June 02, 2005

EHarmony.Com's Founder Severs Ties With Focus

Neil Clark Warren is practically a household name; you hear him on the radio, and you see him on T.V. frequently. I remember listening to Warren years ago when as I was working on a line in a factory in the mid-west and listening to the radio via a walkman which was my mental salvation. To say Warren got his start thanks to James Dobson is not an overstatement. In Warren’s early days, the reach of Focus on the Family was what any aspiring Christian speaker or author would die for and the friendship between Dobson and Warren was etched in Christian love with Focus on the Family publishing Warren’s books early on.
So imagine my shock when I heard Jim Dobson mention at the top of his show a few days ago that Neil Clark Warren was severing his ties to Focus, was buying back the rights to three of his books published by Focus and would never appear on Focus on the Family again.
The reason? Warren told USA Today, "We're trying to reach the whole world — people of all spiritual orientations, all political philosophies, all racial backgrounds," "And if indeed, we have Focus on the Family on the top of our books, it is a killer. Because people do recognize them as occupying a very precise political position in this society and a very precise spiritual position."
Well now that’s interesting indeed; if association with Focus is such a killer, how did Warren ever survive to this point becoming the fourth largest on line dating service in existence?
His answer stretches credulity and what I believe he truly means to say is that he just wants to become bigger still (he spent 50 million last year on advertising alone). Is it fair to say that Warren has been bitten by the bug of greed, power and fame?
That’s not for me to judge but I will say that the way he severed his ties to the very person who gave him his start and the type of sentiments being poured from his mouth smacks of one of those professional athlete prim donnas who forgets the people who gave them their chance.
I feel bad for Jim Dobson; I feel even worse for Dr. Warren. The fall of the high and mighty is great indeed. At 70, I hope Warren wakes up and makes amends sooner rather than later.


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