A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

The Time I Got Duped by an Abuser

UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.

***

“The” time I got fooled.  I should probably say “one” of the times.  But let me tell you this story.  We were on vacation, so we visited a church on Sunday morning.  We enjoyed it.  Sound Bible teaching.  good reformed theology.  And we very much enjoyed visiting with the people afterward.   I particularly enjoyed talking with one man, an apparently mild-mannered guy who showed every sign of loving Christ and being very well studied in biblical teaching.  Let’s call him, Jerry.   (I have to change the name to protect the guilty.  The guilty should be warned however that Christ is not bound by this.  He knows.  He names names).

Some while later I had occasion to visit the same church, and visit with Jerry once again.  Same result on my part.  I did notice however that his wife wasn’t there.  Over the course of time, others in the church (including the pastor) told me that Jerry had his “problems.”  I had thought Jerry was well qualified to be an elder, surely.  Not so they said.  “What kind of problems?” I asked.  Jerry has a rebellious wife.  She has quit attending this church with him and goes to her own church.  It’s a crazy, charismatic church with unsound doctrine.  Jerry roos the day he ever married this troublesome woman.  She is his thorn in the flesh.  Poor Jerry.  What a cross he was bearing.

Right.

It turned out, and I learned this firsthand through an interesting string of events, that Jerry himself was not the Jerry I had “met.”  Jerry was a rebellious man.  Jerry was a very controlling man.  Jerry studied piles of theology books, then took what he studied and warped and perverted it.  I actually had occasion to personally rebuke Jerry.  I told him he was a rebellious and controlling man and he needed to repent.  Jerry later told me this was not true.  He knew it was true because after I told him that, he went to his 10 year old son and told him, “that Pastor said daddy is rebellious.  Am I?”  “Of course not, daddy.  You are a good man,” the child replied.  I wonder how many similar conversations Jerry had with his children – “Mommy says daddy is mean.  Do you think daddy is mean?”  “Of course not, daddy.  You are a good man.”

And so it goes.  I wish now that I could find Jerry’s (hopefully, ex-wife) wife and talk to her in light of what I have learned about abuse.   She is probably a godly woman who has struggled for years in an abusive marriage, now ganged up on even by her pastor and her church.

Jerry remains in the pew.  She is outside the camp.

And so it goes.

7 Comments

  1. Marianne Lordi

    It is good that that wife is outside of THAT camp!

  2. Ah yes… rebellious. I got that title for:
    a) parking too far to the left when i was told to park more to the right
    b) failing to read the husband’s mind (I *knew* when he was getting home, so why wasn’t dinner on the table? Despite the fact he took two hours sometimes to make a twenty minute trip home)
    c) interfering with corporeal punishment of the children
    d) refusing to wear clothes so tight I could barely sit down
    e) failing to going outside to sit and watch him work in the garage when i should *know* he needed support
    f) sitting in the garage watching him work instead of cleaning up this s***** pigstye
    g) telling him he was wrong about anything
    h) telling him he was wrong in a disrespectful tone
    i) looking him in the eye while disagreeing as he didn’t like the way I looked at him
    j) gaining twenty pounds after multiple children
    k) refusing to exercise when I was told
    l) daring to lay down and take a nap when I had a cold instead of going to the doctor like i was told
    m) questioning him about anything in front of the children
    n) failing to have his lunch ready for the next day early enough
    o) putting leftovers in his lunch when I *knew* he didn’t want leftovers again
    p) making him a sandwich instead of giving him leftovers
    q) saying I didn’t like the pastor badmouthing his wife from the pulpit– again
    r) saying it was mean to call the children names
    s) buying glasses at the thrift store for $1 when we didn’t need them
    t) leaving dust on the underside of the ceiling fan after he’d already told me how he wanted it done
    u) saying I couldn’t go along with something because I didn’t believe it was morally right
    v) raising my voice and running outside when i saw him spraying Round up on the shrubs I’d been babying for three years
    w) saying we couldn’t afford another 10K purchase when he *needed* it
    x) trying to kill him by expecting him to go to work everyday
    y) slamming a door after being alternately screamed at, then frozen out for days
    z) standing up to him (once) for lying about me in front of company (a man)

    Got another alphabet?

    I haven’t even gotten to the good stuff yet 🙂

  3. cindy burrell

    Abusers create their own version of truth. They can twist and rationalize their own behaviors and condemn their spouses with convincing flair. Many outsiders are told that the victims are hormonal, emotionally unbalanced, disrespectful, stubborn, selfi-centered – even abusive! It’s easier for a victim to leave a church than to try to convince a pastor that you’re being abused. Of course, for the abuser, the wife’s decision to leave implies that she’s guilty. Victims just get tired of trying to explain, or being perceived as a gossip if they try to. It’s far easier to just walk away without looking back and let people think what they want.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Cindy- As it turned out (I learned this through a subsequent course of events) the pastor of Jerry’s church was an abuser himself. So they ganged up on Jerry’s wife, making her look like the villain. Eventually I confronted the pastor on another issue. End of relationship. He is never wrong. Never. There are certain professions, I suppose, that attract narcissistic, controlling, abusive men. (Ha! I have been in two of them myself. Police work and the pastorate). There are many reasons for a person wanting to be a pastor, and few of them are good. For that reason, it is not all that rare of an instance for a victim of abuse, asking for help, finding herself talking to still another abuser. I know of several abusers at this moment who are pastors. Another is a missionary. And still another is on staff at a good-sized Christian university, and has been in that position for over 10 years. He has also pastored numerous churches.

  4. Pippa

    And many times they don’t even bother to create their own versions of the truth; sometimes they just steal it. For example the EHTB apparently saw my books about narcissists, despite my attempting to put them out of the way. He then undertook a study himself and found some key words to use. I became aware that he was telling people that he “was walking on eggshells” (because I was said to be so unpredictable and explosive.) He began to tell people that I was “menopausal” and that he lived in “menopause manor.” (of course many women do get more irritable during menopause but is this something a husband should complain to others about in a joking manner? I was, by the way, not one of those significantly affected by menopause.) I was “self centered” because I had a career/job and he didn’t work…flat out refused to provide for the family, never quite grasped a healthy understanding of money.Drove us into debt and then told others it was my fault. Would always be doing big projects which he could impress the guys with…however those projects never came to fruition and no one ever knew that. He was often doing showy brief volunteer work for the church. Yes, I believe he told outsiders that I was abusive…he would do everything he could to make me mad if we were about to be around others. I imagine they could sometimes see that I was a bit grumpy. It is easier to leave most churches than it is to convince most pastors that you’re being abused. Unfortunately we left the one good one early on…after the pastor said to the EHTB “I don’t believe a word you’re saying” when the EHTB came up with a tall tale when confronted with an infidelity. I had never been willing to even try to explain or defend myself until recently. Now I know why I dreaded it. Yes, I’m willing to just walk away and let people think what they will. But I have this huge leach hanging on and impeding the process.

  5. Maree

    “Of course, for the abuser, the wife’s decision to leave implies that she’s guilty. Victims just get tired of trying to explain, or being perceived as a gossip if they try to. It’s far easier to just walk away without looking back and let people think what they want.”

    So true Cindy. I had to do just that.

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