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Pastor Gregory L. Jackson, Ph.D.

6421 W. Poinsettia Drive

Glendale, Arizona 85304-2419

602-334-8014; chemnitz@bigplanet.com




We had four immediate positive responses to the article on WELS’ secret initiation rite, GA. One WELS pastor said it should have been longer and more explicit. Another pastor said how disgusted he was with GA. A third one also described how bad it was.


No one objected to the deep, dark silly secrets of GA being told.


One pastor pointed out that some men who come in through colloquy miss the torture. I was one of those. Those pastors are told they do not really fit in. The Bethany students are also told the same thing, in various ways.


One pastor described the “sermon” at GA as dealing with sex with animals. As you know, Leviticus has some commandments on that. A professor’s son told me that they sang blasphemous songs at one WELS initiation. He objected and it was stopped at that point. But one must wonder why that was considered good fun.


GA contributes to an attitude of elitism that is rooted in deep-seated insecurity. The elitism manifests itself in picking on the children of pastors who do not “fit in.” By that I mean relentless physical aggression.


If I described some matters too closely, some people could be identified. The result would not be contrition but getting even. In addition, it is embarrassing to the victims to discuss what has been done to them. The excuse is “Only the tough survive.” However, any group of cowardly bullies can work over a single victim and drive that person away.


I know of several boys who could not wait to attend WELS schools. One student was locked in the men’s bathroom all night and dropped out because of other incidents. The wife of one prep school president said, “He had a bad attitude.” Another one was driven out by constant bullying. A third boy left school when upperclassmen held him out the window by his feet and then accidentally dropped him, breaking some bones.


GA has been closed down for its sadism on two or three occasions. One of the current seminary professors objected once when GA was closed down temporarily, so do not expect GA to go away soon.


If a lawsuit threatens to close down GA, you can expect the synod to keep the matter a secret. The victim of a WELS vicar successfully sued the former chairman of the mission board, Pastor Fred Adrian, and won a judgment of $400,000. The married vicar considered sexual intercourse with a minor girl a form of pastoral counseling. He is in prison, like the WELS district president Ed Werner.


When the lawsuit was published in the Grand Rapids newspaper, neighboring WELS pastors knew nothing about it. Secrecy has its rewards in this life, but a lack of contrition may have severe consequences in the life to come.