Monday, June 18, 2012

I Would Love Some Feedback

So many of my current readers already know this story, but there are new people stopping by, so please bear with the repeat.  I had posted negative Google reviews of my former church, but they were removed.  My Google review was based on my personal experiences at the church and expressed my opinions.   This blog was "born" as a result of having my Google reviews removed by my former pastor.  After I began posting on the blog, I was sued by my former pastor for defamation (in an attempt to keep me quiet aka No-Talk Rule - see the No-Talk Rule under "Definitions"). 

When I began this blog, the intention was to share my experiences of my previous church, discuss my interpretation of Scriptures, healthy/unhealthy churches/pastors, etc.  The blog also allowed an opportunity for others to share their thoughts and experiences.  And they did.  For a small church of maybe 100 people at the most, this blog site averaged between 250-450 hits per day before the media found the story. 

I was also aware that people might stumble across this blog by performing internet searches, searching for key words like "spiritual abuse", just as I had previously done and continue to do.  Spiritual abuse stories tend to be similar.  Pastors who spiritually abuse follow similar patterns in methods of abuse.  The end results are the same, too.  It makes sense that people who have suffered spiritual abuse can identify with others who have shared the same experiences, but with different churches/pastors. 

After the media excitement, the blog readership has leveled off and has easily doubled from pre-media days.  I figured there would be some who would happen upon the blog through searching spiritual abuse, but this was much more than anticipated.    I suspect now that most of the people who comment or read have never been connected to my former church.   

I'm wondering if it would be appropriate to change the name of the blog from Beaverton Grace Bible Church Survivors to something more encompassing of what is going on here.  Sure, I will continue to tell my stories - because as I said, the abuse really is the same, just minor twists and turns from another's spiritual abuse story from a different church and pastor.   Lately it seems that there are more people commenting (and e-mailing me privately) who don't have connections with BGBC.  The media gave me an opportunity to highlight this growing problem in churches and I don't want people to come to this site to think that this is only BGBC-related.  It's not.  Do you think the current blog name is obsolete? 

I'd love your feedback.   Should I change the name of the blog?
Can you offer suggestions of a new blog name that would be more encompassing of spiritual abuse in general - something that would let people know that this is a place where they can find support and information and good discussion?  What are your thoughts?



Edited to add:  This is the Blogger info showing keyword searches for this blog for the past month.  Keep in mind that exactly a month ago the media was still a bit crazy.




* * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

http://www.hauntingreview.com/friday-the-13th/

BTW:  The next court hearing is Friday the 13th (of July) - only 25 days away.   The website this photo comes from says this about Friday the 13th:  It’s Friday the 13th. A day best spent indoors, in a padded room. Considered to be one of the most unluckiest of days.  

Is the courthouse room padded?  LOL.  I don't believe in "luck".  I have a much better Insurance Policy.


48 comments:

  1. The decision is yours, Julie Anne, but here is something to consider. When someone searches for Beaverton Grace Bible Church, your blog pops up in the top two. It leads people to the other side of the story.

    When I go to the church site, I have to read through what I can only describe as a manifesto that levels a lot of accusations but nothing concrete. When I come to your site, I can see actual text, actual words, pieces cut from court filings, etc. I can "listen" to you relate what you experienced.

    I'd consider keeping the name, at least for now. It seems from the comments that people who aren't from BGBC are benefitting from the conversation you allow here and are moving closer toward healing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm in agreement w/ SQ here.

      I think it's best for now to keep the name. And then maybe when this madness blows over. You can keep this sight with perhaps a redirect to another blog concerning the issues of spiritual abuse and recovery?

      Or better yet, as was suggested: keep the bgbcsurvivors.blogspot.com and just change the title to something different.

      Delete
    2. I would keep the name too. But, when the pastor ever gets voted out, then I would change the name of your blog from the church to the pastors name, so that others can be warned about him where ever he goes. If the church votes him out, then you don't want to keep the attention on the innocent church members. But I would still keep the blog, I would just change it to reflect the name of the pastor and not the congregation. That is just my opinion.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous 2:29

      You are absolutely right. If the pastor was "voted" out, I would certainly not want to hurt innocent church members. Perhaps it would be good for the church to find a new name, too.

      But at the same time, I don't know if I could stomach seeing the pastor's name at the top of my blog each and every time I visited the site. I don't know if former members could either. That actually could cause some emotional distress for some. And that is no joke, sadly. I don't need to be "triggering" anyone emotionally.

      Delete
  2. Psalm 56:9: This I know, that God is for me.

    Romans 8:31: If God is for us, who can be against us?

    Friday 13th: Yet another day that the Lord will have made. Rejoice and be glad in Him.

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Julie Anne,

    I am one of those 'not connected' folk who found your site through the medial coverage of the lawsuit. I'm checking in reasonably regularly to see how it is going and to cheer for you. I would wait a while yet because people who learn of this through the media may find it easiest to find with this blog name. Also I wonder if the Church's counsel might try to spin a name change to their favor.

    Keep your chin up, I will be thinking of you on the 13th.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They can do a spin on whatever they want. I have the stats to back up everything. My attorney has been kept up-to-date on the blog stats and I think she stops by to read every now and then (Hi Linda!!! lol). While I'm at it, "hi" to Chuck and his new attorney(s)!

      Thanks for the support!

      Delete
    2. :-)

      Oh, Chuck has NEW attorneys? Wonder why the other attorneys parted ways with the reverend......

      Delete
    3. Does Chuck have a different attorney or an additional one? Just curious. I was actually wondering earlier today what attorney would want to represent someone trying to suppress another person's free speech.

      Delete
    4. I forgot to respond to the other part of your comment. I was originally thinking about the news articles that have links to this blog. If the web address remains the same, I don't think there would be a problem with that; however, you are right - a lot of people are still finding this site by searching the name of the church. hmmmm.......

      Delete
    5. Yes, evidently Chuck has a new attorney. We don't know what happened (I have my ideas). We were told that he has retained a new attorney from California, but an attorney from a Portland firm will be involved as "local counsel". Never a dull moment.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous one wrote: "I wonder if the Church's counsel might try to spin a name change to their favor."

      How about BGBC change their name to exclude the words "Grace" and "Bible" from it. For it apparently is neither a "gracious" nor a "biblical" house of worship!

      Delete
    7. Great observation, David!

      Delete
  4. Why don't you quit blogging, and Get a life all of you!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good thing for you I am a proponent of the free speech. It is for that great freedom that I clicked "publish" for your not-so-kind comment :)

      For the record, this appears to be "my life" as of late. Sorry you are having difficulty with how I choose to live my life. Glad you're reading here, though.

      Delete
    2. I like it when people comment "quit blogging and get a life" on a blog they had to come looking for to read, in order to comment about the blogger's lack of life.

      How much less of a life do you have if you have time to comment on her supposed lack of one?

      Delete
    3. Anonymous, your comment is curious. Julie Anne is expressing her right to free speech. You have the freedom to agree or disagree. In fact, you have the freedom to read this blog or not read it. Nobody forces you to come here.

      You may not like her words, but what is your interest in suppressing her from speaking?

      Delete
    4. Goodness. I'm all for free speech, but must we necessarily give the floor to such ignorance? Might be different if the comments came from someone with a name, but anonymous ignoramuses like this? They're fly-by trolls. I wouldn't give them voice.

      I'm not, however, talking about the sort of ignorance like from the one calling this blog "evil" and that "Julie Ann [is] no Christian. But a Rebel of Christ". I honestly think her comment was genuinely helpful. It helps us appreciate the level of confusion out there that needs to be addressed. But letting the above punk through the moderation? I'm not sure we're compelled to entertain such foolishness.

      Also, can I ask: Who is this Julie Ann ppl are addressing?

      Delete
    5. David,

      I am glad that Julie Ann posted the anonymous comment - for two reasons.

      #1 - It shows that she supports free speech
      #2 - It reveals what is in the heart of others

      This needs to be out in the open - censorship would remind me of the "NO TALK" rule. And that is not a happy memory.

      Delete
    6. I agree with you, Not a Rebel. I will publish 99% of comments, even when they are negative towards me (including someone calling me Jezebel a couple of times). It may cause momentary blood pressure issues, attitude adjustments, very loud audible reactions from the Pacific Northwest that may be heard for quite a distance, however, they will most likely be published.

      There are instances in which I will not publish comments:


      - If comments drift off topic (debating doctrinal issues), deal with my family personally, or are disruptive (the BJU case went a little crazy). I always give a warning or two, though.

      - If the comment creates a hostile environment directed to those who have been spiritually abused. In this case, I will deal with the person publicly first (this is a powerful - it also llows others to speak up to someone who is potentially abusive, too). If they persist after reasonable warnings, I will delete.

      I've only deleted 3 comments since the inception of the blog. They all met the above criteria. By the way, there have been 2,286 comments published as of this comment. Who wants to do the math to figure out what percentage of comments are posted?

      Delete
    7. Very good. As you lay it out for me like that, and given the context of what this blog is all about—I understand.

      Delete
    8. Not a Rebel, you wrote: "I am glad that Julie Ann posted..."

      Consider reviewing Julie Anne @ June 16, 2012 11:27 PM

      Delete
    9. I get 99.87% of comments that you've published. I don't know if I really wanted to do the math, but I couldn't help myself.

      Delete
    10. For everyone else's reference, here is the full content of Julie Anne's post that anonymous @ 5:16 asked me to review:

      "Julie Anne June 16, 2012 11:27 PM

      Anonymous, I lost you after the misspelling of my name.

      signed,

      Julie Anne (Ann-with-an-E)

      Think: Queen Anne, Anne of Green Gables :)"

      Anonymous,

      If you are trying to "hint" that there is something in Julie Anne's heart being revealed here, why don't you just come out and say so?

      I don't see anything like that in this comment.

      But I'm wondering what bothers you about it?

      Delete
    11. You know you wanted to, Geek. Come on, with a name like Geek? Who are you trying to kid. :)

      I think I'm going to challenge one of my kids to check your math, though. That's what homeschool moms do. I'll be sure to post back it they find something different. ;)

      Delete
    12. to Not a Rebel without a Clue

      its not that hard to figure out

      you mispell Julie Anne's name

      Delete
    13. To: Anonymous June 18, 2012 11:01 AM
      We, those of us who have been spiritually abused, HAD a life before the spiritual abuse happened. After the spiritual abuse happened, we look to others for support and companionship with 'like minded people'. Julie Anne has been a light in the darkness I have been in for over two years. Only those who have experienced it, understands it.

      The wounds that I (we) have suffered will forever be a painful scar that I did not want, nor did I do anything to deserve. Just because the scar is not visible, doesn't mean that it isn't the most painful thing I have ever experienced.

      Maybe you should be the one to 'get a life' and some compassion for those who have suffered.

      Delete
  5. How about (simply) "Julie Anne's Spiritual Abuse & Recovery Blog"?

    Having your name on it, will set yours apart from the many other spiritual abuse blogs & websites.

    Also, a blog name with "survivors" in it, is fine for a while (I think), but you want to be more than just a survivor of spiritual abuse....you want to grow and thrive in the Lord, as someone who kicks spiritual abuse in the butt! Amen?! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anony 11:11 said:
    "How about (simply) "Julie Anne's Spiritual Abuse & Recovery Blog"?"

    That is a good title, but

    A subtitle, like "for Beaverton Grace Bible Church survivors and other victims of spiritual abuse" would bring up the blog on most search engines if people were looking based on the church name or other news coverage.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ok now that I have figured out I can comment with a name without also having a URL, I will stop being another Anonymous and wholeheartedly agree with David's assessment of name changes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bless You, Buff!

      Delete
  8. I suggest you leave it as is until all the legal fooferaw is over. Then you might consider a name change. Just don't change the link name. People like the glamorous blog queens at The Wartburg Watch would have to change their links to the site and those who frequent it (as I do) would have to change their favorites.

    Just my $0.02.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do not want to disturb the glam queens. Oh my, no! Ack - I forgot about those who have me linked on their blogrolls.

      Delete
  9. Change the name when BGBC changes their church name~LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suppose I wouldn't need to change the name if BGBC changes their name. It would be obsolete, wouldn't it? That would be the easiest way of all. If I were at BGBC, I'd want a name change after all of this fiasco.

      Delete
  10. I would leave this blog up forever ! Put it in a Trust under the supervision of your future great grand children. If you want to start another blog targeting a wider area of concern, great. Just don't change anything here but rather link the two. Anything someone goggles the church name or the pastor's name, boom a big WARNING POPS UP. I wish someone would have had a warning site up about the church we went to as kids. If only the internet was available to the masses back then in 1979. That is really the whole point of this. The internet has changed the easy in which weirdo "pastors" from psycho-churches can get away with abusing people. There is now a very big stick that disgruntled members/attenders can swing back at the abuser with. Google reviews have been very successful at changing the public perception of the Sovergn Grace franchise like "church". Chucky's life will never be the same regardless of the outcome of this case. There will be thousands of angry people taking Julie's place at exposing this bizarre little church and the little napoleon that runs it, should she lose the case. I don't think that will happen and I predict that eventually Chuck will be out of the ministry all together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree that this should stay up forever, but that you can also start another blog, which links this one, so as to give context, or preface. Many find this blog based on many avenues, as shown by your statistics, so linking a new blog with this blog would be great...but keep this one going for as long as you can, even after all of the legal mumbo jumbo is over.

      Delete
  11. Julie: Your blog has been very informative and helpful. I suggest you retain the current name.

    One suggestion: you might selectively follow up with a handful of the reporters who contacted you about the lawsuit, and let them know that the legal dogfight is continuing. The lawsuit is crucial to the freedom of individuals to express their beliefs and opinions in the public sphere. -RB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RB - That's not a bad idea! Thank you for mentioning it.

      Delete
    2. I agree. I have been wondering and praying for the outcome of the lawsuit.

      Delete
  12. I've been following this blog for several weeks now. I'm strongly rooting for you to win this case. I think I found out about this blog through ExPentecostalforums.yuku.com

    It is a great discussion forum for Pentecostals who have suffered spiritual abuse and feel the need to exit Pentecostalism.
    But we aware, you will run into all kinds of people. As they say in therapy, "Take what works and leave the rest on the table".

    I agree with the first posters. Keep the name the same for awhile. If you do decide to change it wait until after your court date, July 13. Just my two cents worth.


    Does anyone read these blogs once a new one is posted?

    I'm a little late with this, but found that I could not comment on a blog via Firefox 13.0.1
    Wondering if anyone else has had problems with Firefox when trying to comment on this blog?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you were able to get the comment problem with Firefox worked out and thanks for letting me know. I'll try to remember to mention that on a future blog post because maybe others have had the same problem.

      I will definitely wait until after the court date if/when I change the name. Thanks for your suggestion and support!

      Delete
  13. Brian L WhitakerJune 20, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    Julie Anne

    I must tell you I like the idea of a name change. In fact my only problem with your blog is the name. I found you through the media links and I find what you are now going through totally ridiculous. I know there are ways you could have this come up in a search without it being the churches name. I think it would be best if the name reflected you and others who are trying to get on with life after a horrible incident. Make it something positive. But to me the name seems vindictive and negative. And a big part of the Christian life is Forgiveness and Love to your enemies. I realize that is not easy. And it is not something that will happen overnight. I would advise you to look into the legal aspect and not do something right now that would hurt your case.

    Also not entirely unrelated as you keep this name you are allowing them to have power over you. You are defining yourself through that church and its beliefs. Move on from them and do not let them define you, define yourself. There is a lot of power in a name and in titles.

    I could probably right on this for a while, but I am hoping I made my points clear if not just ask.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Brian: Thanks for commenting. I don't particularly like the name, either, especially now that the blog is to a wider audience.

      I respectfully disagree with you on the second paragraph. I disagree that I am allowing them any power over me. If that were true, this blog wouldn't be in existence. The name was just used for identification purposes. They are not defining me. I am exposing spiritual abuse, not only what I experienced at BGBC, but now share with others as they tell their stories here and in my e-mail.

      It's kind of like my maiden name. My maiden name represented my father's last name, the man who abused me, but I did not feel that having that name represented abuse, but was merely for identification. It is the fruit that comes out of me (and this blog) that counts. I see a whole lot of beauty going on here on this blog.

      I agree with you that the blog name shouldn't be changed at all until the court case is settled. So, it's good I still have some time to think on that.

      I appreciate your comments, Brian.

      Delete
  14. On first impression it seems to me if you transition the blog to something more general you'll have to, by default, get into territory that is more doctrinal (I'm thinking)? I mean, what is the solution type of subject matter.

    I personally think that *ideally* a church gathering is a gathering of *kings*. Individuals who are prophets, priests, and kings all in one. That includes males and females. And to really make an extended analogy, where in history do we see gatherings of kings? On battlefields. So if everybody can hold their own, biblically and doctrinally, then anyone who tries to lord it over anyone else in some off-the-mark way is in for quite a test of strength.

    I see Christianity as being a high bar in terms of getting understanding of the Bible itself and doctrine and practice, but the Holy Spirit enables us to meet and exceed that bar.

    Then once we get that real understanding, then 'authoritative preacher guy' and 'shallow pastor guy' and 'false teacher guy' and 'pure vicious wolf guy' can all be dealt with because we understand them. Of course, they're going to know they don't want you in their dominion, except for maybe 'shallow pastor guy', who I have more sympathy for, especially if he's shy and trying really hard and means well.

    This subject gets into ecclesiology and what a church, or gathering of Christians, is all about, or is supposed to be about. People have legitimate differences of seeing it. The most famous Calvinist in England - John Owen - differed with Calvin on church issues. (Owen was a Congregationalist.) In fact, most Calvinists in history and today differ with Calvin on ecclesiolgy and sacramentology.

    John Bunyan, another famous Calvinist, when in court and asked by an Anglican judge why he didn't belong to a local church said he didn't see it in Scripture. I wish I still had the quote because Bunyan put it more pointedly. Didn't mean you'd never see Bunyan in a church. But it's about fear of God vs. fear of man.

    For me, a church should be like a sanctuary where you can go to learn and meditate, read, listen, experience a quiet interlude from the world. Churches in the Old World are more conducive to that, perhaps. But that's just me, my type.

    For instance, we can't get away from the basic fact that Christianity is a religion of the Book. God revealed Himself in language that we can read. And a church should be a place where that Book is read and we can read it and really get understanding of it. Parts in relation to the whole understanding of it. Not rely on one person only to know it. God wants us *all* to be prophets (knowing His word, able to speak in prayer to Him), priests (able to sacrifice our old nature in emulation of our High Priest Jesus Christ), and kings (able to command our inner domain and cultivate our new nature), while, of course, recognizing the *authority* of the Prophet, Priest, and King *above us* Jesus Christ Himself. There is one Mediator between God and man, Jesus Christ.

    The Kingdom of God is a 'Kingdom.' And when God is the King that system of government works out well and is the best.

    ReplyDelete
  15. ok, c.t., i'll buy that. i don't see in any holes in what you wrote. you're re-framing things for me. giving me some language i believe i have lost.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm not sure what the general doctrinal school is here at this blog. What I wrote though is ideal and perhaps not very practical. Everybody is in different stages of development and learning. Not everyone has time, or a lot of time, in their day to pursue even the most important of subject matter. We're not all Grail knights with all the time in the world to search for the Holy Grail, in other words.

    I think there is something though in seeing a church as part of the Kingdom of God, with God as King. You're not going to get that dictator mentality in the pulpit if all the congregants know Jesus is their King and is present.

    Order is needed, a good degree of order, but of course certain types run with that fact and justify the authoritarianism this blog exists to discuss.

    I still think overall our defense is understanding and the armor of God in general. Knowing the Bible and biblical doctrine gives us confidence to deal with error or authoritarianism. What a practical way to learn the Bible than to use it in the act of fending off a wolf in sheep's clothing. Of course you will probably be *asked* to leave at that point. (And I know spiritual abuse scenarios are more complicated than that, involving family and friends and so on. Many things.)

    Honestly I've never really written on this subject because my main focus as a Christian has been to get understanding of the Bible through complete readings and to get terminal understanding of doctrine from the great theologians available in books. I've always had a practice of the faith from my past in an esoteric Christian teaching or school. Esoteric meaning, in this case, practical level doing.

    I've always been a learn from everything, join nothing type. Call me a hermit, but I think I'm surrounded by angels (ha ha)...

    ReplyDelete

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