Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Church of God Pedophiles and the Cover Ups.

For many decades the Church of God has had a string of child abuses cases that were quietly hushed up by the ministry and the administration.  Only when the police or child protective services got involved did the stories ever make headlines.  "What child abuse cases" you may ask, "I never heard of any."  There is a reason for that.

Negative publicity was anathema in the Church of God.  No one dared bring ridicule or scorn upon the church.  The ministry and the administration made that well know.  Those that did so were immedialty put out of the church for doing so.  This included families who reported the child abuse.  Somehow it was their fault it happened.

The Jehovah's Witnesses are reeling from child abuse accusations right now that involve cover ups of the abuses by their ministry and leadership.  The excuses are the exact same ones the COG  ministry used and STILL uses.  This should not be surprising since we all share the same religious heritage dating back to the Great Disappointment with William Miller in 1844.  That is the root of our religious heritiage corruption.

Over the last several years I have reported on several of the high-profile cases on this blog.  Click on the links under the pictures for the previous stories.

KENNESAW, Ga. -- A pastor was sentenced to prison Thursday when a jury determined he molested at least two young girls and took "no responsibility whatsoever" for his actions. 
Jurors deliberated half an hour before convicting 78-year-old John Aubrey Pinkston of two counts of child molestation. Pinkston is the founder and former leader of Congregation of God Seventh Day in Kennesaw. 
"Mr. Pinkston, you've been convicted of the unforgivable sin of molesting the most vulnerable members of your flock. You've taken no responsibility whatsoever," Cobb County Superior Court Judge Robert D. Leonard II said before sentencing Pinkston to 20 years with 10 to serve in prison.

A former Auckland teacher posed as a God-fearing churchgoer but behind closed doors molested children while reading passages from the bible, a court has heard.
Stephen Gough - who can be named for the first time after name suppression lapsed - was jailed for three and a half years at Waitakere District Court yesterday after admitting nine sex charges.
The 79-year-old man, who propped himself up in the dock with the aid of a walking stick, committed "persistent, relentless and repeated" offences against three girls and a boy between 1976 and 1987.

The Eastbourne Herald is reporting about a former deacon in the Worldwide Church of God who was convicted  for child molestations. Koeneke is a minister in the Church of the Eternal God, also known as Global Church of God in England and the Church of God, A Christian Fellowship in Canada.  He has ties to Raymond McNair, Wray Zehrung, Rod Meredith,  Norbert Link and Ed Pope.  He has also co-authored bookletspromoting the myth of British Israelism and the supposed prophecies in the book of Revelation, among many others.Abused in Everyway  in the Worldwide Church of God
United Church of God and Church of God a Worldwide Association 
A former UCG member who jumped ship to the Church of God a Worldwide Association (COGWA) has been sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of raping two little girls.  The judge in the case is quoted as saying:
The judge also told the defendant the sexual abuse was similar to a life sentence for      the girls. Binette said he took into that consideration plus a woman's testimony who alleged Wagner abused her decades ago -- and possibly at least five other victims -- when he decided the defendant's sentence. Child Rapist Gets Life Without Parole
Binette, according to the Sandusky Register, told Wagner he groomed the victims "in your own sick ways" and made his bedroom "a torture chamber for those two children."

Worldwide Church of God

The court was shocked yesterday by at the presentation of an audio tape, recorded in secrecy by the oldest son, in which the six year old daughter was allegedly beaten severely with a fiberglass tent pole with a knotted cord dangling from it for over two minutes, while a voice of a woman, identified as Robyn Kay Drown chatted in the background. According to the tape, at no time during the beating did anyone come to the defence of the little child who screamed and cried while her father called her "rebellious" and mentioned "the promised land". There also appeared on the tape to be at least one other child present during the beating. 

Robyn Drown was indicted with her husband Graydon Drown on 25 counts of second-degree assault and criminal mistreatment of nine of their children. Alleged weapons of abuse include a metal pipe, a switch, 2-by-4 boards and other household objects such as a fiberglass tent pole with a knotted cord, and wooden spoons. 

Wanted Fugitive

  • Description: Caucasian man; 5-feet-11-inches tall and 175 pounds; brown hair and hazel eyes.
  • Last Known: Kennesaw, but Dean owns Imperial Medical, a business in Cartersville.
  • Accusations: Dean is wanted to stand trial on aggravated child molestation and 12 additional charges. Authorities say he avoided the first trial by "running from the courtroom," an offense for which the judge issued a bench warrant. Dean is out of jail on a $75,000 bond.  
Anyone with information on Dean's whereabouts should call  BCSO's dispatch, non-emergency line at 770-382-5050, option 7. Cartersville-Bartow County Crime Stoppers accepts anonymous information on its tip line at 770-606-TIPS (8477). It gives cash rewards for tips the lead to an arrest in some cases. 

Click on the above link to the story on Silenced and how UCG covered it up.
Several years ago there was an entire UCG congregation in West Virginia which seceded from the mothership after a local elder molested a young lady in the congregation. The local elder had a history of doing this sort of thing. He had repeatedly been admonished by church leaders to stop, but as is so often the case, he didn't because he knew they would never discipline him. Keep in mind, this was back around 2004 - 2005 when all the leaders of COGWA were still running United. Doug Horchak, Jim Franks, Richard Pinelli, Clyde Kilough, etc., were all aware of what had taken place with this elder and how he had molested a young girl. 
Nathan Albright, who is not shy about publicly addressing problems in the COGs, sent Richard Pinelli an email about the problems created by the Council's lack of action to resolve the situation: 
Dear Mr. Holladay and Mr. Pinelli The attached message concerns a lively thread about the alleged fondling of a young lady in [...] by a local church elder. The situation has led to a lot of discussion, not all of it friendly, and the situation needs to be dealt with, as some people are threatening to call the police on the situation. Some of us know some (or all) of the parties involved in this particular situation, and I hope that the case is dealt with fairly and faithfully (and, at this point, quickly). Nathan Albright

Worldwide Church of God 
and present day leader of the House of Yahweh Cult

The House of Yahweh compound in Abilene, Texas has been in the news countless times for child abuse and bigmay accusations.  Pedophilia has been reported to be rampant on the compound.

The House of Yahweh is referred to many times as the "Sex Cult."  In fact, Yisrayl Hawkins himself was arrested for bigamy.  Hawkins first wife Kay Hawkins has written a book about her life in the HOY and how Hawkins,  a serial adulterer, took another wife before casting her aside.  See The House of Yahweh: My Side of the Story.

The few public cases presented here are just the tip of the iceberg of what really has went on over the decades.  Child abuse was rampant in the church and yet was little known because church leaders covered so much of it up.  It still goes on to this day in most of the larger Church of God splinter groups, including UCG, PCG, RCG, LCG, COGWA, CGI and others.

All of this from a church that claimed to be the "restored faith once delivered."  We mocked and ridiculed "worldly" churches because of their scandals, yet we were just as sick, if not more so.


Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised. When the founder of Worldwide was guilty of raping his own daughter and his son, Garner Ted, committed wholesale adultery with every coed and other vulnerable female he could schmooze, it comes as no surprise to me, but it would have back before 1974. We were so deluded and starry-eyed that we never guessed what was rampant in our midst.

Predators, especially those who prey on childdren and young adults, know that their most fertile hunting grounds are places like schools and churches. If they can worm their way into positions of prestige and authority, they have it made. No one wants to believe that dedicated so-and-so is really a monster in hiding and those who don't want the financial boat rocked will say and do anything to supress the facts.

Anonymous said...

“'Mr. Pinkston, you've been convicted of the unforgivable sin of molesting the most vulnerable members of your flock. You've taken no responsibility whatsoever,' Cobb County Superior Court Judge Robert D. Leonard II said before sentencing Pinkston to 20 years with 10 to serve in prison.”

With all due respect, I must say, respectfully, that the judge does not seem to understand right and wrong as actually practised in the so-called professing COGs.

First of all, preying on the vulnerable is just what perverts do, especially in the professing COGs. It is not unnatural at all for perverts to behave that way. Next, molesting children is not “unforgivable” at all, especially in the professing COGs. It is commonly done, hushed up, and forgiven by the perpetrators. The victims need to learn to forgive too, just as the perpetrators have forgiven themselves long ago, and might forgive their victims too if they keep quiet, but not if they talk. The only “unforgivable” thing would be for a victim or anyone else to simply tell the truth about what had happened. That would be “trafficking in other people's sins” according to GTA and would almost certainly doom the talker to the lake of fire.

Of course the sinister did not take any responsibility whatsoever. Why should he? He is not responsible. He is irresponsible. Duh! He is too irresponsible ever to be found responsible. What was that “unjust judge” out there in “Satan's world” thinking that he would punish someone who was not responsible? No leader in any professing COG would ever punish him. In their view, he has done nothing worthy of punishment. In fact, he might not have done anything that they have not done themselves. He just needs help and understanding in hushing things up. It is his victims who talk that need to be punished, and would be in any of the so-called professing COGs.

The world sometimes seems to do things differently and backwards from what the professing COGs actually practice. It is a strange, strange world out there, but sometimes I like it!!!

Anonymous said...

Pedophiles are an extremely rare occurrence in the Church. Those that were found out received counseling by God's ministry and repented. Those that did not repent were kicked out. End of story, Many of those that claim to have been abused brought it upon themselves by their actions which were not always godly.

This is sensationalism its best.

Anonymous said...

"Pedophiles are an extremely rare occurrence in the Church....This is sensationalism its best."

What a blind, totally deluded apologist you are! I would have said the same thing prior to 1974, but I soon learned to my horror that some of those coeds I regarded as sisters had been brutally used by the second in command of "god's church." Soon revelations about other revered ministers, like Lowell Blacdwell, forever banished the blinders from my eyes. Worldwide was a moral cesspool when it came to some of those at the top and much the same is true of the splinters.

Byker Bob said...

The pervasive use of pain compliance in the rearing of children produces a general desensitization towards childrens' suffering. Once this desensitization sets in, it would hardly be surprising that it would manifest itself in any number of ways. After all, cruelty towards animals has been known to morph into severe pathologies such as torture and mass murder of humans. Inability to empathise with people suffering pain facilitates cruelty. This is, of course, another way in which Armstrongism kills some of the innate goodness which is naturally present in the human soul.


Anonymous said...

Ah yes, Blackwell. Forgot about him! They eventually let him back in and let him preach again. Sicko

Redfox712 said...

May all those guilty of criminal behavior of this sort within the COGs and in the rest of society be exposed and brought to justice before the courts of law.

It is shameful that when things like this happen so often those in power choose to overlook the criminal perpetrator because the criminal happens to be more powerful and more friendly with those in power than the victim.

Anonymous said...

Complete rubbish. The elders turn a blind eye to it all. I will never forget the time my 6 year old daughter was grabbed in front of me and a speaker an old man started tickling her by bending her over and putting his hand right down her back. This happened last year....

Redfox712 said...

Latest issue of PCG's recruitment magazine now out.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Gary for putting this blog entry together. This is an important aspect of the church that [pedophile] Herbert Armstrong built, aided by his [serial sexual predator] son Garner Ted.

The examples you've given are surely the tip of the iceberg, if the examples I knew about in my local WCG congregation(which were all hushed up and never publicized)
are a microcosm of events in WCG's macrocosm.

This is one of many realistic counterpoints to some twisted comments I've noticed here in the past few months- Such as someone suggesting that many of the greatest things in our present time are because of HWA's efforts, and also others suggesting that HWA was a veritable reservoir of godly truth.

Frankly, the "truth" of the church that Herb built is actually quite sinister!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Pedophiles are an extremely rare occurrence in the Church....This is sensationalism its best."

Sensationalism?? Oh Really?? How about the word Tragedy?!?!?!?
Excuse Me . . . do the ruined lives of children mean that little to you?

ONE is ONE TOO MANY... Sorry!

My wife and I knew a slimeball[oh, he was an "elder"..] from old Worldwide group in North Georia which became "Grace Communion International" . . .

Multiple Y.O.U. kids knew him as a predator! And one of their Parents told us about him. It was known...

We reported it, it was covered up ...just like like they all do!

Transformed by Truth, Huh?

James said...

Anon wrote: Many of those that claim to have been abused brought it upon themselves by their actions which were not always godly.


Otherwise, its the victims fault. Typical blame game the cog's lay on the members feet. Sick!

Anonymous said...

One of Rod Meredith's right hand men that helped start Global Church of God and Living Church of God molested numerous church and Imperial boys at Camp River Glen. He thought he was the most perfect Christian ever. He treated his wife as a servant meant to do everything he commanded. Degenerate man, yet Meredith kept him in his inner circle.

NJ Senior Citizen said...

Anonymous says: "Many of those that claim to have been abused brought it upon themselves by their actions which were not always godly. ".

Are you a pervert yourself that you defend these predators?
Also you wouldn't know "godly" if it bite you.
Your creepy molester supporting/enabling comment shows just what you are and how far from God you truly are. There is no God or godly in or about you.

Do you really think a 5 year old child brings on their own molestation?
How about older women and young boys. Do they bring on their own molestation?
How dare you blame the victim you horrible little puke.
NO one deserves to be molested or taken advantage of. NO ONE!
People like you are beneath contempt.
Do you blame the Armenians for the genocide against them? etc, etc etc.
Of course you probably do because you are a self righteous creep who crawled out from under a church rock.
Go back under your rock where you belong.

RSK said...

Oh, of course, the victims asked for it! And these godly men and women were instantly swayed!

Pull the other leg while you're at it.

Anonymous said...

14.4% of girls and 5.8% of male children in Canada have suffered sexual abuse according to a study by the Canadian Medical Association Journal,

This is a societal problem.

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

We were told in the Worldwide Church of God that "God calls the weak and base things".

In reality, the Worldwide Church of God attracted many of life's losers along with the good ordinary people who just wanted to follow bible truth like my own mother and like many other Banned by HWA blog readers' mothers. Take a good look at the photos of the pedophiles on this page and what do you see? LOSERS!

So when we were told that "God calls the weak and base things to confound the mighty - what we now know is what the Worldwide Church was really talking about was pedophiles, perverts, tax cheat felons, con men, religious frauds, blasphemers, etc. etc. In other words, LOSERS!

The mighty were not fooled, nor were they confounded by the LOSERS!

By their fruits you shall know them!


Anonymous said...

"This is a societal problem."

So here we go again. It's a societal problem and not a church problem. One more of the excuses that the church leaders used. So what if a few people were pedophiles, it was not a church problem. They were not converted.

Stephen said...

Anon 1:33PM wrote:

"This is a societal problem."

Yes. So? If this was intended as an apologetic, it fails miserably.

Question remains, if Armstrongist churches are the greatest thing going since 30 AD, as some still seem to think, why are their criminal statistics no better than the "worldly" society they love to rail against? Since the churches aren't better, when they damn "the world" aren't they condemning themselves too?

Frankly, if any decent self-respecting god had anything to do with Armstrongism, you wouldn't find any incidence of this kind of thing at all, would you? Wouldn't the "holy spirit" nip such serious problems like this in the bud?

Since that's not what is happening...

Monnie said...

Anon, why didn't you punch the daylights out of him!

NJ Senior Citizen said...

Societal problem?
The question is not whether it is a societal problem or not but if it is a church problem.
And it truly is a church problem because it is not addressed with quick resolve and vigor. It is allowed to go on.
Paul was aghast that a congregation in his time allowed a pervert to remain among the members.
But the churches today don't care who stays or who goes really. It's all the same to them as long as money is paid.

Yes, society has problems with people who are evil and self centered in the extreme and believe they have the right to use others for their own purposes, no matter the devastation left in their wake.
But we are concerned here with this kind of person in a church setting. We are concerned with elders who knowingly allow it to continue and even protect the felon and silence the victim,'
Since child molesters and perverts rarely change, they must be taken out of the congregation and charges must be pressed against them,
If this isn't done, the church is complicit in the crime!
They are aiding a abetting a felony.
At that point their tax status must also be revoked and charges pressed against the church.
If one would like to bring up not taking a brother to court, I submit that a brother does not molest children nor do brothers aid and abet felonies committed against brethren.

Byker Bob said...

The ministers were never shy about checking peoples' cabinets for white flour and white sugar, or checking tithe records by computer. Those were certainly never written off as being societal problems. These are churches that regularly disfellowship for "bad attitudes"!

What if the criminal sitting in the congregation were a thief who stole from the brethren or minister, or a dope dealer who sold illicit street pharmaceuticals to the teenagers? You had better believe that something would be done about that type of criminal, pronto! Where is it written that a pedophile should be accorded the special satus of being treated any differently? Learning to become rulers and to judge angels indeed!


Glenn said...

This all makes me wonder what type of crimes committed by members WOULD Be reported to civil authorities by the church. Murder? Arson? Bank Robbery? Elder Abuse? Embezzlement? Fraud? Would they report anything at all or would they attempt to sweep everything under the rug to protect the reputation of the church? I doubt they would report anything at all...just keep quiet and hope nothing came out publicly.

Anonymous said...

I agree that it's also a "societal problem" ...

However, when churches cover up and hide these crimes, it makes the problem worse, allowing for the sexual abuse of minors to continue. By covering up these abuses, the churches are aiding and abetting, and furthering the continued sexual assaults on children.

Exacerbating the problem are members and leaders in these groups who see themselves as part of a movement which has a divinely inspired mission. There's a pressure on them to insure a squeaky clean group image is portrayed. In succumbing to this pressure, the most vulnerable among them are thrown under the bus.

IOW, by trying to keep the group looking good, they actually are growing some of it's most terrible aspects.


Anonymous said...

The WCG had embezzlers in its midst and never reported them. Ray Wright was caught embezzling over 100,000.00 and all they did was lay him off and then a few years later rehired him back in to take care of the money and he did it again! He should have been in jail.

Anonymous said...

My pointing out that the issue of child molestation is a "societal" issue is not meant to be an excuse for anyone anywhere.

But if one is trying to make a case that the WCG was "full" of child molestation or that it was somehow dangerous because of that - you would have to prove that there was significantly more abuse in the WCG than without.

I grew up in the WCG. It was a rare incident according to my own experiences.

The numbers I gave from the Canadian Medical Association study are startling. 14% of girls in the general population have been sexually molested.

Nor am I trying to in any way condone "cover ups" for offenders by authorities. It is not uncommon for authority structures to close ranks around an offender rather than admit one of their number committed a hideous crime. That's the way of human beings - not exclusive to the WCG.

I'm simply stating facts. Facts are friendly and have no agenda.

Lad of 50 said...

We've said that the only thing people are really usually put out for are bad attitudes, lack of tithing, not listening to the every word of the ministry or questioning doctrine.
Can we be somewhat certain then that the reason they don't put out the felons is that they identify with their evil and therefore have more compassion for them?
Perhaps they also look down on the average everyday member who they view as weak and base anyway and not worthy of their help.