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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. BigRed

    Where's your' God now, Colson?

    April 10, 2012 at 8:52 am |
  2. SKID

    Gods plan was for him to fall – hit his head and suffer!

    April 7, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  3. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things*

    April 7, 2012 at 6:54 am |
    • 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 7, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • BigRed

      Paganism was destroyed by Christian fanatics who also destroyed the classical world. There is nothing redeeming about Christianity, Islam, or Judaism.

      April 10, 2012 at 8:54 am |
  4. Jan

    It is a sorry state of affairs when someone who admits error is judged by those who need to admit it. Chuck Colson has done more for the healing of families and broken lives than any of the detractors who bash him or what he stands for. May his life, whether he survives this episode or not, be an inspiration to those whose lives count for little.

    April 6, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  5. Emily

    Hope you do well Chuck. You are the picture of what a truly redemptive life in Christ can do.....from criminal to helping the least of us. Thank you Chuck for all you have been doing for others. May GOd continue to bless you and your ministry!

    April 6, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  6. Jesus is Lord

    Praise God

    April 6, 2012 at 7:34 am |
    • BigRed

      There is no God. There is only Science.

      April 10, 2012 at 8:56 am |
  7. Satan

    Hey Chuck! Drop on by whenever you are ready. I've got the jaws of hell wide open for you. We have a marching band and baton twirlers and Rosanne Barr singing the national anthem for your arrival. Anyone who has done as much as you to get here deserves a grand entrance!

    Wait til you see what we have planned of Cheney!

    April 6, 2012 at 6:43 am |
    • GGinBhamAL

      You obviously know NOTHING about Chuck Colson.

      April 6, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Brad

      The thief on the cross next to Jesus will have eternal life, The reason Jesus came to Earth was to save all of us, We are all guilty of sin my friend. And it is a sin to judge your brother. Chuck Colsen has repented of His sins, He is my brother in Christ Jesus. I pray that the Holy Spirit will speak to you too. The end is near!!!!!

      April 6, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
  8. howlyn

    Chuck Colson: you are a corrupt piece of garbage. You caused countless generations of Americans to distrust their government, and you took refuge inside the crowded haven of religion. You are a morally bankrupt turd.

    April 6, 2012 at 3:10 am |
    • airforce1990

      Maybe he's actually sorry for what he's done and you're an idiot.

      April 6, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Kathy

      You are so misled, being born again means that you realize you are a hopeless sinner deserving of an eternal hell. Chuck found refuge in the arms of a risen Christ who died to pay the price for his and my sins. Yours too if you accept his gift!

      April 6, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • just sayin

      Read Mr. Colsons' book Born Again, then see what you have to say. God bless

      April 6, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • GGinBhamAL

      Howlyn, have you ever done something you were ashamed of? Have you ever admitted what you did? Have you ever tried to make up for what you did? Have you ever tried to make the world a better place for others? Have you ever tried to give hope and love to the truly desparate? Chuck Colson has done all of these? He's also forgiven people like you. Maybe you should try to be more like him.

      April 6, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
    • BigRed

      @Kathy. There is nothing worse then being led astray by delusion, especially religious rapture hiding insecurity.

      April 10, 2012 at 8:59 am |
  9. PhilG

    Our prayers for you Mr.Colson,for a quick and complete recovery.

    April 6, 2012 at 12:52 am |
    • just sayin

      Amen. God bless.

      April 6, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
  10. kenburch

    Colson at least admitted he was wrong to do what he did in the '72 campaign...most of them still think it was ok to rig an election just to keep Nixon's feeings from getting hurt.

    I hope he recovers fully...or that, if the damage is too severe, that his suffering is but brief.

    April 5, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Peggy

      And the sad thing is "they" still believe it is okay to rig an election ... Bush/Gore ... and okay to put us in a war that we had no business being in.

      April 5, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • Dean

      I have no doubt that Acorn helped rig the Obama election. Tons of deceased people voted in that election. Guess who they voted for.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  11. Marlou Ordelt

    I don't believe in prayer or religion... It is delusional and miracles don't happen...It's just a coincience...

    April 5, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Mavent

      Thanks for sharing.

      April 5, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • mommatocharlie

      I'm sorry you have no hope for the afterlife.

      April 8, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • BigRed

      Agreed.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:00 am |
  12. just sayin

    If he dies, prayer is not a factor and it was God's will and if he lives then prayer works.

    April 5, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • just sayin

      another fraud alert God bless

      April 5, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • How to pray correctly (the abridged version)

      Prayer rules: Do pray for things that are incredibly likely to happen, such as praying that the ocean does not evaporate overnight, or that you are not viciously bonked on the head with acorns by a power-mad squirrel with delusions of being a demi-god.

      Do NOT pray for things like world peace or a cure to cancer. While you might think that God can do it and would really want to do it, you are just setting yourself up for disappointment. Console yourself that God works in mysterious ways, even though those ways make seem like really bad ideas.

      Pray at your own risk for things whose outcome is uncertain. It will seem that they are answered only occasionally, in proportion to the likelihood of a positive outcome with or without prayer. This is very confusing for people who pray, for it gives the appearance that God may not exist at all, or he just does not get involved in anything on Earth. Remember that this is God's plan – to make it seem like he does not exist, so that he can later punish people for thinking he does not exist.

      April 5, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  13. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    April 5, 2012 at 3:35 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 5, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • just sayin

      It didnt work for the poor Korean bastag es

      April 5, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • just sayin

      Fraudulent Just sayin God bless

      April 5, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • BigRed

      So does delusional thinking. It's what created the Crusades, the wiping out of American indigenous peoples, and the Holocaust. Hold that sword up and keep praying to it.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:02 am |
  14. Dino S.

    I am not a fan of the man, considering that I am gay. I don't however wish this on anyone and I hope he gets better.

    April 5, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • just sayin

      Pray you get better.

      April 5, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • just sayin

      You are going to he ll for being gay

      April 6, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Ummm

      "You are going to he ll for being gay"

      No you are since your passing judgment on another person.

      April 6, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • just sayin

      It is clear in Harry Potter....try reading it and asking the magic fairy to guide you. May Santa have mercy on you.

      April 6, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • atomD21

      Dino, that is an awesome sentiment, thank you for being a compassionate human being. Just sayin', stop being a putz. Or did God give you exclusive rights to determine what happens to people in eternity. Last time I checked, the Bible commands us not to judge or we will be judged in the same way. What skeletons are in your closet, hmmm?

      April 6, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Diane

      Those that name of Christ – stop saying gay people will go to hell. That is just wrong. It isn't true. Jesus accepts people just as they are. No where did he tell people to change before following Him. He just says "Follow me". My Jesus loves everyone. When you say terrible statements like that you are alienating people from a loving God who sent his son Jesus to die and pay the price for EVERYONE. Gay people – do not defend yourselves against those that believe otherwise. They are wrong and not representing the God of the Bible. I love you and so does Jesus.

      April 12, 2012 at 10:02 am |
  15. palintwit

    You know you live in a great country when you can wake up in the morning, grab a coffee and spend some quality time bashing Sarah Palin.

    April 5, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  16. Dawn

    Well anyone that takes the heat for the President, is a friend of mine. Hope your legacy and your ability to keep secrets was worth it. I'm sure it was. Also, your work with the Prison Fellowship, has not only been a plus to today's society of what is beleive to be unacceptable has proven and provided not only positive outcomes of individuals lives that would not have been so forturnate if not for you. Thanks.

    April 5, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
  17. MKisNE

    He fell ill while speaking to a conference.. So here's my written re-enactment: Colson, "I don't like gays and this is why you shouldn't either, Oh no, I'm sick!' heheh thank you.

    April 5, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  18. Joe B.

    You are correct. Religion is not healthy. You need a personal relationship with Christ.

    April 5, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • sam stone

      Which, of course, is a religion

      April 5, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • BigRed

      Ah, yes I want to be a fanatic talking to the wind and hearing an answer from Jesus in the whispering brook. Nonsense.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:04 am |
  19. glades2

    I just learned of this – no matter what we think of him, I'm sorry to hear of this...

    April 5, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  20. Religion is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer is delusional.

    April 5, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Tami

      Your father is Satan.

      April 5, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • lordoftheexacto

      Boy, it doesn't take long, does it? As soon as any story about any religious figure is posted, the bigots have to rush in to tell us how stupid we are for not being them.

      April 5, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • sam stone

      lord: check out any article on gays getting married and watch the bigot parade

      April 5, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Dean

      For every bigot parade, there is a pagan parade, so you don't have to worry Sam.

      April 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • mommatocharlie

      Not for me it isn't.

      April 8, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • BigRed

      Completely agree. Well said.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:05 am |
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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.