Chantry to Rely on Testimony from a Memory Expert, A Sketchy Friend and the Slim Hope Jurors Believe His Story

By | August 6, 2018

I realize I have not yet published an article on day seven of the Chantry trial. I intend to do that tomorrow. Today I wanted to give you an idea of the trial schedule for the upcoming week and then discuss the witnesses the Defense will be calling.

Originally the trial was scheduled for only two days this upcoming week – Wednesday and Thursday. The Judge discussed the schedule with both parties after last Wednesday’s session. It was agreed they would need more time, therefore, the Judge said he would poll the jurors the following morning to see if there was anyone who would have a scheduling conflict if they were to have a court session on Friday.  There were no conflicts so the trial is scheduled for Wednesday-Friday.

Wednesday will start with the Defense cross-examining Eric (Shorty) Owens. After that, I believe the State will only call two minor witnesses and then they will rest. The Defense plans to have three witnesses. They will lead off with Dr. Deborah Davis, an expert witness on memory. Her testimony will not be live but will be a video. My research indicates Dr. Davis was going to be unavailable to testify at the trial because of a prior scheduled medical procedure. Because of this Defense attorney Sears attempted, unsuccessfully to delay the trial once again. Both Ms. Eazer and Mr. Sears traveled to Reno, NV to interview Dr. Davis.

Sears stated in his opening statement that, “we think many if not all alleged victims in this case” have distorted memory.

Apparently, the video testimony of Dr. Davis will last 3 hours. She will undoubtedly inform the jurors of how memory works and then Defense attorney Sears will attempt to use this information to convince the jurors that the testimony of the victims was flawed and not reliable. Call me skeptical, but I find it difficult to believe this tactic will be effective. I sat through all the victim’s testimony and found it to be gripping and believable. A child may not remember all the details of when they were physically and sexually abused, but they are going to remember the event.

After the testimony from Dr. Davis the Defense will call Don Lindblad to the witness stand. Lindblad is the pastor of Trinity Reformed Baptist Church, an ARBCA church located in Kirkland, WA.

Lindblad is a close friend of Tom Chantry. An official court document titled “Motion in Limine Regarding Pastor Lindblad” states:

Perhaps most disturbing, when asked why he did not hesitate to give the “public” document to Mr. Sears but would be reluctant to give it to a police officer, the witness said “Well our association has gone on record as believing that the subsequent charges are not true.” When asked if he was confident that this is what the “Association” would go on record and say, the witness retracted the comment. The witness likewise readily admitted he is close friends with the Defendant and his father, and said that he wants to help the Defendant.”

Lindblad was clearly dishonest in his interview with the State’s attorney Susan Eazer. The interview was conducted in late March. I am uncertain whether this interview was a sworn deposition, but if it was it is my opinion that Lindblad has potentially opened himself up to charges of perjury. To again quote from the Motion in Limine:

Should the witness testify about anything else of substance, evidence regarding his numerous inconsistent statements made during the State’s interview, as well as his admissions that he is trying to help the Defendant and any other statements establishing bias are clearly admissible.

It’s hard for me to imagine why the Defense would call Don Lindblad as a witness in this case. His character is clearly questionable. It is also difficult to comprehend how Lindblad is a pastor, much less a leader in the ARBCA denomination. Pictured below you see Lindblad in a group photo of the Administrative Council of the ARBCA. The men in this group are supposedly the top men in the denomination, one would think their character is above reproach.

When the ARBCA sent their three-man investigative committee to Miller Valley Baptist Church in December 2000 to investigate Tom Chantry, Lindblad served as Chantry’s “advocate.” In 2006 a victim who had been repeatedly physically and sexually abused by Chantry in 1995-1996, at the age of 10 had tracked Chantry down and insisted on a phone conversation with him. Chantry only agreed to participate if Don Lindblad also could take part. Was Lindblad aware of Chantry’s abuse at this time? Remember, Chantry denied all charges of abuse in 2000, saying only that he disciplined the children.  If Lindblad was not aware of the physical and sexual abuse it seems strange to me that Chantry would ask Lindblad to participate in a phone call with one of his victims, now 21 years of age. Yet we learn in March 2018 that Lindblad is close friends with Chantry and wants to help him in his trial.

The web seems a bit tangled. Let me only say that I will be paying close attention to what Lindblad has to say on the witness stand.

Following Lindblad’s testimony, Sears had made it clear that Tom Chantry will take the stand. Personally, I think this is a desperate move by the Defense but it will be interesting to watch. It is my belief that Tom Chantry will continue to do what he has done all long in this case – lie. However, there is one big difference this time – he will be under oath! It will be interesting to see if Chantry takes his oath before God to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth seriously, or if will continue to demonstrate he has no fear of God. I believe it will be the latter.

Stay tuned.

 

 

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Artur Smuthers

It’s true that there is abusive authority and they do much damage to younger and weaker Christians. There is a point though, where one should be mature and seasoned in His faith enough to disallow abuse to himself and his own as well as to positively come against it. If one is forced out an abusive Church for the right reasons He will be ultimately blessed for it.

The problem is when men look to leaders instead of the scriptures as their final authority. The scriptures, rightly understood, in no wise promote the sycophant or lemming. Men and Women should always be testing what’s going on around them by scripture. If you truly know the book, it is hard to be the victim of spiritual abuse.

If we had more of the latter type of men in the Church, this type of thing would not happen. They would protect the children, the younger, the weaker Christian. I believe there is a dearth of these type of men in the Church.

Artur Smuthers

I would like to introduce a concept that I think is pivotal in regards to the prevention of similar abuse.
I do see in scripture where it is valid for a PARENT to use corporeal punishment; basically the verses are in Proverbs.

Several of these verses associate a PARENT administering the rod. Where is there positive warrant to allow a non-parent to administer the rod to a child. The same people who adhere to scripture advocating the rod need to prove that non-parents are scripturally mandated to apply the rod to other’s children. I can’t find it. Prudence and the regulative principle should be enough to prohibit such practices in Christian Church’s and Schools.

I also think common sense along with understanding of the depravity of man would be enough for any Parent to prohibit such activity. So I’m going to let some fallen sinner who cannot have the same God-given love for my child as I do, spank my child? I would never in a million years let anybody else spank my child. How is that protecting your child? It’s intuitively dastardly.

This would not only protect children from getting abused from beatings but from sexual assault. I can’t imagine letting someone else pull my kids pants down. Did they really allow this in these Churches?

I see some Church’s associated with this mess have discontinued this very misguided and scripturally unsupported practice. So at least that good has come out of all this so far. Unbelievable. Were supposed to be sheep, not stupid sheep.

Artur Smuthers

I would like to introduce a concept that I think is pivotal in regards to the prevention of similar abuse.
I do see in scripture where it is valid for a PARENT to use corporeal punishment; basically the verses are in Proverbs.

Several of these verses associate a PARENT administering the rod. Where is there positive warrant to allow a non-parent to administer the rod to a child. The same people who adhere to scripture advocating the rod need to prove that non-parents are scripturally mandated to apply the rod to other’s children. I can’t find it. Prudence and the regulative principle should be enough to prohibit such practices in Christian Church’s and Schools.

I also think common sense along with understanding of the depravity of man would be enough for any Parent to prohibit such activity. So I’m going to let some fallen sinner who cannot have the same God-given love for my child as I do, spank my child? I would never in a million years let anybody else spank my child. How is that protecting your child? It’s intuitively dastardly.

This would not only protect children from getting abused from beatings but from sexual assault. I can’t imagine letting someone else pull my kids pants down. Did they really allow this in these Churches?

I see some Church’s associated with this mess have recently discontinued this very misguided and scripturally unsupported practice. So at least that good has come out of all this so far. Unbelievable. Were supposed to be sheep, not stupid sheep.

Alex

“Holding Communion Together” is coming back to haunt some people…. and I don’t just mean Tom Chantry! It is interesting that Solid Ground Books no longer has it in their catalog. Are they trying to distance themselves from a certain group of people?

This is also an eye-opener…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DK2pNGVHgos …. Love the part when Dykstra claims the students at IRBS “are getting the finest education in the world today”!!! (40mins & 40 secs). This is incredible arrogance. Listen to it and let me know what you think?

Kathleen

Janna, I am very thankful that our vulnerable children have you and Todd as advocates. My children are grown. I am so thankful that we did not have to deal with this sort of stuff. (At least I am assuming that they did not – they certaining never talked about it to me.) I can’t imagine what I would have done being a single mom of twins, if they were faced with a pedophile.

We need more people like you two.

Paul Gordon

I fear the strong stand you are taking against abuse and its cover will be negated by these over generalizations I am reading. For instance the first time I had ever heard about mandatory reporting of child abuse was from an ARBCA Pastor who reported the offender who was subsequently arrested and tried. I have never seen an unwillingness on the part of the ARBCA Pastors I have known to be unwilling to work with secular authorities or to bear toward them any great degree of mistrust. That is not to say there are not those of whom such a charge can be levied but I have never encountered such attitudes among the ARBCA Pastors I have known. Public speculation about such matters should be placed on hold until a greater measure of evidence is provided. Meanwhile there is more than enough to condemn in the conduct of those whose misdeeds have been revealed than to engage in assigning guilt to those whom no misdeeds have as yet been discovered.

Paul Gordon

I don’t think it is accurate to say that ARBCA churches are protecting Pedophiles regularly or in any way likely to do so. Of the hundred or so local churches that are now or have in past been associated with ARBCA you do not find any disposition to protect or to defend pedophiles. We are dealing here with one known offender who because of his last name has gained instant credibility among churches who self define as Reformed Baptists. It is the special place that Walt Chantry attained in these churches that has been the reason behind this cover-up. What we have here is a father protecting a son with the support of his influential friends who have and are serving on the Administrative Council. They have reacted in the way so many are now reacting to charges brought against Donald Trump Jr. They don’t want to believe it and for the sake of the Father they seek to provide cover.
When you take even these men of the dreaded Administrative Council and place them in their own churches away from the limelight and the pressure of the gang mentality that denominations and associations tend to produce, they often prove able and faithful pastors to their local assemblies. I think of how Dykstra in his own church in NJ years back faithfully reported to the police a father who had sexually assaulted his own daughter. He protected that family and the man went to prison as the result. Yet when that same Pastor is placed on a denominational board he acts completely differently and takes up common cause with abusers and their protectors. I find the alteration of character that the power of church committees make to be a very real factor in the conduct of the villainous administrative council.

Basically what I am saying is that there are special factors feeding into this situation that do not necessarily obtain in the average local church affiliated with ARBCA where you have no celebrity pastors and their sons to protect nor the secretive doings of a powerful church committee anywhere in evidence.

Our church was affiliated with ARBCA for some five years in which we didn’t have a clue about anything that was going on in the Administrative Council nor any idea of the past history of AC actions. I would be very troubled if people who knew the things we did not had made any judgment about who and what we are as a local church in the light of their knowing what we were ignorant of.

Just how much of a responsibility the individual pastors of ARBCA affiliated churches have to follow this trial or come up to speed on the problems of abuse church wide, I am in no position to pontificate on. Many of these men are the sole elders of their local churches and are very busy in their own work. To just tell their people to up and leave a church and a ministry they may love and profit from doesn’t seem to me very reasonable or fair.

I do love your passion for this work you are doing and trust the Lord will use it mightily to help many but we can sometimes get a bit of tunnel vision when we assume that everyone has the calling to be as informed and as involved and as passionate in this matter as you are. I hope you will continue to strongly the condemn the guilty while not assuming guilt by association if I may employ a pun.

Susan Cutler

I meant my comment regarding Linblad as sarcasm. I can’t stomach these cover-ups and what it has cost the victims and their families. We are not in an ARBCA church and are happy with our church. Thanks for the advice. Praying for all involved in this trial.

Rae

To those who are honestly struggling to wrap their minds around what they’ve been reading here about Tom Chantry (or who have trouble believing anything “bad” anyone professing to be a “Christian”), I say this:

What if everything you’ve ever believed about that person is a lie – hidden behind a carefully constructed facade?

What if that person uses their “Christianity” as a clever ruse to fool those around him, and has for years?

In the case of Chantry, what better disguise, than to be able to “talk the talk,” having grown up in a “Christian” home? He knows all the right buzz words, all the correct “theological” things to say.

What if there were warning signs there all along, but they were missed and/or ignored?

For some, it’s too painful to even contemplate such things, because it would mean facing the reality that they’ve spent so much time believing a lie, that, in varying degrees, they’ve also participated in the deceit, by not listening to that still small voice inside; instead, “going along,” believing in their “leadership.” How hard is it to admit that you’ve been duped? Very hard. No one wants to admit that they’ve wasted valuable time, energy, and money on a fraudulent endeavor, and even worse, exposed their family members to such evil. However, the sooner you are honest with yourself, the sooner you can begin to untangle the web of lies that you’ve been told and believed, and the sooner you can begin to get your life back.

Once a person has come to terms with the fact that they’ve been used, and are trying to rebuild their lives, it’s important going forward to learn the lessons that need to be learned. Don’t put so much faith in human beings – remember, they are just that – human beings, and therefore, fallible – maybe even evil. Trust your own instincts – God gave your discernment – use it! If you feel you need more discernment, pray and ask God to give it to you. “Now if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all generously and without reproach; and it will be given to him.” You may discover that you’ve had it all along – it’s simply been stifled because you’ve believed too much in what others had to say, and not had enough faith that God could guide and speak to YOU.

In closing, no one is born a sexual deviant. This is learned behavior, and most likely the result of some abuse that Tom Chantry suffered himself. Somewhere along the line, Chantry has taken it to a whole new level, weaponizing his “religion” against the most innocent and vulnerable in his twisted, sadistic game. God have mercy on his soul, even if, hopefully, the legal system does not.

Susan Cutler

It would seem that Linblad is the witness with distorted memory syndrome.