A Cry For Justice

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

Tillamook testimony concerning Jeff Crippen

Tillamook Speaks presents witness / survivor testimony from someone who used to belong to Jeff Crippen’s church in Tillamook. It is published by Sister, who is a regular commenter here.

The Tillamook survivor, “Chris” (a pseudonym), contacted Sister and myself. Sister and I know Chris’s real name but at Chris’s request we are not disclosing it. Chris told us another side of the Christ Reformation Church story (CRC Tillamook, formerly Idaville Bible Church). Chris’s testimony rings true to me in a similar way to many other testimonies I have heard from survivors of abuse.

If you read no more of what I am going to say here, I urge you to read Tillamook Speaks. But if you intend to read the rest of my post, I urge you to read Tillamook Speaks first.

In 2012, the year the ACFJ blog began, Jeff Crippen wrote an Open Letter to Pastors, preaching to pastors how they could confess mishandling a case of abuse. He wrote:

“What would happen in your church if you went before your people, after some genuine self-examination, and confessed to them that you have not done well in this matter. If you stated that you have created an oppressive environment for women. State that by God’s grace you are resolved to set about making it right? What if you went to any specific woman in a particular case you have handled, and confessed these things to her? And then set out to re-tool the culture of your church?”

Jeff Crippen did not do what he advised other pastors to do. He had vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Despite publishing his Open Letter to Pastors, Jeff has not gone to the former congregants that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.

Jeff does not practise what he preaches. Jeff has rebuked Wayne Grudem because Grudem has not apologised for spiritually abusing those who have suffered spousal abuse . Here is an excerpt of what Jeff said:

I want to point out that Wayne Grudem offers no apology nor shows any remorse for or confession of the damage his erroneous teaching has caused for countless victims of abuse. He and his crowd (and its a big crowd) have for years refused to acknowledge that abuse is grounds for divorce. They have thereby put guilt and shame and condemnation on countless Christians who have gotten free from their abuser in spite of what the no divorce for abuse crowd said.

…Where is Grudem’s repentance of this? …Where is his godly sorrow for what he has done? I sure don’t see it.

Jeff has not apologised to the people he spiritually abused in Tillamook, yet he admonishes Grudem for not apologising! I have concluded that Jeff is the kind of man he warns others to have nothing to do with: a hypocrite of the highest order. Therefore I cannot shirk my duty to warn people about Jeff.

I thank Chris for having the courage to reach out to me. I thank Sister for compiling Chris’s story and publishing it in Tillamook Speaks . I thank both Chris and Sister for being patient with me while I was procrastinating on writing this post because I was ploughing through heavy emotions — fear, anxiety, self-accusation and shame.

Think about the warnings the apostles gave about power-mongers in congregations who were lording it over the flock. For example, the apostle John denounced Diotrephes for always wanting to be first and lording it over the congregation. Perhaps Diotrephes was verbally teaching sound doctrines, but his conduct was inconsistent with sound doctrine because he was bullying the congregation (3 John 9-11). I think you would agree with me that Jeff has written good articles about how to identify abusers. I have seen Jeff write good doctrinal articles. But now I know that Jeff’s pattern of conduct is the very opposite of what he preaches.

How Chris made contact with us

In 2019, Sister published her first article Jeff Crippen is Unsafe. It got very little traction. At some stage, Chris found that article and contacted Sister. Then Chris contacted me. Chris told us another side of the CRC Tillamook Church story.

In private correspondence to Sister and myself, Chris named the names of people I met in the Tillamook congregation. As well as knowing their names, Chris knows what happened to those people under Jeff’s leadership. Chris’s accounts matched what Jeff had told me about the people and events in the CRC Tillamook saga, the only difference being that in Jeff’s accounts he always depicted (and still depicts) himself as the victim, but in Chris’s accounts Jeff is the controlling, spiritually abusive, and cruel bully.

Chris told me:

When Jeff started writing about abuse, we hoped he would reach out and apologize to all those he had abused, but he didn’t. He just started writing about how we had abused him. It was…something. But when we thought about it, not shocking. Then people kept leaving, with similar stories.

[While we were in the church] he even organized book burnings, because we couldn’t read things he didn’t sanction.

I remember him laughing over an account of one of the Puritans beating a child “because he had it coming to him.” The child had refused to recite the Lord’s prayer to the preacher — a stranger.

When I first read his Open Letter to Pastors, I had so much hope. If I didn’t know, I would have been taken in by that open letter.

Jeff taught logic to some of the older kids. And he used it to presume to know what was in people’s hearts. “You did such and such a thing, therefore logic says you must be thinking…”. He misappropriated so many evil motives that simply weren’t there.

Jeff has never been balanced on the whole counsel of God. He spent years preaching Romans. He preached so many sermons that went something like “you might not be saved if…”. He basically taught that you can’t have assurance [of salvation].

There were many children in that congregation and I would expect there are still some children there. Can you imagine how terrifying it would be growing up in a church while being told “You might not be saved if…” from the pulpit every Sunday?

Many of the stories and names Chris disclosed privately to Sister and me cannot be disclosed publicly because the information is not in the public domain and we want to protect Chris from further abuse from Jeff and his loyal remnant. We also want to protect other current or former members of the Tillamook congregation whose stories of suffering mistreatment are only for them to tell, not us.

In my view, Chris demonstrated his / her veracity beyond reasonable doubt. I will now explain in more detail why I have come to that believe that.

Chris hesitantly reached out to me. I could see Chris’s fear and trepidation when Chris wrote to me. It was obvious that Chris was testing the waters to see how I would respond. That is one mark of a genuine victim of abuse.

As the conversations between Chris and I — and Chris and Sister — developed, we did not ask leading questions of Chris. Chris told us accounts of people and events that had happened at Tillamook. How Jeff spiritually abused Chris’s family, and what was done to and in other families who belonged to the church. Chris sent photos of diary entries which Chris had written at the time Jeff was perpetrating particular instances of spiritual abuse. A victim’s diary entries are pretty good corroborative evidence. Diary entries are often accepted as corroborative evidence in secular courts or public investigations of alleged malfeasance.

While Jeff and I were co-leading the ACFJ blog, I visited Tillamook twice, making the trip all the way from Australia at my own expense. I met the then members of the Tillamook congregation, went to church with them, hung out with them. During those times, in many face to face conversations, and before and after in emails and video calls, Jeff told me about things that had happened in the Tillamook congregation. He always painted himself as the victim of others. He named to me men who had been elders whom he had told to leave, and men who had resigned from eldership, leaving the church because they did not see eye to eye with Jeff. He described in detail what had happened in certain families. He expelled another elder while I was there on my second visit.

The names and stories Jeff told me matched the accounts Chris has told us, but Jeff’s accounts were deceptive because Jeff is the bully, not the victim.

You may be reluctant to accept Chris’s testimony. After all, Moses told the people of Ancient Israel that one person’s testimony is not enough to establish wrongdoing:

A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offense that he has committed. Only on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses shall a charge be established. (Deut 19:15)

But Chris’s testimony is not the only one.

My own experience of Jeff’s bullying

In 2018, Jeff bullied and vilified me. What he did is detailed in Sister’s article Jeff Crippen Is Unsafe which Sister wrote on her own initiative (I did not prompt or ask her to write it).

I published one blog post about Jeff’s bullying: Response to my detractors and apology to ACFJ followers I’ve hurt. I have done my best since to reform my communication style and my character so that I am less likely to say things in ways that come across as unfairly harsh or blunt. Some people still find me abrasive; that may or may not be a good thing. Jesus was abrasive to the wicked, warned the foolish, and was kind to the oppressed; my aim is to be more and more like him. But in contrast to Jeff, I did not go on and on about Jeff’s bullying of me. Unlike Jeff, I did not feature a message in the sidebar of this blog telling victims that I thought Jeff was unsafe. I did not constantly blazon to the world that Jeff had done wrong by me. No other advocates stood with me. Some of them reviled me publicly. Many other advocates have shunned me.

When the ACFJ blog went suddenly off-line in 2019, I did not tell the world that all the evidence pointed to Jeff having engineered that with his assistant TWBTC – The Woman Behind The Curtain. (TWBTC had promised me she would hand over to me the ability to pay the domain name renewal fee before it next became due. After leaving  ACFJ she betrayed me — she did not keep that promise. That story is detailed in Jeff Crippen Is Unsafe.) When the ACFJ blog went offline, I did not say publicly that they were trying to destroy the ACFJ blog. I kept my mouth shut. I had only three close cyber friends who helped me through that; those three people are pretty much ‘nobodies’ in the advocacy world. I managed to get a new domain (web address) for the blog and my assistant Reaching Out manually transferred every post and page on the blog over to the new address and fixed every broken link. By the skin of our teeth we kept the blog alive … so that every post and comment made at the blog is still online for readers to view and comment on.

The advocates who have shunned and reviled me — let God be their judge. If they have clubbed together to shun me, will not their judgement be even more severe? Let few be teachers, for teachers will be receive a stricter judgement (James 3:1).

It’s fine for advocates to expose abusers in churches, but when an advocate turns out to be an abuser, what happens? Advocates did not remain silent when so-called advocate Jon Uhler (Church Protect) lorded it over victims and betrayed Jimmy Hinton. Advocates did not remain silent when so-called advocate Jennifer Michelle Greenberg threatened Dee Parsons who runs The Wartburg Watch. But when Jeff bullied and betrayed me, advocates went silent, or they joined with Jeff in vilifying me.

Despite Jeff’s prophecy that I would go off the rails and be teaching weird heresy, I have not. No one has presented solid evidence to show that I am teaching heresy. Instead of presenting reasoned arguments that challenge my teachings, they just slander me and shun me. Ironically, the only person who challenged something I have written and caused me to revise what wrote has been Sister! (see here)

Sister published her first article Jeff Crippen is Unsafe in 2019. Although I agreed with most of it when it was published, Sister had labelled Jeff as a wolf in that article and I was reluctant to accept that as an appropriate label.

I did not publicise Jeff Crippen is Unsafe in 2019, because I knew that some people (especially those who ganged up against me) would assume I was giving Sister’s article publicity in order to get revenge on Jeff for what he had done to me. I was afraid of being publicly persecuted again. I was afraid of being sneered at by all the people who had ganged up against me on the ACFJ Facebook page when Jeff reviled me there in Sept 2018 (link).

More than a year has passed since then. When Chris contacted me, what he / she told me intensified my belief that Jeff Crippen is unsafe. Before Chris contacted me I had known that Jeff had been a duplicitous bully towards me… but I’d been making allowances for him and praying that his treatment of me was a somewhat isolated incident. Furthermore, I was aware that some survivors of abuse get help from the blogs which he started after resigning from the ACFJ blog. I was doing my best to wish his followers and him and TWBTC well… and striving to keep my hurt feelings to myself.

Over the years, some survivors of intimate partner abuse (both male and female) had told me they felt hurt and gravely mistreated by Jeff. I did not discount their testimony — I was keeping it in mind — but I was still reluctant to call Jeff a definite wolf. Perhaps I was being ‘too nice’. I was still struggling with my own hurt feelings about Jeff, and my hurt feelings from being maligned and shunned by so many other advocates.

Sister and Chris conversed a lot, and Sister drafted her article Tillamook Speaks. I have been privy to some of that process. When Sister shared with me more of Chris’s story, with some screen shots of Chris’s diary entries, I became REALLY angry at Jeff for how he has treated the people of Tillamook. Chris’s story removed that last vestige of reluctance I had to call Jeff a wolf.

I ask all the people of Tillamook who have been mistreated by Jeff to forgive me. Please forgive me for not being a person you might have wanted to reach out to for support. Please forgive me for promoting Jeff for so long. Please forgive me for having been deceived by Jeff.

I also apologise to the individuals who told me they felt hurt and mistreated by Jeff. One of them was a male survivor of intimate partner abuse; he told me a very credible account of how Jeff had treated him as a probable abuser. I am pretty sure I responded by email to each of those people’s disclosures, but I did not publicly do anything about it. I let it sit on the back burner. Please forgive me.

My shame

I have had to work through feelings of shame that I was ever a colleague and co-worker with Jeff. Shame that I felt so thrilled when he first contacted me asking for permission to quote a paragraph of my book Not Under Bondage in his book A Cry For Justice. Shame that I felt like a Deborah who had found her Barak. Shame that I was deceived by (yet another) abuser! Shame that I helped edit and publicise the written work of a spiritual abuser. Shame that he managed to publicly persecute me in the end. And shame that I felt such deep shame — I could not slough it off. Parts of me still cannot.

Those feelings of shame were a bit like the shame a woman feels when she discovers that her ex-husband has been sexually abusing their daughter on visitation. I know a woman whom that happened to. She told me she felt deep shame thinking about the fact that for years she had shared a bed (been one flesh) with a child molester. Even though the man only became a child molester after they had separated, she felt contaminated by his evil perversion.

I intend to write a short “caveat about Jeff Crippen” to put at the top of every post by Jeff Crippen on this blog. That is the least I can do to make amends.

54 Comments

  1. Abused by a church

    Barbara,

    I read your email in it’s entirety as well as the “Tillamook Speaks” link. It has been a long time since I have read your emails or posts but for some reason I read today’s. I am reeling and don’t even know what to think. You probably don’t remember me, but five years ago I went through a separation and a divorce due to a longstanding pattern of abuse. The local OPC church was less than supportive, and actually quite strange in their response and on-going actions (long story). I have since remarried. My wife lived though a similar life experience, though the (same) church was quite supportive to her (the elders were not local and were experienced pastors from other churches … as this was a church-plant). We have, ever-since, been wary about churches. We did attend a PCA church for a couple of years. The original pastor was gentle and gospel preaching. He was replaced with another man and things changed. We finally left after we realized it had been over a year since we had heard any Gospel (Jesus Christ saves sinners; repent and trust in Christ). We left quietly and began attending a very large evangelical church.

    This last year and a half have been hard, as the government has shut down or limited churches. They have resorted to arresting numerous pastors who have quietly refused to stop holding services. We yearn to sit under the teaching of Christ but are still super gun-shy of churches. Reading your article … I just kind of despair that there is any place safe to refuge under Christ’s banner.

    • Reaching Out

      Hi Abused by a church,

      For your safety and protection, I changed the screen name you submitted with your comment to Abused by a church. If you would prefer a different screen name, please email me at reachingout.acfj@gmail.com.

    • Mark

      Hi Abused by a church,

      I also suffered spiritual abuse within a NAPARC denomination. I am thankful that God led me to a safe church. Personally, I had to come up with what I thought a good church would look and act like, and then be careful not to fall back into the trap of shame and legalism. A good read for me recently was “A Church Called Tov” – I think the authors paint a clear picture of a healthy, safe church – irrespective of denomination.

      The few stories of divorce I heard from leaders in my former church were very similar. They found the person who was more moral and trustworthy and then used shame to try and manipulate that person into codependency. [Codependency is the idea that someone can change their partner’s behavior through self-sacrifice.]

      Mark

  2. Jessica

    Wow, that is really quite a story. I can’t imagine how you must feel. A lot to digest. It’s sad. I pray something happens in God’s good time and makes things right.

    • Thank you Jessica. Your prayer is my prayer too.

  3. Finding Answers

    I’ll let readers draw their own conclusion(s) (which might or might not be the same as or similar to mine)….

    Quote by Sister (from her post Tillamook Speaks):

    I am presenting further confirmation of his pattern of abuse. I was contacted by an individual who self-identified as someone who had attended Jeff’s church in Tillamook. With the individual’s permission, I am providing excerpts of our direct message conversations. I am using a pseudonym, Chris, to protect the individual’s identity. I believe Chris. Words in square brackets are my edits to condense information while providing clarity.

    Quotes by Chris (from Sister’s post Tillamook Speaks):

    “I still can’t read the book of Romans. He spent 3 years, I think, preaching through it. A minimum of an hour per Sunday. Basically, beating us over the head with it. Lots of ‘if you do, x, y, or z, you probably aren’t saved.’”

    However, tides began to shift slowly under Crippen. The theology became Reformed,

    Copied-and-pasted from the Internet Archive file (2012), Christ Reformation Church, Jeff Crippen, pastor:

    Christ Reformation Church emerged out of a dispensational, independent Bible church background. Through the influence of a 3 year teaching series through Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, assisted with materials from teachers such as Lloyd-Jones and R.C. Sproul, the congregation came to understand what are commonly called the doctrines of grace. We are now a Reformed Baptist church and are affiliated with the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA). Our pastor has ministered here since 1993.

    Copied-and-pasted from the Internet Archive file (2017), Christ Reformation Church, Jeff Crippen, pastor:

    Through the influence of a 3 year teaching series through Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, assisted with materials from teachers such as Lloyd-Jones and R.C. Sproul, Christ Reformation Church came to understand what are commonly called the doctrines of grace. We are now a Reformed Baptist church.(ARBCA). Our pastor has ministered here since 1993. We have an active ministry to victims of domestic abuse through the blog at cryingoutforjustice.com Pastor Crippen co-authored the book A Cry for Justice: How the Evil of Domestic Abuse Hides in Your Church, Calvary Press, 2012. In 2015 Pastor Crippen published a second book, Unholy Charade: Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church (available on Amazon).

    Copied-and-pasted from the Internet Archive file (2021), Christ Reformation Church, Jeff Crippen, pastor:

    Through the influence of a 3 year teaching series through Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, assisted with materials from teachers such as Lloyd-Jones and R.C. Sproul, Christ Reformation Church came to understand what are commonly called the doctrines of grace. We are now a Reformed Baptist church.

    Our pastor has ministered here since 1993. We have an active ministry to victims of domestic abuse blog ministry at unholycharade.com and a blog about evil in the church at lightfordarktimes.com.

    Pastor Crippen co-authored the book A Cry for Justice: How the Evil of Domestic Abuse Hides in Your Church, Calvary Press, 2012. He published his second book, Unholy Charade: Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in the Church in 2015 (both available on Amazon).

    Quote by Chris (from Sister’s post Tillamook Speaks):

    He actually did it [abandoned ministry to the community] while I was still there…But he’s [now] admitting it publicly… He says his “energies were not to be expended any longer ministering to this community.”

    Copied-and-pasted from the Internet Archive link provided by Chris in Sister’s post Tillamook Speaks, where Jeff Crippen mentioned no longer ministering to the community:

    At what has been the clear working and leading of the Lord (no voices from heaven, no voices in dreams, just His doing) I came to the realization some time ago that my energies were not to be expended any longer preaching to this community. Instead, I am to go where there are people who are hungry for and who receive Christ and His truth. And that is exactly what we are doing through our blogs, through social media videos of sermons and Bible studies, and through email and other communications with people who respond to Christ and are invigorated and validated by His truth

    Links to the quotes used in my comment

    Tillamook Speaks: Tillamook Speaks

    Christ Reformation Church (Sermon Audio, Basic Information, 2012 [Internet Archive link]): Christ Reformation Church

    Christ Reformation Church (Sermon Audio, Basic Information, 2017 [Internet Archive link]): Christ Reformation Church

    Christ Reformation Church (Sermon Audio, Basic Information, 2021 [Internet Archive link]): Christ Reformation Church

    An Appearance of Godliness: Case Studies in Evil (Part 11) [Internet Archive link]: An Appearance of Godliness: Case Studies in Evil (Part 11)

    [Links tidied up a bit by Reaching Out. Editors.]

  4. Suzanne

    In my experience with other followers of Jesus, one of the saddest things I’ve witnessed has been the insistence that we are never to question the conduct of anyone who verbally claims to be a born-again believer. They could be proven murderers or child molesters, but as long as they claim to be saved they must be believed and treated as sisters and brothers in Jesus.

    I’ve been excoriated and called a fruit inspector for pointing out that anyone who continually commits a heinous crime, even while claiming to be born-again, should at the very least come under suspicion of being a liar. But so many believe that no one ever lies about their salvation. This false belief has led to the destruction of many sincere believers, and most frequently they are those abused by spouses and parents. But when was the last time anyone reading this saw or heard of an abuser being put under church discipline, or being put out of their church, for continuing to sin against the innocent?

    Too many churches have failed to take responsibility for the protection of their members. Instead, they protect abusers and leave their victims without validation, protection, or spiritual support.

  5. Grateful

    Hello, Barbara

    I am reading with sadness your information on Jeff Crippen. It was from the ACFJ site, from you and from him that I gained the majority of my early education on the nature and tactics of abusers (beginning in 2015).

    I have also benefited greatly from Jon Uhler’s and Jimmy & Clara Hinton’s work. I am on the MeWe social media platform, and a few months ago Jon Uhler asked me to be an admin on his UNMASKING THE TRANS DECEPTION group. I accepted. But he also ‘wanted to get to know me better’, and I felt very uncomfortable with that. (I recently resigned from being an admin, due to my work-load with hurricane remediation project data-entry taking up so much of my time. I’d warned Jon that I’d likely have to resign when hurricane season hit). So — What you said in this blog concerning Jon and the Hintons has my suspicions aroused… I remember reading a few years ago how they had gone their separate ways, but had no information on the matter. Is there a blog or site where these concerns about Jon are articulated or enumerated?

    Thank you for shining light on uncomfortable truths.

    • Hi, I will answer your question about Jon Uhler, but I will need to look through my email archives. To my knowledge, there is not (yet) any website which exposes in any detail Jon Uhler’s questionable conduct. As I recall, when Jimmy Hinton left Church Protect, Jimmy did not write anything publicly exposing Uhler’s ungodly conduct. I believe that Jimmy did not denounce Jon Uhler publicly because Jimmy knew that if he did so he would only suffer more trauma from Jon.

      I will do more research and get back to you.

      Maybe it is time for some blogger to publicly expose the ways Jon Uhler has mistreated survivors. I wish I didn’t have to be that blogger! So often I am the one calling out unwise and / or abusive ‘advocates’. I wish other bloggers would do that too, but they seem to shy away from that kind of public duty which (IMO) they owe to victims / survivors who are scouring advocacy blogs looking for validation, discernment and support.

      • I have fixed some bad typos in my above comment.

    • Hi Grateful, you asked:

      I remember reading a few years ago how they had gone their separate ways, but had no information on the matter. Is there a blog or site where these concerns about Jon are articulated or enumerated?

      After searching on the internet, I have concluded that there is no blog or website where the concerns about Jon Uhler are articulated. There IS a Facebook discussion where Uhler shows himself to be uncaring about victims’ safety.

      I have many emails in my “Jon Uhler” mail folder. It will take me a lot of work to review them which I will need to do before I give you a comprehensive answer. Rather than answering your question in more detail here, I will review what I have archived and write a post about Uhler. I can’t promise when that post will be completed.

      When Jimmy Hinton separated himself from Jon Ulher, Jimmy did not publicly say anything about how Uhler had treated him. Personally, I wish Jimmy had said more publicly. I also wish that the other advocates who were aware of concerns about Uhler had publicly stated their concerns on their own websites, rather than just on Facebook. Things written on Facebook quickly go out of view and get forgotten about — unless you are like me and save links in your own archive system so that you can find the links when you need them years later!

      I wish it was not me who had to do all this work; but since other advocates haven’t and won’t, it falls on me. Sigh.

    • Hi Grateful, I have emailed you at the email address you used when submitting your comment here. 🙂

    • M&M

      The summary of what happened with Jon Uhler is that he was putting intense pressure on a victim to reveal her identity while putting no pressure on the organization that abused her. Although I wish that Jimmy had publicly denounced him, I speculated that he didn’t want to add stress to employees of Church Protect. That’s only a guess, but it’s a motive I’d respect.

      • Hi M&M, I concur with what you said here:

        The summary of what happened with Jon Uhler is that he was putting intense pressure on a victim to reveal her identity while putting no pressure on the organization that abused her.

        I too wish that Jimmy Hinton had denounced Jon Uhler. I am not aware that Church Protect had any employees. From what I read and researched about Church Protect, it is a 503c organisation that takes donations but does not have any paid employees. To my knowledge, that is still the case. I do know that Jon Uhler has a pattern of recruiting volunteers who will help him with Church Protect’s work — e.g. to moderate (and promote?) Facebook groups that Church Protect runs.

        Jimmy may have chosen not to denounce Jon Uhler because Jimmy was aware that Uhler is very vindictive.

      • M&M

        For those who want more details Voices of the Victims

      • Reaching Out

        For a bit more information on Jon Uhler, click here to read a comment of Barb’s from February, 2018.

      • Finding Answers

        M&M,

        Thank you for providing the Voices of the Victims link in your comment of 18TH OCTOBER 2021 – 9:19 PM.

  6. Walkinginlight

    I have been meaning for quite some time to sit down and post my story on Sister’s blog of what happened to me. Now is the time to put it out there into the light and expose the dark for what it is. Ephesians 5.

    I had been an avid reader here for many years before pastor Crippen broke away to start his own blog. I followed him over to Unholy Charade. I found his writings very validating as to all the experiences I had through the years with abusive personalities. One would think after all those years of reading what I had to say, that there might be some kind of discernment as to the type of person I was, lending my own comments to comfort or validate another abuse victim. I had been commenting for roughly seven years between this blog and Unholy Charade.

    Two years ago I had contacted the moderator [of Unholy Charade], TWBTC, and asked her if one of the ladies would like to be a private pen pal with me. There were several of us who seemed to be on the same page with experiences. She introduced me to my new pen pal through e-mail where we exchanged our private e-mail addresses. My intention was to be a friend and comfort to this lady. I had been involved in church ministry in my past with abused women’s support groups, (I have written references from the ministers of the support groups), so I thought I would give my time and Christian love to another.

    The first time I read my new pen pal’s life story I sat on the couch with tears streaming down my face. I had heard of horrendous behaviour in the past and this story just resonated with such heartbreak and abuse for what my new pen pal had endured. Time went on and we e-mailed one another weekly or more if extra support was needed. I did my best to offer her uplifting bible scripture and words of encouragement from my heart. I still have all of our back and forth e-mails. I always had a heart for the hurting and downtrodden even though I myself had been mistreated.

    Then last spring around March 2021 I would type my usual comments at Unholy Charade and watch them vanish when I would hit the comment button. I thought it was some kind of a computer glitch. I am not extremely tech savvy as I am an older person. I wrote to pastor Crippen and asked him to please help me with this. Several weeks went by and I still did not hear a word so I e-mailed him again. Finally I had gotten a reply from him saying they (him and the other moderator [TWBTC] ) were trying to find a way to tell me I was kicked off the blog site to keep another person there happy! He said in not so many words that sometimes “things” get dropped in their laps they are not sure how to deal with it and somehow getting rid of me was the answer. I was shocked, stunned, speechless!! I felt like someone took their fist and punched me in the gut as hard as they could.

    Later that night as I was trying to figure out what in the world went on, it dawned on me that a very disgruntled pen pal slandered me to him! I wrote back to him saying that very thing and he did not dispute me. I then sent him ALL the string of e-mails back and forth between me and the pen-pal. Even the very last one where I had asked her why she did not want to write to me anymore and what did I say so I could apologize if I had upset her and to make it right. The pen-pal never answered me. To this day I do not know what happened. I have e-mails where she praised me for having the love of Jesus towards her and how much she valued me as a Christian sister. I could not think of why she praised me so highly as being such a valuable friend and then stopped all communication with no explanation.

    Pastor Crippen convicted and condemned me on the witness of only ONE person, which of course is not biblical. He, being a bible teacher, should know better. Deuteronomy 19:15 – A sentence should never be passed on the testimony of ONE witness ALONE. Also see – John 8:17, Numbers 35:30, 1Timothy 5:19, Hebrews 10:28, etc. He tried and convicted me behind my back. He never called me or e-mailed me to see if the slander he was told had an ounce of truth to it. He blindly believed a liar who poses as a saintly Christian lady. Proverbs 19:9 states that a false witness will not go unpunished and he who breathes out lies will perish. The ninth of the ten commandments, God says that “You shall not give false witness against your neighbor”.

    I was shocked and extremely hurt that pastor Crippen treated me the way that he did. I always looked up to him as a type of big brother figure. For him to condemn like that was not only unbiblical, it was downright cruel. During that time this was all going on, the Lord spoke to my heart that if pastor Crippen was in Solomon’s shoes, he would have given the lying lady the wrong baby no questions asked!! Every charge must be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 2 Cor.13:1.

    After my experience with being falsely accused by a “pastor” who does not follow the bible or his OWN teachings, I cannot in good faith or conscience recommend his site or books to any more people. We live in perilous times just as Jesus has said and yes the love of many has grown cold. To which as I had always said, MARANATHA!!!!

    • Finding Answers

      Walkinginlight,

      In your comment (8TH SEPTEMBER 2021 – 5:33 PM), you mentioned a number of times how Jeff Crippen condemned and / or convicted you.

      Greatly simplifying my explanation, and no offence or condescension intended as I’m merely repeating something you probably already know: Humans condemn (and sometimes, for any number of reasons, condemn themselves). The Holy Spirit convicts.

      • Thank you Finding Answers for this —

        Humans condemn (and sometimes, for any number of reasons, condemn themselves). The Holy Spirit convicts.

    • Thank you so much Walkinginlight for your detailed testimony. I am glad you have made it public. As you already know, because you and I discussed your testimony by email some time ago, I believe you. And I sympathise and empathise with your pain.

  7. Sarah

    I hate to say it but everytime I hear about a man who is doing a great thing and standing up to abuse (of any kind) etc I am always wary. It is such a rare thing and so many times I see the mask fall. So many I have stopped counting. We need to raise better men somehow. I hope the next generation can figure out how to do this better, change is slow but we really need to be cautious where we put our trust imho. Hugs to everyone who has been hurt by this even if it just hurt to hear about it

    • Thank you Sarah for your empathetic comment. 🙂

      I agree with you that we need to be cautious where we put our trust. Just because a person gives us validation for what we have suffered at the hands of abusers, does not mean that person is trustworthy in every respect.

  8. walkinginlight

    You’re welcome Barbara.
    I pray by writing my story that perhaps it could help someone else. You also have all of my empathy also for all of the emotional pain you have gone through. I have read every word you have written here today and in the other story you shared with me. It is gut wrenching to be accused of something you are one hundred percent innocent of and then have not one advocate stand up for truth alongside of you! I also had this happen to me when two of my family members recently stole my inheritance away from me that my uncle left me in his will.

    Thank you FINDING ANSWERS for reminding me humans condemn the Holy Spirit convicts. That also reminds me that Satan causes guilt where the Holy Spirit once again convicts.

    God is specific when He points out sin. Amen.

  9. Louise

    Hi Barbara,

    I am so sorry for what you have been through with regard to Jeff Crippen.

    I recall years ago when I was just starting out in my journey of facing the truth of my own abuse in the church. I discovered that there were countless others who have been abused in churches all over the world and your Blog was a great help to me. When all that vilifying of you happened from Jeff and other advocates did not stand up for you (publicly), I just retreated, but I have been in the background observing. Since that time, I have not seen anything that you have written or exposed as a concern. If anything, I have become more aware of the sex trafficking that happens right under our noses and to be more vigilant when I hear / see someone vilifying another believer as quite often, it turns out that those are the true perpetrators, not victims that we are led to believe. I know from my own experience that these abusers are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

    Thank you for posting this article and for displaying such strength.

  10. On this date in 2017, Jeff told me he was resigning from the ACFJ blog.
    I’m just saying this for posterity’s sake.

    I have an annual reminder for this date in my calendar. I put in the reminder to help me realise how long it has been.

  11. Karen

    That is amazing. At least you’re being candid about it now. We’ve all been shamefully fooled. I hate myself for ending up with a second abuser who was more cruel. For not leaving because the first was taking me to court over a child and allowed to for over a decade. The judicial system has their own agenda. I finally found out too late.

    Even after my second divorce, every church I went to had legalistic pastors who wanted to keep women in their place, though the said abuse wasn’t ok. They have no real idea about emotional, mental and spiritual abuse. I think I’ve finally found one that has a better grasp but not sure how deep it goes.

    How disappointing to learn that about Crippen. Thank you for being bold enough to address this.

    [For safety and protection, the number of years has been lightly airbrushed. Editors.]

    • Hi Karen thanks for your comment and for sharing a bit of your story. I relate to a lot of what you shared.

      “The judicial system has its own agenda.” — yes indeed it does. My assessment is that although there are some good people in the judicial system, and sometimes the system delivers a bit of justice to individual victim / survivors, overall the system is controlled by and run for the benefit of the abusers — i.e. the pedophiles, pederasts, and men who like abusing their intimate female partners and children.

      And for those who are itching to say, “What about female abusers?” — yes, sometimes the abuser is female and sometimes the female abuser is given more power by the judicial system. But in my observation, the judicial system is giving far more power and privilege to the men who like abusing women and children. And the judicial system is frequently compelling children to spend time with abusive men.

      I could sum up by saying that the judicial system is run by Satanists.

  12. Mark

    Hi Barbara,

    I found this article linked from Julie Anne’s twitter feed. I am sorry for what you’ve had to go through dealing with abuse and toxicity. I was also duped by Jeff’s strong stance against abuse and DV, although I had somewhat moved on from this blog to Spiritual Sounding Board – as it seemed to deal much more with the spiritual abuse I was dealing with at the time.

    Mark

  13. Sojourn

    I would like to send a huge Bravo to you both Barbara and Sister – faithful strong women of the Lord and beloved (also anon Chris). It has been a long and tortuous journey to this point for you all – thank you for exposing yet another treacherous counterfeit. Thank you for being transparent enough to admit your part in this sad story, revealing your pain and shame, asking for forgiveness. It’s another huge lesson in discerning abusive wolf character and behaviour in those that are in a position of trust – especially in the body of Christ, especially in leadership.

    • Thank you Sojourn! 🙂 Bless you. I really appreciate your support and encouragement, and I am sure Sister and “Chris” do too.

  14. Karen

    Interesting article, though not surprising, for I discerned this long ago concerning Jeff Crippen, and other complementarians like him, whether male or female.

    I share with others that Jesus is my personal Pastor, for He never lies to me, nor does He leave me, nor does He ever forsake me; for I am loved unconditionally by Him. And I know without a doubt, that my Savior speaks truth with no hidden agendas.

    When we replace the Pastoral Leadership of Jesus Christ in our lives, with the pastoral leadership (the word pastor is only mentioned once in the original text, therefore it is not a major leadership role with the ekklesia) of sinful human beings, we are immediately led astray by a false shepherd that has no authority over our souls……for he would easily fall asleep during the night, with his personal narcissistic staff in hand, when he was supposed to be protective, discerning, alert, and guard with his own life, over the flock of sheep, in which he was supposed to guard.

    No human being can fulfill that requirement, which has led to the pastor centric church that our world sees…..and worships.

    As I stand, patiently waiting in the lines at Walmart, listening to the complaining and whining of individuals who are inconvenienced at having the audacity of having to “wait, wait, and wait some more” before they reach the working class-the check out clerk…….this is our opportunity as born again believers to witness, show the fruits of the Holy Spirit, and to exhibit love in Jesus Christ, to a world who is hell bent on worshipping the loss of their freedoms in Christ Alone.

    Receive many a thumbs up when I say, “We need less of this government in our lives, less of this visible church who demands more money and more time, yet helps NOT the helpless, the suffering, the hurting, the widows, orphans, the poor, and those of us who are abused by our spouses……and our American government, who demands our worship and trust, more of our hard earned money to pay people who choose not to work and mind their own households, who mandates that we receive shots to our individual bodies that are literally the temples our our Lord in order to institute their false lordship over Christ, and who even desire to control our minds with technology, drugs, natural resourced all in order to worship man over the omniscience of Jesus Christ.”

    I am not a complementarian, nor as as female, even promote the idea that complementarianism exists in the original texts of Jesus’ Words, for to do so, would equal blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Complementarian theology is in and of itself abusive, hateful, and against a people group whom Jesus loved, without condition.

    It is odd to me that women who ascribe to complementarian false teachings which they believe are found in the Scriptures, call out another, as abusers or negligent of abuse.

    Complementarianism is abuse.

    • Hi Karen, in my view your comment is a worthy contribution to the discussion. Years ago at this blog we used to ask that commenters exercise caution when commenting about complementarianism or egalitarianism, because the comp / egal debate can all to easily deteriorate into trench warfare. But that was in the early years of this blog. Now that Jeff has left and I’ve been the sole leader of this blog for some years, I am more relaxed about having comp / egal discussions.

      Can you please clarify a couple of things you wrote in your comment?

      You wrote:

      When we replace the Pastoral Leadership of Jesus Christ in our lives, with the pastoral leadership … of sinful human beings, we are immediately led astray by a false shepherd that has no authority over our souls…

      Do you think that is ALWAYS the case? Do you think that in each and every instance a human pastor will immediately lead me (or us, or you) astray?

      Speaking from my own experience, there have been times in my life when a human pastor said something that immediately gave me scriptural insight which was true and good. For example, when I had not long been separated from my abusive husband and had been condemned by my church for applying for a protection order against that husband, I explained my situation to a pastor of another church and he said, “There is a biblical principle of fleeing.” Immediately the lights came on and I could see that the church which had condemned me was wrongly dividing scripture, and I DID have the right to flee my abuser. What that pastor said to me on that day was good and true — not because it made me ‘feel better’ but because it lined up with Scripture. But because that pastor said something that was good and true, does not mean I idolised him or took his every word as good and true. As I got to know that pastor more, over many years, I discerned what I believe are faults in his interpretation of scripture on other points. And I am wary of that pastor because of those flaws which I believe that he has.

      Can you please clarify what you meant by the following paragraph. I didn’t understand what you were getting at.

      It is odd to me that women who ascribe to complementarian false teachings which they believe are found in the Scriptures, call out another, as abusers or negligent of abuse.

      Thanks!

  15. Seeing Clearly

    I can only begin to imagine how difficult it has been for you, Barbara. My heart is with you. I benefited greatly from the website when you and Jeff worked together. I still see it as a godsend as I was trying to make sense of divorce after a long marriage to a covert abuser. When you made the courageous move to expose Jeff’s true character, he blocked me quickly for questioning him. It does not surprise me that I trusted Jeff’s words through those former years because I predictably default to an abuser.

    He defamed you and made false accusations of you across the global internet. You are extremely resilient to affirm your passion for shedding light on the darkest places. Thank you. It is really no surprise that Jeff is still leading a group of sheep. Deception is in his core. My abusive ex continues to accept invitations to speak in churches and pose under the name “Spiritual Director”.

  16. M&M

    I’m going to be honest here, and I hope you can understand that I don’t want to add to unjust hurt, yet the information I had in 2018 was limited. At the time, I believed Jeff because I’d seen on my own that your comments were getting harsher, I was skeptical of Fiona, your apology sounded like “I’m sorry, but…” and all the other ACFJ staff went with him (I trusted their discernment).

    However, I find this post believable for multiple reasons. There was a time that I tried to comment on his new blog and he didn’t post it. It wasn’t disrespectful, it just explained why a person in a painful marriage would struggle with his theology. I expected compassion, but got none. His allegation that you took over the website is no longer believable because you have a new domain name and he clearly controls the original. The allegations about him burning books and not allowing any differences in theology are believable because he criticizes hymns on his new blog that aren’t actually heresy. In fact, there was even a time on the old blog that I challenged his implication that everyone in the world is either an abuser or a loving Christian because I’ve met people who are neither, and his response ignored my experience.

    A few people were knowingly unjust to you, and a lot of people didn’t know the whole story.

    • Thank you for your comment, M&M. I appreciate the care you took in writing it. 🙂

      I understand and appreciate that the information you had in 2018 was limited. Thank you for saying that. I think most of the ACFJ readers were in a similar position, only having limited information. It’s analogous to the situation when an abused woman resists her abusive husband and the husband maligns her to the church and most of the church side with the husband because they have limited information.

      I hear your feedback that at time you perceived my comments were getting harsher. Perhaps my comments were getting harsher. If that is true I deeply regret it. I hope my commenting style has improved since then. I do not wish to make excuses for myself — my sins and flaws are real! — but please be so kind as to allow me to say that at the time (2018) and for years prior to that there were quite a few comments coming in to the ACFJ blog which were from regular commenters (not newbies) who were either ignoring or disrespecting or refusing to comply with the commenting guidelines we have at this blog. I had repeatedly and courteously restated and linked to those guidelines many times… but some of the regular commenters didn’t seem to bother listening to or heeding my reminders.

      Jeff had left most if not all of the comment moderation of difficult comments to me and TWBTC… and I usually ended up being the one to moderate and airbrush the comments that needed a lot of editing. I did that comment moderation for the safety of the commenter and for the safety of all our readers. Because I was doing the heavy lifting re comment moderation while Jeff and I co-led the blog, I was very tired of having to carry that load. After Jeff resigned I still carried that load, although at least with Jeff gone I did not have to edit comments from readers after Jeff had published them without him having done any airbrushing for safety. That may help you understand why my comments became more curt (if they did become more curt).

      Another thing was that by 2018 there were many commenters who seemed to have not read or taken in things we had published already. I know that most survivors have many reasons for not wanting or not being able to read all our posts! We are all time-poor, and most of us are exhausted with the pressures we are under. I confess to sometimes feeling annoyed that despite all the posts I have written which disentangle and debunk the myths and false teaching which keep victims in spiritual bondage, and despite the fact that I put enormous effort (with TWBTC’s help) into creating the FAQ page, many regular commenters were apparently not bothering to dig into the FAQs or search for an already published post. Instead, they would ask a question or state a myth in their comments, and I would have to (yet again!) point them to the FAQs and / or the post which rebutted the myth that they were believing in.

      I hope that since 2018 I have improved the way I comment so that I no longer leak out that frustration of mine.

      But there’s another factor in play here: in the last three years (2019-2021) the regular readers who comment at this blog have by and large not been coming across as if they expect to be ‘spoon fed’ by wanting me to do all the work.

      I hope what I’ve just written does not come across as haughty.

      You also noted, M&M, that you were skeptical of Fiona. I do not want to challenge you on that. You have the right to form your own judgements, hypotheses and opinions. Each of us form our opinions on the basis of (a) our experience, (b) our knowledge and understanding of scripture, and (c) our desire and ability to form hypotheses about reality which best explain many apparently disparate data points. Fiona’s testimony comprises many data points that are very disparate from what the majority of people have considered might be part of reality. Many people experience intense cognitive dissonance when they hear about the testimonies of survivors of trauma-based mind control and ritual abuse. Cognitive dissonance is painful! Our instincts as human beings (and as survivors of abuse) are to avoid and flee from cognitive dissonance because it is so psychologically painful.

      Lastly, M&M, you noted that all the other ACFJ staff went with him [Jeff] and you trusted their discernment. There were never any ‘staff’ at ACFJ in the sense of paid staff. There were various members of the ACFJ team at various times, but by the time Jeff resigned from co-leading ACFJ with me (2017), there were only three members: Jeff and me and TWBTC (The Woman Behind The Curtain). After Jeff resigned, TWBTC and I were the only team members; I was the sole leader and she was my assistant. In 2018 when Jeff denounced me publicly, TWBTC resigned from the ACFJ blog and went over to be Jeff’s assistant at his new platforms. Therefore TWBTC was only ACFJ team member who “went with Jeff” (to use your words). There were some former members of the ACFJ team who piled on in attacking me on Facebook when Jeff began denouncing me. But it’s incorrect to say that they “went with Jeff” unless you mean that they joined with him in pillorying me once he commenced his attack.

      Just to clarify in case you are unsure, Rachel Miller, who initiated the attack on me at Twitter and took a substantial role in that Facebook attack on me, plus she allowed Jeff to quote her denunciation of me at his Unholy Charade blog, was never a member of the ACFJ team. Up until 2018 I had considered her a colleague in the advocacy community.

    • One more thing, M&M, thank you very very much for saying this:

      A few people were knowingly unjust to you, and a lot of people didn’t know the whole story.

  17. shaking the dust

    Dear Barbara Roberts,
    Dear Reaching Out,
    Dear Sister,
    and Dear all who are concerned with this,

    When the splitting with Jeff Crippen took place, I was wondering, what was going on behind the scenes. Realizing that a person may look good while wronging others or abusing them, and that the abused may look like the angry or confused one, I did not know how to interpret things and took a back seat.

    Being too deep in my own process of understanding a lifetime of being abused, that back seat suited me well. I apologize for not reacting, and even for following both his blog and this one for a while. I needed clarity for myself, and these blogs were both very instructing and helpful, including older posts on ACFJ and the many commentaries and even the blogroll.

    The only thing I could do was pray that what- or whoever was putting enmity between sisters and brothers would be stopped, that the wounded would not be hurt, that the truth might come out.

    Barbara, (and all above,)
    I am very grateful, that you re-opened the blog under this site and for all your work – and very sorry for the trouble that has been done to you – and to many others.

    Though some comments may have sounded harsh to some, to me they rather sounded like as if you were under stress, not having the time or emotional energy for much empathy and consideration – yet trying.

    It should have been telling, that Jeff only mentioned on his new blog “not affiliated…”, while you tried to restart the older blog, saying that the posts and comments were worthwhile as a resource – and explaining this was with respect to both the community of commenters and the posts (including guest posts) – and how you also took into consideration to respect Jeff’s rights.

    How can I express my deep feelings for all that you have been through – and by this I also mean every person who has been hurt in the process. Those, whose testimony contributed to this post, and those silent ones.

    The advocacy for the abused is so important. So many Christians need that this topic is treated within the context of their faith and their terminology.

    Faith has been used to abuse spiritually, and all kinds of abuse have been tolerated, enabled, justified, … made more severe in many environments of the Christian Faith.

    This world needs every voice that speaks for the downtrodden, the oppressed, the wounded, the poor and the abused.

    Luke 4, 18-19, KJV:

    The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
    To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

    May the acceptable year(s) of the Lord come soon.
    Thank you for your work even in trouble.
    May it be blessed and may it be a blessing
    to all those who need it.

    [Paragraph breaks added to enhance readability. Editors.]

    • Reaching Out

      Hi Shaking The Dust,

      You wrote: the posts and comments were worthwhile as a resource – and explaining this was with respect to both the community of commenters and the posts (including guest posts)

      ACFJ still has many readers although very few readers comment….to me, the number of readers is irrelevant. Years ago, I would tell people that if I could help someone in my own little corner of the world, that maybe that person could be the person who did something bigger than I could ever do….or maybe the person I helped would help someone else, and the person they helped would be the person who did something bigger than I could ever do…this is the way I’ve lived almost all of my life, but it wasn’t until later that I put how I lived my life into words.

      One of my ongoing things I do on ACFJ (and enjoy doing, and sometimes want to do (for any number of reasons) on other blogs 🙂 ) is fix broken links whenever possible (or add notes when I’m unable to fix the broken links), and Internet Archive as many of the links in old posts AND comments as I can (and sometimes an Internet Archived link can neither be found nor made, which I also try to find a way to note).

      So while I’m no longer able to work, the ACFJ blog is a way I can still (hopefully) help that one person who might help another person who might help another person….

      • shaking the dust

        Dear Reaching Out,

        You cited me:
        “You wrote: the posts and comments were worthwhile as a resource – and explaining this was with respect to both the community of commenters and the posts (including guest posts)”

        I did not mean to offend. If so, I apologize. Maybe this is a misunderstanding due to my language background.

        This phrase was meant to be in indirect speech, referring to what Barbara wrote around the time of the split-up and re-opening of the blog (as far as I remember it).
        Therefore I used past tense.

        In the second paragraph I wrote:
        “I needed clarity for myself, and these blogs were both very instructing and helpful, including older posts on ACFJ and the many commentaries and even the blogroll.”

        Maybe I did not emphasize well enough how much the older posts were and are valuable to me.
        It meant a lot of work for you and Barbara to restart and repair all these posts – for there are so very (very very) many posts on this site.
        It is also a lot of work to maintain all of it, which I am very grateful for.

        I also wrote:
        “This world needs every voice that speaks for the downtrodden, the oppressed, the wounded, the poor and the abused.”

        Maybe I should have added that this blog is one of the best resources I found so far.

        You wrote:
        “One of my ongoing things I do on ACFJ (and enjoy doing, and sometimes want to do (for any number of reasons) on other blogs 🙂 ) is fix broken links whenever possible (or add notes when I’m unable to fix the broken links), and Internet Archive as many of the links in old posts AND comments as I can (and sometimes an Internet Archived link can neither be found nor made, which I also try to find a way to note).”

        This sounds like an ENORMOUS task to me, which I cannot estimate high enough.

        So, please, PLEASE, do understand that I am grateful. And I am grateful to the Lord, that he gave it into your heart to do all this work to make this blog run smooth and as long as possible. For the sake of victims. For the sake of all the wonderful posts and comments.

        I pray that your work will remain blessed (as it was and is) – and that the Lord be with you and Barbara and everyone involved with this blog.

        With sincerely and gratefulness,
        shaking the dust

      • Reaching Out

        Shaking The Dust,

        Thank you for your reply. 🙂

        You wrote: I did not mean to offend.

        I wasn’t offended in any way by any of what you wrote. In my own way, I was agreeing with you about the value of the ACFJ blog 🙂

        ….and I wish abuse no longer existed so there was no longer a need for any blogs about abuse.

        And I’m grateful you’ve found ACFJ helpful.

      • Dear readers, Reaching Out does indeed do all those things that she described — and she does more as well. She is an amazing assistant. I am incredibly blessed to have her help. I cannot express how incredible she is: so fastidious, careful, a brilliant proof reader who understands and uses HTML to edit posts and comments to make them easier to read and to ensure the formatting is consistent across all devices. She goes to incredible lengths to make the blog easy to interact with. I doubt that many — or any — other blog owners have an assistant as painstaking as Reaching Out.

        I know I’ve thanked Reaching Out before in my comments, but she well deserves this special shout-out.

        Also, thank-you to shaking the dust for giving a vote of thanks to Reaching Out. Your vote of thanks has elicited Reaching Out’s comment.

      • Reaching Out

        Thank you, Barb. 🙂

    • Finding Answers

      Shaking The Dust

      I’ve taken the liberty of modifying your comment.

      You commented (17TH OCTOBER 2021 – 6:51 AM):

      Being too deep in my own process of understanding a lifetime of being abused, that back seat suited me well….I apologize for not reacting, and even for following both his [Jeff’s] blog and this one for a while. I needed clarity for myself, and these blogs were both very instructing and helpful, including older posts on ACFJ and the many commentaries and even the blogroll.

      (Strikethrough and [Jeff’s] added by me.)

      I edited out the apology because to me, your apology wasn’t needed….and in using the phrase not needed, my intent isn’t meant to cause you any hurt and / or pain, nor do I intend you to think and / or feel I’m somehow rejecting you and / or your apology.

      From my perspective, how you acted could have been a response and a reaction. In either case, you kept yourself safe, took time to evaluate and reach clarity. That is what matters.

      In the same comment, you commented:

      Though some comments may have sounded harsh to some, to me they rather sounded like as if you were under stress, not having the time or emotional energy for much empathy and consideration – yet trying.

      ….and from my own experiences from before I’d even heard of Barb (who is Australian) or come across ACFJ, I’d found Aussies to be what I’d call (and not intended as an insult) “in your face”. (Some define “in your face” as assertive or aggressive.)

      But then, each person has their own definition of what they consider “in your face”.

      I’m not Australian, and I’m not intentionally an “in your face” person, although there are times when I might unintentionally come across that way.

      And yet years ago there were times I was intentionally “in your face” . 🙂

      Coming across as “in your face” isn’t my preference.

      In your comment (17TH OCTOBER 2021 – 10:28 AM), you commented: Maybe this is a misunderstanding due to my language background.

      I can empathize with being misunderstood….I’m high-function Asperger’s with Complex-PTSD.

    • Dear shaking the dust, your words moved me deeply. Please know that I really appreciate your kindness and I think your decision at the time of the split (to follow Jeff’s work and continue following the ACFJ blog) was fine. I do not judge you in any way for taking a back seat and not reacting back in 2018. I appreciate your good reasons for taking that approach. I think that was a wise decision at the time in light of all the other stuff you were dealing with.

      And I thank you very much for your kind words. May your kind words bless us all. And BTW I think the quote you gave from Luke 4 is very fitting.

      hugs to you,
      Barb

  18. shaking the dust

    Dear Reaching Out,
    This is fine with me.

    You are right, wishing abuse no longer existed….

    …meanwhile:

    May you continue your good work,
    and may God bless you,

    shaking the dust

  19. shaking the dust

    Dear Finding Answers,

    I’m answering to your 12.03 PM comment:

    Thank you for your reaction full of love and understanding.

    About the apologies: As an abuse-surviver, I have been subjected to the whole variety of aspects of the topic.

    As: (in no specific order)

    walking-on-eggshell-apology,
    false guilt / shame / blame
    Apologizing as a member of a group (for the group, the spouse, the family,…)
    knowing or thinking that third parties were / are threatened or harmed by the abuser(s) for my sake or in order to hurt me through them
    feeling and / or being concerned.

    For the latter: I felt concerned, because I was so glad that I had found ACFJ with all its wealth of information (and much more). This blog was and is such a big help in my process and journey of understanding abuse and healing from it.

    Yet, during the period of the split, I was not able to respond, nor knowing, what was going on behind the scenes.

    Thus I felt (!) like a bystander – felt responsible for my (non-)reaction – while not knowing how to respond, and not being able to.

    So now I feel the need to give a response – sort of:
    Hey, even if, like a half-dead wounded one lying on the street, I could not help, not even move, my heart cried out to God for you all at ACFJ:

    “Please, Lord, be there, Be there with these wonderful people, with their work, with all the wounded ones who need this blog to exist. And be there with everyone of them in their private lives as well.”

    And Finding Answers, thank you for mentioning the problem of language, and different ways to say things in different countries.

    In the face or straightforward?
    politeness or tiptoeing?
    modesty or over- and understatement?
    or a matter of grammatical structure and verb tense?
    Or…

    Maybe going into this would make the comment too long.

    Thank you for your considerate thoughts.

    By the way, I find your communication improved over the years,
    and you have very clear insights, and you are good at putting them into words.
    Just my thoughts,
    ..Bless you

    • Finding Answers

      Shaking The Dust,

      You commented (17TH OCTOBER 2021 – 1:14 PM):

      By the way, I find your communication improved over the years,
      and you have very clear insights, and you are good at putting them into words.

      Thank you for your kind and gracious words.

      I was pleasantly surprised when I read that paragraph in your reply to me. I never really believe anyone (other than blog moderators) reads my comments unless they either reply to my comment or include my name or something I’ve written in their comment. Yet I also understand why people can’t or don’t comment, as there have been times when I can’t or don’t comment myself.

      And I can empathize with you on the topic of apologies. I apologize for many of the same reasons you include in your comment. For me, I’d rather apologize (and sometimes I even apologize ahead of time) than unintentionally cause someone hurt and / or harm and / or pain.

      In the same comment, you commented: language, and different ways to say things in different countries

      ….and also consider things such things as the history of the person and / or the history of their country, or that the person communicating might somehow be disabled.

      As one example (about a person with a disability): I remember reading a blog on the topic of hope, and the woman wrote so descriptively….it wasn’t until I’d been reading her blog for a while that I discovered she was physically blind. And I was surprised when I found out she lived near me and in the same country….

      Miscommunication and / or misunderstanding can (unintentionally or intentionally) happen so easily….

      In the same comment, you commented:

      Hey, even if, like a half-dead wounded one lying on the street, I could not help, not even move, my heart cried out to God for you all at ACFJ:

      “Please, Lord, be there, Be there with these wonderful people, with their work, with all the wounded ones who need this blog to exist. And be there with everyone of them in their private lives as well.”

      Praying and crying out to God IS a way of helping….thank you for your prayers.

    • Thank you for the beautiful way you expressed this, Shaking the dust:

      Thus I felt (!) like a bystander – felt responsible for my (non-)reaction – while not knowing how to respond, and not being able to.

      So now I feel the need to give a response – sort of:
      Hey, even if, like a half-dead wounded one lying on the street, I could not help, not even move, my heart cried out to God for you all at ACFJ

      My guess is that quite a few ACFJ blog readers felt that way in 2017 and moreso in 2018.

  20. M&M

    Your frustration sounds like you work in IT 🙂. My comment about “all the staff” was referring to something Jeff said, which I now find questionable.

    • Thanks M&M. I find it credible that Jeff said that all the staff of ACFJ had left the blog. While he and I were co-leading the blog, he and I never referred to “the staff of ACFJ” — we always used the term “ACFJ team members”.

      While Jeff and I were co-leading the blog, we took on various team members. In some cases, team members later left the team of their own free will. In other cases, Jeff and I jointly decided to take a person off the team; we did that for various reasons but it was always to do with us having formed the view that the team member in question was saying or doing things which in our opinion were not in alignment with the protocols and principles that Jeff and I had jointly agreed on for the blog. I look back on those decisions we made to take people off the team and I now wonder whether we always made the right or best decision. I do that kind of reflection and self-examination a lot… did I do wrong to any team member? These ruminations sometimes keep me awake at night.

      • M&M

        ☹️☹️☹️

        I don’t remember if he wrote “staff” or “team members”. It was years ago, and I didn’t search for the same post blog recently.

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