The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

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Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
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Friday, May 13, 2016

WELS Has a Deliberate Culture of Alcohol Abuse and Addiction

Who better to serve as bar-tender at the WELS worship conference?

Alcoholism is the best explanation for the behavior - and even the doctrine - of the Wisconsin Synod, clergy and teachers alike. Readers have written that their experience confirms my speculations in the past; one saw the light and left the boozing culture early. Everyone on the staff was an alcoholic.

Alcohol abuse is cultivated, from one generation to the next, in their school system. But first - some information needs to be shared.

Alcohol addiction develops slowly - it may take as long as 20 years. Being able to handle alcohol is not a good sign, in spite of bravado claims, since the body adjusts to increasing amounts until the addiction is real and the withdrawal symptoms are life-threatening. Drunks tell  one another that beer is not addicting, that scotch is entirely safe, that various potions will prevent addiction. That is one of the signs of alcoholism, self-deception.

Oh, how cute - Victory of the Lamb.


Synodical Schools and Meetings
Northwestern College, now merged into DMLC, promoted alcohol at every opportunity. NWC bartenders made sure their underage fellow students were served. The COS parties were organized for drinking.

NWC featured students passed out on the grass, on weekends. Martin Luther College is no different from what I heard. The student body president, one year, was so drunk that he needed help getting up the steps to his dorm. He became the GA pope at Mequon.

There is a culture of alcohol addiction, enforced by the faculty, that promotes and admires the abuse of alcohol. Beer is called "synod vitamins."

Likewise, synod meetings and events must be accompanied by drinking. At one worship conference, the cash bar was advertised, with James Tiefel as the bartender.

Roman Catholics do the same thing. At Notre Dame, the theology conferences were announced with the time of the cash bars. One famous speaker arrived on stage, "sailing on Cutty Sark," as they said in those days. Needless to say, alcoholism is rampant in the priesthood. Their set-apart teachers are also notorious alcoholics. A Christian Brother principal told me, "If they send me one more alcoholic to dry out at my school..."

How many WELS DUI stories do you know? Consider this - If someone is arrested on a DUI, then he is routinely driving drunk and endangering lives. The arrest is just the most obvious case, perhaps after crossing the center line or mounting a utility pole.

DP Don Patterson's women's retreats are so alcohol-soaked that the ladies bet on which newbie will puke her guts out first.

Like the country western singers, some WELS drunks are known as "drunks' drunks." They stand out among their fellow drinkers in their abuse of alcohol and the personality characteristics of the well placed drunk.

They may not show up half-clothed at an event, but more than one WELS speaker (male and female) has been noticeably under the influence while speaking on stage or directing the choir.

Who grabs a bottle of whiskey and cigars
when friends come by after 3 in the afternoon -
and defines that as a sweet time with his friends?


Denial - "I'm Not Drunk, I'm Just ____(fill in the blank)"
Nothing promotes alcohol abuse like denial. I was sitting with an LCA bishop and his assistant. Howie tried to put a lid on his pal's drinking, but his mission assistant slurred his denial that he was drinking too much, and "Leave me alone."

A group of people must engage in covering up the alcoholism, not just the drunk. The spouse and children make up stories. Colleagues make up excuses. The drunk has a collection to cite when the occasion arises. The excuse is best delivered in that super-sober tone that suggests there is so much to hide - "I'm not drunk, I'm just over my quota. I'll be fine in an hour or two."

"I only had two drinks" (in the last hour).

"I can handle it," suggesting a volcano about to erupt.

The measure of a man - extra wide.


Characteristics
Some people can get away with excessive drinking for a number of years, but their habits are still anathema to using their brains. Can people study and write when suffering from the flu? when overly tired? How can they get any brain-work done when drinking?

The result of the alcoholism culture in WELS is a collection of easy answers and evasions. The Society of Drunks is not going to indulge in self-criticism: too painful. Instead, they protect one another and laugh off any suggestions they are out of control. That is so easy to do. "I don't know about that." Or - "Where did you hear that?" or "This is what the grapevine says." Yes - WELS actually brags about anonymous disinformation - and uses that as factual. And - they are afraid of their own grapevine, a monster they feed themselves with their nasty little fables.

Alcohol is a powerful solvent that dissolves any concept of right and wrong, so "I was so drunk last night" is a good reason for criminal behavior. Alcohol also soothes the troubled mind, at least for a time, so those who run from the truth are apt to indulge again and again. This leads to a self-righteous, Pharisaical attitude of being holier than thou.

Does anyone know a holier sect than WELS? They never stop condemning everyone else, including their precious brothers in the ELS. But no one is allowed to comment on their behavior and doctrine.

I finally codified that in a graphic - the Four Noble Truths of WELS. Only a WELS member can criticize WELS, and if he does, he is no longer WELS. Of course, the Jeske Crime Family can criticize WELS, but they have been granted a waiver, so they can Church and Change all they want.

People are so worried about total family and friend rejection that they pass along their information with a request to hide revealing details.

Drunks are brittle and easily angered, especially when sober. They are always inebriated or in the process of feeling the withdrawal.

Alcoholism extends adolescence, so middle-aged people can follow their hormones (Greek for impulses) and act like teenagers. The WELS clergy act like they are still teenagers at prep.

Drunks have to lie a lot, and they imagine they are good at it. Lying is pandemic in WELS. The clergy engage in deception and brag about the power of their lies. One example was passed onto me. They like to moan to the laity about how hard it is to study all those languages and everything else at seminary. They go back to their dorms and laugh about how they have fooled the innocent. They all know how they spend their time partying and  would go into anaphylactic shock if they entered the school library.

Confusing and misleading the young at MLC.

Discussing horror stories at the bar -
Crossroads - WELS - in Chicago.

Health Effects

  1. Anemia - Drunks get tired easily. Sure, some alcoholics are workaholics too, and their energy amazes people when they are sober. But the price has to be paid down the line.
  2. Liver damage - Hardened or fatty livers interfere with the most astonishing chemical factory in the world, one which can break down substance newly invented and improve that ability with each effort. But - mess that up and the individual never feels entirely good and can react against ordinary food - the chemical factory goes on strike. Some WELS livers stick out so far they seem to be crying for help.
  3. Dementia - Alcohol addiction decreases executive ability.
  4. Heart-circulation - I used to hear drunks claim drinking never hurt the heart, but that is another lie they tell each other.
  5. Depression - Heavy drinking causes depression, not only from the health effects (low energy, poor digestion) but also from years of regret and guilt.
  6. Nerve Damage comes from alcohol itself and from nutritional deficiencies.
  7. Cancer and Diseases - Follow the route of the alcohol and you can list the all the cancers and diseases caused along that pickled path - mouth, throat, stomach, liver, pancreas, and gut.

Peter Pan syndrome - "I'll never grow up, never grow up,
 never grow up -
not I."



Alcoholics got to know the Booze Brothers in Appleton,
because The CORE "coffee house ministry" was
really a belly up to the bar ministry.