Selling Satan

The Tragic History of Mike Warnke

By Jon Trott & Mike Hertenstein

Copyright 1992 by Jon Trott & Mike Hertenstein.


1. Coauthor David Balsiger, in his biographical sketch, says The Satan Seller has sold only 500,000 copies.
2. So-called satanic panic has lead to tragedy in many cases. For further information, see Jon Trott, "Satanic Panic," Cornerstone 20, iss. 95 (1991): 9.
3. Mike Warnke marriage licenses. Interview, Fr. Bob Nagler, St. Francis Cabrini Church, Crestline, CA.
4. Interview, Mildred Warnke Jordan; Al Warnke obituary, Manchester Times,17 Oct. 1958.
5. Mildred Warnke Jordan; Larry Nee, Manchester Times, 16 Oct. 1991, spoke with local undertaker, who referred to his notes on Louise Cooper.
6. Interview and letter, Shirley Schrader.
7. "Final Rites for A. J. Warnke," Manchester Times, 17 Oct. 1958.
8. Mike Warnke Alive!, Mike Warnke, Myrrh Records, 1976.
9. Interview, Edna Swindell.
10. Interviews, Keith Schrader, Jr.
11. Interview, Tim Smith.
12. Interviews, Jeff Nesmith.
13. Interview, David Goodwin.
14. Interview, Terry Smith Perry.
15. Confirmation certificate (see above).
16. Charles Donovan, San Bernardino Valley College ref. librarian.
17. Warnke, Michael Alfred, USN, #B98 05 49.
18. Mike Warnke, Schemes of Satan (Tulsa, OK: Victory House, 1991), 87.
19. Interviews, Greg Gilbert.
20. Interviews, Dennis Pekus.
21. Interviews, Dawn Andrews.
22. Interview, Dyana Cridelich
23. Mike Warnke, The Satan Seller, (Plainfield, N.J.:Logos International, 1972), 18.
24. Interviews, Lois Eckenrod.
25. Satan Seller, 19.
26. Satan Seller, 14.
27. Interview, John Ingro.
28. Interviews, George Eubank.
29. Satan Seller, 19.
30. Interview, Phyllis Catalano.
31. Interview, Mary Catalano.
32. Interview, Tom Bolger.
33. Satan Seller, 19.
34. Satan Seller, 19, 20.
35. Satan Seller, 30.
36. Satan Seller, 33.
37. Satan Seller, 100, 101.
38. In 1981, Logos went bankrupt and sold its titles to Bridge Publishing, which has since been purchased again. The new owners were unable to locate any affidavits, signed or otherwise, for Satan Seller.
39. Bill Lott, interviews.
40. Satan Seller, 64, 65.
41. Satan Seller, 29.
42. Satan Seller, 28.
43. Schemes of Satan, 73.
44. Satan Seller, 90, 91.
45. Mike Warnke, Hitchhiking on Hope Street (Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1979), 63, 64.
46. "Focus on the Family" broadcast, March 16, 1985.
47. Satan Seller, 112-114, 116, 121.
48. Naval records show Warnke was transferred out of Recruit Training Command on August 22, 1966. This is also the date he gives on his video Do You Hear Me? as the day he became a Christian.
49. Satan Seller, 135.
50. Satan Seller, 137.
51. Interview, Charlotte Tweeten.
52. Navy Records.
53. Satan Seller, 136.
54. Mike Warnke, Hey Doc!, 1978, Myrrh Records; also, Hitchhiking on Hope Street, 34.
55. Completed Hosp. Corps School 12/22/66; Reported to Field Med. Serv. School, Camp Pendleton; 1/5/67; Reported to Naval Adcom, San Diego, 2/7/67.
56. Certificate of Registry of Marriage, San Bernardino co., CA.
57. Satan Seller, 149, 150.
58. Interviews, Tim LaHaye.
59. Interviews, Beverly LaHaye.
60. Transferred to Third Marine Division, Vietnam, 5/2/69.
61. Warnke Ministries Newsletter, 1 (1991), 4.
62. Satan Seller, 163.
63. Ibid., 165.
64. Ibid., 166.
65. Ibid.
66. Ibid., 168.
67. Hitchhiking on Hope Street, 42, 43.
68. Ibid., 45.
69. Ibid., 42.
70. "Decorations and Awards: Good Conduct Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Vietnam Service Medal, Purple Heart, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation; Warnke transferred home 3/1/70.
71. Interview, George Wakeling.
72. Interview, Ron Winckler.
73. Don Musgraves, director of Cerullo's Youth Action Center in San Diego, interview: "It was during those times I began to have heavy contact with people coming out of the occult..."; Peter Brown, "Dropout Heads Witchcraft-Fight," San Deigo Union, 15 January 1972, 1; "Evangelism Group Fights Witchcraft," San Diego Union, 22 January 1972, p. 5B; Dave Balsiger, "Charismatics Insider's Report," Logos Journal, May-June 1972, 39, 40.
74. Interview, Morris Cerullo' Balsiger, "Insider's Report;" Christian Life, March 1972, 12.
75. Dave Balsiger, et al, "It's Happening Now," insert, San Diego Evening Tribune 17 January 1972. (See Roddy, below: "...Cerullo, surprisingly unassuming in contrast to the image created by his flashy PR people...") Peter Brown, "Dropout Heads Witchcraft Fight"; John Dart, "Converted 'Priest' Offers Guided Tour of Satanism," Los Angeles Times. 19 January, 1972, Sec. C. Part II, 1; "Evangelism Group Fights Witchcraft"; Balsiger, "Insider's Report."
76. Lee Roddy, "Morris Cerullo Crusade: A New Anointing?" Christianity Today. 18 February 1972, 52-53.
77. Interview, Dave Balsiger.
78. Interview, Jean Jolly.
79. Navy Records, date of discharge, June 2, 1972.
80. Interview, George Eckeroth.
81. "YEAR END REPORT and APPEAL FOR ASSISTANCE," Alpha Omega Outreach, Rev. Mike Warnke, president, January, 1973.
82. Michael Warnke, "When Evil Fights Back," Guideposts, Nov. 1972, 22-26.
83. Dave Balsiger, "Charismatic Insider's Report," Logos Journal, July-August 1972, 54.
84. Dave Balsiger, "Charismatic Insider's Report," Logos Journal, Nov-Dec 1972, 56.
85. John P. Ferre, "Searching for the Great Commission: Evangelical Book Publishing Since the 1970s," in American Evangelicals and the Mass Media, ed. Quentin J. Schultze (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1990), 99-101.
86. David Hazard, "Decatrends in Christian Publishing," Charisma, August 1985, 140.
87. Michael Essses, Michael, Michael, Why Do You Hate Me> (Plainfield, NJ: Logos International, 1973); Betty Esses DeBlase, Survivor of A Tarnished Ministry (Santa Ana, CA: Truth Publishers, 1983),
88. James Danne, "Demonic Spirits," Christian Century, July 4, 1973, 738; Paul Nevin,"On Selling Your Soul to the Devil," Moody Monthly, July-August 1973, 52.
89. Dave Balsiger Biographical Sketch.
90. James E. Adams, "Regards Peril of the Occult As Worse Than That of Drugs," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 29 November 1972; Hershel Smith with Dave Hunt, The Devil and Mr. Smith (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1974); James H. Brewster, "Rolling Along with the Witchmobile," Probe the Unknown magazine, March, 1973, 22-25; Interview, Jean Jolly.
91. Darryl E. Hicks and Dr. David A. Lewis, The Todd Phenomenon (Harrison, AK: New Leaf Press, 1979), forward by Doug Wead and Mike Warnke.
92. Don Cusic, "Mike Warnke: Jester in the King's Court," Contemporary Christian Music, June-July 1979, 130; Paul Baker, "Two-Fold Laughter from Mike and Rose," Contemporary Christian Music, December 1982, 14.
93. Jesse Joshua Warnke was born 4/18/74, according to Susan L. Warnke Response, Civil Action D17252, District Court, Adams County, CO.
94. Interview, John Witty.
95. Interview, Keran Siegal.
96. "Holdup Victim Named as Call Girl's Queen," Long Beach Press-Telegram, Evening Final, 8 January, 1971, identifies Carolyn's mother as "kingpin of a local prostitution racket..." Police call incident "the lastest rounds in a mob war over control of prostitution in the LB-LA area."
97. Bill Hance, "That One-Liner Religion is Good Enough for Him," The Nashville Banner, January 13, 1978, 30: "Until four years ago, he was 'just one of those preachers....So, I started lightening my testimony by telling jokes...'"
98. Bill Fisher says he flew with Warnke to Brockport while they were still in Trinity (Fall '74-Spring '75). Fisher has a photo of himself and Warnke on stage in Brockport, dated October 1975, and another photo of himself and Warnke there, dated June, 1976.
99. See Dave Medina, "Former Rabbi Named Chaldean Archbishop," Logos Journal, Nov-Dec 1972, 58.
100. Carol O'Connor, "Ex-Satanist Happier with Christ." The Denver Post, 20 June, 1975, 4BB.
101. Petition For Dissolution of Marriage, D-17252, confirm Warnke moved to Colorado in August, 1975.
102. March, '76 is the date on a photograph of Bill Fisher at Joy Ranch.
103. Virginia Culver, "Devil-Worshipers Called Possible Cattle Mutilators," The Denver Post, 5 October, 1975, 31.
104. The back cover of Mike Warnke Alive! notes "Recorded Live at Adam's Apple, Fort Wayne, Indiana, November 14, 1975."
105. The story of the recording of the album is told in Cusic, "Jester in the King's Court," 28; Paul Paino interview.
106. Affidavit with Respect to Financial Affairs, Civil Action D-17252, Adams County District Court, CO, 8/6/76. Warnke lists his employer as "Dharma Productions, 807 Redwood Cr, Nashville, TN."
107. Interview, Dan Riling.
108. According to Petition for Dissolution, D-17252, Mike and Sue last lived together January 1, 1976.
109. Date based on Mike Warnke's statement to Don Riling that Sue was served while Riling was in Denver. The Affidavit of Service says Sue Warnke was served Aug. 20, 1976, at 8:42 am.
110. Interviews, Gretchen Passantino. Two other CRI staffers also contributed information regarding this meeting.
111. Cover story by Peggy Hancherick, "Mike Warnke, Jester in the King's Court." Harmony Vol. 2, No. 3, 8-9. Full-page ad for "Mike Warnke Alive!", 11.
112. This saying was related to us by Frank Edmonson (aka Paul Baker), ex-DJ, writer, and popular historian of Jesus Music. Edmonson worked for Word at the time Warnke was signed, and played a key role in the signing.
113. Interview, Mike and Karen Johnson.
114. Interview, Wes Yoder.
115. Decree of Dissolution of Marriage, Civil Action D-17252, Adams County District Court, CO, 12/3/76.
116. Marriage Certificate, Davidson County, Tennessee, 4/25/77.
117. "When Mike Warnke Speaks, the World Listens!", Myrrh records ad in Contemporary Christian Music, February, 1979, 26.
118. See 21-page commemorative section celebrating Dharma Agency's 10th anniversary in the February 1982 issue of CCM.
119. William D. Romanowski, "Contemporary Christian Music: The Business of the Music Ministry," in American Evangelicals, etc. above, 152, 155.
120. Interview, Dan Hickling.
121. Interview. Buddy Huey.
122. Romanowski, 144, 151.
123. Interview, Larry Black.
124. "When Mike Warnke Speaks, etc."
125. Itinerary in May 1979 CCM.
126. Rose Hall Warnke with Joan Hake Robie, The Great Pretender (Lancaster, PN: Starburst Publishers, 1985), 73-74.
127. Rose Hall Warnke, Great Pretender, relates her romance with Mike, 73-85; quote cited on page 79. Carolyn is never mentioned, nor that Warnke was married during this time, only the note, "He, too, had been previously married." Final Decree, Sumner County Court, 11/29/79, shows Warnke filed for divorce from Carolyn on 8/27/79, summons served 8/30/79. c.f. Great Pretender, 83: "In September of 1979, Michael said, 'I want to marry you.' CCM itinerary shows Mike Warnke scheduled to play 9/28-29, 1979, in Canada. Rose says she went to Canada with Mike (p. 83).
128. Rose Hall Warnke, Great Pretender, 81-82.
129. Interview, Tom Carrouthers.
130. Final Decree, Circuit Court for Sumner County, TN, 11/29/79.
131. Interview, Clarence Benes.
132. Certificate of Marriage, Johnson County, Kentucky, 1/2/80.
133. Mike and Rose Warnke, "First-Hand Rose," CMM, April 1981, 50; "Road Rap," CCM, July 1982, 51; Paul Baker, "Twofold Laughter from Mike & Rose," CCM, December 1982, 14.
134. Warnke, Great Pretender, on booking, 119, on accounting, 148.
135. Television interview with Mike Warnke, "Believer's Lifestyles," Channel 52, Orlando, Florida, 2/2/91, air-date 2/22/91.
136. Interviews, Elijah Coady; Joseph Morse; William Schillereff.
137. Marriage Certificate, Davidson County, Tennessee, 4/25/77. Marriage "was solemnized by Mar Apriam I."
138. Articles of Incorporation, The Holy Orthodox Catholic Church, Inc," dated 12/23/81. Pamphlet "This We Believe, Holy Orthodox Catholic Church, Eastern and Apostolic" is dated 1977, copyright by "His Beatitude, Mar Apriam I, Patriarch."
139. Articles of Incorporation, 11/19/82, for "The Holy Orthodox Church in Kentucky, Inc."; Certificate of Assumed Name, 11/4/83, HOCCK authorized by to do business under the name "Mike Warnke & Associates,"; Certificate of Assumed Name, 3/1/88, HOCCK authorized to do business under name "Warnke Ministries." "HOCCK, Inc, dba" appears on Warnke Ministries letterhead.
140. Mike Warnke, "The Root of the Problem," CCM, February 2,1981; Rose Warnke, "Little Keys Unlock Big Doors," CCM, July 1981, 54; Land Contract, 7/1/81, for 153 Elm Street, Versailles, between Warnkes and Virginia Wiglesworth, her husband James, for $180,000.
141. Interviews, Dorothy Green.
142. Interviews, Roxanne Miller.
143. Interviews, Jan Ross.
144. Interviews, Phyllis Swearinger.
145. Deed, Equitable Relocation Management Corporation and Blanch Hall, 7/29/83, for $235,000. Deed, Blanche Hall and Rose Hall, 3/1/91, for "the sum of One ($1.00) dollar, cash in hand paid, and the Grantor's love and affection for her daughter."
146. Return of Organization Exemption from Income Tax, HOCCK, 1984-1990 Forms.
147. Ibid.
148. One well-known example: James Friesen, Ph.D., Uncovering the Mystery of MPD, Here's Life Pub., 1991, uses Warnke's book in both text and footnotes to bolster far-reaching claims concerning a satanic cult conspiracy.
149. Deed, Lelia Mann Brown, et al and Michael A. Warnke and Rosemary H. Warnke, 10/28/86, for $20,395.70. Deed, Michael Warnke and Rosemary Warnke and HOCCK, for "the sum of $1.00 and as a gift, contribution, and donation."
150. Warnke Ministries Newsletter, 1st Quarter, 1987, 1.
151. Ibid.
152. Warnke Ministries Newsletter, 1st Quarter, 1988, p. 2 "... by the time you receive this newsletter, we will be moved into the new building."
153. Interviews, Dr. John Cooper.
154. c.f. Great Pretender, 181, "At ministry headquarters we get some 50,000 letters and telephone calls each month."
155. Michael A. Warnke & Rose Hall Warnke, "Recovering From Divorce," (Tulsa: Victory House, Inc.),22-25.
156. Warnke, Great Pretender, 86.
157. Ibid, 87-88.
158. Ibid, 88-90.
159. Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, 9/4/91.
160. Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, Mercer Circuit Court, Kentucky (#91-CI-00274), Rose Hall Warnke vs. Michael A. Warnke, 9/4/91; Response, Entry of Appearance, and Waiver by Respondent, 9/4/91; Separation and Property Settlement Agreement, 9/4/91.
161. Lynnwood Farm, see above note. Deed, Land Owners, L.P., and Michael A. Warnke and Rose H. Warnke for new acreage, 4/19/91, for $525,000.
162. Mortgage, American Fidelity Bank & Trust, Coring, KY, 9/10/91, Rose Hall Warnke and Michael A. Warnke for $250,000. Mortgage, State Bank & Trust Company, Harrodsburg, KY, 9/27/91, Rose Hall Warnke and Michael A. Warnke, for $31,500.50.
163. Deed, Charles W. Pistole and Michael and Rose Mary Warnke, 5/30/86, for 2001 Sailfish Point, Apt. 308, Stuart, FL for $398,000. Deed, Mary & Clinton Woodard and Michael A. Warnke and Rose H. Warnke, 7/24/89, for Chimney Rock property for $231,500.
164. Final Decree of Dissolution of Marriage, Mercer Circuit Court, Kentucky (#91-CI-00274), Rose Hall Warnke vs. Michael A. Warnke, 10/2/91.
165. Amy Wolfford, "Official downplays effect of Warnke divorce on ministry," Danville Advocate-Messenger, 10/24/91, 1.
166. Undated Warnke Ministries letter (begins "Dear Ministry Family, it is again the start of a New Year, PRAISE GOD!").
167. License and Certificate of Marriage, Santa Cruz County, CA, 11/18/91. 43. "Authors Available for Interview," Christian Booksellers Convention, Dallas, Texas, June 29-July 2, 1992, 15.
168. Warnke & Warnke, Recovering From Divorce, 63.
169. Ibid, 164.
170. Ibid, 159.

Photo of Witchmobile (p. 9) reprinted from Morris Cerulllo, The Back Side of Satan 109. Copyright 1973 by Creation House.

Photos of Scott Ross and Larry Black (p.12) reprinted from Paul Baker, Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music? 90, 98. Copyright 1979 by Paul Baker.