Another Lawsuit Filed by James MacDonald’s Harvest Bible Chapel Against Evangelical Christian Credit Union? Also, Why Is MacDonald Suing the Wives of TED?

“I can mix and match a cute shirt with some skinny jeans under a leather jacket and it looks fun and unique.” Miley Cyrus


Pug dog in leather jacket

Subtitled: Do lawyers give BOGOs?

What a surprise… James MacDonald’s HBC is suing over the mis-management of 5 loans that they received from Evangelical Christian Credit Union. If this lawsuit is what it appears to be, it is not the time to be on James MacDonald’s Harvest Bible Chapel’s bad side. Apparently HBC is miffed off with Evangelical Christian Credit Union and, as he told us in the Christianity Today article, lawsuits are sometimes biblically cool. Even Wayne Grudem agrees with him so it really must be the gospel™.

Now, for the involved lawyers, here’s what I’m trying to say in a thoughtful, non-lawsuitable way. (Is that a word?) An alleged copy of this purported filing was sent to me by someone who is allegedly in no way related to The Elephant Debt writers, their wives (!!!) and Julie Roys. I would be more than happy to remove this post if someone could prove to me that this lawsuit doesn’t exist.

Why is MacDonald suing the wives of TED when he teaches women to stay quiet when they are not happy with actions of their husbands?

Oh, by the way, since James MacDonald believes that wives should be silent in marriage when men are not doing things they way the wives think they should, why is he suing the wives of The Elephant Debt?!

Even where the most dramatic change is needed, the wife impacts her husband without a word. Far more than a promise that a husband can be changed by the example of his wife, it is a strong injunctive, ladies. Your silent witness has tremendous power. Certainly this is not saying that a wife shouldn’t communicate with her husband. But your impact is best made by your actions, not your words. Words don’t work.

…Words don’t work. There is something in a woman’s sinfulness that provokes her to nag just like there is something in a man’s sinfulness that provokes him to neglect.

Why the lawsuit?

The following lawsuit deals with 5 loans that HBC obtained from Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU). HBC contends that they had offers to get better loan arrangements from other groups but stuck with ECCU because they had a long time good relationship (that sure died a painful death) with them and had reason to believe that ECCU would refinance the loan. Unfortunately, ECCU eventually denied loan modification or loan refinance.

HBC appears to claim negligent supervision, deceptive trade practices, and common law fraud. HBC wants special damages, punitive damages and compensatory damages. Yep-It appears HBC is going for the gold. At the risk of beating a dead horse, could this have something to do with their elephant biggish debt burden?

The following document is a PDF. You will need to click on the link to read it. I hate Scribd.

HBC – Complaint


Comments

Another Lawsuit Filed by James MacDonald’s Harvest Bible Chapel Against Evangelical Christian Credit Union? Also, Why Is MacDonald Suing the Wives of TED? — 194 Comments

  1. They’re shotgun hosing. Throw enough rounds downrange and something’s gonna hit.

    Plus, the intimidation factor. Like the ripping-canvas sound of Full Auto when you KNOW you’re the target. Or even if You’re Not, You Could Be Next.

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  2. Oh, by the way, since James MacDonald believes that wives should be silent in marriage when men are not doing things they way the wives think they should, why is he suing the wives of The Elephant Debt?!

    Simple.
    Get to the Men by threatening their Wives and Children.

    Back when I was a kid, I read in a cop’s memoirs that not even the Mafia of the time would do that.

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  3. Headless Unicorn Guy: Simple.
    Get to the Men by threatening their Wives and Children.

    Sadly, there’s probably a lot of truth to that. I suppose it also has something to do with doing-unto-others for making his own wife and children feel bad as church members exit by droves. Additionally, some of JM’s children are employed by his ministry and will be economically impacted if things continue to go south at HBC, so go after the wives of the bad guys, make them suffer! The whole litigious mess within “Christian” ranks stinks.

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  4. Sue Christian bloggers, sue Christian journalists, sue Christian lenders … why not sue all those “influential pastors and biblical scholars” who have provided him bad counsel on Christian lawsuits! Where does it stop when the litigation beast is unleashed in the church?!

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  5. Why was this Biblically minded church taking out loans anyway? Isn’t it a sign that they are weak in faith? After all they are supposed to just have faith that the Lord will provide for their needs.

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  6. In my experience, the people who are the loudest about everything being everyone else’s fault created all of their own problems themselves…

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  7. NoWaybutUP: Uh hate to tell you but they filed a few more, keep looking.

    Well, if he decides to sue every blogger who now writes about him, every magazine or website that posts anything that could be perceived as negative about him, along with anyone else who makes him upset, the lawsuits coming up could be endless. His lawyer friends will be busy boys.

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  8. Re: suing the wives.

    It’s just plain mean.

    In the suit itself, the wives are described as “providing material support, including but not limited to providing funds for computer(s) that are used to create, edit, host and maintain the ED website, and providing funds for internet access to the ED site.”

    I think it’s to scare the wives into not maintain the site whilst the suit is underway.

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  9. Looks real Dee. If it is real you should be able to pull it off off Pacer.gov. if you charges less than 15 dollars a quarter, all charges are waived. Otherwise it’s generally ten cents a page.

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  10. Dee,

    When do you expect to receive a “love note” from HBC? You are a high-profile conference speaker now!

    I support you, but putting that innocent Pug in a leather jacket is cruel. You should be reported.

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  11. Have you read James articles on biblical lawsuits against credit unions?

    Have you read James articles on biblical cover up of sexual solicitation of children by youth pastors?

    Of course not. The don’t exist.

    The TED / ROYS Lawsuit changes the narrative an puts James in control of the story line. Dog Whistle

    These other stories are real. Public record exists. It’s not gossip. Both can be verified.

    How will James prove Roys / TED guilty? He would have to open the financials.
    Isnt a true reveal of the finances what TED and the satanic elders were asking for all along?

    James is in his comfort zone twisting scripture.

    Lets see how he does responding to news of his 18% mortgage rate increase going public.

    Lets see how he does responding to real investigative reporting on why a Youth Pastor was allowed to walk unchecked for 10 months after Harvest had proof he was soliciting sex acts from children of members.

    Report the stories of public record and force this spindoctor to address the facts.

    Connect the dots of deception. Reveal a church of corruption.

    This is Not a Joke.

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  12. SMH – if HBC was such a great credit opportunity and received multiple offfers from other lenders, why in the world did they not refinance elsewhere??? Good grief. Maybe the elephantine debt means HBC was unworthy of a new loan anywhere? Hmmmm.

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  13. Not familiar with Illinois law, but it may be that the wives were sued because MacDonald is going after the community property of the marriages and he needed to attach the wives for any potential judgment? Again, not sure why they would be sued, but again, the whole lawsuit is a joke and should be deep-sixed forthwith.

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  14. My O my. As the empire comes crashing down how the mighty are flailing.

    BTW what happens if a congregation loses so many people it can’t repay it’s debt? Who gets stuck with the bill? The lead pastor? The current elders? Seriously folks, who is responsible for all the debt at the end of the day?

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  15. James: Lets see how he does responding to real investigative reporting on why a Youth Pastor was allowed to walk unchecked for 10 months after Harvest had proof he was soliciting sex acts from children of members.
    Report the stories of public record and force this spindoctor to address the facts.

    OK-I need some help with this one. Can you get me some information on this. I have heard about this but I’ve not seen anything that I can write about.

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  16. I am terribly concerned about the current litigious state of affairs at HBC. If you have information about various activities-youth pastors, etc. I need you to send me an email if you have some information and help me to look into this. I am more than interested in writing about this with sufficient help.

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  17. Ken P.,

    I am the bottom of the dregs when it comes to conference speakers.. They pulled me out from behind my computer and I am happily excdonced back from where I started. I do agree with the leather jacket on the pug. The Miley Cyrus quote pulled it together quite nicely, so I thought…

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  18. Fisher,
    It depends on how the debt is structured. A real estate mortgage means the property would be foreclosed and sold with any remaining debt [likely a lot] handled as unsecured debt. Unsecured debt might be guaranteed by individuals or other corporations who or which would be liable. If no guarantors, then the lender loses. Of course, it could be asserted that the debt was fraudulently obtained with false financial data … leading to personal judgments against the perpetrators. As always, lawsuits focus on those with assets and fiduciary responsibilities.

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  19. dee,

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/ct-met-harvest-bible-chapel-pastor-child-sexual-exploitation-a20181018-story,amp.html

    This is the Trib Story Link.

    Harvest let this guy go in January of 2018 after learning of ongoing attempts to sexually solict a minor.

    Harvest did not call the police
    Harvest claims they called dcfs
    Harvest sent a “targeted” letter to parents invloved in the pastor’s ministries.
    The letter is posted on Harvest website under “In The News” but makes no mention of the sexual nature or dcfs. My kids were there. I heard nothing.
    DCFS states the investigation was NOT due to a call by harvest in Jan.
    DCFS stated the investigation was initiated based on a call to the dcfs hotline in June 2018.
    Harvest open letter to members posted on hbc website states a call from Craig Stiener in June “SEEMS” to have lead to the charges.

    Per DCFS policy, a letter outlining the outcome of an investigation is sent to the individual that makes the initial report.

    Someone needs to ask Harvest to provide such a letter.

    They don’t have it. It’s time to finish this

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  20. All right, I just thumbed through the lawsuit HBC v. ECCU.

    Basically, HBC was looking at an interest rate increase on August 1, 2018 and was negotiating with ECCU to modify or refinance the five loans. Here are some things I found interesting:

    1) There are five loans, but the lawsuit doesn’t indicate the individual or aggregate amounts of those loans.

    2) But the amount of the loans together must have been a LOT of money because ECCU didn’t have the money to modify/refinance in and of itself and was putting together a group of investors (!) for the refinances. These refinances appear to be on loans for various church properties as “Niles” and “Elgin (The Big Loan)” are mentioned.

    3) HBC is claiming that it relied on the assurances of ECCU that this would come through and thus did not pursue other offers from other lenders for the refinance. HBC is claiming it relied on ECCU’s assurances and didn’t pursue those other lenders.

    4) The trigger of the lawsuit was an interest rate increase on August 1, 2018, which is apparently specified in the loan documents–as in HBC agreed to this when they signed on to the original loans. Apparently the increase is significant, as their loan payment as of August 1 is 19 percent more than it was the previous month, but again, they signed on to this.

    5) There was a written conditional loan commitment on the table (point 20).

    6) The loan officer overseeing the loans (Michael Boblit) was dismissed in July 2018 (point 23).

    Oh, I have so many questions, many of which would be answered by a review of the loan documents, which are not part of this lawsuit. Here are some of them:

    * Did HBC have the actual ability to request renegotiate/modify/refinance these loans as part of the original loan documents, or was that up to the lender, ECCU?

    * What was in the written conditional loan commitment? What were the conditions that HBC had to satisfy for this commitment to become reality? Remember, HBC is suing TED and Julie Roys, claiming they’ve lost lots of members. It may be that the lender was looking at the church financials, seeing the amount of money/”giving units” had gone down and had asked for certain assurances before it would go through the refi/modification.

    * It’s interesting that their loan officer, Michael Boblit, was dismissed in July. Is it possible that his dismissal is related to the lack of progress on the refi/modification of the HBC loans?

    * HBC complains in the filing that it’s unable to now refinance the loans at a favorable rate because of the increasing interest rate market. Well, yeah, but that’s been going on all year and last year as well. The Fed has had three rate increases in 2018 (0.75 percent) but there were also rate increases in 2017 as well. This is not generally a favorable interest rate environment.

    * HBC is asking the court to enforce the loan modifications which were not signed when the interest rate hike went into effect. HBC also wants the court to force ECCU to release “encumbered collateral on loans which are paid off by HBC”, which leads me to believe that some property has been or is currently being used as collateral for the five loans even though it’s not part of the five loans.

    * I get the very strong impression that like the TED/Roys lawsuit, HBC is hoping that ECCU will just do what it (HBC) wants to avoid high court costs in defending the lawsuit. Because in a rising interest rate market, expecting to get a lower interest rate on loans can only occur if you’re a really, really good customer. Now, HBC makes a point of saying how it ran its banking relationships through ECCU, but we also know from the allegations in the TED/Roys lawsuit that HBC has lost a significant chunk of members. I’m not sure that HBC would qualify as a good client of ECCU when it’s losing “giving units.”

    * Speculating now, it would not surprise me that HBC NEEDS to renegotiate/modify these loans because it cannot now make the expected payments without experiencing a lot of financial stress. Keep in mind that it signed on to this interest rate increase when it took out the original loans, but perhaps HBC thought it could renegotiate it in the future.

    Again, there is so much we don’t know here, but my speculation is that this all arises from the fact that HBC is shedding members. It will be interesting to see ECCU’s response so we have a better idea of what the facts are on the ground.

    I am looking at the mortgage for the Niles property right now (thank you Cook County Recorder of Deeds). It is for no more than $3,600,000.00.

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  21. Forgot to mention.

    PAXTON SIGNER TURNED HIMSELF IN 1 DAY AFTER THE ROYS / TED LAWSUIT WAS FILED.

    NARRATIVE CONTROL IN THE 1ST DEGREE

    PHONEY CHURCH BRAND PR OVER THE SAFETY OF MY/OUR/ANYONE’S KIDS!?

    In yesterday’s message James spent a couple minutes telling a “cute” story about how ” lot’s of things happen around harvest that he knows nothing about”

    I have this Evil man measured.

    He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing.
    Proverbs 29:1 ESV

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  22. All right, I’ve got the mortgage for the Niles property before me and I’ll be emailing this page to Dee. This is ugly, and I quote:

    Note: The word “Note” means the promissory note dated June 20, 2014, in the original amount of $3,600,000.00 from Grantor to Lender, together with all renewals of, extensions of, modifications of, refinancings of, consolidations of, and substitutions for the promissory note or agreement. The interest rate on the note is 5.250%. Payments on the Note are to be mad ein accordance with the following payment schedule: in 59 regular payments of $21,583.00 each and one irregular last payment estimated at $3,223,108.94. Grantor’s first payment is due Augusts 5, 2014, and all subsequent payments are due on the same day of each month after that. Grantor’s final payment will be due on July 5, 2019, and will be for all principal and all accrued interest not yet paid. Payments include principal and interest. The maturity date of the Note is July 5, 2019.

    There are more documents, I’ll be going through them and trying to figure out what on earth is going on.

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  23. LOOK UP HERE LOVED ONES

    POINT 28 IS THE BACKBREAKER.

    AUGUST 1 2018

    THE LARGEST LOAN RESET AND HARVEST WAS SCHEDULED TO MAKE A PAYMENT 19% 19% 19% HIGHER THAN PREVIOUS PAYMENTS ON THE SAME LOAN.

    NOW LOOK AT YOUR NEIGHBOR AND SAY “THATS ALOT OF MONEY”

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  24. I’d just note that the Niles location has a balloon note on it in the amount of approximately $3,223,108.94 and it is due on July 5, 2019. That’s eight months from now. When I worked in commercial real estate, we had a lot of balloon notes; they were part of doing business. The expectation is that there would be a refinance prior to the due date. I question whether that can happen now considering this loan is likely one of the ones HBC is suing over.

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  25. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,

    Thanks for being so thorough with this. Another heartbreaker is that when the Niles campus was “added,” that building was owned by the church it took over–and by Harvest–free and clear. HBC borrowed against it. Boo, boo, boo.

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  26. Mmmkay. Can I just say that as a baby missionary I got a shiny new account with ECCU, most of my missionary colleagues have them too. Way to go megachurch, try to destroy the credit union that has thousands of missionaries’ little stashes of cash!

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  27. 2012 Elgin Campus mortgage with ECCU is still on the books in Kane County. Parcel # 0608200035 Amount at time of closing was 30,640,000. This very well may be the “Big” loan that escalated in August.

    Perspective. 30,640,000 mortgage 30 years at 5% $164,482 per month.

    19% increase on that big boy…We are talking additional $31,251.58 per month.

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  28. There’s no chance that DCFS was informed on or before Jan 7th–and maybe not in January at all. They would have/should have TOLD parents that the activity was criminal and that it had been reported. Instead, Landon MacDonald (author of the sample letter to parents) framed this as “bad news”:

    http://www.harvestbiblechapel.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Letter-to-Student-Ministry-Parents.pdf

    The most ALARMING revelation in this “sample” email is this: “Paxton will be attending the Aurora Campus for the time being where his family attends and he will be given pastoral care on that campus and we are committed to him and to helping him move forward.”

    WHAT? You’ve (allegedly) reported him to DCFS and you’re okaying his attendance at the church campus where he met the youth he exploited??????? And you’re telling parents this as though they should be reassured?

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  29. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,

    Excellent and thoughtful analysis, thank you.

    I agree that all of this is related to the shedding of members. But, going further back–to the root–this is all related to James MacDonald (& company) taking on huge amounts of debt in secret.

    Proverbs 22:7 comes to mind: “…the borrower is slave to the lender.”

    Debt = risk. James and Elders liked to point to assets as proof that they were on the plus side. But it’s never a good day when you have to sell your church-buildings. Instead of humbling himself and repenting, he keeps adding more campuses, digging further and further.

    And we haven’t even brought up that at least two of the campuses are triple-net lease real estate investments that some elders and members are involved in.

    This is not going to end well…

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  30. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,

    I appreciate you bringing all of this to the surface again, in this forum. The Elephant’s Debt authors did a lot of work on this front. James MacDonald doesn’t realize that he can suppress a couple bloggers, but he can’t suppress the truth.

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  31. James,

    “In yesterday’s message James spent a couple minutes telling a “cute” story about how ” lot’s of things happen around harvest that he knows nothing about””.

    Ugh, this sounds sickeningly familiar–again using the pulpit to defend himself and deflect criticism.

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  32. Ex Harvest: The most ALARMING revelation in this “sample” email is this: “Paxton will be attending the Aurora Campus for the time being where his family attends and he will be given pastoral care on that campus and we are committed to him and to helping him move forward.”

    WHAT? You’ve (allegedly) reported him to DCFS and you’re okaying his attendance at the church campus where he met the youth he exploited??????? And you’re telling parents this as though they should be reassured?

    Wait, why was he not reported to the police and arrested? Surely his alleged actions were criminal? What’s with calling DCFS?

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  33. James,

    LOOK UP HERE LOVED ONES

    POINT 28 IS THE BACKBREAKER.

    AUGUST 1 2018

    THE LARGEST LOAN RESET AND HARVEST WAS SCHEDULED TO MAKE A PAYMENT 19% 19% 19% HIGHER THAN PREVIOUS PAYMENTS ON THE SAME LOAN.

    NOW LOOK AT YOUR NEIGHBOR AND SAY “THATS ALOT OF MONEY”

    Oh Gosh you made me smile there

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  34. TS00,

    Yes, agreed. I confess to not knowing the protocol when it comes to children. Thanks for reminding me that the police should have been called first.

    Sad that HBC is quicker to bring a civil suit than to report criminal offenses.

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  35. TS00,

    You’re right, but (in my opinion) they did NOT call DCFS until sometime in the weeks and months after he was fired–and even then only when prompted to do so.

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  36. “I can mix and match a cute shirt with some skinny jeans under a leather jacket and it looks fun and unique.” – Miley Cyrus

    That kind of thing works when Miley Cyrus says it. Maybe she should be a megachurch CEO! I bet she could pull a crowd *. All she’d have to do then would be to give a talk with some fragments of the bible in it, and she would have been powerfully used by god.

    * I was going to say “put bums on seats”, only that probably doesn’t make a lot of sense on the left side of the Atlantic.

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  37. A
    Ann,

    He can try though can’t he. One wonders what’s going on in the mind of the elders right now as they see all of these things being shouted from the rooftops. True, Paying off a balloon debt with 19% interest won’t go over well with church members. But ‘it’s a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews10:31) Don’t any of these men fear the one who throws both body and soul into hell? God will not be mocked. What a person sows they will reap.

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  38. Sometimes the season is right. It’s been wild watching (and experiencing) gender and racial justice accelerating recently. That long arm just took a crazy bend.

    Maybe as this crescendo chapter of HBC evolves with all of its documented drama, someone (one of the authors at TED?) might pitch the story to major publishers as a book. This is a story that should not be forgotten and deserves to be told well and spread far and wide. This is the story of American Evangelicalism (note: I’m not saying Christianity…there are cool denominations that keep Jesus front and center), the capitalist church built on a multi-level marketing scheme that relies on power and money to survive and hide its sins. There are court documents and no lack of witnesses (incl off-the-record ones) to tell HBC’s real story.

    HBC’s lasting legacy just might be putting the last and biggest nail in the coffin of the capitalist church.

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  39. ION: Sport

    AWWBA, the U.S. Olympic Committee has begun proceedings to revoke the national governing body status of USA Gymnastics. This follows directly on from the sexual abuse scandal involving former team doctor Larry Nasser, and USAG’s handling thereof.

    Rachel Denhollander, herself one of Nasser’s targets and a leading light in the campaign to bring him to justice, tweeted the following yesterday (I’ve included a typo correction that Rachel herself added):

    THANK YOU. After overseeing the abuse of 100’s of children by Larry, national coaches and club coaches, it is high time for this organization to end and a new one, truly dedicated to athlete safety, to begin. A COMPLETE regime change should start now. This is for every survivor.

    Many people will be watching this process with the same hope. Sarah Hirshland, chief executive of USOC, sent an open letter to “gymnasts and the gymnastics community in the United States” that included:

    Seeking to revoke recognition is not a decision that we have come to easily, but I believe it is the right action.

    We believe the challenges facing the organisation are simply more than it is capable of overcoming in its current form.

    Even weeks ago, I hoped there was a different way forward. But we now believe that is no longer possible.

    Today is only the beginning of an important process for gymnastics in the United States. The path is not crystal clear, but our motives are. We move forward, committed to ensuring the type of organisation each gymnast and the coaches, trainers and club owners who support them, deserves.

    Wartburgers will undoubtedly have their own views on the general theme of how the world shows the church how to behave. That said, Rachel Denhollander declares herself a follower of Christ, and maybe it’s that she’s had more success persuading “the world” to act like Him than she has some of “the churches”.

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  40. Ann:
    I urge everyone to contact TBN and request they stop broadcasting James McDonald and moody radio

    I suggest TBN fold entirely. They and their programming are, in my opinion, full of false prophets and scam artists.

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  41. I believe that JMac and HBC are 1.). Trying to shut up critics who speak truth. 2.). Get out of paying the debts.

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  42. Nancy2(aka Kevlar),

    I have not followed TED, but I did peruse it some recently. My questions concern the whole financial mess. Has HBC ever come clean on its financials? Has this enormous debt been properly accounted for, along with the fine home of MacDonald and, presumably, those of his sons? Did the gambling factor in at all? JMac was obviously pulling in a tidy salary, so maybe he was simply gambling with his own (still questionably legitimate) money. There is a lot of incriminating information over at TED, with a lot of informative commenting from people in the know, including former elders and members. One can see why JMac would want to shut them up any way he can.

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  43. dee: I do agree with the leather jacket on the pug. The Miley Cyrus quote pulled it together quite nicely, so I thought…

    I think a more appropriate graphic would have a huge elephant squeezed into a tight leather jacket . . . with money falling out of its pockets. But I like the pug. 😉

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  44. TS00,

    If by “come clean” you mean provided a full account and explanation of the financials, no. They post end-of-year audits, but those don’t provide much detail.

    J-Mac’s mantra is “The business of the church isn’t the business of the church.”

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  45. Help needed

    I will write a post about the youth pastor tomorrow. Any information that you all can share would be appreciated. I copied Ex Harvest’s tweet regarding questions on the announcement and have added that to the draft.

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  46. Sue,

    They have also overtaken a church in Naples Fl. Looks like James took down the announcement. Some dude donated a 3 million dollar facility to be rented for 10 dollars a month. Hope he never gives it to the Chicago harvest cause they will take a loan out against it from the looks of how they operate with finances

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  47. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,

    Excellent summation. would love to talk with Michael Boblit. I, too, believe that the church was in trouble since they apparently lost so many members. Can you imagine blaming this on TED? What MacDonald is saying is that the former members, each and every one of them left because of the very large animal debt. He is making an assumption here.

    I believe that many could have left because they: got tired of MacDonald;were miffed off about how he handled the elders; read their Bibles and began to ask hard questions; didn’t like his leather jacket; went to a new church nearer their home; the kids had friends at other churches; got tired of the huge crowds, etc.

    Also, as regards to the debt-people may have left because there is a sizable debt-(lawyers-in my book sizable can be anything over 1 million so no lawsuit here) and they didn’t want to fund it.

    The lawyers will need to prove that each and every one of those families left because of the supposed lies on the part of TED. I hope the elders have lots of $$$$. This is going to cost them.

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  48. Fisher,

    I think he has placed a bunch of men around him as elders who act as his henchmen. I know a story of an elder acting in an aggressive and intimidating way to repremind someone for something that no person has any grounds for doing so!

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  49. My emails are out for one day due to changes in the blog set up. If you need to speak to me, their is a google contact phone number.

    Or just leave the note here and I will try to keep up with the comments.

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  50. Ex Harvest: And we haven’t even brought up that at least two of the campuses are triple-net lease real estate investments that some elders and members are involved in.

    This is not going to end well…

    *boggled* why would you have triple net leases (for the uninitiated, that’s where the lessee pays rent, property taxes, insurance and maintenance) for a church on a mortgage taken out by the church? Don’t get me wrong, I think having insurance and maintenance are good things, and churches (this depends on the state and I have no idea about Illinois) generally don’t pay property tax, but why would the church pay rent? There’s already a mortgage on the building, isn’t the church already paying that? My head is starting to hurt.

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  51. Wow. Sounds like Stan set up a satellite office at HBC…

    Such a huge story, I am surprised that some major media outlets haven’t picked up on this one yet.

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  52. dee,

    The nature of solicitation involved a young male. This was not noted in any communication that I have seen to date. This further demonstrates Harvest unwillingness to protect the children. By not releasing the same sex nature of the charges, Harvest failed to properly warn the parents on 3 levels

    Regarding the Letter written by Landon and posted on Harvest’s website.

    1. No mention of sexual solicitation.
    2. No mention of same sex nature.
    3. No mention of calls to DCFS.

    How on earth can anyone be sure there are not others that were victims? How many parents do you think questioned their sons?

    Victims privacy is of the highest priority. I will not discuss anything further regarding the victims identity. As far as the same sex nature of the charges. It is very important that this is made known. Many parents, even Today 10 months later, may not have spoken to their young boys to rule out additional victims.

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  53. There is a general principle in law that when you sue someone from a different state, the case will be in the defendant’s location unless you can prove that they are active in the plaintiff’s location, such as having an office or plant there. I suspect that this case will end up being heard in the jurisdiction where ECCU is located, at great cost to HBC.

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  54. OK, here’s a snippet of the Kane County mortgage, entered into in 2012 between HBC and ECCU, specifically, the defnition of “Note.”

    Note. The word “Note” means the promissory note dated July 9, 2012, in the original principal amount of $30,640,000.00 from Grantor to Lender, together with all renewals of, extensions of, modifications of, refinancings of, consolidations of, and substitutions for the promissory note or agreement. The interest rate on the Note is 5.750%. Payments on the Note are to be made in accordance with the following payment schedule: in 119 regular payments of $192,752.02 each and one irregular last payment estimated at $23,403,595.10. Grantor’s firsst payment is due September 1, 2012, and all subsequent payments are due on the same day of each month after that. Grantor’s final payment will be due on August 1, 2022, and will be for all principal and all accrued interest not yet paid. Payments include principal and interest. The maturity date of the Note is August 1, 2022.

    Again, this is a balloon note, which in commercial real estate is generally no big deal for a refinance as long as the property remains stable and kept-up.

    Kane County doesn’t provide an assessment on tax-exempt properties so there’s no way to tell whether the property at 1000 North Randall Rd in Elgin is worth over $30 million. One wonders if HBC is collecting rent from its tenant, Christopher S. Nudo, attorney at law, whose website proudly proclaims “*We Are Located In The Harvest Bible Chapel”. This would be the same Christopher S. Nudo who happens to be the attorney on this lawsuit against ECCU. Hmmm….

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  55. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: Christopher S. Nudo, attorney at law, whose website proudly proclaims “*We Are Located In The Harvest Bible Chapel”. This would be the same Christopher S. Nudo who happens to be the attorney on this lawsuit against ECCU. Hmmm….

    Good Lord! A church with a live-in attorney! That’s a litigation case waiting to happen!! The 21st century church is becoming way to complicated for this ole man!

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  56. YP Article INFORMATION. Not covered up? OK proof is in Harvest’s hands..Or is it?

    https://www2.illinois.gov/dcfs/safekids/reporting/documents/cfs_1050-21_mandated_reporter_manual.pdf

    IL DCFS MANDATED REPORTER MANUAL. PAGE 25. FIRST SENTENCE.

    “Mandated Reporters receive a letter informing them of the finding in cases they reported.”

    This “seems” like the type of transparent communication that could be posted by Harvest to show they were in fact the party responsible for initiating the investigation.

    Can we see it?

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  57. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): I believe that JMac and HBC are 1.). Trying to shut up critics who speak truth. 2.). Get out of paying the debts.

    Yep. The more I learn about him, the more that I suspect that MacDonald is taking his cues from something other than the Bible. Maybe from someone with a first name of Lafayette?

    “Don’t look now — James MacDonald is suing the IRS!!”

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  58. Sounds to me like a case of domestic terrorism. Time to call Episcopal priest Bob Malm’s attorney Jeff Chiow, for whom accuracy in pleadings was never a major concern. Among his falsities:

    – That I never practiced law.
    – That I was never a police officer.
    – That I have violated the existing court order.
    – That I was inspired in my blogging by a fictional church shooting in the equally fictional town of Sugarland Texas.

    In the tongue is the power of life and death….

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  59. dee,

    MacDonald and HBC are saying that those 2500 members left because they read false and defamatory information on TED and decided to leave because of it.

    Sure, some people leave any large church because of the size, the “show,” they don’t feel connected, etc. My impression from the lawsuit is that the 2500 is actually not just “bodies” but people who tithed. There’s a record of those tithers and HBC can more or less see if they are not longer tithing and infer that they don’t go there any more. (Of course, some people gave official notice or resignation when they left, too.) So they may be able to connect the $3 million they say that they lost to those departed members.

    As you say, establishing a direct link between members leaving and TED will be hard. And if the information/claims on TED can be further proven to be true, then the defamation suit folds.

    Speaking for us, we wouldn’t say that we (or anyone we know) left because of TED. Sure, TED brought to light certain information (in the church’s own docs, in publicly-available docs., via firsthand accounts). But we ultimately left because of what we saw and heard independent of that: A Senior Pastor who was accountable to no one; undercover changes to the church Constitution and governance that gave the SP more power and the congregation less or none; statements and responses at Q&A sessions that were very obviously obscuring the truth; the Senior Pastor using the pulpit to defend himself; the debt; the mishandling of Harvest Bible Fellowship, financially and otherwise…the list goes on.

    In sum, we left because of the words and actions of James MacDonald and those failed to hold J-Mac accountable–not because of TED.

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  60. dee,

    MacDonald and HBC are saying that those 2500 members left because they read false and defamatory information on TED and decided to leave because of it.

    Sure, some people leave any large church because of the size, the “show,” they don’t feel connected, etc. My impression from the lawsuit is that the 2500 is actually not just “bodies” but people who tithed. There’s a record of those tithers and HBC can more or less see if they are not longer tithing and infer that they don’t go there any more. (Of course, some people gave official notice or resignation when they left, too.) So they may be able to connect the $3 million they say that they lost to those departed members.

    As you say, establishing a direct link between members leaving and TED will be hard. And if the information/claims on TED can be further proven to be true, then the defamation suit folds.

    Speaking for us, we wouldn’t say that we (or anyone we know) left because of TED. Sure, TED brought to light certain information (in the church’s own docs, in publicly-available docs., via firsthand accounts). But we ultimately left because of what we saw and heard independent of that: A Senior Pastor who was accountable to no one; undercover changes to the church Constitution and governance that gave the SP more power and the congregation less or none; statements and responses at Q&A sessions that were very obviously obscuring the truth; the Senior Pastor using the pulpit to defend himself; the debt; the mishandling of Harvest Bible Fellowship, financially and otherwise…the list goes on.

    In sum, we left because of the words and actions of James MacDonald and those failed to hold J-Mac accountable–not because of TED.

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  61. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,

    Allow me to clarify: Two of the buildings (Deerfield Road campus and Aurora campus) do not have mortgaged but are owned by an LLC in which Harvest is a Class A member.

    See this description for the DF campus building from the 2015 Audit statement (available to anyone online http://www.harvestbiblechapel.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/HBC-FS-2015-Final.pdf)

    “Harvest Bible Chapel North Shore, LLC (LLC) was formed in June 2015 to acquire, own, and lease property located at 1731 Deerfield Road, Highland Park, Illinois, to HBC. The lease agreement was entered into on August 1, 2015, and is effective through July 31, 2019, with monthly payments of $23,500. HBC is the sole Class A member and manager of the LLC, and made a capital contribution of $550,000 during 2015. There are six Class B members who made combined capital contributions of $4,450,000 during 2015, of which $750,000 was also from HBC. The LLC is not a taxpaying entity for federal income tax purposes, and thus no income tax expense has been recorded in the consolidated statements. Income of the LLC is passed through to its members.”

    It is my opinion–because of what we were told by someone who had resigned from Harvest leadership–that some of the members of the DF and Aurora LLCs are Harvest Members, and that at least one member is an Elder. The members of these LLCs have not been disclosed to the congregation as far as I know.

    Who the members of those LLCs — and whether any are Elders — seems like an important question, one that tithing congregants should know.

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  62. Ex Harvest,

    “Paxton will be attending the Aurora Campus for the time being where his family attends and he will be given pastoral care on that campus and we are committed to him and to helping him move forward.”
    +++++++++++++++

    pastoral care…. such an inflated idea. i marvel at the kind of inflated sense of self it takes to proffer such things as being a highly specialized skill.

    thankfully, whatever ‘pastoral care’ i’ve received has been benign, but was nothing more than friendship and conversation, peppered with ‘insights’ that were stale & old news.

    too often, however, pastoral care (or the mere mention of) is simply a slimy attempt to manipulate.

    …but this, too, is old news.

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  63. elastigirl,

    Agreed. But if we are to believe that the church actually did report to DCFS when they say they did–and that they understood the acts to be criminal–then there is no reason on earth that they should be okay with him continuing to attend.

    HBC said last month in their public statement to the media that the youth pastor was no longer attending, as far as they knew. But that has nothing to do with what the church said to student ministry parents in the sample email that they’ve now posted on their site.

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  64. dee,

    I sent an email to you last night. Let me know if you didn’t receive.

    Also, regarding victims, quoting from the Tribune article: “Church officials said they made three separate reports in January related to alleged inappropriate actions between Singer and three individuals.”

    So, even though the current charges relate to one individual, there are apparently at least three total. Whether those were minors or part of the HBC student ministry isn’t clear.

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  65. James:
    dee,

    Victims privacy is of the highest priority.I will not discuss anything further regarding the victims identity.As far as the same sex nature of the charges. It is very important that this is made known.Many parents, even Today 10 months later, may not have spoken to their young boys to rule out additional victims.

    I understand what you’re saying, but the Tribune article very clearly says it was a 16-year-old boy in the opening sentence. Yes to the parent email being woefully inadequate on every level and that the victim’s gender is relevant so that parents won’t make assumptions and can question their children.

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  66. Sue,

    Yep, I know. And are opening another campus in the near Western suburbs. Nine campuses total.

    More campuses = more tithes

    Which they’re going to need with a mortgage interest rate that’s going up 19%.

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  67. Ex Harvest,

    yes, they dropped the ball in a major big way, and tried to spin it as responsible and righteous, with the double-points-bullsh|t bingo word “pastoral care”.

    i’ve got a really great cynical face i put on whenever i hear those words lobbed and lauded about.

    😐

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  68. Raswhiting,

    I was wondering, can a loan holder refuse to allow them to refinance the loan with another company? That doesn’t sound right, are they saying the contract with ECCU doesn’t allow a buy-out (or whatever it’s called) of the loans?

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  69. From JD Greear’s Twitter feed 36 min ago

    More
    Congrats @DrPaulChitwood ! The mission of the @IMB_SBC is what excites me most about being a Southern Baptist; praying Psalm 67 for you & the teams you’ll lead. Believing the best days are ahead!

    Can some1 get the SBC’s attention regarding James Macdonald’s invite to speak and SBCPC19?

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  70. Noevangelical: Such a huge story, I am surprised that some major media outlets haven’t picked up on this one yet.

    When the poo-poo really hits the main fan they’ll (mainstream media) be all over it.
    Like, well… flies on poo-poo.
    Remember the Willow Creek saga?

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  71. elastigirl: yes, they dropped the ball in a major big way, and tried to spin it as responsible and righteous, with the double-points-bullsh|t bingo word “pastoral care”.

    “Not out of any Heavenly virtue, but Hellish respectability.”
    — G.K.Chesterton, one of the Father Brown Mysteries

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  72. Jerome: Just announced, search committee wants Mohler’s man Paul Chitwood as IMB president.

    Pretty much all SBC entity leaders are Mohler’s men (most seminary presidents, head of the home mission agency, LifeWay publishing house, and now the international mission agency). Mohler is on the SBC throne.

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  73. PC,

    Read what he said. They stayed with their current loan group because they had been with them for a long time. They took the gamble based on some discussions. I bet they did not receive a *fer sure* on the refi. MacDonald knows how to gamble from what I understand. he gambled and lost and is now suing the house because he didn’t win. But, for the lawyers who are ardently reading, that is just my thoughts on the matter and no way represent reality. Kissy, kissy.

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  74. Ex Harvest,

    Yes, I planned to write what was in the media. However, lets just say, for the sake of argument, I happened to know the identity of the victim. Now, I’m not saying I have any insider info but you never know, I would not release that. In this case I would not release the name of the victims or his parents unless they gave me permission to do so.

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  75. Ex Harvest: So, even though the current charges relate to one individual, there are apparently at least three total. Whether those were minors or part of the HBC student ministry isn’t clear.

    Did you know that the average paraphiliac has molested 100-150 times BEFORE he/she is caught? Check out my posts on the matter along with links to the NIH, etc. That means I believe that this alleged pervert could have harmed a bunch of other kids. I hope HBC sends out warnings.

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  76. Ex Harvest: As you say, establishing a direct link between members leaving and TED will be hard. And if the information/claims on TED can be further proven to be true, then the defamation suit folds.

    Dee’s prediction: TED, their wives and Roys will prevail. James MacDonald comes off looking like a numbskull. I wonder if the lawyers think that *numbskull* is lawsuitable….

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  77. Ex Harvest,

    There is also a property tax scam here – these properties should be taxed but are not, let me explain.
    -An LLC owns the Deerfield and
    Aurora properties.
    -HBC contributed some money to LLC, but majority of ownership is other investors(It would be Interesting to find out if the investors are really elders or church leaders, or even James himself. Might be a conflict of interest to arbitrarily set rents and profit from the church like that)
    -LLC collects rents from HBC and presumably makes a profit
    Here is the issue: while the statement you printed above correctly states that the LLC is not a taxable entity (because the members of the LLC are taxed on the distributions they receive), it IS NOT a TAX EXEMPT entity, not a 501(c)3. This entity is the owner of the building AND is not tax exempt, yet has somehow gamed the system to avoid property taxes in two counties. A quick online search of the property assessors shows they pay $0 property tax in Auroa and about $10,000 in Deerfield( which is presumably only for the portion rented to the Montessori school that also occupies the building)
    When a church or other 501(c)3 owns property, it is exempt. When a individual or for-profit corporation owns the property, property tax should be assessed and collected. Since both of these properties were off the tax roles because they were previously owned by churches, it seems like someone did a slick job of convincing the assessors to (wrongly) exempt them from tax. Another Scripture that doesn’t apply to James MacDonald, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s” or Romans 13:6 “For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed…”

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  78. dee,

    Good to know, thanks.

    I created a timeline of events as currently reported in documents that HBC has posted and in media outlets. It’s view-only, but I’m happy to hear from others about what I’m missing. (I mostly did this to “see” and make sense of the sequence of events for myself, as I no longer go to HBC.)

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gDJk2pXDsl-nXza0ZJhVPrWyDrmikqtY8g9M_QopZYI/edit?usp=sharing

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  79. In my opinion, HBC reported to DCFS in January the content of Landon MacDonad’s HBC email (the youth pastor had a “compulsive, repetitive and addictive text relationship with a student”). DCFS investigated which did not result in criminal charges. Then the victim shared more information through counseling, or somehow more information came to light, that resulted in HBC DCFS report in July. This could be spun as a “follow-up” to the January incident. However, that information caused for there to be more investigation which resulted in the criminal charges.

    Again, I have no facts but this seems plausible. Please join me in praying for the victim.

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  80. Pingback: The Elephant’s Defamation? Thoughts on the Harvest Bible Chapel Lawsuit – Weighted Glory

  81. Logan Frisco,

    Thanks for these insights. This topic was discussed on TED in the comments last year as well. I can’t recall if the tax issue was raised.

    In my opinion, there is at least one Elder who is a member of one of the LLCs. Also, in my opinion, James MacDonald is a member in at least one, because I don’t see him sitting on the sidelines while other people profit off what he perceives as business/corporation.

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  82. I’ve done a post on this at my own blog. I live in Cook County, Illinois and defeated a very similar lawsuit against me earlier this year (a local business tried to sue me for allegedly defamatory blog posts that were over a year old). Briefly:

    (1) Illinois has a one-year Statute of Limitations on defamation and false light claims. All but 3 of the posts at TED are past the statute of limitations for sure. Most of the HBC complaint can be dismissed under the SoL.

    (2) Illinois adheres to the single-publication rule. For a blog post to remain up or for allegedly defamatory statements to be republished neither tolls nor refreshes the SoL.

    Where I think TED will have a tougher time is the comments on the blog. My attorney (who specialized in Internet defamation) thought that defense of comments left on my blog would be harder. I honestly had no idea I could be held responsible for 3rd party comments.

    In any case, I wish TED the best of luck.

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  83. Fun with Financial Statements!

    Ever wonder how much money the James run Harvest gave to the James run WITW back when there was accounting available? Check it out.. 2006 thru 2013 links below.

    WITW is no longer required to report which way the money flows between HBC and It. This because it began to operate as a “HBC Ministry” in 2011.

    You’ll need your fingers and toes to count this high $3,945,722.

    That doesn’t account for in WITW income, only what HBC James gave WITW James..

    When Harvest made it a ministry in 2011 they were granted $2,464,068 in “assets” and absorbed 278,444 in liabilities. Im not a Harvard guy but lets see here 3,945,722 donated of 5 years – 2,464,068 granted back to HBC when consolidated in 2011 + 278,444 in liabilities. My backwards math says $1,481,654 of what Harvest donated was never seen again.

    Was WITW that expensive to run? Did it not “make” any money of it’s own? Would James have been able to pay himself a penny in salary if he had not moved tithe money from HBC to WITW in such large amounts?

    Enjoy!

    http://www.harvestbiblechapel.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/HBC-December-31-2007-and-2006.pdf

    Page 12

    http://www.harvestbiblechapel.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/HBC-December-31-2008-and-2007.pdf

    Page 16

    http://www.harvestbiblechapel.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/HBC-December-31-2009-and-2008.pdf

    Page 11

    http://www.harvestbiblechapel.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/HBC-December-31-2010-and-2009.pdf

    Page 10

    http://www.harvestbiblechapel.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/HBC-December-31-2011-and-2010.pdf

    Page 10

    http://www.harvestbiblechapel.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/HBC-2012-FS-Final.pdf

    Page 11

    http://www.harvestbiblechapel.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/HBC-2013-FS-Final1.pdf

    Page 10

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  84. I’ve been sleuthing a bit today as it’s FREAKING FREEZING OUTSIDE where I live.

    Anyhoo….I re-researched material I’d read in recent years past and also fit some big time money/power Harvest Bible Chapel & Fellowship puzzle pieces together. More than a few of those pieces involving family/men who are part of the Robert D. Van Kampen family wealth; said wealth and donations having financed and provided Harvest Bible Chapel/Fellowship/James MacDonald with unfathomable securities of one sort and the other.

    You have Dave Wisen, son-in-law to Robert D. Van Kampen, a pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel, Springlake, MI, and former President of the Van Kampen Asset Management Company. As stated on The Elephants Debt (link included below), “Perhaps most significant of all, during the Harvest Bible Chapel (HBC) / Harvest Bible Fellowship (HBF, now GCC) turmoil dating to the summer of 2016, Mr. Wisen was hand-picked by James MacDonald as the Harvest Bible Fellowship (HBF) representative who James wanted to oversee the audit of the HBF funds.” It didn’t quite go the way Mr. MacDonald had planned and he [MacDonald] lost the confidence of Mr. Wisen and, perhaps, accompanying access, influence, and $$$$ support. See, also, https://theelephantsdebt.com/2017/12/05/hbc-chairman-of-the-executive-elder-committee-resigns-in-protest/

    Today, I researched a bit more about problems I’d heard about at a HBC church in Orlando, FL. Long story short, HBF had bought(?) been given(?) taken over(?) that church and its original elders had remained in place. After X amount of time, the elders had a problem with their senior pastor and decided to fire him. HBF/HBC ergo Mr. MacDonald wasn’t having any of it and thus catapulted said church from the Fellowship and kept the pastor. What manner of pastor would have Mr. MacDonald going to such drastic lengths to keep you ask? Scott Pierre…another SIL to Robert Van Kampen (he’s actually deceased, but his widow and family own the financial investment corporation and broad holdings). Funny…I guess, “When the Elders speak collectively in agreement, they speak for God,” only works at Harvest Bible Chap Elgin and satanically influenced rogue elements.

    Here’s some links for reference regarding my internet research foray:

    Who is Scott Pierre? Mr. Pierre’s relationship status noted here: http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2001-08-17/lifestyle/0108160514_1_kampen-elder-van-holy-land

    HBC Elgin Elders explain why James was right and those Orlando-based rascally, obstinate, and divisive “…men unknown by HBF…” didn’t know nuthin’. https://www.harvestbiblechapel.org/2016/05/21/elder-update-may-2016/

    And here’s HBC Elgin Elders explainin’ the Harvest Bible Fellowship fiasco that James blew up all by himself: https://www.harvestbiblechapel.org/2017/09/01/elder-update-summer-2017/

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  85. PC: I was wondering, can a loan holder refuse to allow them to refinance the loan with another company? That doesn’t sound right, are they saying the contract with ECCU doesn’t allow a buy-out (or whatever it’s called) of the loans?

    It really does depend on what the promissory note says and we don’t have that in front of us. If the note was securitized (i.e., sold to investors who are expecting a given return over time), there may be restrictions on refinancing the loan. Bur we don’t know that or if ECCU has the practice of selling off loans in that way but retaining the servicing.

    I’d just like to add that if your church is shedding members, it’s likely that its income is going down as well. This is not going to go in favor of the church when it’s looking for a modification or refinance of its loans. The church might have to put up more collateral to secure the note, get more guarantors, that sort of thing.

    When I worked in commercial real estate and we were putting together a loan package to be sold into a securitization, we had worksheets which laid out what kind of occupancy rate could be tolerated before the loan would be in trouble. For apartment complexes, that would be a vacancy rate combined with the rental rate; for strip malls, that would be a consideration of the various underlying property leases, the terms of the leases and the quality of the tenants.

    The point I’m trying to make is that you don’t have that with a church. That’s why there are specialty lenders like ECCU for specialty properties like churches. I would imagine that ECCU would have access to all the financials of the HBC entities and if, as stated in the libel suit, HBC has lost so many people, it may be that their financial situation is not so good. We nay find this out wiith ECCU’s response to the lawsuit.

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  86. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,

    HBC is $3 million behind budget this year according to the most recent giving update: http://www.harvestbiblechapel.org/financial-integrity/

    $3 million is also the amount cited in the HBC lawsuit against TED/Julie Roys. (That is, they allege that TED’s false allegations are responsible for the departure of 2500 members and $3 million.

    Factor in the failure to refinance with ECCU and it becomes very obvious why they embarked on a new capital campaign. Notably, there are myriad other projects under this campaign. Not sure how a church with such massive debt–and is behind on regular giving–openly solicits for these relative indulgences….

    One of the “projects” for the campaign is accelerating mortgage paydown.

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  87. dee: I wonder if the lawyers think that *numbskull* is lawsuitable….

    Dee, I think the word you’re looking for is “tortious”, rather than “lawsuitable”. 🙂

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  88. Anonymous: I’ve been sleuthing a bit today as it’s FREAKING FREEZING OUTSIDE where I live.

    GMFS, where it’s windy and a bit wet, but mild. Not bad running weather overall.

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  89. Pingback: Wednesday Connect | Thinking Out Loud

  90. ION: Cricket

    Overall, a good day for England in the First Test in Galle. Ben Foakes became only the second England wicket-keeper to score a debut century, eventually falling for 107 to wrap up England’s first innings. In reply, Sri Lanka didn’t bat too well; they were dismissed for 203 (assisted by a final-wicket stand of 28) to give England a first-innings lead of 139. Moeen narrowly missed his five-fer, finishing with 4-66 off 21 overs. Leach and Rashid picked up two each, making this only the fourth time in the last 50 years that England have had three spinners all taking 2 or more wickets in a Test innings.

    The innings break was a quick one; England are already out (albeit not in the “out / not out” sense) in the middle for their second innings, of which there will probably be around 10 overs today. At the time of writing, England are 7-0 from 2 overs.

    IHTIH

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  91. Cricket update

    England closed on 38-0, a lead of 177. Dinnae ken what the weather forecast is for Day Three – the tour has been heavily rain-affected thus far – but, clearly, Sri Lanka will be hoping for quick wickets in the first session. England’s top order, by contrast, will be hoping not to throw away their wickets in a rush of stupid. Overall, England are in a strong position and realistically the match is theirs to throw away. But this is England…

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  92. Ex Member,

    “Not sure how a church with such massive debt–and is behind on regular giving–openly solicits for these relative indulgences….”

    And there in lies their solution. Indulgences. It’s worked before. See St. Peter’s, Rome. That’s pretty much how their tithe system works anyway, doesn’t it?

    Just kidding…

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  93. I wonder if HBC has ever offered classes in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University?????
    Lots of churches do ……… it would be so laughably ironic if HBC did.

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  94. Nancy2(aka Kevlar): I wonder if HBC has ever offered classes in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University?????
    Lots of churches do ……… it would be so laughably ironic if HBC did.

    Oh yeah! MacDonald promoted Ramsey in his “God’s Money” teaching series.

    https://jamesmacdonald.com/gods-money-resources/

    I guess MacDonald slipped out for another latte during that taping.

    Some of these guys don’t believe half of what they teach themselves. They just want the giving units to believe it and give them more of “God’s money.”

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  95. dee: These guys love CJ Mahaney. I doubt they could give a hoot about JM.

    The new reformers in SBC ranks LOVE MacDonald. They hold him in high esteem for helping to maneuver “The Gospel Project” into Southern Baptist hands. JM returned the affection by joining SBC in 2015 so he could be more available to them … for example, as a key speaker at the SBC Pastors Conference next year.

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  96. Logan Frisco: There is also a property tax scam here – these properties should be taxed but are not

    That’s what it looked like to me. Sorta makes you wonder if this whole lawsuit thing is about trying to keep all of these ‘alleged’ financial shenanigans under wraps? Such surmises, if incorrect, could be easily cleared up with proper financial disclosures.

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  97. Bridget Jack Jeffries: Where I think TED will have a tougher time is the comments on the blog. My attorney (who specialized in Internet defamation) thought that defense of comments left on my blog would be harder. I honestly had no idea I could be held responsible for 3rd party comments.

    In any case, I wish TED the best of luck.

    Which presents an important factor for Dee, and other blog owners to keep in mind. What is to keep an entity, say one who is being exposed for misdeeds, from hiring someone to troll the blogs that are exposing them and deliberately post false, inflammatory and suit-worthy claims? Frankly, anyone could pose as an insider and share deliberately false claims that gives an accused abuser grounds for suit. It would seem that blogs would have to very carefully monitor their comments in order to not be open to charges of defamation and shut down. We so naively believe that we have unchecked freedom to speak, but this belief vanishes when one begins to understand the lengths that abusers will go to to cover their tracks. If JMac is guilty of the things frequently suggested, sicking a troll on annoying blogs would be child’s play.

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  98. James,

    Good idea.

    Still, does anyone know of a specific case where a plaintiff was granted damages because of defamatory comments on a blog?

    I wonder if the reason for having comments via FB, Disquis, etc. has to do with liability.

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  99. Max: a key speaker at the SBC Pastors Conference next year.

    I am so glad to have left the SBC. Their politics makes this last election look like child’s play.

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  100. James,

    At the very least, can a blog not state that the comments left on the blog do not represent the opinions of the bloggers, or some such ‘Not approved by the FDA, please consult your physician’ type statement?

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  101. TS00,

    See above comment with link. It is obvious that the comments on my blog and others do not represent our point of view. We allow all sorts of comments from all perspectives.

    I have written a number of articles on the legal end of libel/slander/defamation. You can read the first post on the recent suit against TED in which I outline to law in the US. The law is clear and I believe that TED and Roys will prevail.

    In the US we are allowed to express what we believe to be true even if it is proven not to be true. We are also allowed to tell others what we believe, verbally and in writing.

    MacDonald will have to prove that TED and Roys were knowingly and deliberately lying in order to cause him malicious harm. That will be a tough task since I believe TED and Roys wrote what they believed to the. the truth.

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  102. TS00: … What is to keep an entity, say one who is being exposed for misdeeds, from hiring someone to troll the blogs that are exposing them and deliberately post false, inflammatory and suit-worthy claims?…We so naively believe that we have unchecked freedom to speak, but this belief vanishes when one begins to understand the lengths that abusers will go to to cover their tracks.

    This is exactly what abusive spouses do. They slander the spouse to everyone they know. They call agencies with “concerns” about the spouse, including social services, which can cause a lot of trouble. They comment on blogs about how hard life is with their abusive spouse, but thankfully with enough red flags that alert blog-owners know to watch for and for that reason have to moderate every comment. They bad-mouth the parent to the children, causing a lot of pain and confusion. They send sugary sweet emails (in between the nasty ones) and use those in court to make the spouse look bad because she didn’t respond positively to his sugar-coated demands. Yes, an abuser will go to any lengths to get the spotlight off him or herself and onto the victim, whether spouse or blogger or the children (now adults) that he abused. Reading what these big-shots write to try and clear themselves is very much like reading what my abuser has written through the years. The methods and words are the same no matter who they are trying to discredit. Destroying lives, or trying to, is what they do best, and they do it without a single twinge of conscience, something I will never understand. However, I do know, they are rotten to the core.

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  103. Maple Lady: Destroying lives, or trying to, is what they do best, and they do it without a single twinge of conscience, something I will never understand.

    If you read Martha Stout’s book, ‘The Sociopath Next Door’, she claims that 4% of our population are sociopaths or have no true emotional attachments to people and no conscience for their behavior.
    And no, the rest of can definitely not understand them!

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  104. dee,

    I want to restate my “opinion” clearly. ha!

    The TED/ Roys lawsuit may be a calculated move to change the narrative from more publically difficult stories such as the abusive youth pastor and ECCU lawsuit to a lane James feels comfortable in.

    Evidence for my opinion..
    An Executive level harvest employee told me that Harvest WOULD NEVER open the books in the manner that many called for. That the consolidated statement was more than enough.

    Again, James excommunicated Elders, labeled them satanic. TED and others have been calling for a true and transparent itemized audit for years.

    Theory continued.

    James will drop this Roys/TED lawsuit on his terms before discovery forces his books open.

    Big Wallet vs Little Wallet thinking makes it a strong bet that thoughts of countersuites will not have the funding to do any damage.

    In the meantime he controls the story.

    He also indirectly threatens people/victims with what they don’t know.
    I.E. Can he sue? Can he win? What will it cost? Should i close my blog?

    By staying in his area of expertise James leverages his media platforms to spin scripture ” his fav thing to do” knowing full well that his tactics will drive his opponents further into frenzy.

    We must do as follows.

    Meet every media post James makes with links to the real stories.

    Push the narrative that is now readily available via public record. Abusive Staff and The ECCU lawsuit.

    Force harvest to speak to these things. Attach them to Jmac’s image.
    Take him out of his comfort zone by
    driving the narratives that he so clearly wants to cover up.

    For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power love and self control. 2 Tim 1:7

    God has allowed these events of record.

    We must not meet God’s providence with our own fear of the schemes man.

    Its time to place My/your fear where it belongs, in the One who after he has killed, has the power to cast into hell. luke 12 5

    No1 said following Christ would be easy.

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  105. dee: I am so glad to have left the SBC. Their politics makes this last election look like child’s play.

    The lowest and meanest form of political expression are theo-politics.

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  106. James,

    James,

    The other “advantage” MacDonald gains is appealing to his base and shoring up the undecided. People at HBC and elsewhere who aren’t sure what to think about TED (or the as yet unpublished article by Ms Roys) may infer that the blog contents must be false if HBC and MacDonald are willing to sue, albeit it with private money.

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  107. Ex Harvest: I’d be interested in your opinions about this operation: http://churchbuildingministry.org

    The men who run it used to be involved with HBC. The President (Mr. Adams) was HBC’s CFO for awhile. (Although, apparently he was a reluctant one:

    I don’t know anything about this particular organization, however, Fred Adams was James MacDonald’s right hand henchman for over a decade and presumably helped him to create the muddy financial mess that harvest is today.
    I personally will not be hitting the “GIVE” button on his website.

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  108. So, JMac flunked Ramsey’s FPU. No surprise there.

    I have another off-the-wall question …….. JMac preaches/teaches male authority/leadership and female subjugation/subordination. ……. wives must submit to husbands.
    Yet, he is including TED wives in the lawsuit because ……. they did as the husbands wished????? For (ahem) practicing what JMac preaches???????

    JMac is just one contradiction after another, isn’t he?

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  109. Ex,

    Yes.

    This year Harvest had 3 massive outdoor parties. Crowder, KB, Lusko, Laurie, Ravi.

    James billed them as celebrations of Harvest’s Anniversary and at the same time they were marketed as 3 weekends of revival.

    For those mainlining the kool-aid “celebration” sounded just right.

    For those giving grace and praying for better days ahead “revival” was just what the doctor ordered.

    What were they actually? 3 Weekends of potentially expensive, yet free to the public, brand enhancement events, paid for by secret donors in a season of declining attendance and looming mortgage escalators.

    Lusko spent about 7 minutes throwing verbal bouquets at James and “his” ministries, but it’s Ravi that took the prize for best example of what’s wrong with these men.

    “When James Macdonald calls and asks you to do something, it’s kind of like getting a call from The Lord”

    Ravi Z. at Harvest 2018 Revival

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  110. james: “When James Macdonald calls and asks you to do something, it’s kind of like getting a call from The Lord”

    Ravi Z. at Harvest 2018 Revival

    Wow. Just supports my suspicion that these religious celebrities are all in bed together. Until one gets too hot to handle, or is selected as an unfortunately necessary scapegoat; then his formerly loyal backup band will admit they had ‘doubts’ all along.

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  111. james,

    “When James Macdonald calls and asks you to do something, it’s kind of like getting a call from The Lord”

    I think what he meant is “When James MacDonald calls and asks you to do something, it’s kind of like getting a call from Vito Corleane, the Godfather. He makes you an offer you can’t refuse.” 🙂

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  112. james: Lusko spent about 7 minutes throwing verbal bouquets at James and “his” ministries, but it’s Ravi that took the prize for best example of what’s wrong with these men.

    “When James Macdonald calls and asks you to do something, it’s kind of like getting a call from The Lord”

    Ravi Z. at Harvest 2018 Revival

    The Christian Industrial Complex in America depends on celebrity leaders flattering and heaping praise on each other – it helps sell their books and build ‘their’ churches. It’s a mutual admiration society of elites who control the counterfeit church. I have a feeling The Lord will be calling some of these men soon, and they will know it when He speaks for He will be calling them to account. He has already begun to expose and reveal their true hearts.

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  113. Disclaimer
    My Opinions are not my own unless they are true or inspire u to open your wallet

    On the street we say “loose lips sink ships” Jimmy Mac is not wired for it.

    I assure u, Jmac has zero ties to “the street” The only way Chicago’s 1st Family would do business with him is by charging him street tax for earning on there turf.

    That said, he may be in the market for a good old fashioned loan shark.

    Big Mac is cut from the cloth of Bernie Madoff not Al Capone.

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  114. ___

    “501c3 Danger Zone Reached?”

    hmmm…

    HBC members apparently have become unwitting chess pieces in a dangerous high stakes financial and managerial exposed scheme. We all remember the central control impact fiasco on Mars Hill, where a form of resuscitation after exposure became important but the 501c3 leader made the pathway circumstances strictly impossible. HBC’s financial lender is apparently questioning the current repayment stability in such an seemly unstable organization going forward…

    ;~)

    – –

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  115. PC,

    A loan could include terms that require a financial penalty, a fee, if they prepay/payoff a loan earlier than scheduled. This would be limited to a beginning period of the loan, perhaps up to five years.

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  116. A few years ago I visited a small church a couple of times. I was also investigating the housing market, as we were looking at buying a house. I was told to talk with the pastor, and did, as he was a former real estate mogul, as was his father before him. Both made pretty comfortable fortunes in the real estate market before things went south.

    It seemed odd to me at the time, and only comes back to me now in reading about JMac’s financial shenanigans, that this small church was in the process of making an enormous investment, at the pastor’s leading, in an entire shopping mall, of which one building would become the church. I’m not really into real estate, but it seemed strange that this tiny little church, of far less than 100, was taking on this investment project and its huge debt. Makes me wonder if the word on the street is not how easy it is to make money on naive church peoples’ tithes?

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  117. James:
    dee,

    James will drop this Roys/TED lawsuit on his terms before discovery forces his books open

    There is ZERO CHANCE that HBC lets this suit get to the discovery stage, dispositions, much less an actual trial. Can you imagine them letting anyone see their books…NEVER. Can you imagine Jmac sitting down with an attorney and answering questions? HA HA HA – He would blow up and attack the attorney after 1 tough question.

    This lawsuit is a scare tactic to get Julie to NOT publish her story in World Magazine. She has a real juicy story that she is going to publish. The kind of stuff that ends a church, a career, and people possibly end up in jail.

    And I agree that it’s also a smoke screen to keep people from investing the Youth Pastor story, Paxton Singer, who was arrested for sexual exploitation of a 16-year-old boy while he was a pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel.

    The house of cards is starting to fall….

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  118. RICO

    Trump University

    A university that wasnt a university

    Harvest Bible

    A church that wasnt a church

    Lawyers have the option of employing the civil provisions of the RICO statute. One of the most infamous such cases, at least recently, was Art Cohen vs. Donald J. Trump.

    Cohen, on behalf of those saying they were defrauded of thousands of dollars each by Trump University, filed a RICO suit against the then-candidate. The case was settled out of court for $25 million.

    I see your slander and raise you a RICO..

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/chicago.suntimes.com/news/catholic-church-scandal-rico-clergy-sex-abuse-organized-crime/amp/

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  119. When all is said and done at day’s end, I have to agree with the unsaid consensus here.

    This whole imbroglio is not going to end well for MacDonald and Harvest Bible Church.

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  120. james,

    Oh my gosh that is so disgusting Ravi said that!! Like seriously!!! People should have stood up and walked out!!! One of James buddies ed something said similar about the former moody pastor that he was the 4th person of the Holy Spirit.. seriously sick!!!

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  121. Lion Tamer: The house of cards is starting to fall….

    A house built on sand: “Down came the rain and up came the floods, while the winds blew and battered that house till it collapsed, and fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27)

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  122. I’ve been thinking long and hard about the lawsuits James MacDonald and company have filed, especially against the bloggers. I am one of the 2000 people that left HBC in 2013. I left because of the way MacDonald treated the 3 elders that were expelled/resigned, leaving after the video that was posted by the 4 elders in Sept. 2013. MacDonald introduced the video saying, “this is as serious as serious gets”. I had joined HBC in 2007 and consider the 6 1/2 years of my life that I invested and the almost $100k we tithed (and gave to the 5G fund), to be a total waste of time and money. Had I known that the church was millions in debt and paying a couple million a year in interest, I would have never joined the church. Given that MacDonald believes it is right for Christians to sue Christians, I am debating if I should sue to get back the $100k so I can give it to a worthwhile charity. But I really think it should be a class action suit, where everyone who feels that they were mislead by MacDonald and contributed to the church, join in the lawsuit. I’m debating if I should move forward with this.

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