Hello everyone and apologies for the delay. Between life’s commitments and wanting to make a constructive response to Chairman Kubke’s letter, it took a bit longer to compose the following response. Hopefully the wait is worth it.
To begin, I’d like to go back a bit and reflect on some commentary I’ve written about the ABC District BOD’s past actions.
The first one concerns the District BOD’s letter telling its readers to “cast a critical eye” with respect to the ASC’s allegations:
- Aug 27, 2018, CEF/DIL: Reviewing the District’s Letter with a Critical Eye / Part 1
- Aug 29, 2018, CEF/DIL: Reviewing the District’s Letter with a Critical Eye / Part 2
- Sep 1, 2018, CEF/DIL: Reviewing the District’s Letter with a Critical Eye / Part 3: Conclusion
Now that the ABC District has officially and legally admitted to misleading investors one has to ask – how should the membership regard this letter? Given that it was written by BOD members that had direct information about the substance of the events that gave rise to these allegations, telling people to “cast a critical eye” about the ASC allegations can only be considered a conflict of interest at best and an intentional attempt to mislead the audience at the worst.
This leads use to the following article where I explore the innate conflict of interest between the ABC District BOD and it membership:
To this author, this conflict continues to exist, which means one needs to cast a critical eye at anything the District BOD says or does that in any way attempts to minimze what the past District BODs may or may not have done, and what it plans to do going forward.
Moving on to Chairman Kubke’s letter – in the opening part he wrote:
I begins with a reminder of who we are.
For a very long time, we have organized ourselves in such a way that congregations and church workers could support one another and work together beyond our local ministries. Alberta British Columbia District was never a third party organization or some kind of consulting firm or professional corporation, but it has always been our own office. It has been us, and we ourselves – congregations and pastors and church workers – have together been the authoritative body as we sent our delegates and met in Convention
Our entire structure and the traditions and customs of our organization were built and developed over many years. This work was done through many conventions that approved particular work plans and voted on various resolutions. Then, we elected representatives from among our church workers and congregations in order to do those things we asked them to do. For this reason, the problems that we have faced that have led to so much anger and confusion and sorrow and even shame belong to all of us together to sort out.
I have to confess that when I read this, my reaction was less than positive. Based on what I’ve seen elsewhere, other people had a bad reaction as well. In the course of putting this response together, I’ve come to think that – for this section – this may be more a case of being an accurate but badly worded communications than an attempt to blame-shift. In this part of the response I’m going to try and clarify what all this means in “more lay” terms.
To begin with, ABC District the corporation was created in order to comply with the requirements of God’s left-hand kingdom as expressed in the civil government. The express purpose of this corporation was to provide a business entity the church would use to support the left-hand kingdom (ie secular) aspects of the church’s right-hand kingdom (ie sacred) proclimation of law and gospel.
If this sounds technical, it’s because it is – so going forward I’m going to use some analogies to talk about what happened that I hope will be a bit easier to understand.
Consider a car and its driver – the car isn’t the driver and the driver isn’t the car, but the driver controls the car to get where he wants to go. In this way the car facilitates the driver getting from “A” to “B”.
In our situation –
- The pre-restructured ABC District is the “car”,
- District members collectively “own” the “car”,
- District BOD and Executive members are responsbile for “driving” the “car” on the memberships’ behalf while carrying out the duties and tasks assigned to them by District in convention.
At each convention nominees are elected to “drive” the “car” as part of the work they do on behalf of the membership as expressed by the convention. This means that the members at each convention are trusting the people they’ve elected to “drive” their “car” and faithfully perform their assigned tasks. The convention also expects these “drivers” to make an honest report on what they have accomplished with the memberships’ “car”, it’s overall health, and any changes it needs going forward. (1)
This is a common business model and could’ve worked indefinitely – until the District BOD and Executive decided to take the “car” out for a multitude of “joy rides” causing significant damage to property and trust all the while telling people “your money is safe” and “the car running fine.” It wasn’t until the house of cards finally fell so far apart that the District was forced to publicly disclose how dire things were on Jan 15, 2015 that the membership started to learn the truth of what these people had been doing with the District “car”.
Needless to say, “joy riding” was never an assignment that District in convention gave to the people “driving” their “car” – this was something these “drivers” did of their own accord without the authority or approval of the membership.
The end result is that all the assets District’s membership had accumulated over nearly a century was confiscated and sold off to pay towards the damages caused by these rogue “driver”s.
The end result is:
- The District membership’s “car” aka the ABC District corporation has gone from having a healthy set of assets supporting the expansion of the church to a shell that will eventually end up in the scrap yard of companies that no longer exist.
- Some of the District’s “drivers” have been held accountable for their action by the government via the ASC and have been banned from a variety of securities related activities for the rest of their lives.
- The fines levied by the ASC have been paid by “car insurance” (otherwise known as the District’s Director and Officer insurance). In this sense the membership is “picking up the tab” for the “joy rides” past BODs and Executives had taken with memberships’ “car”.
Continuing Chairman Kubke’s letter –
For this reason, the problems that we have faced that have led to so much anger and confusion and sorrow and even shame belong to all of us together to sort out.
If this was written in the sense that the membership owned and was responsible for the District “car” and what the “drivers” did with their “car”, Chairman Kubke is correct. But the story doesn’t stop there.
These will remain our problems, our solutions and our prayers until the final set of resolutions of Convention can be worked upon and the District can finally be resolved as our October, 2018, Convention has resolved it should be dissolved.
It is true that the members will be left holding the bag and having to clean up the mess caused by the people they trusted their “car” to. When the corporate District body is dissolved at some point in the future, that will be the end of District as a legal corporate entity of the left-hand kingdom. It will not be the end of the breach of trust, the financial loss, nor the crisis of faith, and other related damage caused by these “joy ride”s.
This means that what is done on your behalf moving forward is not so much about individuals as it is about whom these individuals represent.
This statement is a bit muddled – mostly because I think Chairman Kubke is referring to the ASC action specifically and not the situation in general. In a legal sense these people acted on behalf of the District the corporation, District is responsible for their actions, which means District has to pick up the tab for the damages its personnel caused.
Moving forward District should absolutely hold these individuals accountable because they’re the ones that took broke trust with the membership by taking the “car” for those unauthorized “joyride”s that resulted in all this damage.
The lessons I’d take from this section is to own what you’ve done, don’t act in conflict of interest, and where there’s a chance of missed communication – make the conflict clear when communicating with your audience. When delivering factually accurate but easily-misunderstood information – spend the time to explain things in a clearly understandable manner, or, better yet, hire a communications professional to help you write your communique.
- If this sounds a lot like the parable of the talents, you’d be right.