Missionary Rejects ARBCA Money; Plus Confidential and Sanitized ARBCA Reports from 2000 Investigation

By | August 25, 2018

 

Below are the 2000 ARBCA Informal Committee Reports (The committee consisted of Mike McKnight – Chairman, Tedd Tripp and Richard Jensen.)  The first report is the confidential report, given to only seven men. These seven men were:

Mike McKnight
Tedd Tripp
Richard Jensen
Bob Selph – ARBCA Coordinator
Tom Lyon – Pastor of Providence Reformed Baptist Church – Lyon was to provide oversight in the rehabilitation of Thomas Chantry.
Walter Chantry – Father of now convicted felon Thomas Chantry.  Walter managed to somehow insert himself into this case.
Tom Chantry –  The now convicted felon

At some later date Tom Chantry’s good friend and “advocate,”  Don Lindblad, was also given a copy of the report.

The Confidential/Sealed report is signed only by the 3 men on the ARBCA Informal Council. Very few people even knew of the existence of this report until Don Lindblad stumbled and mentioned it while being deposed by Prosecuting Attorney Susan Eazer.

 

ARBCA 2000 Confidential/Sea… by on Scribd

Below is the second Report published by the ARBCA 2000 Informal Council. This report received wider dissemination and was in fact the only report that most people were aware of.

ARBCA 2000 Informal Council… by on Scribd

 

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Helen

Anyone know why the ARBCA School of World Missions was canceled for this year? It was to be held at Grace Covenant in Mesa AZ Oct 22-23.

Paul Gordon

Grace Covenant is in Gilbert not Mesa, Arizona. The Reformed Baptist church in Mesa is called Cornerstone. They have left ARBCA.

I do not know the answer to your question about a school of Works Missions cancelation but I do know the last ARBCA,School of World Mission I attended when we were in membership had speakers all of whom have left. In fact most of their world missions program left in the divisions of the last five or six years. Only 3 missions works remain. Maybe that has something to do with the cancellation.

I want to say thanks to Paul Gordon.

Paul, I honour you for how you patiently and diligently you have been responding to folks who have commented saying that they are members or leaders of churches that belong to ARBCA and they don’t think that ARBCA is as bad as Paul and Todd say it is.

I believe you Paul Gordon.
I believe you Todd Wilhelm.
I believe you Jeff Crippen.
I believe that the cabal of men who are driving the narrative at ARBCA are as corrupt as you say they are.

Paul Gordon

In response to Kevin,
Not sure just how much of what I have written you have seen but I have been careful to make a distinction between the member churches of ARBCA and the men who constitute the power center of this organization. I am sure your church like mine (for five years) have little experiential knowledge of just how things work. It is only when the will of these men who constitute a cabal of what they themselves consider to be “trusted” men is crossed that you are made to feel the pressure these men can bring to bear. The very fact that Lindblad on the witness stand could speak of the full report that was read by only a few and then sealed being done so as the result of angry letters from Walt should give you a little hint of just how things are done in the Association. I do not fault you or your church for your ignorance but would encourage you are in light of the facts that came out in the trial and the testimony of those who have had just awful experiences with these angry, secretive and unjust men to be ignorant no longer. Start asking questions as to why they have done the things they have done over the years and demand honest answers and then see for yourself what kind of response you get. I would wager it would be not very different from the angry, secretive and unjust responses I and others have received in the past.
My email for any who would care to continue discussions with me off-line is
pgordon2222.pg@gmail.com

Thanks Todd and his team.
Thanks Trevor Johnson
Thanks Paul Gordon.

I’ve been super busy following other stories and disclosures, which explains why I haven’t been actively commenting much on Tom Chantry / ARBCA fiasco in recent days.

Just want to say I’m still cheering you from the sidelines.

Rupert Whitebear

I don’t understand Facebook, so maybe someone can help me with the following question: did ARBCA repost/share the missionary’s original post and encourage people to pray for him and support him?

Kevin

I’ve commented several times on this blog about how I attend an ARBCA church and ARBCA is nothing like you guys describe. I’m not going to repeat myself.

I don’t know Tom and what he did is despicable and I praise the Lord that he will never be a pastor again.

The Informal Council did not cover anything up. They wrote a scathing report and they did not withhold evidence from the parents. You guys put all the blame on ARBCA and nothing on the parents.

The parents should have gone to the police. It’s that simple. And everyone on here is missing that. Noone told them not to go. If they thought it was that bad, then they should have gone to the police. This is on the parents, not on 3 men who came down and did what they were supposed to do. And they did it well, if you actually read the report. They blasted Tom and gave strong recommendations.

ARBCA has no authority over churches and cannot remove pastors, etc. All they can do is help and give recommendations, which is exactly what they did.

Like I’ve said before, 99% of ABRCA members don’t know anyone involved in this case and don’t know the so-callled “leaders” of the “cult” ARBCA. I find it interesting how ARBCA can be a cult, yet, no one knows who the cult leader is.

Thanks,
Kevin

C S

Hi Kevin,

I am thankful you don’t see any abuse of pastoral authority in your church. That is so good to hear. Such abuse of authority can happen in any church, ARBCA or non-ARBCA, and it could be the pastors may not realize what they are doing.

But if folk in general are afraid to disagree with anything from the pulpit, or speak of it with anyone in the church, then there is definitely a problem. If Tom Chantry flees to your church a month after the happenings in Prescott, and the pastor says, “Don’t ask him why he here,” and expects you just to trust him – there’s a problem.

Again, so glad this is not occurring where you are. I am thankful.

I am curious why the 3 man informal committee signed the final document, if all they were doing was investigating and making recommendations? Having their names, along with Tom Chantry and the elders of MVBC, on the document implies they were representing ARBCA.

And why would they withhold the confidential report from the elders and parents at MVBC? It seems if the elders and members of the church were to make responsible, independent decisions about their future and possible discipline of T.C., they would want to have all the information possible.

Paul Gordon

Kevin as a Pastor in a church that was an ARBCA member church for five years I can tell you that the average pastor or church member has no idea just how things are run unless they are unfortunate enough to run afoul of the power figures of the Association. I could name their names but none of them would be a surprise to you. I could also name the names of the many men in good standing in their own local churches who can testify to the secrecy that governs the actions of the councils, the intimidation they employ, the sins that are covered, the lies that are believed, the injustices they commit. Ignorance may be bliss for you Kevin but for a growing list of victims of ARBCA’s entrenched old boy network the knowledge we have gained by our personal experience with these men entitles us to bear our testimony. You have every right not to believe it but you cannot invalidate it.

Kevin

Paul, if it’s so bad then you should warn others and name names and not just sit idly by while we live in our bliss of ignorance. How are people supposed to know anything unless others tell the truth?

Our church is not controlled by ARBCA. We wouldn’t even know what that means. We are a Baptist church and congregation led. Period.

Noone is forced to join or stay.

Paul Gordon

Kevin says, “Paul, if it’s so bad then you should warn others and name names and not just sit idly by while we live in our bliss of ignorance. How are people supposed to know anything unless others tell the truth?”

You have just had a public trial in which copious evidence of ARBCA corruption was on full display and you did not believe the evidence presented because your ARBCA church was not effected by it. You did not believe there were injustices committed against the families of Miller Valley when the report of the informal committee that revealed there was no basis for the spankings Tom administered to those children and the very real likelihood these spankings took place for his personal gratification was sealed and not given to the parents nor shared with anyone but a select few on the AC. Instead of seeing the massive cover-up that the judge in the trial saw, the prosecuting attorney saw, the mass of observers not influenced by blind prejudice saw, you instead saw delinquent parents who failed their abused children by not reporting this to the police. Parents who by the way were so respectful of the very organization you are defending that they were looking to them for guidance. Well they and their children were certainly let down by an Association more concerned with the reputation of a pedophile with the name of Chantry as well as pacifying the anger of his father to care one fig for the welfare of the victims and their families.

You refuse to believe what has been placed on public record in a courtroom and now you tell me you will believe my warnings? I don’t think so but if you care to know more about what I know about these men and their practices of bullying, intimidation, cover ups, lies and injustices you can e-mail me privately and I will tell you anything you care to know about my own experience.

kevin

Paul, it’s not that I refuse to believe. I totally think Chantry is a creep and totally unqualified for ministry. I believe some of the leaders of ARBCA 20 years ago, didn’t do some things right. I think Selph should answer for himself but he’s no longer in ARBCA.

And if there is a cover-up then kick them all out. But, everyone on here is demeaning thousands of people just because of a few “maybe” bad men. I mean, Trevor, this great brother, serving the Lord, is going to refuse donations from an ARBCA church, who probably doesn’t know anything about what is going on. Is that good for the Body?

This was 20 years ago. Only a few men even knew about it. And I know for a fact, the parents and elders were told that if they wanted to go to the police they had every right to do so. And The DA knew that the parents were told this by the 3 man committee.

Since you were a Pastor in ARBCA, I’m sure you can tell me alot. THere is always uygly stuff behind the scenes. See, I’m not beholden to the association, I just know from my experience, that not all of ARBCA are dumb sheep, following men behind a curtain. We’re just brothers and sisters trying to live the Christian life, who happen to be in an association. If we left the association today, not one member would lose any sleep over it. I guess that;s why I can;t understand these other people talking about how corrupt and bad the so-called leaders are….if we knew they were this bad, we would just leave the association. Maybe we are just an outlier church.

I would love to email you privately, not sure how you do that, 😉

Sarah

I appreciate your thoughts Kevin, and I agree with you. ARBCA doesn’t wield any type of power over its churches. And I doubt it would have occurred to these men as it being there responsibility to report a beating to the police that the parents already knew about. They had to have known about the beatings because why else was the council there in the first place? The report doesn’t mention anything about sexual abuse, and I highly doubt a young victim of abuse would have just told one of the council members about something so personal, scarring and horrific. There is reasonable doubt about whether they knew about any cases of pedophilia(maybe even more than reasonable considering how scathing the report really is. If you’re trying to cover something up, then why would you write a report about it, especially a report like this one? And why would you keep it around for 18 years? So few men had copies, why wouldn’t they just burn it up and pretend it never existed? Either these men are just really awful conspirators, or they were doing what they thought was best in a truly terrible situation. Also, just a thought, I wonder what the reccomendations to the parents were and why they aren’t included with the rest of this post of the report?)
Furthermore, I would imagine there are two different sets of reports so that it would be easier for church members who were not involved in the incident to move on to forgiving chantry. Why air dirty laundry and make a rift any worse than it already is? Every sin is heinous, but Christ’s love and grace is sufficient to cover even the most heinous. ARBCA was doing what they could to lead chantry to repentence while being advocates for the victims and their families.

Roberto G

I self-identify as a Reformed Baptist, although not a member of an ARBCA congregation. The issue of reporting an instance or instances of abuse is both the parents’ AND the pastors’ responsibility. Mandated reporter laws do not require you to investigate a claim of abuse. They require you to REPORT an instance or suspected instance of abuse or neglect. I have worked with children for 20 years and sometimes a parent reports a teacher or a teacher reports a parent. It is the job of certain authorities to investigate, not just anyone. Their sole concern is the safety of the child. At the end of the investigation, the result is either evidence is founded or unfounded. It is easy to surmise why the initial 3 elder informal group wanted to investigate. An accusation against an elder is foreseen in Scripture and how to handle it. However, these men were foolish in not picking up the phone and calling police. They could have conducted their interviews with parents while authorities may have possibly arrested Tom Chantry and stopped him in his tracks. By not fulfilling their mandated reporter responsibilities, they failed grievously.

Darrel

It is interesting, Kevin, that you would employ one of the time honored, tried and tested, one of the most successful tools in the wicked one’s tool box, that of transferring rightful guilt from the guilty party to anyone else in close proximity. This is done to exonerate one of your ‘pet preachers’ and those who are just as guilty of his heinous crimes as they excuse and try to cover his tracks. Such men are well described in Rev 18: 13 whose merchandise has been “the bodies and souls of men.” Now you are engaged in speaking lies in an attempt to clear the real guilty parties, yet the outcome of your efforts is to mock the God you claim to love and serve, bring dishonor to the Name of Christ, and exalt lies above truth. Do you know the eternal fate of all liars? Perhaps you should educate yourself in this matter. The cult designation for ABRCA and all of it’s leaders who cover the truth with their lies does indeed fit—to a T. Even Webster agrees. When any form of sexual activity is allowed, encouraged, or excused in the name of a “church” (which is precisely the case here) it is most definitely a cult. It does not matter what they preach from their pulpits or teach as a whole, if aberrant sexual practices are ultimately allowed you are not in a “Christian” environment, nor are those that you so adore leading you in the paths of righteousness, but paths of the wicked one. May it please the Lord to further expose the evil of ALL involved and glorify His Name.

Van Helsing

What is one of the main features of any cult? They take a “piece” of Scripture out of context and make it a centerpiece of their twisted doctrine. If Christians do no know this then they better become educated quickly. I believe that they do this because they themselves are deceived (or want to be deceived) and then to precisely measure the gullibility and naivete of their adherents to determine what the leaders can get away with. For instance, JWs believe in continuing and progressive revelation and that only 144,000 will be saved. Seventh Day Adventists believe that the Sabbath Day is really Saturday and not Sunday. Mormons believe that one day all humans will be “as gods.” ARBCA cultists now preach “divine impassibility” as a litmus test to its churches to determine who’s in and who’s out. Many decided to opt out BTW. Yes, as any true believer knows – God does not change but linking His immutability with the possibly that God does not FEEL actual love for His creatures (The Prodigal Son) is a man-made contradiction in terms – you do not have to be an ARBCA “super-apostle” to know that.
I challenge any Christian reading what I just wrote to read and STUDY Walter Martin’s book, “The Kingdom of the Cults” for further elaboration of what constitutes a cult. BTW, one of the main features is secrecy and cover-ups. Sound familiar, anyone?

Headless Unicorn Guy

I remember a quote from Chesterton that Chrisitanity is a dynamic balance of opposing doctrines, any one of which in isolation could lay waste to the world.

“Cults” in the theological sense take One True Doctrine in isolation and see how far they can push it. Not necessarily in a religious context — Communism was the “Poor Oppressed by the Rich crying for Justice” turned political cult.

And the word “cult” itself has two main meanings which get confused; the Christianese definition is always about Theological Ideology, not repeat NOT abusive totalist behavior towards its people. During my time in-country (in an abusive Shepherding group/End of the World cult), Walter Martin would have pronounced that abusive Shepherding Cult “Clean”. While he and similar Christian Cult-Sniffers were parsing Theology and Doctrine under an electron microscope, they completely missed abusive control-freak behavior towards the people. (It didn’t hurt that these not-a-Cults had the exact same Theology as the Cult-Sniffers — generic American Born-Again Bible-Believing Fundamentalism.)

Darrel

Walter Martin may have addressed many a cult in his day but I have yet to find anything on the ‘sex cults’ from his day. Doctrinal aberration no doubt qualifies as a cult just as sexual aberration does and that in any form. By necessity, the tweaking of Scripture to fit man’s lust (whatever form it may take) is found in every denomination and para-church organization. Otherwise, we would all be of one accord in ALL matters of doctrine and the faith we so cherish would be the same one preached everywhere, but such is not the case. The one thing they all have in common is the covering of their off the wall teaching and excusing their deeds by whatever means at their disposal—out right lies being one of the chief ones. To simply state that the ARBCA is a cult is meaningless without facts to back up such a contention. Such facts have been more than adequately supplied on this site with special attention being given to the deeds of the evil men involved. Perhaps in the final Judgment the blaspheme of using the Name of Christ via the “church” to exonerate the guilty by playing the “years of service” card, or the leaders thereof excusing the sins of all the players via their ‘office’, or the lies and neglect of those who participate in this evil through their silence, or the overall endorsement of Tom Chantry et al by saying his deeds were “no foul”, or running scared that others may be exposed as well if the truth is told in this instance, or everything else that we do not know now, no matter, ALL will be exposed on the Day of Judgment.

There is no recorded instance of a leader of a cult ever turning from his evil ways, being granted repentance, or coming to salvation in Christ either in Scripture or in secular history.

Ole Ganny

JHenry, I have described the top elder in our former church as a ‘master manipulator’. I believe that is why so many are still there. If the elders suspect one in ‘their flock’ is discontent, they will start inviting you over or maybe give you new jobs in the church or start smiling more at you and checking on you. It’s crazy how they try to manipulate a person. My dear husband met with the elders and gave them our concerns and they knew we were planning on leaving. My husband is a quiet man and after sitting through that meeting in which the elders thought they were running our lives and convincing my dear that we should stay, my husband came home. Within a few days we left that church. The top man actually said to my husband, ‘ but I thought we had changed your mind’. We have never looked back. And we are very thankful where we are now.

Samuel Conner

Todd,

A question that may be worth following up:

Over at ARBCA.org is the 2017 ARBCA General Assembly statement on TJC:

http://arbca.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/ARBCA-GA-Chantry-announcement.txt

This statement affirms that TJC complied with the recommendations of the “public” report of the “informal council”, and specifically that he was counseled by a “certified biblical counselor” and at the end of the counseling process was reckoned fit to return to ministry.

A point of interest would be to know whether the information contained in the “sealed report” was disclosed to the counselor and the sister church who assessed that TJC was fit to return to ministry.

If not, that would call into question the validity of these assessments.

Colleen S

JHenry – sadly I’ve seen what you are talking about, and once you are in such a church environment, it’s hard to escape, as you are made to feel guilty if you disagree.

So how do we prevent this happening to us in the first place? And how can pastors and teachers provide a healthy environment and “inoculate” the flock from being overly trusting, and to encourage them to think Biblically themselves?

Michael

If only the investigative committee had stuck with their initial report and called the police or instructed the church to do so.

Hello, this is Trevor Johnson, the missionary mentioned in the blog post above.

Just to clarify, I did not ask my Facebook post to be reblogged. I woke up this morning to be a bit surprised that it was on the blog. I don’t mind it, however, and if it helps the cause of those pushing for awareness of this issue, then so be it. I am thankful that you would see fit to include it here.

A general Facebook post is the easiest way nowadays to communicate ministry news, needs, and announcements (more people read my Facebook than my prayer-letters, sadly). So I did not post this for the sake of attention, nor to stir up any controversy (though silence in the face of abuse is an evil and so I am very glad you are stirring up this issue). Facebook is simply the easiest means of communication in this digital age.

I am not officially ARBCA, nor is my sending church; my sending church is a very kind group of people in Missouri, the only church I’ve ever been a member of since I came out of agnosticism at age 18, and they eventually sent me to the mission field, and I hope that I honor both God and them with my work. But I do receive funds each month from several ARBCA supporters, including at least one church.

Just several hours ago I received another private message from an ARBCA supporter contending that this case was merely an issue of a pastor “spanking kids” – and so I grow more and more disappointed with a group that seems unable or unwilling to see the sins of their own. I have also already been admonished not to “slander” or “gossip” anymore, or to “besmirch” the name of the church lest I give ammo to the unbelievers.

We deal with issues of abuse here in Papua, and I am enraged about it here and trying to stop the issue of child-marriage among the tribe I work in now and I grieve for these girls here and my sleep is troubled and I feel like a failure in not succeeding at stopping this practice up until this point. There is a girl now in a distant village and I am too sick to get to and do not know the path through 10 hours of jungle to go help her. And it greatly bothers me…haunts me. To overlook the tolerance of abuse towards children in the States, therefore, would be highly hypocritical of me. We know better. How can we expect God to bless us if we turn a blind eye to injustice to the weak? Your religion is only as good as it causes you to treat the weakest in society.

Many Reformed Baptists talk and meme endlessly about the errors of Osteen, Driscoll, John Frame, and even Billy Graham, and other religious leaders (even other Christians who merely differ in tertiary doctrinal points, like impassibility). But there has been largely crickets and silence about this awful case of ill treatment of children up until this point. There seems to be more tolerance for child abuse than there is for differing views regarding how it is that God expresses or appears to express divine emotions.

Surely we can tolerate looking at our own kind critically so that we might do better in the future when it comes to gross issues of sin which harms others.

To quote someone else from a few days ago on this blog, “Subscription to confessional standards and skill in preaching are not by themselves reliable indicators of Christ-like character.”

My deepest condolences to the victims. It is heartbreaking to think that many victims of abuse lose or struggle with their faith because of the crimes committed against them. Jesus is too kind, and good, and gentle, and tender towards the broken-hearted for us to be silent or cold.

I would love to see links put up so that small churches could read sample child safety policies and how future cases can be averted such as this. Many small churches simply are unaware and this isn’t even on their radar screens.

God bless.

Ciaran

“Your religion is only as good as it causes you to treat the weakest in society.”

Just so, Trevor.

Roberto G

It boggles my mind how these supposed wise leaders went through the time and the effort to put this report together and no one thought to pick up a phone and call the authorities instead. They were legally obligated to do so as mandated reporters. They ignored their duty and took on another duty as mandated investigators. I hope the individuals and the association face legal consequences.

JHenry

Let’s be more frank. Why did this committee draw up two different reports, one honest and one a whitewash? This is the smoking gun that tells us these men KNEW that Chantry was guilty of real crimes, and yet, for whatever reason, they chose to keep this fact ‘confidential’. In keeping the truth from others, they abdicated their responsibility to be honest, protect the flock which they are supposed to oversee and seek the genuine reconciliation of Chantry to God and men, which is the supposed aim of their much vaunted church discipline. Anyone in a position to sue these men – victims or members of ARBCA – have a very good case, simply based on the existence of these two documents.

Roberto G

Listen, I am with you. However, my point is that all involved (parents, secretaries, ministers, pastors, etc) were under obligation to pick up the phone and call and report even the suspicion of an instance of abuse (physical, sexual, emotional) and what ARBCA did was expend all their effort and time to producing a report with two versions based on their own investigation. Can ARBCA walk and chew gum at the same time? No one had the moral courage or clarity to say, “Regardless of what ARBCA thinks, I am morally obligated to report this, not on the basis of knowing a crime was committed, but the suspicion of an instance/instances of abuse based on the various children’s reports.” Period. Everyone involved in this fiasco was essentially acting in an autonomous manner. They embraced the essence of sin, autonomy, instead of resisting moral cowardice and failed to arrest sin in its tracks.

Not so. ARBCA withheld evidence from parents and others, which would have enabled them to make better informed decisions about reporting Chantry to the police.

Not reporting is one thing. Obstructing justice by lying to parents is a much bigger crime.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Roberto G

I honestly think you are missing the point of mandated reporting. Before any so-called obstruction of justice took place, there was a decision to not fulfill mandated reporter obligations. They got the cart before the horse from a mandated reporter perspective. Call the authorities first, then ask questions later.
There is no complicated formula or long list of criteria that has to be met before you are legally obligated to make the call. An instance of abuse does not have to be known with certainty, but suspected. The moment an ARBCA pastor or staff other than Tom Chantry was aware of the instance, a call should have been made.
The wheels of justice began with reporting. An investigation by proper authorities would have probably concluded the law was violated back in Arizona. The ARBCA internal investigation is distinct from their initial and continued inaction of reporting a suspected (and apparently later confirmed) child abuse. After all, the judge even said if ARBCA was in the dock, they would be guilty. The way I see it, they were guilty of not being able to walk and chew gum at the same time. That is, report the instances of abuse and run their own internal investigation in Arizona. Yes, they covered up. That was distinct then their failure to report the abuse. If report had been made, there would have been virtually no probability ARBCA pastors/staff would have “obstructed justice”. Again, mandated reporting does not require informed decision based on evidence. Mandated reporters are not required to investigate claims of instances of abuse. I have been a mandated reporter for 20 years. We are mandated to report, not investigate.

JHenry

The mind control these authoritarian church leaders have on the individual members is clever and effective. They not only control what information is ‘allowed’ to filter out, they then use the concept of elder authority to dictate what will be done or not done. From the outside, it is easy to wonder ‘Why would anyone go along with X,Y,Z?’, but from the inside you are simply ‘trusting your God-given authorities’. They simply trust whatever they are told.

In my case, I lobbied for the elders of my church to take seriously what I perceived as a potential risks to innocent (ignorant of the facts) members of our church. When I voiced my concerns, I was admonished that ‘the elders’ were handling the situation, had more knowledge and experience than I, and that my only role was to trust my God-given authorities. And you know what, for a while this worked on me. Finally, after being repeatedly assured the elders knew about and were ‘handling the situation’ (while doing nothing), my concern for those whose safety was not being protected (IMO) led me to shake off the mind control and take action.

I decided that I had the right, as an individual, to follow my own conscience – even if it differed from my elders. Even if it meant contacting the police on my own. This might sound silly to outsiders, but this ‘right’ is effectively squashed in these authoritarian, elder-controlled churches. All things should be judged on a case by case basis, but I would encourage people to show compassion to those who have been, and still are, under the influence of manipulative controllers who are very clever deceivers.

I consider myself a fairly strong-minded person, and not one to be easily pushed around. Yet there I was, intimidated into inaction by a group of men who had brainwashed me into believing that I must surrender my individual thoughts, beliefs and responsibility to act to their dictates. Or be in rebellion against God. But God finally got through to me that I was to answer to him, and no man. And, this is where the rubber hits the road: one may well be forced to give up community, friends and, sometimes, family in pursuit of truth and doing the right thing.

Cult-like, most of those involved in these authoritaian, elder-controlled (often Reformed) churches are unaware of how they are being manipulated. It is difficult for people to realize that they are victims of grooming and abuse, and that they have succumbed to the mind control of trusted elders to ‘see no evil’. Once their eyes are opened, the right thing to do is to step forward with any information of wrongdoing and say, ‘I am done being manipulated and done being silent’.

C S

Has Trevor Christian Johnson been receiving support from an ARBCA church in the past? Just curious, as he’s not listed on the ARBCA missions page: http://www.arbca.com/rbms-foreign-missions-