Christian Media Network: 2001-2002

Prophecy for Sale by Craig Portwood

 

 

 

Things had begun to go badly at Lloyd and Lenox's Applegate cattle ranch in the summer of 2001. I had earlier informed James that was in desperate need of time off, and he asked me to postpone my vacation until he had finished his “Spring Tour”. James procrastinated and the "James Lloyd Prophecy Odyssey 2001 Tour" had to be rescheduled repeatedly, and with each rescheduling, I was required to postpone my trip, subordinating my needs even further, to the needs of James Lloyd and Christian Media Network. Added to that were the problems caused by Ralph Haaff with a network host Rick Walters, who had recently joined the network. James was "on tour" by that time, and I was called upon to make peace between the two. At the same time, the "Quartz Creek Fire" was bearing down upon the "Undisclosed Mountain Location", and I had to keep a vigilant eye on the fire, with the intent that the equipment in the studio must be packed up on a moments notice and placed into the back of the two pickup trucks they have, for relocation to a new site which we didn't at that moment even have.

 

Added to this was the fact that the springs from which James and Susan obtain all their water had dried up (a regular summertime routine) which required me to climb up the mountain carrying the heavy tools needed to clear blockages, and to swing a pick into the mountainside, pry rocks loose with a heavy iron bar, and haul away the debris to ensure a faster "trickle" of water into the collection pools which fed the storage tank below. Thankfully, Susan was also there to help. It was hard labor. This was in addition to keeping two studios in operation simultaneously from 9:00 am to 2:00 am,  not only on the air and on the clock, but also the internet audio feeds which were constantly "dropping off", and which were a separate issue.Tape sets still had to be produced, beef jerky had to be canned, and the animals still had to be fed and watered twice daily. And of course there was the matter of two live broadcasts which had to be prepared for.

 

This began to take a toll on my health which did not improve with the progression of time. I began to suffer breathing problems and had nearly constant pain in my chest, which was not relieved by lying down to rest at night, but actually increased to the point where I took to sleeping in a corner, propped up with pillows. There was a numbness in my feet which grew progressively worse. All told, it was a very miserable time for me. I was being "used up" quickly, and my (perceived) usefulness to James Lloyd was nearly at an end.

 

That summer, beginning during the last 2 weeks of June, I suffered terrible health problems, particularly affecting my breathing, which resulted in tremendous chest pains which made sleep difficult. In addition to that, the long hours of working two studios during 16-18 hour workdays which included caring for the herd of cattle they own, writing , producing, and recording commercials, canning jerky, duplicating audio tapes, and a host of other things I will not relate here, were adding to my difficulties. As anyone who had listened regularly to the network or had anything to do with the ministry knew, I was more loyal to Christian Media, and James Lloyd, than a whole pack of dogs.

 

Late that summer, after I relayed my medical challenges on the air, I began to receive packages from a listener in Michigan, that were clearly sent to ease my suffering. She sent a few filters for my gas mask, which I had mentioned allowed me to breathe without pain. She also sent herbs and essential oils, which slowly began to reverse the pain I had been suffering. The packages were from Linda Kristich, whom I have since discovered had stopped giving money to James Lloyd at about that time, because as she relayed to me the following year, she felt strongly led by the Lord to stop giving to Christian Media. 

 

It is now clear that James, at some point, associated the two events, and attributed to some master manipulation on my part. The only contact I had with her at that time, was a public one; she was an occasional caller on "That Stupid Friday Show". Over the summer, she not only sent gifts to me, but also to my co-host Francis Steffan and his wife Elizabeth. After learning of my health situation, Linda tried to help me recover and sent packages to help improve my health. 

 

The Christian Media Fire of 2001

 

At last, James committed to a schedule and began his tour in August. I was left holding down the fort with Susan, and occasionally “Doug” Hudson. At that time, I began to plan my vacation, and discussed the idea of holding a gathering with Rick Walters, who had recently joined the network, and what became known as the “First Annual Clifty Falls Remnant Gathering” was scheduled for a weekend, around the middle of September. While James was on tour, a series of forest fires broke out in the mountainous area where James lives and does business, threatening many homes in the area, and closing Little Applegate Road where we lived, to all but local residents and those who had business there. This fire (later dubbed the Quartz Creek Fire), charred thousands of acres and several times during its course the flames threatened to engulf the studio and buildings on the 88+ acre property. This required constant vigilance to see to it that we would always be ready to “tear down” the equipment in the studio at a moments notice, leaving little time for sleep, at a time when James himself was thousands of miles away. Every night I watched as the flames threatened to rush down the mountain toward us, planning which of my few personal possessions I would have to sacrifice to insure that there would be room in the truck for the studio equipment that was to be rescued.

 

In addition to these demands, I was given little "recreational time" to recover from the heavy schedule as I had little personal time to myself, because Susan, accustomed to having James around all the time, did not enjoy solitude and it seemed as though she needed constant company. That company was me by necessity. There were other things that made this a difficult time for me. One was the fact that Susan's drinking had become a concern. I remember being surprised the first time that I saw James with a 12 pack of beer in the back of his truck with the groceries. I know I had heard him preach against alcohol on the radio when I first heard him, and discovered after my arrival in Jacksonville, that he too enjoyed a Rum and Pepsi, or a Black Russian after (on rare occasions during ) a broadcast. (This was before he began doing his program in the mornings.)

 

Susan Lenox Sound Body

It was no secret that Susan (pictured) always seemed to have a beer in her hand after hours, and on the weekends, but perhaps because I wasn't used to being with her all the time and hadn't noticed the extent of her alcohol consumption, or because of the increased anxiety she was experiencing because of the threat of being burned out of her home, she seemed to be drinking more heavily than what I thought was usual. I had never seen Susan drunk during a weekday until that week, and it was an uncomfortable time for me. I was oftentimes asked by James to buy Susan some beer on those occasions when I had an opportunity to go shopping, and considered it none of my business to judge her for it.

 

I do not bring the issue of drunkenness in attempt to judge . The scriptures are plain enough. See Deuteronomy 29:19, Luke 21:34, Romans 13:13, Galatians 5:19-21, 1st Corinthians 6:9-10. The issue is raised because of the hypocrisy of judging without understanding and without a righteous moral position from which to judge. See Matthew 7:3-5, Luke 6:41-42.

 

She has since admitted (in deposition) that she drank too much for three or four days in a row. To add to this, she has stated that she hadn't eaten during this time. How she could deny being drunk after admittedly fasting, consuming only beer and water for three or four days in a row, must be left to the imagination.

Susan Lenox

 

At Susan's request I bought her a 5 liter (1.3 Gallon) "keg" of "Sapporo" Japanese beer to hold her over for awhile, only to discover she had finished it in two days. It continues to amaze me that she does of all things, a health oriented show, and with an air of superiority over others, given her weakness for alcohol. It is not her weakness for alcohol that is disturbing to me but her hypocrisy. The fact that she has had no education in any health science doesn't seem to stop her from giving medical advice.

 

Thankfully, the fire was contained a week or so before James returned. I neither expected, nor received any special thanks for my efforts during this time of extraordinary challenge. Doing the duty of a “soldier” is a reward in and of itself. To add to the dangers of the situation, the spring upon which we relied for water had dried up, requiring several hours of intense physical labor to effect a remedy. I was spent, and was never more happy to see James, as I was when he returned from that tour. I was looking forward to three weeks of time off. But as things turned out, I anticipated a rest I would never get to enjoy.

 

James returned to Jacksonville and I proceeded with my recreational plans. I had booked a flight to Detroit Michigan which was scheduled to depart on Thursday September 6th 2001. Not knowing that I would be returning to Oregon on September 11, 2001, I prepared to attend the First Annual Clifty Falls Conference in Madison Indiana, expecting to enjoy three weeks of rest and relaxation.

 

It seemed as though God did not yet want me to attend the conference.  I flew to Detroit Metro Airport and prepared to join the gathering in Madison Indiana, but just a few days before the scheduled conference, an attack was made on the World Trade Center Towers in New York City on the 11th of September. I immediately attempted to call James at his private number and received an eerie prerecorded message on the telephone. “The number you have dialed, 541-8-9-9…8-8-6-0, - has been disconnected…No further information about 541- 8-9-9…8-8-6-0- is available…” The recording seemed to have an unforgettably ominous quality. I called Susan’s personal line and heard a similar recording. Fearing that the expected curtailment of travel could be imminent, I once again subordinated my personal needs, and rushed back to Oregon that very day, arriving just three days later, on the 14th, weary from the almost continual drive (2,400 miles of driving), ready to serve the company in whatever emergency arose. 

 

After what turned out to be a four day vacation, I was back at work. Life eventually returned to what was considered to be “normal” and I continued to do all those things I had done before, with one exception. I informed James, that I could no longer work the audio mixing board in the studio, unless I was allowed to be solely responsible for the studio, to prevent some of the difficulties that were always present as a result of “too many cooks,” messing up, if not ruining the “broth” of operations. I also expected him to bring me current on the $50.00 a week I had been shorted since my return.

 

James plead poverty. He insisted that he could not afford to keep his word to me. He had to hire another individual to assemble Co-LLOYD-al Silver Generators (his pun, not mine). Sales were down, (even though sales of all the products I had to produce, tapes, Beef Jerky etc. had never been greater) costs were up, and a whole load of other spurious sounding reasons. Some may judge me of being as concerned about mammon as James is because of this, but there is more involved. It was more a matter of principal; how much he valued my service was in direct proportion to how much I was paid. I is after all, a mail order company.

 

As I loathe wrangling over money and in exasperation I suggested that I would settle for ½ of the amount he had cheated me out of in back wages, less $300.00 for a Radio Shack DX 392 shortwave radio James owned (which I had damaged slightly, bending the telescoping antenna accidentally). I told him if he did not feel that was fair, I would continue to work for the old wage and let God Judge between the two of us. By the end of the week he decided to accept my offer and I strove to uphold my end of the bargain. The health problems that had begun that summer, although they had begun to mend somewhat, were still a problem and it became clear that I either had to leave or I would die at my post. I chose to leave. I would be maliciously attacked by James Lloyd for many years for this act of perceived disloyalty.

 

I kept working for James Lloyd dba Christian media Network for another 9 months. My health began to deteriorate. I gave James Lloyd my during the first part of May.

 

About two weeks before I left Christian Media, I told James that I would return around the second week of July, but that I would not be able to return as an "on site manager" of the network. I told him that my chest pains were growing worse, that my breathing problems were not getting any better, and that my feet were going numb. I could not continue the pace. I told him that I would have to cut back to a 12 hour work day, with weekends off. I further told him that Linda was planning to move to Oregon upon the completion of divorce proceedings and that I had hoped to rent a room from her.

 

He told me that he was concerned that there would be an "appearance of impropriety" from outside observers, and mentioned what Steve Quayle (not God) might do with such information. I told him I was dying, and that I didn't care what Steve Quayle thought about it. In my dedication to both James and the network, I nearly lost sight of the fact that if I did not protect myself from the things that were killing me, I would be of no use to anyone.

 

I had already rented a storage unit in town and had moved my belongings. James seemed bewildered as to why and I told him that I believed that God had put it on my heart to do so, and besides, It would leave more room in the small shack in which I was living. As it turned out, it was a very prudent move. Had my belongings been left with James, there is no doubt that I would have not been allowed to retrieve them. God is so good. As it was, I left a few items behind anyway, including a brand new vacuum cleaner I had purchased a few months before---You're welcome James.

 

 Placing the needs of James Lloyd before my own was killing me, and if I rented from Linda, she  could help me take care of my health, and at the moment, I had to be more concerned about taking care of my BASIC needs, than I about taking care of the needs of James Lloyd. I told him not to worry about any of it, and that I would return rested and ready to keep the network on the air as I always had. And that if he had a problem with that to lay it all out on the table now before I left. Although he has changed his tune about the whole matter, he did state not only on the radio, but on the internet that I had left under "satisfactory terms". He later changed his story" when he decided to try and crush me. A a few months before, Lloyd decided to repeat his now famous false prophecy concerning the 4th of July date for the beginning of the "Great Tribulation".

 

Friday, May 24, 2002 is a date I will always cherish. Although I didn't realize it at the time, that was the day I gained my freedom once and for all from James Lloyd and his Christian Media Cult. I had begun to remove my belongings and put them into storage only the month before, motivated by a sense that it must be done before I left for the "Second Annual" gathering at Clifty Falls State Park in Madison Indiana, which I had scheduled for the weekend of May 31-June2, 2002.

 

 

I was free and Lloyd couldn't change that fact.

 

 

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