Social Media was on fire yesterday with:
Most should remember a story in the media last year about Julie Anne being sued by her former church pastor, because of some comments she left about her former church on google reviews. The church turned out to be spiritually abusive, and Julie Anne was brave enough want to forewarn others. The pastor at the church decided he didn’t like what Julie Anne had to say, and sued her and three others for defamation to the tune of $500,000. The pastor didn’t win, but no doubt he felt this would be a great tool to use to silence those that would speak out against him. He figured wrong, and was left will some hefty legal bills instead. Julie Anne has a new website that she started after this experience called, Spiritual Sounding Board. Kudo’s to HER!
Julie Anne and many others are now helping to sound the alarm about Pastor Bob Grenier of Calvary Chapel Visalia (CCV), California. This time around it is the Pastor that is suing his own family member (stepson), and a family friend that witnessed the abuse. Alex Grenier (stepson) started a site called, Calvary Chapel Abuse. Just as Julie Anne did in the past Alex Grenier started to speak out about a wolf in sheep’s clothing that claims to be a Man of Gawd! Sadly, Alex and his siblings had to endure years of abuse growing up with the father’s rages, beatings, and sexual assault. Daddy Dearest didn’t like the fact his son grew up, and decided to tell the world about the hell they had been through.
Pastor Bob has one son left – out of 4 – that isn’t estranged from him. He is siding with his father, and no doubt hoping to inherit the church kingdom after his father retires. For some strange reason people are to shallow the fact that Pastor Bob did nothing wrong during their childhood years, and no red flags should be waving due to the fact most of his children will have nothing to do with him.
The lawsuit was filed on October 17, 2012, in Tulare County, California, where Pastor Grenier served til recently as a chaplain to the local police force. (He agreed to a leave of absence on February 19, 2013.) In his lawsuit, filed with his wife and co-plaintiff Gayle (who is Alex’s and Paul’s mother), Pastor Grenier claims to be an innocent victim of a “cyber-bullying hate campaign.” They are asking for an award “of exemplary and punitive damages.”
On February 8, 2013, Paul Grenier submitted to the court a sworn Declaration supporting Alex’s allegations. For instance, Paul claims that as a five-year-old boy he “was forced to perform oral sex on Bob.” He also details a childhood of suffering sadistic physical and sexual abuse by his father.
The defendants’ attorney, Paul Clifford, filed an anti-SLAPP motion on December 17, 2012, contending this is a clear issue of freedom of speech and suggesting the lawsuit is frivolous. A tentative ruling on the motion will be made on February 25, 2013, with a court hearing scheduled for February 26 before Superior Court Judge Paul Anthony Vortmann.
The decision on this case has momentous ramifications for First Amendment rights as “citizen journalist” bloggers and spiritual abuse survivors organize and speak out against ecclesiastical abusers. This may also involve separation of church and state. A social media campaign around the theme of #WhoWouldJesusSue begins February 20 to publicize the suit.
Abusive churches and Pastors don’t like the internet do they? In the past these types of suits would be unheard of, and the silence around the abuse would stay silent. It always amazes me that abusers never realize that their children do grow up, and become adults that can think independently of them. I guess they assume that their control over their lifes will extend for a lifetime, and yet more and more of these children are speaking out once they do hit adulthood.
Thankfully, with the internet and how society has changed? People have started to speak out earlier, and this type of evil is brought into the light. I pray that this slows down the cycle of violence that has been swept under the rug in the past.
Below are articles and resources about this campaign, and I encourage you to educate yourself. I think a healthy trend is starting with a band of bloggers that reach out and support those that are brave enough to call out their abusers.
I would encourage you to participate, and Julie Anne has written a piece on how you can do that online. The big BANG of social media was yesterday, and I think a continued effort beyond that is needed to keep this in front of people’s consciences don’t you? Place the articles on your Facebook pages, and tweet them as well.
Growing Outrage over Bob Griener’s suit. – has additional links to the legal paperwork in question.
Stand Up to Wicked Shepherds with #WhoWouldJesusSue? – Cindy is very good at speaking on the technical issues, background, and beliefs that stem from this type of dynamic.
Calvary Chapel’s Tangled Web – new article on case
Who Would Jesus Sue – Facebook Page
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