The Weekly Q.U.A.R.L.

Volume 1
Issue 4

November 1, 1998

Day 13, Season of The Aftermath, AM 3164

The Weekly Q.U.A.R.L. is an editorial based on actual news articles sent across various news agencies all over the world. It is full of conjecture and comments that will upset some people. Unless you are tied to a chair and have your eyelids taped open, you are not being forced to read this.

The articles are gathered by the Docile Evasion Foundation, a sub-organization of Q.U.A.R.L.

The editorials are provided by Master Thepines, EFG, KSC, spokesperson for Q.U.A.R.L.

The Weekly Q.U.A.R.L. is published by the Erisian Freedom Group, a sub-organization of Q.U.A.R.L.

For more information on Q.U.A.R.L. and it's organizations, visit us on the web at http://members.tripod.com/~Thepines

Table of Contents

Article 1 -- Report: Missionary Kids Abused
Article 2 -- Turks Gather for 75th Anniversary
Article 3 -- Alleged Scam Victimized Christians
Article 4 -- Ex-Pastor Convicted in Sex Case
Article 5 -- The Trinity Foundation Announces The Reformation Day Statement
Article 6 -- Pro-Life Media Campaign Launched by Catholic Citizens of Illinois
Article 7 -- Pope Names New Bishop for Cuba
Article 8 -- Pope Says Inquisition Needs Study

Article 1 -- Report: Missionary Kids Abused

Children of American missionaries were subject to repeated physical and sexual abuse at a church-run boarding school in western Africa between 1950 and 1971, The Plain Dealer reported Sunday, citing internal church reports.

I wonder why people go into shock when they learn about boarding school abuse. It has been going on for years. People treat it like the uncle they never want to talk about, until now.

The newspaper obtained copies of the reports detailing the alleged abuse at the Mamou Alliance Academy in Guinea, which served 200 children whose parents were Christian missionaries. The school closed in 1971.

The commission's report found that seven former staff members and two former students physically, sexually or psychologically abused children at Mamou, and says that that a ``significant number of children'' were involved. Among the allegations:

The Rev. Dellmer Smith, the housefather at Mamou from 1955 to 1957, sexually abused at least five girls during post-bedtime ``tummy rubs'' in the girls' dormitory. Based on witness testimony, the panel also concluded he used part of a heavy rubber tire to inflict regular, frequent and bloody beatings.

Nuns would slap childrens' fingers with rulers. Why is pain and discipline associated in religious schools?

The commission reported Smith ``categorically'' denied the charges. He refused to comment to The Plain Dealer.

However, he will comment to the colorful dealer.

The reports followed a two-year inquiry by an independent commission appointed by the Christian and Missionary Alliance, which ran the school. Included by the commission were interviews and written testimony from more than 70 Mamou alumni, several missionary parents and former Mamou staff.

Retired missionary Ralph Shellrude of Bremerton, Wash., who sent a son and two daughters to the missionary school, told The Plain Dealer he had no idea Mamou was not a safe place.

``This is unbelievable, I realize,'' he said. ``The letters home revealed nothing, absolutely nothing.''

Parents thought signs of unhappiness they picked up in their children were the parents' fault, the newspaper said.

This is understandable. I would be unhappy if my parents sent me to a school in a far away land.

The Alliance, based in Colorado Springs, Colo., has more than 300,000 members in some 2,000 U.S. churches and more than 1,100 overseas missionaries from the United States.

I bet that at least half of these overseas missionaries get investigated.

Article 2 -- Turks Gather for 75th Anniversary

Turks waving flags and shouting slogans celebrated their republic's 75th anniversary in the streets Sunday and took a stand against Islam's influence in national politics.

``Turkey is secular and will remain so,'' hundreds of thousands of people chanted in the capital. They marched to the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who founded Turkey as a secular republic with a constitution that prohibits parties based on ethnicity, religion or communism.

Many republicans could learn from this philosophy.

A rift has been widening between those determined to preserve Turkey's secular principles and supporters of an Islamic political movement. The tension climaxed when the military, self-appointed guardians of the secular system, pressured an Islamic-led government into resigning last year. The Islamic party later was forced to disband.

That's one small step for man, one giant leap for humankind.

Modern Turkey, founded in 1923, faces many difficulties as it prepares to mark its official anniversary on Wednesday.

In my opinion, our country could learn a thing or two from Turkey.

Article 3 -- Alleged Scam Victimized Christians

The investments held vast promise.

Returns of up to 600 percent. Profits that would be used to build churches in Kenya and Poland and pay the education of poor students. Donations to needy ministries.

In fact, more than 2,100 devout Christians across the country apparently believed the promises and gave Jonathan Strawder and his Sovereign Ministries International $11 million to $14 million in less than a year.

Yea, brethren, you too can be saved by Jesus. Just empty your wallets into the collection plate. Seriously, people give away their money to easily to religious ministries.

Investigators now suspect it was all a scam, and Strawder, 25, is under investigation on suspicion of fraud and selling unregistered securities.

Prosecutors are expected to file charges against him this week. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Investigators from the Florida state comptroller's office got a court-order to shut down Sovereign Ministries in March, claiming it was a Ponzi scheme in which early participants are paid with funds invested by later ones.

This is similar to a pyramid scheme.

Strawder apparently bought sports cars, two Porsches, a Land Rover, a BMW, a yacht, a motorcycle and two apartment buildings in Chicago. A large chunk of the money is unaccounted for.

Only $1.2 million was returned to investors and another $1.2 million was kept as commissions for the salespeople, or ``ambassadors,'' who sold individuals and church groups on the plan, investigators said. Many of those ambassadors lost their own money in the scheme.

Sovereign Ministries has been turned over to two court-appointed receivers, who have been able to track down $6.5 million in assets for the investors.

Strawder started Sovereign Ministries in April 1997, a year after graduating from the University of Florida.

According to investigators, he billed Sovereign Ministries as ``a specialist in Bible Economics'' and promised he would invest participants' money in offshore trading programs that would yield as much as 600 percent a year.

Investigators said that to evade securities laws, Strawder made his investors sign a form claiming the deal was a charitable gift instead of an investment. The ambassadors were told to use their word ``abundance'' instead of ``interest,'' ``donation'' instead of ``principal,'' and ``blessing'' instead of ``profit,'' investigators said.

This is an abomination. I smell scam all over this one. In other words, Strawder asked people to "donate" money, and with God's grace, he would return their money in "abundance," all in the name of God while doing God's work.

In court papers, Strawder has denied that he sold securities and said they were gifts to his ministry. He admitted using some of the money to buy cars and a boat, but said he was just borrowing the money and intended to repay it.

Furthermore, Strawder was cheated by a man he entrusted to invest the money offshore, according to Strawder's attorney, Joel Hirschhorn.

It was the one-armed man.

``In many respects, he is a naive young man who himself was swindled and misled by others,'' said Hirschhorn, who has been cooperating with investigators in tracking down the money.

``It has been very destructive to people's lives. This guy did a lot of horrible things to a lot of good, trusting people,'' said Mrs. Smith, who runs a tree surgery business with her husband. But she added: ``God have mercy on his soul. You know, as Christians, we have to forgive.''

The call of the self-righteous. As Christians, you should forgive. How many real Christians are out there? If you forgive, would you associate yourself with him again?

Article 4 -- Ex-Pastor Convicted in Sex Case

A former pastor who claimed he was testing a girl's virginity was convicted of sexually molesting the teen-ager.

The Rev. Joseph Millien, 51, was found guilty of felony sexual activity with the 17-year-old, a member of the Full Gospel Assembly Church. However, he was acquitted of a sexual battery charge.

He didn't have enough charge for a battery.

Jurors heard Millien's taped statement to Delray Beach police, in which he said he tested the girl's virginity even though he had no medical expertise. He denied having any other sexual contact with the girl.

I am still curious as how did he test her virginity. Of course, an even more important question is why he was testing her virginity.

The judge revoked Millien's bond and ordered him to jail until sentencing in a few weeks. Under sentencing guidelines, he could get six to 12 years in prison as a first-time offender.

I guess he should wait until they are older from now on.

Article 5 -- The Trinity Foundation Announces The Reformation Day Statement

The Trinity Foundation today released the following statement on the 481st anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation on October 31, 1517. The Statement was adopted at the Conference on Christianity and Roman Catholicism held in Erwin, Tennessee, October 8-10, 1998.

Every now and then a religious organization will make an intelligent stand on important religious issues. We would be remiss not to include such actions. Besides, I could not have said the following lines any better.

"We the undersigned, having gathered together for the purpose of exposing the fundamental errors of the Roman State-Church and her superstitious and deceptive doctrines, as well as to re-affirm the Biblical doctrines of grace which alone can counter the persistent heresies of Rome, do of one mind stand together after the example of Paul the Apostle to exhort all Christians to stand boldly against those today who are not being 'straightforward about the truth of the Gospel' (Galatians 2:14).

"Divisive persons have risen within the ranks of those professing the Christian Faith, persons who do not cherish or do not understand the distinctive doctrines of the Bible, but rather have trampled the Gospel and the unity of the Christian Church underfoot. They have twisted the clear Biblical doctrine of justification. The Biblical truth is that justification is strictly the act of God's grace alone in which the Lord declares legally righteous those who are His own, by the imputation to them of the perfect righteousness of His Son Jesus Christ alone, through faith alone. These persons have abandoned the Biblical phrase "imputed righteousness" and taught that justification is a transformative rather than a purely forensic act. This alteration carries with it the old lie of Satan -- of conveyed, imparted, or infused righteousness ('you shall be as God'). They have proclaimed erroneous doctrines, such as baptismal regeneration, that annul the grace of justification, to be interrelated questions yet to be resolved. These men have persisted in their divisive behavior without the benefit of Church discipline commanded by Christ in Matthew 18:15-20, and modeled for us by Paul the Apostle.

"In light of the recent proliferation and popularity of such unbiblical concordats as Evangelicals and Catholics Together (March 1994) and The Gift of Salvation (November 1997), we see that it is once again time for the Church of Jesus Christ to rise up to stand on the Bible alone so that it may be said of us what was said to the Philadelphians: You 'have kept My Word, and have not denied My Name' (Revelation 3:8), for His Word alone is truth (John 17:17). It is therefore strongly urged by those present at this Conference that all who read this Statement join with us and sign it. In so doing we seek to obey the command of Christ 'in a spirit of gentleness' so that we may receive from Him either the restoration of our transgressing brethren (Galatians 6:1), or the clarity and courage of mind necessary to excuse them from our midst in order to preserve the unity of the Church for which Christ prayed in John 17, 'that they all may be one in Us.'

"To God alone be the glory, forever and ever. Amen."

Article 6 -- Pro-Life Media Campaign Launched by Catholic Citizens of Illinois

Catholic Citizens of Illinois (CCI) has announced a media campaign directed at Catholic voters highlighting Catholic Church teachings on abortion. Advertisements will appear over the weekend in several Chicago area newspapers specifically quoting Catholic Church doctrine. "The Roman Catholic Church has stated repeatedly and unequivocally that Catholics who vote for `pro-choice' politicians are knowingly propagating and advancing abortion", CCI President, Mary Anne Hackett, reminds Illinois Catholic voters. CCI has also prepared a media kit including all of the relevant source documents, which is available upon request.

Read my lips; separation of church and state. CCI needs to take a lesson from Turkey. Why does the Roman Catholic church, or any church, have to force their beliefs into shaping our country.

Public policy debates regarding abortion have been dominated by great deception, particularly the debate over the barbaric act known as partial-birth abortion. During this process, a full term baby is partially delivered then surgically killed. The highly respected American Medical Association (AMA) has indicated there are virtually no medical instances that warrant performing this act of infanticide. President Clinton's veto of legislation outlawing partial-birth abortion was over-ridden by the U.S. House of Representatives, but failed to be over-ridden in the U.S. Senate. In fact, it was after attending a Catholic mass (where he received Communion) that Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy cast his vote to keep partial-birth abortions legal. "That Senator Kennedy and Illinois Senators Durbin and Moseley-Braun - who also profess to be Catholics - would vote to defend partial-birth abortions in total defiance of clear Catholic Church teachings is scandalous to the Catholic laity", says CCI Treasurer, Karl Maurer.

I wonder if these senators voted from their conscious or from other influences.

CCI asks Catholic voters in Illinois to bring the light of faith with them into the voting booth on November 3rd "in defense of Christian principles and the correct application of them to the problems of our times."

Article 7 -- Pope Names New Bishop for Cuba

Continuing to strengthen the Catholic church in Communist-run Cuba, Pope John Paul II on Saturday named a new bishop for the diocese of Santa Clara.

The Rev. Marcelo Arturo Gonzalez Amador, 42, was named auxiliary bishop in the diocese, where he already been serving as pastor of the cathedral in the city.

Earlier this year, Cuba's bishops said they expect to hold on to religious freedoms gained thanks to John Paul's visit but would not predict if political advances would come next.

I hope that no political advances are made. Once again, the lesson of Turkey comes to mind.

Article 8 -- Pope Says Inquisition Needs Study

Pope John Paul II harnessed history to the service of theology on Saturday, saying the Roman Catholic Church should take a clear, ``objective'' look at the Inquisition before making any grand apology for one of its darkest institutions.

I think an apology is in order.

The pontiff spoke at an audience with historians and other scholars gathered at the Vatican for an unprecedented symposium on the Inquisition, a centuries-long campaign against heresy in which thousands -- perhaps even millions -- were tried, tortured and burned at the stake for their ideas.

Vatican officials say the symposium was a first step in assessing the Inquisition, an assessment many observers expect to culminate in a public request for pardon when the church enters its third millennium in 2000.

The pope made it clear that the scholars had not been summoned to make moral judgments; this, he said, would be outside their ``competence.''

Whom does the Pope have in mind for competence?

Instead they were being asked to ``offer help in the most precise possible reconstruction ... in the light of the historical context of the epoch,'' he said.

Modern scholars have for several decades been reappraising the Inquisition, long a symbol of cruelty and intolerance. Some now maintain that the justice it meted out, although brutal, was neither capricious nor unusual for the times.

If only the same could be said about their schools during the 1950's.

John Paul said the Vatican cannot let public opinion cloud its judgment as it takes stock of the Inquisition, which lasted from the 13th to the 19th centuries.

``Church teaching certainly cannot set out to perform an act of an ethical nature, which is what pardon requires, without first being precisely informed of the situation of those times,'' the pope said. ``But neither can it rely on images of the past colored by public opinion, since they are often weighted down with passions that impede serene and objective diagnosis.''

Asking forgiveness for the Inquisition would be a tricky business.

Why don't they sit in a confessional and then do a couple thousand hail Mary's?

In the case of the Holocaust, the Vatican admitted that some of its ``children'' had erred, but not the church itself. But the Inquisition was an ecclesiastical institution, one authorized by the popes.

It sounds like the children were the popes. Perhaps the popes are children?

Final Thought

I'd like to spend this week talking about money. Some say it is the root of all evil. Others quote give unto Caesar what is Caesar's. I say, don't spend it foolishly. I believe in the principle of tithing, of giving back to God ten percent of all that you earn. However, most churches ask for more than this, saying they need to support their home offices and their ministries abroad. It is said that God will provide, so why do they ask for more, or rather for you to provide in the name of God.