Response to my detractors and apology to ACFJ followers I’ve hurt
Transcript of video
I want to thank all the people who have encouraged me and given me fair criticism over the last few weeks. I have really appreciated your emails, phone calls, messages and comments.1 In the last few months I’ve been helping several victims of abuse get safe from serious abuse. And at the same time, I’ve been criticized by various people on social media.
I’ve taken time out to reassess things.
I have realized that I took on too much. I was trying to maintain a safety protocol at A Cry For Justice, particularly in regards to comment moderation, that isn’t possible for one person to maintain. Something had to go. In my case, what went was comforting words to people who were feeling bruised. I know that I didn’t always provide comforting words to victims.
I’ve realized that I’ve sometimes come across as blunt, sharp, abrupt, curt, terse, brusque, discourteous, impolite and unmannerly. If I have hurt you by my manner, I am very sorry. I ask you to forgive me.
I have also learned that there are times I have to unsay or remove what I’ve said, just to make the person comfortable, even if the reason they are upset is because of a misunderstanding.
I was always the team member who was most dedicated to carefully editing the tricky comments to protect the commenter’s safety.
I have a slew of unanswered emails from victims in my inbox. If you have asked me a question by email and I haven’t answered you, I ask your forgiveness. You might find answers to your questions if you scour the A Cry For Justice website, cryingoutforjustice.blog
Each of us has our own way of speaking and learning. I know my way of speaking has offended some people and I am sorry. My character defects are some of it for sure, and I’m working on that with the help of others.
I also think some of the offense has arisen because of cultural differences. Up until now, all the other team members at A Cry For Justice have been Americans, and a large proportion of the readers are Americans. Aussies have a different manner from Americans, and the meanings of words and phrases can be different too. Many times I’ve been astounded when I’ve been told how a word or a particular turn of speech is understood by Americans. Cultural differences like that can easily give rise to misunderstandings. And if none of the parties realize there has been a misunderstanding, offense can easily be taken. This works both ways. People from other English-speaking countries have probably been offended by things I’ve said that would not be offensive to an Aussie; and I’ve probably felt offense at things people from other countries have said, not realizing that their way of speaking is the norm within their culture.
I am learning how to mitigate such misunderstandings. I’m open to your tips about the cultural differences, but please don’t write them on the A Cry For Justice Facebook page or use the Messenger platform. Please give me your tips by submitting a comment at the A Cry For Justice website.
I’d like to review the history, goals and policies of the A Cry For Justice website.
The website began in 2012. Jeff Crippen had no previous experience with blogging but Anna Wood, a domestic abuse victim he had been interacting with, had a bit of experience in blogging and she urged him to start a blog, so together they set up the A Cry For Justice website.
Some months prior to that, Jeff had emailed me requesting permission to quote some of my book in his forthcoming book A Cry For Justice. I asked Jeff to send me a sample chapter of his book…I read it and gave him some feedback. He then took up my offer to read his whole manuscript and give him feedback. He told me later that he’d incorporated most of my suggestions into the final manuscript. I was very happy to have helped him. I didn’t want recognition; I was just glad to be able to help victims of abuse.
I think I followed the A Cry For Justice website from almost when it began. I commented there, and I sent emails to Jeff and Anna praising their work and offering suggestions for how the blog could be made even better. I was reluctant to muscle in – it was their blog not mine – but eventually I emailed them to say that I was feeling that I could help with running the blog. They each said they had been feeling like inviting me onto the team. So they mutually agreed to take me on as a co-administrator.
Shortly after that, Anna, of her own free will, resigned. Her only explanation was that the blog was not going in the direction she had thought it would. From then on Jeff and I were co-leaders of the blog until Jeff resigned in Sept 2017.
Some months after Anna resigned, I flew to the USA to visit with Jeff. We jointly decided on the wording for the mission statement of A Cry For Justice: – Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst.
While Jeff and I worked together at the A Cry For Justice website, we unapologetically talked about the dark entangled things to do with abuse. Many followers of A Cry For Justice shared detailed stories of having being abused. And we published many testimonies of abuse. But we never glorified the evil things that abusers do.
Some of our readers were uncomfortable when we talked about the evil things that abusers do. They urged us to focus on things that are pure and lovely, and not talk so much about things that are horrific and disgusting. But the Bible tells us to expose the works of darkness, even when the abominable works that evildoers do in secret are shameful to name. Ephesians chapter 5 says:
Accept that which is pleasing to the Lord, and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather rebuke them. For it is shameful even to name those things that are done by them in secret. But all things, when they are rebuked by the light, are manifest. For whatsoever is manifest, that same is light.
Therefore he says, Awake, you who sleep, and stand up from death, and Christ will give you light.
Take heed therefore that you walk circumspectly – not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time. For the days are evil. Therefore be not unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5: 10-17 NMB)
Jeff and I also unapologetically talked about the spiritual realm.
The spiritual realm includes good things. The Bible has stories of miraculous healing and supernatural deliverance. And we’ve heard similar from some of our readers.
The spiritual realm also includes bad things. The Bible has stories of demons motivating abusers and attacking God’s people. And we’ve heard similar accounts from our readers.
Some of the apostles and prophets were given visions and experiences of the supernatural realm. At times they saw good things: things to do with God and heaven. Other times they saw dark things being done in the spiritual realm, for example, Ezekiel chapter 8, and Revelation chapters 9, 13, & 17.
The devil’s kingdom is ultimately under the authority of God. Satan is merely a created being. Lucifer is a fallen angel (Luke 10:18). But God is eternal and He has ultimate authority over the cosmos, the entire spiritual realm, and the final outcome.
To talk about dark things from the spiritual realm is not the same as glorifying those dark things. You do not have to fear those things if you are in Christ. But if we do not acknowledge the work of the devil and his agents, we push out into the cold all the abuse victims who report those phenomena.
The A Cry For Justice website has always prioritized the voices and viewpoints of victims. (ACFJ publishing policy)
Since the Bible tells us that the devil is devious, crafty and intent on doing evil, it would be dangerous for anyone to say, “Abuse is limited to the types of abuse I recognize because I or my loved ones have experienced those things, or because they were talked about in a seminar I went to, or a book I’ve read. Anyone who is reporting types of abuse that are more unusual than the types I know about must be crazy.”
But that is what many people have done. Many church leaders, counselors and therapists have defined the parameters of abuse…and if you don’t fit within their parameters they say you are not really a victim of abuse so you must be crazy, deluded, or a manipulative attention seeker.
In my six years at A Cry For Justice, I have heard some accounts of extreme abuse from people who follow or comment at the website.
I use the term “extreme abuse” to cover things like
- organized networks that exploit children for evil purposes
- demonic-supernatural assaults on a victim’s mind, body and spirit.
I have heard some of these accounts privately from our readers. And a few commenters at our website and our Facebook page have hinted at it.
I have to conclude that the demonic kingdom — and networks of people who are working in consort with the devil — are particularly targeting some of our readers or their loved ones.
Only a minority of our readers have been reporting these things, but I’m not prepared to say that any of those readers who are reporting these things are crazy. Every one of them has been affected by ‘ordinary’ relationship abuse – and they’ve found helpful things at the A Cry For Justice website – but in addition they are reporting things that seem to be coming from the demonic realm and/or from organized criminal groups which are perpetrating extreme abuse on their victims.
A feature in some of these cases is that the groups are practicing pedophilia and torturing children. And if the crimes are reported, law enforcement does not investigate fully; the high level criminals are seldom convicted.
So far as I know, the followers of A Cry For Justice who have disclosed extreme experiences to me privately, chose not to disclose them to Jeff Crippen. I think they sensed that I wouldn’t label them as crazy.
We ought to be discerning and wise about these issues. We are not helping victims if we are not responding well to followers of A Cry For Justice who have been affected by this dark realm. And even if only a minority of readers have been affected by extreme abuse in addition to the ‘ordinary’ kinds of domestic abuse, for those readers the experiences often overlap with each other. For example, abuse from family members can overlap with abuse from a criminal network, and sometimes the family members are part of that network. It seems unkind to give those readers the impression that they can prudently testify at ACFJ about domestic abuse from a spouse or other relatives, and abuse from churches that compounded the problem, but must not mention more extreme and unusual kinds of abuse.
Recognizing the existence of extreme abuse is not going outside the mission statement of A Cry For Justice, Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst. The blog can still have domestic abuse as its main focus while acknowledging the impact of extreme abuse on some of its readers.
Accounts of extreme abuse are not new
Devil worship happened in Old Testament times. Some of the false gods (demons) that were worshipped were Baal, Ashtoreth, Molech, Chemosh, Milcom and Dagon.
Leviticus 20 talks about people who give their seed (their children) to Molech. Some of the people of Israel, including King Solomon, copied the practices of the Canaanite tribes and began worshipping Baal, Molech, Ashtoreth, Chemosh and Milcom. (1 Kings 11:5-7, 33; Jeremiah 32:29-35.; 2 Kings 23.)
The people of Judah set up an altar in a valley south of Jerusalem in order to burn their sons and daughters in the fire. (Jer 7:30-31)
One of my critics, Rachel Miller, mocked me for sharing a victim’s testimony. The victim had reported that her abusive father claimed to be descended from the Hivites. I don’t know whether that victim’s father was just bragging and telling untruths. But I do know that the Hivites were one of the pagan tribes which the Lord left in the land so that He might test Israel by them.
Judges chapter 9 tells how the Gibeonites crafted a conspiracy. The Gibeonites were Hivites.
When the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, they worked craftily, and went and pretended to be ambassadors. And they took old sacks on their donkeys, old wineskins torn and mended, old and patched sandals on their feet, and old garments on themselves; and all the bread of their provision was d moldy. And they went to Joshua…and said to him and to the men of Israel, “We have come from a far country; now therefore, make a covenant with us.”
Then the men of Israel said to the Hivites, “Perhaps you dwell among us; so how can we make a covenant with you?” (Joshua 9:3-7)
The Israelites were sucked right in by the Hivite conspirators. Joshua 11:19 says –
There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, except the Hivites, the inhabitants of Gibeon. All the others they took in battle.
And Judges chapter 3 says:
the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons; and they served their gods. (Judges 3:5-6)
Dark spiritual phenomena are mentioned in the New Testament as well. Satan filled Ananias’s heart so that he lied to the Holy Spirit. (Acts 5:3) Christians are exhorted to be alert to resist the devil. (1 Pet 5:8-9; Eph 6:11-16; Matt 4:1-11; 2 Thess 2) Revelation talks about “Satan’s seat” and “the synagogue of Satan” or “the congregation of Satan” – that’s clearly an organized group of people who worshipped Satan under the guise of being “God’s chosen people”. (Rev 2:9,13; 3:9)
So why do people assume that devil worship would not be practiced today, even by people who have successfully passed themselves off as Christians and gained great respect in the visible church?
Verse 11 of 2nd Corinthians chapter 2 says, “lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.” We ought not encourage a mindset in the church where Christians are ignorant of Satan’s devices. Christians who have closed their minds to the possibility of conspiracies could easily be naive and ignorant of Satan’s devices. And they will not be of much help to those who are being oppressed by Satan’s devices.
As Rebecca Davis has said –
A conspiracy is not a loony notion that a mysterious “they” is out to get us.
A conspiracy is a secret agreement (either with or without words) agreed upon by two or more people, to carry out acts illegal and / or immoral, for the purpose of retaining or amassing money, power, pleasure, and / or influence. Anyone who knowingly participates in the conspiracy, even if they don’t amass money or power (for example, participating out of fear or taking advantage of a prostituted child) is also complicit in the conspiracy.
— On Conspiracies & Conspiracy Theorists [Internet Archive link]
It would be wrong to focus only on the devil’s kingdom and conspiracies. But it would be equally wrong to say we must not focus on them at all.
The prophet Jeremiah talked about conspiracies:
Jeremiah 5:26-31 (CSB)
for wicked men live among my people.
They watch like hunters lying in wait.
They set a trap;
they catch men.
Like a cage full of birds,
so their houses are full of deceit.
Therefore they have grown powerful and rich.
They have become fat and sleek.
They have also excelled in evil matters.
They have not taken up cases,
such as the case of the fatherless, so they might prosper,
and they have not defended the rights of the needy.
Should I not punish them for these things?
This is the Lord’s declaration.
Should I not avenge myself
on such a nation as this?
An appalling, horrible thing
has taken place in the land.
The prophets prophesy falsely,
and the priests rule by their own authority.
My people love it like this.
But what will you do at the end of it?
We know that abuse involves a pattern of control – covert or overt control – and an entrenched mindset of entitlement.
We also know that abuse can be systemic. For example, the secular legal system can systemically abuse certain classes of people. Many of our readers have testified about how the family court system makes the protective parent provide ongoing access or custody to the abusive parent. In my observation this is so common, particularly in America, that it is systemic. The family court system is stacked against protective parents. And it is giving undue favor to parents who are abusing, neglecting and traumatizing their kids. Because this is systemic in family law, it could be called a conspiracy against children and their protective parents.
So why is it hard to open our minds to the possibility that other conspiracies might be going on as well?
A whole denomination can systemically abuse people – most often women and children – and it can be systemic because of denominational rules, structures, and doctrines.
Now I need to tell you something else. Way before I joined A Cry For Justice I was aware that there are organized groups (dark spiritual cults) which conspire together to do immense harm to the victims they target. I learned this about 25 years ago when I supported a survivor of one of those groups. The abuse she had suffered was extreme, and the cult was still accessing her and abusing her well into her adulthood, including the years in which I was supporting her.
And I need to give a Trigger Warning for what I’m going to say next.
This may be upsetting. Survivors of child sexual abuse should be particularly cautious, and it is recommended that ritual abuse survivors read or listen to this material with a support person at hand.
The cult that abused my friend practiced organized child exploitation and torture. The perpetrators used the iconography and rituals of existing religions to bond victims into sexual slavery. My friend told me that some of the cult members held important positions in society: clergy, doctors, lawyers, law enforcement officers, politicians, people who worked in government departments. My friend also told me that the group which abused her was connected with similar groups around the world.
My experience in helping my friend was the first time I’d heard about Ritual Abuse. For those who want to learn more about ritual abuse, I have given a reference2 at the bottom of this post to a document titled “Ritual Abuse and Torture in Australia”.
So all the time I’ve been writing at A Cry For Justice, I have known about those groups and what they do to their victims. That knowledge did not make me lose focus on helping domestic abuse victims who follow ACFJ. Nor did it make me unbalanced so I over-focused on dark things from the spiritual realm.
What happened recently
About three months ago, in early August, a longtime follower of A Cry For Justice alerted Jeff Crippen and me to Fiona Barnett’s public testimony about having endured extreme abuse from an organized group. Fiona’s testimony deals with severe child abuse, child sex trafficking, torture, mind control, and ritual abuse similar to what my friend had disclosed to me 25 years ago.
Jeff Crippen did not believe Fiona’s testimony: he immediately decided she was crazy. I assessed Fiona’s testimony, read many of her articles, watched her documentary and many of her interviews. I got the impression that she was not crazy and her testimony was believable. So from August 14, I shared a few of Fiona’s things on my personal social media accounts. And I began reading more testimonies from people who say they were abused as children in highly organized luciferian cults and were sex trafficked and subjected to torture-based mind control programming. I also looked at reports and research evidence that would corroborate the testimony of victims about techniques the perpetrators have developed to control their victims.4
Jeff Crippen emailed me on the 1st of September insisting that I stop sharing Fiona Barnett’s material at my personal Facebook account. In addition, he demanded that I publicly renounce on Facebook my endorsement of Fiona.
I told Jeff I would not renounce my endorsement of Fiona, because that would require me to violate my conscience.
Jeff had written at A Cry For Justice about the liberty of the Christian conscience, so it seemed very strange to me that he was ordering me to violate my conscience.
Then on the 19th of September Jeff ordered me to stop sharing material about extreme abuse anywhere online. It was hard for me to tell whether he was moving the goal posts, or whether he had just lacked clarity in his email on the 1st of September.
The next day Jeff Crippen began publicly denigrating me for the approach I’d taken in giving voice to survivors of extreme abuse. On 20 Sept he rebuked me at the ACFJ Facebook page, and on 22nd Sept he denounced [Internet Archive link] me at his blogs.
What I shared at my personal accounts was material that I believe is true or is possibly true – material that I think is interesting, or worth considering. I do not have absolute proof that the material I shared is all true, but in my view there is a preponderance of evidence that the reports are true and the hypotheses are plausible. And if the reports ARE true, they explain a lot of what appears to be going on in the world, both historically and currently.
I have realized that it was unwise for me to suddenly begin sharing material about extreme abuse on my personal social media accounts without first giving my followers an introductory explanation of why I thought this material was relevant to the topics I’d been sharing about before.
Without doubt, what I was sharing was inconsistent with what people had come to know me for. I was not taking into consideration how much people identify Barbara Roberts with A Cry For Justice. Nor was I taking into consideration how a follower of A Cry For Justice might be put in danger by what I was sharing. For example, if someone who followed A Cry For Justice was being continually abused by her current or former church, and that church knew ACFJ was helping the victim, and the church was watching Barbara Roberts’ social media accounts, that church could have used what I had been sharing to paint the victim as crazy for seeking support from me.
It needs to be noted that my personal social media accounts express my personal interests and views, just like Jeff Crippen’s personal accounts represent his personal interests and views. Some followers of ACFJ may not like the political views which Jeff expresses on Facebook or twitter. I would never order Jeff to publicly renounce the political views he expresses on his personal accounts, yet he ordered me what to do on my personal accounts.
On Sept 3rd, out of deference to Jeff Crippen’s concerns, I stopped sharing any of that material on my Facebook account. And I have now removed the majority of that material from my twitter account @NotUnderBondage. I removed those tweets for the safety of victims who follow me on twitter. After this video has gone live, I may share more material about extreme abuse on my personal accounts, as and when I feel it is appropriate to do so.
Jeff Crippen has given us a lot of insight into the mentality and tactics of evil and evildoers. I can’t speak on behalf of all followers of A Cry For Justice, but I think that most of us have been enormously encouraged and empowered by things Jeff has written.
While he was co-leading A Cry For Justice with me, Jeff wrote articles3 about the demonic influence in abuse. So it is hard for me to understand why he can’t or won’t take on board the idea that some people have suffered extreme abuse from the dark spiritual realm, and some people have been extremely abused by criminal groups that are actively involved in the occult.
I believe that extreme abuse does happen. I’m not believing every account of extreme abuse. I’m taking care to assess whether a person is claiming to have ‘inside knowledge’ of extreme abuse in order to spread misinformation or to re-entrap victims. I’m watching. I’m cautious. But I believe many of the accounts of extreme abuse are genuine. And I believe some of the victim-supporters are people of integrity who are working really hard, often without pay, to help the victims get safe, and to make it harder for the abusers to wreak their evil.
Please understand that Jeff’s resignation in September last year (2017) had nothing to do with Jeff and I having a difference of opinion on satanic ritual abuse and other conspiracies. My clash with Jeff over those things only began in August this year (2018).
I also want to say that before Jeff resigned, he didn’t ask me to hand the ownership of the blog to him. If Jeff had asked me back then, I would have given the blog ownership to him. At that time, I had no inkling that Jeff might have wanted to dismiss me from the blog. If I’d handed the ownership back to him he could then have dismissed me from the blog if he chose to. I would have grieved…and then moved on. But he chose to resign.
In retrospect, I think some of the problem between Jeff and I was the different temperaments we have. And some of it was our different views of the goals of the blog – what we wanted the blog to be.
I always wanted ACFJ to be not only a place of education, but a community of mutual support
I always wanted the A Cry For Justice website to be a community where victims of abuse can share their stories and benefit from hearing other’s stories, and they’ll feel safe to participate because the comments are well moderated.
While Jeff and I were co-leaders, we mutually agreed on the policy of not allowing a free-for-all for people to recommend resources, unless the item was already listed on our Resources page. That’s one of the ways we attempted to keep the website a safe place. We didn’t want to point readers to resources that are not all that good, especially when there are so many good resources already listed on the ACFJ Resources page.
Before an item is put on the Resources page, it is vetted by the ACFJ team. It takes a fair bit of time to research an author’s work – time that could often be better devoted to other requirements on the blog.
Unfortunately, some people who are victim-advocates have become indignant when the resource they had recommended was not endorsed by ACFJ. I would ask those folks to please take into account that each blog has its own way of doing things, and most bloggers have good reasons for the policies they have at their blogs.
I would also like to point out that the way I address victim-advocates is sometimes different from the way I address victims. If someone has a ministry as a victim-advocate, I think it is fair to expect that she or he would be open to hearing constructively critical comments about the things they are saying in their ministry. When I have carefully articulated constructive criticism about what a person in ministry is saying, and that person decides to ignore or block my feedback and chooses to just vent their indignation to others, I find that disappointing.
My hope is that victim-advocates will at least acknowledge and consider my feedback, and respond to me with respect, even if they disagree with me.
One person at Jeff’s blog noted [Internet Archive link] that what often comforted her at A Cry For Justice were the many survivors testimonies. She said that for her, the testimonies were the best nourishment in the blog. I wonder how many people realize that the survivors’ testimonies at A Cry For Justice have been nourishing partly because the people running A Cry For Justice have carefully curated the testimonies, ensuring they are easy to read and easy to comprehend and would not ruffle anyone’s feathers or convey wrong ideas. And most of that work was done by me, though TWBTC helped to some extent.
Please forgive me, I don’t want to boast and I feel like a fool in saying this, but if you talk to someone who had a guest post published at the blog, they will probably tell you that they interacted with me in the preparation before their post was published, and that I made sure they were happy with the final draft before it went ‘live’.
In moderating comments on the A Cry For Justice blog to prioritize the safety and well-being of victims, I have to think about many factors:
- The risk of hurting a victim’s feelings,
- the risk being a victim being triggered by something that someone else has said,
- the risk of a victim being re-abused,
- the risk of victims being told what they should do, think or feel,
- the risk of a victim hearing something someone else has said as a harsh instruction (an Order),
- the risk of an abuser identifying their target victim, if the abuser read what the victim had written,
- the risk of spreading false doctrine or misinformation that would lead people astray or confuse them,
- and last but not least, the importance of teaching good doctrine which exposes and disentangles all the false doctrines that are contributing to keeping victims in bondage.
In doing this complex moderation, I have often faced a moral dilemma. I have to weigh the safety and well-being of my overall audience against the feelings of an individual person who has been abused.
When I know that someone is a victim of abuse, I don’t want to hurt their feelings or trigger them by saying something that reminds them of how their abuser talked to them.
But if that person has espoused ideas that are not biblically sound; or if they’ve “sermonized” at other victims by telling them how to feel, think or behave; or if they’ve written a really long comment that would be hard for other deeply traumatized victims to read in its raw form; I have sometimes advised them how to phrase and format their comments to make the A Cry For Justice site function well as a communal support group. That’s how I’ve tried to make ACFJ a safe place for all our readers.
But the irony is, because I had taken on too much, I sometimes came across as curt in my replies to commenters. I’ve done my best to teach and model how to write and respond to comments. But my efforts have been far from perfect.
I’m immensely grateful to readers who have replied to other commenters with compassion and encouragement. I’m immensely grateful to readers who have diplomatically replied to a commenter who said something a bit insensitive to other another commenter. And when a commenter has advocated dangerous ideas (because they’ve imbibed wrong doctrines from their pastors) I’ve appreciated those who have responded by giving a kindly corrective.
But some readers of A Cry For Justice have been sitting on the sidelines, watching and noticing when I fell short because I was tired and was simply unable to write a sensitive reply to a reader. And when they thought I’d fallen short, they judged me…and some of them went and badmouthed me to others in the survivor community.
I’ve been supporting and interacting with hundreds of survivors of abuse. I do this voluntarily. Many of those victims have several different IDs in the way they have interacted with me. They may use:
- Several different email addresses,
- several different screen names when they comment at the blog,
- a different name when they comment at Facebook,
- not to mention how some of them have several different WordPress IDs to try to keep safe from the cyberstalking of their abusers.
I have kept some records to help me remember who is who, but my brain is overloaded. And my records are imperfect.
I have a plan in place for sharing my workload. I will be announcing that plan in the next few days. So stay tuned.
When Jeff and I were co-leading the A Cry For Justice site and TWBTC was assisting, we mutually agreed on a protocol for moderating comments. Jeff was very okay with us banning and blocking commenters where necessary.
It’s also important to note that the Facebook platform is even more difficult to manage than the blog. Facebook does not give us many options to guard our readers’ safety and well-being. When people comment at our Facebook page, we have only three options:
- We can let a comment stand, which means everyone can read it,
- or we can hide the comment, which means only the commenter & their friends can read it,
- or we can ban the commenter from our Facebook page.
What is more, Facebook is set up and configured to give people the impression they have the right to ‘free speech’ and they can easily disregard the responses other people make to their speech. That’s the way Facebook is constructed. Facebook is reaping all our data and making money from advertisers, while giving each of us the feeling that we have a giant megaphone to blast out our thoughts and feelings, and we can easily stop our ears when we don’t want to hear what people are saying back to us.
The time differences around the world also affect communal discussion. Americans can light a bushfire and I will only see it when I wake up hours later. By that time the bushfire has spread and it’s hard to bring reasonableness to the discussion because it’s got so heated…and when I try, some people perceive me as dictatorial for trying to calm things down.
Facebook has catered to our self-centredness. Our biases. Our prejudices. And now, almost everybody is seeing Facebook as THE way to communicate. Very few people are willing to engage in deep conversation or thinking which might challenge them or make them feel uncomfortable.
While Jeff and I were co-leaders, a lady messaged us saying she was setting up a closed group on Facebook to discuss domestic abuse, and she asked our advice about how to do this. Jeff replied to her saying:
I have not had any experience with closed groups on Facebook. One thing for sure though, you need to moderate comments if you allow readers to comment and don’t publish the nasty ones. We find it best to keep dagger throwers from even being allowed to comment and if necessary we block and ban them.
While he co-led A Cry For Justice with me, Jeff Crippen told me more than once that he wanted us to drop the Facebook page, but I was reluctant to drop Facebook because it helps abuse victims find the blog.
Is it “power hungry & controlling” to hide or block comments?
Let us picture someone called Jesse. I’ve chosen that name because it can be male or female. Jesse is a Christian who has a presence on the web: Jesse writes a blog, has a Facebook identity and a twitter identity.
Now; what if Jesse tells you who to listen to and who not to listen to. Or Jesse does not publish your comment at his website. Or Jesse hides the comment you made at her Facebook page. Or Jesse bans you from his Facebook page. If Jesse does any of those things, can we conclude that Jesse is a power-hungry person who wants to control you?
What could be the REASON why Jesse is not letting some people spread their views at his social media platforms? Could Jesse have some good reasons for not letting everyone express their views on her website or Facebook page?
If there are no conceivable good reasons for Jesse behaving that way, then Jesse is just a selfish controller and power-monger.
But if Jesse has good reasons for curating what readers see at his or her social media and website, then Jesse isn’t trying to hold power in an ungodly way. Rather, Jesse is trying to take care of the overall well-being and safety of all the people who are benefiting from Jesse’s work.
This is where you and I need to exercise discernment. We can assess Jesse’s track record. Has Jesse stood up for victims of abuse? Has Jesse toed some party line in the Christian world, and avoided telling the whole truth in order to stay in favor with important people? Has Jesse done a lot of hard work, often without much kudos or reward, to help victims of abuse and oppression? Perhaps Jesse mouths good rhetoric; but how much has Jesse self-sacrificially done to protect the safety and well-being of real life abuse victims who are being crushed at the coal face?
At the Facebook page of A Cry For Justice, many critical comments were made about me. I only censored a few of those comments.
I actually hid one comment which supported what I was saying – I hid it because the commenter had also recommended a book which I know would lead our readers into wrong theology (contemplative Christianity). I banned one commenter who kept on arguing against the inspiration of Scripture: he accused me of being legalistic, but I don’t think it is legalistic to uphold the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture. I hid another comment that was extremely snarky to me, and when that commenter wrote another comment which made untruthful claims about my actual conduct, I banned her from the page.
However, I did not hide or block the vast majority of the comments that were angry at what I had said about Billy Graham, or were claiming that I was being ‘legalistic’ to uphold the truths of the gospel. I let most of my critics have their ‘free speech’ on our Facebook page. And I replied to their comments reasonably – my aim was always to encourage my critics to reconsider and be more open minded to the possibility that I had not gone off the rails.
But the vast majority of the people who deprecated me at Facebook did not respond reasonably and courteously to my comments. They just ignored me, or criticized me even more. They had formed a fixed opinion of me and were determined to maintain it.
Are you starting to see how Facebook has conditioned and colored the way we all interact? Do you grasp how hard it is to have reasoned and respectful interaction, when almost everyone just defaults to Facebook as THE place to interact and comment and discuss things?
At the A Cry For Justice blog post about Billy Graham and other ‘untouchables’ in the Christian world, Rachel Miller submitted a highly critical comment about me. Rachel has a blog of her own, but she didn’t use her own blog to state her concerns about me. When she saw that I hadn’t published her comment at the blog, she posted it at the ACFJ Facebook page…and two days later she allowed Jeff Crippen to publish her critical opinion of me at his new blog.
Jeff and other people have dismissed me because they think I’ve been sucked in by what Jeff calls “the crazy conspiracy/ Satanic ritual abuse business”. (Jeff said that here [Internet Archive link].) But they have not given a lot of reasoned arguments for why they think I’ve lost the plot. In my view, they have not done enough research and they are making assumptions about the testimonies of victims.
My detractors have not had the life experience that I’ve had. That doesn’t make me ‘better’. It just makes me different from them.
I invite you to compare how much I’ve allowed free speech at ACFJ, with how much Jeff Crippen has allowed free speech at his blogs and his personal social media accounts.
I’m not the only one who is censoring comments. Jeff is censoring some comments that are submitted to his blogs. Several people including myself have submitted comments to his blog Unholy Charade that he hasn’t published. Jeff is curating what people see at his blogs. Many bloggers do this: it is a mistake to think that I’m the only blogger who curates what people see at their blog.
Furthermore, Jeff is not running a public Facebook page in conjunction with his blogs. So he’s not opening himself up to the “free for all” on a public Facebook page where people can make knee-jerk, drive-by digs at anyone they want to criticize.
Jeff Crippen asked me not to cite his blog posts as support in articles that I write or statements that I make
I have decided that it is not appropriate for me comply with Jeff’s request. Any author is free to quote or cite another author, so long as they attribute the quote correctly. I agree with what Jeff wrote at the A Cry For Justice blog, and those things continue to be helpful to victims. If I think something Jeff has written is relevant or pertinent to what I am wanting to say, I will cite it if I think it will help my readers.
Three other people (Megan Cox, Valerie Hobbs and Rachel Miller) asked me to remove their posts from the A Cry For Justice blog. I initially told them I would, but I have now informed them that I will be leaving up all their posts at the ACFJ blog.
One of the ACFJ readers has said she hopes that all the material by Jeff Crippen and Megan is left intact at A Cry For Justice. She wrote that publicly without any prompting from me, and several other readers have agreed with her. She pointed out that to delete that information at ACFJ would dry up a wealth of helpful resources: it’s like Jeff is trying to erase history and is assuming that our readers blindly believe what anyone tells them and don’t have discernment.
If I removed a post, that would remove all the comments at the post too. I will not undermine any of the content of A Cry For Justice when I deem it to be in accordance with the truth of scripture and helpful for understanding and wisely responding to abuse.
I still concur with the material by Jeff, Megan, Valerie and Rachel that is published A Cry For Justice. So I will not be removing it. But of course, if any of those people no longer agree with something they wrote in the past, they are free to say so at their own blogs.
I don’t know how long I will continue to run the A Cry For Justice website, but at the moment I’m wanting to continue this voluntary ministry. I may find at some point that I don’t feel capable of managing the workload even though I have new assistants. If I ever contemplate giving up the online ministry of ACFJ, I’ll try to provide plenty of advance notice.
To sum up
I believe that evildoers have infiltrated, corrupted and gained widespread control of churches, organizations and major social institutions.
In my observation, there are very few professing Christians who are aware of the extent of the corruption and are standing up and speaking out against it. And evildoers are constantly throwing distractions, disinformation, stumbling blocks and obstacles in the path so that Christ’s people will be thrown off track…and will attack each other…become disabled…or die.
One our readers has noted that
Sex trafficking of women and children would not occur if there weren’t money in it. Who’s paying for it? Is it not evil people who pretend to be good? Do you think there’s no Satan worship? Is it really so inconceivable wicked people would participate in ritual abuse?
The evildoers don’t want Christians around, hindering their agenda. Psalm 2 talks about how the kings of the earth enjoin to conspire against God and his Anointed. As I read the following passage from Psalm 2, think about the “kings of the earth” as political leaders, religious leaders, and powerful people in the health system, the legal system, mass-media and entertainment.
Why do the heathen so furiously rage together
and why do the people imagine a vain thing?
The kings of the earth stand up,
and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against his Anointed.
Let us break their bonds asunder: and cast away their cords from us.
And the Gospel of John talks about this as well—
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
If you know the Lord Jesus Christ, you can take comfort in the Bible’s assurance that God wins in the end.
God will take vengeance against the ungodly. His Word is true and trustworthy. He has promised that every soul whose name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be saved. (Rev 13:8; 21:27)
The Lamb is Jesus. Jesus is fully God and fully man, fully divine and fully human, the only human without sin. He is the light of the world, the door, the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). He is the good shepherd. He knows every one of his sheep and calls them by name. And He goes to great lengths to rescue every one of his sheep from the briers. Jesus said:
my sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me, and I give to them eternal life. And they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father who gave them to me is greater than all, and no one is able to take them out of my Father’s hand. And I and my Father are one. (John 10:27-30, NMB)
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3 Articles at A Cry For Justice by Jeff Crippen which dealt with Satan and the kingdom of darkness:
4 Fiona Barnett cites an example of the psychological research conducted at the University of Sydney, Australia, in the 1960s: Social Control in the Psychological Experiment: Antisocial Behavior and Hypnosis [Internet Archive link] (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1965, 1, 189-200) The senior researcher was Dr Martin Orne. The study was supported in part by a research grant from the United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research [Internet Archive link].