The Calvary Chapel Chronicles
Calvary Chapel pastors have always demanded “proof” of the stories I’ve reported, and when I haven’t betrayed my sources they have used that to discredit me.
This has always created something of a sense of bemusement to me because the greatest source of information for this blog has always been Calvary Chapel pastors.
The “no talk” rule gets changed to “don’t tell anyone I talked” because conscience demands that a story be told…but without risking the consequences of breaking the family rule.
There have been other sources as well…at least twice the sources have been the scoundrels own family members.
Today, I’m going to give you an example of how a story comes to me and why I use anonymous sources when that is all I have.
Early last year there were rumors that Bob Coy was trying to get back in ministry…some said as a pastor, some said as a consultant.
In any case, it was clear from what we already knew that he had disqualified himself thoroughly from the ministry in any form.
Then, one evening I received a police report via email.
It was the single most shocking document I’d ever received.
Coy was accused of child molestation and the people accusing him were people you had to listen to.
I immediately contacted the person who had sent it and barraged him with questions…the answers he gave were chilling.
He was quite agitated (as I was at that point), and quite demanding that this story be told.
Would he go on the record, I asked?
No, but here is a list of others pastors you can talk to who might.
They all spoke to me and added to the horrific tale, but not one would go on the record.
What I was left with was a police report I couldn’t publish (to protect the victim) and piles of damning anecdotal evidence that no one would publicly affirm.
If the police report was true and if all the matching tales from all these pastors were true, then one sick puppy was going to be free to victimize others.
It wasn’t enough to publish here, so I had no choice but to wait.
It was six months of private hell for me.
A local reporter finally agreed to investigate the story…no one would go on the record with him either.
I worked with the reporter and we broke our pieces on the same day.
The story finally appeared in the Miami New Times…but large parts of the allegations never even got investigated.
The culture of the “no talk” rule is so strong in these organizations (Calvary Chapel is not unique) that even when an alleged child molester is in their midst, they will not publicly speak.
Thus, there always has to be, always will be, sites like this that care enough about victims to risk the consequences.
They will be dependent on anonymous sources…because those are usually the only sources they will have.
We have to be sure…my rule is that I have to have at least two corroborating sources and any documents I can lay my hands on.
The corroborating witnesses for our stories in this series number in the dozens…but none of them are going to come forth and affirm what I wrote.
The objective here is not to simply accuse, but to foster understanding of how these cultures operate and how this culture in particular developed.
The “no talk” rule is almost built in to the patriarchal structures of religious institutions because of their familial nature…but it’s enforcement goes into overdrive when protecting a beloved leader.
When the leader is gone, the structure lives on.
And on, and on…until even those in the culture don’t remember why they must act as they do.