Brent Detweiler: An Overview of Allegations That Hush Funds Were Paid by SGM to Keep a Pastor/Father Quiet About Alleged Abuse by an SGMPastor’s Son

https://twitter.com/MarkDever/status/557983332474966018
CJ and his BFFs: link

Challenge question for our readers: How many can you name? Let's see who can be first. 

Update 3/31/15 3/31/15: Special thanks to Dave MacKenzie who corrected Tommy Hill's job description. He is not a pastor

Correction to your summary: Tommy Hill has never been a Pastor. He was SGM’s Finance Director 1997-2014. For the last few years he was also the staff director as SGM downsized. Mr. Hill is now the administrator for the SGM church Cornerstone Church of Knoxville, which is where he came to SGM HQ from.]] end of update

The following is an overview of the startling allegations and revelations made by Brent Detweiler. I have put headers in bold with numbers which should help you to quickly skim the various allegations. please read Brent's full post to see the actual, alleged emails, etc.

1. For new readers who do not know much about Sovereign Grace Ministries

For our new readers, Brent Detweiler is a former SGM apostle/pastor. In the past he has released a number of documents from his time at Sovereign Grace Ministries alleging that leaders were aware of reports of child sex abuse and alleging they covered up these reports. These allegations took on teeth when Grant Layman, CJ Mahaney's brother in law admitted under oath at the Nate Morales trial that he knew about the abuse by Morales and chose not report it to authorities.

For those of you who have not read the accounts of the child sex abuse allegation, on TWW's home page side bar, we have permanent links to some of those stories. Here is one link to get you going. ****Trigger warning ****graphic**** Happy Mom.

2. To the attorneys:

Note to the attorneys: Yes, yes I know these are allegations. Put the word in front of everything I say and relax.

3. Brief summary/overview by Brent Detweiler

Here is a summary by Detweiler. Please note the years involved. 2013! 

Two years ago a “hush fund” masquerading as a benevolence fund was deceptively set up by Mark Prater (Executive Director for SGM), Paul Buckley (Chairman of the SGM Board), and Tommy Hill (Director of Finance & Administration for SGM) in order to surreptitiously meet the demands of a SGM pastor whose son was sexually abused by the son of another SGM pastor in the same church. 

The fund came about because the father of the victim was thinking about joining the sex abuse lawsuit against SGM if SGM did not agree to reforms and if he did not receive restitution monies from SGM for harms done.  Insurance lawyers told SGM leaders they would lose their liability coverage if payouts were made thereby arguably admitting fault.  Instead, SGM lawyer Chip Grange suggested a plan whereby monies be raised for the victim’s family as “a collection and private gift to help him avoid eviction.”  This plan was approved by C.J. Mahaney and the SGM Board of Directors and implemented by Mark Prater. 

As a result many SGM pastors who knew the pastor and father of the victim were contacted and asked to give benevolence to the family.  Prater, Buckley, Hill and the Board deceived these pastors into giving personal and church monies to a benevolence fund that effectively functioned as a hush fund.  The pastors had no idea what was really going on behind the scenes.  They were intentionally deceived in the matter.

If you go to Brent's website, he has posted what he alleges are the emails that he has in his possession. I would love to know who gave him these emails but that is not revealed. These are sure tough times for SGM. The following quotes are from that post.

4. The father, an SGM pastor, of the victim asked for $35,000  in compensation. 

What follows is a presentation of hard evidence starting with the initial letter from the pastor who was the father of the victim (henceforth referred to as Pastor-Father of Victim) to Tommy Hill requesting reform and asking for $35,000 in restitution from SGM.  

(Father) I’m seeking an account established in my son’s name with $10,000 for future counseling or other needs.  Additionally, I’m seeking $25,000 to be paid to me in restitution for harm caused to my family.  

5. The father asked for some reform of the SGM system.

From the father of the abused son whose names are not released.

Reform: I’d like to ask for three simple things to be done (in the first 48 hours), in future cases of sexual abuse.  First, every single time there is an instance of possible sexual abuse, I’d like all parties involved (victim’s family, offender’s family, and church leaders), to receive a copy of the SGM paper on “How to Respond to Sexual Abuse”.  Second, I’d like the families of the victim and offender to be referred to a qualified, experienced, biblically trained sexual abuse counselor.  Third, I’d like a qualified, experienced, biblically trained mediator from outside of SGM (Peacemakers) to be assigned to serve the family of the victim as they seek to walk through the process. 

6. Was the father of the victim considering joining the lawsuit against SGM and some leaders?

Brent speculates that the father is asking for an immediate reply because he is considering joining the lawsuit.

The Pastor-Father of Victim asks for an immediate reply from Hill in all likelihood because he was in contact with Susan Burke who was the lead attorney for the Plaintiffs in the growing sex abuse lawsuit against SGM and others.  At this point in time, Ms. Burke was working on the third version of the lawsuit called the Second Amended Complaint.  

(Father)H However time is if [of] the essence, and I must receive a response from you by 3:00pm today indicating that you have received my request, and communicating your intentions. 

7. Heinous sexual acts alleged.

Brent states that the acts against the son were heinous.

Tragically, we discover the young boy was forced to endure repeated acts of anal intercourse.  These heinous crimes involved terribly perverse indignities.  The Pastor-Father of Victim was right to hold SGM accountable for their neglect but he should have also held the perpetrator accountable by prosecuting him in a court of law.  

8. Pastor Hill of SGM claimed the Board knows little about this abuse.

Pastor Hill says the SGM Board knows little of this situation. 

Hill writes the Pastor-Father of Victim back.  This time he asserts the Board “know[s] very little, if anything, about the situation.”  Once again, he endeavors to interact by phone rather than email which leaves a document trail.  

9. The SGM Board is apprised of the situation.

Brent says the Board is now apprised of the abuse and fear is expressed that he will join the lawsuit.

A few days later Hill receives an email from a senior pastor who is no longer part of SGM (henceforth referred to as Former SGM Pastor) stating he had talked at length about the abuse with five Board Members (i.e., Dave Harvey, Ian McConnell, Aron Osborne, Mark Prater and John Loftness) and also with Ambassadors of Reconciliation at the Group Reconciliation meetings in November 2011.  Subsequently, AoR provided a report to the Board on their findings of sexual abuse in SGM.  The Former SGM Pastor was a friend of the Pastor-Father of Victim and very concerned about Hill’s claim the Board knew “very little, if anything.”  He questions their honesty and appeals they “not compromise [their] consciences in any way.” 

The Former SGM Pastor also reveals the Pastor-Father of Victim is thinking about joining the civil suit against SGM.  

10. The abuser was the son of a senior, up and coming pastor who is not named and the police and church were not informed.

The abuser was the son of a senior pastor who was and is influential in the SGM hierarchy. 

The abuser’s father was the senior pastor (henceforth referred to as Sr. Pastor-Father of Abuser).  He should have resigned and reported his son’s abuse to Child Protective Services or law enforcement.   A thorough investigation by the police should have followed to see if other children had been abused by his son and if other abusers were operating in the church or known to be operating in other SGM churches.  This kind of heinous activity doesn’t usually happen in a vacuum.  There is often a wider circle of involvement.  That’s why an investigation by law enforcement professionals is vital in discovering and stopping sexual abuse.  Furthermore, the church should have been informed.  Instead it was covered up.

…By 2010, the Pastor-Father of Victim had little influence in SGM.  On the other hand, the Pastor-Father of Abuser was on the rise.  He was a senior pastor being positioned for regional responsibilities in SGM and well connected to influential leaders in SGM like Harvey, Osborne and others.  

11. SGM leaders developed a plan to deal with this crisis.

Paul Buckley, another SGM leader, presents three alternatives to dealing with this mess. (If this proves to be true, then these men should spend the rest of their days on their knees begging for forgiveness. Dee is having a heart attack.) Please read the assessment of the potential pros and cons of these actions under this section at Brent's post. They made me sick.

(Plan A): We shift the conversation from legal liability to provision of care and consider how we can care for [Pastor-Father of Victim] given his previous service and subsequent hardship.  We meet most or all of his financial expectations.  We secure a legally-binding agreement not to pursue this matter further.  We avoid any admission of fault.  

(Plan B): We enter into negotiation with [Pastor-Father of Victim] for a gracious settlement if he lets the statue [statute] of limitations lapse.  We frame the ball park figure in light of the assistance that [Pastor-Father of Abuser] received.  We secure a legally-binding agreement not to pursue this matter further. 

(Plan C):We refuse to entertain [Pastor-Father of Victim’s] request in any way and allow him to possibly sue us either as part of the class action lawsuit or on his own.

12. Leaders claimed that the church was informed and the proper authorities were contacted but Brent says this isn't exactly true.

Brent claims this is not true. (The report to authorities could and should  easily be checked.) Instead, he alleges the boy's counselor reported this to police. Make sure you understand this. If there is a police report, then this is a verifiable story. 

  …The church was simply told that, “Someone in the [Sr. Pastor’s] family sinned against someone in the [Pastor’s] family.”  Then the members of the church were instructed not to discuss the matter with each other.  

…Prater says, “This incident was reported to Aron Osborne on March 30, 2010 and subsequently was reported to law enforcement authorities.”  He gives the impression that Osborne reported the crimes to law enforcement but that is not the case according to my sources.  

…The crimes were only reported to law enforcement sometime after Osborne was told because the victim ended up seeing a professional counselor and that counselor reported the crimes as required by law. 

13. Both the father of the abuser and the father of the abused received compensation.

The Pastor-Father of Victim received an approximate total of $33,000 in 2010 and was persuaded to be content, keep quiet and take no legal action.

…The Sr. Pastor-Father of Abuser and the Pastor-Father of Victim each received approximately $25,000 from Church A. 

The Sr. Pastor-Father of Abuser received an additional $25,000 from SGM.  The Pastor-Father of Victim received approximately $8,000.

14. The father of the abuser apparently still serves in the ministry of SGM if I read the narrative correctly.

If this is true, it raises the question if the money, etc. was given with an expectation of silence on the handling of this situation.

The Sr. Pastor-Father of Abuser left Church A when his four months of severance were over for a new job in Church B.  He experienced no financial consequences and continued in pastoral ministry unimpeded.  After his “internship” at Church B, he was transferred and became a pastor in Church C.

15. Church lawyers allegedly consulted the ministry on how to avoid the interpretation of these payments as hush money. Blogs are mentioned.

The lawyer allegedly expressed concerns that blogs might interpret such payments in that fashion. Said lawyer was a prophet since you are reading this on a blog. 

Chip Grange from the law firm of Gammon & Grange, P.C, weighs in on the matter of providing monies to the Pastor-Father of Victim.  He is the longtime lawyer for Covenant Life Church and Sovereign Grace Ministries.  He counsels Prater, Buckley, Hill, et al., to organize a collection and private gift for the Pastor-Father of Victim that appears unrelated to the request for $35,000 in restitution.  

…In my opinion.  Instead of SGM making a direct payment, he recommends others “privately organize a collection and private gift to help him avoid eviction.”  This too could be “misconstrued” if the request for $35,000 in restitution from 18 days earlier ever got out in public; therefore it is better if the collection effort “significantly involves friends who are not part of the SGM leadership.” 

…The easy and safest answer is to avoid any payments that could be misinterpreted in the blogs or in the suit as “hush money” or attempts to induce [Pastor-Father of Victim] not to accede to Susan Burke’s attempts to get him to join her lawsuit. 

15. Here is an alleged fund raising letter written by Mark Prater.

Hey Guys,

Many of you know [Pastor-Father of Victim].  For those of you who don’t, [Pastor-Father of Victim] served on the pastoral team in [Church 1].  After attending the Pastors College he did a church planting internship at [Church 2] before planting [Church 3].  He transitioned from [Church 3] and served in pastoral ministry at [Church A] before transitioning out of pastoral ministry.  Recently I was made aware that [Pastor-Father of Victim] is facing some real financial challenges including a potential eviction from his home in [name of city] in the next couple of weeks.  In an attempt to help [Pastor-Father of Victim] in a time of need, [Former SGM Pastor] has established a Benevolence Fund at his church so that those who want to give to [Pastor-Father of Victim’s] need can make a contribution.  Because many of you know [Pastor-Father of Victim] I thought you might want to be aware of his need and the opportunity to give.  If you decide to do so, here is the benevolence fund information:

[Church 4] [Mailing address] 

You can designate the check this way:  Benevolence Fund: [Pastor-Father of Victim] 

Thanks, Mark

16. Synopsis

Why i believe Brent's account is true.

I have to admit that I believe these letters and emails to be true. Why? Brent would have been on the receiving end of a lawsuit if he was lying. For those who consider this libel or defamation, I suggest you consult the law. Libel and defamation in the US can be proven only to when a person can be shown to have deliberately lied. Also, the person had to have lied in order to cause harm (financial, etc) to that person or entity. In other words, if Dee alleges that Tim Fall wears a kilt under his judicial robes and it is evident that she is joking, such an allegation is not consider to be libel. (I wonder if Tim will see this?)

In the SGM matter, it should be fairly easy to prove is Brent is lying.They could prove he doctored emails, etc.  Considering the fact that no such lawsuit has been filed against Brent, my guess is that certain persons do not want to see such proof submitted in a court of law. Grant Layman's confession under oath was just downright embarrassing, right?

Carolyn Mahaney on the betrayal of friends.

Recently Carolyn Mahaney wrote a series of posts on her Girl Talk blog, bemoaning the fact that good friend will leave you and even betray you link, link and link. She spends a great deal of time discussing the sins of others, calling them to repentance and reconciliation. 

If what is alleged by Brent proves to be true, Carolyn Mahaney and her family should hang their heads in shame. Allegedly (for the lawyers again) the Mahaney's and BFFs  were the ones who ran to Louisville. They were the ones to leave those behind to deal with the lawsuit mess.They were the ones who never reconciled with those allegedly harmed by the ministry. Is Carolyn Mahaney really sure that she wants to discuss the betrayal of others when there might be examples of those closer to home?

Frankly, SGM and its leaders will go down in history as presiding over what I believe to be one of the biggest implosions ever seen in the past century. There are two good things that have come out of this mess. Child sex abuse cover up in churches will not be as easy as it has been in the past. Also, many people now recognize that supposed Christian leaders will support even the most ridiculous situations so long as the people involved espouse the correct theology and give money to the right institutions and people. (See picture at the start of this post.)

Addendum:

Brent's wife is receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer. I wonder if today's SGM leader's would consider donating to Brent to show us all what good guys they really are.

Comments

Brent Detweiler: An Overview of Allegations That Hush Funds Were Paid by SGM to Keep a Pastor/Father Quiet About Alleged Abuse by an SGMPastor’s Son — 116 Comments

  1. The Pastor-Father of Victim received an approximate total of $33,000 in 2010 and was persuaded to be content, keep quiet and take no legal action.

    …The Sr. Pastor-Father of Abuser and the Pastor-Father of Victim each received approximately $25,000 from Church A.

    The Sr. Pastor-Father of Abuser received an additional $25,000 from SGM. The Pastor-Father of Victim received approximately $8,000.

    Five figures total? They’re pikers. When Wacko Jacko was in a similar situation, the hush money started at over seven figures.

  2. I usually put my robe on over Bermuda shorts, Hawaiian shirt and long black socks with leather sandals. Kilts are for formal judicial occasions.

  3. …By 2010, the Pastor-Father of Victim had little influence in SGM. On the other hand, the Pastor-Father of Abuser was on the rise. He was a senior pastor being positioned for regional responsibilities in SGM and well connected to influential leaders in SGM like Harvey, Osborne and others.

    Rank Hath its Privileges, and One Hand Washes the Other.

  4. Another sad twist in all of this.

    I was dying as I read the blog, but when I came to the fake fundraising letter at the end, the impact of that was unbelievable.

    They sent a fraudulent letter to people to raise funds in an effort to create a settlement fund that would not be counted as such.

    I believe that is mail fraud?

  5. HUG:

    I was surprised by the amounts, also. They are low. I wouldn’t take $25,000 from a group to take care of my child who had been molested.

    They either 1) don’t have much money, 2) don’t really value what happened that highly, or 3) focusing on the culpability of the perp, and not the institution.

    Reminds me of Austin Powers and Dr. Evil – “ONE MILLION DOLLARS”!

  6. @ Tim:
    I tried to Direct Message you and discovered that I did not follow you on Twitter. I actually believed that I did and I was wondering why I rarely saw tweets. I have corrected my mistake.

  7. Anonymous wrote:

    wouldn’t take $25,000 from a group to take care of my child who had been molested.

    I would definitely raise the bar a bit myself. I am shocked that he took the money instead of going to the police and then suing SGM. He could have done way better. But, of course, it is all allegations (SGM attorneys take note….)

  8. @ Anonymous:
    I was wondering about that. Except the letter was sent to cult followers who do what they are told. Think of it, the victims own father did not call the authorities! SGM is creepy.

    Al Mohler? Dever?

  9. I think that a dad that takes hush money is abusive toward his child, as are the original abusers.

  10. Does anybody have any information on why parents would not report abuse like this? Are they trying to protect the child from further harm by the publicity?

  11. Correction to your summary: Tommy Hill has never been a Pastor. He was SGM’s Finance Director 1997-2014. For the last few years he was also the staff director as SGM downsized. Mr. Hill is now the administrator for the SGM church Cornerstone Church of Knoxville, which is where he came to SGM HQ from.

  12. Nancy, I don’t think it clear from Brent’s post on whether Brent knows if the parents reported or not.

  13. Nancy wrote:

    Does anybody have any information on why parents would not report abuse like this? Are they trying to protect the child from further harm by the publicity?

    They’re trying to avoid Burning in Eternal Hell?
    Kingdom of GAWD vs The World and all that…

  14. Anonymous wrote:

    HUG:
    I was surprised by the amounts, also. They are low. I wouldn’t take $25,000 from a group to take care of my child who had been molested.

    Like that Governor of Illinois who tried to auction off the Senate seat vacated by Obama back in ’09. And started the bidding at $10,000 instead of at least a million.
    “He’s not just a crook — he’s a CHEAP crook!”

  15. dee wrote:

    But, of course, it is all allegations (SGM attorneys take note….)

    I think you’re safe.
    SGM isn’t Scientology.
    Yet.

  16. The Father of Victim’s requests for “reform” show he was/is drinking the Kool-Aid:
    “Reform: I’d like to ask for three simple things to be done (in the first 48 hours), in future cases of sexual abuse. First, every single time there is an instance of possible sexual abuse, I’d like all parties involved (victim’s family, offender’s family, and church leaders), to receive a copy of the SGM paper on “How to Respond to Sexual Abuse”. Second, I’d like the families of the victim and offender to be referred to a qualified, experienced, biblically trained sexual abuse counselor. Third, I’d like a qualified, experienced, biblically trained mediator from outside of SGM (Peacemakers) to be assigned to serve the family of the victim as they seek to walk through the process.”

    @*^ (ed.)-Over!

    If my child was abused, I’d say the FIRST thing to be done is CALL THE #$*&^% (ed.) POLICE!!!!

    I actually thought he was joking when he said “I’d like all parties involved (victim’s family, offender’s family, and church leaders), to receive a copy of the SGM paper on “How to Respond to Sexual Abuse”.”

    Really? Cause they handled your son’s case so well??????

    Then, take your child to a REAL counselor; this “biblically-trained” business just sounds good, but it means nothing about a counselor’s real ability to help a victim through such a nightmare. The Bible is not a manual for how to be a “biblical counselor.”

    I am so, so, so, so, sad about what happened to the victim. And I am even sadder that it looks like his parents haven’t got a clue about how best to help him. I hope that this young man will be able to get really good help, if he hasn’t already. It sounds like his parents may not have fully grasped the life-long nightmare that victims of abuse can experience.

    I really thought all of the skeletons had been revealed in SGM’s dirty, nasty closet.

  17. From Article: “The Sr. Pastor-Father of Abuser received an additional $25,000 from SGM.”

    I’m missing the part where it explains why the father of the abuser gets money. Seems to me he should be paying. If this is explained anywhere, I’m just not seeing it.

  18. Mara wrote:

    ’m missing the part where it explains why the father of the abuser gets money. Seems to me he should be paying. If this is explained anywhere, I’m just not seeing it.

    Who are the people who know about the abuse? The SGM leadership, the two families and the abused and the abuser. Who are the ones who might end up talking about what happened?

    Perhaps they gave him money to help him remember to stay silent? Oh wait, the lawyers said we should not view this as hush money…

    Or maybe SGM is so concerned about *curing* the abuser that they are paying for treatment which is usually ineffectual but, hey!

    Or perhaps the abuser’s father is really, really important to the organization and they want to keep him around so they gave him a bonus?

    I know which one I think it is…

  19. Dave!!!!!

    We need to chill again sometime. We can talk Baltimore & Ohio, Chesapeake & Ohio, Western Maryland and Northern Pacific until we’re both blue! 😀

  20. Guys…don’t forget “Gospel Centered Hush Money” CJ Mahaney really should have been a member of the Nixon White House. I never thought I’d see a situation where Watergate looked so ethical.

  21. Bridget,

    I don’t think SGM (technically SGC) needs much of a staff administrator at this point, with by my count fewer than 10 employees below the director level. My guess is that Mark Donovan and/or Mark Prater take care of whatever is needed in that area.

  22. @ Anonymous:

    I also wonder if SGM violated its 5013C status if they are doing illegal fundraising like this. I would say that this act constitutes fraud. And that this should be a reason alone for the IRS to revoke their 5013C status. Someone needs to report this?

    Another thought I had is Josh Harris in the know? Was he in the loop?

  23. If Josh Harris knew about this then I could say that the new mantle for Josh Harris is “I Kissed Hush Money Goodbye”

  24. @ Eagle:

    I’m being sarcastic of course but I hope Harris does not know anything about this. I’d hate to think that he knows about this. Didn’t Jim at SGM Refuge describe Tommy as a good guy? I’d love to hear Jim’s analysis of the situation especially since Kris has largely quit doing analysis.

  25. This makes the alleged coverup at Penn State look mild by comparison. A conspiracy to cover up a crime is a crime in and of itself, and the whole bunch should be prosecuted. Al of the local prosecuting agencies in the various localities should be contacted and provided with the information that is available on this mess.

    BTW, Paterno reported Sandusky twice, but was still pilloried for covering it up. These people never reported anything!

  26. Godith wrote:

    I think that a dad that takes hush money is abusive toward his child, as are the original abusers.

    Truth.

    All of these people are evil.

  27. Mara wrote:

    From Article: “The Sr. Pastor-Father of Abuser received an additional $25,000 from SGM.”
    I’m missing the part where it explains why the father of the abuser gets money.

    Cost of doing business.
    It’s called “Squeeze”.

  28. roebuck wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Cost of doing business.
    It’s called “Squeeze”.

    In other parts of the world it’s called ‘baksheesh’.

    Or “Dash”.

  29. Eagle wrote:

    Guys…don’t forget “Gospel Centered Hush Money” CJ Mahaney really should have been a member of the Nixon White House. I never thought I’d see a situation where Watergate looked so ethical.

    I remember when I was much younger reading Barry Goldwater’s biography and Goldwater and other Republicans explaining to Nixon that they couldn’t and wouldn’t support him after what came out. Sad that when what came out about C.J. Mahaney a number of leaders supported Mahaney rather then telling him he needs to resign.

    As you said Watergate was more ethical than how leaders responded to what C.J. Mahaney did.

  30. Hmm first thought was, “Wow, the Father of the Abused sure doesn’t place a very high value on his son. If that was my father, it would be adding insult to injury.” Note the dad (allegedly) demanded more for himself than for his son.

    Also, as other have noted, his demands for ‘reform.’ Ummm….first, number one, before anything else…..Report. The. Crime. I truly am weary of the church that does not value it’s children (or women) enough to protect them….and this is something I have observed in every church I’ve been in…it is systemic. Sigh.

    As to the alleged set up of a hush fund by use of false pretenses…..yep, I have seen that very thing up close and personal. I really am beginning to think that there is no safe place within the institutional church.

  31. The most disturbing part is that there is no indication that the alleged abuser has suffered any consequences, or that they are no longer in a position to continue their abuse.

  32. When your working for SGM, you are working for the “FIRM.” These are your tithe dollars at work, men at work…foolish ones getting worked…

    I believe it was Grant Layman (you know, the one who later testified…), who said “as pastor” at CLC back in January 22, 2006, in a sermon series title: “Affluenza,”), “Tithe and feel the approval of God.” What a sick, twisted, legalistic, cultic phrase/pin-head doctrine. Just look at the fruit! And, the collateral damage of people groups. The farthest thing from the Great Commission…

  33. Remember when Mahaney said “there will be no damage control in SGM?”

    Well, we’ve seen time and time again how accurate THAT statement was. Still, this is SGM leadership lying to THEIR OWN PASTORS which in itself demonstrates that the primary concern is the leadership.

    And indeed, I can’t wrap my mind around why the victim’s father didn’t list “GO TO THE POLICE” as the FIRST step in his proposed “reform” process. Or why he accepted the gag order presented to him. Apparently $35,000 > getting a predator off the streets in his mind (I’m well aware this equation applies in the case of the corrupt “leaders” who came up with the proposal in the first place.)

    Glad I didn’t get too deeply involved during my years of grad school when I attended an SGM franchise location (before I knew better; then again this was before the Brent documents hit). I feel like I dodged a bullet there.

  34. @ An Attorney:
    I disagree on the PSU situation, partly because i live close by andsuspect that a lot more people were involved who escaped indictment.

    But that’s just me.

  35. As the article says, Brent’s story seems very credible, the only thing I can’t work out is how the hell he got his hands on these emails? Surely the only way would be if one of the men involved in the coverup leaked it?

  36. Well, that’s atrocious isn’t it? For a start the whole idea of ‘paying people off’. Let’s cut to the chase – who is genuinely concerned about the welfare of the victim? That poor child. After what’s happened to him how does his Father think ten grand’s worth of therapy will be enough? More like a hundred grand, for starters. And is he safe now? Is he in a church situation protective of child welfare?, because if there’s one thing an abuser can spot it’s a pre-abused child. Less to do to groom them.
    And paying off the abuser’s Father…just don’t get me started…where is his son, what treatment has he had, how many other victims are there?
    The rest of it is just pathetic. How dare they ?

  37. Jen (Wahl) wrote:

    If my child was abused, I’d say the FIRST thing to be done is CALL THE #$*&^% (ed.) POLICE!!!!

    I totally agree with this. I am frankly appalled that any parent would hold back from reporting. Just saying.

  38. Eagle wrote:

    Guys…don’t forget “Gospel Centered Hush Money” CJ Mahaney really should have been a member of the Nixon White House. I never thought I’d see a situation where Watergate looked so ethical.

    (snort)
    You mean he wasn’t?? How did that happen??? (snort again).

  39. dee wrote:

    Or maybe SGM is so concerned about *curing* the abuser that they are paying for treatment which is usually ineffectual but, hey!

    The exception is with young abuse victims who are acting out something that was done to them. Then therapy actually can be effective. I would like to know how young the abuser was and whether he had been abused himself and if so, by who. I would also like to know if the pastor’s son had abused others who were afraid to tell their parents. Either way, the likelihood is that this is only the tip of the iceberg.

  40. numo wrote:

    @ Jeannette Altes:
    Yes. Throughout those emails and protovols, yhe police and child welfare are never mentioned. These people think they hwve that role.

    By Divine Right.

  41. Read Brent’s post…joining Ian’s question above…Brent is posting a lot of emails he wasn’t involved in…any insight on how this all came together?

    This seems like a game changer for cj mahaney….the glitterati seem to have responded to Brent’s previous allegations over the years by dismissing them…how can the gospel coalition, et al, defame and marginalize this mess…how can they not distance themselves from cj at this point….

    Any word on responses to Brent’s bombshell in tgc land? Any traction to the story out there?

  42. Marsha wrote:

    Either way, the likelihood is that this is only the tip of the iceberg.

    Exactly right. Those who know who abuser and pastor father are need to report this asap.

  43. It’s easy to miss this sentence in Brent’s long blog post:

    “This incident was reported to Aron Osborne on March 30, 2010 and subsequently was reported to law enforcement authorities.”

  44. Dave MacKenzie wrote:

    It’s easy to miss this sentence in Brent’s long blog post:
    “This incident was reported to Aron Osborne on March 30, 2010 and subsequently was reported to law enforcement authorities.”

    I covered this in the post. Under Point 12

    “Leaders claimed that the church was informed and the proper authorities were contacted but Brent says this isn’t exactly true.”

    This is a highly questionable statement which should not be taken at face value. In fact, had the reported this to the authorities, such an action would be easy verifiable. Since SGM is not jumping all over themselves to do so, I think the jury is still out on this question.

    Let me ask you a question. Do you think that the current church, Church C, which has the abuser’s dad as one of thee pastors, has reported that the son is a molester to the congregation in order to protect those children? Especially since it is highly likely that the molester attends the church. And, if they did so, when?

    I am currently running down all sorts of reports. If SGM (or SGC-either way you are stuck with the legacy) If these allegations are true, SGM, it’s pastors, leaders and its members who support this nonsense with their tithes and offerings should be ashamed of themselves.

  45. Marsha wrote:

    Either way, the likelihood is that this is only the tip of the iceberg.

    I would agree. Rarely does an abuser only do this one time. I understand that the age of the kid when he was abused puts him in kid status and not teen status.

  46. Maze wrote:

    Any word on responses to Brent’s bombshell in tgc land?

    This bastion of virile manhood will remain silent and still hang out with the Apostle. Meantime, view the picture above. Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever, Tahiti Anyabwile, John Piper, Matt Chandler, Kevin DeYoung and David Platt are very supportive. Al Mohler must have overslept for this photo op.This was taken sometime around January 2015.

  47. ian wrote:

    the only thing I can’t work out is how the hell he got his hands on these emails? Surely the only way would be if one of the men involved in the coverup leaked it?

    I would love to find out. Considering these emails seem to have come from 2013, I wonder if someone did a core dump as they left their job at SGM.

  48. Magnolia wrote:

    The most disturbing part is that there is no indication that the alleged abuser has suffered any consequences, or that they are no longer in a position to continue their abuse.

    Meantime, Mahaney was *degifting* pastors whose kids were *out of control.* Well, some pastors- not those of the inner circle or immediate family.

  49. Foot wrote:

    Grant Layman

    You are talking about the guy who admitted he did not report abuse to the authorities. This was said *under oath.*

  50. AnonInNC wrote:

    Remember when Mahaney said “there will be no damage control in SGM?”

    Perhaps he meant if it involves a lowly member who is not coughing up big bucks.

  51. Mom!

    I would like to know how TGC along with John Piper and Mark Dever respond to this. I think this is the most damning evidence yet. They can’t say Mahaney didn’t know as he approved it.

    It also begs the following question. Why was it…when I was a raging agnostic that I could see through this crap and these kind of men and many Christians could not. Why does an agnostic (at the time) have better discernment on people like Mahaney, Driscoll, etc…

    After reading this I very much would love to see CJ serving fries through a McDonald’s drive through.

  52. Eagle wrote:

    Why was it…when I was a raging agnostic that I could see through this crap and these kind of men and many Christians could not. Why does an agnostic (at the time) have better discernment on people like Mahaney, Driscoll, etc…

    First of all, Mahaney and Driscoll and their Inner Rings were personally benefiting from what was going on.
    “The System Works Just Fine!” (chuckle chuckle)

    Others that weren’t making big bank and/or ego-boo on the situation were too close to it to see it. Sometimes it takes an outsider looking in from outside with no skin in the game to see what’s going on.

  53. dee wrote:

    AnonInNC wrote:

    Remember when Mahaney said “there will be no damage control in SGM?”

    Perhaps he meant if it involves a lowly member who is not coughing up big bucks.

    i.e. MONEY TALKS.

  54. dee wrote:

    Magnolia wrote:

    The most disturbing part is that there is no indication that the alleged abuser has suffered any consequences, or that they are no longer in a position to continue their abuse.

    Meantime, Mahaney was *degifting* pastors whose kids were *out of control.* Well, some pastors- not those of the inner circle or immediate family.

    “ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL
    BUT SOME ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS
    (OINK OINK)”

  55. dee wrote:

    Considering these emails seem to have come from 2013, I wonder if someone did a core dump as they left their job at SGM.

    Wouldn’t be the first time a disgruntled employee left a parting gift.

  56. dee wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    SGM isn’t Scientology.

    I cannot for the life of me see Tom Cruise using the prophecy mike.

    Maybe when he comes out of Stan’s closet on South Park?

  57. Eagle wrote:

    After reading this I very much would love to see CJ serving

    Are there McDonalds in prisons? The only thing Mahaney should be serving is time.

  58. Dave MacKenzie wrote:

    It’s easy to miss this sentence in Brent’s long blog post:
    “This incident was reported to Aron Osborne on March 30, 2010 and subsequently was reported to law enforcement authorities.”

    This doesn’t say that Aaron or the abused child’s parents reported the incidents to authorities. It is possible that the child was taken to get therapy and the psychologist and/or psychiatrist reported the incidents. They are mandatory reporters in most (all?) states. I pray that the child was not taken to biblical counselors. They have no clue how to handle such situations and would do more harm than good.

  59. Doesn’t surprise me at all that SGM is still knee-deep in abuse, cover-up, deception and fraud.

    And that CJ signed it all off – in other words, is at the head of it all.

    When the s*** hits the fan and the buddies can no longer be buddies with CJ, will they admit they were wrong all along?

  60. “No one in SGM reported to law enforcement as required by law.
    You’ll see in my comments it was reported by an outside counselor.”

    The above comments are quotes from Brent Detwiler on his facebook page.

  61. Eagle wrote:

    I very much would love to see CJ serving fries through a McDonald’s drive through

    No, because he’d be flailing his arms around, spilling them everywhere and trying to overload them with GOSPEL-CENTERED(TM) salt.

  62. 1) Rational and compassionate people would have called the police, first thing. CPS a close second. That these things didn’t happen is beyond wrong; I believe it evidences a sick and cult-like organization.

    2) Rational and compassionate people would have focused on the victim, and on justice, not on the adults and maintaining the status quo with lies and deceit and payoffs.

    3) Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever and Kevin DeYoung were all speakers at John MacArthur’s recent “Shepherds Conference” and “Inerrancy Summit.” Interesting. For me, that raises a lot of questions about priorities.

    4) Whole thing makes me angry and heartbroken. No child should have to go through this. I hope the whole truth comes out and justice is done.

  63. dee wrote:

    @ Tim:
    I tried to Direct Message you and discovered that I did not follow you on Twitter. I actually believed that I did and I was wondering why I rarely saw tweets. I have corrected my mistake.

    A mistake I shared and have now rectified.

  64. dee wrote:

    If these allegations are true, SGM, it’s pastors, leaders and its members who support this nonsense with their tithes and offerings should be ashamed of themselves.

    replace “ashamed of themselves” with “prosecuted”

  65. dee on Wed Apr 01, 2015 at 10:09 AM said:

    Foot wrote:

    Grant Layman

    You are talking about the guy who admitted he did not report abuse to the authorities. This was said *under oath.*

    Yes Dee, CJ’s “brother-in-law” – Grant Layman, former pastor of CLC, spoke on 01/22/2006 (last message in Affluenza series). Grant Layman, as CLC pastor “taught” on message 3 of 3, ending the message with: Tithe and feel the approval of God. Pure $hit from $GM. This kind of legalistic false teaching is what has funded and supported the false leadership and their applicable “fruit.”

  66. @ zooey111:
    C.J. Mahaney was a teenager when Richard Nixon was elected president. Sadly, as a 60-something he’s beginning to make Mr. Nixon look like a saint by comparison.

  67. Brad wrote:

    I bet it is eating RHE up inside not to be able to comment about this.

    I laughed so hard I am going to need to repent.

  68. Tim wrote:

    A mistake I shared and have now rectified.

    I figured out what I thought I followed you. Julie Anne Smith retweets a lot of your tweets. So, I assumed I was following you.

  69. John wrote:

    ) Rational and compassionate people would have focused on the victim, and on justice, not on the adults and maintaining the status quo with lies and deceit and payoffs.

    You might find this post we did appropriate. It deals with bikers who showed more compassion to an abused kid than the church whose pastor abused the kid.

  70. Dee wrote:
    dee on Thu Apr 02, 2015 at 03:30 PM said:

    @ Foot:
    Imagine what he was concealing! That guy wanted your hard earned money.

    No Dee, not my money… Grant Layman, posing as a pastor, was promoting false teaching and CJ/$GM leadership $upport (which at that time would include BD) and CLC “leadership” would have benefited from this type of false teaching: which has at its (PDI/$GM’s) bosom: lying, stealing and defrauding God’s people/Body of Christ (which He, Jesus, purchased with His Blood) of the Truth. The Truth that Jesus Himself ended tithing (and a whole lot more) at the Cross (Eph 2:8-(14/15/16)22, Col 2:6-(13/14/15)23, James 2:10, Acts 15:10-21, Gal 5:1-4). Tithe and feel God’s approval is pure legalistic PDI/$GM $hit! (Are there tho$e of you who are $till confu$ed by trying to $ecure God’s approval, a$ if you could improve on Jesus’ record of righteousness imputed to us, those who trust in Jesus as God and LORD? You think Father God is going to buy that?). Tithing to $ecure God’s approval is pin-head theology/false doctrine! (Of course, this goes back to PDI’s (“a”postles, including, but not limited to, CJ, DH, $$ and BD’$ watch, for which they are fully accountable) promotion of Randy Alcorn’s book: “Money, Possessions and Eternity.” Which, Chapter 12, titled, “TITHING, THE FIRST STEP OF GIVING,” second to last paragraph, states: “As you continue to tithe, you will sense God’s approval.”

    These same so called PDI/$GM leaders led the congregations in the “Table of the LORD,” while many (not all) having knowledge of the SEXUAL ATROCITIES ON THE WEAK OF THE FLOCK AND DOING NOTHING TO BRING TRUE JUSTICE AND GLORY TO THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH, BY DOING SO TO THE WEAK OF THE FLOCK (Matt 25:31-46, Matt 24:3-5)…i am not impressed by these false shepherds/”a”postles (Prov 23:23, Eph 4:15-25). So much for CJ’s cross-centered life… The question is, who you gonna TRUST? The real LORD JESUS CHRIST (Hebr 11:6) or false christ($)/$o called anointed one$.

    I’ll take Jesus, and Jesus ONLY, for eternity, please!!!

  71. The @ lydia:
    The victim’s father was the first to report. He was discouraged from doing so, but he did. The victims family did as well at responding to this tragedy as I could imagine anyone doing.

  72. @ Jen (Wahl):
    The victim’s father was the first to report. There were no delusions on his part of what SGM is. There was a desire to make them put procedures in place that could protect children despite the corrupt structure of the organization.

  73. Anon wrote:

    @ Jen (Wahl):
    The victim’s father was the first to report. There were no delusions on his part of what SGM is. There was a desire to make them put procedures in place that could protect children despite the corrupt structure of the organization.

    Where are you getting your information? Brent said that a counselor (outside of SGM) reported the abuse to authorities, not anyone from the church or SGM.

  74. @ Foot:
    Thank you for your comment and passion. Anger is justified in this situation. There are tables that need to be overturned.

  75. I’ll say it again, if it’s known who was involved, if the statute of limitations has not run and if the crime was not reported, I think there’s an affirmative duty to report it.

    That said, I also smell some mail/wire fraud as well as a very definite violation of SGM’s 501(c)3 status. You cannot collect money for this kind of specific payoff and have it be tax deductible. (If people knew it wasn’t tax deductible, that’s another thing entirely. But I suspect they weren’t told.)

    SGM comes across as a nest of crooks that needs a thorough cleaning!

  76. Anon wrote:

    The victim’s father was the first to report. He was discouraged from doing so, but he did. The victims family did as well at responding to this tragedy as I could imagine anyone doing.

    Ah, ok. There is still the issue of collecting the money, however. And I stand by my nest of crooks assessment.

  77. It looks like SGM is in quite a pickle over this one. They couldn’t have forced the victim’s dad to sign anything in exchange for the money or it would have been admissible as an admission of guilt. If he didn’t sign anything that legally binding, there is nothing to keep him quiet. Anyway you slice it, Mark Prater told a bold faced lie to everyone he sent the email to re: the benevolence fund.

  78. I now have both the name of the church and the name of the abuser’s pastor dad. Now, I am trying to figure out what to do in order to warn people.

  79. Anon wrote:

    The victim’s father was the first to report. There were no delusions on his part of what SGM is. There was a desire to make them put procedures in place that could protect children despite the corrupt structure of the organization.

    Ok, I’m glad to hear that he reported this. And I hope there has been an investigation into this and where-ever its’ tentacles reach. BUT, I stand by my earlier comment: the victim’s father’s idea of reform is way off base. Always call the police and CPS first.

    Perhaps his thought process has changed. I imagine he was in shock when he sent those emails asking for reform and hadn’t thought through the ramifications this would have on his son’s life. As a parent, I can only imagine the horror this family is going through.

  80. dee wrote:

    I now have both the name of the church and the name of the abuser’s pastor dad. Now, I am trying to figure out what to do in order to warn people.

    Dee, please bear in mind that if this occurred in a small church, revealing the name of the abuser’s father will inadvertently reveal the victim’s identity, in all likelihood.

  81. Dee Wrote:

    dee on Fri Apr 03, 2015 at 09:53 AM said:

    @ Foot:
    Thank you for your comment and passion. Anger is justified in this situation. There are tables that need to be overturned.

    OK Dee, addendum:

    You do realize that the PDI/$GM culture, was one of sin-sniffing, navel gazing, sin police brain-washing DNA. This makes what I posted before all the worse. Specifically, if you are not tithing, YOU ARE SINNING. And, if you are sinning by NOT tithing, if obviously do NOT have God’s approval…, as if you are missing something (i.e. the PDI/$GM mark/bullseye that is).

    Ironic, Jesus HIMSELF ended tithing as an OT requirement at the cross: It is PAID FOR, IT IS FINISHED!!! This is true “A”postolic teaching, with JESUS HIMSELF BEING “THE” APOSTLE. JESUS ROSE AGAIN FROM THE DEAD and ALL AUTHORITY IS HIS (Thank the LORD Jesus Christ, HE is the Faithful Creator and Faithful Sustainer of Heaven and Earth)! But, PDI/$GM says, not so, you MUST TITHE or you don’t have GOD’S APPROVAL and are sinning (which is a total lie from $atan himself, the father of lies). Many, many, many of God’s children are “duped into bondage” by this and makes them also “partners” in this crime. Which happened on: CJ’s, DH’s, $$’s and “BD’s” watch, which makes them “100%” accoutable… Yes, even BD’s last $GM check was made up of this (in part) kind of tithe money…Selah!

  82. Jenn Grover wrote:

    Dee, please bear in mind that if this occurred in a small church, revealing the name of the abuser’s father will inadvertently reveal the victim’s identity, in all likelihood.

    I have considered this.

  83. Dee,

    It was no Abbey Road, but it brought the BOOM. I am not exactly the Sweet Psalmist (II Sam 23:1)…

  84. @ dee:

    I’m resisting the temptation to drive down to Raleigh from Washington, D.C. to give you a high five and a hug! You make Bob Woodward proud!!

  85. I guess I read far enough into Brent’s blog to get the gist of this.

    Conclusion: Stay far away from SGM.

  86. Sample from BD post today:

    “I knew about these things because I did all the master planning for SGM and the men on the leadership team. That involved coordinating and scheduling our vacations, teaching weeks in the Pastors College, ministry travel including international trips, retreats of various kinds, and numerous conferences. We had to plan 2-3 years in advance. I was also extensively involved in developing policies and procedures for SGM.”

    Well, glad that is clear…