A Visit in Exile





by Jamie Buckingham

Nothing had changed—even though it was all different. We sat up late, talking, just as we had done 10 years ago. My wife, Jackie, Dan and Viola Malachuk, and myself.

Outside winter winds whistled through the barren trees on the dark New Hampshire mountains. But inside it was just as it had been in those days when Dan and Viola lived in the big house in New Jersey and Dan's publishing company, Logos International, was the hottest thing going.

Back then Dan Malachuk was one of the shakers and movers of the ascending charismatic movement. He, along with Demos Shakarian, Oral Roberts, Kathryn Kuhlman—well, they kinda put the whole thing in motion.

Demos took the message around the world with his Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship. Kathryn made it real with those dramatic miracle services. Oral folded his tent and built a university to train the next generation. But it was Dan Malachuk who published it for the world to read—and believe.

Viola was part of that dream. They went to work in the back of Dan's jewelry store in Plainfield, N.J. Dan dreamed, brought in authors and marketed books. Viola sat at a little desk preparing the manuscripts. Hundreds of titles with the Logos imprint covered the world. A national magazine, Logos Journal, was birthed. Huge conferences on the Holy Spirit were held in Jerusalem, Switzerland, South Africa.

Then it all came tumbling down. Now Dan and Viola sit in self-imposed exile in their little house in the backwoods of New Hampshire. "I'll tell you why Logos went bankrupt," a respected leader told me. "Dan was not straight. He was always making a 'deal,' which would benefit himself."

Perhaps so, and maybe it was by God's grace Dan didn't wind up with some big lawsuits. We would talk of that later. But that first night, sitting in their kitchen drinking apple cider and remembering, we only talked of good things.

It had been five years since I had seen my old friends. Jackie and I had been in nearby Manchester. When our meeting was over Dan and Viola drove over and picked us up. Sitting in their kitchen that night I reminisced. Logos had been the central focus of the entire charismatic movement—the crossroad of everything that was happening.

So many, besides myself, got their publishing start with Logos. Nicky Cruz, Pat Robertson, Dennis and Rita Bennett, Jimmy Swaggart, Larry Tomczak, Judson Cornwall, Merlin Carothers, Bob Mumford—they all went into print first with Logos.

But Dan's dream of a national Christian newspaper, the National Courier, had sunk the ship. How could it have ended so sadly? In such disgrace? The courts had stepped in. Logos was in bankruptcy. Millions of dollars loaned by honest investors—including a lot of mine—were gone forever.

Some thought Dan should have been punished. But nothing illegal had transpired and the Malachuks, humbled and broken, had slipped off to New Hampshire to live in the woods near their daughter, Diane.

When everything else is gone, you huddle with your family. Jackie and I talked before they arrived to pick us up in the lobby of the Holiday Inn in Manchester. Did they move to New Hampshire to escape? How are they handling what seemed, to me, to be exile?

Our first stop was to see their daughter, Diane. I watched as her little children ran and hugged "Gramps" around his long legs. There had never been time for that at Logos. They took us over to Hancock for a quiet dinner at a quaint country inn established, the sign said, in 1790.

"Roots have meaning up here," Viola said softly. They drove us by the little Congregational church where they belong. Dan sings in the choir. Viola is president of the women's fellowship. The church's only home group meets in their house once a week. "We're the only charismaties in the church," Dan laughed. "But they love us...."

"I'm back into publishing," he chuckled. He brought out a copy of the weekly newsletter he writes for the local Rotary Club. "You have to earn the right to be heard in New England," he said.

We got up early the next morning to drive to the airport. On the way through the countryside, as the sun just began to peek its head through the bare trees and softly warm the disappearing fog, we finally got around to the issues of the heart, Viola began, talking about the last days of Logos.

She told of standing in the unemployment line and having the clerk review her application form. "Hey, lady," she barked, "don't you know how to write? It says, 'Address.' Nobody lives in a P.O, box, har, har, har." She told of the unbearable stress, and Dan's subsequent heart attack.

I didn't reply. I just looked out the window at the passing mountains. They stayed with us at the little airport until the commuter plane was ready to leave for Boston. We embraced awkwardly. "I'm so sorry," Dan started to say. "We owe everyone so much...."

I interrupted. I couldn't stand to hear it. Not from my old friend. On the plane, Jackie said, "You keep talking about exile. Yet here Dan and Viola have family, friends and local ministry. Is that so bad?"

I looked out the window at Peterborough, slipping under the clouds as we climbed toward the coast. Thornton Wilder once lived in this little town of 5,000. "Our Town," he called it. Now it's their town. Regardless of what put them here—God is still working in their lives. And that's what counts.

From 1979 until his death, Jamie Buckingham (1932-1992) wrote the "Last Word" column for Charisma magazine, which originally published this article. He was the editor of Ministry Today magazine at his untimely death in February 1992—more than 20 years ago.

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