During the latter half of 1985 I was very much torn between competing feelings and sentiments concerning the events unfolding on the national and world stages, as well as the implications they portended for the American people and the future in general.
The reelection of Ronald Reagan in 1984 had galvanized the perception that the 1980’s were destined to be the conservative decade that potentially represented the long-term, if not permanent demise of the brand of liberalism embodied in the most recent democratic candidacies of Jimmy Carter, George McGovern, and Hubert Humphrey.
The uneasiness and apprehension that had steadily crescendoed during the Carter years had given way to a more optimistic mind-set that could be readily sensed among the populace in general. For those who probed beneath the surface and read between the lines, there continued to be massive cause for concern...but to the average, superficial, government school educated American...everything seemed to be moving forward on an even keel. Of course, this reality contributed dramatically to the hardship of getting people to recognize and understand the extent to which freedom, liberty, and limited, Constitutional government were imperiled.
The Looming Concern About 1988
One exception to the general state of mind heretofore referenced was directly linked to popular theological notions that had long been proliferating in the evangelical Christian world in regard to the approaching year of 1988. A significant quantity of Christian leaders and theologians had consistently advanced the teaching that 1988 could very well be the year that would mark the beginning of apocalyptic, end of the age events.
This premise was based on the fact that the modern state of Israel had been formally established in 1948, and that the 40th anniversary of this notable event would somehow constitute a fulfillment of the supposed latter-day prophecy set forth by the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:32-34. End times prognosticators reasoned that forty years was the equivalency of a generation as referenced in verse 34. Thus, among the active, Protestant, evangelical community, a great deal of interest was building as the decade unfolded.
Many even took note of the fact that the name, Ronald Wilson Reagan, had a numerical equivalency of 6-6-6! Yes...apocalypse fever was running high at this point in time as millions of observers remained fixated on unfolding geopolitical events in the Middle East, as well as the rapid escalation of computer and surveillance technology. Needless to say, all of this frenzied, handwringing suspense turned out to be one gigantic trigger click! 1988 came and went with little fanfare and all the false teachers and false prophets returned to their drawing boards to craft an eloquent explanation of their otherwise obvious error and incompetence.
In my own circumstances and outlook, I was already highly skeptical of the pre-millennial eschatological teachings that were influential, almost to the point of dominance, in the evangelical, “Bible believing” church world of that time period. I had been probing the eschatology of post-millennialism and the corresponding historical evidence that the vast majority of what was alluded to in Matthew 24 and Luke 21 had, in fact, been fulfilled during the momentous events that transpired in and around the pivotal year of 70 A.D. Nevertheless...I, too, was quite certain that major negative developments were not far in the offing, regardless of whether they corresponded with the occurrence of the final chapter of world history.
The size and scope of the federal government was constantly increasing irrespective of the political party that happened to control the presidency or the legislature at any given time. The steady and systematic surrender of American national sovereignty was continuing unabated, and it seemed to be a simple exercise in logic that, before too terribly long...the usurpatious forces of unchecked governmental power would take decisive steps to deal preemptively with those who might constitute a serious obstacle or impediment to a future Orwellian-type police state.
Free Bread and Circuses
As was discussed in Part 4 of this series, I had grown increasingly frustrated by the apathy and indifference of the public in relation to the excesses and abuses of government that had long been going on under their very noses. People, in general, seemed overly inclined to ignore alarming trends and developments and...as was the case in past chapters of Western history such as the fall of the Roman Empire...entertainment and the welfare state constituted the major factors that served to divert attention away from what would otherwise be cause for great concern.
One voice crying in the wilderness of the evangelical world during the 70’s and 80’s was Christian author and philosopher Francis Schaeffer, who wrote such books as Whatever Happened to the Human Race and A Christian Manifesto. According to Schaeffer, the twin culprits of personal peace and affluence were two of the greatest enemies of the time. He reasoned that as long as men went unmolested in their own small sphere of existence (personal peace), and were able to experience a sufficient modicum of material abundance (affluence)...that they remained largely disinclined to burden themselves with the negative plight and adversity that others might be experiencing or undergoing.
In A Christian Manifesto, released not long before his death in 1984, Schaeffer went so far as to suggest the efficacy of the withholding of the payment of federal income taxes in response to the horrific moral outrage of legalized abortion that had burst onto the national landscape via the tortured reasoning of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling in 1973. Francis Schaeffer was greatly revered in Christian circles, but even his expression of grave concern and indignation resulted in barely a ripple of influence upon an overall population that was seemingly asleep at the wheel relative to an inevitable future of strife, hardship, and likely calamity.
As time wore on I steadily grew to believe that it would be best to let nature take its course, and to cease trying to save the unsaveable and reform the unreformable. With minimal fanfare I proceeded to wind down the official meeting schedule and began to make a few exploratory trips to the Southeastern Tennessee region where, in conjunction with a few close associates, residential rental accommodations were made as an interim step toward the fulfillment of the previously alluded to “Plan B.”
At the time, my overall analysis had caused me to believe that the Rocky Mountains would be suitable and conducive to the survivalist-type existence that might become a necessity in the not-too-distant future. As 1986 ensued, I pursued certain money-making opportunities that enabled me to travel out West and begin to familiarize myself with a region of the country that had always held allure and mystique...yet had remained distant and far removed.
In short, as time unfolded I came to realize that the pitfalls and unfavorable characteristics were every bit as real and difficult to navigate out West as anything I had experienced in the region of my origins and upbringing. While there were a great many memorable events that collectively comprised my Westward adventure (which I intend to share and talk about in subsequent installments of the Who Is Rick Tyler series of articles), the net result of my sojourning and travels served to deliver me, in circuitous fashion, back to the very point from which my journey began.
After spending roughly six months in Colorado, and making my way out to Spokane and Seattle, Washington...I was then led, circumstantially and through the unmistakable conviction of my heart, to return to the Southeast. After following work opportunities to Louisiana and then Mississippi...I proceeded to Western North Carolina, where my close friends Bob Rutzen and Jim Stepp had relocated to after leaving South Florida.
The Nord Davis Connection
As was referenced in Part 4 of this series, prior to my trek out West, I had paid a visit to Nord Davis in Andrews, N.C. along with my staunch supporter and good friend, Andy...who, interestingly, had been significantly taken in by Nord’s fanciful writings and assorted tall tales. I marveled that anyone could fail to see the classic signs of megalomania and delusions of grandeur in Nord’s pamphlets. At the same time, however, I was quick to give due credit where Nord did exhibit an impressive ability to present and communicate profound truth and information.
I had been quite surprised to learn that Bob and Jim had also become quite enamored with Nord...even to the point of becoming investors in the Collins Generator project. According to Nord, a scientist and inventor from Perth, Australia named Brian Collins had invented a generator the size of a shoebox that would produce enough power to run a small village! Investors were assured that this astonishing device, once activated, would operate in perpetuity without the need for the introduction of any external fuel supply. And...to make matters even more astonishingly favorable...the Collins Generator would produce ozone in significant quantities! Nord had become the most avid promoter and investment fund raiser for the Collins Generator, with total monies likely adding up to hundreds of thousands of dollars! To my great surprise, I learned that Bob and Jim had invested in the project by giving money directly to Nord. Of course...nothing was guaranteed in writing as Nord skillfully parlayed his influence and guru status into a mechanism for separating unwitting “investors” from substantial sums of money.
When I arrived in Western North Carolina in early 1987, Bob and Jim were beginning to grow somewhat wary and suspicious of Nord. They had become close friends with a young family that had moved a few years earlier from California after selling their hardware store business. Tracy and Katherine Talbert had donated heavily to Nord’s work, had become investors in the Collins Generator, and had bought a parcel of acreage from Nord, making themselves his immediate neighbors. Living in close proximity to Nord had enabled the Talberts to begin observing many glaring inconsistencies between his words and actions.
A common interest they shared with Bob and Jim happened to be another field of specialized expertise that Nord claimed to possess in the area of alternative health modalities. Specifically, Nord professed to be in possession of advanced understanding of what was known as the Reams Theory of Ionization...the ostensible brainchild of the late Dr. Carey Reams. The Reams protocol was based upon urine and saliva analysis which, in turn, established a numerical profile that served to reveal all manner of information pertaining to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, as well as insight into likely ailments and maladies that were afflicting the “patient.”
Dr. Reams had operated from a clinic facility in North Georgia during the 1970’s and it was at that time and location that Nord supposedly was discovered to have a cancerous tumor the size of a grapefruit in his colon. (As an interesting footnote, this same facility and property were later to become my own base of operation for most of the 1990’s.) According to a booklet authored by Nord entitled The Curse Causeless Shall Not Come, he had managed to facilitate his own healing through the mastery and application of the Reams regimen of diagnosis and treatment. In the years that followed, Nord had woven the Reams Theory of Ionization, and his purported expertise in the application of the same, into his general repertoire of outreach and education toward his would-be followers and supporters. He regularly and routinely cited his abilities to “heal the sick” as a principal component of his authenticating credentials.
Needless to say, there was no definite evidence to corroborate the sensational claims set forth in The Curse Causeless Shall Not Come. It is obvious and undeniable, however, that Nord leveraged this testimonial and its informational foundation into notable financial gain throughout the unfolding of time.
Unfinished Business in South Florida
When I arrived on the scene in Western North Carolina in early 1987, Bob and Jim were living in RV’s at what had become an inactive facility called the Rustic Campground. They had struck an agreement with an old mountain man named Charlie who allowed them to partake of the somewhat dilapidated facilities for a nominal monthly rent. A few months later I wound up joining them when I pulled a 32’ travel trailer up from South Florida and began working to establish a church ministry with Andrews, N.C. serving as my base of operation.
But first, I felt compelled to act upon a growing conviction of my heart, to return to Fort Myers, Florida and more meaningfully address the matter of deeper spiritual/Biblical truth with the core of what had previously been my patriotic/Constitutional restoration and study group. In retrospective fashion, I was growing increasingly convicted that a significant part of the reason why my previous efforts had failed to produce what I would judge to be satisfactory results was directly linked to my failure to adequately advance the overt mission and role of the church of Jesus Christ in the outworking of my activist endeavors. In a very real sense, the only hope for success in the ongoing and protracted campaign against institutional evil hinges on the establishment of an operational protocol wherein the church occupies a position of paramount importance and significance.
In my past efforts, both in the Carolinas as well as South Florida, I had failed to properly assert and emphasize this pivotal reality. A consequence of this deficiency had been the corresponding lack of sufficient power to produce meaningful results against the well-entrenched forces of evil. Yes...it was painfully obvious that I needed to return to my former theater of operation in order to present to my past associates the rest of the story, so to speak.
In order to follow through on this conviction of my heart, I contacted approximately fifteen of the more dedicated former group participants and announced an upcoming meeting. One of the individuals was a man named Carmen Higginson who operated a barber shop in Bonita Springs, just south of Fort Myers. He graciously made his shop available for the upcoming meeting and I was pleased to find a good turn out and warm reception among those who responded to my invitation. Essentially, I explained to the group assembled that our only hope for meaningful achievement in the ongoing crusade against the wicked forces seeking our enslavement and destruction was to be found in and through the power of the only institution with guaranteed immortality...the church of Jesus Christ.
Matthew 16:18 states, “and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” During the course of this important meeting, I sought to hammer home this all-important point...and proceeded to state my intentions to build and advance the work of the church as the foundation and basis of all that would be subsequently undertaken in the structured and organized battle against tyrannical forces both in and outside of governmental power.
Gateway to the Stars
Not long after the meeting at Carmen’s barber shop, I was invited to speak at an upcoming gathering at the Gateway to the Stars Hotel in Cape Canaveral, Florida. This event was being sponsored by Carl Gorton, who operated under the auspices of what he referred to as C.A.R.L (Christian American Research League). The Gateway to the Stars Hotel had been an impressive facility in its heyday, but by 1987 was in a significant state of dilapidation and disrepair. It had originally been owned and operated by the ministry of legendary anti-Communist crusader and preacher, Carl McIntyre, a flamboyant and enthusiastic defender of the Biblical foundations of Western Christian civilization that had come under extraordinary attack in the post-World War II era. McIntyre had cut a wide swath in the world of Christian publishing, broadcasting, and general activism during the Cold War years spanning the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. By the 80’s his energy and influence were much diminished and the Gateway to the Stars Hotel facility was an apt metaphor for his ministry, symbolizing the better years that were very much to be found in the rear view mirror.
The 1987 event was attended by approximately 200 people and, in addition to myself, was addressed by Pastor Ron Poch, Biblical fasting and natural health advocate Billy Hurd, and former Ocean Ridge Mayor Jon Larsen Schudlick. Also making a brief appearance at the convention was none other than David Duke, who was engaged in the early laps of what would evolve into his maverick, fringe presidential run of 1988.
My message to the group assembled was entitled, “The Wrongs of the Right,” wherein I endeavored to explain how our movement had frequently been its own worst enemy due to its rebellious proclivities and a pronounced tendency toward embracing false teachings and heretical doctrines. It turned out to be of great significance that I spoke at this event, in that I made the acquaintance of several parties who wound up being close, Christian associates in the months and years that immediately followed.
Dropping Anchor in Western North Carolina
After the meeting/reunion in Bonita Springs, and prior to the Gateway to the Stars event, I returned to Andrews, N.C. to resume regular interaction with Bob and Jim. For a somewhat brief period of time we were all living in RV’s at the Rustic Campground near what was known as the Granny Squirrel area. Around this time I began to orchestrate my outreach efforts under the ministry name of Remnant Seekers Ministries. Not long thereafter, I began holding regular church gatherings at the Andrews, N.C. Community Center. Leading up to this formal organizational step was a most noteworthy encounter with Pastor Dan Gayman of the Missouri-based Church of Israel.
A Meeting That Almost Never Happened
It was a hot July afternoon in Andrews and I was scurrying around preparing to load my little family up in our big, green Bonneville to make our way to Maryville, Tennessee where Pastor Dan Gayman was scheduled to hold an evening church gathering. I was cutting things close from the standpoint of time and became extremely frustrated when both of my front doors jammed up when being closed. It was uncanny that the latching mechanisms of both doors malfunctioned at precisely the same time, thus preventing them from being able to be securely closed. I was thoroughly frustrated and on the verge of calling off the trip, when down the hill came Bob making inquiry about my hardship circumstances. I quickly explained my plight and, before I knew it, Bob had produced a hammer and nut driver which he quickly used to open up my door panels. Once inside the doors he freed up and lubricated the problematic moving parts in a short matter of time and I was on my way toward Maryville.
When I arrived at the meeting venue, there was a gathering of approximately fifty people that, like myself, had journeyed from nearby localities. Dan Gayman and his wife Delores were welcoming all attendees and proceeded to conduct an informative, inspiring, and edifying church meeting. At the conclusion I talked at length to Dan and was pleased that we experienced a very favorable chemistry that enabled us to forge an instantaneous bond. Before we parted ways that night, he stuffed some cash into my shirt pocket, encouraged me to contact him upon his return to Missouri, and requested that I give serious consideration toward being in attendance at the upcoming October Feast of Tabernacles in Schell City, Missouri.
Interestingly, the Maryville meeting was also attended by Nord Davis who was quite aloof and distant toward me. He had long been in association with Dan Gayman and it would soon become very apparent that he was disapproving of and jealous of the alliance that I proceeded to enter into with the Church of Israel.
In the days following the Maryville meeting I acted upon Dan’s overture and contacted him via telephone. We conversed briefly and I told him that it was my hope and intention to be in attendance at the upcoming festival event. He then volunteered to share with me his own list of contacts in the Southeastern states and expressed a strong desire to assist me in raising up the church of Jesus Christ in Western North Carolina.
Overall, I was very favorably impressed by Pastor Dan Gayman. He was extremely gifted and knowledgeable and possessed a wide variety of experience that had brought him to his present station in life and ministry. Of course, one of the distinguishing aspects of the Church of Israel and its outreach pertained to its recognition of the diligently suppressed truth regarding the accurate identification of Israel throughout history and in the modern world, as well as the understanding of precisely who constituted the present-day manifestation of counterfeit Israel, also known as the synagogue of Satan (Revelation 2:9 and 3:9).
Romans 11:25 states that “...blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.” This scripture helps us to understand the otherwise inexplicable phenomenon whereby true Israel (those of Anglo-Saxon and kindred heritage) fails to recognize and embrace its true identity, inheritance and birthright. This stupendous truth happens to be of paramount significance, yet the modern professing Christian world languishes in debilitating ignorance relative to that which has come to be one of the most controversial subjects of our time. Needless to say...to deny one’s own heritage and its far-flung responsibilities...and to simultaneously elevate flagrant and willful imposters to the incorrect and undeserved status of legitimacy, constitutes an offense of significant proportions.
Dating back to the early 1960’s, Dan Gayman had established a commendable track record of standing in defense of these pivotal truths while, at the same time, exhibiting an aptitude for soundness concerning the orthodox, pillar doctrines of the historic Christian faith. With this reality in mind, I was greatly encouraged by my newfound association as I embarked upon the serious commencement of my own ministerial calling in mid-1987.
There could be no denying that great wickedness and deception were plaguing the nation as the new millennium approached on the not-too-distant horizon. It was truly exciting to contemplate the corresponding opportunities for the proclamation of hardcore truth that would doubtlessly present themselves in the coming days. As Romans 5:20 states, “...where sin abounded, grace did much more abound...”
The Counterfeit and the Cross
In Luke 9:23 Jesus stated, “...if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” The imagery of the cross carries with it the stark connotation of sacrifice and suffering. Christ died on the cross...and it is through the taking up of our own cross that we become better equipped to die to self and our own sinful desires and tendencies. Yes...as unpopular as the concept is in our cushy, spoiled, modern era...hardship and suffering combine to be a central component of the blending and amalgamation of factors that bring us to the point of growth and maturation in the Christian faith.
Seemingly, at every turn, we encounter hostility and opposition to undiluted Biblical truth. Very often, at the core of that which makes war against the genuine, new covenant gospel of Jesus Christ and the necessary application of the Biblical law which he came to fulfill...we find the skillfully crafted counterfeit which illicitly masquerades as the legitimate manifestation of that which is falsely impersonated.
In my own evolving circumstances I soon came to realize that a sophisticated, counterfeit ministry had become deeply entrenched in the locality from which God had called me to marshal the forthcoming efforts of Remnant Seekers Ministries and the Church of the Remnant.
As the months proceeded to unfold it became unmistakable and undeniable that Nord Davis was anything but the paragon of valor and advocate for truth that he ceaselessly purported to be. Instead, my growing accumulation of evidence led to the lamentable, yet blatant, conclusion that he was, in fact, the classic example of a counterfeit. Over time, I came to realize that he would pull out all the stops in a determined campaign to prevent the successful establishment of the genuine article.
In his relentless effort to fulfill such a nefarious mission, Nord had proceeded to unleash a protracted torrent of venomous hostility and deception against me and all my subsequent efforts. To put it bluntly and concisely, Nord Davis was insanely jealous of me and my presence on what he considered to be his turf. Truth was of no concern or consequence to him as he set about the task of facilitating my demise and destruction. He hated me blindly and with a passion...and for the next eight years, worked with zeal and ardent devotion toward the goal of my destruction.
Needless to say...he ultimately failed miserably in the attainment of his vile objective. It was truly amazing, however, to live through the rigors and adversities that resulted from the skillful attacks of so formidable an adversary. The vicious lies and devious machinations that Nord consistently employed toward the objective of my longed-for demise became a powerful force whereby the sovereign hand of God proceeded to mold and shape my own outlook and awareness. Nord was the ultimate counterfeit...at times difficult to discern in his fraudulent schemes and enterprises. His merciless persecutions against me constituted a significant portion of my own cross which I was daily required to bear up under.
In the end, though, my unprovoked nemesis was delivered over to total delusional insanity and a grotesque and horrific ending. The grim details of this real-life drama promise to be both shocking and instructional.
To be continued.