Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tracing the Marvin Schwan Influence.
Did LCMS-WELS-ELS Sell Schwan Indulgences
For His Guilty Conscience?

This is the only photo of Marvin Schwan that I could find on Google Images.


Herman Otten sent me two messages about Marvin Schwan's first wife committing suicide after their divorce - and leaving a suicide note. I did an extensive search about Schwan but found very little - strange for one of the richest men in America. Even the New York Times, no friend of conservatives, had nothing to say about his first wife.

I was the one who broke the news to Otten that Schwan died. Someone I knew was going to meet with him, but the appointment was called off  because Schwan met his Maker instead.

I knew that Schwan divorced his wife to marry the wife of one of his managers. Only recently, John Shep told me that Schwan had a weakness for women and Cadillacs. Forbes ran an article about Schwan and his company, including the note that he divorced his wife for $1 million and a Cadillac. Given his net worth at the time of the divorce, Schwan gave her a pittance. They had four children.

The Evangelical Lutheran Synod was extremely upset that Otten ran the Forbes article in Christian News.
Jay Webber was anxious to tell his superiors that I sent the article. He shared his overlords' dismay. I said, "It was not exactly a secret." Jay said, "No one reads Forbes." There is the ELS mindset in a sentence.

Jay Webber at the Marvin Schwan Retreat Center.
Your daily knee-slapper. Who has tolerated and even promoted Church Growth in  the ELS!
Who advocates communing ELCA members "because it is easier?"
Answer - Jay Webber, another shape-shifter.

Wayne Laitenen, son-in-law of Chief Rascal Ted Hartwig, explained to me that Marvin had a "Scriptural" divorce. In WELS and the Church of Rome, that means an adulterer with a lot of money. He compared Schwan favorably to another rich adulterer who kept WELS (and many denominations) on the pad. Wealthy  adulterers love the Church Growth Movement, and the Church Growth Movement loves them.

Schwan trucks seem to be everywhere.


WELS had a panic attack when Schwan died at the age of 64. One of my sources said that Schwan checks came to The Love Shack and were booked separately,  not on the synod's books. When the staffer, in charge of writing down donations, objected to an executive taking the check away, the WELS official said, "I will take care of it."

No one will nail this down for me, but Schwan was probably the major donor for the Martin Luther College Cathedral - $8 million and no air-conditioning. That $8 million disappeared and Gurgle was replaced by Schroeder. The cathedral was built. Was that borrowed money from endowment? I cannot follow the money trail.

John Shep said that Schwan would leave him with multi-million dollar checks. I recall that Thoughts of Faith consumed about $15 million before Jay Webber and Roger Kovaciny organized a coup. Shep joined ELCA as a pastor, which seems to be where ELS pastors go.

Schwan Foundation
St. Marvin relieved the fears of WELS, Missouri, and the ELS by giving his privately-held company to his foundation, with the foundation and company both managed by his brother. The company would fund the foundation by buying back the shares. The children objected, but someone made it known that Marvin did not think much of his adult children. Obviously he did not think much of their mother, either. Some settlement was reached and the children stopped suing.

The flood gates opened. I began following the donations through guidestar.org, which keeps track of all charities. One can look up basic facts by registering.

The foundation had about a billion in net worth, so enormous gifts began flowing to the ELS, LCMS, and WELS. Bethany Lutheran College threw up all kinds of palatial buildings on their tiny campus, including a giant seminary building for an almost non-existent seminary, sparse calls. The last call day had one sem student called, two waiting.

The avalanche of gold made me wonder about Marvin's anxieties. Few billionaires give it all away to church bodies.

All those "conservative" Lutheran leaders must have known about Marvin and his first wife. I think they took advantage of his guilt by selling him forgiveness, proving that Lutherans offer indulgences to day - just as the Catholic Church still does.

Robert Rahn, Phil Giessler, Beck Bible
Robert Rahn is celebrating his life in Christian News. He brought up the God's Word to the Nations Bible Society and Phil Giessler, while omitting many pertinent facts.

Herman Otten urged Phil Giessler to do a re-write of the Beck Bible, assuming that Phil would take a call to a smaller congregation and work on it part-time. Instead, Phil resigned his call, organized the GWTN Bible Society, and got lavish funds from Marvin Schwan. I understand it was about $800,000 a year.

Phil's first wife got tired of his mistress and said, "Either she goes or I go." Phil picked his mistress, who was also the mother of his son (he thought). Since he was running a Bible society, that was a problem. He resigned and announced his own excommunication, since he was unrepentant.

Phil married his mistress, but she left him when the lavish loot ran out. It turns out the boy was not his son after all.

Later, Otten told me, "Phil Giessler was in here with his wife." I said, "His third?" We had to go over the details, because either he was on his third marriage or he had re-married Wife 1 or Wife 2. Yes, Otten had to admit, it was Phil's third wife. But no matter - Phil was trained in Missouri so he was A-OK.

Herman said, "He is very good at teaching the Bible." That made me think of the Wicked Bible, where the printer omitted the "not" in Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery. The Wicked Bible is supposed to be very rare, but it is quite popular in the Synodical Conference - a must read, in fact.

So Phil, living in adultery, got money from a wealthy adulterer, to produce a Bible which ate up $6 million and became a fiasco. There are all kinds of stories about it. Rahn says the million dollar building was sold, but the enterprise still exists in some form.

GWTN Wiki

Cascione, never particular about the facts, said this:

So who is going to produce a “Lutheran” translation after Luther?  We are all relieved that the ELCA has no interest in Bible translation.  The LCMS had its chance with Beck, but dropped out and promoted the Reformed NIV and now the revised RSV called the ESV.
In the 1980’s Luther Bible Society, just outside of Cleveland, with millions of dollars from Schwan and the Schwan Foundation made a run for it.  They got as far as the NET New Testament, but got bogged down with personal scandals.  They also got bogged down with rogue translators who thought “justified by faith” was a thing of the past.  They refused to heed warnings from Dr. Robert Preus who said “justified because of faith” is false doctrine.  Regardless of Preus’ warning, they went ahead and published “God’s Word” translation that Lutherans, who know better, have totally avoided.  In other words, the whole thing bombed and Luther Bible Society shut down in the early 90’s, and somewhere between 6 to 10 million dollars was wasted.  The devil and hubris took down Luther Bible Society.
Having been part of Luther Bible Society from 1985 to 1990, I saw firsthand the kind of infighting that takes place when pride, ambition, ego, false doctrine, and money all take center stage when attempting to promote a Bible translation.  Just ask Herman Otten and Rue Beck what they have been through in attempting to promote a translation.
Did any of these translation geniuses study under Luther and Melanchthon?
The KJV never comes up. Tyndale translated the first English Bible - modeled after Luther's German Bible.

How can a Bible built on adultery-times-two amount to anything? But Phil is still active in raising funds and being a big deal.

Africa - Phil comes back to his Cleveland call to talk about Africa - and polygamy?

Creation Museum - Phil is a "respected Lutheran theologian and scholar."

Conclusions
The LCMS has not changed since its Perryville founding, based on personal loyalty, Pietism, and clergy adultery.

Adultery is not a deal-breaker in the Synodical Conference, provided one has the right connections.

Neither is false doctrine.

Do not question the tyrants who run the business or their precious UOJ - both attitudes inherited from Bishop Martin Stephan, STD.



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