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Gore Vidal called it the sweetest phrase in the English language.

“I told you so!”

Here is a blog from the DORIGHTCHRISTIANS!  Sounds to me like a fundamentalist response to the DoRight boards.  The blogger states his belief in a conspiracy against IFB churches by sinister dark forces but, lest ye be quick to dismiss his arguments, you realize some of it is interwoven with truth.  Inconvenient truths that have been the subject of Christian School Confidential, both the novel and the blog you are now reading.

The mixture of a strong lie with truth is always the mark of a great lie!  I have nothing much to add to the assertions of DORIGHT except, to those who have been reading Christian School Confidential, you understand the problems we have in advocacy.

Rather than be upset at this blogger, I find myself taking my hat off to him.  At least, I’m assuming it’s a ‘him’.  I’d be mildly surprised if a woman was behind this blog.

“What took you so long?”

I’m surprised this conspiracy theory wasn’t floated during the non-trial of Bob Gray.  There was even a brief respect, on my part, for fundamentalists not giving in to this theory.

Times are tough for IFBs!  Extreme scandals demand extreme conspiracies! It was inevitable.  And now after all these years, finally, a fundamental conspiracy theory worthy of a Jack Chick tract!

http://dorightchristians.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/jack-schaap-set-up/

AN EXCERPT FROM MY NOVEL, CHRISTIAN SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL:

“Cutswipe warned the congregation there were women laying in wait to trap preachers and young preacher boys into admitting they had committed the vilest sins ever.  The aim would be to destroy fundamentalism and cripple its influence throughout the world!

“Jules Cutswipe’s final sermon was a warning about women who will destroy fundamentalist preachers, their churches and the male dominance of America!  I thought, ‘No one would ever do anything like that!’.  It was while sending condolences to his very rich and influential friends in Washington I realized, we might be able to do just that!”

Survivor Wars II: The need for Devil’s Advocacy

Do Right, Hyles-Anderson is alive and well!

I clicked on the link. It appeared to have vanished. Do Right Hyles Anderson appeared again so I rejoined the group but, once again, the group disappeared! It wasn’t until I logged into another Facebook account when I learned it had not vanished. The administrators simply blocked me.

Jocelyn Zichterman seems to be one of the administrators of the Do Right Hyles Anderson board. Jocelyn is the one who called investigators and gave them Tina Anderson’s number. A risky move since, when a similar incident happened during the Bob Gray case, the victim just told the police, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” In the case of Tina Anderson, it worked and a victory was won against Ernie Willis, the man who raped Tina Anderson.

During the Tina Anderson case, I was practically coming unglued that the media seemed to be ignoring the fact that Tina could easily have been sent to an IFB home. That’s how some victims of IFB abuse have been silenced! When I finally reached the journalist who covered most of the Tina Anderson saga, I was surprised to hear she wanted to do a story on IFB homes. Her editors killed the idea because not enough victims had come forward.

What? No victims wanting to come forward? Seriously? Had this reporter not been to Facebook? Multiply? Or even Heal-Online? Immediately, I put the word out and she was swamped with testimonies. ABC News Online finally gave that subject its due. Biblical Reform School Discipline: Tough Love or Abuse was the first national article to mention the Survivors of Institutional Abuse and their convention which was held this year in Long Beach, CA. That article proved instrumental in bringing solidarity amongst victims and survivors.

It was during this time when I found out a number of survivors trusted Jocelyn to tell their story to ABC only to find out that never happened. An ugly thread war started on Facebook.

Today, the folks at Do Right, Hyles Anderson are propagating the idea that the FBI wants survivors to give their stories to certain advocates within that circle (Jocelyn?) and then they will evaluate the stories and decide which to report to authorities. This has resulted in a number of Facebook posts where people claimed to have contacted the FBI only to learn the FBI does not use third party advocacy.

Victims who might be involved with the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana scandal are being urged to call the Merrillville, Indiana office at (219)769-3719 and speak with Agent Chikantek. All calls are confidential.

Cathy Harris of FB revealed that a person at the FBI told her, “3rd parties to gather reports and round up victims for the FBI is not how the FBI goes about an investigation.” The testimony can be tainted if the story passes through too many hands. The defense lawyers would love this!

This is not the first time I have been blocked from a Facebook page. I was blocked by Jeri Massi, for reasons that possibly lurk between my negative review of Schizophrenic Christianity and editing the protest against Calvary Bible Church in Lima, Ohio. That church supported Hephzibah House, which is a cause she apparently feels quite proprietary about.

Why write about this issue? To get people to steer clear of certain advocates? To argue they may be ‘moles’ working as false advocates? Not at all!

The purpose is deal with the wider issue of ‘Survivor Wars’. Angela Smith, founder of HEAL-Online, helped me edit an article about survivor conflicts that is currently posted at California Heal. It’s about the need for Devil’s Advocacy within Advocacy. Angela is no stranger to Survivor Wars having been the target of other ‘advocacy groups’ during the lifespan of her network of advocates.

HEAL has been quite successful. Not only have they persuaded some parents from sending their children to teen containment camps, but they have the distinction of shutting down a number of abusive homes. A growing amount of survivors from IFB homes are joining the cause and victims are gaining the knowledge that turns them into survivors.

There are always detractors when you have success.

If you step away from HEAL or even the two J’s I referenced, you’ll find numerous ‘minor’ survivor wars occurring on Facebook and possibly other message boards. ‘Minor’ in the sense few know about them. If you keep your ear on the virtual grounds, they’re kind of difficult to miss.

So what’s the solution? Plead that we all stand united since we all have a common enemy? That might be myopic.

We’re probably confused as to who or what the enemy is. We might say it’s the abusers and those who cover it up, but what about the philosophical beliefs used by the abusers to control?

Is it possible to stand against abuse and still endorse the concept of a patriarchy?

Can one stand against the abusive teen containment centers and maintain conservative Republican values if the party, as a whole, defends them?

Can one truly counsel a victim of incest that the abuse wasn’t her fault and, at the same time, champion the biblical figure of Lot as a just man? After all, his daughters got him drunk and forced themselves on him! Try to argue that in court.

We are all different and it might be impossible for all of us to agree. The damaging psychology of IFB group think can easily be carried over into the world of survivordom. How to stop it?

The solution isn’t to feverishly warn people about the abuses of so called advocates, but to wise up and ‘kill’ that part of us that is addicted to the ‘messiah/hero complex’. It’s that part of us still looking for a ‘hero’ or ‘messiah’ to come in and single handedly win the battle against the IFB, the Catholic Church, Hollywood, Washington DC, and the abusive father next door.

That’s our job.

It’s a tough job and seemingly impossible. The good news is each new scandal brings a fresh crop of people ready to take no prisoners in their pursuit of accountability and justice. Perhaps they can learn from the mistakes of those who came before them? However, you can’t do that if you’re devoted to never critiquing the methods of fellow survivors. It’s part of growing up.

Facebook groups are, in reality, the visions of only a few people. It’s time to recognize that and to stand as individuals. Without groups. Like a true movement. Making strong and logical arguments. And whenever we see flame wars and survivor wars, just accept that ‘such is life’. Do what we can to mend fences and, if that not be possible, just move on to the next battlefield.

Did Jack Schaap commit a crime?

What an interesting week! I did not go to Hyles Anderson, although I did visit First Baptist in Hammond, Indiana back around 1999 and got to see then pastor Jack Hyles give a Mother’s Day sermon. He preached against women wearing pants and I was very surprised to see the majority of men dressed like the Blues Brothers. That certainly wasn’t the case with my former fundamentalist church, Trinity Baptist in Jacksonville, Florida. Florida, of course, is more casual and a little hotter than the Chicago/Hammond area, so our suits were a little bluer when they weren’t earth tones.

Jack Schaap, the pastor recently fired from his job after inappropriate relations with a 16 year old girl, married into the Hyles family and, after Jack’s death, became the pastor of First Baptist. Rumors were flying, and a blogger recently insinuated, that Jeff Owens was being considered as the new pastor. I bought it, posted it only to find out that wasn’t the case. So, I removed the reference and, unlike a lot of bloggers, not only admitted it (in the comment section) but even allowed negative comments to be posted.

Most bloggers on this issue aren’t doing that under the guise of protecting victims. Always a good excuse to evade issues! Victims need to be strengthened not kept in a state of weakness. If you feel other blogs aren’t allowing your viewpoint to be aired, feel free to comment on this blog. Other than SPAM or obviously threatening comments (like posting people’s home addresses, etc), most posts will be approved.

The goal is not to be Moses coming down from the Mountain with a new Ten Commandments for Survivors. The goal of anything should be to create dialogue. Not to posture as an advocate (please don’t call me the ‘a’ word!), activist,researcher, or concerned citizen or anything like that. Simply to fulfill the vital need for communicating about issues that are not being discussed that need to be addressed.

One of my favorite comments on the previous article described it as shoddy journalism. It’s my favorite because I certainly don’t consider myself a journalist. I’m an armchair quarterback having earned my stripes during the Bob Gray saga, which carried on to being invited to help form the Survivors of Institutional Abuse (because of my role in the closing of Victory Christian Academy, Ramona, CA), and currently working with HEAL as California coordinator.

That last one usually involves taking phone calls from parents or survivors of abusive treatment centers. I’m usually trying to talk parents out of sending their kids to these centers or I’m helping those who just got out of such places to find the help they need. The last part is no picnic, but that’s another story that others may tell.

I’ve gone full circle in this ‘accidental activism’. While I’m still California co-ordinator for HEAL, my passion and thoughts are devoted to creating a film adaptation of Christian School Confidential, my novel inspired by a variety of scandals regarding pastors abusing children in their flock. It took two years to write that book and, to my surprise, gave me a huge sense of closure after I finished writing it. Hopefully, it will do the same for survivors who realize that the justice system and religious institutions are not working for their common interest.

True closure involves talking about the abuse, not just once, but sometimes even two, three, or more times until the survivor realizes s/he has also gone full circle. If the person you’re speaking with is not receptive, you have to go elsewhere. Advocacy can help but it can also be a two edged sword as there are predators in advocacy just like everywhere else. My concern is some advocates are keeping people in a cycle of eternal victim hood by keeping them fearful and silent, albeit for different reasons. In the end, there are no good guys or bad guys, just horribly flawed human beings trying to protect their turf.

There is a need for ‘devil’s advocacy’, if you want to win. You have to be able to critique your methods and discuss the reality of the situation before egg gets on your face. So, while my current focus is networking to get my film projects off the ground, from time to time I’ll come on here to discuss matters that I’m not seeing discussed anywhere else. If you want to join in or suggest a topic, feel free to use the comment section or email me at dw@dwayne-walker.com.

Let’s start out with something politically incorrect, shall we?

Jack Schaap allegedly drives a teenage girl (16/17?) across state lines where it is legal to have sex with a girl of 17. Has he broken the law? True, it could be argued he drove the girl with the intention of having sex with a minor (as considered in his state). Trafficking requires there to be a crime committed, though. If it’s legal in that state could it also be argued he was not, in fact, doing anything illegal as long as the sexual activity took place in that state? Does the girl’s right to not be violated at 17 change when she enters a state where it’s perfectly legal for her to engage in such activity?

In that sense, did Jack Schaap commit a crime? For that matter, is it a crime for a citizen of a state where gambling is illegal to gamble in Nevada? Or any state where it’s legal? You can ask the same question about wet/dry counties, or any situation where something is legal in one place but illegal in another. I’m sure David Gibbs, Schaap’s lawyer, will have some interesting points to make on this very topic when/if this goes to trial. All ears are open!

My view is the age of consent should be a Federal Standard. What’s legal in one state should be legal in all. This flies in the face of State’s Rights purists, but it would sure make things less confusing.