July 15, 2005
Dear sister Thompson:
I have received and read your letter of July 10. Your expression of hurt and sorrow was very touching—it shook me greatly. The description of your agony moved me even more in that I have obviously, albeit inadvertently, contributed to it. I am writing to express to you my deepest regret for any and all of the extra pain and burden my “Summation” statement has brought to you, to your sons, and to Bert during a time when you must have been already bowed down with almost more than you could bear. I humbly ask for your forgiveness for so doing.
Please be assured that I am not writing this under any compulsion from or even at the suggestion of anyone. I do so because I believe that it is simply the right thing to do—freely from my own heart. I can understand why you must think the very worst of me at present; I do not blame you for doing so. You may or may not believe what I will say further, and it perhaps will not heal any of the hurt, but even so, I want to assure you of a few things relative to the “Summation” statement:
I put these matters in written form in order that, upon receiving inquiries (several of which I indeed received), it would be simpler to have a summary on hand. I genuinely regret that I did this—an act, which, if I were able, I would most certainly undo.
The things I wrote in the statement were the type of things that one might discuss only in a phone conversation with family or closest friends, never intending them to go any further.
I never at any moment had it in my mind to publish, broadcast, or widely distribute my statement in any way—and I have not done so. I was not harboring any such secret intent at the time I talked with brother Chesser. At the time he wrote me (June 17), I had sent it only to a very small number (23 individuals, to be exact). Although I did not say so in the “Summation,” the e-mail message carrying the attached statement that went to these few told the majority of them not to distribute it. To the rest, a mere half-dozen, whom I trusted implicitly, I cautioned them that I trusted their discretion in receiving it. Obviously, someone or ones believed they needed to pass it on, and it thus multiplied. Again, this is not an attempted excuse, but rather the simple and honest explanation of its apparent far wider distribution, totally unintended by me.
Contrary to what you may think (and it may not matter to you at present), I have prayed many times for you, for your sons, and for Bert from my first knowledge of this tragic situation. Furthermore, Lavonne and I have joined in prayer for all of you more than once. We continue to do so.
If I had it in my power, I would distribute this letter as widely as my statement has been circulated. Unfortunately, I have no way of knowing the extent of the circulation. I am sending it to those who have received a copy of my “Summation” of whom I am aware, although this is a very limited number (several have contacted me who knew nothing of this document until they received brother Chesser’s mass-mailed letter to me). If you wish to supply names and addresses of those to whom you would like me to send this letter, I will gladly send it to them. Of course, I will be pleased for you to pass this letter on to any and all others of your choice.
I am sure that Lavonne and I cannot even imagine the suffering and sorrow you have been, and are, enduring. Again, I am very sorry my words and actions have added to them. I grieve also over the fact that the words of my statement implied hardness of heart, lack of compassion, and unwillingness to forgive. I certainly should have expressed those sentiments openly. Please know that I do indeed accept Bert’s confession(s) as sincere. Last night I received a forwarded message with his e-mail address in it. I am sending him a letter by e-mail similar to this one today.
I will continue to pray for better days for you and yours.
Your brother and servant,
908 Imperial Drive
Denton, TX 76209