Religion: The Church of Liberal Borrowings

Plagiarism and fraud charges rock the Seventh-day Adventists

The 3.8 million-member Seventh-day Adventist Church is normally the most doctrinally placid and prosperous of faiths. Lately, however, it has fallen into unaccustomed uproar. For starters, church members are suing Adventist officials in an Oregon court for fraud and breach of fiduciary trust, stemming from the 1981 bankruptcy of fellow Adventist Donald Davenport, a Los Angeles developer. The suit charges that without adequately checking Davenport out, Adventist clergy blithely invested church trust funds with him and urged church members to make their own investments. As his empire collapsed, Davenport supposedly used newly raised...

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