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Tommy Shelton

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Round Three: Bob Pickle

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Due to the abrogation of the confidentiality agreement by Harold Lance, the following communication is provided for your perusal.

-------- Original Message --------
From:  Bob Pickle
To:  Harold Lance
CC:  G. Arthur Joy, Linda Shelton, Gregory Matthews,
Ron Christman, Deb Young,
Danny Shelton, Walt Thompson
Subject:  Re: Process: round three
Date:  Mon, 11 Dec 2006 10:00:35 -0600

Greetings, Harold.

I want to thank you for all the time and effort you have put into this. I'm sure it hasn't been easy.

I, unlike others, have always felt that an ASI panel could be impartial. My primary concern in a number of issues has been one of appearances, and I still think that unless the findings are accompanied by either enough evidence or a confession of the "losing" party, it will be difficult for ASI to avoid accusations of not being impartial. Of course, it's hard to avoid all criticism, but that has been my concern.

Regarding the email interchanges, you will recall that my most recent interchange with Danny began at the request of Dr. Walt Thompson that I verify what he had told me that Danny had said in 2003 regarding the Tommy Shelton child molestation allegations. In my four emails to Danny I gave him every opportunity to explain the discrepancies, and thus provide some other conclusion than that he had lied to his board chairman in 2003.

Whether the molestation allegations are true or not is irrelevant to the main point: Walt said that Danny said that the allegations were 30 years old while at the same time Walt received a letter in 2003 indicating that there were allegations as recent as three years old at that time. Walt said that he was led to believe that Pastor Glenn Dryden's accounts were apparently the only ones out there, when Roger Clem had publicly come forward in early 2003 in the small community surrounding 3ABN. Walt said he was led to believe that all these allegations were the result of a feud and jealousy between Pastor Dryden and Tommy, yet they either had not met yet or lived 800 miles apart during all the time the alleged actions occurred, except for 1993-1995. Thus, even if every last allegation is false, we still have Walt indicating that Danny misled him.

There are either two choices: either Walt Thompson or Danny Shelton told a huge lie. And we also have a 3ABN attorney threatening a non-Adventist minister in order to shut him up, using only the reasoning, from what I can tell from reading a fax of the original letter, that "Even if the actions did occur," the statute of limitations has run out.

You very well may be correct about there not being a problem with ascending liability, and you are certainly more qualified to address that question than I am. But I wasn't necessarily thinking of ascending liability. I am told that the IL Conf. pressured 3ABN to terminate Tommy in the mid-1990's for these very issues. If that really is true, or even if it isn't, what about the following three facts?

  • The IL Conf. president sits on the 3ABN board and may even have participated in the reversal of the earlier decision despite the new allegations being brought to the board's attention. (I'm sure not wanting to come across as negative in any way in saying this.)
  • The 3ABN general manager sits on the conf. committee and could be arguably aware of the ongoing allegations going back decades.
  • An official Broadview Academy campus exists at Thompsonville ( (Just surfing around I've come up with addresses of 3577 Angel Ln. for both the church and the school, and 3941 and 4007 Angel Ln. for 3ABN. That suggests that the church and school both sit on the 3ABN campus.)

Would this scenario pose any greater theoretical risk to the conference if a student at that particular Broadview Academy campus were to be victimized in the future? If conference officers and a member of the conference executive committee had opportunity to know or did know about the negligence involved with the ongoing employment of an alleged pedophile at 3ABN, and still allowed academy students to be in a situation in which that alleged pedophile could possibly have ready access to them, would that not involve the conference in greater risk if a student was victimized?

And it isn't as if proper precautions have been made. John Lomcang as of September 1 did not know a thing about the child molestation allegations against Tommy Shelton, based on what he told me. Thus the pastor of the very church where the school is located has been kept in the dark by Danny, 3ABN, and the conference administration (assuming they were in the know, which may not be the case). Therefore, John Lomacang had no way of knowing that special precautions needed to be taken.

Regarding email interchanges on other topics than Linda vs. Danny, if the ASI panel will not be reviewing other issues, then what would be the point of not seeking clarification on these other issues in as kind and redemptive a way as possible? My understanding is that there are a lot of individuals who are neither the typical pro-Danny or pro-Linda type of folks, folks who normally would tend to be pro-3ABN, who believe that this information needs to get out without waiting for an ASI review, and if that ASI review is not going to be dealing with these issues anyway, why not?

Plus, you specifically asked those on "Linda's team" to desist, and I am not really a member of her team. I am still unconvinced of either her innocence or her guilt since neither side has provided me any concrete evidence to that effect. Yet I will say that the events of the last two and a half weeks have clearly demonstrated that what Danny and the board merely say cannot be trusted as being fact.

I do have a question for you. Do you anticipate the ASI panel reviewing whether the recording Hal Steenson told me about was created without violating either state or federal law? Hal claimed that that recording proved Linda's guilt, and thus it directly relates to the review if the review is narrowed down as you propose, but will the question of its legality be considered? If not, will that recording be able to be presented as evidence at all? If evidence has been illegally obtained, will it be admissible anyway?

The same question applies to the phone card phone records that John Lomacang claims exists. Were they legally acquired? If not, will they still be able to be submitted as evidence?

Personally, though everyone may disagree with me, I have a difficult time seeing the wisdom in going forward with a process that Danny has made very clear that he intends to use as a smokescreen. As he wrote to me last Tuesday,

"ASI will decide who is doing the cover up. Somebody is lying! After hearing the testimony and evidence from both sides ASI will make a decision. Should ASI decide that the 3ABN board and myself did not 'scapegoat Linda' to cover up my sins, then, in my opinion it will become obvious to the public that maybe many of these other accusations are lies also."

Thus, he is hoping to get a positive decision from the ASI panel, and then use that decision to make all the other allegations go away, even allegations that are based on the word of his own board chairman. I have a real problem with that.

Lastly, if you were to look at the various aspects that both sides would like to see incorporated into the review process, as it presently stands, how many of the aspects proposed by Danny's/3ABN's side are on the table, and how many proposed by Linda's side or myself (since I am not really on "Linda's side") are on the table? Are any of the proposed changes that Gailon/Linda proposed even being considered by ASI, and if not, if there is no give and take on "both" sides, does that not appear to demonstrate a lack of impartiality on the part of ASI, even if they really are impartial?

Or, did ASI both arrive at and choose to stick with the original proposal without any input whatsoever from 3ABN and/or Danny Shelton? If that be the case, and if that can be made clear, then perhaps ASI can indeed be impartial in appearance as well as in fact during the setting-up-of-the-process phase.

However, there is a challenge in establishing that ASI arrived at the rules as originally proposed without any input whatsoever from 3ABN or Danny. Gloria sent her email to Linda on Sunday, November 12. Yet it was back on October 17 that Mollie informed me that the evidence that was emphatically promised that I could see would not be shown to me, and that the findings of some sort of panel would be made public. I then expressed my concern of what would happen if evidence was not made public as well, and received no reply whatsoever. And way back on August 4 when I asked a question of Hal Steenson about Melody, he diverted the conversation to the question of Linda's guilt, something I had no intention of bringing up. Thus it is apparent that narrowing the focus to just that of Linda and keeping the evidence secret forever has been part of 3ABN's strategy even before, at least for some aspects of the question, ASI ever got involved, and definitely before November 12.

Thus it appears to me that if none of the more major elements proposed by Gailon/Linda are incorporated by ASI into the original proposal that 3ABN appears to have requested, we have clear evidence of a lack of impartiality on the part of ASI as well as undue influence of 3ABN upon the ASI panel review process. Frankly, I'm unaware of any of the major elements proposed by Gailon/Linda that have been incorporated, even though they have been suggested more than once.

I would therefore recommend, if this is the way things have to be, that for the good of ASI's reputation it decline to get further involved.

God bless.


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