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Friday, 18 January 2013

Tom White and the Unanswered Questions

Counter I've been aware of the Voice of the Martyrs since before it even went by that name. I read Richard Wurmbrand's autobiography back in the 1970's. It wasn't until the late 90's, though, that I got on their mailing list, and found out that Wurmbrand--founder of Jesus to the Communist World-- had retired, and VOM was being headed by Tom White. During the first decade of this century (following the deaths of both Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand), VOM experienced astounding fourfold growth--doubling just in the first year. That kind of success can go to someone's head--and a few years ago I noticed with dismay that Tom White was pulling in an income well into the six figures. That couldn't be right, I thought. But I said nothing.

I remember the day, less than a year ago, when I received an email stating that Tom White had died.
Odd, I thought. It doesn't say when he died, or where, or what of. Those details, when they did begin to come, were very painful.

Walter Thomas White, the executive director of The Voice of The Martyrs, killed himself in a VOM warehouse, overdosing on alcohol and sleeping pills in order to avoid prosecution for molesting a 10-year-old girl.

Now, it took more than four months for even this much information to be released by the Oklahoma Medical Examiner. And by then, the case had long since been closed by the Bartlesville Police Department, who had overseen the investigation.

Who is the Bartlesville Chief of Police? Tom Holland--the Board Secretary for the Voice of the Martyrs. That alone should raise some major questions--such as:

-Who warned Tom White that he was the subject of a police investigation? According to all published reports, he took his life upon hearing that he was being investigated--before so much as a warrant had been requested. This is a huge question that no one is even asking, much less answering.

-What was Tom Holland's role in the investigation? From what I've read, there's very little that goes on in his department that he's not involved in. He was voted one of the Worst Bosses in America for the year prior to this investigation.

-What sort of inside connections did Tom White have with other local government agencies?

-Were Tom White's office and personal computers searched for child pornography? It's inconceivable that a 64 year old man with a fondness for 10 year old girls wouldn't also have a pornography addiction.

Some other questions also need to be asked: Why did VOM loan $35,000 to Vice President for Domestic Operations Stephen John Lindquist, convicted embezzler? Besides "to restructure a burden that could impact his duties and service to VOM?"




Embezzlement By Clerk Or Servant 10.01 Y Int. Probation 04/14/2004 04/14/2014 48172-E TXJR

Why it's not generally considered a good idea for a corporation to loan money to one of its officers:

The Church Universal and Triumphant, founded by Mark Prophet and carried forward after his death by his wife, Elizabeth Clare Prophet, has also suffered from such tactics. Gregory Mull, a San Francisco building designer, became a member of the Church in 1974 at the age of 57. He moved to Los Angeles in 1979 to work for the Church, which loaned him $37,000 during his relocation. He signed promissory notes for the loans. He resigned after only eight months on Church staff. In an attempt to get the money repaid, the Church filed suit against Mull in 1981. Mull countersued for fraud, duress, undue influence, involuntary servitude, assault, extortion and intentional infliction of emotional distress — asking damages of $253 million. The case came to trial in 1986. During the trial, Mull was allowed to present numerous emotionally charged assertions to the court. While the Church was allotted one day in the four-week trial to present evidence of the promissory notes, the remainder of the testimony was devoted to putting the practices and beliefs of the Church on trial.
Inflamed by Mull’s statements, the jury found against the Church and Elizabeth Clare Prophet and, unbelievably, awarded $1.5 million in compensatory and punitive damages to Mull. The injured party — the Church — was not only put on trial, but found guilty, and denied the recourse for which it had turned to the justice system.


Something is definitely rotten in Bartlesville, OK. And it's going to keep getting stinkier until someone gets to the bottom of it.

UPDATE MARCH 2013

Two things have happened recently to bring hope to this mess: I've received word from someone who is working to get to the bottom of the garbage in Bartlesville, and I've come across the website of someone who never knew, until it was also too late, that her own son was under the same deadly bondage that killed Tom White. She's working tirelessly to educate the public against this menace, before it takes even one more life:
https://web.archive.org/web/20130713032126/http://icouldhaveneverguessed.info/

UPDATE JULY 2014
Although this information was available on the web at the time I posted, I've only now discovered the identity of the victim. I'm not 100% sure, since the child in question didn't actually turn 10 until Tom White's obituary was posted, so I'll not reveal her name here--only comment that identifying her answered at least one question, and gave some clues as to a few others.

UPDATE AUGUST 2014
VOM took about a 20% hit in donations in 2012. I expect the same to follow in 2013, once reports are out.

UPDATE MAY 2015
Not so; reported income went up almost $2 million in 2013--enough to cover their advertising budget.

21 comments:

  1. This is too common. I sometimes wonder if the world would not be a better place if all non-profits were forced to liquidate on the death or retirement of the founder. This would require first generation commitment. We would lose a few good charities but we would not have these multi-million dollar foundations cruising below the tax line and doing mischief.

    Believing in freedom I would never really vote for such a thing but I speculate.

    Grace and peace.

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  2. Pumice, I've thought that once a ministry with a really good idea reaches its 25th anniversary and is getting more than $25 million a year, that they can do without my further help. It's a rare ministry that reaches 50 years and is still paying its top executives a salary below the poverty line, but that's where I prefer to send my money. Such ministries often don't even score all that well on the charity evaluation sites because they pass on all the money that comes in rather than saving some for a rainy day--as if a charitable organization needs anything for themselves.

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    Replies
    1. The main exception to the rule I can think of would be the Salvation Army. As far as I know they are still good stewards after all these years. I also extend this to other areas, I don't donate blood to the Red Cross any more, now I go to the City of Hope.

      Grace and peace.

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  3. After reading a long ago letter from Tom about Muslims in the pulpit and spitting in Jesus face, I can be sure of one thing. Tom White was no child molester, but was the target of a government that is trying very hard to make 3 religions one. I believe he was set up and murdered. Just like our Lord was killed, only they could not have killed our LORD unless He allowed it. God Bless you Tom, I don't believe a word they say about you.

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  4. Well, you may be right. But if you are, the Secretary of the VOM Board must have been in on it.

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  5. I agree that Tom White was set up and murdered. This is the classic MO of a government that gets rid of people it is afraid of. The proof of that is that no one can get the details of what happened. No details of Tom White's supposed abuse, no details of the investigation, no details on who did what, who was involved, how long, etc. That, to me, is proof that this was a setup. I don't believe a word of it.

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  6. This is old "news" now, but still no details on exactly what White alledgedly did? Our news said he supposedly died from carbon monoxide poisoning in his car??? Then there's the issue that pedophiles (almost always)have multiple victims, but not T.W.?? T.W.'s family went into hiding, never to be heard from again? Wouldn'tT.W.want his suicide to look like an accident so that his "much loved" family would get life INS.?? If he were alive, he'd be considered "innocent until proven guilty." I do find it odd that the VOM board people were in touch with White just before he died...and that he left no trail of child victims...and that he would throw away years spent in Cuban prison for one odd abuse of a 10-yr. Old
    I can't know the truth now, but I do recall some of the same questions about Cardinal Bernardine (who was only accused by one youth). Later, the Cardinal was exonerated because the young an admitted to lying...(this victim never became known). This is the only case of it's kind I've ever seen, because nothing "fits" the fallen-Christian "type"--like the lack of family statements about how he was still a loving person, etc...(as in the very un-connected child death linked somehow to this blog).
    In this ODD case, everyone just vanished?? Since T.W. can't defend himself from accusations made public by people with suspicious connections, isn't it possible that someone did to him exactly what Wurmbrand said he himself was threatened with? Wurmbrand always said that his old government had threatened to have him accused of some scandal and or killed. Why hasn't anyone NOT connected directly at least investigated that in all this time???

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  7. The church is Grace Baptist of Ottawa, the split from Westboro Baptist when the assistant Roy Lawrence tried to have the senior pastor kicked out. Even after being exposed, he said in a taped testimony " I leave this church with my head held high". He had been having church kids sleeping over in the months before this happened. Christians can be really dumb (due to pride) so those who left with him still refuse to see God slapping them in the face - as a month after they split the church and followed this man they found out about his past - and would not admit they had been shamed by God...blind or what!
    Clergy Killers: Christians In Satan's Service
    What is interesting is that the pedophile is still preaching regularly at Grace Baptist, the group that split Westboro Baptist and wanted him as Pastor.

    http://www.gracebaptistottawa.com/

    has many of Lawrence’s sermons. I wonder if they notify all parents with children who visit or attend this group that the preacher must never be alone with their kids. Or do they keep them in the dark in order to try to get their church to grow. Of the original 40 they took from Westboro only about 20 remain.

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  8. But to not allow the pedophile to preach would be to admit they were wrong in following him. They are far too proud for that to ever happen, apart from a real miracle!

    Roy Gordon Lawrence is a convicted child molester.

    Lawrence was as a Baptist pastor in Ottawa. [1]

    Previously he resided in St. Albert, Alberta, when he was a 10-year veteran of the Edmonton Police Service. He was suspended and then resigned in 1991, after he had been charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting three children. He captured the three children under ten years of age at knife point. All three were forced to perform sexual acts on each other and on Lawrence. Two of the children were brother and sister. Lawrence had rented a video camera and taped the four to five hours of abuse. Police alleged that there was a knife near the man during the incidents. It was alleged the attacks were well-planned.

    Lawrence told a psychologist he had sex with children on earlier occasions, according to submissions in Court. Lawrence was convicted, and on appeal, his five year sentence was increased to eight years. Paul Bourque, for the Crown, quoted from the psychologist's report in which Lawrence said "he planned to try something different from his past sexual encounters with children." This, apparently, was the filming of his offences. Lawrence carried out his offences by driving to an "impoverished" area of the city, figuring he might find children who were already sexually abused, he later told a psychologist. At a playground, he offered two brothers money for delivering packages. The eight-year-old agreed, then changed his mind. Lawrence had a small knife and tried to drag the boy into his car. The child kicked the man and escaped. The boy suffered a bruised right arm and scraped chest. After driving to a school playground Lawrence approached a 10-year-old girl, her eight-year-old brother and his buddy, also eight. They agreed to the package delivery scheme and Lawrence drove the trio to his St. Albert home. For the next four hours, the children were forced assaulted. Lawrence used a rented video camera to film the children's acts. He said that he was making a commercial and demanded they swear. He also waved a kitchen knife at the three, threatening to kill them if they told anyone about the evening. At about 2 a.m., the children were returned to their neighborhood. Each received $20. The next morning, the children revealed the abuse. Lawrence was arrested August 13 and resigned from the police service soon after charges were laid. He said he had destroyed the video. Victim impact statements revealed the children and their families now have emotional problems. One eight-year-old boy, who used to be "happy-go-lucky," now gets violent and doesn't listen to adults. A victim impact statement is a written or verbal statement made as part of the judicial legal process, which allows a victim of crime the opportunity to speak during the sentencing of their attacker or at subsequent parole hearings.

    Edmonton Police Service is responsible for policing in the City of Edmonton, Alberta. ... Citywide Church (formerly Westboro Baptist Church) is located at 307 Richmond Rd.

    Prison and post-release career as pastor
    Prison and post-release career as pastor
    Lawrence was convicted and sent to prison. He was released in 1997 [3] After prison Lawrence graduated from Toronto Baptist Seminary. He moved to Ottawa and became involved with local Baptist churches. In 2002, having covered his past, Lawrence became an associate pastor of Westboro Baptist Church (no relation to Westboro in Kansas).

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  9. I agree with those that say something just doesn't add up with this whole thing and never has. It's now 2 years later and we still have very few details.

    Have money-hungry thieves taken hold of VOM? I was never a conspiracy guy but the past few years in this country have changed me quite a bit.

    So where can we safely send money to help our brothers and sisters suffering horribly in the Middle East?

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  10. I have to say, in regards to the Goverment killing Tom White.....WHAT garbage. Those who say that, really need to get a grip on reality and quit making excuses for other peoples sin. There was some nonsense going around that it was the Muslims plotted this whole scandal to force Tom to kill himself. I sincerly believe he most likely sexually abuse this child, and that he escaped justice by his death at his own hands. It seems to me that a man who has the strength, and courage to fly in the face of the brutal Cuban Communists, would have more than enough courage to face his occuser at that time. I supported
    VOM with considerable resources. I have cut all ties with this organization (yesterday), due the facts that I have just learned: Toms activities, loaning money to lindquist (I'm stumped on that one), spending $25 MILLION DOLLARS ON CONSTRUCTION!!!! GOOD LORD!!! REALLY??? FROM ALL THE LITURATURE I READ FROM THEM ABOUT THE POOR AND DOWNTRODDEN AND THEY SPEND THAT KIND OF MONEY FOR A BUILDING WHEN THEY COULD HAVE DIRECTED THE $25 MILLION TOWARDS ALL THOSE IN NEED, ACCORDING TO THEIR NEWSLETTERS???!!! I AM PISSSSSSSSEEEEEEDDDDD, AND FEEL BETRAYED BEYOND BELIEF.

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  11. Phil,
    I recommend (and support) Christian Aid Mission.
    http://www.christianaid.org/Interactive_World/countryPages/Iraq.aspx

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  12. I know that Christians are being persecuted through slander, murder/false suicides. My hope is that brother Tom White was innocent. All will come to light when Christ comes! Till this day, I haven't seen any evidence. We don't know any real truth, just hear say, and we cant trust any thing they say unless they give concrete evidence. I don't and never would condone child molestation, but false accusation is wrong! Satan and His agents hate Gods people and my hope and prayer is that Tom is in Heaven with my Lord JESUS. Also my heart does go out to any victims of molestation, rape of any kind. But in this case, time will tell the truth, if not now, when JESUS comes He will expose the truth.

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    1. If it was false accusation why did he commit suicide? Soon Ok Lee resisted horrendous torture for 12 months in North Korean detention, refusing to sign a false confession until they threatened her family. If White was innocent he would not have committed suicide.

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    2. Sometimes suicides are labeled "apparent" when no other explanation can be given. This does not prove it was, in fact, suicide. Consider the recent case in N. Carolina where Dr. Bradstreet was found face down on a river bank with a bullet wound to the chest. The gun was found some distance in the river. It was labeled an "apparent" suicide. Now, I ask, why would a man who had just shot himself and was collapsing to the ground even think about throwing the weapon away from his own body? Without proof, we should not be so ready to accept these accusations. Otherwise, the murderers who lurk in the shadows will thrive.

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  13. Facts that continue to surface:
    Many have claimed at VOM over the years that his accounts of the 17 months in Cuba changed, creating doubts as to whether any or all of the time was in captivity.

    The child abused was a family member and although VOM employees knew all the details the official position of VOM became "it's not our story to tell." The abuse allegations were made known a couple days prior to his suicide.

    A media employee found images of young Latin American girls clothed but sucking on lolly pops on his laptop (media staff at the time brought up the pictures as looking inappropriate and they were told the photos were family and not for the newsletter)Since then he has been a continual target of scrutiny if he questions any authority.

    Tom traveled internationally alone on behalf of VOM and on his own. A couple instances were weeks long, and no account for his whereabouts.

    Police records indicate that Tom White had been identified as a peeping tom. The victim lived near him and was a relative of a local man who ran an anti-porn ministry who presented at chapel.

    Tom legally changed his name to Rolland Lamb administered by a judge in Washington County, OK.

    Before 9/11 Tom traveled internationally under both names. Dozens of VOM employees have lived under alias' over the years.

    Tom confessed to family members his actions before his suicide

    Tom's body was found by a VOM employee in it's warehouse. The body and items found around the body were altered by VOM employees under the direction of VOM executives before police arrived, removing evidence.

    The death certificate was issued under the name of Walter Thomas White and not Rolland Lamb. Was that insurance fraud? Was debt or assets ever accumulated in the name of Rolland Lamb? Were crimes or travel ever investigated under that name?

    Still no transparency from an organization that has a $55-$60 million budget annually.

    Missions staff fly first class on their way to "minister" to those with nothing but Faith.

    Employees are known to own private business' and divert VOM contracts to those private business'

    Michael Wurmbrand, son of Richard and Sabina, who's testimony is used over and over to raise funds, is not allowed on the board and was forced out of the ministry.

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  14. Voice of the Martyrs Inc. is a Christian Religious Organization in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. In 2015, it received its exempt organization status from the IRS and now brings in $43.8M in annual income, primarily through contributions. With $53.4M in assets, the organization is one of the largest of its kind in the United States.
    The average Christian Religious Organization brought in 2.875% less income in 2013 than they did in 2012. This organization however, saw a 2.11% increase in income in 2013.
    The organization paid out only $17.6M in grants in 2013. All of the money went to organizations or individuals outside the United States.
    In 2013, Voice of the Martyrs Inc.'s expenses remained flat from the previous year.
    In 2013, this organization filed a Form 990 with the IRS, reporting $39,884,890 in total expenses. Note that this expense amount differs from the $37,473,139 in functional expenses reported on Part I, Line 18 on the Form 990 return, as non-functional expenses are added back in.
    The same Form 990 filed with the IRS, reporting $43,837,958 in income. Note that this income amount differs from the $41,426,207 in revenue reported on Part I, Line 12 of the Form 990 return, as non-functional expenses are added back in.
    The organization was not required to file a Form 990 for the most recent tax year.
    Like most Christian Religious Organizations in its peer group, Voice of the Martyrs Inc. is funded primarily through contributions. The organization is highly dependent on this type of funding, as it accounts for 95% of total income.
    On the Form 990 filed with the IRS in 2013, The Voice of the Martyrs Inc. paid $111,588 to Web Direct, an advertising company, with the business address of P.O. Box 141078 Dallas, TX 75214.
    On the Form 990 filed with the IRS in 2013, The Voice of the Martyrs Inc. paid $470,017 to The Jordan Group, an advertising company, with the business address of P.O. Box 141078 Dallas, TX 75214.
    On the Form 990 filed with the IRS in 2013, The Voice of the Martyrs Inc. paid $686,353 to Maestro Technologies, Inc., a technical support company, with the business address of P.O. Box 141078 Dallas, TX 75214.
    On the Form 990 filed with the IRS in 2013, The Voice of the Martyrs Inc. paid $1,427,041 to Jordan Media, an advertising agency, with the business address of P.O. Box 141078 Dallas, TX 75214.
    Each of these companies is linked to a common owner and consultant at the time, Steve Cleary. As a consultant, Mr. Cleary directed the decisions of the VOM Executives to use his companies for the newsletter design, content, and the technology to process donor funds. Steve is now an employee of VOM and still profiting from VOM’s use of his companies. VOM is no longer required to file Form 990, so 2013 is the last year this level of detail is available. However, $2,694,999 of donor funds paid in a single fiscal year to a consultant with influence to direct funds to his personal companies is a giant red flag.

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    1. Where did you get this info from? I'd like to hear more about this topic. Would you email me if I gave you my email address?

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  15. Hi, White Man! Believe it or not, I actually I think just heard about Tom White's suicide. But I guess that shows how closely I followed VOM (or not ;) ).

    Anyway, I just thought I'd point out a couple things on child abuse investigations:

    1) In some states and districts, suspects in child abuse investigations will actually be informed of the fact that they are under investigation before that they are interviewed / interrogated by authorities, and definitely before a search warrant or court order has been issued. This happened to my family while we were visiting Arizona. (We were basically falsely-accused and had to wait close to four months for our names to be cleared.) Our investigators never presented us with a search warrant or court order and did NOT come to our home right away. Arizona's Department of Child Safety -- Arizona's child abuse investigative government entity -- has been the subject of controversy and even scrutiny by some Arizona officials for practices like warrantless searches and seizures, but they DO happen. In fact, that's one of the reasons the civil lawsuit court case Pellerin vs. Wagner et al. was, at last check, still working its way through Federal court in Arizona. (This is a civil rights issue in some states and local districts.) So, it does not surprise me in the least if authorities in Oklahoma had informed Tom White of the investigation before they had interviewed / interrogated him. That could have been standard practice in his district at the time.

    2) With regards to the slow release of information from the medical examiner, I'm impressed that they'd release any information at all. Once a suspect is deceased, child abuse investigations can be closed out, without the investigations ever truly being concluded, and that information may not necessarily go public. It may depend on state or local law. I don't know. I'm not an attorney and have never lived in Oklahoma.

    Just food for thought. = )

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