Good points. It's also quite possible in this situation that Craig and team are too close to the truth on a few key occurrences that day, thus they have their own assigned 'muddy the waters' agent - such things are a matter of course.
Considering the gravity of what Craig has found, I think you're right on target. And as usual there are two common tactics to defuse the situation: distraction and diffusion. Terral was trying his best to distract the discussion in an irrelevant direction, and also get Craig to spend cycles on meaningless "debate". If you know the "smell" of this kind of BS it is possible to avoid it.
Terral's tenacity speaks to one of two things - pathology or 'paycheck'.
Exactly. So exactly who is "Terral"? What can we know about him?
Well, I took some time to track "Terral" through Google, and he seems to be on a lot of forums. I found that his full name is "Terral L Croft", and is (according to himself) a "General Contractor / Demolition Supervisor" (1). He lives in St. Petersburg, FL (2), and is interested in bible studies, masonry and Nascar, apart from his recent 9-11 interests. He is a senior member of the Zola Levitt Ministries (3) forums (4). About Zola Levitt Ministries (5):
Zola Levitt (December 3, 1938 - April 19, 2006) was a messianic member of the Jewish community who embraced Christianity. As teacher of Christianity in Dallas, Texas, who had a strong pro-Israel ministry. He led Zola Levitt Ministries, Inc., a non-profit 501(c) organization for purposes of "evangelism of the unbelievers and the exhortation of the believers", or more commonly known as an organization aimed converting Jews to Christianity.
He divorced his wife Jennifer in 1988, but according to court documents he failed to pay child support, and also owes/owed(?) lots of money to the IRS (6) (7).
He has posted on quite a lot of forums, including ATS, BTS, PrisonPlanet, randi.org and ChristianForums.com. In 2006 he posted quite a lot on christian themes, especially the idea of rapture (8). He believes that we are soon to enter the rapture times, that he will be saved to the heavens during this period, and that Israel will be restored during these times (9):
We are raptured (1Thes. 4:17), so Elijah can THEN return and restore all things to Israel. The ‘gospel of the kingdom’ and the events of Matthew 24 are the main attractions of the “Day of the Lord” following this “dispensation of God’s grace.” We are taken (1Thes. 4:17) to START that 1000 years, while Christ (Matt. 24) is talking about the END of the same 1000 year period.
As a sidenote, he was banned from one forum, and then created a new account with the name "Elijah" to rant about it (10).
Usually Terral posts long diatribes, and uses a very preachy style. His posts typically evokes a lot of meaningless "debates", and sometimes ends with him getting banned. From a narcissistic/pathological point of view he usually *requires* that responders quote from his OP (Opening Post) (11):
If anyone here has an argument to make against my “1000 Years BEFORE The Great Tribulation” interpretation, then please “quote me >>” and show my shame to everyone. I will endeavor to return shortly with a thoughtful reply.
and when respondents naturally ignore his request he gets all sulky about it (12):
For those unfamiliar with how we really ‘debate’ Scripture over at ChristianForums.com (link), then anyone wishing to attack my OP thesis, claims or conclusions simply “quotes >>” my error for ‘context’ to then begin offering his own rebuttals or counterproposals for something else using whatever he calls credible Scriptural evidence. 2Tim. 2:15.
"Debate" is apparently only possible if you follow Terrals rules. Well, of course unless you are Terral himself that is (9):
I am free to say anything on this thread I please without your permission. My statements reflect the views of those actually seeking ‘the truth’ on this topic.
If you really want to make him superupset, then point out that the rapture is bogus. Then you will get something like this (9):
Your unbelief has no place on this thread at all. You are free to “quote >>” from my Opening Post and the Apostle Paul, Jesus Christ or anyone else AND to offer your ‘opposing views’ using Scripture.
Or in plain english: "waaah, in my sandbox we play by myyy rules, and believe what IIII want, waaaah".
What can we conclude from all of this? His behaviour and style of interactions on the forums definitely suggest that he has a strong narcissistic pathological side. He has a need to show off himself as someone important and knowledgeable, and that others then "debate" his great findings using his own discussion rules. When other forum members don't do this (which is often), he gets very annoyed and insulting, and has no problem getting into loooong and meeeeaningless tirades until he is either banned or people simply give up.
As for the second question, is he paid, that is of course impossible to answer. But I find it interesting that in his other threads on this forum he is so insistent to point the fingers towards the Bush folks, when there is so much evidence pointing to the "holy land", and various groups there. His involvement with Zola Levitt Ministries, his background as a "demolitions supervisor", and his troubles with the IRS are not factors in his favor (maybe he doesn't get a "paycheck" so much as he doesn't have to pay the IRS?), shall we say, even though they don't prove anything.
All in all, I hope we can pretty much forget about Terral now. Although, considering his behaviour on other boards it's not unlikely that someone named Elijah will show up defending him...