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Gregory Matthews Responds
to Harold Lance's January 5 Statement

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Gregory Matthews' Response

-------- Original Message --------
From:  Gregory Matthews
To:  G. Arthur Joy, Harold Lance
CC:  Bob Pickle
Subject:  RE: ASI action
Date:  Fri, 5 Jan 2007 13:27:21 -0700


FYI, I have posted the following announcement in Internet forums.

It is with deep regret that I have to announce that the three month attempt of ASI to mediate the issues that involve Danny Shelton, Linda Shelton, and 3-ABN has failed. Yesterday, the ASI Executive Board took an official action in which ASI withdrew from any further attempts to resolve the issues that have troubled us for several years.

I was one of the few people directly involved in these discussion. As would be obvious, Mr. Joy was another. As to others involved, I will let them identify themselves, if they wish to do so.

Everyone involved in these discussions worked very hard, and devoted considerable effort to this task. But, the task has failed. I will publicly thank the representative of ASI for the work that he did. Honest and sincere people may differ. They may fail to reach agreement and perhaps understanding. But their integrity and sincerity should not be questioned. I say publicly that I appreciate the spirit in which the representative of ASI was involved in these discussions.

As I understand it, the action of the ASI Executive Board was simply to determine that further involvement in these attempts would be inappropriate. In one sense, any further comment would be speculation. However, I think that it is in the interests of all for me, as an involved person to comment on what I see as major difficulties. I will do so from that standpoint of a person directly involved in the discussions. There are probably more reasons for the decision of ASI. Perhaps some are more important than what I list. But, ASI did not specify their reasons in their communication with me. I suspect that they will read my statement, and they can add anything to it that they wish.

I personally believe that there were two major issues that prevented agreement:

1) Linda has been so publicly trashed that she, and we, believe that there should be full disclosure of the testimony, findings, and proceedings of any mediation panel. In fact, she wanted that full disclosure to be published in a manner that people around the world could access it, and reach their own conclusions as to whether or not she had given Danny biblical grounds for a divorce. During the discussions, the respective parties could not come to agreement on public disclosure of the testimony, findings, and process of the mediation attempt.

2) The respective parties could not agree on the procedures for taking testimony from witnesses. The issue here revolved around who would question the witnesses, and the bounds of the questioning. Some wanted a restrictive process, to sum it up, and others wanted a more free process. Frankly, I am perplexed by this issue. I could propose situations in which Danny, Linda, and 3-ABN would benefit by a free process for questioning. But, I could also propose situations in which it might be claimed that Danny, Linda, and 3-ABN would not benefit by a more free process. In some ways, I suspect that ASI wanted a restrictive process. If I am wrong, they can correct me.

Well folks, the attempt to mediate has failed. What happens next? I cannot predict what will happen. But, I suspect that it will be along the following lines:

1) More of this will reach the secular media. Some, I believe, have been approached by the media and asked to cooperate in articles. Some, I believe have refused to cooperate in order to give this attempt to mediate a chance to work. I am not certain that they will continue to refuse to cooperate with the secular media.

2) It is likely that some will take their issues to civil courts. Frankly, some of the issues, in my mind, can only be resolved with fairness to all by the civil courts. Therefore, I do not believe that anyone who does so should be criticized for doing so.

3) I have been told that there are currently some civil investigations going on now. If so, they will continue.

4) I expect that one or more books will be published on these events.

Folks, the bottom line is: I believe that it will get worse before it gets better.

I am sincerely sorry that the ASI attempt to mediate failed. I clearly believe that such an attempt could only have had limited success, and that ultimately some issues would have needed to have been resolved in the civil realm. But, I did believe that ASI could have been of some help. With this failure, I do not believe that any other denominational agency can succeed. Any further resolution will come by personal agreement, or in the civil realm.

We tried! We failed!

Harold, thank you for your efforts. I may not agree with you on every point. But, I do not challenge either your sincerity, or your integrity. In many ways you may think of your task as thankless. But, I do not. You tried.

If you feel that in any way my statement above has not been fair to you, let me know. I will personally see that any response you make to me is posted with my post.

Gregory Matthews

Harold did not reply to Gregory.

Thoughts on Gregory's Post by Bob Pickle

Asi Mediation Fails!
Pickle Jan 5 2007, 02:28 PM


As a member of the group trying to put together a process agreeable to all, I will add two thoughts.

First of all, Gailon Joy raised the issue prior to our entering into a confidentiality agreement of whether ASI could truly be impartial, since they had counseled Danny and Walt to not answer questions, according the Danny and Walt. Their statement that it was "inappropriate" for ASI to be further involved could be an acknowledgement that it would be difficult to be impartial, and if that was really the case, then of course it was the right thing to do for them to back out.

And they should be commended for this decision if this was what they intended to mean by the word "inappropriate."

Secondly, Danny has made it quite clear outside of our group's discussions that he intended for the ASI panel to review only his divorce and remarriage. He then stated that positive findings by an ASI panel in that matter would be used to convince everyone that all the other allegations against him were false.

It would not be hard to assume that this was also a major empasse between the two sides, but I am at a loss to know for sure. Thus far, though you and I and Gailon sent our communications to Danny and the ASI people involved, I have yet to receive a single communication from the "other" side. Not one. The only one I ever received anything from was the ASI representative chosen to oversee the process development process.

We weren't supposed to make any statement about the process except what was mutually agreed upon, but without any coommunication from the "other" side, what do you do?

  Forum: 3ABN · Post Preview: #167738 · Replies: 64 · Views: 2,925

Reply from Gregory Matthews

Asi Mediation Fails!
Observer Jan 5 2007, 02:28 PM


My use of the word "inappropriate" was of my own choosing, and it was not a direct quote. So, we cannot make anything of that word.

As to the issue that you raise in regard to Danny wanting to only discuss marital issues. I am well aware of that. I did not list that as a reason as I believe that we could have come to agreement on that issue. Or, at least, we could have come to an agreement as to what to do in regard to that issue. I also considered that issue to be unresolved. As such, I did not want to list it as a major issue.

As to confidentiality of communication: There were some gray areas here. But I believe that all knew that once a decision was reached, public announcements would have been made.

I have attempted to abide by the spirit of the discussions in what I have posted. One major example of that is in my not naming the person who was our primary contact in ASI, or any other person who was a part of that process.

I have sent a copy of my post to the primary contact in ASI. I have informed him that if he wants to comment on any aspect of my post, he can send it to me, and I will post it wherever I have posted my main comment.

So, if he thinks I have violated any agreement, he can say so, and I will post it.

While I do see "gray" areas in the agreement--we did not spend much time in talking about it, I do believe that I have generally kept to what was appropriate to post.

  Forum: 3ABN · Post Preview: #167740 · Replies: 64 · Views: 2,925

Again, Gregory did not receive a reply from Harold about any concerns that Harold might have had.

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