Private Recorded Conversation Prompts La Sierra Resignations

Educate Truth shares the following article from Spectrum as a service to readers.

By Bonnie Dywer

The conversation had been very frank on April 21 when the La Sierra University faculty met with the president of the North American Division Dan Jackson and Larry Blackmer, NAD Education Director. The faculty had questions for the church administrators about the Adventist Accrediting Association Board’s vote to revisit LSU in 2012 rather than granting them the five year term of accreditation that had been recommended to the Board by AAA’s visiting team.

LSU Board member Lenny Darnell wanted to be sure that he could recall all that transpired, so he turned on his cell phone’s recording device and let it run.

After the meeting he and three friends – Jeff Kaatz, LSU vice president of development; Jim Beach, LSU dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; and Gary Bradley, professor of biology – went to a private home where they continued their conversation about the LSU meeting while watching the Los Angelas Lakers play the Denver Nuggets in an NBA basketball playoff game. What the four friends did not realize is that the phone recorder continued to run during their discussion.

The next day Darnell shared the recording he had made of the Jackson/Blackmer meeting with several people including an LSU faculty member (and Spectrum). (Read more)

Related article

The Metamorphosis of La Sierra University: an eye-witness account

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25 thoughts on “Private Recorded Conversation Prompts La Sierra Resignations

  1. The “accidental” part seems pretty ridiculous. But, why did he “share” the “accidental” part with anyone. Surely, he would know the consequences. Or, did he want it known?




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  2. He didn’t know he had recorded himself. My guess is the recording was initially shared to discredit Dan Jackson for some comments he made during the meeting. Some of these comments were posted at Spectrum by a commenter name Annon. He’s the one who posted access links to the audio clippings.




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  3. Bradley sounds rather arrogant in his wish for LSU to continue the “progressive” battle within our SDA Church, which is why LSU is “under the microscope” now.




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  4. Shane Hilde: He didn’t know he had recorded himself. My guess is the recording was initially shared to discredit Dan Jackson for some comments he made during the meeting. Some of these comments were posted at Spectrum by a commenter name Annon. He’s the one who posted access links to the audio clippings.

    I understand Shane, but why share the “private” meeting part? Why not stop at the public meeting?




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  5. Maybe I’m misunderstanding what happened. Darnell recorded the public meeting, then he “accidentally” recorded the private meeting, right?

    But,when playing it back, I assume later, why did he “share” ALL the information recorded to others? Couldn’t he simply “share” what he had from the public meeting and keep the private stuff hidden?

    Am I missing something?




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  6. Ron Stone M.D.: then he “accidentally” recorded the private meeting, right?

    That’s exactly right. He must have not bothered to play it back. I think the meeting was a couple hours according to the LSU news release. But basically he didn’t know he had recorded him and the others and then posted it without checking his recording.




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  7. Shane Hilde: That’s exactly right. He must have not bothered to play it back. I think the meeting was a couple hours according to the LSU news release. But basically he didn’t know he had recorded him and the others and then posted it without checking his recording.

    Ok, I think I got it–he was stupid!




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  8. Am I the only one who thinks that having a Board member, two higher up administrative staff, and a faculty member having a “private” meeting where booze is served is very embarrassing?

    Does this happen at other SDA institutions? We have a number of people who work at SDA colleges, Conference offices, etc. How about it?

    Is this considered “par for the course?”




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  9. What was Lenny Darnell doing at the meeting when it was only for faculty and staff? Isn’t he a board member? Were board members invited? According to the LSU news release they weren’t. Perhaps he wasn’t even supposed to be there.




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  10. Do you really think that, after these events, any one would admit if they ever hang out with friends, watch a ball game, and have a drink? Come on! I suspect it happens much more than our denomination would like to admit. It’s just like the faithful who bring their caseroles to potluck and then go home and have a cup of coffee with desert or have a real hamburger with dinner when noone is watching. PLEASE!!!




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  11. Eccl 12:13-14
    Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

    There are some who object to privately recorded conversations being used in this manner (like the Spectrum blog) but could it be that God is causing judgment on unacceptable behaviour?




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  12. Jonathan:
    Eccl 12:13-14
    Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

    There are some who object to privately recorded conversations being used in this manner (like the Spectrum blog) but could it be that God is causing judgment on unacceptable behaviour?

    I think you are quite correct, in my humble opinion




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  13. Jonathan:
    There are some who object to privately recorded conversations being used in this manner (like the Spectrum blog) but could it be that God is causing judgment on unacceptable behaviour?

    It is ok to object that somebody else recorded you but when it is you recording you – then it is you sending the recording out to others no one to blame but yourself as Bradley points out. Sending that audio to self-prolcaimed news discussion boards like Spectrum via their own blunders cannot be pinned on their detractors.

    In any case – the way that this transpired such that it got out beyond that meeting of four (by their own hand and no one else’s) is clearly divine intervention.

    The point of that “act of God” in getting it out is to leave the denomination “without excuse” when it comes to fully appreciating just how far the rabbit hole goes.

    As I stated before – I am praying for repentance and reformation for these guys and I sincerely hope they get on the right path as a result of the incident.

    But in the bigger picture it shows us that there are bigger issues that need our attention – than the issue of four University leaders reportedly trash talking various Church and School entities (exceptional though that is).

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  14. WBDRP: Do you really think that, after these events, any one would admit if they ever hang out with friends, watch a ball game, and have a drink? Come on! I suspect it happens much more than our denomination would like to admit. It’s just like the faithful who bring their caseroles to potluck and then go home and have a cup of coffee with desert or have a real hamburger with dinner when noone is watching. PLEASE!!!

    Nobody gets fired for going home after potluck and having dessert. (And Inside Higher Ed could care less about such things.)

    Gross equivocation between dessert at home and what happened here – is the kind of “turn a blind eye to the problem” that got us into this mess to start with.

    If our churh leaders or school leaders think that getting together to drink alcholol, use bad language, and apparently trash talking school and church entities etc is “just normal behavior” for Christian SDA leaders – they have been living far too long in a compromised-with-the-world state.

    The World church today is called to daily (7AM and 7PM) worship and prayer pleading with God for reformation, repentance and revival. I suggest that those seeking the lowest-common-denominator consider a change of tactics – consider joining the world church in this 777 program instead of the sleep-walking “constant compromise” alternative.

    in Christ,

    Bob

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  15. WBDRP: Do you really think that, after these events, any one would admit if they ever hang out with friends, watch a ball game, and have a drink? Come on! I suspect it happens much more than our denomination would like to admit. It’s just like the faithful who bring their caseroles to potluck and then go home and have a cup of coffee with desert or have a real hamburger with dinner when noone is watching. PLEASE!!!

    I have been to many SDA homes, both of “members” and SDA institutional workers, including a few “higher up” officials. I have never seen anyone drinking alcohol, offering alcohol, or even having some bottles of alcohol on their tables, counters, in the fridge, etc.

    How about others. Certainly there are dozens or hundred out there who have done the same. Have any others experienced this?

    Are SDA’s a bunch of “closet” drinkers?




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  16. Jonathan: Eccl 12:13-14Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.There are some who object to privately recorded conversations being used in this manner (like the Spectrum blog) but could it be that God is causing judgment on unacceptable behaviour?

    Divine Intervention is probably at work here, although we may never know for sure.

    When those in power here on earth don’t do their jobs, then sometimes God does intervenes.




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  17. Shane, I don’t think there is any conspiratorial reason why Leonard was there. Simply, he’s friends with many of the LSU faculty/staff involved in all this, and he was obviously interested in what was going down at the meeting, and then of course chose to hang out and debrief with his friends afterwards…




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  18. BTW, over on Spectrum, they are “debating” the “medicinal properties” of wine. The beneficial properties of “red wine” or similar alcoholic products comes from the antioxidants and other phytonutrients in the grape, mainly the grape skin.

    So, if you’re contemplating booze as a “healthful” drink, simply drink grape juice (red, purple, and black are best) or simply eat the real grapes!




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  19. BTW, If you’re a beer or ale drinker, the best are the “darker” and more “robust” varieties, as these have more antioxidants and phytochemical.

    Or, you could just eat some oatmeal, barley, or similar whole grain!




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  20. WBDRP: Do you really think that, after these events, any one would admit if they ever hang out with friends, watch a ball game, and have a drink? Come on! I suspect it happens much more than our denomination would like to admit. It’s just like the faithful who bring their caseroles to potluck and then go home and have a cup of coffee with desert or have a real hamburger with dinner when noone is watching. PLEASE!!!

    If indeed alcohol drinking does happen more than anyone wants to admit, then shame on those doing it. Your attitude, WBDRP, is that this action is of little consequence and your reasoning seems to be that it is because everyone is doing it. Well, let me tell you, God does not consider this a light thing and it will be punished if not repented of, and He doesn’t care how many are doing it. Nor do I. I consider that juvenile reasoning at best. Consider this: God annihalated Nadab and Abihu, Aaron’s sons, when they got drunk and came to serve in His sanctuary. And He will not excuse His teachers who are in positions of trust and responibility when they do things that set a wrong example for impressionable young minds. If the tables were turned and a student had been caught drinking, I daresay he would be up for expulsion. Faculty members should be that much more culpable than the students, not less. The resignation was entirely appropriate under the circumstances…even if it was solely based on the drinking of alcohol!




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  21. Ron Stone M.D.: BTW, over on Spectrum, they are “debating” the “medicinal properties” of wine. The beneficial properties of “red wine” or similar alcoholic products comes from the antioxidants and other phytonutrients in the grape, mainly the grape skin.So, if you’re contemplating booze as a “healthful” drink, simply drink grape juice (red, purple, and black are best) or simply eat the real grapes!

    Absolutely correct, Dr. Stone. And the alcohol in wine has been linked to things like cancer and, in pregnant women, fetal alcohol syndrom. Adventists should know better than to even debate such an obvious issue. We have been given light far ahead of the world, why turn around and plunge back into the darkenss and become like the world? Absoluely ludicrous in my view.

    We need to take our hearts out of this world and look to the next one…assuming all SDAs still believe in the doctrine of eternal life in heaven. I can’t be sure anymore. (sigh) 🙂




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