Two sides to every story..
Bio on pastor.. http://www.beavertongracebible.org/pastor.html
"There is another side to the story. Beaverton Grace Bible Church wants to present its side of the story before anyone rushes to judgment. In Nov. 2008, a man was removed from the staff of Beaverton Grace Bible Church (BGBC).
Since that time, Pastor Charles O’Neal and the Beaverton Grace Bible Church have been the targets of a three and a half year campaign of defamation by a group of former church members and attenders who are close personal friends of the former staff member.
The church elders and the pastor did little to defend themselves over these three and a half years, believing that the individuals would tire of the effort and eventually cease the defamation. However, that did not prove to be successful. In fact it was counter-productive.
The defamation campaign escalated recently when one of the former congregants established a blog on the internet with the intent of reaching a broader audience. This divisive group has used review websites, blogs, the police, the Department of Human Services, and now the local media in their three and a half year campaign to destroy Pastor O’Neal and Beaverton Grace Bible Church with false accusations that range from ridiculous to criminal.
The facts will show that this is not a free speech case. Just after the release of the before mentioned staff member, in Dec. 2008, a member of this group called the police and the DHS to deliver a false report accusing Pastor O’Neal of physically abusing his own children and allowing pornography to be distributed to adolescents in the church. He, his family, and the church were subsequently investigated by the authorities and the case was dismissed as unfounded. His only response to these vicious charges was to state his own denial.
As the campaign has escalated the postings on the internet have falsely accused Pastor O’Neal of being a “wolf,” a “liar,” a” narcissist” and one who “knew about a sex offender in the church who had access to the nursery and the children on a weekly basis and did not have any safeguards in place.”
In yet further escalation, Julie Anne Smith stated that the church allows “sex offenders having free reign in childrens’ area with no discloser to parents… .” This is most likely the second worst thing that can be said about a pastor and a church and most certainly constitutes defamation.
Beaverton Grace Bible Church, Pastor O’Neal, and his family have patiently suffered these accusations for three and a half years. In light of the escalation of postings on the internet and the creation of the blog dedicated to continuing the accusations and spreading them to and even wider audience, the elders of the church concluded that their only viable option was legal action.
They very reluctantly decided to defend their church and their pastor against these allegations in the courts of Oregon where they believe that truth will prevail. They trust that application of the law will demonstrate that defamation on the internet is not the type of speech that is protected by either the U.S. Constitution or the Oregon Constitution."
That's very interesting, Smurf.
I think that the way to really get an idea of what's going on is how many reports of cultic abuse (if any) are there, and for how long.
With CofS, there are more ex members than there are members. They speak out and people who've never met or joined different times, went to different SO installations or Orgs have very similar stories to tell.
With these guys, there may not be that scenario.
There are abusive churches. There are abusive cults. Sometimes, though, there can be false allegations.
It's like the rape thing. It used to be that women who pressed charges for rape were blamed, vilified, lied about (it still happens but not like it was decades ago) and the accused often got off scot free. Now, it's way better. But sometimes women "cry rape" and they are lying. But just because some women have lied doesn't mean that no one gets assaulted.
This pastor is what is commonly referred in the Pentecostal movement as a "holy roller" where literal translations of Bible scripture and regimented discipline reign supreme.
Rev. O'Neal may, indeed, be an abusive pastor, but he makes a valid point in why he is suing. He was, allegedly, falsely accused of abusing his children.
I know from working in the legal field for many years that false allegations of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse are gaining popularity in domestic custody cases, where the wife accuses the husband of abusing the children in question, not for protection, but for gaining an advantage, i.e. legal strategy.
The defendant in this lawsuit claims the pastor was abusing his children. I hope she has the evidence to back the allegation up.
There is a real problem with these kinds of false allegations when the abuse was years ago and there were no witnesses to the alleged abuse. Juries, like the general public, are wired these days to believe such allegations, especially if a child, now grown up, is brought in to serve the prosecution. All sympathy is heaped upon this child/adult, even in the absence of any evidence.
The defendant can only state his/her innocence, has little hope of being able to substantiate an alibi, faces a massive uphill battle, and can end up incarcerated for a crime not committed.
Child abuse is an evil thing, and the guilty should be brought to justice. But these days the innocent can be caught up in public demonization of perpetrators that can border on hysteria.
Innocue vivito: Live harmlessly.
Numen adest: The spirit is close