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Author Topic: Pastor Mark Darling-Pastor who abused me  (Read 285199 times)
AgathaL'Orange
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« Reply #320 on: April 10, 2018, 08:56:56 am »

Omega Man, I have no desire to sit and write a doctoral dissertation refuting your points.  It’s a waste of my time and I’m tired.  


But.  1.  You’re really wrong on a lot of counts
And 2. The way you talk about Suzanne is offensive and cruel.


Seeking justice is a good thing to do.  Apparently you don’t care about justice.  Not surprised.  A lot of people have come on here lately claiming to be Christians yet are perfectly happy with stifling accusations and silencing people claiming abuse.  

If you’d like better reception to your scolding lecture, try the Patriarchy Club down the hall.  Lots o’ members.

Only slightly more members than the Nepotism Circle and the Loyalty at All Costs prayer group.  Secret Misogynists International is looking  for a Vice President.

I know you can find a receptive audience but you won’t find it here.  
« Last Edit: April 10, 2018, 09:02:51 am by AgathaL'Orange » Logged

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Huldah
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« Reply #321 on: April 10, 2018, 09:09:40 am »

Ironically, the only people I'm finding I respect in this matter are actually Mark and his wife.

Perhaps you're convinced that Mark is absolutely innocent of any wrongdoing. If so, your respect for his silence makes sense. But how does his silence merit respect if it turns out he did the things he's accused of? Would any reasonable person watch a court trial and say, "Hey, this guy may be guilty or he may not, but he's pleading the Fifth, so in my eyes, he's the only one in the whole trial who deserves respect"?
« Last Edit: April 10, 2018, 09:44:39 am by Huldah » Logged
Watching
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« Reply #322 on: April 10, 2018, 11:57:19 am »

The following regarding the investigation was just posted today on the ECC website:

Update on the Investigation April 10, 2018

We know that many of you have been patiently waiting for an update. Here is what we can share with you at this time.
According to Evergreen's charter and by-laws, its Board of Trustees has final authority over financial and legal oversight, including employment decisions and policy matters. In these areas, the pastors submit to the authority of the Board. This governance authority is designed to provide oversight, accountability and operational integrity for the church. On January 30, 2018, upon learning of the allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior  against Mark Darling (alleged to have occurred prior to 2001) including the charge that the matter was handled inappropriately by pastors, the Board made the decision to recuse all pastors from the investigative process. The Board also placed Mark Darling on administrative leave. The Board chose not to conduct its own internal investigation of the allegations because they believe that this matter needed to be investigated by someone outside the church, with complete independence and without bias. After thorough due diligence, a highly qualified, independent investigator was selected and retained on February 9, 2018.
The investigator, Ms. Joan Harris, has over 20 years of experience and has conducted hundreds of investigations. She is a lawyer, but her role in this investigation is as an investigator, not as a lawyer. She is not a litigator in this matter and she is not a legal advocate or counselor for Evergreen Church, Mark Darling, any pastors or Evergreen's Board. She was retained by the Board to investigate the facts surrounding the allegations that have been made, independently and without bias, and to report those facts to the Board. Ms. Harris was specifically retained to independently investigate: 1) allegations of sexual abuse by Mark Darling 2) allegations to the effect that Evergreen Church was aware of the abuse allegations and did not act appropriately, and 3) any related claims that arise during the investigation. The Board has not met with or discussed any of the allegations with Ms. Harris. The investigation is being directed by the investigator not by the Board.
Approximately two weeks after the investigator was retained, on February 20th, the person making the allegations informed the investigator by email that she would participate in the investigation by way of her attorney. A week later, a request was made to this person by email asking her to provide their attorney contact information so that the investigator could set up a meeting with the attorney. The response back from this person by email was that her attorney would reach out directly to the investigator. Accordingly, the investigator continued with her investigative process. Five weeks went by with no contact from this person's attorney. On April 5th, two Evergreen Board members met with the person making the allegations to inform her that the investigation was
 
continuing with Ms. Harris and to inquire on the status of her planned participation in the investigation by way of her attorney. At this meeting, she indicated that she would not be participating in the investigation.
The investigation will be completed and closed with the information the investigator obtains from those individuals who have agreed to participate. The investigation is likely to take a few more weeks to be completed, plus the needed time for the investigator  to write her report. The Board hopes to  have the findings by the end of May, but we cannot give a specific timeline since Evergreen is not directing the investigation. Given the time that has passed, one might assume that this has been a very lengthy investigation, but please know that Ms. Harris is performing other work and duties for her firm in addition to working on this investigation.
The Board of Trustees will communicate to Evergreen's congregations the outcome of the investigation and what action, if any, they are taking based upon the investigation's findings. If the allegations are found to be true, in the case of a leader, it will be dealt with firmly and transparently by the Board.

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Linda
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« Reply #323 on: April 10, 2018, 12:11:02 pm »

Thanks for posting.

My understanding from Suzanne’s Facebook timeline is that Suzanne’s request for a mutually agreed upon truly independent investigator was turned down at this meeting. I didn’t see that mentioned, but might have missed it.

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Barb
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« Reply #324 on: April 10, 2018, 01:21:36 pm »

The other problem I see with statement, aside from the one Linda pointed out, is that there does not appear to be any “investigating “ going on. If people come to Ms. Harris she will listen to what they have to say, but I have heard of no evidence that she is seeking out information from anyone. I believe an investigator sheould be seeking to find as much information on a situation as she possibly can attain not just waiting for information to drop in her lap.
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Scout
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« Reply #325 on: April 10, 2018, 04:14:56 pm »

All,

I posted this on FB in response to EC's communication to their congregation.  On FB I also posted a screenshot of that communication but have no idea how to do that here.  Hope it makes sense.  Scout

"Evergreen Church's latest communication (image) to their congregation in regards to pastor Mark Darling's abuse of me and ensuing cover up.

Following are a few acknowledgements and clarifications:
1.) I did email Joan Harris on February 20, 2018 to state I would participate in the investigation she is conducting on behalf of the Evergreen Board of Trustees.
2.) On February 26, 2018 I emailed Joan Harris to let her know my attorney would contact her.
3.) After meeting with my legal counsel and discovering that Joan Harris has attorney/client privilege and fiduciary duty to the Evergreen BOT (which Joan Harris confirmed via an accidental email to me), I chose not participate in this type of "investigation".

I, however, have requested that the Evergreen Board of Trustees select with me an investigator that owes both sides equal representation AND that the findings be made public. I am wiling to participate in this type of investigation.

Evergreen Board of Trustees, why would you not be willing to participate in this type of investigation too?"
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Mapleleaf
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« Reply #326 on: April 10, 2018, 04:30:43 pm »

Scout, What if there could be a middle ground?  If ECC were to waive their attorney-client privilege with Joan, and Joan was willing to release a version of the report with names redacted (Victim A, Victim B, Victim C, etc) to all parties who cooperated with the investigation, would you then be willing to meet with Joan and discuss your allegations?

Evergreen, would you be willing to agree to this if Scout was willing to cooperate with the investigation as currently laid out?  In this scenario, I could see Joan giving the BOT the full, un-redacted version of the report.  You would be giving up your attorney-client privilege with the attorney, but since you state that she is not acting as a lawyer, but as an investigator in your latest update, I don't see why that would be a problem?
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arrogantcat
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« Reply #327 on: April 19, 2018, 06:25:31 am »

Redacting names does not preserve anonymity.
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AlwaysNeedMoreInfo
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« Reply #328 on: April 21, 2018, 11:50:34 pm »

There's something I don't understand here, Scout/Suzanne. You say you want to participate in an investigation, and there is one. I get that you have problems with certain aspects of it, but it seems to me that you could mitigate those concerns yourself by continuing to do what you've been doing all along - making everything available to the public. Post emails, record phone calls and meetings, whatever it takes. It seems illogical to me to proceed (or rather, refuse to) in the way you are. If your goal is really to bring misdeeds into the light, then shine the light. Refusing to participate because the investigator isn't who you would have picked seems, frankly, like a child holding its breath until it gets its way. If these things really happened, then I urge you to prove it as best you can. The circumstances will never be perfect, so why not work with what you've got?
I know people on both sides of this have been feeling under attack lately, and I want to remind you that's not what I'm here for. I simply want the truth, whatever that may be, and for it to be dealt with appropriately. If someone I don't know accuses someone I know VERY well of something that goes completely against what I know their character to be, then they really need to step forward with some hard evidence. Everyone has secrets and many of the most outwardly upstanding people harbor some of the darkest, so even though I know Mark, I'm not in a position to decide his guilt or innocence. If you want to do that, then do it. If you're not, then I have to assume that this whole thing has been about character assassination. If you can show what you've said is true, I'll be first in line demanding Mark be removed, but I do not accept anyone's story without real evidence, and so far you haven't actually provided any. All you've provided is a story and some marked up screen captures of other people's emails. That's not evidence.
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Greentruth
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« Reply #329 on: April 22, 2018, 07:12:31 am »

Always need more info:

That is the 100 dollar question that I’m sure hundreds if not thousands would ask!  Keep asking, and more than anything keep praying.
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Janet Easson Martin
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« Reply #330 on: April 22, 2018, 10:23:50 am »

In response to victims not being willing to participate in a private inside attorney investigation here is a quote from DarthVader today (from http://forum.gcmwarning.com/general-discussion/why-the-ecc-investigation-is-worse-than-willow-creeks-very-bad-investigation/ :


"*Multiple victims chose NOT to participate citing concerns over the independence of the investigation (sound familiar?)
*Shortly after the “independent” investigation “cleared” Bill Hybels, those victims who did not participate shared their stories in the media.
*Bill Hybels then accelerated his planned retirement scheduled for October to immediately.

So when you see ECC supporters cast stones at the victims for chosing not to participate in the ECC investigation, realize these victims are in good company, including the president of a Christian university, a respected seminary professor, a teaching pastor at Willow..They all saw an attorney hired by a church board as not independent and felt strongly enough about it to resign from their Association Board roles.  I don’t think anyone (including Bill Hybles, although he was "cleared") would call the Willow Creek investigation a success in any way..And the sad thing is, as bad as it was, the ECC investigation is worse."

  
« Last Edit: April 22, 2018, 10:27:25 am by Janet Easson Martin » Logged

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Mango
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« Reply #331 on: April 22, 2018, 02:42:01 pm »

"*Multiple victims chose NOT to participate citing concerns over the independence of the investigation (sound familiar?)
*Shortly after the “independent” investigation “cleared” Bill Hybels, those victims who did not participate shared their stories in the media.

Obviously from what has been said, Suzanne is planning to follow this plan. But why?
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DarthVader
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« Reply #332 on: April 22, 2018, 05:39:07 pm »

Mango, I think the answer is that Suzanne and the other victims, with the exception of Victim C who did submit a statement do not consider the ECC investigation sufficiently independent.  What I was trying to point out with the Willow Creek example is that they may have good reason to feel that way.  If the board hiring an attorney is such a good, independent model, why did 3 Willow Creek Association board members chose to resign in protest over the independence of the investigation structured just like ECCs?  Why did several victims in the Willow Creek case, completely separate from the ECC case make the exact same choice Suzanne and others are here, refusing to participate?  Why is the Willow Creek board even now trying to back pedal and apologize for how they handed the investigation (which is nearly exactly how ECC is handling it) saying they now want to hear all the women's stories?

If you want to cast stones at Suzanne and the others for not participating, you're certainly free to do so, I'd just like anyone who feels that way to be aware that 1) very reputable, credible people including University presidents, seminary professors and pastors disagreed so much with the model that Willow (and now ECC) is using the were willing to step down from positions of authority rather than be seen as supporting it. 2) Victims in that situation who don't even know Suzanne made the same choice - Suzanne is not behaving unusually 3) Willow Creeks' Elder board now seems to very much regret how they handled the investigation.  

My hope is rather than cast stones at victims, people will make the reasonable request that ECC learn from Willow Creek's mistakes vs. repeat them, by working with the victims to find a mutually agreeable way to conduct the investigation. Willow Creek's Elder Board did not do that, they now regret it and their credibility is destroyed.  I want better than that for my church.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2018, 05:54:13 pm by DarthVader » Logged
DarthVader
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« Reply #333 on: April 22, 2018, 09:15:00 pm »

GTA, I bear you, ECC, Mark, etc. no ill will but find it challenging to engage with you as your own posts are fact free (please cite any facts you believe are relevant) and seemingly based in a deep unquestioning, unshakable loyalty to ECC & Mark, which is your right to feel.  By nature I'm analytical, fact-based, just the way God made me.  So this will probably be for naught but here goes:

1. The ECC BOT hired Joan Harrris, a respected lawyer specializing in workplace issues...What did Willow Creek do - quote from Chicago Tribune article -  "Willow Creek elders had taken a more dramatic step, hiring an outside attorney, Jeffrey Fowler of Laner Muchin in Chicago, a law firm that specializes in workplace issues" - GTA can you not see those as similar approaches?

2. During the Willow Creek investigation, several women refused to participate - quote from Chicago Tribune "So far this year, two women have told the Tribune that they had been contacted by an elder to participate in a review. One of those women, Vonda Dyer, declined to participate, citing concerns about the process.  During the ECC investigation several women declined to participate thus far. GTA - can you not acknowledge the similarity?

3. It is a fact that 3 Willow Creek Association board members resigned because they had no confidence in the Willow Creek Elder Board investigation - which used an employment lawyer as a third party investigator (just like ECC is doing) - Quote from Chicago Tribune - "Some of those pressing for more scrutiny said the church’s prior investigation had shortcomings in their opinion, and at least three leaders of the association’s board resigned over what they believed was an insufficient inquiry"

Everything I have stated is factual..I believe in no conspiracy theories, I am just observing the similarities between the ECC and Willow Creek investigations and observing that outcome Willow Creek experienced from their investigation has been a devastating failure. I'd like to see ECC learn from that vs. repeat those mistakes. I have attended, and still do an ECC location since 2003.  I have contributed substantially to ECC ministries financially. All of my closest friends are members of my ECC location.  My sincere believe is proceeding down the current path (the one shared in the last ECC update) we are on a path towards a similar failure to the Willow C. investigation and I'd like to see us learn from and avoid that.
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araignee19
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« Reply #334 on: April 23, 2018, 05:52:51 am »

GTA, just a quick question for you. Have you personally read the physical copy of this letter you reference, and/or personally spoken with each of these five witnesses and personally seen their documentation to support their claims?

I ask this because I think the answer is rather significant, regardless of whether it is yes or no.
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Linda
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« Reply #335 on: April 23, 2018, 08:07:39 am »

We had dinner with John and Suzanne a couple years ago at which point John mentioned the letter he wrote. Never have I thought it was the same as the statement that Suzanne referenced and which she explained here on this forum. If you read you will find she mentions a statement that she had to submit to the executive board prior to the meeting with the therapist and how it was returned to her with things crossed off and comments written on the sides.

You might find many answers to your questions if you bothered to read what Suzanne has written here.

Also, gossiping and making snarky comments about an alleged victim's marriage is a very bad thing to do.

From Suzanne's Facebook page:

Quote
Some following my story of abuse by pastor Mark Darling have asked if John's letter, that Mark's son Jeromy has been referring to (as proof that I did not bring up sexual abuse 17 years ago), is the same statement I wrote to Mark. No, John and I each wrote a separate statement to Mark. His son Jeromy posted on my wall last week that they have a copy of my husband John's statement to Mark, and that there is no reference to sexual abuse or sexual misconduct. And that is correct. John's letter did not contain any allegations of sexual abuse because he was not sexually abused by Mark. We have the letter as well. Seventeen years ago when I confronted Mark in my therapist's office with pastor Mark Bowen present, I read a statement to Mark Darling. In that letter, I spoke of some of the sexual abuse I endured from Mark. After that, John gave Mark the above referenced letter he wrote.

Edited: I found the quote so you won't have to.

Quote
The executive pastor group, which included Mark Bowen, Mark Darling, Brent Knox, Mark Bowen and John van Dyck, asked to see a written copy of what I was going to say to Mark D.  My therapist was not wild about the idea, but I did give it to them.  I got the copies back and they had things crossed out and comments about how and what I could convey.  Any of the parts where I named Mark D. as 'abuser' were crossed off.  Anything having to do with sexual things were crossed off. I showed it to my therapist and he was visibly upset that they were trying to manage the narrative of me, the victim.  I'm proud to say that I included all the comments that the ECC executive pastor board crossed off.




« Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 08:15:31 am by Linda » Logged

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jeromydaviddarling
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« Reply #336 on: April 23, 2018, 08:14:27 am »

Interesting how her story changed after I released my letter...
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Linda
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« Reply #337 on: April 23, 2018, 08:18:14 am »

Quote from: Scout
Interestingly, leading up to this meeting, I did feel outnumbered.  The executive pastor group, which included Mark Bowen, Mark Darling, Brent Knox, Mark Bowen and John van Dyck, asked to see a written copy of what I was going to say to Mark D.  My therapist was not wild about the idea, but I did give it to them.  I got the copies back and they had things crossed out and comments about how and what I could convey.  Any of the parts where I named Mark D. as 'abuser' were crossed off.  Anything having to do with sexual things were crossed off. I showed it to my therapist and he was visibly upset that they were trying to manage the narrative of me, the victim.  I'm proud to say that I included all the comments that the ECC executive pastor board crossed off.

Posted January 11, 2018.
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jeromydaviddarling
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« Reply #338 on: April 23, 2018, 08:20:13 am »

Directly contradicted by the mediator of that meeting.
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Digital Lynch Mob
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« Reply #339 on: April 23, 2018, 08:38:23 am »

Suzanne's quotes:
"I'm proud to say that I included all the comments that the ECC executive pastor board crossed off."

She says she made accusations about sexual abuse but everyone else in the room including her counselor says that isn't true.

"Seventeen years ago when I confronted Mark in my therapist's office with pastor Mark Bowen present, I read a statement to Mark Darling. In that letter, I spoke of some of the sexual abuse I endured from Mark. After that, John gave Mark the above referenced letter he wrote."

First, as Jeromy points out, she completely changed her story here after learning Mark still had the letter. Secondly, this doesn't even make sense. I wrote a letter and then I wrote a letter about the letter? And again, everyone in the room says this isn't true so...
« Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 10:59:23 am by Digital Lynch Mob » Logged
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