DETECTING FALSE SHEPHERDS
USING PHYSICAL EVIDENCE
My wife and daughter were driving down the main street in a town near our home, when they were struck in the front passenger side by a vehicle entering from a side street. The woman got out of her car screaming, “Did you see them hit me? They hit me!” My wife and daughter were in a state of shock and thankful no one was seriously hurt. They quietly waited for the police to arrive while this woman told the crowd of how she had been hit. A patrolman soon appeared and wrote down the events as they were told to him and later filed his report on the accident. I got a copy of the report and read how we were at fault. The report said we had struck the other vehicle, yet it was our car that had been knocked into the other lane of traffic. In spite of all the witnesses, the written report was false. The lady with all her yelling had influenced the truth. She had made it look like it was our fault.
Except for my wife and daughter, we had no one to support our story. There was another witness however, the car itself. I went home and took many pictures of the damaged areas. The front had been hit so hard from the side that it busted out the front fender on the drivers side also, bad enough they would not fix our car. It was totaled! The other vehicle had less damages and could be repaired. We were threatened with her medical injuries and lawsuit, while my wife and daughter began having severe headaches and pains in the back and neck regions. Doctor bills began piling up on us! The insurance companies looked at the pictures and studied the facts and who had the right-of-way and came to the correct conclusion. The pictures I took told a story different from what was heard and filed by the policeman. What was first heard and then put into print was not supported by hard evidence. It was completely false. The report contained bits of truth about the accident, but came to a wrong conclusion having been influenced by someone who wanted to benefit all she could from the accident. It took time, some pictures, and people willing to look at all the facts to prove who was at fault. It took hard evidence and a review of those facts to decide our innocence.
It’s been almost two years since the accident and yet we pay for being involved. The other company recognized guilt but paid low vehicle value. We couldn’t replace our car. My wife and daughter got help for a time, but no settlement. My daughter was traumatized by the event and lets others drive anytime she can coax them to. My wife hurts so bad at times she can’t sleep or hardly move her arm and shoulder. We can’t forget that accident as long as we still suffer. We have learned this woman had done this before and knew what she was doing. We didn’t know, but she knew! She started yelling first!
It’s been over two years since four men came together to form a new ministry at Port Austin. Some believe that the work up there is a good thing and that Norman Scott Edwards had every right to do what was done. Others who have researched the matter carefully have concluded that he is guilty of betrayal and broke a number of laws in the state of Michigan. One question has been asked many times, “Who supports him?” All I can say is that most people don’t know what he really did or don’t think he is any worse then others who have gone before him. They wonder what’s true, but have been influenced by the reports that have been written. I had one tell me “so what, they’re all crooks, they get paid to speak and get more for good looks!”
What happened is now a matter of history and not mere speculation anymore. What will we find in looking back on it? Shouldn’t Norman Scott Edwards, (Norm from this point on), set the criteria? Can we investigate and uncover facts that would show motives for what went wrong? Will Norm help us uncover those facts in answering the question, “What Is The Truth?” FACT: Norm is in control of Port Austin. This may be the best place to begin looking for truth. Norm got everything and the others got nothing. Let’s see how Norm did this. Let’s examine what Norm did or did not do.
In the Shelter In The Word Jan/Feb issue 2001 is an article by James R. Steinle about false shepherds and how we can use scriptures to develop a test to see if someone is a true servant of God. James writes, “From these scriptures we can see that some signs of false shepherds are (1) They falsely prophesy in God’s name. (2) They attempt to become wealthy by teaching or preaching. (3) They love to be recognized as preeminent over others. (4) They try to stop brethren from associating with other brethren. (5) Be Liars (6) They will probably claim to be a righteous servant of God. This is a good list to test anyone in ministry. Is he a true servant of God or not? A false shepherd could covet control of a ministry and be capable to do anything, even break laws, commit fraud, deceive other believers, and tell lies to cover up the truth, right? A false shepherd could, but did Norm?
Norm’s a writer so let’s see what he has to say about writers. From the Shelter In The Word Jul/Aug issue 1999 Norm writes, “It is the job of writers- those people who convey information to others, to convey accurate information that will help the people who receive it. If they tell only part of the story, or tell outright lies, to make people believe and do what they want, then they are deceiving them and really serving themselves.” I’ll pick the shortest of the summaries Norm wrote. It’s only twenty-six points long and I will not respond to any points after number (pt.18) at this time, because Norm had decided to complete his takeover of the ministry and that is enough to be said.
(pt. 1). Makes it clear Norm knew the people in charge of Port Austin already.
(pt.2). Seems to say that Norm brainstormed this concept, it does not say that Terry Williams had been involved for quite a while with Norm supporting the “Servants News” and financially helping Norm. Terry would say that he and his momma, Ruby, had had this idea for a very long time and that as Terry shared his ideas with Norm, Norm took over the idea.
(pt.3) Is correct.
(pt.4) Is correct
(pt.5) Is correct. I would insert that we did not agree to work for Norm, but with Norm in ministry being fully accountable to each other before God. We were never his staff.
(pt.6) The phrase (heavily edited by Edwards), what’s this? Terry wrote this article. Why the insert? How does this affect how the reader thinks? If Norm helped Terry with the article does he need the publicity? Norm does this type commenting frequently. We had a plan to begin the process of becoming a ministry. There was a date to begin conducting business. We all agreed that no business would be done until the paperwork was in place to establish a legal entity for the ministry. Norm volunteered to take the lead on this project establishing his control over the following events.
(pt.7) The main problem was the one promise Norm never kept. As noted above, we all agreed that the paperwork would be in place before any business was conducted. This meant that we had to get copies of the sacred purpose trust papers that would become the new ministry. We would then read, discuss, correct, sign and file these papers. Those papers never came to Phil, Terry, and I, only excuses! Norm made sure that a trust with four trustees was never signed? It never happened! Yet, we all gave our word to each other and promised it would happen, and Norm was the one in charge of this project. Norm only gave us excuses. It took Terry Williams, Mark Carr, and myself three days to complete the same process recently. We reviewed everything Norm had done at Port Austin in creating a document similar to what we expected Peter Kershaw to create. After six months, Norm filed his one trustee, six-page document proving what he had planned to do.
He broke his promise, his word, by never submitting a set of trust papers for us to review or sign. This has been, and always will be, the primary issue that became irreconcilable.
(pt.8) Here’s a big lie set up to direct one’s thinking toward compassion and pity for Norm and against the rest of us. Money was an issue as everyone would guess. How to raise it was discussed many times, so was how that money would be managed. It was discussed to include more partners into the beginning stages. Terry wanted twelve trustees right away to share the tasks of organizing and finances. Terry Williams made it clear to us that he did not want to be so heavily involved financially, if we could just get more people. Phil Frankford and I agreed, maybe seven then because Norm didn’t want any more. Norm said lets just get enough money together right now to get the contracts signed, maybe he could borrow from his brother…then we would enroll other people. Terry could borrow against his house, and credit cards. Terry was unsure about the large payments that would soon be required. Norm assured Terry that Phil would help by selling his house. When Phil heard Norm make that statement he called me and made it very clear that he never said he’d sell his house and give Norm the money as things were now. Phil had no plans to contribute while Norm controlled the bank account in his name alone and controlled those finances. Phil has a friend who worked with Norm for years. That person told Phil to make sure that nothing was done illegally and to be careful what he was getting into. At this time, Phil and Norm exchanged many communications over unethical conduct; IRS tax issues, insurance, and being squeaky clean in the eyes of the world. It was Phil’s position that none of us consider ministry money our money. Phil felt that everyone who became part of the ministry should be self-supporting with job, pension, or be given a chance to work and receive pay for that work that was over and beyond the ministry. Phil wanted nothing to do with Norm’s past money associations including his unnumbered Florida bank account. There would have to be a clean break from Norm’s past since we didn’t know what had been done before. As for my wife and I, we would never have made a commitment because we couldn’t sell and donate that which was not ours. I promised my time, talents, and tools to the project. What I had to offer was never an issue of unequal commitment. We gave that which we had to offer. Our positions for becoming trustees were based on the assumptions that each of us was a true believer who would keep his word in doing what we said we would do. A trustee’s position was never something you could buy. It was to be based on an individual’s walk with God. Terry’s commitment has never been in question and Phil’s has not either as these two men have kept their word and promises as we spoke them to each other. You may ask Terry and Phil their views of my commitment.
In (pt.12) below, Norm says he never interfered with other’s getting their work done. He says he has proof. If someone does not do as that person promises or if that person is unwilling to do what the group votes on and majority has voted to do is this not interfering with others? Norm never relinquished sole control of the mail and money. When we agreed that two people should open the mail and count the money, Norm rerouted the mail to his private box and had someone there to intercept the mail each day. Norm has said that I never produced a written plan for this to be done. I ask if wanting open accountability for counting the money of a ministry needs a written plan? The issue here is Norm interfering with an issue that had been voted on. The agreement had been for two witnesses.
In short: Norm had total control on the mail and money without any joint co-operation as we had agreed to with full accountability. Norm never produced a financial report to the trustees for review. He alone has spent who knows how much on “who knows what”, money that was designated for that ministry. Norm promised Terry for help on paying off his debt incurred in (pt.9) below. Norm avoided giving Terry an answer to his question by diverting the subject when Terry asked how much had come in at the Feast of Tabernacles 2004. Terry had every right to know. Norm never gave him an answer. As of today, Terry William’s has had to sell his house to satisfy that high interest debt incurred in the purchase of property at Port Austin and wonders how he could have been so naďve. The one check he received from Norm could not be cashed for lack of funds. Fortunately, in an article written by Tommy Willis called “Emotionalism Dethrones Reason” “Shelter In The Word” Jan/Feb issue 2001, we find the answer. I quote “We need to be careful not to allow our emotions to dictate our actions. If we do, we can make havoc in our lives; it shipwrecks our thinking. Terry, Phil, and myself wanted to believe in this and wanted it to work so badly we made poor decisions. No excuse here. Tommy Willis continues: “Whether it is Church organizations or secular institutions we are a part of---we cannot let them do our thinking for us. All matters must be checked out thoroughly as God tells us to do: 1Thess.5:21 Test everything. Hold on to the good.
Phil Frankford will suffer loss of equity in buildings he was purchasing to establish business capitol and jobs. When Phil contacted Norm about several job opportunities in computers. Norm declined.
(pt.9) Norm did do this without the approval of the other trustees and this should have spelled the end of our association with him. Why not? In the time line of events as to how well we new each other Terry Williams was not real well known to Phil and I. Phil wanted nothing to get done financially until we were a legally recognized ministry. He stood firm against Norm on this one. My commitment was one of time and talent and what Norm and Terry worked out between them was not my area of greatest concern as it did not change what I did each day. I mowed grass, cleaned rooms, fixed plumbing, etc. After signing the purchase agreement with ELBI, Drieman (that’s me) stayed up at Port Austin for two months taking care of the property until others could come. I gave my word. Keeping that promise was how Terry Williams and I became close friends. Terry wondered, “who is this guy who just stays up at Port Austin with just a suitcase and doesn’t complain about being there”? Terry and Ruby began to come up and keep me company. (pt.9) Why would Norm do this? Norms giving money now bought time as it diverted attention away from why the sacred purpose trust papers had not been seen or signed yet. The rest of us hadn’t put up any money. We’d have those papers real soon as Norm kept promising, and promising, and promising. This was just a small problem that would be fixed in time for the land contract signing. Really? Guess what! The trust papers did not arrive before the land contracts had to be signed and now there was a problem…. Norm had his money down and he’d lose his money if we didn’t sign. So we signed and Terry went into debt and Norm promised Terry he would receive help in repayment on his credit card payments …and never has. Had this event happened after I had gotten to know Terry better and had seen Norm in action in other things it would have ended here. BUT IT DIDN’T!
Before the land contract got signed, we had many long three-way and four-way phone conversations for hours at a time. We were always in meetings. We got words and that came short of results.
(pt.10) This is a nail in the coffin of damnation against what Norm says later in that he says the trust was not in place, yet here he writes acknowledging working on behalf of the trust. We were the trustees! The papers signed on this date were by four trustees… not three…. Not two….. and certainly, NOT BY ONE! Liber 1048 at the courthouse is proof of how the trust was to be because that’s how this land contract was filed! This document is hard fact to the promises we made to each other. Only Norm broke this promise. The only reason we did not have a trust signed and in place is NORM! And Norm Alone!
Something else, Norm brings up frequently about the creator of the trust and includes his involvement later in (pt.19) using the creator as one of the people to whom he gave his hard fought, long prayed over, decision to become the sole trustee. In a paper written by Royce Mitchell Jr., about events at Port Austin, he says only the creator can name the original trustee(s) to a trust. Is this fact? Is Royce a trust authority or passing on erroneous information given him by Norm? Royce acknowledges receiving documents sent to him from Norm. The creator of the trust papers is Peter Kershaw. Peter was paid to write the trust papers according to Norm’s directions. Peter never made a trust with four trustees on it. He had never done what the four trustees had agreed upon, yet that’s all he’d have had to do so we could read and finally sign the trust. The only one working on our behalf was Norm in this area at this time. So who made the decisions that never allowed a four-trustee trust set of papers to be written? You buy a car made by GM. Does GM tell you who has to drive it or how many drivers you must designate? No! They just build the car. Why? For money! If you want a custom car they will do everything just as they are told to do! The same applies to Peter Kershaw. Peter’s loyalty to Norm is based upon the fact that Norm paid him and Norm got exactly what Norm asked for and not what we agreed to.
(pt.11) After reading this I thought, “that Norm is incredible, a real one-man show!” I didn’t realize just how much we needed him and how little he needed us. Where are the hundreds of hours spent mowing grass and fixing and cleaning and cooking that just are missing from my memory, and my wife’s, and my daughters’ and Terry’s? If Norm says that we did so very little does that make it so. Phil worked his job and had his boys during this time frame, yet he made arrangements to buy the buildings across the road for business reasons that could provide industry for the ministry.
Every building at Port Austin needed lots of work. I had come equipped to do five major projects. Everyone knew I wanted to first repair the leaking roofs. Everyone also knew I have a bad back and suffer much from having broken it. This story has another angle (pt.8a) where Norm accuses me of bringing up only half my tools. He is absolutely correct! The truck that we loaded, careful to bring only half of my tools, was already hauling Bill Buckman’s belongings from South Dakota. We could only bring a partial of our personal goods. I wonder why Norm left out that detail, maybe it’s because he frustrated the group about who was going to pay for the gas to get Bill. We had agreed that all new people would have to make their own moving arrangements. Norm made the arrangements for Bill and made it appear that Bill was to pay his own way, both ways, to and from St. Louis, but when my wife and I were told to go get Bill we didn’t have any money from Norm or Bill to get from St. Louis to Bill’s. Norm told us Bill would have the money for us up there to pay us for what we spent coming from and going back to St. Louis where Phil would then pay to get us back to Port Austin. Things were bad at this time, just before Norm filed his sole proprietorship of the ministry. We went on prayer believing that God would deliver and protect us. Our prayers were answered by a gift of gas and some money in Sioux City, IA by some believers that allowed us to make it to Bill’s house near Rapid City, S.D. We never told them of our situation. We did thank God! Bill was surprised about our needing money to drive back and said he’d wish he’d known ahead of time about the money. Bill allowed us to use a credit card for the return trip.
I guess I did fail to get all my tools up to Port Austin. Norm was correct!
(pt.12) An interesting insert. What’s Norm trying to say? I think (pt.12) should begin, “Edwards did not get a copy of any trust papers to the other three trustees at anytime as promised by him. Edwards did have a copy that removed Terry at one time and then a copy where he removed Phil at another time. Norm did this deliberately knowing the three of us would never agree to either copy. The copy without Phil was shown to Terry and a copy given to him just before Norm filed his solo signature copy of only six pages. Terry was told Drieman would receive a copy of this trust. Another lie as Drieman never received any copy.
Williams, Frankford, and Drieman have reproduced copies of these copies that were never presented to the group, and copies of memos where Norm promises that he has the trust and will get it to us, and will show them to anyone interested.”
(pt.13) Norm is so correct! I believe court will prove many things shortly when Terry’s case goes to trial. All of these allegations may or may not need to be explored. I don’t believe exploring them now to be in Norm’s best interest. As to the director, Norm has indicated things were becoming increasingly difficult. How about shouting matches at times? We didn’t have our trust papers signed. Lots of people upset and disappointed in Norm’s promises and no documents. While my wife and I were returning from South Dakota a decision was made to ask me to be a director over the ministry indicated in the sacred purpose trust. The trust is the document that told what we were to be as a ministry. Norm knew that if that paper did get signed by all four of us he would never be able to be take over. Asking me to be director was to put order to the meetings and to have a contact person for the ministry. I believe Terry Williams should respond to this point also. There is at this time two distinct groups, Norm’s family and Anna, and Bill (Norm’s good guys), Norm’s position on the internet being supported by many people writing articles from firsthand knowledge that was told to them; and the rest of us who had come to Port Austin believing that Norm was a good guy are now labeled the bad guys for finally standing against Norm and his methods of takeover.
(pt.14) A simple answer, no trust is signed and in place. We have to be a legal ministry! Where’s the trust papers, Norm?
(pt.15) Simple answer, Homer is an individual who does not like being lied to. He heard a phone call, while cooking hotdogs on the grill, where Norm kept asking Peter Kershaw, (assumed through context of talk), if a trust could have only one trustee? That’s not what was agreed to and not what Norm promised to produce, but it appeared that’s all we would get. Side point: Everything Homer wrote about Norm is now a matter of historical hard evidence, save one point. Here the Bible indicates that as a man thinks in his heart he has committed the crime (Mt.5: 28). No hard evidence exists apart from actions witnessed on property that Homer and Terry felt inappropriate for a married man or anyone who would be a trustee or teacher and a statement where Norm said if he committed adultery and asked for forgiveness, we’d have to forgive him. Homer felt that writing about this might keep it from happening. Let none of us judge Norm guilty on this matter for Norm writes on this and all matters of life. In the “Servant’s News” Jul/Aug issue 2001 page 19, “God will judge everyone’s work.” He knows all truth.
This article is not about Phil Frankford apart from being one of the four trustees. I believe Phil was wrong to take up this issue as he did. The process to remove a trustee was to be outlined in the trust papers that were to be in place. Never was any decision making to be Norm’s alone. The fact that Norm made key administration decisions without the other three trustees disqualified him from being a trustee! His inability to keep promises about the trust papers disqualified him. Another point here is the control being exercised by ELBI over the whole affair. It does show that more was going on between Norm and Warwick Potts in private conversations.
(pt.16) Norm is correct on this one. I did stop talking to ELBI, but why? In a phone call from Warwick Potts, he instructed me to get rid of Homer and Phil out of the ministry and off the property or I would be excluded from the ministry. Warwick told me that ELBI only recognized Terry and Norm as trustees at this time! It seems that ELBI felt a trustee was only someone who gave money. Was he my boss? Was the giving of money some method of buying a trustee position? Warwick knew there were always four trustees in the dealings we had previously. I was really hurt to know that all my worst suspicions were true about Norm and ELBI. I never spoke again to Warwick and I didn’t do what he asked. I felt we were friends, but he crossed a line of conspiracy that had been suspected and was now confirmed.
(pt.17) is easy in that the addition or removal of any trustee had to go through a voting process according to the sacred purpose trust, oh yeah, Norm never produced one. The only trustee removed from office was and is Norm. We voted him out! He’s the one who was and is the one we couldn’t trust.
(PT. 18) is only further developments on this same topic confirming
So how does Norm score on the test for false shepherds that James Steinle wrote? Do you score high or low? How many points does one need to be a true servant? How about a false shepherd? Remember, it is what we think, say, and do; as we will all stand before God. We are all caught! We better be caught for doing good, keeping our word from a pure heart. My question is, “Is the one who is the founder of the ministry at Port Austin a true servant of God or just another false shepherd controlling his own flock for his personal fleecing through ministry?
Let me conclude with quoting Norm from his article A World of Lies “The biggest problem I have in this research is finding: “What Is True?”
“Are our governments trustworthy? Ever since President Nixon was forced to leave office due to the “Watergate” incident, Americans have realized that their leaders do not always tell them the truth about important issues. President Bill Clinton took public lying to a whole new level with numerous lies and deception to the entire country over television and in court testimony. Was he removed from office? Is there a great public outrage at this?”
“As I struggle to find the truth about events in our world, these scriptures keep burning in my brain:
Ex.20:16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor (NKJV)
Jn.8:32 Then you shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Jer.5:31 The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?
Rev.22:14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. (15) But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie (NKJV)” unquote.
I want to finish this article by agreeing with Norm when Norm said, “God will judge everyone’s work. Trust God. Don’t follow a man!” amen.
Paul D. Drieman
44 Sleepy Ln.
Wright City, MO 63390