Thinking Out Loud

June 16, 2009

100 Huntley Street Saga’s Strange Irony

He loved sound.   Mixing consoles.   Quality microphones.  Special effects.   Large reel-to-reel tape recorders.   First class speakers.  Working with both experienced and up-and-coming musicians.    In studio and on location recording.   Editing.   Post production.   Etc.

The love of audio became a business that quickly grew into the need to rent space, print letterhead and business cards, and try to develop a means to provide services to anyone needing them, but especially the Christian community based in Toronto, Ontario.

Nice story, eh?   I wrote that.   The irony is that although the scope of their respective businesses differed greatly, in the earliest stages, this story applies equally not only to Gord Driver, alleged perpetrator of the Ponzi scheme now clouding the ministry of Reynold Mainse, Ron Mainse, 100 Huntley Street, and Crossroads Christian Communications; but also applies to Doug McKenzie, current CEO of Crossroads Christian Communications.

Doug McKenzieThey were both audiophiles and sound engineers at heart.    Doug’s business, Master’s Workshop, eventually became Magnetic North, one of the top studios for film sound production in Toronto, a.k.a. “Hollywood North.”   Doug’s ministry in the early days was focused on a band called Simeon.  Gord’s love of sound took him into a variety of spinoffs, including radio and concert promotion, a California Christian record company, and later developing computer images for film studios in Hollywood South.   Gord’s ministry in the early days was a media organization known as Center Sound Productions, and later, Sounds of Triumph.

Driver1But there’s more.   Gord and Doug both knew each other — well — in those early days of ‘Jesus Music,’ circa 1976-79.   Their paths crossed on frequent occasions.    Did Gord look Doug up when he returned to Ontario?   Was Doug offered a chance to invest in Axcess Automation?     We don’t know.   Driver’s comment in the Hamilton Spectator about Crossroads founder David Mainse, “…he was like a father to me;” could well come out of his mouth in reference to McKenzie.  They knew each other well.

In any event, the story drags on, but the blogosphere is the place to be to follow all the action.    One blog, Bene Diction Blogs On, has been relentless in its coverage of this.   Once again, social media trumps conventional media.   Rather than list all the links, I’m suggesting that you bookmark the site and check back often.    As I type this, the blog is featuring a timeline of the entire story, complete with links to relevant documents.   Too bad bloggers don’t get paid to do all this.  (If you have kept up to speed, here’s a direct link to that one.)

That blog is the news source of record on this story right now.    We’ll crosspost things where they are deserving of greater attention.    And right now, with a total media void everywhere else, this story is deserving of much greater attention.

Upper Photo:  Doug McKenzie, CEO, Crossroads Christian Communications.  The picture is from the website for VisionLedd, an organization headed by Jim Cantelon, who is currently acting cohost of 100 Huntley Street.

Lower Photo:  Gordon Driver — photo submitted by reader


  1. This is a story…mostly sad, mostly avoidable…foolish in hindsight! I keep asling myself “what were they thinking”

    Comment by Cynthia — June 16, 2009 @ 9:07 pm

  2. Paul: “now clouding the ministry of Reynold Mainse, Ron Mainse, 100 Huntley Street, and Crossroads Christian Communications; but also Doug McKenzie, current CEO of Crossroads Christian Communications.” Ron, Reynold, David Rutledge sadly – Crossroads and Doug M – no. It is not right nor fair to try and lump this good ministry and this good man into the situation.

    Let us walk humbly, without judgement stated nor implied, “There but for the grace of God go I.”

    Comment by Steve — June 16, 2009 @ 9:25 pm

    • Not bad. You’ve managed to misread both the syntax and the punctuation. This particular blog post came about after some offline correspondence, where I pointed out the irony that both Gordon (the person at the center of the current problem) and Doug (the person currently picking up the pieces) started out in very, very similar fields of endeavour. That was 24 hours ago. The other party encouraged me to post the comment online. I chose a story format to introduce it.

      Okay class, let’s diagram the paragraph. The story (the one that begins this blog post, not the larger story; the word ‘story’ is used in the previous sentence) applies equally to Gord Driver alleged … now clouding the ministry of RM, RM, CCCI, 100 HS (semi-colon) but also (refers back to “applies” which refers back to “story”) to Doug McKenzie. So short form, “The [short, fictional, above] story applies not only to Gord (subordinate clauses), but also to Doug (subordinate clauses.) You can’t read the sentence as “clouding the ministry of RM, RM, CCCI, and 100 HS, and also clouding the ministry of Doug McKenzie” which is what you’re implying it says.

      I just finished reading a 400 pg. book on Bible translation, and CONTEXT says everything. Read the next paragraph. It’s about a small, interesting curiosity in the story. (Furthered by the fact that Doug actually assisted me on the first 100HS telecast, I engineered the first ten shows, and then Gord took over. All three of us are actually involved in that part of the story that took place 32 years ago.)

      The reason I was encouraged to post this again in general, and this piece in particular; was that myself, The Miracle Channel and the blogger at Bene Diction Blogs On (BDBO) believe that this story should not be permitted the luxury of obscurity. The added details are not important except to bring new readers into the story through webcrawls and tagging.

      I have nothing but the greatest respect for Doug McKenzie and all that he has accomplished. I’m glad I got to know him years ago. As the public figure of a very high profile charity, he’s left to deal with the fallout from this. He will be heard from again.

      As far as the ministry is concerned, they are involved; both by the Hamilton Spectator article and the subsequent removal of the key on-air personnel. But just for the record, I watched 100HS on Monday and very much enjoyed the show. I think that Moira and Jim are doing a good job. I enjoyed the interview with guest David Pierce and ordered copies of his book.

      There’s no judgment here. As I said earlier, blogs and social media are becoming the media source of record on a number of fronts. While BDBO has stuck with the story, it has consumed only three of the last fifteen posts on this blog. Scripture tells us “we all stumble in many ways.” None of us is without sin.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — June 16, 2009 @ 9:52 pm

  3. With the exception of your condescending tone, it’s good to have this clarity. If I read it wrong maybe others did too. Frankly, the tone of all the “social media” on this topic reeks of frustrated investigative journalists who are self appointed defenders trying to “get to the bottom” of things for someone’s good. Often this stirs things up and is unhelpful and distracting to those in the midst of the problem who are honestly trying to learn the facts and make sound judgements on how to handle it.

    Comment by Steve — June 17, 2009 @ 8:28 am

    • And I’m sorry for the tone. I have more than one blog, and am dealing with a number of issues on different fronts.

      There’s also a lot of offline correspondence going on about this, one of which is the larger questions being the “what if” this had been kept out of the media entirely.

      I guess the main answer is that if this were the U.S., such a possibility wouldn’t exist. This would be all over the morning papers. Public figures are accountable.

      Comment by Paul Wilkinson — June 17, 2009 @ 8:34 am

  4. In my humble opinion, this is more about the tragedy of broken relationships – people with their Master, and people with their friends. No one set out to do anything wrong – even Gord in my view. But he caught up in it, others got caught up in it, the Enemy had a heyday in exploiting greed. Now there are broken lives strewn around – some more innocent, some less so, but I think the best we can do is to is to look for ways to forgive, love and if possible them through their crises. Even Gord and Janet who are also suffering and need our prayers too.

    Comment by Steve — June 17, 2009 @ 10:07 am

  5. “No one set out to do anything wrong – even Gord in my view”
    Okay…he takes 14mil give or take from investors, he returns 10mil give or take and tells the investors it’s a return on their investment…then he actually invests and LOSES 3mil and uses a little over ONE MILLION DOLLARS for himself. Some of which we learn was used in Las Vegas casinos. And you don’t think he set out to do anything wrong? Are you kidding me??? For one moment I cannot believe this is innocent on Driver’s part. As for the Mainse boys, they were “finders”, most likely paid finders fees for bringing greedy investors to the lair. Don’t think for one moment they didn’t suspect something, how could they not, naive…not so much…greedy…oh yeah.
    We can still pray for them all, Driver included, and we should, but please let’s accept this for what it is and for what he did. Forgiveness is not ignoring sin. When you choose to forgive, you choose to live in the present and the future instead of the past. But the accountability must still be faced as does the gravity and reality of the act. It will be a long and painful journey for Driver and his family. I for one am thankful that the temptation of all that money wasn’t put before me. I am not sure if I wouldn’t have gone down the same path as the Mainse boys.

    Comment by casey — June 17, 2009 @ 2:09 pm

    • Steve,
      I tend to go with Casey on this one. The “no one set out to do anything wrong” statement just doesn’t apply when you’re offering to take peoples’ hard-earned savings and provide them with a return that is extremely rare — if not impossible — in this economy. Unless delusion is a factor.

      Example: My next door neighbor’s child is very sick. I tell them I’m aware of a new treatment that can completely cure the condition. They trust me. The next thing, I’m performing some kind of procedure on the kid. It’s laughable. Even if I’ve read about something that might bring them hope, I don’t have qualifications to do it myself, nor is anything in the medical world such a sure thing that the profession at large is not aware of it. You’re setting yourself up as some kind of savior.

      BTW, last night we did in fact pray for Gord’s family, particularly the kids.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — June 17, 2009 @ 5:12 pm

    • When I said “set out” I meant it literally. You may be right or not. Perhaps you’ve known Gord longer or better than I. Gord and I have been friends for 40 some years. I saw Gord’s trading software. I listened to him describe what he was doing investing personally. I think he actually felt it would work at the beginning. Maybe it did. But he got greedy and so do everyone else who came near to it. Gord has always had a deep need to be important and to be accepted by important people. Could this have driven him? I suspect so. Surely there came a point when he was drowning and he knew it and kept trying to work his way out of it but it just kept spiralling downward. He was desperate to make good – probably to point of gambling in Vegas to make it back. I’ve seen him do very well at that. He should have stopped it all far earlier before more and more people got involved. For that he is guilty. But as I said, I don’t believe his original intention was to defraud anyone, just to be an “important” guy. “Delusion” is a distinct possibility – which is a sickness. But that’s just my opinion based on my experience with him. I know, if true, this doesn’t help the people who lost money, but at the same time, people who invest in “high return” schemes also know their risk of loss is also “high”. The promised return on this was extremely high, thus extremely risky. All I’m saying is that the investors are not all innocent. No one forced them to gamble er. “invest” their money There’s guilt, and greed and stupidity all around.

      Comment by Steve — June 18, 2009 @ 9:47 am

  6. Interesting how we read, what we perceive and what we read into…

    I read Paul’s post as the journey of two men.
    They walked together, wandered apart and found themselves walking together again.

    Like Casey I don’t believe ‘no one set out to do anything wrong.’
    There are broken lives strewn Steve and many will spend the rest of their lives trying to recover.

    Call the names.
    Call the names.
    Call the names.

    Comment by Bene D — June 18, 2009 @ 1:38 am

  7. The software DIDN”T work!!! As much as it could have, should have, would have…it didn’t. Surely this should have become glaringly apparent somewhere between losing the first mil and the over 3 mil he actually invested! Sorry, but if it was not malicious why did it go on until he got caught? As far as investing “his own money”…has it not clearly been established that he was NEVER using his own money. This is a harsh reality check. I agree that those involved should stop their whining about losing money that they invested.When a return sounds too good to be true…guess what? The fact that people were conned into trusting the main(se) players here is the sad part.

    Comment by casey — June 18, 2009 @ 3:13 pm

  8. When I was informed of this development, even without the details of relational syntax; I was not surprised. We all need to remember that what we are cannot be hidden. Both the action of gathering for this investment, the way of separating those implicated and the choice to contribute measures how we display our life in Christ. Read 1 John and John 15 and John 17. Read them over and over until familiarity opens our sight to what is genuine in our life through Christ. The object is not what we need to do to protect what we have and secure greater stability and independence. Instead the lesson is to simplify the way we live. To remove all that prompts an act or pattern of actions that reaches toward what we cannot keep. We are preoccupied with filling the space of our thinking and physical grasp with everything that distracts us from Christ. What a strange article this would be if it reflected some difficulty that resulted from loss and removal in order to be more accessible to the will of God and to Him in us.

    Comment by Tim — August 24, 2009 @ 4:00 pm

    • Tim,
      I’m sure that even in the middle of this there will be the redemptive moments, lessons, and brokenness that will cause the victims and others to turn closer to God. In fact, I am sure that has probably already taken place in some lives.

      He is no fool, who gives up that which he cannot hope to keep, to gain that which he cannot lose. — Jim Elliot

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — August 24, 2009 @ 4:25 pm

  9. […] first Canadian blogger to notice is a former Crossroads employee, and carefully put a disclaimer into his post where names were named. Mr. Mainse,  Paul Wilkinson of Thinking Out Loud is a careful and […]

    Pingback by David Mainse of Crossroads slams blogs – the blogs are always lies | Bene Diction Blogs On — January 6, 2011 @ 3:10 pm

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