General sense of well-being

Husband/wife church co-leaders mending fences in wake of arrest

The Independent, Gallup NM/November 5, 2005
By Jim Maniaci

Grants — The husband and wife co-leaders of a small religious group in rural Cibola County indicated Friday they are reconciling their differences which led to him being jailed for four days.

In telephone conversations Friday, Gen. James Green, 60, and Gen. Deborah Green, 58, said she is retracting to the Cibola County Sheriff's Office deputy who arrested Mr. Green on Oct. 29 at the Shim Ra Na Holy Tribal Nation in the southwestern portion of the county her story of being threatened with murder.

He was arrested on a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon for allegedly trying to cut his son-in-law, Phillip Green, 42, and Phillip Jordan, 55, with a curved blade at the end of a pole. In turn, James Green received 40 staples at the hospital in Grants to close head wounds from Jordan's walking stick. Jordan was not charged. Jordan and James Green both indicate it was self-defense.

On Nov. 2, the required 10 percent of a $25,000 secured bond was posted at the Cibola County Detention Center and James Green was released. He is scheduled to appear Tuesday in Magistrate Court in Grants for a preliminary examination.

Mrs. Green said they have reconciled and that she had visited him in the county jail "because I wanted to communicate more. We'll have a reconciliation." Mr. Green said he and his wife have apologized to each other and are "trying to tone things down."

Denies threat

Mr. Green added, "I never threatened her. She told me last night she was really scared. I love my wife."

He fears hooligans injuring, maybe even fatally, children at the farm. Mrs. Green said there are normally about 30-40 people there. The sheriff's office said the farm has been the subject of numerous vandalisms, sometimes violent, as well as low-flying aircraft buzzing the site.

Mr. Green said he has been trying to get Aggressive Christianity, "The Army That Sheds No Blood," to introduce reforms, especially opening up communications. After years of persecution and harassment, the group has retreated into its enclave east of Fence Lake.

The Greens emphasized this was the first time anything like this has happened. "It turned into a shouting match and got out of hand," he admitted. Mr. Green summed it up by saying, "It was kind of a family feud."

The sheriff's office agrees the group has been peaceful, noting their total cooperation in repeated investigations and that all outside allegations have proven to be unfounded. The sheriff's office also has recordings some very threatening against the group by disgruntled parents. Often, according to the sheriff's office, the troubled parents want their adult children under their control, but their offspring have gone to the haven to seek a different lifestyle.


Both of them said several times that outside harassment and persecution have placed heavy pressure on their relationship. They have been married 35 years.

Apparently the strain led to Mr. Green becoming violently angry last Saturday when he tried to enter his home and Peter Green and Jordan would not let him.

He described them as much larger, heavier and younger than himself, saying they provoked him. He hit one of them on the back, "to scare him out" of the home, James Green said. A peaceful man, he can use force to remove trespassers who won't leave, he said. This led to Sheriff's Deputy George Hanna whom James Green described as a friend ordering the three of them to drop their weapons, when he came upon them in the driveway.

James Green said he was trying to apologize to the men at the time. He had tried to quietly slip into the house to talk to his wife. She told the deputy, according to his report, that he threatened to kill her and the other two. Now she says she was mistaken.

Mrs. Green said it "was a lack of communications over issues," and that Mr. Green had voluntarily left the farm for a few days.

Violent eruption

"I was out of the room when the violence erupted. I hadn't seen him with such a violent temper in 35 years. I've never seen him erupt in such a way. In retrospect, my assumption could have been based on my fear (then). But I'm not living in fear of my own husband (now)," she said Friday.

Mrs. Green both hold the rank of general in their organization added, "It's been a lack of skillful communications. I've made decisions of my own which are probably somewhat equal to his. It's all because of the persecution, which has been quite a pressure for a number of years."

The organization devotes itself to a Bible-based literature mission throughout the world. And she notes, "We've developed a different style of living than most people."

She explained, "We've done missions in Africa, India, the Philippines, the Caribbean and over the border in Mexico, preaching and teaching the word of God."

Started in 1979, the group left the Sacramento, Calif., area for five years near Klammath Falls, Ore. Wanting to be closer to its Mexican missions, it obtained a site near Las Cruces, which became too small. That's how the group ended up on the farm in Cibola County.

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