Sunday, July 20, 2008

[EXCLUSIVE] The Wessels Case Against "Dr." Robert Morey And The Research And Education Foundation Briefly Stated

During the early 1990's, Larry and Gary Wessels worked as volunteers for the "Research And Education Foundation (REF)." A record of this is found in the 59 page report "A Brief Pictorial History Of The Research And Education Foundation (REF) 1990-1994." During their service with REF, they were both loaning money to the ministry for videos and other ministry works. They did this in good faith keeping records and receipts of all ministry funds and expenses hoping to be repaid. Larry Wessels who was the most involved with REF loaned $28, 918.26, and Gary Wessels loaned $4,066.91. They spoke with Dr. Robert Morey about the money they were loaning to the ministry. This testimony is documented at Dr. Robert A. Morey Exposed! as both audio and video for all to see. The evidence that Dr. Robert A. Morey knew full well of these loans is clearly seen in the 1992 REF Tax Form prepared by Gary Wessels and signed by none other than Dr. Robert A. Morey himself. This form was even mailed by Dr. Bob with his own handwriting on the envelope. This evidence is found in the 27 page report "The Case Of Truth Seeker Bob's Alleged Amended 1992 Tax Return."

This became a great concern for Larry and Gary Wessels which forced them to negotiate the REF loans with Dr. Bob. To settle the dispute, the Moreys and the Wessels formed and signed a
legal document with their respective lawyers present entitled the "AGREEMENT OF THE PARTIES". When it became clear that the Moreys did not want to pay the Wessels back for their loans to REF, a scandal erupted. Dr. Bob began sending national mail outs slandering the Wessels brothers asking for financial support and accusing them of embezzlement. This is documented in the 3 page report "Robert Morey's URGENT WARNING Slandering The Wessels Brothers" Larry Wessels responds to this in his report "Larry Wessels Letter Responding To Robert Morey's URGENT WARNING," and "Morey's REF Vindicated Slandering The Wessels Brothers." There was an arbitration ruling on this issue between the Wessels brothers and the Morey's regarding the REF scandal. The arbitration board ruling was in favor of the Wessels brothers this is found in the 5 page report "Arbitration Board Declarations." Not only has Dr. Bob not paid off the loans to the Wessels brothers, but he states that they were unauthorized and accuses them of stealing money. Several former members of FCC have attested to Morey's slander of the Wessels brothers referring to them as either the "Russell" brothers or the "Wiesel" brothers.

Since that time, many that were personally associated with Morey and his ministries have now left for ethical problems in Morey's character. Especially with the current controversy involving this blog (The Saint Augustinian), Joel Hughes blog, and OC Weekly to name a few. To get more information you can check the Morey links page. These are people that have been on staff for Morey both with "Faith Defenders" and FCC. Mike and Debbie Stephens who worked with Morey with REF also worked with him in "Faith Defenders" and FCC. The Stephens have attested that Morey has slandered the Wessels brothers over the years. The pdf, audio, and video evidence from the 90's that is being placed on the internet speaks out against the Stephens loyalty to Dr. Bob. But the Stephens have now renounced their loyalty to Dr. Bob and his ministry. They are now on good terms with Larry and Gary Wessels.

I would invite any and all readers who have heard Morey repeat his account of the REF scandal to comment on this blog with their account of what they heard. If anyone has audio of Dr. Bob speaking of this on Bob Morey Live or any other kind, that audio would be appreciated.

More reports on this issue are found at this url and can be subscribed to as an RSS feed.

The mp3s are now also available for subscription as an RSS feed at this url.

God bless you all,
Lieutenant Columbo


Gustavo Arellano said...

I posted about this today. Feel free to disseminate!

lieutenantcolumbo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lenny said...

I suppose some readers will be wondering if Lt. Columbo is telling the truth about the Morey situation re: Morey’s allegations that the Wessels brothers ripped his ministry off of dollars.

After witnessing and learning of the trauma inflicted on many people associated with Robert Morey and in the interest of truth, I can attest that Robert Morey told me over the phone that it was “the Russell brothers of Texas who stole $150,000 from him.” Some might wonder what the background surrounding this was. Briefly I will attempt to explain.

I started attending weekly studies given by Robert Morey around 2001/2002 at a church in Paramount, CA that was letting the Faith Defenders ministry use their facilities. When Robert Morey later started Faith Community Church (FCC) in Lakeside, CA approximately 2 years later, I started attending there since it first began (having discontinued attendance at a Calvary Chapel).

My reason for beginning to attend FCC was like that of many of the attendees. We were fascinated by his gifts of communication and ability to teach on the Holy Scriptures at a deeper level than most of us were accustomed to. Many of us mistakenly thought we couldn’t get this kind of teaching anywhere else, which caused many of us to be blind to many problematic issues surrounding Mr. Morey that we would occasionally notice over time, often at Holy Spirit’s red flagging.

When the church later moved to Buena Park, CA, it was at this time I first noticed that Robert Morey was taking home all of the uncounted offerings (loose cash, checks etc.) that were given to him by a staff member and then placed into Morey’s brief case by himself. When I later brought this up at dinner with some FCC members, they simply dismissed it and said not to be at all concerned about the handling of the offerings to God in this manner (two of these people still attend FCC. One is a crew member. Pray God open their eyes and reveal the truth about FCC to them). I think at the time I asked this staff member about it but I don’t recall the exact rationalization he gave to me as to why the pastor was taking home uncounted offerings (that were given to further God’s kingdom). I brought this up as it bothered my conscience, but in hindsight I suppressed my conscience in order to take advantage of Morey’s teaching (and we trusted Morey at that point). This was a common mindset among Morey’s attendees, to ignore apparent issues to continue taking advantage of Morey’s teaching (many us of now admit this was idolatry and a lust for knowledge).

Around the July 2004 timeframe, I discovered that a letter mailed out by Faith Defenders to long-time supporters mainly for the purpose of soliciting funds to fight Islam, had a “highly” similar word match to that of a document written by a geopolitical/financial author by the name of Larry Abraham. I actually attempted a few different times to communicate with Dr. Morey on the matter to determine how the Faith Defenders letter had such a high (exact, word for word) word match (published June 25, 2004) to something that Larry Abraham sent out to his audience on January 29, 2004. Much to my surprise, Dr. Morey refused to address the matter, simply to say one day in the parking lot outside of FCC in Irvine, “Who’s to say who plagiarized who!” He then drove off in his mini-van. What I found so disturbing about the matter was that the FD June 25 letter made it seem like the written material was that of Dr. Morey’s (and was ASKING for people to send in their hard earned money to FD to so that they could “wage the war against Islam,” when in fact Larry Abraham published something 4 months earlier that appeared to be the original work. (i am not aware of anything like this happening since then) I only mention this because this matter likely led to my becoming a staff member.

Well, about a year later I got a phone call from a staff member saying Dr. Morey wanted to extend an offer to me to join the staff. At first I wondered why all of a sudden I was getting this offer, but I went ahead and accepted to see what it was God might be doing. It was weird because God revealed to my heart I would only be working there a few months, which I didn’t understand at the time why that would be. Later I wondered if the reason for my being asked to join the staff had something to do with what I knew about the Larry Abraham matter (i.e., many politicians will offer jobs to pesty opponents/ competitors in order to gain their loyalty (aka silence) in exchange for wages. The last thing an author wants is for suspicions of plagiarism to get around. And I was only inquiring with Robert as to what his side of the story was).

I started working at FD staff in late June 2005. I resigned officially on 10/10/05. As mentioned earlier, before working at Faith Defenders Church, I became aware that Robert Morey (the pastor) took home the Sunday and Monday offerings in a bank bag. However, I never knew why or what to make of it. Like many, I guess I was caught up in the idolatry of Morey’s teaching, so I just accepted it at the time. In hindsight, an obvious concern is that no pastor should be doing such a thing (in churches of sizeable incomes) as the temptation to embezzle is too great. Further, it creates an appearance of evil. One top seminary graduate told me they were told quite sternly, “NEVER to go near the money and never get involved with handling it. Leave that to deacons/elders… You don’t want to create an appearance of funny business.”

My duties at FD were processing Monday offerings in the computer accounting system; helping in shipping as needed; managing the Crusaders Club; processing dues for Crusaders Club and Sunday Sermon subscriptions; processing on-line orders in computer accounting system; and miscellaneous duties.

When first booking the offering amounts by church members into Quickbooks, I was aware (upon first processing the offerings) that the loose cash was not included in the bank bag I was given, and thus was not being entered into Quickbooks when I processed the offerings. The offering I rec’d only had checks and cash in envelopes (with a person’s name on it). I could only assume that it (loose cash) was remaining at Pastor RM’s residence (for what purpose I did not know). i.e., the checks and envelope donations by a named person were returned to FCC from the pastor’s house to be entered into Quickbooks. Interestingly, no one explained to me how the process works, even though I was a member of the staff. At that point, I didn’t know what to make of the whole situation, except I now knew the uncounted loose cash wasn’t being returned to the church to be entered into Quickbooks, which was HIGHLY disturbing to me. I felt the process needed to be completely changed and my conscience couldn't deal with this any longer. I thought it best though to see what God would reveal (i.e., that He could expose the situation better than I could in His own way -in spirit of Ephes. 5:11). I guess I also didn’t want to be looked at as a troublemaker by elevating the issue at that point, thinking that they’d discount my complaint since I was a new staff member.

God did reveal things in His own way. I learned more about the FCC financial process when a Monday offering was given to me by John Morey on August 23, 2005. When I opened it, it was full of loose cash and checks, in addition to a couple of envelopes with cash in them along with the person’s name on the envelope. John Morey had given it to me without Pastor RM’s being able to go through it (as RM normally would), as I learned from Mr. Morey around 2 pm when I received a pannicky phone call from Mr. Morey inquiring about the offering bag and whether John Morey had given it to me. He said that John took if from the house before he was able to go thru it (Morey had been out late the previous night at dinner with FCC members). Mr. Morey inquired as to if there was much cash in there and I informed him that there was $216 in “loose” cash. He then explained to me that it is normal practice for him to keep the loose cash in a safe at the house for the purpose of emergency funds and petty cash.

He mentioned that he keeps a separate booking or accounting of the funds. The explanation included a recount or rationalization of how the Russell brothers of Texas stole around $150K from his ministry some years back and that this could never be allowed to happen again. He said he didn’t trust anyone after that. (at the time I didn’t know if Morey’s account was true or not, but this was what Morey told me over the phone. Only when a couple brothers got video and audio CDs from the Wessels in Texas some months later that told their side of the story, did I know it was really the Wessels brothers (not Russell) and that apparently Morey had lied about them from what I could tell given the evidence they presented).

To me though, it was God’s money that was stolen, not Mr. Morey’s, which puts a different perspective on the matter. I found this explanation preposterous as surely there are numerous ways to count the cash AT THE CHURCH and to get it entered into the books so that Pastor RM would be confident in the financial statements of the ministry(s). (later I was given even more bizarre rationalizations to justify their financial process, which I detailed in my resignation letter, showing the utter fallacy of each excuse). Would the rationalization of the “Russell Brothers” be accepted by auditors or other pastors? Hardly. If people found out John MacArthur or Chuck Swindoll had standing orders that the loose cash from offerings not be counted and that they were taking it home to hold there in their private residence, how long would they have their ministry once this was exposed? To me, no matter how it is rationalized or justified, my conscience could not deal with their financial process.

I attempted to get them to change their financial process. I sent an email note to the Operations Manager on 9/24/05 requesting that the financial process be immediately changed. In it I requested a new process because the current process was not a sound financial practice to me. It has the appearance of a classic mafia skimming operation. There is no excuse or rationalization one can think of to justify the current process. Dr. Bob has taught us himself that, “a rationalization is a lie stuffed into the skin of an excuse and served up as the truth,” and I was skeptical of their rationalizations.

On 9/27/05, I was asked to come into a meeting with Morey and others (Matt. 18 confrontation) to discuss my concerns. I’m leaving out a lot of interesting details, but in the 9/27/05 meeting RM said, “Oh, and I trusted you with the money. And the pastor I talked to says, ‘You want the money.’ ‘Fire him right away.’” So I was accused of wanting the process changed so I could skim monies myself!

The meeting started off by Morey implying that Satan was filling my mind with all kinds of allegations of evil taking place amongst Mr. Morey and the staff, and that everyone is a crook in essence. I was shocked at this statement by Mr. Morey. My strategy in the meeting was not to challenge anything they said. “Why rebuke the fool.” Thought it better to let Mr. Morey “reveal” who he was and what he was about as I had asked God to reveal this in prayer before the meeting. God has never failed to answer that prayer of revealing in various situations. The meeting was unique. One had to be there to get a sense of the nature of it. The tone Morey was speaking in and the things he was saying was like listening to an arrogant crook who knew he was exposed, but also knew there was no evidence to convict him. i.e., Because of the way the process is set up, no one can prove how much loose cash goes home with him. Thus even if the loose cash figures are added to FD’s main books, know one knows if it’s already been skimmed or not. This points out the inherent problem with this kind of a process, it forces people to be suspicious, which affects their ability to worship, putting them in conflict with Hebrews 13:17.

Needless to say, Mr. Morey tried to “flip it,” flip the guilt and implication of wrongdoing onto me. He tried to make me look like the person in the wrong because I was raising an honest concern about the integrity of the money handling process for $ offerings given by the sheep to glorify God. When they refused to change the process, I resigned in protest. They only changed the process some months later after Morey suspected my resignation letter might be getting around to some FCC members (detailing the entire matter which would shine a very bad light on Morey). As many know, when Morey suspected my resignation letter might be getting around, he chose to deal with the matter (keep others from finding out) by publicly attempting to discredit, trash and slander myself and then Javier's family at an FCC church service, inflicting much trauma and pain upon us. The saints of FCC then cut off contact with us as Morey had instructed them to do. But we knew and trusted God would deal with the situation in His own way.

Well, that’s my brief account, but yes I did personally have Robert Morey tell me that the Russell brothers of Texas stole $150,000 dollars from him (his ministry). I no longer believe it to be true as I first did. Thankfully God has allowed good things to come out of all this (Romans 8:28). This experience has opened the eyes of many and is increasing their maturity in Christ. It is apparent that He is sovereignly acting in this matter. We’ll have to wait to see what happens next. Pray God’s mercy and grace for all parties and people who’ve left FCC as most want to move on to sharing the gospel with people and ministering to other’s needs. I doubt anyone enjoys having to keep talking about this matter, I don’t. We do it though because of Ephes. 5:11 and loving they neighbor, hoping to spare others some of the pain we experienced. I don’t hold any grudge against Bob. He has a lot of knowledge of Scripture, but he got himself into this and will have to deal with God and others on these matters by God’s graces and mercies He extends to all of us. If the people still at FCC want to stay there, that's up to them.

Joshua said...

Glenn and others have reported (in the comments section of the post below) that two of the new elders (Drew and Henry) have now left FCC here:

Bob is again attempting to sweep this fact under the rug.


Dr Morey,
If you are reading this, know that there are many who have loved you, yet you took this as a license to sin.
Be right with God, before we have to see God's wrath pour out in the end.

The Gadfly said...

Here, Here Mosher.