Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Creepy Pastors and Churches Using Creepy Stalking Control Tactics

There have been a few stories of spiritual abuse in the news lately.  A kind reader sent me this article from The Christian Post:

Spiritual Abuse: Shepherds – or Fleecers – of God's Flock?

This article starts by discussing the abuse of gaining members' funds through unlawful methods in "Financial Empowerment Seminars." The rest of the article discusses spiritual abuse, including a list of questions that might help one to determine if they are in a spiritually abusive church. This might be a good article to send to someone who wants to learn the basics of spiritual abuse.

Here is the list of questions from the article:

If you are trying to determine whether or not a particular group may be spiritually abusive, consider the following questions:
___ Do they exalt someone as an irrefutable authority in the group?
___ Do they demand your absolute allegiance?
___ Do they discourage your questions?
___ Do they shame people publicly?
___ Do they insist on making major decisions in your life?
___ Do they have a long list of rules related to dress, hairstyle, diet or activities?
___ Do they judge those who do not keep their list of rules?
___ Do they consider themselves the "only true church"?
___ Do they consider those who leave their group "apostates," "backsliders" or        "doomed"?
___ Do they teach that godly people should give more financially so that they will receive more?

Over the weekend, I met with some people who had been a part of a cult for over a decade and we shared stories.  As soon as they left their cult, they were free and clear to start their new lives.  The difference with our story is that when we left, we were not free and clear.
I've mentioned how the pastor and elders came to our house unannounced a few weeks after we left with an undisclosed recording device demanding information = creepy.

Pastors who are doing God's work, tending the sheep, preaching the Word do not have a paranoid personality.  They know there will be disgruntled people, but that is par for the course.  They continue the race set before them, walking in obedience, trying to do God's work.  They are not preoccupied with their reputation, their image.  Their focus is not on themselves, but on others, helping them along their paths.  

In our case, the two defendants (who were eventually dismissed) were accused of posting anonymous comments on the  Suspicious Berean website.  The date of the post is May 3, 2010.  This was approximately 1-1/2 yrs after the defendants had left the church.  These first two anonymous posts were part of the original defamation lawsuit:

You should be suspicious of him because Chuck O'Neal is a wolf. He rails again things such as Psychology yet if you look at his education you'll find that he himself has a degree in Psychology?! Plus he runs "his" church like a cult controlling the flock with legalistic rules. He also heavily plagiarizes the messages of others or books in his "sermons" yet never gives credit where it is due. He controls his flock with an iron fist and if someone leaves the congregation for any reason he tells the flock not to speak to or associate with those who leave the congregation. He is a wolf and misleading the people of this congregation and please be warned! There's more to be said but again, please be warned that Chuck is a wolf and if you look a little more thoroughly into his practices as a self proclaimed "pastor" you'll see he's a wolf.
Yes, He's definitely a wolf.

(Side note:  I just noticed something.  The part about "plagiarism" was never listed in the lawsuit.  I wonder why not?)

Why our former pastor decided to sue those particular people, I will never know - the former defendants do not remember posting the comments and say the wording doesn't sound like them.   But anyway, how would the pastor have found those comments on a random blog unless he or someone was doing internet searches?  And why would any pastor even be searching for himself on the internet?   For what purpose?

“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”  Rom. 12:3

Notice the next two comments, people come to the pastor's defense telling the previous commenters to "repent" and are threatened with God's wrath.  

Jeremiah urged Israel to submit to the coming invaders and was thrown into a well and called all kinds of names. Jeremiah was a faithful prophet. Pastor Chuck faithfully teaches God's holy Word and is a Godly man. Shame on those who attack the Lord's servants. Please repent and be of one mind, striving together for the Gospel of peace!

Book of Romans Ch. 13 is a good guideline for what to do with government - obey or rail against. It's good to listen to God. Pastor Chuck ONeal is a Godly man and fine teacher. Please repent before God's wrath is kindled against you (Psalm 2:12) when slandering God's people (Proverbs 6:16-19

It makes me wonder how the above commenters found the blog to begin with.  Did they hear about the comments from the pastor, or were they, too, searching the pastor's name.  Are they part of the "inside circle"?  Keep reading.  More creepy behavior here.  I just don't get this business about doing internet searches on pastors unless there is a problem . . . whoa  . . . that's it . . . . unless there's a problem.   They are trying to hide a problem.  What problem?  Hmm, perhaps the ones that I have been exposing? 

In spiritually abusive churches, there is a preoccupation with the image of the leader and the church.  The leader will go to great lengths to protect his image and also those close in his inner circle will be on guard to protect that image, too.  It is likely that one of the inner circle found the Suspicious Berean link and then forwarded it to the pastor.  The people in the inner circle feed the pastor's ego and will go to great lengths to defend and protect him.  They have a strong bond and most likely get preferential treatment or some kind of emotional reward for feeding the ego.  The pattern is they will report any kind of suspicious activity to the leader, any dissension in the group, anyone who may not be fully on board.

"I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep."
Note that it doesn't say, I'm the good shepherd and I consume my time with my reputation, my name on the world wide web, and stalking former church members.  

I'll mention a personal example of the workings of the inner circle.  I played the piano and sang with the praise and worship team.  We had a meeting with the elders earlier in the week and left on a positive note.  On Thursday night at practice, someone mentioned that they had heard we might be leaving.  Discussion ensued and I acknowledged we were having difficulties at the church, had been meeting with pastors/elders, but we hadn't officially made up our minds.  There was heated discussion.  Someone urged me to have another meeting and I said I would be willing to do that (even though we had already met over 11 hours with pastor/elders).  That is how the Praise and Worship meeting ended.  However, two days later, on Saturday night, we got the call from an elder that we were not welcome to come to church there anymore.  Someone from the Praise and Worship team was most likely in that inner circle and reported our conversation to the pastor and perhaps felt that the Smith family's presence was a threat to the pastor's reputation and not worth the risk.  Better to have us gone than remain.

We were fine with that decision, ultimately.  I especially was thrilled as I had wanted to leave much earlier.  My husband hadn't seen the things that I had seen, but now the answer was made for us.  I thought we were free.  We were not free, however.  

I have had reports that this blog is being stalked (::::waving hi to creepy stalkers::::).   Obviously, the Google reviews were stalked as my reviews were being removed time and again.  It would be very likely that my Google reviews were discussed either on Wednesday night meetings or between Sunday school and the church service.  I remember him discussing people who challenged him on his blog. This would be normal behavior for him.

The blog is obviously stalked or else Meaghan wouldn't be on the lawsuit.  We have many more reports of stalking behavior of which I am unable to disclose here, but let's just say it's all CREEPY behavior.  BTW, "Creepy" was one of the words I was being sued for - it was plastered all over the media (and it made me laugh).  It was dismissed from the lawsuit, so now I have the freedom to say it:  creepy, creepy, CREEPY.  Yes, this behavior is completely creepy.

As a musician, I feel we must break for a creepy music segue.  This music really gives me the creeps, not in in the scary sense, but the creepy sense.  See what I mean:

People say if you notice problems in a church or feel the pastor is abusive, just leave.  In our case, leaving does not make the problems go away - sometimes it makes them worse.    

In our case, I believe he uses fear to threaten.  That is why we don't see many people using their real names on my blog.  I was threatened legal action before my blog went online = control tactic.  After the blog was online, when Meaghan commented here and used her real name, she was sued = control tactic.  The threat is:  if you post any negative message on Julie Anne's blog, you, too, will be sued = control tactic.  That's creepy and scary and a control tactic.  Who wants to have to fork over big $$, secure a lawyer, give up hours of time, energy, defending yourself?  It's a bit taxing on sleep, emotions as well, I might add. 

There is much more creepiness going on behind the scenes, I can assure you, but this kind of stalking behavior is one aspect of spiritually abusive churches that cause a lot of pain and even fear for former members.  

Great verses to meditate on when dealing with creepers:  Psalm 118

Oh let those who fear the LORD say,
         “His lovingkindness is everlasting.”
From my distress I called upon the LORD;
         The LORD answered me and set me in a large place.
The LORD is for me; I will not fear;
         What can man do to me?
The LORD is for me among those who help me;
         Therefore I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
         Than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
         Than to trust in princes.
All nations surrounded me;
         In the name of the LORD I will surely cut them off.
They surrounded me, yes, they surrounded me;
         In the name of the LORD I will surely cut them off.
They surrounded me like bees;
         They were extinguished as a fire of thorns;
         In the name of the LORD I will surely cut them off.
You pushed me violently so that I was falling,
         But the LORD helped me.
The LORD is my strength and song,
         And He has become my salvation.
The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous;
         The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.
The right hand of the LORD is exalted;
         The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.
I will not die, but live,
         And tell of the works of the LORD.


  1. Julie Anne, I do hope and pray that members of your former church are reading this blog. I hope they see that throughout this blog, you have expressed your love for them while even though you've spoken out against the abuses of authority. I hope that they recognize God's deep, abiding love for His people and the freedom that comes with it.

    For the members of BGBC, I have some questions for you. These aren't meant to be argumentative. They are just questions and asked in love.

    * Would you feel comfortable challenging the pastor if you thought he misquoted or misused scripture?
    * Do you feel the freedom to interact with people outside your church, or is that discouraged?
    * Have you ever known anyone to leave your church, other than those who moved out of the area, who was not declared by church leadership to be in sin, unrepentant, a goat, or an unbeliever?

    If you could not answer yes to a single question, I pray that you continue to seek the Lord and ask Him to show you truth and give you courage.

    1. Great questions, Jess. I, too, hope and pray that they are reading and they can see the truth represented here and mostly the love and care that we on the outside would love to shower on them.

      Interestingly, as we've slowly connected with members, there is a weird uncomfortableness. You see, when you have been labeled as being "at war with God and at war with the church" for so long, you are the enemy. It takes a while to remove that enemy image from their mind. But once that is removed, all of the members who have left have discovered that there are no bitter feelings - just open arms and rejoicing that they are free from that environment.

    2. Julie Anne -
      This is so true. Every time I hear that someone in leadership or "H.E.L.P.S." has left that church, I rejoice that another one is free....and if they call and want to talk to me, I will meet with them gladly - there have been a few of these and they always end well.

    3. Also true with those who've made contact from our "former church" - no bitter feelings, most say, "love went missing somehow". No expressions of "how could this have happened?" Maybe some are reading here and gaining some understanding.

      I don't think many people realize how HARD it is to LEAVE. The heart-searching and prayer that goes on until finally you reach a decision. I would listen to messages up to 5 times and pray that the Lord would search my heart. IF there had been hope that things would turn around, these people would still be at "former church". Don't think ANYONE WANTED to leave. That's why it HURT.

      Jeanette, I want to thank you for your comments here and also for your blog. I'm sorry you had to learn these things through so much suffering, but appreciate the fruit it has borne in your healing and what you blog. I share your deep concern:

      "Is the answer to mental illness really to thump someone over the head with Bible verses? This truly makes my heart hurt."
      That made we want to cry. Also made me happy to see that you have reached the truth: "that has required the help of someone professionally trained for that purpose, not unlike seeking an orthopedic surgeon for a crushed leg." (I've called this "Word of Faith for Above the Neck" - Christians with an aversion to psychology would NOT have a problem with kidney dialysis or neurosurgery for a brain tumor, BUT there is this SILLY notion that people who have a "Malfunction of the Brain" SHOULD NOT TAKE MEDICATION OR SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP. I've seen damage this has caused in several people who were planning to see a Biblical counselor their mothers had hope in. The "condition" was that clients had to be off all psych medications. Two of these people never made it to the Biblical counseling appointment because they ended up in the hospital (where we went to visit them - they needed LOVE more than stigmatization). The third person went off lithium and did see the Biblical counselor. But he faced a blood level check at the Dr. and in his confusion hoped to elevate the level of the meds by taking an increased dose. He ended up in a coma and almost died as a result. This is another SECRET that many don't know about - I'm so glad you do!

      "Why dangerous? Because it sets people up to be abused - and it sets people up to be abusive - well meaning people end up using these doctrines and doing harm." Yes, people are well meaning and doctrine is a good thing, when applied properly. But you're right - THIS IS DANGEROUS. It also stigmatizes people and makes them "less than a member of the Body of Christ", "outcasts". When people try to speak about any issue, their "mental health" can be used to "discount" what they say. I'm sure you know that, you are one of the very few people I've seen write about this. You have many different interests - enjoyed your post on the Resurrection too! Keep telling the truth! You blessed me so much!

    4. @Not a Rebel
      Deep breath. Thank you. I am always humbled and grateful when someone reads my blog and is helped. Thank you for sharing this with me. It helps motivate me to continue speaking out. I pray God's Peace to you.

  2. That inner circle sure is a dangerous place to be.

    Before my "fall from grace" I was a part of the inner circle. There were a number of red flags I saw in the year-and-a-half leading up to the fallout, but I didn't want to be labeled a troublemaker by questioning the authorities that were. I reasoned away compromise after compromise, cover up after cover up. God saw right through me, however, and placed a situation in my path that I could not ignore. I realized as I took my stand that what God thought of me was far more important than what the elders thought of me.

    What happens in that vicious inner circle is that the church leadership derives affirmation from their group of "faithful" followers. The "faithful" followers are rewarded with affirmation from the leaders. And around and around it goes.

    The affirmation trap is an easy one for me to fall into (and I imagine it might be easy for others as well), because I want to be liked. I want to be considered valuable and feel like I'm worth something. But I say it's a trap because oftentimes we value what the elders think above what God thinks, and begin living accordingly. When we are finally forced to stand up against sin amongst leadership, they will do everything in their power to make us feel worthless, unloved and unwanted.

    I've had to learn over the past three years to derive my affirmation from God in His Word. Recognition is still nice, but my goodness, it's not worth the fall.

    1. Lydia, Thank you for sharing your inner circle experience. In the Spiritual Abuse Help area on the blog, I have definitions listed. I added a link to your comment so people can have a better understanding how the inner circle works in real church situations. Your experience is very helpful.

  3. Praise God that your blog is being stalked. Perhaps the intent is to find dirt, but I pray readers will find truth and be liberated from the bonds of men. I pray what they read here refreshes their souls.

    God is a holy God, He is perfect, He has standards, but guess what? He died on the cross so that we may be released from bondage and experience true freedom. Churches that want people to remain shackled are missing a key message of the gospel.

    1. Amen! Thank you for your encouraging words!

    2. Part 1 of 2 - Sorry it got a little long...

      Thanks, SQ for your comments! I'm refreshed by what I read at this blog. This is the most positive blog re the issues our family has faced in having our "conscience bound" to teachings that exceeded the boundaries of Scripture.

      At "former church" we were shocked to observe some people "reported on people". This current post said: "The pattern is they will report any kind of suspicious activity to the leader, any dissension in the group, anyone who may not be fully on board." That’s true! This post was scary, but RIGHT ON.

      IMO,This is NOT what the Body of Christ should be like - I don't see this in the Bible. Oh wait! I just remembered: I think the Pharisees & Judas operated like that - Reporting, informing, plotting - threatened by Jesus, not recognizing Him due to blindness. Worried about their positions of authority. For Judas, even the money he got wasn't satisfying. (In Psychology, this is called "projection" - project the blame onto others. BaaaD Sheep! NOT BaaaD Shepherds! Some "Image protectors" and members of the "Inner Circle" excel at this. Later on, anyone who “left OUR church” must be “a backslider”. (Sad.)

      A few years ago I would have been shocked at ANY Christian "looking for dirt" on people - I wasn't "born yesterday" and have been a Christian since college - at least 35 yrs. ago. Ouch! Am I THAT OLD? :0

      We memorized Luther’s Small Catechism – 8th Commandment “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” What does this mean?--Answer. “We should fear and love God that we may not deceitfully belie, betray, slander, or defame our neighbor, but defend him, [think and] speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything.” Also the Golden Rule “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

      I am a sinner and have not always perfectly kept this commandment and rule. But at first, I fiercely defended and spoke glowingly of “former church”. I had no idea then how sheep were being "accused of throwing stones and digging for dirt" by some in the "Inner Circle" that do the same thing! I sincerely thought the leaders would be “putting the best construction on everything” too!

    3. Part 2 of 2 -

      It's quite a shock when the "scales fall off your eyes" and you suddenly realize who is "in the Inner Circle"! Queasy tummy time - time to get into the Word and pray. You want to "go into denial" - a very uncomfortable time. Wanting to RUN, but still trying to "hang in there and try to be an obedient member and hoping and praying for resolution". We did that for a LONG time. Leaving "former church" was not what we WANTED TO DO! It was not an EASY decision. People who leave end up "paying a heavy price" and lose former friends who are also hurt because you "left".

      I believe these people and leaders may be thinking they are "doing righteous things". (I once felt very protective of "former church" when I saw anything online that "didn't put former church in the best light" and "reported it" to what I now know is "the Inner Circle" for them to "contend against” - blood pressure and heart rate are going up as I type and "remember".)

      This is NOT EASY. And I wish it didn't have to be talked about.
      But if it's not "exposed to Light" the wounds won't heal. A kind and loving friend from "former church" told us Christians need to "walk in the light" because Jesus was "the Light of the World" and when light enters a room it dispels darkness. Darkness breeds sin, not righteousness.

      When pastors get to the point where the Word becomes a weapon to control people, when they don't understand they are sinners saved by grace and serve humbly in love, then things can go very wrong. They may not realize it, but every time they use the Word and don’t apply it with love, but use it as a weapon against the sheep Jesus gave them to LOVE, they are violating the Greatest Commandment:

      Matthew 22:36-40 (NASB) “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “ ‘ You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘ You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

      We don't consider people in the "Inner Circle" to be "enemies". (Reading Scripture and blogs helped us deal with our feelings.) We know one day all Christians will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ and give an answer. A sobering thought.

      (A.Amos Love's blog has positive Bible based help on "Loving Our Enemies" which we really appreciated! :)

  4. 'Sermon' fodder-lol

  5. Curious: Do you think Pastor Chuck would sue an atheist who commented on your blog? Why or why not?

    1. 99.9999999% of pastors wouldn't think of suing. Chuck is special. One cannot predict what he might do, Carol, but your identity is safe with me :)

  6. "(::::waving hi to creepy stalkers::::)."

    On each end is a smiley face with ten eyes, all the better to see what is going on here. Was this intended? LOL

    1. It absolutely was not, but now that you mention it, I'm rolling with it! That indeed is creepy. HA!

  7. Speaking of verse dealing with creepers...
    Well, obviously we have some stalkers in BGBC Survivors...

    They're climbing in yo blog posts,
    snatching your commenters up,
    tryna sue 'em.
    So y'all need ta
    hide your cash,
    hide your funds,
    hide your cash, hide your funds,
    hide your cash, hide your funds,
    and hide your pastors, cuz they're suing errbody out here.

    1. Should I be singing these lyrics along with the creeper song I posted? Have you tried it?


    2. AutoTune the News for the win!

  8. If I were Pastor Chuck, I would sue the people who posted the two comments in his defense telling people to "repent."

    Their mindless drivel only PROVES Julie's point. No sane person would take those two comments seriously. They could very well be disgruntled trolls bent on making Pastor Chuck look bad by parodying his followers.

    Track the two anonymous commenters and sue the Lake of Fire out of them, Pastor Chuck. They made you look like the Kim Jong Il of Beaverton, OR.

    Hey you anonymous commenters who masqueraded as Chuck's defenders: REPENT.

    1. Why didn't I think of that? David, your brilliantness is showing.
      ::::ja donning sunglasses cuz it's bright in here:::::

    2. "Shame on those who attack the Lord's servants. Please repent and be of one mind, striving together for the Gospel of peace!"

      ***Where is the Scripture reference for "Shame others" found?*** Anyone know? Maybe we need to buy a new MacArthur Study Bible because we might be missing some pages in the one we have. (Our dog has been known to chew paper when left alone - the vet told us it's "separation anxiety". Separation CAN provoke ANXIETY.)

      If people told Julie Anne that she needed "chapter and verse" to prove "heresy" WHY don't the people "defending the faith" oops! "defending their dear leader" educate us with THEIR Bible references? Seems really strange to me - it's pretty easy to use online Bibles and search for the words you need and they must have a computer if they're posting here? But ya never know - there just might be a verse. Can't say there isn't - DISCLAIMER: I HAVE been WRONG before and had to ADMIT IT.{{{SEVERAL TIMES!}}}

      That's likely why momma used to tell me "There was only one man that ever walked on the earth who was Perfect - and that was Jesus, not YOU!" We didn't even go to church back then, but I think she was preaching to me! Oops! I don't believe in women preaching - I guess my momma was EXHORTING ME IN LOVE!

      It wasn't long after that I went away to college. Met some Jesus people who gave me a full size magazine type tract that was really convicting and I realized I was a BIG TIME SINNER and NEEDED TO TRUST THE SAVIOR TO CLEANSE ME FROM SIN SO I COULD BE RECONCILED TO GOD THE FATHER AND HAVE PEACE WITH HIM.

      My Jesus people friends were "scary" sometimes - they laid hands on me and prayed for me right in the middle of the CAMPUS once! But they loved me, I knew that. That's why they wanted me to trust Jesus to "wash all my sins away". (Oh, and I got baptized in a lake by someone - this man may have spoke in tongues, but he didn't that day and I'm pretty sure that the baptism was valid. Cause I didn't speak in tongues afterward and there was no "creepy" stuff going on there at all. Just a few guitars - the old people sure didn't like those in the church, but this was at the lake. :) I just remembered, the people that baptized me wanted me to go to a charismatic Bible School in the PNW! But I didn't end up going. Uff Da!, that was sure a close call!)

      I can't tell you how many times I read that magazine tract and repented - my friends finally sent me to see a pastor - it was May 15 - I won't say which year because then you would know how REALLY OLD I AM! I might be older than Julie Anne, Kathi and Old Mom COMBINED! LOL!

      The pastor had me write Proverbs 3:5+6 inside my Bible cover and told me to "not to trust in my own understanding" and to read that verse often to remember that I had repented and trusted Jesus to cleanse me from sin. The pastor said "It's already done. Just read your Bible and trust Jesus." I also learned another verse about "Perfect love casts out fear". Jesus gave me His peace.)

      Maybe people are reading comments here and just posting stuff "as an excuse" to spend some time on the blog? Ya never know. If someone sees them reading the blog website they could "do a 1 Peter 3:15 "sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account." and say they were just "striving for the Gospel of peace". That would be "telling the truth", wouldn't it?

      Isn't that what we all want? Galatians 5:22-23 -"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, PEACE, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."

    3. ::::ja donning sunglasses cuz it's bright in here:::::

      Very funny :). What do you do when creeps show up? A really bright flashlight?

    4. I think I'd sick Church Lady on creepy creepers.

  9. An Attorney (same as earlier)July 4, 2012 at 8:38 AM

    As we celebrate our hard-won freedom and equality as citizens of this country, we need to also celebrate our religious freedoms, both the first amendment freedom of conscience that prevents turkeys like your former pastor from having state authority over the people in his community, as well as the freedom we have in Christ.

    Have a happy holiday. I will be praying for you on 7/13. What time is the hearing?

    BTW, you should be keeping track of your time, mileage, meals, and lodging to go back and forth to Beaverton and ask to recover that as part of the damages for Chuckie O'Neal's absolutely improper suit against you.

    1. An attorney: Our hearing (for Hannah and me) is scheduled for 1:30 pm. Meaghan's paperwork had to be filed separately and her hearing is scheduled immediately following ours. You can be sure I will be staying for hers as well.

      I will definitely keep track of costs incurred in dealing with this fiasco. Thanks for the reminder. Happy 4th to you!

    2. Julie Anne,

      Thanks for the countdown clock! Already praying about 7/13 - glad there's a reminder on the blog now to "jog" my memory.

      Just read Hannah's story the other night and was overjoyed! (I don't have a daughter, but if I did I would want one like Hannah!) The Lord has placed sensitive people in the Body of Christ for a reason - sometimes we don't understand them right away, but my husband often quotes this verse:
      (Hope no one minds that I used 2 different translations here, but I felt they reflected the meaning of the verse more clearly.)

      Luke 7:35 (DARBY)
      35 Yet Wisdom is shown to be right by what its followers do.

      Luke 7:35 (HCSB) "Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”

      Hugs and Prayers to Hannah and her Mom :)

    3. Thank you for your kind words, Not a Rebel. Always glad to have more prayers!

  10. My son plays a game called Minecraft where there are "creepers" who walk around. He's always saying, "Creepers gonna keep creeping." I guess that's true for all creepers. ;-)

    Have your dissenters been quiet lately? It doesn't seem like there have been as many "anonymous" posters lately.

  11. Kathi,

    I've enjoyed reading your blog! You have many interests (knitting, home school, hamsters:), reading) and I appreciated your post on "Dealing with Creepers" and how you taught your daughter about dealing with inappropriate "suitors". You are an amazing woman! As a "pioneer homeschool mom back in the day" I "cringed" when I saw Gregg Harris's name. I once was influenced by his homeschool "guru" writings - I think he had a magazine, not sure. The memory escapes me. (Sometimes it's good to have a "senior moment"! LOL!)

    It's a "breath of fresh PNW air" to read your blog! At one point in my journey, seeing "Blue Like Jazz" would have been a "CLUE" learned from "former church" to not read further. I'm overcoming a lot of that now - and I'm a bit interested in reading Francis Chan. (But more interested in Julie Anne's posts and legal situation at this point in "healing".)

    I don't have a blog account or know how to get an Open ID, so can't leave a comment on your blog - yet. Maybe I can get some information on how to do that. But I consider you a "sister in the Lord" and a friend.

    1. Kathi - I'm not sure where the dissenters are. Maybe my posts aren't the right kind that bring dissension. Maybe I should do something about that ;)

      Not a Rebel - Kathi's creeper story was good. That was the library we used to frequent so as Kathi was telling the story, I could picture it clearly. I think the 3 of us have a lot in common. I'd like to sit and knit with both of you and gab, gab, gab :)

    2. I'll be in the PNW for a week in Sept. vacationing - love PNW! Used to dream of transferring to a college in OR. Also used to have friends out there, but they all moved to other states.

      But I think I've met some new PNW friends here on the blog! I actually haven't knit anything since college, (which I did admit was "a long, long time ago"!) Maybe I could get my friend to help me get started again! She loves to knit - said it relieves stress and pain in hands and she makes the most beautiful things. She told me about the knitting blogs. Have you ever knit a "Cupcake hat"? They are SO adorable! Somewhere I read about a lady who had a pattern she made for her son's band - that might be large enough for me and PINK would be my color for "frosting"!

      I feel like we're "out on the porch" today having a nice chat!
      Do you want me to pick up a Caribou or a Starbucks for you? LOL!

    3. Not A Rebel - Thanks for the kind words! If you do happen to come to Portland, it would be great meeting you. We'll have to figure out a way to connect somehow. I've added my email address to my profile. Feel free to contact me any time. And, you can always comment on my blog choosing "Anonymous" in the "Choose an Identity" category.

      Even though we are Christians who homeschool, I admit that I am very far removed from the conservative side of Christian homeschooling. I attended the Oregon Christian Homeschool Convention my first year only to hear the session on beginning homeschooling and see the vendors. The only other time that I attended that convention was to work a booth. We do use some Christian curriculum, but I talk out the ultra conservative points with my kids to make them think about what is being offered (for instance, the young earth approach in the Astronomy book offered by Apologia). When I hear all of these names running the Christian homeschooling circuit, I know the names but not their views. I've been shocked recently by what I've been reading about those who are considered "leaders" in the Christian homeschooling community. I'm glad for that ignorance - it doesn't influence my home.

      Ok - I'm rambling. Sorry to leave such a long comment Julie Anne! And, I wish I could be here on the 13th. I'd come to court just to meet you too! And, a cupcake hat sounds delish!

    4. Hi Kathi - hitting "publish" is quite easy - it's the same process whether your post is long or short, so type to your little heart's content :) I never tire of reading comments, even snarky ones - haha.

      Regarding Christian homeschooling conventions - I haven't been to one in a while and if I did go, I would only be going for the curriculum sales and very selective workshops that most likely pertained to education or practical helps.

      There are very disturbing trends presented by popular speakers at the conventions. Some of the philosophies lead people to take those teachings/CDs/materials back to their home churches for implementation and some are quite legalistic and dangerous (and even spiritually abusive). Bottom line is we need to always have our creepo meter engaged.

  12. Julie Anne,

    Happy 4th of July.

    Jeepers Creepers!, great blog post. Good links to other creeper stories. I noted that the word creepy was used quit frequently in the other stories. Apparently calling someone creepy is not slander, from what you said above.

    Poor old creepy cat. When pictures are taken, I’ve heard people say, “They didn’t get my BEST side.” That’s probably what creepy cat thinks too. But I think the dog is laughing..

    Creepy cat will probably never be spiritually abused. IMO, cats refuse to be under much authority (obedience?). Dogs are just the opposite. Cats are not people-pleasers. Dogs will take a beating and stay for more. A cat would run away. Now this is just my opinion. (I like both animals.)

    Is there a message in this for us? Why do we get into Spiritual Abuse in the first place? Why do we submit to creepers? Psychology is not a bad, creepy, or an ungodly thing. (My very strong opinion.) But I can see why an abuser would not want his people to know any psychology because it would help them to know his behavior is just not normal.

    Could creepy cat be Chuck’s cat? Maybe it has been listening to Chuck’s sermons. ROFLMAO

    1. I can't officially say that it's not slander because the word was never brought before the judge. My attorney is convinced that creepy is an opinion and perhaps the pastor's attorney decided not to push the issue. Obviously I still feel pretty comfortable saying it: creepy creeper.

      You asked if there is a message for us. The message I got from your 3rd paragraph is that our former pastor will never own a cat, but might own a dog.

    2. Such a Bore

      You left the congregation, you made your opinion public, you are not Batman...you should just move on. There is no reason to continue your barage. No one believes that you are acting out of a sense of duty, no one thinks that you are righteous, no one considers your claims significant, no one is breaking any laws, and no one is left awake.

      Let us know when you settle the matter.

      P.S. You are welcome.

    3. Anon 6:40: The matter was settled long ago. Thanks for your concern, though. Feel free to stick around.

    4. It only took less than 12 hours for an anonymous dissenter to show up after people wondered where they were! Guess they were trying to "light some fireworks" for the 4th.
      But didn't even have a "sparkler" to share.

      No one is breaking any laws here either.
      No one here filed any claims.
      (The "complaint" is filed by the plaintiff who files a lawsuit against the "one being sued". AKA, the defendant. The "legal terms" can be confusing.)

      No one here is Batman OR Batwoman. ("Church Lady" did have a sense of humor, but Church Lady was a goofy male dressed as a woman. Rumor has it s(he) was forced to leave TV for being hypocritical.) Nope, you won't find any of those characters here! No re-runs on this blog. We try to avoid re-runs. They are kind of like SUPER BORING because you know what's going to happen since you've already seen the show before.

      Anonymous you are right about one thing:

      NO ONE HERE IS RIGHTEOUS. Romans 3:10 "as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;"

      We all need to keep that in mind. And only trust in Christ's imputed righteousness, not our own. Thank you for that kind reminder. I mean that sincerely - it's good to think about how the Savior gives us His righteousness because we sinned and don't have any of our own. That's what grace is about.

      praying Acts 13:52 for you: "And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit."

      Praying you be filled with joy and refreshed in your spirit.

      May the Lord heal the bleakness, boredom and lack of joy.

      May you AWAKE refreshed with His praises on your mind.

      Thank you for stopping by and for the opportunity to pray.

    5. Way to go, Not a Rebel! You extended the love and grace of Christ while shining a light on the apparent lack of joy in Anonymous. Anonymous, if you're still reading, I too pray that the Lord fills you with joy, refreshes your spirit, heals your boredom, and awakens you with His fresh praises. What a great prayer for all of us.

    6. There's one of the anonymous dissenters! Welcome back! Sorry to bore you. It's a lovely day out today. Please enjoy the sun, get some vitamin D and have a lovely day!

    7. Anonymous says:

      "You should just move on."
      "No one believes you..."
      "No one thinks you..."
      "No one considers you..."

      And my personal favorite, "You're welcome."

      It may sound as though I'm paraphrasing, but really I'm just pulling out simple grammar (subject/verb) and what is really meant behind each statement.

      The reality, Anonymous, is that people do believe Julie Anne. People do think she is doing the right thing. People are considering the outcome of this impending trial as it is being watched by the media. Julie Anne can't "move on" because the pastor has pushed her to continue to be involved in this church. Perhaps she has been ready to move on for quite a while, but he's still holding on to her. Perhaps part of her "moving on" is writing about her experiences. Writing brings healing. Her writing has offered others to experience the beginning of the healing process as well. That should not be taken lightly.

      As for your "You're welcome" comment, did she thank you for something?

    8. Anonymous, may I extend a challenge of sorts? Would you be willing to pray sincerely and ask the Lord to show you the truth about your church? There is no harm in this.

      If what the church is doing is right, you have nothing to lose. If what the church is doing is wrong, you have everything to gain.

      If you believe you shouldn't go to the Lord about this, that should tell you something too.

      You can always go to the Lord. I'm praying for you.

    9. Wait a minute - - - I all of a sudden got stuck on the "Batman" part of the comment. It's pretty common knowledge that I'm a woman (and mother). Why didn't anonymous say "Batgirl"? . . . . . . . I hope I don't stay awake at night trying to figure out this mysterious comment.

  13. Anon at 6:40, why are you reading this if its such a bore? Either you're convicted and fighting it or ... I'm not sure there is an "or." Praying for you. I know its hard when God speaks to your heart.

  14. 56 years a Baptist, mostly SBCJuly 4, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    Anon 6:40

    There are a lot of us who think that Julie Anne is ministering to people in need and that this is in fact a righteous act on her part, and not the sin that you engaged in in dissing her on her blog.

  15. "on Saturday night, we got the call from an elder that we were not welcome to come to church there anymore." Every time you post this I get the creeps. In our case there was a Saturday night phone call from the same "elder" who called you that effectively ended our time at the so-called church. Current attenders, be cautious if you get a Saturday night call from this elder! You may want to record it for legal reasons.

    1. I'm not sure who you are, but I'll bet we could have an interesting time sharing creepy stories.

    2. To Anonymous--

      Not gossip, truth. Gossip is what comes from a certain pulpit where, instead of preaching the gospel of grace, members and former members of the church are railed against, by name, with lies and half-truths (again, lies).

      THAT is gossip. It's not excused because it comes from a pastor or from the pulpit. Imagine where that church would be if he worried less about others--and himself--and more about Christ and His flock.

      People sharing true experiences is not gossip.

    3. Shouldn't that read "Uh, gossip, uh, uh."?

  16. this made for some good morning reading

    i appreciated everyone's thoughts.

    Not a Rebel was on a roll!

    Kathi, i love hamster too!

    and everyone here (including the creepy, welcoming, anonymous guy) are in my morning prayers

    righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit! (Rom 14:17)

    1. Monax - As far as the hamsters go, they were an impulse buy. My husband and I were at the pet store without our kids there to bug us about buying them new pets. That's how we got our dog too! And, my husband has made it clear that they are "his girls." Which means he takes care of them too. Not my idea, but they sure are cute, so I don't complain.

  17. Julie Anne, as I was making breakfast this morning, my thoughts returned to Such a Bore.

    Who is this guy with such insight and oversight to write: “No one believes that you are acting out of a sense of duty, no one thinks that you are righteous, no one considers your claims significant, no one is breaking any laws, and no one is left awake” ?

    Who is this guy who hounds you and makes such a request as this: “Let us know when you settle the matter” ?

    Your simple response that “The matter was settled long ago” is profoundly rich with biblical allusion. I, too, won’t bother answering Bore beyond saying “O sleeper awake!” (Eph 5:1-21)

    Now as I was concluding my prayer for Bore this is the thought that occurred to me: Julie Anne should most certainly write out her story to be published in a book! I’m sure there would be any number of editors willing to come alongside you in the effort. You would have the support of many readers too.

    Malcolm Gladwell once remarked, “the reason why people read [books] is that they want to participate in the world of the author.” I would love to hear your story. You’re a good writer and you have some significant insight into a certain world of darkness that needs to be exposed to the light. I’d read your book.

    1. You're so kind, monax. My story is actually not so exciting - well, except for the lawsuit. When I read and hear other abuse stories, they really make my head spin and sometimes I think they should have their own blog so I can read! Most likely what people connect to is the heart. People who have a heart can connect with other people who feel at a deep level. Maybe it's the level of emotion that I express with which people connect. Anyway, whatever it is, I am thankful to God for this vehicle of expression to connect with others. If my experience can help one person, wow - that's so powerful and makes it worthwhile.

    2. Monax,

      Why do you think Anonymous is a guy?

      Couldn't this be a lady who is burdened? I know women at "former church" who have "lost their joy" and seem kinda depressed. One often said she was "bored". (Some women didn't like to study doctrine or theology much. I didn't find that boring.) But no joy or peace was a BIG BUMMER :(

      Romans 14:17 is a great verse. Thanks for sharing that today!

      Not specific to Monax, but just a few thoughts in general:

      (Acts is a transitional historical book and I shouldn't have used an Acts reference - with all the cessationism debates I don't know if Acts applies to us today. Acts can be "no-no" - "former church" taught us proper rules of interpretation.)

      Not sure who to ask about all these things. (Phil Johnson retired from the Internet and the other "Pyro" guy has moved to pastor a church so he's busy. Suppose I could ask F.B. but...) maybe he'd say "women don't need to know that stuff".

      Plenty to keep your head spinning. Confusing, NEVER boring!

      Do you respond to a troll? If you do, what do you say? Do you use Scripture or not? If you do, does that verse still apply to us today? Might be easier to "move on" - (maybe that's why some people gave up and don't go to church???)

      When my husband called on his lunch break, I asked him. He said, "Look up Luke 18:16,17 'Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.' Rest in your child-like faith and trust in Jesus." As he ate his lunch, he asked me to read the IVP NT Commentary to him over the phone: "The lesson for disciples is that children are good models for a disciple. Children trust their parents and rely on them. So disciples should rely on their Father. To be a part of the kingdom, we must receive it in the way a child walks through life. Entry is blocked to those who do not trust the Father. God accepts those who run into their Father's arms, knowing that he will care for them." We had a good time of fellowship and the answer was simpler than I thought. My husband is amazing!

      He told me it was OK to post this here today. And then said, "Go and have some fun this afternoon". Maybe I'll ask my friend to teach me how to knit. I really liked Kathi's latest knitting project pics - her blog is not BORING!

    3. Not a Rebel, as I was reading the anonymous Bore I naturally attempted to construct an image, build a profile, discern the voice from the words, tenor, perspective, etc, of the writer.

      I read the words as coming from an immature man who has an inside perspective, one who has probably never read anything from Julie Anne’s blog, but was probably spurred into taking action here by way of the barrage of anti-bgbcsurvivor stories he’s hearing from the pulpit, or the inside of bgbc. My guess is that it read from one of the elders son.

      But honestly, I don’t know the church. Were the woman at said church as overbearing?

    4. Monax,

      Yes, there were a few women at "former church" who were as overbearing. Women can be very aggressive at the top levels of "women's ministry". Women in other "leadership positions" can also act "creepy" in private and some "throw digs" at other women. Even women not in leadership can attempt to be "domineering" and "kick friends to the curb" if they don't agree with their views on "what should be taught in home school" or "what should be censored". (Ask a woman whose kids go to public school.) It's not only men who try to "reign and rule".

      I appreciate this blog and Julie Anne's commitment to not "censor" even "CREEPY" Anonymous posts. It's all "out in the open" and hearts are being REVEALED. (check out Simeon, one of my favorite men in the Bible, as he prophesies over Jesus when He is 8 days old in Luke 2:34,35 and also what Jesus said in Matt 12:34; Matt 15:18; and Luke 6:45.)

      But after seeing another anonymous over night post here earlier this morning, I agree this must be an immature male:

      The “CREEPY” reference to "Gossip" may be trying to invoke a "DO NOT GOSSIP" rule - which is how SOME church leaders manage to keep things "HIDDEN". (Virtually the same as the "NO TALK RULE", but verses about "gossip" are used to silence women. Women are usually easier to intimidate and most fear breaking the "DO NOT GOSSIP" rule issued by male leaders.)

      FWIW, I have never heard a woman issue the "NO TALK RULE". Or a"DO NOT GOSSIP" edict. Probably because those come from the pulpit and women have not been in that position. But every time the "DO NOT GOSSIP RULE" is issued, I think it provokes curiosity and people silently ask "WHY"? but don't dare ask the question out loud. ("curiosity" can lead to "speculation" which is often worse than telling the TRUTH).

      At a previous [non-Reformed] church in another city, the NO GOSSIP rule was usually a "clue" that someone had sinned - when it “all came out" after all attempts at reconciliation had failed, it was most often a divorce or a sexual sin. Once it was sin of a missionary who had committed adultery. Even after Biblical counseling, 2 men chose to continue in their sin. Both men had graduated from seminary. Both marriages ended in divorce. Both men are with others, while both women remain single and have "moved on" to other churches to heal. At least one of the men is still a pastor, but in a different state. When I think of what these women and children have been through it is almost unimagineable. Yet they are still in churches and work to support children two men “left behind” to pursue other “interests”. It seriously offended me when the Rev. Fred Butler called women out for “whining about spiritual abuse”. I think Jesus weeps along with these women and helps to dry their tears and provides for their children.

    5. JA's random thoughts:

      I wouldn't venture a guess to say whether the "gossip" commenter was a man or woman. I can picture both male or female saying something like that from the church.

      FTR, Fred has mentioned that he is not a pastor (it's hard to keep up with comments, I know!). He is on staff at GCC and per one of his comments here, teaches a bible class from time to time.

      Monax asked: But honestly, I don’t know the church. Were the woman at said church as overbearing?

      The women could be very strong - especially if they were part of the inner circle. Good question.

      Not a Rebel: Did you ask your husband permission to post here? haha

      I'm wondering if "Such a Bore" commenter is also "gossip" commenter? Anyway, I'm glad they are here, they bring good discussion and it's funny how my brain takes off with the latest random "gossip" comment and creates a plan for a post and then I see some of you are tracking with me with your comments- ha! Love it. I'm going to go for a walk before it gets too hot and will hopefully get something new posted soon.

    6. In response to the claim that survivor blogs are dominated by women, let me suggest two observations. First, I did a very informal survey of a few of these blogs as well as the comment threads on this one. I don't find an overwhelming majority of women. I find a majority, though not conclusively because some of the names could go either way. Of five blogs I looked at two were started by men, three by women. Second, because of the power structure of conservative churches women (and children) are more likely to be abused than men. Perhaps that's part of what Peter means when he writes of weaker vessels.

    7. I would concur with your observations, Craig. I think it is pretty well divided among the sexes.

      With regard to posting styles, I notice that men are more shall I say "compact" in their comments and cut to the chase more quickly, in general, and women may post more or have longer comments.

      I know if my husband were to write a summary paragraph and compare it with mine, there would be obvious differences. His would be factual, logical, clear and concise (he's an engineer, btw). Mine would be twice as long and you'd be feelin' where I'm coming from :)

    8. Julie Anne,

      LOL - I guess I actually did ask my husband if it was OK to post his private comments to me yesterday when we talked about "child-like faith", but I think it would have been OK with him anyway. Because we love and trust each other. He's read your blog too and thinks it's good to talk about this.

      "My bad" on Fred Butler - I missed that fact. Sorry about that! I thought I saw someone refer to him as the Rev. Fred Butler and I know he has 3 blogs and one is a Theology blog and he graduated from Master's Seminary so I STAND CORRECTED! Thanks, J.A.! You don't miss a thing!

      Trying to "Move On", but there are many friends who need some prayers and we don't want to RUN and HIDE!

      It's not as nice here as in your area of the country, so we may have to go to the health club to walk on the track and swim in the pool later. Hope you had a relaxing walk :)

    9. Oh, that makes sense - you were asking about publishing HIS comments. Gotcha. I'm sorry, I just had to tease a little :)

      You're right - someone else did mention Rev. BTW, I think YOU don't miss a thing.

      I just put up a new post and you will be experience two senses from my walk this morning: sight (a picture) and sound! Phones these days are amazing - first time uploading a sound byte. Fun!

    10. Told my husband about Craig's survey. He knows men get hit with spiritual abuse too. We've been through this together.
      Spiritual abuse is equally painful for men and women.

      (Women do talk more - every one of the marriage seminars we went to showed the same diagram of a funnel placed the usual way for men who "whittle things down to understandable bites of info" and the "upside down funnel" for women, who tend to "expand their words" or "bloviate". Aren't there even jokes about women "continually blabbing"? You know, like they did on "I Love Lucy" - LOL!

      Time for me to step aside and let men step up to comment! (I'd rather be knitting. Out walking. Way more relaxing.)

  18. Julie Anne
    I have a suggestion for a book. Get other former members to write their stories, all anonymously, but with as much detail as they can. Collate them in some sort of time order. Edit them all for readability. Then put them in a book titled: The Ungracious Church: The Stories of Beaverton Grace Bible Church.

  19. Creepy, nothing. How about illegal? I was in a church one time where a couple went to the pastor and his wife for marriage counseling. The wife was told to "cleave to" her husband more, whatever that means. The husband was told to secretly record his wife's phone conversations with her friends. When it all hit the fan, guess who got in legal trouble?

  20. @ Arce 10:36 AM

    I've been thinking about the same thing. Julie Anne probably is getting enough stories via email along with this blog to write a book.

    I like the simple title "Ungracious Churches" but leave off the BGBC name. There are plenty of other churches where Spiritual Abuse occurs. It is not limited to this one church.

    Just my 2 cents worth....

  21. Serving in Japan: I was advised to be very careful when discussing that other "church" and decided to remove references to it in this post - which is why I did not approve your post. I also spent a couple hours researching and agree with that advice given me. You are absolutely right in your comment - there is no comparison. If you have questions, feel free to contact me: bgbcsurvivors@ gmail dot com

    1. Serving in JapanJuly 9, 2012 at 7:39 AM

      Thanks for informing me. No offense taken. Heaven knows you don't need any extra hassles. You do whatever you need to.

      Grace and peace to you this week.

    2. Thanks for your understanding :)

  22. Julie Anne,

    [I'm just now catching up after moving (whew!) so please forgive the delayed comment on earlier posts.]

    The title of this post, Creepy Pastors and Churches Using Creepy Stalking Control Tactics, brought to mind one of the most "creepy" of all "churches" (made up almost entirely of one family) I've been made aware of in my lifetime: the now infamous WBC.

    I don't know if you have seen the documentaries about it done by Louis Theroux of the BBC. I thought it apropos to include them under this post.

    The first was The Most Hated Family in America (2007) with a follow-up doc America's Most Hated Family in Crisis (2011).

    The most compelling message this alleged "church" spreads is hate. In the follow-up documentary, Theroux interviews former members of the "church" who were put out for their "rebellion", and the reaction of the family members.

  23. As overt as the WBC is with their tactics, imagine if you will a covert church influencing politicians and other men in positions of power. This "church" is referred to as The Family, or The Fellowship.

    The founder was Abraham Vereide who started the annual National Prayer Breakfasts that have been attended by every President since Eisenhower.

    The journalist, Jeff Sharlet, wrote an article for Harper's Magazine entitled Jesus plus nothing:
    Undercover among America's secret theocrats
    , published in March 2003. In interviews after the publication of his article (like the one at NPR), Sharlet revealed that the Harper's editor made him take out portions because the discoveries were so outlandish, the fear was readers simply would not believe it. Sharlet then wrote a book about it entitled The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power (2008).

    The FellowshipThe patriarch of The Fellowship is Doug Coe and his son David Coe is in charge of the young men's group. Among their compounds are Ivanwald and the C-street house in Washington DC where congressmen like John Ensign have resided.

    Their philosophy is that they are the "chosen" and as such, can do anything. The most disturbing thing I read about their "philosophy" is a question that was asked of a member of the young mens group by David Coe "Beau, let's say I hear you raped three little girls. And now here you are at Ivanwald. What would I think of you, Beau?”

    Beau replied, “Probably that I'm pretty bad?”

    “No, Beau. I wouldn't. Because I'm not here to judge you. That's not my job. I'm here for only one thing. ... If you're a person known to be around Jesus, you can go and do anything. And that's who you guys are. When you leave here, you're not only going to know the value of Jesus, you're going to know the people who rule the world. ... Talk to the people who rule the world, and help them obey. Obey Him. ... We become a warning. We warn everybody that the future king is coming. Not just of this country or that, but of the world.”

    Some of the followers of Doug Coe are the Clintons (especially Hillary), Al Gore (who invoked Coe's name in testimony before the House Energy Committee in response to James Inhofe, another member of the Family, suggesting Coe act as a mediator), among others.

    1. Ostracon C.E.,

      What you write in your two posts is not "new news" for me. Once it had my interest, but I think Fred Phelps and his lawyer daughter and "odd" activities trying to prevent families from grieving the loss of their family members who gave their lives in the military conflicts by blaming the whole thing on "sin" in America and running around with their signs, filled with hate and defamatory language have shown most effectively where there hearts are. It would be terrible if they thought they were going to get a heavenly reward for what they have been doing and instead when they present themselves before Jesus, hear Him say, "Depart from Me, I never knew you."

      As for the Family and all their connections in D.C. I read about much of that around the tine of the last election. If I remember correctly, some politician had lived at "C" street but I'm not interested enough in that to spend time searching for the name and if there was a marital scandal or cover-up.

      It sounds like you may have posted here before. I'm relatively new and I appreciate the free speech here. But I'm much less fearful of politicians in D.C. right now than I am about what is happening to sheep in some Christian circles. Have you read the posts on Spiritual Abuse? My heart breaks for people like Julie Anne and her friends who have a lawsuit against them that is bearing down on them - and people on the blog have been praying for them. That is what's on my heart.

      I can see real people - home school moms with children and loving families who need our prayers right now. I don't know how Julie Anne and the others can have such gracious spirits when they've been up against not only having to each pay for defense attorneys, but have also had "drive-by hits" from Christians who tell them "just take the blog down and move on". This is the issue I am most appalled at.

      I don't know of a time in American history when men of the cloth sued women. Maybe there was some of that in the Salem Witch Trials. I read that in college so long ago and I think Arthur Miller wrote a play. But too many people don't read enough history. They depend on movies and entertainment for any historical knowledge they have, and often that is not the whole story, as you probably know. I'm glad you are staying well informed on history. History is one thing I wish I had studied more.

      Thanks for posting. Please support these ladies in their "hour of trial" coming up this Friday, July 13, 2012. This could be a precedent-setting free speech case - it looks like the media is very interested in the outcome. There are some links to articles that have appeared in several news sources listed under Media Interviews in the right hand column of this blog if you haven't already seen them. But it looks like you are a well-informed person, Ostracon, so you already have most likely read through all that material. I'm sorry for even suggesting it, but will leave this written the way it sits as I have some things I need to do and perhaps others will benefit from being reminded of the links documenting the stories on this riveting free speech lawsuit. No offense intended - I hope you understand. I can see you are interested in figuring things out. I am too. Regards, Not a Rebel P.S. I chose the name Not a Rebel not because I'm a "peacenik" and don't believe in fighting for freedom, but because someone had accused these women of being "rebels". That kind of got the hair on the back of my neck standing up, kinda like seeing those "creepy" Fred Phelps signs.

    2. Ostracon C.E. - Nice to "see" you again. You sure have brought up some very complex groups. I can't even fathom the depth of some of their activity and understand their intended purpose. It boggles my brain. We live in very confused times!

    3. Julie Anne,

      IMO, the intended purpose for any of the individuals/groups that engage in any of these kinds of activities is to gather and maintain power and control. Those pastors who are less ambitious seek only to control their congregation. Others (like the WBC) wish to extend their Calvinist extremism to the whole nation, by subjugation into Sharia-like dominionist law. And still others (like The Fellowship) are the most ambitious as they have set their sights on controlling the world (by controlling the leaders). They use religion as their vehicle because the "will of God" is beyond reproach and their lust for power has nothing to do with any deity.

      One other note: In a previous post you noted the hearing date is Friday the 13th, with what read like some trepidation, due to the supposed “bad luck” associated with that date. I see it differently:

      Lore says that Friday the 13th is unlucky because of the arrests of the Templar Knights on Friday, October 13th, 1307 who were subsequently charged with apostasy, fraud, heresy, idolatry and other charges. The charges were trumped up (originally based in accusations by an ousted Templar but were deemed false). In investigating the charges, Pope Clement asked for the assistance of King Philip IV, who owed the Templars large debts because of the war with England. Philip saw it as an opportunity to rid himself of that debt, so ordered the simultaneous arrests of the Templars. Clement absolved the Templars of wrong doing in 1308 (according to the Chinon Parchment). With the threat of military intercession, Philip forced Clement to disband the Templars and to execute the Grand Master, Jacques de Molay and the Preceptor of Normandy, Geoffroi de Charney, who were burned at the stake in 1314. (Interesting side note: de Molay was reported to say through the flames "God knows who is wrong and has sinned. Soon a calamity will occur to those who have condemned us to death." Both Clement and Phillip died that year. [insert creepy music here]) The Catholic church has since denounced the persecution of the Templars as "unjust".

      I see an ironic parallel here in that a man in power is using judicial means in order to control persons and for financial gain. Chuck is seeking to burn at the stake (metaphorically speaking of course) those that threaten his “reign and realm.” The difference is that in this case, the realm is a small personal fiefdom (and not the entire nation) and there are constitutional protections, including the division of church and state, that were set in place because of the historical abuses of power by both. I believe with every fiber of my being that you will prevail. (Otherwise, the ramifications for this country are more than I want to consider.) I’m hoping this Friday, the 13th becomes a date synonymous with justice for the oppressed.


    4. Fascinating history on Friday, the 13th! Wow! Thanks so much for sharing, Ostracon, and for your support :)


  24. Not a Rebel,

    Yes, I do keep up with current events. I’m a news junkie. That is how I found Julie Anne’s blog, from a story on Huffington Post. When I came here, I read all the back posts and commented on some of them. (And no offense taken. ;)

    I’m also a late-blooming history buff. I didn’t enjoy history in school; in fact it was my least favorite subject (probably because I’ve always had trouble remembering names and dates, which isn’t conducive to learning history based on rote memorization). I guess you have to have some of your own history under your belt to appreciate the history of your country, or the world. But then again, the sanitized version of history we are taught as children has been fluffy-bunny and whimsy. I don’t remember who said it or when (there’s that memory thing again) but it is something along the lines of ‘history is the lie we all agree on’ and ‘those that win the wars write the history.’

    I agree that most people get their limited exposure to history through entertainment. My husband, who spent over 40 years in the entertainment industry (starting at the age of 14 in radio, then moving into writing, film, animation and Internet) and is a huge history/archeology geek can point to any number of instances where creative license was used when the real history didn’t work on film. There is also the problem of those who try to re-write history to fit their agenda (same as reinterpreting the bible to fit).

    One of my drill instructors in boot camp had a saying that he used to teach us that we must be diligent in keeping our weapons (and other equipment) clean and well maintained: Rust never sleeps. That is something I continue to use in all manners of life. Corrosive forces are everywhere and the best way to combat those corrosive forces is to know when, where and how they attack, then addressing the problem before their corruption becomes irreparable. Ignoring the problem (like those who advise JA to do when they say to take down the blog) doesn’t make it go away. On the contrary. The abuse will continue... and it will only get worse. [continued...]

  25. [...continued]
    It has been my experience that the problem with any kind of abuse, including spiritual abuse, is that it will eventually escalate to other types of abuse. In Julie Anne & company’s case, spiritual abuse has escalated into judicial abuse (and the mental abuse that brings with it). Other escalations can be much worse. Take for example a former member of the Fundamentalist LDS church in Colorado City, AZ who has been critical of the FLDS church. Not only have the members of the FLDS church been spiritually abusive to him, it has now escalated to animal abuse as he has had many dead animals dropped on his property over the years, and the most recent "message" was a kitten that was buried alive in concrete in a large metal pipe and left to suffer (warning: graphic content). Animal abusers are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against people and four times more likely to commit property crimes than are individuals without a history of animal abuse. Unfortunately, I’m afraid that this will escalate into someone being injured or killed if something isn’t done to stop it. But the Sheriff laughed it off (making a crack that he would have just covered the kitten in dirt - what a [expletive deleted]), and is probably aware of who is doing this as he is also a member of the FLDS church. According to the victim, the whole FLDS community of Colorado City is discriminating against and targeting non-FLDS. [cont....]

  26. [...cont.]
    In the case of the WBC, as egregious their spiritual abuse of those outside the church is, the most abused are Fred Phelp's own children (as has been noted in the documentaries and other videos). Nate Phelps remained silent for years as he dealt with his recovery from the abuse, but began speaking out. In several interviews (like the one on ABC News), Nate describes how he and his siblings were beaten with a barber's strap that had become so frayed it was like a cat-o'-nine-tails of sorts that would lay flesh open, and when they became older the beatings were with a thick ax handle (which they refer to as a "paddle") and on at least one occasion had resulted in his scalp being split open (and WBC members call him a liar, of course). I encourage readers to google Nate Phelps to learn of the ways this brave man is using his recovery in exposing this cult.

    I simply can not fathom the extent of abuse (and the lasting ramifications of that abuse) this man had to endure (and is still enduring as I'm sure his experiences there have left him with PTSD). To think that he left behind everything he had ever known in his life because he had an innate sense that what his family was doing was wrong and the amount of courage that took, in spite of the indoctrination! Because it's really the strong ones that leave; those are the ones that stand up and say "thus far and no further!" It's easy to stay, to not make waves, to embrace the status quo, because to do otherwise means you have to challenge your own impression of reality (the one the oppressors work so hard to instill). Acting on that means placing yourself in the dangerous situation that they warn you of in their fear-based indoctrination (in order to keep you in line).

    Like Nate Phelps, I am no longer a believer. I have not told my story on these pages (yet, but I intend to, along with why I chose the "nickname" of Ostracon; more history nerd stuff). But I do believe in the power of positive thought and my thoughts are with Julie Ann and her co-defendants. I believe they will prevail.

    I agree this will be a landmark decision (a case of real freedom of speech that belongs to corporeal persons only), that will be quoted in caselaw for generations as juxtapose of Citizens United (the [activist] SCOTUS decision that stated money is not just property; it is free speech for CORPersons). When JA&co do prevail, my wonder is if the pastor will 'double-down' and appeal. In the off chance that JA&co do not prevail, my hope is that she/they will appeal and take it to the SCOTUS if necessary, not only for the future of our 1st Amendment rights but to place another brick in the wall separating church and state (for the preservation of both). I admire their courage!

  27. Being sued is a real fear for people who have been abused & want to talk about it. I have no doubt that if my former pastor found out I had written something negative about him online, he would sue my family in a heartbeat. Many times in church he preached about people who slander pastors (all the while he bashed many local & nationally known preachers from the pulpit) and said that those people could be sued. Then in another sermon he would say Christians shouldn't sue other Christians. What hypocrisy! It's mind control at it's worst. I am one of those victims who is afraid to mention names for fear of retribution. What can be done? The law protects these dangerous men.

  28. Yep, I'm being stalked on my blog, too. I write about my own abusive experiences as a kind of therapy, and, well, the abusers found it. And it is creepy, and scared me into silence at first--but I got over it.

    Do you use Google Analytics or Statcounter? You could find your "stalkers" that way and keep an eye on them.

    1. Hi Nyssa: The only tools I use are what Blogger provides and that's not a whole lot. I had a pastor stalking me on Twitter last week. Oh joy! Life is never boring.


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