Letter Reignites Controversy Surrounding Paul Ratsara Plagiarism Scandal

(Carlo Schroeder) #63

A fact is subjective or objective, ask oneself. I might have a subjective opinion, but a fact remains a fact. It is when a person violates a rule, it might be in their opinion that there nothing wrong, but it there is a rule that says it is wrong, then it is wrong. When then we have witness, who incriminate himself, and as being part of said such act, then the fact is plain. Unfortunately, some people assume that forgiveness exempts them from consequences and allows them to continue doing stuff at the expense of others, then we have a problem. In the old testament, we had judges who ensured that civil law was maintained, it was not the job of the priest, that ensued that there was justice.

(jeremy) #64

george, as a psychologist, perhaps practicing at times in a criminal context, i would think you’d be aware of the relatively common phenomenon of false confessions…check out these articles:


we don’t really know anything about bonya in terms of his mental state and stress levels at the time of his confession…if he did confess to something he didn’t do, or that never happened, he wouldn’t be the first person to do so…the incidence of false confessions is significant enough that it can’t be ruled out without further evidence…

we also can’t really know that bonya’s confession wasn’t tactical…that is, how do we know he didn’t concoct a confession that he knew would sink ratsara because, as SID vice president, he secretly had designs on the SID presidency himself…and even if he didn’t have these designs, perhaps he could sense that change was in the air, and that a confession of what he knew was a hot commodity would ensure his tenure…of course we can hope that church administrators would be above these kinds of schemes…but do we really know they are…

the bottom line is that we don’t know enough to rule out plausible explanations that exonerate both ratsara and TW…there really isn’t any smoking gun evidence that overcomes UNISA’s pronouncement that ratsara’s PhD is above board…

(George Tichy) #65

Jeremy, your conclusion is based on the assumption that it was a “fake confession.” If your premise is false, the conclusion is not reliable.

Some time ( probably 2 months?) BEFORE his public confession, a common friend told me that he, the “ghost writer,” had told her and her husband that he wrote it because if he had refused doing it his job would be in jeopardy. And that, yes, he wrote it during work time, therefore it was all paid by tithe payers.

The person who told me that in a private message had no reason to lie, it’s a very reliable person who is well integrated in that community of SDAs workers.

So, FOR ME, the picture is clear, and the ghost writer is not a “fake confessant.” But this is only my personal conclusion.

(jeremy) #66

i agree that premises have everything to do with the reliability of conclusions, which is why we know that so much of evolution and theology cannot be accepted…in this ratsara case, i think our conclusions really do hinge on bonya’s confession, because everything else, including a UNISA investigation, points in the opposite direction…

but at this point it is worth questioning how extensive the plot to overthrow ratsara really was, and how long it had been percolating…if it was extensive, and if it had been brewing for a while, i wouldn’t be surprised if someone susceptible to making a false confession first confessed it privately to friends…such a course would be in keeping with a plan to later confess it publicly…

of course a more basic question to ask would be why bonya didn’t speak privately to TW, or other officials in SID, at the time he felt pressured to write ratsara’s thesis for him, assuming he felt such pressure…he could have done so under the radar, without ratsara’s knowledge…but we have no evidence that bonya tried to remove himself from any kind of pressure at any time…one interpretation of this lack of evidence is that he didn’t try to remove himself from any kind of pressure…another interpretation is that there wasn’t any such pressure, which would explain why he didn’t try to remove himself from it…

then there’s the question of why bonya was the one ratsara picked to write his thesis, if in fact ratsara did coerce bonya to write it…let’s understand that if ratsara needed help with his thesis, he could have hired any number of professionals outside of the church, where the possibility of discovery would be remote…for that matter, he could have been upfront by enlisting the help of his mentor or mentors at UNISA…he could have also availed himself from resources at the GC, which would have been eager to see him succeed with his dissertation…

but despite these alternatives, we are being asked to believe that bonya was the sole and only choice for ratsara to not merely seek advice from, but prey on…i just think this whole situation seems a bit made up and contrived…it is just what someone seeking tragic victim status would latch onto in his mind and try to make happen…and that’s before we add to the mix any calculation of job security and tenure…

but speaking of job security and tenure, there’s the issue of bonya’s continued employment in SID…think about this for a minute, george…if someone confesses to massive fraud and deceit, and if people really believed him, shouldn’t he be ousted from an institution that represents truth…even if redemption is being stressed as a value, shouldn’t there first be some kind of punishment, and in this case, some kind of demotion…after-all, if bonya was a ghost writer, he was an accessory to fraud…he didn’t speak up at the time…he took the easy road of going with the flow, and confessed only when under duress…if there had been no movement against either paul ratsara or paul pharles, bonya would have never confessed…he would have continued on, knowing of his guilt, without being bothered by it…

but we also have to ask ourselves about ratsara’s firm denial…are we really saying that an ordained pastor can come to the point where he willingly closes the doors of salvation for the sake of saving face…make no mistake, ratsara is a lost man if he goes to his grave with such a stain on his life as people are charging him with, if he really is guilty…do you really think it’s likely that someone who’s given his life for service to the church would remain in such a position, and not confess before it’s too late…he’s already been demoted from the SID presidency, and is presumably eligible for retirement…what would he have to lose by making a public confession, and why wouldn’t he make such a public confession, if he really was guilty…

(jeremy) #67

it’s somewhere in the following spectrum article and comments:

i’m looking for it, but it’s a long comment section, replete with videos…it may take awhile…

(Gerald du Preez) #68

Thanks. Will also search.


Hopeson Bonya was likely chosen by Ratsara because he got his degree from Andrews University (I believe Bonya got a doctoral degree from AU):


(George Tichy) #70

I don’t know about you, but in my life I have seen many pastors doing crazy things, even much worse than this.

(Jerry Ngobese) #71

The issues surrounding Ps. Ratsara’s authenticity of qualifications add fuel to the fire that, when the TOC conference was under siege he was an accomplice instead of being a mediator. The courts of the land stepped in and brought steps towards unity, till today SAU, SID and the TOC coup beneficiaries are still not making efforts towards unity, they issued a session date of 24 June without consultation with the Alberton group of TOC.

So this to me is neither here nor there, they (SID,SAU,TOC) are full of hate for Ps. A. Setsiba they are prepared to break any policy or biblical caution to have him silenced and removed for questioning old apartheid style policies in the church.

The island of (Patmos) Madagascar is good for him let him get visions and dreams there…

(Pauluc) #72

Why so certain that Bonya is the dishonest agent in all this? You seem to have concluded that Ratsara and Wilson could not be wrong therefore there must be some conspiracy against them. Without some real transparency no conclusion is possible.

1] We need to have some clear information on the process of investigation at UNISA. What were the parameters beyond determination of style and standard tests for plaigarism. Was there a comparison between the thesis and the SID womens ordination report? Was Bonya interviewed? Was the SID investigation reviewed by the University?

2] We need to see the thesis that has now been accepted by UNISA. Who has it? Why is it not published on the University repository?

3] We need to see the report from the SID on womens ordination.

Can anyone actually clarify any of this with real evidence or are we to be continually in the dark.

(George Tichy) #73

I believe you should be prepared for the latter…

(jeremy) #74

actually I haven’t concluded anything…i’m merely suggesting that the evidence we actually have doesn’t amount to a slam-dunk case…there is no justification for the rush to judgement against ratsara and TW that we’ve seen from certain commenters…

there can be no doubt that pastors get caught up in in various things…one thinks of morris venden and samuel koranteng-pipim, and what was no doubt their pitfalls…but i think evidence has to be clearcut before we can conclude anything, especially in the case of an ordained minister…in this case, unless ratsara actually issues a confession, we can’t really say that his degree is fraudulent, as charged, especially now that UNISA has said that it’s genuine…i think we’re looking at a stalemate: UNISA’s investigation vs. bonya’s confession…

(Tim Teichman) #75

Oh, yes, absolutely. I know may otherwise upstanding people from other cultures who will lie bold-face if it means saving face for themselves or their family. In many cultures saving face is paramount.

This is not dis-similar from the block-voting at the GC, where underlings look to their regional leader for their vote and would not think of voting their own opinion despite instructions to do so.

(jeremy) #76

actually you have a point, tim…honor is everything in many parts of africa…this could be part of why pharaoh hardened his heart so many times with respect to letting israel go…

(Carlo Schroeder) #77

In Mexico the is a expression which goes like this, “he who hold the foot, is as guilty as he who killed the cow”, or guilt by association. We might live in a world which laws are broken as fast as they are made, but that should never be a reason to do as others do. Unfortunately, we needs to see those documents, and because nothing is being presented, I believe there might be a bigger issue. Because at the end of the day, nothing as really happened to anyone, no has been fired. Which means that maybe the GC document was modified into a thesis, money “stolen”, because is was used for personal gain,not for church benefit. Also, doing a thesis is a time consuming thing, so we’re was it done, I think at the SID. This case has blown out of proportion because the involved are incriminating themselves, by there actions. We need to see the original document present a GC, find out who conplied it and howthe view the thesis.


Why should that be surprising, He’s ignored a great deal of other evidence, information, etc.


And here it sits, this situation that makes no sense whatsoever. No dissertation document. No TOSC document to compare. More questions. No answers.

Just crickets.

(George Tichy) #80

This whole situation is an embarrassment and demoralizes not on the GC badly but the whole SDA Denomination as well.
Didn’t we have enough issues with plagiarism in the past in our Church history?Apparently not yet!!! Geeeesh…:nauseated_face:

(Cfowler) #81

Why George, whatever do you mean? :wink::thinking::sunglasses:


How do we keep our balance? I can tell you in one word: TRADITION!