Pray for Bob and Arvella Schuller
Posted by Bruce Fox at 11:27, March 14th 2012.

I have received information from multiple sources close to Dr. and Mrs. Schuller. They confirm that RHS has significant deterioration of his short-term memory. I'm also told that they have become completely dependent on Tim and Carol Milner who are limiting their contact with other members of the family. One person close to the situation went so far as to say that the Milners were holding the elder Schullers hostage.

Experts in eldercare will identify several red flags in this situation: family members are at each others throats over business issues and are not presenting a unified front in care issues for their parents; and the child and spouse with the greatest self-interest are the ones exerting the most control.

Someone directly connected to the parties in the Schuller/Milner claims against CCM told me unequivocally that it has become ALL about the Milners claims. They are calling the shots in the negotiations and it's all about financial compensation for them. Yes, it's Bob and Arvella's fault that they made Carol so dependent on them and indulged her husband, as well. But now the Milners are holding onto their gravy train for dear life.

Mark my words, sooner or later this will end in competency hearings and lawsuits among the Schuller siblings.

It is now clear to me that these Intellectual Property claims have been mostly driven by Tim and Carol's inability to support themselves. But what they have done is drive a wedge between Dr. Schuller and his ministry. It has deprived him in his final years of the connection to his life work and of the members of the Cathedral and HOP viewers to their Pastor and inspiration.

Can we please be more charitable towards Bob and Arvella? There's no further pound of flesh we can extract. They are both aging and increasingly not in control of their own lives, much less this assinine lawsuit. Increasingly, they are victims here, too. Yes, they set in motion all the things that caused this ministry to fail. But I say let God handle the punishment. They're already watching their life's work (as Robert A. said) "go down the toilet".

To be honest, I'm thankful for the inspiration my family and I received for 40+ years in Garden Grove. However, I have had profound issues with Bob and Arvella. To be perfectly honest, I like Arvella even less than Robert A's ex-wife. I appreciate her talents, but she's also rigid and uncompromising and, along with Dr. Schuller, too indulgent of her kids. Outside of the pulpit, RHS is not what you'd call warm and fuzzy. But I don't wish them any more pain. This story is all but over for them. What's left is for them to slip away and endure the control and manipulation of their greedy daughter and son-in-law. I think that's punishment enough.

Please remember them in your prayers--they have difficult days ahead.

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George @ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 18:06:01 +0000:

@Bruce: Prayer, trust and faith. The word is out now and everyone who needs to know and understand does. How gracious of you to offer not only forgiveness but a sincere desire for healing and stability. Many have enabled this family -- now it's tough love time and the only intervention can come from within.

texgreenfield @ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 18:05:38 +0000:

Yes this is really sad. I hate that this had to happen. The poster is correct in the fact that there in no more we can exact from them. The evils of time and aging are taking over. This is truly the ultimate morality tale. In the end it all slips away now matter who or how powerful we once were. My prayers and best wishes for them both.

Bruce Fox @ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 17:24:13 +0000:

@DK-- I'm sorry if I overstated my connection to Robert and Donna. I worked for Robert 30 years ago (and had an extremely positive experience). The problem is that the family is in disarray and, unfortunately, these things are all too frequently nebulous and hard to pin down. I have done what I can to notify several parties about what I perceive is going on with Bob and Arvella. I'm very conflicted about this--they are living with the results of their own actions over a long arc of time, both with their family and the Cathedral/HOP. But they deserve better than this. I've done my best to share this information with some key players, but I have to admit that I think it is likely to end in competency hearings and lawsuits between the Schuller family. The big question is how well Bob and Arvella safeguarded their money, either through Robert Harold Inc., a revocable trust, their wills, or powers of attorney NOT in favor of Tim and Carol Milner. I'm not optimistic.

Larry Gates @ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 16:40:45 +0000:

DK - thank you - and indeed I was - thanks to the ministry/HOP. I must tell you something I learned: the more money people had, the nicer they were to you.

DK @ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 16:24:34 +0000:

Thank you for sharing your story, Larry. It sounds like a she was a wonderful person, and you're fortunate to have spent time with her.

George @ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 15:35:28 +0000:

I mean to Larry: I'm so thankful...

Larry @ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 15:34:08 +0000:

I am so thankful that she is not still alive to see what has happened ... from what you describe she would have handled it with grace and style. I do hope that whoever stole her endowment will be brought to justice ... to honor her loving gift. That money should be recovered and given to the new owners of the organ ... although my guess is they probably have more than enough money to maintain it. Thanks for your thoughtful and kind response.

Larry Gates @ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 15:21:39 +0000:

George - R is correct. Hazel Wright was the widow of a Chicago real estate magnate and lived on the gold coast - the 14th floor of a marvelous condo (I think she had the whole 14th floor!) She and her husband had been great admirers and supporters of RHS and HOP. She also admired pipe organ music and wanted the new CC to have something "worthy of the building". If you had met her on the street you would not have guessed that she was a multimillionaire. She treated her guests (including me) like royalty. Though she had a maid, she served coffee herself. I admired two antique glass-tipped water tumblers in a glass showcase. When I arrived at home after a 10 day donor trip, the tumblers were waiting for me by UPS. Long story - but that is the Hazel Wright of the organ and maintenance endowment.

Rohrflote @ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 15:11:47 +0000:

DK: you are right, they would conduct an independent evaluation of Robert Schuller to determine if he is orientated to person place time! If hd can demonistrate he is, and they deem all his needs we being met, there won't be much they can do but do a random followup! I actually spoke with a friend who is a caseworker today! I know this is totally separate issue, but he was telling me about when Los Angeles county adult protective services received a referral for Michael Jackson, they went evaluated him, and deemed him to be competent to make his own decisions! Even though it was evident he needed someone to step in, and take control, look out for him etc.

Rohrflote @ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 15:11:47 +0000:

DK: you are right, they would conduct an independent evaluation of Robert Schuller to determine if he is orientated to person place time! If hd can demonistrate he is, and they deem all his needs we being met, there won't be much they can do but do a random followup! I actually spoke with a friend who is a caseworker today! I know this is totally separate issue, but he was telling me about when Los Angeles county adult protective services received a referral for Michael Jackson, they went evaluated him, and deemed him to be competent to make his own decisions! Even though it was evident he needed someone to step in, and take control, look out for him etc.

DK @ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 15:00:17 +0000:

Bruce, since you know RAS and Donna and seem to be on friendly terms with them, I would suggest you talk with them directly about your concerns. Perhaps they can speak with the elders' lawyer as well. There may be legal steps already in place to protect their assets, as well as access to those assets. RAS might know what has been done, and if not, it's time he found out what is going on legally with his parents. I've been through a similar situation with my mother-in-law, and this can open a huge can of worms. I'm not saying the can shouldn't be opened, but RHS looked pretty good on the video, and if he presented that well to an APS person, nothing would be done.

David J. @ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 14:56:04 +0000:

I think that the title of this posting is probably what has saved it from deletion - the mystery deleter, whoever he or she is, probably didn't read the whole text of the message, let alone the comments thread. If they had, I believe it would have been removed already.

Rohrflote @ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 14:32:28 +0000:

Bruce: that's my whole point! It doesn't matter to me what others opinions are! What they think of me or my opinions! My thing is that Dr Schuller whether he is this/ that it's not my business/ concern to judge his life, what he has done in it, who he has offended, how much money he made, earned etc! God almighty is our ONE and ONLY Judge! Unfortunately ignorant people who think they KNOW everything think they know all the answers!! It's aggravating to say the least!

Bruce Fox @ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 14:11:12 +0000:

Good points. Bob can be pleasant with friends, but isn't always warm and fuzzy with "the little people". But they both have tempers and are control freaks. But my point is, even as flawed human individuals (like the rest of us) they deserve better than the increasing isolation and manipulation they are facing.

Godservant1 @ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 14:02:31 +0000:

I guess I know Bob differently. I had dinner with Bob and Arvella and some friends they both seemed pleasant. But I do know that Arvella has a sharp biting tongue. She didnt want Tom Leonard on camera "That fat toad" was the quote. Arvella has always been the gate keeper to Bob. If she didnt like you, you didnt get an audience.

Rohrflote @ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 13:48:50 +0000:

Bruce: I can remember as a young kid/ young adult going with my grandfather on a number of ocassions to meet Dr. Schuller, I have to say he was always very friendly, very kind, and always cracking jokes with my grandfather/ me! I remember when my grandfather was at the last stages of his life, and Dr.Schuller came to the family home. He was very kind, and prayed with us, and comforted our family. I've never seen the other side of him, but I know people have said he had bad tendency/ temper etc.

Rohrflote @ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 13:42:31 +0000:

Mrs. Hazel wright was the lady who donated the organ in the crystal cathedral, she also left B endowment fund that has since been depleted by the family members! She was from Chicago, Ilinois. If memory serves me right it cost$2,000,000.00

George @ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 13:24:21 +0000:

@Larry: Who is Hazel Wright and is she still living?

Rohrflote @ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 12:52:54 +0000:

The problem with a guardianship is that you need a referal from Social Services/ Adult protective Services! Robert H. Schuller would be evuluated with no other person present, and he would have to demonstrate that he is orientated to person, time, place. In a acceptable manner, that is sufficient to the investigator evaluating him. If he couldn't do this, They would then petition the court to appoint a evaluator/ court appointed attorney who will look into his personal affairs/ medical evaluation. For him this might be a good thing cause the court will appoint someone temporarily or permanently as Guardian of the person/ property! And believe me you, it won't be any of the children!

schrom3 @ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 12:50:15 +0000:

reading all this make me absolute speechless and change my point of view completely... I'm stunned...

David J. @ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 12:49:24 +0000:

Historically speaking, Arvella could not be the inspiration for the Cruella De Ville character, since the book came out in 1956 and the movie in 1961, before the Schullers were prominent.

gkissel @ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 12:22:57 +0000:

To put it succinctly: this is part of the downside of stern Dutch Calvanism.

Bruce Fox @ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 12:21:38 +0000:

@rohr-- I'm not sure how effective Protective Services would be--I'm afraid RHS would give them enough to back off. Moreover, with the siblings in such disarray, it quickly devolves into he said/she said. It sounds like the only family members talking to each other are the Colemans and Penners. I have no idea where the Dunns fall in all this. There's no sane core in the family for Social Services to deal with, given that Robert and Donna are so isolated. I fear the inevitable conclusion will be competency hearings and lawsuits among the siblings.

Bruce Fox @ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 12:17:45 +0000:

@Larry-- we're reading from the same page. I also had the displeasure of reading disparaging remarks about me in Arvella's own handwriting. Remember, I'm the miscreant who started the vicious rumor that Walt Disney based Cruella DeVille on her (You know, Cruella DeVille/Arvella deHaan--you never see them together, etc.). Many may consider that cruel, but those who have been on the receiving end of her rigidity and frostiness will appreciate it. She has steadily taken control since RHS accident and surgery and I believe is responsible for indulging the kids. She is absolutely the one who enabled Gretchen's anti-social, dysfunctional behavior FOR FAR TOO LONG!!! In private, RHS is not particularly likeable. He's a lot like Art Linkletter--once the red light on the TV camera goes out, so does the smile and the charm. Unless he's talking to donors. I'm sorry to hear of your experiences, Larry. There are far too many people they treated with far less decency than they deserved and too many they gave too much latitude (Bruce Hollenbeck and Warren Duffy, anyone?).

Rohrflote @ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 12:11:08 +0000:

Thank you soo much for being compassionate toward Robert&Arvella , Bruce it's appreciated very much! I totally agree that calls should be made to Adult Protective services of orange county for dr. Robert Schuller, the only problem is that if he demonstrates to them that he is orientated to person, place, time, and his needs are being met there's nothing much they can do but do speractic unannounced visits which I think should be done! But if there's proof that someone Is exerting undue influence on him, then they will look into it, and investigate it! I'd have to look up the CPL code for it under the guardianship/ family law.

Larry Gates @ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 12:04:44 +0000:

Bruce Fox - at last someone close to the family gives the situation as it is. Your assessment of Robert and Arvella (and Carol and her husband) are so absolutely correct. After being extremely close to them for nearly four years, I have written in one of the opening paragraphs of my book "you (reader) should know that I do not think of Robert Schuller as the nicest person I ever met. Nor does he think that of me." Additionally, my reason for leaving the ministry was a comment made about me, which was untrue and undeserved, by Arvella - when I was on the road in the midst of raising nearly 50 million dollars. Matter of fact, I heard the comment by phone two minutes before meeting with Hazel Wright to ask for (and received) the second million for organ maintenance endowment. However, as you point out, this does not in any way diminish the gratitude I have for RHS for making my life wholly wholly wholly positively different than what I am certain it would have been. Thank you again Bruce - and please keep everyone updated as you are able.

Freddy el Desfibradddor @ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 12:02:43 +0000:

It was Tim and Carol who bought the John Benet Ramsey house in Colorado - what was up with that?

alan @ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 11:53:22 +0000:

Lets report this to social services immediately and have the court appoint an impartial guardian for Robert Schuller.

Bill Holler @ Wed, 14 Mar 2012 11:46:14 +0000:

Very interesting statement. Thank you Bruce.

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