A pastor who told an imprisoned woman not to call the police
When your Religious Leader Falls Off the Pedestal is Cindy Kunsman’s account of how she came to realise that her pastor was a spiritual abuser. In the post she tells how her pastor failed to help a woman who had been locked in the basement by her abusive husband. Here is the excerpt:
Trigger Warning: imprisonment, abandonment, pastoral malpractice
One Monday morning, I arrived [to do my secretarial work at the church] early, and the phone started to ring and ring. It was a friend of mine who was desperate to talk to the pastor but would not talk to me. He [the pastor] finally arrived, and I gave him the messages she’d left for him to call her. Before noon, she called a couple more times. When the pastor went to lunch, I asked if it was appropriate to ask what was going on, because I was upset that she was in so much distress. Was there something I could do? The pastor told me where he was going and when he’d be back, and then said that this woman’s husband had locked her in the basement, but that she was fine. He said it rather glibly, so I could only assume that this was something that had happened since I saw her at church the previous day. She had access to a telephone, so I could only assume that she was calling to get emotional support after the fact but was in a great deal of distress.
Long story short, I would eventually learn in a month or so that this woman was calling from the basement of her home while actively confined where she access to a phone. She was confined at the time of the call, and she was instructed not to call the police to report her husband! She called the pastor for help, and his best advice was to “wait it out” (while her three boys fended for themselves upstairs). Her husband was dealing with her in the best way that he saw fit, so the pastor didn’t want to interfere. (???!!!) I was so shocked at the time that I didn’t even know what to say to this woman. I later told her that I would have been there with the police and an axe if I’d had any knowledge that she’d been pushed down the basement stairs and locked there.