2. Ger Leader Mike Mattlage Slanders Ray Pettersen and Noahide Nations
This is one of the most vile and vulgar performances of loshon Hara, slander and liable that I have ever witnessed. This is a complete violation of Hashem's Torah whether you are a Jew or a non-Jew. This was done publicly and spread all over the Internet, especially Facebook.
After viewing the video please return and read a response from a third party who was actually there at the time that all of this occurred. I will include my responses in blue.
Comments on the Mike Mattlage slander video:
First, I haven't received an apology so I don't know what they mean by doing Teshuvah. If he wants to apologize to me he can send me an email @
Second, Teshuvah means specificity, what specifically are they asking forgiveness for?
Third, what steps are they going to take to make sure they never repeat these actions again?
Fourth, do they admit that they were actually wrong, or are they merely trying to placate others so they can further their own agendas?
Fifth, even if there is true Teshuvah here, Matlidge makes the mistaken assertion that we should or must work together.
A minor correction on the name Matlidge mentions in the video, his name is Avraham Bloomenstiel, not Avraham Bloomenstien.
Ray sent two videos. I assume the second video he sent, which is an attack video was sent to show some of the things Mike Matlidge specifically might need to do Teshuvah for. I would like to know if he is apologizing for this video and the many other nasty attack videos he made and sent out (and deleted) over the years.
Regarding history Matlidge represents here, I don't think Matlidge spoke at a VJRI conference until after his death. The first time I remember meeting him was at VJ's 2008 conference. He was there with George Brock's group from Waco and he was in attendance but not teaching. As far as conferences after Vendyl's passing I don't know. I know he was learning with a person whom Noahides had been warned against studying. The warning was made regarding both the material he was teaching and the controversy of his personal life. Matlidge broke off his relationship, I believe, with this person for a time but went back and started learning with him. Eventually, he began learning with David Katz who was another controversial character.
I never saw Mike teach at any conferences when Vendy was alive either. Vendyl would never have allowed the ger teachings. He would have been totally against it.
I'm not familiar with Russell's involvement with the founding of Noahide Nations (or NN), however, I was definitely involved. It started with an idea on a napkin Ray presented to Rabbi Bar-Ron at a meeting where those in attendance were invited to join what would later be called the High Council of B'nai Noah. Ray didn't join the group as he felt it was more important to create Noahide Nations.
Russell Kirk never had anything to do with Noahide Nations. Russell contacted me as a result of finding the Noahide Nations web site on the Internet. A few people in their I Get Ger 2.0/Shalom 70 group were their at the beginning with financial support but also had nothing to do with the creating of Noahide Nations. Sadly, they have sat back and watched Mike and Russell's continued attacks against me and Noahide Nations and chose to do nothing to defend me and/or Noahide Nations.
At the beginning of the NN project Ray Pettersen, Andy Overal, Jacob Scharff, and I (then) Adam Penrod, would have weekly meetings about creating the website. We even came up with a name for ourselves, the "Core Four." Eventually, Ray took sole control of the development of the project but asked me to help him organize some articles and help him contact a few people (This was in 2004 - 2006 which is when the site launched I believe). He also asked me for advice on matters here and there. Perhaps Russell was involved in the project but I don't remember Ray ever mentioning him until I moved to Kileen, TX in 2007(8). I met Russell for the first time and we became friends and eventually, he took me to meet George Brock (I previously met George at a VJRI conference but didn't know much about his group in Waco). I attended George's Saturday morning meeting and suggested they broadcast the meeting on Shabbat for those who couldn't attend. They did this and it was a success. I don't remember seeing Matlidge there although I think he lived in Waco. At this time, Russell wasn't actively involved with Noahide Nations or even George's Group (as I recall), although I think he might have been friends or acquaintances with Ray.
George Brock has been providing the online and live Noahide gathering for 12 years or more in the Noahide Nations Academy of Shem. I wish more people would come and join the gathering. Join us HERE
The Noahide Nations Project at no time ever tried to control information. In fact, when Ray and I discussed it, we referred to it as a melting pot of Torah knowledge. The point was not to insist on one viewpoint of Torah learning but to offer up as many viewpoints as possible for others to draw their own conclusions. The problem NN and other B'nei Noah projects faces was a lack of serious and reliable Rabbis.
Matlidge grossly and I would say maliciously misrepresents the NN project in his video. Proof of my claim is the relationship with Rabbis that Ray was unable to form because they wanted to control NN. They wanted their version of the Torah to be the only voice. Ray was against this and always fought to keep NN independent. Eventually, Ray's fierce independence for NN was something I felt dissatisfied with, but to Ray's credit, he has always been consistent in his stand.
The only Torah that Noahide Nations has allowed to be taught was Orthodox. I have made a few poor choices along the way and I regret making them. And, there were virtually no Rabbis in the Orthodox community who wanted to teach non-Jews. Many, to this very day, refuse to teach non-Jews. I'm sure their reasons for this are many. In fact one of the reasons could be the overall disrespect shown them by these, so called 'ger'. Why would anyone want to be involved with people who have no problem slandering you when you don't agree with them. Certainly, I don't associate with them.
The characterization of NN being a money only or money-focused organization is unfair and completely wrong. The point of selling materials was to recoup costs Ray spent out of pocket for products and services for those in the B'nei Noach community. As far as I know, he never made any money with NN but lost money. When I worked for NN back in 2012-2013 my paycheck wasn't a result of money NN was making but Ray paying me based on a deal Ray made with an investor at the time. I was paid for my work on NN and the work I did for the business, although eventually, I became an exclusive employee of NN. I feel Matlidge's characterization regarding money and NN was malicious. These words were false and harmful to Ray's and NN's personal reputation and brand.
What is amazing about this is that Mike has made the "only for the money" statements repeatedly over the years but has no problem with his teachers generating funds for expenses and maybe a meal or two. But Noahide Nations is not allowed to do this without being brutally attack by Mike, Russell and the members of their I Get Ger/Shalom 70 group. More on this later in the Ger Hypocrisy section of this book.
If memory serves, originally there was an organization called the Central Texas Noahide Group (or something) Ray founded with those in Central Texas, but eventually, he started NN (or turned this organization into NN) as a separate project.
This is accurate and neither Mike nor Russell were ever involved with its creation.
Matlidge spends some time in the attack video going into David Katz and how he (Matlidge) first had the ideas Katz would later offer regarding ger and therefore the concept was nothing new and therefore (presumably) legitimate since someone else thought of the idea. Such a path to legitimacy should be suggested to flat earthers in their quest to legitimize their claims as Matlidge thinks having an idea makes it credible.
This is simply Mike's getting away from him. Meaningless dribble.
I can't speak to whether Matlidge ingeniously "discovered" ger before people became aware of ger, but I have already written a lengthy commentary on my interactions with Katz which I put on the NN discussion forum at some point. I can provide that background if it is necessary later.
Matlidge also inserts his credentials as being a part of the living transmission of Kabbalah by learning from his teacher (the controversial one mentioned earlier). This isn't correct, it is impossible for Matlidge to be part of the living transmission because he isn't Jewish. If he wants to be part of the living tradition of the teachings of Judaism he should convert. Matlidge's comment here reveals part of the reason the "Ger" group has been so controversial. In effect, his claim is non-Jews can be as much a part of the transmission of Torah tradition as Jews. This isn't true.
After making his claim about the transmission of the Torah, Matlidge returns once again to his complaint that Noahide Nations charged him for learning Torah. As I understood it the charge was so Ray could pay Katz who wanted to be paid for his efforts. What's the problem? I have lots of criticisms for Katz but I never criticized his need to be paid for his work (although I questioned whether he should be paid for the quality of his work which was terrible).
This is further shown with text and images in the Ger Hypocrisy section. But, one thing for sure is that David Katz demanded $500 a month from me to teach.
This video is an attack video where Matlidge accuses Ray of "prostituting the Torah." Is the apology video apologizing for this attack video and others like it Matlidge made?
Mike Mattlage admits that he asked that question as if he was some kind of hero or something. He did this during my lecture and in front of an auditorium full of people. Mike has no problem tearing people down and should probably have a glance at Ethics of the Fathers (Pirkei Avos). Clearly, he never learned any manners. Again, more of this kind of nonsense can be found in the Hypocrisy section.
Next, Matlidge claims Avraham Bloomenstiel was brought on to Noahide Nations to destroy Katz. When Ray first told me Katz would be writing articles for NN I was annoyed. I don't know if I ever told him this before, but it really irritated me for one reason. Here was one more Rabbi from who knows where who had something to sell to Noahides. He was selling his version of "the way things are for non-Jews." He had zero credibility, no one knew who he was and he had gone through no vetting process (another such video is the Matlidge's personal teacher he mentioned earlier in the video).
This statement is correct and once I found out that he refused to share substantive sources for his articles his articles didn't published on the site and others removed. I do not blame this person for being upset with me and well they should have. I am embarrassed to say that I gave David Katz his opening into the Noahide movement. I am still paying for that to this very day.
Over the twenty years of being involved with B'nai Noah, the one consistent thing I saw over and over again was anonymous Rabbis who had no credibility, were unvetted, but with a new vision of the seven laws walk off the street to claim their all-important role as the teacher of all Noahides. The result of almost every one of these people was they came in and created a huge mess, made some money, and then left like a puff of wind. Noahides needed to stop consulting with nobodies and needed to start looking for Rabbis with some kind of credibility in the Jewish world. David Katz had zero credibility in the Jewish World and here he was selling his insights into the seven laws. At first, he called this the Academy of Shem, but grew dissatisfied with this term or concept and eventually rebranded it to "ger" after he left NN. Did he cause a big mess? Yes. The only difference between him and other Rabbis is he's still around and still making messes.
When Ray brought me into the office to tell me Katz quit NN my first reaction was, "Thank God," because I knew this guy was going to cause problems; which he has. Ray was mad at me at the time for having this attitude but after Katz's round of bridge-burning, I think he understood my insight better.
Sometimes I can be a bit thick, but, Hashem is working with me regularly.
I introduced Ray and Avraham Bloomenstiel to one another because Bloomenstiel had the credibility Katz and others lacked. He had credibility in the Jewish community and his learning was far deeper than Katz. Katz had smichah and was a Rabbi but his smichah counted as a basic degree, like a Bachelor's degree. Bloomestiel, on the other hand, had a Ph.D. for his smichah. He was trained as a posek, formerly served as the Rabbi of a synagogue, and worked as a sofer. He was also well known in the Jewish community he was a part of. Comparing credentials and credibility Bloomstiel had these in spades whereas Katz and others did not. That's why I introduced him and hoped Ray would add Bloomenstiel as a teacher or something.
The only thing I can add is that when Rabbi Bloomenstiel was closing his Judaica store I purchased a ton of his books.
Eventually, it was decided he would teach a class on the seven laws of Noah. In part, these classes were meant to inform b'nei Noah regarding actual halachah so they would have the tools to distinguish between real halachah and nonsense. If Bloomenstiel was brought on expressly to destroy Katz then why was the class about halachah and not Katz?
This is all true. I would add that the way this all came about was that the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Pirchei Shoshanim contacted me and it turned out that Rabbi Bloomenstiel was a teacher for the yeshiva. The Rosh Yeshiva (Rabbi Fichel Todd) wanted to discuss the creation of a Noahide Laws course. I agreed to meet and he flew out to Dallas from New Jersey and he, Rabbi Bloomenstiel and I met in my office. The yeshiva wanted to create a course for Rabbis to take in order to learn the Noahide Laws and assist all the non-Jews who were showing up to convert but had never heard of the Noahide, let alone the Noahide Laws. It was decided that the course would be developed in such a way that the Rabbis and Noahides would be able studying side by side.
I asked them why they chose Noahide Nations for this venture. I was told that they had investigated a number of different Noahide groups and organizations and determined that we were an organization that could be trusted and that we were the organization that had demonstrated that we would be around for the long haul. Needless to say, but, I was very gratified to hear this from them. And, so began the research by a team of poskim to develop the course.
I reviewed a lot of the material Bloomestiel wrote and I don't remember reading anything about David Katz in the material. I do remember a discussion on the technical usage of the term "ger," and that was done because the term was misappropriated to name this new thing Katz and his followers were trying to figure out.
As the founder of Noahide Nations I was able to sit in on a number of classes that went through the entire program. I actually graduated with Class 1, but, during this entire time I never once heard Rabbi Bloomenstiel use David Katz's name.
I say figure out because Katz wasn't clear in what he was trying to say about non-Jews and the Torah while at NN. It was clearly a developing idea while at Noahide Nations but at some point after he settled on a name for his new concept. The release of Katz's book "World of the Ger" left many people confused and they had a lot of questions. Rabbi Bloomenstiel was asked these questions and he did his best to answer them as clearly as possible. This was not him attacking Katz but him responding to legitimate questions.
This attack on NN and Rabbi Bloomestiel in the second video (which almost sounds antisemitic) is perhaps one of the things Matlidge wishes to apologize for?
This is the video Mike was in condemning a group of highly respected Rabbis that Mike Mattlage refers to as the "Crazy Eight" and calls Avraham Sutton "Satan" rather than his actual name. Truly disgusting.
Matlidge contrasts the "money-grubbing" Jew Bloomenstiel and Pettersen with his own selfless act of making Torah free to everyone. That's really big of him being so selfless, giving something away for free that no one would pay for. Perhaps he's apologizing for the nonsense he's been "teaching" over the years?
More on this in a later section.
After this, Matlidge announces Ray's attempt at becoming the leader of all Noahides when he went to Israel to create his own Noahide Sanhedrin. Frankly, I don't remember this at all. The closest Ray came to a Sanhedrin that I can recall was the Noahide High Council formed by the Nascent Sanhedrin which he resolutely rejected being a part of. I'm not sure what he is talking about it could be the matter he's referring to happened during the time I was disconnected from b'nei Noah, but as he mischaracterized other matters, I'm hard-pressed to take him seriously on this point.
This is just further evidence that Mike Mattlage cannot be trusted on very much that he says. The fact is that neither my wife or I have ever been to Israel either as a couple or individually. Hashem has never blessed us with that opportunity. And, yes, I resigned from this council for reasons that I will not get into here.
Next, Matlidge claims his fight against NN and Bloomenstiel is the fight against good and evil, but it's not a churchy fight. Is this one of the comments he's apologizing for?
Of course Mike believes he is the good and that we are evil. The reality happens to be the exact opposite but I will leave that for you to decide.
He claims he is protecting the Rabbi or Rabbis (I'm not sure) but he does clarify that the Rabbis he will stand with are Katz, Clorefene, and presumably the ones who agree with him. I say this because I remember him attacking Rabbis and Jews and B'nei Noah in videos he put out. His attacks were so vicious that at one point Bloomenstiel had to call the police on him because of verbal threats he made on a Ger Gravy video where he said people should hunt down Bloomenstiel, Ray, myself, and others. Is he apologizing for this in the apology video?
Rabbi Bloomenstiel was actually called by one of the members of the I Get Ger group and had his life and that of his family threatened. I have spoken to the person who did this because he sought to do teshuvah with Rabbi Bloomenstiel. The enormity of the attacks by this group is more vast than can be articulated here. However, I will say that David Katz actually accused Rabbi Bloomenstiel, publicly, of not even being a Jew and then went on to accuse Rabbis Bloomenstiel's parents and grandparents of the same thing. Just imagine what he would do to you if you didn't agree with his teachings?
Matlidge claims he and his group were in this since Vendyl Jones. I guess he's claiming they were a part of it while Vendyl was alive. I do remember some people in the Katz group associating to certain degrees with Vendyl but I don't remember Matlidge and I used to teach at VJRI and worked at their offices in Israel and later in Grand Prairie, TX. Maybe he's apologizing for his faulty memory?
He claims once more the ger are the protectors of the Jews, but he means the Jews who agree with them. Being one of the Jew's who was attacked by him, I can attest he certainly never tried to protect me. I think Russell Kirk tried to keep me out of this fight for a while but unfortunately, we eventually went our separate ways.
I was very incensed by Matlidges's next attack on Ray regarding an investor who supported NN. I know exactly who he is referring to. I worked for Ray and this person.
The investor was a homosexual Matlidge ranted, so what. I had many conversations with him and he seemed like he was trying to honestly find his way in life. He claimed to believe in God and I saw him do a lot of good things for different people. I was shocked when I learned what he did and what he did had nothing to do with being a homosexual. Homosexuals also want a relationship with God, and even though they may sin in one part of their life (like all of us) it doesn't mean God wants nothing to do with them. They are still people, created in the image of God.
The investor was a businessman, so what. Did he swindle a lot of people of their money? Yes, including Ray! This person is now in jail because Ray reported him and went after him legally (like a Noahide should). From Mike's comments, it sounds like he is claiming Ray along with the investor both were trying to swindle people! This attack was hitting below the belt, lowdown and dirty, and plain false. Is he apologizing for this in his apology video?
It's true that my wife and I had all of our retirement savings stolen, $180,000. We now live on Social Security with no savings. Our lives changed forever on that day. And, yes, I worked with the FBI for over two years to get this guy convicted and imprisoned. He was sentenced to 11 years and must serve a minimum of 80% inside. Unfortunately, my wife and I have been sentenced to the remainder of our lives living on less than poverty level income. What is sadder still is that there are members of their I Get Ger/Shalom70 group that knew exactly what went on but chose to allow Mike Mattlage to ravage my name and reputation. I am very disappointed in them for allowing it to get to that point.
The attack video was filled with things Mike Matlidge and perhaps others need to apologize for. Is the apology video he sent an apology for these things?
I have no problem with the idea of forgiving a person who sinned against me, but I have no reason to then work with them.
There is also no requirement that I and/or Noahide Nations have to work with them. They will just say I am now anti-redemption for not joining their Facebook group..
I was in yeshiva and we were discussing the notion of teshuvah. One of the guys in the class asked the rabbi about pedophiles. There are pedophiles who to do Teshuvah, the Torah says we should forgive a person if they do Teshuvah. So he asked the Rabbi, must I forgive a pedophile?
The Rabbi said, "You must assume his Teshuvah is genuine, but that doesn't mean you have to trust him. Don't let your kids near him!"
In conclusion, if this is a legitimate apology and Matlidge is attempting to do Teshuvah then I am willing to forgive him if he ever apologizes to me for the things he did to me, but I don't think I would ever be willing to work with him on a project. I think he's burned his bridges and should just do his own thing.
I would only add that what Mike calls teshuvah is not teshuvah at all. Anyone who uses the words "IF I have done anything..." is not taking responsibility for what they have done let alone confess what he did. And, to send it to the huge list that he said he did speaks volumes of the number of people he has harmed along the way. He does, however, provide an excellent teaching opportunity on what teshuvah is and what it is not.
I would also like to add that whenever someone talks to be about ger people, it's never anything good. It's always some ger person attacking someone else or making some unreasonable claim.
I think the clearest sign for the people who are calling themselves "ger" should start demonstrating their sincerity by stopping acting like jerks.
All the best,