Ted Haggard is the founder and former pastor of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. On November 3, 2006, he resigned as the pastor of his church because of allegations by Mike Jones a former male prostitute. Jones claimed that for three years he engaged in sex with Haggard who went by the name Art. He also said that Haggard used methamphetamine to enhance the sexual experience. Jones came forward with his allegations on November 1, 2006 when he learned of Art's true identity. "It made me angry that here's someone preaching about gay marriage and going behind the scenes having gay sex" Jones stated. Jones also claimed to have voice recordings of Haggard calling him and arranging to buy some methamphetamine.
November 1, 2006
Shortly after Mike Jones made his accusations, a reporter from television station KUSA 9NEWS in Denver, Colorado interviewed Ted Haggard outside of his home. Haggard denied knowing Mike Jones, having gay sex and using methamphetamine. He said he stepped down as the senior pastor until the church could conduct it's investigation. Let's examine Ted Haggard's answers to some of the questions asked of him.
Reporter: Do you know Mike Jones?
Haggard: No. I do not know Mike Jones.
This is a straight forward question with a straight forward answer. We all have our own definition for the word "know." However, it would appear that Ted Haggard did answer the question and gave a good answer in terms of denying that he knows Mike Jones.
Reporter: Have you had a relationship with,
Haggard: I have not.
Reporter: Any kind of gay relationship,
Reporter: At all?
Haggard: I, I've never had a gay relationship with anybody and I, I'm steady with my wife. I'm faithful to my wife.
The first thing we see is Haggard did not let the reporter finish the question. The question began, "Have you had a relationship with" and he answered "I have not." With whom did he not have a relationship? We know what he is doing here. He is guessing the reporter is going to ask about his accuser Mike Jones. But why is Haggard jumping the gun? Why not let the reporter ask the question and then give your answer?
He does the same thing again and starts to answer the second question before it is completely asked. After the question is asked, "any kind of gay relationship at all?" he gives his full answer. In his answer, he uses the unique word "never." This word is unique because it is a negative word and often fools the interviewer into thinking the person has answered the question. However, the word "never" does not mean "no." Therefore, you cannot substitute the word "never" for the word "no." The question requires a "yes" or "no" answer but Haggard does not answer the question with a "no." Haggard has not answered the specific question. Therefore, we have to suspect that he did have a gay relationship.
He tells us that he is "steady" and "faithful" with his wife. This may be an effort to convince us he is telling the truth. That is something deceptive people will do. Notice what he does not say. This is the perfect time to state, "I did not have sex with Mike Jones."
Reporter: Have you ever done drugs?
Haggard: I've never done drugs, ever. Not even in high school.
Again he uses the word "never" instead of saying "no." It is possible the word "ever" in the question could have caused him to use the word "never" since the word "never" means "not ever." As an interviewer, you should avoid using the word "ever."
Reporter: Why would he pick you out of everybody?
Haggard: I have no idea. I have no idea. He says he saw me on TV. That's what I heard. One of the text messages I received today saw me on TV. And, so, I have no idea.
The phrase "I have no idea" is a phrase deceptive people often use. Most people have an idea on just about everything. I have an idea on how we could send astronauts to Mars. It probably would not work since I am not a rocket scientist but I do have an idea. When a person says "I don't know" he is referring to his knowledge about the subject. He is telling us he has no information to share. Since people do not want to lie, it is easier for a deceptive person to say "I have no idea" versus "I don't know."
Haggard tells us that he has no idea why Mike Jones picked him. However, he then goes on to say "He says he saw me on TV." Wouldn't that be a possible reason for picking him? Haggard had been on TV speaking about the marriage amendment that Colorado residents were voting on. Even after talking about being seen on TV, Haggard still says "I have no idea."
Reporter: Do you think homosexuality is wrong?
Haggard: I believe that God has the best plan for us and that his best plan is heterosexual living. But, I also know that everyone, a, deals with the world and so one guy will deal with smoking, another guy deals with drinking, another guy deals with heterosexuality or homosexuality, another one deals with lying or arrogance. And so, once we have to work through all these things in order to find God's best plan for our life. But, I do believe that God created us to be in heterosexual relationships.
Haggard never answers the specific question. This is very common with deceptive people. They give an answer which is truthful but they do not answer the specific question. This means they are withholding information. Haggard is a born-again Christian. He has been quoted as saying, "we don't have to debate about what we should think about homosexual activity, it's written in the Bible." So, why does he not say "Yes, homosexuality is wrong"? How do you think Billy Graham or James Dobson would answer this question? People sometimes want to expound on their answer. That's fine but they still have to answer the specific question.
Reporter: So you don't know Mike Jones?
Haggard: No, I don't know Mike Jones."
Haggard answers the question with a good denial. However, the question is poorly worded. The reporter is telling him "you don't know." Haggard simply confirms the question. In fairness to the reporter, she was repeating the answer Haggard gave to an earlier question "Do you know Mike Jones?"
During this interview Haggard also gave the statement "I trust I will be exonerated." That is a positive statement similar to Marv Albert's "I am confident I will be exonerated." However, the statement shows a lack of commitment to his belief that he is innocent. You and I would not make such a statement. We would state, "I will be exonerated" because we did not do anything wrong.
November 3, 2006
Ross Parsley the interim pastor for the New Life Church reported that Ted Haggard admitted to some of the allegations made by Mike Jones. Parsley stated, "I don't have any accurate information about the precise details. I just know that there has been some admission of indiscretion, not admission to all of the material that has been discussed, but there is an admission of some guilt." Ted Haggard then resigns as the pastor of the New Life Church.
KUSA 9NEWS again interviewed Haggard while he was sitting in his car getting ready to leave his residence. Here are some of the questions and answers from that interview.
Reporter: Have you used meth?
Haggard: No, I have not.
Haggard denies using meth by stating "No, I have not." This is the type of denial we are looking for. However, some problems arise in the next set of questions. When confronted about the voice recordings released by Mike Jones, Haggard stated:
Haggard: I did call him.
Reporter: And what did you call him about?
Haggard: I called him to buy some meth but I threw it away.
Reporter: And who were you buying the meth for?
Haggard: No one, I was buying it for me but I never used it.
Reporter: Have you ever used meth before?
Haggard: No, I have not. And I did not ever use it with him.
Reporter: And did you ever have sex with him?
Haggard: No, I did not.
Haggard says he called Jones to buy some meth but that he "threw it away." When asked who he bought the meth for he says "no one" but then changes his story and says he bought it for himself. This change in language could be an indication of deception or it could be he is nervous and does not want to admit he purchased meth.
The reporter then asked him "Have you ever used meth before?" Haggard gives a firm denial "No, I have not." Then he adds "And I did not ever use it with him." He has already told us twice that he never used meth. So there is no reason, as far as we are concerned, for him to add this statement. We understand that if you have never used meth, then you have never used it with Mike Jones. For Haggard there is a reason why he included this in his answer. Deceptive people will try and convince you they are telling you the truth.
Notice that the last two questions contain the word "ever." Haggard answers the questions directly using the word "no" and not using the unique word "never." However, two days earlier when asked if he "ever done drugs" Haggard answered "I've never done drugs." Why did he not answer with a "no" at that time? I had mentioned it was possible the word "ever" in the question caused him to use the word "never" in his answer. But, here we see that twice the word "ever" is used and he does not use the word "never."
Haggard claims that while getting a massage from Jones, he asked Jones about purchasing methamphetamine.
Reporter: How did you find him to get a massage from him?
Haggard: A referral.
Haggard: From the hotel I was staying at.
Reporter: The hotel where?
Haggard: Ah, ah, I've stayed at a lot of hotels in Denver because I write in Denver, So, ok?
We see that Haggard does not answer the last question "The hotel where?" He gave an answer but did not answer the specific question. He did not state, "I don't know which hotel it was." He starts out stuttering because he is thinking about his answer. If he is thinking about which hotel and cannot remember, then he should tell us that; "I don't remember which hotel." It would appear that he is thinking about something else. He wants us to take for granted that he does not remember the hotel because he has stayed in "a lot of hotels in Denver." Remember we do not take anything for granted. We believe what people tell us.
Mike Jones released two voice recordings that were left on his answering machine on August 4, 2006. Jones claims they are from Haggard calling him about buying meth. An expert voice analyst agrees the caller is Haggard. Let's look at one of the phone messages.
"Hi Mike, this is Art. Hey, I was just calling to see if we could get any more. Either $100 or $200 supply. And I could pick it up really anytime. I could get it tomorrow or we could wait till next week sometime and so I also wanted to get your address. I could send you some money for inventory but that's probably not working, so if you have it then go ahead and get what you can and I may buzz up there later today, but I doubt your schedule would allow that unless you have some in the house. Okay, I'll check in with you later. Thanks a lot, bye."
Notice that Haggard does not say "I was just calling to see if I could get any more." Instead he uses the pronoun "we." Jones has maintained that he does not use or sell meth. He claims he put Haggard in contact with someone who sells meth. This is what Haggard's language would indicate. Perhaps Jones was serving as a middle man. If Haggard purchased the meth from Jones as he claims, and no one else to his knowledge was involved, he should have said that he was calling to see if "I could get any more."
It does not take an expert in Statement Analysis to recognize the phrase "any more." Here Haggard tells us that he has purchased meth before from or through Jones. He wants us to believe he purchased it one time and threw it away. The words "supply" and "inventory" do not indicate a one time purchase.
November 5, 2006
A letter from Ted Haggard was read to the congregation of the New Life Church in an attempt to explain what was going on in his life. In this letter, we find the following.
"The fact is, I am guilty of sexual immorality, and I take responsibility for the entire problem."
Haggard already admitted to buying meth. Now in his letter to his church he admits to "sexual immorality." This could include a variety of things including pornography, adultery and / or homosexuality.
"Please forgive my accuser. He is revealing the deception and sensuality that was in my life."
Haggard tells us that Mike Jones revealed the sensuality or indulgence in sensual pleasures that were in his life. What did Mike Jones say? He said that Haggard had gay sex. Haggard could be saying that Jones accusations indirectly revealed some other type of immorality that was in his life. If that was the case, one would think he would clarify that in his letter.
We see several deceptive indicators in Ted Haggard's statements. He said "I do not know Mike Jones" but later admitted that he got a massage from him and purchased meth from him. He uses deceptive language with the word "never" and the phrases "I have no idea" and "I trust I will be exonerated." He did not answer the questions "Do you think homosexuality is wrong?" and "The hotel where?" In his telephone message to Jones, he allegedly talks about buying meth and asks if he could get "any more." In his letter to his congregation, Haggard said he was "guilty of sexual immorality." There is a high probability that Ted Haggard did engage in a homosexual relationship and used methamphetamine.
In January 2009, Haggard was interviewed by Larry King on Larry King Live. Haggard admitted that his sexuality was confusing and that he still has thoughts about men "from time to time but not compelling thoughts." That same month he told Oprah Winfrey that he struggles with homosexual urges but insisted he is not gay. He said he has "sexual thoughts about men but they're not compulsive any more and I do have temptations but they're not compulsive." Based on his statements in 2009, we can conclude as was evident by his language in 2006 that Ted Haggard did engage in homosexual activities.