Several days ago a TV station in Colorado Springs ran an email and story about former New Life Church leader Ted Haggard begging for money. Haggard resigned the mega church he founded in 2006 after he admitted seeing a male prostitute for three years.
While a few media outlets picked up the fund raising appeal story last week, it was left to alternative media and bloggers to find out what was going on.
The original story from last week is here, along with the email Haggard sent his friend at the ABC affiliate KRDO.
1. Haggard said he would be working and living at The Dream Centre, a half way house for addicts run by the church he is currently attending.
That announcement came as a surprise to those in charge of the Dream Center, and Haggard will not be working or living there, said the Rev. Leo Godzich, associate pastor at Phoenix First Assembly of God.
â€œThat was something that was totally unbeknownst to us when he sent it,â€ Godzich said. â€œIt was just something that he thought of in a conceptual stage, and nothing had been decided.â€
2. The charity Haggard asked ‘friends’ to send money to is run by a convicted sex offender.
That man, Paul G. Huberty, wrote in an e-mail to the Gazette on Monday afternoon that his group did not find out about Haggardâ€™s solicitation until it surfaced in media reports. He added that no money has been sent to Haggard through the group.
…Haggard suggested in his e-mail that tax-deductible donations be sent to the organizationâ€™s Monument post office box, but its Colorado status was dissolved in February, according to state records.
The organization is registered in Hawaii, Huberty said in his response.
A search did not find a Web site for the organization, and Godzich said heâ€™s never heard of it.
The organization is not listed as having tax-exempt status, according to the IRS, but
Huberty said it is in good standing. It has no paid employees.
3) The degrees Ted Haggard and his wife wish to pursue are offered by an online Mormon outfit called The University of Phoenix, which hasÂ high tutitionÂ fees
without qualified not a full staff of professors, but some are available. TheÂ business isÂ not accredited and has a success rate of 16%.
According to The Colorado Gazette, Haggard is in Phoenix attending the 15 thousand member First Assembly of GodÂ Church. His email revealsÂ only oneÂ the ‘overseers’ appointed to help him and his family in is the area he is living in.
It’s understandable people went ballistic when the story of this email from Haggard surfaced. This team of pastors can only say “he thought of in a conceptual stage.”
TedÂ Haggard is an untreated addict withÂ unique attendant psychological problems.Â He is bright, ambitious, grandioseÂ and quite capable of all kinds of concepts. ButÂ lets call a spade a spade.
No doubtÂ Ted HaggardÂ going through serious cognitive dissonance as the church he founded in Colorado Springs votesÂ to bring inÂ a minister whoÂ toldÂ his potential congregationÂ ’he isn’t a failure.’Â What a slap in the face to Haggard! I don’t know if Brady Boyd intended to taunt Haggard, but it comes across that way to uninterested observers.
If this team of pastors are qualified to help someone as troubled as Haggard, and his family who is dependent and co-dependent, how would this happen if they were fulfilling their responsibilities? Mike Ware runs a church in Denver, Tim Ralph runs a church in Larkspur Colorado, Larry Stockstill runs aÂ prayer centreÂ in Louisiana.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
They supposedly set up the treatmentÂ planÂ for Haggard. ( James Dobson declined to participate)
Haggard grew up in five star fundamentalism. He thrived in that environment, embraced it’s sub-cultureÂ with everything he had and was rewarded for his charisma.Â Â It doesn’t appear he is getting anyÂ qualifiedÂ help -Â read his email. It’s delusional, and comes from a man whoÂ needs more than a pay-off and some pew time in another pentecostal mega-church.
I can understand why people are mocking and angry, HaggardÂ is an internationally knownÂ homophobic US evangelical leader who did a lot of damage and hurt a lot of people.
Eventually he hurt himself and his family.Â
TheÂ team of pastorsÂ who pledged to help him don’t appear to care what kind of bottom he and his familyÂ hit. Or perhaps they care, butÂ do not haveÂ the qualifications to walk along side a conflicted disturbed addictÂ and his family.
No addict sets out to be an addict.Â
Ted Haggard and his familyÂ need merciful, professional, patient and skilled long term care. This team of pastors announced Haggard was ‘healed’ of homosexuality after three weeks of supposedÂ intense counselling, so Haggard’sÂ uninsightful fund raising pleas should come as no surprise.
Haggard didn’t get the money he begged for, he doesn’t need it. But ever since this fund raising story appeared on my radar screen, I haven’t seen it being about money at all. He’s begging, no doubt about that, but IÂ don’t thinkÂ money is what he is crying out for at all.Â Â He is a lot more vulnerable and sick (and by extension of his addictions his family)Â than his ‘overseers’ are acknowledging.
Update 2: The Haggard overseers met with him by conference call and in person this week, after which they released a short statement. “From Overseers and Restoration Team Working with Ted Haggard”.
“Mr. Haggard’s solicitation for personal support was inappropriate. It was never the intention of the Dream Center that Mr. Haggard would provide any counsel or other ministry.”
Ware also writes in Wednesday’s media release that Haggard will not be moving to or working with the Dream Center. In fact, the last sentence of the release reads, “He will be seeking secular employment to support himself and family.”
The release did not say if Haggard was punished in any way for making the inappropriate comments in his email.Â
â€œAfter their fact-finding was complete, they (overseers) informed Mr. Haggard that his plan and his communications about it were unacceptable. Mr. Haggardâ€™s solicitation for personal support was inappropriate. It was never the intention of the Dream Center that Mr. Haggard would provide any counsel or other ministry. Mr. Haggard will not be moving in or working with the Dream Center. He will not be doing any ministry. He will be seeking secular employment to support himself and his family.â€
The statement did not say whether Haggard may have violated his agreement with the overseers. One of them, the Rev. Mike Ware, said before the release of the statement that they would not discuss Haggard or answer questions.
Asked whether the agreement with the overseers was still in effect, Haggard said, â€œYes.â€Â