Authors Charles Colson and Ellen Santilli Vaughn, along with publishing company Word, Inc., have issued public apologies to a Baptist minister for making libelous allegations about him in the first edition of the best-selling book "The Body."

The book alleged that D. A. Waite exerted "unusual control over the congregation" at Immanuel Baptist Church, which he pastored in Newton, Massachusetts, from 1961 to 1965.

The book accused Waite of blackmailing his parishioners to force them to agree with his decisions. In one instance, the book said, a fistfight broke out between pastor and parishioner during Sunday worship.

The incidents involving Waite were removed from the second edition of "The Body," which was originally published in 1992 by Word.

Some allegations were reprinted in Victor Books' "Turning Toward Integrity." Victor and Waite also reached an out-of-court settlement. Waite initially sought $50,000 in damages, but terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Waite told CT the story in "The Body" contained at least 96 errors. According to a statement by Colson, Waite, and publisher Charles Kip Jordon, the authors did not contact Waite about allegations raised because they thought he was dead. It said, "Had the authors been able to talk with Dr. Waite, and review his tape-recorded sermon from Immanuel Baptist Church, they would have written the chapter differently."


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