Suspected Covenant Life Church Member Does His Church Proud

By | April 5, 2016

Over the past few weeks, I have been hearing from several Covenant Life Church faithful. One common trait I have noticed is that critical thinking is not their strong point.

I do not mean to tarnish all members of Covenant Life Church, because I know a few bright individuals who, for valid reasons, have remained, even while approximately two-thousand members have fled for safer, saner churches.

But the Kool-Aid swilling loyalists who have of late been defending Covenant Life Church in front of Maryland Senators, radio talk shows and on blogs such as mine, make me wonder if perhaps George W. Bush may have some distant relatives in the D.C. area!

 

Sunday evening, April 3 Mark Mitchell reportedly held a damage control informational question and answer meeting for Covenant Life Church members. According to reports I heard, there were about seventy people in attendance. Again, I think most members who care about children being molested have already left the church, the rest are largely apathetic. The small segment of loyal foot-soldiers who believe CLC pastors are innocent of all charges, along with the 20 or so pastors and their wives  still on staff probably comprised the majority of those in attendance.

It would be interesting to know what was said at the meeting.  One might wonder if Covenant Life Church will be going through their files in an attempt to determine everyone who has had a child in a class taught by Larry Caffery so that they can be alerted to the possibility that their child may have been molested.  That would be the right thing to do, but the action has the potential of exposing CLC to additional lawsuits, so I’m guessing they won’t be pursuing that course of action. Covenant Life pastors probably don’t have the time for that; as Mark Mitchell told us on the Kojo Nnamdi radio program, pastoral staff only had time to give Larry Caffery’s book a cursory reading, so they claim they never saw the part where Caffery was praying to God that he would not have any daughters because he was afraid he would sexually abuse them.  I should add it took me two or three hours to read the entire book.  Nothing “fell through the cracks” when I read it.  I saw one danger flag after another.  One would think a professionally trained pastor would have seen the same, even with a cursory reading. But no, Larry Caffery was allowed to work with children in the church that has one of the most robust child protection plans in place.

And Mark Mitchell was quick to claim that none of the crimes Caffery is charged with took place on church property. Undoubtedly this is true.  The question Mitchell and the other pastors must hate to contemplate is did Caffery have other victims?  I just came across a stat on child sexual abuse yesterday that said on average a pedophile abuses 150 boys prior to being caught, or 50 girls prior to being caught.  So while no victims have yet come forward from amongst Covenant Life members, odds are there are others out there who have been victimized by Caffery.

So on with my story.  I would guess part of what Mark Mitchell discussed with his 70 members last Sunday evening was those evil “watchdog blogs. I have noticed an increase of comments by CLC defenders the last two days. I want to highlight one individual in particular.  Perhaps this person suffers from multiple personality disorder because he/she wrote seven comments.  They were all under different names but came from the same IP address. Many of the email addresses were false, non-existent accounts.  While I realize many CLC members would not resort to this type of behavior, and would probably even denounce it, I think it is indicative of the mindset of those who still strongly support CLC and profess their innocence.

I should say that I don’t suffer fools gladly.  I have, up to this point in time, allowed all comments submitted to my blog to be published.  My nature is to never silence discussion, positive or negative of me, Janna, or the subject matter.  I was even going to let the first few comments from this fool stand, without me mentioning I knew they were from the same individual, but as the comments continued to roll in I entered a discussion with my blog moderator, Janna, and we decided together to change our policy.  Janna is working on an official policy statement, but I will state that we reserve the right not to post lazy one-liner ad hominem attacks and  insist that comments pertain to the subject of an article. I understand people may wish to remain anonymous and therefore not use their real name, but if you are using a false email address we may not publish your comment.  Many of our readers have told us they appreciate the tenor of most comments on this blog and we hope to maintain the flavor of well thought-out responses devoid of incendiary arguments.

That said, below are the multiple comments I received from the same person.  While I cannot state for certain this individual is a member of Covenant Life Church, it would appear he/she is.

2016-04-05 Love Savior - same author

 

 

Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

lovethecross@yahoo.com

Technical details of permanent failure:
Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the server for the recipient domain yahoo.com by mta5.am0.yahoodns.net. [98.136.217.202].

The error that the other server returned was:
554 delivery error: dd Sorry your message to lovethecross@yahoo.com cannot be delivered. This account has been disabled or discontinued [#102]. – mta1363.mail.gq1.yahoo.com

 

2016-04-05 Melissa - same

 

2016-04-05 Steve - same

 

Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

steve_morton@gmail.com

Technical details of permanent failure:
Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the server for the recipient domain gmail.com by gmail-smtp-in.l.google.com. [2a00:1450:400c:c0b::1b].

The error that the other server returned was:
550-5.1.1 The email account that you tried to reach does not exist. Please try
550-5.1.1 double-checking the recipient’s email address for typos or
550-5.1.1 unnecessary spaces. Learn more at
550 5.1.1  https://support.google.com/mail/answer/6596 z130si6365008wmb.37 – gsmtp

 

2016-04-05 Elisabeth-same

 

 

2016-04-05 Larry - same

 

 

2016-04-05 Your Friend - same

 

2016-04-05 CLJ - same

 

Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

savedbyman@yahoo.com

Technical details of permanent failure:
Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the server for the recipient domain yahoo.com by mta7.am0.yahoodns.net. [98.138.112.33].

The error that the other server returned was:
554 delivery error: dd This user doesn’t have a yahoo.com account (savedbyman@yahoo.com) [0] – mta1116.mail.ne1.yahoo.com

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Law Prof

People can be astoundingly ignorant of the U.S. Constitution.

Whether you decide to completely shut down comments or allow any comment of any nature, it would have nothing to do with free speech in a constitutional sense. The First Amendment protects private citizens, and to a more limited extent, corporations, from having their speech wrongfully restricted by the government, not another private party or blogger. Bloggers may do as they wish with comments. The First Amendment has absolutely zero to do with a private blog deciding what’s appropriate for the comments section, or whether to even permit comments; you have free speech right to do as you wish with comments.

Thanks, Law Prof!

My understanding of the legal aspects of the concept of free speech has always been the same as yours, but thank you for explaining the law in such a detailed manner. What’s also astounding is that members of Covenant Life Church are accusing bloggers of denying people they disagree with the right to comment on a blog’s post, even though Covenant Life Church has not allowed members of the public to comment on any of its recent blog posts.

In particular, the recent statement in which Pastor Mark Mitchell essentially calls all the victims and alleged victims of sexual abuse enabled by Covenant Life Church liars, is closed to comments.

Apparently what’s good for the goose is not good for the gander. Thanks again for the comment. Janna

Hello Readers:

The person who is the subject of the post above has accused Thou Art The Man of changing its comment policies and is claiming that we won’t post comments from people who disagree with us. That’s very interesting given that this person claims to be a member of Covenant Life Church, which is presently saying that “comments are closed” on the blog post in which Pastor Mark Mitchell viciously attacks all sexual abuse victims of CLC, including those whose allegations are now directly or indirectly backed up by criminal convictions.

Please understand that creating confusion about our comment guidelines is not our intention and we are not obligated to post comments of any kind, of course, even though we welcome feedback about our articles.

Both the owner and moderator of his blog are being forced to implement quality standards for the comments we approve because Thou Art The Man is being attacked by trolls for the first time in its 4+ years of existence. We had a good “troll-free run” that has unfortunately come to an end.

Furthermore, I think that the comments we have allowed to remain on the blog indicate that we are more than happy to hear from people who wish to express a variety of opinions about the issues pertaining to the sexual abuse controversies which Covenant Life Church and other Churches are presently involved with.

In addition, there are hundreds of blogs that are willing to post comments consisting of little more than vicious personal attacks. If that’s the type of thing you want to write, there are many posting options available to you elsewhere.

Lastly, people who wish to have an unfiltered way of expressing their feelings about any subject can start their own blogs at little or not cost.

Thanks for understanding Thou Art The Man’s positions on the subjects above.

Best, Janna

Ah, the joy of controversy. Or what people think is controversy, and procede to get all upset about.

I’ve been blogging for years, and have had an amazing assortment of trolls rise out of the depths whenever I post about something that have an emotional investment in. Moderating comments becomes a necessity when that happens, or your message will be drowned out by people who don’t understand it, and wouldn’t like it if they did understand it.

This has nothing to do with ‘Free Speech’, or at least not the way they think. You are not denying them Freedom of Speech by blocking their comments on your blog. THEY are trying to deny you your Freedom of Speech by intimidating you into closing down, and if they feel so strongly about the subject, well, blogs on the Blogger, Typepad, and WordPress platforms are free, and there’s nothing stopping them from starting their own blogs.

Good call. Block when needed.

Wayne

Thanks, Wayne. It’s always good to hear the voice of sanity and common sense. Unfortunately, I think that many members of Covenant Life Church have been brain-washed to the point that they no longer understand how a concept like Free Speech works. It does not mean that other people are forced to let you say anything you want in any context. I’ll cite the proverbial example of the legality and legitimacy of shouting, “I have a bomb,” in public.

In addition, there are hundreds of other blogs that would be happy to post the type of comments, that either consist of ad hominem attacks or are devoid of thoughtful reasoning and research, which Thou Art The Man is not interested in approving.

Our readership wants to see intelligent commentary, not comment wars that are unpleasant to read and have no intellectual value.

We do have the right to implement that policy.

Thanks again for your comment.

Best, Janna

Thanks again for your comment, Wayne. I’d also like to note that members of Covenant Life Church have attacked us for supposedly shutting down their right to free speech even though their Church’s official blog post that denies all the allegations of sexual abuse against it, including the ones that are backed up by criminal convictions, is closed to comments from the public.

The hypocrisy of the people defending Covenant Life Church is always astounding.

Thanks. Janna

Lydia

Janna, I agree about posting their comments! I have said the same about Piper tweets. Keep them coming so more can see right inside these corrupt systems.

My concern is trying to convince the followers how horribly evil it all is. It is like talking to stepford people.

Thanks, Lydia. I think we both have a big challenge in interacting with current CLC followers. I certainly make my fair share of typos and grammatical errors in posts. However, I think I write well enough for most people to discern what I mean, generally, when I comment or post.

I don’t mean this as a gratuitous insult, but I doubt that some of the people who have defended CLC on this blog are functionally literate based on the quality of their comments. I’ve noticed a similar pattern of semi-literacy among people aggressively attacking anti-abuse advocates on other blogs, as well.

That poses a problem for Covenant Life Church as there’s not much point in having written child protection policies if a significant number of the Church’s members cannot read or understand those policies. For the sake of CLC’s reputation alone, I think Pastor Mark Mitchell should consider holding some remedial literacy classes for Covenant Life Members who don’t appear to be able to read at a 6th-grade level.

Thanks for your comment, Lydia. Best, Janna

Lydia

One gets to the point such folks are not worth interacting with after all the history of the SGM Shepherding cult. They have at gnats while a predator is Harming children. They are cult followers. It would take years for them to debrief from it if they left and sought help. The church building and leaders are their gods. It is all they know.

Thanks, Lydia. I think the remaining CLCers are desperate because they know it can’t survive another criminal trial or civil lawsuit, and their whole lives revolve around doing what their cult leaders tell them to do.

It’s frustrating to interact with these folks but I’m glad they’re showing their true colors by posting here. I can’t imagine how any non-cult member of the community could feel safe entrusting the safety of a pet turtle, much less a child, to the CLC defenders who have recently commented on this blog. Thanks. Janna

Unfortunately, sometimes we have to protect the children in our communities from people we would rather not interact with. That’s why I do what I do. Thanks. Janna

Melody

That’s dumb when the person says “you have no right to threaten that… May be breaking the law”. Um, stating someone is breaking the law is a factual issue, not a threat. Idiocy. Praying for these people. They are in a cult.

Melody

And please note, I mean to say the behavior is dumb, not the person, as cult members may hear though I never said…

They’ll hear what they want to hear, Melody, and that’s up to them. My contention is simply that people’s religious beliefs do not give them the right to break the law. End of story. Thanks. Janna

I agree that the statement about threatening people with breaking the law makes no logical sense. As Todd mentioned in the post above, few current CLCers seem to possess strong critical thinking skills. Thanks. Janna

Hello Everyone:

Thanks to all (or almost all) the folks who comment on our posts.

I would like to add one thing to what Todd said above. Namely, like most anti-abuse-at-CLC advocates, we’ve gotten many aggressive messages saying that we’ve posted the name of the victim of Larry Caffery on this blog, and that we, not the CLC Pastors and Members who are trying to cover-up evidence of Mr. Caffery’s arrest, are the true villains in this scenario.

We have never posted that victim’s name even though it appears on dozens of other blogs and social media sites.

In addition, I do not know the family of Mr. Caffery’s victim but I am in touch with people who do. I have communicated to these folks that Todd and I would be thrilled to interact with the family of the victim or their spokes-person to learn more about how best we can serve them.

Therefore, Todd and I will no longer be posting attack comments claiming that we have posted the victim’s name or are insensitive to this victim’s welfare generally.

Thank you for understanding.

Best, Janna L. Chan