A bombshell RICO Lawsuit was filed recently against former leaders of Mars Hill Church of Mark Driscoll fame.
The lawsuit alleges that the church and leaders often solicited money under the guise of one thing….then diverted the funds to other things. It is alleged that Calvary Chapel churches have done similar…soliciting money under the guise of a particular separate charity…and then the money ending up in the general fund for the pastor to use it to fund his lifestyle and pay his bills.
Churches have long been ignoring attempts by grass-roots bloggers and former church-goers to clean up their act. This blog has called on the Calvary Chapel sect of churches and some others to change their ways. Those calls have been largely ignored and the messengers have been vilified and attacked in many cases. Unfortunately, I am personally aware of many specific Calvary Chapel instances of what looks like a bait-and-switch with fundraising for a specific non-profit only to have very large amounts of money end up in the general fund of the pastor to spend however he wants as former employees and board members confirm. That’s the dynamic. It’s wrong. It’s corrupt. Mars Hill is being held accountable for it. Others will as well.
Here is an excerpt from the report: “a continuing pattern of racketeering activity by soliciting, through the internet and the mail, contributions for designated purposes, and then fraudulently used significant portions of those designated contributions for other, unauthorized purposes. It was a pattern of racketeering activity that extended through a myriad of MHC projects, including the Global Fund, the Campus Fund, the Jesus Festival, and the promotion of Driscoll’s book Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together (“Real Marriage”).”
You can find a full report by the Church Abuse Journalist Stud, Warren Throckmorton, here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2016/02/29/rico-lawsuit-filed-against-former-leaders-of-mars-hill-church/
The RICO Lawsuit can be found here: http://wp.production.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/files/2016/02/Filed-Complaint.pdf