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.

 

 

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

  1. 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.

    Reply
  2. 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.

    Reply
    1. 2samuel127 Post author

      Good points Artur. I am not a fan of corporal punishment and I am with you, I would never allow anyone else to spank my child.

      Reply
    2. Anonymous

      To be fair, from day seven testimony, it does NOT appear that bare bottom spanking was acceptable at these churches. In retrospect, this should have been guessed to be the alleged actions singularly perpetrated by the defendant.

      Reply
    3. Artur Smuthers

      To be fair, it does not appear that bare bottom spanking was acceptable in these Churches. It should have been guessed that this alleged activity was restricted to the defendant.

      The main thrust of my post was against Non-parents spanking children in any way.

      Reply
      1. JLC

        Thanks, in my view, non-parents should never be asking children to take off any of their clothes or lower their pants/raise their skirts so that they can be spanked. I question whether even parents should be doing this. Spanking kids who have their clothes on is one thing. Bare-bottomed spanking can justifiably lead to allegations of child abuse, as it’s at best a border-line form of discipline, in 2018, in the United States. ARBCA people should not have been allowing Tom Chantry to abuse kids by just calling what he was doing “discipline.”

        I also doubt that ARBCA’s tolerance for the abuse of children is limited to Tom Chantry. Given the lengths to which ARBCA went to silence and intimidate Tom Chantry’s victims, I suspect that more victims of abuse will come forward because they’re were also intimidated at the times crimes took place. Based on my experience and research, over 7 years, I do not believe that ARBCA protected Tom Chantry and dutifully reported other credible allegations of child abuse to the police. Statistically speaking, ARBCA would have received more than one set of allegations of child abuse, given its size and the length of time it’s been around.

        Yes, churches do protect high-profile members more than low-level members. However, anyone can do a Google search and read about other cases in which child abuse is methodically covered up by churches. These guys don’t want the world to know about the awful and disgusting things that go on in their churches in general. Therefore, they develop elaborate and methodical processes for habitually covering them up.

        I hope I’m wrong, yet think that Tom Chantry is just the tip of the iceberg. If there are other victims out there, I hope that they can come forward when they feel ready.

        Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

        Reply
      2. DS

        I have never been in a church (including ARBCA churches) where it was considered appropriate for a pastor to spank a child at all, let alone bare bottomed. A child would also not have been allowed to meet with a pastor alone.

        Reply
        1. JLC

          Thanks for the feedback, DS. Good to hear from someone who has attended ARBCA churches. Out of curiosity, do you know if the ARBCA churches you’re familiar with had written policies about these issues? Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

          Reply
        2. JLC

          P.S. I’m not trying to put you on the spot, DS. 😉 I’m just curious. Please don’t feel pressured to answer. Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

          Reply
          1. DS

            Janna, that’s okay 🙂 That is a very good question. Unfortunately, I don’t know if it was a written official policy. I will try to find out. One thing to note is that this would be a policy of the local congregation, which is completely self ruling. This means that such policy (or lack thereof) is likely going to vary greatly from congregation to congregation. It is not something that would come from ARBCA. To join ARBCA the church must be in agreement with the 2nd LBC and ARBCA’s position papers, but ARBCA has no authority over the churches that join it. MVBC could have told ARBCA to butt out, and ARBCA wouldn’t have been able to do anything. I suspect that they (MVBC) agreed to the council because they wanted guidance and thought they were getting guidance they could trust, but that is just my speculation.

        3. Artur Smuthers

          Several months ago when I first learned about this Tom Chantry affair, I personally called Grace Baptist Church in Carlisle which could be considered the Hub of ARBCA. They said that they DID in fact practice the policy of spanking in their school (by whatever official) but had discontinued it some years ago. Probably after fallout from the Chantry situation.

          Reply
    4. Artur Smuthers

      Addendum:

      Several months ago when I first learned about this Tom Chantry affair, I personally called Grace Baptist Church in Carlisle which could be considered the Hub of ARBCA. They said that they DID in fact practice the policy of spanking in their school (by whatever official) but had discontinued it some years ago. Probably after fallout from the Chantry situation.

      Reply
      1. JLC

        Thanks for doing that research. Unless ARBCA had written policies about spanking children or reporting suspected child abuse to the police, there probably isn’t much to go on factually.

        It is interesting that they told you that at one point they allowed adults to spank children in their school.

        That casts doubt on the idea that Tom Chantry’s behavior was unusual, and that he only got away with it because he came from a prominent family.

        In my view, of course.

        Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

        Reply
        1. DS

          Janna,

          Whether or not an adult is allowed to spank a child at a church or affiliated school would be determined by that individual church. All churches that belong to ARBCA are self governed and rule themselves autonomously. They have to agree to certain things to join ARBCA, but those things are not all encompassing and they are in no way ruled by ARBCA. That is why you will find a great many differences between churches that belong to ARBCA. The churches are individual entities, and ARBCA is an individual entity to which they can choose to belong (with the idea of being able to band together for activities that would be more difficult for a single local body, such as supporting missionaries, etc.).

          Now, if a pastor of a local church is in leadership at ARBCA, there is mixing. However, the local church is still an autonomous entity free to leave ARBCA and remove the pastor (or pastors) from their positions in the church. It will be interesting to see if that happens.

          Since the church in Carlisle, PA was knee deep in this atrocity and the leadership knew what happened, it is possible that influenced their change in policy. It would be interesting to know, though I doubt we’ll find out. When I was a kid (not that long ago), public schools had the authority to spank children. Thankfully, that seems to be more a thing of the past.

          Reply
          1. JLC

            Thanks, it makes sense that different churches would have different policies. I was just curious as to whether you remember the ones you attended having policies designed to address child abuse allegations. There’s no need for you to research this unless you want to. I can look the issue up when I have time.

            Yes, corporal punishment was common in public schools in the not so distant past. However, I think that there were guidelines about it that would have precluded punching a child in the face or hitting them with an oar. And if an adult “over-did it,” there wouldn’t have been so much pressure to forgive them and move on. I could be wrong. In the Chantry case, the big issue is the lying and cover-up of abuse, in my opinion. Churches and para-church organizations open to the public will sometimes attract pedophiles or adults with other problems regarding children. It’s how people react to allegations that matters, and the allegations against Tom Chantry seem very credible.

            The degree to which spanking seems to justify physical abuse, in some churches (not just ones belonging to ARBCA) is astounding. If I took a baseball bat and hit an an adult as hard as I could on the bottom with it, I would probably be charged with felony assault or at least misdemeanor assault. However, if I did that to a 3-year-old, my behavior could be classified as “discipline.”

            That’s a pretty sick mentality.

            Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

          2. JLC

            Also, please be careful regarding your physical security. I’m sure there are many good people in ARBCA churches. However, the non-good people are pretty worried and desperate right now. Put your safety first if someone is making you uncomfortable, is my advice.

            Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

          3. DS

            Janna,

            If I am easily able to come across something, I will let you know. My guess is that one is more likely to find something specific about reporting child abuse, spanking, etc if the church is large or has a large children’s ministry.

            Yes, if someone in a school setting (if there are still some that allow corporal punishment), I certainly think there would be much better definition as to what was allowed. When I was a kid I remember hearing about the principal having a paddle for spanking, but that may have just been children telling tales. I sure hope it was!

            I agree, forgiveness for having gone too far in a public school would likely not have been pushed. People often tend to confuse forgiveness with no consequences, especially within the church. Just because one has been forgiven does not mean that they are free from the consequences of their sin, especially when there are legal consequences associated with their sin (as in this case). Forgiveness is not a get out of jail free card.

            I just cannot comprehend why anyone would think that it would be okay for anyone to discipline anyone else’s child, especially a pastor (and a pastor with weapons). Even if it was all over the clothing, it was still assault. It being bare bottomed just adds a darker and more twisted aspect to it. If someone had touched my child (regardless of whether it left a mark, and in my opinion a spanking should never leave a mark), there would have been (pardon my language) Hell to pay.

            I pray for justice and that publicity from this and other cases will make people think and bring about change within our churches (all churches). While I would hate for the victims to be hurt more, on one level I wish it was national news so that more would be made aware.

        2. Artur Smuthers

          That’s exactly what a women who answered the phone told me when I asked about it. I said I was interested in their Christian School (which I was to some degree) and said I heard they practice corporeal punishment there and I am kind of concerned about that. She said they used to many years ago but no longer at which point she became befuddled and earnestly asked who I was. I basically hung up at that point.

          I mean anybody can call. I do not think they’re going to deny it, I wouldn’t think that would be in their best interest. I mean, a whole lotta people were brought up with the practice at that school. Any cursory investigation would yield that this is, or should I say was, factual. They did do it and if you call them they will probably admit it, just like they did with me several months ago.

          My main point was that they pride themselves on being scripturally adherent. Where did they get the scriptural basis for a non-parent to spank a child. Those verses in proverbs about the rod basically relate the spankings with a parent. We know that spanking was used in public schools but the secular world is usually not the Christian’s template.

          This practice opens the doors to abuse. If a child is acting up they can be suspended and the Parents need to be informed. Letting your child be struck by another who cannot have the same God given love for them is putting them in harms way. People are sinners, so are Elders. I personally cannot understand a parent that would be okay with this.

          Reply
  3. 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.

    Reply
  4. 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?

    Reply
  5. 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.

    Reply
  6. 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.

    Reply
    1. 2samuel127 Post author

      Thanks for your comment Paul. I have actually appreciated all your comments and know you are an honorable man. While I will grant you that there are ARBCA pastors out there who are good men I am growing increasingly skeptical that the percentage is very high.

      I was somewhat surprised to hear that you were unaware of the legal requirement of pastors to report sexual abuse, I am unsure of when you discovered this, but I believe it has been the law in most states for quite some time. Legalities aside, I think you would probably agree that common sense would dictate a pastor inform LE when they become aware of child abuse. Although, as I think of how often this is not done I am reminded of the old adage that “common sense is not so common.”

      Are you aware that ARBCA, at their 2017 General Assembly crafted a statement on the Tom Chantry abuse situation? You can read that here: http://arbca.org/tom-chantry-child-abuse-case/arbca-general-assembly-tom-chantry-announcement/

      It is my understanding that most pastors in the ARBCA denomination attend the General Assembly. It is also my understanding that these pastors were told to disseminate the official statement to their congregants. Further, I believe most people these days are computer savvy enough to know how to conduct a basic internet search on Google. I am not a pastor, but if I were a pastor in ARBCA, or any other denomination and my leaders gave me a statement and instructed me to distribute it to my congregation I would not do so until I conducted a little legwork on my own. In other words, prior to my endorsing a statement and distributing this statement to my congregation, I would want to be certain the information was factual. If one were to Google “Tom Chantry” one would find a lot of information that would raise some serious questions about the truthfulness of the “company line.” The report contains several blatant lies which I will not engage with here, but one that really bothers me, as a blogger, is this:

      “Contrary to the recent false charges made by internet bloggers and others, from 1995 to this day there has never been a cover-up whatsoever by anyone in the Association with knowledge of these events. This includes coordinators, AC members and chairmen, committee members and chairmen, or other private members in ARBCA.”

      I believe that I and others have credibly demonstrated this to be untrue. Will anyone from the ARBCA apologize to me? Can I expect at least one or two of the pastors in the ARBCA who are good men to write me?

      What I have heard from several different individuals, from several different churches was reflected in a comment made today by Marsha on my blog article titled “ARBCA Leaders Have Been Lying To You Since 2000.” She stated:

      “Then we have the Tom Chantry issue. Michael told us all to pray for Tom Chantry because he had been arrested for something from his past. So we figured it was something before he was saved. We were never told it was a crime committed during his ministry that affected other people. Then we left the church and Nathaniel told us the real reason. He had been afraid to say anything to us because he didn’t know how we would react and he was trying to figure out how to say something to Michael about it, but he knew others had been kicked out of their churches for trying to bring out the truth about Chantry. Michael had already alluded to some bloggers who thought ARBCA Pastor’s were covering for Chantry and laughed about how silly they were to Nathaniel. So once we left the church Nathaniel told us.”

      Michael is pastor Michael Kelly of Port Cities Reformed Baptist Church in Lewiston, ID. As I said, his actions aren’t unique. I have heard of other pastors who have said similar things. It seems that many pastors are actually intimidating their congregants in an attempt to keep the truth about Chantry from being known. That pastors would do this is very disturbing to me.

      The fact that I have yet to hear of one good ARBCA pastor who has “played the man” and spoken truth in opposition to the lies of the puppet-masters pulling the strings within ARBCA leadership concerns me. Perhaps there are some pastors taking a stand. I will readily admit I do not know all the behind the scenes efforts taking place, but I think it’s time for those who are working behind the scenes to now make a public stand. Let’s hear from you. I will gladly publish what you have to say in this forum.

      Believe me, Paul, I have heard of unbelievable lies and corruption within the leadership of the ARBCA. Much of it I have not revealed. At this point, I could not with a clean conscience recommend anyone attend an ARBCA church. Broad brush? Yes, but I am still waiting for a good pastor to speak out.

      Reply
      1. Paul Gordon

        “I was somewhat surprised to hear that you were unaware of the legal requirement of pastors to report sexual abuse.”

        25-30 years ago it was a vastly different time. Much of my training stressed the competency of the church to counsel, to discipline and to protect its own members. My point should not be overlooked that it was from an ARBCA pastor I received a practical tutorial on mandatory reporting and enlightened handling of sexual abuse. It also should not be overlooked that the same pastor who behaved in an exemplary fashion in a local church setting has operated very differently in an associational context to protect the son of a ecclesiastical celebrity through the corrupting influence of a gang that calls itself a church council.

        I am attempting to distinguish local church life from the actions of such councils. Since member churches know little of the inner workings of these councils or the corrupting influences that guide them I cannot hold them responsible for their actions. These churches are independent churches that meet annually and ordinarily have little to do with one another or with associational leadership throughout the year. They join and support these Associations for their Missions and church planting or theological education ministries. Again we were with them for five years and were favorably impressed with what we saw in the public face of the Association that we were made aware of. Had we known of the inner rot taking place in secretive councils that coverup their sinfully self interested actions we would never had joined. I believe that what is true of us is also true of many of the local churches with ARBCA affiliation. Until they learn of the corruption they can hardly be faulted for not speaking out on what they do not know.

        As for the public statements made by the AC and by the Association’s pastors, I am disturbed by the comments of those who have risen in defense of Chantry and have made him the victim in this case. Just how many have made such a heartless and in incomprehensively foolish stand I cannot say. I know of a few. My sense is that many are awaiting the outcome of the trial to speak out publicly. Perhaps after the work of the court is done we will hear more voices raised and apologies offered. We shall see.

        Reply
        1. 2samuel127 Post author

          Thanks Paul,
          What you say makes sense. You are a wise man. Appreciate your comments.

          Reply
        2. 2samuel127 Post author

          I would also think that good men pastoring churches which are in the ARBCA would work to extricate themselves from that organization after the trial is over.

          Reply
        3. DS

          Paul, thank you for explaining how many in ARBCA churches have been, and still may be, ignorant of what has happened and is happening. I wonder what, if anything, was said at this year’s GA. I am thankful that the trial was not delayed again and pray that justice will be served and the truth revealed, and that the truth will reach those who are currently unaware.

          Reply
      2. Anonymous

        Todd thank you and your team for helping to bring out the truth. I was member of MVBC form 1986 to about 2004. So I know first hand and how it all went and these testimonies from these kids are incredible. I along with many others were interviewed by the men from ARBCA. We were never told of exactly what had happened or to whom just that Tom had spanked child/children and had left in the middle of the night. It was clear to us of who it happened to but not exactly what everything was kept in secret in order to “protect’ the children.
        We were led to believe that this would be handled in away that was “biblical” and in accordance with the law and if anyone felt it needed to be reported it would be. Believe me we asked. A lot of us had our own stories or encounters with Tom not all felt love and respect for him the years had been hard. (none of which were of physical or sexual abuse let me be clear)
        MVBC was a tight loving congregation we fellow-shipped, worshiped, ate together our kids played together, everything we did everything together. So when Bob Selph left we were a congregation in morning, and guess what we were going to have the privilege of having none other than Tom Chantry as our new Pastor. WOW weren’t we the lucky ones. Many of us were concerned by his age and inexperience but were assured by our Elders and Pastor Bob he was right for the job. We embraced this man with love grace and compassion he was brought into our homes our lives and our sacred fellowship.
        but there were signs early on that Tom was a broken young man, we thought it was because he was so intelligent that he was just socially awkward and I think that is why these family’s allowed him to be so close they treated him like he was one of them they wanted to show him something different. He was loved by many and he broke the most sacred bond of trust.
        Why we as a congregation didn’t do more or call the authority’s. I can not speak for anyone other than myself, but I can only explain it as a trust we trusted all involved and when they said they were going to handle it we trusted they would do the “right” thing. Hey we had Tedd Tripp how could we not have trusted…
        Did I feel that tug, the voice inside saying something is not right. Yes, yes I did. I don’t know why myself or any one else didn’t speak up ,but what I do know is that we as adults failed those kids.
        I thank God they have gone on to be beautiful productive adults. but believe me when I say there lives and there faith was shaken and we saw that in each of the victims through the years.
        I dont claim to know every detail but do know the truth and Tom Chantry is a disturbed man. My prayer is that the jury will not be swayed by the testimony of the so called expert wittiness on memory. Those kids know what happened to them and remember every moment of every time.
        I hope that everyone will not judge the parents to quickly. I know each of them they love there children and they are faithful followers of our lord and savior and tried to do what they thought was right at that time.
        I will never understand why Tom was allowed to teach and preach with in ARBCA we were assured that would not happen. If there are more victims out there that will be the greatest injustice of all.
        Again thank you and I my prayer is that justice will finally be done.

        Reply
  7. 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.

    Reply
    1. JLC

      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.

      That’s just your perception, sir, based on what we know now. I believe that many more victims will come forward. Do we really believe that ARBCA only covered up one set up allegations given the degree to which they illegally protected Mr. Chantry, methodically, for years? I don’t.

      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,

      ARBCA leaders, members, and pastors reputedly spend a lot of time excommunicating people over doctrine issues. Are we to believe that, by contrast, they just don’t have time to focus on what may possibly be widespread child abuse in their churches? If so, that’s another good reason to avoid ARBCA churches, in my view.

      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 have done no such thing. All I’ve done is express my opinion. I also appreciate your passion, yet wonder if your tunnel vision stems from a desire to believe there’s only one bad apple in a barrel, because you love that barrel and may not know much about other barrels that are much like it. I also think that you are naive about how widespread the cover up of child abuse often is in churches, which do not respect the secular legal system. I hope we can agree that ARBCA fits into that category.

      I think that people should avoid ARBCA and its churches until they stop making excuses for their ignorance about the Chantry case and get rid of leaders who have broken the law by covering up allegations of child sexual abuse. Others are welcome to disagree. I probably will not address this subject again.

      Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

      Reply
  8. 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.

    Reply
    1. JLC

      I understood the sarcasm, Susan. Sorry that wasn’t clear. My advice was also general, not directed at you. Thanks for the prayers. Best, Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

      Reply
  9. 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.

    Reply
    1. 2samuel127 Post author

      Excellent comment Rae. Thanks much for taking the time to write it.

      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        Thanks Todd. I’ve been around religious charlatans most of my life – and regardless of the doctrine they are preaching, the institutions that house them are pretty much the same. The pews are filled on Sunday mornings with the faithful – good people earnestly desiring to serve God, and many in leadership who are also people of integrity, longing to hear God’s voice. And then you have the charlatans, who invariably have these traits in common – often charming (until you question them, that is!), disingenuously pious, exceptionally skilled at fooling people, arrogant, deceitful, and sometimes condescending. Their lust for power will never be fully satisfied, and the lengths they go to to protect their power are astonishing. And when you reach a point where you just have too many doubts, when you’ve seen one too many questionable things, and you finally pull back the curtain, what you see can be very painful and shocking.

        I implore those reading this blog to pray that God would give you a clear mind. Just for a moment, put aside the doctrines you’ve been taught, and what you may have been been told by your leaders, and think about the children who’ve been harmed. Do you honestly believe that children make this stuff up? Do you have any idea how incredibly difficult it is to get up in front of a whole courtroom full of people and recount the most humiliating things that have been done to you? Just using common sense, who would do that and for what reason, other than they’ve been terribly violated and want to see the person responsible held accountable? (Also remember, there have been numerous victims from different families testifying to essentially the same things – not just one victim!)

        To read about these horrible atrocities inflicted upon these innocent children, and then to question their motives or their honesty, is, to borrow a phrase, adding insult to injury. To those loyal followers who are casting doubt on these victims’ testimonies, can you imagine how devastatingly painful and infuriating it is for these victims, who’ve mustered the courage to come forward and put themselves out there for the greater good, to then to be looked at suspiciously? (This is, by the way, why the overwhelming majority of rapes are never reported, because women know that this is what they’re in for, and many just don’t have the emotional energy to deal with the re-traumatization).

        To anyone doubting their testimony, who just can’t believe that their beloved Tom Chantry could have done these horrible things, please determine in your heart that you’re not going to be part of an even bigger injustice – that which seeks to vilify innocent victims. Please don’t be a party to the narrative that this is all a witch hunt, Chantry is innocent, yada, yada. Listen to the children’s voices! They can be heard loud and clear speaking through their now adult selves, but their pain is still very real.

        Todd, I cannot thank you and Janna enough for what you are doing. Your deft “on the scene” reporting, along with Janna’s collaboration and insightful analysis, is doing more, in my opinion, to bring truth to light than anything I’ve ever seen – no exaggeration. God bless. Stay strong my friends.

        Reply
        1. 2samuel127 Post author

          Thanks for the great comment, Anonymous. Required reading for all Evangelical Christians should be Elmer Gantry, by Sinclair Lewis. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elmer_Gantry )

          I have been in court and listened to the victim’s testimony. It was gut-wrenching. These brave souls are telling the truth. I support them. Janna and I, as well as many others, do what we do because we believe in and support the victims and we, along with them, desire justice.

          Reply
    2. Barbara Roberts

      Hi Rae, I appreciate much of what you’ve said, but I’d like to push back a bit on two things you said:

      “In closing, no one is born a sexual deviant.”

      To my knowledge, there is no proof that ‘no one is born a sexual deviant’. I’ve never seen any scientific research to support that assertion, nor does the Bible support the assertion.
      I am not asserting that some people ARE born sexual deviants. All I’m saying is that we simply don’t know enough to accept that assertion of yours as truth.

      “This is learned behavior, and most likely the result of some abuse that Tom Chantry suffered himself. ”

      Actually, if you read Anna Salter’s book “Predators” and Dr George Simon Jnr’s book “Character Disorder” and his blog posts at manipulativepeople.com, you will see this idea of yours is not well founded. Salter and Simon are both clinical psychologists, with much experience in the field of forensic psychology. They refer to studies which show that while many convicted serial pedophiles claim to have suffered sexual abuse in their childhood, only a portion of those claims are correct.

      Basically, the research shows that quite a lot of serial pedophiles and sexual criminals claim to have been sexually abused in childhood— but they often are lying when making this claim. They lie because know that if people believe their claim, people are likely to be more lenient with them.

      Reply
      1. 2samuel127 Post author

        Interesting comment Barbara. I was also under the impression that most pedophiles were themselves sexually abused as children. I have heard great things about Salter’s book and I have a copy of it, I guess I should make it a priority to read.

        Reply
      2. Rae

        Hi Barbara, Thank you for the insight. I have to say that what you assert has not been my understanding or experience, but I appreciate the heads up concerning the research and the books cited. Will definitely check them out. Thank you for the perspective.

        Reply
  10. Susan Cutler

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

    Reply
    1. Jay Webler

      Perhaps he would respond something like this: “I can’t seem to remember the date that I forgot on which something occurred either before or after the date that eludes me. Furthermore, I am not sure what it was that I remembered to forget before someone asked me if it occurred at all. Even if I did remember it I would not be sure why or if it even pertained to the thing that I forgot.”

      Reply
    2. JLC

      LOL, Susan. In my non-expert opinion, Don Lindblad is probably just a human being who lies to try and cover up his misdeeds. We appear to be talking about someone who thought it was ethical, legal, and Godly to impede, arguably, a criminal investigation into child physical and sexual abuse just because in his opinion, Tom Chantry, his personal friend, was clearly innocent.

      I don’t consider myself an expert about anything. However, I have been informally doing advocacy work against child sexual abuse in churches for about 7 years. In my experience, churches and para-church organizations that go to great lengths to cover up allegations of child sexual and physical abuse seldom do so just once. In other words, in my non-expert opinion, ARBCA leaders and pastors have likely covered up allegations of various kinds of child abuse against people other than Tom Chantry given their behavior regarding his situation.

      If you are attending an ARBCA church, I implore you to leave. In my experience, people and churches that cover up child abuse also cover up a lot of other crimes. Therefore, they are not safe places for anyone. I do understand why people want to reform churches that they love. However, in this case, it may be too late for that. Certainly financially supporting ARBCA could lead to a continuation of the despicable behavior of its leaders.

      Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

      Reply
      1. DS

        Janna, while I agree with most of what you have written, I feel that it is unfair to paint all ARBCA churches with the same brush. There are likely many ARBCA churches that know absolutely nothing about what happened in the past or even what is happening now, even those in leadership within these churches. I think we need to know more details about what happened and who knows what before encouraging people to leave their church simply because it’s an ARBCA church. It would be a terrible thing for good churches that are simply ignorant regarding what has happened and is happening to be harmed.

        Reply
        1. JLC

          With respect, I completely disagree with everything you’ve said. Any ignorance on the part of ARBCA member, leaders, or pastors is willful ignorance, in my view, at this point. If ARBCA members care about protecting kids from pedophiles, then they should be following this case closely. I suspect that many of them are just dismissing it as slander, because that’s what their pastors are telling them to do. Again, I’ve been doing advocacy work for a long time and know how corrupt organizations like ARBCA usually operate.

          Please see the legal document in the following post which proves that ABRCA has engaged in a mass conspiracy to cover-up allegations of child abuse and child sexual abuse regarding Tom Chantry. Do you really think that other ARBCA churches are not at risk of being victims of this type of cover-up of crimes?

          There are many good great churches out there, which are not likely to be regularly protecting pedophiles. Why should people risk their safety in an ARBCA church, at this point?

          It would be a terrible thing for good churches that are simply ignorant regarding what has happened and is happening to be harmed.

          If you think that ARBCA churches have been harmed, then you should take that issue up with the leaders who cover up allegations of child sexual abuse. I just don’t want any more little kids to get beaten up and molested in ARBCA churches. People can make their own choices, of course.

          Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

          Reply
          1. DS

            If they are aware of what is happening and have seen the recently presented evidence, then it’s willful ignorance. If they have no idea what is happening, then it is just ignorance. Those who do know need to educate those who are ignorant. If the corruption has been limited to a select few in leadership at ARBCA, that does not extend downward to every single church that belongs to ARBCA. Even if it was a large number in leadership at ARBCA, it does still not extend downward to every single church that belongs to ARBCA. I have seen that document and agree that it’s an important piece of evidence. We need to work on educating those who are ignorant so they can take action, not implicate or insult them. I do not want anymore children harmed either.

          2. JLC

            Thanks, DS. I think I’ve said all I have to say on this subject. You’re welcome to your opinion, and I do appreciate getting comments from people who disagree with me. Best, Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

          3. Appalled

            I was a member of the church that sent Tom Chantry to be the pastor of CRBC in Milwaukee. I left that church about a year and a half ago for other reasons but this information was just coming to light. I can tell you with absolute certainty that the congregation is being lied to, over and over again. These men, the pastors at GRBC most certainly know the truth because they were a part of hte original investigations. It boggles my mind that they would be lying like this but when presented with the evidence it must be so. I’ve tried to wrestle with this and give them the benefit of the doubt. But in light of what was presented to the administrative council back in 2000/2001 how could these men not know. Yet every time prayer is petitioned for Tom it is against the “spiritual persecution” and “slander” that he is experiencing. I fear they are heaping condemnation upon themselves

            The congregation meanwhile is ignorant, for the most part. They are willfully ignorant because they choose to blindly believe what their pastors are telling them. Most I can guarantee would not go looking through evidence to find something contrary to what they are told. They would have to be given that evidence which I hope to do and when presented with the evidence, I hope that they will see the light.

          4. 2samuel127 Post author

            Thanks for your comment, Appalled. I am glad to hear you are working to get the truth out to members of Grace Reformed Baptist Church in Rockford, IL. http://www.grbcrockford.org/pastors/

            Yes, the pastors at Grace Reformed Baptist Church would certainly know the truth and it is shameful that they are lying to members of the church. Are you aware that both pastors of Grace Reformed Baptist Church have been in attendance at the trial? Al Huber is there sitting with his daughter Karen (Tom’s Chantry’s wife). Dale Smith is also there. Apparently, he wants to keep his attendance a secret because he sits on the Prosecution side of the courtroom and never speaks to any of the Chantry clan.

      2. Ciaran

        Janna, there is another element to this that I think has a part to play in the whole ARBCA part of this story: a deep and abiding mistrust of “secular authorities”.

        In other words, it might be that an alleged cover-up might even more simply be an extension of that long-standing distrust.

        I cannot point to any specific teaching that I remembered hearing in my years of growing up in ARBCA to back this up (outside of references to the first part of 1 Corinthians 6, for instance). It was more a deep-seated “sense” that I remember.

        Reply
        1. JLC

          Absolutely, Ciaran. It isn’t just mis-trust, in my experience. It’s an arrogant belief that people’s perceived religious beliefs put them above the law and preclude practicing common decency. Any secular daycare or public school acting the way ARBCA has acted would be toast. No one would be arguing, “but some of these men have done such great things, and they preach the right doctrine, after all. I’ve met Mr. (fill in the blank’s) parents and they’re too lovely to have raised a son who would beat up and molest children.”

          People in authoritarian church settings tend to deify pastors, in my experience. That’s okay as long as it doesn’t harm others. In this case, I think it is.

          ARBCA seems much like other groups that cover-up crimes under a pious Christian guise, in my view. These guys often take every imaginable tax break for their churches, and then they thumb their noses at prosecutors who are seeking to protect children from predators. Also, this problem doesn’t just affect members.

          Most churches are open to the public. They often offer homework programs and recruit local children for events they hold.I sincerely hope that this blog and others like it raise red flags for anyone thinking of joining an ARBCA church or letting their children anywhere near one right now. I believe that ABRCA churches should shut down any children’s programs they have until they have gotten rid of the leaders who covered up allegations of child abuse against Tom Chantry. This is what any secular organization would have to do..

          Also, I never presume to know whether people are Christians or not. However, so far I see no evidence that ARBCA leaders are covering up child abuse out of religious motives. I think they’re just frauds in the “god business.” Much of their activity in this case is likely criminal even if they are not prosecuted for it.

          Many victims no longer want anything to do with churches or Christianity because of the way they’ve been treated by people like Tom Chantry and the friends and family who covered for him. What greater abomination can there be than saying, “God will hate you if you report abuse,” to a young child?

          Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

          Reply
          1. Ciaran

            The black, pastoral arrogance that is comfortable with being deified is itself extremely harmful. While the Chantry case is on the severe end of abuse, there are plenty of “bodies” left behind by arrogant, authoritarian leadership: people who’ve lost their faith and hope and Way and cannot trust anyone in spiritual authority ever again simply because they happened to be staring down the barrels of these charismatic hunters of men.

            These victims are battered reeds beat upon authority’s abusing fist and left
            to limp along their rocky ways. In many churches they are the Silent Many, who suffer and despair in loneliness and shame. They are the subtle measure of just how dangerous such men can be.

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