1st letter and email.
Posted on http://www.3abn.com
(This first letter was mailed out following the AToday article which was published May-June 2004, and was based on interviews with Linda advocates, Johann Thorvaldsson, Darrell Mundal, etc, and on Linda Shelton's own public statements. Statements and claims made by Linda Shelton both on her website, and according to that article, statements and claims made in letters mailed out in mass by her friends and alleged to be from her, or letters from them in answer to letters and questions originally emailed to Linda Shelton where they claim to be speaking on her behalf, along with their public posts on various internet forums.)JULY 2004
Dear 3ABN Family:
You may have heard by now of changes that have recently happened at Three Angels Broadcasting Network. We believe we owe you, as a loyal supporter of this ministry, an accounting of recent events regarding the former Vice President of 3ABN.
Out of respect for the privacy of those involved, we cannot reveal all details. But after prayer and reflection, we are convicted that we should share with you what we responsibly can.
You may have noticed that Linda Shelton has not appeared on 3ABN telecasts for the last few weeks. That is because as of June 1, 2004, the 3ABN Board of Directors removed Linda from her role as Vice President and as a board member. More recently, she has been discontinued as an employee of 3ABN as well.
We want to assure you that this decision was not made by one or two people, nor was it made in one or two weeks. Rather, the situation developed over nearly five months, and was dealt with by the full 3ABN leadership, including its Board of Directors.
The issue relates to a matter that arose in Danny and Linda Shelton's marriage. They were not able to resolve the matter, despite many attempts with their local pastor and other counselors. It was then brought to my attention as Chairman of the Board.
In order to make a thorough, fair and independent review of the matter, I convened a fact-finding committee of well-known Adventists who are not employees of 3ABN. The committee consisted of myself; William Hulsey, a businessman and mayor of Collegedale, Tennessee; and Kay Kuzma, author and family issues expert. We were counseled in our deliberations and review by Nicholas Miller, an Adventist attorney associated with a major national law firm.
The committee members spoke with all relevant witnesses. It invited Linda to meet with the full committee and to present any witnesses she might wish to have speak on her behalf.
Upon reviewing the situation, it was clear to the 3ABN leadership that the source of the conflict lay in certain choices that Linda was making. We asked her, both verbally and in writing, to make different choices. She refused.
Under the circumstances, the board had no real choice but to take the actions it did in regards to Linda's position at 3ABN. Should Linda reconsider her course of conduct, we would also reconsider our decision regarding her role at 3ABN.
Please pray for Linda, for Danny, and for the 3ABN ministry during this time. We believe in a God of miracles, who can renew and restore. This ministry was started and built through a series of miracles. Those miracles continue to this day, and we believe that many more are yet to come.
We believe that this ministry will continue to move forward, taking its direction from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is His ministry, and not that of any man or woman. The Board of Directors, President Danny Shelton, and I as Chairman, are committed to doing His will with this organization.
Please join us in supporting 3ABN with your prayers and financial support. We know you have done so in the past, and we are deeply thankful for it. But right now the devil is doing his best to derail this work because we are pressing the front close to his strongholds.
This month we added a quarter of a billion potential viewers in India, as our signal is being placed on cable systems through much of this Hindu nation of 1.1 billion souls. This effectively doubles the viewership of 3ABN, virtually overnight. We are also being placed on the most-watched cable-network in the Washington D.C. area, giving us access to the political and thought leaders of our country.
Please don't let the devil succeed in heading off the vital work of 3ABN at this crucial time. You have faithfully supported this ministry in the past. Show us your continued resolve and support by making a faith pledge or donation to support us during this tremendous expansion of our coverage.
Your efforts and support are the medium through which God allows 3ABN to carry its gospel message to the world. We thank God and you for that support.
In His Service,
Dr. Walter Thompson, Chairman
Three Angels Broadcasting Network, Inc.
I came across a quote recently that highlighted the importance of 3ABN's resolve to "Go ye into all the world":
"The Duke of Wellington was once present where a party of Christian men were discussing the possibility of success in missionary effort among the heathen. They appealed to the Duke to say whether in his judgment such efforts were likely to prove a success commensurate to the cost. The old soldier replied: 'Gentlemen, what are your marching orders? Success is not the question for you to discuss. If I read your orders aright, they run thus, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Gentlemen, obey your marching orders.'" Gospel Workers, p. 115.
Join us in helping Three Angels Broadcasting Network carry out its marching orders!
2nd Letter - 2 years later... 2006
From Walter Thompson
Chairman, 3ABN board of Directors
Regarding Danny's marriage
Dear Family and Friends of 3ABN,
Two years ago 3ABN was challenged by the most difficult battle the ministry has ever faced. It was a battle that threatened the very existence of the ministry and the work of preaching the end time message of the Three Angel's to the world. It is only because of the grace and power of God Almighty, and the faithful support of you, the 3ABN family, that the ministry has survived to preach another day. Today, the ministry is stronger than it has ever been and its reach into the world even broader and more powerful for the cause of truth.
As is always the case when in the public eye, questions arise, stories abound, and rumors spread. We thank God that you have trusted the leadership and board of 3ABN during this time and have stayed with us in ministry. More recently some of you have heard that Danny has found one to comfort him in his loneliness and sorrow. You may have also heard rumors about an allegedly illegal divorce occurring without Biblical grounds. This letter is an attempt to fill you in with the facts.
As chairman of the board I have been in the midst of this long and drawn out ordeal from the beginning. I was there when we counseled with Linda over and over again. I was present during the pleas and prayers, seeking to get her to give up her relationship with the doctor. I have seen and heard the evidence upon which the board has taken the action that it has taken. I have been one that has plead with Linda to keep her marriage and her ministry and offered to provide counseling for them. I have known Danny and Linda almost from the beginning of the ministry and have been in their home many times. They had a good marriage. It was not until this third party got in the middle did things begin to fall apart. It is also true that Danny really did want to get back together again, but when it became obvious that couldn't happen, he correctly had to close the door on that part of his history lest it destroy him and the ministry.
The divorce was a mutually agreed thing, even the choice to get it from Guam where there would be no long wait. Linda had originally planned to move to Las Vegas long enough to become a resident there so as to get a divorce there. They then discovered the possibility of a divorce from Guam, checked it out and found it to be legal, and decided to go that route. Though I believe Guam has now stopped the program, the legality of a Guam divorce had previously been taken to the U.S. Supreme Court where it was ruled legitimate. As chairman of the board, I did not try to influence the decision, but I will say that had they not obtained a quick divorce, the ministry would have been placed at much greater risk since the situation was causing so much dysfunction with leadership and staff. I believe time has verified the correctness of what was done then, both by Danny and by the board for the ministry.
Linda's web site recently stated that she and Danny were not divorced. She wrote this after the judge made the decision in Danny's favor. She claims she did not know this when she wrote it. Her web site referred to an e mail I sent to Johann Thorvaldson a year earlier saying that I had never accused her of adultery. I believe that exchange with him was in response to an accusation by him that we had fired her because of adultery. I was merely saying that she was not fired for adultery, but because she had defied the board in not discontinuing a relationship that was threatening to destroy the ministry. (I might add that the doctor also told me he would not break off the relationship, even though I pled with him to do so.) That letter to Johann was correct, and it is true that I have never directly accused her of adultery. That does not mean that I believe Linda is innocent. If by adultery one must be caught in bed with another person, I cannot prove Linda has committed adultery. If, on the other hand, hard evidence indicates that Linda was involved in an unacceptable relationship with another man qualifies for adultery, then there is no question about Danny's moral right to marry again. As a board, we have chosen not to make the details of the evidence available to the public. I believe Satan is the accuser of the brethern. We have chosen to take the "high road" in this whole situation and say nothing more than we have been forced to say to try to quell rumors. We care about Linda and have tried not to do anything to hurt her more than she has already been hurt. I can tell you that I personally spent a great deal of time at 3ABN during those months when this was all happening. I spoke with Linda and Danny on numerous occasions. A sub committee of the board met and prayed with Danny and Linda and pled with Linda to call off the relationship. Danny and Linda spent an 8 hour session with a pair of Christian counselors (non-Adventist in an attempt to avoid bias) who had no doubts about the nature of Linda's conduct. We offered to provide Linda with the opportunity to go away for counseling with a counselor agreeable to both she and us. She did not respond to that offer or request. Finally, the full board met, reviewed Linda's letter of explanation, and voted unanimously to remove her from the ministry and her seat on the board. Other church leaders who have been privy to some of the evidence we have are in full agreement with our decision.
The relationship Linda had with the Norwegian Dr. was not a normal doctor-patient relationship as she claims. It is true. Linda was very concerned about her son Nathan. He was the vehicle through which the Dr. reached Linda. Our evidence leaves no question that this became much more than a doctor-patient relationship. We know that the long hours on the phone together were not about Nathan and have hard evidence to support this knowledge - nor were times spent together on both sides of the Atlantic.
Furthermore, she refused to break it off, even after weeks of pleading with her to do so. We, the board believe the evidence we have clearly justifies the divorce and gives Danny the moral and legal right to remarry. Those in church leadership with whom we have shared some of this evidence agree with us. Out of concern for Linda we have been reluctant to make details public.
No, Danny is not to blame for what has happened here. On the contrary, he has bent over backwards trying to make things work and meeting her requests. Yet, she has never acknowledged that it was wrong for her to have another "friend".
The things I have stated here are accurate and correct. As far as the lady Danny has married is concerned, I can only say I believe his new wife is a very good person and will be a real asset to him as he carries on his heavy responsibilities. Just to clarify any rumor you may have heard, this relationship began long after the divorce. I was at 3ABN when this lady came from Florida looking for work. There was nothing going on before that time, and Danny definitely was not trying to "dump" Linda. I was with him during much of the time he agonized and mourned her loss. It is one thing to lose a loved one in death. It is much different to lose one to another lover - like cutting a dog's tail off one inch at a time! As to the matter of age difference, I will say that I do not believe that is any of my business. I find nothing in the Bible, and I don't remember any thing in the SOP indicating age differences for married couples. If it is legal, and morally correct, and if entered into with honesty, sincerity and earnest prayer for God's guidance, as I know happened here, it is not for me to criticize. In my own musings about this, I have concluded that it was no accident that brought Brandy to 3ABN. Either the devil was behind it, or God was. There is no question in my mind which one it was.
(Archo Dart was for many years a family and marriage counselor in the Adventist church. When in his 80's, he married one of my patients, who was then in her 50's. She loved and admired him till death many years later.)
I have had an interesting thought this week that I will share with you. It is this. God lost one of his closest companions when Lucifer went astray. More than that, myriads more angels left with him when he left heaven. Talk about grief or emotional pain. Experiences such as this with Linda, I think, help us to understand the pain of loss, and the reality of the war between God and Satan. Some have claimed it takes two to divorce. I don't think that is categorically true!
This has been a terrible injury that has hit 3abn and Danny, and yes, Linda too, but it is one that I believe God understands - and He continues to bless his servants.
We recognize that we live in a world at war, and are working with a ministry that the devil would like to see destroyed. The war is real, and as in any other war there are real casualties. War is never pleasant, and spiritual battles may be some of the worst. Our hearts still ache for those who have been wounded. Our prayers continue to ascend on their behalf. Should acknowledgement of wrongdoing and penitence ever occur, we would be the first to forgive and forget. Unfortunately, that has not happened, and we must move on.
Some who have been aware of the growing relationship and the possibility of marriage have thought they should wait for a longer period of time before marrying. In discussions before the event, the 3ABN board reviewed the events of the past couple years and have agreed that there was no moral or legal reason precluding marriage. Realizing the heavy burdens resting on Danny and of his need for companionship, we, the board did not see any reason not to give our blessing to their union. We hope you, our 3ABN family, will agree too, and with us, welcome Brandy with open arms.
Should you have any questions that I might answer, please feel free to send them to me at 3ABN and I will do my best to try to answer them.
Sincerely in the precious name of Jesus,
Walter Thompson Chairman,
3ABN Board of Directors.Walter Thompson MD