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Tommy Shelton

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Round Two: 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:  G. Arthur Joy
CC:  Harold Lance, Gregory Matthews, Linda Shelton,
Deb Young, Ron Christman,
Walt Thompson, Danny Shelton
Subject:  Re: Comments re the process
Date:  Sun, 03 Dec 2006 22:35:24 -0600

Greetings, Harold.

Here are my thoughts, stated in the context that I am not overly biased toward or against Linda. I just haven't seen any evidence, even when it was promised that I could see it.

When I asked Hal Steenson last summer regarding the date of Melody's wedding, he very soon diverted the conversation to that of Linda's alleged guilt. I had absolutely no intention of discussing that topic at all.

Danny has made it fairly clear to me that he only wants the issue of he and Linda looked into by ASI, nothing else.

What I am saying is that there is a pattern of wanting to concentrate only on the issue of Danny vs. Linda, and thus if ASI goes along with that idea, they can easily be accused of being less than impartial, of doing just what Danny wants, as they have unfortunately already been accused of doing. I am not sure that it would be wise to allow that to happen.

Secondly, as you state below:

"The request from the 3ABN Board of Directors to ASI was: ...'request to ASI that it establish a commission to evaluate and determine Danny's legal and moral right to remarry.' "

The 3ABN board is further compromising its reputation by making such a request. The idea was for the board to allow an impartial ASI panel to look into the allegations, but they have up front determined that the ASI panel must agree with their own conclusions, namely, that the only issue needing to be resolved is that of Linda. Thus they have already determined that the ASI panel cannot be allowed to be impartial on the most critical point of what needs to be examined.

That the board would decide thus is rather odd given the fact that the Tommy Shelton child molestation allegations were brought to the Illinois Conference president's attention in August, and are essentially what has brought us down to the point of considering a panel review process. To ignore the very issue that has done more to produce motivation for considering this process than any other, it just seems inappropriate.

Thirdly, you state below:

"At the conclusion of the matter the Panelists findings of facts and recommendations would become publicly available."

I believe that given the current situation, to release only findings and recommendations without evidence will not accomplish a thing, unless, like Ted Haggard did, someone confesses. In the absence of a confession, if all parties (definitely more than two) refuse to admit wrong doing, the controversy will continue, to the further detriment of the reputations of 3ABN, ASI, and our denomination. And I would very much hate to see that happen.


"During the hearing any Information not relevant to the agreed upon issues will be excluded."

I think there needs to be some clarification as to how this would be implemented. For example,

  • Dr. Walt Thompson informed in writing within the last week or so that Danny had essentially misled him in 2003 regarding the child molestation allegations against Tommy Shelton, and that he and the board never did an adequate investigation of the matter in 2003.
  • Another person of note, a former prominent 3ABNer who is not pro-Linda, has informed me in writing that Danny threatened him/her to back off regarding financial, operational, and personal concerns, and when he/she didn't, that Danny ordered the fraudulent manufacturing of evidence against him/her, which thus produced a damaging allegation against him/her, and led to his/her resignation, without the board investigating whether his/her claim of such deceit was legitimate, even when it was brought to their attention. I wish I could say that that case was ancient history, but it was definitely not.

Now suppose 3ABN, ASI, Danny, and Linda all make, in my opinion, the unwise decision to confine the discussion to just Linda and Danny. The above information establishes a pattern of behavior that calls into question the trustworthiness of Danny's word as well as the reliability of the board's decisions in dealing with serious issues. And that undermines their credibility when considering whatever evidence they bring to the table regarding Danny and Linda. But the way that the above is worded, there is no guarantee that such evidence will be allowed despite its relevance in the hypothetical situation where the issues are confined so narrowly.

As far as what Gailon says regarding the appropriateness of whether a panel can move forward while the civil case regarding marital assets is still pending, I have no experience on that one. Do you have any thoughts, Harold, given your experience as an attorney?


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