Friday, August 5, 2016

Huffington Post: I Was Sexually Harassed by A Christian Fundamentalist Minister (COG)

The Huffington Post has an excellent article up about a woman who was sexually harassed by a WCG minister in Pasadena when she was a student.

This is NOT an isolated case when it comes to the details she tells in her story.  It has long been recorded in the Ambassador Reports, The Painful Truth, and other blogs and web sites about how ministers in Pasadena and Big Sandy would ask men and women, sexually charged questions when called in for counseling.  This kind of behavior was  practiced by many in Pasadena.  Many of these perverts are now in leadership positions in other COG groups where they still do the exact same thing.

Women suffered the brunt of these sick ministers, though many men did too.  Many stories came out of counseling sessions of ministers masturbating while talking about the sexual habits of coeds and men.  Some of these men are now parked in LCG, PCG, RCG, UCG and COGWA.

I Was Sexually Harassed By A Christian Fundamentalist Minister

The author writes:
Today, I read an article by a fellow HuffPost blogger about how cruelly some individuals in her fringe religion treated her when she was date-raped and got pregnant. 
Her words ignited a passion in me to tell my own “church abuse” story publicly for the first time. Maybe her courage and mine will inspire other women with Fundamentalist or other extremist religious backgrounds to speak up, or maybe even escape and find a new spiritual path, one that supports both genders as we seek to love our neighbors as ourselves. 
My parents joined an extreme Fundamentalist Christian fringe group when I was six years old.
While enrolled at Arizona State she got accepted to "God's College."
During the second half of my junior year, a string of unfortunate events led to me be accepted at the last minute after all into “God’s college”. 
My friends threw a going-away party the night before I left. During it, I saw the wife of a junior minister making out with her brother-in-law. His hand was up her shirt! As in most Fundamentalist “religions”, members are encouraged to tattle on one another. I was torn. I didn’t want to get involved. But I didn’t want to sin. So I did my duty and told an elder what I’d seen. He assured me he would handle it.  
As a female transfer student from a “worldly” [read:pagan/heathen/sinful] university, a girl with a budding journalist’s mind and attitude, I was under scrutiny from the minute I arrived on that small campus. The third day, I was called to the dean’s office. He asked me if I had accused a godly woman of inappropriate conduct with her brother-in-law. I said yes and told him accurately what I’d seen. 
He informed me that I had not seen any such thing, that she had denied it, and that I was to never speak about it again. (Probably not blog about it on HuffPost, either!) 
The author then relates how the minister's wife went and lied to the ministry about her, then was called in and was instructed to find a minister to counsel with and this is what happened:
The minister I chose had me sit on a small, hard wooden chair set a good distance from his large wooden desk. He ignored me completely while I fidgeted and cried. I was terrified of him, of God, of the church itself. Of my blood running in the streets when an avenging Jesus came back to slaughter unbelievers. I knew Jesus would be extra vicious with those who had spurned the truth. 
The minister began to ask me horrifying questions.
“Where did he touch you?”
“How did that feel?”
“Did your panties get wet?”
“Did you see his...”
Then she relates the sickening part:
I told him the truth, because I had been taught not to lie. That first day, he just listened to me tearfully confess that my teenage body responded to being around Dave. I was shaking and crying as I told him these deeply intimate, shameful things. He told me to come back the next day.  
The next day, after I waited silently in my little chair for what seemed like an hour, he asked similar questions. But this time, he was so angry at me (I thought) that he was banging the underside of his desk drawer. His face got really red and then he made a sound I’d never heard before. Then, in the middle of my next sentence, he seemed to suddenly relax. He told me to leave.  
I had no idea what was going on. 
He did the same thing the next day. And the next. It was terrifying when his face got so red! And the banging noise! 
This man and the other men who did this same thing over the decades now think they are God's chosen ministers in the various splinter cults.  They have done no wrong in their lifetime.

Read the entire story here: I Was Sexually Harassed By A Christian Fundamentalist Minister

Read her excellent blog here: Wendy Keller Compassion Page


Anonymous said...

I remember her from college. I am glad she is speaking out.

Anonymous said...

I had a similar thing happen to me when I was told to counsel with minister who was also a department head. The jerk asked me all kinds of sex related questions, things he had no business asking. He was intensely interested in whether I masturbated and how I did it. I am a guy and found it extremely uncomfortable, so I can't imagine how a woman must have felt.

Byker Bob said...

That type of questioning was not only inflicted upon the women. At one point in time, someone connected with the dean's office asked me some questions that I immediately sensed were overly specific. If you've "broken the dating rules", general knowledge is sufficient. My "sin" was confined to French kissing. There is no need to go into every prurient physiological detail. The "Torquemada", in my case, was not a minister, it was one on one counselling, and as he sensed my anger to be just on the verge of exploding, the questions stopped. It never occurred to me that this was their "pornography", and that they would be asking the same and worse questions of the female students. Is it any wonder why many students and church members made a deliberate and concerted effort to avoid the ministers?

Years later, I was sharing some extreme AC anecdotes with one of my Catholic buddies. Turns out he had gone to Catholic high school, and in his senior year, he had confessed to his priest that he'd been "making out" with his girlfriend at the drive in. He got off lightly with some "Our Fathers", and "Hail Marys" as penance, but the priest had read the girlfriend the riot act. Yelled at her, called her Mary Magdeline, and everything else! The problem is, in the WCG there was no parishioner-clergy confidentiality. Every little infraction got blown all over the church. It's a wonder they didn't pass out scarlet letters!


Connie Schmidt said...

Absolutely disgusting and terrible for anyone to be subject to this type of harassment, male or female.

Anonymous said...

I had a similar issue after an unfounded rumor went about the congregation. Some of our local YOU parents had vivid imaginations, to put it mildly... maybe wishful thinking in some cases.

Anonymous said...

The fixation on sex was rampant in the ministry. Like it was said in the post, it was a form of pornography. Religions attract such deviants because it gives them intrusive powers if they become "leaders." They can pursue their prurient desires and get away with it totally.

Anonymous said...

I am also aware that pervert ministers in pcog also ask intimate sexual questions to males and females in their so called counselling sessions. I wish more people come out with their testimonies and expose these perverts.

Anonymous said...

I was fortunate to be sent by my wwcog minister to a real counsellor when he had the insight to see the issues I was facing needed professional help.For that I am greatful.They may have been few and far between but there were individuals with the foresight and concern to give right advice when necessary.I was truly blessed.Sadly it seems those "ministers"( ratbags )that that now inhabit the cog's truly are "White washed tombs".I shudder to think of some of the advice they provide.Laying burdens on others that they themselves could never carry.The above story is truly terrible.

Byker Bob said...

The problem for such a victim is that he or she is in limbo status, in the process of being tried by a system in which he or she most likely still believes. Most people trapped in such a situation presume that good or righteousness will ultimately prevail. And, that would be the logical assumption if the church you were in was God's. If the deviant ministerial inquisitors are deep thinkers, they realize this, and know that their victim is extremely vulnerable, virtually powerless, and retaliation is probably the furthest thing from the victim's mind. So the perpetrator feels the safety inherent in that, and acts accordingly. That is incredibly evil, a betrayal far worse than any member's indiscretion that could trigger a counselling session.

One of my Jewish buddies in high school was with a bunch of his Catholic friends, and they were telling dirty jokes. A priest overheard them, and upon recognizing some of the boys, said "Come on, fellows, we're going to confession". Always the prankster, and seeing as how the priest and church were nothing to my Jewish friend, he made up all manner of horrible and shocking stories for his "confession". Had we known that Armstrongite ministers in reality had nothing to do with God, we could have mocked them with incredible made up stories of our own! But instead, we sat, ballless in their presence and submitted to their idiocy. For many of us, the truth that our system was diabolical and false required a gradual process during which to manifest itself and become clear. Right up until that
final realization, we remained vulnerable.

GTA used to say that authority only exists where you choose to accept it. Sometime during 1975, I discovered the correct and practical application for that statement.


Anonymous said...

This is dreadful. You think you've heard it all then some brave person, like this lady, plucks up the courage to speak out. They need to be named and shamed. It's is outrageous that we are brainwashed with ted armstrong sex sins yet there was loads as bad if not worse than him.

Redfox712 said...

What a shocking and terrible story. That so called "minister" deserved to be thrown into jail. That is illegal, predatory behavior.

Reading her article it is frightening to think how so often women are devalued and told that they can only be a wife and a mother and their ambitions are denigrated and snidely dismissed. Women are perfectly capable of doing anything they wish to do. It is frightening to imagine how much poorer we all are because of the toxic legacies of sexism against women that is still present within our society to this day.

Women deserve better! Down with sexism!