Saturday 8 September 2007

Matchmaker, matchmaker...

Norman Edwards is one of the more interesting characters to be found on the fringes of the Church of God. These days Norm appears to be keeping company with the Church of God (Seventh Day), while promoting his own Port Austin Bible Campus. The history of this latter institution reads a little like a soap opera all in itself, with a bitter parting of the ways between Norm and others involved in PABC's set-up. Among those on the other side of the fence, Homer Kizer and his Port Austin Bible Center (PABC2?)

Never mind, Norm has relaunched his once quite influential publication Servants' News, and you can download a PDF copy here. There's a lot that's noteworthy, but the following comments caught my eye.

Many of the young people there want to follow in the footsteps of their parents. They want to obey God and keep the Sabbath. They love to come there [the COG7 convention] and be among friends. But seven days is not long enough to make life-long close friends. It certainly is not long enough to decide whether or not one wants to consider marriage.

With small churches spread throughout the country, how do young people keep their relationship with God, prepare for a job, get a job and find someone of like belief to marry? One solution with which I have had personal experience: Caring Christians in areas where there are many young believers find a place to live and a suitable job for a young person from a sparse area. This allows the young person to remain in a Christian environment and get to know many other young people. I think this is a wonderful idea and I encourage other Christians to do this as they are able.

But most young people do not have this option available to them. That is why we hope to add PABC to their list of options.

Yes, Norm is concerned about the courting prospects of the young folk! How very old fashioned of him. If I'm not mistaken, Norm has expressed his desire for the "yoof" to go forth and multiply in intra-Sabbatarian style on other occasions. COG in-breeding? Certainly sends a shudder down my spine...

My advice to any young people out there is run like the wind! Whatever else may happen, never let yourself fall under the influence of anyone who seeks to limit your legitimate life-options and shrink your horizons. Beware those who crave control over others - regardless of pretext or "good intentions." The reason the Churches of God are full of gray heads, and failing to get traction with the youth demographic, is simple: they've got nothing to offer. Even if Norm manages to attract a few poor souls to shelter under PABC's wings, a quick perusal of this latest issue of Servants' News will quickly demonstrate whether what's on offer is out of touch and intellectually dubious.


Lussenheide said...

Long ago, in a land far far away, I was once a young single member of the WCG.

In spite of living in Southern California, where headquarters was, the "breeding pool" was indeed small even then, at the peak of the WCG and at its location of highest population concentration. In those days AC folks were verbotten to date just plain old lowly non-AC people, even though I was attending an accredited "worldly" college at the time!

That being the case, the FOT was quite an event for singles in those days. You geared up for it mentally! Who knows, you might even meet a future spouse from Johnstown Pennsylvania or something there! For the FOT was just about the only place to improve your outreach of potential singles.

Too many folks had "whirlwind" 8 day romances at the FOT and got married afterwards. Pretty hard to know a person when you are in a "fairy tale" environmnent for the Feast, staying at resorts with some cash burning in your pocket. Many marriages that I know of that started this way, did not finish quite as "sanguine".

Some engineering and ambitious COG internet geek should establish an "E" dating site for COGrs.


Douglas Becker said...
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Anonymous said...

>>I've talked with Norman Edwards a few years back. On the surface everything seems right, but to tell you the truth, afterwards it just doesn't feel right.<<

I was around Pasadena during the years Norm was on campus. He was one strange dude! Many seriously thought he had mental problems. Of course he tried to present himself as one of the most righteous and knowledgeable person on the property. He worshiped the ground Hoeh walked on. It was with great relief when he and his family finally left Pasadena. People knew that they no longer had to deal with his weirdness.

Douglas Becker said...
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Anonymous said...

Douglas Becker said … "how well the Sabbattarian environment is going and the PABC is taking off" …

There actually is a viable PABC, Port Austin Bible Center, and a Port Austin Sabbatarian Community, both viable, both well-thought-of in the community, and both legally registered with the state and county.

Edwards has appropriated the name(s) of both PABC and the Sabbatarian community here, although he has been marked and is being shunned by local Sabbatarians.

One morning Edwards appeared at Bible Study before the trustee group disbanded because of his theft of the trust and said out of the blue, "If one of us commits adultery, you have to forgive us." Marlene, his wife, immediately quipped, "Ah, the Garner Ted Armstrong syndrome." Any parent who sends his child to Edwards for mentoring is a fool. Who in his right mind would dare to ask for forgiveness prior to commiting such sin?

The first article in this latest edition of Edwards ServantsNews is a plagiarized piece by Jimmie Parr, whose permission was not granted to reprint this article. It had previously been published by another journal whose publisher also was not asked for reprint permission. Jimmie left Norm's outfit in May of 2006. Publishing this article makes it appear that Jimmie is still part of the group--nothing could be farther from the truth.

Gavin and Douglas are right … flee from Edwards just as fast you can.

Anonymous said...

"The reason the Churches of God are full of gray heads, and failing to get traction with the youth demographic, is simple: they've got nothing to offer."

Incorrect -- rather, what's out there in the world is a lot more appealing, especially for youth. Truth vs fun, who wins?

Douglas Becker said...
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Gavin said...

Just a reminder to all, in view of the first posting by "papal" (now deleted) to exercise due caution when referring to matters like theft, fraud etc. in relation to named individuals.

Anonymous said...

The reason the Churches of God are full of gray heads, and failing to get traction with the youth demographic, is simple: they've got nothing to offer.

More correctly, what they have to offer is not what youth wants.

What they really offer is not what we wanted either -- it just took us longer to realize it.

Must be going now... the hornets are buzzing about and they are angry... after their nest has been opened to public view....

Anonymous said...

How can Norm Edwards hope to teach anyone how to live when his wife is living on the campus of the COG7 Spring Vale Academy again this year as a cook and is not living with him at Port Austin? His "teaching staff" consists of an ex-con who spent 35? years in prison for robbing pharmacies and dealing drugs and a man on disability who supposedly runs a library on "campus?" A supporter who has been listed as the maintenance supervisor is seldom on "campus." This is the sum total of those at PABC and has been so for months. Marlene Edwards and son James sometimes come for weekends, but usually PABC is a dead place.

Norm goes to trial with Terry Williams in November. It would appear that any monies collected at Norm's Feast may be used to defray legal expenses as he lost his appeal to represent the trust and must retain an attorney. An accounting of the money Norm receives for his perported work would be interesting.

The previous owner of the campus tried to run a "college" at Port Austin but did so without a license from the state and was shut down. Hence, Edwards avoidance of the word "college." Norm asks for support for two years to make a go of Port Austin Bible Campus--he's already had three--and all but three of those who came to live at PABC have left with a bad taste in their mouth.

Robert said...

I have enjoyed Norms, Servant News, which played an instrumental part in my studies back in the mid 1990s.
I am glad it is back and would encourage you to subscribe to it.

By the way, why not vist my blog and leave a comment.

Douglas Becker said...
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Anonymous said...

"Nevertheless, it is easy for the unaware to be taken for all they are worth when dishonesty of the magnitude recently encountered comes across the path of those who live with principle based relationships rather than the emotional centered ones."

Well, you have to admit that it is expected for these people to be "conned" so easily, given that they have no skill at critical thinking....they believe in imaginary beings.


Douglas Becker said...
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Lussenheide said...

Doug Becker wrote:
Ironically, Dr. Hare and Dr. Babiak found that often narcissists are most easily blindsided by psychopaths.

MY COMMENT: I heard HWA say many times that he was a poor judge of character and that he was easily conned.Those close to him have also confirmed that assesment.


Douglas Becker said...
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        AMERICAN KABUKI said...

Having worked for Norm (decades ago) I found Norm to be honest, and sincere and one of the best supervisors I've ever known. The man knows how to run software projects. Norm got things done. Norm was not a hypocrit yet he worked in an institution full of them.

I would never classify Norm among the ilk such as Wade Cox or David Pack. Unless he's had some severe change of personality. If Cox and Pack are vicious pit bulls nipping the flock, Norm is more the floppy eared hound under the porch, eager for a new trail to chase. His move towards the CG7 would indeed be in character for him as he slowly comes to consciousness as to the type of men who run the Armstrong movements. Norm is an idealist.

Norm was never the natty dresser type, he was what the English might say, "Frumpy" or "Wooly". His suits never quit fit, he wore a 5 dollar haircut, he seemed more in the dress motif of Hoeh rather than Armstrong. I hope he doesn't plan to give young men tips on grooming.

His fault, one I had myself, was the addiction to the algorithmic way HWA's approach brings to looking at God. Its all summed up in that "blessings and cursings" mentality of keeping rules. The turnkey God. Just write for our free booklet!

Its all well and good to attribute blessings to God, the source of all being.

The problem comes when good sincere people have bad times, and that leads to some rather erroneous conclusions about people who are just down on their luck. Time and chance happens to all. Not everything is cause and effect.

Anonymous said...

"Herbert Armstrong attracted people who had high analytical reasoning."

Analytical? Perhaps, but critical? Impossible.


Douglas Becker said...
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Douglas Becker said...
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Anonymous said...

"I would never classify Norm among the ilk such as Wade Cox or David Pack. Unless he's had some severe change of personality."

People do change, they go "shipwreck" so to speak. They can loose their principles over time and compromise to an extent they never thought possible when they were young.

Over time you can loss the "good" that was in you...

Gospel Thomas (97) "Jesus said, The [Father's] kingdom is like a woman who was carrying a [jar] full of meal. While she was walking along [a] distant road, the handle of the jar broke and the meal spilled behind her [along] the road. She didn't know it; she hadn't noticed a problem. When she reached her house, she put the jar down and discovered that it was empty.

        AMERICAN KABUKI said...

Douglas Becker said...

I found Norm to be honest, and sincere

There are those who, in the assessment phase, pick their pawns, patsies, patrons. During the manipulation, those around such people think they are really good, honest, sincere people. That's how it is played.

Jesus said, though, "By their fruit you shall know them".

And I would agree except for I have never been a patron, patsy or a butt kisser. I've stood up to Pastor Generals and told them what I thought of them when most of you weren't and wouldn't.

Norm was never in any "spiritual leadership" position with me. The man was completely honorable in his dealings with me, both as a supervisor, and later as a landlord. As was his brother Russell. Those guys have amazing IQs. They are not good speakers, they aren't pretty to look at, and they aren't all that charismatic (in the popularity sense of that word). I mean really, have you seen Norm's hair? He looks like Mister Bean! And almost as clumsy for Pete's sake!

In fact they are just about the opposite of anything found in most of the spin-off leadership.

I would not follow Norm Edwards for doctrinal reasons, simply because I do not believe what he does. That's enough reason for me. But I'd tell that to his face too. I am not a sabbatarian and haven't been since 1994.

I see no need to castigate a man as inherently evil when he might be more properly categorized as too trusting and gullible about people he surrounds himself with. That's a forgivable trait in a family, but not so good when running a large organization with fiduciary responsibilities.

Herbert Armstrong kept Ray Wright around years after he embezzled a half million dollars out of the WCG. HWA got kicked out of the CG7 for embezzlement (he decided to up his own pay without permission). Ray Wrights' resume said he had international executive position at Texas Instruments turned out his history at TI was as a janitor. Lots of hucksters have come through the Armstrong movement over the years, and the more clever ones HWA just kept them close cause he knew he could control them. Its a bit like our current Whitehouse staff.

I've never pulled my punches on anyone. I'm highly suspicious of what's been reported about Norm, I think the motives are not so much protecting people as it is competitive sabbatarian organizations wishing to silence him.

Nothing is more threatening to these spin-off cults than for its membership to think of themselves in terms of a broader body of believers with like belief systems. They want all or nothing. Norm's a wild card in all that mix, and it bugs people, and I find that very interesting who gets bugged about him. They usually blast him anonymously.

Wade Cox or Pack he is not. A good administrator of non-profit funds? At least not so far.....

Don't ever forget the cults use the cult watch groups for their own purposes, especially if they can tar someone they don't like. Insiders were the life blood of Ambassador Reports. You can't overlook the competitive factor between these groups for tithe-payers.

Anonymous said...

bamboo_bends said "he sees no need to castigate a man as inherently evil."

Check out The Port Austin Odyssey, especially the documentation contained in the Peter Kershaw letter. You can judge for yourself what all the hooplah is about.

Douglas Becker said...
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Anonymous said...

If Norman Edwards is not a psychopath, he very well could have come under the thrall of a psychopath.

Researchers knowing that they were dealing with a psychopath have fallen prey to them. One researcher was interviewing a psychopath in prison. She ended up "falling in love with him", marrying him and having her career ruined by him. Even knowledgeable people fall prey to such predators.

It is not beyond imagination that has happened here: Manipulation of the innocent and the patsies left holding the bag. From Exide to PABC. Make a great book title?

Samuel Martin said...

I think the issue of Servant News has some interesting ideas in it particularly related to their treatment of the Hebrew word "na'ar" and their discussion on Education.

Good to see some focus on scholarship and working to develop accurate biblical understandings.

Hope to see more of the same in the future.

Samuel Martin

        AMERICAN KABUKI said...

papal said...

bamboo_bends said "he sees no need to castigate a man as inherently evil."

Check out The Port Austin Odyssey, especially the documentation contained in the Peter Kershaw letter. You can judge for yourself what all the hooplah is about.

You kind of make my case, those reports are from a competing ministry - Kizer's! Yet another "we are the Philadelphians and you're not" sabbatarian group.

I have no particular desire to see any of these groups thrive, Norm's included. But if you knew Norm, you'd hardly call him a threat to anyone. Personally I'd like to see Norm leave all that rot behind and put his efforts into something useful, like making this a better planet, and encouraging the youth to marry widely. The best mates never stepped foot inside a Sabbatarian sect and never went to Ambassador.

I mean really, they all sound like a bunch of professional wrestlers in their rhetoric. They talk about Godly love and call each other liars, thieves and spawn of the devil.

I will allow that Norm could have changed since 1985. I sure did. But then I got rolled around a half dozen ways which Norm didn't. So I suspect, other than the trauma of watching mothership WCG imploding, he's not all that different, except maybe with a lot less hair.

Douglas Becker said...

But if you knew Norm, you'd hardly call him a threat to anyone.

Here's how it works.

A person gets involved with a psychopath.

The psychopath plays games and puts them in a compromising position where the choices are lousy.

The person makes choices which violate their own conscience because they don't have a viable way to deal with the chaos. These choices often include theft and deception.

For many people one encounter with a psychopath changes them forever and they never really recover. Usually, their careers and reputation are ruined and often their finances are in a shamble.

And the collateral damage can be colossal.

Does everybody get that?

Anonymous said...

"Does everybody get that?"

How could we not. It's the 56,432nd time you've mentioned it on AW.

Douglas Becker said...

How could we not. It's the 56,432nd time you've mentioned it on AW.

Your estimate is quite overinflated which seriously undermines your credibility if you expect anyone to take you seriously.

Two things: It often seems the case that I overestimate people. I view most of the people on this forum as being sophisticated, knowledgeable, smart. Some postings have undermined this particular perspective. There do seem to be people who actually don't seem to understand or even have a clue but act as though they do.

The other thing is the topic in context. Many people believe that Norman Edwards is a good person; others believe that he is a terrible person.

It hasn't been until now that the connection between his brother-in-law in prison for the Exide Battery scam has been logically associated with Norm's behavior over the past three to four years while the drama of Port Austin has developed.

While there is no direct proof, it seems clear enough that NSE was persuaded by a man in prison that the Port Austin property was viable. He got sucked into the matter innocently, wanting to do what he thought was best for the Sabbattarian Community. As with so many scams, it was impossible to count the full cost up front. As time went by, more and more resources had to be put into just slow the rate at which things were falling behind. It eventually escalated into a full blown tragedy.

Unfortunately, I didn't get it myself for quite some time after this topic was posted. Psychopaths arrange it so that the patsy fall-guy is the one who looks like the bad guy.

As to bringing up the topic again and again, it would seem appropriate because a lot of people still haven't gotten it and perhaps never will. Perhaps Dr. Hare and Dr. Babiak are wasting their time. Why bother? The world is filled with empty headed twits who think they know enough about everything to get along. I cannot assume that for myself.

It would be a tragedy if some innocent were sucked into this or some similar scam for lack of exposition. But then, for SOME people it would provide great amusement to call them dupes and fools who should have known better. It is a great exercise in self-righteousness for the Modern Pharisee, confident in his own prowess to discern the truth.

You seem to be of the opinion that if a person repeats a truth long enough and often enough, it is no longer true.

Such a proposition, if true, would be quite damaging and would play into the hands of psychopaths and narcissists. I always find that the psychopaths and narcissists are the ones to protest most strongly when they are exposed for what they are: It strikes a sensitive nerve.

Some things bear repeating.

Until those who need to get the picture actually get it. A lot depends on it. Many people could be spared....

Or perhaps because you got it, you don't care any more and are of the opinion that the stupid people who don't get it right away should be left to their own devices because you are bored and don't care about anyone else?

Or worse, maybe you didn't really get it and think you did? Nothing you've posted actually validates the suggestion that you did really get it, only the proposition that you are bored and had enough facts and that we should all move on....

Anonymous said...

Douglas Becker said,

" connection between his brother-in-law in prison for the Exide Battery scam has been logically associated with Norm's behavior"

Norm's brother-in-law is not Arthur Hawkins, who is Excide exsecutive who was sent to Federal prison for the largest case of fraud in US history. However, Norm's questionable filings currently before the court have been discussed among attorneys and clients as the most blatant case of fraud in Huron County.

Bamboo_Ends said, "I will allow that Norm could have changed since 1985." Norm filed the documents with the court listed in Peter Kershaw Letter. Only ostriches refuse to take their head out of the sand and make an informed decision. Calling someone a "competing ministry" and, thus, by default incapable of relaying verifiable truth, without checking it out for yourself, only enables nefarious behavior to continue--you're doing nothing to stop someone from defrauding a brother. When you and others have the power to stop this behavior and choose not to, you enable the devouring of the flock.

Here Terry Williams speaks out--he is the one whom Norm admits owing many thousands of dollars--but whom Norm has not made restitution of one red cent!

Douglas Becker said...

Papal, enlighten me. I was speaking of Douglas Pearson, the vice-president of Exide North American Operations. I certainly do want to be as accurate as possible.

Concerning psychopaths in general, I would hope that my years of experience with both narcissists and psychopaths would at some point benefit those at this forum because the chances are that some time in life, it is likely that many of those here will either encounter one as a target or will be close to someone who is. If it is possible to spare one victim, taking slings and arrows will be worth it.

Papal, while I agree with you that there should be both accountability and restitution, it does appear that things have proceeded too far past "the tipping point" to ever come to a satisfactory resolution.

As you intimate, though, blaming the victim only succeeds in defending the abuse. To do so returns us to all those extreme moments in history where evil was allowed to continue by good people who did nothing.

In the aftermath, it can be fairly safe in concluding that there will never be any repayment. What anyone chooses to do at this point must be done in the vacuum of knowing that there won't be any real justice done, not even if there is a positive court decision. People cannot give what they do not have.

The only thing left is to determine the strategy to leave the chaos behind and resume living as best as can be recovered.

It would be so nice if everything resolved itself well to everyones' satisfaction, but the test of character is how we live with what we are dealt.

I feel sad.

Anonymous said...

Douglas said :

The only thing left is to determine the strategy to leave the chaos behind and resume living as best as can be recovered.

Yes, exactly, Douglas. My strategy (like many) began with my exodus from Worldweird in 1995. I had no ill will toward any of the Armstrongs (and they are all the same in that sorry bunch of free loaders), or even the Herbster's theology until a few years later. After I was able to get my spiritual head screwed on straight I finally started investigating that evil man's empire and how he was able to build it.

God speed the day when every last ACOG is dead and buried -- just like the Herbster now is. And I don't believe in any literal Hell fire, but if there really is one . . . it's going to get pretty crowded down there as these ACOG "ministers" continue to bite the dust and meet their reward.

Anonymous said...

Douglas Becker said, "It hasn't been until now that the connection between his brother-in-law in prison for the Exide Battery scam has been logically associated with Norm's behavior over the past three to four years while the drama of Port Austin has developed" and "I was speaking of Douglas Pearson."

Douglas, is Norm Douglas Pearson's brother-in-law? If so, this worse than you can imagine.

My only knowledge is of Arthur Hawkins, the ex-President of Excide Batteries who was accused of fraud in selling used batteries to Sears as DieHards. He was actually convicted of wire fraud and is in Federal prison in Kentucky. He is the previous owner of Port Austin air base--his wife Cindy is still the current mortgage holder (known as ELBI), to whom Norm is months behind in $5,000/month payments.

Douglas Becker said...

Douglas, is Norm Douglas Pearson's brother-in-law?

I don't know for certain. Mark Lax is the one who brought it up in Drama and
. Alan E. Gauthier is another name. You are certainly right about it being worse than I can imagine, though I can imagine a lot.

I decided to go to wisdom which is greater than mine and post it:

Propaganda and Debating
Techniques by A. Orange into a summarized web page

It gives a great deal of enlightenment about various techniques of persuasion, including the ones relevant to this particular topic.

Anonymous said...

I must say… never, ever have I seen so many posts simply withdrawn on any topic.

It’s nice to see that Homer and Carolyn are still alive and filled with venom.

For those of you new to the story, I stand by the contention made in the piece referenced by Douglas Becker.

“This claim, which consists of a proposal, some pictures, and an incorporation statement—and little else, was used as a prop to provide funding for this fantastic and largely fictional non profit land development enterprise. In some round about way that is a joy to lawyers seeking employment everywhere, this proposal enjoined Norman Edwards (and some other people who should not be trusted with the conduct of their own affairs) to sublet land from the fictional non profit. With this money, the fictional non profit was able to establish some claim of development on the otherwise destitute future cow pasture known as Port Austin.”

I pray that the Kizers move on with their lives and that their finances recover.

As for anyone dealing with Norman Edwards, I advise you to CLUTCH WALLET TIGHTLY and back away as quickly as possible before turning and breaking into full throttle locomotion in the direction opposite of his.

As I understand it, the Kizers have formed their own church, the Philadelphia Church of God at Port Austin. None of this, by the way, is making the place seem all that attractive.

Mark Lax

Carolyn said...
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Carolyn said...
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Douglas Becker said...

Ah, acuracy. Um... accurracy. No, um... ackerasee. Uh, accurasee.


Douglas Becker said...


Mark really is on your side. He assisted in exposing at least a part of the whole sad tragic Port Austin affair.

He really wants to champion the cause of those who are hurt by cults and cult leaders -- he has suffered loss and really has a sincere heart. It is unfortunate that he made the reference he did, although it is difficult to fault him given some of the postings which have been made over the matter elsewhere.

I am so sorry this has happened. It does appear that whenever people attempt to build communities of this sort, somewhere someone comes along to undermine and destroy the foundation of that which is being built. This is not the only attempt of building these kinds of communities which has failed. Perhaps, it is never to be in this age.

It isn't just the pocketbook. It's the betrayal. That is so difficult to navigate. Seldom is justice done. The only thing left is whatever faith we might carry with us.

It may well be, if NSE has encountered a psychopath, as seems more than likely, he is as much a victim as everyone else, with a ruined life in chaos and a wrecked reputation subject to public scrutiny and he may very well be as unable to cope as anyone else. What are the options in this circumstance? They would be limited at best -- a sort of Hobb's Choice where you get the pick the least worst of two or more very bad options in "a deal with the Devil" -- a patsy and fall guy who can be the whipping boy, while the manipulator stands behind the scenes laughing.

Here is hoping that eventually you all will be able to put this behind you. It is so very difficult. In spite of how it looks, I usually go on and forget almost immediately what occurs. Unfortunately, if you are in a situation which continues to remind you endlessly, I do know that the pain continues.

Here is hoping that you will find peace.


Anonymous said...

I was recently in the Wisconsin Dells area and went out to look at the old WWCG Festival Site. I have pictures if anyone would like to see the condition of the site. Send an e-mail address to for pictures by return mail. JGC

Anonymous said...

By staying in the property Norman may be establishing a squatter’s claim and a sweat equity claim. In the end, this may further embroil the dispute, especially if, as seems likely, the original mortgage holder goes into default. In order to establish this claim, Norman would have to keep said property as his primary residence. Moreover, the property in question has to have a demonstrated negative impact if allowed to be fallow. None of this seems to apply to the property in question which only marginally could be thought of as ever being residential in the first place and is of no great improvement through Norman’s occupation nor great desolation should he leave. The campus is, quite frankly, worthless. Norman would under conventional circumstances have no chance to ever own it. If the bank in question simply decides to walk away from the property (unlikely), it would revert to the Federal Government and then to the Township. Bank conventions being what they are, the holder will probably simply evict Norman and sell it for what they can and then go after the mortgage holder for the difference. In the end, the note’s final recourse is with the mortgage holder and not the value of lien property. Not that I have any sympathy for the mortgage holder nor her felon husband.

I still can’t help but shake the idea that forming a commune is a universally bad idea, no matter who is involved. Even farm co-ops have conventions in place for a pecking order of equals. Even in countries where communal living has a history, such as Israel, the rules of self-governance are backed up by an underpinning of formal law. In the United States, no such conventions exist. Even the powers of a condo association have stern limits and external recourse.

Unfortunately, everyone involved in this winged it.

Hopefully the injured parties can simply move on, live on and rebuild. As for the perp, his landlord and her criminal spouse, what is due them is not for us to decide.

Mark Lax

Douglas Becker said...

Folks, the whole sordid story can be found by reading between the lines at
the Port Austin Bible
Center History page

There you can see that the Exide Battery Man is none other than Paul Hawkins. He is the one who started all this.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm sensitive to injustices and want to be merciful in my outlook, but hey, wait just one darn minute here! If you are depending upon a man who has just been sent to prison for one of the biggest scams in American Corporate history ever, prudence would suggest caution over hubris. Any rational person would have quickly departed the scene and not have been talked into a con by a con to set up a Bible Center. Unfortunately, by their fruit ye shall know them, oft a little too late after consuming the poisoned fruit.

I would like to remain sympathetic, but after reading stuff at I'm just not buying it. Especially disturbing is not just the opening page, but a really disturbing exposition lies in the open letter to the President of Iran.

I'm afraid.

Very afraid.

For the participants of PABC.

My counsel is to leave that place and never return.

Anonymous said...

Is this the dual of the narcissists or what?

I've just read some of the stuff from both Homer and Norm. And, the best that can be done is to leave these two alone to fight it out. Both invent their own truths that are not based in facts. And, both men are after a free ride.

Douglas has it right ... run and hide from these nut cases. And, the best that can be done after harmed is save your family and get on with your life around sain people.

Thanks be to the Eternal for his grace and mercy.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous:
«both Homer and Norm … are after a free ride.»

You are wrong--Homer does not ask for money.