James MacDonald Sues Fellow Believer Again–This Time It’s Mancow

By Julie Roys

Barely a month after issuing a public “repentance,” and apologizing for a lawsuit he called “fearful and defensive,” disgraced, former Harvest Bible Chapel senior pastor, James MacDonald, has sued a believer again. This time, the target is Chicago radio personality Mancow Muller—a former church member and confidant whom the lawsuit accuses of defaming MacDonald. 

The new lawsuit filed last week in Cook County Circuit Court accuses Muller of falsely calling MacDonald a “con man” and fabricating stories about MacDonald on Muller’s morning show on WLS-AM. These stories included claims that MacDonald was scheming to murder “rivals” and to plant  “kiddie porn” on Muller’s computer.

This is the second defamation lawsuit MacDonald has filed in just over a year. In October 2018, MacDonald and Harvest Bible Chapel sued the authors of The Elephant’s Debt blog, their wives, and me for defamation. MacDonald and Harvest dropped the suit last January after a court ruled that documents subpoenaed in the case could be made public. Harvest has subsequently apologized for the lawsuit and reimbursed The Elephant’s Debt authors, their wives, and me for court costs and damages.

Muller & MacDonald at Camp Harvest

In the new lawsuit, MacDonald is seeking more than $50,000 in damages from both Muller and WLS parent company, Cumulus Media, for several counts of defamation, invasion of privacy, inflicting emotional distress, and eavesdropping.

Also targeted in the lawsuit are “John Does 1-5”—“unknown individuals and/or entities participating in the production, recording, editing, distribution, and/or ownership” of the “Mancow Podcast.” The inclusion of these unknown defendants is related to a “hot mic” recording of MacDonald that Muller aired on his program and podcast.

The lawyer representing MacDonald in this latest lawsuit is Phillip J. Zisook of Schoenberg Finkel Newman & Rosenberg. In 1995, Zisook won a $1.6 million settlement against Muller for ex-Chicago Bear Keith Van Horne.

I talked to Muller yesterday afternoon and he said he had not yet been served notice of the lawsuit but learned about it when it was published by the Cook County Record. The lawsuit says Muller aired defamatory comments about MacDonald “to build up listener interest for his radio/podcast shows.”

Muller said he couldn’t comment on the specifics of the lawsuit but maintained that “everything I said is true.” As for why he spoke out against MacDonald, Muller said that he had endorsed MacDonald on air for years, so “I wanted my listeners to know (MacDonald) was a fraud once I discovered it.”

Last month, Harvest Bible Chapel published the results of an audit and legal review, which found that MacDonald had “extensively” misused church funds “for improper financial benefit.” The church also has formally disqualified MacDonald from ministry, saying his behavior does not meet biblical standards. Harvest currently is in arbitration with MacDonald over ownership of Walk in the Word, MacDonald’s former broadcast ministry.

Below is the lawsuit MacDonald filed against Muller:

Lawsuit Vs Mancow
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55 thoughts on “James MacDonald Sues Fellow Believer Again–This Time It’s Mancow”

  1. He’s suing for fifty grand when his name was capable of getting himself millions in his former profession? I’m no lawyer, but I dare suggest the man is “leading with his chin” in this particular “boxing match”, and I expect Mancow to, legally speaking, use him as a punching bag. This is one of those where I have to wonder if MacDonald is hoping Mancow will just pay him off to avoid the hassle, and really, I have to suggest that MacDonald’s lawyer ought to be subject to disciplinary proceedings for allowing this one to be filed.

    1. There are 18 counts in the lawsuit. Each count seeks “compensatory damages in excess of $50,000 in an amount to be determined at trial, costs of suits, and all other relief the Court deems appropriate.”

      So 18 x $50K = $900,000

      As far as I can tell from my non-lawyer read, it’s reasonable to say that James MacDonald is seeking at least $1 million in damages and court costs.

    2. Charles Despeville

      I wonder when it will down on most that MacDonald is not and never was a believer. Most see that he is a crook and deceiver but don’t catch on what he is not.

  2. One has to wonder if this will reignite Mancow’s desire for a class-action suit, as it was avoided given JMac’s removal from Harvest. Now, given he will be in the employ of another mega-church, perhaps Mancow will reconsider. Ah yes. Christians suing Christians – at Christmas time no less. Jesus must be shaking His head.

  3. Dear Jesus,
    Please protect Mancow from all evil.
    Please fight on his behalf
    and bless his
    efforts to expose evil……………………..
    EPHESIANS 3:20

    1. Sounds like jimmymac, needs some Christmas cash.
      Pitiful! I am Not understanding how another church could have him be a part of the congregation.

  4. Wow, he must be delusional- I hope Mancow can completely expose him- sad that an even clearer and unattractive view of Mac could, should come out of this.

  5. I am not a legal person, but is not the suit asking for at least $50,000 for each alleged count? Plus punitive damages for each count? If so, now we are talking potentially millions?

    1. What a disgrace Maconald is! I actually was typing MacDonald and Maconald came up. Accident? I think not! He has done much damage to the church of Christ and used his name for profit. There should be a class action suit against this fool to repay all the money he conned people out of. I was thinking the other day how he used to in sermons put down secular music because it wasn’t adding to his life as a Christian. He is the biggest phony I have ever seen! It’s time we bring to light this abuse in God’s house!

  6. Wonder how long before his defenders show up shaming everyone for refusing to see MacDonald’s “Christ-like character” and accusing people of piling on for calling this man out for his shameful behavior.

  7. Good point, though I’d still maintain that if I were deprived of my livelihood, a year’s salary (900k was close for MacDonald if I’m told right) still seems like an oddly low number to ask for. And having (belatedly I confess) read through the legal document, it’s pretty impressive–or depressing–that he’s suing for “defamation” when what was done was to broadcast statements he’d actually made, but didn’t know where being recorded.

    Um, maybe….just maybe….if ya don’t want to be known for saying or doing something, don’t say or do it?

    And again, thanks for the clarification, Jessica!

    1. It will be dismissed long before that, as JMac begins to see subpoena power in action–just like with the other ludicrous lawsuit. Started to say “first lawsuit,” but these surely can’t be the only two he’s ever filed, knowing his lack of character.

      1. I doubt it. Unless Mancow settles. One thing James has on his side is the eavesdropping law. As disgusting as this all is it is still illegal to record someone without their knowledge in the state of IL, let alone broadcast and publish those illegal recordings online. I dealt with domestic abuse in my marriage and recorded incidence that happened and could not use those recordings in my divorce case, or else my ex-husband could’ve pressed charges. Our system is terrible and unfortunately it is very likely James will walk away with what he wants. Nonetheless, Mancow was right. James is a con-man and was smart in settling things up so that in the event that the truth came out (as it has) he and his family will still be financially secured. I feel sorry for the day he is standing before the Lord.

  8. One key here is the recording of a phone call without his permission.

    I don’t think any of the commentators here know what the law is. That usually doesn’t stop people from giving an opinion, though.

    Kathy is supposedly a Godly woman. So are little mac’s two sons. So is his daughter. All four have benefited greatly, financially, from Jesus’ money. Money is the root of all kinds of evil.

  9. The many, many followers of James MacDonald have communicated that “poor James” is Innocent because he was caught in secret on a “hot mike”. They make the point that “All should be Forgiven” because James’ crude and filthy and obscene audio tape was never done in public.

    But the facts are different.

    In front of other persons, as well as a group audio conference call: James MacDonald joked publicly about putting child P0rn on a computer, and he joked about Julie Roys having an affair, among other things.

    The Point is: James said these words from his very own mouth in front of other people who were physically present.

    May I now ask you some questions?

    Q1: Who among you jokes in front of others about putting child P0rn on a computer? Who really jokes about that and considers that to be “funny” in front of other people?

    Answer1: Not you. Not me. But James MacDonald thought it was “funny” and he said it in front of other people.

    Q2: What kind of pastor jokes about “affairs” and participates in crude, lewd humor?

    Answer2: Not you. Not me. But James did in front of other people because he thought it was “funny.”

    Multiple witnesses have testified that James MacDonald lacks the Biblical qualifications of an Elder.

    Q3: Why is Assemblies of God denomination and their Chicago church New Life Covenant openly embracing a Ravenous wolf who lacks Biblical qualifications?

    Answer3: Because insisting on Biblical qualifications and Character for the Preacher/Teacher role is considered to be “Not relevant” and Out-dated.

    When more and more so-called “Christian” leaders begin to DOWN-PLAY the Biblical importance of Character and Integrity in the Preacher/Elder role, then you should Not be surprised when you read the following:

    Exhibit 1:

    https://wonderingeagle.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/dbutters-hbc-story.pdf

    Exhibit 2:

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/tww2/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Dallas-Jenkins-1.pdf

    Exhibit 3:

    https://theelephantsdebt.com/

  10. For Such A Time As This

    1 Timothy 6:10 English Standard Version (ESV)

    10 For the LOVE of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. (1 Timothy 6:10 – ESV)

    This is the correct quotation of the scripture verse referred to above.

    I think that James completely foots this bill.

  11. Vanessa Lyons Latimer

    Christians don’t use other Christians. These are two people suing each other. God’s not in the mist of this mess. J, MacDonalds, needs to lead by example of that most publicized letter he so eloquently shared. God’s people, follow God’s lead and ways.

    1. Vanessa: you write: “These are 2 people suing each other.” No.

      Mancow is Not suing MacDonald. Rather, it is James MacDonald who is the only one who initiated the un-Biblical action of suing another believer.

  12. A win in this lawsuit would be worth far more than the monetary damages he would receive, since it would allow him to claim it proves he was just a victim of a vicious smear campaign and that his name had been cleared. Mark my words, if he wins, this will be in his very first public statement.

    Of course, none of that would be true, but it will probably be believed by enough of his supporters to get his broadcast/preaching career up and running again, and get the money rolling in once more.

  13. You don’t immerse yourself completely in Biblical teaching for 30 years and be faking it. He’s a believer, all right. He’s just a very flawed one.

    1. Tacitus, the devil believes… and shudders. Jesus did not ask people to merely ascent to the truth which he taught but to actually FOLLOW him. Meaning obey Him.

      So… In what ways did/does J MacDonald demonstrate a submission to Jesus lordship? How is this lawsuit “after 30 years of being immersed in biblical teaching” a reflection of following Jesus at any level?

    2. Hi Tacitus—

      Arguably the one verse MacDonald shared as much as any other, Numbers 32:23 was prophetically proper and pertinent for such a phony pretender as MacDonald was and is today. Plain and simple, James MacDonald used religion and the gospel as the vehicle to power up on people and live a lavish lifestyle. He is an unregenerate wolf in sheep’s clothing.

      —Mike

    3. What exactly is a wolf is sheep’s clothing if not a preacher who gets away with it for 30 years? A disguise is just that–a disguise. Wolves don’t wear flashing signs.

      Truth is, James MacDonald’s biblical teaching was heavily drawn from and supported by others. For years, he had research assistants who did expositional papers that served as the basis for his sermons. When his best assistant left, he did a good bit of “recycling” other sermon content. Especially after 2010, he veered into questionable–and even dangers–theological territory…especially with regard to teaching about money. Perhaps worse, he twisted scripture to defend himself, control Congregants’ view of his actions, and berate others.

      James also had ghost writers and heavy editorial assistance on “his” books.

      1. I do “heavy editorial assistance,” so I was quite sure this was the case for JMac. I’ve also thought it about many others who preach a lot and write a lot of books–they can’t be doing all that themselves, on their own. And they can hire assistants. Especially as I watch their un-Christ-like behavior that doesn’t match what they’ve preached and written, I figure they have got to have other people doing all that work for them behind the scenes. Makes total sense.

      2. That last sentence scares me–not that you’re wrong, Jessica, but it scares me. I remember reading his book “Authentic” and wondered to myself, after a lot of the nonsense that’s in there, whether he or Moody actually had any editors who dared tell him “um, James, that’s preposterous.” We would infer from your comment that there is a degree to which people simply are not willing to speak up, or worse yet, they’re on board with aberrant theology.

        Scary.

    4. Tacitus,
      JMac did not immerse himself completely in Scripture since it did not affect his life or his behavior. He was a phony, a deceiver and faking it for 30+ years fooling many people and the congregants at HBC. If he believed in true Biblical teaching, (1.) he would be a doer and not only a hearer of the word, (2) he would not be a dog that returns to his own vomit and (.3) fear God for those who teach receive the greater condemnation. JMac should be in show business and would easily win the EGOT. (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony)

    5. Tacitus. Have you ever read through the entire New Testament? If JMac is a believer, then Jesus has a bunch of apologizing to do to the Pharisees. Statements like this are simply utterly ridiculous. So you are saying that believers look to have their earthly enemies murdered? Your statement is pure blasphemy. Neither liars nor murders make it into God’s Kingdom. These are Jesus’ own words.

      1. Calvin had someone murdered, promoted erroneous teachings and was provably anti Semitic yet we would
        Iikely agree that he “believed onto salvation”
        The Word of God is full of faithful people committing sin.
        Yes, Born again believers still have a sin nature and it can and does take over in the lives of many. I dare say the greater church has reached a state of wordliness and carnality that makes the Corinthian church look relatively mild.
        Was David God’s man when he committed adultery and murder?
        Was Paul saved when he wrote romans 7?
        The only One that knows the eternal state of James Macdonald is God.
        That’s above our pay grade, we were instructed to avoid those such as him
        If the Institutional church had not made an idol out of itself and instead had heeded the warnings in God’s Word than James would never had any power over any of you.
        The one condition of salvation is belief. Repent (from unbelief) and believe unto the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. This means, dear emergent and otherwise Calvinistic brethren, giving up every other means and or religious acts by which you think you are being saved and not placing conditions upon salvation, including submitting to his lordship. That is false teaching,
        We are NOT actually in the kingdom now.
        The leaven in Matthew is not the gospel it’s false teaching.
        Women taking over the organized church is not the answer. And yes, I’m a woman.
        Brethren, repent and Turn back to the living Savior, our eternal advocate and high priest and believe Him and His Word.
        If you are indeed one of His, He is at the Fathers right hand interceding for you.
        He alone has the authority and power to cleanse and heal and restore his church
        Pray more, blog less.
        It would be helpful if the church understood the dispensations.
        Without that theology does become very confused.
        Instead Christendom has now has fully embraced Freudian and Jung based new age christianity.
        Ichabod.

  14. Jessica, the “seeking” of damages of more than $50,000 is required per rules of the court system in order for that lawsuit to be accepted for filing before a particular division i.e. law, chancery, municipal. Should the lawsuit go its entire course and tried before a jury that jury may award more than that amount asked, if Macdonald proves his case, which is to me personally, doubtful.

  15. The white-washed septic tank snake is back with his lawsuits. This man is the dictionary definition of a viper. This is what the Christian Industrial Complex has produced. When are people going to wise up and actually read the words of Jesus Christ as he warned about wolves? When are we going to see Jesus is talking to us when He talked about the Pharisees? Many of our religious celebrities are just as corrupt and every word spoken against the Pharisees equally applies to them. But to some, they do not care if JMac tried to kill enemies. His false image is what they worship. What a godless, wicked man this is. You cannot serve God and become rich doing it. Such folk hate the real Jesus and promote a false gospel…

  16. In my non-legal opinion, James’ biggest hurdle may be he is a public figure. The standard for slander of a public figure is higher than for us unknown private folk.

  17. JM always seems to step in it. His first lawsuit ended when he figured out what discovery means. His second lawsuit here is going end when he exposes himself to illegal acts involving child porn and murder for hire. I can’t wait for discovery requests from Mancow’s legal team. JM should just ride off into the sunset with his accumulated wealth but greed has taken over his life. This soap opera isn’t going to end well for JM.

    1. The Harley is constant theme in many MacDonald family photos. Kathy MacDonald always shows off bling whenever the opportunity presents itself. Just check out all the Cubs regalia from the outing to Wrigley field last summer. The whole family is a bunch of grifters. Like the aliens in the film Independence Day going from place to place feeding off the land causing massive destruction.

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