What About The Victims Of Potters Field ?
While it appears that the men of Calvary have resolved the situation with Potters Field Ministries to their satisfaction, one group has yet to be addressed.
Those are the people who for twenty some years were the victims of Mike and Pam Rozell’s cultish practices.
Where is the formal apology to them?
Where is the statement of sorrow over what so many have endured?
Why in the world should I have to ask people who call themselves pastors these questions?
There is a lot of money floating around and more to come after the sale of these properties…how much of that is going to be assigned to make people whole and assist with the costs of therapy that so many need after this debacle?
These people deserve answers…and they deserve to be affirmed and to hear that all their pain and issues are valid.
They deserve to hear this now…
These are legitimate and valuable questions. I hope there is a different answer for those victims of PFM than for my ancient situation. Even twenty years after the actual events, there is no closure, no resolution, no validation or compensation or apologies. In fact, I am currently being actively stalked and harassed by my late ex husband’s widow. This sort of torment is all out spiritual warfare. If anything, the victims need to be informed that hoping for anything remotely ‘just’ or compassionate will occur. The ONLY hope is clinging to our Faith in Jesus Christ.
The Parable of the Widow and Unjust Judge. God is NOT unjust…. Hebrews 6:10 “For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.”
Of course, God’s time tables and methods are completely different than ours.
Duane,. Waiting for a CCA pastor to sincerely apologise is utter meaningless. They never will and it’s very healing accepting that fact. Otherwise it insanity to hope for something that you will never get. CC pastor’s rarely if ever apologize. They view it as a weakness to admit wrong particularly to a no name victim. Part of the healing process for those at PFM is to realize they won’t get a sincere apology from CCA and even if you do it’s temporary and fleeting. This is one way they exercise control by getting the victims to apologize for exposing them. CCA pastor’s are not capable of seeking ammends . Compassion does not exist in these men. The sooner we all realize how un-normal CCA is the sooner the victims can be set free and be healed.
From the Kalispell MT newspaper
Just for clarity, Michael wrote this post. I take your point, nonetheless, and the way they are conducting themselves is, indeed, abnormal by almost any standard…
I am not against helping the children in these programs overseas. It’s appalling that they were not getting the support that was being given specifically for them. What I am against is the silence for the other group of victims. I’m against leaving it at “there was some abuse” but shedding no light on our pain. Of “rectifying” one wrong but ignoring another, burying it in a box that isn’t supposed to be dug up again. Like we’re supposed to be done now that a “solution” has been found. Honestly, are they shying away from bringing our abuse to light because they would have to own it? Which, based on Rob McCoy’s “stellar” interview in the Inter Lake, he has basically dismissed each and every story by saying it’s not a cult. He has in essence “excused” Mike and Pam from the consequences. By not offering any aid to the past interns, staff, and students, they are writing off our stories and treating us at best like we’ve over exaggerated, and we should be fine now. Everything should be fine, because the ministry has “dissolved.” Meanwhile, Mike has never apologized and no one even knows where the heck he is. There has been NO ATTENTION DRAWN to the accusations of abuse and harassment from the people who should be advocating for us, because then it would have to be dealt with. It’s like we’ve been shoved back in the closet, and now there’s nothing to see here once again folks.
I’m sorry, I’m upset. I’m grieved. I don’t feel like there has been resolve. It’s not enough.
Every word you said…amen.
“They” have said that a life well lived is the best revenge – a focus on our Creator and Eternity helps to make that doable
I have some stories to tell, but best not told IMO – suffice to say it is possible…
I left Calvary Chapel five years ago after attending 5 different southern California Calvary Chapels over a period of 35 years. I left knowing with certainty that they used many “cult-like” practices at Calvary . They are unhealthy churches with very un healthy dynamics, and they often produce very unhealthy children as a result. I taught in public schools the entire time I attended Calvary and I have two of my own children . I took my two children out of Calvary Chapel Vista and drive them to North Coast Church every Sunday once they reached junior high, while my husband and I continued to attend Calvary Chapel. We understood that the Calvary church was an unhealthy environment for our kids, and yet we ourselves continued to go there and we financially supported two churches for six years. It was very difficult for us to leave because we had so many friends there and we experienced such a senses of belonging there. It wasn’t until I fully realized that Calvary Chapel belonging comes with ugly and painful strings attached. You must give up your human rights if you are a woman, and both men and women must hang their brains and their critical thinking skills outside at the door before entering the sanctuary, and they must be Republicans. Any hint of questioning about anything church related results in shunning. No criticisms can ever be made. My friends who had children their have told me that the strict envuronment there harmed their child ( one who attended their high school). My friend and her husband still attend. Their daughter also attended the church school and she seemed okay, but sadly, she married a young man from Calvary Vista, and when she was pregnant with their second child in two years, he left her while she was pregnant. This young man attended the Bible college and he was completely unprepared for life and marriage. Over the years I have known many, many tragic stories about my Calvary Chapel friend’s children. In contrast, my two daughters graduated from U.C. universites , have exciting careers and are married to happy, successful and well adjusted Christian men. Calvary Chapel does not do a good job with their young people and I urge parents to be more protective of their children who attend Calvary Chapels.
I am sorry about the typos in my previous post – I am always a bit hesitant to post here because I have so many wonderful friends who still attend Calvary Chapel. I have long thought Calvary Chapel was an unhealthy environment for young Christians, and these recent stories of abuse are breaking my heart. My two children are the same age as the Potter Field victims – twenties and early thirties – and most likely they even know some of them as they attended Calvary Chapel from birth until junior high, when I pulled them out of the church. I will end my posting here. I want to thank Michael for all of his good work. This blog has been a tremendous help to me as a formerly broken and confused ex-wife Calvary member . My husband and I were even married by a Calvary Pastor ( Bill Goodrich) in 1978. There is a reason membership is falling at Calvary Chapels. Pastors reading this blog need to start doing some difficult soul searching. Faith and our Christian walk depend on it. Are you feeding God’s sheep or are you harming them?
Though this follows their modus operandi and doesn’t surprise seasoned victims of CC, it doesn’t make one grieve any less and it doesn’t make it any less tragic. The hardness of heart and accompanying blindness seems indelibly ingrained. I grieve for the deep wounds committed by PFM and the fresh ones made by the dismissive attitude of CC.
JM , I agree wholeheartedly that a “hardness of heart” from leadership plays a role here. Yes. It is very un Christ like. Shouldn’t our leaders be an example of love and compassion for our youngest, most vulnerable Christians? ” Better to have a millstone tied around one’s neck and be thrown into the sea, than to harm one of my youngest, most tender ones”, said Jesus. Parents, LISTEN to your children. If they are uneasy with anything at church, LISTEN to them. My child was getting stomach aches on Sunday mirnings. Ask Then about how they feel, LISTEN, courageously concerns, then TALK to your pastor or other church leaders…We did that, and our concerns were dismissed. We had to get our child out of there .Your child should always be your first priority – no matter what your church tells you. YOU will be held accountable by God for your child’s well being, NOT the church. Their priority is not your child, and those in the church who are leading church youth programs often have no real training in child development , or have even been screened. A married youth pastor with children in Calvary Chapel Poway that I knew and taught Sunday school with) in the 90s was put in prison for child molestation. Don’t choose a school because you want to be friends with the other parents who have kids there. It isn’t about you – choose the best school for your child. You alone are responsible for your child’s well being. I knew many parents who left Calvary because their children were suffering there. Mothers, LISTEN to your gut feelings. The Bible recognizes that mother’s have a special intuition and wisdom when it comes to their own children. If you must choose between your beloved church and your child’s well-being – you MUST choose your child over your church or you will pay a terrible price for it and forever regret how you betrayed your child. There are many churches out there that love Jesus and have wonderful youth programs and groups!
There will be nothing for the victims, McClure stole the assets from Pottersfield. He is a cunning one. Seems like he’s only interested in the money.
An Apology? That is the least that should come from this ministry. How about accountability! These young people from age 18 to 26 entered this program wholeheartedly and put their complete faith in the Lord that this was their calling. They were asked after the end of their Ignite program to return as 2.0 and continue the work of the ministry and that some day they will run and continue this ministry because they were the chosen one’s.
That is what my son and daughter-in law were told. Yes there are some positives they met in the Ignite program and they are stronger in their faith today . My son and his wife left a month ago before all this hit the internet. It was not an easy decision they were young leaders in this ministry. My son simply told Mike that he believed in the mission but not in him or how things are runned imposing fear on everyone. They sold most of their belongings and put their house on the market because they needed to come back to the east coast to family support. There are several stories like this through out the ministry. Just yesterday on facebook one 2.0 was asking for boxes that she can find in the Whitefish area to pack. That just broke my heart because I remember her as a very dedicated staff member. Two weeks pay is a nothing compared to the cost of packing and flying out of Montana. During meetings Mike and Pam always made a point to state “that if this all goes away tomorrow Pam and I will be fine.” Of course they will be fine who knows what they have accumulated through all these years.
There are extensive properties acquired by Potter’s Field and now they are transferred to the new ministries. What does this all mean? These Mudman restaurants were viable business’s in the community and there was a lot of money poured into them to renovate the existing buildings. Who is going to pay for the leases on all these properties while they find a solution?
It just breaks my heart that these young people poured their hearts, hard work, long hours and sweat into this ministry and did everything they were told to have Mike and Pam just walk away.
My Son his wife and their two small children will be fine because both sides of the family will continue to support them just like we did while they were in Potter’s Field. We hope that they continue their friendships with the other members of the ministry and their Faith in the Lord only become stronger. Praying for all!
If there are any local lawyers reading this blog, let me know. After what some of us went through, simply going silent, or even if they have the wherewithal to finally publicly say “We’re sorry”, is not going to cut it. These people were charlatans and sucked millions of dollars for their own personal benefit and had the ministry pay 100% of their housing, their food, their horses, all their travel, etc. and banked huge paychecks while most of us made peanuts supporting our families.
And Rob McCoy, if you’re reading this, please make an attempt to change my mind if this is inaccurate. You are not new to this ministry, you have known Mike and Pam for the past couple decades.
Liquidate the assets, get a good lawyer, interview those who claim to have been harmed by this ministry, and pay us our reparations. That’s how this should go down.
And if the Rozell’s have to sell their own property and leave Whitefish, they will now know what it feels like for all of us who had to do the same.