On June 4, 1974, at Westminister Presbyterian Church in Orange County California, Walter Martin was lecturing during a public sermon about Mormonism. A Mormon who was in the crowd at the time, Bruce Johnson, heard Martin misquote from a page in the Journals and Discourses which did not exist. This is the amazing dialogue which took place:
Johnson: Lets go on with the documentation, then to the doctrine, so we know exactly where we're getting to. One further example then of the fraud you present- you said tonight, Journal of Discourses, Volume four, page 300, let me make this accurate so I know, page 385. I have, and then you proceed to quote. I have with me Journal of Discourses, volume four, and I would defy anyone, would you please open and tell me page 385...
Martin: Now wait a minute. Before.....
Johnson: Right at the very last.......
Martin: Wait a minute, wait...
Johnson: Sir, if you represent something and you say "I quote", and you give a reference and it's not there, you're a fraud!
Martin: Just a second, just a second...
Johnson: What page? It does'nt have it. it goes to page 376.
Martin: Just a second, just a second...
Johnson: I am listening.
Martin: First of all, I'm supposed to be guilty of fraud right?
Johnson: Yes sir! Lawyers checked your references, made sure they are accurate. We checked the source.
Martin: Fine. We can settle the whole subject simply. We'll let you prove that I am guilty of fraud, Okay?
Johnson: Misrepresenting grossly.
Martin: Anything else you want to charge me with? Just say it, thats all.
Johnson: That should do just fine. But the fact that you misrepresent so badly.
Martin: Fraud, deception, misrepresentation of doctrine?
Johnson: Of doctrine!
Martin: And out-of-context quotations?
Johnson: And out-of-context quotations!
Martin: Okay well, we'll give you an ample chance to do it, but we are not going to do it here. You know where we're going to do it?
Johnson: Let me know when and where.
Martin: In a court where you can prove it. And you...
Johnson: I think youre afraid to do it right here before the very people to whom you represent yourself as an authority.
Martin: Right. And I intend to give you a rare opportunity. You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to let you be the first Mormon in the State of California to go onto a witness stand and prove it. Now, you've got your chance, and your in front of a whole lot of witnesses and it's on tape. Now, you are going to apologize to me before we're finished or you're going to go into a court room and I'm going to give you the chance to prove it because I didn't spend 25 years of my life to have you stand up and...
Johnson: You've spent 25 years of your life decieving!
Martin: All right, you've got your chance, I've got your manuscript and your address, your name, everything, and lots of witnesses. You're gonna have your chance. I welcome this...
Johnson: You are afraid to do it right here before this audience tonight.
Martin: I welcome the opportunity and I assure you you're gonna get your chance. Now that, that will settle the whole question. If you're right and I am wrong, you've ruined me. If I am right and you are wrong, the Mormon Church in California is going to be terribly embarrassed.
On May 21, 1975, Walter Martin filed a complaint against Bruce Johnson and the Mormon Church for damagaes, injurious falsehoods, emotional distress, and interference. In the Superior Court, Orange County, California, Case #229099, Martin asked for $1,000,000 general damages, $10,000,000 punitive damages, and attorneys fees.
In the SWORN Declaration of Walter Martin, April 1977, paragraphs 6, 7, and 8, he states:
"These statements that I am accused of are untrue and this continuing harrassment by the Mormon Church is grievously affecting me. By accusing me of being a liar, and guilt of misrepresentation, deception, fraud, lust(??), and character assassination in my presentation of what the Mormon prophets said, I have been damaged in my occupation and profession as an author and lecturer on comparative religions....."
How Mr. Martin could insinuate that he was accused of "Lust" is beyond me, but it carried the effect he wanted and this is very typical of how he exaggerates in his sermons to paint a picture to his liking. Walter Martin listed the following disorders in 3.4 Answers to Interrogatory No. 12 as being direct result of the "verbal abuse" by Bruse Johnson:
Exposure to hatred, contempt, ridicule, shame, and mortification
Severe amotional anguish
loss of sleep
ulcer symptoms in the stomach
irritability of the duodenal bulb
aggravation of pre-existing diabetes of the pancreas
certical stress syndrome in the neck and back
neural muscular irritation of the back and specific vertebrate
vertebrate muscular spasms of the upper, lower, and middle back...
To make a long story short, Martin's case was thrown out. It was a joke! He appealed and it was again rejected at first glance by three judges. Martin maintained after it was dismissed, that it was still being handled by the courts, as if he ever had a case to begin with. He simply panicked when Bruce Johnson called him on his non-existent source and instead of just saying, "hey the page is not there," or challeng Mr. Johnson's supposedly false allegations, he instead used intimidation and threats of a lawsuit, to persuade Mr. Johnson to back off.
Amazingly enough, Walter Martin maintained for 11 years that the case against the LDS Church was still going to come about. In his 1985 edition of Maze of Mormonism, he says on page 197:
"This case will come to trial in Orange County, California, assuming the success of our petition to the California Court of Appeals. However my appeal was rejected and the case never came to full court. While the testimony already heard is invaluable, one can only wonder what else would have been revealed had the case not been refused on technical grounds."
Here we see Walter Martin not only pretending that this case is still pending, but that it was dismissed on "technical grounds" and that we must wonder what else would be "revealed" if he could have pursued this laughable case of his. Mr. Martin goes onto say that "My suit against the Mormon Church was not for the intent of personal gain." So whats with the $11,000,000? Is this not considered a personal gain? Was this all going to charity afterwards? No doubt, his excrutiating pain in his "duodenal bulb" along with the "loss of sleep" and "blood vomiting" etc etc were worthy of such a handsome reward as that. Unfortunately for Mr. Martin, the fact remains that he ended up having to pay for Bruce Johnson's court costs as well as the attornys fees for the LDS Church because his case was so baseless.
Notice how he detracts from the real issue. And that is whether or not a page 385 exists in Journals and Discourses as he said? This should be his arguement and his "evidence" that Bruce Johnson was falsely accusing him of fraud, but Martin makes no attempt to address this issue whatsoever because he knows he is busted! So what does he do? Talk about anything other than the real issue, and pray that nobody notices his tactic. Why would such a highly regarded man who is suppose to be "highly educated," expect the courts to be stupid?
Walter Martin went as far as to suggest the Mormon Church post-poned the case due to some outside spiritual powers, insinuating satanic of course. "(the Church) had it set aside by some peculiar power nobody understands." The truth, as you have seen, is that his appeals were denied because his case was a joke!
Walter Martin here again tries to dodge the real issue in an attempt to use this whole scenario to his political advantage. And of course this involves media attention and personal ego inflation that he loves so much. He acts as if the Courts were being "possessed" somehow for not allowing him to "demand documents" from the Mormon Church, whenin all reality, such demands have nothing to do with this case at all and were not seriously considered to begin with. What do "Church documents" and the LDS Church "answering his questions" have to do with this case between he and Bruce Johnson? The Courts have more important things to do than advertise a relgious debate for Walter Martin. This is not what the courts are for. The courts are to determine what laws have been broken, and who is guilty. Martin accused Johnson of false labelling, but only if this were not true, would Martin have won his case. Changing the issue on Mormonism being Satanic and "more powerful than Richard Nixon" is a childish antic that makes me wonder if he even finished High School, let alone recieve a real degree.
The information above is taken from the well documented research of Robert L. and Rosemary Brown found in their book "They Lie and Wait to Decieve Volume III."