Two Posts Containing Ravi Zacharias’ Personal Emails Were Removed: Why? (Updated)

Ravi Zacharias, RZIM, Clergy Sexual Misconduct


Ravi Zacharias, sex scandal, falsified credentials, lawsuit

Twitter photo

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NOTE: This post is updated. The earlier version is at the bottom of this post.

When I began blogging, I did so to tell my own spiritual abuse experiences. There were no rules. I followed my heart. I still do the same today. I probably do things that make trained journalists cringe. Oh well. But, I must stay true to myself, true to victims, and true to my God. And sometimes that gets complicated.

This week, I published two articles which included private e-mails which were sent to me by the victim in Ravi Zacharias’ alleged sexual  misconduct case. (As was noted in the now-deleted post, these emails were sent to me long before any demand letter was sent, lawsuit filed, or settlement was reached.) I posted them because it was my understanding that the victim wanted the world to know what happened, how it happened, and as a warning to others because we were both convinced that this was predatory behavior and could likely have happened to others, and could happen again. I also published them because there was a lawsuit against this victim in which Ravi Zacharias’ narrative was shared in public court documents, but no one was able to see the other side before the case was settled out of court (and sources have told me there was a payout).

Because the case is a Federal lawsuit and available to the public, people will only be allowed to read Ravi Zacharias’ side. The victim’s side remains silent – which is exactly what all perpetrators want: silence. Continue reading

First #MeToo, Now #ChurchToo: Sexual Abuse, Harassment, and Mishandling in the Church

#MeToo, #ChurchToo, Sexual Abuse, Harassment, Church

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The hashtag #MeToo has been trending for quite some time on Twitter. Women who have been sexually harassed or abused have been identifying themselves as survivors of sexual harm, indicating it with the hashtag, #MeToo. But now, there is a new trending hashtag, #ChurchToo. The stories that you can read in one little tweet are heartbreaking.

I wanted to share some here, and also invite those who have been on Twitter to feel free to share more here if they like.

If you are new to Spiritual Sounding Board, this is a blog that deals with abuse in church or church groups. We have dealt with all kinds of sexual abuse: sex abuse of children, sexual abuse in marriage, sexual abuse by clergy, wives of pedophiles, church leaders who have failed to report sexual crimes, church leaders who have blamed victims for sexual crimes, and also spiritual abuse which often occurs when a church leaders are involved in any capacity (perpetrator, counselor, spiritual advisor).

If you have been harmed sexually, this is a safe place. If you would like to share your story in more detail, you can in the comments, or to me privately: spiritualsb@gmail.com. Please feel free to comment using a pseudonym. This is your place to use your voice where it will be heard.

~Julie Anne Continue reading

Pastor Chuck O’Neal Continues to Pull the Wool over His Evangelist Friends’ Eyes

Chuck O’Neal, Beaverton Grace Bible Church, Jeff Rose, Dr. Edward Delcour, Mike Gendron, Mike Stockwell, and Robert Gray, Evangelism Reformation Conference, Reformation Fire Conference

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Let’s Discuss: The Keepers, Netflix Documentary Series about the Murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik and Systemic Sexual Abuse

The Keepers, Netflix, Cathy Cesnik, Systemic Sexual Abuse, Catholic Church, Spiritual Abuse, Clergy Sexual Abuse



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The Keepers is a new documentary series airing on Netflix. I have watched 5 of the episodes and it is excellent. If you have seen Spotlight, it is similar, however, the investigative reporters in this case are two grandmas who have spent the last three years compiling details of the case and trying to get answers as to who killed their beloved former high school teacher, Sister Cathy Cesnik in 1969.

Like the movie, Spotlight, the series uncovers systemic sexual abuse of female students at Archbishop Keough High School in Maryland by Father Maskell who was a counselor on campus. When I refer to the word “systemic,” I mean it is a whole system of cover-up and abuse. Father Joseph Maskell was not the only one who committed the crimes. His friends in high places also committed sexual crimes and helped to conceal the crimes: police officers, businessmen in the community, etc.

The first episode lays the groundwork for the story and introduces the main characters. Then, the second episode goes into repulsive, unimaginable sexual abuse descriptions. This episode is definitely difficult to watch and I would caution those who get triggered by topics of abuse to be very careful watching it. The second episode was the most difficult for me to watch, but this is important information to know how insidious these crimes were, not only sexually, but spiritually.

Because this documentary series is being discussed so much, I wanted to have a post specifically to address it, and especially to be a place where people can discuss how it may have affected them.

So, let’s use this post to discuss how the show may have affected us and try not to include spoilers for those who have not yet watched it.

Below, I have gathered a variety of links that may be of interest. I encourage you to check out the first link, especially. It is excellent.

Note:  While this sexual abuse scandal – also connected with the systemic abuse cover up with cases around the world uncovered by the Boston Globe Spotlight team occurred in the Catholic Church, Protestant churches are not exempt from these types of scandals. We know of the  Sovereign Grace Ministries sexual abuse scandal which is still ongoing. I am personally aware of several others that are “under the radar.” No one church group is exempt from systemic abuse.

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Related Links

A website was set up for the movie here:  The Keepers. I am very impressed with the information presented at the site, from information about the series, to helpful resources for survivors, therapies, systemic abuse, how to help, etc.

The following links are related and may be of interest:

After The Gospel Coalition Staunchly Defended CJ Mahaney in Sovereign Grace Ministries Sex Abuse Scandal, They Now Promote the Movie Spotlight (Sex Abuse Coverup)

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Sex Abuse Victim Natalie Rose Greenfield, the Timeline, Doug Wilson’s Attempt to Shift Focus off the Real Story

Doug Wilson, Christ Church, CREC, Sex Abuse, Natalie Rose Greenfield, Timeline, Jamin Wight

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Doug Wilson Series: Introduction, Christ Church Celebrates 40 years and Background

Doug Wilson, Christ Church, CREC, Greyfriars Hall, Association of Classical & Christian Schools, Canon Press, New Saint Andrews, Steven Sitler, Jamin Wight

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Some Pastors Think They Get to Control the Details of Your Lives, Even the Colors of Clothes You Wear

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Attempting to Set the Doug Phillips Record Straight: Part 1 – The Puzzle of Control

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Attempting to Set the Doug Phillips Record Straight:  The Puzzle, Types of Control by Church Leaders, Vision Forum, Boerne Christian Assembly, and a Characterization of Phillips

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When Your Religious Leader Falls Off the Pedestal

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Cindy Kunsman responds to fallen spiritual leaders and spiritual abuse after the Doug Phillips scandal.

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Facebook Comments Removed from Tony Miano’s Facebook Page When Commenter Asks About Donation $$

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Tony Miano put out a plea for donations on his Facebook page,  however, Tony’s admin guy, Chris H. deleted comments made by someone questioning about the money.  The commenter was accused of slander, defamation, and threatened to ban from posting on the Facebook page.  Bully, much?

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Doug Phillips: His Power and Control Using “Godly” Patriarchy

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Doug Phillips was a powerful man.  He used “godly” power and control to silence, to man the ship of his business, ministry, church, home, women, employees, and everything around him.

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When Sharing Concerns or Asking Pastors Questions Leads to Spiritual Abuse

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Questioning authority or raising concerns can be the litmus test to see if your pastor is spiritually abusive or not.

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Harvest Bible Chapel Files Complaint Against Blogger Paul Dohse, Resulting in Loss of YouTube Privileges

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In a concerted attempt to control others, someone from Harvest Bible Chapel (HBC) filed official complaint with YouTube against blogger Paul Dohse’s YouTube account, resulting in blogger’s loss of YouTube privileges. Continue reading

Harvest Bible Chapel: #Spiritual Abuse 101 Tweets from Elder’s Letter

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Last week I posted a letter from Dave Corning who was a long-time elder at Harvest Bible Chapel (HBC), under Pastor James MacDonald.  I mentioned that Corning’s letter would be my go-to letter for describing spiritual abuse because it described some of the most common tactics spiritual abusers use. Continue reading

Why Does Calvin’s God Feel Abusive to Me? I Didn’t Choose This!

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The Lord works righteousness and

justice for all who are oppressed.  

Psalm 103:6

I have never, ever connected so deeply with someone else’s spiritual experience as I have recently with reader, Oasis.  The tears . . . . oh, the tears.  This deep, gut-wrenching, sobbing pain is so real for some of us.  I cannot believe I am doing this, but I’m feeling that right now I need to try to clearly articulate my feelings about Father God and how He relates with the abuse some of us have incurred. Continue reading

Should We Speak out about Our Spiritually Abusive Church?

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This comment came in on an earlier thread and there are so many answers.  Because I spoke out against my former church, one of the most common questions in e-mails I get is:  “should I speak out about our abuse to current members?”    Here it is again:

Our family left an unhealthy church about 7 months ago. We were a part of the church for over 20 years. When we first joined, we were in our early 20′s. We were young, immature and unaware that unhealthy churches existed. I noticed something was wrong about 10 years ago. The pastor was authoritarian and a micro-manager.

We started visiting other churches but we didn’t find one we both liked. I feel we went back because of denial and fear. We were in denial of the spiritual abuse because it was so subtle. Continue reading

Statement from T4G: Mohler, Dever, Duncan in Support of C.J. Mahaney Was Altered!

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Today I was disappointed to discover that the public statement released by  highly respected Christian leaders, Albert Mohler, Mark Dever, and Ligon Duncan in support of their friend, C.J. Mahaney, was altered.  The original statement which was posted on Facebook is not the same statement currently posted on the Together for the Gospel website.

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