Today, we'll look at Paul J. Morken, and specifically at a lawsuit Morken filed against Pat Robertson and how Robertson reacted. The following is from an April 22, 1996, Virginian-Pilot article, about a situation that "began when Robertson fired law school dean Herbert Titus in July 1993."
On Aug. 22, 1994, Robertson wrote a long letter denouncing some law professors who had challenged his leadership of Regent. He compared them to Branch Davidians and cult leader Jim Jones. He called them ''fanatics'' and ''inept as lawyers.'' He implied that they were racist, sexist and anti-Catholic.In sum, Morken was fired by Pat Robertson, who called him irrational, a cultist "after the order of Jim Jones or the Branch Davidians," "lacking in common sense," "inept," "myopic," and a "third=rate mind." Morken then sued Robertson, a lawsuit that eventually (in April 1998) was settled as jury selection was underway. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed. That's the story of the second person who signed Bob McDonnell's Dominionist, theocratic thesis. Great stuff, huh?
It got the faculty's attention. It also got Robertson sued for libel by three Regent law professors, each seeking $10 million in damages.
The suits were filed in September 1994 against Robertson personally and Regent University by law professors Roger Bern, Paul Morken and Jeffrey Tuomala...
"No rational person burns down the house he occupies," Robertson wrote. "No rational professional person seeks to destroy the source of his own employment and career advancement. Only cultists after the order of Jim Jones or the Branch Davidians do such things. Hence the complaint merely served to reinforce the view held by leaders at the ABA that the Regent Law School was in the grip of extremist fanatics."
Robertson wrote that the ABA wanted assurances that the law school was "not a fundamentalist cult opposed to women, blacks and people, such as Roman Catholics, who did not fit the narrow definition of Christianity held by the present dean (Titus) and certain of his faculty members."
He also wrote of the complaining faculty, "I have never encountered a group of supposedly educated people who were so myopic, so lacking in common sense, or so inept as lawyers."
He wrote that Regent "will never rise to greatness if it must depend on third-rate minds to get there." Eventually, two of the professors, Bern and Morken, were fired.