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Author Topic: Pastor Mark Darling-Pastor who abused me  (Read 153690 times)
Scout
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« Reply #80 on: January 29, 2018, 03:20:16 pm »

I want to specify that there's likely
1) More than one victim
2) No statute of limitations on sexual abuse in your state
3) Laws governing the use of donated funds that were broken.

This isn't going to go away, especially w/ Dee involved. You can trust her, and Amy from Watchkeep. They went toe-to-toe w/ the largest Baptist church in the country for covering up sexual abuse, and they'll do the same for you.

And I'll be here as a signal booster. <3
Sincerely,
XianJaneway

XianJaneway,

Thanks for your thoughts.  I do know that their are other women who Mark Darling preyed on.

Scout
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« Reply #81 on: January 29, 2018, 03:22:24 pm »

I'm not sure what a signal booster is but if it means to lend my voice to you in support, advocacy, or to share the story, count me in too.  I'm not a big Twitter person but am on FB a lot.
Rebel in a Good Way,

Thank you for your offer of support.  I am not on FB so not sure how this would work.  But if there is a way you can take what is posted on this forum (copy and paste?) to FB, that may be helpful.

Scout
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« Reply #82 on: January 30, 2018, 05:42:48 am »

I have been thinking about the grooming process that occurs when a pastor (or any person in authroity) grooms a child, man or woman into sexual abuse.  

Approximately 23 years ago, I felt very uncomfortable with ways in which Mark Darling was behaving and set up a meeting to talk to him about it.  By this time I was one of his "special" girls and had moved on to being one of his "special" married couples.  We were in his inner circle and felt chosen, special and remarkable.  Note:  for those of you that have read my story on this thread, this meeting took place approximately 5 years before the meeting in my therapist's office in which I confronted Mark Darling.

Looking back I was naive to what was really going on.  I had no idea that I was being sexually abused.  I do understand that may be hard to comprehend.  It may be helpful to read about grooming tactics of sexual predators.  At that time however, I was sure that the coercive control (later I learned the name for this was spiritual abuse) Mark used with us was wrong. I went out with him to Baker's Square to talk to him about this behavior.  Interestingly, I chose a public place, as we usually talked alone in his basement or in his car when he drove me to a park near the Minnesota River in Bloomington.  On some level I knew I needed to not be on his "turf".  

I do not remember what exactly I said.  The conversation focused more on his controlling behavior than the sexually abusive behavior which took me a few more years to allow to come to the surface.  When we spoke he was very defensive, angry and I understand now using gaslighting tactics in order to confuse and get me to doubt reality.  Going home from that meeting at Baker's Square, I still felt "right" in the things I confronted Mark about, but now had a lot more confusion and doubt; maybe I was remembering things incorrectly, possibly I was not having a forgiving spirit, etc?  Very soon after arriving home, I received a phone call from another pastor's wife.   She and her husband too, were part of Mark's inner circle.  Her words, I do remember, "How could you do this to Mark after all he has done for you and your family?"  She was quite upset, as Mark had called to tell her about mine and Mark's conversation.  As well, soon after, when Mark was teaching, he spoke about how even Jesus and Paul had disciples turn against them.  Thus equating me talking to him about his spiritually abusive behavior  as sign that he, Mark, was following God and being persecuted exactly like our spiritual forefathers.  He had others talk to me as well, saying I was slandering Mark, hurting him and having a Jezebel like spirit.  Mark, himself, became cold towards me.  

Soon after, I recall making a conscious decision that I would never do that to Mark again.  For about 5 more years, I put my tail between my legs, so to speak, and worked the "program"-Mark's program, like no other.  I said everything he wanted and needed to hear.  When he told us "special" girls to talk like his wife, I did (as did others).  When he was distraught because the numbers at the service he was preaching at were down, I (we) lied and told him the count was actually higher.  When his co-pastor Brent Knox was receiving some sort of accolade or attention that Mark was not, I (we girls)  told him how much better he was than Brent, more anointed.  If we didn't he remained very depressed and sad.  When he talked poorly of Brent's "men" and their wives I(we) agreed.  He needed and wanted his "men" to become pastors faster than Brent's.  He needed our children to be better than Brent's guys' kids.  

Again, I write this as a tiny window into what grooming can look like.  There is always a power differential.

Scout



« Last Edit: January 31, 2018, 09:20:30 am by Scout » Logged
margaret
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« Reply #83 on: January 30, 2018, 09:06:42 am »

WOW.

SICK.

I held my breath reading all that, Scout. I'm feeling just a minuscule fraction of the hurt that is yours. Oh, the devastation.

I hope that you will continue in this healing process and continue to hold your head up. I don't even know what to say.

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« Reply #84 on: January 30, 2018, 11:20:23 am »

Scout. Thank you for helping paint the picture and opening our eyes to the wickedness of "grooming".
Standing with you.

Attention ECC pastors, John Hopler, and the GCC national board of which this man is a member. What will you be doing about this behavior and the subsequent cover up?

Here are some tips for those who need to do damage control because they want unity more than Truth.

What to do about the victim(s?).

Your goal here is to discredit her testimony. Here are some ways to do it.

1. Tell everyone the victim is crazy. This is your first line of defense and works especially well when only one victim has come forward.

2.  Tell everyone that the victim has had a difficult life, marriage, family background, fill in the blank and under all the emotional stress of her situation, she is imagining these things happened. This is a kinder way to say that she is crazy. It is probably in your best interest to use this argument because it makes you look compassionate and understanding.

3. Tell everyone the victim is lying because she doesn’t like the person and/or God and/or ECC. As things progress, you may need to up your game and move the victim from the crazy category to the “bitter, unfriendly to the Gospel, hates God category”. This would be a good time to reference 2 Timothy 1:15 (everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me), or 2 Timothy 4:10 (Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me). Those verses will get you some sympathy because no one wants to be deserted. Especially hard working pastors who have done so much for the church/God. If you want to put some fear on the victim, or warn those supporting her telling her story, you should go the Numbers 26:10 route and remind them of Korah’s rebellion. You know, the Earth swallowing up all those detractors. Or, Psalm 105:15 (Touch not my anointed ones) works well.

You have trained the masses well. We know all the “go to” verses. We are on to your ways.

I’ll pass along more helpful tips as I think of them and will be looking forward to seeing which piece of my advice you take first.


Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. Ephesians 5:11
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« Reply #85 on: January 30, 2018, 11:50:56 am »

Scout, ugh, that is spiritual abuse and manipulation at its finest, paving the way for sexual abuse.  He sounds like a narcissist (in the clinical sense) who used members of his flock to meet his own twisted needs.  I am involved in anti-human trafficking work and it is really horrifying to learn about pimps and recognize some of the same tactics in abusive pastors.  Grooming is grooming is grooming, and someone is never groomed for their own best interest or benefit.  ALWAYS to be exploited by someone else.

I might know what you mean about being a "special girl," because I was NOT one in my old GCM church, but I was aware of that dynamic.  I was a little jealous of the approval I saw others receiving, so I can see why if you were the recipient, you would be motivated to keep it up, and not to disappoint someone who is second to God. 


Linda, don't forget that GCC should also reiterate that they "already worked this out the biblical way" and assure everyone that they can be approached at any time to "reconcile" (meaning to work through their power structures).  They should also remind everyone that the victim and husband accepted the money that was offered at the time, which must clearly show they parted on good terms.  And that it was a long time ago.  Because if someone tried to speak up, was shut down, and then it takes a long time to be ready to speak out again, clearly they were never abused in the first place (and not a sign of the oppressive power structure that silences people).  Or, even if something happened, everyone else has moved on and the victim should too.  They should end with "prayers for healing for all involved."
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« Reply #86 on: January 30, 2018, 01:57:21 pm »

Scout-
I am trying to connect some dots, with some things I was told by Mark Darling.  After your attempt to reprove him at the restaurant, was your husband a pastor yet or still waiting to be recognized?

Was Kathy ever involved in mentoring and grooming you, or was it just Mark D?

Processing lots-
Marie



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« Reply #87 on: January 30, 2018, 02:21:32 pm »

Scout-
I am trying to connect some dots, with some things I was told by Mark Darling.  After your attempt to reprove him at the restaurant, was your husband a pastor yet or still waiting to be recognized?

Was Kathy ever involved in mentoring and grooming you, or was it just Mark D?

Processing lots-
Marie



Marie,

Yes, my husband was a pastor at that time (newly so) when I was at the restaurant talking to Mark Darling about his spiritually abusive behavior. 

As for Kathy Darling grooming me (us).  That is a good question.  I believe that she herself was groomed and abused herself.  I will need to think about this a bit more. 

Scout
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« Reply #88 on: January 30, 2018, 03:15:46 pm »

That was a question in my mind, too, when I read about Mark Darling telling you he was going downstairs to have sex with his wife while you waited upstairs. I wondered if his wife knew you were there and knew what Mark had just said, and if so, was she complicit or a victim.

Either way, it was an appalling thing for him to do.
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« Reply #89 on: January 30, 2018, 03:25:34 pm »

Scout. Thank you for helping paint the picture and opening our eyes to the wickedness of "grooming".
Standing with you.

Attention ECC pastors, John Hopler, and the GCC national board of which this man is a member. What will you be doing about this behavior and the subsequent cover up?

Here are some tips for those who need to do damage control because they want unity more than Truth.

What to do about the victim(s?).

Your goal here is to discredit her testimony. Here are some ways to do it.

1. Tell everyone the victim is crazy. This is your first line of defense and works especially well when only one victim has come forward.

2.  Tell everyone that the victim has had a difficult life, marriage, family background, fill in the blank and under all the emotional stress of her situation, she is imagining these things happened. This is a kinder way to say that she is crazy. It is probably in your best interest to use this argument because it makes you look compassionate and understanding.

3. Tell everyone the victim is lying because she doesn’t like the person and/or God and/or ECC. As things progress, you may need to up your game and move the victim from the crazy category to the “bitter, unfriendly to the Gospel, hates God category”. This would be a good time to reference 2 Timothy 1:15 (everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me), or 2 Timothy 4:10 (Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me). Those verses will get you some sympathy because no one wants to be deserted. Especially hard working pastors who have done so much for the church/God. If you want to put some fear on the victim, or warn those supporting her telling her story, you should go the Numbers 26:10 route and remind them of Korah’s rebellion. You know, the Earth swallowing up all those detractors. Or, Psalm 105:15 (Touch not my anointed ones) works well.

You have trained the masses well. We know all the “go to” verses. We are on to your ways.

I’ll pass along more helpful tips as I think of them and will be looking forward to seeing which piece of my advice you take first.


Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. Ephesians 5:11

Linda,

You are spot on.  These are the same tactics used by abusers inside the church and outside the church.  Evergreen Church and GCx (or whatever they call themselves now) are no different in their handling of these things as "the world".  

Scout
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« Reply #90 on: January 30, 2018, 03:28:13 pm »

That was a question in my mind, too, when I read about Mark Darling telling you he was going downstairs to have sex with his wife while you waited upstairs. I wondered if his wife knew you were there and knew what Mark had just said, and if so, was she complicit or a victim.

Either way, it was an appalling thing for him to do.

Huldah,

Yes, his wife knew.  She knew I was there, spoke to me, came upstairs with Mark Darling afterwards.

Scout
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« Reply #91 on: January 30, 2018, 03:33:42 pm »

I have been thinking about the grooming process that occurs when a pastor (or any person in authroity) grooms a child, man or woman into sexual abuse.  

Approximately 23 years ago, I felt very uncomfortable with ways in which Mark Darling was behaving and set up a meeting to talk to him about it.  By this time I was one of his "special" girls and had moved on to being one of his "special" married couples.  We were in his inner circle and felt chosen, special and remarkable.  Note:  for those of you that have read my story on this thread, this meeting took place approximately 5 years before the meeting in my therapist's office in which I confronted Mark Darling.

Looking back I was naive to what was really going on.  I had no idea that I was being sexually abused.  I do understand that may be hard to comprehend.  It may be helpful to read about grooming tactics of sexual predators.  At that time however, I was sure that the coercive control (later I learned the name for this was spiritual abuse) Mark used with us was wrong. I went out with him to Baker's Square to talk to him about this behavior.  Interestingly, I chose a public place, as we usually talked alone in his basement or in his car when he drove me to a park near the Minnesota River in Bloomington.  On some level I knew I needed to not be on his "turf".  

I do not remember what exactly I said.  The conversation focused more on his controlling behavior than the sexually abusive behavior which took me a few more years to allow to come to the surface.  When we spoke he was very defensive, angry and I understand now using gaslighting tactics in order to confuse and get me to doubt reality.  Going home from that meeting at Baker's Square, I still felt "right" in the things I confronted Mark about, but now had a lot more confusion and doubt; maybe I was remembering things incorrectly, possibly I was not having a forgiving spirit, etc?  Very soon after arriving home, I received a phone call from another pastor's wife.   She and her husband too, were part of Mark's inner circle.  Her words, I do remember, "How could you do this to Mark after all he has done for you and your family?"  She was quite upset, as Mark had called to tell her about mine and Mark's conversation.  As well, soon after, when Mark was teaching, he spoke about how even Jesus and Paul had disciples turn against them.  Thus equating me talking to him about his spiritually abusive behavior being as sign that he, Mark, was following God and being persecuted exactly like our spiritual forefathers.  He had others talk to me as well, saying I was slandering Mark, hurting him and having a Jezebel like spirit.  Mark, himself, became cold towards me.  

Soon after, I recall making a conscious decision that I would never do that to Mark again.  For about 5 more years, I put my tail between my legs, so to speak, and worked the "program"-Mark's program, like no other.  I said everything he wanted and needed to hear.  When he told us "special" girls to talk like his wife, I did (as did others).  When he was distraught because the numbers at the service he was preaching at were down, I (we) lied and told him the count was actually higher.  When his co-pastor Brent Knox was receiving some sort of accolade or attention that Mark was not, I (we girls)  told him how much better he was than Brent, more anointed.  If we didn't he remained very depressed and sad.  When he talked poorly of Brent's "men" and their wives I(we) agreed.  He needed and wanted his "men" to become pastors faster than Brent's.  He needed our children to be better than Brent's guys' kids.  

Again, I write this as a tiny window into what grooming can look like.  There is always a power differential.

Scout



Update:I was looking for this very helpful article about grooming within church walls this morning when I posted and could not find it.  Here it is...http://www.christianitytoday.com/pastors/2015/january-online-only/how-to-spot-sexual-abuse-in-your-church.html?share=
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« Reply #92 on: January 30, 2018, 03:33:49 pm »

A note to John Hopler.

I don't know if you know who I am or remember any of our conversations back in Columbus in the 70's, but I've never forgotten how much I struggled with the rigid way Solid Rock defined men's and women's roles. I remember that you tried to help me accept those roles (and I do believe that in your heart, you genuinely meant to be helpful). I also remember the constant emphasis on submitting to the leadership, with the implications that something dreadful would happen to anyone who stepped out from under that leadership. But now, here's Scout, a woman who trusted herself fully to the leadership. Look at the dreadful things that happened to her, not in spite of her submission, but because of it.

Back in those Solid Rock days, surely you never thought that all those teachings on submission would create such a monster. Surely you wouldn't have given your entire life to this movement if you could have foreseen any of this. I'm asking myself if the idealistic young John Hopler I remember from those days could have sat by and let a married pastor take sexual advantage of women in the church, or offer tens of thousands of dollars' worth of hard-earned donations as hush money. I believe, and hope, that that John Hopler would have been horrified at the thought, but only you know the answer to that.

So how did it come to this?

And what are you going to do about it?
« Last Edit: January 30, 2018, 06:06:08 pm by Huldah » Logged
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« Reply #93 on: January 30, 2018, 04:16:50 pm »

www.whoismarkdarling.com

I made this website link sometime ago as I listened to the rantings of Mark Darling. The last sound byte, Mark Darling alludes that he is a phophet of somekind. One idea I have been thinking is that Mark Darling, and that inner circle feel in all ways that he, Mark Darling, is a prophet. Can do no wrong. Speaks the utterances of *their God's beliefs, Scout. Another sound byte is Mark saying he doesn't need to understand Greek or Hebrew to understand Greek or Hebrew.

I commend your life, Scout, for standing up to a spiritual dictator, that dictator being Mark Darling. Sexual abuser Mark Darling.

Thank you Scout!

-Blonde

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« Reply #94 on: January 30, 2018, 04:42:24 pm »

And I wrote this a long time ago as a parody, but making a finer point that Mark Darling will never ever be a good and godly man; now he is a sexual abuser like David Koresh, of the Davidians. Which I always felt would come out in due time. Again, I am sorry Mark abused you in all these ways Scout! I'm praying for your strength and that you will shine and heal, Scout of All Strengths!! -Blonde

DarkMarling exsists as a reminder that GCM will never apologize for their wrong doing, and the following other points.

DarkMarling will never say I am sorry, will say the 1991 Statement of Weakness is old news, and don't even ask about it.  DarkMarling will ask for life long commitment to GCM but not to Jesus.  At Faithwalkers, DarkMarling will keep the old Jim McCotter ideas alive, but in new fresh ways and approaches.  DarkMarling lives to lie about the past.

We will even say that the 1991 Statement is irrelevant as we discussed it, wrote you back, and we have moved on as an organization.  We have changed our name a few times, but who cares!  But ironically, DarkMarling and GCx will still behave in the same manner of the 1991 Statement of Weakness says we do!  DarkMarling does not care that we act in the same way as we did 20-30 years ago.

DarkMarling is that thorn in your side, keep blogging about how bad GCx is, and be rest assured, we will not change.  It is you who are to change, and not mock us.  DarkMarling is better than the rest of you.

DarkMarling will never ever feel he has done anything wrong, feel himself and his church superior to all other mega churches, small churches, country churches, city churches, youth ministries, college and university ministries.  We are God's best.  And we know it.

DarkMarling will live on and on as the GREAT DarkMarling.

If you need to see me, link to me here - http://darkmarling.xanga.com/profile/
or http://www.rockthechurch.com/main/pastor_bios
« Last Edit: January 30, 2018, 04:51:48 pm by blonde » Logged

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« Reply #95 on: January 31, 2018, 04:58:54 am »

These attributes, Abusive Mindset Contributors (I don't recall author, anyone?), describe my experience with Mark Darling.  And as the title of the article suggests, when these beliefs are in place they can pave the wave for abusive behavior.


Believed he was superior to others: Brent Knox, Rick Whitney, etc., although with those men he needed constant affirmation from us, his "special" people to remind him that
he was indeed superior to them.  Other pastors that he felt no competition with (which usually meant they were not teaching pastors) he required no affirmation from us, as he openly mocked them to us

Sexist: Yes.

Status conscious: If he considered you homely and not dressing "cool", but had money, there may be an exception for you.

Sense of entitlement: If you had a cabin, owned an auto repair shop, hair dresser, etc., those were all to be used or given to him for free.

These behaviors of Mark Darling paved the way for him to abuse me and others.

Following are some of the abuses I endured from Mark Darling:

Role reversal:  I was there to meet Mark's needs (emotionally and physically)

Emotional incest:  Mark treated me like a surrogate spouse.  I became Mark's therapist.  I felt his pain so he didn't have to.

Enmeshment:  Mark demanded I have the same beliefs and feelings as him.

Emotional abuse:  Mark needed me to provide emotional support that should have been given by a peer.

Sexual abuse:  Both overt and covert.  Overt is more than likely obvious.  Covert sexual abuse I experienced from Mark included (not limited to):  conversations having a sexualized undertone, him expressing an overly graphic interest in my sexual characteristics, betraying my boundaries through invasion of privacy, sexuality that was implied through suggestive looks, etc.  (Adams & Weiss, online article)

Scout

« Last Edit: January 31, 2018, 08:39:42 am by Scout » Logged
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« Reply #96 on: January 31, 2018, 10:12:16 am »

Scout,

Do you plan to pursue legal action on this?  I realize that wouldn't be easy. 
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« Reply #97 on: February 01, 2018, 05:21:05 pm »

Legal Action or not.
How can Mark Darling still be in the pulpit.

I personally have been spiritually abused my Mark Darling's teaching.  I listened to his teachings for 13 plus years.  One example of teachings that I believed was that Christian counseling or anti-depressants were not necessary.  Understanding God's love and listening to his "Renew" teaching series should be all I need to do, and all will be fine.

If you have been spiritually abused or spiritual messed up like I had been for 13 plus years by the Teachings of Mark Darling and the protective LOYALTY of the Evergreen churches could you say a one word "Yes" in a post. 
Marie




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« Reply #98 on: February 04, 2018, 10:25:07 am »

I happened to catch the first part of the Bloomington service live on their website this morning, and a statement was read, stating Mark Darling is on paid administrative leave, a third party investigation, denial of allegations, etc. Thinking of you, Scout, and how this continues to bring pain to you and your family, and to others that have been victims of abuse . I believe you.
Moved On,

Thank you.  Means much.

Scout
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« Reply #99 on: February 04, 2018, 03:07:55 pm »

I happened to catch the first part of the Bloomington service live on their website this morning, and a statement was read, stating Mark Darling is on paid administrative leave, a third party investigation, denial of allegations, etc. Thinking of you, Scout, and how this continues to bring pain to you and your family, and to others that have been victims of abuse . I believe you.
Moved On,

Thank you.  Means much.

Scout

This morning at all the Evergreen Church locations (someone may need to correct that if incorrect) a statement was read concerning my "allegations" of abuse towards Mark Darling.  It can be read in its entirety below. I have heard that they have hired an attorney as well.  

Scout

Quote
Mike Olmstead, pastor: Now, I have an unsettling, challenging announcement or statement that I actually have to read that has to do with one of our founding pastors, Mark Darling, and I'm not allowed to make any comments, anything. I have to read it verbatim and then after that I'm going to pray. So this will take 3 or 4 minutes to read through so please bear with me as I do.
 *sighs*
 
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 were first shared by this person through social media on January 5, 2018. However, more specific allegations were posted online on Wednesday the 24th of January. In addition, this person has implied that Evergreen Church was aware of the offensive behavior and did not act appropriately. We take all allegations of sexual misconduct very seriously. Although, we are mindful that an allegation alone does not assign guilt. In an effort to discern the truth of these allegations and partially and without bias, Evergreen is in the process of hiring a reputable third-party investigator to independently investigate the facts surrounding these claims. Mark unequivocally denies these allegations and he is cooperating fully with this process. Mark is on paid administrative leave and he will not perform any pastoral duties during the investigation, including teaching, counseling, or oversight. At the close of the investigation, the findings will be submitted to the Evergreen Board of Trustees to determine the appropriate next steps. Statistics show that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men have been victims of some kind of sexual assault. For some this announcement may trigger very painful memories, thoughts, and feelings. We're informing you about the situation and our response for the sake of integrity and god's glory. And to alleviate questions or concerns, which might arise as details of this situation become more widespread, if you would like support in processing those thoughts and feelings we are available to assist you and help you find a skilled counseling resource. Please pray for god's grace and mercy on all parties involved and for all victims of sexual abuse. Pray that god would be glorified by the truth made clear throughout this process and that god will bless this church with wisdom and strength in the days ahead. If you have questions you may contact Lynn Newman, Evergreen Operations Manager, by email at lnewman@evergreenchurch.com. But in an effort to protect the integrity of the investigation and those impacted by this process, please understand that only limited information can be provided at this time.  
 
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