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Author Topic: Questions for blahblahblah  (Read 1035 times)
Linda
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« on: June 05, 2019, 06:59:19 am »

Last week, someone registered on the forum as “blahblahblah” and contacted me via private messaging. They apparently wanted me to summarize their points and post their thoughts because they did not wand to “engage” on the forum.

After a bit of back and forth, they ended their last message by saying I need not respond because they were going to delete their account. It appears as if that has been done. So, I am writing in the hopes that “blahblahblah” (Arrested Development fan, perhaps?)  will see this and help bring clarity to their last message.

First off, we had discussed the severance offer made to the van Dykes and I mentioned that Suzanne was never an employee of ECC or GCM. I mentioned how odd it was for someone who was never an employee of a company to receive a severance package because “severance packages” are paid to employees.

In response to this, blahblahblah said that other pastors who had been given a severance from ECC also had their wives sign a non-disparaging clause and that one pastor was asked to have his adult children sign.

My questions for blahblahblah are: How many “other pastors” have been given severance packages from ECC? Were the members of the congregation who funded these severance packages aware of them? Who authorized this outlay of cash? The pastors? The BoT? Why would a non-employee wife be asked to sign anything related to her husband’s employment? Why would adult children be asked to sign? The bigger question is why would a church try to control the speech of former employees and their families?

Regarding the discussion of the John Meyer investigation, I pointed out that JM drew his conclusions without having any contact with any of the women making the accusations. At first, blah stated that JM (and MD) did not know who these women were. That is blatantly false since at least three names were publicly available. Suzanne. Natalie. Loey. All these women could have been contacted via social media or this forum or by asking a few people for contact information.

After I pointed this out, blah said that the reason JM did not contact Suzanne was because he did not know her character and even if he met with her, he could not believe her because he did not know her or her life so he could not believe anything she said. If that is how it works, why should I believe you, blah? Smiley  I don’t know you. Or, your character.

Finally, blah, you are troubled that Suzanne is not gloating on social media. My response: Why would any person gloat about this? It is a tragedy on so many levels.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2019, 07:01:22 am by Linda » Logged

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Huldah
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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2019, 07:30:33 am »

The idea of non-disclosure agreements for non-employees, or even for employees if signed after their term of employment, sounds fishy on several different levels. (Aren't most employment-related NDAs signed beforehand, and only to protect legitimate trade secrets?) Anyone who signed one of these should check with an attorney to see if it's legally binding.

Besides, there are whistleblower protections that would trump an NDA in court, not to mention that no NDA can be legally used to cover up a felony.

EDIT: I just realized that you said non-disparagement, not non-disclosure. Sorry for the misunderstanding. However, I still question whether or nor these agreements would be legally binding on a spouse or child. The whistleblower and felony exceptions would certainly still apply.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2019, 07:35:39 am by Huldah » Logged
Linda
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2019, 03:32:47 pm »

Thinking about the severance package offer, in his communication, blah referred to other pastors who had been offered severance packages which got me to thinking and rereading the Meyer letter.

For those of you who have seen it, on page 10, complaint number 3 was that no severance had been given to Mark unless he would sign a nondisclosure agreement. How ironic!

The manner in which this grievance was presented is most curious. Meyer refers to "past situations" (plural) where significant amounts of money had been given to "departing leaders" (plural and the term used is leaders not pastors) who were "highly critical of ECC" with no strings attached.

I'm throwing these questions out for everyone, not just blah.

Does anyone know of severance packages given to other pastors?

Does anyone know of severance packages given to departing leaders (who were not elders/pastors) who were highly critical of ECC?

Does anyone know of so called "severance packages" that were given to people in the congregation who were not employed by ECC?

Does anyone know of any nondisclosure agreements that were signed in conjunction with monetary payments?

Personally, I would like to know if anyone knows of payments made to pastors or leaders prior to August of 2005 because that would mean that our tithe money went to severance package payments without our knowledge.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2019, 08:41:02 pm by Linda » Logged

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Linda
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« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2019, 09:21:38 am »

I was killing some time this weekend and revisited the Meyer letter (I received this letter from two sources a few months back) as well as a private communication I received from "blahblahblah".

Both Meyer and Blah refer to severance packages offered by ECC.

Meyer refers to "past situations" where "significant amounts" of $$ were given with no strings attached to "leaders" who were critical of ECC.

As a person who tithed to this organization for 10 years, I would like to know what he is referring to or whether he was just making this up. If significant amounts of money were paid out to departing leaders, I would like to know who these leaders were and whether or not the congregation who would have been funding these pay outs was made aware of them. I would also like to know if these "significant" payouts happened while we were attending.

Blah's private communication (Blah has since deleted his/her account) stated that other pastors (Meyer used the word leaders instead of pastors) leaving ECC who received "severance" deals had to have their wives sign non-disparaging clauses and even went on to state that one pastor had to have his children sign!

If wives and children are signing documents, these are NOT "standard" non-disparaging clauses. These are very odd agreements. Especially for churches to be demanding.

My question remains.

Does anyone know who these ECC "leaders" and/or "pastors" are who received these "significant" sums of money? If you are not comfortable posting this info publicly, you may private message me.

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Linda
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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2019, 07:50:14 am »

A follow up question that remains in my mind relating to Blah's private message is:

If large sums of money were being paid to pastors/leaders who left, and some of them involved "non-disclosure" agreements signed by wives, does this mean that there is the potential that women who may have had concerns about leadership behavior were not free to tell Joan their stories out of fear of being forced to pay back the "severance" money?

Pause and reflect on a NON-EMPLOYEE getting a "severance" package.

There are so many questions:

Were payments made to anyone? If so, how many, when, why, and to whom?
Were non-disclosure agreements signed?
If so, did any of these agreements and accompanying payments have to do with inappropriate behavior on the part of an ECC leader?
Were the congregants aware of these payments?
Why would wives who were not employees of ECC have to sign these agreements?
Were any of these payments made to keep women from telling their stories?

Again, maybe my source who mentioned non-disclosures was uninformed.

Meyer says payments were made, but no non-disclosure agreements were signed.
Blah says payments were made and non-disclosure agreements were signed.
What both agree on is that payments were made.

This is astonishing.




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Linda
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2019, 10:02:36 am »

The idea of non-disclosure agreements for non-employees, or even for employees if signed after their term of employment, sounds fishy on several different levels. (Aren't most employment-related NDAs signed beforehand, and only to protect legitimate trade secrets?) Anyone who signed one of these should check with an attorney to see if it's legally binding.

Besides, there are whistleblower protections that would trump an NDA in court, not to mention that no NDA can be legally used to cover up a felony.

EDIT: I just realized that you said non-disparagement, not non-disclosure. Sorry for the misunderstanding. However, I still question whether or nor these agreements would be legally binding on a spouse or child. The whistleblower and felony exceptions would certainly still apply.


Somehow I missed your post. The phrase Blah used was “non-disparaging clause”.

How would anyone define “disparaging “ as it related to a church?

Again, we don’t know if this type of agreement was made or offered.

Addendum:  Just the fact that a church would offer money in exchange for silence (ie. not saying anything "disparaging") should be a huge red flag on so many levels.

Certainly questioning doctrine is a legit reason to leave a church. Would a non-disparaging clause forbid someone from pointing out bad theology?

Immoral behavior on the part of leaders would be another reason to leave a church. Would a non-disparaging clause forbid someone from pointing out sin in accordance with the Matthew 18 admonishment to tell the church should the first two steps fail to produce repentance (ie. confessing and discontinuing sin).

A church that pays money to protect itself from criticism appears to have something to hide.

Huldah, I am no attorney, but I don't think tax laws allow non profits to offer payouts of cash in exchange for silence from employees or members of the congregation.

It's all so bizarre.

I do know for a fact that we were attending ECC when the van Dycks were offered cash. Part of this payment  ($15,000) came with no strings attached and part (the part that wasn't paid) came with demands. At the time, members of the congregation were NOT made aware of these offers that would come out of donated funds. I learned that payments were made in 2018 which was 13 years after we left and 15 or so years after the payment was made.

Then, when others have suggested more payouts were made or offered, it makes one wonder what was happening behind the scenes.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2019, 11:32:43 am by Linda » Logged

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