Oct 302012

Papa Chuck’s CCCM goon squad cuffs up former NBA player and CCCM giving-member Nick VanderLaan….for speaking out at a meeting featuring the controversial Ergun Caner. Photo courtesy of Ephesians511blog.blogspot.com.

Former NBA player Nick VanderLaan, a recent money-giving member of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, tells his story of being detained against his will and then arrested for speaking out at a meeting to question the presence of the controversial Ergun Caner.

I’ve spoken with Nick many times over this situation. I believe his version of events and was kept informed about the situation and the eventual dismissal of the charges by the prosecutor.

In my opinion, what Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa did was wrong. Very wrong. It is symptomatic of a cult-like culture that has taken root. Dissent is squashed. Ears are closed. Abuse continues…in many forms, including this situation in my opinion.

Nick shared the details with me months ago. Here’s what happened in a nutshell from my recollection of our conversations and Nick’s recounting of events:

He attended a special meeting at CCCM featuring Ergun Caner as the guest-speaker. Previous to the meeting, Nick expressed his concern to CCCM Leadership, believing he had the right and responsibility to do so as a giving member of the Church. His concerns were basically ignored.

At the meeting, Nick stood up to challenge Caner’s presence. He was non-violent and merely spoke out and spoke up. Calvary Chapel Leadership knew who he was. Nick and his family were known quantities, attended a trip to Israel with Chuck Smith, counseled with pastors there, dedicated their kid at the CCCM pulpit etc etc.

He was immediately surrounded and detained by the Calvary Chapel goon squad (my opinion, my description of the security guards and CC personnel based off of their subsequent actions).

The goon squad cuffed Nick up, took him to another part of the church, denied him bathroom and water and detained him against his will for a prolonged period of time.

Santa Ana police arrived later and arrested and charged Nick.

The ordeal took an expected toll on Nick and his family. The charges were eventually dropped by the District Attorney.

Adding insult to injury, Nick has tried many times to address the issue of both Caner and the detainment and subsequent arrest with Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa Leadership…with “no attorneys”…basically Nick wanted to follow Scripture and deal with this in a Matthew 18 manner. CCCM don’t play that. Attorney Janet Carter (same attorney Chuck Smith brought to our “meeting”) was sent a request, but the infamous CC Stone Wall is up once again.

Ephesians 5:11 blog documents the full story here (very thoroughly). See the arrest report, see the letters to Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, hear Nick’s testimony:


 Posted by at 5:09 pm
Oct 252012

Blogger Activism and speaking out is the “new” Wittenburg Door.

I’ll give Bob Grenier this, he beat me down and dominated me for so many years, and did it so well…he did instill one virtue in me: Don’t ever give in and don’t ever give up in the face of adversity and in the face of injustice. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 8:14 am
Oct 202012

I’m a good Dad, I love my kids and treat them with love and respect…and I’ve never hurt them, and I won’t ever hurt them. I am not a psycho “cyberbully” as Bob Grenier would have you believe and I am not involved in a “hate campaign”. I am speaking out about my personal abuse and about the abuses of my brothers and the testimonies of other CCV’ers (which I believe as corroborated by many) regarding spiritual abuse, corruption etc. This has always been about warning the public, seeking some form of accountability and justice, shining a bright light on these serious issues, advocating for reforms in the church, etc etc.

Yesterday, the weight of being sued for speaking out about child abuse and corruption in the church by my own Mother and my Calvary Chapel Pastor and Visalia Police Department Chaplain step-dad Bob Grenier, really took a toll. I spent some time (metaphorically) on the mat, if you will. I took a solid punch to the gut, I won’t lie.

It’s time to get up off the mat and get to work on this. I didn’t take all this on to quit when it got tough, but I’m not superman, this is really daunting and as humbling as it is, I am not up for this on my own…I need help. I need help from you in prayer, support, leg-work, getting the word out about the lawsuit and asking for help, lobbying the media to cover the story and I need your help financially to help fund the defense and counter-suit and I need your help finding a really good attorney who will partner with me on a contingency or partial-contingency basis to fight this all the way.

There are a couple of easier options available…anti-SLAPP and/or a motion to dismiss due to expiration of Statute of Limitations dates of when the alleged defamation/libel first entered the public. I don’t want to take the easier options (still not easy by no means, still difficult and time consuming and trying, but easier than the really hard long expensive battle). I want to have my days in court and fully answer all the charges against me and prove my case and counter-sue and prove my case there as well.

I am willing to pay back any money that is donated if we win and recover money (which I believe we will). I don’t want the money for me, I want to be able to fight for the causes I hold dear and for all the others (including myself and my family) who have been hurt in this situation. I don’t want the real bully getting away with silencing those who are speaking out against him. I don’t want others fearful of being sued if they speak out against child abuse and corruption in the church, THAT is a frightening proposition, THAT will enable more abuse and empower abusers.

PLEASE STAND WITH ME. Please help me.

Your input is very much appreciated.

I am working on getting a paypal link up in this article for donations to fund the legal defense and potential counter-suit.

 Posted by at 11:05 am