The devil's work is never done

If Nancy Goodstein's allegations are true, the devil inside Dr. Edward Porter has taken over his true personality and is leading the Plano preacher and counselor down an evil path.

Whether the 61-year-old Porter is still paddling his patients on the butt and biting them on the shoulder during this diabolic journey remains to be seen.

In a 1994 cover story, "The devil in Dr. Porter," the Dallas Observer explored the doctor's bizarre counseling practices.

In the article, some of Porter's former clients in Oklahoma and Texas stated that Porter paddled them on the rear end and bit them on the shoulder, apparently as a means of scaring their "artificial personalities." One woman said Porter charmed her into having sex with him, while others confirmed that he made sexual advances toward them.

When that story was published, Goodstein was one of Porter's staunchest defenders. But going by a lawsuit she recently filed against Porter, Goodstein's opinion of the doctor has since changed considerably.

A successful businesswoman, Goodstein went to Porter for spiritual guidance in 1992. She was quickly introduced to his religious theory, which holds that Satan's fallen soldiers occupy an "artificial personality" inside every person. Success in all aspects of life, according to Porter, requires defeating the evil influences of one's artificial personality.

The key to beating back the Satan in you is hiring a "human intercessor" who, like Jesus in Orthodox Christianity, shows you a way back to God the Father, Creator of mankind. A preacher with Southern Baptist roots, Porter claims he is that human intercessor.

When first she met Porter, Goodstein believed. Soon, she was also sold on Porter's claims that he is a capable businessman. In fact, Goodstein's faith in Porter was so great that she teamed up with him professionally, forming several North Dallas real-estate corporations that she and Porter ran jointly.

In 1994, Goodstein told the Observer that Porter taught her how to gain control of her life and described how the Oklahoma native filled her with love, joy, and the desire to help others. "I just feel like I can do anything," she said.

Now Goodstein says Porter is a con artist who abused her trust and stole more than $300,000 before he ran their businesses "into the ground," according to a civil lawsuit Goodstein filed in June in Collin County.

"Goodstein met Porter at a point in her life when she was vulnerable. Goodstein believed in Porter's teachings and trusted him completely," the lawsuit states. "Porter realized and understood Goodstein's success, and like he had done with his other patients, he used his confidential relationship to maneuver into a position whereby he could inject himself into Goodstein's business and financial affairs."

As part of her lawsuit, Goodstein is attempting to regain complete ownership rights to the Plano businesses, known as Goodcorp Inc., Weststar Holding Company, and the Weststar Title Company. Goodstein says she gave Porter 50-percent ownership interest in Goodcorp for "nominal or no consideration," and 49 percent of Weststar's stock for free.

Goodstein is also seeking to recover $315,000 in loans she says she made to Porter to start up a group of now-defunct real-estate companies known as the Weather Rock Entities. Goodstein, who is still working at Weststar's Plano office, also wants Porter to return a book of her writings and messages from God, which she says Porter is holding "over her head" as a means to discourage her from suing him.

Porter denies the allegations, and in August countersued his former client for constructive fraud and defamation, among other things.

In an interview, Porter says he thinks it is Goodstein's artificial personality that is driving the lawsuit. "Nancy and I had a really great working relationship," he says. "As far as the lawsuit, I was really shocked by it." Porter says it never struck him as improper to go into business with one of his counseling clients, and says he is "mystified" by claims that he took advantage of Goodstein.

"She was represented by counsel, at least one lawyer and sometimes two, and I wasn't," Porter says. "I don't see how she could be unduly influenced."

In his countersuit, Porter contends that Goodstein is a jealous loner who cut him out of their businesses when the profits started rolling in.

"The catalyst which changed [Goodstein's] view was jealously. [Porter] and his wife enjoyed and still enjoy a large circle of longtime loyal friends. [Goodstein] had very few. Because of this, [Goodstein] soon began to dedicate her efforts toward trying to turn these friends and clients away from [Porter]," Porter states in his counterclaim.

Porter, who says Goodstein's actions have cost him several "multimillion-dollar real-estate projects," also claims he gave Goodstein free counseling sessions and sold her some of his handcrafted furniture at a fraction of its cost.

Goodstein declined to comment for this article, but she is not the first person to complain about Porter.

Other clients interviewed for the original Observer story reported feeling disoriented and mentally confused after seeing Porter. Some said they have come to believe that Porter is Satan, and said his counseling amounts to mind control.

Porter claimed to have "thousands" of followers, but the Observer could only find a few dozen, most of whom where successful businesswomen. In 1954, Porter was charged with second-degree statutory rape, but the charges were dropped after an unusual two-year delay. In 1983, Porter pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of practicing psychology without a license. He is the first person to accept punishment under a 1965 state law making such activity illegal.

In 1994, Porter told the Observer that he paddles his clients, but he denied biting them. Asked whether he ever had sex with his clients, Porter responded that he never did during a session.

"I am not Jesus," Porter said at the time. "My name is Edward William Porter. I wouldn't have Jesus' job on a platter.