Calculated to make Ted Wilson look devious, cunning, and downright crooked, is The Great Hope unbridled revenge – a toxic rearguard action unleashed by powerful Paulsen loyalists? 

Former General
Conference President

Less than 24 hours after sending out our last e-newsletter we received this excellent e-mail:

“How many people are needed to directly corroborate a story in order for you to be comfortable publishing it, especially if it would expose someone or cast him or her in a negative light publicly? Even in situations where Christ exposed hypocritical leaders to save Mary's life, he wrote on the ground (easily erasable/few could see).  If he'd wanted to, He could have written in stone on a nearby temple wall (hard to erase/for all to see :)”

This gentle rebuke was in response to my sharing an e-mail about former General Conference President Paulsen storming out of a committee meeting and refusing to give The Great Controversy project booth space at the 2010 General Conference session. The truth of the matter is this – I might indeed have acted inappropriately.

Yes there were times when Christ blasted his opponents, Matthew 23 being perhaps the easiest to recall. While publicly delineating the sins of the scribes and Pharisees, on that occasion Christ referred to them as “hypocrites” and “whited sepulchers,” yet, we are told, “tears were in His voice as He uttered His scathing rebukes.” Steps to Christ, page 12.

Were there any tears in mine as I penned that newsletter?

None at all.

In contrast to his dealings with the scribes and Pharisees as a group, our Lord was typically quite restrained when pointing out sins in individuals. Simon the leper, who despised Mary Magdalene’s extravagant outpouring of love for her Master, comes to mind here. Here is how Luke put it.


“Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.” Luke 7: 41 – 48.

While amplifying these thoughts, Ellen White in The Desire of Ages, pages 566 - 568, pens these inspired lines.

“By curing Simon of leprosy, Christ had saved him from a living death. But now Simon questioned whether the Saviour were a prophet. Because Christ allowed this woman to approach Him, because He did not indignantly spurn her as one whose sins were too great to be forgiven, because He did not show that He realized she had fallen, Simon was tempted to think that He was not a prophet. Jesus knows nothing of this woman who is so free in her demonstrations, he thought, or He would not allow her to touch Him.

“But it was Simon’s ignorance of God and of Christ that led him to think as he did. He did not realize that God’s Son must act in God’s way, with compassion, tenderness, and mercy. Simon’s way was to take no notice of Mary’s penitent service. Her act of kissing Christ’s feet and anointing them with ointment was exasperating to his hardheartedness. He thought that if Christ were a prophet, He would recognize sinners and rebuke them.

“To this unspoken thought the Saviour answered: “Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee.... There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell Me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And He said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.”

“As did Nathan with David, Christ concealed His home thrust under the veil of a parable. He threw upon His host the burden of pronouncing sentence upon himself. Simon had led into sin the woman he now despised. She had been deeply wronged by him. By the two debtors of the parable, Simon and the woman were represented. Jesus did not design to teach that different degrees of obligation should be felt by the two persons, for each owed a debt of gratitude that never could be repaid. But Simon felt himself more righteous than Mary, and Jesus desired him to see how great his guilt really was. He would show him that his sin was greater than hers, as much greater as a debt of five hundred pence exceeds a debt of fifty pence ...

Simon was touched by the kindness of Jesus in not openly rebuking him before the guests. He had not been treated as he desired Mary to be treated. He saw that Jesus did not wish to expose his guilt to others, but sought by a true statement of the case to convince his mind, and by pitying kindness to subdue his heart. Stern denunciation would have hardened Simon against repentance, but patient admonition convinced him of his error. He saw the magnitude of the debt which he owed his Lord. His pride was humbled, he repented, and the proud Pharisee became a lowly, self-sacrificing disciple.”

That being said, in our last e-newsletter should Pastor Paulsen’s resistance to The Great Controversy project have been handled more discreetly? Should he have been treated more like Simon the leper – i.e., rebuked in a parable which only he would have understood? Did I err in identifying him? I probably did.

Why did I mention him at all? (It’s confession time now).

  1. I identified Pastor Paulsen because earlier reports of his disdain for The Great Controversy project had reached my ears. A year or so earlier one who was intimately connected with this project told me pretty much the same thing – i.e., that Pastor Paulsen was opposed to the mass distribution of The Great Controversy. When the doctor whom I mentioned in that newsletter sent me her e-mail, I saw it as confirmation of that earlier report and, after receiving permission from her, opted to print it.

    Truth be known, while there was nothing wrong in publishing her e-mail, I could have scratched Pastor Paulsen’s name out, for, like Simon, Pastor Paulsen has a soul to be saved too. Besides, even though her e-mail corroborated that earlier report, I hate having to resort to second hand information when addressing sensitive issues. I’d much rather have seen and heard Pastor Paulsen storming out of that committee meeting for myself.

    But there are two other reasons why I’d published her e-mail, and these definitely tipped the scales. The first is this:

  2. Ever since I became aware of the mass disfellowshipping of Hungarian Seventh-day Adventists in the 1980s, I’ve distrusted Pastor Paulsen, who at the time was President of the Trans-European Division (the Division under whose auspices the disfellowshipping occurred). This is the foundational basis for my bias and I confess it.

    I also confess that the details of this mass disfellowshipping are murky in my mind. Nor do I have any idea how one could obtain the book containing these details. Written from the perspective of over 1,000 disfellowshipped saints, it is entitled: You Shall Follow What Is Altogether Just, That You May Live. If you find this book, let me know where it is and I’ll purchase a copy for myself.

    And yet there is one more reason, one that urged me on even more urgently than the other two.

  3. The key reason why I published this e-mail was that it tended to vindicate my view that behind the scenes (in committee meetings as well as outside) Ted Wilson is probably engaged in mortal combat with powerful people within this church who absolutely hate The Great Controversy. Anything short of this view would make him an incredibly devious man, one who could deliberately solicit funds for the mass publication of The Great Controversy while knowing all the time that what was in his mind was the eviscerated Great Hope. This latter view of our General Conference President – which paints him as a cunning, devious, manipulative and crooked man – I reject!

    Over the years I’ve had good conversations with Ted Wilson. I can recall after his appointment as President of the Review & Herald Publishing Association in 1996, traveling to Washington on a ministry trip that gave me the chance to congratulate him in person. In his office in Hagerstown that day, among other things we discussed that thrilling prediction in Colporteur Ministry about the loud cry being accomplished largely through our publishing houses. I was pleasantly surprised when I realized he knew it well. 

    “And in a large degree through our publishing houses is to be accomplished the work of that other angel who comes down from heaven with great power and who lightens the earth with his glory.” CM, page 4.

    Even before this, going all the way back to the early 1980s, was it not Ted Wilson who at our request had intervened in the case of a Nigerian inmate at the Federal Penitentiary for Women in Alderson, West Virginia? Ignorant as to the fate of her infant twins, that newly incarcerated inmate, hysterical with anguish and grief, was on the verge of insanity.

In desperation the Warden had contacted our ministry at the time (Jesus Behind Bars) and asked if there was anything I could do.

  • Why had she called me?
  • Was I God?
  • Who did I know in Nigeria?

These were my thoughts initially, but gradually they subsided as I began feeling prodded to find Ted Wilson. Where was he? It didn’t take long to discover that he was working in the Division office located in the neighboring country of Ivory Coast.

Elder Wilson willingly arranged for a worker in Lagos, Nigeria (I believe it was actually the conference president) who traveled to the address we gave him and established that the inmate’s children were fine. At the reception of the news back in Alderson, the inmate’s fears were wonderfully calmed. As for our ministry’s popularity at that facility? It went off the charts!  

Who but God could have orchestrated this? No one!

But why? Why lead me into these encounters with the future General Conference President? Could it be that God, knowing that Elder Wilson would be terribly misjudged in future years, gave me these experiences (plus my pen and a forum) that I might open my mouth and say a word in his defense?

I believe so.

“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24.

Does this mean that I’m to defend Elder Wilson in everything he says or does? No! Refusing to be bought or sold, if I’m to be a faithful watchman I must open my mouth and call sin by its right name - even if it should be he, Ted Wilson, guilty of it! In the process, however, we’re all encouraged to remember Jesus’ dealing with Simon the leper. Not every rebuke needs to be public. (Oh thank you Jesus).

“If Christ is in you "the hope of glory," you will have no disposition to watch others, to expose their errors. Instead of seeking to accuse and condemn, it will be your object to help, to bless, and to save. In dealing with those who are in error, you will heed the injunction, Consider "thyself, lest thou also be tempted." Galatians 6:1. You will call to mind the many times you have erred and how hard it was to find the right way when you had once left it. You will not push your brother into greater darkness, but with a heart full of pity will tell him of his danger.” Thoughts From The Mount Of Blessing, page 128.

Bottom line: I might barely know Elder Wilson, but I think I have a pretty good feel for the man. In spite of the mistakes I believe he’s making: (i) by outwardly embracing The Great Hope, (ii) by refusing to let the rank and file members of the church know what is really going on behind the scenes, and (iii) most recently, at the 2014 ASI Convention, by foolishly and erroneously attempting to expand the definition of the mark of the beast  (we’ll  respond to this later), I honestly believe he loves The Great Controversy and would like to see it distributed across the world!

Not everybody, however, believes this. Some see The Great Hope scam as his doing and have blasted me for coming to his defense. Just yesterday we received this e-mail:

“I unsubscribed to your newsletter as I disagree with your stance with regards to Ted Wilson. I feel that you are supporting error and I cannot therefore continue to read or watch your videos. I was thinking of supporting you financially, but I can not do so whilst you are supporting and defending error. I do not want to say too much, but what I'll say is please read this counsel from Ellen White. 

"We are to copy no human being. There is no human being wise enough to be our criterion. We are to look to the man Christ Jesus, who is complete in the perfection of righteousness and holiness. He is the author and finisher of our faith. He is the pattern man. His experience is the measure of the experience that we are to gain. His character is our model." Maranatha, p. 241.

Ellen White also made it clear that the General Conference does not speak for God. So if they do not speak for God who are they speaking for?”

A few days earlier another comment was posted under another of our videos at YouTube: Adventist Crime Scenes, Part4.

“I placed a comment here showing how Ted Wilson, like his father Neal Wilson, was involved in deceiving SDA's, but for some reason it was removed. I guess I was right when I said Ted Wilson has become a pope. No one is allowed to criticize him.

Some people seem to be under a spell. It doesn't matter how much heresy comes out of Wilson's mouth, they just continue to support him. I wish they would support Jesus Christ in the same way.

Ted Wilson is behind the Great Hoax project, he never says what the Mark of the Beast is and never outs the papacy. He has done nothing over the past nearly 5 years to bring back our historic SDA beliefs (destroyed since 1957 in the Evangelical Conferences). All we hear are words, but no action. Even now with him saying that the Mark of the Beast is worship on any other day, apparently there is a defense for that??

"Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." Matthew 7:20.

Damned if I do, damned if I don’t, what am I to do? Because of: (i) the 1990 Time Magazine debacle described in Adventist Crime Scenes, Part 5, and (ii) the billboards we erected in Orlando in 1992, I suspect I still have enemies at The General Conference. Besides these, videos bearing provocative titles such as: Should Ted Wilson Be Impeached? and Adventist Crime Scenes, certainly haven’t endeared me to Elder Wilson, who probably sees me now not only as his enemy, but as an enemy of the church.

Of course graphics like the one below haven't helped either.

Of course all this bothers me, but not to the point of shutting me up! Right is right and wrong is wrong. On the matter of his attempt at redefining the mark of the beast, my view, given on September 21st in response to a YouTube comment on Adventist Crime Scenes, Part 3 (and due to be expanded in an upcoming video) is the following;

“I rather like your perspective, but it does not take away from the fact that Elder Wilson engaged in a rather dangerous play on words. It is neither his prerogative, nor mine, to expand the definition of the mark of the beast beyond that given by scripture and the pen of inspiration. There will neither be Monday laws, nor Tuesday laws, nor Wednesday laws, nor Thursday laws, nor Friday laws, nor Saturday laws. We receive the mark of the beast by yielding to enforced Sunday laws. Ted Wilson was wrong!”

That said, I still do not believe Elder Wilson orchestrated The Great Hope scam. In fact, let me tell you what I believe was going on in Atlanta when he announced The Great Controversy project.


Ted Wilson would most definitely have known of the antipathy of his predecessor, Pastor Paulsen, toward The Great Controversy. In announcing the worldwide distribution of The Great Controversy (at the very convention from which Pastor Paulsen had denied its proponents booth space) he was not just demonstrating a radical shift in policy, whether intentional or not he was also slapping the barely departed Paulsen across his face!

How else do you think Pastor Paulsen would have perceived it?

In fact I’ll go one step further. Two weeks before he was elected President, Ted Wilson had given me another audience, this time in his office at Silver Spring as Vice President of the General Conference. There he spoke in glowing terms about Jack Henderson and The Great Controversy project.

I’d never heard the name Jack Henderson before, but the bottom line is that getting The Great Controversy to every zip code in America was Jack’s idea – and Ted Wilson loved it! He sat me down and told me about it with all the joy of a little child in a lollipop factory. He was enthused! He was animated! He loved it! He loved it so much that barely a week before the last Sabbath of the General Conference session, Jack Henderson got a surprise call to come to Atlanta to tell the world about the project.

Who do you think was behind that?

Brother Henderson and The Great Controversy project might not have had a booth at Atlanta (I checked; he didn’t), but there he was, after the election of Ted Wilson as President – and with barely a week’s notice – addressing the world church on the biggest stage that church could offer! Some booth! If that wasn’t a slap to Pastor Paulsen, then I don’t know a slap when I see one! That done, however, the only question now was: how long would it be before Paulsen loyalists still in office retaliated?

Which leads me to ask:

  • Calculated to make Ted Wilson look devious, cunning, and downright crooked, is The Great Hope unbridled revenge – a toxic rearguard action unleashed by powerful Paulsen loyalists?  
  • Whether it’s revenge or not, why won’t Ted Wilson open his mouth and tell the world church what’s going on? Is there a gun to his head?

Now I know the Jesuits play dirty, but if there’s nobody threatening Elder Wilson’s life, or the life of his family; if the type of restraint being exhibited is just his idea of godly leadership, then while disillusioning untold millions who cheered his election in Atlanta, it’s also making me downright sick!

It was Martin Luther who wrote:

"I have been born to war, and fight with factions and devils; therefore my books are stormy and warlike. I must root out the stumps and stocks, cut away the thorns and hedges, fill up the ditches, and am the rough forester to break a path and make things ready. But Master Philip walks softly and gently, tills and plants, sows and waters with pleasure, as God has gifted him richly."

There’s a time for peace, Ted, and as God’s hero of the Protestant Reformation, the intrepid Martin Luther, reminds us, there’s a time for all out war! Root out the stumps and stocks, cut away the thorns and hedges, fill up the ditches; can’t you see that silence about whatever committee has thrust The Great Hope upon you is making you look like a crook? You know, and I know, and many who are watching you know - you raised millions of dollars from trusting Seventh-day Adventists for The Great Controversy, not The Great Hope! For God’s sake make a statement, renounce The Great Hope; find a forum; tell the church what we already know, that The Great Hope is not what you had in mind, that it’s a piece of trash, not worth the paper on which it’s printed! True, a statement from you revealing the deep divisions and cutthroat political maneuvering at the top of this church could easily split the church (is this you fear?) but that split is probably precisely what Mrs. White had in mind when she penned these words:

“The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out—the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place.” Selected Messages, Book 2, page 380.

And again:

“I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God’s people.” Early Writings, page 270.

I believe a goodly percentage of Seventh-day Adventists (mostly, however, from the ranks of us older ones who know and respect and love The Great Controversy) will rally to your side once you unseal your lips and “pour forth the straight truth,” especially about The Great Hope. You cannot possibly prosper while sitting on a lie! I know the path of strict integrity and courage is filled with shadows that bespeak a terrible ordeal ahead. I know also that while it is easy for me to advocate your telling the church the truth, for you it must be a truly unnerving prospect to be perceived as the one whose sudden forthrightness precipitated the splitting of God’s Church. I know this, but we have the assurance that the church will not fall. May God Himself give you the wisdom and courage to do what is right. Meet the iceberg, Brother Ted, meet it! Give God a reason to brag about you the way He bragged about Job!

“Hast thou considered my servant, Ted?”

Well, that’s it for me this morning. In closing there’s only one more thing I need to say, and it’s this: no, I don’t feel the need to apologize to Pastor Paulsen – not today, not tomorrow, nor any other day – but I must admit, confession is good for the soul.






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