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
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
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
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
We tried! We failed!