Christian author says he was defamed

SANTA ANA — The Bible Answer Man has a question.

What’s the difference between a fact and, well, something else?

That’s at the heart of a defamation lawsuit filed by Hank Hanegraaff, a Christian author and radio personality known as the “Bible Answer Man.”

Hanegraaff has filed a lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court against another Christian writer, Bill Alnor. Hanegraaff’s evangelical ministry, Christian Research Institute, is based in Rancho Santa Margarita.

Hanegraaff claims he was defamed after Alnor’s online magazine, Christian Sentinel, in January reported that Hanegraaff had solicited contributions from his listeners to make up for what he said was hundreds of thousands of dollars lost in the mail. Alnor’s story said Hanegraaff was the subject of a “federal criminal mail-fraud investigation” for falsely blaming the U.S. Post Office for the mix-up.

Alnor’s story was false because Hanegraaff was not under investigation and Alnor’s claims were made out of “personal animosity, hatred and ill will,” said the lawsuit, made public Friday.

“Before he publicizes something like that he better be sure it’s a fact rather than something he wishes would happen,” said Tom Chun, Hanegraaff’s lawyer. “That’s how peoples’ lives and reputations get ruined.

Alnor defended the story as true.

“To me, this is rather silly,” Alnor said. “There’s a long history between them and me, but there’s not hatred or animosity.”

Randy DeGasperin, a U.S. postal inspector, said allegations of mishandling mail were brought to the agency’s attention but the agency didn’t feel “there was sufficient evidence there for a criminal investigation” into Hanegraaff’s dealings.

Alnor, who was an editorial consultant to Hanegraaff’s predecessor, has been a frequent critic since Hanegraaff took over the ministry in the late 1980s.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
The Orange County Register, USA
Apr. 1, 2005
Peggy Lowe

Religion News Blog posted this on Friday April 1, 2005.
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