Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Alex Grenier Responds to Notice of Imminent Lawsuit by Calvary Chapel Visalia & Pastor Bob Grenier

Alex Grenier of Calvary Chapel News has written an excellent article on the possible impending lawsuit and has given me permission to republish it here.   You better believe I am emotionally drawn into this case as it was 7 months ago that I received the subpoena for my defamation lawsuit brought on by my former pastor and church.

Alex has been blogging far longer than me.  I've been reading his blog and have noted a few things.   In cases of abuse like this, it's very easy to let anger get the best of you and even consume you.  I don't see that here.  I do see a righteous anger.  I also see is a man who wants the truth to be exposed and justice to be served.  I see a man very concerned that others might endure the same abuse he and others have experienced.  This is not ranting.  This is not an obsession, this is LOVE.  And Alex is willing to go the extra mile regardless of how long the court process takes.

On Alex's blog site, there is a "Prayer" tab in which Alex had written a prayer.  Tell me, is this from a man filled with hate and bitterness?  This is not about a hate campaign or a man with a personal vendetta as we will read about below in Alex's article.  You be the judge:

September 29, 2011 at 9:01 am
God I pray your will is done in this situation.
I pray for my Mom and brothers and even for Bob, that he’ll come clean and truly repent.
I pray for the attitudes and hearts of Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel, that one of “Refuse Collector” will be changed to one of compassion for those who have been hurt by Calvary Chapel Pastors and situations. May they model the heart of Jesus who would never see this blog or any of us as part of a “Refuse Collector” but as hurt saints and sinners who need the Reconciliation and Truth your Word promises…instead of the cold Stone Wall of CC.
I pray that justice and accountability for Church Leadership be done, following your instructions from your servant Paul the Apostle.
I pray you have mercy on me a sinner. I am guilty of so much sin myself. Convict me of sin, give me the gift of repentance and give me belief in your Son Jesus Christ our Messiah.

Again, your will be done. Praise and glory to you, my Good Father. 

Alex wrestled with his own family demons by himself until he saw the destruction outside of his family and knew he must get involved.  That is exactly at the point where I said enough was enough and wrote my first Google review.  But Alex went big guns and started a blog first, and it grew very quickly as others around the country shared their stories and experiences at other Calvary Chapel churches and noticed abusive trends among the leaders.  The Calvary Chapel News blog is a place where those who have suffered under abusive leadership may document their story.  

In Alex's article below, he mentions the anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) law.  Let me explain a little about the anti-SLAPP that Alex refers to here.  My attorney used the anti-SLAPP law in my case.  The anti-SLAPP law was created to help prevent frivolous lawsuits against people who are trying to shut down people like bloggers, etc,  whose speech is protected by law.  Because there is no discovery/subpoenas, etc, allowed in an anti-SLAPP lawsuit, the process is expedited.  My case lasted four months from receipt of subpoena to the judge's ruling.  Once an attorney files an anti-SLAPP motion, all discovery is stayed which means that no one can be interrogated or subpoenaed or deposed for more information.  The judge has to take what information is presented in the original complaint and responses and in the hearings to make a ruling.  A normal civil court case is lengthy and can last 2-3 years.  Depositions, getting subpoenas and confiscating personal files, records is a very time-consuming process.  Alex is willing to forego the Anti-SLAPP in favor of a civil court hearing.  I agree with his decision and will explain why.

In Alex's case and in mine,  a favorable anti-SLAPP ruling only allows us to continue blogging.  The anti-SLAPP protects our right to speak out publicly about our church experiences.  It, however, does not address the key issues that Alex is exposing (or I exposed).   With my favorable ruling, I am free to continue to publicly expose/discuss my former pastor and church, but O'Neal is still free to pastor the same church, continue the same extra-Biblical nonsense of Marking and Avoiding congregants, teach the practice of shuning life-long friends/family members and even extended family members, etc.  What I believe to be blatant spiritual abuse continues at BGBC.  That has not changed, sadly.

Alex wants to go further than that.  He wants justice served.  He doesn't want any more abuse to continue.  He is ready and prepared.  Alex's situation with Calvary Chapel Visalia represents one of many stories in the Calvary Chapel "family" of churches.  It will be a precedent-setting case and many eyes will be watching.  This case has potential to shake up the core of Calvary Chapel and the way they do "business".  I hope it is a wake-up call to others who have spiritual tyrants in positions of authority at churches.  

Alex and friends from CC, I stand with you!  ~ja
(Alex's post follows)

For the LORD gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
guarding the paths of justice
and watching over the way of his saints.
Then you will understand righteousness and justice
and equity, every good path;
for wisdom will come into your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
discretion will watch over you,
understanding will guard you,
delivering you from the way of evil,
from men of perverted speech,
who forsake the paths of uprightness
to walk in the ways of darkness,
who rejoice in doing evil
and delight in the perverseness of evil,
men whose paths are crooked,
and who are devious in their ways.
(Proverbs 2:6-15 ESV)

If Bob Grenier and Calvary Chapel backs out of their Defamation Lawsuit threat, it's an admission of guilt in my opinion (plus some final appeals)
by Alex Grenier

Bob Grenier and Calvary Chapel Visalia have recently stated they will be filing a lawsuit in Tulare County for “defamation” according to their attorney Nick Pritchett of Williams, Jordan, Brodersen and Pritchett, a small Visalia, California law firm.  

If Bob Grenier and Calvary Chapel backs out, doesn’t follow through, puts up the Stone Wall once again…it’s an admission of guilt in my opinion.

If they follow through, here’s what I believe is coming and here’s some insight to what I’m preparing…also a couple of last appeals to Bob before this gets past a point of no return.
First one of the appeals to Bob:
Drop the others from the lawsuit. Don’t re-victimize Tina Jenkins, Edna Silva and Not Alone. You’ve hurt them enough already. If it’s a fight you want, I pledge not to anti-SLAPP you if you drop the others…and I’ll give you all the fight you want in civil court. We’ll drag this whole stinking carcass into the public record and let a judge/jury decide who is righteous since the Church has shunned their moral/spiritual responsibility in these matters. We can both depose and cross-examine the aforementioned as witnesses and you take your shot there. Besides, it’s a waste of the good-givers and tithers money at Calvary Chapel Visalia for you to waste their money attacking the others when your lawyer Nick Pritchett knows good and well (or should know) that you’ll get anti-SLAPP’d and that Jesus Money you collect each Sunday will go to pay off the others’ attorneys and expenses. Save some of Jesus’s money and drop the others.
As to the lawsuit if Bob and Calvary Chapel don’t chicken out…from the info I’ve collected from Bob Apologists and CC cast-offs, I believe I have a pretty clear understanding of Camp Bob’s Narrative and Offense/Defense that they’ll present to the court (and to the Calvary Chapel Association to save face and save their Dove):
These are some of the key talking points I’ve learned/observed/heard:
“It’s a Private Family Matter”
“Alex is engaged in a Hate Campaign against his step-father in an effort to take him down”
“This is a Vendetta engineered by a media professional”
“Alex has bad character”
etc etc etc.
Appeals to Motive and Character. That will be the theme of the Camp Bob Narrative.
It’ll probably go something like this:
“Alex is a bitter vindictive step-son who has engineered a Hate Campaign to take down his step-dad. He has rallied a small group of malcontents who had beef with Bob Grenier and reason to lie about him to support Alex’s Hate Campaign. Alex’s brothers are ‘helping a brother out’ and lying for him as well. This whole thing is a malicious conspiracy to take Bob down. The brothers are motivated by their hatred of Bob and the former employees are disgruntled, etc. Who wouldn’t have a few disgruntled people after over 30 years in ministry? We’ll admit Bob may have been a jerk at times, but he did not do the things that these malicious malcontents are saying in Alex’s Hate Campaign. Regarding the supposed child abuse that Bob confessed to the Calvary Chapel Visalia Board, there are mitigating circumstances, Geoff was a danger to the others, he was hopped up on steroids and Bob had to punch him out to protect himself and the family. No other abuse ever happened in the home as many others testify” …or something similar.
Appeals to Motive seem to be a biggie so far.
Then they’ll appeal to Character and assail the character of all involved.
“Alex can’t be trusted. He has past moral failings. He has had some business disputes. He used to say how wonderful Bob was. He accepted a loan from Bob to start his business. He accepted food and shelter from Bob, etc. etc. Alex’s brothers have bad character, moral failings, are ‘scoundrels’ etc. The Aunt who says she witnessed abuse hates Bob and has a grudge. The former employees have bad character, moral failings, are disgruntled etc. and none of them are reliable in their testimony.”
If the Judge allows it to be partially about Character and Motive, I’ll present a different Narrative.
I’ll appeal to Bob’s (and Camp Bob’s) Character and Motive as well.
Bob was a former drug dealer and drug smuggler. He’s an un-convicted, un-caught felon, the only thing that keeps him from being a felon is that he was able to dodge prosecution for those crimes.
Bob claims there was a “miracle” in his life and he’s a changed man. However, Bob didn’t really change, just his bad character changed from one set of bad things to another set of bad things.
I’ll go on to present evidence that Bob went from having a street drug problem to a prescription drug problem. I’ll depose a CC pastor who will testify that he witnessed Bob “stoned on pills” on mission’s trips and that Bob confessed a pill problem with him in the mid 1980′s (during a time we were being abused terribly). I’ll depose witnesses from CCV that saw Bob acting strange, speaking weird, that he seemed to have been on the influence of pills and even stated that he had taken something. I’ll depose family witnesses who will testify that Bob took too many pills to get high.
I’ll then transition into a variety of other character issues and depose witnesses who will present testimony to Bob’s temper, his bullying, his lying, his manipulation, his cult-like counseling, his attempts to get a mother not to report child molestation to authorities etc, etc.
Then we’ll get into the financial issues. That’ll be a real interesting area. Don’t want to disclose too much here, but I can guarantee you, we’ll be on this one for awhile and depositions and discovery will be a hoot and the net will be cast wide and the things we’ll confirm….this part may cross over from civil to criminal, we’ll see.
I’ll conclude with the child abuse and Paul’s molestation allegations. With regards to the child abuse, I’ll depose those directly involved and other witnesses to the abuse. I’ll depose Glen C. and his testimony that Bob confessed punching Geoff out to his Board, but the Board didn’t take action, covered it up, didn’t report (and CCV is a mandatory reporter). Witnesses will testify that much child abuse happened after that Board inaction…not only victims of the abuse but outside witnesses post-confession.
I’ll depose Paul and put his molestation allegations on the record. It’ll be tough and emotional, I don’t look forward to that one.
I’ll present testimony that Bob had me shower naked with him and testimony from witnesses that Bob made it a regular habit of walking around naked in front of us as children/teens while in our home, genitals exposed.
I’ll present Bob’s testimony of his same-sex encounter at boarding school in his book.
There will be a few bombshell witnesses, and I don’t want to disclose too much, but I have a witness who will testify to what so far look like some pretty big inconsistencies in Bob’s version of his own history in his book.
To Motive. Why would Bob lie? Why would my Mom and Bobby Jr. lie for him? Why would the Dowds cover for him?
Money. Power. Influence.
Calvary Chapel Visalia is a money making machine. It’s also a powerful entity and provides a group of followers, a stage, platform and fame, etc.
In discovery we’ll show how much money CCV makes. We’ll show how much Bob and my Mom benefit financially from CCV. We’ll show how much money the Dowds make from CCV. We’ll show how CCV employs and gives benefits to Bob’s daughter-in-law who is Bobby Jr’s wife (Bobby Jr’s household is paid by CCV).
There is huge motive to lie and cover up abuses. If Bob loses his throne, the golden goose of the CCV money-making machine is cooked and his inner-circle loses money, power, influence as well.
I’ll also counter Camp Bob’s Narrative of my motive and my character and counter Bob’s version of the motive and character of all the others.
Very good counter-narrative, but I want to save some for the trial.
It’s not a “hate campaign” and a grand-conspiracy against Bob and it’s not just a small group who he’s hurt and keeps hurting and Bob is not a janitor, he’s a highly influential and powerful public figure in Positions of Trust. It’s in the public interest to deal with these things.
Bob’s actions and the church’s non-action in dealing with these issues in a just manner are responsible for this being public, not a conspiracy “hate campaign”.
The defamation claims will be easy to address and will pretty much be covered in all of the above.
There’s a lot more to it all, and I’m preparing to address these things well beyond what I’ve presented here…but that gives you a taste.
There are many witnesses who will be deposed who have not been mentioned who have some very interesting testimony.
I won’t leave any stone unturned in depositions or discovery. I know this situation like Hawking knows physics.
So, Bob, if you chicken out of your defamation suit, it sure looks like an admission of guilt to me (and many others).
Bring it and let’s get it on and get this stuff out in the open and dealt with.
ONE FINAL APPEAL: Bob, your other option is to confess, repent, come clean and seek reconciliation and get help for your many issues and ask for mercy. True repentance begins with acknowledging the sin and admitting you have a problem. You still may have to suffer some consequences for your sin, I can’t guarantee you won’t, but I’m pretty sure the consequences will be worse if you keep digging in.
Bob, stop this nonsense. Come forward and confess and repent. I’ll then help you to make amends, and help you ask for mercy, even though you may have to suffer some consequences, but it will go better for my Mom and your wife if you do the right thing now without this going further.
Call me, you know how to reach me.


  1. I can't access his blog today,am I the only one? I get an "Internet Explorer cannot display the web page" message when I try.

  2. Firefox also says it can't connect to the server for his site........ hmmm.

    1. I just tried - maybe it's fixed now. I'm on a Mac using Safari. Try again. I've been in touch with Alex today and he didn't mention anything.

  3. I can access OK. I'm using Chrome (and I apologize to all my Microsoft friends).


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