Thursday, July 26, 2012

Judge's Decision

I just got off the phone with my attorney, Linda Williams. 


WE WON!!!     Every single claim of defamation was dismissed, Hannah's, Meaghan's, and mine  - even the one about the sex offender that seemed to be a sticky point with the media.  I'm having a hard time typing this and don't even know if I'm using the right words, but WE WON!!


All statements "not defamatory" and so never got to "malice." 


Thank you all so very much for your prayers and support.   I haven't read any of the documentation that my attorney sent, but want to get this posted right now.  I'll add more details as I read more.


Praise God!!!


This is the judge's opinion about the sex abuse phrases.  I'm sure people will be interested in this:






And here's the scoop, baby.  The whole scoop right here in two sweet paragraphs:




WOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

133 comments:

  1. That's great news and an answer to many prayers.

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  2. Congratulations! You are an inspiration.

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  3. YEA!!! Thank you so much for all that you have done for all spiritual abuse victims. God Bless You!!!

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  4. Thanking the Lord for that positive news, Julie Anne! Congratulations to you, your co-defendants, and your wonderful attorney!

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    Replies
    1. ... and I do pray for Pastor O’Neal and those under his care, that this serves as a challenge and a change-point for them to reconsider their trajectory and see how they might make major course corrections. May the Spirit use this opportunity for the betterment of the whole of the Church, and the detriment of none …

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    2. Well said. That has been my prayer all along.

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    3. Amen, Brad. I have no desire to rub Chuck's face in it, but I sincerely hope he and the church reconsider some things and weigh what they've been doing against God's word. You said it beautifully.

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    4. Nicely said Brad. Praying just that.

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  5. Great news!! May it cause many pastors to start thinking about their actions and not just the words they preach on Sunday.

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  6. Couldn't help noticing the judge's name: James L Fun. That was Fun, wasn't it? Not very Fun for Pastor O'Neil. Gotta hope that something positive comes out of it for the church.

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  7. This is a huge victory for free speech and church abuse victims everywhere. Congratulations, and look forward to reading more from you in the coming months.

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  8. Julie Anne -
    Grabbing you by the hands and doing the *happy dance* with you.....

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    Replies
    1. Yea - so happy to be dancing, Jeannette! :) hugs, friend!

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  9. so glad for you, been praying for this outcome.

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    1. Fred Flinstone - I've been waiting for your arrival ;)

      Thanks for your support!

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    2. I was surprised that no one had used it yet.

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    3. YABBA DABBA DOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

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  10. AND you got attorney's fees! Double win!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, that is a provision of the anti-SLAPP motion :)

      Oh, happy day!

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    2. double happy day here! Thanks Julie Anne for all the support and grace you extended to me during this trying time.
      May God continue to protect us and our families....love you so much and am grateful you came to BGBC~you and others like you who saw 'weird' stuff helped open my eyes....eternally grateful to God for you and the 'others'....you know who you are.

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  11. Congratulations Julie Anne. Remember what I said earlier about asking for reimbursement for your costs in going back and forth and staying there. Mileage ($0.50 per mile is reasonable -- similar to what IRS allows), 1/2 of meals, and all lodging. If you stayed with family or friends and took them out to eat, use that instead of a motel bill. Mention, but do not put a dollar amount on your travel time. Ask your attorney to submit that too, since they sued you there and not where you live.

    Congratulations. Aside from what your attorney gets, consider what you may do with the balance if awarded and collected. Unless the church and pastor are financial healthy (doubtful) you may end up with a lien on the church property.

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    1. Oh SNAP! Imagine that.. Julie Anne with a lien on BGBC property. Not quite the expected outcome Chuck and the Beaverton Grace Gangbangers had in mind!

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    2. Home school moms are a creative group - they might be able to turn the building into a gift shop and sell Bible t-shirts or something. I doubt Julie Anne would commute or even want to be the CEO of such an enterprise. She will return from camp to her DH and sons and there will be a happy family reunion. Maybe a little "breather" after a few media interviews. And then it will be time for:

      Home school. With appropriate lessons & breaks in the year.

      Home school moms are not a bunch of vicious women. Many of them pray for those who are considering them to be "enemies".
      Saw them talk about that right here, on this "open air" blog.

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  12. Praise! I am so happy for you, Julie Anne!

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  13. Julie Anne and all, Congratulations! Praying for you and everyone involved in this case. May healing take place and may this be the end of this craziness!

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    1. Thank you Randy for your comments and prayers. May God grant repentance and freedom for those at that church....grateful to be saved and set free from the oppression.
      In my opinion, I don't believe the craziness will stop, as its been going on for nearly 4 years for Julie Anne, Kathy, myself and others...the 'Varela dischord' I believe its called.
      God is good, and He will heal those who go to Him for His loving care, I know because it has happened for me.
      Good to see you on here.

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    2. Agree with Meaghan. The craziness will most likely not stop, sadly.

      Shame on you for being so contentious, Meaghan. You are the only one in the church who reached out to Hannah after she left. Yea, that's the kind of person you are. Love you, friend.

      note: sarcasm in this comment, just so ya know

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  14. Wonderful news, Julie Anne! Congratulations!

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  15. TWW sends their hugs. This is a good and right thing. Like that church lien thing from "An Attorney."

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  16. Totally doing my happy victory dance (even if people can't be consistent with the spelling of my or my mother's name, lol). Oh yeah, uh huh uh huh, I like it, uh huh uh huh!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Hannah. We needed a new tune to replace the Carly Simon one!

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    2. Hannah, U R awesome! Keep dancing! Get your Dad to dance with you - he needs a happy dance! The 5 brothers too!

      I emailed my husband at work & asked him if I could post with my real name, but he advised editing ONE sentence and said "Not at this time" so I'm using my blog name because he is usually right and he didn't want me to offend a certain denomination I had mentioned. So here's what he approved:

      Dancing with joy thinking about you dancing. Because DANCING is in the Bible. Many places. Mostly OT but it wasn't a LAW. ♥ So if they want to stay sitting in pews that's OK with me. We can have different ideas and still ♥ Jesus & each other♥.

      They have those Strong's concordances they bought before the Internet and they should know how to look those verses up♥!

      But, I don't raise my hands in the worship and will restrain myself to maintain unity by not dancing in church. Even though the thought might cross my mind now and then I don't want anyone fainting or having heart ♥ failure - that would only delay the good sermons and people would be upset :)

      I still like "Dancing Queen" by ABBA and I don't think it's bad that I'm going to a rock concert this afternoon - it's a benefit for helping local families with cancer bills.♥ and my husband is going with me. Got a dog sitter for our dog! They announced there will be "Golden Oldies" and I don't think there will be any Christian bands, but I get those on You Tube now and I'm not too impressed - but I am "old"...:)

      NO, I'm not "emergent", and YES, I'm old. But I took off the dark glasses and see things in a new light, thanks to you and your mom and all the wonderful people I met on this blog!

      P.S. One Sunday at the new Church a lady sang a song that was written by an "emergent singer". And I bet no one else knew, but I asked her where she got the beautiful music. And heard the most wonderful things that warmed my ♥!

      I actually understand Rob Bell a little better on the video posted @ Apprising where he talked about his little girl's shovel (I think. I don't trust my memory, have "SR moments", so I'll have to go back and watch that video again to be SURE I didn't take it "out of context"). I still know my doctrine and hermeneutics, but needed to add LOVE ♥♥♥. That's in the NT and Jesus said it was very important.

      ♥ U Hannah. Signing off to listen to ABBA - the You Tube video, NOT any "mysticism" stuff by Brennan Manning - LOL!

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    3. Ok, NaR, this is a song I don’t mind playing inside my head

      ABBA Dancing Queen 1976

      You can dance
      You can jive
      Having the time of your life
      See that girl
      Watch that scene
      Dig in the dancing queen

      Friday night and the lights are low
      Looking out for a place to go
      Where they play the right music

      Getting in the swing
      You come to look for a king
      . . .

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  17. WOOHOOOO! from an anonymous in CO who's been with you from the beginning who has a husband in one of these so doesn't give her name...yet :O)
    I'm so absolutely THRILLED and praising our dear Lord Jesus with you!!!

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  18. Wow what a country! We have a watchdog on the east coast that can sue his pastor who called him a sociopath and win. On the west coast we have a stalker that gets sued by her pastor for calling him a sex offender and he loses! Amazing.

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    1. She never did, and she has repeatedly expressed what she knew in regard to the sex offender at the church. That falsehood has been spread by the other side.

      It is curious to me that some people express concern about Julie Anne calling the pastor a sex offender-which she never once did-and never mention that a sex offender was allowed around children without supervision. It's bizarre.

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    2. @ Anonymous 6:37 pm. Indeed, what an amazing country where we all are afforded the opportunity to express our opinions, as you just have! As a student of authoritarian systems in China, the former Soviet Union, and the former Eastern Bloc, I am highly aware that many people worldwide do not have this privilege.

      As a sidenote, it appears you do not have your facts straight about someone calling Pastor O'Neal a "sex offender." If you are interested, the official court documents that were filed from February through May are available via links at the following website.

      http://www.citmedialaw.org/threats/beaverton-grace-bible-church-v-smith

      Also, that inaccuracy has been refuted numerous places online, in case you're interested in searching them out. If not, you've still had the free opportunity to express your opinion ...

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    3. Hi there Peppermint Patty. Nice of you to show up.

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    4. Anonymous @ 6:37 - Please state the name of the country you are referring to and give the legal citation of the case:
      "Wow what a country! We have a watchdog on the east coast that can sue his pastor who called him a sociopath and win."

      Please use your legal name when you reply - instead of "hiding behind the curtain" as Anonymous.

      If you can't do that, then you "have the right to remain silent, and anything you might say COULD be held against you". (At the LAST Judgement, and not in an earthly court.)

      You'd best be packing and going for further education.

      Here's a "head start" program for you, free of charge:

      Peppermint Patty

      FYI, Brad is a male. Peppermint Patty is a female, but she can compete against males and pitch a no-hitter. She has auburn hair, kind of like - oh well, you read for yourself.
      I think this might be the "parable of Peppermint Patty":

      "Patty is also a star athlete, especially in baseball, where her team regularly trounces Charlie Brown's squad. In the first series of strips in which Patty appeared in 1966, she actually joins "Chuck's" team as its new pitcher, relegating Charlie Brown to the outfield. However, she quits in disgust after only one game; despite tossing a no-hitter and slamming five home runs, her new team lost, 37–5, because of their somewhat porous defense. In another occasion she let Charlie pitch the last throw of the game (Patty pitched a no-hit, no-run game and were leading 50–0 on the 9th inning, second out, second strike), only to see Charlie lose the game. The final score was 51–50." FINAL CLOSE, BUT SHE WON!

      Peppermint is what grandma used to take for a sour stomach. Not sure it worked, but lots of grandma's old remedies did. And she had a bar of soap for anyone who lied & got caught.

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    5. I should have separated the lines "FINAL CLOSE, BUT SHE WON" so it didn't look like Patty won the game Chuck lost in the Charlie Brown comic strip.

      So in case you're confused, Chuck took over a no-hitter in the 9th inning with the score 50 points in his favor and he still lost by one point.

      People may have thought girls couldn't play baseball, but Peppermint Patty showed those guys they should never BRAG about being "superior".

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    6. It looks like a duck, waddles like a duck...it is a duck. She said he knew(and therefore, she knew)... So don't try and mince words. What she did in a 3 year period is by definition stalking.

      I don't know of anyone that was betting the preacher was going to win.

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    7. @ Rebel - I think I have my facts straight. It seems that today there is an even more liberal definition of opinion.

      You are pretty good at your insults. Perhaps you should start a blog.

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    8. AnonymousJuly 27, 2012 4:23 AM

      So very Christian of you to hold hatred in your heart and carry a grudge.

      Does the truth hurt you that badly?

      The world has seen the truth about BGBC. If you want to keep yourself blinded feel free. The laws of this great nation were written to avoid persecution from speaking our opinions. The very thing your church was attempting. If you don't agree with it feel free to leave. Good luck finding any other country on this earth that will allow you to carry on business as usual.

      Oh and by the way, using the Scientology playbook to counter peoples arguments on here is not helping your cause one bit.
      The only people stalking here are members of BGBC. I dont see Julie Anne going and posting on your website. You make the concerted effort to come here. By your own actions you drew more people to her website than ever because of your outlandish lawsuit.

      So if you want to continue to live in the shadows of denial go ahead but maybe you should look into a mirror and reflect on what really happened instead of closing your mind off to reality.

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    9. @ Anonymous 4:18 am and 4:23 am.

      The Beaverton Grace Bible Church along with Pastor O'Neal freely chose to submit themselves to the authority of the Oregon court system. By doing so, they were accepting the judicial system's expert ability to determine whether what appears to you to look like a duck etc etc is actually a duck or not.

      The Judge asked every question that he wanted to, and he decided summarily that the allegations were to be dismissed.

      You are not required to respect the authorized judge's decision. It seems clear, though, that you have utter disrespect for Judge Fun and his position and abilities, and that you would surely have decided "correctly" if you'd been in charge. However, had you stood up and said in court what you were free to post here as a comment, would you have been cited for being in contempt of court? Still, you came here to show your contempt for the very court whose wisdom and expertise and authority the church and its pastor as plaintiffs sought out.

      And, as counter-Anonymous at 10:06 am responded to you, coming here in attempts to deflect and ridicule those who are searching for answers and mocking their questions and conclusions "is not helping your cause one bit." It may agitate some for a moment. But in fact, doesn't it actually make it look like you yourself are becoming the very thing you accuse Ms. Smith of being ... a stalker? (Many theologians over the centuries have suggested that we become like the object of our obsession, whether that is Christ whom we love or whatever it is we hate.) If it looks like a duck ...

      ... and waddle, you do, about that ...

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    10. Well..... I do not know what you speak of here. She blogged that the pastor knew of the predator and he was allowed to wander around the nursery and that she recalled seeing him. The judge pointed out that she did not have a factual point of reference and that she wrote opinion. I have no disrespect for the judge and I do not know how he could pointed out that she has a right to her opinion even if she lies.

      no waddle just a quack

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    11. What she wrote is supported by the offender's mother. The judge wrote that Julie Anne's opinion was that safeguards weren't in place.

      How did Julie Anne lie exactly? It appears that you haven't read any court documents.

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    12. Red - You did not read my post ..even if she lies.

      I will go a bit slower here.

      I do not know whether JA was lying or telling the truth about the lack of safeguards. I have never visited the church and I do not know JA.

      JA admits, and is part of her defense, that she was stating an opinion about the nursery's adequacy of safe guards. Her knowledge of the nursery was and is insufficient to write a truthful statement. For all that I know, and most people on this blog, the church had safeguards in place that would put Ft. Knox to shame. If you read her post you would think she was an insider and knew factually that the safeguards were inadequate and that the pastor was grossly indifferent in his duty. JA does not know or if she knows she could not possibly prove it.

      If you write something as a fact and you know that you do not have factual basis and cannot prove your words then the statement is untrue. Frankly, JA had to admit the words were merely opinion and therefore not true. The words were written to convince people to not attend the church. Why would anyone write an unfactual opinion that is so damning? Remember that she continued to write in this manner for 3 years.

      Now the judge is saying that a reasonably intelligent person would see right through JA's post as a non-credible source and would simply dismiss her. He is correct in his ruling and perhaps a warning for those that take internet posts too seriously.

      So tell me...are JA's words true or false with regard to the nursery? She told the judge that they were opinion so that pretty much rules out truth.


      Still Quacking

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    13. Actually if you really read what the judge wrote in regards to that allegation you would see that he is not dismissing what she wrote as false it is more that her comments were not written in a tone that she was making factual accusations.

      "Defandant's statements argue plaintiff did not appreciate the risk or appropriately evaluate the dangerousness of others..."

      Meaning that JA could not have known if the pastor had simply disregarded the danger of leaving said person unsupervised, could not have known if the pastor had some method of oversight that was not present at the times she witnessed that person being there unsupervised(Maybe he had someone to watch that person and they decided to step out to use the restroom, etc)

      Therefore since she was not directly involved in supervising the nursery or how the nursery is managed she can not possibly be aware of any rules or oversight that were supposed to be in place.

      He even closes it with the following: "Consequently, whether or not "sufficient safeguards [were] in place" is defendant Julie Ann Smith's opinion."

      That is the basis for him ruling in favor of dismissal because it is completely possible that it was a FACT that she witnessed the person in question in the nursery unsupervised. It was just not possible for her to know if the pastor had intentionally disregarded the danger or there was some form of oversight that had not be present at the time she witnessed these events.

      She did not allege that he was a sex offender, and she did not allege that he intentionally left that offender in there to cause harm which would have fallen under the defamation definition because those would have been false and malicious accusations.

      An example of a factual allegation would have been if she had left a comment saying that the pastor left said person unsupervised in the nursery in order to cause harm to the children intentionally. That could be considered defamatory.

      Just because its an opinion doesn't mean its false either. I could say:

      "I think it is dangerous for a drunk person to drive a car full of children home on a windy mountain road"

      That statement is an opinion but i'm sure most people would agree that it is also true.

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    14. ...right Everyone agrees that her statement is baseless and therefore not true. She even admits that her statement is baseless. Had she said that it was true the judge would have had to find another way to find in her favor.

      She admitted that she did not have first hand knowledge.

      However, if you were to say "he was drunk and hauling a car load of kids." Now you are writing a statement of fact as she did. The judge is saying that a reasonable person can discern the truthiness of that statement.

      She kept this up for 3 years... seems a little over the top.

      buyer beware

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    15. Her statement about the sex offender in the nursery was based on her personal observation. That part is true. The statement that the pastor allowed that to happen without safeguards is her opinion based on a true fact. That is not a lie. And there is corroborating evidence from the mother of the sex offender that the sex offender had been identified to the pastor months before any report was made or the people of the church were informed.

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    16. In my court document, I refer to ONE time that I saw the sex offender in the nursery. I can recall 3 such incidences where he was without supervision. Keep in mind, I was not aware that he was a sex offender at that time, but I remember one time in particular there were several people asking around if anyone had seen him. He was around 15-yrs old then, I believe. What dawned on me at the time was the intensity and effort they were taking to find this kid. In my mind was "what's the big deal, he's 15?". It wasn't like he was a 2-yr old who might run out into a street. They were pretty frantic - not casually looking for him. They later found him at the playground. Now all of that alarm makes perfect sense to me.

      I'm not sure who that anonymous person is above, but the statements I made were absolutely true as I knew. He was in the nursery with me. No other adult was present.

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    17. Anon says: I have no disrespect for the judge and I do not know how he could pointed out that she has a right to her opinion even if she lies.

      Bottom line is I did not lie. But also what you need to understand is the meaning of defamation. The burden lies on the plaintiff to prove that I intentionally lied (I did not), and my words showed intent to harm (malice). That also cannot be proven.

      They could not prove that I intentionally lied (first level), so they didn't even need to look at the second level (malice). Bottom line, this case was thrown out very early on. My words were clearly not defamatory.

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  19. she never called him a sex offender

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  20. This is wonderful news, Julie Anne (and Hannah and Meaghan!). I guess there's nothing worse than a group of vicious women than a group of women who just prevailed in court. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

    While you won, I pray that the losing side wins an appreciation for what is truth. Please, BGBC members, please consider that what you have been fed is not God's truth. God's gospel is one of love and joy and, yes, redemption from sin and death. His gospel is not angry and bitter.

    Please, I beg you, ask the Lord to show you the truth. Pastors should not be berserk with a desire to control others.

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    Replies
    1. Amen, Will.

      And I cracked up at your vicious women comment :)

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  21. Posts by news organizations started showing up just around 6 PM on Thursday. I'll check around and post some here. Already noticing that some of the commenters have important points and questions to watch for ... like, can this ruling be appealed, or because it's a SLAPP suit, this is a final ruling?

    http://www.katu.com/news/local/Judge-dismisses-case-where-pastor-sued-former-parishioner-163953036.html

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    1. KPTV post

      http://www.kptv.com/story/19125899/lawsuit-dismissed-against-blogger-critical-of-beaverton-church

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    2. Oregon Live post

      http://www.oregonlive.com/beaverton/index.ssf/2012/07/beaverton_grace_bible_church_l.html

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  22. Priase our Lord for His grace and mercy; and Congratulations Julie Anne!!!

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  23. So thankful and happy for you....you must feel lighter than air! <<>>

    I can't help but wonder how the members of BGBC feel knowing that their tithes may be going to pay for this foolishness. Did they get a vote on how their financial situation was being put at risk by the bringing of the lawsuit?

    Hoping and praying that the rest of your summer is healing, sanctifying, and peaceful, as you move on to the Lord's next assignment for you, be it large or small! :)

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    1. I am betting that they didn't. I doubt the members of the church are free to challenge any decision of their pastor and elders, even one that put them at financial risk. They do not seem free to question anything if they want to continue attending.

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    2. Hmm...based on my past experience with these types of groups, it probably never entered their mind that their pastor would lose. It probably never entered his mind. In this type of group dynamic, the pastor/leader is never wrong.

      Julie Anne, also based on my own experience, I wouldn't be surprised is he doesn't take up a "special offering" to cover this and paint the judicial system as being "in league with the enemy". Time will tell how many will buy it.... in my situation, it was the straw that broke the camel's back for many. Though some it still took as much as 4 years before they got the guts to leave.....

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    3. Jeannette, I'm not so sure about a "special offering", but often wondered about bankruptcy - personal and "An attorney" outlined what a tax-exempt church could do if faced with debt. I doubt sheep have more wool to turn into "gold".

      And I wonder if there will be any reports on the blogs of those who were questioning "Whiny Women Who Should Remain Silent". I'm thinking those Christian leaders will be the ones who "remain silent". Because anything they say now might call attention to their previous statements. Who knows, there may be some blog posts that will only be found by using "the Internet Wayback Machine". The "scrubbing" may have already started. It will be interesting to check back with a few blogs to see if there are any "snarky" comments.
      Interesting, but not edifying.

      Delete
  24. WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    God is SO good. If the church had won there would have been tremendous repercussions. Praise God!

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    1. the Church, the Body of Christ did win

      beaverton grace baptist cult never had a chance

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    2. the Church, the Body of Christ did win

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  25. Congratulations, Julie Anne!

    Never a doubt in my mind. Don't forget, you owe me an interview for the podcast.

    SMG

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  26. Delighted that you can now get back to giving your full attention to the things you really love to do! We will keep on praying for you, JA, your wonderful family, and for BGBC. Blessings!

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  27. This was a slow train comin'! You guys can breath deeply again!

    It has certainly been an interesting study for sure.

    So many elements, but the big ones seem to be spiritual abuse and freedom of speech! Zowie!

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  28. Dear Julie,

    Christians are commanded to not sue each other. I am sure this is something you were aware of. It's pretty obvious that your former pastor isn't a true believer. I am glad this went to a public forum even though it might have been harder for you. It will keep people away from dangerous people like your ex-pastor and hopefully expose him for the fake he is. I am very glad justice was done for you. I hope you find a church of good fellowship and love in Jesus. Praise God!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Doug. I am thankful that this could have far-reaching results for others. That makes it all worthwhile.

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  29. Actually, 'breathe deeply' again. Spelling at a time like this!

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  30. So grateful the other two, who were dropped, also got their attorney fees covered.

    I do hope you keep this blog going. Your choice of topics and the easy flow of your writing is appealing as well as educational.

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    1. Yes, the blog will continue, Jackie. The readers make this blog real and alive. I just start the topics. I love my readers.

      Delete
  31. God bless you and keep you Julie Ann! How truly wonderful to see you vindicated in court and to see that BCBG will end up footing the attorney fees for you.

    May God continue to bless you and your important work.

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  32. Yay yay yay yay yay yay yay!!!!!

    I've been waiting all week to hear the good news!!!

    Congrats to you and everyone else!!!

    Enjoy the rest of your week at camp.

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  33. Wow....I send my deep congratulations. This is seriously so awesome!!!!!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, John.

      sitting here with a funky grin :)

      Delete
  34. I'm not gonna lie, there was a small part of me that thought this could go the way of BGBC. I am so glad though that the judge realized that the statements made were not defamatory but rather just opinion. I'm sure the sermon on Sunday at BGBC will have some choice words to say about the evils of the public court system and how God's judgement will be reserved for the slanderers and gossipers of this blog. Oh well, some people never change.

    Congratulations Julie, Keep the blog going, and keep reaching out to those who are suffering at the hands of abusive spiritual leaders.

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    1. blog will continue :) It might change the looks, but it will continue.

      Delete
  35. I am just reading the news...great news...wonderful news. Congratulations on such a milestone that God's hand was in all along. I have been silent for a while, but I have been keeping up on things. Haven't heard from David in quite some time. I think he bailed on me. Anyway, let this be a lesson for others...never mess with a red head! This case will never be forgotten, and will be one who others will speak about for many years to come, in that church leaders cannot bully the congregation, or former congregates without repercussions. If we don't stand for something, we will fall for anything. This case was hugely important for many people. I am so happy for you all! God Bless!

    Ed Chapman

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    Replies
    1. I'm right here, Ed!

      I just shape-shifted into my marmot form

      send me an email

      David Johnson

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    2. Thanks, Ed. I don't think David would bail on you :)

      Delete
  36. Julie,

    Thank God for answered prayers, and you for the courage to stand against the attempt to stand silence healthy dissent.

    This might be a warning to the many who,are more and more exhibiting attitudes which mark them as authoritarian bullies towards those who may disagree with them.

    In my long experience in church leadership I have maintained that being a recipient of saving grace will always result in gracious behavior.

    God's great grace always results in graciousness!

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  37. Wonderful new Julie Anne! Congrats!
    http://www.benedictionblogson.com/2012/07/26/beaverton-grace-bible-church-loses-court-case-against-blogger/

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  38. Congratulations, Julie!

    I'm so happy for you and so relieved. This is such an unbelievable and intrusive, life-altering experience, and I'm so glad that you were supported and vindicated, too.

    Cindy Kunsman at UnderMuchGrace.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Cindy. Your site has been a world of help to me. Thank you for what you do in helping to educate others on spiritual abuse!

      ~Julie Anne

      Delete
  39. Again Gods word is proven true

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    Replies
    1. Wow. What an incredible relief, Julie Anne, that justice prevailed. I certainly struggled with my doubts as I prayed, that the secular justice system would find for you. (Their rulings are inconsistent at best.) But the LORD---our Advocate and Defender--- gave you the victory and righteousness won! I'm SO relieved for you and your family! Joining you in the happy dance.

      Delete
  40. I just heard about this case via Stufffundieslike/facebook. The irony of a church that habitually puts down other churches and everything that doesn't fit their views (been there), suing you for speaking, is great. And then they were going to the courts instead of suffering being defrauded. That is even better. Congrats!

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  41. Julie Anne-

    Congratulations on your victory! This IS the news we have all wanted to hear. I also see the verdict as a big win for freedom of speech on the Internet. And we certainly need to keep it free for all. PTL!


    Maybe Chuck's Sunday sermon will be on tithing. Appears he could use an extra 16,750 to 20,000 bucks right about now.

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    Replies
    1. If I read it correctly, that's per person. Julie Anne's, Hannah's, and Meaghan's expenses should be greater than that because the first two defendants were dropped rather early.

      And doesn't the church have its own legal fees to cover? Even if someone provided Chuck's legal services for free, what a waste of resources and time.

      All in all, it is very sad that most in the church have bought the lies from the pulpit and will now pay a hefty price for it.

      If the church members didn't vote to proceed in court, the church members shouldn't pay. Let the supreme leaders cover it. They want so badly to be in control, so let them have control of this debt.

      Delete
    2. fwiw, my estimation of his legal debt is in the six figures

      Delete
    3. Red-

      You may be right on the numbers. I was just being sarcastic about Sunday sermon. I agree totally with what you say.

      Delete
    4. Monax-

      WOW! Can anyone say, "Bye Bye BGBC Church?" Me thinks that saying, "Chuck shot himself in the foot" is an understatement.

      Maybe this will be a good example for other pastors who would ever consider pulling a stunt like he did. I live in Indiana and our local news stations didn't even pick up the story.

      I hope this outcome will be publicized nationally to show the damage that can occur when you have a control freak behind the pulpit.

      Just my 2 cents worth.

      Delete
    5. Hey Sheep-Dog,

      you know, if your local news didn't pick up the story it may be because they don't know about it yet. From their website you can send an email to them with a link to the story for their consideration.

      contact any media that would help tell this story

      Delete
    6. Sheep-Dog - That amount you referenced above is the bill for the 2 defendants who were dismissed earlier on. Those only accounted for a few phrases.

      I, however, have been quite wordy as you all know - ahem. I think my attorney's bill will be considerably bigger.

      Delete
    7. gotta collect it though...

      That is the part of getting a favorable judgement that goes unadvertised.

      Maybe they have no other debts.

      Delete
  42. Congrats on the win!!! Excellent news that you got legal fees as well!!!!

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  43. Congrats! This could have very positive, far-reaching effects for others who wish to openly speak about abuses or issues in former churches, without fear.

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  44. Yahoo! Congrats, Julie Anne! I posted an article over at my site on the judge's ruling.

    Definitely time for a "double tithe Sunday" special offering at BGBC!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, to be a fly on the wall to hear the explanation for the second passing of the hat.....

      Delete
    2. The attorneys' fees are Chuck's own doing. He pursued a lawsuit against plenty of wise counsel and, I might add, common sense and good judgment, and has now cost his church mightily. For shame.

      Delete
    3. FBC Jax - You nailed that article . . . . . .as usual. :)

      Delete
  45. Whatever method the pastor uses to raise the money--I don't expect the check to be in the mail any time soon. I do hope that it gets paid though. Please keep us posted on your attempts to actually get what the court says you should have.

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  46. Julie Anne,

    Great news! I would have been surprised if it turned out any other way.

    I know you have been very stressed with all of this. Take time to breathe!

    ~Ostracon

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  47. Watching on the sidelines as a former SGM'er now set free. So happy for you and yours.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Anonymous. So glad you are free!

      Delete
  48. Oh I've been waiting to hear about the outcome of this, and it's fantastic! Congratulations to everyone! Viva la First Amendment!

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  49. Just wanted to say Congratulations, and thanks. Thanks for being brave enough to stand up and speak out. I hope that others will be blessed - and maybe even protected - because of you.

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    Replies
    1. I haven't really thought much about that, but that is such a good point. YES!! I sure hope this case does prevent other ridiculous lawsuits by pastors. Wow - my brain just got excited :) My air mattress died a slow death last night, so I'm a little slow - lol.

      Delete
  50. Chucklestravels sends our congratulations and hugs http://chucklestravels.com/2012/07/28/the-other-pastor-chuck-loses-defamation-suit/

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  51. So glad to hear Julie. Praise the Lord.

    Dale

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  52. I'm thrilled! Yay for speaking out!

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  53. Beloved in RecoveryJuly 28, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  54. This is excellent news, Julie Anne! No one should be bullied into silence for expressing an opinion and sharing their personal stories. So happy for you! This definitely helps pave the way for more freedom for those leaving toxic churches.

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  55. YES!!!!! This is GREAT news!

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  56. Julie Anne and all, Congratulation! Think this is my first "non-anonymous" post. I've been praying for you since the beginning of this non-sense and have been anonymously trying to encourage you through occasional comments on your blog. I will now continue to pray for healing for everyone involved and that this is finally put to rest.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Randy, for your continued support and prayers. That means so much.

      Delete
  57. Congratulations, Julie Anne and welcome to the club! That is, the club of bloggers who have stood up and won against these bullying pastor who've tried to silence us.

    I'm known on YouTube as "NotYourTypicalNegro", where my blogging is dedicated to combatting spiritual abuse and defending the integrity of the authentic Christian faith. For 5 years have withstood assault upon assault on my YouTube channel, personal attacks, and even DEATH THREATS, for simply disagreeing with so-called men and women "of God", examining what they say and do publicly, or telling the truth about my own experiences. As you may know, I successfully sued YouTube, LLC a few months and got my channel restored after Creflo Dollar Ministries had it TERMINATED. As far as I know, I'm the only person who's ever done that.

    It is very encouraging to hear this news and to know that there are others out there willing to stand for Christ, the integrity of His church, and on behalf of others. Whatever I can do to support or assist, you let me know. I know God's got your back, but just in case He wants to take a break, I got it too!

    Respectfully,



    Kevin M. Oliver
    YouTube's 'NotYourTypicalNegro'
    Contributor, PimpPreacher.com and Church Folk Revolution Radio

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    Replies
    1. Kevin - I am familiar with your story. I was thrilled when I heard of your success, too. I stand with you, brother!

      Julie Anne

      Delete

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