-------- Original Message --------
G. Arthur Joy, Linda Shelton, Bob Pickle
||RE: Process: round three
||Mon, 11 Dec 2006 07:06:13 -0700
I appreciate the time and effort that you have expended in
making this response. It is clear that you have thoughtfully
read the comments that have been made to you. I agree with much
of what you have said. This mess could turn into litigation
that conceivably could result in the expenditure of several hundred
thousand dollars. Under some circumstances the idea of it costing
tens of thousands of dollars is a gross underestimate. I agree
that the Church does not have a process that is suitable for
the situation that we are facing. I also think that it is not
possible for some of these issues to be resolved outside of the
However, I do believe that it is possible for ASI to be involved
in this situation in a manner that will be helpful. But, that
is only if the respective parties can come to an agreement that
allows for that. I am not certain that such an agreement will
I will make some personal responses to your post to us. I
will identify them with my initials (GM), to distinguish them
from your comments. It should be noted that my response is simply
that, my personal response. It may, or may not agree with that
of others of us. In this issue, Mr. Joy is the primary person
who is representing the interests of Linda Shelton.
WILL OUR PROCESS CONFLICT WITH THE PENDING ASSET DIVISION
GM: This is clearly an area that should not
be decided by any independent panel. This belongs to the civil
realm. In my opinion, it is Biblical for some issues to be left
to t he civil realm. Further, that is consistent with the CHURCH
MANUEL. Some issues simply cannot be decided outside to the
civil authorities. This also applies to a number of issues.
Included in these would be criminal matters, and certain financial
matters, and issues of taxation.
If we agree on the above, I believe that it is critical for
the ASI panel to issue a statement that certain specific matters
belong in the civil realm, and people who pursue those issues
in civil courts, or cooperate with such, are on Biblical grounds
for doing so.
Is ASI willing to issue such a statement?
IS ASI IMPARTIAL OR IN DANNY'S HIP POCKET?
GM: There will always be people who will believe
that ASI should not be involved. In one sense, probably most
people involved in this will have some sort of a bias. We are
never going to change the mind of those who believe that ASI
should not be involved. The issue is: Can we structure a process
that the respective parties can agree to, and is as fair as possible?
SINCE THERE ARE MANY OTHER CONCERNS WHY LIMIT THE ISSUES TO
GM: You are correct that ASI probably cannot
deal with all of the issues that have surfaced. There are many
reasons for that. The decisions as to what issues to deal with
cannot be made unilaterally. If ASI does that it will immediately
be seen in a negative light. The decisions as to what issues
to deal with must be made by the parties involved. That is the
first issue: What are the issues to be considered?
The second issue is as I have referenced earlier: What about
the other issues? How should people work to resolve them? As
some are likely to only be resolved in the civil realm, will
ASI publicly state that people who do such are acting appropriately?
DO ACTIVITIES AND PERSONNEL ACTIONS THREATEN LIABILITY FOR
THE SDA CHURCH?
GM: I am one who has clearly raised this issue.
In discussions that I have had with other people, it is clear
to me that I have not been clear in what I was attempting to
communicate. Let me attempt to state this issue in a better
form: I DO NOT believe that either 3-ABN or the denomination
has so-called ascending liability for the past actions of any
person during a time when they were not employed by 3-ABN. It
would be a stretch to conclude otherwise. However, I do believe
that should a person accused of prior criminal acts commit such
acts in the future, while in a relationship with 3-ABN, that
such could involve both 3-ABN and/or the IL Conference in liability.
That liability could be based upon the failure of both 3-aBN
and/or the IL Conference to exercise due prudence in assigning
duties to an individual whom they knew has been accused of criminal
or immoral acts in the past.
Re: "IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT THE INTERCHAGES, CONTAINING DEROGATORY
INFORMATION, STOP AMONG THE PARTIES AND THEIR TEAM MEMBERS."
GM: Harold, you have been unable to stop
Danny from fueling the fires that you understandably object to.
Further, the supporters of 3-ABN are independent, and not controlled
by Danny. They continue to engage in such. They can not be
stopped. As long as they do such, others will respond.
So, also those who support Linda are independent, and not
controlled by either Linda, or us. We cannot stop them. As
long as people supporting Linda engage in such, those who support
3-ABN will respond.
Harold, I understand what you are asking. It is not possible
for either you or for us.
SHOULD AN SDA JUDGE BE USED TO CONDUCT THE PROCEEDINGS?
GM: Point taken, if the parties agree to such.
DO PARTIES WHO MAY BE "PUBLIC FIGURES" GIVE UP THEIR RIGHT
GM: No, anyone who understands the law knows
that public figures do not give up all rights to privacy. But,
U.S. law clearly limits the rights to privacy of pubic figures
over non-public figures.
Further, public figures to have a right, if conditions are
met, to recover damages for slander, libel, and defamation of
character. Those who understand the law know that this cuts
both ways. It is likely that neither side is guilty to the exclusion
of the other side. Should one side litigate over these issues,
it is likely that counter-suits will be filed against the side
that initiated the litigation.
In addition, I could propose situation in which neither side
would want to litigate these issues. It is correct that "truth"
may sometimes not be a defense against such a lawsuit. But,
I can imagine where a side would not want to litigate an issue
that they might win due to discovery and public exposure during
One fundamental issue is simply this: Public charges have
been made against public individuals, and 3-ABN that will not
go away unless they are resolved in public. To publicly resolve
them, there may have to be some public exposure of facts that
are typically protected by confidentiality in denominational
circles. A failure to do this will likely result in continued
discussion in public.
Let me add an additional factor: The so-called media is following
this more closely that some may know. I have been asked to write
an article for publication on one aspect of this which I declined
to write at that time. There are others who have been approached
in a similar manner, to include the secular media. Herald, I
predict that if this is not resolved, and fairly soon, the media,
to include the secular media, will begin reporting aspects of
this which none can control. If ASI cannot resolve this, the
world at large may do so.
SHOULD THE PANEL INCLUDE EXPERTS THAT COULD ASSIST IN THEIR
GM: My comment on "transference" could be satisfied
by a witness, rather than a member. Regardless, my point is
taken, and you seem to have heard it.
WHAT STANDARD IS TO BE USED IN WEIGHING THE BIBLICAL DIVORCE
GM: Yes the CHUCH MANUAL is the standard. But,
that can be understood and enforced in various ways. As an attorney
you know that while "statute law" is the standard, "case law
is always considered. My point is made. As I have previously
stated, the "gold standard" among conservative SDAs is physical
adultery. It has been clearly stated by 3-ABN that proof of
such does not exist. If ASI strays away from that gold standard
of adultery, it will lose status among conservative SDAs.
WHAT STANDARD WILL BE USED IN ALLOWING INFORMATION TO BE CONSIDERED
GM: Sounds good as I understand it.
HOW WILL PANEL PROCEED AND THE QUESTIONING OCCUR?
GM: The representative must be the one chosen
by the party. In other words, ASI cannot exclude anyone from
being a representative.
Re: "The hearing will be confidential and private, not recorded
or reported by
the panel, the parties, or the representative."
GM: I understand. I have some concern. This
scandal is public. There must be enough information given to
the public to resolve their issues. Harold, the public has a
stake in this. All parties, to include 3-ABN have a major interest
in this being resolved in the mind of the public.
Re: "Thank you for your patience in awaiting my thoughts. Please read this
carefully. If you have questions feel free to express them. Whenever we have
clarified adequately we will put our process information into a document
that we can all sign on to, then begin the details of scheduling, etc."
GM: And thank you for the effort you have put into this.