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© 2003, Dusty Peterson & Elizabeth McDonald,  Bayith Ministries  email:  You are very welcome to make copies of this article for personal research or for free distribution by print or email, but please respect our conditions that the content remains intact (including this copyright statement); that no misleading impression is given that we are necessarily associated with or endorse the distributor; and that proper reference is made to the title and author.  Website owners are encouraged to link to this page, but you must not incorporate this article into your own website without our prior written consent.  Thank you and bless you.

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The Powers Behind The Alpha Course
Part 2: The Powerful Men


by Dusty Peterson & Elizabeth McDonald

Summer 2003

This article first appeared in Discernment Newsletter, Volume 14, Number 4, July/August 2003
(Discernment Ministries, PO Box 254, High Bridge, NJ 08829-0254, USA)


A sister article to the one below (published in the July/August 2002 issue of Discernment)[1] introduced the history of the modern Alpha Course and examined its inextricable (and ongoing) links to ‘Toronto’.  The following extraordinary material traces Alpha’s background in a deeper way, identifying its absolute spiritual origins – and their stunning ramifications.


It is perfectly understandable.  Knowing that Toronto is questionable (to say the least) many people now deny that Alpha could possibly be a companion to the Toronto spirit.  A letter written to the Ulster newspaper, Tyrone Constitution, more than two and a half years after Toronto ‘broke out’ insisted that Alpha “was developed in an Anglican church in England nearly 20 years ago and is therefore not an accompanying Bible study course to the so-called ‘Toronto Blessing’ [TB] as reports in your paper suggest”.[2]

Why there is anything to stop an Anglican church in England producing an accompanying course to the ‘TB’ is not explained, but (although not admitted by the authors of that letter), by the time ‘Toronto’ arrived, the Course was unrecognizable from the original.  For a start, the Course began with just four talks whereas it now comprises fifteen, and Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB) confesses that modern versions of Alpha, under Nicky Gumbel, even have a fundamentally different purpose from the earlier ones.[3]

It is naïve to assume that Alpha’s doctrines and spirit could not have emanated from the same root source which engendered ‘Toronto’.  The ‘TB’ spirit did not just arrive from nowhere.  Richard Riss traces it back several years before it arrived at Toronto; Vineyard churches were regularly experiencing ‘holy laughter’ from 1986; Howard-Browne claims to have had the ‘TB’ back in 1979;[4] and Benny Hinn started producing such uncontrollable manifestations in 1974.[5]

As we saw last time, Nicky re-wrote the Course after he was introduced to a very Toronto-esque spirit in the early 80’s - and he modified the material further when ‘Toronto’ itself arrived at his church.  If readers are in any doubt about this, HTB’s “vicar”, Sandy Millar, states publicly that Nicky has altered the Course substantially since he took it over.[6]  Clearly, the modern version of Alpha bears little relation to the original - except in name - and could easily be a vehicle for the doctrines and spirit behind ‘TB’ now, even if it was not so from the start.

If Alpha was not closely related to Toronto, then why did HTB become arguably the prime European center for dispensing the ‘TB’?  And why has HTB never repented of its heavy involvement?  If Alpha was not designed to be compatible with ‘Toronto’ then HTB’s immediate acceptance of the ‘TB’ and of everyone associated with Toronto Airport Vineyard (TAV) - is a little surprising.  Even more astonishing is the speed with which TAV accepted Alpha - for it was advertising the Course in its Spread the Fire magazine as early as the spring of 1994 (i.e. several years before many British churches (and virtually all American ones) had even heard of Alpha, let alone checked its soundness).

We saw numerous links between HTB and the ‘TB’ in the last article.  Indeed, Sandy Millar had already visited Toronto before most British charismatics were even aware of Toronto’s existence.[7]  (When Sandy returned home, the “anointing” he brought with him caused such a rumpus “in the Spirit” that the communion service at HTB could not go ahead that week – as if God would want to disrupt a commemoration that He instituted of His only Son’s death.)

Nicky has privately admitted that he conceals the depth of Alpha’s links with the TB: “Nicky flew to Toronto to see it for himself. ‘I don’t talk about it now,’ says Nicky. ‘…It is very controversial. But I’ll tell you – I think the Toronto Blessing was a wonderful, wonderful thing’”.[8]  This is significant.  Nicky doesn’t keep quiet about the Toronto “thing” because he realizes it was false but because mentioning it might make people ask difficult questions and might lead them to examine Alpha more carefully.  As we will demonstrate below, Nicky’s solution to Toronto’s “controversial” nature is simply to spread its spirit by stealth.



The experiences of Nicky and Sandy at which we have looked - and of Ellie Mumford - show that the TB/Alpha spirit can be passed on as soon as it is received.  In words reminiscent of Nicky, Randy Clark (famous for his major role in ‘Toronto’) said of the ‘Blessing’: “we have caught a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful virus that has spread! Oh God, make us carriers…”.[9]  This analogy of a virus gives us a major clue as to how Alpha could indeed have been turned into a Bible study course for the ‘TB’ before ‘Toronto’ ever happened.  Let us look at HTB’s background and see if we can determine where this contagion came from.

The main route of infection has obviously been through intimate contact with Vineyard – whose leaders have been producing TB-style manifestations since at least the start of the 80’s.  (This helps to explain why pockets of such manifestations occurred simultaneously among groups around the world who had not actually been in contact with anyone from Toronto itself.)  John Irvine, who took over the running of HTB’s Alpha Course in 1981, cites the visits of Vineyard’s John Wimber “in 1982-3” as bringing to HTB “a new expectation” of the Spirit “actually doing things” during the Course.[10]  Gumbel concurs.[11]

In terms of links, we have already seen how Vineyard’s John Wimber brought the ‘Wimber wobble’ to HTB in 1982.  He traveled there again in ’83, ’84, ’86, and several further times in the succeeding decade, as did other Vineyard leaders.[12]  Note that these visits usually involved bringing whole teams of people.  And it was not that Wimber would pause at HTB momentarily on travels elsewhere - he often effectively took over week-long HTB conferences.

(Exposure to Vineyard has continued ever since and the depth of involvement has been such that we should probably view HTB as a Vineyard church in all but name.  Nicky’s enduring commitment to Toronto and Vineyard is revealed by the fact that he agreed to share a platform with Vineyard’s Randy Clark at Toronto’s 2003 Catch the Fire conference.  Interestingly, Nicky’s name has been removed from the advertised list of speakers since we exposed his planned involvement there in our previous article.  Clark is still listed however.[13]  So much for Vineyard separating from Toronto.)

It is not surprising, then, that Vineyard’s leaders have been in the forefront of Alpha promotion, and that Vineyard churches were among the very first to run Alpha in America.[14]  In apparent recognition of Vineyard’s fundamental role in creating today’s Alpha, Nicky glowingly quotes Wimber[15] and gives up a full page of the central Alpha resource to endorsing the Vineyard pastor Carl Tuttle.[16]

But how did Wimber’s Vineyard get the TB/Alpha “virus”?  (Nicky does seem a little reticent to admit where Tuttle and Wimber both came from.[17])



Much of the following material is widely known, but if we are to trace Alpha’s doctrine and spirit back to source then we need to cover it – albeit briefly.  (If the following section is read quickly it may seem confusing.  If the data is converted into a diagram though, a clear pattern of interconnections is seen.  At the very least we can easily recognize how thoroughly intertwined the key parties are.)

By his own admission, two major influences on Wimber were Kenneth Hagin[18] and Morton Kelsey.[19]  Kelsey believed Christ was “the ultimate shaman”,[20] and his ‘guru’ was a Theosophist.[21]  We will need to return to these things shortly.  For now, though, let us consider Vineyard as a whole.

Vineyard’s ‘Toronto Blessing’ was supported by David Pytches – who supports Alpha too.[22]  Pytches associates closely with HTB.[23]  The main reason we mention HTB’s links with Pytches is because he was also a high-profile supporter of the Kansas City Prophets (KCP) and even wrote a book in their defense.[24]  The KCP were based at the Metro Vineyard church (now known as Metro Christian Fellowship), the pastor of which is Mike Bickle – who again has endorsed Alpha.  (The compliments go both ways, for, in 1990, HTB’s Sandy Millar declared that he had “no doubt about the validity” of the KCP ministry.[25])

Revealingly, the KCP agreed that Vineyard was to be the group to produce the ‘Joel’s Army’ of the ‘Latter Rain’ teaching[26] - see later.  When we consider that the most prominent member of the KCP by that stage was Paul Cain, and that Cain was “closely associated” with Wimber, it seems that this is a trail worth following.  (It is surely also significant that “the KCP, headed by Cain, ministered … at Holy Trinity, Brompton[27] - and did so the very year Gumbel took over Alpha.)  Paul Cain preached in Toronto in 1996.  Its leadership later announced: “Paul [Cain] can be considered one of this generation’s prophetic grandfathers”.[28]  So, from whence did Cain emanate?

Paul Cain’s mentor was William Branham,[29] a man who, among other false beliefs, denied the doctrine of the Trinity.[30]  Cain was part of the ‘Latter Rain’ group of the mid 20th century.  (Cain actually spoke in support of the “Latter Rain” at Toronto Airport Vineyard church in 1995.[31])  Although rightly rejected as heretical by the Assemblies of God in the 1950’s, the Latter Rain movement was readily accepted by William Branham.  Branham associated the Latter Rain movement with ‘Joel’s Army’[32] – the calling that Vineyard supposedly inherited – and the movement’s teachings were partly derived from Branham.[33]  The Latter Rain movement famously produced a spiritual “outpouring” not unlike Toronto’s, but it is less well known that this former outpouring occurred three weeks after the Latter Rain leaders “visited one of William Branham’s healing rallies”.[34]

The doctrines and practices of Vineyard lean on those of the Latter Rain movement.  (And Latter Rain influence is also visible in Alpha’s teachings; see our book Alpha – The Unofficial Guide: Overview for details.[35])  Predictably, Toronto Airport Church is adamant that Branham and the Latter Rain group were both of God.[36]

We have now seen how Branham, through Paul Cain, is closely connected with Toronto and hence Alpha, but there is another, equally important, such source of infection in the well-known form of Kenneth Hagin Senior.  Hagin ministered “in the circles of … Branham”,[37] and was “influenced heavily” by him.[38]  Branham naturally supported Hagin’s ‘prosperity’ teaching.[39]  It should thus come as little surprise to hear that Branham’s student Paul Cain has shared a platform with Hagin.[40]  (It is also worth noting that HTB was still endorsing KCP and Cain in 1995[41] - long after the various KCP scandals emerged.[42])  Hagin is the father of the ‘Faith’ movement and gave us Rodney Howard-Browne (RHB) among others.  But RHB is only one of numerous links that exist between the ‘Faith’ movement and Toronto.[43]  (Note too that Hagin and his disciples produced TB-style experiences quite a few years before even Vineyard did.[44])

But where did Hagin and Branham get this “virus” that HTB continues to spread through its Alpha Courses (as well as through its Alpha “Regional Days” and the Training “Conferences” it holds worldwide - and which it heavily pressurizes churches to attend)?[45]



(Important Note: The following section may offend some readers, but please check out our claims.  They will be found to be true.)

The meticulously-researched book A Different Gospel, by D.R. McConnell, proves beyond doubt that the spiritual and doctrinal roots of both Hagin and Branham[46] – and hence the movements they inspired – lie firmly in a man called E.W. Kenyon[47] who belonged to the ‘New Thought’ metaphysical movement.[48]

New Thought Metaphysics’ also spawned Mary Baker Eddy’s ‘First Church of Christ, Scientist’.[49]  (Oddly, Nicky now sells Alpha books on the basis that they teach “metaphysics”.[50])  Sadly, ‘New Thought Metaphysics’ is based squarely on the occultist, psychical practices of ‘Theosophy’ (essentially an early name for the modern New Age movement).  Indeed, an associate of Baker Eddy was also the co-founder of the Theosophical Society[51] alongside the ‘queen’ of Theosophy, Helena Blavatsky, who confirmed that Theosophy is Luciferian[52] – i.e. Satanic.

(In truth, ALL of the movements cited above have seen unbiblical manifestations just as Alpha does.  But this should not shock us.  Like all the links in this chain from Toronto down, Alpha too prefers to interpret the Bible in the light of its experiences rather than the other way around.  Among the other similarities between these groups, our book demonstrates that: Alpha too is Dominionist and ecumenical; Alpha too demotes Christ and deifies man; and Alpha too encourages psychical practices like visualization and positive confession.  (See our book for details of these, and other, parallels.)  Each of these movements also leans substantially toward the false belief that the Lord Jesus is ‘the Way Shower’ rather than ‘the Way’ period.  These things are all New Age.)

Despite the above paragraph, some readers may feel that the provenance we have described amounts to nothing more than ‘guilt by association’.  It should be noted, however, that the people involved have all admitted that they were indeed influenced by the linked groups or individuals, and they have not repented of these things.  Is this a sign of wisdom and spiritual maturity?  Why is HTB endorsing RHB when he still supports Hagin?  What is HTB doing when it calls Cain “a true servant of God”[53] even though he has not repented of his relationship with Branham?  Why does HTB continue to work with Toronto Airport when it still promotes Benny Hinn?

There is an additional point to make here.  We have established that it is only one step – via Wimber or Cain - from Nicky to Kenneth Hagin.  Intriguingly, it can also be argued that there is only one step from Nicky to Branham,[54] one step from Nicky to Kenyon,[55] one from Nicky to Baker Eddy,[56] and, in at least four separate ways, just one step from Nicky to Helena Blavatsky herself.[57]

The “virus” which Alpha is spreading is not from God at all.  It lies in the occult – i.e. the enemy.  The attached chart proves this much more fully and demonstrates that ‘Toronto’ and Alpha have identical spiritual roots.  Please feel free to copy it for anyone you know who would benefit from it.



Nicky is understandably keen to hide the trail of his “virus”.   He ingeniously says: “I have not had the opportunity of meeting any of the people who are supposed to be the roots. We are praying not for the spirit of ‘X’ to fill people, but for the Holy Spirit to fill them. I think it is irrelevant that so-and-so is linked with so-and-so, who once met so-and-so, who was into something that wasn’t very good”.[58]  But let us take his three sentences in turn:

(1) If the TB/Alpha spirit acts like a virus then it is completely immaterial whether or not Nicky has personally met someone more than one step back down the chain, let alone at the “roots”.  (Besides, between them, HTB’s ‘staff members’ have indeed met a number of the key players over the years.)

(2) Nicky prefers not to pray “for” the Holy Spirit, but “to” the Holy Spirit,[59] thus rebelling against the clear ordinance of Scripture.  (This issue is covered properly in our book.[60])  Attempting to approach or invoke God in ways other than those which He has commanded in Scripture is something He curses, rather than blesses with His Spirit (see Lev. 10:1-2; 1 Sam. 28,31; 1 Chr. 13 & 15 etc).

As for Nicky’s teaching that Alpha participants are safe just because those praying for them use the words ‘Holy Spirit’, this is incredibly unwise talk for someone who claims to know about the New Age movement.  New Ager’s admit that: “the name you give to it [i.e. this spiritual power] is irrelevant”.[61]  The most crucial thing is the door you go up to, not just the name you call out.

(3) Apart from the fact that it is an appalling understatement to call Theosophy “something that wasn’t very good”, Nicky thinks it does not remotely matter who lays hands on him.  But, again, this is totally at odds with Scripture.  People receive the Holy Spirit when they are living holy lives (Acts 5:32; John 14:15-16), not when they happen to have hands laid upon them by the right person.  A man cannot transfer holiness to someone else, but he can certainly transfer uncleanness.  That is the precise message of Haggai 2:11-14.  (Of course Nicky does not deny that the TB/Alpha spirit is ‘catching’, else he would surely not have agreed to be listed as a speaker at Arnott’s Catch the Fire conference!)



Under the Mosaic Law, the scapegoat had the uncleanness of Israel transferred to it by the laying on of hands (Lev. 16:22-22), and there were numerous other instructions there about what God’s People could and couldn’t touch (e.g. in Num. 6:6-9).  Such is the importance of right understanding over this issue – in order to avoid receiving spiritual uncleanness, or curses – that the apostles considered it to be foundational (Heb. 6:1-2).  Unless the person doing the praying is ‘right with God’, then unholiness can be transferred; hence Paul’s stark warning to Timothy to: “Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure” (1 Tim. 5:22).  We need to be very sure about the person intending to pray over us, and where they get their spiritual authority from, before we submit to being prayed for by them.  Else we cannot expect God’s protection.

Please warn the flock.

May God bless you.







[1] Please Note: An extra endnote reference (#3) was inadvertently inserted into the main text of the first article – thus all subsequent references were out by one.  Please also not that all emphases in quotes in this article are our own.

[2] “Alpha Course ‘Excellent Tool for Evangelism’”, letter from ‘Revs.’ A.C. Rankin, J.I. Mairs, N.H. Harrison & D.J. Quinn, to a Northern Ireland newspaper, 05:Sep:1996, as recorded in alpha_Toronto_blessing.html in response to a critique by Cecil Andrews of Take Heed Ministries.

[3] See Nicky Gumbel, Telling Others, (Kingsway, 2001), pp23-24.

[4] Rodney Howard-Browne, Manifesting the Holy Ghost, (RHBEA, 1992), pp13-14, as quoted in David Hilborn, A Chronicle of the Toronto Blessing and Related Events, as published by the Evangelical Alliance (UK), p4.

[5] Hilborn, op. cit., p3.

[6] Nicky “picked it [Alpha] up and has worked extremely hard on it. He’s taken account of literally thousands of questionnaires. He’s lengthened talks, shortened talks, put ones in, taken them out…” [Millar, Intro. to Talk 1, 1997].

[7] Wallace Boulton, Ed., The Impact of Toronto, (Monarch Publications, 1995), pp21-22.



[8] Jon Ronson, Guardian Weekend, 21:Oct:2000, p10.  According to Ronson’s article, “Nicky returned from Canada, spoke passionately at HTB about the Toronto Blessing and, lo and behold, his congregation, too, began rolling on the floor etc” [p10].  We contacted Ronson who, as far as his memory would allow, confirmed this (see email on file).

[9] Mick Brown, ‘Unzipper Heaven, Lord, Ha-ha, Ho-ho, Hee-hee…’, Telegraph Magazine, 03:Dec:1994, p26.

[10] Alpha News, Mar – Jun 2001, p17.  All references to Alpha News in this article refer to the UK edition.

[11] Gumbel has said “A couple of years later [1982] someone called John Wimber, who is an American pastor, came …  We owe an enormous amount to the Americans … because it was through John Wimber and his team that many of the wonderful things that we’ve seen happening in this church in the last 14 years, humanly speaking, it came through them, and at one time, you know, there were some of us who would only be prayed for if the person had an American accent…” [Talk 13, Edition 1].

[12] For instance, Vineyard’s John McClure went in November 1986 and Vineyard’s Brent Rue went in October 1990.

[13] Email on file from TACF, 16:Oct:2002.

[14] Of the U.S. churches listed in HTB In Focus: Alpha News, Aug 1995, p19, a third are Vineyard ones.

[15] E.g. Telling Others, p143.  From at least 1996, the teaching tape sets used by HTB ‘home groups’ (now called ‘cells’) included six talks by Wimber (see Alpha News, July 1996, p25).

[16] Nicky Gumbel, Questions of Life, (Kingsway, 2001), p63.



[17] Wimber is quoted in Talk 3, and several times in Talk 13, but despite this and Vineyard’s substantial role in Alpha’s history, the word “Vineyard” is never mentioned in any talk.  Wimber is quoted in Questions of Life in various places (pp50-51, 167, 211-212) and a book he edited is also cited (on p152), but only once in these chapters does Nicky admit that Wimber is from Vineyard – and Tuttle’s church background is omitted entirely.  It is the same story in other HTB publications.

[18] Al Dager, John Wimber and the Vineyard, as recorded at

[19] Ibid.

[20] Morton Kelsey, Transcend (Element Books, 1991), pp218, as quoted in Alan Morrison, The Serpent and the Cross (K&M Books, 1994), p434.

[21] Kelsey’s mentor was Roberto Assagioli - an occultist who worked with Alice Bailey [Morrison, op. cit., p433].

[22] Telling Others, p14.

[23] For instance, Pytches worked with Millar on guidelines for handling the TB [Hilborn, op. cit., p56]; a book by Pytches is advertised in Alpha News #19, p32; and Pytches has spoken at Alpha’s home church.  HTB still sells the tape.

[24] David Pytches, Some Said it Thundered, (Hodder and Stoughton, 1990).

[25] Hilborn, op. cit., p13.



[26] S.R. Shearer, The Kansas City Prophets, John Wimber and the Catholic Church, (Antipas Ministries, Denver Colorado), p5, as cited in Roger Oakland, New Wine or Old Deception? (The Word for Today, 1995), p76.

[27] Stephen Hunt, Anyone For Alpha?, (Darton, Longman and Todd, 2001), p25.

[28] Guy Chevreau, Share the Fire, (Marshall Pickering, 1997), p176, as quoted in Hilborn, op. cit., p140.

[29] S.R. Shearer, op. cit., p7, as cited in Roger Oakland, op. cit., p77.

[30] William Branham, Adoption, (Spoken Word Publications, 1960), pp21,104, as quoted in Roger Oakland, op. cit., p70.

[31] Roger Oakland, op. cit., p25.

[32] Roger Oakland, op. cit., pp69-72.

[33] Roger Oakland, op. cit., p71.

[34] David Forbes, ‘From North Battleford to Toronto’, Prophecy Today, Vol. 12, No. 1, Jan-Feb 1996, p15, as quoted in Hilborn, op. cit., p11.

[35] Our book Alpha – The Unofficial Guide: Overview seeks to be a gracious, biblical and comprehensive analysis of the Alpha Course.  Designed to be given to people deceived by Alpha, it is available from Jewel’s Discernment Ministries.


[36] In Toronto’s Spread the Fire magazine of December 1996, an article called “Atomic Power Thru Fasting & Prayer” by Lou Engle was published, saying “[I]n 1947-1952 the great healing revival broke out with men like William Branham, … being used of God to perform extraordinary miracles … In 1948 the ‘Latter Rain’ outpouring hit North Battleford, Canada, and swept into the United States … After reading ‘Atomic Power’ they entered a season of the ‘grace of fasting’ and continued for three months. Then the Spirit fell.”  Engle’s phrase ‘Atomic Power’ refers to a book by Franklin Hall whose teachings, combined with Branham’s, were fundamental to the Latter Rain movement.  Hall was an occultist who, like Branham, believed the Zodiac was a “valid way of interpreting God’s revelation to man” [Oakland, op.cit., pp67,70].



[37] D.R. McConnell, A Different Gospel, (Hendrickson, 1988), pp60&78.

[38] McConnell, op. cit., p69.

[39] Hilborn, op. cit, p10.

[40] Charisma magazine, July 1989, p27, as quoted in Roger Oakland, op. cit., p77.

[41] Hilborn, op. cit., p136.

[42] Ibid., p13.

[43] See the previous article for just a few of these links.  John Arnott was prayed over by RHB at Copeland’s church in June 1993 [Guy Chevreau, Catch the Fire, (Marshall Pickering, 1994), p23]; Hagin has endorsed Toronto; and the Toronto church still sells Benny Hinn books today!  Claudio Freidzon was very pro-Toronto and his ministry took off after meeting Benny Hinn in 1992 [Richard Riss, A Brief Overview of the Work of the Holy Spirit in the Last Twenty Years, December 2000].  Interestingly, an advert for a book by Claudio Freidzon appears in HTB’s Alpha News, Mar – Jun 2001, p18.


[44] Hinn, RHB, and Hagin all boast of TB-style manifestations dating back to the 1970’s.

[45] HTB “strongly recommends” attendance [Telling Others, p23].  Every edition of Alpha News advertises these Alpha Training ‘conferences’ with the statement by Gumbel that “Running Alpha without going to a conference is like driving a car without taking lessons”.  This suggests to readers that it is very hard, and certainly very dangerous, to run Alpha without attending a conference.  The brochure for the Alpha Supper Initiative 2001 states, “Training is the most important ingredient of Alpha … The best way to prepare for Alpha is for you and your team to attend an Alpha conference”.  Many people thus feel pressured to go and receive whatever HTB ‘hands out’ at these ‘conferences’.  But does the Bible not tell us everything we need in order to live the Christian life?  Besides, could HTB’s copious training manuals and videos not supply all that is needed?  Not if a ‘spirit’ also has to be transferred!



[46] According to McConnell, op. cit., Kenyon’s writings were “widely read by … William Branham … and, obviously, [by] Kenneth Hagin … Kenyon’s influence … was massive” [p23].  Ern Baxter apparently called Kenyon “‘widely influential’” on the “post-World War II Healing Revival” (of which Branham and Hagin formed a central part) [pp28,76].

[47] According to McConnell and Hanegraaff: Branham was heavily influenced by Kenyon; Hagin then called Branham a major influence on him; and Benny Hinn also gives Branham “hearty approval”.  Hagin plagiarized Kenyon “repeatedly and extensively” [Reachout Trust, The ‘Faith’ Movement may be Prospering but is it Healthy? (Reachout, 1995), pp4-5; see also McConnell, op. cit., pp3-14; Hank Hanegraaff, Christianity in Crisis (Nelson Word Ltd., UK ed., 1995), pp30,331].


[48] Kenyon even studied at Emerson – a ‘New Thought’ college [McConnell, op. cit.., pp35-39].

[49] McConnell, op. cit., pp39-46; Hilborn, op. cit., p4.

[50] The statement from The Observer newspaper that “Gumbel’s … humor, anecdote, [&] metaphysics … are both persuasive and compelling” is printed on the back cover of the 2001 editions of books by Gumbel such as Searching Issues, Questions of Life and A Life Worth Living.  Could not another quote be used, or the seriously misleading word “metaphysics” be dropped?

[51] See Morrison, op. cit., p104.

[52] See Gail Riplinger, New Age Bible Versions, (A.V. Publications, 8th Printing 1997).

[53] Hilborn, op. cit., p13.

[54] Via Paul Cain, and arguably via Jack Deere (see previous article).

[55] Arguably via David/Paul Yonggi-Cho (see Alpha News, Nov ’97 – Feb ’98, p3), or Derek Prince (the DPM website endorses Alpha). Also via Hagin: Gumbel’s talks are aired on the same ‘God channel’ as Hagin’s TV shows.



[56] HTB uses a review of Alpha by the Christian Science Monitor newspaper to promote the Course [see An Introduction to the Alpha Course, (undated HTB booklet), p2].  This is a paper founded by Mary Baker Eddy and which, in every issue, promotes ‘The First Church of Christ, Scientist’.

[57] Links to Blavatsky include: B.F. Westcott (whom Gumbel happily refers to in Questions of Life, p167); F.J.A. Hort, who, according to Gumbel, was “one of the greatest textual critics ever” [Talk 2]; J.B. Lightfoot, whom Gumbel cites six times in his book A Life Worth Living (Kingsway, 2001); and John Ruskin (whom Nicky cites adoringly in Questions of Life, p56).  All four were supporters, or even disciples, of Blavatsky. 

[58] Wallace Boulton, Ed., op. cit., p83.

[59] Gumbel says: “[W]e ask the Holy Spirit to come…” [Talk 13]; “We need to ask the Holy Spirit to come…” [Searching Issues, (Kingsway, 2001), p66]; and “I am going to invite the Holy Spirit to come…” [Telling Others, p151].

[60] See Part 5 of our book for details.  The ‘Better Than Rubies’ section of our website ( supplies more information about the book, plus a list of outlets worldwide.









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Part One: The Powerful Message          Part Three: The Powerful Spirit

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