In the sermon, Mr. Tkach said, "Times past I'll tell you . . . wooha . . . we were quick to put people out of the church. And Mr. [Herbert W.] Armstrong said . . . one of the main . . . main reasons was only for causing division and secondly for untold sex acts. As we find the fornicator there in I Cor. 5. But we put people out for every kind of thing imaginable under the heavens . . . it is high time we became shepherds and not sheriffs.
"Too many were very fast . . . quick on the draw with their spiritual guns to shoot people down. . . ."
Dr. Merritt states that publication of the letters damaged his "reputation of honesty, stability, and trustworthiness in his community and in his profession."
He alleges that "defendants maliciously published the letter complained of . . . with the knowledge that it was false" and "the letter was published with reckless and heedless disregard for the truth or falsity of the publication. Alternately, the letter was published out of personal animosity toward plaintiff, and had no factual basis."
Dr. Merritt further contends that actions of defendants "in furtherance of this plan to remove regents by disfellowshipment, constitutes fraud, collusion, and/or arbitrariness."
He seeks his reinstatement, the reinstatement of Messrs. Treybig, Sable and Salcedo, and a declaration declaring the June 16 regents' meeting and actions taken there as void, including the appointment of Dr. Russell Duke as AU president pro tem and the appointment of five new regents to the board.
AU director of institutional advancement Tom Delamater said Sept. 1 he had not seen the suit and would not comment on it.
Dr. Duke did not return phone calls.
Ralph Helge, attorney for AU and the WCG, said Sept. 1 that he was unaware of the suit and could not comment on it until he had read it.
Dr. Merritt had filed a suit in 115th District Court in Gilmer in July seeking his reinstatement and the overturn of actions taken at the June 16 board meeting.
That suit was dropped July 27, after a visiting judge lifted an injunction and temporary restraining order Dr. Merritt had obtained against the university.