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Dr. Arild Abrahamsen's Published 2006 Statement About the Controversy

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With no hint yet of Plaintiff Danny Shelton backing down from the lawsuit, we release this historical item, something previously published by Adventist Today, in response to Plaintiff 3ABN's Request for Production of Documents and Things to Defendant Pickle.

August 21, 2006
Posted August 21st, 2006 by webmaster



Personal Lives and The Three Angels Broadcasting Network (3ABN): Statements by Adventist Today Editors, Dr. Arild Abrahamsen, Dr. Walter Thompson (Chair, 3ABN Board of Directors), and Mr. Danny Shelton

Statement by Adventist Today Editors

The Three Angels Broadcasting Network (3ABN) has become a major force in the Seventh-day Adventist Church even though it has no formal ties with the denomination. Its twelve million dollar plus annual budget comes largely from Adventist donors. Many conservative ministries find the access to Adventist donors provided through programming on 3ABN indispensable for their continued prosperity.

Key to the success of 3ABN has been the drive, vision and skills of Danny and Linda Shelton. They have become Adventist celebrities, and their audience is hungry for information about their personal lives.

The Shelton's divorce, Linda's removal from the ministry, and Danny's subsequent remarriage have been the topic of intense and prolonged controversy among Adventists. The number one reason people have visited the Adventist Today website in recent months is their quest for more information about Danny and Linda Shelton.

One does not build a ministry like 3ABN without a bold, entrepreneurial spirit. Both Danny and Linda are forceful personalities. This kind of forcefulness in religious personalities usually leads to controversy. It is often associated with accusations of sexual behavior inconsistent with Christian ideals. It is important to remember that accusations are not proof of guilt. Neither are protestations of innocence proof of fidelity.

Linda has been accused of having an improper relationship with a physician friend from Norway. This has been strenuously denied by Linda and by the doctor. (See his statement below.) Recently, Danny has been accused of improper sexual advances by a young woman in the 3ABN orbit, an accusation Danny denies.

Adventist Today does not have the resources to hire a full-time investigative reporter to follow all of these allegations. What we can offer is a platform where the principals can speak directly to the issues themselves.

Below is a letter from Dr. Arild Abrahamsen, the physician accused of improper conduct with Linda. It has been widely circulated on the internet. We have asked Dr. Walter Thompson, chairman of the board of 3ABN, to respond. His reply, unedited, follows Dr. Abrahamsen's letter.

We have also asked Danny Shelton to respond. His letter, again unedited, follows Dr. Thompson's letter.

Adventist Today makes no claims regarding the facts asserted in any of these letters. We invite all readers to maintain a gentle skepticism about all of the claims and counterclaims. We all see the world and reality through lenses shaped by our own histories, experiences and character. We all want to be right. But God is the ultimate judge.

Statement of Dr. Arild Abrahamsen Concerning Mr. Danny Shelton and 3ABN

My name is Dr. Arild Abrahamsen. I live in Svindal, Norway. I have been a medical doctor for more than 35 years. I am a member of the Moss SDA Church. I've been the Sabbath School Superintendent for 14 years and the head elder for 4 years, which position I am presently serving. I am the Norwegian doctor who has been slandered by Dr. Walt Thompson, chairman of the board of 3ABN, Danny Shelton, John Lomacang and others.

Since I have observed the situation and the slander only getting worse, I feel it best to share my experience. I share my personal experience, what I have seen and heard. Much of this information has been verified by other sources, which include emails, letters and the personal experiences of others. I share my experience not to attack any individual or organization, but to bring the truth of this situation to the surface.

I have been shocked to observe the events of the last two years. I have made no public statement until now. I had hoped things would resolve themselves.

I visited Johann and Irmgard Thorvaldsson at 3ABN the last week of 2003. The purpose of the trip was to see them and visit the ministry, which I personally had been supporting for some time. I had never been to 3ABN previously, nor had I met the Shelton's. During this visit I discovered from the Thorvaldsson's that Linda Shelton's son, Nathan, was in a dangerous state of health because of an addiction to drugs and working in coalmines. I offered to see him. This visit resulted in an invitation for Nathan to come to Norway for treatments. Nathan came to Norway around January 20, 2004 along with his friend, Dava Vice. Linda came for a 3-½ day visit to support her son, the first week of February together with Brenda Walsh. This was the last time I saw Linda until the weekend she was fired.

I had a chance to visit with Nathan regularly. I learned from my conversations with Nathan that the roots of his drug problems were the relationships with his father and stepfather. Specifically he told me that Danny had turned his back on him. I shared this information with his mother on the phone. She told me that Danny said he had no responsibility towards Nathan since he was a product of her first marriage, so she felt she had to do what she could to help her son. There was nothing unusual in the occasional phone reports I gave Nathan's mother while he was in Norway. After Nathan returned home, I asked Linda to keep me updated on Nathan's progress.

I was shocked to discover in early March of 2004 that Danny was threatening to get Linda fired from 3ABN because of some conversations on the phone. In fact, she was threatened immediately with divorce. By this time Nathan had started with drugs again and Linda was seeking advice. I was also shocked to discover that Brenda had started circulating untrue statements as well. (Was it because Danny had admitted to some emotional involvement with Brenda?) I talked to Danny one time on the phone and found him to be unreasonable, unbalanced and very difficult to communicate with. Johann Thorvaldsson, a retired pastor of the SDA Church of 50 years, also was in communication with Danny, both by phone and email. We talked together and shared the same opinion that Danny was acting completely irrational and unreasonable towards his wife. It appeared he was attempting to leave an email trail filled with untruths to verify a position at a later time. The decision was made to stop the communication by phone with Linda.

Some weeks went by. Johann and Irmgard were getting treatments at my clinic and staying in my home during the Easter week in April, so I discovered from them that the situation was not improving for Linda. She was being harassed, threatened, and unreasonable demands by her husband were repeatedly being made to confess things she had not done. By this time, she was also suspended from her job at 3ABN, an order that was issued and enforced by her husband with no Board action. Things were so bad in the home that she found it necessary to go to her daughter's home in Springfield, Illinois for safety and rest on several occasions. Derrell Mundall, who was traveling often for 3ABN, reports rumors of Linda's so-called "affair" were in SDA churches in April 2004, when Linda was still living with Danny. When he inquired about the source of the rumors, people always pointed to Danny Shelton.

I could see from my 35 years of experience as a physician that Danny was a psychopath. Accusations were directed at me that I had done "mind control" over Linda. (Walt Thompson made the same accusations in his letters.) Linda was accused of sending "secret messages" to me over the television. Danny's emails and communications with Johann were completely crazy, and his reasoning often conflicted with his previous emails. Danny targeted Linda's few inner circle confidants and slandered her to the point that even they backed away from her at this critical time. (Linda's "friends" did not want to lose their television privileges.) Johann and I concluded this was a man who was determined to get rid of his wife. We also concluded that Linda was in danger.

Things eventually progressed from emotional and mental abuse to physical abuse. In the midst of all this harassment Linda asked Danny, 'Why are you treating me like this?' He answered, 'Because I want you to get out.'

Considering the urgency of the situation I allowed the conversations to resume. Linda knew, with her high profile status, that confiding with local people regarding these issues would be very bad for the ministry. I had given counsel to people in difficulty in the past and felt I could be helpful from a distance in this situation. I encouraged Linda to fight for her marriage and ministry many times. This she really did, but she often had to leave her home to find refuge at her daughter's apartment in Springfield, even in the middle of the night because of Danny's behavior. At times like these she was afraid of him. She always returned to her home after a couple of days seeking to try to mend the marriage, but Danny would not allow this.

During the spring of 2004 Danny called my pastor in Norway. Danny tried to get me kicked out as an elder and as a member of the church. My pastor told me about the conversation and he said, "He is mentally sick, he needs professional help."

I find it very disturbing that Walt Thompson defended and continues to defend Danny although he was a witness repeatedly to the emotional and mental abuse that was taking place. At one point he witnessed Danny "trashing" his wife for five hours. I also find it disturbing that John Lomacang, Linda's former pastor, claims to have counseled extensively with Danny and Linda when this was far from the truth. During the months of April and May of 2004, when most of the activity was occurring in this situation, Linda NEVER saw John, who was supposed to be her pastor.

Coincidentally the handful of people supporting Danny and defending his actions has gained either power, position, airtime , homes, public endorsement or all of the above.

At one point I had a conversation with Walt Thompson, Chairman of the Board of 3ABN. He asked me to stop all communication with Linda. This had also been communicated to Johann and Irmgard Thorvaldsson and others. I told him that it was obviously Danny's plan to isolate Linda from everyone at a time when she needed help. To me it was the Christian thing to answer her phone calls and the only humane thing to do for someone who was in crisis.

Others did not come to Linda's aid because they did not want to lose whatever benefit they gained from 3ABN, whether it be a job, programming, promotions, etc. Walt was also the one who phoned Linda when she was suspended from the ministry by her husband. He instructed her that she must not come to the ministry (which she co-founded) without calling ahead of time because she must be supervised when at 3ABN. Danny broke into a locked bathroom to forcefully take her keys to 3ABN from her. Her hard drive of her computer was confiscated, her contact information taken and even her filing cabinets ravaged, all without any kind of Board action.

Linda was living in an impossible situation. Danny was "in her face" on a regular basis. At times he would say, "If you don't say you're a pathological liar, the marriage and 3ABN is over. If you don't say you're an adulterous woman the marriage and 3ABN is over for you. If you don't say you've given your heart to another man and that he is a demon, the marriage and 3ABN is over ... etc." It even reached the point when he demanded her to say "Repeat after me." Johann and I received a couple [of] emails, which said they were from Linda, but they were written by Danny. Linda saw her ministry being destroyed one day at a time. All of this was dehumanizing and terrifying to Linda, who was trying to hold things together. She very much realized what was at stake.

An "investigative committee" was put together by Walt Thompson to look into this situation. They were Walt Thompson, Bill Hulsey, Nick Miller and Kay Kuzma. Danny talked privately at length with each of these people. Linda did not. The committee as a whole never met with Linda at all. In one brief phone conversation with Kay Kuzma she told Linda, "The Board is not interested in you and Danny's personal problems. It is only interested in the fact that the President no longer wants his Vice-President."

Johann Thorvaldsson testifies that he spoke with Kay the following day. She told him she was instructed to get Linda used to the idea of not being at 3ABN anymore and to try to get her involved in another ministry.

It's interesting that at the time Danny accused Linda for speaking on the phone to me, that he was in the practice of speaking regularly with Brenda, Linda's "friend." He also visited often with her in her 3ABN apartment in the night. A worker at 3ABN states that Brenda even went golfing with Danny behind Linda's back while she was working. As soon as Brenda saw where the tide was turning, she was no longer Linda's friend. She became an accuser as well.

About May 1, 2004 instructions were given to the production staff to wipe Linda's face off of the network by June 1, again with no Board action. All CD's, videos, literature and photos of Linda were stripped out of the Call Center. She was sent a document a few days later specifying that she was advised to get 30 days of counseling by counselors of "their" choice. If she did not agree to this in writing within 24 hours, her employment could be gone. She requested time for an attorney to look at the document. This was refused. Mail was flooding into the network with Linda's name on it. They were all returned to sender. Her scheduled speaking appointments for women's ministries were sabotaged by those in leadership at 3ABN. Danny told those who worked for Linda that she was a pathological liar and to stay away from her. (He did not want them to hear the other side of the story.) At one point Linda told Walt that Dan was purposefully ruining her reputation and that she was not willing to be a martyr for 3ABN. Walt's response was "How else are we going to save the ministry?"

Rumors of Linda's so-called "affair" were flying throughout the churches and the General Conference in May of 2004, rumors which were begun by her husband. It was communicated to me that Linda was going to be fired at the Board meeting, which would occur in May, following the 3ABN camp meeting.

Johann and I decided to go to the camp meeting and talk to the Board members and tell them the truth about the situation. When we walked into the 3ABN building we were surrounded by about 10 people. One person stood directly behind me for the entire service. Walt Thompson and Nick Miller (3ABN's attorney) asked us to leave. We stayed until nearly the end of the service. (At this camp meeting an announcement was made regarding Linda. There were tearful appeals by Danny, which raised a record-breaking amount of money for 3ABN. Danny also claims that an additional two million dollars was raised the year of their divorce.) When Johann and I went to the door, once again we were followed by a small crowd of people. I spoke to Mark Finley about the situation at length in the parking lot. John Lomacang tried to stop the conversation. He said 'It is not good for you to talk to him alone.' What was he afraid of? He was standing with me when Danny drove up and said that if I returned to camp meeting I would be arrested and thrown in jail. He had already talked to the Sheriff. I decided to not return, as it was Mark Finley's suggestion to avoid the possibility of disrupting the camp meeting for all of the people attending. Linda was staying in her daughter's apartment in Springfield, so we drove there on Saturday to stay in a hotel for the weekend. During this weekend we were followed by three private investigators all the time. What kind of actions was that, for a man that REALLY wanted to save his marriage?

It is my understanding that a one-sided conversation was illegally taped by Danny towards the end of May. With a mind set on framing his wife, her words have been misconstrued into saying what he wants people to think. She mentions a trip to Las Vegas. He explains to all that she is planning a rendezvous with "the doctor." In reality for weeks he has offered Linda larger and larger sums of money for her to go to Las Vegas and stay with her mother for six weeks to acquire residency, a requirement for couples that want a quick divorce. For weeks she refused. SHE NEVER WANTED A DIVORCE.

The events of the previous months eventually bring her to the place where she thinks this is maybe what she should do. She knew a separation was necessary. Danny takes her words from the phone call and adds his insinuations. He makes photo copies of her one sided conversation and distributes it. This is his main source of "proof" for his actions and re-marriage. They call it circumstantial evidence." To further cover their tracks Linda's accusers say that for her sake they don't want to tell "all she has done." They say this so people will accept their statements and imagine the worst. This is slander of the worst kind all coming from professed Christians.

Johann says he was fired from 3ABN for refusing to attest to something false Danny wanted him to put in writing about Linda. Derrell Mundall, Danny's ex-son-in-law, says he was given the option to resign or be fired because of his actions defending Linda. Others quit their jobs because they could not support the actions of the leaders. There is one thing many of these people have in common. Anyone who disagrees with Danny is slandered and discredited.

It's interesting that Danny's daughter recently was found to be pregnant out of wedlock. A quick wedding followed when Derrell, (her ex-husband & father of their four children), claims she had no grounds for re-marriage. It's also interesting that nobody asked Derrell about the issue of grounds at all when he was still a resident in Thompsonville. Also another married Shelton family member had a romantic encounter recently with a married employee of 3ABN. They were instructed to keep it quiet. They did. They all still work at 3ABN, and Melody is featured on the network. Is 3ABN all about standing for principle and values, or standing for those who happen to be in good graces with the President and the Shelton family?

Another question that seems to be in the minds of many is "Why was Linda given $240,000 when all claim she was fired for a wrongdoing?" The only reason Linda signed this 3ABN contract was because she needed money to escape from a very irregular, abusive and impossible situation. Danny forced her to sign not only this contract, but another contract which sold him her half of their joint-owned home the same day.

Linda has suffered much emotional trauma and humiliation from all of this. She still has nightmares about these events. She did not feel ready to face the people of the SDA church for six months after all of this occurred. I encouraged her to begin again. She went for the first time around the end of November of 2004 in Springfield. The people welcomed her. She requested her membership to be transferred out of the Thompsonville church into the Springfield church in December of 2004. The Springfield pastor had previously worked at 3ABN and knew Linda. He did not believe the rumors and encouraged the church to put her to work. It was a healing time for her to teach Sabbath School and occasionally preach.

In June of 2005 things changed. Pastor Grady was transferred out of the Springfield church, although he wanted to stay, and a pastor from 3ABN was moved into the church. Within two weeks John Stanton met with Linda and told her she would be doing nothing on the platform. She told him that the church really needed the help and she hoped that if she was asked once in two months to teach a Sabbath School class that she would be able to do this. He told her that the orders had come from the conference level. (The Illinois conference President sits on 3ABN's Board and his parents work for 3ABN.) During our visit to the General Conference Session Johann and I visited with this pastor. He told us he thought Linda was a liar. I TOLD HIM THAT LINDA HAD NEVER BEEN UNFAITHFUL TO HER HUSBAND and that all the rumors from her husband were lies. But this man had TV interests to pursue and he was in close connection with Danny and John Lomacang.

The last week of October 2005, a letter came to Linda from John Lomacang, the pastor of the Thompsonville (3ABN) church. It stated that the church board had voted "to call a church business session to recommend to the church that you be placed under censure." Linda called John to ask him why.

He said it was because she had abandoned her marriage and ministry, which led to her divorce. (This is what Danny refers to as "grounds" to re-marry.) Linda planned to address the church business meeting. She wrote to Danny requesting a release from the restrictions of the contract she signed so she could openly share her side of the story. Danny denied this request. Because of this she felt forced to drop her membership there and then join another SDA church. This decision was made after much counsel with several SDA's. It's interesting that this recommendation for censure came almost 18 months after the fact. (Which kind of practice is this? Special for USA?) It's also interesting that all of this occurred while Danny was trying to gather evidence against Linda so he could re-marry.

Danny Shelton and the leadership of 3ABN are responsible for using the ministry of 3ABN to bring character assassination to Linda and others. In Linda's case, television and radio announcements were made denouncing her character. There was an announcement on the front page of 3ABN's website for many months. About 180,000 letters about Linda were sent to the mailing list at 3ABN. Videos about her were made and distributed. Magazine articles were written and submitted. Mailings were made to church officials. Many calls were taken at 3ABN where slanderous remarks about Linda were given over the phone. Many letters containing completely false statements were sent to many individuals. Danny even made his personal email address available over 3ABN so people could write to him and obtain his side of the story. They did a thorough job of character assassination. Now two years later the "trashing" continues. It is inexcusable, especially for a proclaimed Christian ministry.

In conclusion I want to clearly state that I have not committed adultery (emotional, physical, "spiritual"), and neither has Linda. The conversations we had were not unusual or inappropriate. Linda is the victim of domestic violence, only this has resulted in worldwide effects for our Church.

Linda has sought for help at the General Conference level. She has sought the aid of pastors. No one has an answer. She has tried repeatedly to meet with a committee from the Board of 3ABN. This request has not been granted. Still the bulk emails and letters flow from 3ABN slandering the innocent. This has been the most ungodly situation I have observed in my entire life.

Any who find themselves not in good graces with Danny Shelton will find that their name is discredited and slandered in an attempt to destroy their influence. Linda has suffered the most with the loss of her job, her influence and reputation. But many others, including myself, have felt the heat coming from what is supposed to be a ministry representing Jesus Christ. This is an outrage. This is unacceptable. Accountability of leaders is a must. (Can bad fruits come from good trees?) As Christians, it is our duty to demand accountability and a high standard from leaders. I hope this testimony will fulfill the mission intended.


Dr. Arild Abrahamsen

Statement of Dr. Walter Thompson, Chairman, 3ABN Board of Directors

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the article in Adventist Today that you are calling "Personal Lives and Three Angels Broadcasting Network (3ABN)."

I have carefully reviewed the article and have the following comments:

The Three ABN Board of Directors, a board that consists of dedicated business men, church leaders, and other dedicated laymen, have carefully and thoroughly studied the situations leading up to the dismissal of Linda Shelton from the ministry as well as the evidence indicating Danny's legal and moral rights to remarry. All decisions and actions taken have been by unanimous agreement based upon defensible evidence.

We live in a world dying without hope and are committed to doing our part in giving only that hope that may be found in the everlasting Good News of Jesus Christ and His soon return.

Walter Thompson MD

Chairman, 3ABN Board of Directors

Statement of Mr. Danny Shelton

Dear Editor:

This is my response to your offer to publish my unedited version of my reaction to the Adventist Today article.

I think it is a shame that the number reason people contact Adventist Today is to hear about Danny and Linda Shelton. I wish Adventist Today was spending as much time telling people about Jesus as they are exposing unsupported rhetoric about Danny and Linda. If that were the case, I suspect you would have conversion stories to share instead of unsubstantiated comments by those who are attempting to bring disgrace to the cause of God. I haven't heard of one conversion story from Adventist Today's printing all this "gossip" about us. I hear conversion stories almost daily at 3ABN because the focus of 3ABN is to take the Three Angel's messages into all the world.

I believe that we all need to consentrate on truth rather than to sort through all the testimonials and try to pick a side to support. As Christians we should all be on Jesus's side, and he says take the gospel into all the world. He does not say to take GOSSIP into all the world.

You mentioned that you do not have the ability to do "investigative reporting" in your search for truth, so in exchange, you are publishing the comments of the parties involved in the conflict which may or may not reflect truth. I might ask, how does this help to discover the truth of the matter or enhance the cause we all profess to want to serve-and which Adventist Today claims to want to do? The letters in this article that you asked me to respond to are made up of many errors. I won't try to point them all out at this time. I will say that Dr. Thompson's letter speaks for me and the board of 3ABN at this time.

There has been no cover ups on 3ABN's part and neither will there be on the latest letter. The gospel of Jesus Christ is all about taking His salvation message to the world. Jesus says,"Go" and the Devil says,"Stop. The Stop and Go principal has always helped me to make better decisions when it comes to whom I support. I support those who are giving the Gospel message into all the world, not those who are throwing stones and trying to Stop the Gospel through false accusations, no matter how convincing they may sound. The Bible says that we will know which side people are on "by their fruits."

God Bless!

Danny Shelton

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