Tony Anthony NZ warning

Tony Anthony promo video


Listen to Julian Batchelor radio interview

The New Zealand Herald reports…

“An evangelist whose inspirational autobiography has been labelled “99 per cent false” is in New Zealand on a speaking tour – sparking a warning from some churches.

Tony Anthony’s life story about how as a convicted criminal and martial arts fighter he found redemption through God was read around the world, and resulted in him touring widely, speaking to churches and schools.

A New Zealand organiser said Mr Anthony had a full itinerary to “spread the gospel” and those who knew the full story behind the controversy backed him.

But his visit has prompted the NZ Christian Network to issue a warning, saying its sister organisation in Mr Anthony’s native United Kingdom had investigated and found his autobiography “99 per cent false”.

Taming the Tiger detailed how Mr Anthony was taken to China by his grandfather, a kung fu grand master, where he endured beatings during training to eventually become a three-time martial arts world champion. After moving to Cyprus he was hired by businessmen, gangsters and diplomats as a bodyguard.

After a conviction for theft, he found God while in prison in Nicosia.

The book was translated into 25 languages and more than 1.5 million copies were distributed worldwide.

But holes began appearing in the story after an internet campaign by a group of Christians who doubted its truth, including New Zealand evangelist Julian Batchelor.

NZ Christian Network’s sister organisation, Evangelical Alliance UK, investigated and concluded that “large sections of the book Taming the Tiger, and associated materials, which claim to tell the true story of Tony Anthony’s life, do not do so”.

Mr Batchelor said he believed Mr Anthony would be in New Zealand – where his story and controversy were unknown – for about six weeks to try to rebuild his profile.

In July, Britain’s Observer newspaper said Mr Anthony had claimed his kung fu world titles were in competitions so specialised as to be unknown by outsiders. But some material was copied from a martial arts website, and one passage was lifted from a book about Bruce Lee.

Auckland woman Lyn Rule is organising Mr Anthony’s tour. She would not reveal his itinerary.

“He’s just come over to do what he does, and that’s to spread the gospel …

“I know the whole story. When you get parts of it like what’s happening, people jump to a lot of conclusions. I haven’t jumped on that bandwagon.”

Mrs Rule has co-ordinated events for Elim Christian Centre in Botany, but said she had brought Mr Anthony here in a personal capacity.

A spokesman for the Elim Church said it was not hosting any events involving Mr Anthony.

Mr Anthony could not be reached for comment. However, on his website, he said Taming the Tiger was not intended to be a “strict historical account of each and every event with supporting minutiae”.

He said that since writing the book he had discovered more information about his family history.

“I now fully accept that there are a number of details that appear in the book which are no longer historically accurate.”



Listen to Mike Griffith from Elim church radio interview



7 thoughts on “Tony Anthony NZ warning

  1. Oh it’s ok. According to Q , ministers can make up any sort of bullshit and are beyond repproach if they write books and have a big church/ following/lots of money.

    Hey I mean 1% of his story is accurate.

    Things are looking up in the Evangelical world.


  2. In my best selling book, I wrote that I played State of Origin when I was ten, scored 10 tries, slaughtered the whole NSW team with the power of my word then brought them all back to life followed by mass healings of people in the crowd with one leg shorter than the other. Chapter 2 is an interesting one. Deals with me being banned from cemeteries and hospitals due to my Midas healing touch.

    A lot of Christians are bullshit artists like these guys


  3. But seriously…. when are Christians going to learn to just ask “is that really true?” Really? Really Q? Everytime I ask that questoin I get somone like Margot telling me I’m falling for the same line te devil used in the garnde..”Did god really say that” – so alothuhg hwat you ask is an importnatn quedton – Christians are activley discoureaged by brainwashed Kool Aide venders from ever asking that question for fear of being likened to the devil himself!


  4. “So before they WERE historically accurate”

    That how it sounded to me also. Seems like his life history is all up for grabs.

    “But seriously…. when are Christians going to learn to just ask “is that really true?””

    Only when they are taught to.

    So many “christian” leaders out there don’t want their members asking that question. So they run the line of “faith doesn’t question”. “The rational mind cannot accept this” And they are taught to suspend their disbelief, rather like one does when watching a movie otherwise one would nitpick the movie and not enjoy it. Think of all the prosperity messages that one has to suspend their disbelief in order to accept it.

    The person organising the events, well they aren’t going to listen to the negative, there is too much money in keeping positive.


  5. “Specific aspects of Anthony’s story that have been disputed include his birth in the early 1960s to an Italian father, his raising in China, his training in Kung Fu and winning of three world championships, and his role as a bodyguard and enforcer for international gangsters and diplomats. Drake indicated that Tony Anthony has confirmed that his real name is Andonis Andreou Athanasiou and he was born on 30 July 1971, which would make him too young to have participated in the events described in his book”

    In other words, he wasn’t a three time winner of underground world championship kung fu tournaments, and a secret elite bodyguard brought up in China by shaolin monks….he’s just a very naughty boy!

    Gotta hand it to you Mr Groupsects, I hate everything you stand for 🙂 but you run the best Christian news site on the web.

    Trouble is it’s so darn depressing I’ve almost become an atheist!

    Still, he managed to win a book award, sell a million and a half copies in 25 languages, so he’s done better than me.

    A testimony about a Queenslander brought up by country bumpkins who won a fight behind the dunnies once probably isn’t that exciting though.

    But seriously…. when are Christians going to learn to just ask “is that really true?”


  6. “I now fully accept that there are a number of details that appear in the book which are no longer historically accurate.”

    That’s a really funny sentence.

    So before they WERE historically accurate. I’ll have to remember to use that line.


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