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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:56 am 
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A Dispensational Approach
to
The History and Outlook of New Tribes Mission, Inc.


Dispensationalism, in regard to New Tribes Mission, is not so much a doctrine as it is a method of interpretation, a way to make sense of and understand events and their relationship to our destiny.

According to this heuristic, there have been three dispensations so far in the history of New Tribes Mission, Inc. Two are past, one is current and yet a fourth is still to come. At least everybody is hoping for a fourth one.

The time frames of the various dispensations are somewhat arbitrary, and there is a large degree of overlap as one dispensation morphs into the next. Sometimes, they even morph backwards into the previous one. Nobody's perfect, as they say.

But, there is a definite progression of revelation involved, starting from the beginning and lasting until this present hour. These changes have been a source of hope for many, and I set them out here in this form to better help you see how great things are.

I have shamelessly embellished a few points, but the most outrageous comments can be substantiated from official NTM, Inc. publications or communications. If in doubt which is which, you will appreciate the fog we all lived in while members.

Do not ask NTM's spokesperson for clarification.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:57 am 
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THE FIRST DISPENSATION
ALSO KNOWN AS
THE DISPENSATION OF THE MANTLE


Popular Name: The Old New Tribes Mission

Time Frame: From the beginning until 1997

Characterized by:
1. The Mantle
2. Divinely chosen spiritual leadership with power to fire the sheep
3. Stability of Executive Committee membership
3.1 Infrequent changes in Executive Committee membership
3.2 One member of the Executive Committee who was not a full time employee of the mission: Lance "Doc" Latham
3.3 Executive Committee membership is for life
4. Scores of broken hearted people
5. Rampant abuse of children in boarding schools concealed with effective cover ups lest the Lord's Name be blasphemed

Motto: Do as we say, or else

Battle Cry: Reaching new tribes until the last tribe is reached

Apologies: No apologies are associated with this dispensation; no mistakes have been made yet.

Milestones: The mission plane, used by the Executive Committee for urgent mission business, is sold when the Mantle finally falls from Ken Johnston. The Mantle isn't seen again, but is rumored to be stored in the recreational vehicle which was purchased by NTM as a thank you gift to Mr. Johnston for having faithfully worn the Mantle for 40 years. No one complained. No one that mattered, I mean.

In 1980, things look bleak. Strangers gather information and pictures to use against NTM, the Lord, and His work. NTM gets all kinds of letters asking about accusations that are made against them. Some people are mature enough and don't give it another thought. Others are not just that sure about NTM and tend to question them. Question them! This was a real blow to the Executive Committee.

They exhort the sheep to "cooperate with the Lord" in standing against these wolves in sheep's clothing, lest the Gospel be hindered in reaching tribal people. "Only answer what you have to and as simply as possible," are their marching orders in Family News. NTM's future spokesperson highlights that statement in her copy. "Awesome," she gushes.

NTM gear first introduced during this dispensation. Coffee mugs are the best seller; shot glasses a close second.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:58 am 
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THE SECOND DISPENSATION
ALSO KNOWN AS
THE DISPENSATION OF RESTORED GRACE


Popular Name: The New New Tribes Mission

Time Frame: From 1997 until 2009

Characterized by:
1. The Letter, sent to the sheep in January 1997
2. Divinely chosen spiritual leadership with power to fire the sheep
3. Instability of Executive Committee membership: Where is the Mantle when you need it?
3.1 Rapid change in membership: Does anyone remember Ron VanPeursem?
3.2 A doctor of veterinary medicine is placed in charge of the Personnel Department
3.3 No members of the Executive Committee who are not full time employees of the mission; Chapel in Sanford Headquarters is named after the last one
3.4 Executive Committee membership is for life
4. Rampant abuse of children in boarding schools remains below the radar

Motto: We have changed

Battle Cry: We must keep moving ahead; souls are dying and going into a Christless eternity

Apologies: The new leadership apologized for the excesses of the past leadership in the Old New Tribes Mission Dispensation, ushering in this dispensation with The Letter. Nothing like a clean slate!

Milestones: This was a transitional dispensation, with many exciting changes taking place.

First two NTM missionaries sentenced to prison for crimes relating to children: In 2006, George Allen Goolde was sentenced to 50 years for molesting four children in his care. In 2009, Joel Price was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison for possession of child pornography. In a related development, an adult male, who as an NTM MK had been in boarding school in Brazil, is sentenced to prison for statutory rape. All prisoners are repentant.

NTM spokesperson "didn't know" that Joel Price had ever worked with children on the field, and an internal investigation had revealed no incidents of concern about George Goolde. No one notices. Or cares if they do notice. Please do not sully the clean slate.

In Thailand, NTM faces criminal libel charges. The Field Committee, holdovers from the Old New Tribes Mission, are aggressively defended by the Executive Committee of the New New Tribes Mission and their loyal house-counsel. Plaintiffs told that NTM stands by its libelous statements. "That is the kind of people you are," says the NTM house-counsel, in an admirable but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to establish rapport with the plaintiffs.

In an eleventh hour settlement, NTM retracts their libelous letter, gives a cash settlement and requests never to speak to the plaintiffs about this matter again. No apology is made. "[The plaintiffs] just need to learn to forgive. The MKs have."

Stories of abuse of children in boarding schools reach the Executive Board, which has replaced the Executive Committee. The Executive Board member tasked with solving this is "not sure how to go back 15-20 years ago and take care of all this when most of these perpetrators are not with the mission anymore." He never apologizes for that remark. Maybe in the next dispensation.

He consults the NTM Policy Handbook to determine the statutes of limitations for thoughtless comments to victims of sexual abuse. Coming up empty, he prays for the Rapture, and reviews his Daniel-Revelation notes to assure himself that it will not be a partial rapture. Unsure, he quits praying for the Rapture. "Now what?"


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:59 am 
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THE THIRD DISPENSATION
ALSO KNOWN AS THE
DISPENSATION OF WE REALLY MEAN IT THIS TIME
(EVEN MORE THAN WE REALLY MEANT IT BEFORE)

Popular Name: The Newest New Tribes Mission (some early manuscripts say, The Very New New Tribes Mission, but we follow the Majority Text here)

Time Frame: From 2009 to the present

Characterized by:
1. The Fanda Eagles
2. Divinely chosen spiritual leadership with power to fire the sheep
3. New Executive Board who profess to have no power over anybody, anywhere
3.1 There is a certain nostalgia for the Old New Tribes Mission, when things could get done. Somewhat tempered by the realization of what all got done before, of course.
3.2 CEO starts working hours commensurate with what other top executives work
3.3 No members of the Executive Board who are not full time employees of the mission; Chapel in Sanford Headquarters, named after the last one, has water damage to floors after marathon prayer meetings
3.4 Executive Board membership is for life
4. Rampant abuse of children in boarding schools becomes visible, at long last ("How did we ever miss it?" is the frequently heard lament. "I don't know, but let me help you burn those papers," is the frequently heard reply.)

Motto: We really changed in 1997, honest

Battle Cry: Planting tribal churches

Apologies: The leadership of the Newest New Tribes Mission apologized for the sexual and other abuse of children and its cover-up that occurred under the Old New Tribes Mission. Offers assurances that this is NOT a current problem. "Have you heard of any abuse occurring since we took over?" they ask. No one answers by saying, "We never heard any reports before, either." Fingers remain crossed. In faith, of course.

NTM's spokesperson does not apologize for past deflections from the truth; she is now living in victory over it and is skulking around the Fanda Eagles forums under a screen name. Reports that she is really "Gene Long" are dismissed as not credible. Chances that she is a Monitor are rated higher.

When she assures the world, in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Standard, that NTM "just want[s] to do what's right," no eyebrows are raised. If Ted Haggard had credibility like that, he'd still be in charge of the National Association of Evangelicals. Feminists are heartened that there are still a few advantages to being a woman in NTM.

NTM still does not apologize to the plaintiffs in the criminal libel suit from Thailand; ignores repeated requests for a confidentiality agreement. Prays for healing of bitter spirits. No tears, though. Not on this one. They had it coming; we don't have to be sorry. Not without binding arbitration.

Executive Board member who couldn't figure out what to do about perpetrators of child abuse who were still in the mission does not apologize. He is not fired, either, but the abusers finally are. See further under "Milestones"

Milestones: Bookies in Sanford are giving odds that sexual abuse of children occurred under the New New Tribes Mission Dispensation, too; everyone knows that cover-ups continue to the present hour, but they are too polite to say so. Plus, NTM is working full time on it; that should be enough.

GRACE investigates abuse of children in Fanda, Senegal. It is worse than initially reported. Those few perpetrators who are still in the mission are fired. Never really liked them anyway.

NTM also agrees to fire Executive Board member Chester Plimpton, who resigns instead. No one notices. Or cares. "Chet who?" asks the NTM house-counsel, in exile in Idaho.

Indelicately titled Child Abuse Manual replaced with the more felicitously christened Child Protection Manual. Neither one requires in unequivocal language that child abuse be reported to the appropriate authorities in the country in which it is committed. Nice flow charts, though.

After a couple of false starts, deadlines are set to determine when new deadlines should be set to start deciding what to do about other reports of abuse that are surfacing. As evidence of how badly this has been handled under previous Dispensations, this is actually seen as a positive step.

Finally, in its new spirit of openness, NTM remains mum regarding Les Emory, leaving stand an earlier statement that he . . . (ahem). . . "served" . . .(cough, cough) in the Philippines for ten years. Other sources report Les Emory now lives two blocks from a church. He has a nice house and enjoys going out for fast food, long walks in the evenings and attending school functions. Suspicion is rife that he is still . . . (ahem) . . . "serving" . . . (cough, cough).


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:00 am 
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THE FOURTH DISPENSATION
ALSO KNOWN AS
THE DISPENSATION OF HONESTY

Popular Name: The Why Did This Take So Long Mission

Time Frame: Not soon enough

Characterized by:
1. The Bible
2. Corporate executives chosen by a Board of Directors, none of whom is a full time employee of the Why Did This Take So Long Mission (NTM, for short)
3. Executives – home and field levels:
3.1 Do not have to be Tribers – can be recruited from other missions and seconded to NTM, or from the private sector
3.2 Serve for limited terms
3.3 Cannot fire the sheep (Those who respond by saying, "Then who would want to be a leader?" are relegated to a different dispensation. Any dispensation, just not this one.)
4. Local churches intimately involved in field ministry (By this dispensation, it is OK to use the word "intimate" again; it no longer conjures up images of Les Emory, Frank Parker or bare bottoms getting beaten black and blue.)
5. Children are considered a gift from God, not a hindrance to the ministry

Motto: Finally!

Battle Cry: Serving the Lord around the world

Apologies: "I'm sorry if I offended you" is no longer used in this Dispensation. Those who apologize do so in unambiguous terms, and prove their sincerity with actions. Tears are OK, but they are no longer accepted as a substitute for "actions."

Milestones: Watch this space! Things could really take off!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:23 pm 
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Very interesting read.
In the 4th Dispensation, they can STILL fire the sheep and are doing so.
Just FYI.
Is it too late for corrections?
Also, they work with what local churches they want and ignore the ones they do not want to work with--even when contacted and asked well-founded questions.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:41 pm 
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The fourth dispensation has started yet, regrettably. Please note that the Time Frame for the third one extends to the present [time]. Life has many disappointments, does it not?

Although the fourth one remains a future desideratum, no one is holding their breath. Latest word on that front is that NTO has commissioned an outside agency to study the sheep and it concluded that any sheep that were fired deserved it. You can write for details, but they won't send them; they just want to know how many want details. It's like a listener poll.

These guys are full of good ideas...


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:51 pm 
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OH!
Get it now.
Waiting......... :(


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:11 am 
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Yes, Sherpa Dude, Doc was a breed apart! It would be interesting to know if he was the only Executive Committee member who was not a full time employee of NTM. I'm relatively certain he was the last.

Interestingly, he was able to keep his responsibilities in AWANA and NTM separate. NTM used the AWANA campgrounds in Fredonia for conferences, and work detail often included working out there. But, there was never a big push to start AWANA clubs in the tribes or to advertise NTM in AWANA materials.

I wonder if old Doc would have been able to actually be a member/ employee of NTM? His wife, Teach, practically had her own ministry - teaching the Bible! Some of the "Chicago kids" came from her classes to NTBI with some pretty radical ideas. You know, like an emphasis on grace. How weird is that?

I think NTM could benefit by having an outside board of directors. It seems like such a good idea - drawing a group of men and women from a number of backgrounds, not more than one or two "clergy" and none of them "making their living" by being in NTM. They set policy, appoint/ hire executives, handle the kind of business that is now taken care of in quarterly meetings.

Is anything like that done anywhere?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:27 am 
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So, when was NTM gear phased out? Or is it still available to employees to use in fund raising endeavors?

To get the full effect of this thread, by the way, you'll want to begin at the beginning. It's a tactic that NTM has yet to master; they always begin where they want things to end!


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