Corruption in the Philippines

1645 FWB, FL Time, Friday, 12 November 1999; Wally Little Here:

Dear bro. Halbrook and brethren

Having been sent your response to Roger Wanasen's report, I am going to respond to it. And expose it for the lies, distortion, and dishonest defense of an unrighteous man it is. To ensure remaining in context, I will quote you, and reply "in line." I have known him since he was a child, and worked both with him and his good father in furtherance of the gospel in the Philippines. Roger did not ask me to do this, but I resent the injustice you did to this good man and faithful saint.

You wrote:---"...Dear Roger, Since your message complains against Rody Gumpad buying a new vehicle, I wonder why you sent your message to brethren who did not give money for that purpose. You are simply promoting envy and strife Jas. 3:13-18)..."

whl here:---Here is what Roger actually wrote: "Tragically, Christianity now has become something far removed from what it was in the first century. The church has become far too complex and in many ways, it was fallen into worldly from its spiritual and heavenly Position just because of our negligence, differences and pride. I am referring to the actuation of our dear brother Rody Gumpad, he want to show to the brethren that serving God earned worldly things. I am not jealous for his brand new
car, but the effect of that brand new car is something discouragement to the brethren. Our brethren here are getting hard on their living and here comes a preacher who bought a brand new car. A P600,000.00 peso is a big amount to help our needy brethren especially the farmers. I can't understand this kind of edification that you are teaching. They're nothing wrong to have brand new car but not this time of tribulation. I have a fear that preachers will be motivated in a wrong way. Please help us to grow and become independent not always dependent from you."

whl here:---Bro. Halbrook, wherein this does Roger promote envy, as you charge? What he wrote is correct. Of all Americans who have gone to that nation, you ought to be aware of that. For your re-remembrance, let me review a bit of history for you and for the readers you contacted, and others I am adding to this distribution.

In the early 1990s, Rody Gumpad's son developed cancer. Jim Puterbaugh and I, in addition to considerable personal ssistance, raised many thousands of dollars for medical treatment. At one time, we were ready to have the boy sent to the US for medical treatment. This was stopped only because US doctors, seeing the X-rays, said he could receive treatment in the Philippines every bit as good as could be provided in the US, and without the cost of the airline fare.

From our efforts and his own, (at one time, he was writing to as many as thirty churches weekly, asking for support and or help for his son's medical care), he received far more money than was needed. He returned some of it as a token, and with the remainder, bought (some on time) three vehicles, several hectare of rice land, and had build up a new house. I have been in his old house a number of times, and it was better by far than that of 95% of the houses of Filipino brethren I'd been in during
the more than 33 years I've been going there to preach. Rody's new house has nine-count `em-nine bedrooms and five bathrooms. He claims it is only eight bedrooms, as he uses one as an office. I've seen that house, as have
several other Americans who go there to preach. If you want their names, I'll give them to you.

When I found out what Rody had done, I pleaded with him to make his life right before the Lord. In turn, he accused me of sinning against him by not coming to him personally. I was tied up with the classes I teach, so wrote him instead. I apologized, and again, pleaded with him to repent. My thanks? Accusations that I teach Moses' law on MDR, which Rody knows is
a lie.

In July 1996, Rody was in a confrontation with nine other Filipino preachers who had charged him with materialism. This was voodooed by bro. Larry Haverstock who was there. A copy is available for any who want it, at bro. Haverstock's cost. If you want a copy and don't have his address, contact me and I'll send it to you. During that confrontation, Rody admitted to one sin, and signed a statement admitting it. The next day, he repudiated his confession and scratched his name off the statement. Ken
Marrs of California, who had worked with Rody extensively, found out about this, and wrote him, rebuking him for deleting his statement, and urging him to resign it.

Later, you, bro. Halbrook, and bro. Jim McDonald wrote off the disagreement and confrontation as nothing more than a preacher-fight. You and bro. McDonald jointly authored a statement to this effect, putting it out on an EMail list maintained by brethren, and printing it in the PRECEPTOR MAGAZINE (I believe it was the January 1997) number. Doing so, you "covered a multitude of sins" by lying.

bro. Halbrook continued:---"...Your message is actually a complaint against brethren who wished to give money for that purpose. The brethren who gave for that purpose had a right to do so. It is their right to decide how to use their money (Acts 5:4). If brethren wish to give some money to a brother for a scriptural purpose (to buy a vehicle), the brother has a right to use the money for the designated purpose. Your message promotes envy and strife regarding the right of brethren in such matters
of judgment..."

whl here:---Again, how does Roger's message promote envy? Here, you have build a Strawman and striven mightily against it. Roger commented on the existence of the situation among brethren there, and the picture of his P600,000.00 ($15,000.00) new vehicle and the abject poverty of so many brethren there...and especially in contrast to Rody's luxurious life-style.

Now also, considering money to help brethren there in need, tell us a little bit about the distribution you and bro. Jim McDonald made in 1998, for benevolence, especially in Mindanao. Bro. McDonald stated in a letter that there was more than $382,000.00 at the time he wrote it, with more coming in, and one on an EMail list of brethren said the final total was close to half a million US dollars. According to your own statement, the distribution was "per member." That is like paying someone for being a Christian. Where does the Bible authorize such a practice?

From information I have (from many different sources there), the average was P1000.00 (about $26.00 at that time) "per member." While all could undoubtedly use the money, in the cities, no one grows rice, and that was the greatest need-rice farmers who had three consecutive crops destroyed by bad weather. In the provinces where such benevolence was badly needed, it takes P18,000.00 per hectare of rice land from plowing to harvesting. P1000.00 would not touch the hem of the garment of that need.

Further, by bro. McDonald's letter, the distribution was made in eight days. That is impossible, if it was to fulfill a Scriptural requirement. Until the 1990s when benevolence there began to be more like an industry run by you and others of your ilk, I was involved in virtually all the major benevolence distributions there, and many of the minor ones, these latter usually handled by my wife and myself personally, or with the help of personal friends. On the major ones, I've never had more than $25,000.00 to distribute at any one time. Even to do this took three days, going out to where the benevolence was needed, talking with those in need to find out what the actual need was, and helping to the extent possible according to the Bible pattern (personal and family assistance first, local church second, outside help last). Incidentally, I still have the signed receipts for virtually all the funds ever entrusted to me for this. I have never made distribution "per member."

I ALSO have copies of some of the receipts you and bro. McDonald got from your "distribution." On some of them, you accounted for the same money twice; on one, you did so for the same money four times. That is either gross negligence on accounting, in fraud. I pray it was only the former.

Your manner of distribution left much to be wanting. You and bro. McDonald distributed large sums of money to preachers for redistribution to other preachers, who distributed them to the saints, "per member." Where is there any such authority in God's Word? In addition to the lack of Bible authority, this led to many instances of dishonesty there. In one instance, funds you left with some, when other Filipino preachers came to get theirs for "redistribution," according to witnesses, there was almost a
fist-fight because the "receivers" thought the "distributors" were keeping too much for themselves. Apparently they were not concerned with corruption, only that it had gotten out of control.

Another "horror story"---The evening before I was to begin a lectureship for older preachers, six of the men to whom you and Jim McDonald had given money for "benevolence" came to see me. After the usual sitting around, drinking coffee and eating crackers while they made small talk, one said: "Bro. Little, we have come for our benevolence."

I responded: "I don't have any benevolence."

Than I was treated to a lecture, basically saying: "Why don't you have benevolence for us? Don't you know that all American preachers coming here are supposed to have benevolence for us?"

I wonder where they got that bright idea?

One of these was a man to whom you and bro. McDonald, between you, have given him about $3500.00 for benevolence for redistribution to his members ("per member?"). The first "benevolence" went to the owner of the local building supply house for the purchase of such interesting "benevolent" items as bags of cement, lumber, and other building materials...and his house took on a greatly improved status. As an incidental matter, the morning after he and his fellows came for "benevolence," he sent an
elderly sister to me.

She said: "Bro. Little, my pastor (the man's name) sent me to you for benevolence." I can only conclude his house needed more benevolence than this elderly, destitute sister.

In another case, one of the "preachers" to whom you gave funds was a drunk. Instead of giving each P1000.00 "per member," he gave them P300.00 and kept the other P700.00 "per member" for himself. Apparently not satisfied with that, he manufactured a congregation, presented you with a list of members, and got P1000.00 "per member" for a membership of ghosts. I wonder where that "benevolence" went?

In yet another place, a church with two "preachers" learned the funds for benevolence would be given to the older preacher for "redistribution." So the younger one broke off, and established a congregation by himself, complete with a membership. But not exactly by baptism for remission of sin. He offered a package of noodles to each person who attended, so dubbing that church "the noodles church."

Bro. Halbrook continued:---"...Your message suggests that extending financial help to Filipino brethren creates dependence. When Lydia extended repeated hospitality to Paul, did she create dependence? No, she was increasing his freedom to spread the gospel (Acts 16). When the brethren at Philippi supported Paul "once and again," and when "other churches" provided support, did they create dependence? No, they increased his freedom to spread the gospel (Phil. 4:15-17; 2 Cor. 11:8). When faithful brethren in the U.S. help faithful brethren in the Philippines, it does not create dependence but increases the freedom of faithful Filipino preachers to spread the gospel...

"...The implication of your message is that some brethren are trying to control other brethren by making them dependent. Such implications are false. Your message promotes envy and strife regarding efforts to increase the freedom of Filipino brethren to spread the gospel..."

whl here:---I have photocopies of letters written by brn. Marrs, McDonald, and yourself, in some cases, urging Filipino brethren not to attend my classes and not to permit their sons to do so because I "fellowship a false teacher on MDR," and flat-out lying about me and others who won't bow down our knees to your baal. Further, I have photocopies of letters from previous supporters of Filipino preachers stating they were dropping their support because of recommendations from Rody Gumpad, you,
or Jim McDonald. Yet more, I have letters from bro. McDonald and Marrs threatening to withdraw endorsement for support from Filipinos who would not toe your line, and stop attending my classes and those conducted by bro. Jim Puterbaugh.
((whl here:---Inserting on 21/11/99:---Support was stopped on some of these, and on others, Filipinos with courage told them to stop, as they would not be subordinate to Americans in their work.))

I have accused you of lying. I have five years of correspondence from you, wherein you have lied repeatedly about me, about Jim Puterbaugh, about Darryl Hymel, about Jerry Bassett, and probably more. But of course, you did not make this material available to others. However, TRUTH Magazine, in its 8 August 1998 number, printed an article jointly authored by you, bro. Andy Alexander, and Jim McDonald. Most of it was a self-congratulatory piece on your latest trip to the Philippines. But in
two paragraphs, you took off on bro. Jim Puterbaugh and me. In it, you stated: "Their covenant position intersects with..." and proceeded to list various aspects of Moses' law on MDR, keeping holy days, mechanical instrument of music in worship, animal sacrifice, Sabbath-keeping, etc. You wrote that KNOW IT WAS UNTRUE! That makes it a bunch of lies.

Well more than a year before that was published, I had told you on the phone that neither Jim nor I believed, much less taught such things. Then in July 1996, with my wife at my side, I told Jim McDonald the same thing face-to-face. Additionally, I had written to both of you on this, denying any such beliefs or teaching. Yet in the fact of these denials and lacking a scintilla of evidence, you wrote that article. Do you now know the eternal destiny of unrepentant liars?

Much of what you have done goes back to the ill-conceived effort of you and others to establish a creed for churches of Christ, which eventually became known as "The 28-Questions." While you denied it was a creed, reading the preface makes it obvious this was exactly what it was, irrespective or your denial. When you got your ears glued back to your skull by article after article (in other gospel papers, of course, as the GOT wouldn't publish anything like that against its "point man" on MDR), you and those with you stopped pushing this. But I have yet to hear of any repentance.

This somewhat tarnished your reputation. So you used the Philippines as the vehicle to reestablish it by coming there first in 1995. Jim Puterbaugh has been going there since 1977, and I predated him by eleven years. I lived there for two years; Jim stayed a year by himself the first time he went. Today, he lives there with his adopted children nine to eleven months each year, coming back to the US for meetings. Until 1998, I had been going there twice yearly, staying three to four months each time, to each young preacher-students in a small Bible school, and hold lectureship as best I was able. Since my 1985 heart attack and
4-vessel bypass, I have been limited in what I can do. The only reason I am not there the entire year is that my wife is a severe asthmatic, and the air pollution would put her in her grave. So she says her contribution to my work there is to urge me to go as long as I am needed and able to do so.

But the Philippines must have looked like a marvelous place to refurbish your tarnished reputation. So, in 1995, you went there for three weeks, and by name, denounced all who disagreed with you on MDR as false teachers. (You must have passed out copies of your notes like dealing cards, for three brethren send me copies.) Thus, you began a division there that has yet to run its course...and on a doctrinal issue that is absolutely moot in that nation. What possible motive could you have had to do good to bring the made-in-America MDR fight to the Philippines, where one cannot get a divorce, no matter what! Their constitution
specifically prohibits divorce. And in a nation that is far and away, Roman Catholic, if they changed their constitution weekly, that prohibition would remain.

I am aware you have used information from the FAMILY CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES (of which I ALSO have a copy), to try and convince others there are alternatives to divorce that accomplish the same thing. Actually, there are four. ONE:---Is annulment, which takes four years, and must be signed off by "Cardinal Jaime Sin." I doubt he signed many each year, and
I suspect he well knows how many and for whom. One aspect of this is civil annulment, similar to US law, wherein if a spouse has been gone with no contact for seven years, the court can declare the marriage annulled. TWO:---Muslims are allowed to handle marriage and family relationships by Muslim law. THREE:---The tribals (NOT tribes), are allowed to conduct their family relationships by their tribal laws. FOUR:---Divorce obtained in another legal venue (Japan, Canada, England, US, Italy, etc).

These are exceptions, and just how exceptional they are should be obvious. But if you missed it, I'll explain: ONE:---"Cardinal" Sin signs very few. What the law allows requires substantial evidence of the spouses' absence and no contact (for seven years---added 21/11/99-whl) that is to do "ethnic cleansing" and wipe out all the tribals. These have refused to submit to the central government (or each other, for that matter) since the days of the Spanish conquest. THREE:---Muslims? There has been a 35+ year rebellion by the Muslims the central government has not been put down. I doubt if it would have much success trying to force Muslims to live by the Philippine constitution.

The exceptions you cited in one letter (widely distributed there) are exactly that: EXCEPTIONS. Big deal!

You claimed your lessons on MDR were the most praised and widely accepted on your first trip. Surprise, surprise! The GOT (now, TRUTH), is the only US gospel magazine widely distributed there since Connie Adams ended SEARCHING THE SCRIPTURES. It is widely read and passed around. Brethren were quite familiar with your position and that you were "the point man" for that magazine on MDR. So they knew what would please you by asking for your lessons on MDR, and praising you for them. Surely you are not so naive as not to understand why?

Since Jim Puterbaugh started going there in 1977, he has steadfastly refused to seek support for any preacher (although he has helped and continues to help many today). In the minds of some Filipino "preachers," the primary function of American preachers, after coming to the Philippines, is to return to the US to seek support for Filipino preachers. I have received letters from some telling me I was not doing my Christian duty if I did not try to get them support. So when you denounced Jim
(and others by name) for his MDR position, you tapped into this resentment some had because he refused to seek support for them. And lo, your following.

Bro. Halbrook:---"...Rody has played a role in informing U.S. brethren of the needs of many Filipino brethren from time to time, including poor farmers and others, including those who suffer from diseases, accidents, natural disasters, and other calamities. Your message creates the impression that he seeks to supply his own needs while ignoring the needs of others. The implication is false. On the one hand, you charge Rody does not seek help for needy Filipino brethren, but, on the other hand, it is clear from your message that when he seeks help for needy Filipino brethren, you will then accuse him of trying to create dependence' and force his brethren to `heel.' ..."

whl here:---Rody seems help for those in his barkada (group), or who will bow to his wishes. He stops or tries to stop support of those who refuse to do so, as some have discovered, and concerning which I have in my possession letters from previous supporters of some, so stating.

Bro. Halbrook continued:---"...According to your message, there are still Filipino brethren needing help at this time. If the help could be sent in response to your message, would it be proper to charge that you are trying to create `dependence' and force your brethren to `heel'? So, when Rody makes efforts to help needy brethren, you will charge him with trying to create `dependence' and force brethren to `heel,' but when you make efforts to help needy brethren, you do not wish to be charged with such spiritual crimes. `The legs of the lame are not equal' (Prov. 26:7). Your message provides no edification but only promotes envy and strife..."

whl here:---A classic example of misdirection and another strawman. The fact of dependence is too well established to need anything further to support it. In an economic third-world nation, which the Philippines is, and given the cultural concept of utang na loob ("I owe, I owe, I owe," an unending, never paid-back obligation), when a Filipino accepts help from an American, his natural tendency is to follow the American's beliefs whether he really accepts them as truth or not. I've know Roger long enough and well enough that he does not allow utang to affect what he does, nor permit it to be involved in any relationship he has. With you and bro. McDonald, the opposite is true. There are many examples (some I've already cited) where you both have used this to accomplish your agenda there.

Bro. Halbrook continued:---"...Your message charges that Rody is part of a `gifted minority' who is trying to bring a `less gifted majority to heel'..."

whl here:---You are either intentionally blind or lying. How many other Filipinos do you know who owned a fine house, even by our standards, and tore it down to replace it with one with 9 bedrooms and five baths? How many owned hectare of rice land? How many owned three vehicles? How many have been to the US, raising money? And incidentally, you or any who had any part in that need to repent for breaking US law. It is unlawful for any foreigner here on a tourist visa to receive wages. The last
report I heard was that while here this past summer, at that time, he had already collected $10,000.00. And since he spent P600,000.00 for a vehicle, before he left, it was considerably higher. If you have knowledge of that, your are an accessory after the fact. I urge you to repent, and go to the law before the law comes to you.

((Added: 21/11/99---When you and Jim McDonald left the US in 1998 with all that "benevolent" money, did you declare it to US Customs? If not, you are in violation of our law. Further, if you accepted it as personal income, you had better get with it, and pay income tax on it. Yet further, if you did not accept it as income, you had better get your accounting system straightened out before the tax man tosses it out and send you a delinquient tax bill anyway. I am glad I am not in your shoes!---whl)...Rody helps those who are "with him," and greatly hinders those who are against him. Additionally, he lies. He has accused both Jim
Puterbaugh and myself of teaching MDR by Moses' law in the Philippines, KNOWING THAT WAS NOT TRUE. In upholding him, you are upholding a liar. If you are doing this knowingly, what does that make you?

On "bringing others to heel," I've already commented on that---that I have in my possession photocopies of letters from former supporters who dropped their support on Rody's recommendation, stating specifically that this was so, AND that, because they disagreed with Rody.

Bro. Halbrook continued:---"...Your charge is false. Rody and those of us who work with him from time to time `fight the good fight of faith' by appealing for people to obey God's Word (1 Tim. 6:12). Nothing more or less than the weapons of truth in God's Word are used. `The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds' (2 Cor. 10:3-5). Your message with its false charges is carnal and promotes nothing but envy and strife.

whl here:---Bro. Halbrook, you are accusing Roger of exactly what your sins are.

Bro. Halbrook concluded:---"...Satan himself is the accuser of God's people and you are doing his work by sending out your message. I plead with you to repent of your envy and strife, your biting and devouring (Gal. 5:15)..."

whl here:---Bro. Halbrook, I offer you the advice of our Lord in Lk 4:23: "...physician, heal thyself...."

Bro. Halbrook, you face a Judgment before God and an eternity when this short life is over. Do not delay to make yourself right before God, while He gives you time and opportunity. I have not ceased to pray for you by name daily since you started this whole mess, and will continue praying for you. Please, start undoing the evil you have been responsible for in the Philippines. And now that Roger has apologized (and I believe unnecessarily, but it demonstrates his humilit)---why don't you do the

In Christ: Wally Little