PCC denies "allegations"

7276 reads

There are 31 Comments

Jim's picture

I feel for PCC because:

  • There are disillusioned fundy youth who are attacking the schools (BJU seems to be target #1) (I presume they are either grads or drop outs but not sure)
  • And the Internet is indeed a channel from which unsubstantiated attacks may be launched
  • And, putting on the PCC admin "hat", "what is a school to do?" They probably do not have a robust media relations department (if at all)
Lee's picture

Get G.R.A.C.E. in here to get to the bottom of it since they are the only trustworthy entity on this side of the universe.  Then when PCC fires their b**t for whatever reason that will conclusively prove PCC's guilt.  Case closed.  Next!!

 

Lee

Julie Anne's picture

There are disillusioned fundy youth who are attacking the schools (BJU seems to be target #1) (I presume they are either grads or drop outs but not sure)

 

Jim, 

If it was your daughter who was raped there while attending college, would you be calling her a disillusioned fundy youth attacking the school? 

I'm quite stunned at your very uncharitable response.  

~ja

Michelle Shuman's picture

then the victims need to go immediately to the police.  Even now.  So far I haven't heard of anyone going to the police and any criminal charges being made.  I don't care if the school told the girls not to go to the police.  You go to the hospital to let them check you for abuse and to call the police or go to the police and then the hospital.  We have cases of women in town here who have claimed to be raped and after a thorough investigation we hear on the news later that it was a made of story.  I don't know if these claims are made up or not, but we need more than just a bunch of internet talk.

Michelle Shuman

Grace's picture

Michelle,

The reality is that there are court cases that are either in the process and/or have been completed in some of these situations. I know of one specifically regarding a student at Bob Jones where the student did report her rapist (ON HER OWN against the advice of counseling she had received) and her rapist was convicted and is now serving time in prison. Just because you don't know of the court cases doesn't mean they don't exist. Rape and/or sexual abuse is deeply personal and it is exceedingly cruel to demand victims open themselves up to public scrutiny just to prove that they are legit victims.

 

And, Jim,

I hope you realize how deeply hurtful and offensive your comments are to victims who have survived unspeakable trauma.  You are insinuating that if they are good Christian kids who follow the rules and want to do the right thing, that they would never be hurt. Your comment about them being disillusioned fundies or college drop-outs is deeply disrespectful.  What if you were a spiritual leader on campus and deeply love the Lord and graduated with honors? Is it possible for someone like that to also be upset when the Christian University that they trusted and respected failed them in regards to their abuse?

Julie Anne's picture

Michelle:

What you suggested is very appropriate.  However, a rape victim is often not in the right fame of mind to make such a choice.  Imagine the emotional turmoil a young lady would feel after being raped - -especially living in a culture that idolizes purity.   She would feel like she was damaged goods - could never measure up.    Do you really think a rape victim would spontaneously go to police or faculty or even her parents to disclose such a thing?  Have you ever worked with a rape victim before?  

 

 

 

Mark_Smith's picture

All we have is anecdotes, and "I know a person who...". Like Michelle said, GO TO THE POLICE. Rape victims must do that or else there is no evidence of the crime. It is then too easy to dismiss or be concerned that it is a "false" charge.

 

Let me also say this about purity, RAPE ( I almost said "legitimate rape"...but that didn't go over so well before for a certain politician) has nothing to do with purity. It is a crime. Any "leader" who suggests otherwise should be immediately removed from their position.

 

I have debated saying this as well, but I really want to. One of the linked articles mentions a man who was supposedly gang raped in an all-male dorm. I can say that as a man, a Marine Corps veteran, if that happened to me, and I was alive afterwards, and I knew who did it...well let's just say I'd probably spend the rest of my life in jail for murder. At the least, I would pursue them VIGOROUSLY in the legal system, not whine on a website. But, I think that the legal system would not satisfy my sense of justice. Just being honest...

TylerR's picture

Editor

I was a Criminal Investigator with the Military Police for 10 years:

  • Rape victims need to go to the police
  • They don't need to go to college officials (university setting)
  • They don't need to go to "campus security"
  • They don't need to go to their Leading Petty Officer (military setting)
  • They can, and should, go to their Pastor after they go to the police. Goodness, the Pastor can sit at the station with you and wait while you're interviewed!
  • They need to go to the police
  • If you wait and decide to address it months or years later, the suspect will likely not be brought to justice
  • Internet allegations are useless - go to the police

I say this with all love and sincerity. Until something more concrete comes up, I'll remain skeptical about a peace referred by Darrel Dow and the folks at stufffundieslike.com.  

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Mark_Smith's picture

Let me further say this. First, I have no connection to BJU, or any other fundamental Baptist university. But, the allegation has been repeatedly asserted that BJU counsels students who come forward with rape allegations to forgive the perpetrator and not report the crime. If this is true as presented, IT MUST IMMEDIATELY STOP. While there is a place for forgiveness, of course, that instant in time is not it. Report the crime TO THE POLICE. Get the legal system involved and follow up thoroughly with the legal system. Once it is going, then we can talk forgiveness. But the victim needs to be supported AND the violator needs to be removed. ONLY THE LEGAL SYSTEM has the resources and authority to determine whether the allegation is legitimate. I appreciate that Paul mentions Christians not taking one another to court, but felonies like rape are not what he is talking about. BJU must immediately stop this practice, if it is true. Any other school must do the same. If doing so ruins the school...well then honestly the school needed to close.

rogercarlson's picture

Hi all,

It is important to remember that these horrible crimes do happen.  Remember this World Magazine article?  http://www.worldmag.com/2013/10/the_high_cost_of_negligence   I do not know if these events are true, and I hope they are not.  But I did say in another thread, when I entered the ministry 20 years ago, the unwritten rule was not to report these things.  I HOPE that has changed.  For a long time, the attitude was to blame the victim.  I don't want everyone the relive the New Hampshire case (I really don't want Tina or her family to relive it), but remember Ernie Willis was convicted of forcible rape, and many did not believe her. 

 

Michelle,

A false accusation is horrible.  But just so you know, according to the FBI, a false accusation is rare. 

Roger Carlson, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church

Michelle Shuman's picture

1.  While the FBI may say false accusations are rare, they do happen.  ie:  the one at Duke a few years ago, the basketball coach in the NE who was later cleared when the accuser came back and said he was angry about something else and made up the charges, and at least two cases here in Greenville where the women were later charged with filing a false police report.

2.  I don't believe everything I read or hear.  The only thing I believe 100% of is Scripture.  Anything else is subject to Biblical, legal, and common sense scrutiny and without evidence I can't believe everything.

3.  These crimes are horrible and must be punished.  Our system doesn't do enough to punish criminals any more.  We are much too soft.

4.  Real victims have suffered horribly and must be counseled, prayed for, and encouraged accordingly.  Bitterness and anger are never justified scripturally and never solves any problems.  If bitterness and anger helped, then I should be dwelling in bitterness and anger over an event that occurred 10 years ago this October in my own life.  I refuse.  I figure God is in control, He allowed it, and He can take care of the wrongs done.  I'll go on rejoicing in Him.

5.  God will ultimately judge both sides and take of the wrongs.  

Meanwhile, I'll go back to watching, waiting, and making these issues a matter of prayer.  I don't want to see Satan or criminals ever get the victory.

Michelle Shuman

T Howard's picture

The biggest issue I have with this recently reported situation is that PCC is AUTOMATICALLY assumed guilty... whether of callousness or of intentional cover up. Some have even speculated that PCC used its political clout in Pensacola to cover up these stories in the media. Even if people investigate and find these stories were fabricated or exaggerated, PCC will still be guilty in the eyes of many.

The second issue I have is that the outrage is entirely focused on PCC and not the actual RAPIST(S)!?!?  In one story the rapist is purportedly now a pastor.  Where's the outrage against this pastor? Why hasn't he been publicly outed and prosecuted? Why go after PCC and not the rapist(s)?

Jay's picture

I understand the power that comes from finally admitting - whether in a private counseling session or on the internet - that what happened to a person in any abuse setting (rape, sexual abuse, mental abuse, physical abuse, abuse by authority figures, etc) is actually what it was.  Not a 'mistake', not an 'accident', not an 'incident' - it was __________.  I know that is an important step to acknowledge that what happened to a person was wrong and a crime.  I've seen it with some people, and I encourage victims to say that what happened to them was indeed what some others quickly and rightly define, and that it was not their fault.

That being said, I really, really, really am skeptical about the good that comes from sites like the "IFB Cult Survivors" groups (and their ilk).  Many times they seem to be fixated on the fact that they were victims (not that they were abused, but they were victimized) and that is where the survivor stays at for as long as they remain in the group.  It's a downright toxic environment that breeds despair, fear, mistrust of authorities (especially men and the 'patriarchy'), and ruins a relationship with God, who is ultimately to blame for whatever thing happened.  I've read more than my share of those groups and their newsletters / email chains / blogs / etc, and I come out of it wondering how on earth those people will ever cope with the fact of their abuse in any way other than a bitter, angry spirit that corrodes relationships with everyone else and especially God.

Joseph's life is the perfect illustration.  He was slandered, imprisoned, sold by his brothers as a slave, freed, then accused of rape by one of the most powerful women in Egypt, imprisoned again falsely, freed another man (who promptly forgot about him for another 2 years), and finally was restored after working his tail off for godless pagans.  Then when his brothers came back, he forgave them freely and told them that God meant all of that for good (just as Paul reaffirms in Romans 8).

Which example seems like the one that Christians should emulate?  Which one brings glory to God?  The important first step is to acknowledge it.  The second, even more important step, is learning to live with it without succumbing to it.  The final and critical step is forgiving others their trespass against us, since God has forgiven us our trespasses (Matthew 6:12).

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

rogercarlson's picture

My comments earlier were not about this particular case.  I have no idea.  If these people were raped, then those who committed the crime should be prosecuted.  If anyone impeded the investigation, they to should be prosecuted.

My issue is this.  We, as Christian leaders in general, have been slow do deal with these issues.  I have first hand knowledge of this.  I have seen it done.  The attitude "we have to protect the ministry."  That is a sinful response and has to stop.  We should always first be concerned with the victim.  Michelle mentioned bitterness.  One reason why some victims show bitterness is because those to whom they have gone, were more interested in keeping things quiet, than helping the victim. 

By the way, I have not been to stuff fundies like in a while, so I have no idea with what is there. 

 

Roger Carlson, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church

rogercarlson's picture

Jay,

 

I guess my thought is this.  We need to deal with the our end (the leadership end) in how we handle this first.  That is the issue we have neglected.  I am not saying your point is not valid, but it really should not be our first priority.  Our first priority is deal with the false view of leaders and that will go along way in to preventing some of the bitterness.

Roger Carlson, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church

Jay's picture

T Howard wrote:

The second issue I have is that the outrage is entirely focused on PCC and not the actual RAPIST(S)!?!?  In one story the rapist is purportedly now a pastor. Where's the outrage against this pastor? Why hasn't he been publicly outed and prosecuted? Why go after PCC and not the rapist(s)?

Because they were victimized, and now they're vengeful.  It's not about the abuse - it's about settling scores, with the school and whomever else they see as targets.  It's about bitterness and revenge.  

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Ken Woodard's picture

Grace, If you "Know of a case" what is the name of the abuser that is in prison. What is the location. Protect the innocent we don't need to know their name but hang the perp out to face his humiliation. It is public record in that jurisdiction. Otherwise what you said is just "hear say".

 

Mark Smith, because of a seminar that BJU hosted at BJU a year ago I would be shocked if they don't have a policy of calling the police right away. All of the speakers told those attending the seminar to call the police. Also, about three years ago they did call the police and have someone arrested in Greenville.

 

I do know of a case where a brilliant young single businessman  was falsely accused of rape. The woman was the wife of a prominent person. She even had some circumstantial evidence in her hand. It turned out that she wanted to have an affair and he didn't want to sin against her husband and God. Read all about it in Gen 39:7  

 

Likewise don't jump to the conclusion that I think it never happens. In Gen 34:2 there is a real case of rape.

 

Lets be fair. According to http://www.clemson.edu/administration/student-affairs/dean/alcohol/paren...

Clemson University considers "sexual victimization... no more or no less of a problem than other college campuses". Approximately 20 percent of first-year women at Clemson University experience some type of sexual victimization: 15 percent  was unwanted sexual contact, five percent was sexual coercion, five percent was attempted rape and three percent was  completed rape."  I don't think 3% of the freshmen girls at BJU or PCC are being raped. Thank the Lord and an administration that has a lot of things built in that provides safety for our daughters. 3 out of 100 girls at state schools are raped. Where is the outrage toward those schools? Where are the blogs about an administration that protects its self more than the girls? 

rogercarlson's picture

I know that there are many that want to do nothing but smear us and our churches.  But my point is that we gave them ammunition in the past.  I hope that is all behind us.  I want to focus on what we can control - reporting right away, and support the victim.  Yes we need to minister to the criminals, but the victims still need to be our first priority.  Honestly, it seems many in the past have missed that.

Roger Carlson, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church

Lee's picture

rogercarlson wrote:

...My issue is this.  We, as Christian leaders in general, have been slow do deal with these issues. ...We should always first be concerned with the victim.  Michelle mentioned bitterness.  One reason why some victims show bitterness is because those to whom they have gone, were more interested in keeping things quiet, than helping the victim. 

...

Like so many other things balance is the key. 

Unfortunately, I have had experience with dealing with both sides of the abuse issue.  What I have found is that it is a practical impossibility to satisfy the huge majority of people in a situation like this.  Regardless of whatever right, reasonable, legal, and sensible steps you take to limit media exposure or legal liability, protect the privacy of whoever may be involved, or just to buy time to get to the absolute bottom of the matter the perception will be cover-up and callousness towards whoever is the perceived victim.  Doing right or wrong by all involved rarely comes into play.  And Lord help you if you ever suggest that the alleged perpetrator has legal "rights" as a US citizen that shouldn't be infringed upon in this specific situation.  

As a ministry administrator you have obligations to the perceived victim, the alleged perpetrator, and to the ministry as a whole.  Balance is key, but balance is not what the loudest voices are looking for.  The proverbial "pound of flesh" would not suffice, much less a balanced, just resolution of the matter. 

Lee

Grace's picture

Ken, 

Although you are right in saying that court records are public record, unfortunately that also means that in many jurisdictions the actual details of the assaults are also part of public court documents. And, once again, it is cruel to demand that victims put themselves through that in order to prove a point. Especially when previous posters above me made it pretty clear they wouldn't believe anything 100%. The importance of the GRACE investigation is that they can read the court documents and other evidence and be able to write a report that clearly protects the confidentiality of the victim while bringing awareness to the concerns that need to be addressed.

Michelle Shuman's picture

Who are you trying to protect?  I can understand that the victim needs to be kept private, but the perpetrator?  In case you didn't know, if G.R.A.C.E does what they have done in the past and the situation you mention is looked at by them, then the perpetrator's name will be made public.  As for your interpretation of my not believing anything 100% accept the Bible, you failed to understand/comprehend the rest of what I said.  Everything else I must first examine.  I would hope this would be true for you also since everything else has been written by an unperfect man/woman.  That is my only point.  There are things that are correct and true, but we are to make a discerning decision about those things before just accepting them.  It appears that you would have me believe you just because you said it even though I have no reason to since I have never met you and know nothing of the situation(s) you allude to.  The Biblical principal holds true that everything must be examined in light of Scripture. 

The New Tribes report that G.R.A.C.E raises some real issues for me.  I don't know if the events happened or not, but G.R.A.C.E revealed the specific events and accused names before the accused ever had their day in court.  Just as a side note, since that time at least one has been convicted.

Michelle Shuman

Ken Woodard's picture

Let me see if I am reading this right. You are attacking ministries for covering up for alleged perpetrators and you won't reveal the name and location of a convicted perpetrator? You lose all credibility. 

rogercarlson's picture

Hi all,

I know Grace personally and I know the facts for the case of which she speaks. She is not protecting the criminal but the victim. To reveal the name of the criminal would , more than likely, reveal the name of the victim in this particular case. This particular case is very unique.

Roger Carlson, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church

Jay's picture

She is not protecting the criminal but the victim. To reveal the name of the criminal would , more than likely, reveal the name of the victim in this particular case.

As unpopular as this is going to sound, I think that to name convicted perpetrators on an online discussion board is a bad thing to do, and I've felt that way for years.  If someone does that, they ruin any chance that the perp has of ever reintegrating peacefully within society after their prison sentence is finished.  We are a nation of laws, and those laws are there for a reason.  There is a huge difference between listing perps in something like a Megans' Law database online or notifying the local community where they return after their prison time and putting their name on discussion boards as a way of spreading their infamy abroad to places that have not heard of either victim or crime.

That, and it seems like a way to vengefully exact another "pound of flesh" from the perp after their prison sentence is up under the guise of 'warning' or 'advising'.  Convicted criminals have rights, too.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

TylerR's picture

Editor

No college has any business standing in as a mediator between a potential victim and law enforcement. None. Not any. No business. It is with sadness that I read this alarming excerpt from PCC:

I pray that you never have to deal with something of this nature, but please know that Pensacola Christian College protects and defends victims of sexual harassment or assault. Reports of sexual abuse can be made without fear of recrimination; and no student is punished for being the victim of wrongdoing. Further, the college assists victims in confidentially reporting to law enforcement if desired or necessary and we cooperate with any official investigation against individuals accused of sexual harassment or abuse.

  • The college does not decide if law enforcement assistance is necessary. The victim decides. Period. 

There is a section in the Pathway beginning on page 23 about student rights, and part of that section describes the rights and responsibilities of any student who is the victim of harassment:

Students have the right to be treated with dignity, free from harassment in any form. Students are responsible to demonstrate Christian kindness and charity in all their relationships. It is the responsibility of any student who believes that he has been the subject of legitimate harassment (not frivolous or groundless allegations) to report the incident immediately to a representative of the Student Life Office who will follow the College’s due process in the investigation of the alleged harassment. Any student who is responsible for harassment will be subject to disciplinary action.

  • No. The student must go to the police. Period. 

I would add that if for any reason you do not feel comfortable going to Student Life about something of this nature, please go to your parents or pastor or even law enforcement. The important thing is that you report it and get help.

  • No. Parents, pastors and law enforcement are not an option "if" the victim doesn't want to go to the college. Forget the college. Who cares about the college? 

Very unfortunate. A stupid policy. An ignorant policy. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

GregH's picture

To be fair, this policy is about more than abuse. It is discussing harassment as well. It is my understanding that some sexual harassment does not rise to the level that it needs to be reported to the police because it is not a crime. That is an important distinction because it makes this policy actually make sense.

I thought PCC's first statement was incredibly poor. This one is better.

Jay's picture

I read the policy with interest, and I can see Tyler's point, but I think that GregH is right - this is designed to cover both harassment of any kind and also abuse. It seems well written and wise; I'm sure that someone with a legal background / PCC's legal counsel has reviewed it to ensure it's legally correct.  The paragraph in particular about people going years without reporting before they get to PCC was, I thought, a very good addition as it eases some of the sting out of the burden carried by those who are abused and hopefully makes it easier for victims to realize they aren't alone and can get help by going to the Administration / Faculty / Counseling team.

Anything that can be done to disclose the reporting guidelines for abuse is helpful.  

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Lee's picture

Not trying to keep breathing life into a dead thread, but was curious as to if, in the intervening almost 2 weeks since this issue was 1st brought up, there has been any credible, verifiable case reports that would lend credence to the callous cover-up alleged in the article.  It seems like some specifics would be of utmost importance in a case such as this if there is any legitimacy to be taken from the article.

 

Lee

Pages