So why did I wait three years to write anything on these issues? Why now? There is a principle involved for me. God has given us an example to follow regarding repentance. I believe we are to give three years for the fruit of repentance to bear fruit in matters involving the people of God. We are now digging and dunging with that purpose in mind. Mr. Edwards still has an opportunity to repent. Perhaps now, going into the fourth year, some fruit regarding repentance may begin to sprout in his Life. To attempt this I will give the facts from my true perspective in regards to Port Austin. I have found Mr. Edwards version to be stories that are distorted and deliberately vague fabrications of what really took place on the site of that old radar base. Norm loves to embellish the facts with fiction. It sounds like truth but it is leavened with untruths which in turn makes it all a LIE. We have an adversary in the pages of the Bible who is the "father" of those who do the same kinds of things
It all began during the year 2003 when I shared my thoughts and plans for a school, organic farm, and senior citizens facility with Norm Scott Edwards (Norm, NSE, Edwards or Mr. Edwards hereafter). My mother and I had dreamed of a farm or rural area setting where seniors and widows could live, work and teach younger people in an apprenticeship-type setting. Port Austin’s old radar base seemed to hold good promise but needed a very large investment of time and money to become reality.
I felt that at least 12 voting trustees should be involved in the project through commitment and funding. It never was suggested that this was Norman Scott Edwards’ ministry or that any one person would rule over this ministry. The sacred purpose trust papers that Edwards was commissioned to prepare was to have prevented just that from occurring. We planned for a group of contributors to jointly share in the ministry process with equal voting powers to insure full accountability. Mr. Edwards did not agree, claiming that too many people would cause us to lose control (whose control?.......apparently HIS!). The ministry began with only the four original trustees, Phil Frankford, Paul Drieman, Norman Edwards and Terry Williams. Others were to be added later as support grew, but it never happened.
I had originally planned only to invest about $10,000-$15,000 into this ministry program. Mr. Edwards came up with the idea for us to sell our homes for the project and then to turn that money over to him and his personal bank account in Florida. Why Not? Although Norm stated that his bank account would become the ministries account he would and has always controlled that account in Florida which did not have an EIN number. He also, deceitfully routed all the incoming mail and receipts into his personal mailbox! That was never the concept of the other three trustees. This fact was argueably one of the REAL reasons why Edwards felt he could not work with the other three trustees.
We were willing to move to Port Austin but, we did not plan to sell our homes until we knew things would work out. Paul never said he would or could sell his house as it was possible that his house might not be available for sell. It was at this time that Norm lied telling me that Phil was going to sell his home and give him the money. Apparently he said this to make me believe that Phil would be contributing large amounts of money into this project. The fact that this had been said to me came out in a four-way conference phone call. We were having quite a few conference calls often to discuss how the ministry should operate and be formed. Phil immediately talked with Paul about that lie and indicated to him that was not what he had said. I also had a private conversation with Phil regarding that same matter to confirm the details of what he had told Norm. Phil was not going to contribute any money directly to Norm until the ministry was properly set-up and there had been an audit of Norm’s financial dealings and there was a new bank account. Norm tried later to use this issue to divide Phil and me, causing suspicion between us. I had known Norm for a longer period at that point and time. I felt I could trust him. It was the early stages of getting acquainted with Phil and Paul and I was trying to prove the two of them. All four trustees in telephone conversations agreed on a new bank account with full accountability. All financial transactions with accountability with regular audits by an independent auditing firm is what we wanted and what we all agreed to do. We did not want to assume that "Servant’s News" and Edwards personal financial dealings were "SQUEEKY CLEAN!" as Phil would repeatedly say. It never was my intention to become the principal investor in the Port Austin project or to give $100,000.00 to Mr. Edwards’ personal ministry!
The start of our ministry was waiting for Mr. Edwards to finish the writing of documents that were to be reviewed and signed. Then financial matters became urgent and pressing because Mr. Edwards made a sizeable land contract property payment without the other three original trustees’ approval. We had trusted Edwards to complete the documents and to present them to us prior to any investment payments. The other three of us were waiting on God to give us a clear open door with more investors before making any payments. We had agreed that no business would occur without the papers being signed and filed for the creation of the ministry. NSE promised us ever changing dates for the presentation of the document papers. Continual excuses where given to the trustees when those dates came and passed and the document papers were not presented, signed nor filed. I have many references in my personal meeting notes where NSE told us outright lies, repeatedly! We had given our word to support one another. I thought Mr. Edwards would have lost his investment money if I had not stepped up to the plate and began to make land contract payments.
I found myself pressured into making payment after payment to keep Mr. Edwards from losing his and later my money. Hindsight has proven that Mr. Edward’s unapproved payment was used to "sucker me and the other men in" to begin making payments into the project for the wrong reasons. I did want to invest in the project, but only after our agreed requirements were first met. A few other negative incidents occurred which gave us a feeling of maybe we should not go through with this venture. But at that time I felt I knew Edwards and could trust him. I learned that I had made a wrong assumption about him.
We were suspicious on several points but the financial commitment made by Mr. Edwards caused us to hope that things could and would work out. I had been helping the Edwards family and the "Servants News" for some time and had made a commitment to assist their needs. I provided his sons with a vehicle for school and I helped support the "Servant’s News" and Mr. Edwards feast sites. They had been struggling financially for some time and I wanted to help them as a friend. I thought I knew him and could trust him. I cared for him and his family and I did not want him to lose his money.
Mr. Edwards continued talking about contacting other people. He said he had potential investors from his "Servants News" readership, including his brother. If any money did come in Norm never told us. Norm continued to ask me to write checks. I paid out more and more money to purchase the land contracts for the property.
Norm and I had traveled to Oklahoma City in 2003 to share "our vision" with other groups. Mr. Edwards took over my idea and told others that I was only a part of his plan. He did not want to tell them I was financially supporting the project. He actually asked me to remain silent on this point! What was his motive to ask me not to mention the level of my commitment? Would my silence help get others involved in the project or did that silence convince people that this was Norman Scott Edwards’ new ministry?
Edwards was having numerous private meetings and dealings with Warwick Potts of ELBI (the property land owners). He used hurry-up tactics to keep me from understanding the issues involved. It appeared and he acted as if he thought the issues were to complex or convoluted for me to understand them. He requested ever increasing amounts of checks to be written. He was hiding his true motives, I learned later. I had received a brain injury in a auto car accident which hampers my abilities to multi-task and assimilate information quickly. Trustee, Phil Frankford caught NSE in his hurry-up tactic several times when Edwards demanded signatures without allowing time to read those papers we were asked to sign! That was another real reason why Edwards felt later that he could not work with the other three trustees. He was beginning to be held accountable for his actions!
My photograph with Edwards was taken by Dixon Cartwright during the Oklahoma conference. The article about Edwards’ new ministry (not ours under Christ), was later published by the Journal Newspaper. That article was submitted by Edwards without prior approval of the trustees. Edwards borrowed Phil’s personal computer to send this article to the Journal and then lied to Phil about the content of it. We would not have approved of its contents as it ran in the Journal. The article was embellished and misleading on several points. We were working for our ministry, not Norm Edwards. WE were not Norm Edwards’ staff at his school. We agreed together to have a ministry as co equals completely under Christ, not Norm Edwards. The wording in the written documents was commissioned to make that clear it was to be included in the written documents that we were all a ministry under Christ Jesus. All the figures in the article were exaggerated to be larger than true reality. Edwards included many names of people purely to mislead the reader to believe that much more at Port Austin than actually existed. His version Embellished Plain Truth but it was all just PLAIN LIES.
Now in 2006 I continue to find that I am being accused and implicated by mathematical equation and association, as Mr. Edwards asserts there were two people involved in starting the fire in dormitory #3 at Port Austin, Michigan in 2005. FACT! Drieman and I were not even physically close to the Port Austin area! We were hundreds of miles away from the scene of the fire. This is a classic example of burying simple truths under a continual barrage of allegations of pure fiction. I did not like the implication when I first heard the charges against us and I resent them even more now!!!
A lie told often enough can begin to be believed as actual truth, when told over and over again.. Mr. Edwards continues to mislead his readership with the thought process that somehow Drieman and I, by association, set fire to a building where he was having a music camp. This story diverts the reader away from the true fact that Edwards lied to the other trustees about the Sacred Purpose Trust document papers. And later he filed a bogus set of Trust papers at the Huron County Court House claiming sole ownership of our ministry properties in his name alone!
Mr. Edwards writes to gain support for himself and to justify what he did at Port Austin. FACT! The simple truth is that there were four people traveling from St. Louis, Missouri toward Port Austin, MI at the time of the fire. Five adults are witnesses to the fact that we were at his home the evening before the fire and didn’t leave the St. Louis area until 1:30am on the morning of the fire to drive back to decide how to deal with Edwards theft of our ministry. FACT! We were over eight hours away when we first received word that the fire had taken place. Because Mr. Edwards claimed arson, the fire was investigated by the state of Michigan’s Fire Marshal. Mr. Edwards made reference to two missing kerosene containers as if they were used in the fire. Again, misleading facts! Dorm #3 was now a crime scene investigation. FACT! Accelerants can be detected in the smallest amounts months later if they have been used in a fire! FACT! Whenever there is a charge of arson a thorough fire investigation is conducted by local state officials to determine the true cause of the fire. One of the first things they test for is the presence of any accelerants. were involved to cause the fire! The people doing the investigations have been trained to determine causes of fires! If they had found any suspicious signs the case would have continued but arson WAS RULED OUT! FACT! The investigation concluded that the fire was caused simply from the overheating of old wiring. The fire was determined to have been unintentional. It appears, from what Edwards has written, that he had four containers of kerosene in the building, I assume they were for the kerosene heaters, and that two containers were found still inside the building. They were found melted and burned! My logical thought is this: "who is the one person who failed to carry all four containers outside as they had been told to do" during the fire. My thought is also this: "What arsonist would remain at the site of the fire after they had started it burning. Then when the opportunity occurred picked up two of the containers of kerosene and took them back inside the burning building,…back into the building after they had been carried outside……. (or were they carried back into the building?) with people milling all over the place and the fire department on its way!" Then they just set the two kerosene containers down together and not take the time to dump them all over the place? IT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE. This important piece of useless information" only suggests to me that someone didn’t get all the containers outside as they were asked to! No further investigation was conducted on the part of the STATE FIRE OFFICIALS.
The trustees were aware of the fact that the wiring was FIFTY YEARS OLD AND COULD HANDLE only ONE SPACE HEATER TO A ROOM. Most rooms had signs posted that said "ONE HEATER PER ROOM!" The fire was proven to be caused by the old wiring in a storage room near trash or combustible material! Even one heater might have been too much over a long period of use with old wiring or a loose connection to cause that fire. It is fortunate that no one died from that fire. It is a miracle that the fire "started by itself" in a safer area of the building and no one was injured. Except of course, Mr. Edwards, the hero of that dormitory fire. From what I understand, he received minor burns. FACT! Mr. Edwards knew the circuits could safely have one heater in each room. Did he deliberately ignore this and allowed too many heaters? What other items were plugged into that circuit? Was he negligent in observing the rules and failed to warn guests of the dangers of overloading old wiring. Perhaps he had other equipment plugged into that and other circuits. FACT! Mr. Edwards prides himself on his ability to handle electricity and wiring in general! The cause of the fire was reported to be overloaded circuits. So what was the true cause of the fire? Was it arson or was it negligence?
Norman Scott Edwards was yelling "ARSON!" intentionally casting blame on us. What was his basis for making that conclusion? Did he have some "INSIDE" knowledge about the fire that others he felt and knew an investigator should have found to be a deliberate cause of the fire? I wonder: Is "NEGLIGENCE" A DELIBERATE CAUSE FOR A CRIME WHEN YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER? Who would gain from such a fire? His type of reporting of facts is what Norm has been doing to the rest of us for some time. This causes undue suspicions focused on us. The facts indicate the fire occurred from the over heating of old bad wiring!
The Drieman’s, my Mother and I finally arrived and drove onto the property and parked later that same day, just before dusk. A friend of ours who had helped fight the fire told us how he had heard our names being yelled out by Mr. Edwards accusing us of starting the fire! Our friend told us how he had to spend a major part of that day guarding the burned building, which was now under criminal investigation. He was trying to Keep Mr. Edwards Out Of The Crime Scene! Mr. Edwards was the person continually going back into the building without supervision or permission several times! Norm could have removed or contaminated, destroyed crucial evidence that could have "proven" arson. So if he was so sure it was arson, why should he not have cooperated to help protect the scene of the crime. It should have been in his best interest to cooperate with the investigation and not hinder it. He repeatedly entered the crime scene that he created with his accusation against us.
Edwards, was upset at the findings of the Fire Marshall, so he hired a private investigator to search the crime scene after he had compromised it. I have been told that this investigator of NSE’s choice failed to find any proof to substantiate his claim of arson. Rather than accepting the simple facts of the two investigations, NSE continues to accuse the trustees he betrayed! WHY?..... It takes the focus off the real crime! He is the person guilty of taking possession of the property through lies and deceitful actions.
Mr. Edwards continues to draw sympathy and gain financially from the fire. It continues to provide him with something to write about that diverts attention from him. He even had the unmitigated gall to attempt to evict my 86 year old mother, Ruby Williams, and myself out of our apartment home in the Windy Hills building. We bought that building to house seniors and guests that we had invited to the campus. We were living on the first floor that building when the Edward’s family moved in upstairs. Then they tried to evict us from our home.
Norman Scott Edwards made secret arrangements with Warwick Potts and Laurie Babcock to get his name on the property deed! NSE now claims he OWNS OUR HOME BECAUSE HE LIED TO US AND STOLE IT FROM US! The fire was the excuse the Edwards family were waiting for to move in and take over my building, except for the living area I refused to vacate. He even had my door locks changed and installed surveillance cameras, aiming one of them at the doorway to our apartment intending to intimidate us!
I asked earlier who really gained from that fire. The fact is Edwards is the only one who has gained from the fire in dormitory #3. I hate to stay in my building because Edwards is there. He has "entered" my living quarters on occasions. I know that I cannot keep him out of my living area. I posted "NO TRESPASSING" signs hoping to make that point clear. feel that my apartment has been bugged and they listen to my conversations. It has not been home since they moved into my area of the "neighborhood". So with the fire and the innuendo that Drieman and Williams were involved, Edwards has continued his appeals for more money. By creating his own version of the facts and using them to justify his actions, he has convinced many ""He had to do what he did", He makes it sound like he never had a choice to keep his word and do what he promised. Edwards had begun by evicting Phil Frankfort and Paul Drieman and then he attempted to evict me through the court system. During one trial where Edwards was seeking a judgment against Phil Frankford and Homer Kizer, he told the judge he alone planned this whole take over, by himself.
Mr. Edwards is the person who started the escalation of court cases, not I nor the other trustees. I filed a lien against my own property in an attempt to protect my investments I paid into the Port Austin project. I have spent thousands of dollars in attorney fees trying to protect what I have invested into the project at Port Austin. I do believe any personal arrangement from Edwards for payments on what he has taken from me will only end up in bankruptcy court and I’ll get more empty promises from him. I have proven that I cannot trust Norman Scott Edwards.
Some have asked why Edwards and I have not spoken about the matters at Port Austin. Those persons need to understand that there have been several conversations between us where Mr. Edwards and I have spoken about the matters at Port Austin. I have told NSE what he did was wrong and ungodly. He needs to repent of his actions against his brethren and stop misrepresenting the facts to our brethren. He’s unrepentant and he has a pride in what he feels he has accomplished. He continues to justify his deceitful sinful actions. In my opinion the following statement in bold sums up the reasons why Edwards did what he did!
The Port Austin Project was always going to be a Norman Scott Edwards’ production in ministry! The feasts held in Port Austin are known as "Norm’s Feasts", a great way to draw people and money to his ministry! This was his chance to redeem his name before his colleagues with something respectable. Edwards needed another chance after Y2K left him with egg on his face and "Servants News" began losing its allure. Port Austin would be a chance to go out with a big name ministry and provided a new subject to use to solicit funds for his dwindling bank account. Port Austin never had a chance to be "OUR" ministry under Christ! Not With NSE!
My Conclusion: Edwards continues to gain unwarranted sympathy and donations from the fire in dormitory #3 and to offend this writer and the other trustees with words that attempt to implicate us. Since he is so sure and continues to be so adamant that there was a crime. Could it be possible that he set the fire himself and is determined to implicate others for something he knows was a criminal act for which he alone is responsible? By claiming falsely, that we were somehow responsible for starting the fire he continues to divert attention from what he has done. The two reports indicated faulty wiring. We found out that special efforts were required to keep Norman Scott Edwards out of the crime scene after he demanded that an investigation be conducted. What did NSE do once inside the crime scene that was designated and, taped off, by the fire officials SO NO ONE COULD ENTER! Did NSE remove something from the crime scene he altered evidence that might implicate him? Did he try to plant evidence to implicate us? Is that why he is so upset because investigators did not find what he wanted them to? One has got to wonder why he went in and what did he do? Who can substantiate his version? Edwards loves to write and tell stories. No one really knows what Mr. Edwards did inside that building before it was investigated for arson. I am sure he will tell us his version of his story. But that is all it will be ever to me, a pure fiction novel based on a real fire, because I know he’s a liar who believes his own lies. I can’t believe him! Only our Heavenly Father knows for sure!
Be Sure Your Sins Will Find You Out, Mr. Edwards! You have been the one of the four of us who could not be trusted to keep his word! You’re the one I can’t trust now! I loved you as a brother and I tried to help support you and your family for several years and this is how you treated Mother and me! I am thankful that I can forgive you. You did not have to do what you have done to me and the other trustees and you have done nothing to make it right. Remember the one check for $1,200.00 you wrote to repay me for the money I paid Karl Krull? IT WAS MADE OF RUBBER AND IT BOUNCED! If you had taken accounting classes you would have learned that you shouldn’t write checks without sufficient funds to cover them. Why didn’t you write your readers about that fact? You certainly qualify as a false shepherd and a biased journalist! The article about you on "falseshepherds.com" does a great job exposing your short-comings as a minister and journalist. You should live according to the standards you tell others they should live by! You boasted in court that you planned these things all by yourself! You began lying from the very beginning and said what you thought we wanted to hear but you never intended to keep your word. You planned all along to keep the trust papers from us! You planned and were deliberately vague in giving us answers for those delays in presenting to us the Sacred Purpose Trust papers. You never kept your word nor your promises! You planned for a long time to establish yourself as sole trustee over the ministry you stole! You planned this and made arrangements to win at any cost! Shame on you! Norm, shame on you!
Thank You for reading this paper