Where Is Justice For The Potters Field Interns?
A few months ago we began reporting on the scandal involving Potters Field Ministries, run by Mike and Pam Rozell.
It struck me this morning that the debacle has been inadequately described in print and in the minds of those who follow the story…it is actually one of the biggest and worst abuse cases in recent Protestant memory.
Dozens of young people allege some form of spiritual or emotional abuse at the hands of the Rozells.
One of the heads of the Calvary Chapel Association, (the affiliating body for the Rozells) has affirmed as much…then disappeared from comment and view.
Over fifty of those allegations have been printed here…stories of young people on fire for God who trusted their leaders to carefully tend that flame and who instead found themselves quenched and crushed by those they trusted.
Promises were made to those young people and to the donors who helped build the now dismantled empire.
Rob McCoy, the Southern California pastor/politician who hastily took over the operation, posted this on the website of the now defunct ministry:
“America follows the code of law that requires due process. I, as the new Chairman of the Board and with the assistance of pastors who are independent of Potter’s Field, will pursue a full investigation as to any formal allegations brought to the Boards of these ministries, including the service of volunteer hours, and the results of that investigation will be forthcoming when completed. If these ministries are found to have been involved in any ethical or legal failure, it is our intention to both own those failings and make restitution where fault has been established.
In addition, though I have not found in my initial review, undertaken with limited skill in this area, any mismanagement or fraud, I authorized and will arrange for an independent audit to be taken with the findings to be made public.”
None of this has happened.
We have over fifty stories of “ethical failure” on this site alone.
Those who have suffered the most from “ethical failure” can’t even find the strength to tell their stories yet.
The last information I had (from McCoy) was that the properties involved were now released for sale and some have been sold.
Where did the money go?
Where will future monies go?
More importantly, why hasn’t anyone in leadership publicly acknowledged the damage done to these young people and the cause of Christ?
Where are the leaders who should be advocating for these people?
Are there none left with a conscience?
The damage gets worse as time goes on…because there has been no public confession and repentance by the Rozell’s, some of their victims are starting to blame themselves for what happened to them.
The victims are questioning their own hearts and minds while the leaders look for ways to make the whole mess go away quietly.
There is a point where leaders need to forget the legal and worldly consequences of these cases and focus on the spiritual consequences of refusing to bring the truth to light.
There is a point where the biggest problem they face is not potential lawsuits, but the reality of broken souls that Christ died for.
We’re way beyond those points.
The jesus “Freak” show must go on… Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right and here I am, stuck…
The Christian Faith is no circus sideshow. If it is where you are, then it is time to getouttadere. ?
“why hasn’t anyone in leadership publicly acknowledged the damage done to these young people and the cause of Christ?”
Didn’t Don McClure do exactly that on this very website? https://phoenixpreacher.com/35193-2/
This is a huge mess years in the making. Only a miracle of God will unwind it overnight.
Thank you, Michael, for pursuing this. Are you saying that there is no record of an audit yet? Also, is there any info about lawsuits going forward to get financial remuneration for damages caused by PFM? Money will not take away the deep pain and harm, but it will help those who lost so much of their own money to have a chance at restarting their lives.
I am cognizant of the loose connection “legally” that CC has made sure they have in regards to RFM, as it is within their own association. However, they show again their usual moral corruptness by their usual silence in the face of abuse. I’m sure many of the CC leaders who pushed this ministry are just hoping this will all go away and be forgotten so nobody will see the latest evidence of their propensity for stupid and zero accountability.
Just as a reality check, isn’t it usual to do an audit BEFORE you dispose of assets?
Thank you for this. As someone who has gone through a similar situation within the cc movement and asked a lot of the same questions, looking at the victims and not being able to give them answers for the lack of help, accountability, and transparency…honestly just biblically based honesty!….I’ve struggled with the things you lay out here. Knowing that I’m not alone in frustration is helpful. Praying for those damaged in the ministry. Praying they find healing in Christ. What a mess.
Mark Driscoll-James MacDonald-Bob Coy-Greg Laurie-Rick Warren-Skip Heitzig-anyone see a pattern here? The bottom line with this whole movement is that they are a bunch of frauds. A ponzi scheme. A bunch a false teachers with one”Purpose Driven” agenda to steal innocent victims money. I have been victimized by the CC/Purpose Driven ecumenical movement for a decade of my life and have felt the sting of their criminal enterprise on a daily basis. What a bunch of brainwashed LIARS. The only thing any of them have in common with Jesus is that they are people. I can’t reveal any details out of the fear of being attacked by Satan (they are Satan). You may think some of the “New World Order/Illuminati” conspiracy theories seem crazy, but I think these people are demon possessed and the most evil group of men ever in the history of Christianity. They are truly trying to hijack the movement to fund their lifestayles and poison the minds of the most innocent of all-the children.
Duane–concisely put. It’s essentially what I was pondering. I have a fear that this awful sector of the “Christian? Leadership Mafia” will put the money where those deeply injured people cannot get to it.
I have been diving into the evangelical cesspool for two decades…and I’ve never seen Rick Warren in the mess.
You may not like his methodology, but he and Kay have been nothing but class as far as I can see.
“I’m sure many of the CC leaders who pushed this ministry are just hoping this will all go away and be forgotten so nobody will see the latest evidence of their propensity for stupid and zero accountability.”
That’s how the game works…say nothing and let the news cycle pass you by…
I fear the majority of the money has already been “parked” elsewhere…
Of course it has, did you really expect anything else? The hyenas and buzzards are always around to eat up the scraps… It’s a circus shell game and we always lose because the hand is quicker than the eye!
Prior to you publishing the fall of PF ministries the only time I heard of them is through some dear friends who attend CCs. They attended the drama of making a clay pot while he sermonized. From a purely dramatically point of view it sounded like good entertainment with a message.
My point is the idea of live pottery making as an object lesson isn’t bad teaching. But the problem appears to be PF wasn’t really about teaching and empowering people to live and follow Jesus. It was just another abusive grab of attention and control by a man and his wife.
Truthfully I don’t think PF really left any money to be found. If I had to speculate they were very much like most of us and never stopped to think the funds would dry up, so they spent it.
I have to ask this, what kind of justice do people feel needs to be done or accomplished on behalf of those abused? My personal opinion is those involved need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, banned from further public ministry and have them make a public apology to all the abused.
Other than that, I think the CC way (as is many other’s) is the longer this drags out the sooner they will be forgotten.
Thank you for not forgetting!
There’s money…I just don’t know where it is.
Also, the properties worth millions are being liquidated.
I want a years worth of paid professional counseling for every former intern who believes they will benefit.
I want every dollar they were screwed out of paid to them.
I want the truth…and they may think they can outwait me…but they need to check my record…
“My point is the idea of live pottery making as an object lesson isn’t bad teaching. But the problem appears to be PF wasn’t really about teaching and empowering people to live and follow Jesus. It was just another abusive grab of attention and control by a man and his wife.”
I saw it twice, and thought it a good testimony. I retrospect, it was a “hook.”
In a way, I’ve dealt with domestic violence, and I keep remembering something from one of the advocates: that there of often a “hook” which keeps victims in a DV relationship or cycle. It could be money, kids, co-dependency, Control by the abuser, or a combination of these things. Most often males, but females as well.
The “hook” here may be “serving” or “soldiering” for Jesus, often enabled by the church polity, families, or the incorrect view of right or wrong. That Christians can be abused by The World is a given. It’s sick that implicitly or explicitly young believers are abused by fellow brothers (and sisters). Was Timothy abused by Paul?
“…but they need to check my record…”
“The “hook” here may be “serving” or “soldiering” for Jesus,…”
Don’t we all have some sort of “hook” to get others to notice us and fill some sort of need in our lives. Sadly though, too many tend to be a bit sociopathic is how life is perceived.
“Dr. Black says most sociopaths are prone to impulsive behavior and often seen as disturbed or unhinged, while a psychopath is cold and calculating, sometimes even charming.”
“Perhaps one of the most well-known signs of ASP is a lack of empathy, particularly an inability to feel remorse for one’s actions. ”
Yes I’m making the connection many of our “leaders” are actually sociopaths and maybe psychopaths in their behaviors. They, consciously or unconsciously, see others as a means to their ends.
We would like to think those in charge of bringing God’s words of love, mercy and grace would be somewhat or somehow exempt from such charges. However, continual present and historical evidence indicates religion is a ripe and easy source used by such people.
Ok I’ll step down from my box.
Well said all the way around…
Hate to be the bad guy but…
Just because an audit is underway, does not legally or under GAAP guidelines, prevent the liquidation of assets subject to the audit. In fact, under this given situation, the board members, particularly McCoy would be in disregard and breach of their fiduciary duties not to timely liquidate assets of the organization
Second, I doubt that the proceeds or assets are being hidden or squirreled away. The net proceeds of a tax exempt non profit are required under state and IRS statutes to be distributed to another tax exempt organization. It has not even been 3 months since McCoy began into his role and given the amount of and type of assets, this process will take awhile
Lastly, absolutely no proceeds will be distributed absent a damaged party making a demand for payment with some substantiation of damages. If PF denies or, in the alternative, is unresponsive, then the damaged party must bring a lawsuit within the given statute of limitations and should seek to do a prejudgment attachment of proceeds.
For those concerned, it would be constructive to write McCoy as ask whether a trust account has been established and is being exclusively used by PF to hold proceeds from liquidation.
Another issue of concern in these situations is whether misappropriation took place by any person(s) prior to the organization ceasing operations, although at this point it is pure speculation.
It is speculation…based on information I’ve gathered during the process.
There is no audit underway…and that’s a problem.
Mr. McCoy is no longer answering my inquiries, but to my knowledge no such account had been set up.
I have a lot more questions, trust me…
You’re a good guy…
“Where are the leaders who should be advocating for these people?”…yessssss, the most important question we need to ask. And where is the repentance of those who looked the other way.