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A Helpful Timeline

What follows is a timeline put together by Jenn Grover. I am embedding it here (you can use the scroll bars to navigate the timeline if it appears blank) with Ms. Grover’s permission, but you can also click on this link to view it on the Dippity site.

The timeline is introduced with the following note:

This is a timeline of the details outlined in “The Documents” that Brent Detwiler wrote to address longstanding issues within SGM and with C.J. Mahaney as well as relevant SGM historical data. This timeline was developed for the benefit of those who were unable to read through all of Brent’s documents and to provide a visual aid for piecing the events together. This is not intended to be an exhaustive argument in any fashion; that has been accomplished in Brent’s documents. Where possible, links to the source material have been provided. Every attempt has been made to provide an accurate representation of Brent’s documents and SGM historical information. If you believe that there are inaccuracies please indicate in the comments the title of the entry, the date, and the relevant corrections. I will not moderate comments on this, but please consider keeping your comments limited to the timeline as opposed to your view of SGM, Brent, or C.J. There are plenty of other places on the web already available for this type of dialogue. Additional media content (relevant photos, video, and audio) may be added to the timeline. Please feel free to contact me if you have additional media content to add. Thanks to Eric Grover and Brent Detwiler for editorial review input.

224 comments to A Helpful Timeline

  • Many thanks – and cheers! – to Jenn Grover for her work on this.

  • Ellie

    Sigh. Okay, one more time!!

    use > facing forward &
    < facing backward instead of ( and )

    (b)I want this bold.(/b) I don't want this bold.

    I want this bold.I don’t want this bold. <——–this is how it looks, you just cant see the "tags" turning the bold on and then turning it off before and after the text.

  • Ellie

    PolyJuice,

    I read your story on the last thread, I am so sorry for what your child & your family has had to go thru.

  • PolyJuice (last post)~

    The comments closed on the last post, but I didn’t want you to feel that you were left hanging. Thanks for your story. I could literally feel you taking a big breath to gird yourself and get that all out. I’m so sorry for what happened to your child and your family. There just aren’t any words anymore. You are brave. Don’t think any different. You and your family are brave.

  • Yellow is a Happy Color

    PolyJuice, Thank you for sharing your story, and for the first time even! How traumatic for your child to be victimized by a sexual preditor, and how sad for the many other families who experienced the same pain as you.

    It took a lot of courage for you to post here, and I hope you find the gang here to be supportive to you and your family.

    A perpetrator reading off a confession in front of his victims? What could SGM/CLC possibly be thinking to arrange this? There were not thinking of the victims feelings, that’s for sure.

    I am so sorry for your pain.

  • LongingforHeaven

    Ellie thanks! I am so grateful for your help.

    Polyjuice I am so so sorry! I just remember thinking when I finished reading; when God will you exact justice for these victims and the foolish men who defend these monsters who murder the souls of the ones they abuse.

  • Fried Fish

    Looking at the timeline and realizing that the events there are only a couple of blips on the radar compared to all the damage done in so many ways…

    Gotta go pray and go to bed… I love reading Isaiah, never fails to give me hope – from chapter 61:

    10 I delight greatly in the LORD;
    my soul rejoices in my God.
    For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
    and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
    as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
    and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
    11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up
    and a garden causes seeds to grow,
    so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness
    and praise spring up before all nations.

  • Matt

    PolyJuice,

    I hope you keep coming back here. There are many here who will love you and totally understand. (Some won’t but that is because they still have kool aid moustaches)

    I have no words to take away the pain. All I know is that we are to bear one another’s burdens. And as followers of Christ, it is an honor He gives us to interceed for each other.

    Can I pray that one day your child will know the real Christ and not the twisted one she was taught. You were brave to comment here tonight. Please come back.

  • Ozymandias

    The chronology is quite helpful. Some thoughts/questions (six year member of an SGM church) —

    1. I’ve never been clear as to exactly when PDI’s major shift into Reformed theology happened occurred: immediately before, during or after the “Toronto Blessing” period. If Che Ahn’s split from PDI was related to differing opinions about charismata and Reformed theology, Margaret Poloma’s 1998 article on Harvest Rock (“Reviving Pentecostalism at the Millennium”) identifies 1992-1993 as the period when the conflict between Che Ahn and PDI Central came to a head — perhaps up to a year or more before Toronto kicked off (January 1994) and PDI really began to be influenced by the phenomenon (Summer 1994 to 1995). Was PDI “going Reformed” in the late 1980s or early 1990s, or did it happen later? Perhaps if Brent is reading here, he could give some historical perspective?

    2. It’s an amazing ten-year period where a movement can go, in 1995, from churches experiencing Toronto-like events, to 2005, with SGM donating money to SBTS and setting the stage for T4G — to decide for, as Don Baker’s history put it, Geneva rather than Toronto. As I see it from Brent’s documents (especially the LT and North Church material) — and I emphasize that this is my personal opinion only — the first five years of that shift (1995-2000) has a “purification/purge”-like feel to it, while the second period has a more Thermidorian, “consolidation”-like flavor.

  • old timer

    Polyjuice, I am very sorry for what you and your family went through.

    They didn’t allow your family to work through your emotions did they? What a travesty. And to listen to an apology that was read aloud. Just keep giving it all to Jesus every time it comes into your mind and let Him take the burden of that situation from you–and I know that would be on my mind constantly since I love my children and they are always on my heart and I keep them before the Lord at all times.

    There are several folks here who can help you this with this if you want because they have been in your situation. I think it is better to keep speaking about these things to people you can trust and have a connection to because when burdens are shared they are lightened.

    And His Light can then shine in the darkness into places that we have not spoken about. Then healing can begin.

    I feel so bad for your child. I will pray for them to find peace and to come to terms with this in their soul and heart.

    I thought about this yesterday when I was thinking and praying for the victims of sexual abuse (not only on this site but through out the churchworld. A paraphrase from the Ten Boom’s…There is no pit so deep that HE is not deeper still.

  • Phoenix

    One of the sins of SGM is what they do to language. Here by way of illustration and for discussion is

    An SGM glossary

    Gossip – Any source of information that we don’t control (See also “Slander”)
    Character – Conformity
    Heresy – Disagreement
    Constructive Desertion – Leading your family contrary to conformity
    Godly – In conformity
    The Church – Us
    The Local Church – Local franchises
    Jesus – CJ’s Buddy
    CJ – Jesus’ homeboy
    Founding a Denomination – Excellent career choice for charismatic sociopath
    Time of Reflection – Well-remunerated vacation
    Grace – What you earn by conforming
    Presumption – Believing God’s promises
    Repentance – Repeating correct phrases
    Humility – Repeating correct phrases
    Pride – Wasting our time with your issues
    Matthew 18 – Escalating stages of public humiliation to keep you under control
    Submission – Manipulation
    Slander – See “Gossip”
    Cute Teenage Boy – Someone else’s husband
    Cute Teenage Girl – Temptation sent by Satan
    The Gospel – We will tell you the rules to follow and guarantee the results.
    Educating Women – Teaching them to use the washing machine
    Junk Drawer – Evidence of indwelling sin
    Teenage Pregnancy – Ready source of babies for infertile conforming couples
    Child Rape – Experimentation
    Caring – Smiling while giving you another turn on the rack
    Calling the Police to Report an Assault – Prideful involvement with the World
    Modesty – Conformity
    Scriptural – What we say it is
    Worship – Reaffirming wormhood
    Caregroup – Surveillance
    Younger Woman – Babymaker
    Older Woman – Babysitter
    Better than I deserve – Not nearly as good as a stunningly humble saint deserves
    Better than I deserve, alternate definition – Way better than you deserve
    Evidence of Grace – Conformity
    Serving Your Husband – Keeping him thoroughly p—-whipped
    Sheep – Revenue producers
    Shepherds – Revenue managers
    Children – Future revenue producers
    Raising Children Who Hunger for God – Teaching children to ignore their instincts
    Parenting- Teaching conformity from birth
    Former Members – Who?
    Bloggers – Bitter liars who won’t get on with their lives

    And from my personal glossary:
    The Happiest Place on Earth — Disney World

  • old timer

    Jenn, How come there is nothing between 1985-to 1993?

  • old timer

    Phoenix, # 11 Hilarious!!!

    And unfortunately, so true and very insightful.

  • Ozymandias

    If Jenn is interested in adding some additional material, perusing old copies of New Attitude magazine gives some dates as well. For example, from the Summer 1996 issue:

    I guess I might as well say it: with the winter 1996 issue, New Attitude will cease publication. New Attitude isn’t ending because anything has gone wrong. I’m happy to say we’re ending in our prime — that’s the way I always wanted it to be. But God has, for the past year, been leading me in a new direction. He’s been drawing my heart to the local church. I’ve also realized the need in my own life for more training. At the same time God has graciously opened the door for me to move into a season of discipleship and study under godly men that I highly respect. Next spring I’ll be making a cross-country move to the east coast. Around that time the book I’ve been working on (will it really ever happen?) “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” will be released by Questar Publishers. From there I’ll be setting out on our most intense schedule of New Attitude conferences ever. All this has led me, after much prayer, and not a few late-night conversations with my family, to the conclusion that the time has come to close the chapter on magazine publishing.

    And from the Winter 1996 issue:

    As most of you know, I’m moving to Gaithersburg, Maryland. It’s more than merely a change in location—it’s a change in direction and vision. God has drawn my heart to the local church. I’m laying down my pursuit of magazine publishing to learn how my gifts can be used in the context of a local body of believers. C.J. Mahaney and the pastors at Covenant Life Church will be discipling and training me. It’s sort of an “apprenticeship” in ministry.

  • Mike Cole

    @old timer. I think because nothing is in the documents during that time. The timeline just focused on the documents not the full history of SGM

  • BrokenHearted

    Polyjuice – I am SO sorry that your child went through this, and is now hurting so deeply because of it. Being sexually abused/molested/hurt is enough damage and baggage for these kids, but then to have pastors who don’t give a flying poop about them just makes me SO MAD inside!!! I’ll pray for your child and hope that s/he can one day realize that those men might have SAID they were representing Christ, but they weren’t. :-(

    BTW, all, I talked to an SGM pastor recently who in the past was “against all that psychobabble”
    (or at least served in a church that was) who now said they “refer people to counselor and psychiatrists all the time”. :clap :clap

    I am going to read the timeline now, but wanted to let Polyjuice know that they are loved and wanted here.

  • PolyJuice

    I fell asleep reading posts on here, and it is painful that I know the identity of certain victims/perpetrators on here. I am thankful that a forum has been provided for folks to safely post their experiences w/o judgment (most of the time) and receive compassion. It took a lot of courage to write what I did, as I had not realized that the experience had been so buried that I did not remember. Then the comments closed! I clicked on this wall this morning to look at the timeline of the documents (I read all 600 pages and subsequent postings, as I was encouraged to do.) You can imagine my surprise that I have received support here to what was posted on a then-closed-right-after thread. (Or whatever…I am not too computer savvy.) I am grateful, if not surprised! I am contemplating trying to reconnect with the pastors involved, if for no other reason, to have them be accountable. My hope is not reconciliation (what they did was wrong, they cannot fix it, but this is not outside God’s ability to heal) but simply to say you made mistakes, you have no idea what your ignorance/incompetence did in terms of subsequent ramifications, here they are, please simply be informed, and be grieved. And please change. Please don’t do this ever again. That’s all. I do not need an apology (and do not believe that one could ever affect the child, now an adult, in any redemptive way) so there would be no need for follow up. No need for vindication. Just a desire to inform so they can be enlightened. I am just grieved that I had buried this so deeply that I honestly had not remembered the details until reading the gut-wrenching stories of others on here. What koolaid did I drink that would cause repression of memories or memory loss? I am most grieved about this. I am going to fast today for all of the victims. God binds up the wounds of the brokenhearted, and my prayer is that each person who has suffered will find the care that they need. None of my friends know my story because we were gagged to protect the perpetrator and perp’s family. I still care about this family, though we don’t see each other, and they certainly suffered, too. There was no attempt on their part to justify/bury what happened. In a way, they, too, were victims because of their child’s actions. So I understand but now need to go to the pastors responsible. Not to accuse, not to condemn, not to seek retribution or demand restitution, but with a desire to educate/inform. I owe them that.

  • BrokenHearted

    I looked over the timeline, and it is suuuper helpful! :) I find it interesting that it seems CJ was expressing sorrow and desiring to repent months before he “stepped down” and Brent was the one not desiring to meet in person. Just a thought – not negating anything just something I had thought skimming the first document and then felt the timeline reaffirmed.

  • Polyjuice

    Also, what triggered the memory was seeing on FB that someone posted being “in a relationship” with the perpetrator. Even though it was meant in jest, (both are the same sex) it made me ill. Then I saw a link to the Fairfax family meeting audio. After listening, I came here to read about Noel’s story, and I wept when I read not just that story, but the stories of others. I am grieved that we are not alone in what we suffered. I wish that mine was an isolated story. I am not comforted that there are others out there. Just grieved more deeply. I know that all sin grieves God’s heart. I just think there are different depths of grief, and Jesus speaks about children with more serious compassion (millstone around the neck.)

  • old timer

    Matt, Thanks for the info, should have thought of that myself.

    I sure would like to see what Brent has in his arsenal of documents from those years between since we were involved primarily then!

  • Bob Gram

    Fried Fish #7…Yes, the book of Isaiah is a book of lost treasure waiting to be discovered…I’ve just recently been reading devotionally in it…what beautiful promises of healing, rest, fruitfullness, usefullness and ultimate restoration out of destitution and pain are vividly painted for us there…lots of the verses in Isaiah in that regard cross reference with Jerimiah as well…nice to hear you reference Isaiah…don’t hear many folks speaking of the book for other than prophetic material…

  • BrokenHearted…
    While I agree with your observation in theory, I have to say this… would you have met with CJ in person, knowing what Brent knows, knowing the tactics SGM leaders use in these situations? I think Brent was a very smart man to NOT meet with CJ face to face. I wouldn’t have, either. Just knowing what I know about “meetings” with SGM leaders and the spin that often comes out of those meetings… well, let’s just say that documentation and at least one impartial third party observer is always a good thing when dealing with these leaders. That is IF the whole truth, the REAL truth, being told is the goal. Remember, there is a history and a reputation that has to be considered… the whisper game is alive and well within the SGM leadership walls… except their whisper game begins and ends with spin and misrepresents the truth… I’m jus’ sayin’…

  • jedi

    polyjuice
    Something has to be done about this. There has to be an acknowledgement, restitution or something done about these charges. There are no words to describe the self control you must have. I ache with you, I truly do. For all of these testimonies here regarding abuse, we must do something.

    I have experienced the whole deal when it comes to trying to report abuse and the circular run around from caregroup leaders and pastors in how they “take care” of the situation. It is time for the church to wake up and take responsibility for one another and hold these men responsible and accountable for their apathy. They are disqualifying themselves all over the place. I would think it is a good idea to petition the pastors with a request for new policy on sexual abuse and present it to the members for their input. I am now personally aware of 6 abuses and no help provided for, or paid for by the organization clc,inc. This should stop immediately.

    Will you consider contacting me privately? You can ask Kris for my email address. I would love to share somethings with you. Kris can give you any information about me that you need.

    #11 exactly, sad as it is, and each one of those has ravaging effects on an individual! Look at the life of someone who lives like this?? Why didn’t I do something sooner? :cry:

  • Matt

    PolyJuice,

    You have to do what you have to do. But would you consider hearing another side before you contact the pastor(s) who had such a horrible, illegal response?

    when I was an elder (not sgm) and people brought things to me, I was not really concerned about them. Although I let them think I was. But in truth, I was concerned about the image of the church. I saw my position as one to protect the overall image. Of course I did not tell them that. But that was just the way we thought. I used whatever I was told to help craft a strategy to protect our public image.

    Of course, savepeople don’t think that way so keep that in mind.

    My guess is that they are very concerned about all these tons of stories coming out. The problem they have is ‘who’ are these people. There are so many over so many years this can be tough to pinpoint.

    And I must assume they are preparing legal strategies right now just in case. I would hate to think hurting people would be used to help them develop winning legal strategies.

    If they cared, they would have tracked you down long ago to make it right. My opinion as a Born Again believer is that they are not worth the effort. But that is my opinion based on my experience in tracking down people I dealt with wrongly. They are the ones who need to be looking for you and coming clean. The fact they don’t (and did not for many others) says a lot.

    And I think, at this point, we are talking about hundreds of such stories as yours.

    Just another opinion to take into consideration.

  • BrokenHearted

    Polyjuice – if you are up for it I would SO recommend going to the pastors involved. I think even if they do not respond rightly (although I hope they would) I think it is cleansing and healing for our own souls to go back and say “Hey, this really hurt me (my family my child etc)” *HUG* It is VERY disconcerting to me that the “perp” was joking about being in a same sex relationship after having abused others that way. I know you want to protect your child’s identity, so don’t answer if you feel it would compromise that, but you mentioned you listened to the Fairfax family meeting – were/are y’all part of Fairfax? If so, I might have known you. :(

    I hate it that there are potentially SO many people who I interacted with who were hurting on such deep levels and I never knew. It’s not like I could have done anything, but I could have smiled, said “good morning”, hugged… tried to be a light in their day. :(

  • Sidney

    Poly Juice…I’m so sorry for your family. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Fellow Survivors who have been here for awhile: Do you see a new “normal” in stories of abuse? The new “normal” around here is related to sex abuse done to kids. Why is this the new “normal?” It’s overwhelming me. It’s not just run o’ the mill authoritarian abuse that we’re hearing about. We’re hearing about crimes. I’m glad that so many people find this to be a safe place to talk about what happened. I’m sick that it has to be this type of thing. What we’re talking about is NOT “church.” I don’t even know what to call it.

    To those of you who were affected by SGM church handling of sex crimes, I am praying for you every time the Lord brings you to mind. I’m sad to say, but I have this feeling that there are a lot more.

    In his fame, his power and his financial influence, CJ is able to thwart the Lord’s sifting. Only for a time. I don’t believe it will be for very long. God will not be mocked.

  • Sidney

    Brokenhearted,

    From reading the documents, it seemed like Brent wasn’t willing to speak in person with CJ until CJ provided something in writing. From what I gathered from the documents, talking in person was never fruitful and it always got away from the point. I don’t think that was an arbitrary decision on Brent’s part. I think it was after 30 years of not having success with that venue.

    Sidney

  • BrokenHearted

    Thanks Sidney – that makes sense :)

  • 5yearsin PDI

    PolyJ, thank you for sharing and I ask God to bring you deep comfort. I thought your post at the end of the last thread was very wise.

    One thing I have learned over the years is that weakness and wickedness can look very much the same, but over time, one will eventually repent and have remorse but the other will not. It is pretty much impossible to know that certain men years ago were inept and weak and fearful about jobs and under the spell, or if they were truly sociopathic( without conscience, without empathy).

    If the former, you may get a sincere apology stemming from deep regret. But they may be the latter, and if so, their response will be cold and very difficult to handle. I just want you to go in there prepared for the worst. I believe that some SGM leadership is truly sociopathic. The heartless disregard for children that seems to crop up over and over in the stories is classic.

  • Matt

    ” Do you see a new “normal” in stories of abuse? The new “normal” around here is related to sex abuse done to kids. Why is this the new “normal?” It’s overwhelming me. It’s not just run o’ the mill authoritarian abuse that we’re hearing about. We’re hearing about crimes. I’m glad that so many people find this to be a safe place to talk about what happened. I’m sick that it has to be this type of thing. What we’re talking about is NOT “church.” I don’t even know what to call it. ”

    I see this, too, in sgm circles. And this is why going back to them gives the impression you all think it is normal, too. You legitmize who they are and what they have done without realizing it. Why? These are crimes tha were not reported. Crimes against the state that the church dealt with instead. This is the sort of thing one expects from the Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses. Cults protect predators.

    Every contact becomes legal in nature and a possible defense for the pastors when others do decide to file charges. I would dicuss this with a criminal attorney before I ever talked with any of them again. The guilty pastors can actually claim you sought reconcilation with them no matter how much you protest. If you must go, take an attorney to witness everything said. All you are going to get are crocodile tears, anyway.

    Don’t help protect those who protect predators. Please.

    Going back will not protect future victims. That is the problem. You are not dealing with pastors who care about you. You might feel better doing it but think of future and current victims. Don’t be fooled by generic policies they have put in place. We are talking about their conviction of what they did in the past to so many. There is none and that is a huge flag. There are some here that still actually think there is hope for these pastors. i say unless there is some road to Damascus experience, it is not happening. In fact, I see a lot of focus on them instead of past and future victims. Shake the dust from your feet and move on to help the past victims and future ones. Forget about these pastors ‘seeing the light’ and give them over.

    All actions now must have the future in mind. And protecting more children.

    I am just giving another view based on my experience with how these charlatans think as one of them in the past. Beware of listening to your feelings. This is serious stuff. Don’t make it harder for those who seek a more legal strategy with those who protect predators.

    stop helping to “normalize” this. In fact, going to the media would be wiser and would do more to protect future victims.

  • Leo

    Polyjuice – I am so sorry about what happened to you! You and you family have my support. I am glad you have found some support here and I am sorry that your story is not just one of the many, many cases of child rape in SGM and how the cult leaders swept it under the rug.

    There does not need to be “reconciliation” but restitution for the cult’s actions!!!!

  • happymom

    Polyjuice,

    I am so very sorry about what happened to your family. I hope posting your story has helped in some way. My heart breaks each time I hear another story of abuse and please know I am praying for you all.

  • sgmnot

    PolyJuice — My heart is truly weeping for you and your child. And will pray for your child. I deeply respect you for you courage in coming forward on this forum to tell your story. Our testimonies, bringing the SGM secrets out of the dark and into the light, will either convict those involved and responsible, or if not be a catalyst for God’s people to rise up and leave that organization, and thereby bring about God’s righteous judgement on these leaders for their gross negligence in the duties as His ministers. Thank you for your courage, may God strengthen you and heal you and your child.

  • jedi

    matt 23
    I am hoping that after everything you just said you did as an elder, that you are no longer an elder? You said “saved people” don’t think this way? That is a pretty broad statement. Are you still and elder somewhere?

    Also, if the pastors are having such a difficult time because there are so many reported abuses, how will they locate her or even remember her story?

    I know there are time limitations on when legal action can be taken. These are not light matters we are discussing that can just be “overlooked” until they decide to come and find her. This is something that should be brought to their attention immediately. Once a person wakes up from the “fog” they were in, and they begin to realize what was done is Wrong and should never have occurred. They should go!! It is the wrong dispite the timeframe of when it took place.

    Legally she may not be entitled to resitution without a battle, but the church should always honor the truth. IWhat they did is wrong regardless of the timeline. These pastors need to be held accountable for the things they do. If we don’t go, and they don’t come to find us…. they will just continue to do damage over and over again. You said yourself “hundreds of stories” of abuse, that we should just overlook because they are preparing Legal strategies??

    What you are saying is not an opinion I would listen to.

  • jedi

    oops I meant Matt #24

  • Sidney

    And a comment about Josh H.

    I went back to the July 10 sermon of Josh. He said (around 6:40 mins) “This is unavoidable. Our church and our entire denomination is being publicly spanked. We are being humiliated. We are being brought low.”

    The things he said in the first CLC sermon and some of the family meetings following are diametrically opposed to what Dave and his cronies are saying today.

    I’m a little nervous for Josh’s job security right about now. What most people don’t realize is that Josh has a boss. He sits at SGM corporate.

    I wonder if he’ll come into line and obey his leaders at SGM or if he will stand by what he originally said was from God.

    I am praying for Josh. I hope he can stand firm. Nobody before him has been able to…..

    Brent is the perfect example. He helped found the organization. He came up against CJ and didn’t roll over. Look where that got him. (Dave H did roll over and come into line when the heat was hot enough…look where that got him.)

  • Sidney

    (Maybe that should be a block quote.) :)

    I believe that unless Josh publicly apologizes and retracts these statements, they will come back to bite him to the ruin of his entire ministry.

    “This is unavoidable. Our church and our entire denomination is being publicly spanked. We are being humiliated. We are being brought low.”

  • exCLCer

    PolyJuice – my heart goes out to you and all you and your family have been through. You will find many people here who truly understand the magnitude of it all.

    Jedi – I think what Matt was getting at is that its highly unlikely these pastors arent “aware” of the many things theyve done, and at this point have numerous stories coming out to remind them in case they did forget. “going to them” seems (at least to me) what they would prefer, giving themselves an opportunity to explain or justify what they have done, or at the very least, even if a real apology was offered, they would use the personal meeting as a form of damage control ….(“we met, we apologized, we are forgiven, its over, get over it, dont talk about it anymore”.) That would just continue the practice of secrecy and covering which has gone on for so long. Im at the point where its not the pastors who need to be told (they KNOW)…its all the people thya do not want to find out, essentially trying to keep a congregation in the dark because it furthers their ability to control and their agenda for power and praise. I for one had a taste of their first response after years of reminding them…..dont forget their initial response was one of wanting to “explain”, one of insinuating I had “misunderstandings” and they were the ones who could “fill in the gaps” where I must be wrong. Also they insinuated that we could meet if I thought it would help in MY healing….. fortunately I know I am not the one who needs “healing” because Im not the sick one here. Clearly they must think theres something wrong with ME, and if talking with them would help them fix ME they would be open to it. Pretty arrogant and presuming if you ask me. Their time IMO opinion would be better spend getting the help THEY need to FIX THEM and their system. So I wait for a sign that they have put practical measures in place that would FIX their sickness, and havent seen that yet. Theres nothing they can tell me that would make me believe they are sorry or make me believe they are changing, without also seeing the practical measures implemented to make sure these abuses STOP NOW.

  • jedi

    Sidney
    Josh has had much resistance from the start hasn’t he? He definately needs our prayers.

    I hope Joshua does not follow CJ’s example and say, “what I meant to say is that”….

  • seeking truth

    Polyjuice, It is horrible how so many of the pastors at sgm churches treat families that have been victimized by others in the church. There is no excuse for their foolish counsel.It makes me mad that they pretend to care for the people in their churches but when it really comes down to it in a lot of cases it would appear,it’s just about the the organization they are trying to protect.I witnessed terrible counsel given to the victims of a sexual abuse case that occured just a couple years ago where we attended our sgm church that we are no longer apart of.I have been outraged to see how wide spread this problem really is throughout sgm.Something must be done! I am so sorry for what your family has been through!!

  • jedi

    exclcer
    Thanks for clarifying, I agree with you. And if that is what Matt is saying I missed that, sorry. So what can be done? What can people actually do to stop this? What if we go to them with our requests / demands of them? Do not go for reconcilliation, or for getting some sort of verbal forgiveness or help from them now. We know they do not do that. So the next step is to say, this is what I need from You pastors.

    A public declaration to the church that there have been no policies in place to protect those who have been abused. For you to tell the church, that you were wrong and have hurt those who have come to you for help. Request that they put into place a policy and they will submit it to the members. What about something like that? And if they refuse, then go to the courts. List your grievances, tell them what it is you want, and treat them as the business organization that they are.

    It just seems like, if we don’t go to them. They dont come to us. nothing changes….

  • exCLCer

    Yes Jedi, you get it exactly, as far as Im concerned.

    My ideal wish would be that the church/churches SGM, in their entirety, go before their church members and publicly and clearly and unequivocally tell them there have been grievous mishandlings on their part with sexual abuse cases in their midst. They would present a written policy that they would commit to adhering to, and which outlines exactly how they would handle reported sexual abuses, including calling appropriate legal authorities immediately, encouraging professional services be used where needed (real counseling, legal recourse, etc) and also publicly announce their desire to be of compassionate support for families and victims. They would encourage publicly, the parent to talk to their children about the dangers of sexual abuse and to let the children and parents know there is a zero tolerance policy for abuse. They would tell the entire church that they are not going to be a hiding place for abusers and perps and that even if just to “help them”(perps) they will alert their congregations of their presence. They would tell the congregation that even if the law is a little ambiguous about their being mandated required reporters, they will of their own accord and character from now on consider themselves required mandated reporters of abuse, out of good character. But alas, this will not happen Im sure. Even though after the years of reported abuses came to light in the catholic churches, they have openly made statements in their congregations encouraging parishioners to seek justice where wrongs and abuses have been committed, other churches like SGM are still in cover up mode. I hope it doesnt take hundreds of more victims to force them to do the same.

  • NLR

    Thinking…

    Considering that some of us see that this has been an identifiable pattern and that MOST, but not all, of the perpetrators still attend these or other SGM congregations, and considering much about the culture is somewhat the same as far as their views on sharing info:

    1. Do you think there are far more people than we know that this has happened to?

    2. Would it be a stretch to consider deeply that it’s highly probable that this is STILL happening to people? Afterall, nothing has changed systemically to report, curtail abuse and out the predators to tge congregation.

    3. Are others in imminent danger because this has not been thoroughly exposed system wide and in the larger media?

    4. How can and why should anybody in the current congregations trust ANYBODY with their kids??! I coulnt let my child go to childcare or tge bathroom alone, or anywhere that I was not present. There is nothing to tell us that this is NOT currently happening.

  • Yellow is a Happy Color

    ExClcer and others, you are so right. SGM/CLC needs a policy in place that is transparent to all church members. It needs to be radically different from what was done in the past!

    –transparent to families/members
    –clear support and compassion of victims and their families
    –full complianace to the law in reporting
    –public identification of perpetrators to the congregation

  • Phoenix

    Polyjuice (first HP reference I’ve seen here and I love it), I’ve realized that posting my satiric glossary without acknowledging your story was a lttle insensitive. I’m sorry. I know how unnecessarily harmful the silencing of victims (and perps, for that matter) is. It deprives them of desperately needed support and comfort and damages their close relationships. As the person to whom a mother first confessed her son’s molestation of a mutual friend’s baby daughter; I was harshly silenced myself along with both victim’s and perp’s families. It hurts. Thank you for having the courage to share your story and welcome. Many here can testify that posting here has been part of the healing process. For you (and others who have newly posted their stories) I repost this.

    ‘A very familiar story very freely paraphrased

    ….who is my neighbor?”
    On their journey a family was attacked by fellow travelers they had trusted. They were reviled, persecuted, robbed, and left by the road. A pastor happened to be going down the road, and when he saw the family, he passed by on the other side, reviling them as he went. So too, a man called apostle, when he came to the place and saw them, passed by on the other side, stopping his ears to their moans. And thirdly, a Canis Major Reformer looked away and hurried by. But some bloggers, as they traveled on their own journeys, came where the family was; and when they saw them, they took pity on them. They went to them, heard their cries, dried their tears, and bandaged their wounds; pouring on oil and wine. Then they offered the family a sheltered place and cared for them. And they did not forget the family, but carried them in their hearts, speaking of them and praying for them often. Which of these do you think were neighbors to the family?
    And the questioner replied, “The ones who had mercy on them.”
    Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” ‘

  • Remnant

    Polyjuice – you are precious in the eyes of the Lord, as is your child. I weep with you, dear sister, over the pain you have experienced.

    I feel it important to note that those who made agreements with pastors during the immediate time of duress are under no spiritual obligation to keep those agreements which were made while “drinking the kool aid.” Now that you are no longer under the fog, under the “authority”, under pressure, under false impressions, it is perfectly fine to reconsider your past agreements and to make new decisions borne of what you want to do today. You are permitted to reconsider.

    It might be important for adult children, who were victims in childhood, to revisit the abuse legally. There may be healing for them in knowing that they are able to be proactive. Perhaps knowing that they can get legal recourse would help them feel empowered and less victimized (by SGM). Perhaps knowing that the legal system is not going to roll over for SGM might help put their life on a balanced scale. Perhaps.

    Perhaps, too, these victims and victimized families can work together to bring a case against this evil machine run by men who don’t give a D**n for anyone or anything that might affect their paycheck.

    The horrible testimonies keep piling up. I don’t know how any parent can send a child to SGM with any confidence that they are safe from known sexual abusers. Shame on SGM. Shame on you men for your wickedness. How will you defend your actions on the day you stand before a Holy God? (And you think we will be surrounding you thanking God for you???? You guys are sadly deceived and totally crazy.)

  • Irv

    Seeking the city to come –

    I could be wrong but CJ’s willingness to step down comes off to me as a CJ/SGM control mechanism. It is just my opinion but I would say that CJ knew the board would insist he stay on. The gesture, however, would certainly register him high on the humility meter (he wrote the book). If he felt he was disqualified or that he sincerely felt that he should step down, he would have. CJ does have a penchant for acclamation and he uses or manipulates (as does SGM in general) false humility to satisfy that need.

    Ultimately, CJ does what CJ wants to do. And the Brent papers would confirm that and those that know him. Although he would not be considered brilliant with respects to theology, he is brilliant in understanding men and how to get what he wants done for the most part. Just take a look at who are still around that those who are not.

  • DB

    I have noticed a trend, at least I think a trend.

    The early abuse cases had the involved pastor scrambling to cover things up in panic mode.

    Disturbingly, Polyjuice’s case features pastors that seem to be following a script including a written apology on the perp’s part.

    This is disturbing and suggests that what we know is the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

    And, with respect to single women being in houseolds with married couples as domestics and young women as baby ovens for childless couples, has anyone else read The Handmaiden’s Tale? There are some eerie similarities. (it is set in a dystopia in which patriarchal Christians have control of the government.)

  • Matt

    “matt 23
    I am hoping that after everything you just said you did as an elder, that you are no longer an elder? You said “saved people” don’t think this way? That is a pretty broad statement. Are you still and elder somewhere?”

    > I am not an elder in an institution anymore. I got saved out of the institution which exists to benefit itself and those who run it. I wish more could see that.

    I hope and pray to be an “elder” in it’s true definition which is the “spiritually mature”. I am getting there. But no one is ever to look to me as a leader ever again. I point to Christ. But I do have some insight into how the institution thinks and operates. I see lots of similarities in how SGM works as it is indicative in most institutions that focus on authority of leaders. You find this in seeker churches,too. They are just more positive and sins are mistakes there. Still, it is all about the leaders as God’s chosen. It is all about maintaining and growing the system and not the people.

    “Also, if the pastors are having such a difficult time because there are so many reported abuses, how will they locate her or even remember her story?”

    The Holy Spirit convicts. It took me 8 mos to track one woman down who was fired for “embarassing her boss” in a meeting because she dared to express an opinion that having a staff retreat in a sports bar was not a good idea. Those things happened all the time. I had even forgotten her name. it took me months to remember her name. You may not realize it but when one is fired from a church job, they do not even have unemployment to fall back on. Most churches do not participate in the system. And none are under any federal or state labor laws.

    Has any SGM pastor or care leader been convicted to find a victim in all those years? Can you point to any? Can you point to pastors who stepped down and found their victims of excommunication or the ones who protected predators? I am just curious.

    Or did they leave because they were no longer team players and degifted? I don’t know, I am asking.

    Even Brent is more concerned with CJ than he is with how people were treated. He still does not see the bigger problem of SGM. It is all about the leaders.

    “I know there are time limitations on when legal action can be taken. These are not light matters we are discussing that can just be “overlooked” until they decide to come and find her. This is something that should be brought to their attention immediately. Once a person wakes up from the “fog” they were in, and they begin to realize what was done is Wrong and should never have occurred. They should go!! It is the wrong dispite the timeframe of when it took place.”

    You and I are on different pages. ExCLC’er gets it. Go back and read her post. They know what was done is wrong and they know…..these blogs exist and I can promise you they have read them. Therefore your description of a “fog” is just an excuse for them. They know it was wrong. They do not care. And ignorance of the criminal law is no excuse in court.

    They protected criminals. You still see them as people who just need to be shown they were wrong. Yet, they are the spiritual leaders? I don’t get that thinking but see it a lot here. That thinking acutally helps to protect them. Gives them a credibility they do not deserve.

    If someone decides they must go them about it, then I am saying, take precautions. Make sure they cannot claim it was reconcilation or use it to focus on YOUR healing as if they helped you..once again. AFter all, most victims did not call the authorities at first but went along. Even those that did call, went along at some point in how it was dealt with. They allowed the pastors to define the process. I understand that and am not making judgements. By why continue in that way with all we know?

    Their spin and the action in going to them unprotected gives them legal cover. These are slick people who know what they are doing and have been trained to see themselves as your authority in any venue. And by going to them without any protection or witnesses (like a lawyer or neutral party) you are agreeing they are the authority, in effect. Quit giving them any credibility.

    “Legally she may not be entitled to resitution without a battle, but the church should always honor the truth.”

    You are still assuming they are a “church”. A true ekklesia. I think you are wrong there. I realize I am in the minority of that view. But the Holy Spirit does not reside where predators are protected. That, I can claim with all sincerity. I am very disappointed that others cannot see that. And yes, I paint with a broad brush. We have proof this problem is systematic.

    ” These pastors need to be held accountable for the things they do. If we don’t go, and they don’t come to find us…. they will just continue to do damage over and over again. You said yourself “hundreds of stories” of abuse, that we should just overlook because they are preparing Legal strategies??

    So, others have gone to them and what did it accomplish to hold them accountable and protect future victims? Not one thing. what has any of the latest in publicly outing CJ done to protect future victims? Nothing was mentioned in Brent’s documents about all the stories here of protecting predators. Al Mohler could have read the blogs and been concerned. He wasn’t. He provided cover for CJ. Same with the panel and all the others providing cover for CJ.

    But YOU think YOU and others who have been victimized are going to change their hearts? their hearts are hard. Can you not see that?

    In fact, I predict it will be worse in many ways. Predators are protected in the SBC, too. SGM will just get better at it. Now, they must protect their image at all costs.

    They might even call the authorities now and then go to court to give character witness for the predator and beg for leinency. This is how it is handled in the SBC in most cases.

    “What you are saying is not an opinion I would listen to.”

    That is ok. You are not obliged to. but you and others are under some delusion you are dealing with Christians who see predators as experimenting with toddlers and young children. Can you really believe agree with that? Can that thinking co exist with the indwelling Holy Spirit? I am just trying to bring a reality check to the picture.

  • Irv

    Matt

    Absolutely correct!! Cowardice (and embarrassment)

    SGM and CJ as a whole don’t think they are doing that bad or have done anything really wrong. I am a proponent of not listening to what people say but what do they do. I don’t believe that SGM and CJ feel that have done anything really wrong that hasn’t already been fixed or in the process of making some minor adjustments to how they do business.

    Major problem is they are driven so much by their ideologies they don’t see anything else. So their ideologies are more important than people and anyone who opposes their ideologies are unneeded, unwanted and unnecessary noise. The heart breaking stories on this blog are evidence enough. These men know these stories but the people are less important than upholding their ideologies.

    I would contend with CJ, if the finding of the preliminary board is correct and he is using this season to address the accusations made by former over the last few years as he said, then there is no reason why he can’t hold his head up high at CLC.