Personal Update From JD Hall: For the People that Care About Me

Thank you to everyone who has messaged, texted, called, or sent a letter during my recent trying times. I appreciate it so very much. I am writing this as an update for everyone who has not had their messages returned, which is almost everyone, from close family to supporters around the country. Thank you for not taking my lack of response personally. 

The last two years have been very difficult for me. Challenged by some of the best attorneys in the state, including the former governor’s chief legal counsel and former clerks with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals,  I have been greatly over-spent and out-worked at every turn. I am incredibly thankful for my attorneys, who are excellent people of high report, but who have been outnumbered four-to-one in a lawsuit stemming from an obscure and passing report in the Montana Daily Gazette revolving around the alleged actions of a transexual activist in the People’s House. Receiving reports of the individual’s behavior – named by eye-witnessses – we reported the account from the perspective of those witnesses. The story used the phrase “alleged” and “reported.” We presumed that MDG would be covered by the Montana Journalism Shield Law, and “alleged” or “reported” would suffice to cover our liability. We were contacted by the trans-activist, and asked to retract the story, but given no information that contradicted the account, and so we did not pull the story. A lawsuit ensued. 

We were confident in the account. However, pressed by legal maneuvers, we found ourselves in a hostile court far away from a jury of my peers in the other attorney’s hometown, where he is family friends with that judge. With the Supreme Court tilting strongly left, we knew there would be little reprieve to be found in appeal. 

The simplest and most feasible solution was to shrug in legal defeat and declare bankruptcy on the purported debt. I did not like this at all, being taught that bankruptcy was a moral failure since a child, but my attorneys wisely pointed me in that direction with a realistic outlook on the broken legal system that we have to endure. It was my only protection, and so I reluctantly concurred with my counsel. If I conceded now, I would have enough financial means to tie up all loose ends which would be edge near six figures. If I carried on, there was no guarantee my reserves would be sufficient. This has become a financial arms race, and I could not win it. As I knew would happen, the legal defeat was repeatedly spiked in the press, both political and religious, that has become so adversarial with us over the years. Their competition (me) was floundering, and so much ‘ado was made over the ordeal and chum was in the water so the sharks circled.

This stinging defeat exacerbating my stress levels which were already off-the-charts. I have been very open in numerous podcasts, sermons, public prayer requests, and blog posts about my severe health issues stemming from a diagnosed Vitamin D deficiency that has made me very weak. I have lost almost 90 pounds in the last year and although I welcome a slimmer figure, the weight loss has been unprovoked. My sleep has been minimal and have had to rely upon energy drinks and caffinated drinks to stay awake (I’ve been rebuked for this many times). It has been treated medicinally by prescription-level Vitamin D for months now. Those closest to me have had great concern, noticing delayed reaction, slurred speech (at night especially), stuttering, or most noticeably, word-displacement. I’m very thankful my producer has been apt at carrying me along through episodes of Polemics Report. I’m also thankful we’ve publicly discussed this problem many times in recorded episodes of PR and there is a long and extensive “paper trail” of very public commenting on this health difficulty long before the most recent controversies ensued in many different talks, recorded for proof and posterity. 

Making my health worse was an esophageal stricture, prohibiting me from swallowing, which was fixed via surgery several months ago. I have never spoken so much in my life as in 2021-2022, with nearly 150 engagements around the state and country. Knowing of the choking hazard due to that esophageal stricture, I chose not to eat lest I not be able to speak (I went to the ER many times with clogs in my esophagus). This set off a string of health issues.

On May 11, I received a DUI after failing a sobriety field test, which I would not be able to pass under current circumstances under the best of conditions. I was pulled over after stopping at a stop sign with my front two tires on the white “stop line” and – the officer thought – perhaps with my two right tires at one point on the shoulder’s white line. It was hardly dangerous driving, but perhaps minor infractions of traffic laws (I do not yet know and my attorneys have yet to unpack it). I blew 0.0 (zero) on the breathalyzer. I do not drink. After citing me they later found my anxiety medicine in the console (for which I have a prescription), which I was taking according to the prescription. I was also charged with weapons possession, despite having a Concealed Weapons Permit, because I was deemed unfit to drive (this charge bothers me little; I always have a firearm, everyone knows this, the weapon was not improperly used, and it does not personally bother me). I tenured my resignation the next day.

Some have asked why I tenured my resignation if I am not guilty. The answer is shame and failure. The expression is “perception is reality” and I knew what my enemies would make of this and the rejoicing that would be had in the media. That fear was certainly realized and “guilty until proven innocent” has been the mantra relayed in the press. In short, I resigned to spare my church, and in feelings of great failure, piggy-backing on my bankruptcy. I have repeatedly found much comfort in Athanasius Contra Mundum, and viewed myself as “against the world.” To fail so miserably, to realize my humanity, so publicly, was simply too much to bear. Nonetheless, the church elders, council, and body (at large) voted to reject my resignation and place me on sabbatical and included caveats that I change my number and stop answering my phone (a major stress trigger), receive help, and placed my elders and wife in charge of my return while my church leadership handles the work of ministry for this season. Currently, I am seeing a Christian counselor and psychologist not far from where I grew up in Norwood, Missouri. He has placed me on strict health guidelines that include intermittent fasting, holistic medicine, rejection of all pharmaceutical prescriptions except vitamins (and my seizure meds), regular exercise, Scripture readings, sleep regiment, etc. 

Shortly after May 11, I began to suffer seizures, which are easily the most terrifying experience of my life (hands down). Happening in the evening, which is when most my health issues have befallen me, my body stiffens and it feels as though my arms and legs are being pulled out of joint at my groin and arm pits. It feels as though my teeth are falling out of my gums. There is a terrible falling sensation, much like I have always had if I fall asleep on an airplane. Sometimes they last up to a minute or longer, and my wife and nurses have had great difficulty holding me down. I have gone to the ER three times for this, and was life-flighted last week to Billings after they were unable to stop the seizures (they have since put me on seizure medicine, which seems to have helped). I have only gone to the ER once since coming home from Billings’ Saint Vincent hospital. While seizing, I have fallen and given myself black eyes and put my shoulders out of joint, which has caused me terrible pain. One would not think that falling from standing height could cause such damage on the body, but I can attest that it does. I’m thankful my son is so large (16, and 6’5) that he has been able to catch me to minimize damage on my body. Tests, cat-scans, and x-rays reveal I have not broken bones, amazingly. 

Currently, my wife is checking my phone several times a day for essential messsages and I will try to return calls one day. Today, I checked my email for the first time in weeks. Please be patient if you need a response.

As a part of the bankruptcy, I have had to settle with the trans-activist and as a part of that settlement acknowledge several things which were written not by me, but by opposing counsel. Although disappointing, I have had no choice in the matter. I had to either concede fully or continue to fight the matter – to the tune of tens of thousands (or more) dollars and months upon months of my time – during my failing health. I simply ran out of steam, energy, effort, and conviction. I simply thought it better to concede and give it to the Lord than let it take a toll on my health and well-being. I do not retract the comments, but will add that press accounts which imply that what was stated was *willfully* incorrect or purposefully falsified are inaccurate and take great liberties with what was actually stated.

In all of this, I feel the incredible pressure of failure, which is not something to which I have grown accustomed over so many years of victory after victory, succeeding in challenge after challenge. With it comes shame and feelings of guilt. Again, people have asked, “What do you have to be guilty of?” It is simple; I have failed to make the wisest decisions possible for the good of my health, my family, and my church. I genuinely thought I could, like Athanasius, take on the world and win. I underestimated its brutality, tenacity, endlessly deep pockets, and the insatiable desire to win. I fought until, forced by my own weakness (physical and mental) to succumb to enemies multitudinous and more powerful than myself, to cry uncle in the face of that adversity, which in turn produces even more shame.

Currently, I am striving to live life with integrity and humility. This means submitting to my elders, listening more intently to my wife, and giving situation after situation to the Lord while I sit quietly. As you are aware, I am not used to being quiet. If there is a Rescuer, it will not be myself. If there is a Defender, it will not be me. God will have to judge. God will have to put back together the mess that currently is my life. I have made the bed and will lie in it; I just hope to be able to find the comfort to sleep in it. 

When will I return? I do not care. I prefer to think of if, not when. I have fought and won a thousand battles. Yet, I have told numerous people in recent days the truth of Matthew 26, that he who lives by the sword will die by it. A lifetime of knock-out victories simply took its toll. Like a prize-fighter, I have simply suffered too many in-ring injuries to enjoy a happy retirement. 

Yesterday, I attended church for the first time in several weeks (I was in the hospital) and took Communion. It was the first time since my legal difficulties I took Communion. What I need more than anything – my greatest need – is forgiveness and absolution at the feet of Christ and from my fellow believers. I have been touched that those who have contacted me the most have been prior enemies or opponents, who have reached out to offer money, vacation or a place away, prayers, or support. Many friends have surfaced as well to send a message or text of support. I have ignored all messages from acquaintances with no “skin in the game” asking “your side of the story.” There will be enough time for that, and that time is not now. I’m confident God’s truth will prevail in all matters. I am also confident that He is teaching me in hardship to be a better human. I am also touched that my community members have reached out in love, from neighbors who have mowed my lawn to a local prosecutor (recused from the case) who called to tell me it would be okay, that my community needs me and my wife and kids, that I’m loved, and will pull through this. They didn’t have to reach out with encouragement when their job is prosecution, but the act of kindness carried me along for several days of darkness. Whatever consequences await me, I am prepared to handle with a head held up by the grace of God. 

What about rejection? Stepping foot back into church was, as I told my wife, the most difficult thing I have ever done. I have let these people down. They looked up to me, and I’ve obviously imploded from the pressure. The bold have been made weak, the proud have been humbled, and the mountains laid low into valleys. I have entered the Dark Night of the Soul, as I told one of my deacons as he prayed over me while I lay in bed that first week. That term, wherever I picked it up, is the best description I can give for where I currently am…the Dark Night of the Soul. 

It is here that I must trust in Jesus as I have never trusted him before. He must be my Rock and my Deliver and my Rescuer. He saved my soul; he must now save my life. I must reiterate to you that never, even in the Dark Night, doubted my Savior. Never have I blamed him. Never have I given any distrust to his death, burial, or resurrection. It is my only hope. It is my only rest.

“You saved me.”

That’s what one gentleman I recently baptized repeatedly said to me. I corrected him again and again. “God saved you.” I was perplexed and distraught in my heart that anyone would think that I had the capacity to save them. But, as one brother pointed out in a council meeting, perhaps I have become addicted to being used and addicted to seeing miraculous moves of God through me. I had never considered it; now I am. I have never claimed to be a messiah but perhaps, just perhaps, I have exuded an over-confidence that has led some to consider it. I fear for them, as I have been struck down. And as the shepherd is struck, the Scripture says, the sheep will scatter.

Do not let my demise turn you away from the light of Christ. I am a broken vessel. I am a stricken shepherd. I am diseased, accursed, cast down. Please, I beg you, look to Jesus who sits at the right hand of God unmoved, unswayed, conquering, flawless, perfect, loving, mighty, and powerful to save with outstretched arms awaiting your full faith and confidence. 

It is quite amazing, the disparity between Christ and myself. I suffered under the wrath of Satan and folded like an accordion underneath his weight. The pressure was simply too much and my back broke into pieces. My life has been rodeo after rodeo, but I finally found a bronc that would bust me and shatter me, untameable.  I thought it was just another battle; I was wrong. But Christ Jesus suffered under the full wrath of God, and his back endured underneath His weight and glory. He did not buckle, yield, fold, concede, or break. He did not turn to medicine, psychologists, health regimens, diet plans, or caffeine. He did what I could not do; he endured it like a man. 

I’m so thankful for the people God has placed around me; my secretary and assistants, editors, producer and co-host, admins, volunteers, elders, deacons, wife, and children. I am thankful they are carrying on to win the prize and finish the race, while I have stumbled. May they carry on.

I have no fight left. All I have is Jesus remaining, who has guarded my faith in difficulty and who is making sure it endures. This I know, and am confident, that God is good…all the time. And that is a good thing, because I do not know what tomorrow holds; I have to live one day at a time, trudging forward whether I like it or not. 

Do not look at me; look at Christ. 

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14 thoughts on “Personal Update From JD Hall: For the People that Care About Me

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  1. Thank you for this, brother. I appreciate your honesty and the way that you use your weakness to point to the glory of Christ. In so doing, your failures have actually led to a victory far greater than you could ever have asked or thought. For He is shown to be all the more magnificent.

    May God richly bless you and turn His face upon you and give you and your family true peace.

  2. Even the prophets needed to hide out and rest from time to time. One guy hid with a hit out on him,, and God personally fed him via raven until it was time for him to return. It only feels like failure because you’ve been viewing it from the lens of your own strength. God’s strength is not the same. Your perception of failure is not failure on God’s schedule. Merely the next step in His ultimate plan for you, which is good and not evil. God never does anything evil, so even this has good at the end of it if done His way.

  3. Thank you for the update, Jordan –
    I don’t know if the following quote applies to you but for what it’s worth …… “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply. God actually rises up storms of conflict in relationships at times in order to accomplish that deeper work in our character. We cannot love our enemies in our own strength. This is graduate – level grace. Are you willing to enter this school? Are you willing to take the test? If you pass, you can expect to be elevated to a new level in the Kingdom. For He brings us through these tests as preparation for greater use in the Kingdom. You must pass the test first.” A. W. Tozer
    Brother Jordan, your dark night of the soul is temporary though painful. You will be rewarded by our Savior for your many years of faithful ministry. Until then, you will be supported in prayer by all who have been blessed by your ministry. There is a better day coming.

  4. Thank you for the update, Jordan. It was well said, and my wife and I will be praying for you.

  5. Lest you should be exalted above measure, Brother JD. The LORD has given and the LORD has taken away — blessed be the name of the LORD forever and ever.

    May you make a full recovery and be restored to your rightful place below deck as an underoarsman of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    You have my e-mail and phone number if you ever need anything from me at all, dear Brother.

  6. I’d be curious to see what a corrected, updated, and genuinely honest version of this might look like. Obviously, some rather significant details belong on the ‘retractions and corrections’ page.

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