The Inevitable Growing Pains
o what's not to like? The problems all seem to begin and end with the same subject: MONEY. While some have criticized The Prophecy Club® for charging a gate fee just to get in, there is nothing inherently wrong with such a practice. After all, in most cities in America, it costs $6-10 just to go to a movie. There is certainly nothing wrong with seeking to redirect that discretionary entertainment dollar towards a worthy cause - especially one as urgent as the last days truth about Bible prophecy. Unfortunately, it's more complicated than that.
Even though the attendees pay a gate fee to get in to the event, an offering is always taken. The local master of ceremonies, or emcee, would commonly tell the crowd we're going to ask for an offering to benefit the ministry of the speaker. The problem is, those offerings do not actually end up in the account of the speakers - they go into The Prophecy Club® coffers as they are part of a compensation program developed by the PC that guarantees a minimum amount of revenue for each speaker. Guest speakers on The Prophecy Club® tour are usually paid a flat speaking fee, and the associated costs of the tour are assumed by the corporation.
Several speakers on the tour were notably disturbed by the inherent dishonesty of the practice of taking an offering while seeking to give the impression the funds are a straight gift to the speaker. Although a cynic might perceive they wanted a larger "piece of the pie," the truth is many PC speakers are outstanding and honorable men of God that were alarmed at the deception as the crowd showed their appreciation of his ministry through the giving of monies that weren't being directed as it was being represented.
More than one speaker approached Stan Johnson with the ethical discrepancy - with indeterminate results. The usual story was it was an isolated incident, or someone misunderstood, or 'don't worry, we'll take care of you.' In at least one case, a speaker was dropped from the circuit in the middle of his tour - apparently because he asked some uncomfortable questions about the financial proceeds of the various events.
In recent times, the donation plea has been carefully re-phrased in an apparent effort to give the impression the funds are to be used for the ongoing work of The Prophecy Club®'s efforts (which would include the speaker), while providing enough plausible deniability if it is subsequently determined the guest speaker never actually received the financial gifts.
THE VAN ASPEREN DEBACLE
Although the PC has had a few speakers that were barely orthodox in their prophetic outlook, the low point was clearly a man named Tom Van Asperen. Initially received with great enthusiasm in the various cities he spoke at during his stint on The Prophecy Club® tour, in some places Van Asperen began espousing clearly blasphemous theories. As if that wasn't enough, the gregarious Mr. Van Asperen has been repeatedly accused of being a sexual predator by a number of women associated with the tour.
In at least one telephone inquiry regarding Tom Van Asperen, Stan Johnson indicated that Van Asperen was dropped from the tour for "sexual escapades." Christian Media has been told there were approximately seven different infractions of this variety.
On a theological level, one Prophecy Club regional coordinator that had invited Mr. Van Asperen to stay in her home during his speaking engagement to her town actually threw him out, when he suggested that the trinity was composed of the Father, the Son, and Allah. Unfortunately, it gets worse.
I now have direct knowledge that more than one young and impressionable Christian that was introduced to Tom Van Asperen on The Prophecy Club® tour has been taught that the various scriptures speaking of the temple's "outer court" and the "holy place" are actually referring to portions of women's genitalia. This blasphemous lie is only part of a larger teaching that is so pornographic I dare not repeat it in print.
Apparently, Van Asperen even related this particular perversion to a 16 year old Christian girl that is related to one of the regional coordinators.
The gradual unveiling of Tom Van Asperen's true nature was followed by revolts from several PC coordinators around the country that refused to distribute Mr. Van Asperen's media materials in their respective locales. In California, one volunteer shipped Tom Van Asperen's material back to Kansas saying she felt his work was clearly unscriptural. (For a detailed refutation on the "twice speak" prophetic system of Tom Van Asperen, see our ProFile Sketch on that subject.)
In that particular instance, Stan Johnson reportedly turned around and shipped the Van Asperen materials right back to California and insisted they were to be sold at an upcoming PC event. At this point in time, other volunteers in the PC were complaining about Van Asperen as well.
By January of this year, one of the better speakers on the PC circuit, Henry Gruver (who was actually the first speaker to tour with The Prophecy Club®) gave Stan Johnson an ultimatum: Van Asperen goes, or I go. Although Van Asperen was finally dumped from the tour, the ever popular Mr. Gruver hasn't toured with the PC since that time.
Incredibly, in spite of the obvious inconsistencies in Tom Van Asperen's "ministry," The Prophecy Club® continues to distribute his videos.
WE'VE GOT TO MOVE THESE REFRIGERATORS
Over the course of the last nine months, as criticism of Mr. Van Asperen continued to mount, numerous inquirers at the PC headquarters were repeatedly told that Tom Van Asperen had been removed from the tour and his materials were no longer being sold. This was a flat out lie, for the TVA materials were still being offered in The Prophecy Club®'s print catalogue in the first quarter of 1999.
Even after the summer PC catalog dropped the TVA titles, The Prophecy Club® website was still selling the same apostate materials as recently as June 1999. It is now documented that Van Asperen materials were offered at a Milwaukee Wisconsin PC event on July 12th 1999. All the while the front office was telling critics they no longer carried Mr. Van Asperen materials because of his apostasy.
Christian Mediaexpects that somewhere down the road all Tom Van Asperen media offerings will eventually be dropped by The Prophecy Club®, but if you hold out long enough, they'll probably offer a sharp discount - just to move any remaining inventory. Maybe they can call it a fire sale.
Because the PC circuit provides extensive visibility for their guest speakers, Tom Van Asperen was able to connect with a large number of believers that are now in direct contact with his 4th Angel Seminars "ministry." An untold number of young Christians are now in the grasp of this apostate who can only be referred to as a cult leader. The incredibly slow response time and continued recalcitrance on the part of The Prophecy Club® clearly leaves them with some form of liability - certainly in the spiritual sense if not legal.
Indeed, this writer knows of at least one family that has discussed litigation against the PC on these grounds. Meanwhile, there are an unknown number of Christians that, acting on the advice that they received by Tom Van Asperen through his Prophecy Club appearances, have fled to Belize in anticipation of a universal destruction of the USA. This at a time when TVA stayed behind in the states with promises of joining his hapless followers at some future time.
THIS IS OURS - GO AWAY
The Prophecy Club® has come under increasing criticism in recent months over their exclusionary policies regarding other ministries. During my last two national speaking tours, I encountered stiff resistance whenever I had contact with The Prophecy Club®. Because many of the PC speakers have propagated an urgent last-days oriented prophetic worldview similar to my own, I mistakenly ASSUMED that The Prophecy Club® national leadership people were fellow-servants in the struggle to get the word out to the sleeping church. I was wrong.
For example, as I was setting up my 1998 national speaking tour I was trying to locate an individual in the Dallas area who had told me years ago he would be delighted to offer tour support if I ever came to his area. He had been a coordinator with The Prophecy Club®, but since I had misplaced his phone number I called the PC Topeka Kansas headquarters. At the time, I felt they would probably have his number, and since Stan Johnson had previously approached me with a preliminary dialog concerning having me tour for the PC, I felt comfortable placing the call.
Furthermore, since I do 2 hours a day on short wave, satellite, and Internet Radio, have published two national prophecy periodicals (The Apocalypse Chronicles for the last 7 years, and Christian Media for over 15 years) which have been sent regularly to Stan Johnson for several years, on a complimentary basis, I assumed someone there would be familiar with my ministry.
The woman, who answered the phone frostily, informed me the individual I was seeking was no longer associated with the PC in any way. I then asked if they could put me in touch with his replacement in the Dallas area. She responded with "we can't give anyone any names or phone numbers." I asked to speak to Stan, but was instead put through to a man named Dan who said he would speak to me. He repeated the blanket assertion that no help or friendly cooperation is available to anyone outside of The Prophecy Club®, under any circumstances.
"Dan" is apparently a man named Dan Shore, who has been repeatedly described by former The Prophecy Club® coordinators as a "Stan Clone."
While the PC is certainly under no obligation to render any assistance to outside ministries, at Christian Media we routinely field calls from remnant believers and ministers who are trying to get in touch with various other ministries. We aren't compensated for looking up names in our databases, but because networking in this arena is notoriously difficult, it just seems like something the Lord would have us do whenever possible.
Apparently he hasn't given the same marching orders to Topeka.
WE OWN THESE CITIES
As I write these words, I am half-way through my 4th national tour teaching Bible prophecy. I have volunteers in 12 cities that have assisted in this tour, and in the process we have, once again, clashed with The Prophecy Club®.
For instance, in Minnesota, a couple who frequently attended many The Prophecy Club® events asked the coordinator at a recent event if she could hand out flyers inviting the public to my Minneapolis event. About 30 minutes after the PC event started they were ejected and pointedly told to stay away from The Prophecy Club® with any materials promoting the forthcoming Prophecy Bible study by James Lloyd.
Later in that same event, the coordinator apparently "cautioned" the PC attendees concerning my upcoming meeting for they were told they "probably" shouldn't go to hear me speak on Bible prophecy. Attendees at that particular PC seminar were told that I had criticized speakers on the circuit. The deeper implication was that I was teaching things that weren't in line with The Prophecy Club® "doctrine."
This "concern" for the spiritual health of the PC attendees would be laughable if it weren't so completely transparent. Two weeks before this event, Stan Johnson called me and asked me to tour for The Prophecy Club® - an offer that I politely declined.
So that there are no misunderstandings, let's get this chronology straight: Stan Johnson felt my teaching was valid enough to offer me a major tour on The Prophecy Club® circuit; but I declined the offer, and in less than two weeks I joined the growing list of prophecy teachers whose teaching is so marginal that Prophecy Club® attendees are being advised to boycott my meetings. Isn't it interesting how that "long list" of "unapproved" ministers only seems to consist of people the PC doesn't have a financial relationship with?
In the Detroit area, another pair of my supporters went to a July 1999 The Prophecy Club® meeting to hand out flyers to people leaving the event. The flyers noted that I would be speaking at a free event in the same hotel a few weeks later. This couple was not only ejected from the hallway of the hotel, they were categorically told that if they even passed out James Lloyd flyers in the parking lot, The Prophecy Club® would call the security people and have them arrested!
The next day my Detroit supporter, a man named Ralph Haaff, called Stan Johnson to confront him on the heavy handed resistance to a simple promotional effort. Mr. Haaff was not at all intimidated by The Prophecy Club® bullying, and he demanded an explanation from Mr. Johnson. Stan told Mr. Haaff that James Lloyd "has a potty mouth" and that he couldn't sanction my teachings because, he claimed, I curse and swear on a regular basis. This was the 2nd time in recent months that I had traced this particular slander back to Stan Johnson. So I called him the next day, and although I wasn't swearing (I do not curse on the air or publicly), I was particularly angry at a "leader" who will sell apostate materials like Tom Van Asperen's, while going out of his way to suppress promotion of a free Bible study focusing on forthcoming prophetic events.
My call to Stan Johnson was characterized as a "Matthew 18" overture wherein the Bible mandates we go to an offending brother with any grievance privately. When Stan failed to return my phone call, I then faxed him a two page letter of the same substance.
When Stan Johnson finally returned my call and fax, he lamely stated that he had "confused" me with someone else that he had repeatedly observed issuing profanities. Of course, now that he heard me speak on the phone, he determined that he must have been thinking of some "other guy."
During this call, Stan informed me that when The Prophecy Club® rents a banquet room at a hotel, their "policy" is that they OWN that hotel for the duration of the event. Even though all of these hotels have multiple banquet rooms with other unrelated events going on simultaneously, he claimed this The Prophecy Club® "ownership" even extends to THE PARKING LOTS of these hotels. This means that, according to his corporate "policy," any Christians caught witnessing in an unapproved fashion in the parking lots of these hotels are subject to The Prophecy Club® calling hotel security people and having the independent ARRESTED for violating Stan's directive.
The bottom line is, this man's greed has reached such an appalling level of intensity that he feels threatened if any Christians outside his own organization are seeking to preach or promote the truth of Bible prophecy, without his formal sanction.
During this same phone call, I noted that during the course of my 4 prophecy oriented speaking tours I had determined that several people who had volunteered to work on my events were also Prophecy Club® coordinators. Stan Johnson responded, saying that if I would provide him with a list of any of my volunteers who were also associated with The Prophecy Club®, he would be sure to fire them immediately.
Not only are there key people around the country who have worked with The Prophecy Club® as well as others in their personal ministries, in many cases, my prophecy speaking events were held in the same hotels, in the same cities, and drew many of the same people. I might add that my first prophecy book, as well as my prophecy newsletter (The Apocalypse Chronicles) had been distributed in every state in the USA for 2 years before The Prophecy Club® even existed.
In fact, during my various speaking engagements, I've always taken note of when the PC events were held so as not to book an event on the same night.
Although that confrontational phone call with Mr. Johnson ended somewhat abruptly, a couple of days later Stan called me again. It seems someone in his organization convinced him that I would be a solid draw on his circuit, so he called to discuss having me on his tour.
At this point, Stan had apparently forgotten that he had called me years before to discuss having me as a speaker on the PC tour. When I responded that I'm already on a Christian Media sponsored tour, he scoffed and implied The Prophecy Club® tour would be superior by covering so many more cities.
During this telephone conversation, apparently sensing he wasn't going to make any money on me through a touring relationship, Stan asked what we pay for printing our periodicals, because he was sure his printing operation could "beat the price." I told him my printing relationships are quite satisfactory. He then asked what we pay for airtime for my daily broadcast - again assuring me we could get "a better deal" through The Prophecy Club®.
Although I had tried not to offend Stan Johnson, his hard sell tactics forced me to state firmly that I want no commercial association whatsoever with The Prophecy Club®. He quickly backed away and hung up the phone.
THE DAVID WEGENER AFFAIR
Another man also ran into conflict with The Prophecy Club®, when he felt that he was free to produce a speaking tour in major cities The Prophecy Club® seems to think they "own." David Wegener had toured with the PC, but found himself dumped from the tour over his theology. This is remarkable, considering the fact that Wegener is conventional and orthodox through and through. With power, authority, and tears, he preaches repentance before a Holy God.
Wegener is the creator of an excellent video presentation called The Apostate Church. The video features a withering criticism of major media preachers for their departure from the Gospel - including Billy Graham. Formerly in favor with Stan Johnson at The Prophecy Club®, the break came when the video attacked Kenneth Copeland and Kenneth Hagin for their prosperity apostasy. Christian Media has been told that this offended Johnson's wife Leslie, who reportedly admired the two "faith" teachers. That was the beginning of the break between David Wegener and The Prophecy Club®.
WE STILL OWN THESE CITIES
Because Wegener had an independent ministry well before he ever met anyone at The Prophecy Club®, after the PC discontinued his tour he began arranging an independent touring schedule.
David Wegener was removed from the tour so abruptly that some coordinators, who were expecting him in their cities, were unaware of his removal, right up to the week before he was scheduled to speak in their city. Indeed, I became aware of this fact because Wegener showed up at one of my speaking events last year and offered to assist in running the sound system. I gladly accepted and became acquainted with him. Because the Holy Spirit had quietly confirmed to me that David was indeed a man of the Lord, when he asked if he could distribute some flyers concerning his forthcoming prophecy seminar from my book and tape table, I made an announcement from the platform and suggested everyone present pick up an event flyer before they left.
Travelling the country by car, David also passed out flyers to people coming out of The Prophecy Club® events. In many cases, these were in cities in which he himself had already spoken, and he knew the various people. He simply tried to notify those in the area that he was going to be speaking at a free event in the near future.
Stan Johnson reacted by issuing instructions to at least some of the regional coordinators that David Wegener was not even to be admitted to any PC event, under any circumstances.
In Minneapolis, God had other ideas. Wegener was in the hotel where Al Neal, a PC speaker was scheduled to address a large crowed. Neal, traveling by car, had run into difficulties and was over an hour late. The Prophecy Club® coordinator, a fine Christian man named Bill Meinhardt, noticed David was present in the same hotel. He asked David if he would consider substituting for Al. David agreed if the crowd was amenable.
Meinhardt told the assembled Christians that Mr. Neal was unable to make it, and the PC could refund their ticket money or he could substitute David Wegener. Since Dave had already been to that city before, many people enthusiastically shouted "bring him on!" The next day, when Stan Johnson heard about the episode, he severely criticized Meinhardt for taking the initiative and arranging to have Wegener "pinch hit" for Al Neal! The issue became so contentious that Meinhardt eventually left his role as an emcee at The Prophecy Club®.
Ultimately, the conflict between David Wegener and Stan Johnson came to a head in Wichita, Kansas. Both men were there arranging speaking engagements for their respective ministries, and Johnson confronted Wegener's activities in promoting his speaking engagement.
The issue boiled over when the 6' 2" 40ish Stan Johnson decided to physically accost the white haired 60-something Wegener. Although various accounts conflict as to what really happened, we were told that Stan Johnson personally shoved and bullied the aged Mr. Wegener over the issue of who can preach the Gospel in a city claimed by The Prophecy Club®.
In this regard, Mr. Johnson could teach the Sanhedrin a thing or two, concerning the restraint of the Gospel. See Acts Chapter 4 for details.
THE FEEDING FRENZY
In the early days of The Prophecy Club®, there were quite a few Pre-Tribulationist speakers leavened in with the other Post-Tribulationist speakers who spoke the truth about prophecy. The rapturists gradually diminished - probably when Stan Johnson figured out he could generate more revenue by adding survival food supplies to the PC catalog.
Mr. Johnson first approached Steve Quayle of Safe-Trek Private Reserve Foods in 1998. Johnson told Quayle that for a substantial fee (in the tens of thousands of dollars), he would arrange to make Safe-Trek Foods the "official" The Prophecy Club® food provider. Steve Quayle instead countered that he would be delighted to have the PC offer his line of dried foods on the standard distributor basis - on the same footing as all the other remnant Christian ministries that are handling Safe-Trek and other nationally recognized survivalist food brands.
Stan agreed, but when The Prophecy Club® catalog came out with the Safe-Trek Food ads, the prices were adjusted higher than even the standard manufacturers list price, that everyone else was selling the food for! In an era when discounting BELOW the manufacturer's list price is extremely common, The Prophecy Club® was charging the highest price per can for Safe-Trek Foods of any other Safe-Trek dealer in the entire country.
Later, when Mr. Johnson received some well deserved criticism for raising the prices EVEN HIGHER THAN THE MANUFACTURER HAD SET, he told his customers that he had to price the foods that high because "Safe-Trek repeatedly raised the price" on him!
This was just another bald faced lie from the prevaricating Mr. Johnson, and the issue became such a bone of contention that Mr. Quayle politely asked Mr. Johnson to quit blaming him for The Prophecy Club®'s predatory marketing policies.
Shortly after that episode, another food vendor's products began to appear in The Prophecy Club® catalog - presumably from a company that has no convictions about actually telling the truth concerning their "ministry."
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