Former board member never talked with biology faculty

By Shane Hilde

Educate Truth has confirmed Marta Tooma, former LSU Board member, never talked to the biology department prior to her removal as board member. According to a statement from Larry Becker, head of LSU PR department, the three board members that were removed “failed to operate within board processes.” According to Wisbey et al., all three board members were in contact with the biology department. However, only two of the board members who attached their name to the statement had spoken with the biology faculty. Alvaro Bolivar and Tooma had no contact with the biology faculty, yet Tooma was removed and Bolivar stayed. Keep in mind the LSU administration was well aware of the joint statement before it was sent to the Adventist Review. A statement from LSU reads:

The La Sierra University Board of Trustees expressed its concern to the officers of the North American Division over the precipitous action taken to publicize the “Joint Proposal” without adequate prior consultation with the La Sierra University administration and board…

“Adequate” prior consultation means the administration was aware the document would be published. Also, the Associate Provost for General Education and Academic Support at LSU, Barbara Favorito, edited the joint statement, yet it appears LSU administration did nothing to stop the statement from being sent out or even suggesting that it be delayed. The double standard LSU is exhibiting spells agenda–an agenda to oust board members who have challenged Wisbey every step of the way.

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33 thoughts on “Former board member never talked with biology faculty

  1. I wonder if this also had something to do with the sense that these former board members were more sympathetic to Educate Truth’s views than the other trustees.




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  2. Shane, if you have an open line of communication with Marta Tooma, how much can you get, “on background” so to speak, regarding what’s going on on the board?




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  3. @David Read: Board members and even former board members are not allowed to discuss what has happened in board meetings. The only thing I confirmed with Tooma was whether she had conversed with the biology faculty and she made it very clear she never had. She was only presented with the joint statement and wanted to support it. This statement was seen as a big step for the biology department because Wisbey had been keeping them silent for over two years and they were now making constructive advances to dialogue with the church. I disagree with what they said, but I think it’s great their talking now. I suspect Wisbey isn’t happy with the biology department. It wouldn’t make any sense for him to only be upset with the board members since he allegedly embraces what they are doing. Doubtful though given his reaction and double standard.




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  4. Is it just me or is there a rise in commenters posing as proponents, yet actually being opponents. Initially they sound supportive but then they say something that seems to exaggerate the point a little too much, with dashes of sarcasm.

    Be aware there are least a couple commenters here who are posing as supporters, but are obviously opponents of what this website is doing.

    The comments from these individuals have been deleted.

    When commenters get overzealous about heads rolling, leadership being spineless, etc. be suspicious. This is not the first time we’ve had opponents come to the website posing as hyperactive supporters.

    Educate Truth has nothing to do with these two and their comments represent only their lies.




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  5. @Shane Hilde: That is why I don’t like commenters not putting their full name to their comments. One should have the courage of their convictions and be open and candid about what they want to say and not hide behind an alias. Chris. CHAN




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  6. If ever truth was stranger than fiction, the unfolding La Sierra saga proves that point. Somehow in the midst of this hostile environment where everyone was forbidden to “talk” with everyone else–a tentative/temporary solution was offered. Board members (or two of them, apparently) had the gall to actually listen to and carry on some sort of meaningful communication with the biology teachers. The board appointed committee to analyze the creation/evolution concerns didn’t talk with the biology teachers. (Read their previous report.) I challenge anyone to read through the LSU by-laws and board constraints of recent years and not conclude that there is an extremely dictitorial-style (hide everything behind closed-doors) administration holding on to an inordinate amount of power. Communications between faculty and board members, between board members and the general public, and even between faculty and the general public, are either forbidden or carefully controlled. A few brave souls were willing to put their names on a proposal. Not a declaration. Not a “final document” — a PROPOSAL!! One that turns out to have enough redeeming qualities that the NAD and the LSU board (after having a hissy fit about “process”) were willing to endorse. A biology FACULTY proposal that appears to have been presented as a hopeful gesture to satisfy WASC and AAA or at least keep possibilities of resolution in sight. Our church doesn’t need to worry about the “second grade level” of its membership. Our church needs to worry about the large population of leaders and administrators with the emotional maturity level of two-year-olds.




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  7. Shane Hilde: @Alexander Carpenter: I would readily agree since Educate Truth supports the biblical account of creation and disagrees with the handling of the topic in the biology department. This was a political move by Wisbey to gain power on the board. He now has three less who oppose him.

    You’re absolutely correct Shane. The “secret” tape states that President Wisbey will consider people for the four new Board positions if they have “six figures” or more. So, do we have anyone here who “qualifies” for these positions?

    And, if your “figures” start with “25” or higher, you evidently go to the top of the list!




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  8. Chris Chan: @Shane Hilde: That is why I don’t like commenters not putting their full name to their comments. One should have the courage of their convictions and be open and candid about what they want to say and not hide behind an alias. Chris. CHAN

    I agree 100%. If you can’t put your actual name, truthfully, and have to hide behind some anonymity, then the rest of us should be very suspicious!




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  9. @Holly Pham: These individuals were using real names, but were most likely not their own names. I personally don’t mind people posting comments anonymously, but I do mind if they’re being malicious about it.

    These individuals like to take off the wall comments made by over zealous supporters and exaggerate them all the more, trying to control the general tone of the comments. It’s tactic people who are in the wrong use. If you can’t win the argument, try to make them look bad.




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  10. As a graduate of (then) Loma Linda University – La Sierra, I cannot even believe we are all having this discussion over Bible truth. Honestly, it breaks my heart every time I come to this website, to read about the goings-on at my alma mater. I just cannot believe we have come to this point in our history as Adventists.




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  11. Dave: As a graduate of (then) Loma Linda University – La Sierra, I cannot even believe we are all having this discussion over Bible truth. Honestly, it breaks my heart every time I come to this website, to read about the goings-on at my alma mater. I just cannot believe we have come to this point in our history as Adventists.

    Dave, What year did you graduate? These problems did not just start recently. Were things better when you attended La Sierra?




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  12. I’ve reviewed the list of La Sierra Board members. It looks like all of the non-conference members would likely have “six figures.” Is this really how the La Sierra Board is selected?




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  13. The more this saga unfolds it is very apparent that the union prez and university prez have a very heavy hand, are determined to micromanage, and unwilling to even listen to comments of truly independant board members who are not on the church payroll.

    Independent board members are crutial to the cocept of a University. If LSU wants to be a “Bible College”, then let the “ordained” have all the power, and rename the institutiton “LaSierra Bible College”




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  14. When I attended LSU (then La Sierra College), I heard a slight floating around in the religion department of the concept that there might have been long time periods during the process of creation.

    I think I heard it once, was not impressed, and didn’t hear any more about it.




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  15. ERK: The more this saga unfolds it is very apparent that the union prez and university prez have a very heavy hand, are determined to micromanage, and unwilling to even listen to comments of truly independant board members who are not on the church payroll.Independent board members are crutial to the cocept of a University. If LSU wants to be a “Bible College”, then let the “ordained” have all the power, and rename the institutiton “LaSierra Bible College”

    So, who would you put in at La Sierra who is “independent?” Howard Stern? Erv Taylor? Desmond Ford?




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  16. I wonder if “due process” was afforded those who were dropped, since that is very important for accreditation. I wonder if this is being explored.




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  17. Apparently we want to ignore the real cause of all this apostacy and simply deal with the symptoms. Like a Dr. who prescribes aspirin for some pain while ignoring the real cause of the pain.

    Luther did not give Catholicism a “deadly wound” by dealing with the various issues of departure from the bible. Rather, he went to the heart of the matter and exposed Rome at its core corruption.

    Certaintly, various issues were also dealt with, especially indulgences. But he kept moving back into the cause until he discerned the core of the problem.

    The point is, we can discuss and continue to disect the problems at LSU and creation/evolution debate. But unless we go back and determine the spiritual atmosphere that allowed this to happen, we will never really solve the problem and eliminate it happening again and again.

    And even if you don’t want to discuss it, it is a law/gospel issue that will necessarily be resolved or the problem will not.

    Just as Luther had to go deeper into the problem than a superfical cure to find the heart of the matter, I think we must do the same.

    I think many of us agree that the bible is being attack. We can easily see the Sabbath is implied by how you conclude the meaning of origins. But so is everything else. So the real question to be resolved is, “How did this happen in the first place?”

    Hope everyone has a great Sabbath experience.

    Bill Sorensen




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  18. Shane’s comments of 10-12-11 and Susie’s comments of 10-13-11 are reasonable interpretations of recent events.

    It is too bad that the board’s discussions and actions are “secret” until a “sanitized” version is released. Open meetings should be the norm except in rare situations. But closed meetings are necessary for firm control.

    It is obvious that opposing board members have been removed. Guess who will be nominated to replace them?

    The joint statement is a PROPOSAL and it keeps the discussion open, much I suspect, to the dislike of Wisbey and Graham.

    I find it difficult to understand why very little has been said concerning the numerous overwhelming scientific problems with the theory of evolution and the data that fits with the Biblical record. The focus needs to be there. Belief in evolution is as faith based as the belief in creation.




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  19. I certainly appreciate the comments of Susie and Bob.

    Elder Wilson in the sermon he gave when elected GC President said the following:

    “[The] Seventh-day Adventist Church both teaches and believes in the biblical record of creation … in six literal, consecutive, contiguous 24 hour days. The Seventh-day Adventist Church will never change its stand or belief in that foundational doctrine. If God did not create this world in six literal days and then blessed the Sabbath day, why are we worshipping Him today on this seventh-day Sabbath as SEVENTH-DAY Adventists? To misunderstand or to misinterpret this doctrine is to deny God’s Word and to deny the very purpose of the Seventh-day Adventist movement as the remnant church of God called to proclaim the three angels’ messages with Holy Spirit power. Don’t go backwards to atheistic or theistic evolution, go forward to the prophetic understanding that loyalty to God, the Creator and Redeemer, will be seen in the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath as the distinguishing characteristic of God’s people in the very end of time. Seventh-day Adventist Church members, hold your leaders, pastors, local churches, educators, institutions, and administrative organizations accountable to the highest standards of belief based on a literal understanding of Scripture.”

    These words of Elder Wilson were reassuring to thousands if not millions of Adventists around the world. It is up to Elder Wilson to make good on his word. I pray and believe that he will.

    We as committed Adventists must respectfully request that the President of LaSierra be replaced and that the Board of Trustees be reconstitued. I hope that you will join me in e-mailing Elder Wilson to that effect at wilsont@gc.adventist.org or by calling his office at 301-680-6000.

    May God bless the Seventh-day Adventist Church.




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  20. Steve quoted Elder Wilson…..

    “Seventh-day Adventist Church members, hold your leaders, pastors, local churches, educators, institutions, and administrative organizations accountable to the highest standards of belief based on a literal understanding of Scripture.”

    This is a fine platitude by our President. But in fact, if you endeavor to do just that, they will attack you, undermine your influence in the church and even lie if necessary to accomplish there mission.

    Many of you have seen it, and more than a few have experienced it. I guarantee that Shane and Sean have experienced this in a personal way by some church leaders.

    In which case, we all expect Elder Wilson to not only hold himself accountable for false ideas and doctrines coming into Adventism, but the use his official office and person influence to demand accountability of those leaders who have attack, not only the SDA doctrines in particular, but the whole bible in general.

    As members, we have a limited influence that is easily counter-acted by conference officials. And we all agree, “May God bless the Seventh-day Adventist Church.”
    But the voice of the laity, especially as individuals, is easily ignored and bypassed.

    So, we are hopeful that elder Wilson will do more than simply “preach” his convictions. And the old saying “Actions speak louder than words” is certainly valid in application in this context.

    Of course, we don’t know all that he is doing and/or being done. We simply wait to see any meaningful results which have been conspicuous by their absence.

    As far as I know, only Jay Galimore of the Michigan conf. has actually done something truly meaningful. Let’s hear from the rest of the conferences and other church administrations.

    I think time is running out for LSU and any viable hope for the university to remain a SDA institution of learning.

    I think we will see in the near future.

    Bill Sorensen




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  21. Steve Dunson: I certainly appreciate the comments of Susie and Bob.Elder Wilson in the sermon he gave when elected GC President said the following:“[The] Seventh-day Adventist Church both teaches and believes in the biblical record of creation … in six literal, consecutive, contiguous 24 hour days. The Seventh-day Adventist Church will never change its stand or belief in that foundational doctrine. If God did not create this world in six literal days and then blessed the Sabbath day, why are we worshipping Him today on this seventh-day Sabbath as SEVENTH-DAY Adventists? To misunderstand or to misinterpret this doctrine is to deny God’s Word and to deny the very purpose of the Seventh-day Adventist movement as the remnant church of God called to proclaim the three angels’ messages with Holy Spirit power. Don’t go backwards to atheistic or theistic evolution, go forward to the prophetic understanding that loyalty to God, the Creator and Redeemer, will be seen in the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath as the distinguishing characteristic of God’s people in the very end of time. Seventh-day Adventist Church members, hold your leaders, pastors, local churches, educators, institutions, and administrative organizations accountable to the highest standards of belief based on a literal understanding of Scripture.”These words of Elder Wilson were reassuring to thousands if not millions of Adventists around the world. It is up to Elder Wilson to make good on his word. I pray and believe that he will.We as committed Adventists must respectfully request that the President of LaSierra be replaced and that the Board of Trustees be reconstitued. I hope that you will join me in e-mailing Elder Wilson to that effect at wilsont@gc.adventist.org or by calling his office at 301-680-6000.May God bless the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

    I’ve just sent my email off to President Wilson. Who else will join us?




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  22. @Holly Pham:

    Holly,

    I graduated in 1987, and again in 1989… I had friends who were pre-med, but never heard about the issues going in the Biology dept. Maybe because I took an entirely different discipline, but I never remember issues regarding origins of the world etc. ever coming up.




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  23. Dave: @Holly Pham: Holly,I graduated in 1987, and again in 1989… I had friends who were pre-med, but never heard about the issues going in the Biology dept. Maybe because I took an entirely different discipline, but I never remember issues regarding origins of the world etc. ever coming up.

    The problems with La Sierra have emerged over the past two decades with its independence from Loma Linda and the choosing of three of the most secular leaders possible–Fritz Guy, Lawrence Geraty, and Randall Wisbey.




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  24. @Holly Pham:

    Thanks for the update, Holly… It does sadden me to hear of these developments. I agree fully with the letter that Pastor Asscherick wrote a couple of years ago, as well as Elder Wilson’s speech. Hopefully it’s not to late to right this sinking ship of an institution.




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  25. Holly,

    Independence from Loma Linda isn’t that much of a factor. The prior dean (he stepped down in 02 or 03 and still works at the medical center as a physician) of the medical school is also a huge proponent of evolutionism with at least a couple books on the topic to his credit.




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  26. Thomas: Holly,Independence from Loma Linda isn’t that much of a factor. The prior dean (he stepped down in 02 or 03 and still works at the medical center as a physician) of the medical school is also a huge proponent of evolutionism with at least a couple books on the topic to his credit.

    You may be correct, but it is a fact that since La Sierra has been “independent” it has elected three of the most secular, humanistic non-biblical men in our denonomination, Fritz Guy, Lawrence Geraty, and Randall Wisbey to lead the university. Do you think that is simply a coincidence?

    Could nobody better be found than these three embarrassing men?




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  27. Shane Hilde: Is it just me or is there a rise in commenters posing as proponents, yet actually being opponents. Initially they sound supportive but then they say something that seems to exaggerate the point a little too much, with dashes of sarcasm.Be aware there are least a couple commenters here who are posing as supporters, but are obviously opponents of what this website is doing.The comments from these individuals have been deleted.When commenters get overzealous about heads rolling, leadership being spineless, etc. be suspicious. This is not the first time we’ve had opponents come to the website posing as hyperactive supporters.Educate Truth has nothing to do with these two and their comments represent only their lies.

    You are correct Shane. One of the major concepts of progressives is “critical mass.” This means the gathering together of a usually relatively small number of people who are highly passionate about their progressive beliefs, to change, counter, upset, or even destroy some institution or cultural idea.

    You see this going on on Wall Street and other major cities right now. A few dozen, hundred, or even thousand people “taking over” somewhere to upset some part of society they don’t like.

    This evidently began in San Francisco (where else!) with bicyclist gathering in groups to slow down, halt, or even stop traffic. The name, Critical Mass, is still associated with this initial movement, although it has branched out into other areas of life and other issues. (Initial was environmental)

    The problem for this idea is that the “critical mass” is usually a relatively tiny bunch of rowdies who soon lose favor with the “99%” if people they claim to represent, simply because they start making fools of themselves, as you can see happening now on TV and other media.

    Their goal, however, is to attract other, more respectable groups, such as labor unions, etc. to join them. And, this does happen to some extent, but usually not major, as we have seen

    The “99.99%” begin to see they don’t want a bunch of drunks, druggies, campers, and urine and fecal pools and piles in their neighborhood! The movements then tend to lose momentum.

    Will the concept of “critical mass” succeed at ET? I doubt it!




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  28. Holly Pham: You are correct Shane. One of the major concepts of progressives is “critical mass.” This means the gathering together of a usually relatively small number of people who are highly passionate about their progressive beliefs, to change, counter, upset, or even destroy some institution or cultural idea.

    one other feature of Liberals that “generally applies” is that they seem to know very little about Bible study.

    They tend to know more than the average person about Bible criticism – but are almost clueless when it comes to the actual reasons in scripture and methods of Bible for obtaining objective results “from the text” when looking into a given doctrine.

    I believe it is because of their a priori bias that the Bible is “not really the Word of God” that they long ago lost interest in determining what the Bible “really says” on a given doctrinal POV.

    For them it is just a data source for “finding puzzles” and discrediting faith in the text as the Word of God.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  29. Thomas: Independence from Loma Linda isn’t that much of a factor. The prior dean (he stepped down in 02 or 03 and still works at the medical center as a physician) of the medical school is also a huge proponent of evolutionism with at least a couple books on the topic to his credit.

    I agree that LLU has its share of “sacrifice all for blind faith evolutionism” evangelists. However LLU as a whole has not achieved the critical mass mind-lock-down for evolutionism that LSU has obtained starting decades ago with the “gift” of Fritz Guy running the place and then taking over its religion department. As a smaller scale institution it took less evolutionist operatives in key levels to turn that ship around.

    There is at least the “hope” that those at LLU who still stand for integrity and faithfully serve the Lord would have had more influence in retarding the cancer of evolutionism at LSU had it remained under their control.

    But who really knows for sure?

    in Christ,

    Bob




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