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Fundy Walk of Shame: Scandals and Crimes


Bethella

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A new book written by the eldest of the Robert “Papa Pilgrim” Hale children has come out. Hale died in prison in 2008, sentenced there for numerous crimes:

https://www.adn.com/arts/books/2022/03/19/book-review-a-clear-eyed-account-of-life-inside-the-pilgrim-family-is-both-horrific-and-healing/?fbclid=IwAR0KdEzg-rfdIqVJwxNGrDPKw20f3ERgYmLUs5pmWhhUlBSCMdnvcLQT37w

Edited by SisterCupcake
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From the book review, holy schmoley frijole: "Hale, with a twin brother, was born to a well-to-do Texas family. As a teenager he impregnated the 15-year-old daughter of John Connally, soon to be elected governor of Texas. After the two teens eloped to Florida, the girl had second thoughts and wanted to return home. She then died from being shot in the head, a death eventually ruled “accidental.” In light of the rest of Hale’s life of controlling and abusing others, one has to wonder if something more sinister wasn’t involved."

I'm a Texan and had no idea about this tragedy in the Connally family. 

Edited by Howl
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5 hours ago, Howl said:

I'm a Texan and had no idea about this tragedy in the Connally family. 

I had read about this tragedy. As it happens, I came across a memoir by the ex-wife of Pilgrimʻs twin brother, Robert Hale. It is a chilling read and very disturbing. She knew both brothers from high school and provides an account of the Connally daughter's death. She, too, thought it very suspicious in light of what happened in later years.

The book about the Hales in Alaska by the journalist Tom Kizzia also addresses the Connally girlʻs death and the overall wake of destruction and evil that followed Papa Pilgrim. 

 

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On 3/20/2022 at 12:46 PM, shesinsane said:

This world would be sooooo much better if she was alone in her thinking; but I think a majority of people on this planet agree with the above; just add Christian to your bio and normal safeguards are dropped.

I also think a majority of bad people are aware of this type of thinking, so they use the label of "Christian" as a cover for their crimes, and it very often everything works according to plan. On those occasions where a Charlatan for Christ is exposed, many of their supporters will twist themselves into knots trying to justify how their Christian criminal is not as bad as all the others. 

It's widely known by abuse protection advocates, prevention trainers, etc., that predators will deliberately target churches for exactly this reason.  

It's slowly changing.  More and more churches have some kind of child protection policy in place.  But it's not changing fast enough.  

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David Farrier (webworm) got access to a "do not share this link!" video link to watch a private Hillsong staff meeting about Brian Houston's abrupt resignation.  

Here's a transcript with Brian's comments.  

Let us Prey: Inside the Secret Hillsong Staff Meeting  Last night, Hillsong church held a private staff meeting. I watched.

Key points: 

  • We're all shocked! So shocked.  Hooboy, no one could be more shocked then we! 
  • We honor faithful servants Bobbie and Brian. They are so deserving of our honor.  Very deserving.  More deserving than anyone.
  • We're going to pray! Bible! Jesus! Rinse, repeat!  And God, don't forget God. 
  • We're in crisis mode damage control mode.  Shut down anyone saying anything bad.  No, really.  Pour oil on it STAT. 

And so on.  No mention of the sexual improprieties leading to Brian's abrupt resignation.  No mention of Brian facing criminal charges from covering up the heinous abuses of his pedophile father.  

No mention of Brian's victims or the many victims of his father.  Nope, nada. 

How bad was it?  At one point Brian Farrier notes:  "FFS, the circle jerk goes on." 

This is such a staggeringly clear example of how a church idolizes its leader at the expense of victims.  

This comment on David Farrier's article by David Collins is also worth a read -- some historical Hillsong context. 

Spoiler

Back in the 80-90's Hillsong was hugely influential in the New Zealand Pentecostal scene - they even had their own branded church in Auckland (which later became independent and re-branded as LIFE). However, the concert-style light-rock singing, the elimination of "pentecostal" manifestations, and un-preachy preaching was widely accepted - and is still pretty much the default setting now. Image was very important (mind you, the Pentecostals really did need a modern look). However, the importance of image meant image-control (or damage control, as the case may be), and things like transparency and accountability were often sacrificed as a consequence. It was during and soon after this period that the New Zealand Pentecostal churches had their own spate of sex scandals involving the senior pastors of large churches. I remember being called on to help a church in such a situation; and it was then that I learned that these churches and movements had very few protocols for seriously dealing with professional sexual abuse (which is what most of these cases are). And there appeared to be zero knowledge or best-practice in working with the victims of the abuse. Professional sexual abuse is, of course, found in many professions - not just religion - but I discovered that the medical, legal, psychiatric, educational and other professional organisations were decades ahead of the Pentecostals in having proper processes for achieving best possible outcomes for victims and appropriate disciplinary procedures for the errant professional. In reading the "news" release from Hillsong this week, and your transcript of their staff meeting, it is obvious (and tragic) that very little appears to have changed - image wins.

 

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https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/nh-pastor-stripped-of-position-amid-investigation-into-child-sex-abuse-images/2672986/

This showed up in my local news because it's linked to a child who was exploited nearby. The pastor has been under investigation since 2016.
 

Quote

 

"In a statement posted on the church's website, the congregation denounced Bates and called the allegations against him "ungodly, unholy, unnatural, perverted, and reprehensible."

"We condemn (his actions) as completely counter to the beliefs, work, and mission of Bible Baptist Church and the Scriptures we hold so dear," the statement reads.

"We have worked with and will continue to support our local law enforcement in this matter and our wish is that justice be served. Our hearts break for all his victims and we sorrow with them for the hurt, pain, and irreparable damage he has caused. We encourage anyone victimized by Stephen Bates’ actions to contact local law enforcement," the statement continued."

 

 

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On 3/22/2022 at 1:31 PM, Howl said:

From the book review, holy schmoley frijole: "Hale, with a twin brother, was born to a well-to-do Texas family. As a teenager he impregnated the 15-year-old daughter of John Connally, soon to be elected governor of Texas. After the two teens eloped to Florida, the girl had second thoughts and wanted to return home. She then died from being shot in the head, a death eventually ruled “accidental.” In light of the rest of Hale’s life of controlling and abusing others, one has to wonder if something more sinister wasn’t involved."

I'm a Texan and had no idea about this tragedy in the Connally family. 

What happened to the baby? Was she still pregnant when shot?

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23 minutes ago, Smee said:

What happened to the baby? Was she still pregnant when shot?

Unless she miscarried earlier, she was still in early pregnancy (I'd guess in her fourth month) when she was shot. 

Although the shooting was ruled to be accidental, Hale insisted she was holding the shotgun to her head and threatening to pull the trigger, and the gun went off when he tried to slap it away from her.  There are varying stories saying the shots entered her head anywhere from in the face to just behind her ear.

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I’m not surprised her brothers are reacting like this. She’s gone to therapy and it’s obvious they haven’t. I understand they don’t want to dredge up the past but this is her story and they just happen to be part of it. They obviously still suffer from their father’s past abuse if they are blaming Elisheba for punishing them. 

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On 3/29/2022 at 2:02 AM, Smee said:

What happened to the baby? Was she still pregnant when shot?

Elishaba has talked about how her abuser, Robert Hale, would tell her about his first wife and loss of both, but especially the "child." Elishaba believes it might be one of the driving forces for the large number of siblings. 

Personally I don't know if I believe that, though she would know better than I would. I think he was an unrepentant creep who liked teenage girls and control. He married Kathleen Connally when she was 15, and "Country Rose" when she was 16. He started raping Elishaba when she was a teen as well. His next oldest daughter was under 10 when he was arrested. 

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1 hour ago, Maggie Mae said:

I think he was an unrepentant creep who liked teenage girls and control.

I think this is true. I also believe that Robert Hale murdered Kathleen Connally but over the years twisted the truth about his crime to portray himself as the victim. In his sick mind, this in turn justified in his continued sexual predation and abuse.

Hale was seriously mentally ill but he was also a really terrible human being. None of the adults around him who could have possibly reduced the great harm he caused did much of anything to stop him -- particularly "Country Rose" and even his twin brother William, who was a successful veterinarian before getting totally sucked into his twinʻs grotesque life.

Re: Elishaba's brothers and their anger over her book. Pfft. Enmeshed as they are in the relatively normal but fundie Buckingham family, they probably just thought theyʻd live happily ever after with them because who needs therapy or personal accountability when you have Jeebus and all is forgiven for True Christians™️

ETA: I hope that at least "Country Rose" has gotten therapy since she must have an almost unbearable burden of guilt. Last I read though, she was living in or near the Buckinghams so maybe that hasn't been option for her.

Edited by hoipolloi
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In regards to The Hale family. This all hits so close to home as I was working for NPS when "Papa" was causing issues, lived in the town where he holed up when he was on the run and was a witness in a trial that was happening at the same time as his was. I spent time waiting to be called in the hallway outside the courtroom watching the younger Hale children playing with their toy trucks, balls and games. We all knew something was very wrong out on the homestead but Hale had isolated his family and armed them to defend their privacy. I still remember the evening she escaped and all the speculations that ended up being truth. I have read the first book and just ordered her book. It is so strange to read about people I know and the actions from an inside perspective. I suggest reading the first book to get perspective on the entire situation.

The Brown Family (Alaska Bush People) as fake as they are came to the McCarthy area when their series first premiered. I will tell you that at first people were not going to let them stay, they remembered the Hales and it wasn't happening again. Everything possible was done to get them to move on and they did. This area is heavily represented by John Birch Society members and other extreme groups, most keep to themselves.

Edited by stacyf
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  • 2 weeks later...

The sex abuse at Camp Kanakuk in Branson, MO has been discussed on this thread in March/April 2021 and also on the Duggar thread. 

Abuse survivors are finding support among fellow survivors and telling their story.  

Unrolli of thread here:  I am now aware of three facilities in Missouri, all exempt from licensure

<snip> "Last year, the Missouri legislature passed a law to regulate license-exempt residential facilities. Part of this law allows the attorney general to file suit to close down residential facilities that abuse children...Summer camps are not regulated in Missouri. There is no licensed required for day camps or residential camps. And they do not fall under the category of "license-exempt" facilities either.

We've been to this amazing faith-based camp (it's the setting that's wonderful) that opens very occasionally to the secular public for mountain bike races and adventure weekends. Due to intense regulation by the state of Texas for these types of facilities, no one can arrive early on these public weekends (campers might still present) and everyone has to be cleared out by Sunday evening, because campers are due to arrive on Mondays.  There is zero overlap between campers and the public - it's strictly enforced and not negotiable.  

Rich evangelicals send their kids to Camp Kanakuk because they can afford it.  Two weeks at camp per kid is over $2,000. No surprise that Camp Kanakuk is a multi million dollar money machine and extremely influential in Branson. 

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"Liberty" University.  Sheesh. 

Liberty University’s Handling Of Sexual Assaults Under Investigation By Education Dept   ProPublica previously detailed how the evangelical school had dismissed reports of rape and threatened to punish accusers for running afoul of its moral code. Investigators are now looking into whether Liberty violated federal law.

 

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The rest of this twitter thread under the spoiler.  

Webb was arrested after a search warrant was served at a building *checks notes* owned by Harvest Baptist Church and used as the bible college

Spoiler

The call on April 8th led to the emergency removal of the juvenile and following further investigation by Webster County and the Webster County Attorney’s Office the suspect was identified.

After additional interviews and the execution of a search warrant at 1940 225th in Webster County, which is listed on the Webster County Assessor’s Site as being owned by Harvest Baptist Church and used as the bible college, Webb was arrested."

Why does Harvest Baptist Church sound familiar? In 2009, it harbored a 16-year-old sex offender who had been convicted outside the state, possibly in violation of sex offender registry laws (the county attorney did not prosecute because no one brought a case).  

In 2021, Harvest Baptist Church welcomed Cameron Giovanelli into their church as a member. A year prior, Giovanelli pleaded guilty to a fourth-degree sex offense and second-degree assault, both misdemeanors.

 

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Jack Schaap, formerly of HAC/FBCHammond, was serving a 12-year (maybe 12 1/2 year) sentence in federal prison for transporting a 16 year old minor across state lines for the purpose of sexual activity. The federal minimum sentencing guideline was 10 years for his charges; the judge, at her discretion, had increased the sentence.

Schaap was released approximately a year earlier than the sentence, on 5/4/22. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Money, dear friends. Money.

Quote

The Vatican’s sprawling financial trial may not have produced any convictions yet or any new smoking guns as prosecutors work through a first round of questioning of the 10 suspects accused of fleecing the Holy See of tens of millions of euros.

But testimony so far has provided plenty of insights into how the Vatican operates, with a cast of characters worthy of a Dan Brown thriller or a Shakespearean tragicomedy. Recent hearings showed a church bureaucracy that used espionage, allowed outsiders with unverified qualifications to gain access to the Apostolic Palace and relied on a pervasive mantra of sparing the pope responsibility — until someone’s neck was on the line.

The investigation was borne of the secretariat of state’s 350 million-euro ($370 million) investment in a London property, which was such a debacle that the Vatican sold the building this year at a cumulative loss of more than 200 million euros ($210 million).

Pope Francis wanted a trial to show his willingness to crack down on alleged financial impropriety. Three years on, though, the investigation has cast an unwelcome spotlight on some of Francis’ own decisions and how Vatican monsignors managed a 600 million-euro ($630 million) asset portfolio with little external oversight or expertise.

 

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https://www.newsminer.com/news/local_news/leaders-of-bible-baptist-church-accused-of-overlooking-reports-of-abuse/article_02868920-d88e-11ec-aace-c7a9c99ad2d3.html
 

You can’t read the online article without a subscription, so here are pictures of the newspaper. 

I know several people who attend or did attend this church. This place is dangerous. 

Spoiler

88CC38B1-5D81-470D-81CA-91E8C8D872DC.thumb.jpeg.e0ce8b6db20bc5944b1b7c9eeef049b4.jpeg41231043-6983-4BE1-BB28-61A6AF62690F.thumb.jpeg.f435eb9028e62318867566d0fc787b46.jpeg

 

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This thread on Twitter caught my eye. A man in his twenties saw a 16-year-old girl. He approached the family and they decided to let the relationship happen. Big family (10 kids) and according to her brother, she is "very sheltered".  The 20-something guy and the sister got married now that is 18.

Here's a link to the thread.

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5 hours ago, Bluebirdbluebell said:

This thread on Twitter caught my eye. A man in his twenties saw a 16-year-old girl. He approached the family and they decided to let the relationship happen. Big family (10 kids) and according to her brother, she is "very sheltered".  The 20-something guy and the sister got married now that is 18.

Here's a link to the thread.

Yeah the extreme reich wing Catholics are just as bad as the evangelicals if not more so.  Some of them absolutely hated JPII and Benedict for not being reich wing enough for their tastes.  If you have any interest in the mass as it was when my parent's generation was growing up in the 50s you'll almost invariably run into these idiots.  

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  • 3 weeks later...
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