From the Author: I am re-blogging this warning letter so that people can see how religious leaders stealthily and deceptively cover up crimes and hide criminals in their midst. I also want readers to see how religious leaders attack and malign those who come forward to report abuses witnessed. Church leaders set out to “discredit” the witness and the victim.
I would like to point out some POSSIBILITIES here based on my experiences with other abuse victims who have reported. Here they are:
- It is possible that in setting out to discredit the witness and the child, the church leaders created new abuse victims (the witness and the child’s parents) and perpetrated secondary abuse onto the small child.
- It may have possibly created enemies out of long-time friends in this church who this family or witness may have had as leaders rallied church members to the defense of the pedophile they were trying to protect. Not only this, but this letter shows that the church was more concerned about their reputation than the trauma this child endured and the needs of this family.
- It is also very possible the witness and the child’s parents may have lost any paid positions they may have held in the church as a result of reporting.
- It is possible the church leaders may have used scripture and God to inflict emotional harm to this poor family and witness in order to try and shame them and silence them.
- The witness and the child’s parents possibly suffered great emotional and psychological trauma as a result of the church’s treatment of them.
This is only my thoughts on the possibilities. All of this possible abuse, is aimed at silencing the truth and the truth tellers. Truly, only Voyle Glover and those that knew this family can validate if any of this took place. But I just want people to “think” about the affects their words and behaviors have in situations like this when they try to victim blame and hide criminal behaviors. It causes good people to do and say bad things to other good people.
Sadly, this is the pattern that religious institutions and religious leaders are following all across America. They not only secondarily abuse victims, they leave a trail of new victims in their wake as a result of the slander and lies they put out to their congregations regarding victims and witnesses. They have no problem dividing families and destroying lives in order to hide the abuser and the abuse. Reputation trumps truth. What is even more sad, is that this letter was ignored and today, Jack Schaap, is in federal prison for taking a minor across state lines for sex.
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Warning Letter in 1993 to Jack Schaap and First
Baptist Church of Hammond Indiana
By Voyle Glover
THE DEACON CHILD MOLESTER
Years ago, a deacon at the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, molested a child in the Sunday School class at the church. The deacon, A.V.
Ballenger, was a long time respected member of the church. Upon the arrest of Ballenger, Hyles came out in support of Ballenger from the pulpit, preaching an entire sermon that can be summarized as mostly a defense of himself for not investigating the case when he was told about it by an eye-witness, and it was a defense of Ballenger.
Example: “A.V. Ballenger should not be judged in the courts of Hammond. He should be judged by wise people in the First Baptist Church of Hammond, if he’s judged at all. And I’ll explain to you after awhile whether or not he should be judged at all….” -sermon by Jack Hyles 10-23-91
Jack Schaap, the son-in-law of Hyles, also spoke out publicly on the matter, saying that the little girl “was one of the most affectionate children I’ve ever known…” and then relates how she was on his bus route and was always hugging on him. One had to come away from that sermon stunned because the clear implication there was that somehow, due to the affectionate nature of the child, she was to be blamed, and that somehow her affection was the cause of this injustice (Ballenger being charged with child molesting).
Now in the past, I have represented Jack Schaap on some minor things, mostly giving advice on various things and I believe a contract here and there. I genuinely liked Jack Schaap. So, when I heard Hyles’ sermon, followed by Schaap’s position, and the church’s horrific treatment of the witness to the molestation, a Sunday School teacher who was a loyal-to-all-things-Jack, I could not resist writing a letter to Schaap, and even sent him a copy of my book, though I am sure he’d already read it by then. What follows is the letter (sans my letterhead) I sent to Jack Schaap. I never got a response. Subsequently, in July 2012, Jack Schaap was fired for having sex with a minor and was indicted. His sentencing is scheduled for January 2013. He has entered a plea agreement with the United States (see links at the end of this piece to download the plea agreement).
April 1, 1993
Dyer, IN 46311
I found Mr. Ballenger’s case so extremely ironic and sad, indeed, pitiful. Your pastor advanced the “one witness” doctrine (called “Justice,” I believe) and in my book (p. 240-42), I took issue with his teachings on that and even advanced a hypothetical where a young girl is molested. I proved, based on your pastor’s own words, how a molestation was likely to be covered up with his rationale, rather than exposed and dealt with. Little did I know that the Ballenger case would prove my hypothetical to be exactly true. I predicted how an alleged molestation would be covered and not dealt with properly using your pastor’s rationale. And it was so.
Dunno if you’re still interested in truth anymore, Jack. I know you used to be. If you are, read the hypothetical I posed in the book (enclosed). And then think about it. And ask yourself what possible gain Tamara Wenger could have had in coming forward with her story. And wonder, with me, at the terrible things being said about her. How much Christian love is being shown to her? Is she not a sister in Christ? And even if you can somehow conjure up a rationale to advance the notion that she is not, are you not commanded to love your enemy? Even those who “despitefully use” you? God has said: “He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord.” Proverbs 17:15. I would greatly fear, Jack, of
being as an abomination unto my Lord. But, what you and others have done is to condemn a woman who was just, who reported something she saw. Even your pastor says: “I do not say it is not true. I said I do not believe it.” Thus, to call Mrs. Wenger a liar, is to condemn the just. I’ve never spoken with the woman, but from all reports, she is a good woman, although I think she had absolutely no idea of the storm that would swirl around her. But I thank God she stood firm in spite of the ugly treatment accorded to her by Christians who purport to love but in fact, love only those who love them. And Jesus said that was easy and not really commendable, didn’t He? Thus, even if she was an “enemy” (and she could hardly be characterized as that), the terrible things said about her are unchristian and contrary to Scripture.
. . . to read the rest of the Letter click HERE.