Monday, July 23, 2012

I'd Love to Know

I'm at camp now and typing this Sunday morning.  The counselors will eat breakfast soon, have a Communion service and then we will have training for the counselors.  Campers come in around 5 or 6PM.   


I am in a cabin with 12 beds.  Nine young ladies will be in our cabin.  My friend who was supposed to be counselor with me in our cabin couldn't make it, so a college student is her replacement.  We are both newbies!  Ack!  It should be fun, though.  I love hanging with high school students.  Please send your prayers for the campers - and that God would use me here.  



I'm on the deck overlooking part of the grounds where the fun activities occur.  Those blue things on the grass are little kiddy swim pools.  Evidently there will be some water activity and I heard a rumor that counselors get "involved".   OY!  Glad I brought those extra towels.



Enough of that.  Can you indulge me?  I'd love to read how you heard our story.  Where in the media?  From a blog?  From a friend?  On Facebook?  It's interesting how many friends from decades ago have contacted me after doing a double-take saying, "I know her!".  Never in my wildest dreams...

I might be checking in from time to time when I can.  

49 comments:

  1. I believe I read your story in a yahoo article that was linked from cultnews.net, which is one of Rick Ross' websites.

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  2. One of the other blogs I read regularly, either TWW or FBC Jax Watchdog.

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  3. From another blog about spiritual abuse. Trying to heal…..

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  4. Early early on, from a friend who emailed me.

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  5. I read about the lawsuit on Fox News. I found your site when I was looking for the church's site. The lawsuit, not your initial Google/Dex/blog comments, drove me here. I am sure I wouldn't have "known" you otherwise.

    Have fun at camp, Julie Anne. May many lives be changed by God while you're there.

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  6. I have a contact on Facebook who 'friended' me after we played in a band together for one gig. After about six months of not seeing any of his status updates, I looked on his Wall. He had posted a link to your news story just the day before. The timing was pretty amazing.

    Another interesting thing is that ever since I left Beaverton Grace six years ago I had occasionally searched online for some kind of blog, comments, review, ANY kind of buzz about BGBC. I thought surely it can't be just me...

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    1. Neo: I thought surely it can't be just me...

      now that's a telling comment!

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    2. "I had occasionally searched online for some kind of blog, comments, review, ANY kind of buzz about BGBC. I thought surely it can't be just me..." Same here. Especially after I saw the "sex offender"'s story on KPTV12 back in 2009.

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  7. My daughter saw the story on the television news, told me about it, and I did a Google search for the particulars. Mainly because I could not believe a pastor was actually suing a former member.

    Mind the mosquitos dear Julie Anne, and have a wonderful time. Probably really healthy for you to get out of the cerebral and play in the mud for a bit! :)

    Hugs,

    OM

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  8. I periodically check through Google regarding 'spiritual abuse' and see who is doing what. That day it took me to your blogsite.

    I connected with you and your story that way. Shared about your situation with colleagues keen on discussing spiritual abuse issues in the church today and supporting people in need.

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  9. Neo, It wasn't and it's not just you. My heart aches that you ever entertained the thought! I read the google reviews of the church yesterday to see if there were any new ones. They don't get it! One writes that Julie Ann left the church in 08 so why is she writing about it now. Because abuse hurts!!!! And people question for years, "is it just me?"

    Craig Vick, saddly it does happen at Presbyterian churches. If you dare--I will tell you...

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    1. Oh, and I heard about you case on the news. I looked it up right away. :)

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    2. I'd like to hear your story, not so much because I'm daring but because I'd like to understand better where we're most vulnerable to spiritual abuse. I know no system is wolf proof, but that doesn't mean I'm giving up.

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    3. Craig,I believe the place where we are most vulnerable is when we have an interim pastor. During this time there seems to be some confusion as to who has the authority. It was my daughter who almost diet when she quit testing her blood once she was told she could not attend the junior high activities because she was a diabetic. My husband and I did go to the interim pastor when we had been told this and he told us that we would be better off to find a new church. This really upset my parents (my family had gone to the church for 35 years) At this point we met with the man at the church who seemed to be in charge. My parents, husband and I asked for another meeting with him. At the last minute my husband had to fly out on a business trip and the man would not meet with my parents and I. The next week the jr high kids went to camp. My daughter’s friends called from camp so excited as there was another student who was a diabetic in their cabin. The kids thought this would give my daughter hope. Instead, she stopped hoping and stopped testing her blood and ended up in intensive care. My parents went to the church and insisted that someone get to the hospital as no staff member had come for two days. The medical staff was furious. They wanted us to go to the media. We instead went to talk to a lawyer who was an elder at the church. She corrected the man’s thinking. But it was too late. My daughter felt that she was not good enough or welcome to go to church. We limped off trying to find another church who would embrace us. Nobody ever said they were sorry.

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    4. We did find another church to worship at yet it was far from my kids friends. Once my daughter was in high school we went back to our original church as the high school director welcomed kids with special needs.

      A new pastor came. He wondered why my parents were so active and my husband and I went to church and left as soon as it was over. He had a women on staff call me and invite my husband and I do a dinner eight. She asked for my email and I gave it to her. The she repeated it back to me. She said the first Letter then “LM as in lousy mom @ …” Hearing this I started to cry and said, “I guess so.” My mom heard this conversation and drove straight to the church to confront the gal. She said, “Oh yes, I said that, tell your daughter I am sorry.” (This past year I was working on a book regarding this subject and I called this women myself asking her about referring to me as a lousy mom. This was the first conversation I had ever had with her. She then told me she was sorry. What is it? Do people need a class on making things right and saying the words, “I’m sorry?”


      Two years later I got brave and was on the junior high parent committee. And, yes, we had a new youth pastor. This new youth pastor took my junior high son to see the movie Meet the Fockers. The next week he was going to be teaching a lesson on sex. My husband and I decided that our son would not be going because we were not sure what this youth director would be saying and we felt this was our job to teach. I told this to the elder in charge of the parent committee. The night the kids were to meet the elder called me saying that he had met with the youth director and reviewed the sex lesson and asked if I would please send my son as he was a leader and one of the more mature boys. We agreed and our son went. That night I received an email that I have included below. We believe that this letter was written by either the elder or the youth pastor. Either way we are very concerned that one would pretend to be a teen and say such. If someone would know how to track this email, I think it would be a good idea.

      The email was from Tom Sawyer. This makes me think it was from the elder.

      Hi -----,

      I found your website off of a search engine, and you seem like a very noble mom. I am a thirteen year old, and it looks like one of your sons are the samwe age. I have a question as it seems like you are a noble mom and christian. Do you think it is right/wrong to masturbate? How about masturbating with the same sex as fun, not becuase of homosexuality. What would you tell your kids about this subject. I don't really feel very confortable talking about this to anyone that i know personaly. Thank you for your professional help, and i'll look for one of you books in my local book store.

      A Jesus Lover, and a want-to-know it teen

      Janet's online friend!

      P.S. I am 13!

      please send back to ---------


      Craig—thanks for listening, thanks for wanting to make a difference.

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    5. And just a note. At that time there was no info on my website that indicated that I had sons.

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    6. Thanks JLM for taking the time to write your experiences. It makes me very sad to hear of these terrible events. You and your family are in my prayers.

      I can see that we are more vulnerable during times where there's an intern. This is a good call to be especially vigilant during these times. Hopefully your experiences will underline this need.

      I was a special needs child. I know some of the challenges my mom faced. Ignorance in the church can do great harm. You have my respect.

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    7. JLM,

      So sorry to hear all of this. As for tracking an e-mail address, you might be able to narrow it down by looking at the different headers in the IP address. There are a few different ones you will see, you are looking for the originating IP address. I will warn you, though, that it is not a guarantee, as it is reasonably easy to cloak your IP online.

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    8. Craig Vick,

      you may have missed my question to you over here from Sunday. I was wondering what Presbyterian denomination you were in.

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    9. Monax

      You guessed correctly. I'm in the PCA.

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    10. O Yes, the denomination of Tim Keller!

      The PCA is probably the healthiest of Presbyterian denominations. But step outside the PCA and, in my estimation, your stepping into dangerous territory. Honestly, I don’t know of a Presbyterian denomination outside of the PCA I would regard as a healthy and viable way of doing and being church.

      Pittsburgh (where I’m located) may have the largest concentration of Presbyterians than any other U.S. city. In the city proper we have but two protestant seminaries—the conservative Reformed Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (RPTS) connected to the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, and the liberal Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (PTS) connected to the Presbyterian Church (USA). I consider both schools spiritually unhealthy and dangerous institutions.

      I listed some of the dangers of the PC(USA) in my reply to Ken. Of the two seminaries I would regard the fundamentalist Reformed one as being the more dangerous school. Steve, below, references the thought of Christian Reconstructionists—those who want to legislate morality and forcibly bring in the Kingdom of God. RPTS promotes this effort.

      Also, as it appears blatantly obvious to me (however they, of course, wouldn’t see it this way), RPTS through their Biblical Counseling Institute is teaching and practicing what I would regard as egregious spiritual abuse, and institutionalizing the abuse as forms of “counseling” and “church discipline.” It's sick! And a sickness that is infecting the body of Christ.

      Presbyterians!

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    11. Craig, I am wondering if you read the last part of my long story? I'm wondering if you know how this email might be tracked? At this point I have not told our new pastor about the email. Yet, if I were the pastor I would want to know.

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    12. JLM

      I'm afraid I have no idea how to track the email. I would want to know if I was the new pastor.

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    13. Mattais, thanks for your info. I have tried this and I believe it goes to the elders address. I would just like to make sure.

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  10. An older friend, who grew up in an era of "common sense" (pre-WW2), called to tell us about the Fox News story. She couldn't believe any pastor in his right mind would sue former members.

    After reading the Fox News article, we did a web search and found the blog, the church website, and saw Phil Johnson's disclaimer that Dr. John MacArthur and Grace Community Church had not advised the filing of this lawsuit.

    Today the same friend called me about a dog who had "water intoxication" last weekend. Kids shot Super Soakers into the dog's mouth for fun and the dog spent time in the lake trying to cool off. One overnight vet visit and another recheck today - expensive.

    She also said two teen athletes in a local church had challenged each other last year to see who could drink the most water while working out for football - and they ended up in Intensive Care with water intoxication too. So now one of the ladies she knows who is over 90 cautions those in their 70's to not drink too much H2O.

    But that was two teen guys and a miniature dog at a lake. I don't think you'll need to worry about the girls in your cabin. They probably don't drink out of kiddy swimming pools or lakes.

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  11. MSNBC article entitled "Mama Bear Sued By Former Church." Haha, I had to check that one out. :) They had a link to your blog and I've been reading ever since!

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  12. I first heard about your story when the Portland local news reported it. Was it KGW? I don't remember, but I was shocked and saddened when I heard the story.

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  13. Hey Julie Anne,

    I hope you have a wonderful week of fun at camp!

    Oh, and I heard of your story because we lived it together....our 'twilight zone' experience. : )

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  14. Julie Anne, I had become a regular reader of The Wartburg Watch for several months prior to reading about it there. And I found out about TWW from a pastor friend of mine's blog or FB, I forget which. He was formerly involved in the patriarchy and reconstruction movement and occasionally links to things like this showing the logical conclusions of people's ideas.

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  15. I'd love to read how you heard our story.

    FBC Jax Watchdog.

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  16. I hope your time away is peaceful, refreshing, and fun! You've earned it.

    First came to this site due to the MSNBC article.

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  17. Living through it all with you~praying for continued growth in the Spirit!
    Healing through the craziness of spiritual abuses...and being renewed by God's Word....
    allegedly I have learned so much of what is said on the internet by certain people is not always the full truth.
    Suppose I was to believe everything I was told about
    God by those who 'lead' me years ago...I would still be in the dark believing half truths as though it was gospel truth.
    Have a great week, and remember if you get stung my mosquitos or bees~Adolph's meat tenderizer and water paste breaks down the serum (which is protein) and the reaction doesn't happen.

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  18. It was mentioned on Sovergn grace survivors , another site started to expose a large collection of churches that operate in a very cult like manner. Sovergn grace churches are well known for abusing people. Just another ego driven church with the purpose of enriching the lives of the leadership monetarily.

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  19. Julie Anne: just to remind you any water based activity including kiddy pools qualifies as " mix bathing ". I know I'm an expert, got sent home from youth camp years ago for a midnight "mixed swim" in a river.

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  20. I heard about you through The Wartburg Watch, :-)

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  21. When you posted a comment on Teampyro asking Phil to contact you. At least one good thing came out of reading Teampyro :).

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  22. I added my story above where Craig Vick had commented. Not sure if I did it right.

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  23. Heard from you from Barb, read. Read Psalm 37: 32-33 that is a word God gave me to share with you.

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    1. Thank you for the verses, Raymond. Beautiful!

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  24. Serving in JapanJuly 24, 2012 at 7:47 AM

    I heard about your blog through www.apologeticsindex.org, a great resource on Christian apologetics and cults of all stripes. You probably know about plenty of such sites by know, but you (or others) might find it helpful as you walk this difficult road.

    I'm glad to hear you're taking a rest on the roadside. We all need a break once in a while. Here's praying that camp will be a refreshing and strengthening time for you.

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  25. I read about the lawsuit on MSNBC.com as well. :-)

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  26. I read about the lawsuit on Huffington Post's Religion Page. I couldn't believe it! I hope you have lots of fun this week. I used to chaparone youth trips at my former church. We had a blast. You will learn so much from the teens.

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  27. My atty sent me an e-mail that she did not get anything from the court today. Should be soon.........

    I'm having a great time with these teens. A whole lot of wonderful things going on and Oregon weather is cooperating so nicely. Miss you all!

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  28. from here: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/05/15/church-sues-woman-for-500000-after-negative-google-review/

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  29. I read the KATU article on my FB newsfeed. Glad you won. If the pastor were scriptural and prayed up, he'd know he should never have begun the court case. I'm happy for you that you are continuing on with your walk with the Lord. The fact there are counterfeits only points to the fact there is a God and He really did give His life for us. I hope that pastor finds a place of repentance.

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