A Cry For Justice

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

Response to my detractors and apology to ACFJ followers I’ve hurt

I have realized that I took on too much. I was trying to maintain a safety protocol at A Cry For Justice, particularly in regards to comment moderation, that isn’t possible for one person to maintain. Something had to go. In my case, what went was comforting words to people who were feeling bruised. I know that I didn’t always provide comforting words to victims.

I’ve realized that I’ve sometimes come across as blunt, sharp, abrupt, curt, terse, brusque, discourteous, impolite and unmannerly. If I have hurt you by my manner, I am very sorry. I ask you to forgive me.

I have also learned that there are times I have to unsay or remove what I’ve said, just to make the person comfortable, even if the reason they are upset is because of a misunderstanding.

I was always the team member who was most dedicated to carefully editing the tricky comments to protect the commenter’s safety.

I have a slew of unanswered emails from victims in my inbox. If you have asked me a question by email and I haven’t answered you, I ask your forgiveness. You might find answers to your questions if you scour the A Cry For Justice website, cryingoutforjustice.com

Each of us has our own way of speaking and learning. I know my way of speaking has offended some people and I am sorry. My character defects are some of it for sure, and I’m working on that with the help of others.

I also think some of the offense has arisen because of cultural differences. Up until now, all the other team members at A Cry For Justice have been Americans, and a large proportion of the readers are Americans. Aussies have a different manner from Americans, and the meanings of words and phrases can be different too. Many times I’ve been astounded when I’ve been told how a word or a particular turn of speech is understood by Americans. Cultural differences like that can easily give rise to misunderstandings. And if none of the parties realize there has been a misunderstanding, offense can easily be taken. This works both ways. People from other English-speaking countries have probably been offended by things I’ve said that would not be offensive to an Aussie; and I’ve probably felt offense at things people from other countries have said, not realizing that their way of speaking is the norm within their culture.

I am learning how to mitigate such misunderstandings. I’m open to your tips about the cultural differences, but please don’t write them on the A Cry For Justice facebook page or use the Messenger platform. Please give me your tips by submitting a comment at the A Cry For Justice website.

I’d like to review the history, goals and policies of the A Cry For Justice website.

The website began in 2012. Jeff Crippen had no previous experience with blogging but Anna Wood, a domestic abuse victim he had been interacting with, had a bit of experience in blogging and she urged him to start a blog, so together they set up the A Cry For Justice website.

Some months prior to that, Jeff had emailed me requesting permission to quote some of my book in his forthcoming book A Cry For Justice. I asked Jeff to send me a sample chapter of his book…I read it and gave him some feedback. He then took up my offer to read his whole manuscript and give him feedback. He told me later that he’d incorporated most of my suggestions into the final manuscript. I was very happy to have helped him. I didn’t want recognition; I was just glad to be able to help victims of abuse.

I think I followed the A Cry For Justice website from almost when it began. I commented there, and I sent emails to Jeff and Anna praising their work and offering suggestions for how the blog could be made even better. I was reluctant to muscle in – it was their blog not mine – but eventually I emailed them to say that I was feeling that I could help with running the blog. They each said they had been feeling like inviting me onto the team. So they mutually agreed to take me on as a co-administrator.

Shortly after that, Anna, of her own free will, resigned. Her only explanation was that the blog was not going in the direction she had thought it would. From then on Jeff and I were co-leaders of the blog until Jeff resigned in Sept 2017.

Some months after Anna resigned, I flew to the USA to visit with Jeff.  We jointly decided on the wording for the mission statement of A Cry For Justice:– Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst. 

While Jeff and I worked together at the A Cry For Justice website, we unapologetically talked about the dark entangled things to do with abuse. Many followers of A Cry For Justice shared detailed stories of having being abused. And we published many testimonies of abuse. But we never glorified the evil things that abusers do.

In moderating comments on the A Cry For Justice blog to prioritize the safety and well-being of victims, I have to think about many factors.

  1. the risk of hurting a victim’s feelings
  2. the risk being a victim being triggered by something that someone else has said 
  3. the risk of a victim being re-abused
  4. the risk of victims being told what they should do, think or feel
  5. the risk of a victim hearing something someone else has said as a harsh instruction (an Order)
  6. the risk of an abuser identifying their target victim, if the abuser read what the victim had written
  7. the risk of spreading false doctrine or misinformation that would lead people astray or confuse them
  8. and last but not least, the importance of teaching good doctrine which exposes and disentangles all the false doctrines that are contributing to keeping victims in bondage.

In doing this complex moderation, I have often faced a moral dilemma. I have to weigh the safety and well-being of my overall audience against the feelings of an individual person who has been abused. 

When I know that someone is a victim of abuse, I don’t want to hurt their feelings or trigger them by saying something that reminds them of how their abuser talked to them.

But if that person has espoused ideas that are not biblically sound; or if they’ve “sermonized” at other victims by telling them how to feel, think or behave; or if they’ve written a really long comment that would be hard for other deeply traumatized victims to read in its raw form; I have sometimes advised them how to phrase and format their comments to make the A Cry For Justice site function well as a communal support group. That’s how I’ve tried to make ACFJ a safe place for all our readers.

But the irony is, because I had taken on too much, I sometimes came across as curt in my replies to commenters. I’ve done my best to teach and model how to write and respond to comments. But my efforts have been far from perfect.

When Jeff and I were co-leading the A Cry For Justice site and TWBTC was assisting, we mutually agreed on a protocol for moderating comments. Jeff was very okay with us banning and blocking commenters where necessary.

It’s also important to note that the facebook platform is even more difficult to manage than the blog. Facebook does not give us many options to guard our readers’ safety and well-being. When people comment at our facebook page, we have only three options:

  • we can let a comment stand, which means everyone can read it
  • or we can hide the comment, which means only the commenter & their friends can read it
  • or we can ban the commenter from our facebook page.

What is more, facebook is set up and configured to give people the impression they have the right to ‘free speech’ and they can easily disregard the responses other people make to their speech. That’s the way facebook is constructed. Facebook is reaping all our data and making money from advertisers, while giving each of us the feeling that we have a giant megaphone to blast out our thoughts and feelings, and we can easily stop our ears when we don’t want to hear what people are saying back to us.

The time differences around the world also affect communal discussion. Americans can light a bushfire and I will only see it when I wake up hours later. By that time the bushfire has spread and it’s hard to bring reasonableness to the discussion because it’s got so heated…and when I try, some people perceive me as dictatorial for trying to calm things down.

Facebook has catered to our self-centerdness. Our biases. Our prejudices. And now, almost everybody is seeing facebook as THE way to communicate. Very few people are willing to engage in deep conversation or thinking which might challenge them or make them feel uncomfortable.

While Jeff and I were co-leaders, a lady messaged us saying she was setting up a closed group on facebook to discuss domestic abuse, and she asked our advice about how to do this. Jeff replied to her saying:

I have not had any experience with closed groups on facebook. One thing for sure though, you need to moderate comments if you allow readers to comment and don’t publish the nasty ones. We find it best to keep dagger throwers from even being allowed to comment and if necessary we block and ban them.

While he co-led A Cry For Justice with me, Jeff Crippen told me more than once that he wanted us to drop the facebook page, but I was reluctant to drop facebook because it helps abuse victims find the blog.

Is it “power hungry & controlling” to hide or block comments?

Let us picture someone called Jesse. I’ve chosen that name because it can be male or female. Jesse is a Christian who has a presence on the web: Jesse writes a blog, has a facebook identity and a twitter identity.

Now; what if Jesse tells you who to listen to and who not to listen to. Or Jesse does not publish your comment at his website. Or Jesse hides the comment you made at her facebook page. Or Jesse bans you from his facebook page. If Jesse does any of those things, can we conclude that Jesse is a power-hungry person who wants to control you? 

Not necessarily.

What could be the REASON why Jesse is not letting some people spread their views at his social media platforms? Could Jesse have some good reasons for not letting everyone express their views on her website or facebook page?

If there are no conceivable good reasons for Jesse behaving that way, then Jesse is just a selfish controller and power-monger.

But if Jesse has good reasons for curating what readers see at his or her social media and website, then Jesse isn’t trying to hold power in an ungodly way. Rather, Jesse is trying to take care of the overall well-being and safety of all the people who are benefiting from Jesse’s work. 

This is where you and I need to exercise discernment. We can assess Jesse’s track record. Has Jesse stood up for victims of abuse? Has Jesse toed some party line in the Christian world, and avoided telling the whole truth in order to stay in favor with important people? Has Jesse done a lot of hard work, often without much kudos or reward, to help victims of abuse and oppression? Perhaps Jesse mouths good rhetoric; but how much has Jesse self-sacrificially done to protect the safety and well-being of real life abuse victims who are being crushed at the coal face?

At the facebook page of A Cry For Justice, many critical comments were made about me. I only censored a few of those comments.

I actually hid one comment which supported what I was saying – I hid it because the commenter had also recommended a book which I know would lead our readers into wrong theology (contemplative Christianity). I banned one commenter who kept on arguing against the inspiration of Scripture: he accused me of being legalistic, but I don’t think it is legalistic to uphold the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture. I hid another comment that was extremely snarky to me, and when that commenter wrote another comment which made untruthful claims about my actual conduct, I banned her from the page.

However, I did not hide or block the vast majority of the comments that were angry at what I had said about Billy Graham, or were claiming that I was being ‘legalistic’ to uphold the truths of the gospel. I let most of my critics have their ‘free speech’ on our facebook page. And I replied to their comments reasonably –  my aim was always to encourage my critics to reconsider and be more open minded to the possibility that I had not gone off the rails.

But the vast majority of the people who deprecated me at facebook did not respond reasonably and courteously to my comments. They just ignored me, or criticized me even more. They had formed a fixed opinion of me and were determined to maintain it.

Are you starting to see how facebook has conditioned and colored the way we all interact? Do you grasp how hard it is to have reasoned and respectful interaction, when almost everyone just defaults to facebook as THE place to interact and comment and discuss things?

At the A Cry For Justice blog post about Billy Graham and other ‘untouchables’ in the Christian world, Rachel Miller submitted a highly critical comment about me. Rachel has a blog of her own, but she didn’t use her own blog to state her concerns about me. When she saw that I hadn’t published her comment at the blog, she posted it at the ACFJ facebook page…and two days later she allowed Jeff Crippen to publish her critical opinion of me at his new blog.

Jeff and other people have dismissed me because they think I’ve been sucked in by what Jeff calls “the crazy conspiracy/ Satanic ritual abuse business”. (Jeff said that here.) But they have not given a lot of reasoned arguments for why they think I’ve lost the plot. In my view, they have not done enough research and they are making assumptions about the testimonies of victims.

My detractors have not had the life experience that I’ve had. That doesn’t make me ‘better’. It just makes me different from them.

I invite you to compare how much I’ve allowed free speech at ACFJ, with how much Jeff Crippen has allowed free speech at his blogs and his personal social media accounts.

I’m not the only one who is censoring comments. Jeff is censoring some comments that are submitted to his blogs. Several people including myself have submitted comments to his blog Unholy Charade that he hasn’t published. Jeff is curating what people see at his blogs. Many bloggers do this: it is a mistake to think that I’m the only blogger who curates what people see at their blog. 

Furthermore, Jeff is not running a public facebook page in conjunction with his blogs. So he’s not opening himself up to the “free for all” on a public facebook page where people can make knee-jerk, drive-by digs at anyone they want to criticize.

Jeff Crippen asked me not to cite his blog posts as support in articles that I write or statements that I make

I have decided that it is not appropriate for me comply with Jeff’s request. Any author is free to quote or cite another author, so long as they attribute the quote correctly. I agree with what Jeff wrote at the A Cry For Justice blog, and those things continue to be helpful to victims. If I think something Jeff has written is relevant or pertinent to what I am wanting to say, I will cite it if I think it will help my readers.

Three other people (Megan Cox, Valerie Hobbs and Rachel Miller) asked me to remove their posts from the A Cry For Justice blog. I initially told them I would, but I have now informed them that I will be leaving up all their posts at the ACFJ blog.

One of the ACFJ readers has said she hopes that all the material by Jeff Crippen and Megan is left intact at A Cry For Justice. She wrote that publicly without any prompting from me, and several other readers have agreed with her. She pointed out that to delete that information at ACFJ would dry up a wealth of helpful resources: it’s like Jeff is trying to erase history and is assuming that our readers blindly believe what anyone tells them and don’t have discernment.

If I removed a post, that would remove all the comments at the post too. I will not undermine any of the content of A Cry For Justice when I deem it to be in accordance with the truth of scripture and helpful for understanding and wisely responding to abuse.

I still concur with the material by Jeff, Megan, Valerie and Rachel that is published A Cry For Justice. So I will not be removing it. But of course, if any of those people longer agree with something they wrote in the past, they are free to say so at their own blogs.

I don’t know how long I will continue to run the A Cry For Justice website, but at the moment I’m wanting to continue this voluntary ministry. I may find at some point that I don’t feel capable of managing the workload even though I have new assistants. If I ever contemplate giving up the online ministry of ACFJ, I’ll try to provide plenty of advance notice.

To sum up

I believe that evildoers have infiltrated, corrupted and gained widespread control of churches, organizations and major social institutions.

In my observation, there are very few professing Christians who are aware of the extent of the corruption and are standing up and speaking out against it. And evildoers are constantly throwing distractions, disinformation, stumbling blocks and obstacles in the path so that Christ’s people will be thrown off track…and will attack each other…become disabled…or die.

One our readers has noted that

Sex trafficking of women and children would not occur if there weren’t money in it. Who’s paying for it? Is it not evil people who pretend to be good? Do you think there’s no Satan worship? Is it really so inconceivable wicked people would participate in ritual abuse?

The evildoers don’t want Christians around, hindering their agenda. Psalm 2 talks about how the kings of the earth enjoin to conspire against God and his Anointed. As I read the following passage from Psalm 2, think about the “kings of the earth” as political leaders, religious leaders, and powerful people in the health system, the legal system, mass-media and entertainment.

Why do the heathen so furiously rage together
and why do the people imagine a vain thing?
The kings of the earth stand up,
and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against his Anointed.
Let us break their bonds asunder: and cast away their cords from us.
(Psalm 2:1-3)

And the Gospel of John talks about this as well—

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 

Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
(John 3:19-21)

If you know the Lord Jesus Christ, you can take comfort in the Bible’s assurance that God wins in the end.

God will take vengeance against the ungodly. His Word is true and trustworthy. He has promised that every soul whose name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be saved (Rev 13:8; 21:27).

The Lamb is Jesus. Jesus is fully God and fully man, fully divine and fully human, the only human without sin. He is the light of the world, the door, the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). He is the good shepherd. He knows every one of his sheep and calls them by name. And He goes to great lengths to rescue every one of his sheep from the briers. Jesus said:

my sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me, and I give to them eternal life. And they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.  My Father who gave them to me is greater than all, and no one is able to take them out of my Father’s hand.  And I and my Father are one. (John 10:27-30, NMB)

Oct 22, 2018, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison apologized to victims of institutional child sexual abuse. He said the words “ritual sexual abuse” at 5:55 in his speech. To listen to his speech go to https://www.sbs.com.au/news/full-speech-scott-morrison-s-national-apology-to-child-sex-abuse-victims

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Footnotes

48 Comments

  1. Thank you for this, Barbara. Though you and I have disagreed about tone and about how to interact with fellow advocates, I fully agree with you about the problem of extreme abuse as you’ve defined it here and as I’ve made reference to here and there (often obliquely) on my own blog. I’ve personally seen that those who are in domestically abusive relationships also often carry trauma from childhood, and sometimes it’s extreme trauma as you’ve described here.

    The survivors of extreme abuse that I’ve had the privilege of getting to know personally are truly heroes in their desire and determination to survive and overcome. Some of them choose to speak as well, and it is always at great cost, because it puts their lives in further danger, and sadly, because they are so little believed and so mocked, even by Christians. It pains me greatly that even Christians, who ought to be aware of extreme evil, will publicly use the “tin foil hat” accusation against survivors of extreme abuse.

    As you’ve implied about yourself, I also haven’t drawn conclusions about all of the different theories and statements regarding conspiracies, some of which seem outlandish to me and some of which I don’t understand at all. But those I quietly simply put to the side in my mind, because what I’m dealing with personally with the people I interact with on a weekly or even daily basis is enough to convince me that extreme abuse as you define it here is going on all around us all the time.

    I’ve also felt a great internal urging to address this problem that so few in the church understand. I believe that some of the most “troublesome” people in the church may be survivors of extreme abuse, with all the trauma-created results that go with it. Instead of mockery, it’s imperative that we address them with compassion.

    • Seeing Clearly

      Rebecca, thank you for speaking truth out loud regarding dark, hidden, but very real issues.

      In many, many instances where humans realize that they have unknowingly aligned themselves with an abusive marriage partner, it is following a pattern from severe abuse as a child.

      As women share experiences of their private lives with me, the silent compassionate question forms in my mind, “what happened to you in childhood?”.

      • Yes, I’m glad you see it too, Seeing Clearly. Until Christians acknowledge that sex trafficking and child pornography (Siamese twins) happen not just on the other side of the world but right here under our noses, and until they’re willing to investigate how it is that it can be hidden in plain sight, they won’t have the open arms they so desperately need to embrace the most needy in our churches.

      • anonymous

        And it’s known that much of the child sex trafficking and child pornography is coming from the very parents, incestuous dads/stepdads/mother’s boyfriends, and what happens when those child victims become 18? They get to ‘consent’ to the family’s – legal – pornography production. Nowadays, with the internet, and online porn exploding the industry, it isn’t so concentrated, but it used to be, with the old VHS era, that such was like a pipeline for porn. And it was a family operation with the next generation abused and victimized into being the next generation of pornography producers. In the VHS era, much of the ‘grooming’ for women in adult pornography came from incestuous families, from children being prostituted out and raped and abused, and it was like a factory operation. Many adult women in porn today are yesterday’s child victims. I still think it holds true even though nowadays the victim pool has widened and been rapidly expanded due to the internet and the increasingly pornified society we have today.

        People think this all happens ‘accidentally’ or ‘coincidentally’? Nonsense. The evildoers are very strategic and cognizant of the deleterious effects and they count on such. Ruin (and that doesn’t imply ‘damaged goods’, but rather it is about violation and the harms of abuse, rape, and sexual abuse) another batch of girls in their childhood, and you have tomorrow’s sex slaves (be it prostituted out women, ‘porn stars’ or otherwise trafficked women).

      • I agree, but I’d like to add that females are not the only victims. The evildoers victimize males too. The woman I knew 25 years ago – her primary abuser was her adoptive mother.

    • Thanks Rebecca. Yes, I know that you and I have in the past disagreed about tone and how to address fellow advocates. Maybe in the future you and I may not disagree so much on that… I’m not sure, but it’s possible that my tone may change somewhat now that all this stuff has happened since September 2018.

      I appreciate your support of abuse victims including those who have suffered extreme abuse.

      • I’m heartened by this encouragement, Barbara. I also appreciate your support of victims and survivors of all forms of abuse, and I also appreciate the support Jeff has given to victims and survivors of abuse through the years. I pray that the rifts in the advocate community can be mended.

  2. Seeing Clearly

    When I found an ACFJ post in my email this morning, I felt a sense of relief and love. For me, it meant that you had arrived at a place in this painful journey to speak out loud. You have been concise in matters that are very complex.

    I continue to embrace the extremely important ministry of ACFJ.

    Thank you, Barbara.

    • Finding Answers

      ^That, re-iterated many times.

      And you, Seeing Clearly, and your comments to me and to others, have helped along with my healing.

      The same to ALL on the ACFJ blog, past and present, posters and commenters, the many in the silent audience.

      I have been well and truly blessed, alive despite the battle. Without ACFJ, I would not be here.

      Thanks and glory to God.

      • Seeing Clearly

        Finding Answers, I am so proud of you for your choice of an ongoing, relentless, and often painful pursuit of truth in your life. (hugs)

  3. Anon

    Barbara, you speak to a very narrow audience of Spiritual Christians who have been abused. Carnal Christians are unable to discern the spiritual truth of Ephesians 6:12, hence, they see you (us) as “crazy.” Plus, how many of us have actually experienced someone causing us harm, on purpose, pre-meditated, with intention to hurt, repeatedly? This is abuse. This is evil. Keep speaking the Truth, Barbara. The Church needs to wake up!

    • Welcome to the blog, Anon 🙂

      I’m not sure what you mean by the term ‘carnal Christians’ — that term has been used in many ways. But I think I get your drift.

      Some people ( thought not you, I think) have used the term ‘carnal Christian’ to pretty much excuse abusers who profess to be Christians. Typically, the line goes like this: “Your spouse is a Christian because he or she has been baptised and goes regularly to church. Your spouse’s ill treatment of you is because he or she is a carnal Christian. So you must just be long-suffering and tolerate the ill-treatment…”

      Jeff Crippen wrote a four part series titled The “Christian” Abuser: Couldn’t He be a “Carnal” Christian?
      Here is a link to Part 1 of that series and from there you can find the other parts.

  4. KH

    I’m glad you have addressed this, Barb. I saw the bandwagon going but didn’t feel certain it was right, though I was concerned with some issues I saw.

    I believe ritual abuse happens. MK-ultra documents make that clear. I also think conspiracy theories are sometimes true, and sometimes untrue. I’ve seen too much to discount anything because it sounds extreme. At the same time, I don’t automatically accept every account, especially if there are political motivations at play that mean caution is needed – but not dismissal without investigation. (Pizzagate, etc).

    I think part of what has happened here is that as the reach and influence of this blog grew, the merging of roles that was happening early on became untenable. In the professional helping community, we often distinguish between the caring/helping/support role and the advocate role, because the two roles clash often. Advocates primary responsibility is to the overall community; helpers primary responsibility is the care of individual survivors.

    As a helper (professional counselor here), my primary responsibility is to creating safety for individual survivors to process trauma. It is not helpful to that work to challenge someone’s beliefs outside the context of our work (politics, for example). But for an advocate, speaking out about injustice in the community IS of primary importance. To stay silent would be to abandon the role of truth-teller.

    So I see one major issue on ACFJ as being one of Barb trying to carry two roles – support and advocacy – that too often directly conflict. While she has had some success at stretching herself (at a cost, I am sure) to try to fill both roles, the roles are necessarily somewhat conflicting. It’s a dilemma most advocates face that their advocacy leads people to come to them for care – when the qualities and mission that make a good advocate can conflict with a support role.

    I feel like it is impossible to dissect everything that’s happened between the personalities here, so I look at how each party is handling conflict. I think Jeff was wrong to dismiss ritual abuse survivors as crazy.

    I also think that mixing ACFJ’s mission against domestic abuse with mission against other types of abuse or theological wrongness creates confusion, because most survivors are not in a place to also research and become experts on other forms of abuse, so I think separation is important.

    But calling for promoting messages within distinct forums is different than calling someone crazy, or trying to restrict someone’s speech within separate forums. I’m always suspicious when that happens. I’m glad Barb has acknowledged that she should have handled things differently versus switching messaging abruptly without explanation. I think setting up a separate blog or handle to address some of her non-domestic abuse concerns could be helpful.

    • I concur that even though domestic abuse and “extreme abuse” can be very much related (for example, a man who wants to traffic children might marry a vulnerable, pre-traumatized, and even dissociative woman to give him lots of children to traffic, and then he could cause chaos and fear in the home to cover what he’s doing), still when educating the public it seems better to keep the information about the two kinds of abuse in separate places. When survivors of abuse go to research to try to understand their abuse, they usually will focus on one type, and could be overwhelmed by the whole gamut at once.

      I’m not sure how that would work out in practice, but it seems like a wise idea toperhaps have a different blog that explains “extreme abuse” and maybe reference that in the blogroll.

      • I am not intending to start another blog to address extreme abuse. Nor am I intending to put a lot of focus on extreme abuse at this blog. Others are writing about extreme abuse as their main focus. So people can do their own research to find those kinds of blogs, if they wish to.

        As I noted in the post/video, I simply want to acknowledge that extreme abuse exists and that it sometimes overlaps with domestic abuse. The focus of this blog will remain domestic abuse and the exposure and untangling of false teaching which contributes to making the church an abuser-friendly environment.

  5. NG

    Thank you, Barbara, for your gracious heartfelt words. ❤

    I’m one who has sometimes disagreed with the tone and the direction of this blog in recent months. Some of the sharpness and bluntness as you put it, certainly can have a lot to do with cultural communicational differences. (I’ve also plenty of times been accused of being too blunt and sharp, without it being my intention.) That your time and energy resources are limited is totally understandable.

    Abuse is real in its many forms, and all of those who come in contact with it need the wisdom and grace to deal with it. I have been blessed by this site and others, where the voices were heard and victims were supported, instead of the all too common ‘ah you have to forgive and show unconditional love to your abusers’.

    May the Father continue to guide and shine His light on your path and use this blog for His glory.

  6. anon55

    It’s a long post and I’m not done reading it yet, but I’m so glad it’s up as it has been long awaited. It’s so very solid. Now, back to reading….. 🙂

  7. Suzanne

    I’m completely mystified and so disappointed that Jeff would deny the reality of ritualized, extreme abuse or label a victim as crazy. Isn’t that what our abusers do? It’s especially surprising in view of his background in law enforcement, as there’s so much evidence that these groups exist and of the harm they do. And to criticize you, Barbara, for extending support to these victims makes it all the more painful. I had always thought of him as someone who had compassion for the victims and was willing to believe their testimonies. I’ve been disappointed so many times when people I’ve trusted turned out to be less than what I thought them to be; I never thought that Jeff would be one of them. Thank you for soldiering on in the face of so much opposition. I consider you to be a heroine in the cause of advocating for, validating, and supporting victims. I’ve prayed that God will always give you strength, wisdom, and discernment as you continue this ministry. And I’ll pray for Jeff, that God will open his eyes to the reality of extreme abuse.

    • ruth8318

      Well said!!

  8. AppleofHiseye

    Thank you, Barbara, for this response to the conflict that arose in Sept.

    Thank you for validating me when I shared my story with you about the spiritual abuse I experienced in our former church. Yes, I believe what happened in my case was a conspiracy of leaders to try to break me down, and I believe it happens more than we know.

    It took a lot for me to muster up the courage to share that story with you and you believed me without hesitation. You were very compassionate and professional in the way you handled my disclosure to you.

    I understand that not everyone goes through the type of bullying and harassment that me and my family experienced with our former church. I also understand that it doesn’t happen at all churches. For this reason, I am very reluctant to share our story with many people. It does sound crazy! But having experienced it, and knowing that everything we went through really happened, makes it easier for me to believe when others share their stories.

    For those who try to discredit victims of these abusers by lumping them all in the “crazy” basket, my hope is that they never have to be the target of one of these conspiracies, because I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

    Thank you for what you have done to help victims of abuse and I pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to lead you and guide you as you go forward.

    [Paragraph spacing increased to enhance readability. Editors.]

  9. anonymous

    I wonder also how much sexism is at play. For example, the criticism of Barb for not wanting comments to be in all caps…..as though she is a schoolmarm or something. That’s such a gendered criticism. Has anyone read comments or pages done in all caps? It strains the eyes. It’s hard to read.

    And indeed, the blog’s community of readers, complete with their shared experiences, is a really helpful point of the blog. But it’s Barb’s initial post that generates the discussion, and the comments only happen because Barb moderates and edits them.

    Has anyone seen the kind of horrible comments that go on unmoderated sites? Look at just about any news article online that allows comments and read the ones that show up after any story of domestic violence, rape, or other violence against women. It’s filled with all sorts of stuff from misogynists, abusers, abuser-friendly/abuser-apologists, and flying monkeys of all sorts.

    I don’t know about facebook, as I think social media is so damaging. The internet is a bad enough place for women because of men’s violence, abuse, and harassment; social media is like crack for abusers.

    But for Jeff to leave under different announced circumstances and then to recently post such a bristling ‘denouncement’ of Barb and all, it just seems wrong. How many abusers dismiss their victims as being ‘crazy’, and to spout ‘mental health’ again in criticizing Barb seems to be quite the weaponized attack so common with abusers and for those who are bystanders, it’s easy to fall for the lie of abusers when a person doesn’t know better.

    I don’t understand twitter so I don’t know what to say there, but whatever. I come for the blog. And what’s here on the blog has mattered to me.

  10. frank o'shea

    Satan is ever active, without letup.
    I am catholic and aware of my church’s evil both in history & today.
    God bless.

  11. many years

    Thank you for all of this, Barbara. You are loved of the Lord. Don’t give up the ship! But do take good care of your own needs in the process of evaluating the continuation of Crying Out For Justice. You have helped many people. And I can relate to harshness, or discouragement from some comments from readers, at another blog in particular, as I have experienced that, from a few readers who have posted insensitive comments or questions, after I had posted a comment when all I was doing was pouring my heart out and just wanting positive affirmation, and compassion and support. Sometimes, it is the same commenters who ask questions of several commenters, or they ‘play favorites’ when someone said almost the same exact thing, but they encourage one person and not the other.

    I also appreciated how you expressed how Americans and Aussies language/the syntax can change in definition. And I do know now, why my comment, from about a month ago, here on ACFJ was not addressed here on the site as you were accessing various aspects of the blog, and you were focusing on what you were dealing with behind the scenes. My comment was about Lundy Bancroft’s book ‘Why Does He Do That?’ I now have the book and I am going to prayerfully read it, comparing it with scripture, and also taking into consideration that some abuse is very deceptive and subtle.

    I am going to put a link to a very sinister article which has to do with the opening ceremonies of CERN in Switzerland [the Gotthard tunnel], back in 2016/17 which included some very Satanic over-tones. This celebration was attended by dignitaries world wide. I just found the link a week ago, and I was shocked. It was scary … So, I can believe it when you say there are women and children who are being used a sex slaves, etc and young boys too. ‘As in the days of Noah, so shall the coming of the Son of God be.’ And we are there. There is much to pray about, and I believe as you do, we are here, as saints of the Lord, to rebuke the hidden things of darkness.

  12. Anonymous

    Thank you for your apology and explanation. I think that 90% of disagreements and conflicts among human beings can be worked out. The other 10% probably falls into the category of dealing with people with pathological disorders, character disorders, or entrenched unrepentant sin, whatever you want to call it. If we’re not dealing with such people, it pays to make all effort to listen, engage and seek to understand. It is clear now from Barbara’s post that tiredness (maybe compassion fatigue?) from her enormous workload played a role in the way she responded to readers.

    We can agree to disagree, but we don’t need to put down one another. The public comments made in the recent past toward Barbara had the flavor of lynch-mobbing to me. To be kind to those who made such comments, they probably didn’t intend to come across that way, but such was the effect.

    There are several positions of ACFJ that I have not always agreed with, but I fully respect the right of the past and current leader(s) to hold their position, and believe they (both Jeff and Barbara) have only strived to do their best. Their attitude have been such a fresh air after the life-sapping experience of being in a toxic abusive marriage, that I was, and continue to be, thankful for their existence and presence in my life, albeit through the cyberworld.

    Finally, I think readers may not appreciate that Barbara is not only Australian, she has a highly academic approach. Her book, Not Under Bondage, is a very rigorous look at divorce from a Biblical point of view, and not your average lay book. Perhaps Barbara comes across pedantic or overly detailed in her posts (such as her investigations of various speakers/teachers’ approach), but that may be because God has gifted her with a huge capacity to read, analyze, think through, and lay out a detailed, critical examination of issues that she is interested in. Facebook, on the other hand, is a vehicle for shallow, poorly reasoned, emotionally laden arguments, that often serve no other purpose than to get something off our chest and feel better. Sure, sometimes the comments are uplifting and encouraging, but when used to enable an agenda of discrediting another, FB just becomes a weapon of abuse. Thanks to Barbara for clarifying her position in this post and not resorting to FB commenting.

  13. many years

    Here is the site I referenced as to the opening ceremony of the CERN tunnel in Switzerland.
    https://vigilantcitizen.com/vigilantreport/opening-ceremony-worlds-largest-tunnel-bizarre-occult-ritual/ I am posting this site to show just how bad it is in the world among the so-called leaders of the world.

  14. daughterofgod

    Barb thank you so much for all your hard work supporting victims! Its a huge responsibility that no one could manage perfectly but you’ve done really well. The demons in people hate when the truth is exposed and retaliate. There are too many victims of satanic that have come forward and there’s too much evidence to say it is just a conspiracy theory. I personally know a few of them. It’s actually not that uncommon. I believe them. One of the worst things someone can do to a victim is calling them crazy and that is exactly what Jeff is doing which is very disappointing. He is not even giving the benefit of the doubt. I am praying for you and your blog. You have helped me and many others with your work. Please keep it up and don’t waste your precious time with the trolls. We love you! God bless

  15. Kind of Anonymous

    Barb, I have often appreciated the depth of brain work you do in really looking deeply into a situation in order to discern what is really behind how things might first appear to be before rushing to pronounce a verdict, as well as your desire to be faithful to God and His word.

    I am also grieved of course that this issue that arose between you and Jeff has resulted in from what I read, your getting some unfair treatment . I wonder why there couldn’t have been a collaborative post in which both you and Jeff could have discussed the question of SRA and wickedness in high places with an explanation of why Jeff at this point isn’t certain how much of it is hooey and how much is truth, and you being able to explain your thinking on the matter as well. We readers could handle the idea that Jeff and you have different perspectives on issues like SRA. I am concerned that you might think I am rebuking you; not at all. I am grieved that Jeff chose to handle this the way he did although I think I understand his reaction. SRA is scary stuff most people don’t want to believe.

    I am however, somewhat familiar with the SRA issue. I first became aware of SRA when I was seeing a counselor who began to tell me that she was sure I had been ritually abused. I was describing to her the demonic torment and other things I was experiencing. When I pressed her to give me a concrete explanation of what she saw that led her to this conclusion, she gave me a vague explanation of ” Oh, I see it all the time”. Later on I asked her why the word of God couldn’t help me or God Himself.

    My thinking was that if the only way I can be helped is if I happen to be one of the few people who can afford someone who is a skilled deprogrammer of SRA victims and I can happen to find one of those few people, what does that say about God’s power to help me? She got angry and said sarcastically that the bible was not on trial here today. The lack of any form of evidence other than just her opinion made me very suspicious and I discontinued counselling with her. As to the idea that I’d had some form of abuse related to Satanism or occult involvement was a possibility as I did have some clear memories relating to that, but nothing of the more extreme variety. I prayed and asked God for evidence if this was so but nothing further was ever confirmed through any means.

    Around this same time and prior to that time, two things came to light in the media. One was the McMartin Preschool case, in which it was alleged that children were being sexually abused and traumatized by this preschool, a sort of front for some form of SRA. And an organization that called itself the False Memory Syndrome Foundation came to light in the media. This group claimed to advocate against unscrupulous therapists who were telling their clients they have been sexually abused by their parents or Satanists, etc, based on unsubstantiated memories or fragments of memories.

    The official description of the results of the investigation was said to prove that the allegations were false and that it was a panic generated by paranoia, etc. Yet there were evidences found that somewhat did line up with parts of the children’s testimonies and was described in less official reports. This makes it very hard for Joe Public to determine whether the particular law enforcement personnel in this case were part of the spiritual wickedness in high places, or whether their findings were the truthful result of an in depth investigation by honest policemen and women.

    The False Memory Syndrome Foundation gained credibility and traction in the public mind with their apparent exposure of false victims and unethical therapy practices that resulted in innocent parents and caregivers being charged with sexual abuse on the basis of memory fragments interpreted by a client’s therapist. Soon the term and the name of the organization was being used by the public with no thought as to how credible it really was or where it came from just because of the use of credibility associated words like syndrome and foundation. One example I read was of a woman whose counselor listened to her describe a memory fragment that contained an image of moss. Her therapist told her that the moss symbolized pubic hair and that this meant she had been abused by one of her parents I think. That’s incredibly irresponsible of a counselor to say this and the folks at FMSF claimed to be rescuing all of us from the terrible lapse of ethics in such cases.

    However, I later came across an article about the founders of this organization. One of them was a man whose name if I am recalling correctly, was one Ralph Underwager. The article exposed that Mr. Underwager had written a pedophilia positive article in a European magazine called Paedika. I researched it on the internet and sure enough, I was able to find this magazine and the mentioned article. When this fact came to light, Mr. Underwager stepped down from FMSF. Very interesting.

    The things described by people who have been involved or alleged to have been involved either as victim or perp in SRA like situations are so truly gross and evil that they spark fear and create a feeling that there is no where to hide from evil and that those we think are trustworthy are part of the very evil we think they protect us from. It’s quite understandable that it’s preferable to relegate such stories to the lunatic fringe or some crazy seeking attention and playing the system.

    However, we know that both political and religious regimes rape torture and kill people, sometimes for extended periods of time in horrible ways and often with the side angle of getting sick pleasure and power out of it. We find this anywhere. War crimes. Serial killers. Predators. Dictatorships. Is it really that hard to imagine that what some do for religious reasons, and some for political, some will do for spiritual or occult reasons? It’s all a form of seeking power and control, whatever framework is being used.

    Whether tales of things like SRA, MK Ultra mind control, the Illuminati etc, are absolutely true, or partially true and part urban legend, I am not in a position to say. I’ve heard and read some extreme claims from those who have posted online about having been part of these organizations and say they witnessed corruption and gross evil in the very places we hold as bastions of truth and honor. I think rather than get caught up in fear horror and hysteria over it so that we either run with it full tilt or deny it outright, we ought to take it on a case by case basis. And if someone is presenting with a story of SRA and it’s proved that their claims may not be true, it doesn’t change the fact that the person obviously needs some manner of help. It may be true. It may be something they were led to believe. It may be conversion disorder. Given that evil takes many forms and the days grow darker, gross ugly stuff like that is likely possible.

    This is what I know about this rather scary subject. I don’t know if any of it helps. But thank you just the same for being willing to tackle scary stuff.

  16. AnonDD

    Great job, Barbara. Thanks for all of your hard work in all that you do, but also in articulating so well. I’ve stumbled across the truth of the difficult deep darkness that you speak of and know that the reality of it is being exposed. I, like anyone with a heart, have struggled through the pain, deep grief and righteous anger of learning about this form of abuse. It is a hard pill to swallow and some just aren’t willing to take it. However, I feel if we love the truth (and I can tell that you do), we stay open to explore the possibilities of the most unpleasant and challenging truths, no matter how ugly or evil they are. Just wanted to share a few thoughts and let you know that I support you and send love and prayers your way. DD

  17. Helovesme

    Barbara, first and foremost THANK YOU for putting so much heart and soul into this post. I woke up this morning wondering if today might be the day we saw this, and here it is! You obviously put a lot of time and effort into covering all the bases. It was worth the wait for sure.

    When Pastor Jeff resigned last year, I did wonder how that would increase your workload. You described in detail what it takes to do what you do—-so it’s not surprising what a toll it eventually took on you. I certainly understand how hard it is to maintain self-control and discipline when stress is coming at you from all sides. Being spread so thin really does take a toll.

    Whatever you decide to do in the future regarding the blog is completely up to you. You’re a precious child of God, first and foremost. If you are sacrificing too much of yourself, even with the best of intentions, that is not right and not fair. I can’t imagine that any of us who follow this blog would stand for that.

    The “cultural differences” you brought up was interested. I’m an American, but I’m the child of immigrants. So I know what you mean when you speak of such things. And what you described is indeed quite common. I’m so glad we can speak openly about such things, because it really does help us understand each other more.

    I’ve been around American women who are as you described: blunt and direct—-which is not terribly common to see in my personal experience. Sometimes it’s refreshing (direct and plain honesty often is), but sometimes they are being rude IMO. They are works in progress just like the rest of us.

    Regardless of the fact that we all grew up in America, each one of us grew up in our own little worlds. For some, being blunt and direct was perfectly fine and natural. For others, it meant you were being prideful and rebellious.

    And to be perfectly frank—-sometimes I think these women were treated unfairly because they are women, not because they have done or said anything wrong. A forward speaking woman is not always treated in the same way as a forward speaking man might be.

    This is also the case within “church or Christian culture” as well. A Christian woman who speaks her mind is easily labeled as a troublemaker.. Those of us who have said “no” to being abused didn’t get applauded for it—-we received quite a lot of backlash for it.

    I appreciated the breakdown and explanations you have regarding abuse in general, and then a segway to extreme abuse. I appreciated what you had to say, and I will keep all those things in mind. For now, I have no opinion on it one way or another. But in no way, shape or form do I believe that you are crazy or going off the deep end.

    Thank you also for realizing that it did cause some of us a bit of shock when we saw certain things posted on your personal page—and yes—it would have been great to have been given a bit of preparatory communication. It’s all good, though, IMO.

    I DID give a lot of thought when it came to claims or concerns about the naivete of former victims of abuse. The idea that we might be easily misled or influenced in unwise ways—-in regard to posts about extreme abuse or conspiracy theories being introduced. Many of us look up to Barb, so is there real worry that she might lead us astray, or down unwise roads that might derail us from being healed and set free?

    Okay—there’s no doubt that our past abusers (and their enablers) are master manipulators. They are really good at what they do. They deceive and carefully execute their schemes in order to entrap and immobilize their victims.

    Their charm, charisma, powerful personalities, or convincing sincerity and passion wove a pretty intricate web of lies that kept us in bondage. We didn’t really see things as they really were, or we didn’t see the red flags or warning signs, or we didn’t know how to escape the torment when we DID see more clearly.

    I will speak of myself here. There’s no doubt that I was impressionable for many years after being abused by my dad. I was deceived in a lot of ways regarding the Word, and only with resources like this did I start to see how many ways I’d been spiritually and emotionally exploited. And deceived regarding what abuse had done to me.

    This site encourages us to take back what abusers take from us: our right to think for ourselves. Abusers love and live to possess their victims as if we are their property. In no way do I believe Barb would try to tell us what to think or how to think. I don’t believe she treats victims as though they are of low intellect. I believe she is fully aware that that is a tool of an abuser, to convince them that they are fools—-and she’s not like that..

    I agree with your thoughts about Facebook. Too often we allow the worst parts of us to come alive as we hide behind a computer—saying things and treating others in ways we wouldn’t dream of doing if we saw them face to face. As if it’s not as harmful or destructive, or we feel we can get away with it since it’s so much more impersonal.

    I have been on the pages of others who also ask their readers to be kind, courteous and not use certain language or even bring up certain topics. It’s perfectly fine to me. So no, it’s not always power hungry or controlling to have some guidelines set up. And I do not at all envy what you go through to moderate and peruse what comes through here. But I do thank you for it, because it involves enormous labor.

    I hop we can bless and encourage each other with our personal thoughts and testimonies. That really has been one of the biggest blessings, as Barb pointed out.

    I’m beyond sorry for the falling outs that have occurred. I hope their resources can stay as well, because I think they’ve helped many.

    • There are readers and commenters on this blog from many different countries. I know we have readers from the UK, New Zealand, Canada, Australia and occasionally Africa, Europe and Asia.

      • Helovesme

        You specifically mentioned America in the post, so that is why I brought up how Americans can also be direct and blunt when they speak.

        I don’t think those are bad qualities. When a person chooses to be compassionate, that should always be done in a direct and clear way—-that is how the recipient has no confusion about what the giver is trying to give them.

        My point was that even within a certain country, people are unique. Each person tends to be distinct in how they communicate. It’s based on a wide variety of factors.

        I know a few people from Australia, and to be honest, I wish they were more like you in respect to trying to be more honest and straightforward.

        My family is from a region in the world that is often stereotyped in all the wrong ways. IMO, that is one the biggest reasons my abuse was never taken seriously. People can be so ignorant that they somehow think that abuse is built into their DNA, solely based on their ethnicity. This is also why my abuser was usually given a “free pass,” as if his sin was somehow something he couldn’t help doing.

        It is very difficult to contradict people in this respect. They’ve already made up their minds. They’ve used a wide, broad brush over millions of people from a certain country—-people they will never meet or know very little about—-yet they’ve come to certain conclusions that they believe are truthful.

        My dad may have born and raised in that country, but I find it hard to believe that every man who grew up there is likely an abuser. Or they have a greater chance of becoming one, or that it’s inevitable and they have no choice in the matter.

        Yes, I believe the unsaved are slaves to sin (my dad is unsaved)—-and without Christ they have no real power to break that yoke. But sin is still something that is chosen—-and my dad, regardless of whatever environment or culture he grew up in—-chose to abuse me over and over again.

        Bit of a tangent, apart from your original comment and post. Being an American, yet being raised in a culturally different home—-is not terribly unique but it does come with some extra baggage at times.

      • Thanks, He Loves Me. 🙂

      • Finding Answers

        Replying to Helovesme, but not sure if it’s going to nest properly, as am replying on Barb’s comment.

        Helovesme commented “My point was that even within a certain country, people are unique. Each person tends to be distinct in how they communicate. It’s based on a wide variety of factors.”

        ^That.

        Ran into this both personally and professionally, sometimes ending up with miscommunication all around.

        I’ve been painted with so many wrong colours, I’m surprised I don’t resemble a rainbow.

        Thank you for putting into words the ones I can’t seem to find.

      • Helovesme

        Thank you for that kind reply, Finding Answers. It’s been very hard for ME to find the right words, or effectively try to communicate it to others.

        I LOVE that Barb brought up the cultural differences—-I really hope that came across. It’s quite brave and very helpful to point such things out.

        While we are all from different countries and/or come from different backgrounds—-last I checked we aren’t from different planets!

        Even though we are speaking English on this blog, sometimes it might feel like we are speaking different languages. Again, Barb pointed that out very well, and I appreciated that.

        As an unbeliever, I was painted in all sorts of narrow minded ways due to my gender and ethnicity. That was hard enough!

        Fast forward to becoming a believer, and while still retaining my gender and ethnicity—-being born again tended to add to that “palette” of colors to paint me with—-again, mostly inaccurate ones.

        There is no real way to stop people from using those paintbrushes. My answer to all that is to remind myself that I have one Potter in my life, and only He is allowed to put His hands on me to mold me and make me. No one else deserves that type of access to me but Him.

        I do NOT want or need a myriad of potters—all trying to mold and shape me into what they want or expect or demand me to be. If they want to “paint” me into whatever pigeonholed image they have of me, I can’t stop them. But I will resist, make no mistake.

  18. Trying Again

    Thank you for your explanation. I will ever be thankful to you for all you have done on the blog. It is a safe, caring, encouraging, educational place, and that is only because of your hard work!

    I have learned a bit about SRA and it is truly scary. To the point that I also had to put it out of my mind, but I do know that just because it is out of my mind does not mean it does not exist.

    I appreciate that you will keep Cry for Justice focused on domestic violence. It has done so well in helping in this area, and I hope it long continues to. But it does not hurt to remind us once in a while of the connection occasionally with SRA. Keep the light shining on all evil!

    Thank you again for your explanation, which evidences great thought, care, and humility.

  19. Deborah

    Thank you for your thoughtful post. I was grieved to see the rift between you and Jeff. I have also been grieved and disappointed by his political views being made public on twitter specifically. … His refusal to address the concerns raised about it on twitter were also distressing. I wondered where the Jeff Crippen I had “known” and learned so much from had gone. So I quit reading either one of you or promoting sites or books. I pray there will be more clarity and healing if that is appropriate.

  20. Thank you, Barbara for your response to your detractors as you say. It was very well-written, reflecting gracious and professional conduct, honesty and humility. A stark contrast to what I was saddened to see written about you. I kept an open mind until I was able to seek your perspective, and that of another I suspected would have concerns about the comments about you, as you know. What you have written here is very welcome in respect to my regard for your discernment and your enormous efforts on behalf of survivors, and to uphold truth and justice. I hope it will inspire some needed reflection, and corresponding humility and determination to make restitution, in your detractors.

    • HeLovesMe

      That’s very much went in line with my thinking as well. Thanks for articulating it so nicely.

      The way Barb was spoken to and painted as on the Facebook page is not the Barb I’ve gotten to know. And I’m still convinced she is that person, despite contrary opinions.

      Even tho I don’t have a concrete opinion about ritual abuse testimonies, I think it’s wrong to dismiss them as crazy or that they are lying or whatever. How awful is that?

      I completely agree with those that have said that such extreme forms of abuse are absolutely plausible. Not every testimony may be truthful (Barb acknowledged that) but that doesn’t mean its all a hoax.

      Barb brought up child sacrifice from the Word, which still to this day I find hard to swallow or even grasp. That someone would ever do such a thing, even centuries ago. But the Word says it did, so I believe it did occur.

      My story of abuse wasn’t taken seriously for years. Not because it wasn’t plausible, and it wasn’t a case of extreme abuse.

      I believe it wasn’t taken seriously because it’s very hard for some or many to believe that a parent would ever abuse their child. Parents are supposed to love and protect their kids. It blows our minds that the parent is the one the child needs protecting from!

      Here is another example. I never realized how often marital rape occurs until I started reading more and more testimonies from wives. I believed them. But at first, my mind had a hard time grasping that their husbands, of all people, would dare to do this to them. It blew my mind how cruel and how low these husbands would sink.

      Some might dare to say that it can’t be rape if they’re married. That these women are crazy for even suggesting it. Really? Listen to their stories, and then try to spout that nonsense.

      So Barb is not crazy or off her rocker in the slightest. Maybe she will open some minds a bit or get us asking more questions, or at least start praying about such matters. How could that cause any harm?

      • Another Reader

        Many wives who have been raped don’t even have the ability to identify it as such. Some think it is their lot in life and that the husband is permitted to do such to them because he is the husband, so he owns her, her body, and can do as he pleases.

        Others find it to be too devastating to identify such and would rather deny it away, resolve to themselves to forget such, or convince themselves that it wasn’t so bad and it could have been worse. All are helpful to survive, but not particularly helpful in other ways.

        One myth perpetuated by abusers (and rapists) are that their wives are frigid and therefore they had to rape, and it’s understandable, given the wives’ supposed frigidity. This is a lie. In reality the rapists didn’t want consensual, mutual sexual relations, but rather wanted to rape. It’s the violation, the coercion, the forcing to do against their will, which is the ‘gem’ in these guys’ eyes. The whole point of the rapes is to violate, to humiliate, to degrade, to subjugate, and to debase the woman. That’s the great payoff for the rapists.

        The rapist husbands know they are destroying the woman. They turn whatever is good and pervert it. They take the woman’s sexuality, her body, and they make it into an enemy, a source of trauma, a lasting scar. A crime scene. This is all the more draw for them. It’s like rape is the ultimate expression of woman-hatred and so-called ‘masculinity’ and the rapists being ‘the man’.

        So very men love rape. Maybe not all do it, but the love of it is there. Just look at porn. Alternately, there are surveys and studies which show that when asked, many men admit that they’d rape if they knew they could get away with it. And that’s straight up asking if they’d rape, using the word “rape” and all.

        Is it any wonder why men do it to their wives, when marital rape is still disbelieved and discounted? The ‘stranger rapes’ are something like under 10 percent of reported rapes, but those are the ones most often prosecuted as they are easier to secure convictions (due to rape culture myths, the rapists’ go to claimed defense of “consent”).

      • Helovesme

        Thank you Another Reader. That was a very good and thoughtful reply and insight into something so horrible and evil. Worst than that, it’s a reality for so many precious souls.

        No matter what form of abuse is alleged, it seems sinful humanity is ready to find some way to discredit or disregard it. The lies are ready at their fingertips. I never wonder anymore why victims don’t report to the police or even confide in others. Each victim may have varied reasons why, but it all comes to down to being either dismissed or demeaned in some way.

        For example, there are men who are sexually assaulted and abused. I recall reading that one man was told his allegations couldn’t be true, because is a man. So, the truth that humanity can be victimized only applies to women and children?

        There was a comedic movie I once watched that most would suggest is tame and humorous. I hadn’t re-watched it in awhile, but when I did—-I picked up on a comment that marginalized a woman’s wedding night. I won’t repeat it, but I was shocked by it. It caused me great discomfort and I wondered why I hadn’t picked up on it before!

        This site did a wonderful series about male sexual coercion with their intimate partners. They found ways to dominate and intimidate their partner, in order to humiliate and demean them. And they were incredibly practiced and subtle at it as well. They were able to weave such a web over their partners that I don’t think their partners even knew what was really going on. BUT, the consequences were obvious: shame, humiliation, feeling dirty and/or demeaned. So you can know that something is wrong or something doesn’t feel right, but you don’t know how it all happened.

        This is the Don Hennessey series, and since my memory isn’t quite what it used to be, I may have left out or bungled some of the info provided. Please forgive me if I have.

        Rape doesn’t always have to be a violent act. That was another big learning point for me. Just as abuse is not always physical to be valid, rape doesn’t have to be violent in order to be labeled as such.

        You expressed VERY well what is really going on in the minds of these husbands when they attack their wives. They try to find ways to justify their evil, but when it comes down to it—-they’re not at all interested in mutual relations. They’re not interested in intimacy as God intended it. They are full of hate, not love.

        In this day and age, I don’t think we STILL understand that rape has nothing to with lust—and I would suggest it has nothing to do with sex (as we understand and define sex). Sex is used and seen as a weapon to hurt someone as much as possible. As you expressed it, that is the endgame for these evil persons.

        So the idea that rapist husbands are simply “desirous” of their wives is a complete farce. They’re not even guilty of “lusting” after their wives, IMO—-if that argument is ever brought up.

        I wonder if they get away with their evil deeds because wanting to sleep with your own wife is generally seen as a normal and natural thing. We might say that it’s odd if husbands DON’T want to be with their wives.

        This is why I think you’re right on that wives may not even know what was done with them. And, don’t know how to process it IF they realize what was done to them. They too might wonder if their husbands just wanted to be with them so badly that they got out of control and got carried away.

        And again, I don’t think these husbands are at ALL interested being with their wives. They want to hurt them as much as possible, and rape is one of the worst (if not the worst) way to hurt someone.

        Even as I type this, I’m still shocked that people can sink this low. When it’s the very people you know, love and trust victimizing you and sinking to these depths of evil—-I would ask how any victim should be expected to process such trauma?

        Abuse in of itself is horrific. But abuse from my dad, my own father? I used to call him “Daddy.” But he’s the one that is using his access to me as a means to damage me. My availability and vulnerability as his daughter was being used against me!

        AND, the very fact that I’m his daughter actually worked very well in his defense. Like you said, wives are often treated more as property than people. The same can be said for children.

        My dad was physically and verbally abuse to me—-not sexual abuse at all. But it did mess with my personal view as a woman. And since my dad acted more like a master over me, than a father—-I felt like a slave and something of a zombie for much of my life. I felt like I was doomed to be dominated and intimidated, which isn’t much of a life. Abuse drags you down like nothing else. You try to pull yourself up and out of its debilitating teeth, but it always tries to pull you down even harder.

        However, I am convinced that there is healing in His wings. Not trying to paint solely a depressing picture, here! It is a fight, but it is a good fight—-one that I do believe is worth fighting. If God says I am worthy, I am worthy. So I’ll keep fighting to get back all that was stolen from me, because He says I am worth it.

        The word “submission” was never used in my home, but the reality of it was there for sure. So I can understand what victims are talking about, within the church, when they try to explain that they were always told to be submissive. Or expected to be. Such attitudes are not just to be found in the religious realms.

        Coming back full circle! Whether the abuse is on the extreme end or not—-never dismiss someone’s testimony right at the outset. Just because it seems implausible doesn’t mean it’s all lies. What it MIGHT mean, is that it’s challenging your preconceived notions of human behavior, so you deny that such evil is really possible.

        Don’t blame the victims just because they’re making you uncomfortable when they dare to speak up. Take it as a challenge to your own idealism and possible limited ways of thinking.

  21. Follower from the Start

    Thank you Barbara! I had already surmised as much. You are spot on about absolutely everything including Jeff. I am not going to expend the time or energy it would take to find the specific posts/comments as it would take a lot of time and some are bound to find fault with my approach either way. Let’s just say I’ve observed Jeff from six years of reading his posts and comments, seeing other comments he has made elsewhere, and observed both what he has said together with what he hasn’t said. Suffice it to say, I am not at all surprised he bullied you. I am glad you stood up for yourself. I appreciate all that you have done and are doing. Thank you.

    • Gany T.

      FFTS – I think this is an example of what you’re talking about – Jeff’s double-speak about CHRIS MOLES. (Yes, THAT series which generated a lot of comments here and elsewhere, many of them very negative.)

      This shocked me when I first saw it on The Wartburg Watch because: a) Jeff seldom ever comments there, and b) because of its content and date (shortly after Jeff’s public attacks against Barb).


      link to Jeff’s comment about Chris Moles at The Wartburg Watch.

      Someone called Bill MacDonald commented at Unholy Charade Nov 19th 2018 at 9:35 AM, and he mentioned Chris Moles in his comment. Here’s the part where he mentioned Chris Moles: “The recent tone at ACFJ has been disturbing because of this arrogant sense that it is a human role to become the final say in what is right or wrong. I’ve read and agreed, for example, with much of what Chris Moles has to say about domestic abuse in Christian circles. His thoughts were very helpful in my own awakening about the problem the Church faces. But Barbara’s analysis painted Ps. Moles in tones of dark deceit, manipulation and accommodation of the worst of the church’s abusers in positions of authority. We’re all shades of gray in our purity, but ACFJ’s analysis cast Chris as a direct accomplice to the very evil he claims to be against.”

      Jeff Crippen replied to Bill MacDonald’s comment saying “Thank you Bill. Very encouraging.”

      After reading all this one must ask, Now whose readers’ “welfare” should we be concerned about, Barb’s or the “new” Jeff’s?

      • Thanks for pointing this out, Gany T.

        So Jeff castigated Chris Moles at TWW (The Wartburg Watch) but he didn’t say anything negative about Chris Moles at his Unholy Charade post… he just thanked Bill for his comment.

        And for what it’s worth, when Jeff first emailed me in August expressing concern about my support of Fiona Barnett, he also mentioned my Chris Moles series. He said some people were telling him that 15 posts on Moles was too much and he appreciated my articles on Chris Moles but he agreed with the people who were saying that my Moles series went on too long.

        If any readers want to review my Chris Moles series, you can find them here:
        https://cryingoutforjustice.com/2018/07/03/chris-moles-digest/

      • anonymous

        Yes, the Chris Moles series was great. I hadn’t heard of him before, but from what I read of him, it was abuser-friendly, abuser-apologist nonsense that harms real victims. Whereas Chris Moles wasn’t on my radar prior, in reading the series, it was helpful to dissect things, see how these abuser-friendly people like Moles are so dang popular in the Christian, conservative circles. No wonder there’s so much wrong-thinking, when seeing how popular Chris Moles is and how he is seemingly one of the ‘untouchables’ yet I saw nothing of the sort.

        There was a photo showing Moles clowning around with another guy, apparently at a conference about DV where he was a presenter. He tweeted it or posted it himself. That’s like a slap in the face to all victims out there, as learning about DV, becoming aware of the hell it actually is, the life-altering harms, the trauma, and even the lethality of it is not the time to clown around — and if you do, because conferences can get long, then don’t tweet a photo of such out to the public, like ‘here we two guys are, having a good ol’ party time, at the wifebeating conference’ ……. that stuck in my mind. So did his dodging the question of divorce and Pastor Crippen is clear about such — that marriages to abusers don’t need to be fixed, but rather ended…..but Moles says basically the opposite and focuses on the ‘poor’ abuser and how can we help the wifebeater with his tough life and difficult marriage……..gag, gag, vomit.

  22. ruth8318

    Barb,
    You have a beautiful heart for hurting victims of abuse – that is what I KNOW IS TRUE. But it does sound like you’re overworked. I have never thought you were harsh.

    • Thanks Ruth, I’m going to spend some time at the beach today, to try to unwind. 🙂

  23. Now Free (formerly struggling to be free)

    Thank you another reader, it disgusts me that courts still have so little justice for cases of rape. It seems systems are so complex and difficult to navigate that it’s no surprise many do not bother. Their restrictions are so archaic and certainly not victim friendly, and the laws and means of reporting and investigating desperately need to be reviewed. My heart goes out to all who have been raped, both men and women. It is so life changing and can be a life sentence of death inside to a victim.

    I have a long term close friend of the family who has had a loving and big influence in my life from an early age. Now approaching their [advanced age], they have kept their rape when young by a [young] woman quiet on the main. They have suffered with this in their heart, but I can encourage you it never stopped them living life and sharing God and enjoying His ministry in their lives.

    I want to encourage you all, God does in time heal and bring His loving recovery as you give everything in your life over to Him. There is life after rape. We do not detract from the hurt and pain of violation that you have experienced, but send out our heart felt love to you all. I believe God rocks you in the bosom of His being, close to His heart and wounded side. You are precious to Him.

    God’s promise of abundant life is not just for some Christians, but all. I have witnessed that despite tears still in my friend’s eyes when we briefly talk about it.

    The whole rape thing disgusts and enrages me, and I’ve had to come through much with a [friend] who had been raped. Believe you me. it affects others too, and much love conquers much. They are living life to the full today. I pray the God who knows your pain will draw close to you all and be your comfort, be your strength and be your song.

    A challenge to Christian men – rise up and speak up when all around us we hear belittling, sexual innuendo and entitling male rapist-type speech occurs. Stand up for truth and justice. I hear many women shouting as they want change, but few men!! It is time for men to add their voice, not sit quietly as many do, letting women deal with “women’s issues”???

    As I’ve said many men have endured this too. If we don’t stand, who will??

    I’m reminded of William Wilberforce and Lord Shaftesbury and many others who spoke up. Seeing changes in law over child workers and slavery, sometimes one man shouting loud enough can change things.

    Change it at least for those around you, far too much myth and accusation surround genuine rape victims who rarely get decent recognition or justice. We can as men at least speak our love and view on such. Be like Jesus, don’t let these things pass you by.

    Love you all. Praying you will be heard, be believed and receive help and means to live that life God has intended for us all.

    [Details airbrushed for protection. Editors.]

    • Another Reader

      Rape is about ruining someone and destroying someone. …It’s not about sex or lust. It’s about domination and subjugation.

      Tamar asked for her rapist half-brother to at least marry her, but what did he do? Refused such, threw her out like trash, having destroyed her.

Leave a comment. It's ok to use a made up name (e.g Anon37). For safety tips read 'New Users Info' (top menu). Tick the box if you want to be notified of new comments.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: