The following is the research statement released in 1978 by Dr Walter
Martin's Christian Research Institute, PO Box 500, San Juan
Capistrano, CA 92693.
JOHN TODD: DIVIDING THE BRETHREN
In the past few months, we have received numerous inquiries
concerning the claims of John Todd, who says that he is an ex-witch
who has become a Christian and is now warning Christians of the
occultic conspiracy he was privy to and which is in the process of
controlling the world and the Church.
Since Todd asserted that he was a Christian, we did not
immediately speak out against him in public, although our brief
investigation showed that his story was not completely true. Our
ministry is to expose those outside the Church, not within it.
However, Todd's actions in recent months have been anything but
Christian. He has constantly torn down members of the Body of Christ,
has caused division between churches, has slandered the names of men
and women God has used mightily, and, perhaps most sad of all, he has
duped countless trusting Christians into believing his fabrications.
We are in the process of a full-length, fully documented research
project on all of Todd's claims but the urgency of this attack on the
Church necessitates this brief and preliminary report. Our findings
as presented here are accurate, and our ongoing research indicates
that this is just the beginning of documentation showing conclusively
that Todd is wrong. If our quick investigation uncovered all of this
material, it is logical to assume that Todd's allegations are without
foundation and are completely false.
Todd claims that he was once a "Grand Druid" witch with
connections to the Illuminati, an organization he claims is occultic,
is headed by the Rothschilds (said to be demons in human form), and
which is going to take over the world and destroy the Church. Some
Christians have taken his words so seriously that whole congregations
have armed themselves in preparation for the "witch's war." Todd
claims that witchcraft such as he was involved in is over 8,000 years
old and is a tightly run network worldwide in scope.
ILLUMINATI AND THE ROTHSCHILDS
Conspiracy theories often attract a following, and perhaps the
most popular of our day is that on which implicates some of the
world's most wealthy and influential families (e.g., the Rockefellers,
the Kennedys, the Onassises, and most notably, the Rothschilds) in a
conspiracy aimed at securing worldwide domination through pitting the
major political powers against each other. It should be clearly
understood that John Todd is not unveiling any essentially new ideas
(however mistaken they are) when he expounds upon a secret "world
takeover plan." With a few colorful and personal additions and
alterations, he is enunciating the same conspiracy theory that is
soberly detailed in right-wing extremist Gary Allen's _None Dare Call
It Conspiracy_, and other, less popular works.
The conspiracy is understood to have begun on May 1, 1776, when
Adam Weishaupt reportedly founded the Illuminati in Europe. According
to Todd, and some other advocates of the conspiracy theory, the
Illuminati has always been a society whose god is Lucifer, whose
religion is witchcraft, and whose unyielding goal is total political
dominion of the world in order to establish a one-world government,
headed by the son of Lucifer (the Antichrist) as ruler. However,
while historical data does confirm that the Illuminati was an anti-
government organization, history flatly contradicts the occultic
nature of the group, and many of Todd's assertions about it.
Weishaupt founded the Illuminati on the basis of his own
philosophy of anarchy and primitive utopia. Because of his anarchistic
beliefs, it is little wonder that the Bavarian government confiscated
The first stage in the life of the whole human race is
savagery, rough nature, in which the family is the only society,
and hunger and thirst are easily satisfied,...in which man enjoys
the two most excellent goods, Equality and Liberty, to their
fullest extent...in these circumstances...health was his usual
condition...Happy men, who were not yet enough enlightened to
lose their peace of mind and to be conscious of the unhappy
mainsprings and causes of our misery, love of power...envy...
illnesses and all the results of imagination.
Adam Weishaupt quoted in
Nesta H. Webster's _Secret Societies and
Subversive Movements_, London, Britons
Publishing Company, p. 213.
Weishaupt reasoned that the cause of man's problems was the
development of civilization and government, as these destroyed both
freedom and equality. Hence the solution to the human dilemma for
Weishaupt was for men to learn total independence.
On the basis of this out look, the political goal of the
Illuminati was to create anarchy:
That man should govern himself and rulers should be gradually
done away with. But his is careful to deprecate all ideas of
violent revolution--the process is to be accomplished by the most
ibid., p. 213.
Quite obviously, the goal of the Illuminati was not, as Todd
claims, one world government, but _no_ government!
Rather than holding witchcraft as its religion and Lucifer as its
god, Weishaupt's Illuminati had a basic abhorence of the occultic arts
For all forms of 'theosophy;' occultism, spiritualism, and
magic Weishaupt expresses nothing but contempt, and the Rose-
Croix masons are bracketed with the Jesuits by the Illuminati as
enemies it is necessary to out wit at every turn. Consequently
no degree of Rose-Croix finds a place in Weishaupt's systems, as
in all the other masonic orders of the day which drew their
influences from Eastern or Cabalistic sources...the more we
penetrate into his system, the more apparent it becomes that all
the formulas he employs which derive from any religious
source...merely serve to disguise a purely material purpose, a
plan for destroying the existing order of society.
ibid., pages 201, 202.
While Weishaupt himself was not an occultist, he used the current
popularity of occultic secret societies as an effective cover for his
subversive designs. His followers penetrated the inner circles of
Freemasonry, and he devised "mysteries," and "degrees" of initiation
similar to Rosicrucianism, in order to lure men into his society, from
whom he could choose the ones who would be truly useful to the
Illuminati. It should be noted that even this bogus occultism was not
witchcraft in its classical sense, nor in the manner in which John Todd
The Illuminati was effectively suppressed in Bavaria by the
government in March of 1785. The exact role of the Illuminati in
history after this has been a hotly debated issue. Many historians
agree with Mervyn Jones that "No further authentic record of the
Illuminati remains." [MacKenzie, Norman, ed., _Secret Societies_, New
York, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, p. 170.] Theories that perceive
further subversive activities by the Illuminati range from the
reasonable to what must be regarded as paranoid fancy. According to
people like Todd, the Illuminati has control of almost every aspect of
our political, social, economic, and religious life, and current world
and national events are practically all the unfolding of a master plan
for world domination.
The information Todd asserts could easily have been obtained
through reading of popular conspiracy literature rather than from his
so-called "secret first-hand knowledge."
THE ROTHSCHILD FAMILY
The Rothschild family, who through their banking empire have
exerted tremendous influence in Europe over the last two hundred
years, have been identified by Todd and others as the actual creators
and undisputed rulers of the Illuminati. The fact that the
Rothschilds have definitely had a powerful hand in European politics,
particularly in the nineteenth century, makes them easy targets for
suspicion of worldwide conspiracy. However, the allegations made by
Todd seem difficult to prove indeed. For example, it is significant
that in our research we found that the more respectable historians,
even those looking for a conspiracy, did not even mention the
Rothschilds in their treatment of the Illuminati.
The practice of witchcraft is ancient, but not in the form it is
popularly identified with today. In primitive cultures, witches often
served as mediators between the unseen and seen realms, and received
their powers through voluntary spirit possession. John Todd claims
that the rites performed by his witches coven are 8,000 years old.
However, as M. G. Marwick notes in the 1978 edition of Encyclopedia
The incorrect use of the term refers to persons claiming to be
witches who are reported to belong to covens, to assemble on
appropriate calendrical occasions for sabbats at which they
perform rituals of as long a tradition as the coven leaders claim
descent from earlier witches...These so-called witches claim to
be adherents of an ancient religion, the one to which
Christianity is regarded as a counterreligion...These
practitioners usually turn out to be sincere but misguided people
who have been directly or indirectly influenced by Margaret
Murray's article "Witchcraft," in the 14th edition of
Encyclopedia Britannica (1929), which put forth in its most
popular form her theory that the witches of western Europe were
the lingering adherents of a once general pagan religion that has
been displaced, though not completely, by Christianity. This
highly imaginative but now discredited theory gave a new
respectability to witchcraft.
DIVIDING THE BRETHREN
John Todd has accused Christian leaders of all kinds of occultic
involvement and spiritual apostasy. He seems especially hateful
towards the Charismatic movement. We are not sure at this stage in
our investigation of the reasons behind this animosity for a part of
the Body of Christ. However, we are following some leads which could
prove very embarrassing for Todd and which would give the emotional
reaction necessary for such a condemnation by Todd of the charismatic
Among the Christian leaders Todd has attacked are Walter Martin,
director of Christian Research Institute and professor at Melodyland
School of Theology, Rev. Ralph Wilkerson, pastor of Melodyland
Christian Center, Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa,
and Maranatha! Music, also of Costa Mesa.
We have contacted each of these leaders and asked them to respond
to the charges Todd has made. Their responses follow. It is a
serious matter to denounce a man or a ministry God is using to further
his kingdom. All of these objects of Todd's scorn love God and serve
his son faithfully. All are grieved at Todd's false accusations, and
all would pray that Christians would investigate those accusations,
see the truth of the matter, and pray that God would bring Todd to
obedience to his omnipotent will. The statement which follow should
silence the rumors effectively. [see file JTCLETT.TXT]
Paul instructs us: "Reject a factious man after a first and
second warning, knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning,
being self condemned" (Titus 3:10,11), and "Now I urge you, brethren;
keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary
to the teachings which you learned and turn away from them. For such
men are not slaves of our Lord Jesus Christ but of their own
appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the
hearts of the unsuspecting" (Romans 16:17,18).
John Todd has been confronted and warned many times about the
errors and falsehoods he is promulgating. The body of Christ is
arising and judging his ministry for its lack of good fruit (Matthew
7:15-20). His ministry has created fear, suspicion, and division
among the members of the church. Many of his claims have been proven
false. Christians should not allow themselves to be disturbed by what
he has said. Christian Research Institute is in agreement with the
discernment being reached by believers across the country, that
because John Todd has not responded to the warnings delivered to him
by men and women of God, he should be avoided and rejected by the body
of Christ until such time as he does repent.
Ralph Wilkerson, pastor
STATEMENT CONCERNING JOHN TODD
To Whom it May Concern:
Because there have been numerous reports that have come to our
office, of necessity we have felt that we must answer some of the
charges that have been made by a person that we do not even know. I
can fully assure you that this man has lied in stating that he has
given a large check to me or Melodyland. In no way has anybody
associated with the occult given us financial assistance. This same
charge was made against Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel in Costa
Mesa and has been made against others.
Also John Todd states that we have reservations about the miracles
in the Old Testament. Upon request I will be glad to furnish any
information on our doctrinal statement for both the school of theology
and the church. Also John Todd went on to state that I believe God
cannot save a person in the occult or cannot save witches. Perhaps we
have had more people converted from these areas of evil than any other
I might also suggest that you secure my new book _ESP Or HSP_ which
totally destroys John Todd's argument about our belief in the occult,
for may have considered this book one of the most drastic steps
against the occult.
Sincerely for souls,
Pastor Ralph Wilkerson
10 Freedman Way.PO Box 6000.Anaheim, California 92806.(714)MELODY1
CHRISTIAN RESEARCH INSTITUTE
POST OFFICE BOX 500
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92693
Prof. Walter Martin, Director
October 5, 1978
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
I have heard accusations made by John Todd concerning me and other
Christian leaders. Those accusations are not true and are causing
very serious division in the Body of Christ. This is not the fruit of
a Christ-centered ministry.
I believe the Bible to be the complete and absolute Word of God,
correct in all that it states in all areas. I would never, as I have
been accused of, state that the Bible was wrong and I was right.
I stand with my brothers in Christ, Ralph Wilkerson, Chuck Smith,
and Chuck Fromm, in admonishing the Church to beware of this false
teacher, John Todd, who is spreading rumors and lies about those of us
whom God is using to save souls.
It is not for me or any other man to judge the soul of John Todd.
If he is a Christian, God help him, for he knows better and God will
require these actions of him on the judgment day. If he is not a
Christian, I would pray that the Holy Spirit would touch his soul and
that he would turn from his deceitful ways and come to Christ, the
healer of men and saver of souls.
Because of the numerous concerned requests we all have received
about the claims of John Todd, and because our investigation has shown
those claims to be false, we believe that this report is necessary.
Let us look to the author of all Truth, Jesus Christ, in these last
days when rumors abound and God's people are called upon to unite in
one body, to become one even as the Father and Son are one (John 17).
In the fellowship of the Master,
October 3, 1978
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
This is the position of Maranatha! Music regarding the claims of
John Todd concerning Maranatha! Music and its supposed relationship to
a group known as the Illuminati.
Maranatha! Music is a non-profit organization grossing
approximately 1.1 million dollars annually. It was started in
connection with Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa in 1971 (incorporated as
a separate organization in 1972) with a loan from Pastor Chuck Smith of
That money was used to produce the first Maranatha! Music album,
which sold over 200,000 copies. The money from those sales furthered
the ministry and was the source for funds to produce more albums.
Today, fifty per cent of our sales are from our _Praise_ albums.
We have been audited by the Internal Revenue Service, out books
have been declared accurate, and we welcome further audits from any
reputable, qualified firm.
Our organization is governed by a board of directors, who serve
On the basis of the above facts, I state that the claims of John
Todd concerning Maranatha! Music are not true. Maranatha! Music was
not started with $8 million, given through Todd by the Illuminati to
promote Christian rock music, which Todd says is occultic.
We did not at any time sue Todd and certainly did not withdraw a
suit when Todd told us such a suit would confirm his allegations.
The Calvary Chapel choir director was not given two checks for $4
million each for Maranatha! Music by Todd. Calvary Chapel has no
choir and no choir director.
We pray that Christians will discern the truth in this matter and
will seek documentation such as that presented above to disprove
Todd's statements concerning Maranatha! Music and the other Christian
ministries he has spoken against.
In the love of Christ,
MARANATHA! MUSIC, P.O. BOX 1396, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, 714-979-8536
calvary chapel of costa mesa
3800 Fairview Road Santa Ana, CA 92704
October 5, 1978
To Whom It May Concern,
This is a statement made with God as my witness and without any
fear of refutation that John Todd in his declaration that Calvary
Chapel, or Maranatha Productions, or Maranatha Music, or myself
personally, or any associate of mine has ever at any time received any
amount of money from him--$4 million, $8 million, or any other amount-
-is an absolute total lie, and it is totally without any evidence or
substantiation upon his part. Any monies of this amount would be
major transactions in any bank, and it would be easy for him to proof
his allegations with canceled checks. If he could do so, I would be
happy to give him $50,000, which I don't have, but I would obligate
myself to it and would be willing to do so for any kind of evidence
that he could produce to show that his statement has even one shred of
truth to it. It is a total fabrication and a complete lie.
I am not a wealthy man under any standards. I have always believed
in living a very simple life, and I receive a smaller salary than does
a brick layer. I do not own any apartment complexes. I do not own
any apartments or condominiums. I own the house that I am living in,
or rather the savings and loan company owns the house I am living in.
I drive a Chevrolet car that was sold to me at dealer's cost because
the dealer is a member of Calvary Chapel. I have never driven fancy
cars; I do not believe in driving fancy cars. I have always driven
used cars up until the dealer offering me a new car at his cost.
I did not want to finance construction of a Baptist church. I know
nothing about offering any amount of money to any Baptist church for
construction purposes. Calvary Chapel, out of our loan fund, loaned
the 1st Baptist Church in Costa Mesa $250,00.00 to save the church
from foreclosure. It was necessary that we borrow that money from the
bank in order to loan it to the 1st Baptist Church, but because of our
excellent credit standing with Lloyd's Bank, we borrowed the money
from them to loan to the Baptist church. This is all a matter of
record and can be proven easily. It was a gesture of our Church Board
to show how we feel body of Christ is one and should never be divided
by scurrilous lies such as John Todd is making around the country. The
man is an absolute liar and anybody is insane who listens to him or
gives any credence to what he has to say.
I believe that it is time that the truth be established, and John
Todd be declared for what he is--an absolute liar in league with Satan
and going around doing a damning work within the church, seeking to
divide the body rather than bring it together. If it were not for the
scripture concerning going to law with a brother, I would have sued
John Todd long ago for liable and slander; because I do obey the
scriptures and seek to obey them, I have not filed this suit against
him but the statements that he makes are totally false.
Maranatha Music was actually started with my own personal investment
of $3000.00. The first album was made on a 4-track tape recorder.
The first distribution was out of the trunk of the car to the local
book stores. If we had had a $1 million budget, or $4 million budget,
or $8 million budget, you can believe we would have started out
fancier than we did. The Love Song were never into witchcraft, though
they were into some of the Eastern religions, and mainly into drugs,
and were saved out of a life of drugs, and were never trained by any
witches, nor were they involved in witchcraft as he again slanderously
lied against these beautiful brothers in Jesus Christ.
Maranatha Music has grown as we have attempted to bring the music in a
way that will communicate to people today to the church, and we praise
the Lord for the way the music has blessed thousands of people, and
has been instrumental in conversion of many thousands to Jesus Christ.
Even to the present date, Maranatha Music has not done a total of $8
million in business, and this also can be easily verified and
confirmed, and any reputable person is welcome to look at the books of
both Calvary Chapel and Maranatha Music in order to prove the
statements that I make are correct.
Calvary Chapel has never received, nor any of our associate ministries
has never received any major contribution from any single source.
Calvary Chapel has been supported from the beginning solely by the
tithes and the offerings of our own local constituency. We have never
gone outside of our own local constituency for any monies at any
time, and every dollar can be accounted for on our tithe records
which have been kept for the purposes of the Internal Revenue Service,
so that we can easily prove where every dollar has come from that has
gone into the ministry here. We have always been extremely careful
and frugal in the spending of God's money, and as a result, Calvary
chapel has been able to use the resources that have come in through
our tithes to do many wonderful things for the Lord. All of our
facilities are totally paid for, and we rejoice that we are able to
help now other churches in their financial needs. We have built radio
stations in mission fields, and have been able to do many marvelous
things for God, because He has provided so abundantly just through the
tithing members here at Calvary.
John Todd is an unmitigated liar, a deceiver, a divider within the
body of Christ, and needs to be exposed.
Sincerely, in Christ Jesus
Pastor Charles W. Smith