I recently came across the acronym DARVO, which stands for “Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender.” While it is often used in the case of sexual offenders who want to deflect their guilt, it is also used more widely when the offender wants to portray himself as the victim. This is exactly what evangelical newscaster Rick Wiles has done, painting himself the victim of an ugly attack from me (and other Christian leaders). It is important that we set the record straight, because this is hardly a matter that affects only Wiles and me. This is an issue for the Church.
Last week, after Wiles posted yet another, even more dangerous antisemitic rant, I wrote an article titled, “When a Jew-Bashing Christian Leader Makes Jesus Look Bad.” And it was posted on a number of Christian and conservative websites.
In particular, I called out Wiles for referring to the impeachment hearings as a “Jew coup,” but one with far-reaching implications. Indeed, Wiles claimed, “it’s beyond removing Donald Trump, it’s removing you and me. That’s what’s at the heart of it. You have been taken over by a Jewish cabal.”
Yes, he claimed, “The church of Jesus Christ, you’re next. Get it through your head! They’re coming for you. There will be a purge. That’s the next thing that happens when Jews take over a country, they kill millions.”
In response to this I wrote, “What absolute rubbish. And what dangerous rubbish at that. May these words find their way into the trash heap of ideas, and may they be forgotten as quickly as they were spoken.”
And I urged Christians to shun his broadcast until he and his team repented.
Wiles has now responded with his own article, titled, “TRUNEWS’ RICK WILES: A CHRISTIAN RESPONSE TO MICHAEL BROWN’S NEO-NAZI ACCUSATIONS.”
There’s only one problem.
I never called him a neo-Nazi. Not a chance.
Rather, I quoted a widely-read, Jewish website which called him a neo-Nazi, helping others see how religious Jews view the rants of a professing evangelical like Wiles.
But, rather than own up to his hateful words, he paints himself as the victim, attacking me instead. And he does so quite falsely.
He wrote, “Several prominent Evangelical Zionist websites recently published an insulting op-ed written by Michael Brown in which he slyly insinuated that I am a neo-Nazi. His defamatory accusations cannot go unanswered.”
Interestingly, in the first draft of his article, which he sent to some of these websites (not all of which can be called “Evangelical Zionist”), he wrote, “This publication recently published an op-ed written by Michael Brown in which he slanderously called me a neo-Nazi. His libelous accusations cannot go unanswered.”
He has now modified the initial, false statement with another false statement, since I did not “slyly insinuate” that he was a neo-Nazi. If you have any doubt, just read my article. It’s not debatable in the least.
Wiles asks, “What provoked Mr. Brown to lash out and publicly defame my character? I said two words that sent him into orbit: ‘Jew Coup.’ Apparently, the Thought Police have banned saying anything that rhythms with ‘Jew.’”
Passing over his typo of “rhythms” for “rhymes,” the fact is that it was not simply his mentioning a “Jew coup.” It was his other, inflammatory statements, some of which I cited here, above.
Ironically, without referencing those statements (which, once more, gives his readers a misleading impression of what I took issue with), he seeks to buttress his fear-mongering rhetoric. This time, he blames the Communist Revolution of 1917 entirely on the Jews, who in turn, murdered millions of Orthodox Christians.
This, my friend, is what we are up against. This is why I sound the alarm. This is what you call the demonizing of the Jews.
Towards the end of his article, which is largely a defense of his antisemitic positions, he writes, “For the record, I totally reject Evangelical Zionism. John Nelson Darby was an occultist. Cyrus Scofield was a lying, deceiving swindler and conman.”
Here too he totally misses the point (whether his charges against Darby and Scofield are in the least bit accurate, I have no idea). The fact is that Darby and Scofield taught dispensationalism, and I am not a dispensationalist. Nor were Church Fathers like Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Origen, Chrysostom, Augustine, and Jerome. Nor were Puritans like John Owen or Anglicans like J. D. Ryle or Baptists like Charles Spurgeon or Presbyterians like Robert Murray M’Cheyne.
Yet all these men believed in a distinct, blessed future for the Jewish people (even those like Chrysostom who elsewhere blasted the Jews). And many of them emphasized the future return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel, as foretold in the Bible.
But it is not enough for Wiles to misrepresent my position. He must end with an overt threat:
“I must contend with Michael Brown, Jan Markell, Laurie Cardoza-Moore and other slanderers smearing my name and ministry. For now, I recommend that they ask their attorneys to define defamation of character and libel, and make sure their liability insurance policies are in force. The same advice applies to the Christian organizations that are publishing their hit pieces or broadcasting interviews that defame my name and reputation.”
Mr. Wiles, I am not slandering you or smearing your name and ministry. Your own words condemn you, sir. You are guilty of spreading lies and inciting fear concerning the Jewish people.
There is not a syllable in anything I have written or said that is defamatory, nor have I broken the law or violated Christian ethics in the least.
And it is for the sake of the name of Jesus, for the good of the Body, and for the good of the Jewish people, that I am calling you out publicly and urging you to repent.
What is hurting you are your words, sir, not mine.
After all, as Dexter van Zile pointed out, “in one TruNews video, Wiles video declared that President Donald Trump secretly converted to Judaism in 2017. In another he declared that the ‘Anti-Christ will be a homosexual Jew.’”
Mr. Wiles, it was you, not me, who made the claim that ISIS did not really exist but was an Israeli operation. And it was you, not me, who made the claim that the sexual revolution was a Zionist conspiracy. And within the last week, sir, you stated that Democrats are forcing you to stockpile ammunition and weapons to defend your family and home in the event that Trump is removed.
Before God, I want to help you, not hurt you. And since I am acutely aware of how dangerous antisemitism can be, especially on the lips of Christians (see my book Our Hands Are Stained with Blood), I am urging you once more to humble yourself before God and repent.
And since I am a lover of the truth and want everything to come into the light, I present you once more with this challenge (which you have declined to date): Let’s have a formal, moderated debate about your charges concerning the Jewish people. And let’s livestream it for the world to see. I’ll even do it on your turf, on your broadcast, as long as I’m guaranteed equal time. Or we can do it a neutral venue.
What do you say?