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Tommy Shelton

Must Read:
Mom in Pain #1

Mene, Mene,
Tekel, Parsin

The Actual Lawsuit
IRS Criminal Investigation

Dr. Walt Thompson Admits: Danny Told Him

"The Allegations Are 30 Years Old"

But They Clearly Aren't

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The clincher is the fourth email below.

Bob: Discrepancies Listed, Plea for an Apology

Besides asking for clarification again, Walt is put on notice that his information will be passed along on Tuesday, and a plea is made to him that he make an apology. Church of God pastor Glenn Dryden read this appeal to Walt, and commended its logic in writing.

-------- Original Message --------
From:  Bob
To:  Walt Thompson
Subject:  Possible way to win 3ABN critics.
Date:  Sun, 26 Nov 2006 11:07:44 -0600

Hi Walt.

I've been thinking about this situation a bit, and I think I see an opportunity perhaps for you to gain some credibility in the eyes of the 3ABN critics. It's an approach I've tried a number of times in various situations, and I get to it near the end of this email.

I'll first say that I am holding off till Tuesday before passing on the information you gave earlier about Tommy so that you can clarify the few points I raised, in order to avoid anyone attacking what you wrote before you have a chance to explain it. In other words, no one is getting a blind copy of this email, and no one will see it till Tuesday.

You wrote:

  • "The allegations against Tommy were made about 30 years ago." This implies that there have been no new allegations since then.
  • "No physical actions ever occured."
  • "Tommy appologized to the kids and offered recompence."

The letter you received from the Church of God church in question in 2003 contained the following advice (I quote from the attached "Action Items"):

  • "Tommy should issue written apologies over his signature to all victims and to their parents," indicating that he had never apologized.
  • "Tommy also should issue written apologies over his signature for his deceit, as well as inappropriate behavior, etc., to ... the congregation of the Community Church of God, Dunn Loring, Virginia," indicating that he had had similar allegations at the church where he was pastoring as late as around 1999.

Some of your critics would likely jump on these discrepancies and use them to accuse you of dishonesty, which I think would be unwarranted and wrong, and which is why I haven't passed this on as of yet. Now since you wrote that "a number of e mails and letters that I have written" ended up being "spun" in a critical manner, I've tried to give some thought as to the best possible ways to spin these discrepancies. I see two other alternatives:

  • There is a massive, multi-state, Church of God conspiracy to malign the character of Tommy Shelton, or
  • You based your information on Tommy and/or Danny's word without contacting the other side, even though you were invited in that 2003 letter to contact the alleged victims, their families, and the two associations that apparently revoked the ministerial credentials they had given Tommy.

Of these various possibilities, the only one that seems plausible and that puts you in the best light possible is this last one. And that possibility, if it be correct (and I would certainly welcome some other explanation more complimentary to yourself), opens up an opportunity to gain a little traction among the 3ABN critics.

If that's what happened, then it certainly was an error on your part. One can't rely solely on the word of an individual when the allegations being raised against that individual include "deceit," which was the word used in that 2003 letter, especially when the charges are as serious as child molestation. To do so opens up churches and supporting organizations to significant liability if a problem occurs.

What I've found is that if I apologize for whatever I can whenever I have made an error of some sort, folks cut me a lot more slack than they would otherwise. And I feel that if the above is what happened, and if you acknowledge that error and pledge to be more thorough in this and the other investigations, then the tone of some of the critics will soften and mellow a bit, and just might become complimentary.

And that would be a victory for 3ABN.

I sincerely welcome your telling me that you did indeed contact the victims, their families, and the associations referred to, or by giving me any alternative explanation that would better explain these discrepancies.

God bless.


Walt: On the Defensive, Wants Secrecy

Walt says he doesn't understand how admitting mistakes can win the confidence of others.

-------- Original Message --------
From:  Walt Thompson
To:  Bob
Subject:  Re: Possible way to win 3ABN critics.
Date:  Sun, 26 Nov 2006 19:10:31 -0600

Dear Bob,

I am troubled by this whole affair. You claim to be a friend of 3abn and desiring to help, but at the same time you continue to assume that 3abn, its board and its administration are lying, incompetent and sporting a cover-up. That you are also in communication with persons who have already spread rumors and untruths around the world via the Internet bothers me and makes me wonder why I would feel the need to share more information with you. You alledge that by answering your questions I can gain credibility with our critics. This I have trouble believing since it hasn't happened yet. Nothing we have said until now has been accepted as fact, even though presented with ample evidence. Furthermore, it has been spun to suit the purpose of those who refuse to believe. I have been around this world for for a long time, and have often been held up as an example of honesty. You may check with colleagues, church leaders, fellow believers, family - anyone you wish - and though not all will agree with every decision I have ever had a part in making, none will accuse me of dishonesty (accept possibly Linda and Johann!). Likewise, the 3abn board is composed of people with unquestionable characters. The actions that we have taken through the years have not been taken without careful study and deliberation.

I do not understand the responsibility of 3abn to answer the questions of our critics. It is one thing to give answers to people who have honest questions and desire to know the truth, but quite something else to try to convince those who have no desire except to defend their preconceived opinions. If it should be that 3abn had made a mistake, Jesus outlined a path one ought to take in an attempt - privately, not to destroy - but to varify and assist in healing. Instead, a number of those who have come to us seeking information have spread it out on the Internet for the whole world to see and chew on. You see, I do not understand this type of "friend" not this variant of "justice." I may be naive, but this is not how my Bible tells me to do things.

Through the years we have had to make some difficult decisions, not the least of which was the one to let Linda go. Fortunately, most of our viewers and supporters have rallied behind us when we have brought our needs to public attention, and supported us with their earnest prayers and encouragement - doing as I understand all true Christians ought to do. Many, many of our supporters sensed a great loss with the loss of Linda - as all of us have, but they continued to support the ministry and its leadership, knowing that this was the right thing to do until they had ample reason to do otherwise. Fortunately, most or our viewers recognize the burdens carried by the leadership of this ministry, understand that all are human and falible, and love and support us in spite of that, just as God has done. While our "critics" have tried their best to undermine these by spreading lies and rumors, most have been able to "see through" these often vicious efforts and continue their support.

If I sound a bit defensive, please excuse me. I do not doubt your expressed statements to me about wanting to help the ministry. In fact, I appreciate you willingness to do so. But for the reasons mentioned, I fail to understand how your proposals might help the cause. Unless you can give me some very convincing reasons why I should do so, I prefer to merely state that we believe we have done things correctly and above board.

I suppose if I were "smart," I would assume that any and everything I wrote to you would be published for the world to read - even though I fail to understand the ethics of this. In this sense, yes, I am sometimes naive and too trusting. Yes, I know we are living in the age of information technology, but I refuse to believe that makes it right to make private conversations public.


Walter Thompson MD

Bob: A Second Plea

Walt is put on notice that a matter of such serious importance as child molestation, a matter that has been publicly aired in communities and on the internet, mandate that these communications not be kept private.

-------- Original Message --------
From:  Bob
To:  Walt Thompson
Subject:  Re: Possible way to win 3ABN critics.
Date:  Sun, 26 Nov 2006 22:42:54 -0600

Hi Walt.

If you will re-read my communication, I specifically stated that I was assuming that you were not lying. And I will add that I have had no communication with Linda, except when I wrote her way back and told her I thought she was wrong when she was asking to have her membership dropped at Thompsonville.

We do have a definite problem in that allegations have been made publicly on the internet for far too long by far too many people, and they need to be put to rest in some way. The good of the cause demands it, and the allegations aren't going to disappear if we just ignore them. These public allegations must be met just as publicly, if it is possible to meet them.

As far as Matthew 18 is concerned, I am sure you are aware of the fact that Matthew 18 does not apply to public sins. The Spirit of Prophecy is quite clear about that. And since Tommy's conduct, whatever it was, involved at least six boys in two states, and since it split a church, Matthew 18 does not apply in his case. In other words, what I am trying to say is that your and my communications, which are attempting to resolve a publicly-aired and serious issue, for the good of the cause of God cannot be kept private.

I have not read and analyzed all the communications you have sent out, and thus I can't tell you why in each case people haven't accepted what you have said as fact, but I can state why I cannot yet accept as fact what you told me about Tommy: There are still unresolved discrepancies, and your statements disagree with just about the only evidence I have seen, namely, the letter you received in 2003 from the Church of God that made those allegations.

Now if you can assure me that you did talk to the alleged victims, their families, and the two associations that gave Tommy ministerial credentials, and that they stated that the allegations were 30 years old, that there was no physical actions, and that Tommy apologized, then that makes your statements extremely credible. And I would then endeavor to find out the source of what would have to be slanderous lies about Tommy.

However, if the sole source of your information was directly or ultimately Tommy rather than also the other side, then we definitely have a problem. If I were a pastor and I did something like that, getting my information from only an alleged pedophile when invited to do otherwise, I can imagine my conference president having a little talk with me about my needing to be a bit more competent in such matters.

But we all make mistakes, I sure have, and it behooves us all to be kind toward those who err.

But here is the potential problem as I see it: You have, as you likely know, been accused of listening only to Danny's side in the Danny/Linda issue. Whether that is the case or not, I don't know, and I have yet to see convincing evidence establishing either Linda's innocence or her guilt. Because of the situations I've been in, I've been skeptical of Linda's claims of innocence. But here is the problem: If since 2003 you haven't contacted any of the alleged victims, their families, or the licensing associations as invited to do so by that letter from the Church of God, and if you instead ultimately relied on Tommy's word when the information he provided disagrees with the statements as found in that 2003 letter, then that unfortunately makes the accusation that you have only listened to Danny's side more plausible.

In my opinion, if this is what happened, an acknowledgment of error of judgment and a pledge to do better will help the situation, for a refusal to acknowledge such an obvious error would not benefit 3ABN in the least.

But now let's turn away from you entirely and look at a totally different issue with similar implications as the above. You probably realize as I do that ****** is definitely not pro-Linda. I was put in contact with *** during the MAP Seminar because *** was trying to locate a copy of the 2003 letter. In our conversation *** told me that *** had resigned from ****** because *** could see things coming. Gailon told me that *** resigned because *** was asked to. I could harmonize those two statements without difficulty.

But then a friend of mine was talking to a 3ABN'er, and they said that ****** had been asked to resign because of ******. That was definitely a discrepancy, and so I asked ****** about it. *** replied that when *** had tried to bring about financial and operational changes at 3ABN, Danny had threatened *** because he didn't like those changes, and Danny's first wife's brother had ******. These had then been sent out to all the board members. The board decided to take Danny's word about it all without investigating ******'s concerns, and *** then resigned as requested.

****** said I could share *** side of the story with whomever had heard the ****** allegation against ***, and since you obviously know it, I'm sharing *** side with you. My guess is that Elder Denslow and you have already discussed this. Since these details are not public knowledge on the internet, unlike the allegations against Tommy, the details of this portion of our communications, given current circumstances, will not be made public.

Consider the implications: Danny is accused of conjuring up evidence against Linda. Someone who is not pro-Linda claims that Danny ordered fraudulent evidence to be manufactured against ***. What kind of defense can Danny make when a pattern of behavior is claimed by two different parties who aren't on the same page?

Danny is widely accused of financial and managerial improprieties. A non-pro-Linda former ****** claims that *** had the same concerns, and was axed using manufactured evidence because *** tried to bring about changes. Again, there is an unfortunate appearance of a pattern of unethical behavior regarding finances and operations.

****** remains bothered by Linda's alleged paranoia about appearing before the board in 2004. It is quite plain that Linda's side distrusts the board and ASI, and I particularly have been bothered by their distrust of ASI. But ******'s story does raise questions about the board's fairness and competence if it is true that no impartial investigation was made into *** claims.

It is possible that ****** is lying. Of course. It is possible that Danny never threatened *** and that the board did do a thorough and impartial investigation. I would welcome evidence to that effect.

But when we line up the huge number of people who claim to have personally been affected by the same kind of financial and operational problems, not to mention the moral problems, even totally ignoring whatever Linda and Johann are claiming, it becomes a big stretch to assume that all these people are lying and only Danny and Tommy are telling the truth, especially when all claimed evidence in their favor is carefully kept under lock and key and cannot be seen by anyone, even when promises to the contrary are adamantly made.

There are still a couple issues that personally trouble me, and I guess I sort of started into one of those with the last part of that last sentence, but once again, this is long enough. I will just say that I do not covet your unenviable position, and my prayers and sympathies are with you. I hope that all these issues can be resolved in a way that is as redemptive as possible, and I pray that God will give you an abundant portion of His wisdom that you may best know just exactly how to proceed.

God bless.


P.S. Whatever clarifications you can make that would explain the discrepancies between your statements about Tommy and the 2003 letter you received would be most appreciated, as I will add your information to the mix come Tuesday. And do let me know if you contacted any of the alleged victims, their families, or the licensing associations in arriving at the information you gave.

And if the Holy Spirit impresses you, please speak with Hal for me when an opportunity arises.


Walt: "Danny Was the One Who Told Me"

And everything that Danny told Walt was a whopper of a lie:

  • The allegations were 30 years old, when some allegations were as recent as three years at the time.
  • It was all because Dryden had a feud with Tommy, when Dryden lived 800 miles away for 8 years after Tommy was forced to surrender his license.
  • Dryden has the only accounts of this, when Roger Clem had publicly come forward in West Frankfort a little bit before Dryden sent his letter in May 2003.
  • Tommy voluntarily surrendered his ministerial license, when he was forced to do it by the action of a committee.
  • A single Church of God leader pestered him to do so, when the letter asking him to do so came from a committee and was signed by two people.

Dr. Thompson says that in 2003 he relied solely on Danny's word. He says that he never contacted any of the victims, their families, or the two licensing associations as Pastor Dryden invited him to do. He essentially never investigated the matter at all. This is totally inexcusable and puts 3ABN at extreme financial jeopardy if other incidents have taken place.

How did Dr. Thompson just happen in 2006 to talk to the one individual who confirmed Danny's story, when it is so easy to find people who will tell a different story? Who was the individual he contacted?

Notice how at the end of his letter, 3ABN board chairman Dr. Thompson requests that Bob verify the information he has given in this letter.

-------- Original Message --------
From:  Walt Thompson
To:  Bob
Subject:  Re: Possible way to win 3ABN critics.
Date:  Mon, 27 Nov 2006 09:04:53 -0600

Dear Bob,

Thank you for you attempt to understand my sensitivity and that of 3abn administratin and board. We believe we have acted responsibly and wisely, appropriate to the circumstances. While one can always be criticized after the fact and without all of the evidence then available for consideration, often those same critics would have made similar judgments had they been there.

As I recall the events of 2003, I received a call from Brad Thorp from the General Conference telling me of Pastor Dryden's accusations. Brad appropriately told me that it was not his concern, and that it was ours to handle. As I recall, I contacted pastor Dryden and heard his side of the story following which I received the letter that is circulating. I was at 3abn at the time and spoke at length with Danny about the matter. He shared with me the details as he understood them. Whether or not I was aware of what generated the letter at that time, I do not remember. Based upon my understanding that Dryden had had a long standing feud with Tommy over factors unrelated to the above accusations, it did not seem indicated to approach the boys in question directly, having been informed that no case had ever been filed with the courts or legal disposition made. We then discussed the situation with the full board. Given the alleged events had occured many years before, attempts had been made to make things right, and no legal action had been taken, we did not see any reason to pursue the issue further nor to follow through with his recommendations. In my reply to pastor Dryden I merely thanked him for fulfilling his obligation to us. (I will make this one further comment. Whereas there are many accusations on the Internet alledging that Danny cannot be trusted, I disagree. I have known Danny now since the beginning of the ministry. Now more than 23 years. I have been fully appraised of many of the difficulties that he has faced during that time. While Danny sees things from his perspective, as we all do, he is honest and trustworthy. I have found no reason to distrust his reports to me. Yes, there are occasions when after having spoken with both sides of an issue it has been a matter of he said vs she said, but in all situations where I could know the facts, Danny has proven true.)

Subsequently, after this issue has been brought back to the forefront (I think there is only one person who could have known about this and brought it to world wide attentionm, and that person was then on the board and voted with the concensus) I contacted the only person from the Chruch of God that I could find that knew about the situation, and who had been present and witness to the events. (Accept for pastor Dryden's personal accounts, there are apparently no other records of the allegations) The picture that was painted by that leader of the Church was exactly as portrayed earlier by Danny. Dryden was jealous of Tommy and was out to get him - a jealousy that has continued to the present. I was again informed that the DA knew about the allegations and not finding a basis, refused to act against Tommy. I have been informed that the Church of God is a congregational type or organization with different jurisdictions in different states and that there was no higher authority that I could speak with to resolve the issue further. It was not entirely clear to me how that worked. I was also told that one leader pestered Tommy over and over again until Tommy voluntarily gave up his ministerial license. These are the facts as I have been able to sort them out.

I will not comment regarding ****** except to say that good people sometimes see things from differing perspectives. We parted company as friends, if not in full agreement. We continue to have communication with ****** and consider him a friend of 3ABN.

Since you have not described the other allegations against Danny, I am unable to know what you are referring and therefore unable to comment on them.

I hope this is helpful to you.

I would like to request that you not circulate this letter, but that you merely summarize and varify its contents.



Bob: Simple Follow-Up Questions

-------- Original Message --------
From:  Bob
To:  Walt Thompson
Subject:  Re: Possible way to win 3ABN critics.
Date:  Mon, 27 Nov 2006 13:47:48 -0600

Hi Walt.

Thanks very much for your clarifications. In hindsight, we can always see how we maybe could have done it a little differently, and learn from that. That's just life.

I'll see what I can come up with regarding an alleged long standing feud between Dryden and Tommy, a feud unrelated to molestation.

How did you get the name of the leader at the Church of God that you spoke to? It would be interesting to know why that person's story differs so radically from that of the alleged victims. If I had to guess, I'd say that maybe they were of the faction in the split church that believed Tommy (a split caused by his allegedly not admitting to the accusations), and that they were not of the faction that sided with the alleged victims. If that be the case, and if you got the name of that person from Danny or Tommy, who certainly would have known who agreed with his version of things, it would explain why that was the person you just happened to talk to, and why you came up with a version of the situation that differs so widely from that of the alleged victims.

If this is how it all happened, if it is true that the allegations are more recent than 30 years and that Tommy did not apologize, then I personally would consider you to be a victim too, but of a different sort. And I think that is a very charitable way to look at it.

How can I contact this person to get their side of the story, and thus verify what you have related?

Do you know who authorized Mike Riva to threaten Pastor Dryden with legal action?

On the other matters I referred to, I'll mention two briefly, and then if we need to discuss details, we can do that.

You referred to Matthew 18, which is a must when dealing with private issues. I'm wondering then why on August 10 on 3ABN Live Shelley Quinn over global television implied that Linda's daughter had lied in her confidential and private testimony about Danny's alleged sexual assault. I found that very troubling, even if Linda's daughter did lie, on two counts: 1) The matter was private and confidential, and 2) repeatedly during that program, the claim was made that they weren't going to defend themselves at all against the lies that were being told about Danny and 3ABN. Yet they did most certainly defend themselves.

In other words, if the matter is a public one, then it should be dealt with in a conclusive way that puts the matter to rest. But to publicly call a lady who asserts sexual assault a liar without providing any conclusive evidence to that effect, and while claiming to not be defending one's self, has the effect of stirring up more concerns in people's minds than what existed before. Such secrecy regarding the evidence while publicly making such insinuations is counterproductive, and gives people the idea that something isn't right.

Secondly, John Lomacang invited folks with questions to call him, so I did on September 1. In that conversation, during which I was listening for something concrete that wasn't based on he said, she said, he stated emphatically that there were phone card phone records of hundreds of hours of phone calls made to Norway by Linda, records of phone calls made prior to March 9, 2004, records he had personally seen. He promised me that if I came to 3ABN I could see them, and told me that wasn't his decision. Thus, it must have been the decision of the board or of management.

On September 8, October 2, 3, 10, 16, and 17 I emailed him concerning taking him up on his offer on my way back from my brother's wedding on October 23. The only reply I ever got from him was after my email of October 2 in which he briefly stated that I would have to contact Mollie who would decide whether the trip would take place. I accordingly wrote her on October 3, 10, 16, and 17, and finally got a reply from her after my email of the 16th stating that John's promise would not be kept after all.

I mention all these dates for a reason. On the first five dates on which I wrote John, I also asked him a super simple question: Were those hundreds of hours of phone calls actual time spent on the phone, or were they billed units. With phone cards it might cost quite a few minutes for every minute on the phone to Norway. I also asked Mollie this question on the 17th, and I asked them both if John had made a mistake when he made his promise, or, if not, why the sudden change in policy. It has been now more than a month since my last email to them, and I have heard nothing in reply to these questions.

I don't see how we can fault anyone if they think there is a cover-up going on, given such experiences as I have had with John, Mollie, and Hal. I really doubt that I am the only one who has been treated this way. 3ABN's damage control as it currently operates causes more damage than it controls.

Just two more thoughts, and I'll close. It might be good for me to get your side of the story regarding Nick's resignation, since it is a crucial bit of information in trying to sort through everything. It clearly is evidence of fraud on the part of Danny, and something needs to be said to counter that if there is anything that can be said.

As far as passing on your reply, I don't see how I cannot do that and still achieve the goal of getting down to the bottom of things and putting these rumors to rest. If I were to summarize your reply, I would in essence have to quote most of it anyway.

God bless.


Walt: "I'm Not Talking to You Again"

-------- Original Message --------
From:  Walt Thompson
To:  Bob
Subject:  Re: Possible way to win 3ABN critics.
Date:  Mon, 27 Nov 2006 20:21:19 -0600

Dear Bob,

Your e mails have revealed your true colors and have convinced me that you do not have the interest of 3abn at heart. I am requesting that you do not post my recent communications ANYWHERE. These have been sent to you as private correspondence and were not intended to be for the public use. I will not be responding further to your inquiries.


Walter Thompson MD

Bob: "Why Did You React That Way?"

-------- Original Message --------
From:  Bob
To:  Walt Thompson
Subject:  Re: Possible way to win 3ABN critics.
Date:  Mon, 27 Nov 2006 21:45:04 -0600

Walt? Why would you respond this way? What's wrong?

Specifically, in what way did I write anything that would give you the idea that I don't have the interest of 3ABN at heart?

Walt, I was gearing up to defend you and your decisions all I could, but how can I do that if you react in this way?

As far as not posting your communications, how can I not do that without perpetuating this horrendous he said, she said situation we presently have? It's this super secrecy policy that has created the crisis 3ABN now finds itself in. Only by humbly acknowledging wrong wherever wrong has been done, which as you know is our Christian duty and is a requirement for divine forgiveness wherever sin is involved, can confidence in 3ABN be restored.

You acknowledged that you made the mistake of not contacting the alleged victims, their families, and the associations when invited to do so in 2003. It takes a real man to do that. And people need to see that you aren't afraid to do that. And if anyone is inclined to be harsh toward you for that mistake, then I will do what I can to stop their unkind criticisms.

In what way is that not having 3ABN's interest at heart? What specifically in your communications are you ashamed for people to see?


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