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3ABN sued
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Tommy Shelton

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Rule 26(f) Conference Over / Discovery Begins

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-------- Original Message --------
From:  AUReporter
To:  AUReporter
Subject:  Rule 26(f) Conference Over / Discovery Begins
Date:  Fri, 27 Jul 2007 00:41:33 +0000

At 3:30pm on Monday, July 23rd, 2007 the Plaintiffs' counsel and Defendants met before U.S. District Court Judge Saylor to establish a discovery and trial schedule for the captioned case Three Angels Broadcasting Network, Inc and Danny Lee Shelton vs. Gailon Arthur Joy and Robert Pickle. Defendants had documents ready for production but Plaintiffs did not and both parties were ordered to complete autoproduction by Friday August 3, 2007.

A debate regarding access to hard drives by computer experts was referred to the Judge Magistrate for a hearing on August 9, 2007 at 2:00pm. Defendants have proposed the use of Jumper Drives to transfer exact copies of the website but Plaintiffs demand access to the actual server. Another battle worth fighting.

Defendants have until September 15, 2007 to amend pleadings as in adding affirmative defenses, adding parties and/or asserting a counterclaim, or will have to show good cause after that date.

Once again the Plaintiffs attempted to convince the bench to issue a protective order giving confidentiality to production of documents and once again Defendants opposed this blatant attempt to silence the press, citing Local Rule 7a as the proper venue for any request to impound documents.

With the completion of this conference, discovery now begins. And this is where the costs can really mount quickly with deposition expenses and production of documents, including service of subpoena duces tecum, etc. Your support has been greatly appreciated and we look forward to a successful discovery process.

I am making available copies of Concise Factual Summary's by Plaintiff and then Defendant. These best summarize where each of the parties intends to take the case and sets the goals for each of the parties at trial. It also sets the standards for discovery of documents and information required to prove your case. This will set the tone for the opening statements and will hopefully determine the summary of evidence in the closing statements.

We will be happy to answer any questions as appropriate. Our goal remains to keep the entire process open and transparent, which, by the way, was the contention in the ASI hearing. Linda's team demanded open and transparent while ASI and 3ABN led by ASI Missions Board President, Harold Lance, Esq., an accomplished trial lawyer, insisted that it be closed and secretive. Open and transparent is the way this trial, a venue the Plaintiffs chose, will continue to be as much as is reasonably possible.

Openness and transparency should be a goal for all church processes and we look forward to a day when that is the RULE rather than the exception.

And for your reading pleasure, the case summaries [a concatenation of portions of the reports filed separately by the Plaintiffs and the Defendants]:


Three Angels Broadcasting Network, Inc.,
an Illinois non-profit corporation, and
Danny Lee Shelton, individually,


Gailon Arthur Joy and Robert Pickle,



Case No.: 4:07-cv-40098 FDS


Description of Case


Concise Factual Summary of Plaintiff's Claims;

By their Complaint, Plaintiffs allege that Defendants Gailon Joy and Robert Pickle, acting individually and in consort, have engaged in an affirmative campaign of defamation, slander and libel directed against Three Angels Broadcasting Network, Inc. ("3ABN") and its Founder and President, Mr. Danny Shelton. Joy and Pickle have published false statements of fact and have made grievous misrepresentations—directly and by omission and innuendo—regarding 3ABN's operation, administration, and financial management and regarding Shelton's personal and professional conduct. Joy and Pickle purposefully and deliberately made these false statements and misrepresentations in order to destroy Plaintiffs' reputations and goodwill, undermine public confidence in the ministry and its president, and financially cripple Plaintiffs so Plaintiffs would acquiesce to Defendants' designs for the company and its administration. Joy and Pickle made their defamatory statements knowing yet willfully disregarding the falsity of the statements, or made the statements in brazen, wanton and reckless disregard for the truth or falsity of their statements.

Joy and Pickle have disseminated their statements to third persons and to the public at large orally, in print, and on the internet. Moreover, with regard to their internet offensive, Defendants have usurped and infringed upon Plaintiff Three Angel's federally registered trademark "3ABN," using it to identify and advertise their own world wide web site, "," in violation of the Lanham Act.

Joy and Pickle's efforts have been the direct cause of reputation, financial, and other harm and damages to 3ABN and its President. Defendants' have brought about a diminishment of Plaintiffs' reputations and goodwill, a lowering of Plaintiffs in the eyes of the public and 3ABN viewers, donors and supporters, a reduction in financial contributions to the ministry, and a confusion or likely confusion of the public and internet community as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation and origination of the "" website.

Despite the filing of the instant action, Pickle and Joy's campaign of orchestrated disparagement continues. Plaintiffs anticipate the instant case will require considerable discovery, as Pickle and Joy's defamation and trademark infringement are ongoing, and that there will be numerous, contentious discovery disputes. Defendants have already stated their intention to refuse Plaintiffs original-source access to electronically stored information, they have already challenged Plaintiffs' right to discoverable information based on an alleged "reporter's privilege," and they have already raised an allegation that Plaintiffs have engaged in the destruction of evidence, yet refused to provide Plaintiffs with supporting information that Plaintiffs would need to investigate the charge.

Additionally, Plaintiffs' concerns about Defendants using the pleadings in this matter, both as a forum to disparage Plaintiffs and as a source of material Defendants will mischaracterize, editorialize, sensationalize and publish to misinform the public, have come to fruition since the lifting of the impoundment order. In fact, since the Court's denial of Plaintiffs' Motion for Impoundment, Defendants have directed visitors to the infringing "Save3ABN" website to the Court's PACER system, clearly evidencing their intent to use this Court's own document repository and the pleadings and submissions contained therein, as a platform to continue publishing defamatory and derogatory statements about the Plaintiffs. Thus, Plaintiffs' also anticipate the case will require substantial attention to the protection of various discovery materials and case submissions.


Concise Factual Summary of Defendant's claims/defenses;

Defendants vehemently deny the Plaintiffs' allegations of defamation and in defense assert that Plaintiffs are participating in a conspiracy of misinformation, have issued factually challenged statements, and have failed to deliver any proof of their own defamatory and factually challenged claims against their victims and the Defendants, despite repeated requests from the Defendants, some victims, and others.

The Defendants further assert the record will demonstrate as a matter of fact, statute, and precedent that the allegations regarding Trademark Infringement, Copyright Violation, and Trademark dilution are willfully and wantonly frivolous claims, without merit, and consequently an abuse of process intended to silence the plaintiffs' critics and not to recover any purported damages. Indeed, the defamation per se that the plaintiffs have so repeatedly emphasized to this Court is characterized by its standing as a legal theory worthy of bringing to trial even in the absence of actual damages.

The Defendants took the notice contained in the Complaint that the repetition of the asserted trademarks of Three Angels Broadcasting Network, Inc., in the referrer tags contained in the web pages of was asserted as an infringement and removed those references, which were never visible on the online display anyway and even were ignored by the search engines that many years ago relied on them. Thus, under applicable statutory and case law, there is no infringement, as "save3ABN" is not going to confuse any member of the public that the web site is a product or part of the business or even a competitor of Three Angels Broadcasting Network, Inc.

The defamation cause relates to Defendants' ecclesiastical investigation of allegations and charges relating to the personal and professional conduct of the self-appointed managing director and purported founder, other employees, past and present, and the members/directors of Three Angels Broadcasting Network, Inc. Defendants have conducted hundreds of hours of interviews and collected a substantial record of documents and statements from dozens of witnesses, victims, and employees, past and present. Defendants have provided ecclesiastical reports accurately reflecting the historical record of events during the twenty years of 3ABN history.

The plaintiffs' personal, professional and corporate conduct is chimeral and duplicitous as they profess adherence to Seventh-day Adventist conservative theology while Three Angels Broadcasting Network, Inc., allows their self-appointed leader to conduct himself in such a way as to prove violative of the clear and rigorously enforced standards required of ministry leadership within the Seventh-day Adventist Faith just as they are expected of the churches' membership. They collusively have repeatedly violated the code of conduct expected of an institution that professes an absolute faith in, and teaches, the doctrines of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Plaintiffs have in concert violated the code of conduct required as a member of Adventist-laymen's Services and Industries, a Seventh-day Adventist, denominationally-affiliated businessmen's organization. Defendants intend to prove that the plaintiffs have colluded to underwrite and allow this self-appointed leader to stoop to a level best described as institutional and personal corruption unbecoming of a leader of a Seventh-day Adventist supporting ministry. Such a violation of the rules of their faith that the Seventh-day Adventist membership abides by is a regular topic of member discussion and the only difference the defendants brought to the discussion was to uncover the proof of the truth. In response, the plaintiffs are, in a familiar and oft-repeated scenario, seeking to silence them by bringing suit.

Plaintiffs have fraudulently relied upon the Seventh-day Adventist worldwide congregation for the funds to operate, claiming to proclaim the unique-to-Seventh-day Adventists Three Angels' Messages, while coming to this court and representing themselves as operating a non-denominational institution. Plaintiffs have colluded repeatedly to misinform or delude the various Seventh-day Adventist congregations in such a way as to fraudulently continue to collect donations, trusts, wills, tithes, bequests, and gifts both outright and in trust, and have willfully attempted to cover up conduct that was clearly violative of the rights of their victims. The actual record demonstrates a willfully deceptive effort to deceive victims and contributors to the clear benefit of Plaintiff Danny Lee Shelton and demonstrates that the very limited membership of 3ABN willfully and repeatedly ignored clear warnings of corruption and misuse of financial assets entrusted to 3ABN and its affiliates. The actual record demonstrates a willfully deceptive effort to deceive cast-aside victims of corruption and to deprive them of due process, to willfully set about to defame or undermine the character and personalities of its cast-aside victims, and to deprive them of their livelihood after the fact, all contrary to the standards expected of a Seventh-day Adventist supporting ministry and violative of the trust of more than 100,000 contributors to 3ABN. The actual record will demonstrate that the membership of 3ABN failed to show due diligence and to investigate the various warnings, wantonly electing to rely upon the factually challenged representations and statements of its self-appointed leader and purported founder, Danny Lee Shelton, to their ultimate detriment.

Defendants reassert their constitutional right pursuant to the US Constitution and the First Amendment thereto to continue to investigate and to report on the conduct of the Plaintiffs. Further, by their written statements the Plaintiffs and Plaintiffs' counsel clearly intended the filing of this action to result in the silence of the press and as such would be a misuse of process pursuant to the Defendants' right to freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech inherent in the US Constitution. Defendants further assert that the Plaintiffs' proposed STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER GOVERNING CONFIDENTIALITY is a contempt of the Honorable Court and a veiled effort to impound discovery grossly violating the clear order of the court as the Plaintiffs continue their efforts to sidestep local rule 7(a) in an effort to avoid full disclosure to the contributing public.

Respectfully Submitted,

Gailon Arthur Joy

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