Church says La Sierra Employees Lawsuit is Without Merit

Educate Truth shares the following article from the Adventist Review as a service to readers:

Outside counsel retained to defend school, leaders

BY the Adventist Review staff:

A July 28 lawsuit filed by three employees of La Sierra University, a Seventh-day Adventist Church-owned tertiary institution against its board chairman, the university and two officials of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, is “without merit,” the church’s top attorney says.

“The litigation is without merit, and will be defended in the most appropriate manner,” says Karnik Doukmetzian, an attorney and the North American Division’s General Counsel. “External counsel has been retained through Adventist Risk Management which provides insurance coverage for the defendants involved, and will be defending the organizations and individuals named in the suit.”

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36 thoughts on “Church says La Sierra Employees Lawsuit is Without Merit

  1. Unfortunately, without merit does not mean without risk. I spoke with one lawyer who has reviewed the law suit and reports great risk on one of the issues, though most are simply smoke screen.




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  2. Phil Mills:
    Unfortunately, without merit does not mean without risk. I spoke with one lawyer who has reviewed the law suit and reports great risk on one of the issues, though most are simply smoke screen.

    Can you say which issue that might be? Or is it better not to?




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  3. Phil Mills: Unfortunately, without merit does not mean without risk. I spoke with one lawyer who has reviewed the law suit and reports great risk on one of the issues, though most are simply smoke screen.

    Which issue did your lawyer friend think was risky?




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  4. Bob Pickle: Can you say which issue that might be? Or is it better not to?

    Why would mentioning the issue be risky? I would think the plaintiffs lawyers have their strategy in place or being put in place, so I don’t think any ideas presented here would help them in their case.




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  5. brian: the silence on this issue is complete I guess people are losing intrest on this whole issue ?

    Well, I haven’t lost interest, so I’ll start something. I believe the case has no merit, based on hearing the tape. How could an institution keep men who unfairly criticize, insult, debase, and attack not only our SDA Church but those leaders who are trying to uphold our SDA standards?

    Listen to the tape yourself. Count how many people, including President Graham, President Wisbey, President Jackson, and other Board members. Not only that–other SDA educational institutions are attacked, using filthy language. [edit] I could go on, but I will stop here.

    Can anyone tell me how La Sierra could keep these men, whether or not they drink alcohol, knowing their views?




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  6. Dont worry Brian. They are busy insisting that evolution is true, the earth is too young, etc. What is good about a young or old earth if there’s so much evil going on like this. I cannot wait for Jesus to say enough is enough and gather His faithful believers to that timeless earth where there will never be evil whatsoever forever. Anyone who refuses to believe, too bad.. that’s his choice. [edit]




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  7. Holly Pham: Listen to the tape yourself. Count how many people, including President Graham, President Wisbey, President Jackson, and other Board members. Not only that–other SDA educational institutions are attacked, using filthy language

    LOL. Every one of these individuals–and many more to boot–have been attacked by Educate Truth staff and supporters. The hypocrisy at this website is hilarious.




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  8. cher: Dont worry Brian. They are busy insisting that evolution is true, the earth is too young, etc.

    The conversation was not about this. There was nothing to indicate that any of the individuals believed in full-blown evolutionism. [edit]




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  9. Its pathetic that all involved [these men and the church officials] can’t act like grown men and sit down to sort things out without having expensive lawyers present. Shameful. This isn’t risk managment. Its failed managment.




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  10. @Professor Kent:

    The conversation was not about this. There was nothing to indicate that any of the individuals believed in full-blown evolutionism.

    Not “full-blown” evolutionism – just the notion that living things have existed and evolved on the planet from simple single celled organisms to the modern spectrum of highly complex life forms over hundreds of millions of years via a mechanism that involved suffering, sickness, predation, and death… that’s all.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  11. Sean Pitman: “Not “full-blown” evolutionism – just the notion that living things have existed and evolved on the planet from simple single celled organisms to the modern spectrum of highly complex life forms over hundreds of millions of years via a mechanism that involved suffering, sickness, predation, and death… that’s all.”

    No, you need to be honest Sean. They did not talk about these topics. You’re way out of line. I have listened to the recording and it was about AAA, LSU, WASC and individual people (with a little basketball thrown in). There was no discussion of organisms evolving, millions of years, suffering, sickness, predation, death. You’re making this up and lying, just as many of us have come to expect of you.

    Although Gary Bradley has been linked to theistic evolution I’m not aware of anything to suggest that Beach, Katz or Darnell believe in it. You and your people enjoy smearing others using gossip and innuendo. That’s the whole point of your blog apparently.




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  12. Professor Kent: LOL. Every one of these individuals–and many more to boot–have been attacked by Educate Truth staff and supporters. The hypocrisy at this website is hilarious.

    I would add that the hypocrisy of the four men on the tape is NOT hilarious. Shane won’t let me give details, but those that have the tape–listen to the comments. Most couldn’t be repeated on this website anyway, since they are so sickening to hear.

    Now, that’s real hypocrisy!




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  13. James is right. The conversation was, at best, peripherally associated with origins. I don’t believe there was any hint from Beach, Katz, or Darnell as to what they believe or don’t believe. It’s not fair for Adventists to be labeling these gentlemen “theistic evolutionists.”




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  14. Anonymosity:
    Its pathetic that all involved [these men and the church officials] can’t act like grown men and sit down to sort things out without having expensive lawyers present. Shameful. This isn’t risk managment. Its failed managment.

    Amen, this current problem is the result of DECADES of rotten leadership and Adventist politics as usual. It is obvious to me that the Pacific Union and the Board of Trustees have been “rubber stamp” committees that do NO oversight. The real problem has been and CONTINUES to be with the Chancellor, President, or whatever title the person directly in charge of LSU is called. Wisby is a politician that is not willing to stand up against his faculty and do the right thing by LEADING his faculty to support and promote the SDA church that pays their salaries. Instead, they subvert the church and teach error by stealth. How evil and cowardly!!! Wisby is not alone. He has been preceded by others who share the blame. It is time for a change of regime to a LOYAL SDA administrator. Wisby must go.




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  15. @James:

    No, you need to be honest Sean. They did not talk about these topics. You’re way out of line. I have listened to the recording and it was about AAA, LSU, WASC and individual people (with a little basketball thrown in). There was no discussion of organisms evolving, millions of years, suffering, sickness, predation, death. You’re making this up and lying, just as many of us have come to expect of you.

    So, nobody said anything about promoting mainstream science so that students at LSU wouldn’t be shocked when they found out the truth? – contrary to the church’s historical positions which are opposed to claims of mainstream science regarding origins? Hmmmm? – a theory of modern science that is in fact dependent upon suffering, predation, and death over hundreds of millions of years?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  16. Holly Pham: Listen to the tape yourself. Count how many people, including President Graham, President Wisbey, President Jackson, and other Board members. Not only that–other SDA educational institutions are attacked, using filthy language. [edit] I could go on, but I will stop here.

    Faithful Disciple: Wisby is a politician that is not willing to stand up against his faculty and do the right thing by LEADING his faculty to support and promote the SDA church that pays their salaries. Instead, they subvert the church and teach error by stealth. How evil and cowardly!!! Wisby is not alone. He has been preceded by others who share the blame. It is time for a change of regime to a LOYAL SDA administrator. Wisby must go

    I suggest the two of you get your heads together and figure out which tact to take. Either it’s okay, or it’s wrong, to criticize leaders such as Dr. Wisbey. You’re both on the same side, but you’re flat-out contradicting each other. H-E-L-L-O-!




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  17. Professor Kent: I suggest the two of you get your heads together and figure out which tact to take. Either it’s okay, or it’s wrong, to criticize leaders such as Dr. Wisbey. You’re both on the same side, but you’re flat-out contradicting each other. H-E-L-L-O-!

    No contradiction at all. President Wisbey has led La Sierra down the path of apostasy. However, the four men fired didn’t like some of the ways he was doing it, and they had their own views on how to do it better and presumably faster. Again, listen to the tape.




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  18. Faithful Disciple: Amen, this current problem is the result of DECADES of rotten leadership and Adventist politics as usual. It is obvious to me that the Pacific Union and the Board of Trustees have been “rubber stamp” committees that do NO oversight. The real problem has been and CONTINUES to be with the Chancellor, President, or whatever title the person directly in charge of LSU is called. Wisby is a politician that is not willing to stand up against his faculty and do the right thing by LEADING his faculty to support and promote the SDA church that pays their salaries. Instead, they subvert the church and teach error by stealth. How evil and cowardly!!! Wisby is not alone. He has been preceded by others who share the blame. It is time for a change of regime to a LOYAL SDA administrator. Wisby must go.

    I agree that President Wisbey should be fired. At the ASI meeting in Sacramento, he actually implied that he was part of the firing of the four men. “We did something.” was his response when questioned about why nothing had been done regarding the La Sierra evolution problem.

    When then asked whether he then agreed that the four men should have been fired, President Wisbey stated he couldn’t comment further.

    So, was President Wisbey in favor of the firings or not? He certainly isn’t ready to say. Seems like he’d rather sit on the fence.




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  19. Holly, why does it not surprise me that Wisby is sitting on the fence? Isn’t that what got us to where we are? Politician administrators who are more concerned about not rocking the boat and who are not willing to stand for what is right even though it is unpopular. What a waste of our money. That is why he needs to leave. He is good at smiling for those photo op pictures that we see in the church magazines and on the website. And he is good at reading out the names of the graduates at graduation, while looking very slick in his cap and gown. But he is a failure at dealing with a wayward biology department, and a religion department that is probably the REAL problem at LSU. Faculty that supported Prop 8 against the church’s FB on marriage, starting and running an M.Div program to compete with Andrews so they can continue to fill the church with very liberal graduates (anyone heard of Jared Wright?) and continue the destruction of our Bible-based doctrines. When are we going to wake up and smell the Postum? This problem is really HUGE! It is not going to be fixed by our little LSU4 resignation band-aid. A ton more difficult, painful work needs to be done to get LSU on the right track. Do we have the intestinal fortitude to REALLY do what is necessary? Or are we going to act all smug that we did something, all the while the anti-SDA liberal “SDA’s” are regrouping to continue their destruction of our beautiful church?




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  20. He is good at smiling for those photo op pictures that we see in the church magazines and on the website. And he is good at reading out the names of the graduates at graduation, while looking very slick in his cap and gown. But he is a failure at dealing with a wayward biology department, and a religion department that is probably the REAL problem at LSU. Faculty that supported Prop 8 against the church’s FB on marriage, starting and running an M.Div program to compete with Andrews so they can continue to fill the church with very liberal graduates (anyone heard of Jared Wright?) and continue the destruction of our Bible-based doctrines. When are we going to wake up and smell the Postum? This problem is really HUGE! It is not going to be fixed by our little LSU4 resignation band-aid.

    Yes, I was told by eyewitnesses that President Wisbey maintained a constant big smile, just as we see in his photos, all the time he was speaking about this. He seemed proud that “he” had done something (fired the four men) although I have seen no evidence that he had anything to do with it.




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  21. @Faithful Disciple, I agree with your comments above, especially about getting rid of President Wisbey. However, he seems to be using the strategy of implying HE actually did something, even though it seems that he did absolutely nothing.

    So, I ask President Wisbey. Do you or do you not support the firing of the four men? Did you or did you not agree with President Graham regarding this issue?




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  22. Jeff, I have worked for the church for over 20 years. What does that have to do with anything? Does that give me more or less right to be concerned about the apostasy at LSU?




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  23. Faithful Disciple: Jeff, I have worked for the church for over 20 years. What does that have to do with anything? Does that give me more or less right to be concerned about the apostasy at LSU?

    Maybe Professor Kent’s is trying to say, “If you’re not a church employee, then shut up–none of your business?”

    Or, if you are a church employee, “It’s still none of your ‘direct’ business?”‘

    Or, if you work for La Sierra, “You should support your employer, no matter what it does?”

    So, Prof. Kent, why do you ask such a question?




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  24. Professor Kent: Holly and Faithful – are you Church employees?

    I guess I should answer, since Faithful Disciple did. No, I am not an SDA Church employee. So, I again ask Prof. Kent–Why do you ask and what difference does it make?




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  25. What Ricardo Graham did was not taking an employment action – he simply invited the men to resign once he informed them that the university structure was onto their nefarious activity.

    But yes – the religion department over which the church would have an undisputable interest in protecting has been the key problem. It has been graduating students with no regard for Adventist beliefs, and many pastors come from there with no respect for the prophetic ministry of Ellen White or the literal creation week.

    To fix the University, fix the religion department. Otherwise nothing will get done.




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  26. Yes Frank, you have hit the nail squarely on the head. Now does the church administration have the fortitude to get rid of the apostates and replace them with loyal faculty. Sister White saw it and predicted it as you can see in the following quotes. It is as if she was here today watching all of this. ELDERS GRAHAM AND WILSON, PLEASE FINISH THE WORK AND CLEAN UP THIS MESS.

    “The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure. Who has authority to begin such a movement? We have our Bibles. We have our experience, attested to by the miraculous working of the Holy Spirit. We have a truth that admits of no compromise. Shall we not repudiate everything that is not in harmony with this truth?” Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, vol. 1, pages 204, 205.

    “The days are fast approaching when there will be great perplexity and confusion. Satan, clothed in angel robes, will deceive, if possible, the very elect. There will be gods many and lords many. Every wind of doctrine will be blowing. Those who have rendered supreme homage to “science falsely so called” will not be the leaders then. Those who have trusted to intellect, genius, or talent will not then stand at the head of rank and file. They did not keep pace with the light. Those who have proved themselves unfaithful will not then be entrusted with the flock. In the last solemn work few great men will be engaged. They are self-sufficient, independent of God, and He cannot use them. The Lord has faithful servants, who in the shaking, testing time will be disclosed to view. There are precious ones now hidden who have not bowed the knee to Baal. They have not had the light which has been shining in a concentrated blaze upon you. But it may be under a rough and uninviting exterior the pure brightness of a genuine Christian character will be revealed. In the day time we look toward heaven but do not see the stars. They are there, fixed in the firmament, but the eye cannot distinguish them. In the night we behold their genuine luster.”




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  27. Frank Silver: What Ricardo Graham did was not taking an employment action – he simply invited the men to resign once he informed them that the university structure was onto their nefarious activity. But yes – the religion department over which the church would have an undisputable interest in protecting has been the key problem. It has been graduating students with no regard for Adventist beliefs, and many pastors come from there with no respect for the prophetic ministry of Ellen White or the literal creation week.To fix the University, fix the religion department. Otherwise nothing will get done.

    Do most of their theology graduates stay in California? How many graduates of Andrews, compared with La Sierra, have been hired in the past 5 years? Does anyone know?




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  28. @Faithful Disciple, Yes, it seems that Ellen White correctly predicted people like Dr. Taylor, Pastor Ryan Bell, and others would be infiltrating our Church!




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  29. Holly, whether anyone has infiltrated our church, I don’t know. I am not a conspiracy theory kind of person. I am not privy to see behind the scenes as God would. All I can says is that we are God’s remnant church, we have Bible-based beliefs, and the likes of professors at LSU in the biology and religion departments, Erv Taylor, Jared Wright, the lib Spectrum crowd, and many others that claim that they are SDA when they are actively against everything SDA and are our greatest opponents. Their actions here and now are enough to convince me what EGW said that former SDA’s will be our worst enemies.




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  30. Faithful Disciple: Holly, whether anyone has infiltrated our church, I don’t know. I am not a conspiracy theory kind of person. I am not privy to see behind the scenes as God would. All I can says is that we are God’s remnant church, we have Bible-based beliefs, and the likes of professors at LSU in the biology and religion departments, Erv Taylor, Jared Wright, the lib Spectrum crowd, and many others that claim that they are SDA when they are actively against everything SDA and are our greatest opponents. Their actions here and now are enough to convince me what EGW said that former SDA’s will be our worst enemies.

    Well, former SDA’s may be our enemies, but it seems as though actual “in good standing” SDA’s (as Dr.Taylor) and actual paid employees, both in our Churches and our colleges, are our main enemies.




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  31. Holly, I believe Erv is an Emeritus Professor of Anthropology from UCR (University of California-Riverside), I don’t think he is a paid employee of the church, either currently, or in the past. He is a thought leader among the liberal “SDA’s” who want to trash our FB’s. He seems to have a total hate for historic, “traditional” SDA beliefs. His whole push is to advance liberal thought and doctrine wherever possible. He is constantly at war with us “fundamentalists.” What a sad situation to be in. He seems to have some huge hang-up.




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  32. Faithful Disciple: Holly, I believe Erv is an Emeritus Professor of Anthropology from UCR (University of California-Riverside), I don’t think he is a paid employee of the church, either currently, or in the past. He is a thought leader among the liberal “SDA’s” who want to trash our FB’s. He seems to have a total hate for historic, “traditional” SDA beliefs. His whole push is to advance liberal thought and doctrine wherever possible. He is constantly at war with us “fundamentalists.” What a sad situation to be in. He seems to have some huge hang-up.

    Didn’t someone say Dr. Taylor taught part of one of the courses at La Sierra?

    But, you are correct–he is definitely “at war” with biblically-based Adventists, and he admits as much. Just read his articles over on Adventist Today.

    He just loves to trash Ellen White. How could he be a member “in good standing” at the Loma Linda University Church. Has anyone asked Randy Roberts this question?




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