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Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:10-13 KJV. Where we go one, we go all.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Transformation - Turn Lawns into Self-Generating Delights

I like to garden because I get a chance to create something appealing that sustains itself and grows in value and beauty.

Roses are a great value, because they are everyone's favorite flower, easy to grow, and productive. Moreover, they get stronger and more productive year after year, even though some bushes die out or do not do well.

But today I feel obliged to deal with other plants that establish themselves and spread or re-seed on their own.

Everyone's excuse is - it takes years to grow. Decades later, they are still saying that. Once again, asparagus is easy to grow. Dig a hole, put the two-year roots in, fill the hole. Rich soil and mulch are good ways to have a great plant. Digging tons of soil is not needed and really counter-productive. The first year stalks are thin. They are better the next year. After that, cut the stalks that are as thick as a man's thumb.

I bought Triple Crown Blackberries, which are thornless. Last year they were getting settled. This year they are packed with flowers, forming berries, and spreading through their roots.

Like blackberries, they thrive in the wild and are easy to grow.

For flavor one can hardly beat Heritage. They spread through their roots and only need to be thinned out.

Bee Balm
Horse Mint is a plant loved by hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. I bought a number of them, including ones on clearance. There they sat, absorbing rain-barrel water and not seeming to do well. I did find one or two blooming and attracting a hummingbird. This year all of them have spread through clumping and looking great.

Do not laugh too hard. Birds plant this wherever they perch, so it is a question of which ones I allow to grow nine feet tall. They will feed the birds their bright red berries in the Wild Garden area, where the stalks already look robust.

Queen Ann's Lace
Call it a weed or call it wild carrot. I like it, and so do beneficial insects. There are more elegant carrot family plants but none so hardy and blue collar as this one - dubbed the "truck parking lot" weed.

Wild Strawberries.
I never had luck with strawberries, but wild strawberries are all over the back yard. Why? See the pokeweed entry above. Once the earthworms spread through the yard and I watered in dry spells, the strawberries filled in the shady garden, bloomed, and fruited. They are also around the trees and in the lawn where the clover has not taken over yet. The backyard is almost all cover where I once had grass, and I am happy about that.

Herbs are almost always beneficial insect friendly and often self-seeding. Some examples I have planted or soon will -

  • Borage
  • Comfrey
  • Tansy
  • Dill
  • Feverfew

Intrepid Lutherans: Time to Spill the Beans

Intrepid Lutherans: Time to Spill the Beans:

I stumbled across the following, rather old, exposé this morning while visiting the blog Polluted WELS. The author of that blog, a current WELS pastor who, understandably,finds it necessary to remain anonymous, included a link to it in his post, Conformity over Confession. While the details are dated, as a WELS pastor, he indicates that “all of the basics are absolutely accurate,” and that he “can personally verify that it’s true.” I’m sure that he can, as I’ve been told similar types of stories myself (though, hardly as detailed).

With these sorts of “bonding rituals,” rather than a common Confession and mutual commitment to Scripture and the Confessions, functioning as the seal of unity among WELS clergy, it is no wonder that all of the vigorous discussion over Lutheran confessionalism – the maintenance of orthodox teaching, the retention of distinctive Lutheran catholicity in practice – whether such discussion is engaged in private, or in public, leads to naught. Not only does such discussion “go nowhere,” worse, it’s as if it has never taken place, as if very well-founded concerns don’t exist, as if there isn’t an anxious expectation that these issues be dealt with openly and immediately. But all ears are deaf, just as all voices are mute.

I characterized this observation in a comment on Intrepid Lutherans last October:
    I no longer find it odd that such a thing [i.e., thoughtful, open and respectful disputation on matters of genuine disagreement, such that they would lead to resolution and genuine unity] does not, and will probably never, happen in WELS – on this or any other consequential matter of doctrine or practice – and have entirely ceased looking for or expecting that any such thing will ever happen among them. There is a continuing strident refusal to openly discuss important matters. Rather than find it odd, I recognize it for what it is – as a foreboding cultic tendency. People who get sucked into cults lose their self-identity – their concept of self becomes indistinguishable from the group, and apart from the group’s leadership they feel as if they have no guidance and no hope. Positional authority is a psychological weapon among such leaders, and they use it to retain the dedication of their followers and to urge them toward greater productivity in the interest of the group. I’m beginning to see now, what I denied existed when my friends and family first warned us about this sort of thing when we joined WELS over a decade ago.
Indeed, we have in the past featured on this blog one of the famous lectures of Dr. Walter Martin – renowned expert on Cults and the Occult – on the Cult of Liberalism, highlighting and exploring several sections from it in application to what is occurring now, before our very eyes: waning regard for the authority and perspicuity of the Scriptures as it continues to slouch toward greater uncertainty, the incremental shifts that seem to be occurring in ecclesiastical terminology, the theological language games that are suffered in response to serious questioning, and the apparent voicelessness of the laity. I encourage the reader to revisit this lecture: The Average Layman is Defenseless!

So who can a layman trust? That was the question asked by Mr. Vernon Kneprath on Monday. And he is right: our trust derives from the very Word of God; every pastor and every congregation is to be tested according to it. But the laity need pastors. Which ones can laymen trust to tell them the truth, given that the “Organization” they have been initiated into is corrupt? I’ll submit that a good place to start is with the ones who are willing to demonstrably exercise their confessional convictions in defiance of corruption, ultimately in open defiance of an “Organization” that perpetuates it. Whether or not such individuals are orthodox or truthful, at least one can be assured that they are not acting as puppets of the “Organization,” or speaking as its parrots. How else would a person know? A closed, unresponsive, impenetrable organization that wields, or at least arrogates to itself, power over individuals, whether physical, spiritual, psychological or financial, ought never be trusted.

I “Kelm'ed” the following from the link shared by “Matthias Flach,” on his post Conformity over Confession, adding images with corresponding commentary where I felt it appropriate. The original article can be found here. I see that it has been reposted, today, by the original author, here.

Pastor Gregory L. JacksonBethany Lutheran Church - current address
1104 Letha Drive
Springdale, Arkansas

Earlier I sent around a review of two books about abusive churches. I thought the books would benefit people who had suffered from abusive clergy.

David Johnson and Jeff VanVonderen, The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1991. 235 pages. Roland Enroth, Churches That Abuse, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992. 231 pages.

Many congregations are abusive as well, led as they are by adulterers, thieves, and various types of criminals. I have served several congregations where a significant number of people had police records, extensive experience in the courts, or secret girlfriends. It is always strange to see such people act shocked over some imagined offense (pancakes, for instance) when they have been arrested, tried, and convicted of serious offenses, hiding the facts in some way.

It is also strange to see church officials working with and encouraging such characters to cause trouble in the congregation, then acting shocked that there is trouble. One church official, for instance, gave three divine calls to a family member who was a sex offender, a man who liked to sneak into bathrooms and watch young women take showers. When he got into trouble in his second call, the sex offender got a third call. I have the arrest record and the admission from this “conservative” Lutheran pastor that he had been in the girls’ dormitory and in their bathrooms on previous occasions. The synod president reported, after the arrest, that no one else was involved in the sex crime. However, I think that the young woman who was being leered at while she was taking a shower was involved as a victim of this pastor, his powerful relative, and his abusive synod.

WELS Initiation Rites
WELS has initiation rites at each level of schooling, although I do not know about teachers at Martin Luther College. This is what happens or has happened to boys who want to become WELS pastors:

Prep School Level
The WELS prep schools are residential high schools aimed at promoting church vocations, so that more students become parochial school teachers or pastors. The LCMS had a similar system and took it apart. WELS has eliminated two of its four prep schools in recent history.

Freshman prep students go through two kinds of initiation. One involves such things as dressing the boys as girls and making them wear makeup. The other is called sechsing, after a nickname for freshmen. If an upper classman yells “Sechs,” a freshman has to run errands and do various subservient things. It is a great situation for bullies, who push the freshmen to the limits and then scorn anyone who complains.

At one prep school, any boy who discussed problems with bullying was picked off the floor by his nipples. No one is allowed to “tell.” At the same time, the dean of men urged parents to have their children tell him who was being abusive. Boys either shut up to avoid the torture or they dropped out of school. The dean knew this. One board member’s wife heard about this and said she would never send her children to such a school. Her husband, a WELS pastor, said, “That’s how the system works.”

Physical abuse and bullying are common in such a situation, because no one can deal with the facts. If a boy is disciplined, he finds out the source of the information. He and his friends retaliate. The school’s staff members came through the same system, so they know how it works.

The Late Northwestern College
WELS merged Northwestern College in Watertown into Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota. That was only a few years ago, so most WELS pastors have gone through college and seminary initiation.

Northwestern College was an all male school. A woman could attend, but few did, because the curriculum was aimed at preparing men for the WELS seminary. Period. The courses were long on languages and short on math and science.

Freshman initiation could be fun, but bullies often took over and got their chance to get even with younger students. One student ran through a gauntlet of pillows. Each older student got to hit him with a pillow. A bit dusty, but harmless. One older student loaded the pillowcase with books and knocked the freshman out cold. That is assault.
Male Students of Martin Luther College (WELS):
Practicing for GA ...or just practicing?
Gay is as Gay does...
Homosexuality seems to be the “in-thing” these days among Christians having an ardent desire to present themselves to the world as “Real, Relational and Relevant.” Back in the 1970’s, the “in-thing” seemed to be young women having children out of wedlock. Now that neither of these appear “abnormal” to the world anymore (nor are they to “worldly Christians”), I wonder how GA rituals will be enhanced to replace these rather normative worldly-Christian behaviours? How will GA change when women are eventually admitted by WELS into the Office of the Holy Ministry? Sado-Masochism generally follows from boredom with “mere homosexuality” in a person's descent from a “narrow heterosexuality,” does it not? Is that going to be the new abnormality, i.e., the new mark of Christian “Real-ness, Relational-ness and Relevance?”
One freshman got his bare buttocks whipped with a wire coat-hanger. He is a subservient church leader today. Obviously, some of the initiation activities were not only sadistic but homosexual in nature. It was a custom to force the entire freshmen class to simulate anal intercourse with the famous “Runner on His Mark” statue at the college. The dean of men stopped statue sodomy only when a formal complaint was lodged.

Most parents were kept in the dark, because a student complaint would only bring wrath down on the freshman. The prep school graduates warned the non-preps what would happen if they talked. No one wanted to be accused of being a “sissy” who talked. All the students are told, “Only the tough survive here.”

Bone Cruncher
WELS even had pre-initiation initiation. I attended the Bone Cruncher, which is aimed at college seniors on their way to seminary at Mequon. Each senior is given some form of bone. The athletes get a large bone, to signify approval of the Mequon students. The studious types get bone ground up in water in a glass. Those who have escaped WELS realize that public humiliation is part of “the system.”

I attended the basketball game and dinner of Bone Cruncher but did not see some of the worst behavior others have described. It is difficult to worm out of men what they hated, because it is both embarrassing to admit it and dangerous to talk. Several facts came out about other events. One is that men are told to wear their best clothes, but they are forced to sit down on food, get on the floor, and in general wreck their clothes. They are told later to submit cleaning bills if they want to, but it is understood that only a sissy would do that. The seniors are given “new names” at the dinner. Many times these names are obscene renditions of their given names. (Is this a parody of baptism?) I pressed one man for examples. He said, “For instance, a man named Knollmueller will be renamed Hole-Filler.” All of these men are future pastors.

Another aspect of public humiliation is having wives and girlfriends at the Bonecruncher. Do men really want to sit down in food, act like fools, and get obscene names in front of their wives and girlfriends? There is also a “speech” of some type, full of inside jokes and mean remarks. It is supposed to be funny but it is often aimed at certain seniors.

Long before someone steps onto the Mequon campus, the message is clear, “We have a certain way of doing things. If you do not like it, go away. If you speak up about it, we will make your life Hell on earth.” When I spoke to the Northwestern College president about initiation, his criticism of one pastor was, “He didn’t go along with initiation when he was here.” This was many years later. A senior leader of WELS indicted a pastor for not liking initiation! Therefore, the pastor’s criticisms could not be taken seriously.

This same college president tried to fight against the merger of Northwestern College and Martin Luther College. I understand that he was not allowed to speak to the issue on the floor of the convention. He said it was the lowest point in his ministry. I saw it as the last bitter fruit of initiation rites. He did not conform to the synod vision-thing, so he was silenced.

GA at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon
One must consider the vast amount of conformity imposed on WELS men before they step onto the Mequon campus. It used to be that students who qualified by going to Bethany had their own independent judgment and tended to be fairly Lutheran. Those students, who missed the thrill of Northwestern College, are called (their entire ministry) Bethany Bombers. It is not a compliment. WELS pastors routinely run down the Evangelical Lutheran Synod and make fun of “Bombers.” WELS pastors also distrust MLC graduates and figure all teachers are “trouble-makers.”

We were singing a hymn in chapel at Mequon. One seminary senior said, “See that guy’s name? His daughter is the bitch who started the Protest’ant crisis. That’s why pastors don’t trust teachers.” The crisis took place in the 1920s.

GA (for gemutliches Abend; friendly evening) began in the 1920s as a way to unify the seminary student body after a divisive split. The big-shots actually fired the seminary president and kicked him out. In a tiny synod where everyone is related, that can cause some friction and hard feelings.

A Church of the Lutheran Confession pastor told me that GA was stopped twice because “they went too far.” But it was started again each time. I do not believe it will ever stop until a lawsuit costs the seminary too much money. Many older CLC pastors have been through GA, because they were WELS. The toxic influence is easy to see.

Every single WELS pastor has been through GA. They are sworn to absolute secrecy. They are not allowed to tell anyone, including their wives, about GA. It is a tribute to the intimidation of WELS that many sons of WELS pastors go into GA without knowing the script. If students have found out the secrets of GA and let on, the upper classmen give them Hell.

The GA Experience
Round One is the great debate about whether to have GA. Recently a former lawyer gave the “speech.” Some students really believed he was against having GA, because he listed so many good reasons to not having initiation. The same kind of lying speech is arranged each year. The WELS pastors call it “mind games.” The phony debate is so serious that first year students phone home and say, “Dad, they aren’t going to have GA this year. They are really serious about canceling it.” That is when the father, a pastor, smiles. He knows they are doing a good job of mixing up the students.

The ideal GA victim has looked forward to it for many years. He has heard hints about it, but no one will say what it is. The ordained pastors will make cryptic remarks and laugh, adding to the mystery. One WELS leader, Vic Prange said, “It is our Masonic Lodge.”

After the great debate, a vote is taken and GA goes ahead as scheduled. (One WELS exile has GA minutes, but I could not pry them out of him. He and someone else complained about GA in advance. To whom? Remember the dean at the prep school, mentioned early? They went to him and were told to “give GA a chance.” The dean of men at the seminary (new job) told them, “The good outweighs the bad in GA.” Both men failed to graduate from the WELS seminary. One went elsewhere. The other dropped out at some point. I am not claiming that it was only because of GA. But it was a tactical error to complain in advance.

Hards and Softs (Pietists)
GA is not ordinary initiation. For a week, the freshmen are befriended by upperclassmen called “Softs” or “Pietists.” During the same time they are persecuted by “Hards.” Those who hated GA as freshmen are often put in the role of “Hards.” They think themselves very clever in having men do role reversals. It is a way of being accepted.

When people complain about being deceived by WELS pastors, I remind them that GA trains them to play these roles and take pride in them.

The Pope
Someone is elected pope of GA. This is an honor. James Tiefel was GA pope, a sign of future greatness. Tiefel is a professor at the seminary now. The pope issues orders to the freshmen. The pope I saw was one of the few Black WELS pastors. He clowned around, acted gay, and wore a costume.

The upperclassmen force the freshmen to do certain things, such as push a wagon up a hill or do pushups on the ground when ordered. I saw men pouring beer on freshmen as they did pushups.

At one point there is a meal in the darkened cafeteria. There is more “naming” of students. I saw some cryptic remarks on a chalkboard going into the cafeteria. I did not see this meal. Others told me that the seniors knocked cigar ashes into the chili and ordered the freshmen to drink it. Others were told to drink pond-water (which was thought to be tainted with human sewage).
Baptized into the Organization
Baptized into the...“Organization”
...while diving for bowling balls.
The behavior toward the new students is quite menacing, and the freshmen get caught up in the mood of GA. The Hards are out to get them and the Softs are helpful. They don’t know these are assigned roles.

I saw one annual event of GA. The students were told to put on old clothes. The pope ordered them to look for his bowling ball in the pond. It is not exactly fun in the fall in Wisconsin. One seminary faculty member was watching when this happened. He was smiling and enjoying GA. Most faculty members disappear completely during GA. The students had to immerse themselves to look for the imaginary ball lost in the tainted pond. When they returned to the dorm, soaking wet, they were told to strip outside. So there, in the courtyard, the entire freshman class stripped naked before going to their rooms to change. One pastor, now a circuit pastor, said, laughing, “The cafeteria ladies always clean vegetables near the windows of the kitchen when it’s time for the clothes to come off.”

I have been told that the students keep their clothes on now.

The sexual and sadistic overtones of Mequon initiation are fairly obvious. I know of one man whose tooth was knocked out. I have heard other stories, but the facts are quite vague. The brainwashing is so complete that one WELS pastor told me that all synods have initiation. I said, “I know about that than you do, and I can tell you they do not. No other synod has initiation for seminary students. I have joined several synods and I never had to take my clothes off to do so.”
GA Climax
The terror builds up during GA week. The final event takes place with the Softs guiding freshmen on a final escape. The freshmen are brought individually to a lounge which is described as the only possible way to get out. The upperclassmen are on the other side making a ton of noise. The freshman barrels into the room, terrified. The older students catch him, tell him it’s all over, and offer him a beer. Each student is brought to the closer door in the same way.

One pastor made an acute statement about GA, “Whether one hates GA or loves it, the moment he accepts the beer, his feet are set in concrete. He will always be one of them. A false sense of unity is created quickly by tricks rather than letting the Gospel unify men slowly.”

GA Syndrome
I have noticed a number of symptoms of GA, exceeding what can be found in most synods.
  1. Classmates can do no wrong. One WELS pastor was denouncing me to my face for writing in Christian News. I said, “Parcher does too.” He immediately began defending Parcher. Later I noticed from the wall of photos that he was a classmate of Parcher.
  2. Always obey the pope. The WELS pastors and the ELS leaders (trained at Northwestern College) will do whatever they are told to do. Once the Church Growth unionists got themselves into power, no one could stop them. To question is an admission of disloyalty to the synod and to classmates. One GA proponent, now a district president, spoke again unionism and declared WELS opposition to any form of unionism. Later, he urged all the pastors in his district to attend the WELS pan-denominational worship conference at Carthage College.
  3. Opponents must be publicly humiliated until they leave or give in. This makes WELS pastors and laity especially servile. When they were told to break with the LCMS because the LCMS tolerate the liberal Martin Marty, they broke with Missouri. Years later, when they were told to listen to Martin Marty (now in ELCA) in Florida at a Church Growth event with Missouri and ELCA, they listened to Martin Marty.
  4. WELS is considered co-terminous with the Kingdom of God, so dissenters are shunned. Their fear of being excluded keeps them obedient. As many pastors have said, erroneously, “If WELS is gone, there is nothing left.”
  5. Titles of WELS books are unintentionally funny: WELS and Other Lutherans, even though WELS is at best 5% of American Lutheranism; Biblical Interpretation, The Only Right Way, in spite of the fact that it was written by a man who endorses Pietistic cell groups.
  6. False teachers can casually endorse Calvinistic or liberal doctrine without fear of retribution. There are no retractions or corrections. Theodore Hartwig, Paul Kelm, David Valleskey, James Huebner, Larry Olson, Michael Albrecht, Iver Johnson, are some of the better known examples. One congregation was “kicked out” of WELS but is just as much a part of WELS as Herman Otten is part of the Missouri Synod.
  7. The WELS leaders were able to take all their world mission and American mission leaders through Fuller Seminary (or one of subsidiaries), adopt Church Growth doctrine and methods, and then deny they went to Fuller and had any CG at all in the synod.
Shoot Me
Some WELS pastors will be very upset that I have spilled the beans about GA so extensively. I think it is the only unforgivable sin in WELS. Nevertheless, I believe the truth will eventually come out in a lawsuit and close down the outward manifestation of abuse. It would take the proper preaching of the Law and Gospel to make the inward corrections necessary to stop the emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of initiation. Hardened hearts would have to experience godly contrition rather than world contrition. That can only come from God’s Word, not a lawsuit.

I would like to add that I consider many WELS pastors and members good friends. In fact, I hear from pastors in all synods, including ELCA. However, the insiders in all the conservative synods go out of their way to be unpleasant. There have been many efforts to keep my articles from being published at all. If I were wrong, they would welcome the publication of those articles, so they could refute them in public.

The response to what I write is strictly personal, not doctrinal. According to WELS leaders, I opposed the Church Growth Movement and unionism with ELCA because I was crazy, due to the death of our daughter Erin Joy. I have heard of pastors who do not know me who insist that this is true. Apparently, this has been the universal response of WELS to my articles. I suppose that having a WELS district president (Ed Werner) in prison for molesting little girls would make synodical leaders think that opposing clergy adultery is insane. After all, the district pastors knew about Werner for years, not letting their wives and daughters near him, but they kept electing him president until he was put away in the state prison.

WELS leaders also insisted that my wife was not sick, even though Social Security (a tough sell) judged her permanently disabled. Three insurance companies agreed with Social Security. WELS leaders insisted that our son Martin had left Northwestern College. My friends and his friends insisted it was so, to our faces, in spite of the obvious – he was still in class and graduated with honors. Imagine what it is like to be a WELS pastor, to visit your son at Northwestern College, and then see a nearby WELS pastor who says, “Your son dropped out of college!” Typical GA stuff. Even those who are deceived believe the deceivers.

I could go over a lot more things, but I think this is enough to show the toxic effects of WELS initiation. Many pastors get over it and try to avoid being absorbed by the pandemic doctrinal and moral corruption of WELS. Some have made valiant effort to change the synod, facing down evil and dishonest leaders. Some pastors finally left Lutheranism for good when their doctrinal errors were confronted. The errors were promoted by WELS leaders, who let their slavish acolytes take the hit.

The majority of members want to be served by orthodox pastors, but they have as much control over events as Roman Catholics do over who becomes their priest. The imposition of the NIV and Christian Worship are two examples of forcing bad decisions on the entire synod in the name of “loyalty.”

I have been struck at the Evangelical Lutheran Synod pastors who act more WELS than WELS pastors. One public example was Erling Teigen denouncing my review of the ELS hymnal, claiming that the WELS hymnal was never a joint project with the ELS. The back page calls the hymnal commission “The Joint Commission.” Are we to assume that it was a marijuana commission or an ELS-WELS commission? Many people verified what Teigen denied, that Christian Worship was designed to be a WELS-ELS hymnal from the beginning. The ELS got mad at WELS for being pushed around and backed out. Everyone knew that but it had to be denied by the one person, Erling Teigen, who complains so much about being pushed around by WELS.

One GA trick is to deny to obvious and provable, such as Church Growth in WELS. I asked ELS pastors why they took in Roger Kovaciny when he defended Church Growth, defended and covered up for the CG adulterer in Columbus, and published false doctrine. One pastor said, “Kovaciny isn’t ELS.” I said, “Why was he voted in at the ELS convention?” Later, several ELS pastors told me that Thoughts of Faith was not ELS. So I said, “Why did I observe the Thoughts of Faith people being installed by ELS President George Orvick at the ELS convention?” No answer.

The ELS covered up for a synod leader’s son, who was caught in a scandal. He was allowed to quit the college “voluntarily.” The college put out a false story about his abrupt departure. Later the same student, at a state school, fired a shotgun at his friend for waking him up abruptly at the dorm. The friend was wounded. The newspaper story ended, “He is expected to play on the football team this fall.” Why be tough on a guy who merely aimed a deadly weapon at a friend and fired at him?

I hope this helps a few people with some perspective. I know laity who have not recovered from the abuse they received in WELS. I believe some knowledge helps, but just as “Time heals all wounds,” so also “Time wounds all heels.” God is not mocked; what a man sows, he will reap.


AP said...
I have no personal knowledge of what hazing goes on at MLC, Luther Prep., or WLS. I can say that I went through the WELS educational system from kindergarten through eleventh grade. There was no hazing that I remember in grade school. There were bullies, but I suppose there are bullies everywhere. There was a formal week of hazing for freshmen at my WELS high school. It was nothing like the things describe in the article above, though I do remember it being humiliating. I distinctly remember already being a terrified high-school freshman coming from a small grade school where all the classes were taught in the same room by the same teacher. During one of the days of our first week in ninth grade at the high school, we had “slave day”. Yes, it was officially called slave day. Freshmen students were assigned to a senior. We received a sign with the senior’s name on it, and we had to wear that sign around our necks on “slave day”. The idea, obviously, is that the freshmen were slaves to the seniors. All I remember doing is carrying some books around between classes for whoever my “master” was. What happened to you on slave day very much I think depended on your “master”. I think some people had it a lot worse than me. I don’t remember who my “master” was anymore, but I do remember that he didn’t really seem very comfortable with being a “master”. I did not remain at the WELS high school for my senior year, so I never had the experience of being on the other end of the hazing ritual. I know being on the giving end was something many looked forward to. It was “their turn”.

Then and most certainly looking back at it now, the whole thing was incredibly stupid and quite frankly un-Christian. I have no idea if it still goes on today. If it does, it should be stopped. Put all legal issues with this nonsense aside, I wonder what our Lord would think of such behavior? Do you suppose the Twelve humiliated and bullied each other to build bonds of solidarity?
I attended three universities—one public and two Jesuit. I was never a member of a social fraternity (I am a member of two academic honor fraternities), but I certainly heard a lot of horrible hazing stories as an undergraduate. I always liked that there were no social fraternities at Georgetown. Thankfully, there are no fraternities and no formal hazing that I am aware of at WLC, where I am employed teaching history. If there were, I would be the first to try to stop it. On the whole, our students are really remarkably well-behaved.

Hazing is sinful behavior that has no place whatsoever in Christian education (or any education for that matter). If there is to be unity worth having with any church body, it will be unity around God’s Word taught in its truth and purity, not unity based on fraternity-like behavior and ritualized bullying. Our first loyalty always must be to the Word—not to any worldly institution.

Dr. Aaron Palmer
Mr. Douglas Lindee said...
Thank you for your comment, Dr. Palmer. I, too, have attended, and hold degrees from, both public and private Universities. Like you, I was never a member of a social fraternity, though I am a member of two academic honor societies. Funny. The only "hazing rituals" recognized by those two honor societies (ΣΠΣ & ΚΜΕ) were distinctive academic performance. It was grueling. But it wasn't humiliating. Any "unity" established by being selected by one's peers and professors for membership wasn't necessarily a social unity, as these hazing rituals seem to produce, but was a mutual recognition of academic competence, as a serious student equipping himself in a genuine pursuit of the truth.

I heard stories of many hazing rituals during my college years (though none at the private college I attended -- I don't think they allowed fraternities), most of them involving sexual activity, lewd and disruptive public behaviour, excessive amounts of alcohol, acts of vandalism, and organized slander against fellow students. Certainly, these initiation rites reached an early peak in September/October, but these sorts of activities weren't limited to "initiation week" -- they were continued throughout the year as a normal aspect of social life. Though not entirely absent, very few of these students reached the heights of distinctive academic performance, at least not in a positive way, particularly in the hard sciences. I don't know how they could have. For them, the center of student life wasn't academics, but social standing.

I can only imagine what life would have been like if ALL students were forced to be a member of the same fraternity. I can only imagine further if such students were ALL locked for the rest of their lives in a career working directly with these same fraternity brothers, trying to maintain standing or advance through their juvenile pecking order. That sounds like hell on earth to me.

I was a diligent student in high-school, and got the grades I earned. Though I have fond memories of those times, I was more than happy to leave that "society of friends" and start an entirely new social life at college. Likewise, I was a straight, hard-working student in college, and received the grades that I deserved. I have fond memories of those times, and the people I knew, and feel like I could sit down with most of them have a good conversation for a couple of hours, as if the intervening time was no more than a Summer break. But I was more than happy to leave those social circles behind, and start a new life, with new opportunities and challenges in a world full of social diversity. I can't imagine how narrow I would be, how smothered I would feel, if I moved only within the same social system that I had since high-school. I can't imagine how ill-equipped I would be, how fearful I would feel, to leave that "society" behind, and start anew.
Anonymous said...
Apparently Dr. Palmer is not aware of the "Du" frat house at WLC?
Anonymous said...
I attended NWC for a semester and a half, however, I joined at second semester of freshman year and "missed out" on the frshman initiation. I do still have a very good friend who is a WELS pastor and he has shared with me the horror of what happens at Sem in particular. He nearly left, and it was only his love for God and his desire to preach the Gospel, which kept him there. I could recount stories which mirror those recounted above but I was not a firsthand observer. I hope he someday shares those stories openly. What I was a firsthand observer to was the clear attempt by all involved to make everyone support each other blindly so no one would question another pastor. I asked my uncle, a WELS pastor, about it a few years later, a man I greatly admired, only to have him defend GA and reveal that he was the pope of his class! He has proven the effectiveness of GA in the years since by calmy refusing to judge any other pastor and telling me that I must not have understood my pastor when he defended a position that was not defensible by scripture. My grandfather is WELS Pastor Clare Reiter, maybe some of you have known him. He is now 93 and by the grace of God has Alzheimers. I am so glad he is unaware of how far our synod has sunk. I am so proud of Pastor Jackson and Doug Lindee for posting this article. I believed 20 years ago that these activities spoke of trouble for our synod and it is clear now that it has.

Jim Huey
AP said...
I might be aware of it if you are talking about what I think you are talking about, Anonymous. I stand by what I said: there are no college-recognized fraternities here. No national fraternity has a chapter here. There is no college-directed or sponsored hazing here (i.e. the things described above). Are there issues here? Of course, because our college is populated by sinful human beings, including myself.

AP said...

The article Mr. Lindee posted is from a number of years ago. I would be interested to know what is going on now at WLS with this kind of thing. I have been told by various people that things like the moronic "slave day" I described above no longer take place at WELS high schools, but I have no first-hand knowledge about it.


'via Blog this'

Jan Crouch Died. Trinity Broadcasting Network -
Or Blasphemy Network. Paul and Jan Crouch.
Extra Details From 2012

Jan Crouch was famous for the big wigs and nightie costumes on air.

Paul Crouch is the gay caballero of religious TV.
His costumes are comical and cowboy-like.
He died several years ago.


Jan Crouch, who with her late husband Paul co-founded the Trinity Broadcasting Network, died on Tuesday following a massive stroke, her family announced on the network’s website.
“Those who battled for the Kingdom of God knew her as a fighter – someone who didn’t give up, someone who fought relentlessly to get the Gospel around the world,” the announcement, signed by Matt, Laurie, Cayland and Cody Crouch, said.
“To a select few she was not a television figure, but was sister, wife, Mom, or Grandma – an integral part of our family,” the announcement continued, “Jan Crouch loved many things, but most of all she loved Jesus, and now has seen Him face to face and has experienced his grace in fullness. She has taken a piece of our hearts with her, but it’s so wonderful to know that Paul and Jan Crouch are together again, in the arms of Jesus.”
Fox News reported she had suffered a stroke just days earlier.
The couple launched the network in 1973 when they took over some air time on a station in California.
TBN officials now say it is carried by more than 5,000 stations.
His career took him from helping build an educational AM station while a student at Central Bible Institute in Springfield, Missouri, to radio personality in Rapid City, South Dakota, to work with several California stations.
It was 1974 when TBN purchased its first TV station, KLXA-TV (now KTBN-TV 40) in Southern California. Since then, TBN has grown to reach every major continent via 84 satellite channels and over 18,000 television and cable affiliates around the world.
Jan and Paul also anchored TBN’s flagship program, “Praise the Lord,” a nightly two-hour talk show featuring guests, Scripture and entertainment.
The Crouches, and TBN, have received a number of awards, including the Golden Angel award from the Excellence in Media organization and the Parents Television Council Entertainment Seal of Approval.
The network’s obituary said, “A woman of great faith, courage, and compassion, Jan, as she was known by millions of friends around the world, spent her life spreading the good news of Jesus Christ to every continent, and encouraging everyone she touched with God’s love and grace.”
Her parents were Rev. and Mrs. Edgar Bethany of New Brockton, Alabama. She grew up in Columbus, Georgia.
She attended Evangel College in Springfield, Missouri, where the two met. They married in 1957.


Trinity Broadcasting Network -
so much like Thrivent in Appleton.

Suit: Trinity Broadcasting Network board diverted millions from 'charitable assets':

Thrivent is so much like the Crouch Empire.

The granddaughter of Trinity Broadcasting Network’s Paul and Jan Crouch has accused the world’s largest Christian broadcaster of unlawfully distributing charitable assets worth more than $50 million to the company’s directors.

The charges are leveled in a federal lawsuit filed by Crouch granddaughter Brittany Koper (far left) last week against her former lawyers, who also do legal work for TBN.

“Observers have often wondered how the Crouches can afford multiple mansions on both coasts, a $50 million jet and chauffeurs,” said Tymothy MacLeod, Koper’s attorney. “And finally, with the CFO coming forward, we have answers to those questions.”

Koper had served as chief financial officer, director of finance, corporate treasurer and director of human resources for Trinity Christian Center of Santa Ana, which does business as Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), according to the suit. Koper’s complaint is not directed against her grandparents or TBN — but against the two attorneys who handle some TNB legal work, and who once worked for Koper herself. She accuses them of professional negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and other transgressions in the suit.

Koper was using these attorneys for her personal affairs,  and she went to them with her suspicions over the legality of the payments to TBN’s directors, only to be told to shut up, return everything she had earned through TBN to the company, and be gone, according to the suit.

Douglass S. Davert of Davert & Loe in Long Beach is one of the attorneys targeted in Koper’s suit. ”Her assertions are outright fiction and wholly without merit,” he said. ”The allegations are defamatory and to the extent they get printed we are going to defend ourselves vigorously.”

Davert said he couldn’t comment fully on pending litigation, but that there’s a great deal more going on here. To wit:

Koper and her husband were actually the ones doing the misdeeds, according to a suit originally filed by Davert & Loe in Orange County Superior Court in October (the original and amended complaints are here).

Though apparently crafted to avoid mentioning TBN, that suit accused Koper and her husband — both of whom worked for TBN and were on its board of directors — of forging documents and misappropriating funds to the tune of some $400,000. The suit was dismissed without settlement in January.

Koper’s lawyer says that suit was a preemptive strike, an attempt to discredit Koper, because Koper was going to blow the whistle.

Redemption Strategies Inc. — a corporation formed by Loe on Oct. 17 — sued the Koperts on Oct. 18, charging embezzlement, fraud, intentional misrepresentation and other misdeeds. At the time, Davert & Loe were still representing Koper,  MacLeod said.

“It’s kind of a sordid affair,” said MacLeod, Koper’s attorney. “Many layers. But at the heart is the wrongful termination. She was terminated for insider whistleblowing.”

We asked TBN to comment directly on these new cases, and will let you know if and when we hear back.

TBN, a nonprofit, reported revenues of $175.6 million, expenses of $193.7 million, and net assets of $827.6 million at the end of 2010, according to its tax returns. Its highest-paid officer was Paul Crouch, with compensation of $400,000. Its officers, directors and key employees included Paul and Jan Crouch, Paul Crouch Jr., Matthew Crouch, Koper and her husband, among others, according to TBN’s most recent tax returns.

MacLeod said that Koper is readying documentation regarding her charges and will submit a package to the Internal Revenue Service for its review.

We’ll keep you posted on how all this shakes out.

Not the Ich-abode.
This is one of 30 deluxe properties owned by "the ministry" of Trinity Blasphemy Network.

'via Blog this'


bruce-church ( has left a new comment on your post "Paul and Jan Crouch, Trinity Blasphemy Network. Su...":

Issues Etc episode on the Trinity Blasphemy Network:  

How the Cults (LCMS-WELS-ELS-CLC sic) Hide and Deny Abuse.
They Point Fingers at Catholics and the Mainline Churches!
Phoney Doctorates? - Like Those Lutheran DMins and Church Basement Degrees?

The Duggar family scandals occupied the press for some time, because they were omnipresent in all the media and had a popular TV show. The more I looked into their cult, the more they resembled worst in WELS, the LCMS, the ELS, and the CLC (sic).

Here are some parallels with the Duggar-IFB cult and WELS:

  1. Lying is their truth.
  2. Money is their god.
  3. Code words for the insiders.
  4. Mutual spying.
  5. Strict rules that do not apply to the leaders.
  6. Shunning and hating people away.
  7. Bullying, threats, and slander for anyone telling the truth.

Lying Is Their Truth
Lying is the WELS communication method of saying - "That is the way things are, don't rock the boat." They deflect, deny, and accuse. "He is my classmate" is the all-inclusive protection insurance, which is quickly invoked. "I don't know that" or "I don't remember" or "That's news to me." Any persistence will be met with personal attacks or - "Who told you?" Any source is trashed, so the topic quickly becomes "Why are you paying attention to that evil ____________?"

Money Is Their God
WELS teaches against faith, quite successfully. The cult is run by unbelievers and supported by unbelieving clergy in the ELS. Rejecting God, the Scriptures, and the Savior, their god is money.

Tis funny how the cults will emphasize sacrifice for the little people while living it up on the little people's money. Gothard has a racket where people have to attend conferences (big money) to buy garbage from him, a pervert bachelor who chases young girls, just like the Founder of the Missouri Synod, Bishop Martin Stephan.

WELS' Church and Change is an interlocking series of money-making schemes to lock up foundation and synod grants for themselves while charging congregations for their divisive and obnoxious "services."

WELS and other denominations will gladly wreck a congregation with a bad pastor so they can sell off the property and pocket the equity, to balance the budget.

Code Words for the Insiders
Cults are secretive and use their own special language. They often smirk about knowing these secrets while baffling others with their code words. WELS clergy have their abusive GA hazing ritual, which they deny to this day. "There is no GA. It was abolished."

The Duggars explained a few of their words."Nike" was blurted by the girls to keep all the males in their family from looking at a pretty girl approaching. "Nike!" did not mean victory, but "Look down at your shoes!" Meanwhile the eldest Duggar son was going to strip clubs and paying for prostitution, as a married man and key figure in the TV series, plus involved in a conservative family values political network.

WELS has their terms like "Score reports" - "CP"- "COS." The last was a series of all-out drunk parties at Northwestern College, where WELS seemed determined to turn their graduates into alcoholics before they entered Mequon another four years of drinking.

Mutual Spying
The spying and lying go together. The Gothard network of abuse is held together by spying, deceit, and threats. One entire committee of advisors told Gothard to come clean on he abuse allegations. They were 100% replaced overnight.

WELS-ELS spying never stops, so people report back to the main base, the DP, CP, or SP. There are two basic efforts going on at all times - protecting the favorites while shunning and expelling anyone who catches on to what is happening. The favorites include all Church and Changers, children of WELS leaders, and wealthy families who bail out the synod from time to time.

For example, Jay Webber told the ELS that I gave Herman Otten the Forbes story on Marvin Schwan divorcing his wife and marrying his manager's wife. Forbes posted a photo of Schwan laughing and told how he only paid $1 million and a Cadillac for the divorce. When this appeared in CN, according to Herman Otten, the first Mrs. Schwan ended her own life. Webber was anxious to tell me that the ELS was angry with me for giving the story to Christian News. He did not tell me the rest. Jay went to the Ukraine on Schwan Foundation money (Thoughts of Faith). Now the sons want to know where all the loot went. Hint - don't give the ELS or WELS the combination to the safe, or the key to the lockbox, because the money will disappear faster than a July frost.

I was evil for passing along a nationally distributed magazine. The New York Times called the company and owner secretive. No kidding. Finding articles and photos is a real job.

Strict Rules Do Not Apply to the Leaders
Gothard taught his fervent disciples all kinds of special rules, but they never applied to him or his brother. See some of the research below. He isolated beautiful young girls at his headquarters and groomed them for his use and abuse. Like a pimp, if they did not go along with him, he punished them. But he was subtle, telling them how much they meant to him and how special they were.

In WELS-ELS, the rule is "Never tell the truth about anything." When something is so blatant that no one can deny it, it is best to be blind to the implications. If a rich donor is always seen with other women, forget about it.

One pastor asked how a another pastor could leave his wife and children for a mistress, get married, and show up for a call in the ELS. He was told, "That is none of your business."

Schwan's womanizing, second marriage, and guilt were mined for millions of dollars by the LCMS, WELS, and ELS. At least he did not give it away to those liberals in the ELCA!

When a WELS pastor had an affair with a married woman in his parish, breaking up the marriage, he was promoted to the role of Mission Counselor in the same region. How very convenient. When the word reached the press (not through me), a journal confronted Gurgle. Next, Gurgle picked up the phone and asked a pastor, "Did you tell the press?" Next, that pastor phoned me and asked, "Did you tell the press?" DP Jon Buchholz wanted to know all about my source for the story, true to the spying network. He had no problem with the promotion.

Sig Becker was shocked by the alcoholism and adultery he saw in the WELS clergy when he left the LCMS for WELS. The Missouri Synod has both, but not at the same levels, leading people to believe that booze, broads, and boys are the glue that holds WELS together.

The wordless stink-eye is effective.

Shunning and Hating People Away
Shunning began in the Anabaptist movement. If someone was disciplined, no one would talk to him or have any business dealings with him. This carried over to Pietism and through Pietims to the LCMS, WELS, and ELS, all three far more Pietistic than Lutheran.

Shunning works well when the victims feel they are alone and stranded under the ban. A layman who has all WELS customers can be ruined by the ban. An independent WELS printer was threatened with a Bivens-Valleskey boycott if he published my books. This printer asked to meet me and to publish my books. He had Angel Joy and all the photos, told me the problem, and yet kept my best photos from me when I published the book myself. Finally he sent them - too late. He said, "I have to feed my family."

The tighter the bonds of the cult, the more people fear being excluded. Many clergy return after being expelled for no reason, other than objecting to synodical apostasy. I never met one pastor, but his sin was helping with an independent publication. He had a horrible job until broken, he was let back into WELS. No one has heard a peep from him since.

Readers can find exact parallels with the Gothard cult below.

Bullying, Threats, and Slander for Anyone Telling the Truth
Sometimes a DP will flatter to get what he wants. But he is at his best when screaming and pounding his fists.

Many leaders adopt a look of "where is that awful smell coming from?" No, really. Go to a WELS convention and enjoy the performance. It really comes from a deep-rooted fear than people will find out the truth about how evil, degenerate, and corrupt they are.

I have seen the WELS-LCMS-ELS-CLC-ELCA Slander Machine at work for years. They never stop getting even if someone has described them as they are. And yet what they tolerate is beyond imagination.

The only way to make sense of this is to assume they have no faith. Only apostates could behave the way they do, treat clergy and teachers like dirt, and wear the persona of super-sanctification.

See below for examples from books and the Net.


Josh Duggar's sexual abuse of his sisters can be traced to his family's involvement with Bill and Steve Gothard, both serial abusers of young women. They were also very close to Doug Phillips and his wife Beale, whose story is below the Gothard scandal. Both scandals broke at about the same time, but represent years of abuse.


Bill Gothard earned a bachelor's and master's degree at Wheaton College. His also has a fake PhD. His brother Steve.

Here is an account of Bill and Steve's abuse - Biblical Search Reports.

The method of selected young women for work at the headquarters - and grooming them - is described here.

Josh and Anna Duggar met at a Gothard conference,
the Duggar family was extremely loyal to Gothard's training.
Josh was sent for "treatment" to a Gothard location in Little Rock.

I was vaguely aware of the Duggar connection to Gothard, and Gothard's scandals, but I am not bewitched by the Evangelicals and their Pietim.

The alarm bell went off when I read how Josh and Anna Duggar met, although they were careful to omit the Gothard name or even the full name of the group.

Bill Gothard never married,
but used youth women  as unpaid, poorly paid
or paying staff, isolating and grooming them.

Josh and Anna Duggar Website
Josh: In early 2006, my Dad was campaigning for State Senate. We were a couple weeks from the Primary Election when my family took our annual trip to the ATI Conference. I was busy working with the A/V team, and had very little free time… but during one of the breaks I ended up talking through my lunch break with some new friends!…
Anna: …My siblings & I enjoyed meeting Joshua,
[a year later]
Anna: Our family made the trip from Florida to Texas again to attend our annual ATI Conference.

Advanced Training Institute is the final name for Gothard's non-profit behemoth for training Fundamentalist home-schoolers. Another name is Institute in Biblical Life Principles.
Bill's brother Steve resigned from the IBLP when Steve's many affairs with institute secretaries were revealed.  Bill resigned too - for three weeks - and came back.



The Advanced Training Institute International was founded in 1984 by the Institute in Basic Life PrinciplesOffsite Link through the vision of Bill GothardOffsite Link. It began as the answer to the request of Basic Seminar alumni who desired to train their children in the Biblical principles that had transformed their lives.
One hundred and two families were selected from over 2,000 who applied to pilot the program. They met together with Bill in the north woods of Michigan for a week of planning and made commitments to turn life into a classroom and use Scripture as the main textbook for studying every academic subject.
[GJ - Brother Steve had his affairs with secretaries at the North Woods campus, and Bill sent them to him "to help with the curriculum."]
GJ - The Duggar family shows made me uneasy about their strange language and behavior. Josh explained, lamely, the concept of "defrauding," which rang hollow to me. The Gothard material shows how Bill Gothard used his special cult language and shaming to cultivate and manipulate the young women who appealed to him. Defrauding came up as one of his favorite terms, easily used in various ways.
If you find Jim Bob annoying, who covered up his son's abuse, you will see that his dogma comes directly from the Gothard cult. 
The Duggar clan was just getting noticed and have specials when Josh's abuse of his sisters came up, due to Oprah's program refusing to run their tape, after warned of the scandal.Oprah's referral to authorities led to an investigation, and the police report details are on the Net.
Book - A Matter of Basic Principles
Sometime around 1964, Gothard was invited to teach a course on youth ministry at Wheaton. Forty-five students attended, including pastors, youth workers, and educators. The materials he presented at the time became the foundation for his seminars. In 1966, Gothard presented a seminar to 1,000 people in the Chicago area. He repeated the performance in 1967 and held his first out-of-town seminar in Seattle for 42 in 1968. Gothard’s new organization, the IBYC, was born. The Ministry Takes Off From such small beginnings, it was difficult to see the great popularity he would enjoy down the road. His combined attendance for all his seminars in 1968 was actually around 2,000. But then things really took off! As Wilfred Bockelman later would report in his book, Gothard — The Man and His Ministry: An Evaluation, “In 1969 there were around 4,000; 1971, 12,000; 1972 over 128,000 including 13,000 in the Seattle Coliseum; in 1973 more than 200,000.”12 Before you could say, “post-Watergate social malaise,” Gothard’s public career had outlasted that of most major rock-and-roll stars, including the Beatles (as a group), and his live audiences were at least as huge as those at rock concerts. Churches in every city, town, and hamlet in America were taking their young people to his seminars by the busload. Little bands of three-ring-binder-toting Gothard disciples sprang up on college and university campuses across the country. Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch
Veinot, Don (2003-08-25). A Matter of Basic Principles (Kindle Locations 618-631). Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc. Kindle Edition

What was the nature of the “gross immorality” which shocked Samuel Schultz, former professor at Wheaton College and Institute board member since 1965, as well as the other board members? Bill’s brother, Steve Gothard, Institute employee and a vice-president, had been involved in sexual affairs with seven of the Institute secretaries. In fact, a total of 15 people were involved in sexual immorality — a very bad (and sad) situation in any Christian organization and particularly so for one whose primary emphasis is high moral character. The scandal that rocked the ministry in the early 1980s is not new news. It is a matter of record, having been reported in such Christian periodicals as Christianity Today and such secular media as the Los Angeles Times (some of which will be referenced in this chapter).

Veinot, Don (2003-08-25). A Matter of Basic Principles (Kindle Locations 719-725). Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc. Kindle Edition. 
By all accounts, however, Bill Gothard who is a bachelor, had known for over four years that Steve, who was a bachelor at the time, was having affairs with his secretaries, but he misused his power “at the top” to silence witnesses within the ministry. Instead of dealing with this crisis openly, with the hope of a resultant repentance and restoration, Gothard moved Steve and his “problem” to a remote location — and only when the secretaries publicly brought charges did Gothard remove them from their positions at the Institute. We realize the seriousness of this claim, but the documentation which follows will bear this out. This is the story as it unfolded:

Veinot, Don (2003-08-25). A Matter of Basic Principles (Kindle Locations 775-780). Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc. Kindle Edition. 

Dr. Ronald B. Allen, former professor of Hebrew Scripture at Western Baptist Seminary in Portland, Oregon (where he taught for 25 years), was very concerned about Bill’s erroneous teachings. He attended a seminar with his wife in 1973. He wrote: In this seminar I was regularly assaulted by the misuse of the Bible, particularly of the Old Testament, on a level that I have never experienced in a public ministry before that time (or since).2 His misgivings about Gothard’s teachings were so great that he spoke with the then president of Western Baptist Seminary, Dr. Earl Radmacher. Dr. Radmacher voiced similar concerns and proposed to set up a meeting with Bill Gothard in an attempt to address these concerns. Bill Gothard declined to meet with Dr. Allen. About this futile attempt at resolution, Allen recalls: Gothard said his instruction is from God and that he will not be instructed by one of Radmacher’s seminary faculty.3

Veinot, Don (2003-08-25). A Matter of Basic Principles (Kindle Locations 953-963). Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc. Kindle Edition. 

Duggar Courtship Law Duplicates Gothard's Law
Nothing is quite so nauseating as Jim Bob's courtship rules, which come directly from Bill Gothard, serial sex offender, dedicated cover-up artist, bully. con-man, false-teaching murderer of souls.
Gothard, like all cult leaders, would declare something to be wrong, evil, and from Satan. Cotton Patch dolls were on that list.
Dating was the font of all evil, so he had people wrecking their families with absurd rules - our family favorite being the side-hug. What was Dear Leader Gothard doing in the rooms, alone, with young girls who were just going to bed and in their jammies or nightgowns?
The Duggars made a sacrament out of No Kissing Before Marriage, with several babies following soon after the ceremony (another sacrament, but not the chief one.). One must recognize in the Duggar-Gothard Church Luther's rule - "They turn Moses into the Savior, and Jesus into Moses."
The Law saves. The more laws, the better. And yet their legalism is accompanied by Antinomianism, just like WELS. Gothard even used the Galatians passage, twisted, "The Law was a tutor, leading us to Christ." No more Law (for Gothard and Duggar) but lots of laws.
As we all know, Josh's parents sent their errant boy to a Gothard facility to get straightened out, but that was a face-saving device. It hardly amounted to anything. Jim Bob also used a state policeman, a very close friend, to talk to Josh and start the clock ticking on the statute of limitations. The state trooper, now in the hoosegow for child porn (he re-offended, like Josh), never filed a report. 
One suspects the parents dealt with lawyers very early. Jim Bob would not let the police interview Josh, which was his right as a father. Jim Bob did not have a duty to report, but their church did, since the molestations happened on church property, a rented house. The state trooper did, but he failed to do so.


Another Duggar Pal - Abusing His Children's Nanny


I was preparing to write a second post linking Lutherdom crimes when a regular reader wrote to me about a book -

I Fired God: My Life Inside---and Escape from---the Secret World of the Independent Fundamental Baptist Cult 

Kindle Edition

Jocelyn Zichterman was born, raised, married into, and finally, with her family, fled the Independent Fundamental Baptist church. Founded by the fiery preacher Bob Jones, with several hundred thousand members, IFB congregants are told they must not associate with members of other Baptist denominations and evangelicals, with an emphasis on secrecy, insular marriages within the church, a subservience for women, and unusual child raising practices.
In I Fired God, Jocelyn Zichterman systematically details the IFB's disturbing history, exposing a cult-like atmosphere of corruption, greed, and abuse. Having been initiated into its innermost circles, Zichterman knows that the gentle demeanor America sees in the form of the Duggar clan on 19 Kids and Counting disguises the truth about the darker side of the church. 

With written documentation and sources so thorough that law enforcement has used her work as a foundation for criminal prosecutions, Zichterman exposes the IFB with revelations including:
- The disturbing world of abuse within the IFB and doctors and teachers who cater exclusively to church members and fail to report physical and sexual abuse
- The IFB-controlled Bob Jones University, which issues degrees of questionable value while making vast sums of money for its founders
- The way the IFB influences politics on the local, state, and national level, and protects its abusive culture under the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion.


GJ - This book put two things together for me - the extensive, overlapping financial network of the Independent Fundamentalist Baptists, and the parallels to Lutherdom.
  • Bob Jones University (which gave Billy Graham an honorary doctorate), 
  • Quiverful Movement (babies galore), 
  • The Hyles connection with hundreds of abuse cases.
  • The Duggar clan's secret language.
  • Spying and reporting on each other.
  • Phony doctorates (like Dr. Bob Jones and Dr. Paul Kelm).
  • Parallels to WELS, the LCMS, the ELS, and the CLC (sic).

Caution - the author does not come out of this Purgatory a political conservative, after experiencing "conservative family values" masking incest, child abuse, and a network of deceptions.

The interlocking business aspect of this abusive cult is impressive. As Luther said, deception and greed rule the world. The IFB pretends to be independent, but the cult controls people, congregations, and escape attempts by having a file on everyone. They can build up a person and give him plenty of income, or they can make him a leper and deny him income, friendship, and family.

The author suffered horrible physical and sexual abuse from her father, sexual abuse from her brothers, and cult abuse from the IFB, her high school, her college, and the college where her husband worked until they walked out of the cult.

IFB and WELS are quite similar, in many departments. What makes an IFB or WELS person a professor? Answer - education in their inbred system, where similar poorly educated people have been allowed to rule the roost. This yields a dictatorial class of people who use their secret language to control everyone while they live lawless lives.

How did WELS happen to ignore decades of a District President abusing young girls in his own congregation? His entire district knew about it and used the information to have their own fun.

My wife and I enjoyed the Duggar programs at first but I became suspicious of the special language and the weird rules explained by Josh Duggar. I said to Mrs. I, "He does not have his heart in this. Look at his face while talking about defrauding the eyes."