I’ll admit that I don’t know much about Aaron Dean. I was actually hoping to meet him a few years ago at a seminar that he was supposed to give. However, he could not make it, and someone else gave it.
So, I was curious about what people were saying about him. In the past, I’ve considered that if you really want to get to know someone, see what his enemies have to say about him. Unfortunately, it turns out that what that gets you sometimes is little more than slander and lies. So, guess what I got for my effort? It seems that some are willing to slander anyone that disagrees with thier point of view.
Well, I did some more poking around, and I found dueling letters between him and David Hulme that were exchanged before Hulme decided he wanted to be in charge and accountable to no one. It’s posted by an unsympathetic site, The Painful Truth, but it paints a very different picture than the one painted by those who have long ago made up their minds about who’s right and who’s wrong in all of this controversy.
It doesn’t paint a picture of a man who is willing to sell out. Rather than a man who is loyal to a man or a select group of men, this communication comes across as a man who wants only the best for the Church. If he is to be “rewarded for loyalty”, then perhaps he should be as long as it is loyalty to God. I don’t see a man who is afraid to speak out or correct others, even when it is unpopular.
I also don’t see a rebellious man who “disobeyed orders from his boss”. He was censured, but what was his crime? Should he obey rules and regulations that go against the will of God? The God I read about in the Bible wants the truth spread around. If you are given an opportunity to do so, then you are obligated to answer. The Jews threatened John and Peter for speaking, but they disregarded their illegal commands.
Do I have concerns? Frankly, yes. However, those concerns are more about UCG’s reluctance to shun the appearance of impropriety than about who fills the office. For example, if an operations officer is also a member of the council, then who is the real boss here? Is there a potential conflict of interest?
But, as far as the critical comments I’ve seen about Dean, it appears that many of them I’ve seen add up to nothing more than simple slander.
I heard a message on 3ABN recently which mentioned the husband of Adventist "prophet" Ellen White. He supposedly was kicked out of the church a couple of times in the 19th century, then brought back because church leaders decided they needed him.
I was admittedly a bit surprised in 1986 when Aaron Dean was not named WCG Pastor-General. I thought Mr. Dean was the closest one to Mr. Armstrong in those final couple of years. He was certainly the one people heard about in church literature and at services, not Joseph Tkach.
One question at our UCG service today was whether Mr. Dean would have to give up his COE seat to serve as Treasurer. Given the fact that others have done double-duty as COE member and President (such as Clyde Kilough), I would tend to say no.
@Richard: I've heard some similar questions. Roy Holladay was one that tried to set a precedent by resigning from the COE when President. However, Clyde Kilough did not.
I would think that at very least the positions of Treasurer and President need to be full time positions not shared with being a member of the COE. Checks and balances, you know.