Creation Ministries International is composed of all of the non-U.S. groups which were formerly part of Answers in Genesis, based in the countries of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Canada; the U.S. group is the only one which continues to use the name Answers in Genesis.
The Creation Science Foundation came into existence in 1980 as the merger between Dr. Carl Wieland's Creation Science Association (which had a magazine called Ex Nihilo) and Ken Ham's Creation Science Supplies and Creation Science Educational Media Services. Ken Ham ran the CSF, and John Mackay became editor of its magazine, then called Creation Ex Nihilo.
In 1987, Mackay left the CSF and started another creationist organization called Creation Research, and Wieland took a leadership role as Ken Ham began spending more time in the United States. This history is recounted in the CreationWiki article on the Creation Science Foundation.
According to the information assembled on the CMI webpage, which was originally assembled in 1986-87:
The pack was originally prepared in response to the aftermath of a horrific attack (February, 1986) on our ministry (then called Creation Science Foundation) by Mr Mackay. The mechanism of attack involved a monstrous series of allegations without evidence—the basis was alleged ‘spiritual discernment’, involving ‘black cats’ and similar. These slanderous allegations concerned Margaret Buchanan, at the time a well-regarded Christian widow working for the ministry as Ken Ham’s personal secretary. John said she had been ‘specially sent by Satan’ to undermine him and the ministry, involved in covens, attending séances, etc.—never was there any eyewitness testimony or other evidence, merely ‘discernment’.
When his attempt to sack her and take over the ministry failed, due to the Board’s refusal to violate biblical principle, Mr Mackay resigned. This was followed by a campaign of widespread innuendo and slander, involving actual fabrications which if accepted would tend to bolster his claim of ‘demonic infiltration’ of our ministry and thus would tend to undermine public confidence in our ministry. This included the bizarre and incredibly offensive claim that Margaret had claimed to have had intercourse with the corpse of her late husband (!).
Sadly, these horrific sins have never been repented of, nor forgiveness sought, nor restitution offered—despite a Baptist church excommunicating Mr Mackay and urging people to respect this decision in the Lord. When Ken Ham left ICR in about 1996, the rumour mill from this source again swung into action; the story this time was that Margaret was to blame for this ‘split’, somehow using demonic ‘powers’ to damage another creation ministry. Again, the real ‘target’ of the rumours was clearly public confidence in our ministry; if it could be undermined, it would be more likely to leave the Australian ‘creation public’ diverting the support in other directions. It might also be seen as a ‘vindication’ of the original offensive actions.
Currently, the issue has surfaced again in the context of the recent tensions between the Australian ministry and AiG-USA, with John Mackay’s newsletter suddenly urging supporters to pray for the ‘attack’ the US ministry is allegedly under.
In fact, it appears that new alliances are being forged, and talk of ‘reconciliation’ is being used to rehabilitate Mr Mackay in creationist circles—again the aim appears to be to undermine the Australian ministry, only from a different angle. Reconciliation is a wonderful and most desirable thing, but can never occur except on a biblical basis; the original slander must be withdrawn, and there must be a repentance and forgiveness sought from the main victim, Margaret, for a start.
No one likes to keep things alive that are best forgotten, but to cover up serious sin or attempt to sweep it under the carpet can never earn God’s approval. There is a cost to taking a strong stand in defence of truth and integrity, not the least being that it can easily be misrepresented.
However, we will quietly but persistently maintain our stand, especially as the ugly stain of these rumours is encouraged to resurface to once again undermine the ministry—until and unless these seriously sinful actions are dealt with under the cross, not whitewashed for ‘political’ convenience or excused on the basis of any ‘personalities’ involved. Anything less would not only dishonour God, it would ultimately be running away from our responsibility of Christian love to the perpetrator himself.
The web page with this text contains two documents--one with the text of an account of these attacks titled Salem Revisited (PDF, 59 pp.), by Margaret Buchanan, and the other additional supporting documentation (PDF, 63 pp.).Buchanan, who was a widow at the time, is now the wife of CMI managing director Carl Wieland.
Mackay's charges seem a lot like the fabricated charges of Laurel Willson, a deeply disturbed woman better known as Lauren Stratford (pseudonym), author of Satan's Underground. Her account of being a victim of Satanic ritual abuse was debunked by Gretchen and Bob Passantino and Jon Trott, who were also instrumental in exposing the fake claims of "Satanist turned Christian comedian" Mike Warnke.
UPDATE (June 10, 2007): CMI's main point about Mackay is that (a) he made these charges and never apologized for them, (b) Ken Ham agreed that Mackay was in the wrong, and that he shouldn't be associated with until he retracted these charges, but (c) Ken Ham and AiG-US have been associating with Mackay despite his failure to retract, in order to use him as a conduit to supporters in Australia.
The CMI position on (c) is supported by the fact that when Mackay sent out the AiG "spiritual attack" email to his supporters, he left attached this email from Ken Ham:
From: Ken Ham Sent: Saturday, 2 June 2007 1:13 PM
To: John Mackay
Subject: Letter: AiG under Spiritual Attac
John-the attachment is the letter you are free to send to your entire
mailing list and anyone else you want to send it to. Also send to