Four of the five ex-members who gave their full names in the Observer story were also featured in the Waco Tribune Herald story about us five years ago. In fact, many of their accusations are identical to those featured in that story. (This is one reason why numerous people have already commented that the Observer story is hardly the “Exclusive” it’s billed as.) The Beechners, Birkbeck and Adam Alexander have been addressed elsewhere, so here we’ll just briefly mention the others named.
Jeremy, who is now reportedly an atheist, was already presenting himself as having been in the “inside clique” and accusing our leaders of claiming the exclusive authority to forgive and such back during the Waco Tribune Herald article. Though most of his accusations are subjective and unverifiable (and thus also nonfalsifiable), he also accused us of many other things at that time which we disproved to the Tribune reporter with hard evidence. Here are a few:
- He said we refused medical care to a dying person; we showed copious doctor’s records, pharmacy prescription receipts, etc., proving that the person received extensive medical care.
- He claimed we abandoned a widow and made her underage sons work to support her; we showed bank statements revealing that we financially supported her ever since her husband died.
- He said we reject the Biblical book of Galatians; we demonstrated its constant use in our literature.
- He complained that he was paid less than minimum wage at his job in a community business; we presented complete pay records proving otherwise.
- Trying to prove his “inside clique” connections, he said Blair Adams performed his wedding ceremony; we presented the audio recording and photos from his wedding proving that his own father married him.
- He attempted to discredit us by “quoting” our church literature; we showed compares with originals proving that he had dishonestly edited our material.
- He claimed we don’t let members wear collarless shirts—and for that one, he presented the contrary evidence himself: his own wedding picture that he gave the reporter shows him in a collarless shirt!
It’s ironic that Jeremy Crow now accuses us of being willing to “lie about anything.”
Robin’s only named contribution to the Observer story is her claim she once locked her 7-year-old child in a room for two weeks because another member told her that was necessary. Maybe Robin did such a disgusting and abusive thing (we really doubt it), but to paint this as normative for our community is inexcusable! Please consider what kind of parent would ever do this to their child—even if they were supposedly “told” to by someone else. As revealed in her own life story, which she gave us for use in publication years ago, Robin had serious emotional instability problems before we ever came in contact with her. We only tried to help her and her family, but now since she’s left she has devoted much time on the Internet to spreading such wild allegations about her time in our community. Discerning readers of her profuse and rambling posts recognize her instability and unreliability as a witness.
Christina (surname redacted)
Christina has been gone from our church for twenty-five years or so. Most people in our community have never even heard of her. Yet she has recently become one of our most vituperative critics on the Internet, accusing us of all manner of outrageous things. According to her rantings, we rebuked her for sharing the gospel with people, wouldn’t let her visit her dying father, stole her inheritance money and her mother’s ring, wouldn’t let her attend her sister’s wedding, called special meetings if we found out that someone didn’t give all their material wealth to the church, kicked her out of the church after we’d taken all her money, caused her to be barren to this day, denied medical care to dying people, had an “epidemic” of children’s deaths that we blamed on “sin,” paid off whole families to leave because a leader’s son raped their daughter, incited multiple suicides, and on and on and on.
Though she’s been gone for twenty five-years, she now presumes to speak with great authority even about current events and practices within our community, both in the article and on online forums. When challenged by other bloggers as to how she could speak so confidently of things she has no firsthand knowledge of, she rejoined that she has read all about us in the thousands of posts on F.A.C.T.net, so she’s very informed. (Small wonder that she parrots the group story line so well.)
“John” (not his real name)
We know who “John” is from the description he gives of himself and his family, from the tone and content of his accusations, and because he admitted his identity to a family member shortly after the Observer story came out. (This admission came after telling this person just the week before that he had not been involved with the story at all.) The caricature he paints of our meetings, his childhood and even his own parents is so wildly distorted that to even begin going through it to sort out if there are even any shreds of truth in it would lend it too much credibility. It is more appropriate to simply dismiss it out of hand as false.
“John” left our community when he was 21 years old. At the time, he expressed no animosity towards the community or his parents. Before he moved out of his parents’ house—and even afterwards for some time—“John” repeatedly professed to be a committed Christian. He assured his parents that he would never abandon the beliefs in which he was raised (assurances that only left his parents more deeply concerned as to why he was so adamant about leaving our church in the first place). It wasn’t until almost two years later that we discovered his true reasons for leaving. What he now says in this article about how members supposedly feel “sexually repressed” and have to “go looking for pleasure elsewhere, anywhere you can find it,” was apparently all too true for him. After it was discovered why he had left, and when his father then tried to confront him with the abominable things he had been hiding, he shamelessly acted like what he had done was no big deal and responded, “What do you want from me—an apology?” He has been on the warpath against us ever since. It’s no wonder that “his effort to maintain a relationship with his parents, who are still members of Homestead Heritage, has been emotionally taxing.” What is a parent supposed to do with a son who is constantly trying to undermine the values of his younger siblings and publicly slandering his former church and his own family?