Ed Tarkowski

Writings Now Posted Online in New Location 
“And my speech and my preaching was
not with enticing words of man’s wisdom,
but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.”

(1 Corinthians 2:4)

Notes I took on a phone call from Ed before he died
By Sarah H. Leslie
Before there was a Herescope blog there was Herescope a column in our 1990s magazine The Christian Conscience. One of the first writers for this column was Ed Tarkowski, who wrote a 6-part expose of Rodney Howard-Browne and the so-called “laughing revival.” He would go on to become one of the early discernment researchers and later posted a collection of his articles on the Internet. This research is still current, as religion and politics continue to coalesce HERE. For research history on Browne, see HERE.

After Ed’s passing in 2012, his wife Mary maintained his writings posted online. When Mary passed away Ed’s daughter contacted me and said the website would be going down. She graciously gave Sandy Simpson (Deception in the Church) and me (Herescope) permission to post Ed’s writings online. Sandy immediately posted Ed’s original material on his site and it can now be accessed at:

The historical value of Ed’s writings to the church cannot be underestimated. His is a story that needs to be told. You will not find it in “official” or establishment evangelical church history. Ed was the first man to head up an international online network of Christian believers in the early 1990s who were discerning the times. Ed possessed unique gifts. He was able bring together born again believers from diverse church backgrounds and focus our attention on the emerging global church order that was forming before our very eyes. 
Ed’s original article, Feb. 1995

Ed was foremost a discerner. “Discernment” was a relatively new concept in evangelicaldom, but the word came from the words of Jesus in Matthew 16:3, “can ye not discern the signs of the times?” There was a profound sense of destiny in evangelicaldom, hearkening back to Israel’s formation as a state in 1948, and then the 6-Day War in 1967. Suddenly many Old and New Testament Bible passages came alive with literal meaning. But at just such a pivotal time in church history, deep compromises were being forged in the evangelical realm and a “great falling away” from the authority of Scripture commenced. (For example, articles about this can be found HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.)  
“Discernment” also has to do with the gifting of “discerning of spirits” (1 Corinthians 12:10). Many of us who were born again in the 1970s onward had been exposed to Eastern Mysticism, the New Age Movement, the occult, psychology, mythology, astrology, etc. After we were saved the Lord put many of us through deep repentance as we studied the Scriptures. We grew in the knowledge that the things we had once been involved in were sinful and evil. When these same things began to enter the church, particularly wrapped in new language and new guises, we recognized them. How could we not? We had once been immersed in them. We had not only repented, but sometimes went so far as to renounce or repudiate these things. Naively we thought that if we simply warned others about the dangers that they would listen to us because of our prior experience. But our warnings were not well-received, regardless of how gently we delivered them. Thus by the end of the 1980s many of us had already endured unpleasant experiences within churches, pastors and organizations that were rapidly falling away from orthodoxy. 
Ed Tarkowski entered the national discernment scene in the early 1990s, coinciding with the rise of the Internet whereupon he soon set up a researcher and discussion loop. Ed’s background was quite unique. He and Mary had been part of the Word of God Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a Catholic charismatic community that became a prototype and training ground for all of the ensuing heavy shepherding cults and Dominionist teachings. (We wrote about it HERE and follow the links.) This highly influential church had a very controversial political and religious history, but much of what transpired remains murky to this day. It also spawned the Promise Keepers movement which we wrote about HERE. The Tarkowski’s fled this church early on in the 1970s when its shepherding experiment became oppressively heavy-handed and cult-like. For the remainder of his life Ed would be hyper-vigilant about the influence of this church upon the Latter Rain, heavy shepherding and Dominionism.


Ed was also an apologist. He saw himself as standing against the onslaught of heresy that was entering the church, the great oncoming apostasy. Ed went straight to Scripture for answers, wrote doctrinal refutations of heresy, and was a serious prayer warrior. He ran his Internet loop in such a gracious way that it permitted wide-ranging discussions and differences of perspective, but all was done with great respect for each other. The Lord Himself seemed to bring an eclectic mixture of discerning people in and out of Ed’s orbit where many of us connected for the first time including Warren Smith, Jacob Prasch, Jewel van der Merwe (Grewe), John Beardsley, Rick Miesel, Sandy Simpson, Orrel Steinkamp, Mike Oppenheimer, Berit Kjos, David Cloud, Nancy Flint, Bill Randles, Debra Bouey, Carl Widrig, and many others. Some of us used Ed’s loop to share research and compare notes.
Ed was also a watchman (Ezekiel 33:2-7). His scope of view was vast and far-reaching. The more people on his research loop shared with each other, the broader our vantage point grew. We developed a comprehensive picture of the rising global Church State emerging before our very eyes. Iron sharpened iron and we were all blessed by the many different perspectives. His strong stance on Scriptural authority provided unity and kept us watching the real enemy at the gates. Within a short period of time, however, some of us found ourselves under mounting attack from wolves in sheep’s clothing who had gone out from our midst.
Ed monitored the rise of C. Peter Wagner’s Third Wave movement, the Latter Rain prophets, and the rise of the New Apostolic Reformation. He retired in the early 2000s when his health problems worsened, and many of the rest of us took over researching, writing and publishing warnings on these things. In the late 1990s Ed wrote the first series of articles warning about “prayer circles” and their occult significance, which we published in our magazine. Ed also began to monitor the Roman Catholic Church’s increasing mystical fixation on Marian apparitions. He issued some very specific warnings, many of which are even more current today.
There is a unique story about how Ed and I were brought together, how our research coalesced, and what transpired for the next decade. In the days to come I will tell some of this story. It is part of evangelical history that has never been accurately or meaningfully told – and it has much bearing on what is happening today. Meanwhile we will cull through Ed’s other writings and post his most significant newsletters and articles online.
“But if the watchman see the sword come,
and blow not the trumpet,
and the people be not warned;
if the sword come,
and take any person from among them,
he is taken away in his iniquity;
but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand”

(Ezekiel 33:6)