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Author Topic: Pastor Mark Darling-Pastor who abused me  (Read 129210 times)
RicktRoll
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« Reply #120 on: February 07, 2018, 09:22:03 am »

Oh my word, I am not trying to shame anyone! I am only asking questions.

I feel like the rest of us I am not qualified for anything, simply trying to learn.

The details I know is what I have seen online. It seems terrible and horrible and I want truth in this, I feel like the rest of us! As you, I am only wondering, what is happening in all this.

I am only adding my opinion in efforts to help. Please don't take my questions as attacks.
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Linda
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« Reply #121 on: February 07, 2018, 09:43:51 am »

I read this article this morning and thought it might be helpful for the Evergreen leadership to read through as they consider how to deal with the issue at hand: http://headhearthand.org/blog/2018/02/05/why-do-churches-cover-up-sin/
Desiring Truth,

Wow! That is an excellent blog post! Thanks for the link!
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Ned_Flanders
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« Reply #122 on: February 07, 2018, 12:03:29 pm »

The backlash we received at our announcement shocked me. One small group leader even told us that Satan was trying to lure us away from the faith. I now believe that it was God leading us out, because I now look back on the 12 years I spent there and recognize the spiritual abuse that I never saw for what it was at the time.

Hi BLizard,

I saw this piece in your comments to Scout and I just wanted to share a story with you.  

I met my wife in 2003 in an online personal ad.  We were in different states; she was in Ohio and I was in Virginia.  We talked on the phone for quite a while before she made the trip to come out for a visit and meet me.  But before she left, she apparently told the pastor of her Church that she was driving out to see me.  My wife was never a member of any GCx Church but spiritual abuse can, of course, be anywhere.  From what she's told me about that pastor, I'm definitely glad I was never a member of that Church, either.  Anyway, before she left she told me what the pastor said to her:

"Satan is setting a trap for you in Virginia."

Of course, life is not perfect and it never will be.  But my wife and I have been happily married for 15 years.  We have two beautiful children.  We're homeowners and my wife has a six-figure salary, making twice what I make.  And I'm working in my field.  I praise God for his blessings, mercy and grace to us.  I really think comments and scare tactics like that are all about people who don't understand freedom and don't realize how big God's blessings can be.  But hey, we already knew GCx leadership can't deal too well with people making their own choices... and not the ones they set out for us.  

« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 06:20:51 am by Ned_Flanders » Logged
Peace
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« Reply #123 on: February 07, 2018, 01:01:45 pm »

Maybe this post should be moved to a different category, but I couldn't figure out how. I am not trying to start an argument (and I don't know anything about the Mark Darling situation).

I am a current GCx member and truly want to know the answer to this question: What can current members do about any/all of this? Should we make an appeal to our pastors to leave GCx? Should we demand our current leaders step-down due to their affiliation? Should we all leave? Should we tell everyone we know about this forum? Should we even attempt at communicating with some of you who we may know?

I have seen a guest or someone from GCx asked this in the past and they were sent a bunch of articles about the church history, articles about church abuse, etc... I am aware of all of those things and have many thoughts and opinions that would agree with many of you. I am simply asking, what would you like current members to do? Do you believe change can be made? Do you believe that there are good, well-intentioned people within GCx whose hearts are breaking over these things, but want to stay to foster change?
« Last Edit: February 07, 2018, 01:15:37 pm by Peace » Logged
Linda
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« Reply #124 on: February 07, 2018, 02:25:42 pm »

I started a new thread for you since this thread is really for Scout to tell her story.

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Scout
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« Reply #125 on: February 07, 2018, 03:48:49 pm »

I posted on Twitter and Facebook today, about Evergreen Church's statement that pastor Mark Darling "unequivocally denies all allegations" of abusing me.

Payouts are paid when there is an admission of guilt but almost always coupled with these payouts is the victim signing away their ability to ever speak or write about it in the future.   

Thus the guilty party gets to make "it" go away.  In my situation this meant that if I had signed the document and received the offered payout, I could not being writing this now, for example.

Scout
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Scout
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« Reply #126 on: February 08, 2018, 03:17:58 am »



Scout,

I happened to glance at Facebook this morning and you were being suggested as a friend. This is odd because Facebook long ago stopped giving me suggestions that I reconnect with Evergreen people, and you were among the inner-est of the inner circle there. I don't know what compelled me to check out your profile, but I did, and that led me here, and now I am weeping.

I joined Evergreen in 1988, met my husband there (as all good girls do), and helped plant the Plymouth location. We left in 2000, not because of any problem we had with the church at the time, but because my husband was changing careers and his only job offer was out of state. We were, although not recognized as leaders, extremely involved. He was in the band, and I had basically been unpaid full-time staff for the previous five years (I planned all the Celebration events among many others). The backlash we received at our announcement shocked me. One small group leader even told us that Satan was trying to lure us away from the faith. I now believe that it was God leading us out, because I now look back on the 12 years I spent there and recognize the spiritual abuse that I never saw for what it was at the time.

My husband and I were never cool enough to be in any of the pastors' inner circle, least of all Mark Darling's. He shut down every attempt of ours to be more involved in the ministries he considered "his", and I always got the impression that he actively disliked us because we weren't young and hip, didn't fit the image of the type of person he wanted to be an ambassador for his church. I found this extremely frustrating at the time (though it would have been unthinkable to say anything about it - the pastors' authority was absolute), but I am now grateful for it - even more so after reading your story.

I feel compelled to say a few things. First of all, I believe you. I am sick to my stomach to learn the details, but I am somehow not shocked that any of it happened. Second, I commend you for your incredible courage - in seeking counseling outside the church, in bringing it up to church leadership, in leaving the church, turning down their payout, and now going public. I have an insider's understanding of how church members, particularly women, were groomed to be compliant and silent, and I am cheering you on as you defy that mold. Lastly, I need to very humbly apologize for the resentment I felt toward you. You were always held up as the perfect example of a godly woman, and in my mind, you represented everything I wanted and would never have. I saw only privilege and failed to see your pain.

I send you love and pray that you will be heard.

- bLizard

Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it. --Lord Acton


Scout ó I wanted to jump in quickly to first and foremost say I believe you. Second,  to reiterate everything bLizard said in her post because she said it so well. To have endured the abuse and then the drawn out gaslighting and impunity for more than 20 years is unfathomable, and I commend you for refusing to back down. If Evergreen is anything, itís resistant to change. Thank you for not being silent.


Ubuntu,

Thank you.

scout
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Scout
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« Reply #127 on: February 08, 2018, 05:36:05 am »

I have had many responses on Twitter, Facebook and texst from those that were attending Evergreen Church when we chose to leave and John decided to no longer pastor there. 

In addition to people expressing their support, I've had mostly two responses.

1.)  People stating that suddenly things made sense.  Those that were not in the "inner circle" have said when they left they could not put their finger on what exactly was "wrong"  but that my story has helped to fill in things and confirm that they are glad they left.  Many have written that although they knew it was best to leave when they did, they sometimes questioned their decision, as current members would say they were "no longer following God's best for them" and those members also cut off the friendship. 

2.)  Many people have written to apologize that they believed EC's spin on why we left and John chosing to no longer pastor there.  As well, they felt "betrayed" by the EC pastors and hurt by John and I because it was said we "wanted nothing" to do with them any longer (see earlier post in this thread showing that was a lie told by Mark Bowen about us). 

Approximately 7 years before we left EC, there was a couple John and I were very close to that left.  The man was going to be appointed a pastor shortly before they left.   In college, we had been roommates with each of them.  We considered them friends and mentors.  When they left, we were specifically told not to talk to them.  And all the usual was said about them-no longer following God, the wife wears the pants in the family, lured away by satan, etc.  Another pastor's wife, who also lived with this woman and I in college, had a time set up to speak with this departing woman.  This pastor's wife, cancelled the meeting though,  as her husband said she could not talk to this woman.  On a base level it was sad as they were very good friends, more than just casual acquaintances.  And on another level, just disturbing.  To make statements like they "were lured away by satan", as a friend it is completely normal and natural to talk to your friend about these types of things.  I did talk with this woman right after they left, but sadly I too, chose the lies being told to me about them.  It took 7 or so years before I reached out to her and apologized for the pain I caused her.  I too, have done the same to other as what was done to John and I when we left.   Embarrassed

scout
« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 09:14:47 am by Scout » Logged
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« Reply #128 on: February 09, 2018, 08:15:15 am »

Janet, I agree that only GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) would be trustworthy enough to be the third party investigators.  Attorneys or other Christian denominations have their own agendas, in my opinion.  The mission of GRACE would be to identify abuse, and because they have such high regard for victims, they will not determine abuse if it's not there.  To clarify, I definitely believe there is abuse in this situation, just saying that the agenda of GRACE is not to call everything abuse because that dilutes the concept and harms real victims.  This makes them trustworthy investigators.
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Scout
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« Reply #129 on: February 10, 2018, 05:04:39 am »

Since coming out (again) about pastor Mark Darling's abuse of me, people have asked what prompted me to try once again to bring accountability to Mark Darling and Evergreen Church and justice for his victims. A year ago a friend who works in Corporate Communications at a large Minneapolis corporation offered to help me take my story of abuse by Mark and Evergreen to the media. Although I was grateful for the offer, I declined as I enjoy a relatively peaceful life and wanted to keep it that way. Fast forward to this fall and early winter. The bravery of the women (and men) who began speaking vocally of their abuse through the #MeToo and #ChurchToo movement, emboldened me to come forward again. I have discovered through therapy and research that abusers rarely ever have one victim and that their victims tend to get younger and younger. This too was an impetus for coming forward again.
An understandable assumption people have had is that Mark's abuse of me has just now bubbled to the surface after holding it in all these years. It was approximately 17 years ago while still attending Evergreen Church when that happened. It was at that time that I sought out therapy as a victim of abuse. For many years after that, I continued to seek out therapy when another layer of Mark's abuse of me and Evergreen Church's subsequent cover up of it surfaced.
These last years, I have enjoyed a relatively peaceful life, in a large part due to addressing through therapy Mark's abuse of me all those years ago.

Scout
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Ned_Flanders
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« Reply #130 on: February 12, 2018, 09:03:54 am »

Oh my word, I am not trying to shame anyone! I am only asking questions.

I feel like the rest of us I am not qualified for anything, simply trying to learn.

The details I know is what I have seen online. It seems terrible and horrible and I want truth in this, I feel like the rest of us! As you, I am only wondering, what is happening in all this.

I am only adding my opinion in efforts to help. Please don't take my questions as attacks.

Hi RicktRoll,

I don't see anything really wrong with your questions.  I think they are fair.  I wondered the same thing about Scout's case here and if any legal action can be taken.  I admit I haven't read all seven pages (to this point, February 12, 2018) of this discussion but I did read that this happened 17 years ago.  Others may know more but I also wondered if the statute of limitations is up on this case.  If it is and Mark Darling cannot be criminally prosecuted, it is what it is.  Of course, 17 years does not mean Scout can't tell her story here.  She can and she should.

I get it if it's difficult for someone to talk about abuse they suffered and go after the person or people who did it in a timely manner.  I've been through this myself.  Many years ago, while I was a member of GCx, I was working at a job and I was repeatedly sexually harassed by co-workers.  I never told these people that I worked with that I was still a virgin but apparently, because I didn't come to work on Mondays hung over and talking about all the women I'd slept with over the weekend, they decided I was different from them.  They knew I was a Christian and that I went to Church.  All of this happened in front of supervisors.  Both men and women made abusive comments towards me.  I admit at the time, I was very insecure; I hard a hard time standing up for myself and I felt like people could see through me anyway.  I used to feel that if I fought back and won, the loser would come back again and again until they beat me.  Anyway, it never occurred to me to go to HR and report those people.  Besides that, some people don't think sexual harassment can happen to a man but if it does then a man should be able to stand up for himself and beat up the people who are doing it to him.  

Anyway, I think your questions are a natural response.  When something bad happens to someone, it's normal to wonder "So, what did you do about it?"  But I understand if Scout didn't do anything. I understand if her response was clouded with fear, doubt, confusion and a feeling of powerlessness to go after someone who was supposed to be the kind of person you talk to about having been abused by someone else... not the person who would actually be the abuser himself.  

All this said, I don't think you should be made to feel ashamed for asking legitimate questions.  But I hope you also understand responding to abuse can be tough for people.  

« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 01:17:05 pm by Ned_Flanders » Logged
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« Reply #131 on: February 12, 2018, 11:33:32 am »

Thanks for sharing, NedFlanders.  It is important to normalize abuse/harassment against men as well.  I just wanted to point out that in Scout's case she DID speak up at the time it was happening, as detailed in the pages here (understandable if you didn't get to them all yet).  And she was given lip service and there was no follow through by GCM.  However, you are correct that many people are not able to speak up at all for many, many years.  Some victims don't even understand that their experience was abuse until later.  And in Scout's case, I'm assuming that when she did all she knew to do and nothing happened, it was necessary for her to go on with her life.  It is possible that any other action before this time (in the age of #metoo) would have also been ignored.  And in my personal experience, once you put yourself on the line and justice is not served, that is another wound in and of itself aside from the initial abuse. 

Just wanted to clarify that detail because this is NOT the first time GCC has heard of Mark's abuse.
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Ned_Flanders
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« Reply #132 on: February 12, 2018, 01:26:57 pm »

Thanks for sharing, NedFlanders.  It is important to normalize abuse/harassment against men as well.  I just wanted to point out that in Scout's case she DID speak up at the time it was happening, as detailed in the pages here (understandable if you didn't get to them all yet).  And she was given lip service and there was no follow through by GCM.  However, you are correct that many people are not able to speak up at all for many, many years.  Some victims don't even understand that their experience was abuse until later.  And in Scout's case, I'm assuming that when she did all she knew to do and nothing happened, it was necessary for her to go on with her life.  It is possible that any other action before this time (in the age of #metoo) would have also been ignored.  And in my personal experience, once you put yourself on the line and justice is not served, that is another wound in and of itself aside from the initial abuse.  

Just wanted to clarify that detail because this is NOT the first time GCC has heard of Mark's abuse.

Hi Rebel in a Good Way,

Yes, I did read that she addressed the matter but very little- if anything- was done about it.  I can see that it's difficult to do something about sexual abuse for many reasons.  I used to date a woman who told me she had been raped.  So sad.  She told me that when she finally told her brother about it, his response was, "Why didn't you tell me this when it happened?"  I can hear RicktRoll's response here on this board in my girlfriend's brother's response, too.  Anyway, she told him that of course, she wanted to tell him; but that "You and your friends would have killed him" if I had told you about it and she certainly didn't want her brother to go to prison over the guy.  So silence was the choice.  I guess this also means the rapist was never prosecuted.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 01:28:52 pm by Ned_Flanders » Logged
RicktRoll
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« Reply #133 on: February 12, 2018, 07:13:38 pm »

Exactly, Ned Flanders, I am not trying to hurt anyone's feelings. These are things I'm trying to look at and think of proper solutions and ways we can handle this that is best for Scout.

My question was only brainstorming what could be done. I think the things Scout has said are awful and I want the truth to be revealed like the rest of us.

I know we have moved the main story to a new forum thread so if I may keep brainstorming, I would like to! I want to see truth and justice in this situation. Scout, was your husband aware of any of this while it was happening?

Well, I assume you are married, you posted about John Van Dyck on this forum. Was he aware of any of this happening while it was going on? Did he do anything or say anything to the authorities? I only ask because as a husband myself I would be livid if this happened to my wife and I would absolutely react/do something about all of this.
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Ned_Flanders
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« Reply #134 on: February 13, 2018, 06:27:26 am »

Exactly, Ned Flanders, I am not trying to hurt anyone's feelings. These are things I'm trying to look at and think of proper solutions and ways we can handle this that is best for Scout.

My question was only brainstorming what could be done. I think the things Scout has said are awful and I want the truth to be revealed like the rest of us.

I know we have moved the main story to a new forum thread so if I may keep brainstorming, I would like to! I want to see truth and justice in this situation. Scout, was your husband aware of any of this while it was happening?

Well, I assume you are married, you posted about John Van Dyck on this forum. Was he aware of any of this happening while it was going on? Did he do anything or say anything to the authorities? I only ask because as a husband myself I would be livid if this happened to my wife and I would absolutely react/do something about all of this.


Thanks for the response, Rick.  Did you see my last post in this discussion?  I mentioned about a former girlfriend of mine who had been raped before we met and that she didn't tell her brother about it to protect him (her brother).  She believed if she told him, he would have gone after the guy and might have even beaten him to death.  Then her brother would be the one in prison. 

As a man, I understand the feeling to want to provide and protect the ones you love; and certainly, to protect a woman.  I also understand what the feeling of powerlessness does to you.  But when it comes to abuse, many victims don't know how to fight back; especially if the abuser is in a position of power and control.  I mentioned other people who did abusive things to me years ago.  I wish I had stood up better to them then.  What they did was absolutely wrong.  I haven't seen most of them since I quit that job.  But if I saw them today, it's too late to retaliate against them now.  I would likely mention that because of what happened, I'm really not interested in reminiscing about that job with them.  I think I'd say it's too late to change anything that happened... but I certainly hope you didn't raise your children to treat anyone else like that. 

I read something on GCx' website that Mark Darling is removed from ministerial duties for the time being.  That's good news.  But It's tough to realize that this discussion and his temporary removal may be all that ever happens to him. 
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Linda
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« Reply #135 on: February 13, 2018, 08:32:09 am »

I've been thinking about the statement ECC made last week and have a few things to say.

Here is the first part of the statement.

"Allegations made by one individual, have arisen claiming inappropriate sexual behavior prior to 2001 by Mark Darling, a pastor at The Rock. General claims against Mark Darling were first shared by this person through social media on January 5, 2018. However, more specific allegations were posted online on Wednesday, January 24th. In addition, this person has implied that Evergreen Church was aware of the offensive behavior and did not act appropriately."

Here is Suzanne's first Tweet that they referenced. January 5th.

"Pastor who abused me is still in pulpit though he was outed to other pastors that are still there.  Tweet is for me ❤️and other women ❤️ abused by Mark Darling and Evergreen Community Church.  @evergreen_bloom @Evergreen_NH @rockthechurch @EvergreenLake @maryearlyknox #MeToo"

Here is ECCs reply to Suzanne's original Tweet. January 8th.

"20 years ago, this was investigated by EC leadership, board chairman, & 3rd party mediator. After a review of facts, mediator and van Dykes [sic] were satisfied by the integrity of the Darlingsí and ECís response. We are willing to talk privately if you want to share more concerns."

Someone who had no knowledge of this would likely gather from their statement that a random woman, came out of the woodwork and out of the blue threw some nasty ancient accusations at a pastor. In addition, not only did this random person not come to the church first, her first move was to post on social media.

So what actually did Suzanne say in her first Tweet?

Here are a few things:
1. She alleged she had been abused by a pastor and named him. Mark Darling.
2. She alleged that other pastors knew and did nothing.
3. She said she wasn't the only one. There were others. Plural. So at least 2 more women.
4. She stated her reasons for coming forward at this time. She was doing this for her and the other women as part of the #metoo movement.
 
What I see in the ECC statement.

1. Claims of inappropriate sexual behavior regarding a pastor (Mark Darling) had been made by "an individual".
2. These claims were first made in a general way on January 5th via social media, but were about behavior prior to 2001.
3. There is one individual.
4. This person implied that ECC pastors knew about this and did nothing. (Implied means "a conclusion that can be drawn from something, although it is not explicitly stated.")

A few thoughts in no particular order.

1. Suzanne did not imply that ECC leadership knew prior to her tweet. She stated they knew. It was part of her allegation that they knew and did nothing.
2. By their own admission, ECC has been aware of these charges for a long time. They say 20 years. Suzanne says it was 2001.
3. It was not made clear in the statement that the "individual" involved was someone whose husband had been an ECC pastor for many years and someone many older members would know or at least know of. Someone who was well thought of who had a significant history with the church.
4. They did not mention in the statement that the allegation was that there were other women.
5. The board chairman is a pastor, so when they state that ECC leadership and the chairman of the board investigated the allegations it is misleading because the Chairman of the Board is also part of the leadership.
6. The 3rd party mediator was the counselor Suzanne hired to process her abuse and confront her abuser. Not a mediator to help two parties "reconcile".
7. The pastor who was accused is one of the founding pastors of ECC and sits on the national board of GCC. The person named in the allegations is a significant person both locally and nationally.




« Last Edit: February 15, 2018, 11:58:46 am by Linda » Logged

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« Reply #136 on: February 13, 2018, 09:16:13 am »

Hi MovedOn,

Scout has posted multiple times on Twitter, handle: @notabystandermn , and has "tagged" those other fellowships, so they are fully aware.
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« Reply #137 on: February 13, 2018, 01:25:10 pm »

Quote
Scout has posted multiple times on Twitter, handle: @notabystandermn , and has "tagged" those other fellowships, so they are fully aware.

Just to clarify, tagging a user on Twitter only notifies the individual that manages that particular account. So when Scout tweets and includes user accounts, e.g. @evergreen_bloom @Evergreen_NH @rockthechurch @EvergreenLake @maryearlyknox, the ECC staff that manage those accounts will see it but the congregation will be unaware.

I'm guessing that most parishioners are either unaware, vaguely aware that Mark is temporarily on leave, or dismissive of the accusations. I think it's likely that very few ECC/GC members know the details of Scout's accusations as she's laid them out here.
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« Reply #138 on: February 13, 2018, 01:35:10 pm »

Exactly, Ned Flanders, I am not trying to hurt anyone's feelings. These are things I'm trying to look at and think of proper solutions and ways we can handle this that is best for Scout.

My question was only brainstorming what could be done. I think the things Scout has said are awful and I want the truth to be revealed like the rest of us.

I know we have moved the main story to a new forum thread so if I may keep brainstorming, I would like to! I want to see truth and justice in this situation. Scout, was your husband aware of any of this while it was happening?

Well, I assume you are married, you posted about John Van Dyck on this forum. Was he aware of any of this happening while it was going on? Did he do anything or say anything to the authorities? I only ask because as a husband myself I would be livid if this happened to my wife and I would absolutely react/do something about all of this.



RicktRoll,

You say that you want truth to be revealed in the claim by Scout that she was sexually harassed, assaulted, and abused by her pastor who also has authority over a number of churches and was serving on the National Board of GCC.  I believe truth has been painfully revealed by Scout on this very thread.  (By the way, the main story has not moved to another thread, that was only a post by Peace that was moved to "Questions from Peace".)  

The conflict appears to lie with the pastor himself who denies her allegation, the Evergreen church, and those in authority over him who have taken no action, until days after it went public within the last few weeks, to temporarily remove him.  According to others who have testified here, all the leaders in that church or group of churches knew of her sexual abuse claim years ago.  It seems another leader from those churches who appeared to have knowledge is also on the national board.  So, the REAL details of their response years ago - the accused pastor, his church leaders and the National Board - is the truth that still needs to be revealed.  

If you remember in Scout's account, the pastor in question's initial response years ago was, "I'm sorry you took it that way", not denial.  He then AGREED to step down and receive intensive counseling in front of Scout, her husband, her counselor (who was helping her to confront him with his abuse), his own wife, and his fellow pastor. How could she be satisfied with the fact that he DID NOT do those things which he and his fellow pastor agreed to in order to bring some kind of resolution?  How can Evergreen or other GCC leaders report she was satisfied?  What deception!!  

I personally think it is offensive and inappropriate at this point for you to interrogate her by asking personal questions such as 'Did she tell her husband?,  Was he aware this was going on?,  Did he go to the authorities?' You come across as challenging her story.  The challenge should truly go to the spiritual leaders in this.  You can question them here.  They read this site -- especially for "damage control".


Supporting The Abused,

Janet
« Last Edit: March 02, 2018, 05:50:48 pm by Janet Easson Martin » Logged

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Linda
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« Reply #139 on: February 13, 2018, 02:02:17 pm »

I agree, Janet.

Also, Boggs, so true. The average member would probably be unaware of this site. Also, a pastor in Colorado preached a sermon against this site and basically likened it to looking at porn if I remember correctly. So, people have been warned that it is slander and to come here would be sin.

RicktRoll, obviously there is nothing to stop you from asking these questions, this is an anonymous forum, after all, and anyone can post, however I think this conversation should be had on a different thread because it detracts from Scoutís story.

I am taking the liberty of reposting my last post just because I think itís important for people to follow the story and timeline.

My repost:

I've been thinking about the statement ECC made last week and have a few things to say.

Here is the first part of the statement.

"Allegations made by one individual, have arisen claiming inappropriate sexual behavior prior to 2001 by Mark Darling, a pastor at The Rock. General claims against Mark Darling were first shared by this person through social media on January 5, 2018. However, more specific allegations were posted online on Wednesday, January 24th. In addition, this person has implied that Evergreen Church was aware of the offensive behavior and did not act appropriately."

Here is Scout's first Tweet that they referenced. January 5th.

"Pastor who abused me is still in pulpit though he was outed to other pastors that are still there.  Tweet is for me ❤️and other women ❤️ abused by Mark Darling and Evergreen Community Church.  @evergreen_bloom @Evergreen_NH @rockthechurch @EvergreenLake @maryearlyknox #MeToo"

Here is ECCs reply to Scout's original Tweet. January 8th.

"20 years ago, this was investigated by EC leadership, board chairman, & 3rd party mediator. After a review of facts, mediator and van Dykes [sic] were satisfied by the integrity of the Darlingsí and ECís response. We are willing to talk privately if you want to share more concerns."

Someone who had no knowledge of this would likely gather from their statement that a random woman, came out of the woodwork and out of the blue threw some nasty ancient accusations at a pastor. In addition, not only did this random person not come to the church first, her first move was to post on social media.

So what actually did Scout say in her first Tweet?

Here are a few things:
1. She alleged she had been abused by a pastor and named him. Mark Darling.
2. She alleged that other pastors knew and did nothing.
3. She said she wasn't the only one. There were others. Plural. So at least 2 more women.
4. She stated her reasons for coming forward at this time. She was doing this for her and the other women as part of the #metoo movement.
 
What I see in the ECC statement.

1. Claims of inappropriate sexual behavior regarding a pastor (Mark Darling) had been made by "an individual".
2. These claims were first made in a general way on January 5th via social media, but were about behavior prior to 2001.
3. There is one individual.
4. This person implied that ECC pastors knew about this and did nothing. (Implied means "a conclusion that can be drawn from something, although it is not explicitly stated.")

A few thoughts in no particular order.

1. Scout did not imply that ECC leadership knew prior to her tweet. She stated they knew. It was part of her allegation that they knew and did nothing.
2. By their own admission, ECC has been aware of these charges for a long time. They say 20 years. Scout says it was 2001.
3. It was not made clear in the statement that the "individual" involved was someone whose husband had been an ECC pastor for many years and someone many older members would know or at least know of. Someone who was well thought of who had a significant history with the church.
4. They did not mention in the statement that the allegation was that there were other women.
5. The board chairman is a pastor, so when they state that ECC leadership and the chairman of the board investigated the allegations it is misleading because the Chairman of the Board is also part of the leadership.
6. The 3rd party mediator was the counselor Scout hired to process her abuse and confront her abuser. Not a mediator to help two parties "reconcile".
7. The pastor who was accused is one of the founding pastors of ECC and sits on the national board of GCC. The person named in the allegations is a significant person both locally and nationally.

« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 02:07:23 pm by Linda » Logged

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