ADCOM’s Overreach

With the creation of five new General Conference Compliance Review Committees on July 17, the General Conference Administrative Committee, known as ADCOM, set in motion a confusing situation that raises many questions about how and why these committees were created and to whom they are responsible. Was ADCOM in non-compliance by creating these committees? Did it pre-empt the power of the General Conference Executive Committee (GCC) that will meet for Annual Council in October?

On September 18, the General Conference had to clarify to whom the review committees report, because if the committees reported to the General Conference Executive Committee (GCC) as originally stated, then ADCOM had clearly taken inappropriate action by establishing the committees, naming the committee members, and setting the committee to work all before the GCC had met to even discuss the document that called for the creation of the committees.

In the clarification ADCOM released on Tuesday, September 18, the review committees are now said to report to it, and not to the GCC. That helps a little, but not much. The terms of reference for ADCOM, voted in 2015, do give it the power “to appoint standing committees and develop, approve, and adjust their terms of reference.”

But why were the committees created? There is no established need for the committees without the approval of the July 17 document on “Regard for and Practice of General Conference Session and General Conference Executive Committee Actions” that still awaits action by the GCC at Annual Council in October. The GCC could approve an entirely different process for discipline, one that does not involve the committees that have already been appointed. ADCOM has jumped ahead of the game by assuming that it has this particular role. It is taking to itself specific responsibilities that have not been assigned to it.

The General Conference Administration has seized upon the ability of ADCOM to create committees as a way to get directly to what GC President Ted Wilson wants to do — punish the Pacific Union and Columbia Union for their constituency session votes approving the ordination of women. In the process, he has created significant tension within ADCOM as well as the church at large.

The September ADCOM meeting stretched out over five hours. During that time it activated two of the review committees — the Core Policies Review Committee and the Ordination Review Committee. And while it was reported that the action taken to activate the two committees was unanimous, what was not reported was that the request to activate a third committee went down to defeat. The news release about the activation of the two committees created as many questions as it answered. Which specific entities are being targeted for non-compliance? When will the Review Committees meet? Before Annual Council? How can the Core Policies Committee begin its work, given that it still awaits the appointment of two additional members? Is the Review Committee on Ordination targeting the actions of divisions or unions, which ones? And what was the non-compliance issue that was brought to ADCOM but voted down?

With each brief notice that the General Conference releases about what is happening within the in-house committees, the questions just multiply. Perhaps the most significant question at this point in time concerns the Annual Council Session in October. How will the General Conference Executive Committee view the ADCOM action? ADCOM exists to carry out the wishes of GCC not the other way around. Will this latest action be seen as an overreach of ADCOM’s authority? The GC Administration seems so obsessed with its own power and in such a hurry to get things done that it tramples over anyone and everyone in its way. The balancing powers that have been spelled out for the unions and their constituent church members, for example, have been swept aside. In so doing, the GC Administration is changing the culture of Adventism from one of trust and collegiality to one of fear and retribution.

Further Reading:

Massive Oversight Committee System Set Up at the General Conference, Aug. 23, 2018

German Unions Respond to the GC’s Latest Documents and Committee Creation, Sept. 7, 2018

General Conference Issues Statement on Compliance Committees, Sept. 11, 2018

Pacific Union Conference Votes Opposition to GC’s Compliance Committee System, Sept. 13, 2018

General Conference Updates Compliance Document and Clarifies Committees, Sept. 19, 2018

Bonnie Dwyer is editor of Spectrum.

Image: Brent Hardinge / ANN / Flickr

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the open power grab began with the MaryKay Silver testimony of Neal Wilson. It came to full fruit at Glacier View. It lay dormant for a few years until it opened again under Ted Wilson. The seman of the entire view of the Greneral Conference was in the election of Elder Spicer on a strong Ellen White platform. The 1919 Bible Conference was buried. Des Ford has recently published a full account of Glacier View mainly to justify his claim of being railroaded. The sum is The Gospel has been subordinated to policy. Man has all ways had to take first place. institutionalism is a ready handmaiden. Congregationalism is one solution but also carries many pitfalls. I think if there remains any manhood in the institution there will be a house cleaning this fall. The strength of Ted lies in the Third World. But money still is a powerful tool. Remember it is God’s money not Ted’s.


Thank you for the additional background information.

How do we know that the massive oversight committee system is authoritarian, foolish, and antithetical to how Seventh-day Adventists have historically governed themselves? Because Ted Wilson has already acted in an authoritarian, foolish, and unprecedented manner by unilaterally implementing the massive oversight committee system without GC Executive Committee feedback and approval.


What next in this incredulous ‘saga of self-destruction’?
It is high-time that the church’s legal counsels studied
the recent decisions and actions of GC’s ADCOM in
relation to a number of matters re. Church governance
and demonstrate that the actions of the GC are indeed
Then one might discover who is actually non-compliant.


Yes, but I don’t get paid by my employer for just saying I’m working, but for doing the work. Talking endlessly about this rotten situation from the ‘pews’ won’t fix it until those who most likely can, do. Other than God, that means the NAD and union presidents need to get into action, not mere communication.

. . . and, by the way:
If you read the book written about the Wilson family, you will find that Neal once sent Ted to a school in Italy where Bert Beach was principal. The same Bert Beach who ‘gave a medal to the pope’, and became head of GC PARL under Neal Wilson’s presidency . . . . So a good place to start with handling the witch hunt now about to take place in the SDA GC is with ‘the old men before the temple’. Full disclosure. Do the Wilson Family men have close connections with male-only ‘Freemasonry’, as many believe. In Italy Freemasons are required by State law to disclose lodge and membership IDs. How much more appropriate for this to be done in the SDA GC, headquartered in Washington D.C. – Freemasonry Central !

This is not ‘conspiracy theory’, but conspiracy fact. My own father and his business was devastated and controlled by the covert dealings of another Freemason relative and the Freemasons who openly controlled the labor union.


This pattern has repeated itself over and over and has become a trademark of TW presidency. He behaves as if he were installed as president of the GC by God instead of being appointed by a group of men, constantly assuming power which falls outside of his jurisdiction. First it was the salt and shakers in the GC cafe, now it is the stifling of conscience. It has to end and we look to our union officers to put a stop at this. Will our union officers deliver and stand up or will they wilt from their responsibility and disappoint?

Now we wait for AC2018 to begin.


Thanks, @tjzwemer.

You said:

In response:

In fact, if you know Des and @gford1, you’ll know that his self-justification is not a primary drive for him, at all.

Instead, I’d say that, as Des approaches the “triple digits” in age, like many, the couple find a need to “bear witness”; to say, for the historical record, what happened to them, in their own words, knowing that these texts will outlast them both.

Hence, the book on Glacier View; the upcoming, new edition of the thousand-page Daniel 8:14…; the videos Des continues to make on YouTube, not to mention Gillian’s own extended YouTube series about what happened on those old, Colorado campgrounds.

Des isn’t trying to “justify.” He’s seeking to testify. He knows he must.

He knows this, and that the church administration cannot be expected to report the facts…except in terms of its own heroism and remnancy.



Des Ford has recently published a full account of Glacier View mainly to justify his claim of being railroaded.

@Tjzwemer, it sounds a bit negative about Des—this is Gill. I just republished the Glacier View Ms., which I decided to do after Wipf and Stock approached me out of the blue to publish it (they came on Facebook). I then decided to do it myself as it costs nothing. Wasn’t planned, nothing to do with Des. However, he’s glad I did it. I also did a series of videos on the history of Glacier View, and asked Des to do a few. For the love of me, he did. But you know, Des doesn’t worry about what happened to him at Glacier View one bit. He believes he was meant to go to Glacier View.



Des’ contribution to the SDA Church is indescribable. Imagine that without his work the truth about 1844/IJ would still be burred and hidden from the public. A fairy tale still taught as sound biblical doctrine, when there is nothing biblical about it. Nothing but a deceit.

Des was nailed on a cross by Neil Wilson. Now we all are about to be nailed on a cross by his son Ted at the AC/18. What is wrong with this Wilson Dynasty???

Well, God used Des to reveal the truth about the 1844/IJ farce. I hope God will use other men now to voter against the “crusade for power & control” that Ted is leading. You know, the leader and his “40.”

Best to both of you!

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With the deepest apology for a very poor and inaccurate comment about the reason Des has made a full accounting of Glacier View. I didN’t mean it in the negative sense it conveyed. I have a high regard for the position and courage of the man and the corpus of his work. please accept my sincere apology. Tom, the old man Zwemer. P. S. Jack, my brother, the wise one passed away over a year ago. He also had a high regard for Des. Our regards were for Heppenstall, Graham Maxwell, and Des Ford.


In a related issue:

I once tried to find the location of Ellen’s house in Petosky, MI, where she had hoped to retire and write what was to become, The Desire of Ages. Emmet County public records had nothing. Then I contacted the White Estate, who first said they could not help me, then emailed again with contact info for a scholar at AU. He sent me maps and letters written by Ellen describing the place, and explained why I could find nothing in public records.

Deeds were not always registered back then, and especially within the SDA ‘family’ transactions were often based on trust, alone. Ellen had bought a piece of land from a fellow SDA next door, and trust was enough to build a comfortable home on . . . until she was exiled to Australia . . . followed by Des Ford and the ‘1919’ plagiarism distrust epidemic we now see ripping the SDAs apart. Copyrights existed in Ellen’s time, and so did ‘deeds’, but was everyone in the culture of that previous, more ‘innocent’ age as anal as we modern vultures who fight for every scrap ?

I drove through Petoskey on my way home from working in Minnesota yesterday. The (Methodist) Bayview Association just north of her home had banners out advertising their C.S. Lewis festival. Only recently I saw a documentary of a student who was reading a C.S. Lewis poem and had a eureka moment. A book and documentary later it is an accepted fact that Lewis hid his love of medieval cosmology in his Narnia books, including the ‘Sun’ (Lion Witch and Wardrobe) and ‘Moon’ (The Silver Chair) as ‘planets’ ? ! So, shouldn’t we now also discard C.S. Lewis (and Isaac Newton, the Arian at Trinity College) as a pagan and papist . . . in all fairness to Ellen’s memory ?

. . . and, remember, Ellen had a ‘book committee’ and an ‘editor’ at the Review and Herald.
Maybe Uriah Smith’s reputation as a Review editor should be reconsidered, too. I believe it was Uriah Smith who agreed to have Dr. Kellogg’s ‘The Living Temple’ published by the R&H. Ellen was not a publisher, but merely an author.

If it is dirt we wish to find and fling, there is plenty all around the circle . . . but to what profitable end ?

What dirt did I fling? I BELIEVE I recounted known history. It cannot be found in Daniel. For dirt. Ellen White wrote she saw Jesus Walk from the outer temple into the most Holy Place. The writer of Hebrews wrote Christ entered within the veil upon His asscention. I for one stick to the Scriptures. That includes Daniel and Hebrews as well as Revelation. But. David and Paul are my heroes. l

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You are taking what I said in general, too personally, probably because I try to cut down on words that ‘take too long’ as I’ve been told by another Spectrum reader that I do.

In my mind I am thinking of all the dirt that has been flung back and forth among various SDAs, beginning in the 1888 era, especially. None of it resulting in any good, forward progress.

Ellen defended Prescott and his 1895 Armadale, Australia sermons to the ‘book committee’ ( whom she essentially labelled ‘papal’) in Battle Creek that refused to print and distribute them in the United States. Yet, wasn’t Prescott one of those, who in 1919 voiced his opinion that Ellen was not ‘inerrant’ ? So, was she ‘errant’ in supporting his own Armadale sermons ? (See the confusing mess that can develop by focusing on mere messengers instead of on their messages ?)

As for Ellen and ‘plagiarism’:
Paul, one of our heroes often plagiarized from the Psalms, Jeremiah, . . . without giving proper credit. It wasn’t until the NKJV came out that I could read Paul in an unobscure, readily-available version and see ‘[fn]’ notes located right in the text where Paul was actually ‘plagiarizing’ as I read. . . or, can the Spirit who inspired and motivated the hearts – not pen and words – of Bible writers be condemned for ‘plagiarizing’ Himself ? At some point any 2 or more people who honestly try to describe a Moose are going to agree, and possibly even use the same words.

I, too, pay attention to ‘Revelation’, and to the 3 angels. Those 3 can’t be separated. The first announces a ‘time of judgment’, and in the 3rd, the results of that judgment are announced, it having discovered 2 groups – one whose heart-characters are molded by treasuring or ‘worshipping’ the character of the ‘Beast’ and/or its ‘Image’, and one whose heart-characters reflect the character of God as described in mere words in the ‘law of love’, because they watch, admire and worship Jesus in whose own faithful heart that law was and is always at work, producing good, un-hypocritical ‘fruit’. The 3 Angels in Revelation still involve ‘types’ and ‘parables’ in their messages.

So, when studying the Bible, and those ‘3 Angels’, ‘Higher Criticism’ and parables (‘types’) can’t possibly mix. HC assumes a narrow application at a specific moment in time for a specific audience, while parables (a.k.a. proverbs) seek to teach, often, timeless principles applicable to a very wide audience. Both the Scripture-Word-of-God and Jesus-Word-of-God used parables extensively. The writer of Psalm 78 (v2) even pictured at least the whole history of Israel’s exodus from Egypt as a ‘mashal’-parable. The Hebrew verb ‘mashal’ implies a ‘sense of superiority in mental action’ (Blue Letter Bible / Strongs) So to be true to the original sense of the text of at least some Bible writers’ works, a healthy respect for their great respect of broadly-applicable parables, proverbs, types . . . is a more accurate method of translation than narrowly-focused ‘HC’.

The reason I bring up this ‘parabIe’ and ‘type’ idea right now is that I just clicked on the Strong’s G2665 for ‘veil’ (as referred to by Paul in Hebrews 6:19-20) in the Blue Letter Bible, and found this:

the name given to the two curtains in the temple at Jerusalem, one of them at the entrance to the temple separated the Holy Place from the outer court, the other veiled the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place”

Was ‘Strong’ an SDA ‘IJ’ believer ?
Paul was referring to a veil ‘type’, and a veil ‘type’ was also referred to by Ellen, but Ellen’s was located in a different place within the larger ‘Temple’ ‘type’ . . . and both can be right.

Then Strong’s ruins it all by saying ‘esoteros’ – ‘eso’ derived from ‘into’, from ‘eis’, not from ‘en’, not from ‘in’ – supposedly means actually ‘inner’ ? ! . . . So, Strong may also be ‘errant’, as the King James translators are regarding the same ‘in’ idea, but in Hebrew.

In Exodus 25:8 they translate Hebrew ‘tavek’ as (dwell) ‘among’, but in Psalm 40:8 as ‘within’ (my heart). So, God’s law was ‘among’ the heart of Jesus, to Whom Psalm 40:8 refers ? Or did God truly wish to dwell ‘within’ the hearts, the ‘soul temples’ of His people, and rule as King of their hearts just as Jesus described in Luke 17:21, where the real Greek ‘entos’, ‘en’ is accurately translated (The kingdom of God is) ‘within’ (you).

This is why ‘models’, ‘parables’, ‘types’ pictures worth a thousand words are needed to make sense of mere ‘Scripture’ words, and those pictures need to be compared to fill in any gaps in understanding.

The human brain was also designed according to the ‘Word’ – the ‘logic’ – ‘of God’ and it reflects the same outer and inner pattern as the holy and most holy places of the Temple. ‘1888’ was an invitation for SDAs to meet Jesus and the Father in the ‘inner’ ‘most holy’ (to God) heart they had talked so much about as ‘IJ’-believing ‘Laodicea’, but had not yet widely experienced for themselves. The ‘door’ or obstacle to that experience – at least at the SDA GC level, apparently – still, is ‘pride’, and that pride, science has recently discovered, is handled by the ‘inner man’-handling, inner-most, ‘most-holy’-to-God lobes of each individual human brain. ‘Pride’ is the veil that Ellen wrote about. She also saw the 3rd Angel’s-Laodicean Message as that which was to ‘put the glory of man in the dust’.

“If truth could be submitted to the reason alone, pride would be no hindrance in the way of its reception.” DA 455

. . . ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock . . .’
~ Jesus, in Song of Solomon 5:2, Laodicean, and 3rd Angel’s Messages

The ‘IJ’-search deeper into human ‘hearts’ makes perfect sense when all the right ‘pictures’ are compared, but essential parts of those pictures that tried to emerge in the 1888-era are still not included by too many SDA model-builders that are still too tightly-focused on the confusing ‘1,000 words’. So, here we still wait, 130 years later.

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