Testimony of Ralph Dowd

Ralph Dowd is False Prophet Ronald Weinland’s traveling senior elder, having followed Ron on his travels extensively on his own nickel.  If I recall correctly he may now have PKG members under him in a geographic area of responsibility.

Ralph has been an elder at some level for a long time, having been ordained while still in WCG. After WCG broke up in 1995 (the apostasy), he was a member of the United Church of God for a time and actually was a member of the board for the the corporation for the local Cincinnnati congregation. Ralph’s son Ed is a UCG minister based in Wichita, KS.

The transcript below is for the cross examination by the defense. Ralph was a government witness and I don’t have a transcript of the government’s direct examination.

BY MR. CLINE:
Q Good morning, Mr. Dowd.
A Good morning, sir.
Q If you have trouble hearing me —
A Yes, sir, I do, I’ve got a little hearing problem from 40 years working at General Motors.
Q I’ve got the same problem for a different reason, so I’ll try to speak up. Let me start by asking you about church expenses.
A Yes, sir.
Q Is it fair to say that you don’t have personal knowledge of the church’s expenses?
A No, sir, I don’t.
Q At one point you were asked, I think, who decided how to spend the church’s money and I think your answer was that you guessed it was Mr. Weinland, but you didn’t know? Do you recall that answer?
A Yes, sir.
Q Is it fair to say that, again, in terms of your personal knowledge you don’t know how those decisions are made?
A No, sir, I don’t.
Q Okay. You were asked some questions about the structure of the church?
A Yes, sir.
Q Do you recall those questions? And if I understand it right, it’s a — it’s a — what I’ll call a hierarchical structure running from God to Jesus Christ to Mr. Weinland to the evangelists to the elders and to the members; is that a fair summary?
A Yes, sir.
Q Is there a spiritual basis in your view for that structure?
A Yes, sir.
Q Can you explain what that is?
A Well, it’s just — it’s a way of life to us. The Bible tells us how to live and the scripture is there and a person that’s teaching it out of the scriptures is nothing — it’s just a way of life. And that’s what we look forward to, you know. And like it says, that your children can play out in the streets, wild animals will be — like the lion will be eating straw and the child can put his hand in a cobra’s den and won’t be bitten and we won’t have to worry about the pedophiles out there that bother our children or anything like that. It’s just a way of life where God’s government will be in force.
Q Let me ask you this: Do you see anything wrong with the way the church is structured?
A No, sir, I don’t.
Q You were asked — you testified I think that as a senior elder you’re not involved with church finances; correct?
A No, sir.
Q Do you see anything wrong with that?
A No, sir. It’s — once I write the check and send it in, that’s God’s money and whoever gets it, that’s their responsibility before God.
Q You were asked whether there’s a board of directors at the Church of God – PKG. Do you remember that question?
A Yes, sir.
Q And I take it there’s not, there’s not a board of directors?
A Not to my knowledge.
Q Do you see anything wrong with that —
A No, sir.
Q — as a senior elder?
A No, sir.
Q Is it consistent with your spiritual beliefs?
A Yes, sir.
Q You were asked whether there’s a finance committee at the Church of God – PKG. Do you recall that question?
A Yes, sir.
Q As a senior elder — and I take it the answer is not to your knowledge?
A Right.
Q As a senior elder of the church, do you see anything wrong with the fact that there’s not a finance committee?
A No, sir.
Q You were asked I think if you wanted to know something about the church finances who you would ask. Do you remember that question?
A Yes, sir.
Q And I think you said you would ask Mr. Weinland; right?
A Yes, sir.
Q Have you asked Mr. Weinland for any —
A No, sir.
Q — church information?
A I don’t think it’s any of my business, it’s his responsibility.
Q All right. So you’ve never made that inquiry to him —
A No, sir.
Q Now, you were asked some questions about a Swiss bank account? Do you remember —
A Yes, sir.
Q — those questions? And I think you testified that some years ago Mr. Weinland in a sermon mentioned to the church that he intended to put some of the church’s money in that Swiss bank — in a Swiss bank account; right?
A Yes, sir.
Q Do you recall that? Now, was it your understanding, as an elder in the church at the time, that the money that was going to be in the Swiss bank account was the church’s money?
A Yes, sir.
Q And that it was going to be held in that bank account for the benefit of the church?
A Yes, sir, because banks in America was falling, the government was baling them out, AIG was going under, and it was — the euro at that time was worth a lot more money than the United States and if the banks and stuff failed in the United States, then we would have something to keep the work going on.
Q The work of the church?
A Yes.
Q And did it matter to you, as an elder in the church, whose name actually appeared on that bank account?
A No, sir.
Q It was your understanding that that was the church’s money regardless of whose name was on the account; is that fair?
A Yes, sir.
Q Did you have any concern as an elder with Mr. Weinland putting the church’s money in a Swiss bank account?
A No, sir, I trusted him fully.
Q Did you think that was some kind of a misuse of the church’s money?
A No, sir.
Q All right. You were asked some questions about diamonds and — diamonds and gold and that kind of thing. Do you remember those questions?
A Yes, sir.
Q Did you have an understanding in the 2004 to 2008 period that the Weinlands were acquiring diamonds and valuable metal like that?
A I wasn’t sure of the metal, but I know that there was some diamonds bought, because back in the depression, back in the ’30s, diamonds kept their value of all things. So it was used — that in case we needed to barter or to keep the church afloat, we could sell the diamonds.
Q Was it any kind of a secret within the church that Mr. Weinland was acquiring diamonds on behalf of the church?
A Not to my knowledge.
Q You knew about it; right?
A Yes, sir.
Q Did you hear Mr. Weinland talk about it?
A He might have mentioned it, but I don’t know other than that.
Q All right. But as an elder of the church, you were aware that diamonds were being bought on behalf of the church; is that fair?
A Yes, sir. I even bought a few.
Q Did you have any concern about the church acquiring diamonds?
A No, sir.
Q Did you think that was any kind of a misuse of the church’s money?
A No, sir, because like I said, back in the depression diamonds was the only thing that kept its value up, you know, and the dollar was no good, you know. I know apples was five cents apiece and it was hard to come by five cents. But diamonds, to my knowledge through my father, they said that itkept its value.
MR. CLINE: All right. Thank you, sir. That’s all my questions.
THE WITNESS: You’re welcome, sir.

THE COURT: Mr. Nasson, any redirect of this witness?
MR. NASSON: Yes, sir.
REDIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. NASSON {US Attorney}:
Q Mr. Dowd, you had just told Mr. Cline that your understanding was that the church put the money in — that Mr. Weinland put the church’s money in Swiss bank accounts around 2002 because of possible bank failures?
A Yes, sir. Well, the economy of the United States was going down, people was losing their jobs and banks failing, insurance companies failing, investment firms.
Q You named AIG as one of those companies, sir?
A Yes, sir, because I had — I was involved with them.
Q Do you know whether the church has left this money over in Switzerland or whether they brought it back?
A Yes, sir, I believe they brought it back for the books.
Q When did they bring it back to use for the books?
A I don’t have that information.
Q Well, were the books published around — was the second book published around 2006 or so?
A I believe so.
Q Okay. So is it fair to say that the money was brought back from Switzerland — to your knowledge, the money was brought back from Switzerland around 2006?
A I don’t know when it was brought back, sir.
Q But it was brought back for the publication of the books?
A Yes, sir.
Q Okay. Was there any discussion within the church about moving money back to Switzerland when the U.S. economy began to fail in 2008 and 2009?
A Not to my knowledge. I know it was used for advertising for the books and stuff.
Q So the money was being used for advertising for the books around that time?
A Yes, sir.
Q So when AIG and Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and there
was the big bailout and the great recession around late 2008 into 2009, did Mr. Weinland say, we should move money back to Switzerland because the economy is failing?
A I never heard him say that, sir.
Q Thank you, sir. You also told Mr. Cline that you were aware that the church purchased — the church said — Mr. Weinland told you that the church was going to purchase some diamonds in preparation for end times; is that accurate?
A I know they bought diamonds. I don’t know if it was announced that they was going to buy them or not, but —
Q How do you know they bought diamonds, sir?
A I guess more hearsay and seeing them, you know.
Q Where did you see the diamonds, sir?
A Mrs. Weinland had them on her finger.
Q Oh, she wore them as jewelry?
A Yes, in case of traveling, if it was needed, she could sell them for the work if she was — if they was stuck over wherever they traveled.
Q So the diamonds that you were aware of were not loose stones, but were actually pieces of jewelry that Mrs. Weinland wore?
A As far as I know, yes. I don’t know of any loose stones.
Q Do you know who paid for those diamonds, sir?
A No, sir.
Q Was it your understanding that the church was buying those
diamonds to be used for the church?
A I don’t know. I can’t say.
Q Okay. And you had testified in response to Mr. Cline’s questioning that you had purchased some diamonds as well; is that correct?
A Yes, sir.
Q Did you purchase these or did the church buy them for you?
A No, sir, I bought them.
Q And did you seek reimbursement from the church for the diamonds?
A No, sir.
Q Why not?
A Because they’re mine. It’s just like I bought one for my 25th anniversary, I bought one for my 50th anniversary, and I bought one when my wife passed away.
MR. NASSON: Thank you, sir.
Nothing further, Your Honor.

MR. CLINE: May I ask one more, Your Honor?
THE COURT: Yes, sir.
RECROSS-EXAMINATION
BY MR. CLINE:
Q The diamonds that we were talking about that you saw with Mrs. Weinland —
A Yes, sir.
Q — your understanding is that those were for the use of the church; is that fair?
A What’s that, sir?
Q Your understanding that the diamonds you saw with Mrs. Weinland were for church work, for the use of the church?
A Yes, sir.
MR. CLINE: All right. That’s it, Your Honor. Thank you.Thank you, sir.
THE COURT: Anything else of this witness?
MR. NASSON: No, sir.
THE COURT: Thank you. Mr. Dowd, you may step down, sir.

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23 Comments

  • Atrocious says:

    What I got out of that testimony was that the people sitting in RW’s audience are totally brainwashed, accept everything that RW tells them, and don’t care what RW does with any money they send in. That was the defense? That they don’t care? What does that have to do with tax evasion? That it’s ok to file fraudulent taxes because RW did it? I’m really beginning to believe that the defense is working for the prosecution in these transcripts. LOL

  • seaside says:

    Q Did you purchase these or did the church buy them for you?
    A No, sir, I bought them.
    Oh how the lies just keep piling up. I was privy to a conversation about two years ago where Mr. Dowd announced how wonderful the Weinlands are,and generous too for the jewelry they purchased for him, not sure if it was a ring or necklace, but I do remember trying to swallow feelings of nausea. Mr. Dowd also commented on Laura’s wonderful rose perfume, bought for her by her loving husband, in Australia,,hers and his favorite brand..’well it was very expensive” he stated, with just the right aire of haughtiness. Another ‘red flag moment’ Sermon after sermon, pounding it into everyone,,not to wear any cologne..except for the queen.

  • Avalokiteshvara says:

    Quote of the Day: “Once I write the check and send it in, that’s God’s money and whoever gets it, that’s their responsibility before God.”

    What. a . complete. idiot…

  • Rterlecki says:

    You got that right avalokiteshvara. What are these nuts thinking?

  • martin says:

    Quote of the Day: “Once I write the check and send it in, that’s God’s money and whoever gets it, that’s their responsibility before God.”

    No Mr Cline, you dummy, it’s your responsibility to not fund a proven false prophet.
    Ronald Weinland has proven to abuse and steal tithes, and you are continuing to fund a false prophet, so that he can deceive more people.
    Your responsibility before God is to cease funding a PROVEN false prophet.
    You have abated and aided somebody that is deceiving many.

  • James says:

    It seems by his ignorance or blind eye, Ralph Dowd does the work of Satan. He doesn’t believe his bible, he believes Ronnie, a proven false prophet and now, a convicted tax cheat.

  • Avalokiteshvara says:

    You mean, Mr. Dowd? Cline is the lawyer…

  • gullible says:

    Why would you wear diamonds on your finger and tempt potential thieves? Wouldn’t it be safer to buy precious metal/stones/jewellery that doesn’t require you having to wear it, so people know about it?

    From what I know, ron only mentioned it during the sermon, because someone said something to someone (who may have spoken to someone else, who may have spoken to someone else, etc, etc) and have made it into laura’s ear, who would then tell ron to make some lame excuse for it in his sermon a.s.a.p.

  • gullible says:

    I must say Mike (DDTFA), your timing couldn’t be better with these transcripts as we are counting down the days. Thank you very much.

    I wonder how ron is feeling as he anticipates his day. One can only speculate what will happen to ron on and after the 29th October, but ron would probably use what we say to reinforce he’s persecution and validate himself as a true prophet to his flock despite his failures. He can even say something like, that just as soldiers casts lots and gambled for Jesus’ clothes, the mockers are speculating as to what his sentence, prison experience, aftermath will be. The difference is that ron deserves it!!

    So yesterday I did my family budget, and it’s been a long time since I did one. I just realised that for me to save back on what I’ve sent to ron (as in cash only, not accounting other things) will take me approximately 208 weeks (about 4 years). This is on a trimmed down budget reducing as much as possible. On my previous budget it would have taken me approx. 300 weeks (over 5 and 1/2 years).

    So, although I’ve still got a while to go, I can see that I’m on track. If ron gets, even half the jail time, it’s a bittersweet feeling. However, technically, if you add up all the people he’s scammed, a lifetime sentence would certainly still not be enough.

  • martin says:

    You mean, Mr. Dowd?

    Yes, I meant Ralph Dowd.

  • Budgie Smugglers says:

    Well, I don’t know so much about this sentencing thing, I don’t think Ron would be classified as a high risk prisoner ? More like low-risk, which will probably see him put in a low-risk facility, which is most likely a Country Club, without alcohol. I mean, look at Charles “Tex ” Watson, of the Manson family, he became a Church minister, while incarcerated, and now he can go into town on his own, to preach in his Church, ( as long as he comes back there’s no problem ), he’s also permitted to go to town for shopping , and other outings, related to the Church, he’s in. ( and that’s a mass murderer from40 years ago )…. not an aged 30 year minister facing a tax fraud rap ? So whats to say, a prison term handed out will only be your Fed. Govt, on a window dressing exercise ? I hope its not like that, but a lot of do-gooder types have crept in to Government bureacracies over the years, going a bit ” soft ” on some crims ? I may have it wrong about there in the U.S., but I’ve heard so much ( more recently ) in the bowels of power, saying ” let’s not punish them so much, but rather rehabilitate them, treat them with human dignity and they MAY not re-offend “. ? ( but in the end, who really can say ) ?

  • Budgie Smugglers says:

    Something else has been bothering me too lately, well, its not that I’m likely to lose any sleep over it, but, what would happen if Ron, were to find out say, that one of his elders, were incarcerated in their past for tax fraud, maybe as a bank manager or accountant, in his past ? Or for misappropriation of member’s funds in a retirement scheme ? Had served his debt to society, and were now respected and popular elder in ‘ol Bubble-head’s Church, Maybe someone who knew Ron could answer me this ……….. would Ron disfellowship the guy ? On finding out something from someone’s past ? And if so, and if the members also backed Ron on such a move ? Then what would Ron’s fate be in the so-called Church of God ?, in light of his current circumstance , and convictions ? Anyone ? 😀

  • Jack Hertzog says:

    Is the 29th of the month the date of Ron’s sentencing ?

  • let’s not punish them so much, but rather rehabilitate them, treat them with human dignity and they MAY not re-offend

    In Weinland’s case, what an unlikely scenario that he would rehabilitate (he might not re-offend only because he’d smarten up in prison on how not to get caught).

  • Jocko says:

    Mike, Thank you very much for posting the trial transcripts.

    Can’t wait to read the chapter entitled “Dimwit Dalrymple, Backache’s, and Legitimate Church Expenses”.

  • Mike (DDTFA) says:

    Afraid I don’t have transcripts for Steve’s testimony.

    Rumor going around PKG that Ron has settled the case. But no new court filings, sentencing still on the Courtroom schedule for Oct 29

  • whatmeworry says:

    I forget, was Laura and Audra in the audience during the trial? And if so, was she still wearing said “investments” on her fingers?

  • Avalokiteshvara says:

    Message to Ronald Weinland:

    “you’ve been lying so long
    you don’t know what’s real
    you’re a figment of your own imagination
    and people see through you…”

    Bruce Cockburn, “People See Through You”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53JkTgdTKd0

  • J says:

    Rumor going around PKG that Ron has settled the case. But no new court filings, sentencing still on the Courtroom schedule for Oct 29

    I’m no lawyer, but settlements occur in civil trials. For criminal trials, the equivalent is plea bargaining. He never attempted a plea bargain. He stuck to his plea of not guilty, and was convicted. What is there to settle? I call BS.

  • Avalokiteshvara says:

    The PKG love rumours and lies – its what keeps them returning week after week to the “Ronald Weinland SuperDuper Story Hour.”

    They pay lots of money (tithes) to be told great fairy tales about how they are going to be magic future people…

  • Mike (DDTFA) says:

    Budgie asked “what would happen if Ron, were to find out say, that one of his elders, were incarcerated in their past for tax fraud, maybe as a bank manager or accountant, in his past ? Or for misappropriation of member’s funds in a retirement scheme ? Had served his debt to society, and were now respected and popular elder in ‘ol Bubble-head’s Church, Maybe someone who knew Ron could answer me this ……….. would Ron disfellowship the guy ? On finding out something from someone’s past ?

    As far as I know, Speedy Sam is still an elder 2 1/2 years after this posting.
    http://ronaldweinland.info/falseprophet/2010/03/03/speedy-sam/

  • Budgie Smugglers says:

    Thanks for that “blast from the past” there Mike ( DDTFA ), that explains alot . I’ missed that story, It was before my time as a mocker of ‘ol Bubble-head .
    I hope Ron is tormented in jail with the thought that ( if he has criminals in the organisation ) , they not only know what he’s upto, but they know how to take it ! ( for the money-making potential ) 😀

  • Velvet says:

    How can he settle, if he’s already been convicted? Bit late for a plea bargain at this point….unless he’s able to pony up the. scratch…..