Ramsden RZIM
RZIM President Michael Ramsden apologizes for his role in Ravi Zacharias sex abuse scandal. (Source: Video Screengrab)

RZIM President Apologizes for His Role in Sex Abuse Scandal

By Julie Roys

The president of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) today posted a video, apologizing for his role in the sex abuse scandal involving RZIM founder, Ravi Zacharias.

Speaking of Zacharias’ victims, RZIM President Michael Ramsden stated:

I recognize with great sorrow that for many of you silence was not a choice. I completely trusted various deceptive narratives and accounts. And I was wrong. I realized that in passing on those false accounts to others, and in speaking in (Zacharias’) defense, I have greatly multiplied the pain, the hurt and the damage that’s been felt and experienced by many.

Ramsden noted that many of Zacharias’ victims “decided to remain anonymous,” but added: “We know that you are real people with real names, and that real damage has been inflicted both on you and your families.”

Ramsden is the third RZIM executive to publicly apologize for the RZIM scandal. In May, RZIM CEO Sarah Davis, Ravi Zacharias’ daughter, posted an apology video. Similarly, RZIM Senior Vice President Abdu Murray appeared in a podcast in May with Sean and Josh McDowell and apologized for defending Zacharias and discrediting his victims.

All three executives—Davis, Murray, and Ramsden—appear to still be employed by RZIM.

Give a gift of $25 or more to The Roys Report this month, and you will receive a copy of “Fractured Faith: Finding Your Way Back to God in an Age of Deconstruction” To donate, click here.

As Davis did in May, Ramsden mentioned an external investigation into RZIM’s culture, policies, and practices that was commissioned by the ministry in February. Yet also like Davis, Ramsden gave no update on the investigation, nor did he state whether the investigation’s findings would be published or when.

In the video, Ramsden specifically apologized for failing to respect and listen to Lori Anne Thompson—a victim of a Zacharias’ abuse and predatory behavior, which was first reported in 2017.

“(I)n doing this, I failed not only her, but also her husband Brad, her family, and those who spoke up for her,” he stated.

Ramsden also acknowledged his own “pride” and confessed that he had “failed to recognize (his) own weaknesses.”

“I was convinced that Ravi Zacharias was trustworthy when it came to the issues of his sexual conduct and behavior,” Ramsden said. “As a matter of fact, I believed him to be very naive when it came to these areas. I now realize that I was the one who was being naive.”

Ramsden also said that he “failed to consider the effects of my admiration for (Zacharias), and the approval I sought from him. I allowed the good that I saw in him publicly and privately, when we were together, to dictate my conclusions as to whether he was innocent or guilty.”

Ramsden also specifically apologized to the RZIM team he led, saying he sometimes reacted “with frustration and disappointment” at the length of the investigative process into Zacharias’ misdeeds. Ramsden said he recognizes “that this would have been deeply distressing. And I’m so sorry for this.”

Ramsden affirmed that RZIM needs to “make restitution,” but did not explain what that might entail.

The response to Ramsden’s video has been mixed.

Many on his twitter thread expressed thanks for the apology. One man retweeted Ramsden’s tweet, stating: “I think this takes guts. There’s no easy way to respond to all the wrongs inflicted other than repentance & restitution.”

However, Shirley Steward, a Canadian who says Zacharias pressured her to get an abortion, says no one from RZIM in the U.S. has reached out to her since she went public with her story five months ago. She says only Alanzo Paul, a former apologist with RZIM Canada, has made any effort.

“SOME prefer to remain anonymous (Not ‘nameless’),” Steward tweeted to Ramsden. “Yet you only name one. Least sincere attempt at an apology that I’ve heard to date.”

Similarly, Vicki Blue, a former co-owner of a spa with Zacharias and a victim of his, who also went public with her story, tweeted: “We get forgotten a lot! All I can hope for is actions speaking louder than words.”

The one victim who was named by Ramsden, Lori Anne Thompson, said she accepts Ramsden’s apology, which he sent to her personally in May. Yet she acknowledged that the questions concerning the victims and others hurt by Ramsden and RZIM are legitimate and hopes answers “will be forthcoming.”

Ruth Malhotra, the former RZIM spokesperson who said she was bullied by Ramsden and other senior RZIM staff for questioning Zacharias, has been silent since Ramsden’s video published.

However, following Murray’s podcast in May, she tweeted an extensive thread, noting that Murray and others had not owned or apologized for the way they’d treated her and other staff.

Ramsden makes no mention of Malhotra in his video.

Someone else who’s been critical of apologies by RZIM executives is former RZIM director, Carson Weitnauer. In a tweet today, Weitnauer acknowledged that he had been in a separation dispute with RZIM due to his refusal to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Weitnauer said the dispute has been resolved, but only after a “protracted and painful” legal process. (Earlier, Weitnauer told The Roys Report that Sarah Davis had stated on March 10 that RZIM would no longer require NDAs from staff to receive severance.)

Weitnauer also tweeted that while he appreciates the apologies from RZIM leaders, “it remains incredibly disappointing” that these leaders remain committed to “keeping their jobs and privileges” at RZIM. Weitnauer added that it’s “inexplicable” that leaders like Ramsden, Murray, and others “can admit to such egregious failures . . . and not experience any accountability.”

Weitnauer said the “honorable decision” would be for RZIM senior leaders and its board to resign.

The Roys Report reached out to RZIM for comment, but did not immediately hear back.

*This article has been updated.

SHARE THIS:
  •   
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

GET EMAIL UPDATES!

Keep in touch with Julie and get updates in your inbox!

Don’t worry we won’t spam you.

More to explore
discussion

11 thoughts on “RZIM President Apologizes for His Role in Sex Abuse Scandal”

  1. James Lutzweiler

    Words, words, words. Nothing but words. Not even clever ones.

    Lights, cameras. ACTIONS, repented Ramsden!

    James Lutzweiler

    1. James Lutzweiler, I agree with you. IF they ever share all their findings from the investigations I will be listening. Until then all this is just empty words. We are no closer to the real truth than we were before RZ’s death.

  2. It’s a good start, and I hope it goes a lot further. Sadly, I think the end game, after the apologies, is to figure out what’s still worthwhile–might take some volunteer effort to sort through RZ’s work and such–sell it or give it to a worthy organization, and then close. They could try to keep it going, but I would be afraid that will just prolong the agony and hurt.

  3. The greatest apology has yet to be made ..

    How bout apologizing for not testing the spirits if they are of God as 1 John instructs ..

    Ravi failed when it came to great compromise . He called Joyce Meyer a great teacher !!??

    That alone disqualifies him! She is a wolf ! And Ravi led masses to her instead of rebuking her sharply for all to hear ..

    He merchandised and fleeced the flock profiting by endorsing many blind guides lining his pockets by endorsing popular apostates ..

    This test alone no one used or discerned ..

    The lack of discernment is inexcusable allowing a ravenous wolf and rapist to roam freely in pastures where the shepherds sounded no alarm but rather fed the wolf the sheep they were to protect!

    The greater condemnation is upon all those shepherds and not one had. Even convicted of this grievous sin !

  4. Jennifer Eason

    This apology is so tardy, in my view, that I can only conclude the one making it is more engrossed in his own “processing” than he is concerned with the real harm done to Ravi’s victims. Ravi, a man who spent much of the year in a foreign country away from his wife. A man who was being accused of sexual trespass by a variety of women, all strangers to one another: there can be no reason not to take that situation very, very seriously. How easy it is to say crushing things to women and silence them, particularly if you are an influential man with a large fandom. And how utterly unlike our Saviour.

  5. When did he suspect? What did he do when he suspected? It is difficult to believe that he didn’t have suspicions at a certain point in time. He didn’t understand that issuing a gag order to Lori Anne would influence other victims?

  6. Repentance comes in deeds not words. It is very rare to see any of the big Mammon celebrities and their cohorts who actually do any repentance. Instead they read words that are not even their own, they are carefully crafted by high priced lawyers, and they cry crocodile tears saying that they are sorry that they snuck up on some poor sheep at the waterhole and took a bite out of them. The ones that repent not only say that they have no business in ministry, they actually get out of it for good and we never hear from them again. Lusting after the spotlight and the big money is the reality for our celebrities we idolize.

  7. Why was there no mention by Ramsden for the abortion Ravi participated in??? Abortion is murder and Ravi started out his career counselling a young girl, Shirley to kill her unborn child. How is this any different than King David plotting and conspiring to kill Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband? This shows that God was not with Ravi from day one of his ministry.
    See Psalm 66;18, 1 John 1:9, etc. ” Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning.” (1 John 3::8)

  8. LoveJusticeMercy

    Why have all the employees, who took a stand and questioned things, been made redundant or been made to resign, when the SLT, who demonised those people and bullied them, remain in place with their large salaries? Why is Ruth Malhotra on garden leave and BANNED from the rzimhq building and told she would make people feel ‘unsafe’ if she was there? Why have Abdu, Michael and Sarah not made public (or private) apologies to their staff, who they disbelieved and mistreated? It seems Michael is merely apologising for having believed in Ravi’s innocence rather than for the failures of his leadership during this time. It is hard not to be cynical about the timing of Sarah, Abdu and Michael’s apologies when the word on the street is that they plan to rebrand and relaunch imminently, funded presumably and conveniently by the new look RZIM funding body, which intends to support abuse victims and apologetics/evangelism. Where is the true repentance and accountability of these leaders?

The Roys Report seeks to foster thoughtful and respectful dialogue. Toward that end, the site requires that people use their full name when commenting. Also, any comments with profanity, name-calling, and/or a nasty tone will be deleted.

Comments are limited to 300 words.

Leave a Reply

The Roys Report seeks to foster thoughtful and respectful dialogue. Toward that end, the site requires that people register before they begin commenting. This means no anonymous comments will be allowed. Also, any comments with profanity, name-calling, and/or a nasty tone will be deleted.
 
MOST RECENT Articles
MOST popular articles

Donate

Hi. We see this is the third article this month you’ve found worth reading. Great! Would you consider making a tax-deductible donation to help our journalists continue to report the truth and restore the church?

Your tax-deductible gift helps our journalists report the truth and hold Christian leaders and organizations accountable. Give a gift of $25 or more to The Roys Report this month, and you will receive a copy of “Is it Me? Making Sense of Your Confusing Marriage”