What The Ruling Means…And What It Doesn’t
First, congratulations to Alex and Tim…the first thing the ruling means is they and their families can sleep at night.
We thank them for carrying this difficult and stressful campaign to the end.
As I said yesterday, this is a major victory for bloggers and the exercise of free speech.
Indeed, it is a landmark case.
If this ruling had gone the other way it would have been open season on bloggers who write on these topics, especially those who break stories not published in the mainstream media.
Now, we can be relatively confident that if we have signed statements and documentation on the stories we write that we have the legal protection to do so.
Almost ten years ago, I wrote on these pages that blogs like this would become the vehicle for bringing accountability to those places that refused to incorporate it on their own.
Calvary Chapel responded that we were just “25 angry people”…
My, how those numbers have grown and the blogs have multiplied since then.
The little dogs can continue to bark.
What the ruling does not do is establish the guilt or innocence of either party, nor does it establish a mechanism to determine such.
In reality, we’re back at square one.
The only “reform’ Chuck Smith is interested in at the moment is purging “Calvinists”, “emergents” and pretenders to his throne from the movement.
He’s very interested in those matters.
Pastors accused of child abuse…not so much.
Not at all, actually.
There have been calls from the rank and file CC pastors (and some higher than rank and file) for there to be some action taken on this matter as the publicity has increased since the lawsuit.
Unfortunately, the buck stops at Costa Mesa…and Chuck is good at pocketing bucks.
So, my blogging brothers and sisters keep talking.
Speak the truth in love, speak it with clarity, and speak it with grace…but keep speaking.
The job is just beginning…
“The only “reform’ Chuck Smith is interested in at the moment is purging “Calvinists”, “emergents” and pretenders to his throne from the movement.”
We said Michael. My thoughts as well.
This will also cause a circling of the wagons under the auspices of “being under attack for the gospel”, “being persecuted by the govt for being Christians”, yada yada.
They need to be reminded of 1 Pet 4 and suffering for righteousness and not for being stoopid.
Suing is one maneuver bully pastors attempt to use to shut down communication and as in my defamation lawsuit, it didn’t work. However, I don’t agree with your statement above that bloggers need signed statements, at all. If we are posting what we believe to be true, it is not defamatory. One can use extra precautions by wording things carefully: I believe, it is my opinion, etc. A belief or opinion is simply not defamatory.
This lawsuit was a distraction. Now we need to move on and get the job done: expose malignant pastors who spiritually abuse, cover-up sex abuse, corruption, financial wrong-doings. Go little doggies. Bark your heads off.
A few things that I don’t get: Maybe you guys can help me out.
1.) “In reality, we’re back at square one.” That’s what I’m reading as well. So what about this ruling was a huge victory? I just don’t understand.
2.) “open season on bloggers” Why is this different than the Newspring / James Duncan case, or Julie Anne’s case? I’m assuming because it is a Calvary Chapel, it is closer to you guys, but I’m not understanding the huge significance of the ruling.
3.) I also saw in the ruling something about “public figure”. Does that mean that I cannot speak about my abuser if they are not a public figure? No. If I’m telling the truth, I have nothing to worry about.
Well said Michael!
Amen Julie Anne! A.k.a. Jezzy Bell!
Josh said, “I’m assuming because it is a Calvary Chapel, it is closer to you guys, but I’m not understanding the huge significance of the ruling.”
1. It’s California (CC’s Mecca)
2. It establishes that these issues are in the public interest and moves the ball regarding the Public Figure status of positions of trust like pastors/clergy who put themselves into the public discussion regarding morality etc. raising the threshold for “defamation” to be “actual malice” which is a super high hurdle. If you have the goods and believe your sources, you’re good…and it will be a very expensive lesson in First Amendment law for the propounding party (their attorneys’ fees + yours).
3. It helps further the push for a nationwide Anti-SLAPP legislation, something that Free Speech advocates are pushing for
4. It totally obliterated the “Cyberbullying” and “Hate Campaign” nonsense, which was a big part of BG’s suit. Cyberbullying laws are to protect private kids and teens from peer bullies, not to protect Public Figures from online scrutiny.
I get that, and for you that’s great. (Provided the truth is on your side, and I believe it is.) I don’t get why this ruling is any more significant (landmark) than Julie Anne’s case, or the non-church cases mentioned in your ruling.
I am truly glad you won Alex, but I wonder if it is going to make any difference, other than you not being libel. I think many of us had hopes that evidence was going to come out as to all the declarations of physical and sexual abuse in your family. We were hoping that truth and justice would come forth.
I wonder if this ruling will make any difference to how many will attend CC Visalia on Sunday.
I get why it’s significant and am happy for the outcome, Alex.
Nonnie, there are powerful testimonies and emails and documents that are in the court record. They will be published. They will be re-presented to Calvary Chapel Leadership. There are serious folks watching all this now. CC’s actions and/or inactions may have recourse. SGM is a good illustration of this possibility.
It’s a Marathon, not a sprint…and we’re still in the middle innings…
Did I read it correctly, though, that you may still be held libel, right? That will all be determined at a later hearing, right?
It took a long time for the filth in the Catholic church to be revealed and justice begin to be served.
This is a marathon, as Alex said, and may Calvary Chapels show more wisdom then the Catholic hierarchy did, even this late in the day and clean out thier filth.
I want to make it clear that I am happy for you, too Alex. I just want to make sure that I know what happened, and what is still yet undecided. Seems like some are reading too much into this first hearing, and the battle is nowhere near being over. Am I correct in this?
Thanks for the reply Alex. And I want to mention how very impressed I have been with the way you have presented yourself in the past few weeks. You have been polite, gracious, and it appears are learning when it is time to just bow out gracefully. I want you to know how much that is appreciated and respected.
One thing that was really interesting to me when I looked on the CC Visalia website (last year) was that the pastor said he only had ONE son…..then a few months later when I looked on the website, the pastor’s biography made no mention that he and his wife had ANY children!….that, in itself, speaks volumes! Something is very wrong with that. I have never seen a church website where the pastor doesn’t mention or even “gush” over his children and grandchildren.
Continuing to pray for the truth and for justice.
somewhat distracted at the moment, but i have to say that what is going on here is God at work … it seems to me that those on this side of the issue are honest, sometimes fallible, annoying, and sometimes angry (and trying not to sin?) people that God is using to call these self justifying, blind men to repent – repent while they still can … thinking on Genesis 6:1-8 … i think Noah would be on this side of the fence
We can receive an accusation of an “elder” based on 2 or 3 witnesses. I’m not sure I see written, signed statements as necessary, even by law. Did I miss something? Or are you just being cautious, Michael?
who paid the bills on this? B.Grenier bring suit out of his own pocket? … or? …
Couple of issues yet to be resolved. The hearing sounds like it went well, but there are still some things that the judge will have to rule on.
I’ll give a more complete update when I have more info.
The Widow Who Struggled Until Justice Was Done
A Parable of Jesus
Luke 18:1Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. 2He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. 3In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ 4For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.'” 6And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? 8I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Seems we are encouraged in this parable to not lose heart, continue praying AND seeking justice, even if the one/s with decision making power are not currently, or in this category, fearing God and respecting people.
Woof, Woof! yappy little dogs …
Got one stuck in moderation …
private figure Bob showed up with an entourage today, tons of cops etc according to sources…it was quite a theatrical circus according to same sources
I should have video of it, really bizarre stuff IMO
I hope you get names and faces of those in positions of trust who are supporting Bob.
praying for an independent, strong minded judge – who isn’t swayed by the show of “the force”
“Bob showed up with an entourage today, tons of cops”
This is utterly outrageous.
There needs to be a State & Federal investigation of those cops showed up in uniform!
if those cops showed up in uniform
they were in uniform, according to sources, quite a few of them, it was pretty intimidating for those who were present
That is just evil, a frikkin’ goon squad of thugs
On another hand, it practically provides visual evidence of how BG has used a blue shield to hide behind, and why the reports made by Alex and Paul were documented scantily at best. May not have been actually the wisest strategy by either BG or VPD. May the judge see clearly and judge wisely.
Local cops were intimidating to a judge?
Hoping also there are reporters from outside Visalia observing & reporting in the courtroom.
looks like when God strikes B.G. dead, he’ll get a police funeral, motorcade, taps and all? 🙄
Would have been interesting to see the entourage’s demeanor immediately after the decision.
It does lend credence to Alex’s assertion, about Bob and his near immunity in Visalia, due to his close relationship with the local pd. How touching that they showed up for Bob. In uniform.
I copied a quote and forgot which blog I got it from, but I think it applies:
Someone watched the Boz Tchividjian videos filmed at the Calvary Chapel in Philadelphia. Boz reflected how Jesus “loved, valued, and welcomed children.” The blogger noted that if our “focus is on protecting a man or an organization, we’ve missed the point.”
(I’ll give credit when I can find it, again.)
from this corner,
“when God strikes B.G. dead”
Absolutely no one here is wishing that on pastor Bob Grenier.
That is completely wrong on every level and utterly counter to everything Jesus Christ demonstrated within The 4 Gospels.
We are all prayerfully hoping God would soften hearts and break arrogance which perpetuates the illusion of anyone being above the laws of God or mankin and continues to bring I’ll repute on The Good News of Jesus.
G., OH FOR HEAVEN”S SAKE that was meant as humor – an observation on how thick he appears to be with the police in his chaplain role
of course, it’s always good to be sober minded about serious subjects and you probably saved someone from something by your clarification 😀
Josh, of course not, I’m hoping you were kidding. Intimidating to those who were present from the defense including a mom and grandmother of one of the defendants. It just strikes me as odd and over-the-top personally, just my opinion.
sorry wife and mom
I’ve got a lot more clarification on what went down now. I’ll wait for the judges final ruling and then post an update. All-in-all it’s looking very good for the big issue. There might be some wiggle room on another issue that isn’t BG, but it’s a very weak claim and we’ll win it, just might have to jump through some more hoops on that issue, and we will if needed.
In a couple of days we’ll have the judges final ruling and then both sides will have the opportunity for Appeals. We’ll know a lot more in a couple of days.
Nothing I was told today will change the Judge’s tentative ruling IMO, but I guess one never knows 100% for sure until it comes down “officially”.
Alex @ 36 – I wasn’t kidding, though I mostly wasn’t responding to your statement. G had already called for the feds! Just a little overreaction, it seems to me. Sounded like a funny scene to me. Wanna be big-timer showing up with his posse. Again, I don’t see how it would be intimidating, because I’ve never been to a courthouse that wasn’t swarmed with cops.
I just want to know exactly what’s happening, without so much hyperbole, and I appreciate the tone of you last several posts.
I’m glad this is going well for you, and I believe it will continue in that direction. Hope so.
“I’ve got a lot more clarification on what went down now.”
Case in point. This is somehow a landmark ruling…a HUGE victory for free speech. But the main guy involved is just now getting clarification. Everybody breathe a little. I have confidence that this is going to turn out good for Alex, but posting misinformed hype won’t help anything.
from this corner,
Yes, indeed, for “heaven’s sake” and Alex’s sake, and your sake and everyone’s sake…
Do you think for one moment there might be some readership looking for something, anything inflammatory? I completely take offense at any allusion that BG is worthy of anything more than ecclesiastical rebuke until he can be proven to be anything more than in need of his denomination to come alongside and lend loving support to heal his shattered family.
Think twice, edit three times, post once with intent or repeat the process.
“Think twice, edit three times, post once with intent or repeat the process.”
“That is just evil, a frikkin’ goon squad of thugs”
G, take Josh’s advice and chill a little. Even I saw the humor in FTC’s post, but it was a direct result of your reaction.
Ok, already chilled by anyone even joking about God striking anyone down.
Sounds way too much like what Chuck Smith Sr alluded to when he threatened Alex with God’s disapproval.
Alex, looking forward to good news.
There is an old proverb, “A wise man never knows all, only fools know everything.”
1. Knowing Bob quite well I’m not surprised he went to court today with an entourage of people. He most likely assumed that Alex would be there and Bob tries to bully his critics with a show of strength in numbers. Including police officers which is precisely why I have said all along that I do not believe I can get a fair trial in Tulare County.
2. I don’t think it matters what the outcome of the ruling is, one thing is certain, Bob will continue on with this lawsuit as long as he can. He will do so because he is trying to re-frame this as a verdict on his guilt or innocence. It is merely an issue of free speech and whether Alex’s actions are constitutionally protected.
3. People that don’t accept responsibility for their actions always find someone to blame. I’m certain the judge will be at fault and down the road his attorney will probably be at fault, too. I’ve never witnessed Bob take responsibility for anything (other than something he views as a success).
4. As far as reconciliation is concerned within the Grenier family, I have been quite vocal that I have absolutely no interest in having any type of relationship with Bob. Certain actions in life are unforgiveable and you earn trust with people which is the building block of any relationship whether it be familial, friendships. or otherwise. Bob has violated trust on every level possible. Some may say that is unforgiveness on my part and quite possibly it is but I really do not care.
5. Lastly, I started my post with a quote about fools because this sums up, in my opinion, the way in which Bob conducts himself. He knows everything. And you know what they say about that.
Re #4, I will never fault you, ever.
Thanks for sharing yourself with us.
There are times,I believe, when forgiveness is impossible. Forgiveness between 2 is only possible when both come to the table.Takes 2 to tango!
God bless you and yours.
According to PeaceMakers you NEVER demand or push a person to forgive their abuser. It’s the abuser who has to actually repent publicly, own it, apologize, change their ways and do all they possibly can to make things right with the person they abused. Some things simply cannot be made right by words and actions.
Someone is Paul’s shoes has every right to not trust his abuser even if he seems to come clean.
If Bob ever really repented, I think the change would be so drastic and so visible that it would not escape Paul’s attention, eventually. I just don’t think anyone is holding their breath expecting an actual repentance … based on Bob’s history, though I would love to see God perform a miracle on this one.
Paul, you have every right/reason to have no interest in seeking reconciliation. You don’t need to care what people say either. Defenders of all things “Pastoral” are going to come against you, as they already have, and you need not listen.
It continues to be a terrible injustice and Calvary Chapel continues to play a role in supporting it.
in answer to G.’s concerned rebuke:
for the impressionable who don’t understand that God is the One in charge of your death, who prefer to think that it is going to happen just “naturally” … as a fade away, not a God ordained event in time … who may feel that shortly after which event God takes notice of your disembodied soul and gently sends the angels to guide you through to the light …
let me be clear that God will someday – i was going to say “pull the trigger,” but that’s … tasteless and misleading and insensitive to the situation … let me just say that God will by whatever means He chooses end your mortal life … no one should even think of overriding His divine will on a life span in any way … i pray that for each of us, it’s a good thing, with a happy future in eternity
to see my #31 as emotionally charged in any way, other than humor/irony, might mean that the intensity of the situation has taken over your own life to too great a degree … unless i have caused distress to those who have gone through the trauma unfolding in front of us … to them, i humbly apologize and please know that you all are and have been in my prayers for a good outcome almost daily for quite some time now –
dear Paul G., as a mother, my heart aches for you – praying that your brave stand now will give strength to other wounded souls that are undoubtedly still hiding out there in the shadows
for Gman: i “Think twice, edit three times, post once” … well, not once exactly, but once and for all now
totally amen and in agreement with Chile’s # 47
What a sad day when a so-called pastor can drive a family member to no longer be interested in reconciliation. This makes me sick. Alex and Paul, I’m so sorry.
I can understand Paul’s desire to not reconcile with Bob and I think he’s completely in the right. I do hope that someday there can be healing in the relationship with his mother, although that may never be possible. Only God can fix some things.
BG and my former pastor came from the same mold (except for the sex/physical abuse part). A few days ago he was tweeting about not getting his day in court. He wanted a trial/jury, depositions, subpoena people, etc. He thought he could tell the court how to run itself and didn’t get to. Awwww. Instead he had to cough up the $60K attorney fees when he lost.
John the Baptist asked why is this case any different than mine. Legally, they are basically the same. They’re both defamation lawsuits and in both cases the judge deemed that our pastors were persons of public interest and speech and our blogs about them are protected. Go bloggers!
The difference between our cases is that my church was a small church run independently. Calvary Chapel Visalia has far more people and is connected with other Calvary Chapels by name, so the information in the lawsuit might be more public and could expose abuse problems in other Calvary Chapel churches. That is good. The best outcome of this case would be to expose the corruption that is problematic in many CC churches.
I agree with Paul. BG will fight this as long as possible because he has everything to lose. He is a fighter. He is a contentious man. He is most everything Chuck Smith speaks against in his Distinctives.. Rest assured, this is a contest he foolishly thinks he can manipulate into a win.
My my, religious deception must be one of the most despicable conditions.
Bryan’s words, ” BG will fight this as long as possible because he has everything to lose. He is a fighter….” resonate with me tonight as i check in here before a middle of the night appointment before the throne of God …
this man’s personality, as described here, reminds me so much of an Acadian woman i once knew – a born again woman – so strong willed; it was unthinkable to her that her children not obey her; no matter what it took or how long it took to break their will – cruel or not. Had she been a man and the parent of a strong willed child i can only imagine how that would have played out. Had she been a man in the role of preacher, her justification would have been enforced by the scriptural directive to have obedient children, no doubt. A distortion? Yes, born of either pride or misinterpretation; yet not really grasped as cruel. BG.’s other issue of abuse is another matter and betrays the a horrible besetting sin of a troubled mind. It was IMV a huge mistake for him not to step out of the pulpit.
Tonight he will be in my prayers – on the assumption that BG **is** a troubled son of God, that God the Holy Spirit will yet reach him – a joyous breakthrough in his understanding of himself and his God – repentance. So many here are praying for his soul and would rejoice with tears for such a breakthrough in the man’s life.
Byan @55 said,
“Rest assured, this is a contest he foolishly thinks he can manipulate into a win.”
This was the impression we had of our former CCpastor when they made him and his wife stand before the congregation to “repent.” Since the facts later showed the pastor did not repent, rather gave half-truths (actually he didn’t even admit half of what he did;) but rather it seemed he thought he was somehow going to talk his way out of this like he was so adept at doing on the spot in many other situations.
He was also used to people just following him, believing him, regardless of what he said that it seemed like he figured he could at least give them an impression of repentance that would satisfy them so they would continue to follow him. He was partly right. Some were satisfied and requested he be restored within a year, others wanted him to be returned immediately, and they followed him out of the church to the pastor’s “community Bible study,” he started up shortly after leaving.
I wonder if some who are in the position of a MM pastor …
-are so used to not having to really answer to anyone,
-who are adept at talking their way out of situations,
-especially with an audience that has been discouraged from using critical thinking skills to ask questions,
… are used to continuing the talk, or the fight, because their historical experience tells them something will work out?
Again, this is not the attitude of a “servant of all.”
In response to #2…
To bring an accusation against someone in a public forum carries with it a tremendous responsibility that I believe I will answer to God for.
I only do so with much fear and trembling.
Therefore, when I do write something I want as much documentation and as many witnesses and statements as I can gather.
I also endeavor to get the accused side of the story…as over the years I’ve learned that there are almost always two sides or at least two perceptions to almost every situation.
To be blunt, I’ve been lied to as well…by some very convincing liars who simply wanted to hurt someone.
Once we hit the “publish” button that accusation is permanent…and it is our Christian duty to do due diligence before we press it.
Michael…it is the caution and intentional moderation that I appreciate about you. Of course it is informed by your balanced view of scripture. You also admit that you are in a constant state of learning, and that you, like all others, need correction from time to time. When you act that way, it shows that you have a well developed understanding of the nature of sin, and the nature of Man. Many in our churches do not have clear biblical thinking in regard to the sinfulness of man, and the full nature of Man. So they may not keep an eye on the way sin can carry us away into needless and often empty tangents. They may also give too much credit to themselves, thinking they always will function with righteousness at their core. Because man is still a sinful creature, even after being justified, he must be willing to submit his easily tempted will to his brothers/sisters in the Lord, for correction and character sharpening. No man is above this, especially one who is called out to lead others in righteousness.
Saying all that, I agree that it is very wise to be cautious in making highly public statements without solid, verified documentation. The Bible is clear that the way we approach a perceived wrong, is to first air out all sides of the complaint. At least that is the ideal. In the case of the pastor at CCV, and maybe also due to the way a CC is structured and lead, it is often not possible to get an accused senior leader to agree to a full disclosure of anything. He simply doesn’t see that he should open up about it. He is God’s mouthpiece for that church, God speaks ultimately to him, and he will give account directly to God, not the others in the congregation. An accusation is often perceived as disgruntlement, and a diversion from the heart and will of God. So it gets cast aside and dismissed as a frivolous complaint originating from unholiness and bitterness, or worst. It is this unholy view of spiritual leadership, and this wall of separation that leads to so much frustration and strife within these authoritarian churches.
I can see why some like Julie Ann and Alex can get frustrated. Their gift of exhortation can become white hot at times. People like that are often used to give a clarion call to wake up the rest. When the slumbering do wake up, then those with moderating voices can join the justice march, and help to be sensitive to all sides of the problem. The take away is that when all is said and done, something should have improved. When we shine the light on the Darkness, we must be certain to be the light in the Darkness as well. Our conduct is being watched, and we must be sensitive about how we are perceived to be. If we are exposing lies, then we better be able to defend our statements with court quality testimony.
Ok…now I will slink away before I open myself up to too much personal scrutiny from those who can see my obvious flaws of character.
I agree with your 58, Michael.
Just want to add that before you know to even ask the two sides, someone has to speak up. It is this initial speaking up that has often been labeled as sin; therefore discouraging the much needed process of organic accountability to even begin.
The 2 or 3 witnesses have to speak individually, first.
Bryan @ 59
What an on the money description and evaluation.
I’d like everyone to note that the title of this post is misleading, to say the least.
No decision has been reached, I repeat, no decision has been reached.
Fresno Bee screwed up big time this morning…causing me emotional distress (I say that to make a point).
They initially incorrectly reported that my mom could proceed in her libel lawsuit against us and that the judge ruled she had the likelihood to prevail.
1. She didn’t sue us for libel.
2. She does not have the likelihood to prevail in a libel lawsuit as she is not suing for libel nor would she have the likelihood to prevail in such a suit
BIG mistakes. I am feeling “emotional distress” because of those statements today and nothing prevents me from suing because of it, the bar is so very low for bringing such a lawsuit…now I would most likely lose, but I have the right to bring a claim if I wanted to (see the point?)
“The wife of a prominent Visalia pastor who is suing her son for intentional infliction of distress can proceed with her case to trial because she is “likely to prevail” in her lawsuit, Tulare County Superior Court Judge Paul Vortmann ruled Tuesday.”
Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/03/05/3200525/visalia-pastors-wife-can-sue-son.html#storylink=cpy
Hey Alex, there is the corrected quote, and it is rather confusing for those of us who have read about your major victory. Regardless of what she is suing for, did the judge really say she was likely to prevail? Thanks, I’m sure this is all very difficult.
And you would like to make it even more difficult with your PMS type snippiness, Josh, wouldn’t you?
Would you like me to find a puppy for you to kick too?
What are you talking about Candace? I’m just trying to get accurate information. I am 100% hoping Alex prevails. I don’t think misinformation helps either side.
If the judge doesn’t change his tentative ruling re; BG, it is a HUGE victory for Free Speech and blogger activists and church abuse blogs as it further solidifies the Public Figure status of Celebrity Pastor Wannabes who put themselves out there.
We’ll know in a day or two the “official” decision.
Most likely the judge will stick to his guns and strike down BG’s and allow my mom to sue for IIED,
IIED suits are easy to bring, tough to prove and win, and I could countersue for the emotional distress they have caused me etc etc.
I’m talking about your passive aggressive (sometimes not so passive) and ugly tone. That’s what I’m talking about.
In every comment you wrote under this post.
So, are there two different lawsuits against you? One from Bob, one from Gail? How much is each for?
Josh, the judge split them apart. There are 7 causes of action.
If the judge’s tentative ruling holds, then BG’s stuff is gonzo and the 6th cause of action where my mom claims IIED gets to move forward if they want to pursue it.
Again, it’s a low bar for IIED, I could sue MLD, Jim Jr., heck anyone I felt causes me “emotional distress”…doesn’t mean I’ll win.
Sorry Candace. I just want to know what it is that I’m celebrating.
You interpret my tone incorrectly, but that’s OK too.
Wow, Candace. I sincerely believe you have misunderstood Josh. This legalese is difficult to understand and I felt he was just asking for some clarification, whilst still hoping the very best for Alex and Tim, and Paul.
“Likely to prevail” in Court Speak = You have permission to pursue a claim
I have the “Likelihood to Prevail” if I brought a lawsuit today against MLD or Jim Jr. or anyone I thought brought me emotional distress. Much like “Actual Malice”…it doesn’t mean what you think it means on the surface…it simply means she, me, you and others can bring a lawsuit for IIED, but doesn’t mean it will hold up.
We will fight it vigorously and we’ll win and collect attorneys’ fees eventually, it is a very weak claim, easy to bring, hard to prove and hard to win.
@70 – Ok, thanks for the info. That is now making more sense. I understand about the low bar for suing…but what about the “likely prevail” comment? Does that mean that the judge thinks she would win her suit against you, and if so, how much is she suing you for?
My former brother in law was a cop. He would actually pull back the blue curtain for me and gave me quite an education of the world of law enforcement and how they will stand by “their own”. Hence the show of force in Visalia by the men and women in blue for Rev. Grenier was no surprise to me. These girls and boys keep each other’s secrets if at all possible.
I would counter sue (with the advise of your counsel of course)….. surely you have suffered enough. And the courts are your only avenue of recourse. God knows you cannot get it here and now in His kingdom. Thy kingdom come.
The big hurdle is BG’s claims, and if the judge holds to his tentative ruling, it is a huge victory, no matter how you slice it.
No need to answer 74, Alex. You did so in 73. Thanks again.
“Again, it’s a low bar for IIED, I could sue MLD, Jim Jr., heck anyone I felt causes me “emotional distress”…doesn’t mean I’ll win.”
Well, then I’m suing, too! 😉 Oh, wait … I don’t have a church to pay for it. Better rethink that one.
Got word from a source: The judge’s final “official” ruling is that BG is a limited purpose public figure. That alone is a huge win. The final ruling is 6 pages long and very complex, I’ll need to hear from our attorneys what it all means, but the one thing, so far, that is crystal clear: BG is a public figure which raises the bar quite high. He must prove “Actual Malice” which means he must prove we dont’ believe the credible sources we have and that we dont’ believe what we reported from those many sources. No actual malice occurred, I believe my brother and the many others and I have the right to express such publicly and call for justice and accountability etc.
That BG has been officially ruled a Limited Purpose Public Figure is HUGE.
It establishes similar “pastors” as such, at least in California.
Priests, bishops and other pastors who lay low and just pastor their churches and don’t try to be Christian Celebrities by putting themselves out in the public en masse with radio programs, books, web casts, podcasts, conferences, events, campaigning for issues like Prop 8, speaking at mega-churches, etc etc etc are private.
Those “pastor” who do the stuff BG does (and others do) are Public Figures.
No pastor should ever fear a blog if he makes sure he lives above reproach. How does he do that? When he prays privately, and knows that something is not right, he spends that day attempting to make things right. He never lets things fester. He is gracious in all attempts to heal what is broken. When a pastor becomes aloof to others around him, he has a calloused heart, and God will not allow it indefinitely. God just may send a lightning bolt, or a slow drip of water, to demonstrate that no man is more important than another.