Mike Kauffman arrested for Sexually Assaulting minors; False allegations from a vindictive b!*ch or victimized children?

To get the backstory on the charges, read the news report on Mike Kauffman’s arrest and charges he is facing:
Lititz man facing charges for allegedly sexually abusing multiple juvenile victims for years, from 2011 to 2017

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The buzz on FB by Conservative Anabaptists (CA) — including leaders and lay people alike, defending Mike Kauffman, son of a bishop in a Beachy Amish church — is mind-boggling. (That bishop detail is important because it shows the power structure). Chatter about false allegations that do not name Kauffman, are well known to be referring to him. Some are declaring him innocent (or likely innocent) of the charges (or at least most of them) against him, Some are too polite to use the word b!tch, but the message is as clear; his evil ex-wife is out to get him. It’s false allegations, some are saying, at least most of them, if not all. And so they play god, speaking with certainty into that which only God and those present have the right to speak.

Here’s the thing, I can’t tell you whether his ex-wife is vindictive or not. I can’t see inside hearts, and the rest of you can’t either. However, even if she is vindictive, how does that negate the word of numerous children who have gone through intense interviewing and questioning; something no child should have to go through. (In the interest of full disclosure, I have been ‘friends’ with the ex on FB for a few years, and met her in person on three separate occasions. I do not know her well, so I can neither extol her nor condemn her. What she does know about me is that I will side with truth, not with her or with the accused).

I also can’t tell you that every allegation is true. I don’t know that; I am not God. I wasn’t there. You were not there (unless you are a victim reading this, or the offender). God was, and He knows the finest of details. For the sake of argument, even if only half the allegations are exactly as told by the victims, or quarter, the children still need to be heard and cared for, and he is still a serious predator. I would add  a comment about,  “If all were proven false…”, but that isn’t going to happen, I am confident. I am privy to some of the evidence and how it came out, and that evidence speaks for itself. Most significant in this is how it came out. So even if only that part can be proven, and even if his ex is a vindictive b!tch, the children deserve to be heard and cared for.

The loud cry that the ex made up the allegations is a blatant lie, and one that is being perpetuated by religious leaders and others in the CA community. The bulk of the allegations were not discovered by the ex, nor were they reported by her. They surfaced during interviews when the allegedly-vindictive-ex was not allowed in the room. To this day she has not been told the full extent of what was disclosed to professionals by the victims.

My concern here is not whether the ex is vindictive or not. My concern is children whose stories deserve compassion and understanding without the bullying and defending-of-the-alleged-perp that the CA community is engaging in. We are talking about very young and vulnerable children here, who have struggled through terrible things that no minor should have to face. If every allegation they have brought forward is in fact true, there is serious blood on the hands of many. There will be accountability before God for this kind of mindless defence of the alleged perp. If half are false, the truly compassionate leader will still guard his/her public statements, recognizing that the children are deeply wounded (either way) and the case needs to be handled gently. (And any father with any heart would protect his children, even if their allegations were false.)

Leaders who do such things are not safe to be near victims or perpetrators. They silence victims and empower perpetrators. Perps in religious communities count on this kind of protection to get by with their heinous crimes.

It is my prayer that, as in the Jeriah Mast case, the CC Matthews case and others, the truth will come out and the deeper wickedness be exposed, if it is there. If it is not, then my prayer is for truth to reveal that too. In the meantime, I pray that assumptions about false allegations not do harm to the children in this case, especially if all allegations are true. 

 

As always…

Love,
~ T ~

© Trudy Metzger 2019

 

Events and Announcements:

Emmanuel Missionary Church
2 First St,
Elmira Ontario Canada
2 Day Training: November 28-29, 2019.

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CC Matthews Blog, The Victims, Randal Martin & the Dilemma

Yesterday morning, August 21, 2019, Randal Martin (ASAA founder) contacted me on behalf of one of the victims in the recent blog involving CC Matthews. In it he included a statement from the victim (which I shall withhold; it is hers to share), in which she said she felt disrespected. From her first request to make changes, until that message, I had made every attempt to honour every wish and request, removing her name, removing the link to her story etc.

The one request – to remove the blog – I interpreted to mean remove her blog, which I did. I have been in contact with the site/blog owner since day one. At her request, and with her appreciation I have kept links to her blog, but just the main blog, not specific stories.

This morning, after some engagement with Randal Martin, it became clear that I was being asked to remove my blog. This left me to choose between two victims – the one who wants the blog up, the other who wants it down. Given that I had done everything in my power to honour the other victims requests, I have kept the blog up, and will do so for the present.

I do not wish to dishonour either of the victims. It is an unfortunate situation, at best. There is a deeper story and it needs to be investigated, and those details are emerging. It is a story that is about the handling of things — both the ideal and the negligent — and one that will hopefully lead to healthier responses in the future.

For the present, I am in the dilemma of trying to respect two victims’ requests, and am leaving my blog up with a link to the site. I have (since the day I posted it) told the blog owner I will remove it at her request. That offer remains.

 

As always…

Love,
~ T ~

 

© Trudy Metzger 2019

 

PUBLIC STATEMENT RE: Blog on CC Matthews

Questions are coming in regarding changes I made to my previous blog in which I shared links to blogs written by victims of CC Matthews.  These changes included wording edits, removing of a victim’s name (whose name is public by her choice in the blog originally referenced; I do not make victims names public!), as well as removing the reference to the blog from my main Facebook page.

Out of respect for the particular victim originally mentioned in that blog, I have removed reference to her name. I have also linked to the main blog – GRACE UNASHAMED – rather than the story posted on the blog on her behalf. It is not my intent to wound victims in re-sharing what they have made public. 

Also out of respect for that victim, I am stating publicly that I used the word pimp in my original title and post, in reference to the pastor’s suggestion to young women to sell their bodies. I placed it in quotations to indicate it was not a literal ‘he is selling them’. This was offensive to the victim, and immediately upon hearing what it communicated to her, I edited my blog. She asked me to do a public retraction of what she felt was a misrepresentation of her story, so I am doing that here. CC Mathews did not sell her or make money off of her; he suggested to her to sell her bodyPimp was not the appropriate word choice to communicate her story. I apologize for this poor choice of wording and any misunderstanding this caused, and I am especially sorry for how it impacted the victim. The shortest word to sum up a sentence, I’ve learned, is not the wisest or most thoughtful way to tell it. I will be more mindful of this going forward.

Finally, within minutes of the victim requesting that I remove the reference from my Facebook page, I did so. I was told that the negative comments (bashing CC) were overwhelming for the victim(s), so I honoured that. On the professional pages the bashing did not take place. Nonetheless, I removed all comments that were made, since some referenced the victim by name.

As I mentioned in my original blog, the victims make it very clear in their writing that they are not out for revenge, but rather are hoping that other victims will come forward. That is my hope and prayer as well.

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PLEASE NOTE: Given the public outcry over me sharing the blog link originally without asking, be advised that the blog owner has given me permission to keep her blog linked in the previous post.

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The story is far from over. What I have learned in just over 24 hours, having communicated with pastors, church members, community members in both locations, is both alarming and encouraging.

It is very encouraging that the leader – John Weaver – made every effort to expose the wrongs and hold Matthews accountable. It is equally alarming that these concerns were disregarded by individuals who should have heard them, taken them seriously, and responded accordingly.

It would be appropriate, and seem necessary, for a thorough and unbiased external review of the matter to be done. There is a trail of evidence that points to blatant disregard and dismissal of these concerns. Unless addressed, this will continue to wreak havoc going forward. At the very least, we ought to learn from our mistakes. And as long as they are glossed over, that can’t happen.

There needs to be greater transparency and accountability for offenders, and protection for the vulnerable.

As always…

Love,
~ T ~

© Trudy Metzger 2019

Training and conference, Dayton Virginia, October 9-12, 2019.

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To read a recent 5-part series addressing victim healing and forgiveness for offenders, click: HERE.

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ANONYMOUS SEXUAL ABUSE SURVEY BY ANABAPTIST MEDICAL DOCTOR

Some time ago, a friend told me of a medical doctor (Anabaptist) who is doing research into sexual abuse in Anabaptist communities. To take his survey visit:
Anabaptist Medical Matters

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JASON GRAY CONCERT:
NOVEMBER 2, 2019
Lancaster Bible College, Lancaster PA
7:00pm
CONCERT TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC: Here

NOTE: Due to the concert being the celebration for survivors of abuse,
we ask that any who have sexually abused as adults not attend out of respect

November 2, 2019:  THE GATHERING, held at Lancaster Bible College, is a place where survivors of sexual assault, together with our support person(s), collectively invite God into our grief.  It is exclusively for Anabaptist survivors of sexual abuse and trusted support persons to gather for a day of acknowledging the generations of suffering and sexual violence among us. We will cry out to God, together. Come as you are in your raw brokenness, if that’s where you’re at, or in your healed togetherness. We welcome you! The itinerary is simple. It isn’t about ‘who’ or ‘how’; it is about Jesus and a safe place to meet, to grieve and heal another layer, together.

NOTE: Anyone over 18 who sexually assaulted someone – whether child or other adult – is not welcome. This does not mean they are not forgiven if they have repented. It means victims should not fear being confronted with the source of their trauma on such a vulnerable day. Security guards will be present to remove any who show up and are identified as offenders by the victims.

Until August 1, 2019, registration for the day’s events includes lunch and attendance to the evening concert with Jason Gray, whose music had brought hope and healing to countless victims. Songs like “The Wound is Where the Light Gets In“, “A Way to See in the Dark“, Sparrows“, “Nothing is Wasted“, and many more speak a language we understand.

NOTE: After August 1 concert is included dependant on availability. Once concert tickets are sold out, registrations will continue until October 1 and include lunch only.

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If you are able to contribute to Generations Unleashed and our work with and for victims, you may donate via PayPal or e-transfer to info@generationsunleashed.com. Or visit Generations Unleashed Donate.

 

 

Anabaptist Pastor (CC Matthews): Sex Abuse & Telling Young Women Sell Body for Sex

When a pastor and his wife take in a vulnerable young woman (in this case no longer a minor), and that pastor begins to coerce, seduce and molest, something has gone pretty far off the rails. When he then suggests she sells her body for sex, pays her to sext him, suggests a threesome, and the like, and continues in leadership (Mission board) – and other pastors and leaders have knowledge of it, that is a much bigger problem.

We are not talking an affair with two people of similar age and power – which, when a person is a pastor and given revered status is really not possible anyway. We are talking about a married man – a pastor at that – with a family, and young women with difficult stories and situations who look to that pastor for guidance and protection, not seduction and to be sold or bought for sexual thrills.

Someone reached out to me just over a year ago, in May 2018, concerned and stating they have evidence of Matthews’ indiscretions. That was all I knew until a blog was sent to me Sunday August 18, 2019, with survivor stories.

The story is a tragic blend of an abuser coercing, manipulating and sexually assaulting. It is a story of being told ‘no’ and not respecting the ‘no’.

My concern is that a pastor does any of these things in the first place, and then continues in religious leadership with influence over minors and the vulnerable. Allegedly he was in a Charity-type church. Not Charity, they said, but similar. I do not know which state. Allegedly at least one or several leaders at the church confronted Matthews. Sources say he was removed him from leadership.

Matthews relocated within weeks, in fall of 2015, and started serving on a mission board fall of 2017 with another Anabaptist church affiliated with Biblical Mennonite Alliance (BMA) group. (I say “affiliated with” because I am not particularly familiar with them, or how intertwined they are from region to region). He was later removed from the board.

As a parent, this mess is something I would want to know if my children were going to be under his leadership. Well, they wouldn’t be under that kind of leadership, if I could help it… and I’d want to know to make sure of that!

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A gentleman I spoke with, involved with the case early on, offered the following timelines of church involvement:

Fall 2015: Matthews was confronted by his leaders and removed from leadership
Fall 2015: Matthews moved abruptly within weeks of being confronted
Fall 2017: Matthews was placed on the Mission Board. (His church had believed he had an affair between consenting adults).
Fall 2018: Matthews was released of duties when more information came forward regarding his sexual abuses.

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TRIGGER WARNING:

⚠️ Please note the trigger warning if you choose to read the blog in which several stories are shared: Grace Unashamed ⚠️

PLEASE NOTE: Given the public outcry over me sharing the blog link originally without asking, the blog owner has given me permission to share her blog.

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In other, more pleasant news, we are doing a training and conference in Dayton Virginia, October 9-12, 2019. Would love to have you join us!

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To read a recent 5-part series addressing victim healing and forgiveness for offenders, click: HERE.

As always…

With love,
~ T ~

© Trudy Metzger 2019

***

ANONYMOUS SEXUAL ABUSE SURVEY BY ANABAPTIST MEDICAL DOCTOR

Some time ago, a friend told me of a medical doctor (Anabaptist) who is doing research into sexual abuse in Anabaptist communities. To take his survey visit:
Anabaptist Medical Matters

***

JASON GRAY CONCERT:
NOVEMBER 2, 2019
Lancaster Bible College, Lancaster PA
7:00pm
CONCERT TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC: Here

NOTE: Due to the concert being the celebration for survivors of abuse,
we ask that any who have sexually abused as adults not attend out of respect

November 2, 2019:  THE GATHERING, held at Lancaster Bible College, is a place where survivors of sexual assault, together with our support person(s), collectively invite God into our grief.  It is exclusively for Anabaptist survivors of sexual abuse and trusted support persons to gather for a day of acknowledging the generations of suffering and sexual violence among us. We will cry out to God, together. Come as you are in your raw brokenness, if that’s where you’re at, or in your healed togetherness. We welcome you! The itinerary is simple. It isn’t about ‘who’ or ‘how’; it is about Jesus and a safe place to meet, to grieve and heal another layer, together.

NOTE: Anyone over 18 who sexually assaulted someone – whether child or other adult – is not welcome. This does not mean they are not forgiven if they have repented. It means victims should not fear being confronted with the source of their trauma on such a vulnerable day. Security guards will be present to remove any who show up and are identified as offenders by the victims.

Until August 1, 2019, registration for the day’s events includes lunch and attendance to the evening concert with Jason Gray, whose music had brought hope and healing to countless victims. Songs like “The Wound is Where the Light Gets In“, “A Way to See in the Dark“, Sparrows“, “Nothing is Wasted“, and many more speak a language we understand.

NOTE: After August 1 concert is included dependant on availability. Once concert tickets are sold out, registrations will continue until October 1 and include lunch only.

***

If you are able to contribute to Generations Unleashed and our work with and for victims, you may donate via PayPal or e-transfer to info@generationsunleashed.com. Or visit Generations Unleashed Donate.