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Updated 1/10/2013
2011 Form 990

Updated 6/22/2011
3ABN sued
over Tommy!

Added 3/14/2010
Can 3ABN Survive?

Added 11/16/2010
Judge Rejects
Plea Deal

Updated 4/2/2010
Tommy Shelton

Must Read:
Mom in Pain #1

Mene, Mene,
Tekel, Parsin

The Actual Lawsuit
IRS Criminal Investigation

Memorandum in Support of Ex Parte Motion for Preliminary Impoundment

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Basic Rationale

The basic rationale for the request to impound the lawsuit was that since Gailon Joy and Bob Pickle have told lies about 3ABN and Danny Shelton, it could be expected that these defendants would use the safety of the litigation process to file responses, affirmative defenses, and counterclaims that don't have a basis in fact. Such filings, the plaintiffs felt, would be designed by the defendants for public consumption and to further embarrass the ministry.

One of the main issues in the lawsuit is defamation, which is the printing of false information about another person, and Danny Shelton has asked for a jury trial so that a group of his peers can decide if Joy and Pickle have really lied about him.

In order to get a judge to grant impoundment in order to prevent Joy and Pickle from spreading lies during the lawsuit, one might think that Danny would try to prove that they have been already telling lies. Oddly enough, the memorandum makes no attempt to prove that anything Joy and Pickle have said are lies.

Questions to Ponder

  • Why does the memorandum claim that 3ABN is a non-denominational ministry?
  • Why does the memorandum claim that 3ABN is not affiliated with any denomination when it signed an agreement with the General Conference in 1997?
  • Why does the memorandum claim that 3ABN is not affiliated with or financed by any organization when it has been a member of and has received grants from ASI for many years?
  • Why does the memorandum claim that Joy and Pickle want to see Linda Shelton reinstated when they do not?
  • Why does the memorandum confuse Joy's having two domain names with having two websites?
  • Why does the memorandum claim that Joy and Pickle mailed out postcards to Adventist churches when they had nothing to do with that?
  • Why does the memorandum accuse Joy and Pickle of saying that Danny had no "grounds" for divorce rather than of saying he had no "biblical grounds" for divorce?
  • Why does the memorandum omit the fact that Gerald Duffy's cease and desist letter's request that it not be published was based in part on a legal doctrine that the U.S. repudiated in 1834?
  • Why did the memorandum supply the court with only two pages out of nine for Exhibit 1, thus omitting every reference in Duffy's letter to the Tommy Shelton child molestation allegations?

The Memorandum



Three Angels Broadcasting Network, Inc.,
an Illinois non-profit corporation, and
Danny Lee Shelton, individually,


Gailon Arthur Joy and Robert Pickle,



Case No. ______________________




Plaintiffs Three Angels Broadcasting Network, Inc. (hereinafter "3ABN") and Danny Lee Shelton (hereinafter "Shelton") (collectively "Plaintiffs") submit this Memorandum in support of their Ex Parte Motion for Preliminary Impoundment and Request for a Hearing on the Issue of Permanent Impoundment. By this Motion, Plaintiffs seek to have their Complaint as well as Defendants' Answers or other responsive pleadings preliminarily impounded pursuant to Local Rule 7.2. Plaintiffs seek preliminary impoundment of these materials in advance of serving the Complaint on Defendants and until such time as this Court has an opportunity to conduct a hearing with all parties present on the issue of permanent impoundment. If this preliminary relief is granted, Plaintiffs will serve the Complaint, the Ex Parte Motion for Preliminary Impoundment and Request for a Hearing on the Issue of Permanent Impoundment and this Memorandum on Defendants, all subject to the Preliminary Order of Impoundment. At the

[page 2]

hearing, Plaintiffs will seek an order permanently impounding these materials until the conclusion of this litigation, at which time the materials may be retrieved by the parties or their respective counsel.

Plaintiffs' claims can be categorized generally into two groups with one group alleging trademark violations and the other defamation. Plaintiffs seek impoundment in order to prevent Defendants Gailon Arthur Joy (hereinafter "Joy") and Robert Pickle (hereinafter "Pickle") (collectively "Defendants") from using this litigation as a vehicle to further defame Plaintiffs.


Factual Background

3ABN is a non-profit corporation, the primary business of which is to operate and manage a Christian television and radio broadcast ministry. Plaintiff Shelton was an original founder of 3ABN and has been continuously involved in the ministry and its operations since its inception. Today, Shelton serves as President of 3ABN and is one of 3ABN's on-air ministry and music presenters. Although many of 3ABN's employees and volunteers, including Plaintiff Shelton, are members of the Seventh-Day Adventist faith, 3ABN is a non-denominational Christian ministry, which is not owned by, affiliated with, or financed by any specific church, denomination or organization. As a provider of religious, spiritual and ministerial program services, 3ABN depends upon its reputation for theological integrity, operational capability, and financial soundness, in order to attract new viewers and listeners, retain current viewers and listeners, and sustain financial support for the ministry. 3ABN relies extensively and almost exclusively on the donations of its television viewers and radio listeners for its continued operation.

[page 3]


Defendants' Campaign to Defame Plaintiffs

As set out in Plaintiffs' Complaint, Defendants have conspired in a campaign of defamation, slander and disparagement designed to embarrass, discredit and defame 3ABN and Shelton and to vitiate, dishonor and impair the reputation and goodwill of 3ABN and Shelton. Upon information and belief, Defendants are motivated by a desire to weaken the ministry to the point of forcing the resignation of Danny Shelton and the current 3ABN board of directors and, if possible, to force the reinstatement of Linda Shelton, Danny Shelton's ex-wife, as a 3ABN employee and director. Defendants believe they can force Plaintiffs' hand in this regard by draining 3ABN's financial support through the dissemination of false allegations of legally and morally reprehensible conduct by Shelton and 3ABN. Defendants have utilized numerous forums in their conspiracy to defame Plaintiffs, including Defendant Joy's websites, and, and other websites and chatrooms that are frequented by members of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church (e.g.,, and the Yahoo Prophecy Board forum).

Defendants have made every effort to publicize their defamatory statements as widely as possible in order to inflict the most harm on Plaintiffs' reputations by jointly marketing, advertising and promoting the website by posting electronic links to the website on numerous electronic bulletin boards and websites frequented by members of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, by mailing postcards to Seventh-Day Adventist Churches across the United States directing Church Members to the website, and by encouraging Internet users to visit the website to "learn the truth" about 3ABN and its President, Danny Shelton.

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The subjects of Defendants defamatory, disparaging and slanderous statements regarding Plaintiffs are many and varied, but can largely be broken down into three categories: (1) that 3ABN and Shelton have committed financial improprieties with donated ministry funds; (2) that 3ABN and Shelton have committed administrative and operational improprieties at 3ABN and that the organization is not properly or competently managed by its managers, officers and directors; (3) and that 3ABN and Shelton acted without grounds in removing Linda Shelton from the 3ABN board of directors, that Danny Shelton had no grounds for divorcing Linda Shelton, that 3ABN and Danny Shelton conspired to hide evidence and information concerning her removal and their divorce, and that 3ABN and Shelton have lied and made otherwise purposeful misstatements concerning the Shelton's divorce and Danny Shelton's remarriage. Defendants' defamatory statements are libelous, refer to Plaintiffs' trade, business and profession, impute serious misconduct to Plaintiffs and contain false accusations of the commission of a crime by both Plaintiffs, and are, therefore, defamatory per se. See e.g. Ravnikar v. Bogojavlensky, 438 Mass. 627, 630 (2003).



Every time Defendants publish these defamatory statements, Plaintiffs' reputations are tarnished further. The continued erosion of Plaintiffs' reputations and the goodwill they have built over the last 20 years directly impairs their ability to carry on the very mission of 3ABN, insofar as 3ABN relies almost exclusively on the donations of viewers and listeners for carrying out of its ministry. If their reputations are destroyed by Defendants' orchestrated efforts, Plaintiffs will no longer be able to count on this continued support. Therefore, Plaintiffs seek to avoid having Defendants turn this litigation into yet another opportunity to defame them, increasing Plaintiffs' damages at every step.

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There is every reason to believe that, absent impoundment, Defendants will repeatedly republish the defamatory statements enumerated in the Complaint and will make additional defamatory statements concerning Plaintiffs in their Answers or other responsive pleadings in order to further their conspiracy to discredit and disparage Plaintiffs in the eyes of the religious and spiritual community. As an initial matter, Defendants are quite likely to post the entirety of the Complaint, as well as their Answers or other responsive pleadings on the website, along with color commentary further defaming Plaintiffs and further tarnishing Plaintiffs' reputations in the eyes of the very community where their reputations matter most. Defendants have a history of doing exactly this.1 For example, within days of receiving the cease and desist letter sent by Plaintiffs' counsel, Joy posted the letter on the website despite the fact that Plaintiffs made clear that the letter was a confidential legal communication, not for publication. See Attachment 1.2 Similarly, Defendant Joy posted in its entirety a Financial Affidavit filed by Plaintiff Shelton in the divorce proceeding with his ex-wife, Linda Shelton. See Attachment 2. In connection with the Financial Affidavit, Joy authored a "Comments" section in which he raises a number of questions, ultimately concluding Plaintiff Shelton was untruthful in the Affidavit. See Attachment 3. Since the Affidavit was filed under the pains and penalties of perjury, Joy is, in essence, accusing Shelton of a crime.

Moreover, Defendants Joy and Pickle have repeatedly published other highly sensitive information with impunity. Even a cursory review of the website reveals

1 In this regard, Plaintiffs will be seeking a protective order pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 26(c) regarding discovery materials in order to avoid having every piece of discovery published wholesale on Defendant Joy's website or otherwise.

2 All of the Attachments to this Memorandum were printed from the website. Because the attachments are merely illustrative of Plaintiffs' points, Plaintiffs have not included every single page of each posting. Rather, Plaintiffs have simply included the pertinent pages. (E.g., as can be seen on the top right hand corner or Exhibit 1, the actual posting is 9 pages, but Plaintiffs are only submitting the first 2 pages to the Court.) Plaintiffs have also highlighted certain portions of the Attachments that are particularly relevant.

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that it is rife with personal emails of which neither Defendant was the sender or recipient. These include emails sent between Plaintiff Shelton and his ex-wife, Linda Shelton, and concern highly confidential matters of their marriage and divorce. Nevertheless, Defendants apparently felt no compunction about publishing them on the web for the world to see and adding defamatory commentary allegedly interpreting them, always in Linda Shelton's favor of course. See, e.g., Attachments 4—6.

Lastly, the site is home to numerous other attacks on Plaintiffs by Defendants. By way of example, Plaintiffs attach to this Memorandum Defendants' "Financial Allegations Against Danny Shelton." See Attachment 7. The import of this posting is clear—that Plaintiff Shelton is committing financial fraud with respect to 3ABN as well as tax fraud against the United States Government.

The attachments to this Memorandum, all of which have been taken from the website, are by no means exhaustive of the defamatory statements Defendants are publishing. Rather, they are merely illustrative of the breadth of Defendants' campaign to defame and disparage Plaintiffs. This case is not about one or two defamatory remarks uttered to a limited audience. It is a concerted, pervasive and ongoing effort by Defendants to literally destroy Plaintiffs' reputations in the unlimited audience available on the web.3 Given this background and Defendants' track record, it is obvious that, absent a Court order, Defendants will utilize this litigation as yet another opportunity to further their campaign to defame Plaintiffs. Therefore, Plaintiffs seek a preliminary order impounding the Complaint and Defendants' Answers or other responsive pleadings in advance of serving the Complaint on Defendants and request that the preliminary order of impoundment last until such time as the

3 Of course, Defendants have been able to greatly increase the likelihood that their defamatory statements will reach their intended audience, i.e. 3ABN's current and potential viewers and listeners, by misuse of 3ABN's trademarks. See Complaint, ¶¶ 25—37.

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Court has the opportunity to examine the pleadings and conduct a hearing with all parties present on the issue of permanent impoundment. At that hearing, Plaintiffs will seek an order permanently impounding these materials until the conclusion of this litigation, at which time they may be retrieved by the parties or their respective counsel.

For the Plaintiffs Three Angels Broadcasting
Network, Inc. and Danny Shelton,
By their attorneys,
Dated: April   5  , 2007     [signed]     J.P.P.                
John P. Pucci, BBO#000000
J. Lizette Richards, BBO#000000
Fierst, Pucci & Kane, LLP
64 Gothic Street
Northampton, MA 01060
Tel:   413-000-0000
Fax:   413-000-0000

Below we will describe and provide links to the various attachments referred to above.

Attachment 1

This one was "Gerald Duffy to Gailon Joy: 'Cease & Desist!' " Out of 9 pages of printout, only pages 1 and 2 were included, ending with the words, "Moreover, the presence of this excerpted broadcast serves to heighten the likelihood that the public will be confused into believing that your website is somehow". Thus, all reference to the child molestation allegations against Tommy Shelton, and to 3ABN president Danny Shelton's covering up of those allegations, is missing.

Search the entire lawsuit and you won't find any explicit references to these important issues.

Attachment 2

This one was "Danny Shelton's July 2006 Financial Affidavit." Out of 20 pages of printout, only pages 1 and 20 were included. In other words, nothing from the date of the dissolution of the marriage until the paragraph below which Danny signed was included. Everything else is missing.

Attachment 3

This one was "Danny Shelton's Book Deals." Our closing comments about DLS Publishing were left out.

Our comments about DLS Publishing clearly suggested that Danny did not include all his assets on his financial affidavit since he omitted a company that he controls, and the snapshot we included of a page from a State of Illinois web site clearly documented the point we were trying to make. Why was that part of the page left out?

Attachment 4

This one was "Danny Indicates, 'Linda Was Pure Through April 15!' " in its entirety.

Attachment 5

This one was "Linda Says, 'You Admit to No Wrong' " in its entirety.

Attachment 6

This one was "None of Your Business If I Have a Girlfriend Named Brandy" in its entirety.

Attachment 7

This one was "Financial Allegations Against Danny Shelton" in its entirety.

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