Trials of Founder of Order of Mans

San Francisco Chronicle/December 24, 1972
By Rev. Lester Kinsolving

The Rev. Dr. Earl Wilbur Blighton, who confers a variety of diplomas and degrees through the monastic-type order he founded here, is wanted by the police in Rochester, N.Y.

Father Blighton, founder-director of the Holy Order of Mans with national headquarters at 20 Steiner St., San Francisco, has identified himself as the reincarnation of St. Paul.

His order is permitted by the State of California to issue both diplomas and degrees. And so can any other corporation that will affirm in writing that it has $50,000 worth of property to be used for educational purposes.

Branches in 47 States

While the Holy Order of Mans now has branches in 47 states (and an income in excess of $1 million a year), there is no branch in Rochester - where in 1951 Blighton jumped bail on a charge of practicing medicine without a license.

He had been fined $500 and given a suspended sentence and probation in 1946 for practicing medicine without a license. (Charges of petty larceny in 1932 and grand larceny in 1936 and grand larceny in 1936 were dismissed.)

And Rochester authorities seem in no hurry to seek extradition for the 1951 bail jumping, although the warrant is active.

Questions about his past seem to offend the Rev. Dr. Blighton - especially those relating to one additional conviction: non-support of his former wife Katherine, and their child in 1949.

"It's none of your damn business!" exclaimed the Rev. Dr. Blighton, adding, "Everyone in this outfit knows about my past.

"You can print it wide and fancy, but at your own risk! There's a Power that takes care of people like you!"

He declined to comment upon his bail jumping in 1951. In October, the Rev. Dr. Blighton told The Examiner that he came to California in 1948. His biographical statement made no mention of his minor criminal record.

He recalled that his doctorate was awarded him by a "Wesleyan Methodist school in Los Angeles."

But the doctoral certificate framed in his headquarters hallway notes that the doctorate was awarded by the Faith Bible College of Florida, a mail order diploma mill operated by the Rev. Herman Keck, a Sing Sing ex-convict who this September was jailed for fraud.

Father Blighton's Order is "licensed with the State as a bona fide school of Bible study and licensed to give degrees and ordinations."

Diploma Law

In Sacramento, Noel Glasgow of the Bureau of School Approvals of the State Board of Education said that under Section 29007A3 of the Education Code, any corporation affirming at least $50,000 worth of property and a devotion to education can legally issue diplomas and degrees.

Glasgow also recalled that in June of 1971, the Holy Order of Mans had filed such a statement.

Glasgow said that neither his agency nor the Attorney General's office had ever visited the Order of Mans' headquarters on Steiner Street.

However, a 13-page affidavit has been filed with the Bureau of Investigation of the State Department of Consumer Affairs by Penni Randcliff, a research technician to the Bay Area, whose father, Dr. Robert Randcliff, is a Modesto surgeon.

Miss Randcliff, who left the Holy Order last April, stated that when she first entered the Order fin August of 1971, she was seriously ill with mononucleosis, she was ordered to shampoo a rug. And despite the highly contagious nature of mononucleosis, she was ordered to assist in preparation and serving of food at Raphael House, the Order's charity center for transient women.

Miss. Randcliff also stated that she was told by two of the Order's leaders ("Master Andrew and Rev. Marian) to stop taking medication. Both of these assistants of Father Blighton's attempted to heal her, she stated, in a manner describe in a manner described by her father as "chiropractic adjustment."

Chiropractic is apparently something of a feature of the Order - which, when called "The Science of Man Church" (prior to reincorporating in 1968), had a chiropractor as "Director of Healing" and as one of the church's incorporators in 1961.

But this chiropractor, Dr. Edward R. Riffle, said that he had not been connected with Blighton (one of his former patients) for years.

I'm now a Pentecostal, "Dr. Riggle said. " In studying my bible I found I could not agree with Blighton. "

Dr. L. Roy of the San Francisco Chiropractic Association is now treating what he says is "eight to nine of them a month."

"They all seem turned on and going good, " observes Dr. Roy. "And they think so much of Father Blighton that they bought him a 1972 Buick station wagon for Christmas. As for practicing chiropractic at home, anybody can - provided you don't charge for it without a license. After all, chiropractic is somewhat difficult to define. Even the masseuses are doing it!"

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