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A very fundamentalist sex scandal

Previously on Leaving Fundamentalism: 

  • Pastor Jack Hyles indulges in immoral sexual activity and covers up abuse.
  • Preacher Bill Gothard receives 34 allegations of sexual harassment and four of rape.
  • There are links between Hyles, Gothard, and Accelerated Christian Education founder Donald Howard.
  • All three are represented by the lawyer David Gibbs Jr, who’s made a career cleaning up after preachers.
  • It turns out quite a lot of this sort of thing goes on in fundamentalist Baptist churches,

So, this blog being this blog, you probably thought the last post was going to end with me telling you about a sex scandal involving Accelerated Christian Education’s Donald Howard. But you were wrong.

I saved it for this post.

[Be warned, this post will again feature discussion of sexual abuse that you might find upsetting or triggering]

Read the rest of this entry

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Putting Christianity ahead of Christ

Most of the Christians that read this blog seem to get it. They know that when someone has been abused by Christians, that is not the time for evangelism. It is the time for supporting victims and standing up against injustice. But sometimes we get a reader who is more concerned about the image of Christianity™ than they are about caring for people. Or someone who thinks that a victim might be low-hanging fruit for conversion. Evangelicalism: Spreading itself by preying on the weak.

Typically, the critic will take offence and claim that the blog suggests all Christians are abusive (which it never does). Why have I not specifically mentioned in every post that not all Christians are like this? How could I attack Christianity like that? To which my response is: What the hell is wrong with you? You can read a blog post about a girl being raped, and your first concern is that it might make your religion look bad. You know what actually makes religion look bad? Covering up rape, you morally bankrupt fuck.

Read the rest of this entry

My meaningless diploma

I am proud to present this post by Anaïs Chartschenko. If you are likely to be triggered, be warned that this piece refers to rape.

Anaïs Chartschenko

Anaïs Chartschenko

Every time I apply for a job I have a pang of fear. Some jobs want to check your references. I am not afraid because I have a criminal history. I am afraid because my whole high school experience was a fraud. You see, I was home schooled. At first, I had big, thick text books with spines that smelled nice. I didn’t mind this as much, even though I was mostly left to my own devices to do my school work. I wanted to be smart. Discipline was not an issue. I wanted to go to college. I now see my naivety. I should have paid more attention when church members kindly informed me that college wasn’t for me or that god had other plans…

Before long, my mother had switched the whole curriculum up. I now was to do ACE which came in shockingly simplistic booklets, called PACEs. I was told it was much better, and I could work at my own pace. PACEs, get it? So for three years I stared at the PACEs, carefully filling in bubbles with my number two pencil. I can’t explain the boredom. I can’t explain the anger I felt with every depiction of a submissive woman making dinner. The curriculum featured multiple choice questions with only one right answer. There was no critical thinking involved.  Read the rest of this entry

Donuts

I have a new favourite blog: Anaïs Chartschenko’s Whisper Collector. Like just about everything I recommend, it’s not fun reading, but she’s a belting writer and her story needs to be heard. She’s a former ACE home schooler and a rape survivor (although, as her blog shows, she is absolutely not a victim). I repost this with her permission.

English: Here is a half eaten donut from dunki...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I walked into the youth chapel at the church. Something was different: there was a box of donuts on a folding table in the center of the room. All of us descended on it eagerly. There were some kids who had such strict parents that they did not get to eat sugar. They were the most deflated. I stared into the box, taking in donut after donut- glazed, creme filled, maple bar- all varieties with one common theme. A big bite had been taken from each one. Dejected, we slumped in our chairs. No one was willing to risk eating a communal donut. We had all been warned about the dangers of sharing food a million times over. We did not want herpes from a donut, no sir. We were adept at going with out. We had already gone without dancing (the prom), learning science, eating meat, reading novels, watching movies, or any of the long list of things that were not allowed. Read the rest of this entry

Questions abound as more horror stories emerge from New Bethany Home for Girls and Boys in Arcadia and Longstreet

Louisiana Voice

Do it in the name of heaven,

You can justify it in the end.

 —One Tin Soldier by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter

As more and more revelations come to light about the treatment of residents of the New Bethany Home for Girls and Boys in Arcadia and similar homes run by Rev. Mack Ford and wife Thelma in other localities, many serious questions remain unanswered.

  • Why, for example, have the Fords and employees of the home never been charged with felony child abuse?
  • How can a man (and dozens more like him scattered across the U.S.) mete out such barbaric treatment of children in the name of a Savior who’s every utterance of love, peace and forgiveness is in direct contradiction to the policies of these institutions?
  • How can the doctrine of separation of church and state trump state laws enacted to protect children who are unable to protect…

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Rape victim, confess your sin

Trigger warning in this post for rape and victim blaming.

In 1997, a Baptist church deacon, Ernie Willis (38), raped Tina Anderson, then 15. As a result, Anderson became pregnant. The church pastor, Chuck Phelps, covered up this rape, and had Anderson relocated to another state (with a plane ticket paid for by her rapist). She was home schooled, and not allowed contact with her peers until after she had given the baby up for adoption.  Willis had even confessed his guilt to the pastor, conceding that he was the “aggressor”. Anderson’s relocation effectively shut down the police investigation into the matter. There is some disagreement as to whether the authorities were informed at the time; roughly, Phelps says they were, and everyone else says they weren’t.  Read the rest of this entry

ACE teacher jailed for sex attacks (UK)

From Fleetwood Today, 19/6/2010:

A TEACHER who molested a teenage girl more than 25 years ago has been put behind bars.

Graham Wilcock subjected his victim to numerous sexual assaults while he was a 25-year-old teaching assistant at Emmanuel Christian School in Fleetwood.

He would later become deputy head teacher in charge of the senior school.

The attacks spanned two years in the 1980s from when the girl was 13 to 15 years old.

His victim kept the assaults secret until the 1990s when there was an inquiry into his actions and he was sacked from the school but not barred from teaching.

Last year the woman – now in her 30s – contacted police after seeing a picture of her attacker and deciding she wanted the offences brought into the open.The 50-year-old was doing charity work in Romania when he was informed detectives wanted to speak to him regarding the abuse but returned to the UK to admit his guilt.

The school was the first in the UK to use Accelerated Christian Education (ACE), a method aimed at re-introducing Christian standards into the classroom.

(Full article).  Read the rest of this entry