Anon’s Story

In the comments of yesterday’s post about C.J. Mahaney’s guidelines for watching the Super Bowl (no, I’m not joking, he really did write lengthy instructions for how to have proper fellowship and keep from sinning on game day by changing the channel to C-SPAN during commercials!), someone using the handle of “Anon” posted the following:

I’m just going to share a little story and some minor commentary at the end.

One Superbowl Sunday, I was at a prominent SGM (then PDI) member’s house. There were dozens of others in attendance, lots of teens and younger adults. Remote controlling and commercial censoring were in full effect, snacks were in abundance, and everything was so biblical…as biblical as recently invented sports events centered around electronic devices can be. During a commercial break, I was sexually assaulted against an exterior wall of that house.

I was thirteen.

Not a single one of those appointed to ‘watch over’ anything, much less my soul, noticed a thing when I and the perpetrator went back inside the house. I doubt it would have mattered anyway. My family was in the outer circle, despite decades of $$$ and attendance. I started “rebelling” thereafter and refused to attend any church functions, and my parents surprisingly didn’t seem to mind (despite them not knowing the reasons for my rebellion). They severed ties with PDI/SGM 2 years later.

Why bring this up? I think it’s quite telling that despite the micromanagement of ‘biblical living’, horrible things have not only slipped under the radar of those ‘caring for our souls’ (etc., barf) but have been actively hidden, squashed, silenced. The pending lawsuit is long-deserved. I hope it ruins the entire organization financially and every single perpetrator and co-conspirator financially, mentally and physically.

173 comments to Anon’s Story

  • Nickname

    Hope in Him, #168, said

    From what I understand, Chris and the pastors wrote a letter to SGM. They will not show the congregants the letter, but will share a synopsis if someone asks.

    If Hope in Him understands this correctly, this is disturbing. Why not share the letter in its entirety to the entire congregation without them having to ask? This is typical SGM behavior. Many times, after the dreaded family meetings where horrible things came to light, we were told not to discuss issues among ourselves, but to go to the pastors with any questions. We knew better than to go to the pastors with questions, because the response would be “you have a rebellious heart issue, because you do not trust your pastors.”

    If you’re in the Frederick church, ask for some answers. Ask for the synopsis AND a copy of the letter, and ask that it be distributed. And if you are answered with the “you don’t trust”, you can agree and say, “Of course I do not trust. You are fallible human beings just like everyone else, and you need to be honest and forthright with everyone involved, because you have the office of a pastor. In Christ alone I place my trust.” Just my two cents.

  • Moniker

    Hope in Him (#168) said: “From what I understand, Chris and the pastors wrote a letter to SGM. They will not show the congregants the letter, but will share a synopsis if someone asks.”

    Major red flag here! What are they hiding? What kind of elite group do these pastors think they are? Why anyone would remain in a “church” where the pastors would refuse to share this information with all the members is beyond me. Sounds like Chris & Co. are no different from CJ & Co.

  • turtle

    Chris Silard came from clc where he was as bad as the rest with sin sniffing and then condemning feedback.

  • “Hope in Him” said,

    Please, people responding to “Concerned Sibling”, be aware that just because you don’t know of any incidents, does not mean it has not happened. Is it typical of SGM culture to keep members blissfully unaware?

    From what I’ve observed, the answer to that question is “Absolutely!” I might be generalizing a little, but after everything I’ve learned, almost all of SGM’s dysfunction has flowed out of a desire to keep things looking as close to perfect as possible. Anything that could be construed to reflect negatively on the organization (or the individual congregation, or the pastors) is shared on a strictly need-to-know basis…and the rule of thumb seems to be that pretty much nobody needs to know anything negative…even if it might impact their own safety.

    So rest assured that if a church is still controlled by the pastors, with no formal mutual accountability and/or no formal congregational input, the pastors are still likely following the ways of the culture in which they were raised to leadership. One of the cornerestones of SGM culture is information control, particularly control of negative information.

    Just because you haven’t heard of it does NOT mean that it hasn’t happened. If any of your pastors were trained within SGM and had to subscribe to SGM’s rules for being recognized as possessing leadership qualities, it’s highly unlikely they’ve avoided the kinds of problems brought about by the SGM culture…and it’s highly unlikely they’ve been able to truly ditch the culture, especially if they are reluctant to speak out and repent of specific things that were wrong with the culture.

  • A Kindred Spirit

    Anon, I’m so very, very sorry for what you went through. I’ve been thinking about you a lot these past few days, and I pray for healing if you’re still in need of such.

    I really appreciate you sharing your story. Unfortunately, knowing the culture within churches like SGM, sexual abuse like yours happens frequently. There are others that have experienced similar. The young guys and girls are so messed up from all the sin-sniffing and extremes taught through purity, courtship, modesty, etc. that they’re dysfunctional when it comes to dealing with the natural attraction to the opposite sex and their own sexual development. God only knows how many teens have sexually abused those who are weaker. (Yes, I know it’s about “control issues,” as well, but it’s also about sexual dysfunction.) It’s all so sad and it makes me want to shake the parents that think they’re “protecting” their kids by bringing them up in such cultures.

    You then have pastors and leaders who believe biblical sex (marriage) is both preventive and curative, telling kids the “sexual feelings” they’re having are taboo and sinful and shouldn’t be “awakened” until they’re married. What’s a young teenage boy or girl supposed to think when they start feeling what’s natural in their development and they’re told it’s sinful?

    Anon, I’m certainly not excusing what your perpetrator did to you and I don’t know if he/she was a teen or young adult that came up within the system, or an older adult. I’m just saying that the culture produces such.

    A commenter once pointed out that with their rejection of secular psychology, it wouldn’t be surprising to find that these pastors/leaders believe pedophilia is just a sinful choice or temptation and not a disorder. That could be one of the reasons they try to handle so much of it “in-house” (that AND protecting their image).

    The lawsuit needs to be won to “stop the madness” and to educate all these “like-minded” pastors out there in conservative Christendom that they’re not qualified to deal with psychiatric disorders and criminal acts even though it all stems from a fallen world.

    Physical sickness entered the world through sin…I wonder how many people would trust these guys for a diagnosis and cure?

  • Hope in Him

    From what I understand, Chris and the pastors wrote a letter to SGM. They will not show the congregants the letter, but will share a synopsis if someone asks. To the best of my knowledge, their leadership team is not in unity regarding their involvement in SGM. They are on the fence. As far as issues of sexual abuse and neglect, yes it has happened there. To the best of my knowledge the incidents of sexual abuse did not happen on church grounds. I am aware of an incident of neglect that happened during the church service. A one-year-old got a head injury. If was dealt with passively, no one called 911 despite the child having a laceration on her face and significant external swelling in two places on her forehead. Within three days the parents were asked not to talk about it by an assistant care group leader. (The primary issue became the image of the church and not the one-year-old with a head injury.) No one in the room was able to explain how the child got injured, because they were not watching her. Maybe that is why no one called 911? Imagine not having answers for first responders.
    Please, people responding to “Concerned Sibling”, be aware that just because you don’t know of any incidents, does not mean it has not happened. Is it typical of SGM culture to keep members blissfully unaware?

  • Misseditbythatmuch

    Thank you Presbyterian. Do you happen to know if this law was in effect in the 80’s? If I understand it correctly- the teachers at both of these schools would have been required to report abuse that they are aware of, but it looks like the pastors would not have been required if it was confessed to them by a perpetrator while they were in a professional capacity as a minister. I’m trying to understand why the parents and others who knew of the abuse did not report it to the authorities. I know there was a culture of distrust towards authorities at the time (concerning fear over homeschooling/spanking/etc.), and a culture of ultimate trust towards pastoral authority.

  • Diego

    Why then do they continue to support the SGM cult. SG Frederick members should be encouraging their pastors to leave. They may not yet be showing outward signs of illness, but as a cancer is present in a body, it does spread and eventually kill the body.

  • (formerly)Anon

    Hi Kris and everyone,

    I used to post here as Anon, but I’m not the “Anon” in this story. Someone brought this post to my attention and I just wanted to clarify that we are not the same person. I outed myself (shared some identifying specifics of our story) last November or so here, and some may remember, so I just wanted to clarify if there is any doubt or confusion.

  • yentl

    I have three good friends who go to the Frederick church. Two are from CLC and are keeping an eye on these issues. One I knew through other circles. I hear good things about their church. They say most of the pastors and many of the members have experience in other denominations and it just doesn’t really have that SGM culture to it. The people are evangelistic and outward. The pastors aren’t afraid to think for themselves and are involving the members in evaluating things.

  • presbyterian

    Re:140 reporting rules in md

    Maryland’s reporting rules are according to

    Professionals Required to Report
    Fam. Law § 5-704
    Persons required to report include:
    • Health practitioners
    • Educators or human service workers
    • Police officers
    Reporting by Other Persons
    Fam. Law § 5-705
    Any other person who has reason to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect must report.
    An individual may notify the local department or the appropriate law enforcement agency if the individual has reason to believe that a parent, guardian, or caregiver of a child allows the child to reside with or be in the regular presence of an individual, other than the child’s parent or guardian, who is registered as a child sex offender and, based on additional information, poses a substantial risk of sexual abuse to the child.
    Standards for Making a Report
    Fam. Law §§ 5-704; 5-705
    A mandatory reporter is required to report when, acting in a professional capacity, the person has reason to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect. Other persons shall report when they have reason to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect.
    Privileged Communications
    Fam. Law §§ 5-704; 5-705
    Mandatory reporters are required to report regardless of any other provision of law, including any law on privileged communications.
    Only attorney-client and clergy-penitent privileges are permitted.
    Inclusion of Reporter’s Name in Report
    The reporter is not specifically required by statute to provide his or her name in the report.
    Disclosure of Reporter Identity
    This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

    The related privelaged reports laws are:
    Md. Code Ann. Fam. Law § 5-705(a)(1), (a)(3) (LexisNexis through 4-23-12)
    Except as provided below, notwithstanding any other provision of law, including a law on privileged communications,a person other than a health practitioner, police officer, or educator or human service worker who has reason to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect shall notify the local department or the appropriate law enforcement
    A minister of the gospel, clergy member, or priest of an established church of any denomination is not required to provide notice [when they have reason to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect] if the notice would disclose matter in relation to any communication that is protected by the clergy-penitent privilege and:
    • The communication was made to the minister, clergy member, or priest in a professional character in the course of discipline enjoined by the church to which the minister, clergy member, or priest belongs.
    • The minister, clergy member, or priest is bound to maintain the confidentiality of that communication under canon law, church doctrine, or practice.

    So essentially there is limited clergy privilege if they here something in confession or their church rules does not allow them to report. However all the teachers, and school administrators would be required to report.

  • Hope in Him

    I am so glad that the middle school kids need to checked in. They need to be monitored. Why do they need a special class during the service? I am pretty sure it was a middle school aged child who was caught by the mom of a toddler sexually assaulting the child. There were other incidents as well involving this specific middle school aged child and other younger children in the church.

  • KWIM

    Mary and Concerned Sibling,
    The Frederick church has had no reports of any abuse that I am aware of. Mary, yes you are correct Frederick was planted out of CLC. Then again most east coast SGM churches were CLC products. However Chris Silard is not your typical SGM pastor. Chris’s wife Marie, works outside of the home as nurse. No he did not sign the Fairfax letter. Chris wrote his own letter to SGM. From what I know Chris has meet with CLC, and Fairfax pastors. I wouldn’t be surprised to see these 3 churches working closely together with other local churches.
    Concerned, The Frederick church is not a bad church. I, like you, have family in that church. To be honest I think your sibling is fine. If they werent ok I would tell you. However keep praying for her/him.

  • James

    Concerned Sibling,

    I’m a member of the Frederick church. The only thing fishy I’ve seen recently is that they now require the middle school class to be “checked in” just like all of the other children’s ministry classes. Shoot me an email,

  • Ozymandias

    As I believe has been mentioned, Gallifant also has an administrative role at SGC Louisville, as you can also see from the references to @Gallifant and Caleb in Brian Chesemore’s Twitter feed:

    J. Mack Stiles preached at SGCL last weekend. He’s with Redeemer Dubai and is 9 Marks/Dever/CHBC-connected; he also has long-standing connections with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship – though has some hesitancy about the so-called “liberalizing” tendencies of that organization — see His son, Tristan, was involved with the split of InterVarsity’s chapter at George Washington University — That split is now known as Campus Outreach and is centered at Dever’s church:

  • Mary

    Concerned Sibling – I don’t know how SGM Frederick is doing. But, I can tell you the leadership came from long time CLC’ers that would follow the same sin-sniffing and controlling actions all in the name of thinking they are leading people to walk in holiness–because they themselves are sucked into the SGM culture. If your sibling is pulling away from family, having less time for you all, has lost their joy, putting the church constantly before family, I would be very concerned. At any rate being concerned is wonderful. You are a good sibling if you are taking the time to read here. Reading and posting here tells me your gut already knows something is wrong. Trust your gut no matter what your sibling says. When you get sucked into these people’s control – you just can’t see clearly. Go with your gut! You have reason to be concerned. Good job on being a caring sibling.

  • Terry

    @ Persona – PC pumps out the “Manchurian” drones don’t they…good grief

  • Persona

    Caleb Gallifant is the 2013 Pastor’s College candidate representing Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville, KY. He is undoubtedly a new member but, one who has already learned to defend his boss.

  • Help4Abused

    For anyone abused by Nathaniel (Nate) Morales, contact Detective Sally Magee at 240.773.5429.

  • Oswald

    Just wondering…is C Gallifant an SGM person or is he just a sideline ‘cheerleader’? He isn’t very well informed. He needs a history lesson, among other things.

  • Thank you, Nickname and Terry. I read a lot of personal stories (very similar to SGM). I cry. I get angry. And then I blog and tweet. I’m angry about abuse. I’ve seen the destruction in my own family and friends. It’s very personal for me.

  • Terry

    Julie Ann – I just got through reading “paulspassingthoughts” and came across your link. Just want to thank you for “sounding the bullhorn”…mine falls on a lot of deaf ears regarding everything mentioned above…but I press I pray the hard work of you, Kris, and many others will prevail and sit CJ’s a@s in the pews with the ex-pastors he has thrown under the bus and looking for “secular” jobs to feed their families and pay their mortgages once and for all.

  • NIckname

    @Julie Anne: You’ve got more guts than the entire collective SGM pastorate. Imagine, speaking up to the Greatest Athlete in the Room — the few pastors that ever tried it found themselves flying planeloads of rubber dog excrement out of Hong Kong.