Dr. Michael Brown says he doesn't know anything about Benny Hinn. He says it over and over and over. Oh, and by the way, chapter 8 has 69 different footnotes; lots of primary source information about the little man in Michael Brown's closet: Benny Hinn.
He really looks bad in this next comment to Martin Kantola; Brown says "I'm not here to defend or attack Benny Hinn. Next?" That's a combination of a bully tactic and a deflection tactic. Then Chris Rice asks him a similar question.
Then I specifically address the fact that he already knows what Benny Hinn teaches because he already read the Strange Fire book. Brown will attempt to answer me (without actually answering me) and then he'll delete my comment, and then just delete the whole post...
Here's Brown's answer to my comment. I went to bed and so this came while I was asleep; when I woke up my comments were gone, so this is a screenshot from my iPhone/email:
Basically, Dr. Brown ignores the essence of my question and says the same stuff he always says.
- "I'm too busy to do any research on any of the people I associate with. (But I'm a really great scholar and expert for 40+ years.)"
- "It's not my calling to be a 'heresy hunter' so I don't have to obey the Bible's clear instructions to 'test the spirits' and 'hold fast to sound doctrine' and 'exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict' and 'remove the evil person from among you...'" (Find these verses and many more HERE)
- "Since I am unable to do lots and lots of research, I, therefore, can't do any research. Not even 15 minutes of research."
Here's a screenshot of him going to great lengths to explain how he can never watch or read anything anyone sends him (Una Carapleades was asking Dr. Brown to watch THIS 15 minute video):
Dr. Brown also had a dialogue with Amy Spreeman, and his tactics were the same. Let's take a look:
Here's how Dr. Brown responded to Amy:
Dr. Brown is very clear that he supports the people that we were bringing to his attention (some more than others); especially people like Heidi Baker, Jennifer LeClaire and Bill Johnson. He then goes on to say that we are the real problem. Amy asks him a more specific question before he gives his last reply to her (sorry for the low-resolution jpeg, it's all I could get):
Wow. He ends by saying "Again, I am NOT here to say whose ministries I like or do not like." This is a classic straw man argument; nobody asked him to tell us which ministries he "likes" as if we were chatting about our favorite flavor of ice cream! He can't say "I refuse to compare the teachings of these people to Scripture" because then he would be in big trouble, so he makes it sound like this whole discussion was about expressing personal preferences over minor issues. Dr. Brown gives many excuses, but the end result is that he knows and approves of certain people and you just have to trust him.
Dr. Michael Brown refuses to look at any information that might threaten his currently held beliefs-he even tries to hide that information from his followers. But he wants everyone else to read his books and trust whatever he says. He suggests that if a video shows really bad things about one of his friends it must be a "misleading compilation." So when these false teachers say ridiculous and heretical things on video (from their own Youtube Channels and TV shows) it makes no difference.
Dr. Brown's entire post was deleted in the middle of the night. All of his followers were spared from having their great leader exposed as a man full of contradictions and excuses. A few days later, Dr. Brown wrote a new post all about "heresy hunters" and this time he was quick to block me from commenting after just 13 minutes.
I was able to make a few comments before my comments were removed and I was blocked (special thanks to Jeff Klock for his amazing comments!):
Here are two more intelligent comments that Dr. Brown quickly deleted (and there's good old Jeff Klock, "defending" Dr. Brown some more):
Here's how he treated Phil Johnson on Twitter around the same time:
Hopefully, the people who truly want to be discerning Bereans will find all of this information helpful. If all you ever see is Dr. Michael Brown's highly controlled Facebook feed (Twitter is similar), or if all you ever listen to is his highly controlled radio show, you're not getting the full picture.
It's time to stop listening to this man and return to a careful evaluation of everyone's teaching against the only trustworthy standard: God's Holy Word-The Bible.
Postscript: Dr. Brown is now busy telling his gullible listeners on his Line of Fire radio show that critics demanded he "condemn Jennifer LeClaire to Hell." This is yet another strawman argument. Nobody told Dr. Michael Brown to condemn anybody to Hell. Of course, his audience might believe him, since he deleted what we actually said. He also wants his gullible listeners to think we're "anonymous bloggers full of hate; religious Pharisees" you know, me, Amy Spreeman, Chris Rice and Chris Rosebrough, Phil Johnson, Marsha West, Anthony Wade... anonymous. He also claims that Jonathan Edwards would support the NAR/Signs & Wonders/Hyper-Charismatic movement. “And yet some people actually imagine that the revelation in God’s Word is not enough to meet our needs. They think that God from time to time carries on an actual conversation with them, chatting with them, satisfying their doubts, testifying to His love for them, promising them support and blessings. As a result, their emotions soar; they are full of bubbling joy that is mixed with self-confidence and a high opinion of themselves. The foundation for these feelings, however, does not lie within the Bible itself, but instead rests on the sudden creations of their imaginations. These people are clearly deluded. God’s Word is for all of us and each of us; He does not need to give particular messages to particular people.” -Jonathan Edwards
Here are more articles and videos to consider (with many more links):
Dr. Michael Brown probably doesn't want you to listen to this episode of Fighting for the Faith: Calamari Discord
Many people are leaving the New Apostolic Reformation/Signs & Wonders/Hyper-Charismatic churches and telling their stories; you can read about them here: Leaving The NAR
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
— 1 John 4: 1
“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.”
— 1 Corinthians 14: 33
“An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?”
— Jeremiah 5: 30-31
“And her prophets have smeared whitewash for them, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ when the Lord has not spoken.”
— Ezekiel 22: 28
“Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions; they have not exposed your iniquity
to restore your fortunes, but have seen for you oracles that are false and misleading.”
— Lamentations 2: 14
“For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.”
— Matthew 24: 24