Authorship Controversy

This is really strange, but not long after "The Room" was printed in New Attitude magazine, I started getting it emailed to me as a forward with "Author unknown" at the bottom.

The response to the article was really astounding. People shared it in their churches, copied it and gave it to friends. It was forwarded via email all over the place, and a couple other magazines printed the article by the "unknown" author before they were found out I had written it.

I have to admit that it really tested my heart. Part of me wanted to let people know that I was the true author. I'd finally written something people thought was good, and I wasn't getting credit for it. But God graciously revealed my pride and I felt him telling me that "The Room" was about Him and His grace, and I needed to step aside and not be concerned with having my name on it. The night I had the dream and wrote the article I knew it was something very special. I think I even told people I felt like God had written it and had me type it. But then, when I wasn't getting credit for it, I was upset! God was showing me that I wasn't passionate about his name being glorified—but having my name glorified. It was an important lesson.

Two years later, I included "The Room" in my book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye (1997). Unfortunately, this began to raise questions among people who had read the article on the internet with "author unknown" or, in some cases, another person credited. Though God had changed my heart and I didn't mind people thinking someone else had written it, I was very concerned that anyone should think I would lie about having written it. I felt that could be a real distraction from people receiving its message in the book.

The most recent and widespread story about the authorship of "The Room" is also the most tragic. It claims that a young man named Brian Moore wrote "The Room" in 1997, a short time before he died in a car accident.

For a while, I'd get a least one email a week asking about the Brian story. I wish I could say that the whole story is an "e-rumor", but sadly part of it is true. Though Brian Moore didn't write "The Room," he really did die in a car accident at the age of 17. I believe this is an honest mistake that has taken on a life of its own on the internet. I extend my regrets to the Moore family at the loss of their son, and hope the confusion over the authorship of "The Room" won't distract people from it's message of hope and salvation through Jesus Christ.

More on the Brian Moore story...

- Read about "The Room" on Break the Chain, a website that investigates urban legends and internet "e-rumors".

- Read the June 2, 1999 Columbus Dispatch article about the Brian Moore story.

All content on this site is © 2006 Josh Harris