These are my notes of the first public interview the President of Crossroads Christian Communications. Ron and Reynold Mainse were taken off 100 Huntley Street in June after being named as finders in the alleged Gordon Driver/Axcess Automation/Funds ponzi scheme. See CFTC and SEC documents, May 2009. The mistakes and omissions in these notes are mine, for those interested, the full interview will be up at 100 Huntley Street (October 13, 2009) by tomorrow.
Update: The interview is up in three segments on YouTube.
I’m not uploading, it’s posted in Crossroads media channel and requires extra steps, it’s easier for those of you interested to click over.
Post interview -
Jim Cantelon: Anyone who wants to cast stones, go ahead, it will come back on you. I’m glad this is over.
Jim: What has come down the last few months? In May this year I was hosting middle of the week, there was an article in local newspaper re: OSC had uncovered ponzi scheme and mentioned a couple of the Mainse brothers had been involved. It caused quite a stir, was a jolt to the system. I read a statement from the board. a lot of you were hurt, angry disturbed and confused. It’s a long and sometimes painfully slow process, a lot of blogging going on, a lot of misinformation, disinformation.*
I have been a friend of the Mainse family for many many years, I still believe I have a role to represent you. (viewers)
What was the situation as you saw it?
Ron: I made some poor judgement calls, the bottom line is back about about a year and a half ago, I made the mistake of saying yes to a friend of mine, I used poor judgement, I jumped in without doing due diligence. Ann and I invested, we were told this is such a wonderful opportunity, others at my recommendation joined.
I made the mistake of accepting a percentage, a commission, not realizing at the time your supposed to have a licence. Misjudgement, mistakes on top of the other, then the case made against this friend that it was a ponzi scheme. That was a day I’ll never forget.
Jim: Promising you 5% a week?
Ron: I think my judgement was clouded by my relationship with this guy, (Gordon Driver and/or David Rutledge?) we’d known each other for 30 years. He said the motivation was for God’s purposes, they didn’t want greed, they wanted people who were kingdom minded.
Jim: Was the appeal to donor dollars and personal wealth?
Ron: We thought it would be great to be mortgage free, pay the kids education.
Jim:It never occurred to you it was too good to be true?
Ron: I was pretty naive, I had no reason to question the integrity of this friend.
Jim: Do you feel this friend was using you?
Jim: What about those who invested with you?
Ron: There were probably 40 to 50 who invested, mostly family and friends, we never put out anything to staff, it was mostly word of mouth, there were some staff but we were not actively soliciting.
Jim: They all crashed with you?
R: I can’t tell you how deeply grieved I am, some losing significant amounts of savings. By God’s grace I’ll be forgiven.
Jim: What kind of feedback have you been getting?
Ron: Family and friends, followers of Jesus, no negative feedback; they understand how this came about. Things like I know you didn’t have any idea of what was going on, you only had good intentions.
Jim: No criminal intent?
Ron: What I have done already, anything that I have received has gone into a trust fund with the legal firm I’m working with, we, Ann and I, lost what we invested. Full restitution has been done.
Working with the legal firm, as I understand it, the OSC will be able to recover funds, at some point this fund will be used to pay back a portion of what people lost.
Jim: How has this changed you?
Ron: It’s hard to think back to that day, just shock, the level of feelings of betrayal, what have I done, you feel terrible.
I didn’t know what to do for awhile, we were numb, we prayed, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, total shock to the system, my mind was going, I should have got some counsel, even at the risk of jeopardizing a friendship, should have gotten legal and investment advice, I took everything at face value. The only place is you can turn at that point is God’s word, you can’t do anything on your own, you need the comfort of His word.
The night before you read the statement (100 Huntley Street June 6) I was weeping, knowing that this is serious, this is something I’ve done and have to take full responsibility for, it had affected others, the repercussions of what I’ve done in my life and the ministry, I’m laid bare before you God, and it was an opportunity to be totally available to God. What is the purpose God? Where did I go off track? There were precious prayer times, Ann and I are closer as a couple.
Jim: Did you feel unfairly dealt with? By the board, by God?
Ron: I did feel sorry for myself, I thought it would be easier if I’d been another line of work, there was the support of my family and viewers, the outpouring of support of love. Ann would tell me, “We are praying, we miss you.” In the midst of the low feelings as well it has brought me strength.
Jim: What would you say to the angry viewers out there in the blogosphere*, things like we’re let down again, how much are they making, is this a family business, are we being manipulated? You’re gone, you’ve lost trust?
Ron:I don’t have much to say, I don’t want to defend myself or make excuses, I don’t want to make myself better than I am, I’ve seen my flaws.
I’ve fallen on the mercy of God, I need Your grace, I need You to use me in the future if it’s Your will.
Jim: What do you see in the future?
Ron: I felt the Lord dropping into my heart that the best is yet to come, He wants to bring a full release of the call in my life, if I can come out of this a little more pure, I’m already looking back and seeing Gods hand in allowing this.
I can be closer to him, empathize, I can see God’s Word is speaking to me, I have to rely on that, more depending on Him, new depth in ministry, a full release of His anointing in my life.
Jim: We don’t learn from our successes we learn from our failures. Very few have gone through the deep waters you have which you are still resolving. What single verse of scripture has spoken to you?
Ron: Romans 8:28, now has a new depth of meaning.
Also I do feel called, I do love God more than ever, the good must be on it’s way. 11 Cor. 4: 7-15.
I believe there have been a lot of unseen battles going on around this issue, I believe the enemy has been looking for years to get a hook into this ministry; that was part of my weeping on my face.
The battle is the Lord’s. I’m confident He is going to give strength personally and for Crossroads, the battles are going to heat up in the world, we need to be diligent.
Jim: We didn’t discuss this interview ahead of time, I felt I should just sit down with a friend, whether you (viewers) pro-Ron or anti-Ron, pro-Crossroads or anti Crossroads, pro Christ or not knowing Christ, your issues have been addressed.
Jim Cantelon then prayed/preached at the camera with his eyes and blessed Ron and Crossroads.
Ron: I want to say thankyou for stepping in, we appreciate that, we appreciate viewers and support. Next week (you and dad? David Mainse) are hosting the membership drive.
* Here is a timeline of events, and a timeline of media. I count 11 Canadian blogs who posted on this alleged religious affinity fraud. I have to respectfully disagree with Jim Cantelon’s premise there has been a lot of coverage for a media ministry; the acknowledgement show hosts were finders in an alleged ponzi scheme affecting over 100 mostly Canadian investors didn’t get much attention.
Bloggers have found this a very difficult topic (I certainly have) and I respectfully disagree with the assertion there has been a lot of blogs covering a large Canadian media ministry.
The expected rancour, the charity’s silence, the polarization of opinion, and the content of covering an alleged ponzi scheme affecting what is billed as Canada’s longest running Christian TV show has been difficult.
100 Huntley Street/Crossroads ChristianÂ Communications has not gotten much attention from blogs at all. Other than financial blogs in the US carrying the SEC/CFTC information, unless I have missed some online activity, there has been very little blog action or re-action in Canada. Given thisÂ is a financial investigation, misinformation is a given, I believe the few bloggers who have attempted to cover this event have been careful to correct what scant information was put out.
As for media, Canadian Christianity, ChristianWeek and Maranatha News covered facts appropriately, other media ran a wire piece referring to Crossroads as a church instead of a charity. The local paper Jim Cantelon refers to is The Hamilton Spectator which broke the story in Canada May 21st. You can find all the coverage in the timelines.
Ron and Ann Mainse are returning to host the show, there has been no word on when Reynold and Kathy Mainse will return to air, or whether they have resumed their responsibilities at the charity.
Comments are open.
Update: Mark Peterson of Open Hands who was one of a couple of bloggers willing to broach this subject earlier this year says he is struck by the impact on so many people. As a charity expert he gave advice to donors and ended with:
Possible positive outcomes? If anything, I am hoping for an organization which is transparent, accessible, and though fallible, authentic. I want to hear the full story, the humbling story; not one coated with religious mumbo-jumbo where image is more valued than substance. That’s where this story began; it doesn’t need to end there.
After watching the October 13th interview with Ron Mainse, Petersen urges grace:
What is reinforced to me after watching is that all involved in such schemes are negatively impacted. Ron has indicated he has made full restitution for any fees earned through this scheme; he is bearing the sad consequences of his actions. Our response now: extend grace to this man, as well as to all who have been impacted through these events.
3 blogs, a few hundred interview video views, no media.
Sad consequences. There is going to be a lot of grace needed.
So many have been impacted…