Chicago radio host Erich “Mancow” Muller alleged that his former friend and spiritual advisor, former Harvest Bible Chapel founder James MacDonald, asked for help finding a “hitman” to “kill one of his rivals.”
MacDonald “came to me and wanted me to have someone killed for him. He came to me and he wanted to hire a hitman, and my understanding was to kill one of his rivals,” Muller said on The Mancow Podcast.
“And at that moment I realized I was in a cult, this guy was bad and I couldn’t support it any longer. Do I think he was kidding? No. I think he really wanted me to find a hitman for him.”
A former Harvest Bible Chapel parishioner appearing on the podcast dropped another bombshell accusation. The man claimed MacDonald came to his house and asked him to kill his son-in-law.
“James MacDonald also asked me if I could kill his son-in-law … He asked if I would be willing to do that for him, and he said he would be more than happy to help me get rid of the body,” said the parishioner, whose voice was altered to protect his identity because he feared for his life.
“So, yeah, there’s a reason to be afraid. ‘Cause if he’s willing to go after his son-in-law, and as it turns out, I’m not the only one he’s asked and approached about this, which is insane, how many people he thought he could trust to ask something as crazy as this? What’s to say he won’t come after me?”
Independent journalist Julie Roys identified the parishioner as MacDonald’s former bodyguard.
Muller also said he fears for his life. The radio host said he delayed releasing the podcast, which was taped with journalists from Patch, Fox 32 and the Daily Herald present on Friday morning following Muller’s show on WLS AM 890, until he could file a report with the Wilmette Police Department.
On Monday, Muller said police have conducted “extra patrols” near his house since he filed the report.
The former Harvest parishioner who appeared on Muller’s podcast said MacDonald did not offer him money to commit murder.
“I figured he thought it would be done as a favor,” the man said. “I basically told him we’re not talking about this I can’t believe you would even ask me this and I just shut it down.”
MacDonald did not immediately return a call and email requesting comment.
After the podcast session on Friday, the parishioner told Patch that he reached out to Muller after hearing the self-described radio “wild man” talk about not wanting to reveal a secret about MacDonald described as the “nuclear option.”
“I was curious what his nuclear option was and it sounded like we had the same option. Mancow didn’t want to discuss it,” the man said. “I wasn’t sure what I walk in to today. …. I walked in [the studio] and next thing you know the mic is hot.”
The man said that he did not report MacDonald to the police because he talked to lawyers who told him that the accusations amounted to “hearsay.”
Muller said he decided to go public with the allegations because he believes that Harvest Church elders have not done enough to protect others from MacDonald.
“I don’t think this man should be able to fleece people in the future and that’s why I’m doing it,” Muller said.
In January, Muller began to talk publicly about his relationship with MacDonald and the “cult of Harvest.”
On Jan. 25, Mancow penned a 2,000-word testimony that detailed his relationship with MacDonald and aired his concerns that there’s something rotten at Harvest Church that ran on the front page of the Daily Herald.
In February, Mancow played “hot-mic audio” of someone who sounded like MacDonald calling a Christianity Today editor a “certifiable p–ck” and hinting that the magazine’s former CEO be brought down by putting child porn on his computer. Shortly after that audio aired on WLS, MacDonald was removed as senior pastor.
Since then, other Harvest elders have been fired. In April, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability revoked the church’s membership citing “significant violations” to four out of seven of the association’s financial standards, citing “direct and substantial evidence,” according to Christianity Today.
Monday night, Muller tweeted, “‘The bomb’ is dropped. I don’t want anyone to be hurt but Harvest hasn’t been transparent. Others need to be protected. W/ a heavy heart I post the podcast. Really didn’t want too! Sad.”
The parishioner who accused MacDonald of soliciting murder said Muller’s persistence inspired him to “stand up and be a man like James [MacDonald] taught us and expose him for the fraud that he his.”
“It’s crazy and bizarre that it happened this way. All these leaders, solid, bible believing, God-fearing men who didn’t do what Mancow had to do … and take [MacDonald] down, and just expose him. It took the [Mancow] show to do it. I’m glad he did it. I’m grateful for him,” the man said.
“I’m gonna stand up, be a man like James taught us and expose him for the fraud that he is.”