Saturday, August 11, 2012

New Milestone and News Article

Wow - a milestone - over 200,000 blog hits.  That's awesome and sad at the same time.  It's always sad that there is a need for this kind of blog, but it's great that people are reading and hopefully learning, praying, and spreading the word about this real issue happening in so many churches.  

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Speaking of blog hits . . . . I have to share a little bit of background info on the next part of this post. 

The media brought a lot of new people to the blog.  One person was Pastor Craig Vick who came via the MSNBC article.  He has been a regular reader and I have loved his presence here.  

Privately, I have "used" Craig.  I've asked him for prayer, discussed some situations behind the scenes where I needed some guidance, and he has shown care for my soul.  I've gained a friend.  

Craig told me he resurrected his old blog this week.   He's been noticing my blog hits and poking a little fun with me regarding my growing number of hits compared with his lack of blog hits (did I mention his blog was dead. . I mean dormant?).  I told him I have ideas to help get more hits and also have access to reporters whose e-mail addresses I still have buried in my e-mail.  :)

He wrote a new article for his blog and told me that if I go check out his blog, it would double his daily hit average.  haha  Always happy to help a friend, I did check it out.  It's not a spiritual abuse blog, but Craig's musings.   When you read someone's writing - it's like getting in their head and connecting with them.  Craig writes well and he did not disappoint.   His article made me think, and I couldn't stop thinking about it on the drive to praise and worship practice the other night.   

So anyway, I suppose in response to my 200K hit milestone,  I got this little gem in my e-mail from Craig yesterday.  The e-mail title was, "Did you catch this in the news?"   After reading it, I begged and said "pretty please" to get permission to post this.   He agreed.  I wanted you all to see this side of our faithful friend who has such a tender heart towards the spiritually abused.  Enjoy!

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'Newspapers B&W (5)' photo (c) 2011, Jon S - license:

Washington Pastor Sues Himself Over Blog For $700,000.00

In an unprecedented move this morning, Pastor Craig Vick of Bellevue filed a $700,000.00 lawsuit against himself for defamation. He's suing himself because he doesn't like the way he's represented himself on his blog.

"I've taken my queue from the example of a pastor in Oregon who sued former members of his church", says Pastor Vick. "Those of us who serve the church in Washington will not be outdone by our brothers in Oregon. If they can sue church members, we'll sue ourselves."

Pastor Vick launched his blog in 2009. He wanted to start a virtual community, but was never satisfied with the way he portrayed himself. 

"I've not brought this suit in haste.", Pastor Vick said in a statement released at his press conference this morning. "For three years I've been misrepresented on my blog. I'm much better looking than any of the pictures there. Also, I'm not an addict of the show 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents' as my last post would seem to imply. I consulted my Alma Mater, Covenant Theological Seminary, and I was assured by somebody there that a pastor has every right to sue himself." No one at Covenant Theological Seminary would confirm this claim. 

In reaction to his lawsuit, Pastor Vick also filed an anti-SLAPP motion against himself. "I have the right to express unflattering views about myself on my blog", Pastor Vick insisted. 

Pastors will now need to be far more careful when writing to their blogs. If they don't like what they say they may end up suing themselves.

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And if you feel so inclined to check out Pastor Craig's blog (and indulge his carnal desire for hits), here it is:  Craig Vick's Scattered Thoughts (the link is also included in my sidebar).  


  1. Sorry, but I'm a bit confused here ...

    Did Pastor Vick (1) know his posts were lies when he posted them? and (2) did he post them with malice toward himself?

    Hence: If he is a liar in his posts, then he possibly lied in posting them with malice, so he cannot both be a liar, and a malicious liar, so surely then (logically speaking), he cannot have defamed himself, having not been both lie-ful and malicious-ful.

    So, he was right, I guess, in hitting himself with an Anti-SLAPP suit.

    But then again, if he was truly malicious, but not a liar, then could the court order psychiatric oversight to ensure he doesn't post malicious truths about himself in the future, thus harming himself and his reputation via non-defamation?

    Wow. Who said "legalese" was easy?

    I'm still confused ...

    1. I sure hope Craig pipes up and clears this confusion, Brad.

      You guys are killing me - lol. I have not laughed so hard in a long while!

    2. Good questions Brad,

      I've forwarded your questions to both of my lawyers.

    3. Speaking of lawyers ... more questions for you, Pastor Craig:

      If you win, who pays your legal fees?

      If you lose, who pays whose legal fees, or do you just call it fairsy-squaresy?

      Or are you representating yourself?

      Umm ... or misrepresenting ...

    4. And ... uhhh ... if you're doing this for the publicity, wouldn't you want to NOT slap yourself with an Anti-SLAPP, so that the coverage drags on?

      And how wouldst thou do media interviews, since you are the plaintfendant in this case? Will you take your lawyer(s) with you to advise you which questions to answer/not answer?

    5. Theologically ...

      Are you are one naturist or two naturist, and how does that tie in with your lawsuit? Is the fact of your view on human sinful nature make this lawsuit a paradox, an irony, or a crime?

      If you're a dominionist and you win, how will you respond about the biblical quality of "justice" in the Justice System? Same question, if you lose.

      [P.S. Perhaps additional theological questions will post themselves later. Admittedly, it's all just too deep to surface all at once.]

    6. Brad,

      You have a fine tuned legal mind. Would you like to join my legal team? You can choose whichever side you like, or even both. I'm hoping that if I lose I can pay the suit off from my winnings. I hope that works. It is a little confusing.

      I like to look at my lawsuit as an unveiling.

    7. Craig, did you ask your wife's permission to sue yourself? Does your senior pastor know about this?

    8. Pastor Craig ... I'm not quite certain about the legitimate logic of this, but if you'll let me mediate the suit between you and you, wouldn't that turn out to be a win-win-win-win situation, like, for all involved?

      Other than the legal team, of course. But then, if you haven't put them on retainer yet, you don't have to retain them and you can reframe your suit to just a dispute, and it could be mediated.

      However, do you have to pay income taxes off the winnings, and can't declare the losings? Kind of like gambling? There is risk involved in this, after all. You may want to check into that.

    9. P.S. Don't forget to tithe off the winnings. Unless you're one of those discontinuity types, in which case, it's "gift/regift off the winnings."

    10. Pastor Craig, I'm certain that you sent time praying and thinking about the decision to sue. And weighing the cost of what this might accomplish or who it could harm. Some people who sue fail to think about how a lawsuit could backfire and even hurt themselves or their cause. They also can’t even image the press getting involved or what the press might say.

      Yet one thing is certain, a lawsuit brings the public and the world-wide-web into your lives. Your problems and disagreements are now public knowledge and the world will now make judgments concerning the conflict between you and yourself. And in your case the world will smile concluding that you are a pastor who is real, honest about his struggles, and hilarious as well!

    11. Brad,

      Is there a way to roll all of the costs (lawyers, taxes, tithes) into the suit, like a mortgage?


      Thanks, I am smiling.

    12. Julie Anne,

      I asked several people and they just started laughing, so I had to go with my best judgment.

    13. This just in: Judge Buff has ruled in favor of the plaindefentiff and awarded court costs of a dollar fifty, an empty milk jug, and three "forever" postage stamps.....

    14. @ Pastor Vick: "Is there a way to roll all of the costs (lawyers, taxes, tithes) into the suit, like a mortgage?"

      Dood! I think you're on a roll already ...

      ... just sayin' ...

      And to quote that famous philosopher - okay, so it was SpongeBob to the plankton who would take over the universe - "Well, good luck with that." Surely you have many peeps on your side.

      Umm ... have you started a pre-vivors blog yet?

    15. Make that a combo blog for pre-vivors, survivors, revivors.

      Or maybe just write post-it notes and stick them on your computer screen, so you don't actually publicize 'em and that way you won't be offended by what you blog in public.

      Just an idea to protect yourself from yourotherself ...

    16. Brad, I am snorting with laughter!

    17. Pastor/Blogger Vick: Am wondering if *Christianity Today* would be interested in an exclusive with you. They could do side-by-side interviews, and if you continue with the use of post-it-type notes as earlier recommended, then perhaps an appropriate title or subtitle for the piece would be:

      *With a Slip SLAPP Pastorwhack - Give the Blog a Zone...*

      Or something like that.

      And I'm wondering if you have your PKs and EPKs ready yet. ([Paper] Press Kits and Electronic Press Kits for those uninitiated into the world of marketing.) I think you will need to raise funds for this legal endeavor, unless of course, you decide to take out loans (but who would be responsible to pay them?), or perhaps sell shares in the proceeds. So, have you got the following items done yet:

      * 8x10 portrait shots (B&W, Hi-Res JPG). Whatever view you decide to use, you may want to "flip" the same negative for the other-you, and use it on the mirror image side of things for an extra bit of interest. Would go great with the side-by-side interview article idea! Just sayin' ...

      * 8x10 action shots (B&W, color, Hi-Res JPG). People - and trolls - will want to know about your everyday life, how you cope with the stress of the lawsuit, why you did it, how it's affecting you. Be prepared! Expect them to ask things like, "How do you live with yourself?" Let your photos speak for you.

      * Tip: Write good captions. (Well, at least Blogger Vick should be able to do that well. Pastor Vick may wanna hire someone.) (Hey ... have you thought of hiring yourself? In know that'd be kind of dicey, given the legal issues of all this, but if you're aiming for celebrityship, this could help get you there. Just imagine if Pastor Vick hired Blogger Vick as his publicist ... the headlines alone could propel you to fame for, like, minutes! But it all adds up, right?)

      Okay, so that's photos and captions. What else? Uhh ... documents, right.

      * Bio. Recommend you be salient but not seditious, as you are The Authority.

      * I don't know if you found your lost press release yet, but that would be another item to include.

      * And for the EPK add-ons, consider sermons; testimonial A/V clips from family, friends, neighbors, parishioners; and perhaps a declamation reading of your press release or bio.

      Both parties in the dispute could use all or parts of this these publicity packs. Well, at least the party of the first part could have first pick of parts and part with the rest to the party of the second part.

      Oops. Time to get ready for church here. I must depart!

      Dunno if these will prove helpful in your mission or admissions, but there you go. Wish you well ...

    18. you guys are still rolling!

      providing me with some good sunday morning laughter. .

      thanks guys

  2. Wow! This kind of reminds me of when Elijah mocked the false prophets of Baal. Too funny!

  3. Craig, I went to your site but could not find your 18-page press release. Did I miss it?

    1. hahahaha . I love my readers. They rock! haha

      BTW - you-know-who-took down their press release. I guess it's not valid anymore?

    2. I guess I need to call the folks at Google...

    3. The press release was on the Church website, not Google :) But, since you mentioned Google, someone told me earlier this week that the church members' positive Google reviews were removed. So Ed Chapman's review is back on top again.

  4. Jess,

    I'm not sure what happened. I'll have to fix that.

    1. Add more pictures since you a better looking than you've claimed... :)

  5. Pastor Craig,

    I have throughly enjoyed this. I only want to know one thing... Why are you suing yourself for more than Julie Anne's (BGBC) suit was for?

    Laughter is good. Thanks!

    1. Could he be one of those greedy pastors we hear about? I was actually wondering the same thing. And also, I loved how he had the decimal and no cents. Who does that? LOL

    2. Al,

      I wanted to make a clear statement that Washington pastors will not be surpassed by the extreme actions of some Oregonian pastors.

      Julie Anne,

      That may be a clerical error. If I keep making mistakes I may have to sue myself again.

  6. Oh my goodness. I can't stop laughing... Pastor Vick, I'd love to go to your church!

    I was involved in a lawsuit once where a doctor acted as his own lawyer.It was not an easy task, he lost by the way.

    I would love to come and attend your trial Craig. What we'd see is God showing up and claimimg that His Son's blood is enough to cover yes, even the sins of Pastor Craig Vick. We'd also hear hear the words "well done My good and faithful servant...continue to love people just as you have done!"

    Many blessings to you and your church, JLM

    1. Thanks JLM,

      Given his well known quip about a person representing himself or herself, I wondered what Abraham Lincoln would have said about my lawsuit. Blessings to you as well.

    2. Craig, I don’t know about what Abe would say, but here is a quote from my book, Taking a Stand. Yes, this is a direct quote from good old Dr. Allgood and of course a few helpful hints from the judge. All to say, Craig, when you go to court, know when to sit and stand, know what an opening statement is… You won’t have to give the court a bio, God will show up and both defend and redirect you. I would however like to be there when you question yourself from the stand!
      Without greeting the jury, Dr. Allgood stood at the podium and began speaking. “A doctor who treats himself is a fool and has a fool for a doctor. A lawyer who treats himself is a fool and has a fool for a lawyer, and a doctor defending himself in the law may be the lowest of the bunch as far as being a fool.
      “Now, before I get myself into the anatomy, I would like to give a small bio of myself being described as the Dr. Kerlan of Orange County.”
      “Sir,” the judge interrupted, “during the opening statement you need not do that. You will be able to give your biography during testimony. All right?”
      “All right. That’s fine,” Dr. Allgood replied while he studied his
      “Sir, the opening statement is to tell the jury what the evidence is going to show in regards to the issues that are before them. and that’s the time limitation period,” Judge Fragassi added.

    3. Oh yeah, I did check out your blog. I liked what I saw :)

    4. That's very funny. I hope I do better than Dr. Allgood.

  7. •Does your church tightly control the flow of information within its ranks?

    •Does the head of your church, along with the other “leaders”, use public shaming as a method to gain the compliance of followers?

    •Does the head of your church and his “fellow elders” appear to be intolerant or consider it evil persecution when criticized or questioned?

    •Are you discouraged to associate with former members, being warned that they are "evil" or "defiling"; a “danger to your spiritual welfare”?

    •Is leaving your church to join another church that “is not approved by your elders” equal to leaving God?

    •Do you fear being rebuked, shunned, or ignored for expressing a different opinion?

    •At church, is there a sense of control, rather than support?

    •Is there a relentless obsession of reminding the sheep of “who’s in authority”?

    •Are you told not to ask questions as to why others have left? Are you told to accept the statements that “your elders” give you?

    •Are books, tapes and CD’s, speakers, music, etc., carefully controlled to keep only the belief structure of your church before your mind?

    •Is there is a relentless campaign to keep you around the activities of your church, expecting you to be at all the stated meetings, except if providentially hindered? And if you are absent, is your spirituality and dedication sometimes questioned?

    •Is the concept ever so subtly present that, “when you please the 'pastor', God is pleased and when your 'pastor' is not pleased with you, God is not pleased with you?"

    •Is there present, the breaking of even the closest family ties, to “guard” the flock?

    •Is there the constant using of guilt and shame as tools of control?

    •Is there present at your church the encouragement of the members to spy and report on each other, lest sin be found in the midst?

    •Is there present at your church the dominant climate of fear in the group – fear of failing to keep one of the rules, and fear of being held up to public humiliation and rejection?

    •At church, are the normal lines between what is private and what is public knowledge broken, and members confess the most personal, and the most minor sins, as the conscience is being surrendered to the “leadership”?

    •Are many (if not all) of the results from voting at "congregational business meetings"
    announced as..... "it is unanimous!"?

    •Is questioning condemned as "whispering, back- biting, vicious slander, gossip, nit picking, signs of a proud rebellious spirit, being disaffected and divisive?"

    •Are those who dissent publicly punished? Are their reputations murdered by veiled, or not so veiled “revelations” of “sins”; past and present, as confidentiality is broken for the benefit of the leaders?

    •Is there a misplaced loyalty from Jesus and God onto the leadership, which is idolatry?

    •Is there harsh preaching and full of condemnation for your failures and are you deliberately being kept wounded and off balance by the haranguing and condemnation from the pulpit?

    •Is “Persevere or be damned” and “listen to YOUR elders; obey YOUR elders”; "submit to YOUR elders" preached over and over again?

    •Is paranoia the “very air you breathe”? Paranoia of falling from grace; thinking for yourselves; breaking the many unspoken rules as well as the clearly spelled out expectations of the leader?

    •Are you becoming paranoid – carefully watching your every word and even gesture, lest someone report your faults?

    •Does a code of silence reign at your church? Is no one to divulge the business of the church, or the faults of the leadership?

    ● Do the spiritual leaders at your church seem to give you the impression that either covertly or overtly, they have the right to tell you how you should manage your own family; presuming that they know your own family better than you know yourself?

    1. RESULTS

      If you answered "no" to all of the above questions, your church is relatively

      healthy. If you answered "yes" to a quarter or more, your church is showing

      signs of being unhealthy. If you answered "yes" to half or more, your church

      is very, very unhealthy. If you answered "yes" to three-quarters or more,

      your church is an authoritarian cult.

    2. Thank you, Anonymous. I think I've read this list before. Do you remember where you found it? We have certainly discussed many of the topics here. Good stuff!

    3. I think this is it…

  8. This has been fun!

    I also got a kick out of this review on Google:

    "I had a terrible time at this church, they tried to convince me that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree."

    Sounds like a plot out of Baliwood, doesn't it?

    1 Corninthians 1:18 (NKJV)
    18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

  9. Hi Julie Anne and All,

    This survey is from Wicked Shepherds site. This is the survey that Fred had problems with because he felt that it was too vague. He asked for specific examples rather than blanket statements.

    It is up to individuals to decide if they feel that this survey is too vague or not. To be a good survey, there are lots of helpful guidelines available on Google Search.

    Anyone have a comment on how this survey has been written? Is it valid as a survey tool or does it need more work regarding its clarity?

    1. You’ve raised a very important research question, Dr. Barb. It’s one I’ve contemplated for quite a while, and had some thoughts to share.

      I’d suggest that, in general, evaluations on spiritual abuse have some critical issues that make them difficult to use no matter who the target audience is. If I understand correctly:

      If an assessment tool has *VALIDITY* that means it actually measures what it says it does.

      If an assessment tool has *RELIABILITY* that means it yields very similar results if someone takes it multiple times over time.

      The Wicked Shepherds’ assessment list doesn’t get detailed. A yes-or-no response gives a very big-picture look at whether abuse is generally present or not. A different kind of assessment tool with far more follow-up details within each question or category will start getting at the specific “degree” of dysfunction.

      A potential perpetrator or perpetuator of spiritual abuse is likely to see an assessment like this particular one as NOT VALID (and therefore, reliability is irrelevant). I can see several reasons for those who lead and those who enable an abusive organizational system not perceiving much/all of the assessment to be valid. Basically, the issues that are core struggles for the victims of abuse are, strikingly, not on the “spiritual radar” of those who inflict abuse. And what is in their theology and on their radar biases them against perceiving spiritual abuse in their midst. In the extreme form, their entire paradigm is utterly oblivious to the issues of abuse. For instance, to give some specific examples:

      * Perpetrators and perpetuators of abuse don’t necessarily value or trust emotions – only rational/logical thought – and so will discount any questions related to panic, paranoia, etc. They may redefine strong emotional reactions as over-reactions.

      * Their “biblical” definitions of authority structures in churches and ministries are perceived through a Western, analytic framework that inherently gravitates toward a division of people into different classes (clergy versus laity) and a hierarchy of “entitlement” by class.

      * They value and even demand conformity as a sign of “aligning” with authority. Any dissent is pre-defined as “divisiveness.” Any questioning of leaders is pre-defined as “immaturity” and/or “an attack on authority.”

      * There is an extreme all-or-nothing, black-or-white, either/or kind of thinking that leads to all sorts of win/lose situations in the church. The emphasis is on “troublesome congregants” not “abusive leaders.” The emphasis is on “male headship” not “every-person participation.”


    2. [concluded]

      Meanwhile, survivors may find assessments as VALID … but NOT ALWAYS RELIABLE. Personally, even just skimming the set of questions in the Wicked Shepherds’ list is enough for me (as a survivor of multiple situations of spiritual abuse and vastly different kinds of abuse perpetrators and enablers and excusers) to know that there is significant validity in the issues raised.

      However, I’m not sure that I would get the same results over time. And actually, I don’t think anyone should, even when they are re-evaluating their own experiences of spiritual abuse in a place they have already left behind. And that is because as the chilling numbness of surviving abuse gradually wears off as we grow and find healing, we are likely to (1) see ever more details and nuance about the specific ways in which abuse occurred, and (2) we likely will expand the categories to consider as to where/how abuse occurred. (Using the “chilled” metaphor, when we first escape spiritual abuse, we’re like a chunk of ice. As we warm up to life again, the ice melts. And the water that an ice cube yields takes up more space than the ice did.)

      Still, I’d suggest the Wicked Shepherds’ list contains enough detail and a substantial range of critical indicators to give a reasonable measure of whether spiritual abuse is present in a church or ministry.

      I’d also suggest that you cannot use supposed lack of reliability as an argument against the reasonable validity of a measurement tool. There is subjectivity in the details, because of the unique situation of each person who experiences the same setting where spiritual abuse occurs. For instance, if one person spoke up and questioned things and was publicly put down, their direct experience of a tongue-lashing by leaders would probably be quite different from that of someone who observed the exact same situation but who remained silent. So, if several people from, say, the same spiritually abusive ministry come up with different overall scores or profiles for the level of abuse, that doesn’t necessarily mean the tool is all wrong.

      Finally, “crowd-sourcing” the categories covered in a spiritual abuse assessment, and the level of details within each category, would probably improve both validity and reliability of a tool like this. So, that’s part of what’s behind the idea of work groups that would compile, analyze, prioritize, and specify items for such measures.

    3. brad, i truly appreciate you providing these specific examples. i’ve reiterated in bold what i found most insightful [with a thought or two of my own thrown in].

      * Perpetrators and perpetuators of abuse [i like how you fully-orbed this dimension of spiritual abuse(rs). Scripture speaks of those who are ‘deceiving and being deceived.’] don’t necessarily value or trust emotions – only rational/logical thought – and so will discount any questions related to panic, paranoia, etc. They may redefine strong emotional reactions as over-reactions. [consider, however, the abuse that happens in emotionally-charged environments like certain pentecostal and charismatic churches. would they likewise distrust emotional appeals?]

      * Their “biblical” definitions of authority structures in churches and ministries are perceived through a Western, analytic framework that inherently gravitates toward a division of people into different classes (clergy versus laity) and a hierarchy of “entitlement” by class. [yes! thank you!]

      * They value and even demand conformity [like being made to wear identical jackets, shirts and ties?] as a sign of “aligning” with authority. Any dissent is pre-defined as “divisiveness.” Any questioning of leaders is pre-defined as “immaturity” and/or “an attack on authority.”

      * There is an extreme all-or-nothing, black-or-white, either/or kind of thinking that leads to all sorts of win/lose situations in the church. The emphasis is on “troublesome congregants” not “abusive leaders.” The emphasis is on “male headship” not “every-person participation.” [i do believe the biblical complementarian position that holds “male headship” in both the church and the family as being God’s will for His people. however, there are those that have perverted this view and twisted it to mean something quite contrary to the will of God—such as those in the patriarchy movement, and those in churches that are so strongly elder-led that they choke themselves off from the rest of the body, to the point of decapitation in many instances.]

    4. monax ... some additional/counter thoughts.

      Re: Not trusting emotions. In some circles, perhaps more likely Pentecostal, charismatic, and mystical, the opposite would be the driving rule for interpretation: emotional and non-rational (i.e., mystical, like "discerning the direction of the Holy Spirit and following") go to an extreme and become irrational/anti-rational.

      Re: complementarianism. The key thing is that a paradigm that is built on analyzing everything and dividing details into categories can easily go to a toxic extreme on an entire set of beliefs. Thus:

      Complementarianism --> Patriarchalism.

      Hierarchical Leadership --> Authoritarianism.

      Moral Absolutes --> Legalism.

      Mortifying the Flesh --> Absolute Perfectionism/Eradication of Sin.

      Overcoming the Evil One --> Strategic-Level Prayer, Spiritual Warfare, Spiritual Mapping.

      In the World but not of the World --> Isolation (Christian ghetto), or Syncretism (no difference between church and culture), or Dominionism (church imposes control over culture to make the world function by "moralism" so Christians won't feel so dirty or marginalized in culture).

      I'm sure there are more. I'm working on that list ...

    5. more profound insight. .

      i'd be glad to

    6. Hey Brad,

      Thanks for your insightful comments regarding survey validity in the context of spiritual abuse and recovery.

      That gives a good perspective and something to build on!

      Yes, the clergy versus laity point resonated with me. You would think, by now, that this would be a paradigm of the past but unfortunately, it still seems to be around.

      When you look at the church globally, how many places are being led by brothers and sisters who are called by the Spirit of Christ and who are affirmed and supported by their Christian community. They get on with the task and don't rely on archaic systems that just don't work. Maybe the rest of the world can teach those of us who live in North America a thing or two!

  10. Pastor Craig: I just wanted to let you know that I sent a link of this article to my attorney (hi Linda). She might be interested in keeping an eye on this lawsuit especially in light of the anti-SLAPP component. I'm not sure she's seen any cases like this. It is most likely a precedent-setting case and could have a profound effect on so many across the nation who might want to sue themselves.

    I will definitely be there for you in the courthouse for support. What is the hearing date? I'm a little confused as to which side to sit on, the plaintiff's or defendant's, though. Should I support you or you?

    Oh, and I'm very curious about the defamatory phrases in the complaint. As you know "creepy" was one word that I used that was voluntaryily dismissed before the judge even had a look at the case. I'm wondering if you are having any second thoughts on the phrases that you are claiming as defamatory? What kinds of defamatory phrases did you say against yourself?

    I have had some concerns about your wife, though. It must be confusing for her to figure out whether she's sleeping with the defendant or the plaintiff each night. It sounds a little polygamous, too. But then again, if she's just sleeping with the you who is suing you, then I guess it's still really only you. Did she really know what she was getting into when she married all of yous?

    1. You said one of Linda Williams' hobbies was First Amendment cases. This ought to make her eat Tums. Heh heh.

  11. Julie Anne, we need a like button on these comments! So funny!!!

    1. I know!!! And I'm sitting here shaking my head at how knowledgeable my readers are about the case - even little details - it's cracking me up.

  12. As a frequent blog legal commentator, I think this is great. But occasionally people do sue themselves, usually in two different capacities, and sometimes to freeze out others from suing. Some class action lawsuits are basically that. A corporation that has made a serious mistake that has caused a harm to a lot of people will get a couple to file a class action suit, settle the suit (e.g., everyone similarly harmed gets a coupon for a discount if they buy the product in the future!) and effectively blocks the claims of others. Lawyers make some money doing it as do the "named plaintiffs". Not all such suits are done that way, but some are.

    So suing yourself is not entirely a novel idea. But a fun one in this case. So Pastor Vick is suing Blogger Vick, and Blogger Vick is countering with an Anti-SLAPP countersuit. More business for the legal profession.

  13. Craig, Julie Anne called your desire for blog hits carnal, and I believe I read somewhere that DEFAMATION IS A CRIME. Since I think you can amend lawsuit once, I think you ought to add her on as a codefendant and sue her for half of her blog readership. But then again, she had nothing to do with your decision to post this lawsuit business, so I would guess she objects to your post. In that case, you should probably go ahead and add her as a co-plaintiff too. You only get one shot at amending the complaint, you know.

    1. He can do that as long as he puts me on the winning side and we split the winnings.

  14. I go to Pastor Craig O'Vick's church and praise the Lord that I do. He has shined as a perfect man despite years of stalking and persecution by his own vicious self who obviously is a goat and under church discipline. Pastor O'Vick preached on Proverbs 6:9 for over a year, just one verse, so you know he's got to be a really good preacher if he spends that long on just one verse. Plus, he serves some tasty Kool-Aid.

    1. Aw, Julie Anne, I actually reined myself in by not choosing the name Green Mint Chip. But I thought about it...

  15. Replies
    1. No, Pastor Craig is PCA. He's probably ESV only!

    2. Anonymouses who leave trollish comments, BEWARE.

    3. Julie Anne, am I being likened to a troll?

    4. No, certainly not you. Anonymouse is a pseudonym. I was attempting to pluralize "Anonymous" - - - ie, those who use the Anonymous option and then leave disruptive and/or rude comments. You are fine. :)

      My delete button has been in use today. People can leave rude comments about me, but not about my friends.

    5. O good! If you think there's a danger of me being misrecognized I can switch my name to "e".

    6. Anonymouse - There's only danger if the rude/disruptive rule is not followed. It's so easy! :)

    7. I'm a church mouse. The only rude/disruptive thing I'm guilty of doing is removing someone's cheese. And by "removing" I mean EATING.

    8. By all means, Mouse, eat your cheese :)

    9. I think the plural of Anonymous is Anonymi. If it isn't, it should be.

    10. Now see, I would have thought it was Anonymice.

    11. Yes, Buff, I was thinking of Anonymi, too; that pattern works with nouns, but not adjectives.

      I think the spelling is up for grabs because it is not in the dictionary.

      However, I really like Anonymice. That makes much better sense. Thanks, Will!

    12. Anonymouse is now known as "e"August 12, 2012 at 3:44 PM


    13. my assumption is that both the singular and the plural noun-form is to be rendered "anonymous"

    14. but as i'm working the grammar of this word out in my head, i keep falling back on the adjectival (or adverbial) form and qualifying the plural with a demonstrative.

      i guess i'd personally back away from using this as a plural noun. out of curiosity i googled for the "plural form of anonymous" and found this discussion:

    15. i'm cooking dinner and still can't get this out of my head. i think i know why i'm wanting to keep the singular and the plural the same. etymologically anonymous means no-name, it doesn't have a number! it's neither singular nor plural, but a zero.

  16. Don’t mean to shame anyone here. But is there no one among us wise enough to settle this dispute between the brother?

    I believe Pastor C and Blogger C need to sit down and have a face to face (this might be best facilitated in the presence of a good mirror) over perhaps even a good beer, and be willing to come to an understanding—open, honest, loving communication is essential. Go ahead, talk to yourself, we’re all one in the body of Christ. Be willing to confess and forgive, to be righteous and be wronged.

    If need be, C’s wife might be the wisest and best mediator at this stage. But let’s nip this in the butt before it gets too far out of control. A suggested first question: How might I be instrumental in edifying the body of Christ and glorifying God in all this?

    1. This might be an excellent idea, monax, to have C's wife mediate.

      However, I am a bit woried: What happens if one of the parties involved says, "no"?

      Or, given the complexity of the situation, should C's wife recuse herself? Also, I understand that this is a civil case (legally speaking, although I don't know how civil it will turn out to be, relationally speaking, when C + C sends a CC of their dialog to their lawyers)(or mediator) and not a criminal case (will forgo sarcastic/sardonic/ironic comments here), but were it a criminal case, Mrs. C could plead the fifth. However, on the other hand, as mediator, she could just plead, period, which may be the best way to resolve this. And then everyone could sit down to a nice cuppa tea and some toast! Very soothing, that.

      P.S. Is Judge Nancy available? Then the "court" would pay all costs, wouldn't it? And ... ummm ... she does understand the "dancing with the stars" celebrityship part of this case ...

    2. Yes, it does seem Pastor C needs some good direction. Monax, what did you mean by “nip this in the butt?” Were you suggesting that his wife give him a good spanking? A measure like that might do good for his marriage too.

    3. brad, Anonymouse, after reading you—i’m rippling with laughter!

      i don’t know how to answer, but i’m anxious to hear from the Craigs on this

    4. note to brad: good presbyterians drink beer, what's with all this tea and toast talk?

    5. note to monax: okay, so toast the ale - and we can call it even!

      actually, i was thinking of a *Lord of the Rings* reference to Bilbo Baggins feeling like he was wearing thin, like butter scraped over too much toast. hence tea and toast. very British. uhh ... make that Proto-British.

    6. you take the biscuit, brad, i'm bloody impressed with your crackin' wit. .


  17. "But let’s nip this in the butt..."

    Too funny! Reminds me of a derogatory term we used in high school: buttmunch.

    It's "nip this in the BUD".

  18. Craig,

    if you can arrange to sit down with your double-minded self over lunch or beers, I’d be willing to cover the tab. Feel free to eat and drink for two. Go somewhere that serves Belgian doubles or quads, sample something new. Read First Cornithians Six before you go, and don’t leave until you've determined to contain this matter to the church. For the love of God and His people—nix the law suit.

    Your brother in Christ,

  19. Thank you all for all the laughter. I'll try to answer some of your questions and concerns:
    My wife can mediate as long as she asks her husband first.
    I'd love to talk to Christianity Today (more hits on my blog).
    Thanks, Brad for all your suggestions about preparation. I'm glad your on my team.
    David, I'd rather join you with that lunch and beer, on me if you get to Seattle.
    Buff, I like the verdict. I did better than the case in Oregon (I think).
    An Attorney, I'm disappointed to learn I'm not the first. Hopefully, I'm the first pastor to sue himself.
    Julie Anne, my wife Kelly had no idea who she was marrying. I can hardly believe she married me. I'm very blessed.

    For all of you that are concerned I may be going against Paul's instruction, I don't think Paul intended to prohibit suing oneself. In fact, as I read the pastor that inspired my suit, it doesn't appear that Paul prohibited much of anything at all.

    1. Let's do it. Don't know if or when I'll be in Seattle. But I'm certain we'll have plenty of face to face breaking of bread and drinking of beer throughout our eternal career of being human.

      (( goodness, should i have suffixed an s to 'beer'? ahh, nevermind ))

    2. Pastor Craig - I look forward to meeting you and your wife over on the green side of the state . . . . perhaps someday soon :) It sounds like you both are blessed to have each other.

  20. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Here's how it works. If you trash talk my friend, your comment will be deleted. I don't extend much grace to rudeness.

    2. alright friends, i've got a fun question if you're game. i've used this question more than once as an icebreaker. here it is:

      If you could have lunch with three biblical persons who would they be?

      depending on the company I might say 'biblical or any historical person,' for I once embarrassed someone who didn't know any biblical personalities.

      Anywho, mine would be: Eve; Noah; and Daniel.

      i found that most men or women rarely consider Eve. sometimes we'll play the game as a picnic where we're all invited and we're allowed to bring two characters with us. every time when i answered last Eve was still available as a guest.

      if i could only have one face to face with a person (besides Jesus, of course) it would most definitely be Eve, the mother of us all.

    3. Monax, I've been pondering your question since I read it. I would choose, in no particular chronological order: James, the half-brother of Jesus; Joseph; and Rahab.

      Here are my reasons: I've always been fascinated about how James made the transition from regarding Jesus as a brother to regarding Him as Savior and Lord; I would love to hear Joseph's account of forgiving his brothers and trusting God for his time in Egypt, as he never seemed even momentarily discouraged; and I'd ask Rahab how she learned about God and knew to trust Him and how her life was changed forever.

      This was a fun exercise, but in the end, I am thankful that I don't have to choose. Someday I will be having not lunch but supper with all of them as well as the wonderful readers here.

    4. monax, I would love to lunch with Mary and Joseph. Mary was pregnant with 'another mans' baby. And Joseph chose to stand by her side during that time. Although it isn't looked upon as bad during these times, when I was younger, to have been pregnant and unmarried, I would have been a disgrace to my parents. I've often thought about what they both must have experienced during that time….
      And the third person, I'd have to think about that.

    5. yeah the Josephs are high up there on my list

    6. did you at least consider 'John Jacob Jingleheimer'?

    7. Never - that last name is Schmidt, not Smith :)

      I have sung that song to the kids, though!

  21. To put it simply: Ell. Oh. Ell.

    Pastor Vick, that was AWESOME. You've taken a situation that has so often been highly charged and deadly serious, and brought laughter and light to it.


  22. Craig - Finding a person with a good sense of humor can be difficult these days. Thank you for helping us have a good laugh!


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