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Pastor Chuck O’Neal sometimes recorded private conversations without getting permission from involved parties. The elders were aware of this practice as you will read below. This was not a rare practice for him according to some people who personally saw this taking place. I’m wondering how many churches have pastors/elders who tape record conversations of their church members/attenders?
I mentioned in Comparing the Two, Part 2, that Chuck O’Neal and the two elders came to our door unannounced and demanding information from me a few weeks after we had left the church. A commenter asked me a question:
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Later, Meaghan added a followup comment sharing her experience with Chuck O’Neal using a recording device. Here is her story copied directly from the comments section. Meaghan’s story needs to be read. It is important and shows the type of treatment she and many others endured at the church, but was never able to share because of shunning.
Meaghan Mar 29, 2012 03:59 PM
on January 1st, 2009~C’ON, DL and DW were on my front porch, there on the word of my new pastor to speak with me about my not submitting to them and causing discord with the flock…by the way, my pastor offered to sit ‘en masse’ with the several families at this new church to settle the disputes with Chuck, he refused. Instead came to my home unannounced with a recording device. I knew this because I didn’t open the door instead listened to their conversation via my peephole listening device. Heard DL say ‘Do you have the recorder on? To which Chuck said yes.
When I didn’t open the door, they left only to return an hour or so later. Then we told them the police were called and to leave us alone, at which Chuck yelled all kinds of reviling remarks about us and they left. The police later spoke with Chuck and he told the officer he was given permission by our pastor to speak with us! The officer informed him only we could give him the ‘permission’ to be on our property and speak with us.
Then Sept of 2010, after we returned a ‘family’ heirloom piano, of which we were only storing, the ‘church’, a mob of 30 or more, showed up on our front yard with the piano, all the while Chuck was video taping it. We didn’t engage, though it was very very sad and sickening to see the hatred in their faces~next day the piano was given away via craigslist to a very happy large family.
God works wonders as painful as it was to see true colors. Since that day, I have been praying God will lead HIS children out of there, and give grace to those still there being blindly persecuted…may your day be filled with His love and grace. I am so thankful to God for leading us out, and when my eyes were opened, they were OPENED!
This is just one of possibly many cases of using recording devices. I have talked with other sources who have confirmed that they saw him using recording devices during meetings and he did not disclose to the meeting participants that he was recording their conversation.
Someone mentioned to me that they knew of a meeting in which Chuck played a recorded conversation that I was involved in. If Chuck had an issue with something that I said, why didn’t Chuck come to me personally? Why don’t I know about it? I wish I could hear this conversation.
It feels very strange knowing that someone heard a private conversation of mine without my permission and knowledge. I am typically a very open person and what you see is what you get, but I like to share when it feels appropriate and safe for me. Knowing that something private was shared without my permission kind of feels like being stripped naked in front of a stranger – a very vulnerable feeling.
It makes me wonder how many people were violated in this way. To me it is a violation of privacy to record someone’s private conversation. I also think it is wrong to take that recorded conversation and play it in front of people who were not privy to that conversation. It is wrong on so many levels. What would make a pastor stoop to such a level? Why would a pastor have a need to record conversations? Why can’t someone’s recollection suffice? Why does he need “proof”? Are his witnesses (elders) not proof enough?
Out of the 40+ yrs I have been going to churches, I’ve never heard of a pastor using recording devices to record his congregants’ conversations.It really is hard to wrap your head around this kind of thing. This seems like something one would see in a criminal tv movie, not a church, and certainly not from a loving shepherd.
If you are going to Beaverton Grace Bible Church, you need to know that this may happen to you. If it happened with Meaghan and me, who knows how many others? Do you feel safe knowing that at any time your conversation may be recorded without your permission and played for others? Are you okay with that? A number of people have also told me their stories about recorded conversations, but I will not share them without permission. If you would like to add your story to the comment or send me an e-mail. I would be happy to feature your story.