The Pen

Why I’m Done Reporting on LC

In the Modern Day Downgrade: A Call for Repentance to Southern Baptists and Other Evangelicals that I delivered at the 2013 Reformation Montana conference, I mentioned what I’ve since come to call ‘Joe Aguillard’s Final Solution.’ In that message in May of last year, I asserted that Joe Aguillard presented a “false flag” of a fictional Calvinistic coup at Louisiana College so that David Hankins – executive director of the executive board of the Louisiana Baptist Convention – would rush in to save his job, which was at jeopardy not because of a Calvinist coup, but because of Aguillard’s own dishonesty, corruption, and misappropriation of funds.

In the very first episode of the Pulpit & Pen Program seven months later, which included an interview with Brannon Howse (whose Worldview Weekend hosts my radio program) I discussed Aguillard’s Final Solution, and since that time I’ve explained in various ways why Calvinism and Calvinists were used by Louisiana College leadership and Louisiana Baptist leadership as a smoke screen and scape goat for the abject corruption at the hands of Joe Aguillard and his cohorts.

When Louisiana College, several months ago, said that “all the question marks have been removed” because the college’s accreditation status probation was lifted, Louisiana Baptist pastor Ken Fryer posted his article on my website, a critique of that assumption, linking it to the audio released originally by the first casualty of Aguillard’s vindictiveness against those voicing concerns, Rondall Reynoso, in which Fryer speaks to the ongoing question marks that have not been removed regardless of a SACS ruling.

My coverage of LC began to amp up on February 22, when I released an episode early so Louisiana Baptists could hear it before going to church that Sunday and being asked for money to help stop the financial hemorrhaging that came about by Aguillard’s scandals and mismanagement.

Then on February 26, I released documentation exposing that the LC Board of Trustees (or at least those on the board that knew about it) paid a 25 thousand dollar (plus eight months of salary and benefits and supposed ‘over time’ pay) blackmail demand in exchange for a non-disclosure and confidentially agreement concerning his knowledge of the misdeeds of Joe Aguillard. As I stated in that program, Aguillard’s characterization of what the assistant “had on him” was surely not the real matter. I reiterated again and again in that program that there surely must be something far more serious for the board to pay a blackmail demand for tens of thousands of dollars. As I was recording that episode, another document came into my possession (Part B of that episode), showing exactly what the board was so afraid of – Cole was ready to tell the press about the vast number of forged documents (signatures, dates and whole documents) that were sent to SACS under Aguillard’s direction.

On March 2nd, I released documentation from fired Executive Vice President, Tim Johnson, to the board of trustees. In this letter, coming from a non-Calvinist, Johnson boldly exposes the reality that the Calvinism issue was nothing but a “political football” used by Hankins to accomplish his purpose of pushing Eric Hankins’ so-called “Traditional Statement” as a litmus test for employment at Louisiana College (a claim I’ve made since the Traditional Statement was first published – that it was designed to be a litmus test for employment in certain Southern Baptist entities). Johnson also highlights the reality that Aguillard was not concerned about the influence of Calvinism at LC prior to the Final Solution, but that he was concerned about the undue influence of David Hankins.

It’s here that I’ll digress for a moment.

I have communicated with many, many concerned Southern Baptists in Louisiana – employees of Louisiana College, students at Louisiana College, faculty at NOBTS, employs at the Louisiana Convention, Southern Baptists pastors/elders in Louisiana and concerned Louisiana Baptist laypeople. In each and every circumstance, these people reached out to me. And as time progressed, these documents came into my possession – and so I exposed them. I’ll reveal to you now what I explained to most, if not all, of the concerned Baptists with whom I’ve spoken in Louisiana – I am the outspoken man from Montana, a regular and ordinary Southern Baptist with a mega phone, and that is all. My job is to get this information out, quite frankly, because so many others are afraid of being sued because Joe Aguillard is a highly litigious man – and we have seen these legal threats by board chairman, Tommy “Darth” French, in the last week directed toward those exposing the corruption at LC. Others, who have had these documents for some time, are afraid because of the influence of David Hankins in the state, and they worry about seeds of discord being sown in their congregation by officials hired to serve them in the Louisiana Baptist Convention. Others who have had the documents were reluctant to expose them because they saw at least three administrators who were unjustly fired or forced out of their positions (two of which are non-Calvinists) because they dared reveal Aguillard’s misdeeds and they saw three professors fired for no other reason than it was the price of David Hankins’ unfailing support for Joe Aguillard. I’m just a man crazy enough not to care about their veiled threats, and in being insulated by a thousand miles of prairie, there’s little danger at their leaven entering my congregation. Having already severed ties with the Montana Southern Baptist Convention because of the corruption of our executive director (who is a cohort and good friend of David Hankins and operates under similar dictates), I really have nothing to lose. And for those hiding sin at Louisiana College, I understand that makes me a very dangerous character.

And so, as I have explained to Louisianan confidants from the beginning, I’m the man with the radio program. As soon as the information gets out there, my job is done. In the last week, we’ve seen that people have begun talking and sharing information. Sin is being exposed. Audio tapes clearly exonerating the presumed Calvinists who were fired as part of the Aguillard-Hankins “devil’s bargain” (to quote one Louisiana pastor) were released to the Town Talk last week. Tim Johnson’s lawsuit for unlawful termination (the board’s refusal to submit to its own whistle-blower policy) has been filed and made public. Audio exonerating Chuck Quarles – another whistle blower and former administrator unjustly fired – from accusations that it was he, and not Aguillard, that lied about how Caskey Divinity School money should be used was also released last week.

Silence from Louisiana College and David Hankins has been deafening. Thinking apparently that my first release of documents was a quickly-passing anomaly, they first issued a press release calling me a “radical Calvinist” – as though that changed the documentation I presented. They were staying on message – it’s the Calvinists! As more documents that plainly and clearly reveal the misdeeds of Joe Aguillard along with the abject incompetence of the board of trustees have been released, Louisiana College – which up until this point has had a problem saying too much – has only been able to say officially “no comment.” And while saying “no comment” to the press, Darth French has been sending legal threats to men like Chuck Quarles for releasing audio and trustee Jay Adkins for merely having audio in his possession (which as a trustee, he is allowed to do). Most recently, French has suggested that the released audio might be ‘doctored.’ In short, it is clear that David Hankins, Darth French and Joe Aguillard are out of options. The truth is out there. And the truth, sadly enough, is their enemy – and they know it.

Because the truth is out there (and it’s continuing to come in), my job is done. I am going to opine one last time on this subject on Tuesday’s program. It is now in the hands of Louisiana Baptists.

Well, almost. The truth is almost in the hands of Louisiana Baptists. The reporting by Kelly Boggs at the Baptist Message has been sub-par at best (both in content and in form) and I believe, purposefully obfuscates the facts. And his reporting clearly, by the way, was a responsibility forced upon him by the Pulpit and Pen and by secular media. Louisiana Baptists cannot expect transparency or truth in journalism when David Hankins’ influence is so domineering over every board he wants to control. And so I would highly suggest that Louisiana Baptists take it upon themselves to make sure that Louisiana Baptist churches – those whose pastors are uninvolved in social, electronic, or secular media – receive through good ole fashioned means the information they need to make an informed decision about how to bring back integrity to the Louisiana Baptist Convention and Louisiana College.

It will have to be Louisiana Baptists that bring accountability to David Hankins, Joe Aguillard and those complicit with his lies, and finally, the LC Board of Trustees. It can’t – and shouldn’t – be JD Hall or the Pulpit & Pen that does that. It’s Louisiana’s garbage. And it needs to be Louisiana that hauls it out to the curb. I was going to offer some suggestions or a “blueprint” for how it should be done in future programs. After praying about it, I think that’s unnecessary. I trust that the brethren in Louisiana – now that they have the information – are fully capable of taking care of this end of things themselves.

There’s one other reason I’m done dealing with LC. The insane, childish and sophomoric smoke-screen from the beginning is that all the problems of Louisiana College were caused by this fictitious, now-debunked faux-coup at the hand of Calvinists. No doubt, those seeking to defend unrepentant sin and the unrepentant sinners at the center of this controversy will continue to claim this is a Calvinist conspiracy. They will continue to do so, in spite of the fact that the documentation from Searcy, Johnson and Armour has all come from non-Calvinists. They will continue to do so, in spite of the fact that the greatest evidence of Joe Aguillard’s guilt comes from non-Calvinist, Joe Aguillard himself and other non-Calvinists like Argile Smith. Like Hitler in Germany’s Final Solution blaming the Jews for the problems caused by the fascist regime in spite of the absolute irrationality of it, they will continue to blame Calvinists rather than simply repent. For that reason, I don’t want to provide one more insane excuse to ignore the clear evidence – no matter how truly insane that would be.

I turn my attention now to The Caner Project documentary, which is in process.

So, my Louisiana Baptist friends, Godspeed.

[Contributed by JD Hall]