Chuck Colson in critical condition after brain surgery
Watergate figure Chuck Colson is showing "some early signs of potential for recovery," according to his publicist.
April 4th, 2012
10:15 AM ET

Chuck Colson in critical condition after brain surgery

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Washington (CNN) - Chuck Colson, the convicted Watergate figure turned evangelist, is in critical condition after undergoing surgery over the weekend following a brain hemorrhage, according to his publicist.

“Colson is listed in critical condition at this point but has shown some early signs of potential for recovery,” said a statement Tuesday from the DeMoss Group. A spokeswoman for the PR firm said Wednesday morning that she had no update on Colson's condition.

Colson, 80, fell ill while speaking Friday at a conference outside Washington and “underwent surgery on Saturday morning to remove a pool of clotted blood on the surface of his brain,” the statement said.

Colson was special counsel to President Richard Nixon and the first member of the Nixon administration to serve prison time for charges stemming from the 1972 Watergate scandal.

“He admits he was guilty of political ‘dirty tricks’’ and willing to do almost anything for the cause of his president and his party,” according to Colson’s official biography.

In 1974, Colson served seven months of a one- to three-year sentence. Not long after his release, he founded Prison Fellowship, which calls itself “the world's largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families,” with a presence in 113 countries.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Leaders • Politics

soundoff (187 Responses)
  1. Jim

    Slowly, one by one, God is bumping off the hucksters, grifters, fakes, and liars who have made lucrative careers peddling hate in His name. Jerry Falwell, D. James Kennedy, now Chuck Colson–sooner or later God catches up with the corrupt phony prophets who have defamed His name to win money, status, and power for themselves. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul? Chuck is about to find out.

    April 4, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Curt

      Chuck is a real prophet for our times–he, with God's help, has done more good than our our US leadership.

      April 4, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • just sayin

      Chuck is the genuine article ! God bless

      April 4, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Jim, agree he will not be missed. But he is not going anywhere except back to the dirt he came from, like all the rest of us.

      April 4, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  2. monique wise

    whoever moderates this site should be fired. a man is near death here!

    April 4, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Reader50

      Agreed. The guys has obviously changed his life around....its called redemption.

      April 4, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • He's just misunderstood

      I agree. Charles Colson is the Roy Cohn of our generation.

      April 4, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • sam stone

      monique: what's the matter? you don't like reading the vitriol aimed at chucky? well, there is a button in the top right of your browser. i suggest you use it. this is a public forum, and you do not decide the content

      April 5, 2012 at 3:35 am |
  3. Ungodly Discipline

    Chuck Colson in critical condition after brain surgery, but it is that upper incisor that hurts like a mother.

    April 4, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Orin Scrivello, D.D.S.

      UD 😈 – 🙂 – (more like a cranky bicuspid... incisors are the front teeth)

      April 4, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Your the Doc! Anyway, he should get that looked at.

      April 4, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Orin Scrivello, D.D.S.

      UD, Oooooh, I'd be glaaaad to look at his tooth 👿

      (p.s. – in case I'm being too esoteric, Orin Scrivello is the sadistic dentist in "Little Shop of Horrors")

      April 4, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Don't laugh yourself to death!

      April 4, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      True story, I saw the original off-broadway cast in Little Shop (Ellen Greene, etc.). I go to a lot of theatre, but to this day that was the funniest show I have EVER seen. I am going to see American Idiot tonight as a matter fact.

      April 4, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Ungodly Discipline

      Orin, if you are a Little Shop fan and you haven't already, be sure to watch the original "B" movie from the 50's. It is hysterical too.

      April 4, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
  4. tchilton

    Chuck Colson is a compassionate, loving man of God. He is also one of the most brilliant and articulate Christian minds of our day. I am very sad to read all of the hateful messages on this comment board. If you wrote one of these comments, I am praying for you, that your eyes will be opened and you will be able to see God's love and compassion for you. He gave His one and only Son to offer forgiveness to you and to me. I am also praying for Chuck Colson, but I know that his hope is secure and his future is safe in God's hands no matter what.

    April 4, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • P. T. Barnum

      You are the rightful mark of every con-man, snake oil salesman, and door-to-door Bible hustler who spots you.

      April 4, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • sam stone

      how arrogant can you be, purporting to speak for god.

      April 5, 2012 at 3:37 am |
  5. not an angel

    The world needs more people like Chuck Colson. Admitted his wrongdoing, served his time, and became a changed man... for God's glory and for the good of hundreds of thousands of incarcerated criminals. Mr Colson and his family are in my prayers.

    April 4, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  6. Chris

    All things about God aside, it is incredible how people talk about their fellow human beings. So what, he has a different belief than you, does that mean that we should just take him out back destroy him like you are doing with your words? Get a grip and stop being so foolish. What happened to compassion? How about something like "I hate that this happens to people"? Amazing the anger and distain some of you show. If there is a God I hope He blesses Chuck now and forever.

    April 4, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  7. J.W

    He has ugly lips.

    April 4, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  8. sam stone

    Awww....why fight it? After all, Jeebus is waiting for him with open arms.

    April 4, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  9. Woody

    ".......has shown some early signs of potential for recovery".

    They've been saying the same thing about the economy for the last few years. You're DOOMED, Colson!!!

    April 4, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  10. Laurie

    Watergate thing is of the long ago past. Astounding orator, compassionate heart, deeply repentant God-loving man. We will all be praying for you Chuck....don't leave us yet....we need you here still.

    April 4, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • sam stone

      Don't listen to Laurie, Chucky.....Jeebus is waiting. Let go and prepare for whatever comes your way

      April 4, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Calvin

      He has been used mightily by our Lord. He is an inspiration!

      April 4, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  11. mandarax

    If he is saved by the hard-working doctors, nurses, physical therapists, medical technology, and generations of medical science research, he will undoubtedly come forward and thank Jesus instead.

    April 4, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Calvin

      I would thank Jesus too.

      April 4, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  12. William

    Ah, if life were only so kind as to leave us right when we know so little about what we speak. I watched the Nixon fiasco and saw this mans role and so years later when I happened along doing my job that I met this person I was ...without words. I knew him as a CROOK (at least politically when I was a Democrat) and I met him when I was a Democrat still and I threw out all I believed about him and, instead, grew a deep and lasting respect for him. One only needs to look at what he did for those we throw away through his Prison Fellowship. I saw firsthand and I wish there were more like him today.

    April 4, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  13. Pipe-Dreamer

    By Pipe-Dreamer

    The mirrored reflections of socialisms will ever hide many individual's oneness. "I am alone" when one looks passed socialisms' reflectives. You will never truly be united with me nor myself. I am myself and nothng more. You are the mirrored reflectiveness that keeps me wanting to learn. I am fearful oh God of my unleavened spirit. You oh God know my innermost thoughts and you oh God do see myself's pain to know you oh God. Without my always trying to know you oh God, I would be without much reason to want living and to be alive. You oh God are my Life's nourishing moments in Time.

    Shadows play in the lime of lights' refractioning. The motions of light do mix with the movements of self. Never able to see into the depths of darkness will ever be. Only the mirrored momentums of self may be one's shadowy fields of reflective monumentalisms. Oh God of my everness soul, You are my fields of Glory and personal redemption. Without individualisms being manifestations' consort, Life could not exist let alone become aware of its' Self. Oh God who is Creator of Creation and creations made manifested, you are Time's momentum and Life's essence. People are but refractions of reflectiveness oh God and your Godliness does outshine all celestial Life and its' many formations. God you are and will forever be!

    Deeply within the microcosm of inner space our reflectiveness ever does shine thru. Our being within the realm of outer space does ever mirror the deepest parts of inner space. We are your buildings oh God and all Life here is of your Kingdom's Domains. The Abyss reaches ever outward and inwardly. Time does the traveler their sentenced waywardness. Oh God, I do so see your Timeliness and timelessness. My soul does treasure your moments' finiteness with my thoughts. In your Abyss I will die and become of your Holiness Spirit.

    April 4, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Jill

      The common arbuckle has jaded opinions thence expecting corrugated pimples in the wild core incendiary pickle while the whole definitive rests with the amber jupiter.

      There beyond the surrendered gasket runs a tear in the black oldsmobile. For that you must not weep incessantly. There is much to be done to hoe the new downtown and present the ruble. Remonstrate up to the frozen gasket but do not prohibit the errant garrison to the map of the wood.

      April 4, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • closet atheist

      @ Jill ~~ Thanks!! That was moving.... 🙂

      April 4, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  14. Hdtexan

    Pity...he was such a vile little evil bigot. And a criminal. And a liar. And generally worthless.....

    April 4, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  15. Voxhumana

    He taught Dick Cheney everything he knows!

    April 4, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  16. GodsPeople

    Who cares? He's a criminal.

    April 4, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  17. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    April 4, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are so full of crap and lies. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs! . .

      April 4, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Hey Rube!

      I wonder who is dumber – the limp braindead troll, or the rube who keeps falling for it and feeds the troll with responses?

      April 4, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • just sayin

      Which one are you? God bless

      April 4, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • William

      I agree...prayer can change things for those who believe in it but can never change anything for those who do not- unless the person who would kill for you prayed for you instead and then the life you have you will never know was because of the prayer of another.

      April 4, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • mandarax

      William, that is exactly how we tell the difference between things that are real and the placebo effect. Things that are real work whether you believe in them or not.

      April 4, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • mema

      Jesus prayer is a measure of faith and to give thanks for what we do have. No amount of scientific data can take the place of ones faith or relationship with God. If one should pass in this world despite our prayers that does not mean our prayers are in vain. Death is not the end of ones journey. But one keeps there relationship with God intact through prayer. Why is it that nonbelievers get so angry because of anothers right to religion and faith? Just as you chose not to believe others should be afforded the same couresy. Chriatians in general are not desperate to confirm their beliefs to the likes of someone like you. Death is inevitable for all at some point. Although a childs death is a tragic and mornfull event there is a greater purpose in store for those who chose to believe. Christians look at a much bigger picture than the here and now, as you chose to live. Prayers are not always answered at a moments notice, although they can be. At times our prayers are answered with a prospect towards the future. Any prayers answered before Gods grand purpose is established are temperary at best. Ex..If God answers a prayer to save one from an illness then tomorrow one may die in an accident. The bible is clear on the fact that unforeseen occurences befall us all.

      April 4, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  18. God

    For thousands of years I have been consistently embarassed by the low quality of my followers. Charles Colson, sold out his own country with criminal behavior in high office, and now he is a bully for me. Fred Phelps. just sayin. I am a magnet for swine and dingbats.

    April 4, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Allah

      I attract the dregs of my region as well, but I make up for it by having them kill off the intelligent and interesting ones.

      April 4, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Ba'al

      For some reason a bunch of baby-murderers thought I wanted them to burn babies in a fire. Feels bad, man.

      April 4, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  19. momoya

    Prayer changes things
    (But just when jaysus wants to give you a good parking space or make your headache slightly less painful.. Just not important things like staying alive)

    April 4, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  20. William Demuth

    Jesus popped his cork.

    Mazel Tov!

    April 4, 2012 at 10:57 am |
1 2 3 4
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.