AN AUGUST 2014 EXPOSÉ

THE 2010 PILLAGING OF PRICELESS BOOK COLLECTIONS AND HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS

Property of the Adventist Laymen's Foundation
Mississippi-Arkansas Corporations

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive!” This quotation from Sir Walter Scott's poem "Marmion" fits the attempts by the Andrews University James White Library (hereinafter "the Library") to give color of legality to the dastardly misappropriation on October 17, 2010, of the priceless book collections and historical documents (hereinafter collectively "personalty") belonging to Adventist Laymen's Foundation of Mississippi- Arkansas. It also perfectly fits the attempts of the ethically challenged individual (Appendix A) appointed as Receiver by a County Circuit Court Judge in Arkansas to marshal the assets and wind up the Corporation on its involuntary dissolution by the Court, to cover his nefarious tracks after facilitating the fraudulent conversion of these assets. It will be seen from correspondence exhibited in this document that he appeared at times to be worthy of trust; but overall his receivership was a disaster for Adventist Laymen's Foundation.

A recent inquiry about the B. G. Wilkinson personal library that was a part of the Adventist Laymen's Foundation Library, led to the accidental discovery of the second of these two web pages of the  Library: Register of the William H. Grotheer Collection - Collection 287; Register of the William H. Grotheer Collection - Collection 287. Both pages have identical titles; but there is an astonishing conflict between them in identifying the donor.

The first web page reads:

Provenance

The materials in this collection were donated to the Center by his daughter, Anne Grotheer-Shull in
October 2010.

The second web page reads:

Provenance

The materials in this collection were donated to the Center by Mrs. William Grotheer in 2010. Since he did not blend the Holmes materials with his own belongings but kept them as a separate collection, it was possible to divide the materials into the Claude E. Holmes Collection and the Grotheer Collection.

Now, when later in this exposé you read the testimony of Anne Grotheer Shull in Court describing how the book collections were removed from the premises where they were housed in Ozone, Arkansas, it will appear highly unlikely that the Library staff could have known about the separation between Elder Grotheer's own library and the Claude E. Holmes Collection, except from a document which is published on this website: Adventist Laymen's Foundation Library. Interestingly, B. T. Anderson's Library is not mentioned as separate, although listed in the Register. The B. G. Wilkinson Library appears to be missing altogether. As to the identity of the donor, the person who concocted this fig leaf of a lie was unaware that MRS. GROTHEER PRE-DECEASED HER HUSBAND ON MAY 29, 2004. It was indeed Anne Grotheer Shull who presumed to donate the personalty of Adventist Laymen's Foundation to the Andrews University James White Library.

Before proceeding with this exposé, it is worthy of note that the Adventist Heritage Center coveted  the library collections of Elder Grotheer and Adventist Laymen's Foundation since at least 1996. The documentation below (Appendix B) evidences the fact, and also that he would never have donated the collections to the Center.

The first web page contains the following statement:

The extant records of the Adventist Laymen’s Foundation are also included within the Grotheer Collection. They are in the “First Collection in Alphabetical Order” series located in box 6.

There is yet another web page Papers,. Grotheer, William H. on which the opening sentence reads, "This collection includes extant records from the Adventist Laymen's Foundation."

THE UNDERLYING ASSUMPTION OF THE ABOVE STATEMENTS THAT ADVENTIST LAYMEN'S FOUNDATION PERSONALTY IS LEGITIMATELY IN THE POSSESSION OF THE LIBRARY IS FALSE! Consistent with Elder Grotheer's own actions in dispelling erroneous and dishonest representations, certain factual and legal details need to be published concerning the acquisition of the William H. Grotheer Collections by the Library.

Why would "extant records from the Adventist Laymen's Foundation" be in the possession of the Andrews University James White Library? Adventist Laymen's Foundation is and always has been a 501c(3) non-profit corporation, originally incorporated successively in Mississippi and Arkansas, and currently in the State of Iowa in direct line of succession to the original Corporation. THE FOUNDATION WAS NEVER A PRIVATE ENTERPRISE SUBJECT TO INHERITANCE BY ANY INDIVIDUAL. Thus the above "Provenance" statements in the two "Register of the William H. Grotheer Collection" web pages begin to reveal the true nature of the acquisition of Adventist Laymen's Foundation personalty by the Library.

Anne Grotheer-Shull claimed ownership of the personalty by inheritance on the intestacy of her father, as "the only surviving child of William and Dorothea Grotheer." Assuming that she was also the sole heir on the intestacy, this was the only possible basis on which she could make a donation to the Library of the private Grotheer books and papers. However, it should be noted that Adventist Laymen's Foundation has a legitimate claim to ALL documents and papers acquired or created by Elder Grotheer in his capacity as Executive Secretary of the Foundation Corporations and Editor of its publications. MOREOVER, ANY CLAIM BY ANNE GROTHEER SHULL TO BE THE SOLE HEIR OF WILLIAM H. GROTHEER WAS UTTERLY INVALID. TWO CHILDREN OF A DAUGHTER WHO PRE-DECEASED HIM WERE (AND ARE) ENTITLED TO INHERIT THAT DAUGHTER'S HALF SHARE "PER STIRPES" AS THE ARKANSAS LAW OF SUCCESSION STIPULATES. ANNE GROTHEER SHULL WAS REQUIRED BY THE LAW OF SUCCESSION TO OBTAIN LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION IN PROBATE COURT AND PROVE WHAT PROPERTY WAS A PART OF THE ESTATE. BY HER CLAIM TO BE SOLELY ENTITLED TO THE ESTATE OF WILLIAM H. GROTHEER, SHE WAS IN VIOLATION OF THE ARKANSAS LAW OF SUCCESSION. ABSENT LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION AND SETTLEMENT OF THE ESTATE BY THE PROBATE COURT, HER GIFT TO THE LIBRARY OF SUCH BOOKS AS WERE LEGITIMATELY OWNED BY ELDER GROTHEER AS HIS PRIVATE PROPERTY IS PROBABLY INVALID. ABOVE ALL, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WAS SHE ENTITLED TO LAY CLAIM, OR BE CAPABLE OF TRANSFERRING LEGAL TITLE, TO THE PERSONALTY OF ADVENTIST LAYMEN'S FOUNDATION OF MISSISSIPPI-ARKANSAS. THE LIBRARY IS BOLDLY EXHIBITING PERSONALTY THAT WAS FRAUDULENTLY CONVERTED BY ANNE GROTHEER SHULL.

The Department Head of the Library was informed by letter dated October 27, 2010 (Appendix C,) that the "donated" books were involved in litigation, and the letter demanded an "immediate inventory" and "the expeditious return of all items received" by the Library. The Department Head did not deign to reply. During the ensuing year, Adventist Laymen's Foundation of Mississippi-Arkansas was excluded by the Court from participation in the legal proceedings related to the Receivership. Only by filing a Petition to receive Distribution of the corporate assets, on behalf of a new 501c(3) entity incorporated for the purpose, was the Foundation able to retain a presence in the court hearings. There was no way that an Order of the Court to join the Library as a party to the proceedings could be obtained.

The day after the pillaging of the Grotheer-Adventist Laymen's Foundation library building, the Receiver sent out an e-mail (Appendix D) in which he disclaimed any prior knowledge of, or participation in, the actions of Anne Grotheer Shull and the representative of the Library who received the personalty. That the Receiver had guilty knowledge of the illegality is evidenced by the stark conflict between the narrative of the e-mail and the subsequent testimony given by Anne Grotheer Shull and acknowledged by him in court (Appendix E) on October 14, 2011.

Against the evidence of Anne Grotheer Shull that all of the contents of the library building were the personal property of her father, there were two very credible witnesses, in addition to the "Adventist Laymen's Foundation Library" article hyperlinked above. One had been a member of the Adventist Laymen's Foundation Board of Directors for several years, and employed by the Foundation for one year during which he was involved in organizing the library books which he understood belonged to the Foundation. The other was a long-time friend of Elder Grotheer and supporter of the Foundation to whom Elder Grotheer had shown and identified the Foundation’s books in the Library building. Regrettably, the Attorney for the Foundation did not tender the article, which should have been admissible and conclusive of the issue, in evidence in the morning session. There was a meeting in the Judge's chambers before the principal witness for the Foundation, the Executive Secretary of Adventist Laymen's Foundation of Iowa Inc., was called to the stand in the afternoon session. When the Attorney attempted to resume evidence of ownership of the personalty; she was stopped by the Judge with a  reminder that this was precluded by what had transpired in chambers. Thus there was a deliberate suppression of any further proof of ownership of the personalty.

The Judge made a statement during Anne Grotheer Shull's testimony which suggests a reluctance to  recognize that a fraudulent conversion was involved in the donation of Adventist laymen's Foundation personalty to the Library:

BY THE COURT: Well, this document --

12   BY MS. SHULL: The books were not --

13   BY THE COURT: Hold on, Ms. Shull. This document,

14   Receiver's Exhibit No. 1, is not dispositive of those

15   items. There is a different legal theory being advanced

16   as to what the disposition of those documents should

17   be that were transferred to this institution in Michigan,

18   and as I understand it that they were and I wouldn't

19   call it, I mean, converted. That they are ALF property

20   and they should be returned. (Emphasis added.)

Note the phrase "I wouldn't call it, I mean, converted." The Judge saw where the evidentiary proof would lead, and he didn't want to go there, for reasons which may have been discussed later in the privacy of his chambers.

Anne Grotheer Shull knew exactly what she was doing when she presumed to give away Adventist Laymen's Foundation personalty on October 17, 2010. As early as 2008, she delivered all of the management books of the Foundation Corporations to her Attorney, who thereafter claimed to be representing Adventist Laymen's Foundation as well as Ms. Shull. To compound this staggeringly unethical professional conduct, one of the members of the Corporations' Board of Directors naively allowed himself, as the designated Trustee of a Grotheer Family Trust, to be drawn into representation by the same Attorney. This engendered deep division on a deadlocked Board of Directors.

In her testimony on October 14, 2011, Anne Grotheer Shull spoke with the forked tongue of a serpent. One of the reasons that she gave for donating the personalty to the Library was her concern about the preservation of the book collections. She must have been aware that the competent members of the Foundation Corporations' Board of Directors were unanimous in deciding to seek the permission of the Court to move them into storage in climate-controlled premises at the expense of the Foundation. Her lawyer and the Receiver had first-hand knowledge of the fact, having both been present at the Board meeting. If even Ms. Shull's Attorney had not passed this information on to her, the Receiver is a loquacious man, and would surely have mentioned it to her. She did contend that her donation was the private property of her father; HOWEVER, INDIVIDUALS WHO HAD ACCESS TO THE BOOK COLLECTIONS IN THE LIBRARY BUILDING CLEARLY RECOLLECT THAT MOST, IF NOT ALL, OF THE BOOKS WERE STAMPED AS THE PROPERTY OF ADVENTIST LAYMEN'S FOUNDATION! What has the Library done about this? Has the staff attempted to expunge the stamps of ownership, or cut out the pages, or do they not care?

Anne Grotheer Shull betrayed her animosity towards the Foundation and its work on October 17, 2010, by the Personal Property Agreement which she signed (Appendix D) It was conspicuous in authorizing the Receiver to dispose of the movables remaining in the library building, with no mention of the Foundation as a possible beneficiary. Here again, the competent members of the Foundation Corporations' Board of Directors had been unanimous in resolving that every effort should be made to preserve and continue the work of Adventist Laymen's Foundation. Ms. Shull's Attorney and the Receiver had first-hand knowledge of this fact. Moreover, she herself knew this from the very circumstances of the legal battle that was being waged. Had she the slightest disposition to support the efforts of the Foundation Corporations' Directors to continue the Foundation's work, she would have specified the Foundation for receipt of the residue of personalty in the building, of which she claimed to be the rightful owner.

The mistake should not be made of thinking that Anne Grotheer Shull's donation to the Library was motivated by favorable feelings towards an institution of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. She had long turned her back on Seventh-day Adventism in general. It can be concluded that she simply yielded to evil impulses. As to the Library staff, their conduct has been an object lesson on the arrogance of power. Such arrogance is particularly unbecoming for an Institution involved in the preparation of young men and women to propagate the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. One of the astonishing aspects of the Library staff's conduct is that they not only ignored the letter from the Attorney for the Foundation Corporations; they also ignored inquiries by the Receiver's Attorney and the Court appointed Expert Witness.

14 BY MR. BRADLEY: Judge, on the issue of the per-

15 sonal property, especially the contents of the library,

16 I think Ms. Muke, in her case in chief through her wit-

17 nesses, will address that issue as to whether or not

18 that's Foundation property or would be owned by Mr.

19 Grotheer, individually.

20 BY THE COURT: Well am I opening this up because

21 as I understand, I mean --

22 BY MR. BRADLEY: Judge, my information was she

23 took these items herself and whether that was lawful

24 or not I don't know. I think that's an issue the

25, Court has to resolve. I will tell the Court that I

37.

1 attempted to contact the library at the University

2 of Michigan and Doctor Daily, through his efforts as

3 the court-appointed expert, has also attempted to

4 contact the university and the library to determine

5 the nature of documents, and neither one of us has

6 heard anything.

This discourteous and arrogant behavior of the Library remains a mystery.

It was not only the Library that coveted the assets of Adventist Laymen's Foundation. In a cordial exchange of e-mails (Appendix F) at one stage of the receivership, the Receiver disclosed to a Foundation Board member the following:

I just today became aware that the local 7th Day Adventist Church is intending to touch base with the judge in hopes of being considered for some of the liquidated asset proceeds. I know that you will find that upsetting, but I thought you needed to know.

Had there been any communication(s) between the Library and the local Seventh-day Adventist Church? Did the local Church "touch base" with the Judge. This remains shrouded in mystery. Prior to the revelation that the local Seventh-day Adventist Church intended to "touch base" with the Judge, he had betrayed an inclination to award the assets of the dissolved Foundation Corporations to the Church, whether local or national is not known. As a result, correspondence ensued between a Board member and the Receiver, in which documentation of the complete separation of the Foundation from the Church was sent to the Receiver (Appendix G) Following this, the Judge ordered the appointment of an Expert to research and report on the relationship between the Foundation and the Church. The Expert's Report (Appendix H) is highly informative. Note the seven areas of divergence between the theology of the Foundation and the Church. The Expert's subsequent evidence in court demolished the perjured testimony of Anne Grotheer Shull on this question.

The theology of Adventist Laymen's Foundation is unique among the so-called "Independent Ministries" preaching "Historic Adventism," in applying to the Seventh-day Adventist Church Rev. 3:16, Matt. 25:1-12, and Ezekiel 9, in particular, from the Bible; and Testimonies of Ellen G. White clearly applicable to this Church specifically, taking into account her counsel on "time and place." (The Laodicean Church; Let the Trumpet Give a Certain Sound; Shall We Be Found Wanting; The Seal of God; The Parable of the Ten Virgins, etc.) Cf. ELLEN G. WHITE'S WARNINGS TO THE CHURCH; THE LINES ARE BEING DRAWN; ELLEN G. WHITE'S CHOICE OF WORDS ΤΟ DEFINE FINAL BETRAYAL OF THE SACRED ΤRUSΤ.) The Foundation is focused on the "closing work for the Church," (not the closing work of the Church, which has repudiated the true gospel of Adventism.) Adventist Laymen's Foundation is teaching sound doctrine to a generation of Seventh-day Adventists, ill-equipped as Bible students, who are like "children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive" (Eph. 4:14.) This is a time of which the Apostle Peter prophesied:

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (2 Peter 2:1-2.)

The current generation of Seventh-day Adventists is not aware of the fact that there was a time when the average SDA layman had a deeper knowledge of the Bible than qualified ministers of other denominations. Adventist Laymen's Foundation not only teaches sound doctrine, but also how to find sound doctrine in the Bible by exegesis (deriving the meaning "ex," out of, the text) instead of eisegesis (the reading of one's own ideas into Scripture) that is so prevalent among contemporary Bible students. This is essential to counter the work of the false teachers of Andrews University and the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

THE BOOKS, PAPERS, AND MANUSCRIPTS OF ADVENTIST LAYMEN'S FOUNDATION HAVE NO PLACE IN THE LIBRARY OF A RELIGIOUS INSTITUTION WHICH OF NECESSITY HAS PLAYED A MAJOR PART IN THE DOCTRINAL APOSTASY AND HARLOTRY OF THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH, NOW HAVING REACHED, OR REACHING, ITS CLIMAX IN ECUMENICAL ASSOCIATION WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF THE BEAST OF REV. 13:1-10. (Cf. ROME-SDA DIALOGUE; THE EPITOME OF HARLOTRY; SDA LAITY - HIGH TIME TO AWAKE OUT OF SLEEP)

By the conversion to the use of the Library of the books, papers, and manuscripts of Adventist Laymen's Foundation, the Library staff denies access by the current officers of the Foundation to priceless research resources, of which the Foundation Corporation is the rightful owner. The Library Staff has also wrested from the officers of the Foundation the discretion whether or not to print and offer to the public the unpublished manuscripts of William H. Grotheer. A grievous wrong has been committed, and continues, for which the Library staff and Anne Grotheer Shull must answer before the judgment seat of Christ, having eluded judgment by a court of law; but hopefully not by the Court of public opinion.

APPENDIX A

On 5/9/2012 12:10 AM, _______ wrote:

Van:

It is reported to me that you are bulldozing structures, including the duplex, and cutting roads on the auctioned real estate and the two acres awarded to Elsie Oliver.  You will acknowledge that this has nothing to do with your receivership, and is evidence that title to the auctioned property and the two acres has passed to the person having the work done.

In fact this activity has the appearance of a grave conflict of interest, the more so because the successful bidder at the auction was your neighbor and close friend.  Since you have stated that the reported delinquent property taxes was a mistake, there appears to be no valid reason for up to 45 days delay in winding up the receivership.

What reason can you give for not terminating the receivership immediately?

Thanks,

_____


From: Van Alan Hill _____________________]
Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2012 5:52 AM
To: ______________
Subject: Re: Activity on Auctioned Real Estate

______,
    It is a fact that the property was purchased at auction by a friend of mine, who outbid every other person in attendance. Considering I know most everyone in this county the odds that a person I know would buy the property is/was very high. Also considering I am a Realtor & have been dealing with this place for over two years who better to list & sell it for "anyone" who bought it? Also considering I am in the dozer business, who better to oversee the men who have been hired to do the clean-up? Who better to get the best job done than the guy who has the property listed? The 171 acres of land at Ozone is no longer owned by ALF so anything I do up there is unrelated to being the Receiver. I am doing things up there right now in a capacity related to my real jobs, the ones I count on to feed and clothe my children.
   The two acres with the giant heap of debris on it, which used to be a duplex, is worthless and has to be cleaned up by someone eventually. It is an eyesore & detracts from the marketability of the property bought at auction. The winning auction bidder has been offered the option of buying it as well, at a price that is more than _____
was going to pay, and has accepted that offer. That is better for you than the original plan in dollars and cents.
     I'm not sure why you think I would have any interest in delaying the closure of the receivership. Not only is there is absolutely no incentive for me to do that, but I have no control over it anyway. The judge says when it's over, not me. The 45 days I estimated in the last email is just that, an estimate. If you're wanting to pressure someone for the closure of the Receivership, you're talking to the wrong guy. I have no control over most of what is happening here including the release of that 10 acres by the state and the speed at which Orders & Petitions are created & signed.
     I will also say that your accusation of impropriety has really made me mad. I have run across very few men in my life more untrusting than you. I  have found that in most cases that says a little something about that person's nature and inclinations. Seems to me that 99% of the shady dealings I have witnessed during this Receivership have been....... Well, nevermind. Unlike many more staunchly religious men I know, I actually practice what I preach. So I will hold my tongue.
    From here on out feel free to get your information from someone other than me. The receivership will terminate when the judge terminates it and not a moment too soon for me. 

Sincerely,  Van 

Van Alan Hill
_____________________
_____________________
__________________
__________________

 

 ----- Original Message -----

From: __________

To: 'Van Alan Hill'

Cc: __________ ; ___________ _________________ ; _______________

Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2012 11:29 AM

Subject: RE: Activity on Auctioned Real Estate

Van:

The information that has come from you is very enlightening.  Your lengthy defense of your involvement in the activities on the auctioned real estate while still acting as Receiver in the dissolution of ALF really confirms what I stated in my e-mail.  As to your reference to my being untrusting, there is much that I could say about your involvement in the giveaway of ALF Foundation books to Andrews University Library.  It appears that you have forgotten the e-mail you sent to me at the time which concocted an elaborate lie about Anne Shull coming to town and acting entirely without your knowledge.  Nevertheless, I have no interest in engaging in a tit for tat exchange.  My only interest is in getting the liquid assets of Adventist Laymen’s Foundation Publications out of Arkansas as soon as possible.  The litigation and subsequent events have been one of the most unpleasant experiences of my life.

Buried in your self-defense there appears to be the information that I challenged you to provide; but there are also problems with the prevailing conditions that you have acknowledged.  A necessary implication of what you state is that title has not been acquired by the successful bidder at the auction, either for the real estate awarded to ALFP or for the two acres awarded to Elsie Oliver.  If this is correct, it makes your conduct all the more questionable, if not reprehensible.  Until the receivership is terminated, you have a continuing fiduciary duty to act in good faith and with propriety, in appearance as well as in fact.  Moreover, your primary duty remains to expedite the completion of your responsibilities as Receiver.  The question is, what are you doing to expedite the release of the ten acres of land by the State?  As Receiver, you have both the responsibility and the obligation to exert yourself in that regard.  The tax lien in and of itself is no concern of mine; but it is a matter of great interest that every obstacle to the termination of the receivership be removed as quickly as possible.

Thanks,

______

APPENDIX B 

The following e-mail from the source of the two images below provides clarification of the very bad quality of the images:

From: __________ [__________________]

Sent: Friday, December 10, 2010 2:32 PM

To: _____________; _____________________; ___________________ ______________t

Cc: Travis

Subject: Andrews University - Heritage Center
Importance: High

Dear ALL

I am of the utmost reluctance to say we will not get the contents of the ALF Library back after Anne Shull secreted the contents away. We are also now fighting on the sidelines what is a massive religious corporation as to our religious and civil rights and like I stated to _______ last month - since we do not know the contents of the ALF Library or have an inventory manifest many key files and correspondence items will be "lost" in and within the Heritage Center. The reclacitrance of Andrews reported by Iris Muke is saying a lot.

Now I just found a piece of personal correspondence written in 1996 by Jim Ford, the then Curator of Heritage Center at Andrews to Elder G asking for the bequeething of the ALF library via a living or regular will.

Ford avers "it would be tragic to have that file lost to our fture researchers'. And they, Andrews, state they have a lot of missing information in the independent circles, saying: "Despite our best efforts, however, I am sure we are missing a lot in this area. As one who seems well connected, YOUR FILES MUST BE A VERITABLE TREASURE TROVE OF PUBLICATIONS AND CORRESPONDENCE IN THIS AREA.

[Caps and emphasis mine].

I received this via fax from G of the ALF Library request from Andrews University and had put it away. Well, I found it, and if there was a piece of documented evidence this is a critical piece of the recorded intentions of Elder G and encapsulates ALFP's entire argument and it is an important indicator of where we are heading right now before the Magistrate. I perceive there would be absolutely nothing in the _____ Trustee arrangements about the ALF Library contrary to G's intentions noted below and it clearly revokes Anne Shull's negligent aspiration and intentions. But again Br _____ will need to check out the ____ Trusteeship arrangements if any were recorded by Grotheer. When I received the Andrews fax and mind you, it came out of the blue, I phoned G and he told me if anything were to happen to him he would never wish to have Andrews any access to the ALF Library. It needs to be preserved at all costs. I also doubt G would have responded to this request by Andrews.

Now here is what Grotheer in 1996 [in sound mind and under his initials] writing to ____  and _______ has made a documented and an enduring will and testimony about the Library ....

".... You can see how this library is perceived. If something should happen to me, either the library ceases, or else it is so preserved that it will continue to serve. There is enough information in the library to continue the WWN for some time to come. ...

[You] should be aware of what is at stake and the whyfore ... "

whg

Emphasis/italics mine.

This information needs to be presented to Iris pronto and should provide definite focus for the litigation plans.

Blessings to you all

s

Heritage Center

Heritage Center 2

APPENDIX C

October 27, 2010

Ms. Sally Alger

Department Head

James White Library

4190 Administration Drive

Berrien Springs, MI 49104-1400

RE: William Grotheer Collection

Dear Ms. Alger:

I have attempted to contact you on several occasions and have been unsuccessful, therefore, the following correspondence.

It is my understanding that Ms. Anne Shull has donated the collection of her father, William Grotheer, to your library. I regret to inform you that Ms. Shull did not have the right to donate these materials. The land and contents of Mr. Grotheer’s library are involved in litigation.  We need an immediate  inventory of what was sent to you, sent to my Email which is __________________. Then we need the expeditious return of all items received by you to  the Receiver appointed in the litigation,  Mr. Van Hill, c/o Mr. Len Bradley, Attorney at Law, 210 W. Main, Clarksville, Arkansas 72830. They will be put into a climate controlled storage facility until ownership is determined. If this is not done within ten (10) business days, I will be including your library as a defendant in the present lawsuits.

If you need any documentation or if I can answer any questions, please feel free to call me anytime.

Sincerely,

Iris L. Muke

IM/im

cc: Van Hill c/o Len Bradley, Attorney at Law

      Michael Broyles, Attorney at Law

      Honorable William Pearson, Judge

APPENDIX D

From:                                   V.A. HILL [________________]

Sent:                                    Wednesday, October 13, 2010 6:44 PM

To:                                        ________; ___________

Cc:                                        Len Bradley; Michael Broyles; iris.muke@________

Subject:                                THE GROTHEER LIBRARY CONTENTS

Attachments:                      LIBRARY AGREEMENT.jpg

Hello Gentlemen,

    All of the following is information provided to me by Anne Grotheer Shull over the course of the past 24 hours:

     I regret to inform you that, according to her, in the past several days she gave a good portion of the contents of Elder Grotheer's library to the library of an Adventist college in Michigan. She has apparently been in Clarksville staying at a motel for several days and the college representative arrived and left yesterday. She also took many things for herself. She kept this trip a secret until today to avoid any confrontation.

    For the record I saw her today when she called and then brought a locked box to me at my home to open for her. It was a small file box and instead of what she believed may be money, it contained only out of date auto insurance papers, old deeds from Mississippi, and Elder Grotheer's Social Security card. There was absolutely nothing of value in the box. I was quite relieved by that development. I accepted her request to open it so I would be able to say with absolute authority what the box contained.

    In any event she reported to me that roughly 80% of the library contents were removed by her and her guest. At my hasty request she signed the attached agreement that I prepared. I thought it wise for me to get some type of documentation that she relinquished rights to anything else inside the buildings so that items could be legally removed that were deemed to still be valuable. At first she didn't want either of you to have anything because she believes one of you or Mr. ______ was responsible for stealing many valuable books and an antique bookcase she said were missing when she arrived at the library. I can vouch for the bookcase being stolen because I personally saw it there in the last two weeks. She changed her mind at the last minute and decided either of the two of you would probably take the best care of what's left in the library.

    Now that she has seemingly put me in charge of these remaining items and feeling like I know the wishes of both of you I would like to make a suggestion. I suggest that both of you, through your attorneys, petition the court to allow me to remove and store these items at ALF expense with each of you two gentlemen, individually, having joint ownership of them when ALF is dissolved. I would recommend the petition request storage be prepaid for one year to allow you both time to determine what will ultimately happen to the property.

    Know that I personally want nothing at all out of either building and will make sure that I in no way profit from this. If either of you object to my control of these contents I will gladly shred the original document and let things can go back to the state of turmoil they were in before. I am only trying to help.

Sincerely,

Van Alan Hill

Court-Appointed Receiver

_________ Cell

THE ATTACHMENT

Library Agreement

APPENDIX E

EXCERPT OF ANNE GROTHEER SHULL EVIDENCE

24   DIRECT EXAMINATION (Contd)

25 BY MR. BROYLES:

40.

1  Q. Ms. Shull, after the property -- after this case and the

2  Foundation property went into receivership and Mr. Hill was

3  appointed as receiver, did you have occasion to go up to your

4  father's house and library?

5 A . Yes.

6  Q. Do you recall when that was?

7  A. As I --

8  Q. Sometime after he was recently appointed, would that be

9  correct?

10  A. I think so.

1 1 Q . Okay.

12  A. I'm not clear on when I came up.

13  Q. Did you speak with him before you went up there?

1 4 A . Yes.

15  Q. You did?

16  A. Uh, huh.

17  Q. Okay. What were the circumstances that were involved with

18  you in coming to Arkansas and going up to the property? What

19  happened?

20  A. Basically, I did not know I had anything to do with this

21  property, and I received a call or an email from, uh --

22  Q. Mr. Hill?

23  A. -- Mr. Hill, and it told that we were -- that the property

24  had not been put in the trust and that it belonged to me. I

Text Box: 41. 25  have been concerned about the library books for years. That's

1  a very valuable library collection to no one but the Adventist

2  Church.

3  Q. You were told the contents belonged to you?

4 A . Yes.

5  Q. By who?

6  A. Mr. Hill said he thought it would come to me, you know, that

7  I would inherit it.

8  Q. Okay. So you went up to the property?

9 A . Yes.

10  Q. With his permission or working with him?

11  A. Yes. He visited up there while I was there.

12  Q. He visited while you were there. He knew you were there?

13 A. And, the doctor at Andrews was there at that time and took

14  the books at that time.

15  Q. Did he know you were there before you were coming? Did

16  you talk to him before you came to Arkansas? Correspond with

17  anybody by email or --

18  A. Mr. Hill?

1 9 Q . Yes.

20  A. Oh, yes.

21  Q. Okay. When you went to the property on that occasion did

22  you take -- did you take items from the property?     42.

23  A. I -- I had Mr. Burt with me from Andrews University. He

24  came in and looked at the library and said, yes, they would

25 be very glad to have it in the Adventist Heritage Department;

1 and -- and so we went through the books and he took as many

2 as he could get in his car and I filled up my car with the

3 books, and we really got most of the important books.

4 There are some more that Andrews said they could use,

5 and that's what I was going to try to do, but it is neither

9 6    here nor there to me which way I get those.

10     7    Q. So you brought this representative from the University

with

11

8    y o u ?

A. Yes. Well, he met me here.

Q. And, where is he from?

A. Andrews University, which is in Michigan, and I have his

12 personal number and I have -- I know how to get hold of him

13 and anybody that wants to talk to him.

14 Q. And, what's his name?

15 A. Burt is his last name. I do not have

16 Q. What was that?

1 7 A . B u r t .

18 BY THE COURT: B-u-r-t?

19 A. B-u -r-t .

20 Q, Okay. So the books that were removed on that occasion all

21 went with him back to the university?

22 A. Yes, sir.

EXCERPT OF VAN ALAN HILL EVIDENCE

61.

1 Q. When Ms. Shull was testifying she said that she contacted

2 you before she went up to the property?

3 A. Yes, that's correct.

4 Q. What was the exact conversation that took place?

5 A. I can't remember exactly, but the general idea was when I

6 did the title work I was able to determine that twenty acres

7 of the property that was being put forth as ALF property by

8 the board members actually was not. There was the two ten-

9 acre tracts we have been talking about, one in the name of the

10 trust and one in the name of him personally.

11   So I was being urged by board members to go seize the con-

12 tents of the library, but I was uncomfortable with that in

13 that the library was on ten acres that definitely did not belong

14 to the Foundation and it was specifically in the name of William

15 Grotheer.

16   So that's why I contacted his daughter, who I thought to be

17 the most probable heir to get permission to go over there and,

18 you know, check it out, and subsequently she came up and, you

19 know, took the contents that she did and gave to Andrews

20 University, and that's the reason. The fact that my position

21 all along unless that was overturned by the Court and until

22 such time as it is that that ten acres and everything up on it

23 belonged to her or at the very least the William Grotheer

24 Estate.

25   And, it was something I did not have authority to be

1 seizing or messing with at all. I didn't even feel like I

2 needed to be upon the property unless she gave me permission.

3 So that's why I went ahead and got that paper signed by her

4 after she had taken what she wanted to have permission to take

5 the rest of the stuff and put it in climate-controlled storage.

APPENDIX F

----- Original Message -----

From _________

To: 'V.A. HILL'

Cc: 'iris muke'

Sent: Monday, May 09, 2011 7:53 PM

Subject: Status of Adventist Laymen's Foundation Assets Litigation

 

Hello Van:

Can you provide me with a “heads-up” on the current status of the assets litigation?  I presume that __________ and Anne Shull are contesting, and would therefore like to know how soon a trial date is likely to be set.  Please also inform me about the assets misappropriated by Anne Shull in violation of Arkansas Probate law.  Has there been any communication with the Andrews University Library?

Best regards,

_____

From: VAN ALAN HILL [__________________]
Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 9:06 AM
To: _______
Subject: Re: Status of Adventist Laymen's Foundation Assets Litigation

 

Hello _____,

    Hope you are well.

    So far no date has been set although I dropped by the judge's office last week to check in on that. I am hoping it will be soon. ____ & Anne are indeed contesting the two 10 acre tracts being reunited with the rest of ALF lands. They are represented by Mr. Broyles again. I expect that one hearing will be held in which the two 10 acre tracts, the duplex, & the findings of Dave Daily will all be discussed/resolved.

    I just today became aware that the local 7th Day Adventist Church is intending to touch base with the judge in hopes of being considered for some of the liquidated asset proceeds. I know that you will find that upsetting, but I thought you needed to know

    At this point no formal written allegations of misappropriation have been made regarding the library contents since at this point they are technically the personal property of the Grotheer Estate/Anne Grotheer or anyone she gave them to. I would suggest that you initiate such action with Ms. Muke if retrieving them is to even have a small chance of happening. I tend to believe there is no way to get that stuff legally back though. Ms. Muke may be able to more accurately advise you on that matter though. There has been no communication with the Andrews University Library. 

Thanks, Van 

___________ Cell

 

----- Original Message -----

From _______

To: 'VAN ALAN HILL'

Cc: 'iris muke'

Sent: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 12:47 AM

Subject: RE: Status of Adventist Laymen's Foundation Assets Litigation

Hello Van:

Thank you for your prompt response, with an apology for my delay in acknowledging receipt.  Actually, I have only just downloaded my e-mails since yesterday.

I am astonished at the brazenness of the local SDA Church in thinking of approaching the Judge; but not as upset about it as I would have been had Dr. Daily’s report not so completely corroborated our own account of the total separation and antagonism that has always existed between ALF and the Church.  Are the Church leaders thinking of trying to establish a claim by testimony in Court, in competition with our own knowledgeable witnesses?

We will see what can be done about the personalty taken from the library.  Please keep me updated about the real assets.

Again, thank you.

_______

 

From:              V.A. HILL [___________]

Sent:               Wednesday, May 11, 2011 8:14 AM

To:                   _______

Subject:           Re: Status of Adventist Laymen's Foundation Assets Litigation

Hello ____,

    Thanks for the response. I don't know yet if they(SDA) are intending on showing up at the hearing, but I'll let you know if I find out that they are. I will also let you know as things develop with the real assets.

    I'll be out of state the next 6 days in case you email  & I do not respond quickly.

Thanks, Van 

APPENDIX G

From:              _______ [____________]

Sent:              Tuesday, November 30, 2010 12:15 PM

To:                  'VAN ALAN HILL'

Cc:                  'iris muke'

Subject:          Continuing Developments

Hello Van:

You will be aware that as a result of the latest rulings by Judge Pearson all litigation activity is currently in the hands of your Attorney.  _________ and I need to know what is happening.  I hope that you will keep us updated.  In the past you have not copied your e-mails to him.  Perhaps you did not have his e-mail address.  It is ___________________.

It has occurred to me that __________ must surely by now have made his choice between trusteeship of the Grotheer Estate and membership on the Board of ALF.  What can you tell us about this?

Judge Pearson requires “live” witnesses to testify about the fact that Adventist Laymen’s Foundation has no connection whatsoever to the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, directly or through any local Conference.  I have witnesses lined up; but they all reside out of State.  It is essential that the date to be set for the hearing on the final disposition of the ALF assets provides enough lead time for our witnesses to make arrangements to attend.  ________ in particular needs at least two months’ advance notice so that he can make arrangements with his employer FedEx, for whom he is a driver.  I trust that your Attorney will cooperate at the appropriate time by requesting a date which accords with our special circumstances.

I recall that at an earlier stage of the proceedings, you considered that it was not in accordance with your mandate as Receiver to become involved in the theological issues that I know to be critical to a just outcome of this litigation and the receivership.  On the other hand Iris Muke advised me at the outset of the receivership that you have the authority to make a recommendation to the Judge on the ultimate disposition of the assets.  If this is correct, I would appreciate your consent to receive from me documentation of the unequivocal separation of Adventist Laymen’s Foundation from the Seventh-day Adventist Church organizationally, which is based on a history of fundamental changes in the theology and structure of the denomination.  By the way, this separation is not an unusual event.  It has happened in other denominations: a classic example being Herbert Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God.  I do hope that you will not shrink from an investigation of the differences between the Seventh-day Adventist Church and Adventist Laymen’s Foundation.  Any disposition of the Foundation’s assets that does not have regard to these differences would be a travesty of justice, with which I am confident you would not want to be associated.

Hopeful of your continuing cooperation in keeping us informed, and your willingness to be informed about the existence of Adventist Laymen’s Foundation, from beginning to end, as distinct and separate from the Seventh-day Adventist Church, I remain sincerely,

_______

From:                       _______ [_________________]

Sent:                         Wednesday, December 08, 2010 12:06 PM

To:                             'V.A. HILL'

Cc:                             ‘iris muke’

Subject:                   CORRECTED Documentation and Audios Proving Total Separation of Adventist

                                 Laymen's Foundation from the Seventh-day Adventist Church

Attachments (Hyperlinks) (Zip folder: A Letter and a Reply - Colored emphasis; A Letter and a Reply PDF - Original;) Let Us Talk About Money - Colored fonts; WHO ARE THE OFF-SHOOTS? - Colored fonts; Ellen G. White's Choice of Words . . . - Colored fonts; MANY VOICES MP3

Hello Van:

I would have been most happy to avoid having to tender the attached and hyperlinked theological expositions to the Non-Seventh-day Adventists who have the power of decision in these legal proceedings.  It is probably very difficult for anyone who does not walk in like shoes as we who have separated from the corporate body of Seventh-day Adventists to understand the critical importance to us of preserving and developing the purity of the Gospel of Adventism.  I hope that you will all make a serious effort to understand, and respect our religious liberty and freedom of speech in pursuing a doctrinal and organizational course frowned upon by the Seventh-day Adventist hierarchy.

Attached are text versions of several articles published by Elder Grotheer in Watchman, What of the Night? (WWN,) and a zip folder containing a text version and a PDF image copy of a special 1976 publication by him of letters written by the then President of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and himself.  This 1976 publication does not appear on the adventistlaymen.com website, which does not contain any WWN documents earlier than 1980.  It is on a second website associated with ALF, which publishes only in text, so I asked them to send me a PDF copy.

On all of the text versions I have distinguished significant passages by using red font.  In addition, I have inserted my own notes into the articles in blue font.  The point of these special colors is that these documents can be printed in color and tendered in evidence at the distribution hearing.  The witness tendering this evidence will be able to confirm the validity of my notes.  Following is a list of the attached documentation with hyperlinks to the online articles, all PDF images of the original WWN issues except the letters publication:

Zip Folder titled Grotheer-Pierson                     Hyperlink – A Letter and a Reply

Let Us Talk About Money                                 Hyperlink – Let Us Talk About Money

WHO ARE THE OFF-SHOOTS                        Hyperlink - WHO ARE THE OFF-SHOOTS

ELLEN WHITE’S CHOICE OF WORDS . . .      Hyperlink - ELLEN WHITE’S CHOICE OF WORDS . . .

Here are hyperlinks to the following audio sermon studies:

The Alpha and the Omega

The Sacred Trust Betrayed

Corporate Accountability vs Individual Responsibility

Of these three sermons, I particularly recommend “The Alpha and the Omega,” which is a comprehensive appraisal of both doctrinal and organizational apostasy in the SDA Church.  The preparation of this material took longer than I anticipated, because all three sermons required reprocessing to improve audio quality.

As an afterthought I am attaching a short excerpt from a two-part sermon study titled “End Time Line Re-Surveyed - Part 2,” which I have titled “Many Voices.”  The sermon is one of numerous audio studies focused on the need for separation from the corporate body of Seventh-day Adventists.  I prepared the excerpt for Ms. Muke to use if necessary to verify my statement at the last Board meeting that Elder Grotheer did not approve of the work of Elder David Bauer (you will recall that _____ ____ recommended Bauer’s non-profit corporation to receive the distribution of the ALF assets.)  The segment excoriates the “many voices” that are creating confusion in the ranks of Seventh-day Adventism.  There is also a passing reference to the apostasy in the SDA Church.

I urge you not to be intimidated.  Please wade into this material.  You may be surprised to find Elder Grotheer’s words to be so explicit and crystal clear that you will be persuaded to seek a release from Judge Pearson’s instructions to hire an expert.  No PhD can add anything to the clarity of Elder Grotheer’s studies; nor can he/she contradict what is stated in the clearest possible terms.  Also, he/she could not authoritatively disagree with the evidence of our own witnesses who are familiar with the doctrinal and prophetic expositions of Elder Grotheer.  An expert witness would be a waste of precious funds.

Sincerely,

_____

APPENDIX H

Report of Research Findings on the Adventist Laymen’s Foundation
Prepared by David W. Daily, Ph.D.
March 4, 2011

This report summarizes the results of my research regarding the Adventist Laymen’s Foundation (ALF), its central figure, William Grotheer (1920-2009), and its place in the larger Adventist movement. 

The report is based largely upon analysis of primary texts written by Grotheer and printed in the ALF’s monthly publication, Watchman, What of the Night?” (WWN) between 1967 and 2006.  Most of the last twenty-five years of the publication, along with other essays and materials, are available on two websites: [http://www.adventistalert.com/and http://adventistlaymen.com/ .  The total volume of written material runs into thousands of pages.   I used random sampling, as well as attention to frequently cross-referenced articles, to identify representative materials for closer analysis.  Also, I contacted three individuals for information about ALF and important texts in the WWN corpus.  The three individuals contacted were _________, _________, and ________.  Outside of ALF materials, I conducted research into the broader Adventist movement, using both primary and secondary materials to look for other institutions that may have a theological or organizational connection to ALF. 

ALF’s Relationship with the Seventh-Day Adventist Church

The relationship between ALF and the Seventh Day Adventist Church (SDA) may be traced in part through a brief account of the life of William Grotheer.  Grotheer and his mother converted to the SDA Church when he was a child.   He started preaching when he was ten years old and as a young man was ordained an elder in the Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA).  He studied at SDA institutions, including Union College in Nebraska and Andrews University in Michigan, and in the mid-sixties he took a leave of absence as a minister in good standing.  That leave of absence ended in the mid-eighties when the SDA  regional conference in Mississippi reportedly withdrew his ministerial credentials. 

 The story of Grotheer’s adult life is that of a growing estrangement from the SDA Church and an increasing theological isolation from other Adventist organizations.  In fact, he spent most of his adult life documenting the ways in which SDA Church leadership had compromised and ultimately abandoned what he saw as the central truths of Adventism.  Most of those compromises, from his point of view, glossed over distinctive Adventist teachings in order to make the SDA Church more in line with other Protestant sects.  Grotheer’s breech with the SDA Church was more or less complete in 1980, when the SDA General Conference approved a new statement of faith called “Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists.”  In his view, the 1980 statement of faith compromised historic Adventist theological traditions in several key areas.  Some of these areas are listed below, with brief explanations attached.  No attempt is made to provide the full theological and exegetical bases for these differences, although further explanation may be provided if the court desires.

1.  Doctrine of Christ. The SDA Church used the traditional language of conservative, evangelical Protestants to describe the doctrine of the incarnation, in which Christ assumed a sinless human body on earth.  This represented a shift away from earlier SDA teachings that the divine Word had assumed fallen, sinful, human flesh.

2.     Doctrine of the Godhead. The SDA Church moved toward historic creedal formulations of the doctrine of the Trinity, while Adventist teachings had previously tended toward tri-theism.  Here again, the trend was toward making the SDA movement more in line with evangelical groups like those associated with the National Association of Evangelicals. 

3.     Doctrine of the sanctuary. The SDA Church downplayed the significance of Adventist teachings about Christ’s post-ascension atoning work in the heavenly sanctuary, or temple, presenting the more evangelical view that the atonement was accomplished exclusively and completely through Christ’s crucifixion.

4.     Doctrine of scripture. The SDA Church increasingly emphasized the use of modern historical-critical methods in interpreting scripture, in contrast to viewing scripture as “self-attesting,” particularly by means of the proof-texting method.  Also, according to Grotheer, the SDA Church compromised the teaching of “sola scriptura” (scripture alone) by granting parallel authority to the writings of Ellen White (1827-1915), one of the founding figures in the history of the Adventist movement.

5.     Doctrine of sanctification and the “final generation.” The SDA Church, according to Grotheer, has largely rejected the earlier view that at the approach of Christ’s advent or return, a remnant of Christians would be given the grace to live a sinless life while still embodied in sinful flesh.  

6.     Attitude toward the Roman Catholic Church. Beginning in 1977 some SDA Church leaders were involved in dialogues with the Vatican.  This development showed a obvious softening of earlier SDA teachings that identified the papacy with the Satanic beast in Revelation 13.

7.     Priority of doctrinal purity over church unity. The SDA Church has sought to use its statements of faith over the last thirty or forty years to allow for a wider diversity of belief within SDA institutions.  At the root of Grotheer’s objections to the SDA is its latitudinarian (or tolerant) approach to doctrine as a means to maintaining church unity.

This list of theological issues is not meant to be comprehensive.  Grotheer’s writings grew out of what appear to have been a tightly organized system of thought, so his differences with the SDA Church in any one doctrine would also have resulted in differences in others as well. 

That said, this list should be enough to demonstrate the range of theological differences between ALF’s founder and the SDA Church.  And the biographical account of Grotheer should also be sufficient to indicate the severity of theological differences, given Grotheer’s estranged relationship with the SDA Church.  Consequently, in my judgment, the evidence overwhelmingly suggests a significant institutional and theological breech between ALF and the SDA Church.  By the time of his death, Grotheer had long concluded that the SDA Church was an apostate church that had fallen away from the faith, in fulfillment of his understanding of biblical prophecy.  The SDA Church, likewise, has no apparent internal stake in the theological and institutional objectives of ALF, regarding it, in fact, as a hostile entity. 

ALF’s Relationship with Historic Adventism

If Grotheer had no constructive relationship with the SDA Church, then that raises the question of his possible relationship to other Adventist movements or organizations.   On that issue, I have found that Grotheer’s thought had at least some affinities with a movement called “Historic Adventism,” although he stood at a distance from that movement as well.

Historic Adventism may be defined as a reform movement within the SDA Church that seeks to steer the denomination back to what it sees as distinctive Adventist doctrines.   There are a wide range of groups that make up Historic Adventism, with the Hartland Institute and Hope International being the most prominent among them.  While Historic Adventists are diverse in their beliefs, they typically share an admiration for the thought of M. L. Andreasen (1876-1962), who sounded the alarm about a possible drift away from distinctive Adventist doctrines in the late 1950s.  The focal point of Andreasen’s dissent was the controversial book, Questions on Doctrine (1957), which was published with the support of SDA denominational officials.  It grew out of dialogues between prominent SDA leaders and two evangelical theologians named Donald Barnhouse and Walter Martin.  The dialogues were prompted by an incident in which Barnhouse, on a widely-heard radio program, described the SDA Church as an heretical cult.  SDA leaders sought to convince Barnhouse and other conservative Christians in America that the SDA Church was not heretical and that its core beliefs were consistent with historic Christian creeds. 

For Andreasen and other Historic Adventists, those dialogues—and the 1957 book that resulted from them—brought to light a dangerous trend toward integrating the SDA Church within the broader evangelical movement in America.  Grotheer shared that point of view.  In fact, in his interpretation of SDA Church history, the 1980 SDA statement of faith—which helped to seal Grotheer’s final break with the SDA—was the culmination of the trajectory that first became apparent in the publication of Questions on Doctrine twenty-three years earlier. It is clear, then, that Grotheer maintained a point of view in sympathy with a larger dissenting movement known as Historic Adventism.

Nevertheless, it must be stressed that Grotheer stood apart from the Historic Adventist movement in several important ways.  First, he did not grant Ellen White’s writing as much authority as Historic Adventists typically do.  By his own estimation, his sola scriptura standard separated him from 95% of the other “independent ministries” identified with Historic Adventism (http://adventistalert.com/aawwn/ninty/two-jm.htm).  Second, he believed that many Historic Adventists veered toward a wooden recapitulation of earlier doctrines, when the Adventist doctrine of “present truth” required instead that believers build and develop the earlier doctrines by interpreting the Bible in light of new developments in the world.  Third, he believed that many Historic Adventists interpreted Adventist thought in such a way that it supported a misguided “works-righteousness,” thereby compromising the teaching of salvation by faith alone.  At the heart of this issue, for Grotheer, was Herbert Douglass’ teaching of the “harvest principle,” which said that a final generation of believers will achieve a state of sinlessness.  Grotheer shares Douglass’ “last generation” theology, but regards their sinlessness as the result of a gift of grace rather than an act of their own sanctification.  Fourth, and most importantly, he went further than Historic Adventist groups in declaring the SDA denomination as an apostate church.  Most Historic Adventist groups seek to reform the SDA Church, while Grotheer’s energies were directed toward condemning the SDA denomination and urging its members to leave it for the sake of the truth.

My research suggests, then, that ALF has an historical connection to the SDA and is, broadly speaking, part of the same family of believers known as Adventism.  But for decades now, ALF has had no discernable organizational connection to the SDA Church, and its possible ties to any other dissenting group in the Historic Adventist movement are minimal.