Pirates of Privilege by Walter Rea

CHAPTER III

WHY THE DAM BROKE

 

It didn't seem reasonable that anymore could be done with the church to change the course of events that would lead it to shame and reproach but sometimes one can appeal to something other than reason. With that in mind I wrote two more letters in 1979 hoping for some positive action.

 

 

Dear Brethren,

 

I am sending you a copy of the filed law suit that Don Davenport instigated against a fellow church member. It makes clear what up to now has only been allegation:

 

1. That Dr. Davenport is involved in a financial way with the Church to the tune of millions of dollars.

 

2. That much of these deals have been secured by personal promissory notes.

 

3. That his "personal" and intimate friendships with various leaders, executives and Conference workers, have made his arrangements possible. That without their cooperation and assistance, he could not have obtained the money he has.

 

4. That no other lending institution would back him under the same condition.

 

 

In view of these public statements, it would seem that now is the time for the leadership of this Church to make public its involvement through the names of its leaders and the executives on the list of investors. Certain questions have to be answered:

 

A. Inasmuch as all of us are only custodians of the peopleís funds, were there any conflict of interests?

 

B. What were the rates of interests, the finders fees, or the pay off to the individual worker for their involvement?

 

C. Was the interest ever higher to the individual than the interest paid to the denomination through the association? And if so, why?

 

D. Did the varying rates to the individuals have anything to do with their positions or the amount that was borrowed from the Church?

 

E. How much encouragement was given to others to invest by those workers who were already investing?

 

F. Was the list and opportunities ever opened to the total membership? If not, what contacts were made and by whom, to make up the list?

 

Finally, inasmuch as the officers of the General Conference were cautioned several years ago concerning the implication of such transactions, where has the moral leadership been all this time? While it is true, Brother Emmerson has recently disavowed the churchís involvement in the Davenport matter, as recently as three weeks ago, Davenport was granted an extensive line of credit through one of our local Seventh-day Adventist hospitals. Other workers have been personally investing recently under assumed names, while holding committee membership in the Conference. Another scandal similar to this concerning the Riverside Mall and the workers and officials of the Southeastern California Conference, is about to break.

 

With all the high sounding platitudes emanating from Washington, when do you think we will get the necessary moral leadership to finish the Work? It would seem the least we could do is to fire those who obviously are involved in a conflict of interest. 1

 

As I look back now and reread what I had written, it seems so foolish for me to believe that something moral and spiritual would come of what I had done. The church just did not feel that she needed changing or cleaning. Law and justice are the articles of faith that Adventism peddles and mercy, grace, repentance, forgiveness and restitution are unknown experiences in corporate Adventism. Finally, morality by their definition, not grace and conversion by the Holy Spirit, is the stock and trade of the church, and that still small voice that would have kept those men from the insanity of greed could not be heard and was not recognized if it was. Those same men of special privilege even went so far as to change the rules and policies that workers had operated under for decades, but the changes were made to the advantage of those leaders and the disadvantage of the worker. It was this that prompted my final letter of appeal and I sent it in a strident note:

 

S. D. Bietz, Treasurer

Pacific Union Conference

 

Dear Friend,

 

This week we have been having meetings in our Conference concerning the changes to be made in the workers sustentation plan. It has been suggested by some that you would appreciate some of our input; therefore this letter.

 

For 34 years my wife and I have stood side by side in service for this Church. We have done this as a team on two assumptions-- One, that we had dedicated our lives to God's Church and service hoping that He would come, partly through our efforts, while we were alive. Two, that if He did not come, the brethren and the Church would honor their commitments to us if we lived and retired. It now seems that we were wrong on at least one of these assumptions. The commitments of this denomination, which they have made in the past years to its workers are well known, inasmuch as they have been published each year in the General Conference Workers Policy. It now appears that the Church is repudiating those policies under which we have all served, and in which we had faith and to which we gave our commitment.

 

I would like to ask several questions concerning the changes that are suggested:

 

1. Why should a wife who carries with her husband the responsibility of the church, as well as a financial commitment to the home, be treated with less deference than a wife who may not make any contribution to the church as well as not making any financial contribution to the home?

 

2. Who is going to assemble all these past service records for the wives and verify their accuracy?

 

3. Why deny a worker medical benefits if he conscientiously signed off from Social Security in the belief that the Conference Medical policy would supply his needs? The Conference may say they encouraged Social Security on the part of the worker, but the very fact that they refuse to contribute their share in the case of a minister, shows that they do not support it at all.

 

4. What are you going to do with workers who, when they face the new rule change in 1981, meet the years of service requirement but by an accident of birth, do not meet the age requirement? Will you deny him what you have promised in the past, because he is not old enough? How many more years must he wait for his due?

 

Finally, the strength of a man's assets or the benefits of his abilities to accumulate cannot be either the moral or legal basis of his entitlement to sustentation. He has either earned it regardless of his finances, or he hasn't. To use the premise that some will have more money when they retire than when they were working is fallacious. If that argument is true and I am wrong, let me make a final statement.

 

I am sending you a copy of the list of men connected with the Church as well as some of their friends, whose position of privilege have given them enormous advantage to profit over their fellows, many of whom do not and have not had that advantage. Now, some of those same men will be sitting on committees denying privileges and benefits that they themselves already have and may not therefore need, even though they have gained these advantages by other means than that of working for a salary in the Church. How will the have-nots who are being denied, feel when this fact is made public?

 

I would encourage you to read this letter to your group in Washington. In fact, I would be delighted to have it published in the Adventist Review.2††

 

As in the case of all my attempts to engender dialogue with the church leaders, there was no response. The church does not believe in real true dialogue as I have pointed out in my national article, "Who Profits from the Prophet." 3 What it must have is monologue if there is talk at all. It prefers edicts with strict compliance. And that is exactly what happened in the case of the sustentation or retirement plan. It was changed to suit the leaders and the group in power and it fell heaviest on the poor and needy workers of the field. It was however, perhaps the strongest letter I had sent and in that sense caused some talk and thinking about my "retirement" or "firing".

 

There is no question but that the letter generated considerable comment among "the brethren" and I began to hear rumors that I was to be fired. This was at least a year and a half before the article appeared in The Los Angeles Times concerning my work on the writings of Ellen G. White, the Adventist Prophet. Because of those rumors I wrote the following letter to Neal Wilson in May of 1980. It was during the trial of our Conference President, Harold Calkins and the Burbank group concerning past disagreements:

 

Dear Neal,

 

This past week I was subpoenaed for a deposition concerning the court trial involving Elder Calkins and the slander suit brought against him by the group that were disfellowshiped from Burbank some years ago. {While participating, I could not help but think that the whole affair could have been avoided if better understanding and judgment had been used by all.)

 

It also seemed to relate to my own situation, especially since my attorney friend, Jerry Wiley, reported his recent conversation with you, hence this letter. Please take this writing as a sincere effort to set forth the facts as I see them, and not in anyway as a criticism, a threat or a demand.

The current rumor that I would or will be fired leaves me astonished, inasmuch as my experience on church conference committees, has taught me that a minister has to commit some great crime to receive such final treatment. We have often allowed men of questionable moral or ethical conduct to survive.

 

Because of the severity of such action, certainly no one can doubt that in my case, I would leave no avenue unexplored, no method legal or moral untried before I would allow such action to take place, especially since I have violated no church policy, have challenged no church doctrine or belief, and have applied myself with all diligence to my calling these many years.

 

Surely, no one that has ever had any personal dealing with Dr. Davenport and represented the church on committees that loaned him money (and there are such on some of your committees) could sit in judgment on my actions and not have their motives suspect by a court of law or the church. Nor could any administrator, representing political power, vote to override the committee you yourself selected, when they voted 18 to nothing that my research was valid and that I should be given a vote of thanks for that work, without subjecting themselves to the criticism of cover up.

 

It would seem to me that the real issues are not the two mentioned above, but whether the membership who pay the bill have a right to know. As we both know, the courts have long ago decided that even in the case of a church, they indeed do have that right.

 

If there are those in responsible positions that feel that I have become a liability, then let them suggest a plan whereby I can retire with honor and security at whatever time they think advisable. At 57, I still have 8 years to go before age 65. Nothing less than this could be acceptable to me, inasmuch as there are no charges I can be condemned morally or legally for.

 

I am enclosing two copies of affirmation, both of which I am sure you have seen, only to remind others that any pressure applied to either you or me is ill-advised.

 

`Once again I appreciate your problems and can understand somewhat of the situation you work under, but rest assured that I and Mrs. Rea do not and never have, taken our ministry or work in the church lightly, but still believe that the way to deal with problems is to recognize them, confess them and then deal with them honestly and objectively. 4

 

There really was nothing in Wilson's reply that gave me any assurance that he was interested in me as a person. Rather he gave the usual party line and sought to cover all the bases at once. He said:

 

You really should address questions with respect to your work and ministry to the Southern California Conference and/or the Pacific Union Conference. The General Conference does not get into the management and administrative relationships between a conference and its ministers. As you know, we do not make administrative decisions for conferences or union, but at times we are called upon to express an opinion or give counsel and advice. 5

 

You have to know Wilson and Adventist double-talk to appreciate this paragraph. Wilson had helped to engineer many a deal, and had fired men and blocked their promotions, yet he always worked through his hit men so that he could take the high ground. He even goes on to contradict himself when he says,

 

I have repeatedly indicated that you had much to offer this church, and I was very hopeful that you would be responsive to counsel from individuals as well as from church leadership, including the General Conference. 6

 

Never, since we were students together in college, has Wilson talked to me about much of anything, much less my personal desires and wishes for the church. Even in the E. G. White controversy he had to be dragged, kicking and screaming to the conference table and never once did he discuss Davenport with any of us that were hammering loudly and clearly at his door; His defense was always policy as he interpreted it.

 

It is also a part of the policy of the church that those of us who are ministers of the gospel and employed by this church will not appeal to any court of law for redress. This is especially true in areas of church polity, doctrine, and spiritual activity. We have by accepting ordination and appointment as a minister in this church limited our personal freedom. 7

 

This statement is laughable in the light of several things. First, the amount of money that has been spent for legal fees by Wilson and the Church in the Davenport matter, as well as the E. G. White Prophet matter is a well kept secret but said to be astronomical. Second, all the officers of the church have been insured by the organization and would be protected in case they were ever sued while in office, Third, that "ain'tthe way the General Conference Risk Management Service saw it when they wrote in 1982:

 

There is considerable evidence from the Davenport scenario at the present time to indicate that, in spite of the approximate $23,000,000 potential investment loss, the church still cannot discipline itself and is headed full throttle down the road toward disastrous litigation between conferences, between conferences and church officers, and between conferences and the church-owned insurance company. The legal wheels have now been in motion almost six months and we are very close to a "point of no return!"8

 

 

The speculation is that millions have been spent in the last few years for any and every law suit that the church either needed for its own sake or to protect its money or image in the face of mounting threats. The letter from Risk Management concluded with a plea and warning, and an admonition:

 

The Davenport fiasco has, we hope, taught us that the church desperately needs to put its house in order. . . . Also this feedback indicated that greediness for the all-mighty dollar is the source of our trouble with Davenport investments. Also, greediness towards the insurance company for recovery of uninsured losses, without due respect to business ethics and the moral concept of contractual provisions in the insurance policies, is responsible for turning the church toward the entanglement of litigation which may end in disaster. 9

 

 

I have often wondered since reading the letter what happened to its author, Charles Frederick, and what kind of flak he received from Wilson for it. Wilson left no doubt in his letter to me that compliance with church leaders and their dictums was the only solution he would accept from any worker:

 

Our concern arises when you launch a relentless crusade and feel impelled to take it to the church, publicly and privately, through meetings and by circulating materials. So most people, the course that you had embarked on was one that was divisive, that unsettled the faith of people, that seemed to openly challenge the church, and that raised doubts, and led only to confusion and weakness. If you have heard that you would be fired it is unfounded rumor, . . 10

 

It seemed to me that this is where Wilson tipped his hand. There had been no meetings for the public that the Conference was not aware of and had not participated in. Wilson himself had called the private meeting in Glendale that year and was only stung because tapes were released telling what was going on. I had circulated no material that both the committee he had chosen and the White Estate had not seen and in some cases encouraged me to send. I had not even written my book The White Lie yet and indeed there is no reason that it ever had to be written if the church had handled the matter as Christians in friendly and intelligent dialogue. I had not openly or privately challenged the church in anything concerning doctrine, or its faith, but had openly and often challenged its business practices as he knew, and Davenport was hanging like a Damocles sword over both of our heads. Yet he refused to discuss the matter with those of us that could have helped. Time was to supply his reason.

 

None of us could hold back the tide that was flowing against the church and Dr. Davenport. The law suits against John Adam and Sydney Allen were dropped when both men got to Federal Court; and Davenport would have been forced, if he continued the suit, to open his records in both cases, an act he simply could not do and survive. Already, Adam had discovered that several of the properties for which the conference claimed first mortgages happened not to be owned by the Doctor. 11 On July 22, 1981, he filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the Federal Bankruptcy laws.

 

The headlines in The Los Angeles Times of July 25, 1981 said, "Massive Church Fund Loss Feared." 12 The Sacramento Bee of August 29, under a byline of "Credit Squeeze" said, "Adventists Face a Troubled Future.' 13 The news media across the nation had much to say and write about the Adventist scandal. One of the strongest was Davenport's own home town paper, The Long Beach Telegram of August 2. Among other things they said:

 

Church critics claimed he estimated $46 million collapse amounted to an old-fashioned Ponzi pyramid scheme with respected Seventh-day Adventist ministers for salesmen and elderly Adventist the unwitting victims. In exchange for their participation, ministers were treated to free trips to posh condos in Palm Springs and Hawaii and favorable interest rates on their personal investments with Davenport, . . . 14

 

One of the best jobs of reporting most of the facts in the Davenport case was done by The Sunday Sun, San Bernardino, California. In a series of four articles they covered some of the workings of the church with Davenport using charts and graphs. Some of their conclusions were:

 

* Adventist laymen and spiritual leaders for years invested millions with Davenport in the form of loans repaid at interest rates two to three times the prevailing rate.

 

* Adventist organizations also loaned Davenport millions, and for years were regularly repaid. But property records show Davenport seemed to repay loans with funds from other loans.

 

* Many of Davenport's transactions with Adventist entities and church officials seemed to violate the church's own investment and conflict-of-interest guidelines.

 

* Some Adventist investments officers made personal deals with Davenport at substantially higher interest rates - up to 80 percent - than their church entities received.

 

* Some church loans to Davenport were unsecured, and other loans were secured by third and fourth trust deeds and trust deeds for property valued at considerable less than the loan. . . .

 

* At a time when Davenport was deeply in debt - failing to repay many loans - he and his second wife, Patricia, made personal bank withdrawals of $1. 8 million. . . .

 

* The Sun found that for at least the past two decades, millions from Adventist trust funds were invested with Davenport in the form of loans. In addition, church officials have reported that five church entities, which they didn't identify, loaned approximately $800,000 to Davenport from tithe funds intended for the church ministry. . . .

 

* The Sun found 13 key church officials - conference presidents, trust directors, treasurers and others - who had personal business dealings with Davenport while their church entities were making loans to the developer. 15

 

What the Sun also reported confirmed my suspicions that the church would have lost millions more if they had not been stopped. They spelled out in detail why that would have been so:

 

In a January 1981 letter, Davenport stated: "The church is too dumb to take recognition of the fact that I have channeled between $10 million and $20 million into their coffers with never a cent lost . . ."

 

Six months later, Davenport was near bankruptcy and turning to the Adventist church for a bailout.

 

On the morning of June 23, a Davenport office memorandum shows he spoke to Wayne Massengill of Keene, Texas, and Portland, Ore., who was then a Southwest trust director for the church, a personal investor with Davenport, and a former church trust director in the Northwest.

Davenport asked Massengill for help in raising $5 million from the church to keep other denominational funds invested with him from being lost or greatly decreased in pay-off value. Minutes later, Davenport spoke with James Hopps of Boring, Ore., legal counsel for the church's Northwest Conference, according to another memo.

 

Hopps, a year earlier, had renewed a $82,000 loan to Davenport repayable at 80% interest. In March 1981, Davenport - seeking admission into the exclusive Hillcrest Country Club in Los Angeles - had written to Hopps for a letter of recommendation that would describe Davenport's 35 years of church work. In June 1981 Davenport explained he would be forced to file for bankruptcy unless various church conferences loaned him the $5 million. He offered to sign over his properties to the church.

 

Hopps said he'd put together a plan, Davenport's memo of the call shows. Three weeks later, Davenport still was piecing together a bail-out plan.

 

On July 17 he wrote Ellaworth S. Reile of Lincoln, Neb., president of the Mid-American Union Conference. Reile had $15,000 in loans to Davenport and had been his partner in three business ventures.Davenport told Reile he would take a General Conference or a union conference representative into his office to assure repayment of the loan he needed to stave off the banks and bankruptcy proceedings. Hinting at the repercussions for the church if he went bankrupt, Davenport wrote of the bailout: "This would totally stop what I think would be a tremendous run on the church, as well as (stop a) cutting off of trust funds and, worst of all, even tithing, which none of us wants to see."

 

Apparently the church rejected the bailout package. 16

 

Perhaps the church officials that I had contacted did not know at the time that they received my letters that time was short as far as Davenport was concerned, but certainly Davenport knew it, and when his letters to Pierson and others are read in the light of that knowledge he does not seem "such a hell of a guy." In fact, the reading of his assets from the court- records makes astonishing reading for a man and wife that must have known they were about to become poor. The list is long and intriguing in view of the fact that the examiner said he could not locate any of the jewelry listed.

 

Books and records in the custody of the Trustee indicate substantial pieces of jewelry were owned by Donald J. and Patricia A. Davenport at July 21, 1981. However, an inventory of such jewelry and a valuation of the several pieces have not been made inasmuch as the location of the jewelry is unknown.

 

This schedule includes information listed from records available from an insurance brokerage firm, Sutro Insurance Agency, which underwrote the property coverage for the subject jewelry.

 

1

18KT. YELLOW GOLD NECKLACE

2,450.00

2

18 KT. YELLOW GOLD RING, WET WITH ONE LARGE OXBLOOD CORAL PEAR-SHAPED AND 19 BAGUETTE DIAMONDS

3,000.00

3

14 KT. YELLOW GOLD CLASP AND 6 STRAND CORAL TORSADE NECKLACE

800.00

4

18 KT. YELLOW GOLD CROSS, MADE OF HAND-CARVED CRYSTAL WITH 18 KT. YELLOW GOLD TOP, AND CENTER SET WITH CABOCHON EMERALD

1,850.00

5

14 KT. YELLOW GOLD CHAIN FROM WHICH ABOVE CROSS IS SUSPENDED

675.00

6

NECKLACE WITH PENDANT, 18 KT. GOLD AND CRYSTAL

750.00

7

NECKLACE 18 KT. YELLOW GOLD, DIAMONDS ESTIMATED WEIGHT 2.5 CTS. RUBIES ESTIMATED WEIGHT 0.25 CTS., DOUBLE LION

1,500.00

8

NECKLACE, 18 KT. YELLOW GOLD AND PAVE DIAMOND INITIAL "D" NECKLACE SET WITH 27 ROUND DIAMONDS WEIGHING APPROXIMATELY .36 CTS.

680.00

9

NECKLACE, 14 KT. YELLOW GOLD AND DIAMOND WEIGHING 1.0 CTS. ON ROPE TWIST CHAIN

360.00

10

EARCLIPS, YELLOW GOLD LIONS HEAD ON LOOP

475.00

11

RING, 18 KT. YELLOW GOLD DOUBLE LION'S HEADS WITH GREEN ENAMEL AND ROSE DIAMONDS

450..00

12

14 KT. YELLOW GOLD OVAL BARK FINISH LINKS BRACELET WATCH

900.00

13

PENDANT, MALACHITE HEART

60.00

14

NECKLACE, 18 KT. YELLOW GOLD RONDELLES WITH MALACHITE AND OXBLOOD CORAL BEADS MEASURING APPROX. 10 MM.

2,500.00

15

NECKLACE, MALACHITE BEADS WITH YELLOW GOLD CLASP

750.00

16

CUFFLINKS, 18 KT. YELLOW GOLD AND MALACHITE SQUARES MEASURING APPROX. 1315 MM.

250.00

17

CUFFLINKS, 18 KT. YELLOW GOLD AND DIAMOND MELON SHAPE, CONTAINING 54 ROUND DIAMONDS WEIGHING 2.45 CTS.

2,200.00

18

14 CT. YELLOW GOLD RUBY EARCLIPS, SET WITH 88 SMALL FACETED RUBIES

475.00

19

18KT YELLOW GOLD BRACELET, SET WITH 14 SMALL OVAL TURQUOISE STONE, 14 SMALL FACETED BLUE SAPPHIRES

1,200.00

20

18 KT. GOLD PENDANT WITH THE DATE OF FEB 9, PENDANT IS RECTANGULAR SHAPE, 3/4 X 1"

140.00

21

18 KT. YELLOW GOLD DIAMOND BROOCH CONTAINING 4 FULL CUT DIAMONDS WEIGHING APPROX .24 CTS.

500.00

22

18 KT. YELLOW GOLD DIAMOND AND CORAL RING, HAND-MADE SET WITH 10 FULL CUT DIAMONDS WEIGHING .06 CT. EACH, AND ONE FANCY SHAPE CORAL SET AROUND RING

1,000.00

23

LADIES 18 KT. YELLOW GOLD RING, FLORENTINE FINISH, CONTAINING ONE LARGE TURQUOISE 12 X 20 MM.

1,000.00

24

PAIR 18 KT. YELLOW GOLD, LARGE MARGUISE SHAPRED EAR CLIPSWITH GREEN ENAMEL AND SET WITH ONE OVAL CORAL, EACH 8 X 14 MM

850.00

25

BRACELET 3/4" WIDE, DOUBLE ROW, CONTAINING 36 CULTURED PEARLS, 6 MM. EACH AND 3 SMALL JADE AND 3 SMALL DIAMONDS .05 EACH, SET IN GOLD SECTIONS BETWEEN PEARS WITH GOLD ROPE STANDS ON EACH SIDE

850.00

26

18 MM. ROUND DOUGHNUT SHAPE JADE PENDANT SET IN YELLOW GOLD

225.00

27

14 KT. YELLOW GOLD FANCY DOME STYLE RING CONTAINING JADE AND DIAMONDS, WITH 4 SMALL CABOCHON JADES, 4 SMALL DIAMONDS WEIGHING APPROX. .12 CT. 10 BRILLIANT CUT DIAMONDS WEIGHING APPROX. 1.20 CTS. AND 1 BRILLIANT CUT DIAMOND WEIGHING APPROCX. .60 CT.

1,650.00

28

14 KT. YELLOW GOLD LINK BRACELET

600.00

29

SINGLE STRANG, 92 CULTURED PEARLS, KNOTTED, 7-1-1/2 MM.

800.00

30

14 KT YELLOW GOLD THREE ROW ROPE BRACELET

400.00

31

14 KT YELLOW GOLD FAN PIN

275.00

32

14 KT. YELLOW GOLD AND JADE 5 SECTION BRACELET

375.00

33

ONE BRILLIANT CUT DIAMOND TIE TAC, 2.50 COLOR GRADING SLIGHTLY IMPERFECT, BRILLIANT AND WELL PROPORTIONED, APPROX. WEIGHT 0.55 CT.

550.00

34

PAIR OF 14 KT. YELLOW GOLD SAPPHIRE TUBULAR BAR CUFFLINES SET WITH A 44 CALIBRE SAPPHIRE

1,000.00

35

PAIR 18 KT YELLOW GOLD CUFFLINES, OVAL DOME STYLE MESH DESIGN, MADE IN ITALY

400.00

36

18 KT. YELLOW GOLD MAN'S VACHERON CONSTANTIN AUTOMATIC BRACELET WATCH, WITH 18 JEWEL VACHERON MOVEMENT

4,000.00

37

18 KT. YELLOW GOLD AND CORAL EARCLIPS WITH 12 ROUND CORAL PLACQUES

800.00

38

14 KT. YELLOW GOLD ROPE NECKLACE

1,000.00

39

14 KT. YELLOW GOLD AND MALACHITE NECKLACE WITH 10 RECTANGULAR TUBE SECTIONS

1,200.00

40

18 KT. YELLOW GOLD, PLATINUM AND PAVE DIAMOND RING, WITH 32 BRILLIANT CUT DIAMONDS WEIGHING APPROX. 1.00 CT.

1,400.00

41

96 CULTURED PEARLS MEASURING 7-7.8 MM., 9 FANCY GREEN ONYX AND ONE CABOCHON GREEN ONYX

10,000.00

42

18 KT. YELLOW GOLD, DIAMOND, CITRINE AND EMERALD RING CONTAINING: 1 CARVED CITRINE, 1 CABOCHON EMERALD WEIGHING0.63 CTS. AND 18 ROUND DIAMONDS WEIGHING 1.42 CTS.

4,500.00

43

GOLD AND DIAMOND NECKLACE, SET WITH 60 DIAMONDSWEIGHING 6.55 CTS.

6,500.00

44

MULTI-STRAND SEED PEARL NECKLACE WITH TWO GOLD PANTHERHEADS CLASP

5,900.00

45

18 KT. YELLOW GOLD DIAMOND SOUTH SEA PEARL EARCLIPS, WITH A DIAMOND TOTAL WEIGHT OF 3.32 CT.

9,850.00

46

18 KT. YELLOW GOLD AND DIAMOND BRACELET, SET WITH 288 FULL CUT ROUND DIAMONDS, WEIGHING 20.00 CTS.

21,000.00

47

PAIR 18 KT. YELLOW GOLD SHINY, CURVE BANGLES BRACELET WHICH FIT WITH ABOVE MENTIONED BRACELET @1,160.00 EACH

2,320.00

48

18 KT. YELLOW GOLD AND DIAMOND NECKLACE SET WITH 242 ROUND DIAMONDS WEIGHING 13.50 CTS.

16,500.00

49

18 KT. YELLOW GOLD AND DIAMOND EAR CLIPS, SET WITH 78 FULL CUT ROUND DIAMONDS WEIGHING 13.38 CTS.

13,600.00

50

GOLD AND DIAMOND TIE TAC

2,000.00

51

DIAMOND RING

185,000.00

52

DIAMOND NECKLACE

34,000.00

53

DIAMOND AND SAPPHIRE EARCLIPS

13,000.00

54

ONE LADIES RING, 18 KT. YELLOW GOLD, DIAMOND, CITRINE AND EMERALD CONTAINING: 1 CARVED CITRINE, 1 CABOCHON EMERALD WEIGHING 0.63 CTS., 18 ROUND DIAMONDS WEIGHING 1.42 CTS.

6,000.00

55

ONE LADIES RING, 22 KT. YELLOW GOLD CROSS OVER DESIGN

600.00

56

ONE LADIES RING, YELLOW GOLD WIRE MOTIF AND DIAMONDS, CONTAINING: 2 ROUND DIAMONDS ESTIMATED WEIGHT 0.40 CTS.

1,200.00

57

ONE LADIES RING, YELLOW GOLD, CORAL AND DIAMOND, CONTAINING:PEARSHAPE CABOCHON OXBLOOD CORAL MEASURING 30 X 10.6 X 11.8 MM., 19 BAGUETTE DIAMONDS ESTIMATED WEIGHT 1.90 CTS

7,000.00

58

ONE LADIES RING 18 KT. YELLOW GOLD TWIN RING WITH TWO CARVED INTAGLIOS

1,050.00

59

ONE LADIES RING, 18 KT. YELLOW GOLD AND 6 ROW DIAMOND CONTAINING: 156 ROUND DIAMONDS ESTIMATED WEIGHT 7.35 CTS.

13,000.00

60

ONE LADIES RING, WHITE GOLD, TOURMALINE AND DIAMOND, CONTAINING: 1 EMERALD CUT TOURMALINE (BROKEN) MEASURING 23.7 X 18.3 X 9.44 MM., MARQUISE DIAMONDS ESTIMATED WEIGHT 0.40 CTS., 4 ROUND DIAMONDS ESTIMATED WEIGHT 0.30 CTS

7,000.00

61

ONE LADIES RING, 14 KT. YELLOW GOLD FLORENTINED WEDDING BAND

350.00

62

ONE LADIES RING, 18 KT. YELLOW GOLD, CORAL AND DIAMONDS, CONTAINING: 10 ROUND DIAMONDS ESTIMATED WEIGHT 0.60 CTS.

1,850.00

63

ONE LADIES RING, 22 KT. YELLOW GOLD, CABOCHON AMETHYST, ROUTILE QUARTZ AND DIAMOND, CONTAINING: 7 ROUND DIAMONDS, ESTIMATED WEIGHT 0.35 CTS.

1,600.00

64

ONE PAIR LADIES EARCLIPS, Q8 KT. YELLOW GOLD AND DIAMOND HOOPS

2,650.00

65

ONE PAIR LADIES EARCLIPS, 18 KT. YELLOW GOLD AND CORAL

2,300.00

66

ONE PAIR LADIES EARCLIPS, 18 KT. YELLOW GOLD, DIAMOND, AND CABOCHON SAPPHIRE, CONTAINING: 14 SAPPHIRE BEADS WEIGHING 21.00 CTS., 278 ROUND DIAMONDS WEIGHING 9.25 CTS.

15,500.00

67

ONE PAIR LADIES EARCLIPS, 18 KT. YELLOW GOLD, DIAMOND AND SPOTTED WHITE STONE, CONTAINING: 14 ROUND DIAMONDS ESTIMATED WEIGHT 0.70 CTS.

2,200.00

68

ONE PAIR LADIES EARCLIPS, 18 KT. YELLOW GOLD, PLATINUMAND DIAMOND, CONTAINING: 114 ROUND DIAMONDS WEIGHING 4.13 CTS.

8,000.00

69

ONE PAIR LADIES EARCLIPS, 18 KT. YELLOW GOLD TWIST MOTIF

1,500.00

70

ONE PAIR LADIES EARCLIPS, 18 KT. YELLOW GOLD, CORAL AND GREEN ENAMEL

1,500.00

71

CLIPS, (ONE PAIR) PLATINUM, DIAMOND, CALIBRE RUBY AND CRTSTAL (CRYSTAL DAMAGED SOMEWHAT AND 2 CALIBRE RUBY MISSING), CONTAINING: 8 SQUARE DIAMONDS ESTIMATED WEIGHT 0.75 CTS., 78 ROUND SINGLE CUT DIAMONDS ESTIMATED WEIGHT 1.60 CTS., 14 BAGUETTE DIAMONDS ESTIMATED WEIGHT 0.70 CTS., 22 CALIBRE RUBIES ESTIMATED WEIGHT 1.35 CTS., 4 SMALL CABOCHON RUBIES

4,500.00

72

PIN, PLATINUM, DIAMOND AND JADE BAR, CONTAINING: 78 ROUND SINGLE CUT DIAMONDS ESTIMATED WEIGHT 2.00 CTS. JADE BAR MEASURING 15 X 6 MM.

3,500.00

73

ONE BRACELET, YELLOW GOLD AND PAVE DIAMOND HINGED BANGLE, CONTAINING: 288 ROUND DIAMONDS ESTIMATED WEIGHT 20.00 CTS.

37,500.00

74

BRACELETS, (ONE PAIR) YELLOW GOLD HIGH POLISHED HINGED BANGLE TO BE WORN WITH THE ABOVE BRACELET (EACH VALUE AT $1,800.)

3,600.00

75

ONE NECKLACE, 18 KT. YELLOW GOLD AND WHITE GOLD, PERIDOT AND DIAMOND IN A ROPE TWISH DESIGN CONTAINING: 1 EMERALD CUT PERIDOT MEASURING 29 X 18.8 X 12.6 MM., 40 ROUND DIAMONDS ESTIMATED WEIGHT 1.20 CTS.

17,000.00

76

ONE NECKLACE, 18 KT. YELLOW GOLD LINK WITH OCTAGONAL PENDANT PLAQUE IN YELLOW GOLD, DIAMOND BLUE AND YELLOW SAPPHIRES CONTAINING: 4 OVAL BLUE SAPPHIRES ESTIMATED WEIGHT 4.00 CTS., 4 OVAL YELLOW SAPPHIRE ESTIMATED WEIGHT 4.00 CTS., 60 ROUND DIAMONDS ESTIMATED WEIGHT 1.80 CTS.

11,500.00

77

ONE NECKLACE, 18 KT. YELLOW GOLD, DIAMOND, EMERALD AND RUBY DOUBLE LION, CONTAINING: DIAMONDS ESTIMATED WEIGHT 0.15 CTS., 1 CABOCHON EMERALD ESTIMATED WEIGHT 2.50 CTS., RUBIES ESTIMATED WEIGHT 0.25 CTS.

4,500.00

78

ONE NECKLACE, YELLOW GOLD LINK WITH AQUAMARINE SET UPSIDE DOWN AND DIAMONDS, CONTAINING: 1 EMERALD CUT AQUAMARINE MEASURING 27.5 X 23 X 14.5 MM., 30 ROUND DIAMONDS ESTIMATED WEIGHT 2.50 CTS.

8,700.00

79

ONE NECKLACE, 18 KT. YELLOW GOLD LINK WITH OLD COIN IN DIAMOND BEZEL, CONTAINING: 26 ROUND DIAMONDS ESTIMATED WEIGHT 3.25 CTS.

10,000.00

81

ONE NECKLACE, 18 KT. YELLOW GOLD LINK WITH DIAMOND AND CARVED INTAGLIO PLACK, CONTAINING:40 ROUND DIAMONDS ESTIMIATED WEIGHT 1.65CTS.

6,500.00

82

ONE NECKLACE, YELLOW GOLD LARGE LINK

8,000.00

83

ONE NECKLACE, 14 KT. YELLOW GOLD 24" WITH DETACHABLE BRACELET SECTION

2,200.00

84

ONE PENDANT, 18 KT. YELLOW GOLD CABOCHON PEAR SHAPE GREEN STONE AND CRYSTAL CROSS

1,500.00

85

ONE NECKLACE AND PENDANT, 18 KT. YELLOW GOLD AND JADE PENDANT WITH YELLOW GOLD CHAIN

1,500.00

86

ONE NECKLACE, 32 STRANDS OF BIWA FRESH WATER CULTURED PEARLS 26-1/4" LONG WITH 18 KT. YELLOW GOLD, BLACK ONYX AND DIAMOND CLASP CONTAINING: 14 ROUND DIAMONDS ESTIMATED WEIGHT 0.25 CTS.

2,500.00

87

ONE NECKLACE, SINGLE STRAND CULTURED PEARL WITH YELLOWGOLD AND DIAMOND CLASP CONTAINING: ROUND DIAMONDS WEIGHING 3.86 CTS. AND SEVENTY-ONE CULTURED PEARLS MEASURING FROM 8 TO 9.5 MM.

8,000.00

 

 

 

 

SCHEDULE OF FURS

 

 

 

 

1

ONE BLACKGLAMA MINK VEST

800.00

2

ONE BLACKGLAMA NATURAL MINK FULL LENGTH COAT, FOX TRIM

3,200.00

3

ONE KNITTED WOOL AND BLOND MINK FULL LENGTH COAT BY CARDIN

3,000.00

4

ONE LYNX JACKET BY DIOR

1,000.00

5

ONE WHITE FOX STOLE

1,000.00

6

RUSSIAN LYNX COAT

10,000.00

7

ONE NATURAL CANADIAN LYNX STROLLER

6,000.00

 

Comments:

location of the aforementioned furs is unknown. 17

 

 

 

Why the list is so intriguing is that the church the Doctor represented on so many committees and bank accounts has been fighting a rear guard action for over a hundred years over its members even wearing a small plain wedding band. It was obvious that the Doctor and his wife, Patty, did not put much stock in the statement from their church prophet that "Not one penny should be spent for a circlet of gold to testify that we are married." 18

 

While the list of the assets of the Adventist Divines were not listed in the court records, they were not doing so bad either. John Adam had done a very good job of sleuthing and had come up with several items concerning the leaders.

 

 

1. That at least six of the Union Presidents had some connection financially with Dr. Davenport.

 

2. That always they received more interest than the church they represented.

 

3. That at times, that interest ran from 50 to 80% depending upon the deal involved.

 

4. That several of the presidents were actually business partners with Davenport and enjoyed some tax benefits.

 

5. That Davenport was able to put some of his own men in positions in the Conference where the wills and trusts could be more easily accessible to him.

 

6. That the wheeling and dealing did not stop with some of the leaders with the Davenport matter but spread to the medical field. 19

 

That is was illegal and immoral to do what they were doing, both parties knew, for Davenport had written to Jack Price, one of his favorites:

 

I would not noise around about this 80% return because some of the peanut brains that are in the denomination and know nothing about finance will hasten to spread it to the four corners of the earth that I in desperate trouble and I now have to pay 80% for my money. This could not be further from the truth. 20

 

 

When the Architectural Digest of November, 1981, came out showing one of the many Davenport projects and said among other things:

 

To transform the newly constructed condominium into an age-weathered setting redolent with history demanded considerable imagination and skill, and Mrs. Davenport was especially fortunate in finding gifted craftsmen who could help implement her ideas.21

 

It was very clear that Donald and Patty, as well as the Adventist Divines were having a great deal of fun with the church's money, even if the poor and needy that give it through the church were not.

 

 

CHAPTER III FOOTNOTES

 

1. Walter Rea to General Conference Officers, 1979.

2. Walter Rea to S. D. Bietz, February, 1979.

 

3. Walter Rea, "Who Profits from the Prophet," Free Inquiry, Vol. 4, no. 4 (Fall, 1984).

 

4. Walter Rea to Neal Wilson, May 29, 1980.

 

5. Neal Wilson to Walter Rea, July 2, 1980, p. 1.

 

6. Ibid., p. 2.

 

7. Ibid., p. 2.

 

8. Charles O. Frederick, President, Gencon Risk Management Service for the protection of Denominational Assets, to Presidents and Treasurers, Conferences and Institutions, North American Division, p. 1.

 

9. Ibid., p. 5.

 

10. Neal Wilson to Walter Rea, July 2, 1980, pp. 3,4.

 

11. Tom Dybdahl, "Bad Business: The Davenport Fiasco," Spectrum, Vol. 12, No. 1, (September, 1981) p. 54.

 

12. Doris A. Byron and John Dart, "Massive Church Fund Loss Feared," Los Angeles Times, July 25, 1981.

 

13. Marjorie Hyer, The Washington Post, "Credit Squeeze, Adventist Face a Troubled Future," The Sacramento Bee, August 29, 1981.

 

14. Doreen Carvajal, "Seventh-day Adventist's Empire Collapses," Long Beach Telegram, August 2, 1981.

 

15. Art Wong and James Nickles, "After the Fall: An Adventist's Bankrupt Empire," The Sunday Sun, San Bernardino, California, May 30, 1982.

 

16. Art Wong and James Nickles, "What will Church find in Bankruptcy' 5 Wake," The Sun, San Bernardino, California, June 2, 1982.

 

17. United States Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California, Chapter II Case No. LA 81-09060-BR, SCHEDULE 33, Schedule of Jewelry -List Number 1 and 2, pp 1-8; Schedule of Furs.

 

18. Ellen G. White, Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, (Mountain View: PPPA, 1923), p. 181.

 

19. SDA PRESS RELEASE, Published by The Adventist Layman Council, Collegedale, Tennessee. Vol. 1, no. 8,9; Vol. II, no. 1; Plus others on file with no Vol. or Numbers listed.

 

20. Donald Davenport to Jack Price, August 22, 1980. (Copied from SDA Press Release, Vol. 1, no. 9).

 

21. Gerrold A. Turnbull, "Classical Resonance, The Framework of History in a Contemporary Setting," Architectural Digest, November 1981, pp. 142-149.

 

 

 

 

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