Friday, July 18, 2008

Canis lupus 2

Her princes in her midst are roaring lions;
Her judges are evening wolves
That leave not a bone till morning.
Her prophets are insolent, treacherous people;
Her priests have polluted the sanctuary,
They have done violence to the law.
— Zephaniah 3:3, 4

We have lifted the following article and picture gallery from OutdoorLife.com. It furnishes us with another profound lesson in predatory behavior taken straight from the wolf.

Again, in the Sermon on the Mount our Lord Jesus Christ did not choose the metaphor “wolves” to warn against false teachers because He thought it clever or colorful. It is a real-life term that we see play out every day in the Church. This fact is especially true as it applies to Pastor Douglas Wilson of Christ Church, Moscow. Over the years one family after another has bore witness to the same identical testimony regarding Wilson’s sadistic cruelty. The circumstances for each family varies, but the narratives are all the same — Wilson will stop at nothing to exact vengeance against those members who catch him in sin and then try to leave. In every single instance the sin is always lying, because Wilson lies like the devil, and when caught the hunt begins. He pursues his prey (preyishioners) to silence them or utterly ruin them forever, depending on his appetite. He targets their livelihoods, their careers, their character, their public reputation — you name it — he will stop at nothing.

As you read this narrative, keep in mind that wolves have no moral capacity. This wolf merely acted according to his nature. He was hungry so he took a bite. He was completely oblivious to the doe’s agony. In this respect natural predators are comparable to nature’s psychopaths. They lack compunction and they are violently aggressive. At this point, however, our Lord’s metaphor fails. Natural predators will not give account at the Great White Throne. They kill because they’re hungry. Not so for wolves in the Church. Like natural wolves, they have no conscience but unlike wolves they are without excuse.

The metaphor fails at another point as well. Whereas the wolf was insensible to the deer’s pain and he did not act out of malice, it’s clear that Wilson derives pleasure when he inflicts pain — hence the word sadistic. I have seen him do exactly as this wolf, mercilessly attacking persons whom he already mortally wounded, for no other reason than sick desire. He’s not satisfied unless his prey (the sheep) suffers.

The following is a pictorial account of Wilson serving in the Christian ministry. Read it, and pray for the saints in Moscow:

Eaten Alive: Wolf Predation Captured On Camera
Michael Veine was hunting grouse in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula when he stumbled upon a wolf attacking a doe.


On October 24, 2006, Michael Veine was bird hunting in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula along the Escanaba River when he heard agonizing bellows coming from a long distance away. Stalking in the direction of the noise, he came upon a wolf attacking a deer. At first the wolf chased the adult doe along the riverbank, lunging repeatedly at her and biting the backs of her legs. He kept up the assault until he eventually hamstrung her. Unable to run, the doe was pulled down, and the wolf began feeding on her even though she was still alive. On the opposite side of the wide river, Veine snuck in closer and pulled out his camera.


The wolf fed on the doe as she continued to bawl. Wolf researcher Dr. Durward Allen has recorded that wolves are not the quick, clean killers some people believe. Allen’s research has demonstrated that wolves will typically kill by literally tearing their prey apart. When a pack is involved the killing process is often quick, but even then sometimes takes a while. All that’s required is that the prey holds still enough for the eating process to begin.


The deer tried to escape many times, but with her hind legs ripped up, the wolf easily knocked her back down every time. Dr. David Mech, a wolf researcher from Minnesota, told me that wolves typically attack deer and other prey from the rear in an attempt to immobilize the hind legs. As I watched the struggling doe, I recalled a National Geographic video entitled Wolves: A Legend Returns to Yellowstone that shows wolves attacking and bringing down lots of elk and other big game in this manner.


Whenever the deer attempted to escape her tormentor the wolf would bite her on the face and neck, forcing her back down. The wolf never made any overt attempt to kill her. “Wolves will often pull down deer and other big game and begin feeding on them before they are dead. A wolf’s first concern is his stomach. They do not have feelings like a human and they are not capable of caring if a prey animal suffers,” says Dr. Mech.


The wolf frequently broke off his attack to cautiously check his surroundings. The sound of the deer’s bawling seemed to make him nervous. The area contains a robust bear population and I figured he was afraid the doe’s distress calls would attract one to the scene. Bears have been known to steal wolf kills and even kill wolves on rare occasions.


Several times the wolf left the scene, once for more than an hour. “What you witnessed was rather typical fall wolf behavior. During the fall, deer are in peak physical condition and widespread, making them difficult prey. That’s when wolves will typically hunt for deer alone to cover more ground, although they still share the kill with the pack. The wolf was probably going back to a rendezvous area to look for other members of the pack,” Dr. Mech told me.


During the encounter, I was able to sneak to a position directly across the river. My distance from the wolf was about 100 yards. The camera I used was a sub-compact Canon Powershot G6. This camera has a modest zoom lens, but the 7.1 megapixels camera set on the highest resolution did a fair job of capturing the action. I would have liked to have been able to get closer, but also realize that horning in on a wolf with his kill is not a prudent move.


The wolf finally left and didn’t return, leaving the deer still very much alive. My gut reaction was to put an end to the deer’s suffering. I’m a realist though. By the time I happened upon the attack the deer’s fate had already been sealed. Should the wolf catch my scent around the kill, it might have abandoned the deer for good, which would have been a senseless waste of the resource. Besides, had I interfered, I would have actually been breaking the law. It is illegal to harass a wolf.


At one point I thought the doe had died. She lay in the water without moving for at least 10 minutes. Eventually, when the wolf did not come back through, she picked her head up and looked around. I’m not sure whether she was playing dead or had passed out.


Eventually the deer righted herself and surveyed her wounds. I estimated that the wolf had eaten at least five pounds of flesh along with several pounds of hide and hair. Dr. John Vucetich, a Michigan Tech professor and wolf researcher who has been studying wolves for many years, says “Wolves will often feed on the prime parts first. Those would include the hindquarters and other large muscle groups. Next they go after the internal organs and then the bones. They also typically eat the hide and hair which helps them with their digestion of meat and bone.”


The doe began to drag herself from the icy river water. She was unable to stand. Using her front legs, she inched her way toward the bank. Few people will ever witness the feeding mechanics of wolves. It is a gut wrenching spectacle. “I’ve seen wolves take prey down many times and it still always affects me emotionally every time I see it,” Dr. Vucetich told me. The experience certainly affected me.


As her suffering continued and she struggled toward the bank, I wondered how long it would take for her to succumb to her fate. I shared these photos with Brian Roell, wolf coordinator for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. He was surprised that the deer had not died more quickly from such wounds. “Wolf prey typically dies from shock, which is a loss of blood,” Roell says. From where I sat though, I saw surprisingly little bleeding. It all boils down to luck or chance as to when a wolf happens to bite into a major blood vessel that will cause enough blood loss.


Eventually the deer struggled onto the bank where I watched her for quite some time, wondering if the wolf would return. I’ve witnessed multiple cases of wolves killing more than they can eat, which is referred to as surplus killing by wolf biologists. “Surplus killing is like a short circuit in the wolf and typically occurs when their prey is malnourished and deep snow conditions make them easy targets. Surplus killings rarely happen during the fall,” Dr. Vucetich says.


Eventually I decided to leave. I couldn’t watch any more. When I rose from my hide, the deer spotted me and simply stared. I returned the next morning at daybreak armed with a long-lens camera. The deer was gone. Later I slipped into waders and forged the swift current, but the deer was nowhere to be seen.


A photograph of the tracks that were at the attack site. A wolf biologist that I shared my photos with erroneously identified the predator as a coyote at first glance. The tracks were 3 1/2 inches wide and 4 1/2 inches long. The largest coyote tracks will measure perhaps 2 1/2 inches long. I later recovered the jaw-bone from the doe, which indicated she was at least 2 1/2 years old. In that region, adult does will typically weigh 130 to 150 pounds during the fall. Comparing the size of the deer to the wolf leaves little doubt as to the species of the predator, Canis lupus (Gray Wolf). (OutdoorLife.com)

Thank you.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

One important result of shining a light on the actions of these groups is that members of groups associated with Wilson and Wilkins can see how they operate. Someone inside of one of these groups right now may be facing a tough decision. Knowing more about how they operate could help. There are patterns here that have been borne out over and over. For one thing, these group’s leaders always try to isolate any voice of dissent from within. “Don’t talk to anyone about this. We’re handling it,” Steve Wilkins and his Elders told someone who reported child abuse to them. The man trusted them and said no more. Years later, when the abuser was still a Sunday School teacher in charge of the very children he had been accused of committing sexual impropriety with and more incidents of child abuse involving a member of his family occurred, the Elders attacked the person who brought all the incidents to light. He had questioned their resolve in stopping the abuse and dealing with the perpetrator. “We got him on financial matters and that’s far worse. So he’s been punished,” Wilkins said of the earlier sexual impropriety with youth. They hadn’t pursued the previous sexual allegations, they said, because they didn’t want to “destroy the man.” So financial impropriety is far worse, according to Wilkins, than sexual impropriety. Stealing money from one’s employer (over $1000) is “far worse” than child abuse, therefore being punished for financial impropriety and removed from the office of deacon (but not Sunday School teacher) automatically covers the sin of sexual impropriety with church youth. The church member who had brought the $1000 plus hospital theft to light (payroll fraud) was at first admonished and dismissed by the Elders. He, too, was told not to talk about it with anyone. He continued to press the allegations with the Elders and they came down on him hard. He came back with proof of the theft and they were even more incensed, but they had to admit their deacon’s guilt. Another deacon was involved in the theft as well. Both deacons had lied repeatedly when they were questioned about the theft earlier. The Elders had backed them against their accuser. When their accuser returned with incontrovertible proof of the theft, both deacons were forced to confess. The Elders decided that all who had knowledge participated in the theft equally and therefore were guilty, including the person who brought the allegations. The Elders collected approximately one-third of the estimated amount stolen from the hospital as punishment from each who had knowledge of the theft. The two deacons had to resign from their offices. All were told that they could never talk about the incident with anyone. The congregation was never apprised of anything. The employer whose money was stolen was not told about the theft, either. The accuser, who paid one-third the amount that the Auburn deacon stole, was later excommunicated from the church.

It is ironic that Wilkins would judge that a man who had confessed to felonious theft and had been accused of sexual impropriety with church youth by a communing adult member should step down as deacon, but be allowed to remain as a Sunday school teacher. When asked about this apparent contradiction, Wilkins explained it this way; deacons handle church money and since the man had shown that he could not be trusted with money, he couldn’t be a deacon anymore. The sexual allegations, on the other hand, had not been proven. The Elders didn’t want to pursue the sexual allegations because they got him on the theft, which was “far worse” than sexual impropriety, Wilkins said. “So he’s been punished.” Besides, they didn’t want to “destroy the man,” so they let him continue teaching Sunday school, which he loved, as a consolation. In response to this, Wilkins and his elders were told that a child’s innocence is far more valuable than mere money. Money stolen could easily be repaid; a child’s innocence, once lost, could not be replaced at any price. Their answer was, “Well, he’s not been arrested.” And he never will be. Not with these fine, upstanding elders, including one who is a criminal defense attorney, backing him. One parent who complained about the abuse was told that this had happened to his child because his family was under God’s judgment through their gene pool. That’s right. The very fact that this had happened was evidence that they were all under God’s judgment. God had allowed it because of some unknown sin committed by one of their ancestors. All that happened was pre-ordained by God. Therefore, being upset about it was only going to make matters worse. “You’re doing more harm to your child than anyone else has by continuing to be upset about this,” he said. And since all this was pre-ordained by God, the man was rebelling against God to boot. “You’re saying that Jesus’ work on the cross was not good enough for you,” he was told by one of the de-evangelist elders in Wilkins’ presence. Wilkins affirmed these statements. The Auburn elder and de-evangelist who gave this sage Biblical advice has since moved on to continue plying his trade in one of Monroe’s Episcopal churches.

When the national office of the Presbyterian Church in America was called to report these incidents, the caller was transferred many times. A spokesman finally expressed sympathy and stated that the national office of the PCA had no jurisdiction or responsibility for what occurred in individual churches. The local Child Protective Services Office stated that they had no jurisdiction, either. The children did not have a legal obligation to be at church, therefore the CPS office could not investigate; they cited “separation of church and state” as their reason for not getting involved. However, if the parents went back to the church with their children, they risked being prosecuted for child endangerment, the CPS officer said.

Any thief or abuser of children would probably think that this was a good deal: a payment to the church of roughly one-third the amount stolen covered both sexual impropriety with church youth and the theft of over $1000.00 from the deacon’s employer, a hospital. Throughout the ordeal, the deacon’s accuser repeatedly stated that he was going to the hospital with his evidence of the theft. The elders, including one who is a practicing criminal defense attorney, told him that he could not do that. When he was told that he must pay part of the money stolen by the deacon, he said that he wanted to take the money to the hospital, instead of paying it to the elders. The astute Auburn theologians would not hear of it. They were not about to expose their deacon to the legal consequences of his actions.

The former deacon is one of the elect and truly reformed de-evangelists who have found a good home in the House of the Federal re-Visionists. On the twenty-seventh day of January in the year of our Lord two thousand and eight, this congregation of Saints voted unanimously to leave the denomination of the Presbyterian Church in America. Their good elders had prepared them many years before for this eventuality; the elders told their flock regularly, as far back as the early 90’s, that they should always be prepared to leave quickly with little or no discussion, should the need arise, if they were unsuccessful in changing the Westminster Confession of Faith along with the “sinful and wicked” Presbyterian Church in America. Someone from the PCA might draw up charges “at any time” they had said through the years. They might be forced to leave quickly, if it looked like they could take over the church and remove its leaders, they said. When one extremely wealthy member in the early 90’s asked the obvious question that no one else dared ask, “If the PCA is so bad, why don’t we just leave now? Why wait?” he was told we had to stay and “be faithful” to the PCA, even though the PCA was not faithful. We had a “covenant obligation” to stay and “help” the PCA by reforming it. Even if we did leave, eventually, we’d be far more effective in spreading the Truth and informing others, the longer we stayed. We would take others with us and start our own denomination if we were unsuccessful in reforming the PCA. How many came with us would depend on how successful we were at spreading our special and exclusive Truth. To this, the questioner replied, “Well, hearing about how bad our denomination is all the time is not what I come to Sunday school for.” If he was weary then, one can only imagine how tired he is by now. When the elders finally walked into church that Sunday late last January and pulled the trigger, they were, amazingly, still PCA members in good standing, despite all of their years of blatantly and openly working to change the basic doctrines of the wicked Presbyterian Church in America. They could not have lasted all this time without plenty of help. There were people within their Presbytery who spoke out against them. Wilkins and his henchmen in the Louisiana Presbytery moved to quickly silence any voice that was raised against them through these years. During one session of the Louisiana Presbytery, Wilkins and his attorney/elder rushed a speaker and physically wrestled the microphone from him. They did not want him to speak the truth. The speaker had been granted the floor. The moderator of these proceedings watched silently as the two brilliant Auburn theologians rushed to wrestle the microphone from the much older minister. The Auburn Presbyters knew the truth and they could not allow it to be spoken. Objecting or merely bending the rules to stop him would have taken too long. The volatile truth he knew and could prove would have already been stated. So they did the only thing they could do; they physically attacked the speaker and took the microphone away from him. The moderator supported their actions. He knew better than to open his mouth, even if he’d wanted to. Wilkins and his thugs made examples out of anyone who dared stand up to them. The tome, “Robert’s Rules of Order” was supposed to apply to these proceedings. “Robert’s Rules of Order” fares no better than the Bible with their jaundiced exegesis. Robert’s rules were treated no better than God’s rules: they were superseded by the overruling federal vision of Wilkins and his thugs in the Louisiana Presbytery.

Wilkins ruled...with a bent and twisted rod of iron.

Mark T. said...

Anon,

Thanks for the comment.

The cover-up pattern you describe — including harassment of those who bring forth evidence — is identical to the pattern coming out of the Kult. I could cite a number of historical instances where they punished the righteous to protect the wicked and where they blamed the righteous to vindicate the wicked. So on this hand I believe every word you wrote. Moreover, I have several witnesses in Moscow who heard Wilson say in the past, “Wilkins is waiting to leave the PCA so he can make a statement, he has the whole presbytery behind him and they want to bolt at the same time to get the PCA’s attention,” which certainly corroborates your testimony. (On a side note, I believe Wilkins called Wilson last November/December to say that he lost his presbytery and that it was him v. PCA; that’s when Wilson threw an olive branch at the PCA.)

On the other hand, child abuse and “sexual impropriety” are very serious, and while I don’t doubt your testimony, I wonder what evidence you have to substantiate this statement.

Incredulous said...

Anonymous, I have a question: If you believe a man in your church has sexually harmed your child, why in the world are you groveling before the elders? You have to deal with this fellow yourself, if you know what I mean. Perhaps you call the police, perhaps you don't. But you definitely deal with the man if you know what he has done to your child. You aren't talking about petty, "fixable" transgressions. Your failure to come to your child's defense is what I take from your post, nevermind anybody else's failure to act on the matter. If this unresolved matter sticks in your craw, and it should, I say grab your car keys and go see the fellow, but don't blame other men for failing to defend your child when you have also failed. I have been there, I have tracked down scum that came after my own. I could do nothing less. Honestly, I can't believe a father could just pass something so weighty on to other men. Unbelievable!

Mark T. said...

Incredulous,

Methinks you misread his comment. He did not say they abused his child; he wrote of another child’s abuse that took place in the church.

Incredulous said...

Mark T - I bet you a (virtual internet) dollar that Anonymous is writing about his own family's experience, and I bet that he won't admit it either. Here is my mini-rant on elders shepherding and disciplining the flock. Husbands, wives, fathers, mothers...adults with responsibilities to spouses and children, potentially make very big mistakes when they lay weighty, "disciplinary" matters at the elders' feet, because church discipline is very difficult to do correctly AND uniformly. Many/most men are ill-equipped for that part of the job of being an elder, and alliances and agendas tend to get in the way when laying down the law, hence spotty/selective discipline. When church discipline is done poorlY (often times even when they are TRYING to act faithfully) elders tend to make a bad situation amazingly worse that it already was. Throw in some malice, or just plain carelessness on the part of one or more elders, and "Katie bar the door", cause things are gonna get really ugly, really fast. So, for all you good Reformed Moms and Dads out there, subject to Presbyterian form of oversight, my advice would be: a) KNOW AND BE KNOWN BY your elders (if they aren't willing to really know you in the good times, don't expect your interaction with them in the bad times to go very well) and b) even if your elders are St. Peter et al, if somebody is messing with your KIDS, the elders are no better than #3 on your list of people to see IMMEDIATELY. And unless the predator is in the church, they shouldn't be on your list at all.

Mark T. said...

Interesting: I gotta run, I’ll comment later.

Anonymous said...

Incredulous,

I agree that most elders don't have the ability to wiegh (sp) matters such as child molestation. I would also agree that crimes such as these are better dealt with by taking them to the local authorities. But in the case of "Anonymous" I can see how something like this would happen. I wasn't specifically taught this but the unspoken rule was to follow the example in Matt:18(?) in reagards to all matters concerning fellow believers. I'm not current on FV doctrine anymore but I do believe that this is what is taught in most FV churches today. Once you get caught up in the justification by faithfull obedience stuff like this will happen. Not as judgement by God but as one who would take his eyes off the Cross of Christs and become more fearfull of man than God.

It's a rather flimsy excuse but I can empathize with anonymous....I've seen stuff like this happen before.

Jonathan

Mark T. said...

Brothers,

I cannot say one way or the other of whom Anon wrote. You may be correct. If that’s the case, my heart breaks for him. The only thing worse than child abuse is when idiots in the church protect offenders, and I can envision a scenario at Auburn where Wilkins abused someone’s trust to run cover for a criminal. I can envision a scenario at Auburn where the elders pitched themselves as authorities on family matters, just as Wilson does, when they’re very ordinary con men — hucksters preserving their income. And the lesson everyone should take from this is that the clowns imposing the FV on the Church care only about themselves because, in the end, the FV is merely a consolidation of ecclesiastical power in the hands of a few select men — it’s priest craft gone mad. If someone touches your child, they should be looking at a bear robbed of her cubs. If someone in authority abuses their trust to aggravate the crime, they should be hung from the highest yardarm, after they’ve been drawn, quartered, and publicly humiliated. And if someone gets burned by these wolves in sheep’s clothing, then my heart breaks for them and I hope it never happens again.

When your children are at stake, guard them with your lives.

Anonymous said...

Something that seems apparent from evidence that has been presented here is that FV (or maybe it is just CC) leaders do not seem particularly concerned to protect the smallest and most defenseless people among them; they are more concerned to protect the hierarchy. Perhaps it's another aspect of the apparent FV impulse for union with Rome.

Mark T. said...

Excellent point.

Anonymous said...

I stated at the outset my purpose in writing this. It is important to shine a light on the actions of those operating within these type groups in order to help those who have or will encounter abuse within these type churches. I believe that more of this will happen for several reasons, one being; it is the nature of the Beast.

I was going to follow up and say that anyone within one of these groups who encounters these problems should learn one thing from my post; don’t go to the elders, but you’ve already said that far better than I could. What seems obvious to you is heresy to those inside these groups. There are certain passages in the Bible that, when overemphasized, can lead to a very skewed theology. Members in some of these groups are brought up on a steady diet of instruction from passages like 1 Corinthians 6:1--7. “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?” (1 Cor. 6:1) This passage was used frequently to sound the alarm to the group if any mention of outside authorities was made. It was a signal to circle the wagons and invoke the doctrine of Rahab’s Lie. Any who dared go outside the group for justice would be facing an impassable barricade of silence and misinformation. Call it what you will, groupthink or hyper-covenantalism, the end effect of all this theology is a despicable mental dependence that, in many cases, supersedes one of the most basic instincts: protecting one’s young.

During one particularly poignant Sunday school lesson series, we discussed killing children. Our teacher talked of strangling children “when a pea vine would do the job.” The Biblical right of a parent to terminate their child’s life was discussed. According to the teacher, this could be done at the time of birth if the child did not meet with the parents’ expectations—hence the pea vine analogy—or it could be done if the parent lived to be 95 and the child became unruly at age 75; this right never expired. The teacher cited his own upbringing as proof of this doctrine’s usefulness in child rearing: his grandmother and parents had frequently admonished him when he misbehaved with the threat, “I should have strangled you when a pea vine would do the job.” He attributed his own considerable success in life to this early reproof. At one point during this series, the Biblical account of Abraham preparing to kill Isaac was acted out. In this visual interpretation, Abraham was represented with a large grin as the teacher plunged the imaginary knife downward. This was repeated several times throughout the lesson to highlight our teacher’s main point: Abraham rejoiced when he did this because he knew he was doing God’s will and he would be blessed; Isaac would be resurrected because God had already made a promise of many descendents to Abraham. The speaker’s main point was clear: killing children was a parent’s right and, in some cases, an obligation. For my part, I could not see much difference between this and practicing abortion. Instead of killing a child at the time of birth, you were advocating getting to know him first. You might celebrate a few birthdays and then, if he did not meet with your expectations, end his life. This was not the case at all, they said; one big difference, it was explained, was the child was not terminated indiscriminately, as in the case of abortion. He was killed for cause and it was his parents’ Biblical right to do this—not some doctor’s. The teacher interspersed his lesson with the statement, “The liberal media thinks we’re wackos for believing this, but it’s in the Bible.”


The wolf analogy is very accurate; that’s why it was used in the Bible. Mark T’s graphic depictions underscore the savagery of this predation. One particular point to remember in the video of the wolves attacking the herd is the reaction of the herd. Even though the wolves are far outnumbered by the herd, members of the herd do not turn and help at all when one of their number is isolated and attacked; they don’t even help their own young. The parents do not give their lives to save their young. The bond that cements them to the running herd is greater than the tie that binds them to their young. As numerous as they are, the herd could, collectively, overcome the wolves, but it is not their nature. As a group, they turn their backs on the members of their own herd—even their own offspring. For all their talk of the importance of the covenant, this holds true, to some extent, in churches when they are confronted with a predator operating within the church. Over and over again in many different denominations, you will see them denying the facts and blaming the person making the accusation for what they know has happened. Not only will they not help, they will participate in covering up what has occurred by being led into attacking any one making an accusation. A person encountering this should expect to receive no quarter during this attack. It is every bit as savage as the pictures in the post “Canis lupus 2.” And it comes from members of your own group. Expect anything you say or have said to the elders to be twisted and used against you. Any thing that you have stated through the years in either the oversight meetings required as a condition of membership or in private counsel with religious leaders will be dusted off and used as ammunition against you. No conversation is sacred or privileged during this attack. If you have hired an attorney within the church, expect everything you have told him in confidence to be used against you during this savagery. One writer stated that a person encountering abuse should not immediately go to the church elders. He said that they should be number three on your list to call, at best. I would say that they should not be even that high on the list. My advice is that if you are hearing this theology at church, don’t wait. Gather your children and get out of there. If something has already happened, you should not expect much help from the authorities either, particularly after the group has organized and rallied to protect the perpetrators. Telling the church leaders early on will only serve to allow them to get everyone on the same page and muddy the waters for any investigation that might ensue. There are multiple and sometimes conflicting rights when a person enters a church. There are the rights the individual holds as a member of a religious group. With this privilege you effectively give up some individual rights. The rights of the group, in many cases, supersede the rights of the individuals who comprise the group. Most people will never realize this unless they or one of their loved ones is harmed in a church. The rights of religious groups are enshrined in our Constitution. Churches frequently work to influence our government and impugn the doctrine of separation of church and state. Ironically, it is exactly the doctrine of separation of church and state that is used by authorities to justify not taking action in many of these cases of abuse within churches. Faced with one family or one person pitted against a well organized and well funded church, many law enforcement agencies are easily coerced into backing off. The Catholic Church has been well aware of this for many generations. Only now is this beginning to change, partially because some of the victims have gone to the media with the long histories of abuse. Churches with widely varying theology will band together if they believe their collective rights are being infringed upon. They are vigilant in guarding against any erosion of their extensive rights. That’s why you see people like Jerry Falwell filing “Friend of the Court” briefs for the likes of the Reverend Sun Moon.

The end result of this is that you effectively have less individual rights when you enter a church building than at any other time in your life, unless you are incarcerated. In the case of some churches, you might even have more rights then. Predators of all stripes know this. That’s why they flock to churches to ply their trade. That’s why you have so much abuse of children in all denominations. A predator would have to be stupid to practice his craft anywhere else. They are vile and wicked, but most of them are anything but stupid. And, like the wolves in this blog’s pictures and videos, they work together and share information about their hunting grounds. Where else, besides one of these churches, will a predator have a hierarchy of fine people standing behind him helping cover his actions? If he is caught in most places, he is on his own. If he is caught in a particular type church, the group’s leaders have a vested interest in keeping his actions covered; they will help him escape the consequences of his actions. In these places, it is a time-honored tradition for the church hierarchy to marshal their considerable wealth and legal resources, to come to a predator’s aid.

Incredulous, I read about your internet wager of a virtual dollar. You might take a little time to consider over what your wager is waged. If you’re going to gamble about your speculations, you might as well cast lots. The results would be more relevant.

I’ll leave you to your gambling, if you are so inclined.

God bless your virtual soul.

“...But Hell, sleek Hell, hath no freewheeling part:”

From “Cross Ties Selected Poems” University of Georgia Press, copyright 1985 by X.J. Kennedy

Mark T. said...

Anon,

Thank you very much for your thoughtful response. You hit on subjects that I know are true and that I planned never to address because I don’t believe most people would believe it. But as I’ve said before, I believe every word you write.

Re wolf-pack attacks against herds, I have a video queued up that shows wolves attacking a herd of bison and in the dust up a calf falls prey to the pack. Wonderfully, the story does not end there because when the mother saw she lost her calf, she and a few other adults turned around from the stampede and saved their young one. It’s a beautiful example of a healthy flock, or body, if you will.

Sadly, however, the wolves’ persistence paid off, for the video shows them taking down a sickly elderly buffalo. Watching its death is positively haunting. They eat it alive.