Facing Legal Proceedings, Paul Charles Works to Clear His Name

Paul Charles, who for several months has been denying charges of fraud concerning his academic qualifications (earned degrees), has reported to his superiors that he has completed a Bachelor of Theology degree from the South African Theological Seminary (SATS) in less than six months. According to the seminary, which provides degrees exclusively online, the BTh program normally takes anywhere from three to seven years to complete. Charles serves as Director of Communication and Public Affairs and Religious Liberty for the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division of Seventh-day Adventists (SID).

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/article/2016/10/26/facing-legal-proceedings-paul-charles-works-clear-his-name
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What remains a mystery is why Dr Maphosa, the new SID president who served under Pastor Ratsara and witnessed the latter’s dramatic fall from grace, still insists on shielding Mr Paul Charles! Could it be that President Maphosa himself has skeletons under the closet that Mr Charles knows about? Only time will tell and some of us hope that the truth comes out soon. Perhaps the ongoing investigation at UNISA about how Pastor Paul Ratsara obtained his PhD will reveal insights about the Charles-Maphosa toxic relationship. Who told these men of God that they needed PhDs (by hook or crook) to serve the church? Why has President Wilson acted in such irrational manner to protect Charles and Maphosa? Could it be the political support they give the GC in this part of the world to maintain the anti-women ordination position that Ted Wilson is so married to? The truth will emerge with time.


Is this South African Theological Seminary a “Degree Mill”?
It certainly sounds fishy to me.
If we will recall, it was Paul who sued the Church for discrimination toward him and FORCED the Church to hire him as a Pastor. And it did so based on those fraudulent degrees he was said to have earned.
Does Paul Charles have some Psychopathological, Sociopathological problems???
It also sounds like there are a whole LOT of Hidden problems in that Division that are being covered up all the way through the President of the GC and the Staff there.
And what is WORSE!! NOBODY seems to care!!

In the Michigan and Ohio Conference. We had that “Evangelist” who raped that woman in another Division. Came to America. Was RE-Baptized in Ohio. And is now on the Circuit again. Was NEVER De-frocked. All this is ACCEPTABLE behavior by our Church Administrations through our Conferences, Unions, Divisions, Silver Springs.
The Seventh day Adventist Church certainly has a LOT going on that could be talked about by Late-Night TV programs, SNL, and the grocery check-out tabloids.

Lisa – Paul’s behavior is certainly Irresponsible. It is certainly Irrational.
He certainly has NOT learned to live a very effective life in finding ways to fulfill his “needs”!!!
The continuing of demonstrating IRRESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOR is certainly JUST CAUSE to take away his Ordination and Pastoral Certificates. At least for the time being.
I was NOT citing a DSM–9. I WAS CITING A DYSFUNCTIONAL PERSON, who was demonstrating Irresponsible Behavior Patterns of Major Magnitude.
And, the very sad part about it, is that he is well aware that no body anywhere cares that he IS dysfunctional.


It’s very sad to see that our leaders only want to obey “some” policies, whichever are convenient and whichever they think will “unite” us. As you can see from this story, the ordination is in hands of unions. It has always been and it will always will be. That’s why we have the legal council @GC. They can explain the policies, not elder Wilson. Same goes for ordaining women as pastors. Since there was never a voted policy that women cannot be ordained, the vote at San Antonio didn’t change anything. Divisions (part of GC) cannot do it, because it’s not in their hands, it’s in the hands of unions. So it’s very said to see GC overstepping their power in unions. If anybody is confused about that, I would recommend to look in Adventist history and see why unions were established and what Ellen White has to say about that. But as we know, our president likes to quote sister (woman) White only on some issues, whichever are convenient to his politics.


“The Seventh day Adventist Church certainly has a LOT going on that could be talked about by Late-Night TV programs, SNL, and the grocery check-out tabloids.” And we’re crowing about the attention the movie Hacksaw Ridge will bring us. I hope we’re ready for it, because we won’t be able to “manage” it.


Thank you, SPECTRUM for another piece of investigative journalism that apparently is needed more than ever.

I am especially concerned about the “disappearance” of publications and statements on the issue, the “limitation” of minutes of proceedings to whatever seems “acceptable” to the powers to be. While it is fair for the church to protect its employees claims of fraud need to be investigated thoroughly and - by the very claim - transparently. This is definitely NOT the case here.

Furthermore the wrong policy information by TW is an embarrassment. He should have known better. He probably did. He obviously wanted to avoid a scandal - producing the far bigger one in the process. In internet times cover-ups have become a little more tricky. Perhaps someone should tell the president’s office.

Last but not least … from all universities I know, granting degrees requires a certain amount of studies at the institution, usually no less than 50%. A full time BTh - assuming it’s a three year degree - would thus require 1.5 years of full time study for a degree confered by that institution. It was my understanding that Charles studies “part time”. That’s probably why he only needed 6 months. :wink: Logic!

Oh - and of course - there will be very few pastors world wide -if any- who work at Division level without ANY degrees from an Adventist institution. Adventist theology? Well… we don’t want that anyway these days, it seems.


Thanks, Spectrum, for another thorough and enlightening report on this situation. I don’t think I need to weigh in with anything other than an expression of sadness/disappointment.



I wonder how many more “assertions” and “contentions” have our beloved GC president used as a foundation to formulate church policies and opinions during his term in office? Reminds me of that great hymn “Lead on, O King Eternal.”


The right of kings to reject policy when it suits him; or to enforce a policy as he wishes. As long as the people praise and accept the king’s decisions, the king wins. Who is well-known in in Adventist employment to “bell the cat” and defy the king?


Does Paul Charles have some Psychopathological, Sociopathological problems???

The media has recently reported on the American Psychiatric Association’s controversial
Goldwater rule which proscribes public comment on the mental health of public figures, particularly if they have not examined them. Example: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/16/health/analyzing-donald-trump-psychology.html

While the APA rule does not apply to the general public, I think we can provide a more accurate and damning critique by steering clear of such diagnoses. Not only do such diagnoses continue to stigmatize mental illness, they also provide an “excuse”, or a way out for behaviour that is simply unacceptable for ordinary healthy people (Although one would expect more rational behaviour even from somebody who suffers from some of these conditions!). Reverting to such diagnoses also opens us up to charges of ad hominum criticism. Our criticism is almost certainly stronger if we just say that it is plainly unacceptable and irrational and it needs to stop, or the church needs to be protected from it.

(Thinking out loud)


How ironic that a church that wants to add a new fundamental belief about education, FB29, balks at dealing with Charles’s fraudulent degrees and continues to protect him, a “church leader” who may be committing criminal fraud with his false claims of nearly 3 PhD’s much less a now-questioned bachelor’s degree.


Just say recent does not mean 6000 years as see what happens. TZ


The simple answer to this question is that you can’t. It is incredible that Mr. Charles thinks he is fooling anyone with this purported degree. It isn’t worth the paper it is printed on.


Several weeks ago, an African academic who has served in two of the African Divisions of the denomination responded to my inquiry about Paul Charles

“Paul Charles, a fraudster of the highest level, I don’t know why the church is still holding on to him. It has been proved he is fake. Many people have concluded that the guy might be harbouring big people’s secrets! Haha haha. But they have set a very bad precedent. I don’t know and I don’t understand.”

My friend continued the commentary about Paul Ratsara.

“Ratsara, it is clear, plagiarised. That is a crime… [and] not clever!.. The other thing is that the GC president did not help the situation by taking sides before digging deeper. As a result he has lost respect from some of us in Africa.”


Unfortunately for him, he plagiarized a hundred and fifty years too late.:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


For some reason unbeknown to me, Ted Wilson keeps trying to cover up for individuals who have broken the Chutch’s trust by acting literally criminally according to the civil laws of the territory where they live.

All this AcademicGate, or PhDGate, or MastersGate, or BachelorGate - WOW! You name it - is nothing but a fiasco perpetuated by a TW administration that, for unknown reasons, couldn’t care less. So “strict” on women aspiring the ministry and so lax on men who are an embarrassment to the Church. Go figure!

It is also mind boggling that Ted Wilson would make a statement the his own legal counsel would clearly contradict.

And the worst is still to come, since there is the need to again replace the recently elected SID President because of the same PhDGate scandal. It appears that soon the newspapers in Africa will publish proof (emails) showing that Mr. Map host knew about it all way before being chosen for the position early on this year.

Geeeesh, what is happening to my Church?
This administration “is a disaster, believe me, believe me!”

The hypocrisy running rampant in our Church is just disgusting and totally unacceptable. The attempts to cover up academic crimes is inexplicable and unjustifiable. Those doing such obnoxious things should be immediately fired no matter how “sanctified” they believe they are!!!

@harrpa @Clint @elmer_cupino @ageis711Oxyain @hopeful

PS - This issue needs/deserves a deep discussion. Since this is prohibited to discuss it here, those interested in continuing the interaction please go to the LONGgate.


It is quiet clear that it is impossible to have done in less than six months what would take at least two years to do. Something is either very wrong with the claim or unbelievably and amazingly right. Paul Charles is either a genius or the biggest con ever. One thing will happen - this will make the esteemed brethren very e-steamed, I bet. And how can the Union sentence a man without a fair trial and SID keep quiet?. Maybe the SID asked the union officers to do what they cannot do.

If Paul Charles really did in six months what would take 2 years to do (and the letter from SATS confirms it) then he is a rare breed and a valuable asset.


In case some are wondering why it is important that this issue be resolved, here is why. This whole issue has to do with ethical conduct/behaviour and honesty on the part of all believers, including leaders. This has nothing to do with whether Paul Charles has a degree or not. We have many pastors in the world church who have no university degrees. The problem is the false claims to have qualifications. In 1995 to1997: Paul Charles registered for a Bachelor’s degree at Spicer College in India. He never completed his studies. In 2000, he produced a Masters and Doctoral degree in Theology from the “Freedom Insitute of Theological Research” in India. His MDiv degree indicated that he completed it in December 1997 and he had done 5 courses in year 1 and another 5 courses in year 2 of his Masters studies. If he completed in Dec 1997, that means his first year was 1995/1996 and second year 1996/1997. That was exactly the time he as supposed to be doing a Bachelor’s degree at Spicer. How did he get access to “Freedom Institute” without a Bachelor’s degree? How did he do both under- and postgrad studies at the same time? He then came to the SAU (KZNFS) in 2000 and claims to have these advanced degrees and “demands” a job as a pastor. It is unfortunate that the SAU did not verify his degrees then. If they had done, they would not have been blackmailed (under threat) to employ him. Around 2011 he claims to have a second PhD and goes around preaching that he has 2 PhD degrees. And now, he “has” a BTh after only 6 months of study. The BTh degree studies require one to do 30 courses and if one does it fulltime it would take 3 years. This is the crux of the matter. It has nothing to do with having a degree from an unaccredited university. The fact that he “registered and did a MDiv without a Bachelor’s degree and at the same time he was supposed to be doing a Bachelor’s degree” makes all these activities fraudulent. The story of Paul Charles and his academic degrees makes him unsuitable to serve in the capacity he does. By the way, there is documentary evidence and proof to all this. I rest my case.


A bachelor degree in 6 months? The man is a genius!


Adventist Troublemaker
1.Mr Charles sounds like a con man. In his own defense he comes up with yet another degree in 6 months. Two doctorates before a Bachelors. How absurd. His mental health has been questioned by a Spectrum poster. What is clear is that Mr Charles is a ‘troubled’ man CAUSING A LOT OF TROUBLE.

2.What I find confusing is that no one in South Africa can come up with a good reason as to why this is being allowed to happen. Surely somebody has to know what the real story is. Someone must know someone who knows why fraud and deceit is being tolerated by Solomon Maphosa and Ted Wilson. Both leaders are exposing the Church to ridicule. WHY is this being allowed to happen?

3.If Mr Charles is not blackmailing the Church what other possible reason would Church leaders have to collude in this outrageous behavior. I cannot believe nobody knows. Best Wishes, Edgar