Excerpts from

BOOK REVIEW:

An Honest Look At "Don't Drink the Kool-aid"
 

by Editors at Lighthouse Trails

April 9, 2008

Read the entire article here: www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/index.php?p=1047&more=1&c=1

 

"Many shall come in My name."

Matt 24:4

 

 

 

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On March 3rd, a book titled Don't Drink the Kool-Aid was released by author Carrington Steele. The book, subtitled Oprah, Obama and the Occult, seeks to document Oprah's ties to the occult and the New Age religion. Since its release, Steele has had several radio interviews, and a promotional video on YouTube has received over two and a half million hits. Steele's efforts to alert Christians and the public are noteworthy. However, after a thorough examination of this book, Lighthouse Trails must issue a public warning.

Last week, Lighthouse Trails was contacted by two other ministries who brought up issues regarding the use of their material in Steele's book. Upon reading Steele's work ourselves, our editors discovered that the 80-page book was filled with verbatim passages copied from other writers material, which was presented as Steele's own authorship. Because of the sensationalistic overtones of the book (e.g., comparing Oprah to Jim Jones who gave poisoned Kool-aid to over 900 people), and because plagiarism most often ignores the original context and authorial intent of the material copied but is not ethically credited, Lighthouse Trails cannot, in good conscience, promote Steele's book.

While we regret to issue this finding because we do believe that Oprah Winfrey's efforts to convert the public to her New Age beliefs must be exposed, we fear that Steele's book could negatively reflect upon and misrepresent long-standing and reputable ministries. In addition, because the author also plagiarized some secular sources (such as CNN, Fox News, and Rolling Stone magazine), we believe this book may, in addition to being a poor Christian testimony, be legally problematic. Particularly, the fact that one paragraph in a book we publish, A Time of Departing, was illegitimately copied in Don't Drink the Kool-Aid and passed off as Steele's own writing, has forced us to speak up.

Some of the ministries whose research and writing were plagiarized include Let Us Reason Ministries, Herescope (Discernment Ministries), Apologetics Resource Center, and Lighthouse Trails Publishing. Material was also lifted from the websites of Oprah Winfrey, The Secret, Washington Post, A & E Television Networks, and CNN and presented as the author's own writing. For a partial list of these instances, please click here.

On April 7th, Lighthouse Trails spoke on the phone to Carrington Steele, and we expressed our concerns over the book. Steele said that she had done the book with a pure motive and thought she was within the guidelines of the Fair Use Act when using the material of others. Steele said that she had previous editorial experience (her website says as a magazine editor). Lighthouse Trails explained that the Fair Use Act pertains to quoted material that does not require the original author's permission if it is properly footnoted. It does not mean that sections of copyrighted material can be used verbatim without proper citation of the original source. Unattributed use of another's writing that is passed off to the public as one's own is plagiarism. Kirsch's Handbook of Publishing Law (the industry standard for copyright issues) explains that copyright infringement occurs when the material used is under legal copyright. Kirsch's Handbook states that verbatim copyrighted material must be credited.

When Lighthouse Trails spoke with Carrington Steele, she stated she had done both the writing and the research on the book without help or support from others. However, it was pointed out to her that she often said "we" and "us" in her interviews, and we wondered to whom she was referring. At this point, Steele said she could not answer that question, saying she was not at liberty to say. We found this response to be curious and disturbing.

Because the chapter on Barack Obama did not contain any documentation that he was involved in the occult or the New Age, Lighthouse Trails asked Steele if there was political motivation involved. What's more, the chapter on Obama did not seem to fit in with the rest of the book. Steele said she was not politically motivated. However, with Obama's name on the cover of the book and with a chapter especially devoted to him, yet with no evidence demonstrating his connection to the spirituality of Oprah and other New Agers, Don't Drink the Kool-Aid gives the appearance of having political overtones, even if Steele did not intend this.

...our efforts and our research are to defend the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We make every effort not to propagandize political actions by mere associations. ...

In conclusion, if Don't Drink the Kool-Aid had been written by a university student, he or she would have been severely disciplined for their plagiarism. While this report is not written with the intent of hurting Carrington Steele or refuting her basic message of Oprah's New Age propensities, we had no other choice than to go public with our serious concerns. Our prayer is that the gospel message be proclaimed, spiritual deception be exposed, and many who now follow the path of New Age spirituality will have their eyes opened.

"In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." (II Corinthians 4:4)

Read the entire article here: www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/index.php?p=1047&more=1&c=1

Other reports from www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com:

The Oneness Blessing - Pathway to Global Awakening

Ken Blanchard Joins "The Secret" Team

Rick Warren Teams Up with New Age Proponent Leonard Sweet

Al Gore and Tony Campolo Address Baptist Organizations

Emergent Manifesto | Deceptive Roots of the Emerging Church

The Re-Think Conference | Deceptive Roots of the Emerging Church

They Like Jesus, But Not the Church | Erwin McManus

The Secret: A New Era for Humankind

Yoga, Mysticism & Moody Bible Institute

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