Calvary Chapel Visalia Lawsuit, Local News Article, Court Declaration

Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart. Col. 3:21

Last week I posted about the Calvary Chapel Visalia Pastor Bob Grenier and his wife, Gayle against their stepson/son Alex and former church member Tim. I mentioned Bob’s son, Paul’s court declaration and the very strong emotions I felt when reading it. I did not feel the liberty to publish his declaration. Shortly after publishing my article, Dee of Wartburg Watch published an article and included a few paragraphs from Paul’s declaration on her blog article and included a link to the rest of the court document. It is a very difficult read.

Reader, Summer, encouraged me to post the declaration in her comment:

Julie Anne, I read Paul’s declaration last night and that is why I asked you to post it. As Monax stated above, we need to be enraged. That is why, as horrific as the statement is, I believe, we need to read it. Because we need to be incensed, we need to be mad, we need to be so angry that it will move us to action!!

Heavenly Father, please have mercy on these victims of this horrendous crime. Please, Lord, don’t let this man hurt anyone else.

I agree with Summer. So here we go. This excerpt comes from Dee’s article on The Wartburg Watch blog. It includes an excerpt from Paul’s testimony and the link to his complete court declaration:

Here is an excerpt from Paul Grenier’s deposition. I assure you that it only gets worse. If you can stomach reading more, click on the following link and then double click on the link on the page to which it brings you. P. Grenier Declaration iso SMTS text

Bob did, in fact, molest me. These are extremely humiliating and painful events to be forced to share publicly, but I am left with no other choice at this point since Bob has filed this lawsuit against Alex and while I would prefer not to be involved, I will in no way let Alex’s name be tarnished for telling the truth.

Bob began sexually molesting me at the age of five years old. These episodes began in the small shower in the bathroom that adjoined his and Gayle’s master bedroom. These abuses started with me being forced to shower with him naked against my will.

First, I was extremely uncomfortable and always had been by Bob walking around nude in front of me with his genitals exposed. And I knew inside of me at five years old that there was something wrong with having to take a shower with Bob. I knew that this type of behavior did not occur in the homes of my friends even at a young age.

The showers started with Bob washing me with soap and touching my genitals and my anus. I recall at least six occasions where Bob would insert his index finger inside my anus in what he would describe “to make sure I was clean.” Bob would also have me wash his genitals wherein he would be in a sexually aroused state during these episodes and at times he would not.

On two occasions I was forced to perform oral sex on Bob. Typical to the combination of physical and sexual abuse I endured at Bob’s hands, these showers would involve scalding hot water and I remember being in pain because of the heat of the water and also scared because of what he was doing to me.

Just two days ago, an article came out in the Fresno Bee, a local paper. This is not the first time the Fresno Bee has covered this case. Maybe I’m biased because I make it my intent to defend those who have no voice, but I had a really hard time with this article. I’ve cut and pasted only parts of the article which I found concerning. Please be sure to read the entire article (and don’t forget to leave a comment). My disappointment begins in the first paragraph:

Son accuses Visalia pastor Bob Grenier of sex abuse

VISALIA — A bitter family feud between mega-church pastor Bob Grenier and his estranged sons escalated this month with a son’s claim in court papers that his father sexually molested him as a child.

When reading the words “family feud”, it conjures up the idea of long-term quarreling. The words seem to dismiss so much of the real issue that Alex has been addressing on his blog about his father regarding alleged sex abuse cover-up, no accountability, spiritual abuse, alleged misuse of funds, stories of alleged sex abuse and physical abuse of his children, etc. The word “claim” annoys me. To me, “claim” leaves a measure of doubt in the mind.

In the first paragraph, I was left with an obvious question. I understand that the focus of this article is on the Grenier family, but what about Tim Taylor? Did reporter Lewis Griswold read the lawsuit? The lawsuit is against Alex AND Tim. Tim is 50% of the named defendants and his name is not even mentioned in this article? How odd is that?

Here’s more from the article:

The allegation by Paul Grenier, 31, is in a statement filed in Tulare County Superior Court in support of his brother Alex Grenier, 41, who is being sued for libel by their parents, Bob and Gayle Grenier. Alex was the first to publicly accuse his father of molesting Paul when he wrote about it online in 2011.

Now, Paul has gone public with the accusation, too. His court statement says that twice when he was 5, “I was forced to perform oral sex on Bob.” It also alleges instances of inappropriate touching.

But Paul Grenier has not filed a police report, even though state law allows adults to report alleged sexual abuse that happened when the victim was a minor.

Anybody with a modicum of understanding regarding child sex abuse knows that reporting sex abuse is one of the most difficult things a survivor can do. It means they have to rehash what happened to a stranger. This can leave feelings of sadness, grief, embarrassment, shame, anger. Who wants to dredge up those kinds of emotions? It makes perfect sense why someone would not report the crime, yet in this article, it paints Paul in a negative light for not reporting.

Bob Grenier, pastor of the 550-member Calvary Church Visalia, denies the sex abuse allegations and says they’ve taken an emotional toll on him.

Of course he denies the sex abuse. If they’ve taken an emotional toll on him, what about the emotional toll his sons?

Another son, Robert Grenier Jr., 29, who has stood by his parents, wrote in his own statement supporting the lawsuit that he never witnessed the alleged sexual abuse or heard about it.

Do you see how the article once again is casting doubts on the validity of the sex abuse by providing this statement? This statement says nothing. It doesn’t prove or deny anything. In families where sex abuse occurs, many times siblings do not know about it. How many brothers do you know would tell another brother that they had to perform oral sex on Dad? Give me a break. That’s just not something that is discussed. When sex abuse occurs, it primarily happens in secret and the secret is kept, sometimes for years or decades. Robert’s statement gives no credibility to anything. It’s just extra piffle.

Grenier’s lawyer, Nick Pritchett of Visalia, called Paul Grenier’s allegations “absolutely untrue.”

Ok, this is getting ridiculous. When was the last time you heard a lawyer not defend his client?

Grenier said Friday he has not decided whether to file a police report, saying that he lacked confidence that the allegations would be taken seriously. Under the law, such abuse alleged by someone age 28 or older can be investigated even if the 10-year statute of limitations has passed; prosecutors have one year to file charges.

Paul has a reasonable concern. His father is volunteer chaplain with the police department – a job he has maintained for a number of years. He rubs shoulders with the police – they are his friends. How likely would Paul’s story be heard without prejudice?

The estrangement between Bob and Gayle Grenier and their sons burst into the open three years ago when Alex and Paul Grenier filed a criminal report with the Visalia Police Department alleging that their father — a volunteer chaplain at the department — savagely and routinely beat them as children. They wanted him prosecuted for felony child abuse.

I wonder what the protocol is at the police department when someone files a criminal report? Did Bob Grenier have to step aside while being investigated? Was there an investigation done? How does it reflect on the Visalia Police Department when they have a volunteer chaplain who is suing his own family members and is also being accused of atrocious crimes against children? Would Bob Grenier’s friends at the police department be able to be unbiased? Maybe not. I cannot make the assumption that everyone at Visalia PD is corrupt or blinded, but knowing that Pastor Grenier maintains his position as volunteer chaplain does raise questions. Do we not have similar questions as to why CJ Mahaney is still invited to speak at conferences/churches while he is in the midst of a lawsuit involving similar claims? This is not unreasonable – this should be common sense.

Surely things are stirring in Visalia as this court case is heating up. I would like to ask my readers to continue to pray for all involved: Alex, Tim, Paul. Let’s pray that Paul will have strength to file the criminal report so that Bob Grenier can be thoroughly investigated. And if Paul does file a report, let’s pray that he will deal with someone from the police who has integrity and does not have biases based on current relationship with Bob Grenier. Surely there is someone there who understands sex abuse and will want to make sure due diligence is done in this case. I have to believe that.

* * * * *

Note to readers: I have been disappointed at how little this story has been reported in the media. I have a group working behind the scenes to help that process along. Please prayerfully consider how you can help spread the word so this story will be told.

20 comments on “Calvary Chapel Visalia Lawsuit, Local News Article, Court Declaration

  1. I’m sorry that it had to get to the point where Paul was forced to testify about his own abuse in order to give credence to his brother’s testimony. Kudos to Paul for being brave enough to do that. He has my respect.

    Some day Bob will be judged. When that day comes his world will become even darker. He will deserve whatever judgement is meted out to him.

    You know who I feel especially sorry for? Bob’s wife. Surely she was brainwashed into turning a blind eye to the abuse, not only that of her children, but her own, thinking it was normal. I hope and pray that she soon has the courage to step away and live free of her demented husband.

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  2. First of all, Julie Anne, I want to say thank you for continuing to give this issue the attention it needs. I have a few things I want to say and hopefully it will make sense because I am so upset about this.

    For any readers who question Paul and why he didn’t say anything. I was a victim of sexual abuse. My father sexually abused me from the time I was a young girl till I was 12 years old. I didn’t tell anyone because I knew that it would hurt my mother and I didn’t want to hurt her. Finally, when I married, I told my husband. It has only been recently that I’ve told others and that is because of this story. In spite of suffering from this abuse, I still loved my father and have a relationship with him till this day! People need to understand that children cope with this abuse in many ways. I compartmentalized it and never thought about it. I never spoke of it. I’m sure it has messed me up big time. I have all kinds of anxiety problems.

    Secondly….I was watching the news last night and they were talking about the priest that is involved in choosing the new pope. He was involved in covering up the sex abuse in the Catholic church. Now, he gets to help in the process of selecting the new pope!! Our country is seriously messed up and if God judges us for anything I believe it will be for this kind of thing!! How can we let this happen to our children. How can we ignore these facts and elevate these molesters?! I am so frustrated! The people of CCV are so mind f’d that they would rather ignore these allegations. They won’t even talk to the accusers. They won’t read the accusations. The board should be ashamed of themselves! At the very least, BG should be stepped down until an investigation is completed. If BG cared at all he would voluntarily step down realizing what he is doing to the name of Jesus. Please, God help us all when this kind of thing happens and business goes on as usual.

    If there are any readers from Calvary Chapel Visalia reading this post I beg of you to confront these allegations and find out the truth. Seek out the accusers and talk to them. Read the accusations and then tell me that you can ignore them! Please don’t just ignore all of this. Ask yourself why these young men would come out and say these things. You are not being persecuted!! Think for yourselves! Don’t close your eyes to this evil. Your are the ones being deceived! Those of us on the outside looking in that are not mind f’d by Bob Grenier and use common sense are begging you to use your head and make a decision about this. I BEG OF YOU!

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  3. I need to clarify what I mean by saying ‘I still loved my father and have a relationship with him till this day.’ I don’t mean to insinuate that Paul should have a relationship with his father at all!! What I suffered was a horrible thing. I hardly see my father at all. But, we are not totally estranged. We speak occasionally. But, he is not behind a pulpit saying he never did these things!! I was trying to point out that people on the outside looking in would never have suspected what my father was doing to me because I never behaved in any way that would make others think this was going on. My father stole my innocence and I believe many of my emotional problems are a direct result of what happened as a child.

    BTW, my father was involved in youth ministry at the time. Can you believe that!! I wonder how many men are doing this same thing today.

    I don’t have the strength to stand up as Paul does. He is doing the right thing!! I pray God continue to give strength for Paul and Alex in this situation.

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  4. Summer, your story is not as uncommon as one might think. Thanks for clarifying. I understood you, but for those who have not experienced sex abuse personally or been involved with others who have, you are helping them to understand.

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  5. Reading this and then commenting, I find hard. I cannot understand….why? those in the “christian” community, why is this allowed to continue? I have been praying about this to the Lord. I can see where the unbelieving world will follow sin because they do not know the Lord as Savior; I have a hard time with this where men and women who claim salvation and yet will abuse their brothers and sisters in Christ. I know God is all knowing and is all good, but this one is difficult. Why is the church allowed to continue in this way? Lord I pray that your Hand is on the weak and oppressed. I pray that the wickedness that is running rampant in the church will cease and your goodness and grace will replace the evil in her midst.
    I am so sorry to those who have had to endure these abuses and I am continually praying for you.

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  6. Here is what a friend of mine said so succinctly:

    “It’s very frustrating. I find it almost unfathomable that anyone filled with the Holy Spirit could ignore this. It must take a very hard heart to not be deeply troubled by this behavior.”

    I agree. I think the answer is that it flows from the top down. As the leader goes, so goes the followers.

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  7. Here is what a friend of mine said so succinctly and I concur:

    “It’s very frustrating. I find it almost unfathomable that anyone filled with the Holy Spirit could ignore this. It must take a very hard heart to not be deeply troubled by this behavior.”

    Here is why I believe that his followers ignore it; as the leader goes, so goes the followers. It flows from the top down.

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  8. Lori P, and Summer,

    Last Fall my friend and I were walking around Highland Park above the Pittsburgh Zoo when suddenly she hit me in the arm and stopped us in our tracks. “Listen,” she said, “what is that?” From down over the hill and through the trees came these screams like I’ve never heard before.

    I uttered the first thing that came to mind, “Sounds like a mauling.”

    In retrospect, I know now what I was hearing—screams of men, women and children witnessing and trying to stop a two year old boy from being further mauled by the most ferocious dogs on the planet. A young mother had accidently dropped her baby boy into an African wild dog exhibit.

    So as I’m listening and trying to wrap my mind around what I was hearing the first image that entered my mind was a sort of wicked roller coaster ride. I knew, however, that the zoo had no roller coaster—just a small carousel and a slow moving train. No, these screams were of a magnitude I had never ever been exposed to—not in any amusement park, not in any movie, not in any life experience—until then. And these were sustained, hysterical screams full of terror, rising and falling in the most surreal of intensities.

    She and I looked at each other.

    I now had the image of a big, burly, brown bear barreling around the food court mauling little girls, mauling men.

    “Let’s walk down,” She said. So we did.

    As soon as we reached the mural wall near where the kangaroos are kept, we hear over the loud speakers an announcement of a zoo emergency requiring everyone to take immediate indoor shelter.

    As we were walking on the sidewalk of the road in front of the administrative office four lit-up police vehicles flew by. Moments later we heard a series of six shots. Then minutes later there was an announcement that the zoo was closed for the day and everybody was asked to exit.

    I tell this tragic story to draw our attention to a certain emotional reality operating in the hearts and mouths of certain others who reflect upon events like this from the outside.

    You see, later that week as I was walking around the reservoir above the zoo I heard a lady say to another lady some pretty malicious things about this bereaving mother. At the point where she said, “I would shoot myself if I were her,” I stopped and told them what my godly grandmother was doing. Ceaselessly, with tears of compassion, she was interceding for this mother, for the father, for the family, knowing that she could not even fathom what this experience has done to them.

    My grandmother has since left this earth for heaven, but her daughter, my mother is still with us. I was adopted at birth to a fundamentalist pastor and his wife. I do thank my grandmother and my mother for my christian heritage—for introducing me to Jesus and nurturing me in my relationship with God. But to this day I have a better relationship with my father than I do with my mother.

    My father turned out to be an abusive man—a sometimes sick and sadistic monster. Once, at around the age of four, my father made me do something utterly degrading to punish and humiliate me so that I might learn a proper lesson. Afterwards, I went out to my mother where she was standing at the stove and cried, “Mommy [save me].”

    My mother was cold and psychologically paralyzed. She was simply unable to protect me from this monster, this pastor, her husband, and my adopted father. And such went my life until she had the courage and the strength to leave him. I have little memory of my life before this extrication. My mother seems to have less.

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  9. David
    I understand the fundamentalism mindset- this in my view breeds legalism and then abuse. I have been in churches and church schools where I could see at a young age the abuse of these pastors- I was keenly aware of these things when I was young. My parents were good parents, so they did not fall for the traps of legalist Christianity, but I was put in these awful schools. The thing was that these guys never failed to fall into major sin after they would rant and scream about hell and damnation. Another thing was the fact that even though my parents were not legalists, the churches and church schools did have an impact on my Christian mindset; so I could only imagine the impact that it would have if you grew up with it in home and in church- there is no safe place.
    You and Summer have gone through much and to see how God has brought you to place such as this and has given you strength to be able to minister is truly a gift to others.

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  10. “Freedom of speech is often the last resort for victims. We can’t let guys like Bob [Grenier] take that away from us. Please stand with us in speaking out against abuse and corruption in the church by leaders in positions of trust, like pastors and police chaplains in organizations that are institutions of trust. Join us at #WhoWouldJesusSue on Twitter” (from Alex Grenier’s appeal).

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  11. Something else I just remembered that I think is very interesting. Many years ago I was sitting in CCV with my mother and she told me that Bob Grenier was another ‘Jim Jones’. Of course, I thought I was more spiritual (I had that spiritually arrogant attitude that flowed from the top down attitude) than her and thought she was totally wrong!! Little did I know that she had spiritual discernment that came with maturity in her relationship with the Lord. My mother was right!! I see now how people like Hitler and Jim Jones can control the masses. If one is not careful it can happen to them, too! I’ve seen it in the people of Calvary Chapel Visalia. The unquestioning loyalty is nothing less than diabolical! I’m learning so much through this about my walk with Jesus and I thank Him for showing me these things.

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  12. t4ho,

    After my fundamentalist father obtained his Masters of Divinity from an institution called Grace Theological Seminary he was given a pastorate and went on to be a founding member of a Christian School named Grace. Neither institution knew much about true grace.

    Nevertheless, we children of light were strong and aware. We knew how to fight and we did. Thank Jesus his Holy Spirit helped us discern there was nothing inherently evil with wearing denim blue jeans and facial hair. You know what I mean?

    Grace students were not permitted to wear blue jeans, not even to sporting events off school campus. The same dress code was expected of parents too.

    So I’m in 5th grade. Thankfully it was my last year there. And it was nighttime about this time of year because there was snow falling and we were at a school basketball game hosted in the gymnasium of a local church. I was there because a boy in my class was having a birthday party and sleep over that night with about eight of us classmates.

    Well, we boys were bored with the basketball game and decided to go outside and play in the falling snow. It was a riot. The snow was wet and packed remarkably well so we had a snowball fight between ourselves. But somehow Mr Cade Lincoln—I call him this because his name was Mr Cade, and he also was very tall and thin and dressed up as Abe Lincoln every Presidents Day—well, somehow this teacher had sniffed a transgression in the air and came out to find it. Just as no blue jeans could be worn, no snowballs could be thrown. So he ordered us to stop.

    And just like my name sake I knew this goliath had to be silenced. There was no way in hell this stiff legalist was gonna crush my spirit with his assumption of authority off school grounds. Don’t get me wrong, I was a respectful kid. However, If I hadn’t fought back I would have probably lost my mind. So as this thin giant walked away I threw my wet snow ball splat in the back of his head. And we all cheered and ran.

    When the dad of our birthday boy came to pick us up in his station wagon we all piled in and the boys immediately and excitedly proceeded to tell this pastor and father what I had done. I thought I was in trouble. But he turned to me, smiled, and said, “Good for you, David. Good for you.”

    There were good people there at Grace, but there were also the Mr Cade Lincolns.

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  13. Good for you David! (by the way my son is a David- great name)
    OH yeh… lol….I had a “Mr. Cade Lincoln” in a ACE Christian School I went to. I hated this school where I had to wear scratchy blue and red polyester uniforms that in the heat of the day you would sweat buckets. NO PANTS, you must wear culottes if you were playing sports and dresses. Thankfully, my parents were not enforcers of that in my home, although there was a time my parents almost bought into it. My dad just felt I needed to go to a Christian school- I wish he would have looked into it further, because the Catholic School I had been going to I loved. This school was as fundamental as you could get and many of the kids that came out of the church (we did not go there) and school were damaged spiritually.
    I remember getting whipped with a nice big wooden paddle that stated something like “Discipline is the art of correction”.

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  14. Yeah, ours was an ACE school from 7-12. Actually, for me it was an exceptional school for academics. I came to realize this only after my mother divorced my father (after my 5th grade year) and then enrolled us in public schools. In many areas these public schools were sometimes a year or more behind Grace academically.

    Don’t get me started on the paddling punishments, and demerit system. Grief!

    t4ho, check your email please.

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  15. Pingback: #WhoWouldJesusSue: Media FAQs | Spiritual Sounding Board

  16. Pingback: #WhoWouldJesusSue: Media FAQs and Resources » Calvary Chapel Abuse | Calvary Chapel Abuse

  17. It’s funny how St. Paul’s exhortations to mutual submission go unnoticed by people who are hierarchically inclined. What Paul advanced was revolutionary. He was telling prople in the Roman world to mutually submit to each other. That would have seemed topsy-turvy. Something like this can only work in a Christian climate. Churches should be ahead of everyone else with this. We should be modelling humility and submission. Especially leaders. What else does it mean to lead in a Christian context? It is to be a servant among servants. If the Holy Spirit is present, I believe the parts will come together so that the body will function optimally. This is how the church should look.

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