Troy Lawrence, author of New Age Messiah Identified (Huntington House), is exposed as a fraud. According to an article by Eric Pement in Cornerstone magazine (vol. 20, no. 95), “Troy Lawrence” — an alias for Darrick Evenson — “has written and been published as a Mormon returning from Protestantism, a New Ager on the inside track, and a Mason disproving evangelical John Ankerberg’s anti-Masonic literature. He also claims to be a Jehovah’s Witness and a believer in the Baha’i faith.”
Lawrence claimed to have been a respected worker at Benjamin Creme’s Tara Center, a New Age group promoting the idea that Maitreya the Christ would soon manifest himself to humanity. (Tara staff members, however, flatly deny that he was ever employed there or was respected by anyone.) When the Christ failed to show up in 1982 as Creme had prophesied, Lawrence allegedly became disillusioned and converted to Christianity in 1984. He then (as the story goes) decided to conceal his conversion while stealthily gathering information that would help him identify the New Age Christ. The back cover of his book tells us that “writing under an assumed name, Troy Lawrence reveals to the world the true identity of Tara Center’s New Age Messiah, the man they call ‘Lord Maitreya.’”
“Lawrence’s story isn’t true.” Pement writes. “He now admits that his real name is Darrick T. Evenson. This is the same Darrick Evenson who, from 1979 to the present, has been an ardent defender of Mormonism. The pseudonym may have been necessary because many Christian countercult ministries knew of Evenson through a book he authored in 1989 — five years after his alleged Christian conversion. Entitled The Gainsayer, the book attacks Christian ministries to Mormons and is published by Horizon, a Mormon press.” Evenson also has to his credit two cassette tapes and a booklet promoting Freemasonry.
Pement points out that “in a phone conversation with Cornerstone on June 4, 1991, Evenson told us he was currently ‘an evangel-
ical Christian, a Mormon, a Mason, and a Jehovah’s Witness.’ We’d never heard of him claiming to be a JW before, so we asked him if he was a baptized Jehovah’s Witness. He replied that he was planning to be baptized, but because of the impending publicity, he probably wouldn’t be able to do so. And finally, Evenson has also told [director of the Phoenix chapter of Saints Alive in Jesus, Mike] Mistretta and Christian expert on Mormonism Sandra Tanner that he is a Baha’i as well.”
Lawrence’s facade finally cracked on April 23, 1991 when Christian radio host Al Kresta — based on information received from Constance Cumbey and others — confronted Troy with the actions of his alter ego, Darrick Evenson. “Evenson denied ever being a Mormon, claiming that Gainsayers was part of a ‘Trojan horse’ method of evangelizing Mormons without their suspecting it. When challenged, Evenson lost control and finally had to be cut off the air. Evenson had one other disastrous interview on a Denver radio station, and after that he asked Huntington House to cease all interviews and tours,” Cornerstone reports.
Elaborating on his “Trojan Horse” evangelism, Lawrence said he “infiltrates and joins false religions (Mormonism, Masonry, and the New Age) so he can later share the ‘true’ gospel in his books, which are read by members who would never read an overtly Christian book.” However, as Pement points out, not only does Lawrence make false professions (such as that Joseph Smith is God’s prophet for this dispensation), he also never presents the true gospel in any of his pro-Masonic or pro-Mormon writings.
Huntington House has ceased publication of the book.