Open Post For a Man On the Run
On February 2, 2018, I emailed a letter to the head of the cult in which I spent 15 years, some of the best years of my life.
In the letter I confronted Kåre J. Smith, the top leader of 20,000-member strong Brunstad Christian Church (BCC), (formerly Smith’s Friends or, in Norwegian, Smiths Venner,) about many problems going on in the “church” worldwide. I cc-d another dozen top BCC leaders so that Smith couldn’t deny I’d sent the letter.
Many people predicted that I would get no response.
They were right.
Weeks later I emailed copies of the letter to about 500 current and former BCC members across North America and Europe. In that email I included an old letter that I wrote to Smith and then top leader Bernt Stadven back in 1994. I hoped doing this might goad Smith into responding. I cc-d him and the same group of leaders I cc-d on the original email. I got no response to that mailing, either.
To date, not a peep from Kåre J. Smith or any other BCC leader.
Try as we might, no one seems able to find K. J. “Waldo” Smith in that great sea of humanity out there.
The Norwegian authorities want him. The Dutch authorities want him. Newspapers and independent journalists all over northern Europe want him. A growing number of BCC members who are sick, tired and offended by his inane campaigns of money-grubbing terrorism want him. And I would not at all be surprised if some quite unsavory “business associates” want him, too. You know the kind I mean. No one launders money in the volumes that BCC does (and has for decades) without getting into bed with money launderers and other unsavory characters. Like maybe Russian hackers, for instance.
About the only ones that don’t want Kåre J. Smith are European banks, several of which have already terminated their relationships with the cult and refuse to do further business with it. With its discredited reputation worsening daily, that list of “Your money’s no good here!” institutions isn’t getting smaller anytime soon. Quite the contrary.
Last I heard, Smith was spotted in Connecticut… or Sweden… or popping up at Brunstad for cameo appearances, then promptly vanishing again into the crowds…
Come out, come out, wherever you are, K. J. Waldo!
So now, three months later, with nothing but the sounds of silence greeting my latest efforts to engage him, I’m making the letters public.
I wrote to Smith and Stadven in the spring of 1994 after they instigated, without good cause, a legal action that forced me out of my home and away from my children for ten days. Terrorism rett og slett, as a Nordmann would say. Not surprisingly, I received no response to that one, either. Here’s the text of that letter, printed and mailed by regular post to Smith and Stadven and about 150 members of Smith’s Friends in the U.S. and Norway, as many addresses as I could lay hands on at the time. I made it an open letter because I knew full well that otherwise Smith and Stadven would deny it ever existed. It was much easier to disappear information back then.
(Note: If you get a “problem loading this page” message, it’s a Google Drive problem. Try refreshing the page in your browser several times. Even if that fails, downloading the file will still work.)
Many people people have asked what I did to warrant such harsh treatment. Here are my best guesses; but bottom line, K. J. W. Smith and his cronies never said why they did it. Mum’s the word in Waldoville. A quarter century later, I’m still left guessing. Maybe he’ll come out of the closet and enlighten us.
In my second letter, emailed to Smith over three months ago, I told him what the escalation leading to this step would be, so he has known it was coming all along.
We didn’t have to get here. He could have responded.
He’s now had two chances and more than 24 years to meet me like a man would. In the interim, I’ve sent messages through BCC members inviting him to get in contact with me — since no one would share his contact information with me, lol.
Time’s up. I’ve given him all he’s going to get.
Maybe after this step he’ll come out of the dark. We’ll certainly find out.
I won’t hold my breath, though. Guys like this rarely man up.
Here is the last I’ll write to him unless he responds:
Kåre J. Smith, please pry from your face the cat that got your tongue and speak up like a grown man.
Or, continue just like bullies and thugs and tyrants and posers do, juveniles all: Bold as lions when roaring at captive audiences from their little podiums in sanctuaries and meeting halls or in front of the camera or from grungy thrones in gangland dens — and why do these twits always have thrones? — but dumb and scared shitless man to man.
Johan Velten, whom you’ve long known as a former member and longtime critic of Smith’s Friends/BCC and you in particular, (author of Smiths Venner, originally Ansatt av Gud,) told me recently:
He always starts trembling when confronted and not having his supporters around. And he never goes into discussions with opponents. He is tough only from the pulpit. Man-to-man, he is utterly cowardly.
I can’t confirm that because, despite several requests to meet with you over the last many years, you refused even to show up. In the U.S., that’s known as “being a wuss.”
Your grandfather had lots to say about people like you, none of it flattering.
(For others reading this, Johan Oscar Smith — who with his brother Aksel founded Smith’s Friends in Horten, Norway, in 1905 — was Kåre J. Smith’s grandfather. His lineage has been a big reason why a Goofus like his grandson could get as far as he did.)
No matter, it’s all good, because whatever you do will only add to the story, and soon everyone will see clearly what you are and are not — if they don’t already.
All the power over your reputation is in your hands and by your actions from here on out you will decide how and for what you end up being known.
Maybe some charitable souls tried giving you a chance like this in the early days, before Stockholm, but finally decided it was no use? Who knows.
I recommend you come clean.
You call yourself a prophet. Ja vel…
… to be a prophet you must speak!
And not only to your acolytes in closed session.
Give it a try. It’s not as scary as you think.
I’m an honest, straightforward person. I’ll give you a fair hearing.
But first, I need to hear something.