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:

 http://ephesians511blog.blogspot.com/2012/10/calvary-chapel-arrested-member-warning.html

 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.

Let’s face it, all of us who have been hurt in Calvary Chapel and then been shunned, given the spiritual equivalent to the middle finger when we’ve sought recourse within the Church System, had the tables turned back on us and framed as “evil” or “divisive” or “crazy” or “gossipers” or “unforgiving” etc etc (you’ve all know the M.O. well)…are in a very weak position compared to the CC Senior Pastor and the Calvary Chapel Church System.

Yep, they’ve got the Power. They hold the cards, they have the following, the financial support, the Bully Pulpit, the celebrity, the weight, the connections, you name it.

It is truly David vs. Goliath when it comes to standing up to them and speaking out.

it’s frustrating, it’s difficult, it seems sometimes like it won’t make a difference, it comes at a personal emotional cost, etc etc etc. It’s certainly tough.

But, is it right? Is it righteous?

I believe with all my heart that it is. It’s tough for a reason…because often the right thing is the tough thing. How easy to ignore the issues. How easy to go with the flow and make excuses for the Pastors and the CC System. The path of least resistance is to go with the flow and enable the Status Quo.

I reject that. I won’t give up, I won’t give in.

Reforms in the Calvary Chapel System are much needed. It is not a safe place System-Wide. The Calvary Chapel Leadership has shown time and again an unwillingness to repent and reform in the areas of transparency, financial transparency, mandating background checks of all youth workers and personnel, Church discipline recourse, standardized best-practices to protect kids and offer recourse if you’ve been spiritually abused, etc etc.

The Pattern of Calvary Chapel to date is cover up, cover over, silence victims, smear, Stone Wall, attack from the pulpit, etc. It’s wrong.

Make no mistake, the recent lawsuit brought by Calvary Chapel Pastor Bob Grenier is intentional, it’s strategic and it’s with the support of Calvary Chapel. Many in the Calvary Chapel System are watching closely. Many of the Senior Pastors are keeping a close eye on this.

What message are we going to send them?

Are we going to recoil in fear? Succumb to persecution for doing what’s right and righteous? Be silenced by fear of recrimination?

Not me. I reject it, I won’t stand for it. I fear the Lord and Him only. Speaking out against abuse and corruption in the Church is the Legacy of our fore-fathers. The Church has lost its way BECAUSE there are no more men and women of God who will take bold stands, even if it costs them something.

For these reasons, I am dedicated to Blogger Activism. I am dedicated to speaking out and warning as many people as I can with the remaining time I have left in this existence. Unfortunately, “change” and reforms throughout human history are usually wrought through controversy and conflict. I wish changes were made through simple petitioning, but that has failed time and again and has failed in the case of Calvary Chapel.

Why is it right and righteous?

1 Peter 4:17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

Ephesians 5:11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.

1 Timothy 3:

Qualifications for Pastors

The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Therefore an overseer[a] must be above reproach, the husband of one wife,[b] sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

Qualifications for Deacons

8 Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued,[c] not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. 9 They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. 11 Their wives likewise must[d] be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. 13 For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

1 Peter 5:2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers–not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve

Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Colossians 3:21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

Mark 9:35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

Mark 9:37 “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

Mark 10:16 And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.

For these reasons I am continuing to Nail these issues on the cyber-version of the Wittenburg Door, as much and as often as possible. If you have a deep conviction, as I do, go and do likewise. I am starting a Calvary Chapel Review effort. My goal is to post reviews wherever possible in the United States where there is a Calvary Chapel Affiliate.

Here are a few samples so far:

https://plus.google.com/114083034673616622906/about?hl=en

https://plus.google.com/108895621105168904047/about?hl=en

http://www.yelp.com/biz/calvary-chapel-of-the-chino-valley-chino

 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
Oct 192012
 

Pastor Bob Grenier of Calvary Chapel Visalia and Gayle Grenier his wife (my mother) have filed a lawsuit against their stepson/son Alex Grenier (me) for speaking publicly about Paul Grenier’s child molestation allegations and for exposing corruption in the form of misusing church funds for personal gain (or “stealing” money from the church and from God, etc).

I’ve read through the lawsuit a few times. The main theme is (as I predicted) “it’s a hate campaign” and “cyberbullying” along with defamation/libel. The suit also appears to allege some sort of conspiracy between me and another singular party to engage in a “hate campaign” etc. The suit is seeking monetary damages, but did not cite a specific number, but checked the box “Unlimited”.

What is very interesting is who and what are left out of the lawsuit.

The suit does not name Edna Silva or Tina Jenkins, which the “intent to sue” letter I received a month ago listed them as targets of the coming suit as well. I am glad Bob listened to my public challenge and decided not to put those dear women through more abuse. They’ve had enough from him.

The suit also doesn’t name my brother Paul Grenier, who has gone on the public record as stating clearly that Bob Grenier, Calvary Chapel Visalia Pastor and Visalia Police Department Chaplain in good standing, molested him. For the record, I believe Bob Grenier to be a child molester, I believe my brother Paul’s testimony he shared in the offices of Portland Attorney and Child Abuse Advocate Kelly Clark. I believe Paul’s written public testimony on this blog. Bob is a monster, IMO, and beat me and my brothers violently. Bob made me shower naked with him many times when I was a boy and Bob had a regular habit of being around us naked, with his genitals exposed. For these and many other reasons, I believe Paul and stand by my public comments and will continue to warn the Public as it is highly in the Public Interest as Bob Grenier is a Pastor and Police Chaplain and in a Position of Trust (and shouldn’t be trusted).

The suit also fails to name Geoff Grenier, another stepson (my full brother) who is on the public record as corroborating the violent child abuse in our home growing up.

I have spoken out publicly and consistently about many abuses by Bob Grenier and Calvary Chapel…including the child abuse, the molestation, the corruption, pill addiction/abuse, telling a Calvary Chapel mother to not report child molestation of her daughters to authorities, cult-like counseling, bullying/harassing of female staff, lying, manipulating etc etc etc.

Bob Grenier seems to be admitting to many of the other allegations by not challenging them, but is focusing specifically in the lawsuit on the issues of child molestation and corruption/stealing.

There are many errors in the lawsuit, the biggest being that my speaking out publicly and exercising my First Amendment Free Speech Rights to deal with these serious issues that are in the Public Interest is “not” defamation/libel and my consistently speaking out and warning people and calling publicly for accountability in these matters is “not” a “hate campaign” nor is it “cyberbullying” no matter how many times Bob repeats it in his lawsuit.

If Bob Grenier and by extension Calvary Chapel (who he represents as an Affiliated Pastor) are allowed to get away with framing Free Speech, Whistleblowing and exposing abuse and corruption in the church as a “hate campaign” and “cyberbullying” and “defamation/libel”…then the Chilling Effect it will have on others is extremely frightening. This is a very important matter. If those who wield the Power of Public Figure and Position of Trust Pastor/Chaplain are allowed to win frivolous lawsuits in an attempt to cover over their bad actions and silence victims and critics and watchdogs, then beware, you might be next…and the result will be the covering over and enabling of much more abuse and corruption within the “church” and it will make it easier for Children to be abused and molested.

From a personal perspective: I have really thick skin thanks to the intense and enduring physical, emotional and spiritual abuse I suffered (and watched my family suffer) for many years at the hands, feet, mouth etc by Bob Grenier…however, that my Mom is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our Abuser and going on offense against me hurts terribly. She sat by and let us be abused when were growing up, rather than protecting us. Now she picks up the sword and goes on the attack against me for not taking all the abuses silently. It’s wrong. It’s heartbreaking.

The Fresno Bee has published an article about the lawsuit here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/10/18/3034687/visalia-pastor-sues-son-over-cyberbullying.html

 Posted by at 9:12 am
Oct 182012
 

Just got through interviewing with a Central California reporter who said Bob Grenier and Calvary Chapel Visalia have filed a lawsuit against me and possibly others. The reporter described it as a “Defamation” and “Cease and Desist” claim.

I have yet to receive the lawsuit and will report the details when they become available. One of the questions the reporter asked was “is this a ‘hate campaign’?” which is what I predicted Bob’s narrative would be…

Prayers appreciated. I’ll keep you posted.

Alex

 Posted by at 1:24 pm
Oct 012012
 

Bob Grenier, Calvary Chapel, it's not too late to do the right thing.

Bob Grenier and Calvary Chapel Visalia have recently stated they will be filing a lawsuit in Tulare County for “defamation” according to their attorney Nick Pritchett of Williams, Jordan, Brodersen and Pritchett, a small Visalia, California law firm.

If Bob Grenier and Calvary Chapel backs out, doesn’t follow through, puts up the Stone Wall once again…it’s an admission of guilt in my opinion.

If they follow through, here’s what I believe is coming and here’s some insight to what I’m preparing…also a couple of last appeals to Bob before this gets past a point of no return.

First one of the appeals to Bob:

Drop the others from the lawsuit. Don’t re-victimize Tina Jenkins, Edna Silva and Not Alone. You’ve hurt them enough already. If it’s a fight you want, I pledge not to anti-SLAPP you if you drop the others…and I’ll give you all the fight you want in civil court. We’ll drag this whole stinking carcass into the public record and let a judge/jury decide who is righteous since the Church has shunned their moral/spiritual responsibility in these matters. We can both depose and cross-examine the aforementioned as witnesses and you take your shot there. Besides, it’s a waste of the good-givers and tithers money at Calvary Chapel Visalia for you to waste their money attacking the others when your lawyer Nick Pritchett knows good and well (or should know) that you’ll get anti-SLAPP’d and that Jesus Money you collect each Sunday will go to pay off the others’ attorneys and expenses. Save some of Jesus’s money and drop the others.

As to the lawsuit if Bob and Calvary Chapel don’t chicken out…from the info I’ve collected from Bob Apologists and CC cast-offs, I believe I have a pretty clear understanding of Camp Bob’s Narrative and Offense/Defense that they’ll present to the court (and to the Calvary Chapel Association to save face and save their Dove):

These are some of the key talking points I’ve learned/observed/heard:

“It’s a Private Family Matter”

“Alex is engaged in a Hate Campaign against his step-father in an effort to take him down”

“This is a Vendetta engineered by a media professional”

“Alex has bad character”

etc etc etc.

Appeals to Motive and Character. That will be the theme of the Camp Bob Narrative.

It’ll probably go something like this:

“Alex is a bitter vindictive step-son who has engineered a Hate Campaign to take down his step-dad. He has rallied a small group of malcontents who had beef with Bob Grenier and reason to lie about him to support Alex’s Hate Campaign. Alex’s brothers are ‘helping a brother out’ and lying for him as well. This whole thing is a malicious conspiracy to take Bob down. The brothers are motivated by their hatred of Bob and the former employees are disgruntled, etc. Who wouldn’t have a few disgruntled people after over 30 years in ministry? We’ll admit Bob may have been a jerk at times, but he did not do the things that these malicious malcontents are saying in Alex’s Hate Campaign. Regarding the supposed child abuse that Bob confessed to the Calvary Chapel Visalia Board, there are mitigating circumstances, Geoff was a danger to the others, he was hopped up on steroids and Bob had to punch him out to protect himself and the family. No other abuse ever happened in the home as many others testify” …or something similar.

Appeals to Motive seem to be a biggie so far.

Then they’ll appeal to Character and assail the character of all involved.

“Alex can’t be trusted. He has past moral failings. He has had some business disputes. He used to say how wonderful Bob was. He accepted a loan from Bob to start his business. He accepted food and shelter from Bob, etc. etc. Alex’s brothers have bad character, moral failings, are ‘scoundrels’ etc. The Aunt who says she witnessed abuse hates Bob and has a grudge. The former employees have bad character, moral failings, are disgruntled etc. and none of them are reliable in their testimony.”

If the Judge allows it to be partially about Character and Motive, I’ll present a different Narrative.

I’ll appeal to Bob’s (and Camp Bob’s) Character and Motive as well.

Bob was a former drug dealer and drug smuggler. He’s an un-convicted, un-caught felon, the only thing that keeps him from being a felon is that he was able to dodge prosecution for those crimes.

Bob claims there was a “miracle” in his life and he’s a changed man. However, Bob didn’t really change, just his bad character changed from one set of bad things to another set of bad things.

I’ll go on to present evidence that Bob went from having a street drug problem to a prescription drug problem. I’ll depose a CC pastor who will testify that he witnessed Bob “stoned on pills” on mission’s trips and that Bob confessed a pill problem with him in the mid 1980′s (during a time we were being abused terribly). I’ll depose witnesses from CCV that saw Bob acting strange, speaking weird, that he seemed to have been on the influence of pills and even stated that he had taken something. I’ll depose family witnesses who will testify that Bob took too many pills to get high.

I’ll then transition into a variety of other character issues and depose witnesses who will present testimony to Bob’s temper, his bullying, his lying, his manipulation, his cult-like counseling, his attempts to get a mother not to report child molestation to authorities etc, etc.

Then we’ll get into the financial issues. That’ll be a real interesting area. Don’t want to disclose too much here, but I can guarantee you, we’ll be on this one for awhile and depositions and discovery will be a hoot and the net will be cast wide and the things we’ll confirm….this part may cross over from civil to criminal, we’ll see.

I’ll conclude with the child abuse and Paul’s molestation allegations. With regards to the child abuse, I’ll depose those directly involved and other witnesses to the abuse. I’ll depose Glen C. and his testimony that Bob confessed punching Geoff out to his Board, but the Board didn’t take action, covered it up, didn’t report (and CCV is a mandatory reporter). Witnesses will testify that much child abuse happened after that Board inaction…not only victims of the abuse but outside witnesses post-confession.

I’ll depose Paul and put his molestation allegations on the record. It’ll be tough and emotional, I don’t look forward to that one.

I’ll present testimony that Bob had me shower naked with him and testimony from witnesses that Bob made it a regular habit of walking around naked in front of us as children/teens while in our home, genitals exposed.

I’ll present Bob’s testimony of his same-sex encounter at boarding school in his book.

There will be a few bombshell witnesses, and I don’t want to disclose too much, but I have a witness who will testify to what so far look like some pretty big inconsistencies in Bob’s version of his own history in his book.

To Motive. Why would Bob lie? Why would my Mom and Bobby Jr. lie for him? Why would the Dowds cover for him?

Money. Power. Influence.

Calvary Chapel Visalia is a money making machine. It’s also a powerful entity and provides a group of followers, a stage, platform and fame, etc.

In discovery we’ll show how much money CCV makes. We’ll show how much Bob and my Mom benefit financially from CCV. We’ll show how much money the Dowds make from CCV. We’ll show how CCV employs and gives benefits to Bob’s daughter-in-law who is Bobby Jr’s wife (Bobby Jr’s household is paid by CCV).

There is huge motive to lie and cover up abuses. If Bob loses his throne, the golden goose of the CCV money-making machine is cooked and his inner-circle loses money, power, influence as well.

I’ll also counter Camp Bob’s Narrative of my motive and my character and counter Bob’s version of the motive and character of all the others.

Very good counter-narrative, but I want to save some for the trial.

It’s not a “hate campaign” and a grand-conspiracy against Bob and it’s not just a small group who he’s hurt and keeps hurting and Bob is not a janitor, he’s a highly influential and powerful public figure in Positions of Trust. It’s in the public interest to deal with these things.

Bob’s actions and the church’s non-action in dealing with these issues in a just manner are responsible for this being public, not a conspiracy “hate campaign”.

The defamation claims will be easy to address and will pretty much be covered in all of the above.

There’s a lot more to it all, and I’m preparing to address these things well beyond what I’ve presented here…but that gives you a taste.

There are many witnesses who will be deposed who have not been mentioned who have some very interesting testimony.

I won’t leave any stone unturned in depositions or discovery. I know this situation like Hawking knows physics.

So, Bob, if you chicken out of your defamation suit, it sure looks like an admission of guilt to me (and many others).

Bring it and let’s get it on and get this stuff out in the open and dealt with.

ONE FINAL APPEAL: Bob, your other option is to confess, repent, come clean and seek reconciliation and get help for your many issues and ask for mercy. True repentance begins with acknowledging the sin and admitting you have a problem. You still may have to suffer some consequences for your sin, I can’t guarantee you won’t, but I’m pretty sure the consequences will be worse if you keep digging in.

Bob, stop this nonsense. Come forward and confess and repent. I’ll then help you to make amends, and help you ask for mercy, even though you may have to suffer some consequences, but it will go better for my Mom and your wife if you do the right thing now without this going further.

Call me, you know how to reach me.

 Posted by at 11:37 am
Oct 012012
 

Julie Anne Smith, the spiritual abuse survivor made famous by Chuck O’Neal’s and Beaverton Grace Bible Church’s defamation suit for criticizing/correcting O’Neal’s behavior, has written a great synopsis of the child abuse allegations against Bob Grenier of Calvary Chapel Visalia.

If you are looking for a thorough yet concise picture of the child abuse portion of the Bob Grenier saga, you can view the article here:

http://bgbcsurvivors.blogspot.com/2012/09/calvary-chapel-pastor-pastor-bob.html

Dee and Deb at The Wartburg Watch, a very popular Christian Blog that dissects trends in the larger Church and also tackles church abuse issues, has published an article about Bob Grenier the “mini-moses”. I’ve been interacting in the thread with the community over there…and I can tell you, these folks have experience in these areas. They ‘get’ it. Their insights are valuable and they are doing a good service to the public and the Church. They’ve obviously walked in the same and similar moccasins.

View The Wartburg Watch article here:

http://thewartburgwatch.com/2012/09/27/calvary-chapel-mini-moses-bob-grenier-sues-his-own-son/

Thank you to Julie Anne, Dee, Deb and all their readers and participants at their blogs. The issues of child abuse, molestation, corruption, spiritual abuse etc are in the public interest and speaking out against abuses and advocating for reforms in the church to deal with these abuses is important stuff.

 

 Posted by at 8:15 am

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