Editor's Note: This is part 1 of a multi-part series.
"The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crisis maintain their neutrality" was one of President John F. Kennedy's favorite quotes, which appropriately describes the malignant crisis at the American Protestant Church, Kennedy Allee 150, Bonn, Germany. The church is currently vying for the title as the most corrupt church in Europe as one of Europe's most deceitful and ugliest post-War World II scandals grows.
The scandal is a shame and disgrace not only for the City of Bonn, but Germany itself, where so many American government, military and civilians worshiped and who not only brought about the Marshall Plan to pull Germany out of depression after WWII, but thousands of Americans who during the Cold War and now worked hard for the peace and prosperity of Bonn. The 60 years of goodwill expressed and demonstrated by the Americans have almost been wiped out in an ugly internecine longterm war of attrition beginning in 2004 among the congregation. Its pure retaliation on remaining Americans whose fathers served in WWII at D-Day, who assisted with D-Day Remembrance Ceremonies at the American D-Day Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, who currently support American troops serving abroad or who just happen to "represent America" in the Germans and their international supporters' eyes.
Formerly a family church and one of the best-run churches under the Americans, the APC was handed over in a ceremony to the City of Bonn under an Agreement by President Clinton in 1999 as the German government moved to Berlin. However, it's become a cauldron of deceit and injustice.
The church with a German and international majority now in leadership is facing a scandal going back more than a dozen years with over 25 false criminal allegations (and counting) made against innocent Americans and others.
These include multiple allegations, as follows:
- an accusation of mass murder of massacring children with a machine gun made by the APC "Pastoral Care Team"
- denial of basic human rights
- an attempt to incite a physical fight to deny food and water to a member of the church with traumatic brain injury
- denial of food and meeting with the pastor of African refugees (who were told by authorities to sleep around the Banhof/train station toilets)
- multiple attempts to throw an innocent American out of his own church; however, with no objections to letting known hard-liner Nazi family members stay
- keeping the homeless, homeless by forcing a disadvantaged church member to sleep in the forest instead of opening an empty church apartment for months
- not permitting attorneys or outside experts to attend a meeting to defend the accused from false allegations and accusations
- not permitting evidence to be used in another meeting to defend on another issue
- church leadership allegedly "losing" church documentation from the name change process that was going to the Bonn Staatsanwalte (city prosecutor) as evidence
- psycho-screaming top-of-the-lungs threatening phone calls
- anonymous threats
- not being permitted to know your accusers on the council or to defend yourself at council meetings
- deliberately throwing 25 Bibles into the trash, keeping secret files
- cancelling the D-Day Remembrance Ceremony assistance and program
- preventing prayer for U.S. military members in Iraq during the Surge who were flown into Ramstein AFB/Landstuhl who were wounded and/or had single, double or triple amputations and their families from receiving any prayer or any form of assistance and ministry from the APC
- concealing Förderverein Stimson Memorial Chapel e.V. documentation of the NGO that runs the building and grounds
- concealing all names, contact details, addresses, contact information, bank records, operational documents and minutes and other documents that have been withheld from a duly elected American member
- concealment of APC church minutes since 2004 despite numerous requests
- concealment of the names of council members who have issued letters
- public humiliation, and the list can go on and on.
All this proved the handover was an undeniable mistake, a failure. It didn't work. These people should never be trusted with the life of anyone.
With 12 terrorist attacks in 15 months in Paris, München, Liege, Barcelona and across Europe, with Christians getting butchered and crucified in Syria by ISIS, with thousands of refugees drowning attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea, with the rapes and murders committed by Islamic refugees and militants in Germany and elsewhere escalating, a minority number of German APC members and their international supporters have proved when left alone they like nothing better than to make false criminal allegations, incite conflicts and create human misery, demonstrating their favorite sports of choice inside the American Protestant Church.
As someone said, "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention."
Any organization whose leadership willfully and premeditatedly delights in and gets its kicks out of wrongfully and criminally framing an innocent individual for massacring children with a machine gun as a crying psycho killer is worse than a cult; it doesn't deserve the right to continue one second longer as a church governing body.
The war was reignited by Mr. Kelly Capps, acting senior pastor, when he sent an email June 22, 2017, containing a letter dated May 2011 and citing issues going back to 2004.
That letter and issues should have 100 percent accountability. Open. Public. On top of the table in front of the police and press before the congregation and on video for the open public record. No excuses. No exceptions.
His actions demonstrate to the world that forgiveness for what they did and continue to do is a waste of good oxygen. It reminds you that you're not in a church; you're in a war. The term "forgiveness" only tickles them; it makes them smile and think they have a license to continue to get away with more.
What did Mr. Capps do? A request for a meeting with him to clear the air went unanswered. Over the course of the next weeks, he delivered sermon after sermon on Sundays while refusing to meet. He could have met before packing his bags and leaving for a new position in New Zealand at Block House Bay Baptist Church in Auckland. He could have demonstrated good faith and conducted himself befitting for his office to meet and to discuss issues, but didn't.
It is written: "The hireling is not the shepherd and ... flees" (John 10:12, author's paraphrase).
The DHL connections
Who's in charge? DHL manager Mr. Andrew Edwards was elected president of the APC this summer. There have been other DHL employees, managers and/or consultants, or service providers inside the APC. On any given Sunday they can be seen speaking together.
On Sunday he referred to the church "Process" that allegedly handles issues.
But, what the DHL Board of Directors and Supervisory Board should know in reality is that the church "Process" he oversees now in actual operation defies belief.
No Basic Human Rights Apply
- You are forced to go into a room downstairs in the basement of the church, where no one outside or any independent person can hear or see anything that is going on. No other rooms or locations are permitted. You are only permitted to meet there.
- You are not allowed to bring your attorney(s). No attorneys are permitted.
- No defense is permitted. You are not allowed to defend yourself against any criminal allegations or any outrageous allegations or humiliating statements of the most bizarre and demented conduct that any one can imagine and accuse you of. It is not an honest meeting. It is not an honest process. You must listen.
- No witnesses are permitted. You are not permitted to bring any witnesses that would prove your innocence in any case or from any false allegation(s) they come up with.
- You are not permitted to know your accusers, only the statements/accusations made about you. But you are not allowed to know who made the statements in order to defend yourself or to cross-examine anyone.
- No evidence exonerating yourself is permitted. You are not permitted to present any evidence. When you request to present evidence or documentation it is not permitted. And when you request documentation from the church (such as church minutes, contact names or numbers to verify statements/allegations made), they will not give anything.
- No matter how many times you ask or demand, they have concealed minutes from every monthly APC Council meeting from 2004 until now.
- No independent verification is permitted, and no independent experts are permitted at the meeting. If you know of top church experts who could be present and very helpful to point out any deficiencies or to institute best-methods/best-practices, they are not permitted to attend.
- And you are only permitted to accept their point of view and their outcome. No other point of view or outcome is accepted. Everything must be controlled. You are forced to accept only their viewpoint.
Questions for DHL
The United States Department of Defense is one of DHL's largest accounts flying cargo, passengers into Iraq and elsewhere around the world. Dr. Frank Appel is CEO. He's done an outstanding job at the helm managing the trends in logistics, reorganizing all IT departments, opening new hubs and driving the consolidation and streamlining of various logistic groups creating new efficiencies and opportunities across all services, platforms and product groups.
DHL employees and their service providers talk often at the APC. They also hold various positions. There are more questions to come.
In Christianity, there is no separation of private life and public life. These are character issues. Integrity, is like being pregnant. You are either pregnant or you're not. You either have integrity or you don't.
"This is war!" Name Change Process
It should be noted for the historical and open public record that the first war declared by the Germans after WWII was declared in the American Protestant Church Bonn, Germany during the Name Change Process against the Americans and anyone who supported them.
In 2004, many of the Germans and their international supporters spearheaded by Council president Simon England attempted to do one of the most brazen acts of belligerence since WWII resulting in seething hatred and anger that remains to this day, attempting to change the name of the American church to "anything but American." Given the history and current news events in Iraq, there was very little that could have been worse.
Sitting next to senior U.S. State Department officer Mr. Art Stimson, nephew of U.S. Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, under President Roosevelt and President Truman in WWII, when the announcement was made stated "Don't do it. Don't do it."
"Leave us alone to worship in peace. Leave us alone to worship in peace." While stated firmly, it was met with smirks. The local Germans and their international supporters mistook the politeness and kindness of the Americans as a plea rather than a warning and a command.
Never before were Americans subject to bear such ugly humiliation and hatred, such virulent lies about the United States and vicious allegations from the Germans and their supporters as meetings took place inside and outside the church. No slur went unused, no statement was too ugly.
Heated arguments broke out outside the church after the church meetings or after Sunday services. After one meeting, one group containing about 14 individuals began to argue vehemently in front of the cars parked near the entrance sidewalk. After another meeting, a group of eight to 12 individuals began yelling on the sidewalk outside leading to the back of the church.
The hatred and animosity demonstrated is as fresh and dangerous today as it was then. Destroying every synagogue in Germany and elsewhere during WWII wasn't enough. Now, they wanted more. The smiles, the laughter as they thought they had won the name change process before the official church vote, was clearly evident Sunday to Sunday over the course of the months building up to the final vote.
It wasn't just anti-American, it was anti-Semitic as well, as they clearly stated their intent loud enough to be overheard to tear down the American and Israeli flags from over the front door that had been there as a symbol of friendship for over 50 years.
It is what was said in the homes, on the phones and elsewhere away from the scripted church meetings that is most important.
The Germans and their international supporters wanted to rename the church "anything but American" and stated that the name "American" kept people from coming to salvation, a direct affront to the magnanimity of U.S. WWII D-Day veterans, U.S. military currently serving, State Department officials and other Americans.
War was declared four different times, publicly by different individuals emboldened and intoxicated in their thinking that they had the Americans outnumbered and confident that they would win the vote and triumph. Before church every Sunday, they would state loudly for others to hear within earshot the results of their current new "poll" with the Germans always ahead by a wide margin and what new "important" individuals had given their support to dropping the name "American."
But, in the end they didn't win. They lost. And they lost big by a margin of more than two to one. Over 60 votes against to 30 plus votes for the measure.
What they didn't realize was that it was the older local Germans who had lived through WWII under Hitler who voted for the Americans and against the name change process. Then, approximately 35-37 German families and/or individuals again voted, this time with their feet, and left the church. They heard it all and couldn't stomach any of it any more.
Immediately, the pastor in retaliation placed those who were most virulent against the Americans making false criminal allegations on the APC church council.
Now the game is what they couldn't get by a public process, they're trying to dishonestly accomplish by deceit using the Salami Principle, taking a little here, and a little there over time. Lie, deny, block, obstruct, don't cooperate is the modus operandi.
The APC is no sanctuary. It's not a safe place to worship. This is not about "striving together for the work of the gospel." Oh no. We are not talking about arguments or a misunderstanding. No. We are talking about criminal allegations against Americans or their supporters where you are fined, jailed or both that are made to destroy either you, your career or both.
Now, at any given time any German, any international can make any criminal or any other allegation against you as an American or anyone else in the church to their delight no matter how evil, no matter how demented or criminal, and it will be given full legitimacy by the pastor or council. It's their favorite form of amusement.
End of Part 1
Disclosure: Not only have allegations and incidents cited happened to others, but to the author himself as well.
Your voice counts! If you would like to express your opinion about the treatment of WWII veterans or Americans in their own church please feel free to express your opinions to the positions listed here from the APC Internet site or call: +49.228.374.193 Fax: +49 (228) 374 723
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Steven V. Selthoffer is an American communications executive living in Bonn, Germany. He works as a sport investigative journalist exposing corruption in Olympic sports. Selthoffer swam for U.S. Olympic coach Dr. James E. Counsilman, Indiana University. He has worked for Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile on a number of large projects.
His father was friends with President Kennedy and Robert Kennedy and grew up playing touch football with Kennedy family members. JFK, Robert and Ted Kennedy came to the Selthoffer's home in Bethesda, MD on a number of occasions for lunches and friendly family and neighborhood gatherings. President Kennedy, who was aboard PT-109 in the Pacific, and Joseph R. Selthoffer who served on board the U.S.S. Nevada (BB-36), often spoke together about their times aboard ship and in various campaigns.
Steven V. Selthoffer also has a background in relief aid, security and international relations. He has testified before the OSCE, a joint session of the U.S. House and Senate of Congress on international relations and security. He has also worked in cooperation with the U.S. State Department and other agencies on relief aid and various other issues.