Abedini Responds To Plagiarism Allegations
On April 13, Pastor Mike Sasso of Calvary Chapel Eagle posted this summary on the subject of revival on his Facebook page.
On April 15, the Christian Post published this article by Saeed Abedini...which looks a lot like Mike Sasso’s outline.
According to “Ben”, (who left a comment on this blog) Sasso had posted this on Facebook as well;
“Pray for Saeed Abidini
A couple weeks ago I met with him at a coffee shop. After our meeting he asked me if I would write down my thoughts and send them to him. Since then he did a series on revival on his Facebook page using the outline I sent him. When I wrote him privately to explain to him what plagiarism is he rebuked me and told me I needed to repent and that I was not a good man because in his words, the things I wrote were things “he taught me”. After that, he blocked me from his Facebook page. Something is very wrong here.”
This is no longer on Sasso’s Facebook page, but his revival outline is.
On Abedini’s Facebook page, you will find a whole series of “revival messages”…based on the outline that Sasso claims to have written.
I reached out to both Abedini and Sasso for comment…Abedini directed me to this exchange on Facebook.
Abedini also said in an email; “Why Bob Caldwell assistants are attacking me has a clear answer but I don’t want to defend myself as marriage accusations
Some pastors asked me to keep silence and Let God defend you and others and I did until today”
Mike Sasso has not responded to my message yet.
More to come, I’m sure…
So… he has two editors?
I think exposure to the spotlight ruins most of the people who end up inside of it for an extended period of time. Our culture lusts after fame and I have noticed no difference between the world and the Church on this regard. Plagiarism and other such sins are a by-product of this lust. They are a sign that the heart is in the wrong place. I can gain a bigger spotlight if I cut some corners. Then comes the bullying, lying and the cover-up. People become defensive because they want to avoid the public shame which is the other side of the coin. Christians with the NPD disorder go after the spotlight and power with great selfish ambition. I think the followers of Jesus need to repent of their love of celebrities. This is not something Jesus ever encouraged in His teachings. In fact just the opposite.
The stories about this man just gets more bizarre by the day.
It’s that same lust for attention that causes otherwise sound ministries to compromise with TBN and other scandalous Christian TV networks.
In order to not completely plagiarize Nonnie, I’ll just say this seems really weird.
If you go to Sasso and Abedini’s FB pages and read their articles on revival, there are word for word quotes on what is and isn’t revival.
I can’t follow this man or his problems anymore. Or his wife. Christians like this make me so upset because the world is dying and these personalities are taking up space with their foolishness. It’s so beyond sad.
Since this thread is here – Nagmeh of course is still speaking on facebook:
“Saeed is not under any pastor and he believes in absolute authority. He does not believe he should be accountable to anyone in ministry or his marriage. His day 7 of revival message explains that. He wants full support of other pastors without being under them or having to be accountable. The marriage counselors that Franklin Graham introduced encouraged Saeed to get help on the abuse and gave him
Local names of abuse counselors, but he has refused to address the abuse.”Yesterday at 11:16am
Yes, Nonnie, the peculiar and disturbing things that continue to play out in this story are just bizarre.
If I follow this story right after reading here and also looking a little more at Saeed’s Facebook page where these snapshots came from, it would seem there is a weird recent history between Saeed and this CC Pastor, Mike Sasso, who was formerly an assistant pastor at CC Boise.
Saeed says that Sasso previously posted (before any of the revival bruhaha) on Saeed’s Facebook page claiming that Saeed was under his pastoring. Saeed said this was a lie and called out Sasso on it. According to Saeed, Sasso apologized for saying such and then the two got together and Saeed shared his thoughts about revival. And according to Saeed, he asked Sasso to write down the thoughts he had shared with Sasso so that Saeed could then post them on his own Facebook page (assumably he wanted to use Sasso as an editor as Saeed’s English is a bit rough around the edges).
And then we see Mike Sasso share an outline of very similar thoughts on his own Facebook page, seemingly as if the thoughts are his own. And then according to the commenter Ben who posted here, Sasso had claimed (although since removed) that these were actually his own thoughts and Saeed had stolen them from him.
At this point, who knows the truth in this matter. But there sure are a lot of strange and troubling things that surround Saeed. There most definitely is something very wrong here.
“He does not believe he should be accountable to anyone in ministry ”
Is this any different than 100% of all independent pastors? The reason for the independent church is so that no one else has authority over you. This is why in 100% of the cases the independent pastor is always CEO and Board President / Chairman
Maybe. Any pastor can make himself accountable, regardless of denom of affiliation, if he thinks it is important.
bringing this issue public is the greater sin… all Sasso had to do – IMHO – was privately bring to Saeed’s attention that he’d not given credit to him for the material used, if he felt ‘plagiarised’ and let it drop
however, if he felt that his teaching was misinterpreted and used for false teaching then it’s a different issue, perhaps – dunno
still i say, let it go – how many teachers have had this experience? myriads i’m guessing
I seem to remember a time when many on here assumed that Bob Caldwell and CC Boise were just going to roll over and cover up for the man and kick his wife to the curb…
***however, if he felt that his teaching was misinterpreted and used for false teaching then it’s a different issue, perhaps – dunno***
I don’t think the issue is that Saeed turned what he plagiarized into false teaching. The problem is that he’s stealing other people’s material in order to present himself as a wiser, more knowledgeable, more spiritual teacher than he is. He’s a sick, sad messed up person who doesn’t appear to be either educated or filled with the Holy Spirit or whatever. Even if a specific teaching isn’t “wrong” it is highly concerning that he is trying to gain followers for himself because he will eventually–due to his temperament, lack of education, and lack of spiritual grounding–lead them astray even if he didn’t in this one specific case.
Can you point me to one clarifying statement from Bob Caldwell?
No, you can’t.
When you write and teach for a vocation, your work shouldn’t be stolen.
I’ve been there…and it’s a very sick feeling.
Michael, I agree with you about writing. I do not understand why Christians want to give others passes on this form of stealing. Stealing is one of the forbiddens in the 10 commandments. If someone famous came over to your house and stole items out of your garage to make him look like a better writer than they are, we would condemn that instantly. How is it different if they take sections of your book for sale and claim them as their own? Why is the stealing of good written communication considered to be a misdemeanor? The lack of logic and consistency in judging things like this, I do not understand.
I’m grateful that Saeed was released from prison, but the crap that has followed is getting old really fast.
At my old CC I was asked by the pastor to write several articles for the church’s web site, which I did. My old CC pastor is no longer at our old CC but my old articles appeared on his personal web site, as if he wrote them himself. When I discovered them a few years ago, for about 2 minutes I thought about making a fuss about it and then thought, ah shucks, who cares. Besides, they reflect a theology that I no longer hold.
I’m with Em. Let it go.
Saeed’s nasty response to the original author…. that’s the bad part.
Saeed claims to have two editors for such a short article? At that ratio, I’m going to have to assign at least a dozen editors to Michael’s next devotional. Gotta do some serious recruiting now…
Oh, by the way, there is a huge difference between an editor and a ghost writer and, considering the level of English competence in Saeed’s posts, he will need a ghost writer for anything he tries to publish. He will fit right in with lots of other celebrity leaders who pretend to be writers, unlike our host who has put in the hard work and proven his skills with the pen… er… keyboard.
it’s been a bit surprising how many Christians think plagiarism is not that big a deal. I saw a bit of that when Driscoll had his plagiarism scandal. The troubling thing is that people who crib the work of others can have an easily observable history of tweaking over being cribbed from in spite of their cribbing from others without giving credit where it’s due.
If we took that cavalier approach about contemporary literature and said that it didn’t really matter who wrote what at what time would we just buy an Ehrman style case that most of the NT consists of pious forgeries?
Well, I know some about all these players. I live here and there’s lots of folks I know who go to these churches and know these players. I have personal experiences with Bob Caldwell.
I have a friend who left Sasso’s CC Franchise b/c he said they were giving a lot of money and folks wanted them to build with it, he says the wife didn’t want to spend the money and since it’s a CC Franchise, Sasso and his wife have the final say. These folks left that Calvary Chapel after experiencing the Moses Model Dynamic. Not saying the wife was right or wrong, who knows, maybe it was prudent to not build…the other party viewed it as making sure her family had plenty of cash on hand to pay their salaries etc. Dunno. I do know that it illustrates the Moses Model quite well. You may give the money, but you don’t have the Power.
Bob Caldwell has always struck me as a good dude. It is what it is. I trust him more than the other CC guys. His assistants are right to be leery of Saeed, Saeed is a bad guy, IMO. Nagmeh is the one to support in that situation. Saeed is the typical CC patriarchal bully, cut from the same cloth as Bob Grenier, minus all the homosexuality and incest etc.
Plagiarism is like Gluttony. It is not a Taboo sin to the Church-folks…or even a sin at all.
Thanks to bloggers/advocates, Child Abuse is now much more a Taboo, but it didn’t used to be, it was the acceptable hidden secret that “Christians” could live with.
The real Taboos, still today: Don’t be gay, don’t drink alcohol. Those are the bad ones.
Is Bob Caldwell in bed with KP Yohanan, though?
I know BC is in India, a lot.
I remember BC telling me about how excited he was about India. He told me the story of an Indian guy who came here who he met with and that God had opened doors there…but I don’t think the dude’s name was KP Yohannan. I think it was someone else.
I hope to gawd Bob C. isn’t linked up with Yohannan, that would be very disappointing.
I have no evidence linking Caldwell to Yohannan.
Tucker Maile, the young guy taking over for BC at CC Boise, seems a really good guy. He’s a local. I’ve interacted with him. He reminds me of a Josh Turansky and Kellen Criswell type. Very much a hipster, really nice guy, very much in that moderate laid-back mold and not at all like the Old-Guard-types like Raul Ries or BG or Bryson etc. He won’t beat people over the head for Jesus, he’ll influence them for Jesus within the community and be a good ambassador for CC, as BC was. There’s a true humility about Tucker, not the fake humility you see from the Old Guard. He wasn’t overly-humble (which begs fake) in my observation. He was just normal, nice, not too excited about himself…more concerned with me and others than himself. <—That is a good sign.
The Old Guard guys and guys like BG are concerned about themselves….and any concern for you is an act to ingratiate themselves to you and look good in front of others. Everything revolves around them and "their" ministry etc. Not with some of the these young new guys. They seem decent.
Good to hear Michael. I didn’t think Bob Caldwell would link up with a guy like KPY or that if he was, that he’d quietly remove himself from that situation once he learned of the misdeeds. That’s my take of him. He’s got a good rep locally. Only bad I’ve heard of Sasso is the Moses Model Dynamic. This friend did say that the child-worker vetting thing was in place and that you could get a look at the finances, he just didn’t like that the wife/family had more power than he did…but it’s not like Sasso is a bad guy or anything, I didn’t hear that, in fact, I’ve heard he’s a decent guy. I hope he doesn’t link up with Saeed, though. CC guys should create distance from Saeed until he fully deals with his abusiveness to Nagmeh.
Please note that I said I didn’t have evidence…I do have some questions, however.
I’m refraining from comment on this article because I want it to stand up as a report, not based on my commentary..
There will be commentary at some point, though…
I’ve spent most of the last 24 hours dealing with messes behind the scenes… I need to get some rest and then we’ll revisit this material after I recover.
Plagiarism is a profoundly troubling trend–another byproduct of the internet and the desire to appear to be something one is not.
The thread that had those screen shots has now been cleansed.
for the record, i think plagiarism is a very big deal – when it comes to profit making (money or reputation) off of what i’ve written, if you are my fellow Believer, i will call you out… one on one… and then let it go… God sees
in the secular world, if the offense is large enough… i’m after your hide
the above is all theoretical – i’ve never written anything worth stealing… except back in high school, there was the girl who sat behind me… 🙂
I’ve had entire “TGIF” articles repeated by preachers who put themselves in the story as if they lived it.
I have people who dislike me, but will like something I wrote and post it on Facebook with the attribution of “author unknown”.
It gets old after a while.
My stuff gets ripped off all the time.
I write something on a political thread or a religious thread…and sometimes many months later I see bigger fish essentially saying the same thing. Is what it is.
#35 – i’m sure this happens (the books of sermons that these guys can buy must be outdated or they’re too cheap to do so) and, again, God sees …
in today’s church preacher has become a title that i wouldn’t want me or mine to wear… kind of rhymes with cheater? and that is both terrifying and sad