Welcome to the The Whistleblower and the Healthcare Corporation blog. To those of you reading about Patricia Moleski for the first time, welcome to a real-life David and Goliath drama. If you are someone who has been following this story from its beginning on the Adventist Today blog, here is the story that Adventist Today became so uncomfortable featuring that the final chapters of Patricia’s story have to be told here.

Like many stories, the context in which this one takes place is almost as important as the story itself. Consequently, the story that appeared on the Adventist Today blog has been referenced with a link for easy access to readers’ comments.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Chapter 2

Originally posted as a news story in the online June edition of Adventist Today.

I came across Patricia’s YouTube video about six weeks ago as I was researching another story. The events recounted by Ms. Moleski were so horrific and bazaar that I was immediately skeptical, but I have spent the intervening time investigating her story, and I am convinced it is completely truthful.

I’ve been asked a number of times why I as a life-long Adventist would choose to report on a story that sullies the name “Adventist” and calls into question the “good name” of Adventist Health Systems whose mission statement is Extending the healing ministry of Christ. To put it bluntly, what motivated me to write this series of potentially damaging reports?

Because the Adventist Church has no shortage of crtitics—insightful to lunatic—I thought you ought to know something about be and my motivation before continuing this series. So here’s my answer.

I have been aware of the corporate abuse of power within the Adventist Church since I was nine or ten when an administrator attempted to fire my father so one of his relatives could have the job. In the intervening 60 years, as a college student, a teacher in junior academy, as an elder, a school board member and acting principal, and church member, I’ve observed a kind of institutional pecking order in which certain denominationally employed Adventists got richer in terms of power, money and perks, and others got poorer, not just monetarily, but in influence and social standing.

When I protested that this institutional pecking order was wrong, my wife invariably said, “So what are you going to do about it?” And to my shame, I did very little besides bending the ear of a fellow teacher or sympathetic pastor. I attempted to quiet my conscience by telling myself:  “I don’t have time to get involved.” “If those people don’t like the way they’re treated, they can get other jobs.” Sometimes I reasoned, “Money and recognition must not be important to those folks.” And when I was particularly frustrated by the unfairness of the system, I excused myself from speaking out publically by blaming the victims: “If those people are willing to put up with that treatment, they deserve it!

When a person gets to be 70, a review of life lived can’t be avoided, and I decided to meet my wife’s challenge and get publically and professionally involved. I fancied myself qualified to be a theological activist, an editorial critic, and a satirist. It never occurred to me that my public commitment would require me to face the realization that a huge, politically and financially powerful organization, flying the flag, “Adventist”, whose mission statement is Extending the Healing Ministry of Christ, was harming others, as a conscious, premeditated practice. Report that! When the realization hit, I was scared, and I tried out my previous excuses for not getting involved…without success.

And there is a personal reason to involve myself in this fight, something about standing for the right though the heavens fall, and the want of the world is the want of men [and women] who are as true to duty as the needle to the pole. Those are Adventist quotations that have been written on my heart and mind by my Adventist education and my spiritual mentors.

Patricia Moleski is living proof that these are not just words on an Adventist page.

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