The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality was formed through the efforts of Mark Coleman, the agency’s first Director. Mr. Coleman packed the agency with members of the Church of Christ.
Interestingly, I encountered Mr. Coleman a few days before I joined the agency. I met Mark Coleman at morning Mass at a Catholic parish. When introduced to him and I explained that I had just been hired by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality as the coordinator for the Total Coliform Rule, his reaction was anything but happy or engaging. The discussion was oddly brief. the other members behaved as they knew Mr. Coleman well.
So, I was surprised when I came to work at DEQ to find that Mr. Coleman was a Church of Christ member–but I was not surprised to the point of being perturbed as were the people at DEQ to whom I innocently mentioned having met Mr. Coleman at church–my parish that is.
A person with knowledge of the Church of Christ and DEQ explained to me that both have cultish characteristics. Is there any evidence for the Church of Christ to be cultish? Let’s take a look.
This examination is not an attempt to disparage everyone who is a member of a church of Christ congregation. These are by the nature of this organization, independent bodies. Put certain beliefs, such as the impossibility of salvation outside of the Church of Christ, or any church for that matter, can make for an extremely hazardous combination when that body becomes mixed in an extensive–even foundational way–way, as it did with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality.
With time, and especially without its founding visionary, Mark Coleman, one should not expect the “Church of DEQ,” to have gone off track and to develop abusive and corrupt practices.
I will be developing an expose of the confluence of church and state, the possible cultic nature of the Church of Christ and the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality and this agency’s corrupted practices. I will be developing the confounding problem of nepotism as well in another, upcoming waterwhistleblower.org entry: UPCOMING: Nepotism & an Intentional Group of Church-of-Christ Members Rule Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality in its Bureaucratic Senescence