Mike Riva's Threat to the Dunn Loring Congregation
In an apparent effort to manipulate the Dunn Loring Church of God congregation into muzzling
their pastor, 3ABN attorney Mike Riva sent the following letter. To all appearances, this is an attempt to
prevent charges being filed over the most recent known allegation of child molestation against Tommy Shelton.
Is this an appropriate letter for an attorney representing a TV network to send, a network that claims to be
preaching the undiluted three angels' messages, a network that claims to be forwarding the mission of the
Seventh-day Adventist Church? Is it an appropriate use of donor funds to silence child molestation
allegations in this way? Seventh-day Adventists everywhere think not.
An alleged victim of Tommy Shelton in Illinois, when hearing the part of Riva's letter that says that Tommy,
Danny, and 3ABN's patience has run out, said, "Patience?! Their patience?! What about our patience?"
We believe he has a point.
Thus far these threats have only been threats. The difficult problem for Danny Shelton is that if he were to sue,
the resulting litigation would result in an investigation of many aspects of 3ABN, including, according to
some sources, 3ABN's books. And the books have traditionally been something Danny does not want people to see.
Attorney Mike Riva's January 2007 Threat
January 5, 2007
Board of Community Church of God
2458 Gallows Road
Dunn Loring, VA 22027
Please be advised that I am one of the attorneys representing
Tommy Shelton and Three Angels Broadcasting Network, Inc. The
purpose of this letter is to: 1) advise the board of actions
of its pastor Glenn Dryden; 2) to place the board and each individual
member on notice that the actions of your pastor will not be
tolerated any further; and 3) to inform the board and its individual
members that all will be named as defendants in a lawsuit should
the actions of your pastor continue.
I am aware of the slander and libel that your pastor is engaged
in and of his efforts to encourage others in attacking Tommy,
Danny, and 3ABN. Such actions are far beneath the level of Christian
behavior and are legally libelous. Your pastor has used the
internet to spread scandalous allegations against my clients
in an attempt to harm them personally and to affect the on-going
ministry of 3ABN. My clients have exercised great restraint
up to this moment as others so defamed would have already sought
legal redress of the situation.
Their patience is gone. Though they do not relish the thought
of filing a lawsuit against the church, your pastor and all the
members of the Board of Directors individually, that will be
the next step. They have had enough.
Let me be perfectly clear about this. You and the rest of the
board are the leaders of your church and in my legal opinion
have been placed in legal jeopardy by the actions of your pastor
and your willful consent thereto. Many of his libelous writings
have been posted on the internet for all the world to read.
Therefore, consider this a demand that you discuss the situation
with your pastor and direct him to immediately cease all actions
directed toward my clients. Should that not happen, the only
remaining recourse for my clients is to file a lawsuit. As you
know, lawsuits are costly both financially and emotionally for
those individuals involved. The status quo, namely continued
efforts by your pastor to undermine and defame my clients with
the board members having full knowledge of his actions, will
not be tolerated. It is time for the board to realize the jeopardy
that exists and to direct the pastor to cease; otherwise the
church and individual board members will be ensnared by the tentacles
of the lawsuit.
Very truly yours,
D. Michael Riva
P.S. Should you need copies of the various e-mails, please let me know and I will send them to you.