CEF/DIL: Reviewing the District’s Letter with a Critical Eye / Part 3: Conclusion

This article is reviewing a letter by District President Schaeffer to the members of the ABC DistrictPart 1 covered the introduction and the three major points of the letter, Part 2 covered the closing part of the letter, and this article will have some closing thoughts.

Another small fact this letter leaves out is that the District President and Board is charged with ecclesiastical supervision of the people under them. If the promotional practices listed in the ASC’s notice of hearing paragraph 22 are accurate, then clearly District personnel misled the investors as the ASC alleges. Former DP Schiemann has publicly taken responsibility for what happened so in his case the whole ecclesiastical supervision adjudication process should be an open-and-shut case.

If the current District President and the Board did their job and properly discharged their ecclesiastical supervision duties, then the question about using a “critical eye” with respect to the ASC charges would be mitigated – the readers would not have to cast a critical eye on the ASC’s allegations because District – if it did its job – would’ve done it for them.

Given that District the corporation is also charged with the same misconduct as the other named respondents, if it were to initiate ecclesiastical proceedings against the named respondents, it would point an accusing finger at itself. If District “convicted” past-president Schiemann of ecclesiastical misconduct, I have no doubt the ASC would use that against District as evidence that it also is responsible for breaking securities regulations.

In essence, if District wants to mount a credible defence in the legal arena they can only do so by suspending the ecclesiastical supervision adjudication process for any implicated members of Synod.

Conflict of interest anyone?

And lest Synod feel left out in all of this – under the both structures the SP is explicitly tasked with ecclesiastical supervision. Past-President Bugbee could’ve taken this task on when he was in office – but didn’t. Current SP Teuscher still has the opportunity to weigh in on all of this.

And here we get to the crux of the weakness of the old accountability structure – without a strong adjudication process, bad conduct is not curbed and will run amuck until a tremendous amount of damage is done. And if a District Board was the transgressor – who would investigate and hold them to account? In the new Synod structure – what happens if Synod and/or it’s Board runs off the rails – then what? Now, instead of having Districts firewalled from each other to prevent a CEF catastrophe from impacting the other Synod Districts, Synod is now one big organization. If it gets in trouble, all of Synod is now on the line.

Have we just traded one bad structure for another under the guise of Synod looking like it’s doing something more than figuring out how to get D&O insurance?

Some random closing notes:

  • Later ABC Boards,  Executive Committees, and professional service organizations also share responsibility for the conflict of interest, not being forthright about the fund’s health, and continuing to loan funds in a vain effort to recover the losses caused by the failure of the Prince of Peace business strategy of “build it and they will come.”
  • I’m of the opinion that that the ASC is going for a comparatively “easy win” to set the stage for the more challenging cases still under investigation.


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