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closetcagebaby

John Ortberg’s Estranged Son Accuses Him of Protecting Pedophile

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closetcagebaby

John Ortberg is a pretty well known evangelical author and pastor of Menlo Church. His son is Danny M. Ortberg (now going by Lavery), a trans writer and Slate’s Dear Prudence. A few months ago Danny made it clear he was fully estranged from his family, for reasons unrelated to his transition (in fact, his family up until that point has seemed pretty supportive for an evangelical family). 
 

yesterday, he posted this statement:

It’s obviously very upsetting but surprising to those of us who follow fundie culture. Unfortunately this seems to be sort of the norm. 

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NachosFlandersStyle

Upsetting to hear that the family made Danny's transition a point of contention in this fiasco. I'm a longtime fan of his work but had no idea until reading this that his father was not fully supportive of LGBT rights. I had assumed it was a more progressive church. 

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closetcagebaby
Just now, NachosFlandersStyle said:

Upsetting to hear that the family made Danny's transition a point of contention in this fiasco. I'm a longtime fan of his work but had no idea until reading this that his father was not fully supportive of LGBT rights. I had assumed it was a more progressive church. 

I literally cannot imagine telling my OWN CHILD that they were equivalent to a pedophile. Like what the hell??

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Howl

Speechless.  Gobsmacked.  Unbe*******lievable.  This guy has a sexual obsession with children so he's encouraged to *checks notes* spend unsupervised time with children?  Note that these innocent and trusting children and their ultimate well being are dispensable in this scenario; they are a sacrifice. 

Also, were any parents informed that their children were being used as "therapy" for a pedophile with obsessive thoughts of sex with their children. 

SMDH.  So grateful to Danny for outing this horror, even at the cost of estrangement from his family.  

My heart goes out to the young victims. 

Edited by Howl

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Atheist Teacher

Wow. 

As horrifying as his father's response was, I am incredibly impressed by Danny's handling of the information he was privy to.

He:

1. Immediately informed his father this was unwise and advised him to change course.

2. Expressed compassion for the person struggling with pedophilic attractions.

3. Went above his father's head to stop any potential harm from happening.

He didn't wait to see if there were victims. He didn't prioritize family ties. He acted immediately to protect. Wish our fundies would learn a little of that.

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GeoBQn

I saw this last night.  And the galling thing is that when Danny told this person to quit his volunteer positions, the guy quit immediately--an indication that if he had been told that from the beginning, this whole thing could have been avoided.

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Glasgowghirl
3 hours ago, Howl said:

Speechless.  Gobsmacked.  Unbe*******lievable.  This guy has a sexual obsession with children so he's encouraged to *checks notes* spend unsupervised time with children?  Note that these innocent and trusting children and their ultimate well being are dispensable in this scenario; they are a sacrifice. 

Also, were any parents informed that their children were being used as "therapy" for a pedophile with obsessive thoughts of sex with their children. 

SMDH.  So grateful to Danny for outing this horror, even at the cost of estrangement from his family.  

My heart goes out to the young victims. 

I watched abducted in plain sight and similar reasoning was used by the man who kidnapped the girl, forget both their names, to get close to her and her parent's allowed that to happen. 

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Marmion
9 hours ago, NachosFlandersStyle said:

Upsetting to hear that the family made Danny's transition a point of contention in this fiasco. I'm a longtime fan of his work but had no idea until reading this that his father was not fully supportive of LGBT rights. I had assumed it was a more progressive church. 

It's a classic example of " whataboutism "  .   It also is characteristic of redirection .  https://www.openmindsfoundation.org/thought-stopping-phrases-concepts-and-techniques/ 

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livinginthelight

This is stunning on several levels. Ortberg has a PhD in clinical psychology and clearly should know better than to put a person with a compulsion into a position of temptation, particularly with such potential for devastating harm to the victim. He also was instrumental in bringing down Bill Hybels. One of the weaknesses of Willow Creek's structure was a pastorate in which their was no accountability or oversight. As a former associate pastor there, Ortberg understood the danger of pastors not submitting to the authority of the leadership board/elders. And then he went and did exactly this same thing, keeping relevant information from the elders and essentially going rogue. Thirdly, his treatment of his son is appalling. I hurt for Danny.

Ortberg's position on homosexuality and LGBTQ issues had been somewhat clear, in that he was the pastor who introduced the ECO denomination to the presbyterian community a few years back. ECO members will say a variety of things about why they split off from the PCUSA to form a new denomination, but the widely accepted reality is that they could not stomach the ordination of gay pastors and had no tolerance for gay marriage. I had hoped though that he would have found it in his heart to treat his trans son Danny with more sensitivity.

Edited by livinginthelight

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Carol

I hate bringing this up...well, maybe I don't given that I was a victim of sexual abuse by a member of a religious order.

Just because there have been no reports of sexual abuse by minors under this admitted pedophile's care does not mean there hasn't been any.  It could take many years for this to come out...as it did in my case.  I'm not saying this as fact, I'm saying this as possibility, but it does happen a lot more than we think it does.

I am enraged by this pastor's negligence in allowing a man who has admitted a sexual attraction to children to be around children unsupervised.

This is heartbreaking.  And, the way this pastor refers to his son is appalling.  My god, what kind of a father is he?  A fucking hypocrite and no friend of Jesus!

Sorry, this sends me round the bend.

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Whooping_Butt

@Carol I really hope that no kids were harmed here, but given that they hired their own investigators I don’t trust them. I hope that if anyone does suspect abuse they bypass the church and go to law enforcement. 
 

I’m just aghast that he would do this while having a PhD in Clinical fucking Psychology!!!! And while hosting a podcast called What Were You Thinking?

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closetcagebaby

BIG development.

It is John Ortberg’s son who is a pedophile  

 

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justwatching

That is quite the reveal, and I’m glad he did it. I don’t know anything about Daniel (or this family, just vaguely the father’s name), but am very impressed with him. That had to be incredibly difficult, and he approached it with grace and dignity.

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Howl
56 minutes ago, closetcagebaby said:

BIG development.

It is John Ortberg’s son who is a pedophile  

Okay, I just spend some time on Daniel Lavery (AKA Daniel Mallory Ortberg)'s twitter feed,  and yes, it's Daniel's brother John Ortberg III.  Daniel is confirming that his brother has obsessive attraction to pre-pubescent boys but does not know if John III has acted on any of those feelings.  John III claims he has not harmed any children, but probably, possibly he has done inappropriate things and convinced himself it was somehow beneficial to the children involved, but who knows.  What a damn mess. 

If you're on twitter check out the  Daniel M. Lavery    @daniel_m_lavery account on Twitter (click on the tweet in @closetcagebaby's post),  because holy schmoley. 

If you aren't a twitterati, AppReader has consolidated Daniel's 24 tweets into an easily read format here

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closetcagebaby

Truly what an awful position for Daniel to be in and what bad and potentially dangerous choices for the rest of his family to be making. 

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libriatrix
On 2/3/2020 at 6:24 AM, closetcagebaby said:

I literally cannot imagine telling my OWN CHILD that they were equivalent to a pedophile. Like what the hell??

The new information explains this choice a lot better. If one of your sons is a pedophile I guess you don't think it's that big an insult to call the other one it also? It's pretty trippy how he managed to make it more of an insult to Daniel than to the son who actually is a pedophile.

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NachosFlandersStyle

Phew. Daniel says his sister was part of the coverup-- that would be Laura Turner, herself a published writer who often pops up in progressive Christian convos on twitter but has been silent on this matter. 

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refugee

Help? I thought I understood what “trans” means (a woman I know, grew up in our former cult as male, left, changed—long story short, calls herself trans and was upset by someone calling her by her “dead name”, is the closest example I know, but maybe there’s more to the term?). I’m confused in this case. If it’s okay to ask?

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EmiSue
8 hours ago, NachosFlandersStyle said:

Phew. Daniel says his sister was part of the coverup-- that would be Laura Turner, herself a published writer who often pops up in progressive Christian convos on twitter but has been silent on this matter. 

Oh, that makes me sad. I enjoy her articles and was looking forward to her upcoming book. But this is inexcusable. 

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closetcagebaby
5 hours ago, refugee said:

Help? I thought I understood what “trans” means (a woman I know, grew up in our former cult as male, left, changed—long story short, calls herself trans and was upset by someone calling her by her “dead name”, is the closest example I know, but maybe there’s more to the term?). I’m confused in this case. If it’s okay to ask?

Daniel Lavery was formerly known as Mallory Ortberg and grew up as John Ortberg’s daughter.

The pedophile in this case is Daniel’s brother - John Ortberg Jr. 

hope that helps!

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Stormy

I suspected that it was one of Danny's siblings from the beginning.

Compared to Danny's usual reckless, slash-and-burn approach when addressing predatory behavior in Dear Prudence, I found it odd that he was handling this situation so delicately and taking so much care to make sure the offender got help. It had to be someone that both he and John Ortberg were trying to protect, and someone that John would be willing to "side with" over Danny, trans or not. It would make sense that it would be another one of John's children.

This whole situation is as troubling as it is heartbreaking. I used to listen to the Dear Prudence podcast and Danny had each of his family members on as guests at some point. Between answering letters, they'd share stories of Danny's childhood and seemed to be having a great time, and you could tell by the way Danny always spoke of his family that they were close.

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