INK SPILLS

INK SPILLS
Red ink
Spills on white paper
Paper thin hearts
Crumpled
Shredded
Cast aside
Crystal tears
Hit the ground
Shatter
Scatter
Left to die
Dying hearts
Bleed
Transparent tears
No one sees
No one cares
No one hears
Silent cries
Not a sound
As words
Bleeding pain
Carved deep
Etching tattoos
On wounded flesh and
Tender souls where
Red ink spills…

They button suits
Suit up in crisp white shirts
They tie their polished shoes
Walking carefully, they step in
Red ink, spilled on their floor…
They point to the noisy bleeding…
New shoes, with red footprints,
Crushing paper thin hearts
Broken
Crumpled hearts
Scattered here and there.
Who made this mess?
We didn’t know
They were there
Those angry
Bitter
Messy
Ones:
“Forgive
Forget
Move on!
You unforgiving souls!”

Aren’t those messy ones
So disruptive?

Have you noticed how good and kind I am?
Just like Jesus.
Do you see my beautiful new shoes?
These are my Gospel shoes
To spread good news.
We better go;
Go save souls
Do things that matter
For Jesus.

It’s such a beautiful day today,
Isn’t it?
The sunrise,
A brilliant red
Isn’t that cloud stunning?
Almost like a crumpled
Paper heart
Bleeding tears.

Have you ever wondered,
Does God cry?

***

God weeps
Crystal tears
Shattered
Scattered on the ground
His heart crumpled, crushed,
Stepped on
Bleeding
Red ink…
His blood
Staining
New shoes
His Love
Beating
Paper
thin
hearts
to life.

His life, His Love, His hope, etched in forever tattoos on my heart.

***

Love,
~ T ~

© Trudy Metzger 2018

UNSPOKEN HOPE

Hope rises.
Silence falls.
Hope shatters.
Her tongue cut out.
Pieces on the floor.
Pieces of her, of him… of me, of them
Strewn here and there

Walking here and there,
People stepping on
Pieces on the floor.
Tall people. strong people. Powerful.
Crushing flesh pieces on the floor.
Flesh, dragging here and there.
Red.
Dry blood on black shoes.

“Only trust Him… Only trust Him… Only trust Him now…
He will save you, He will save you, He will save you now…”

Songs.
Prayers.
Tears
Helpless children.
Raped.
Used.
Cast away.

“Only trust Him… Only trust Him… Only trust Him now…
He will save you, He will save you, He will save you now…”

Children weep.
Wail.
Hell licks their feet.

People walking.
Away.
Where has Jesus gone?
Why do angels weep dry tears?

Trust withers.
Silence falls.
Hope…

Dead.

Religion.

Hell wins.

;

Truth rises,
Tongue cut out
Oh hell be warned!
Death gives birth to unmatched power!
Wordless.
Silent.
Thunder shakes the strongest tower.

No more politics.
No flow’ry speech.
Truth will stand in ruthless silence,
Shouting without sound
Crying from the highest mountain
And all will hear
As, Truth, forced to silent grave,
Rises from the ground.

No white flags.

No powerless surrender.

Silence moves
Stealthy
Wise
Calculated.

Invisible hands,
Wrapped about my throat.
I cannot speak.

But I have my sword.

Truth.

;

Jesus walks into the room.

What will you say now?

Did silence pave His way?

Or was it the voice of those who cried against the norms:

Make a path in the place of death… the wilderness… where nothing of life has ever grown.
Where children’s souls are laid bare by reckless men!
Make way!
Behold! He comes! The Son of God! Make way
!”

He enters.
Holding no regard for rules.
Honouring no politics.
Crying louder for the lost
the wounded
the weak.
Standing silent only to accusation.
Crying out against their sin,
He eats of the forbidden grain.

I eat. 
With no regard for silence.
Breaking all the rules
of polite society.
Hearts are not healed
by
U
N
S
P
O
K
E
N
HOPE.

*************************************************************************************

 

Love,
~ T ~

© Trudy Metzger 2018

Gaslighting & the Unraveling…

A promise made is a promise to be kept.
And God knows I’d rather forget.

It has been a few weeks since June 8… that fateful day in the present situation with attempting to expose an offender, and challenge the way the case was handled. Soon after that day, and after my ‘apology blog’, I pulled down the blogs I had written that opened up the crazy can of worms… or snakes… that led to that day in the first place.

I pulled all the blogs after discovering my apology was not warranted. I wrote it in sincerity, having been made to believe that I was wrong about the offender’s repentance and the way in which his public ‘confession’ came about. But I also wrote it in absolute confusion because the evidence I had didn’t line up with what I was made to believe. And I pulled them because I needed time to process the shock factor at discovering I had been tripped and gas-lighted.

I have yet to fully understand all the motives behind that day, but I made a promise to tell the truth that I know, after a bit of rest.

On June 4 an apology was posted by the man who sexually assaulted one young woman, and made sexually explicit phone calls to many others. I was told that it was a coached apology, written by a group of men – and that this information came from the leader I previously called into questions, who had been part of that process. On June 7, I called that out because of the incredible damage it was doing to the victims. The leader who knew about the sexual assault, and did nothing to protect other vulnerable individuals, had played a role in this ‘apology’, and had asked one of the leaders I was working with if it would ‘help’ if the abuser apologized. And then, as the attacks and poop-flinging ensued, he watched the destruction and attacks without the integrity to step in and intervene, but instead ‘liked’ abusive comments… on the bogus ‘confession’. (A pastor involved told me that he ‘is not repentant, but wants to be’.) Shortly after calling this out, a comment was posted attacking me. It was so vile and abusive it left me shocked. (And it takes a lot to shock me.)

In the wee hours of June 8, having spent a sleepless night processing what it all meant, another message came in…  I had spent the night struggling with the abusive comment, and the fact that this leader who works with sexual abuse victims would think such an apology was a good idea, (and then stand back and watch the destruction… as though that was ‘helping’), without the honour to stop it and admit what had been done.

And then I read the message that came in from one of the leaders I had worked with and trusted, “Trudy the misinformation coming from your public posts is staggering. It is truth with assigned motives that are very faulty. I also know about the editing. And why it was edited...” (There is a bigger piece to this that I am not free to tell, but will say that this leader did not agree with a half-baked confession, and if his advice had been taken, things would have shaken out very differently.)

I read it. Numb. Shock.

First, I understood ‘it is truth’ as meaning that the confession was true and sincere, and ‘with assigned motives’ as meaning that I was assigning faulty motives to the confession. And in that moment, I was a young teen, waiting to be excommunicated again. The allegations were not true, back then; I had not sinned the sins I was accused of. And in that moment, I was hurled into full blow flashback and PTSD. (It was not the first time in this experience of attempting to confront the abuser and bring an end to the abuse and hold leaders accountable that this happened. A previous time was when I was told that the leader (who appears to be) protecting the abuser, rates the man at a ‘3 out of 10’ for risk and/or perversion “because he gets no sexual pleasure from what he does”. Wait… Wha…?  I can’t even go there…)

In 27 years of working through my past, I recall a total of 6 … maybe 7 extreme PTSD/flashbacks. At least 3 have occurred in the past 3 months of dealing with this scenario and attempting to work with leaders, while watching as sexual abuse is downplayed, victims are re-victimized, and I am gaslighted. It is not an easy thing to deal with high level abuse. And hearing things like rating an offender a ‘3 out of 10’ because ‘he gets no sexual gratification from his crimes’ was horrifying on so many levels. That means many, if not most, child molesters are not a big deal because many touch the child without any form of penetration. This, again, effectively makes it all about the offender. God forbid we look too closely at the hell it brings into a child’s life.

By June 9 two things happened. I was informed that, in fact, what I had written in my status updates was truth. It was a group effort apology, and was intended to calm the chaos. (I am no longer convinced I was ‘off’ in what I assigned to it. It was to protect the offender, as I understand/see it, by calming the chaos. And such apologies always serve only to further victimize the victims and make the offender look good. It’s wicked, in my opinion and is often mentioned by victims as being one of the most damaging things in they have suffered in religious context related to the handling of abuse they suffered. “Let your yay be yay…” Don’t say an apology that isn’t true. That’s not appropriate. And if the man *wants* to be repentant, for heaven’s sake, help him face the consequences and stop lying to himself so he *can* be repentant!)

The other thing that happened by June 9, is that several people (unrelated to each other, and still unknown to each other) called me to tell me to watch my back. One said the leader close to the abuser had said I’m a Jezebel (more than once, over a period of months since January). And another said the leader called me a matriarchal woman and called one of the victims is a matriarchal witch. They commented on his hatred for Jezebel and his determination to destroy ‘Jezebel’. (Based on this, they were concerned that the leader was assigning his hatred for Jezebel to me, since that is who/what I represent to him.) Rather than ‘throw me’ or upset me, it brought clarity and understanding, and helped put all the ‘crazy’ in context.

I draw a line in the sand. I stand against abuse, and this is spiritual abuse to which I will not subject myself, and against which I will take a firm stand, not only for my sake but also for the sake of every woman and man subjected to this kind of abuse while Christian leaders rise up to protect each other. Until full ownership is taken (by him) for this abuse, and other abusive behaviours (by this leader), I am taking a firm stand to endorse nothing and partner with nothing in ministry that involves this leader. And ownership includes acknowledging the careless handling of the situation, disregarding those who approached him before me (at least 5 godly men and women – info that was forwarded to me via someone the leader’s wife shared it with), and apologizing for the name-calling and spiritual abuse.

I am choosing a path of forgiveness, but not a path of silence. And forgiveness also does not mean I won’t have firm boundaries, because forgiveness does not include letting abuse go unchallenged. And if we cannot hold each other accountable as leaders for abusive behaviours and putting others at risk then shame on us all. If we fear the blood-bath at our feet, when it involves leaders and ministries, and don’t recognize that the bloodbath has been going on for victims for many generations, with no one to intervene for them…. If we protect leaders and/or from consequences for abuse, and don’t protect victims from such individuals., then we have failed…. and God have mercy on us all.

I do not know where things stand with this whole situation, as far as what other leaders are doing with it. But I do know I am taking a stand against abuse, and I stand firm on the evidence and the account I have given of this situation.

If you have questions, send me an email. If it’s out of curiosity with no higher purpose, I’m not interested in engaging. If it’s to destroy people – whether ‘them’ or me – I’m not interested. If it’s for the sake of truth and for the good of your community, the actors involved here or some positive end, I’m more than willing to interact.

as always

Love,
~ T ~

© Trudy Metzger 2018

No Place …. First Love … Jeremiah 31

There is no place 
where light shines so bright
as in the darkest of night,
No place I’ve found
where love is so strong,
as in the face of hate,
No place where truth is so strong
as in the wake and face of lies.
No place where life rises so glorious,
as when it rises from a grave.
There God dwells
among us;
Jesus.
Emmanuel.
No place like here
No place like now
For Light, Love and Truth.
Rise and conquer, Victorious.

***
I invite you to listen as you read:

OVERCOME

***

From the shadows, shines a bright light; from the darkness hope rises. From brokenness of shame and defeat, determination rises, strong and courageous.

Battles have been fought and won throughout the course of history, but never has land or territory been reclaimed without a price tag. In the spiritual realm this is no less true than in the physical, if not more so, but we have a promise that God will rebuild and restore when we return to our first love. “I will build you up again, and you, virgin Israel, will be rebuilt”. Virgin, or first love. Israel, or ‘my people’. Rebuilt, or strong and flourishing.

***

Jeremiah 31:2-14

This is what the Lord says:
“The people who survive the sword
will find favour in the wilderness;
I will come to give rest to Israel.”

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
 I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

I will build you up again,
and you, Virgin Israel, will be rebuilt.
Again you will take up your timbrels
and go out to dance with the joyful.

Again you will plant vineyards
on the hills of Samaria;
the farmers will plant them
and enjoy their fruit.

There will be a day when watchmen cry out
on the hills of Ephraim,
‘Come, let us go up to Zion,
to the Lord our God.’”

This is what the Lord says:
“Sing with joy for Jacob;
 shout for the foremost of the nations.
Make your praises heard, and say,
Lord, save your people,
the remnant of Israel.’

See, I will bring them from the land of the north
and gather them from the ends of the earth.
Among them will be the blind and the lame,
expectant mothers and women in labor;
a great throng will return.

They will come with weeping;
they will pray as I bring them back.
I will lead them beside streams of water
on a level path where they will not stumble,
because I am Israel’s father,
and Ephraim is my firstborn son.

10 “Hear the word of the Lord, you nations;
proclaim it in distant coastlands:
‘He who scattered Israel will gather them
and will watch over his flock like a shepherd.’

11 For the Lord will deliver Jacob
and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they.

12 They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion;
they will rejoice in the bounty of the Lord
the grain, the new wine and the olive oil,
the young of the flocks and herds,
They will be like a well-watered garden,
and they will sorrow no more.

13 Then young women will dance and be glad,
young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning into gladness;
I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.

14 I will satisfy the priests with abundance,
and my people will be filled with my bounty,”
declares the Lord.

***

What has been plundered, what has been taken will be restored. I trust my heavenly Father to bring life from the rubble and ashes of every battlefield in the breaking of vicious strongholds. We take our place in the Kingdom, and wait His command, but it is God who shatters the chains of wickedness that have long bound His people. It is He who exposes and shatters lies and deceptions.

This is peace. This is rest.

***

There is no place…
no place like the place rebuilt from wasted ruins.
Because that place, is the place where God has come. 

 

As always…

Love,
~ T ~

© Trudy Metzger 2018

Gags, muzzles, and a hole in my boat

 

she died_because she trusted us

***

NOTE: PREVIOUSLY UNPUBLISHED CONTENT ADDED BELOW MAIN BLOG.

***

The facts and the evidence should speak for themselves. But often they are muzzled or gagged into silence, while another narrative is written.

Sometimes a cry for help escapes from behind the gag… But it’s nothing a healthy smack in the face or a gun to the head cannot fix.

And the movie continues….

***

Since I don’t feel free to publicly post evidence, for various reasons, I have created a password protected web page where I am posting what evidence I have been given permission to share. It is not there to serve curiosity and cause destruction, but for pastors, victims (and their families).

Evidence includes parts of audio recording, testimonies of some victims including only those who have given permission to share it, screenshots of conversations, among other things.

  1. Your full name and address, and what church/ministry you are part of.
  2. Include a written promise that you will not download, print, leave on your computer screen or store in any format, or share with another person, or give any other individual access to this information. And promise that only your eyes will view it. Each individual must ask for his or her own permission to access.
  3. Explain the reason for your interest and concern, what your connection is to D and S, and what influence you believe you have for creating accountability for S.
  4. If you’re just curious, at least be honest and say so.

EVIDENCE TRIGGER WARNING: Should you choose to request access, be warned that the content – just quoting what D said to these individuals – is highly pornographic in nature and deeply disturbing. The risk for traumatization is significant for those who experienced these kinds of phone calls and messages. Those who took time to write out their experiences frequently shared it nauseated them.

I have been immersed in this now for four days and am completely burned out emotionally, spiritually and psychologically.  And I’m left to wonder how the church so blithely overlooks this abuse. Shame on us all.

If S and ASAA leadership can really turn a blind eye to this…  I don’t even know what to say. …

***

This has been exhausting – no doubt for others as much as for me – and the grief of what has been lost in the months since January is completely overwhelming. So kindly don’t spit on the grave before the dirt has even settled. I still care deeply for S, his wife and his ministry. If you comment, please be respectful. I won’t tolerate hate or attack against S (or his ministry). My heart is not and never has held hate. I am concerned about the wellbeing of vulnerable and victims, therefore I have spoken out publicly because the private conversation was much akin to spinning in the mud, and all the while public risk continued.

I urge you… if you, or your wife, or your daughter, or your friend were impacted by the grooming, the sexualized talk and questions by D…. Speak out.

And to those of you who have been through this, I’m sorry.

I am sorry no one told you what you should have been told many months ago. I do not regret telling you now. And I’m sorry that I can do no more at this time. The rest is now up to each of you who were impacted. You now choose whether you let it fall through the cracks, and let this kind of thing continue, or to rise up and let your voice be heard. There is nothing more I can do without you rising up with me.

I am here to support as I am able. I have audio files, paper trails and messages, but without those of you speaking out who were intimately impacted by D and the silence of S, things will go on as they were. If you have been muzzled or silenced, no matter what the excuse to not speak, speak out anyway. There are whistleblowers in many organizations, and they survive. On the outside, I can do my itty bit, but true accountability must rise up from the inside and those closest. That is the only way.

I urge you to speak out and let your voices be heard. Contact leaders of the Anabaptist Sexual Abuse Symposium with the stories you sent me. Contact church leaders. Contact the board. Let them hear your stories and your voices. Expose the abuse, the perversion, the affairs that wreaked havoc in your marriages. Be the voice for your sons and daughters who live with the aftermath you shared with me, and teach them to be the voice for the next generation.

And, if D spent time with your sons and daughters, ask them questions… And then do something. Don’t let others be victimized. Every time I speak out, new stories spill out, now reaching an alarming number, and yet I have never mentioned D’s name even one time. (I am creating a spreadsheet, but I am guessing the number who have been negatively impacted is over 100, or at least very close to it. Given I have never used his name, and that many people wrote, not to ask me the name but to tell me… that should trouble you. And those who feel anger toward me for speaking out, though I expected it, is badly misplaced.)

And to the leaders (whether the board of S’s ministry, the Symposium, or other affiliated leaders who have not heard or seen the evidence) I urge you to at least take a moment and contemplate looking into this thoroughly…

This silence cannot go on. And Symposiums change nothing if the patterns are happening, unchallenged and unchecked, in those who lead addressing them. I am all for this to be addressed, and I am absolutely for the Symposium, ( I planned to attend the event), but I have grave concerns when one of the lead people behind it is blatantly mishandling an extreme situation and refuses to hear people who bring it to his attention. It is every kind of wrong.

I do not believe this is beyond redemption. Yes, I am disheartened and weary of this battle. Tired in ministry… feeling like every bucket of water out of the boat (with church being the boat, and the water being all sexual abuse in church) is met with two buckets poured in on the other side from someone inside this boat, as yet another trusted leader looks the other way, or engages in abuse…

All the while the rain falls….

 

Yes, I’m tired…

But there is still hope…

There must always be hope…

***

And with that, I confess that all that can be said by me, publicly, has been said.  So I offer a curtsy, and bow out…

***

Proverbs 31:8  
“Open your mouth for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all who are destitute.”

As always…

Love,
~ T ~

© Trudy Metzger 2018

 

A wheelbarrow and a shovel… “Where to from here?”

A wheelbarrow and a shovel… “Where to from here?”

It’s the same manure that stinks to high heaven,
and frustrates the life of the housewife who hangs wash on the line,
… Or her husband, if he did it for her, God bless his heart…
that causes flowers to bloom and gardens to thrive.
~ Yours Truly….
….from in the middle of the stink ~ 

***

I wrote “Part 1 and Part 2” of this blog and then, as I wrapped it up, I looked at it. And I realized “Part 1” was for my personal processing, and Part 2 is for posting. So that is what I am doing. Because Part 1 does nothing more than present evidence. For now I am sharing only this portion because I’m not sure any good can come from the other part at this time, and I am just not at peace with it.

***

Going public, while not fun, was the right thing to do. I have zero doubt about that. It was necessary. (It has, however, been my most successful weight loss ‘program’, with a record over 8 pounds shed in four days. But it is not a ‘program’ I recommend). And it has brought forward countless stories, each naming D by his full name, and giving those individuals a place to speak. It also brought some new allegations to light in other scenarios. The level of shame some of these individuals have carried is staggering.

So where to from here…

S and I have both acknowledged that trust is broken between us. Our positions are completely polarized. I do think if S and I could meet and share all the ‘evidence’ and ‘story’ we each have, we might have a starting point to work from. I am almost certain that if he saw and heard all the messages in my inbox, and if he would compare D’s word to me – which I would have him hear and see – with D’s word to him, and see if it matches what D told him, we stand a chance at progress.

I would like S to take breast-groping and butt-grabbing more seriously as a sexual assault than he has indicated in some of our communications, and as relates to the case with D’s victim. (Even if that was all he did – which isn’t accurate because I have a confession by him to doing more than that – it should be taken seriously and the damage to the victim acknowledged.) I would like him to meet with me and see and hear the evidence, and let it speak for itself. (Something I have struggled to even contemplate trusting him with since he went back to D with everything I already shared.) Yes, there is more to the story than the evidence tells, but the evidence is very incriminating. Under no circumstances will I send any of it to him because he broke my trust before I had opportunity to show him the evidence. I would hope that, if he saw the evidence, he would see the urgency that I see. And if he saw that urgency, I would hope he would publicly admit that he knew since September, and that his decision to be silent left many people vulnerable.

I acknowledge that he also does not trust me – more specifically he has said he does not trust the conclusions I come to, because he believes I see abuse scenarios through the lens of my experience. This is fair. I freely acknowledge that I do, and that every human does. S does too. I do my best to be consistent in how I respond from case to case. It means that clients whom I love and care about know that I will report them if they abuse someone. That’s the lens through which I function, and it seems to not be an adjustable lens. I would appreciate if S contemplated the reality of his own lens.

So, while I am willing to meet with S, I am only willing to do so with my pastor present – Pastor Dale Ingraham and ideally also someone like Dan Beachy of Life Ministries (whom I have never met and do not know other than the testimonies I have heard), and he could have whomever he chooses present for support. S and I are far too polarized to make headway without that.

We have had a pastor ‘in the middle’ for the duration of this conflict, and I appreciate him very much. (An interesting ‘aside’, his initials, like S and D are also a double of one letter. I am choosing not to disclose his initials because he’s been dragged into enough already.) Our temperaments and spiritual giftings are actually quite fascinating.  The pastor has an incredibly tender heart and would define his ‘calling’ to be to bring unity to the body of Christ. S has a very tender heart as well, but I have not heard him define his calling, so I will not attempt to guess. I do know he is firmly committed to what he believes. I am also tenderhearted, and tenaciously committed to my calling: To bring healing to victims, to expose the darkness of sexual abuse in religious communities, and to help offenders. Each of our gifts are valuable.

***

My first commitment is to support the victim(s) – whether the victim of the sexual assault, or the victims of D’s phone calls and the shame these individuals carry, not to mention the psychological aftermath. Numerous victims have suffered physical/psychological consequences such as panic attacks, nightmare or terrors, fear and trauma at the thought of ever seeing him again, and nausea at the memory of what he did. In whatever way I am able, I offer to help these victims find support. That is my first priority.

***

I sat for almost 2 hours yesterday with a man who molested a young woman years ago. I told him the same thing I just wrote… I will report all abuse, no matter who. No matter what. We worked through some ongoing identity issues. We dug deep. In the end he looked at me and, tears in his eyes, thanked me.

Maybe those who have offended, or are at risk of offending, actually crave someone to take them to hard places… Maybe we owe it to the victims first, but maybe we owe it to the offenders too.

This is my prayer for D, that he will take full ownership without *any* blame toward victims. That he will stop lying about “all the hurting who come to him… for support… for money… for ‘whatever” when the evidence trails proves he is writing people and offering them money and many are declining. It is my prayer that he will be surrounded by men who will walk with him

When I met D, I saw a tormented man. A man apparently helpless in the clutches of his own sins and crimes. Begging for forgiveness, drawing temporary relief from ‘forgiveness’, but never having had someone who would dare to also hold him accountable to face the legal consequences of his crimes.

I have had the opportunity to walk with tormented offenders as they turned themselves in to the law knowing they could be sentenced to prison. I have heard them express after that they ‘finally have peace’ even before the knew the outcome. And I have heard them say they are no longer tempted, having laid aside any perceived ‘right’ to protect themselves from those consequences. I would be willing to go with D to support him if he decides to turn himself in to the law for the sexual assault that he has admitted to (in writing and verbally to S in September 2017 and to me in March 2018), any other and other crimes he may have committed, or allegedly committed. I would be willing to arrange for him to have a support system should he be sentenced to prison, and to ensure he has support when he is released so that he is less likely to reoffend.

***

At the very root of the issue of sexual abuse and why it continues thriving in the church – not only hiding, but truly thriving, for a lack of better word – is a list of ways we mishandle abuse cases when the cost of dealing with it looks greater than the cost of blinking an eye. We would never say we are inconsistent, or show favouritism. Yet, when it’s someone close to us, or someone we trust – because they’ve never done that to us or to ours, therefore they would never do such a thing – we trust our feelings about them rather than entertain the possibility that they are predators, in some cases, or have molested.

I made a promise in about 2012 that I would not ask how wealthy an alleged offender is, how prestigious,  or how closely related to me or those I love. That may have been stupid. But I did it. No matter the story, I would do what I have always done as long as the victim asks me to confront it, or gives permission to report in cases where the victim is an adult. This means I’ve stepped on some toes that were gold-plated. I’ve confronted leaders. And I’ve confronted someone in a family one of my siblings married into. What I do is not popular when the offender is an elite, or close to an elite. When there is no ‘higher’ association, I do my work unhindered and undisturbed. And then there are times that there is an impenetrable power covering the offender. I still do what I am called to do. (It’s why I have a wheelbarrow and a shovel, not a bandwagon. The advantage is when it’s time to shovel…)

This is my  appeal to all leaders. Help the victim in seeking support. Expose the abuse and the abuser. Don’t do it to destroy them, do it to protect the people from danger and to make sure they cannot further harm others or themselves. (The hell they live with, knowing the damage they have done – for those who are not so narcissistic that they don’t care – is awful.) It is your God-given responsibility, to the best of your ability, to protect all the vulnerable, the women and the children. Don’t show favouritism. Don’t compare banning a sex offender from events or church with banning people who have other addictions, or who are divorced and remarried, or some other thing. These are not comparable, because the others do not pose a threat to the safety of vulnerable people.

Sex offenders need help and support, but don’t be afraid to tell them to seek help elsewhere if their victim is in your church, or if the environment of your event is one where many vulnerable people are present. If offenders are so arrogant that they demand seeking help in an environment where they make others unsafe, they are not repentant. Repentant sinners are humble. And repentant sex offenders humbly accept that they need to stay away from certain places and activities for the protection of others, and to ensure they do not commit those crimes. I have been thanked for helping them set boundaries to ensure that safety. This is our duty as leaders.

***

Proverbs 31:8  
“Open your mouth for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all who are destitute.”

As always…

Love,
~ T ~

© Trudy Metzger 2018

The Crossroads… (Part 3: The Fraud)

The Crossroads… (Part 3: The Fraud)

Eleanor Rosevelt once said,
“Do what you think in your heart to be right,
for you will be judged for it anyway.”
~ Sent by a friend ~

***

February 15, the day after I spoke with D’s victim, I received a phone call from a man identifying as a “Deputy Sheriff”, and identified the county with which he was associated. He had led members of the Mennonite community to believe he was a Deputy Sheriff and allegedly used this position for fraudulent activities most of which I am not free to disclose. However, one aspect of that was that he had led certain people to believe D was under investigation. And since they didn’t know yet that he was a fraud, it made perfect sense for those who knew of D’s sexual deviance, and also knew of my work, to recommend him to call me. One Mennonite couple who had known him since childhood or youth, did just that. He called me on February 15 and shared considerable information that first call. But he is not the first officer who has done that, so, while it caught my attention, I concluded it was to show good faith so I would reciprocate.

As we talked throughout the coming days and weeks, he told me story after story. He knew details about D, LOP and the LOP leader S, as well as other people. Lots of people, and a lot of details that were verifiable. S, he said, has a good heart and he trusts him. He said he’s been thinking of calling him and having a conversation with him. I told him I agreed that S had a good heart, but anything related to D, I would suggest holding off because I believe(d) they are too close and S might have blinders on. Furthermore, I knew D had sponsored women to attend LOP seminars (possibly others – men and couples – but I didn’t hear from any that I recall) and was concerned that could potentially cause blindness due to ‘loyalty’. The risk of S running back to D with everything was also concerning to me, and for that reason, I suggested not going to S (This would be confirmed some months later – namely a few days ago – when I shared information with S, and he went to D with it.)

The ensuing twenty day stretch alone would be enough to fill at least one third of a book, if not more. But, to make a long story short, in the next twenty days – which is the time it took for me to push past every question mark and call his Sheriff’s office to find out if the man was legitimately an officer – he strung me line after line. Something was always ‘off’, but I couldn’t place it. March 7 I finally called the Sheriff’s department and asked for the email address of this particular Deputy Sheriff. There was no such person on staff, they said, and after being ‘bumped on up the chain of command’, the Sergeant confirmed that he was not a legitimate acting Deputy Sheriff. He had been deputized, as a special deputy, but it was later revoked the Sergeant said. (Not long after  I was informed that ‘he fell through the cracks.)

And so began another saga.  One that has now been ‘confronted’ and allegedly, (according to law enforcement in that state/county) turned over to the FBI – and I have been given names of confirmed FBI agents to whom I may speak. It is also turned over to another investigation organization (Bureau of Criminal Investigation, I believe the officer called it) because of the conflict of interest to do an internal investigation. This has thrown considerable chaos into this situation because the not-a-Deputy made claims and allegations against D that, unlike what I was dealing with where we had hard evidence and a ‘confession’/admission from D, had no proof and served his own agenda. Thus, his fraud has caused considerable grief and frustration, and muddling through it has been emotionally and mentally exhausting.

This ‘fake cop’ has also given S seemingly valid reason to blow off my concerns – which is why I include it here – because he legitimately believes much of my information is not true. I have excluded all information acquired through this ‘not-an-officer-after-all’ dude. S has repeatedly told me I am being lied to. And I have repeatedly told him  I have copies of documentation from many different people regarding the allegations I have brought forward. If rumours start to fly that my sources are not legit, any reader is welcome to email me and ask questions. I am not afraid of being questioned on the ‘facts’ and am willing to share any evidence that I am given permission to share, and will do my best to respond to reasonable questions. I will not cater to nonsense, attacks, or demeaning comments or requests. I have not chosen this path frivolously.

…To be continued…

Proverbs 31:8
“Open your mouth for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all who are destitute.”

As always…

Love,
~ T ~

© Trudy Metzger 2018