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Author Topic: The Reckoning  (Read 99988 times)
jeromydaviddarling
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« Reply #260 on: April 05, 2018, 04:48:29 pm »

Once again my dad has never taken a sabbatical or been on a leave of absence. The years you're referencing were the years he got Montezuma's Revenge when he was down in Honduras on a mission trip, followed by whooping cough where he cracked a rib from coughing so hard for over a month. he took a break from preaching both times.  any other strange, unexplainable things with hazy timeframes you like me to explain?
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Linda
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« Reply #261 on: April 05, 2018, 05:23:04 pm »

We asked one pastor where he was. We were told by him that MD needed to deal with some things, but it was confidential in their group of pastors as to what those things were.
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UffDa
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« Reply #262 on: April 05, 2018, 06:03:49 pm »

I remember MD having time off, but I thought it was for a really bad sinus infection due to a deviated septum. I was on the ‘97 Honduras mission trip team with MD (I think Celeste & Jeromy were with on that trip too-have to double check photos)
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blonde
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« Reply #263 on: April 06, 2018, 01:38:31 am »

Yes he is (on leave) from the GCC national board. Again, Jeromy doesn't know everything. Lies everywhere and not a drop to drink!
http://gccweb.org/about/gcc-board/

-Blonde
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Linda
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« Reply #264 on: April 06, 2018, 05:23:08 am »

You are correct, blonde. He is also currently on leave according to The Rock’s contact page. I read Jeromy’s comment assuming he was talking about the past, but he did not say that. I’m guessing he is aware that is dad is currently on leave, even though his comment used the word never.

I brought up the leave to underscore the lack of transparency in the leadership that has been a pattern for years. The talking points for having a “plurality of elders” were always that plurality was safe, but I say, plurality without transparency is a recipe for disaster.

Again, no idea why he took a leave, could have been illness, but in my church, we pray for sick members, friends, and relatives out loud, by name, every week. It would be sad to me if a pastor was ill and on leave and no one knew.
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Linda
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« Reply #265 on: April 09, 2018, 06:58:58 am »

I was just rereading The Reckoning. (Without the soundtrack, so maybe I missed something.) What to those attacking this site and people posting against true 3rd party independent investigation don't understand is that for many of us, after reading the Reckoning, it isn't as iron clad as you may think.

For example, Jeromy writes:

"He truly was the same man on stage as he was at home and we are all living EYEWITNESSES (the most important bringers of evidence)."

What I hear Jeromy saying is that this behavior doesn't fit the description of the loving father he knows and grew up with.

This is a testimony to his character at home. Not necessarily his behavior elsewhere.

So, Jeromy is an eyewitness to his behavior when he was present, but he is NOT an eyewitness to his entire life. This doesn't mean he did anything bad, it just means that Jeromy discredits his testimony when he uses it to claim anything other than Mark was a great dad and did nothing wrong while in Jeromy's presence because we all know that Jeromy wasn't with his dad every minute of every day.

I would like to think my children would say the same thing about me should accusations arise, but they can't say more than they know. They can't account for things I did when not in their presence. They have no idea whether or not I was alone in the house with any man other than my husband (I have been alone in the house with many men, repairmen, remodelers, etc., incidentally) or have gone for walks alone with men other than my husband (I haven't), but they are not EYEWITNESSES to those events because they either did not happen (the walks) or they were not present (the repairs, remodels). But they can't, for sure, say I never did anything bad. They can only say that it doesn't fit the character of the mom they know.

In other words, what I hear you say, Jeromy, is that the allegations do not fit the character of the dad you know. What you cannot say is that you are an eyewitness to these allegations being untrue unless:

You were with your dad 24/7/365 your entire life.
You were on every missions trip and your dad never paired up with a woman as a "witnessing partner" for those man/woman team assignments that I've heard about.
You knew about every woman your dad counseled and where that counseling took place.

This is why there needs to be an investigation that is fair and thorough and independent.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 11:17:44 am by Linda » Logged

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omelianchuk
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« Reply #266 on: April 09, 2018, 07:48:13 am »

In other words, what I hear you say, Jeromy, is that the allegations do not fit the character of the dad you know. What you cannot say is that you are an eyewitness to these allegations being untrue unless:

You were with your dad 24/7/365 your entire life.
You were on every missions trip and your dad never paired up with a woman as a "witnessing partner" for those man/woman team assignments that I've heard about.
You knew about every woman your dad counseled and where that counseling took place.

This is why there needs to be an investigation that is fair and thorough and independent.

I doubt very much that the sort of investigation you call for could meet the standard of evidence that you place on Jeromy. Why do you think it would?
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Linda
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« Reply #267 on: April 09, 2018, 08:08:30 am »

Quote from: omelianchuk
I doubt very much that the sort of investigation you call for could meet the standard of evidence that you place on Jeromy.

Not sure what you are saying. My point was that Jeromy is not an "eyewitness" to these things not happening.

He is a character witness to what he observed growing up with his dad. He is not an "eyewitness" that his dad never did anything bad because he was not with his dad 24/7/365.

There are actual "eyewitnesses" here. Mark D. and the women who are alleging he abused them. Mark should be fully heard. The women should be fully heard. The investigation should not be done by an attorney representing ECC and the findings should not be made by a board of trustees who have been put in place by the executive board of ECC (i.e., the pastors who are being accused of a cover up).

I honestly don't know why anyone would not want the facts to come out in a impartial way unless there was something to hide. The longer ECC holds out and controls the investigation and the results, the worse it looks for them. If they have nothing to hide, and they think the women are lying or Suzanne is making up victims, ECC should boldly call her/their bluff.
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omelianchuk
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« Reply #268 on: April 09, 2018, 08:42:02 am »

All I'm saying is that the conditions you put on Jeromy are not necessary to rebut (or establish) the charges. For example, he wouldn't have to be with his father 24/7 to rebut a charge; he only needs to be in the same place at the same time to make his claim, a claim that was originally about Mark's conduct "on stage" being the same as it was at home (isn't Jeromy in a position know that much?). I'm not suggesting Jeromy was there to witness every interaction between Suzanne and Mark, but that he need not be there 24/7 as you suggest. If that sort of monitoring is necessary for establishing the truth of eyewitness testimony, then the 3rd party investigation won't even cut it.

As for how Evergreen is proceeding, I can't say, but I suspect that they don't accept the "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" argument for reasons having to do with institutional privacy. Those may be debatable, I admit, but I think that explains why they are hesitant to go further  
« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 08:43:47 am by omelianchuk » Logged
Huldah
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« Reply #269 on: April 09, 2018, 09:12:33 am »

Omelianchuk, I don't understand what you're getting at.

Quote
For example, he wouldn't have to be with his father 24/7 to rebut a charge; he only needs to be in the same place at the same time to make his claim, a claim that was originally about Mark's conduct "on stage" being the same as it was at home (isn't Jeromy in a position know that much?).

You seem to be speaking of Jeromy in his capacity as a character witness, whereas Linda (I take it) is referring to Jeromy's ability to say whether or not specific incidents actually occured. Am I understanding you, Omelianchuk, (or you, Linda) correctly? Because it sounds like Omelianchuk is talking apples whereas Linda is talking oranges.

I didn't take Linda's remarks to mean that Jeromy (or anyone else) had to be there 24/7. I only took them to mean that Jeromy's remarks were of limited usefulness in determining whether or not the charges are true. Jeromy can testify about what he saw Mark do (although even there, his assertions contradict Mark's own words in at least one instance), but he has no way of knowing whether Mark ever stepped out of character when Jeromy wasn't around. That's what I took Linda to be saying.

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Linda
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« Reply #270 on: April 09, 2018, 09:19:13 am »

Quote from: Jeromy
Friend, you've ONLY heard anything from Suzanne. You are taking the word of a woman you've NEVER met, posting ONLY on social media, when 5 eyewitnesses to Mark's life (his children and his oldest son's wife) have provided eye witness accounts of his life and stated unequivocally that NOTHING Suzanne has said is true.

Jeromy has consistently said the allegations are not true because there are eyewitnesses that prove Suzanne is lying and then he references his wife and siblings.

I think we can all agree that while they are character witnesses (ie this is not the dad they know), the only true eyewitnesses to the allegations are Mark and the other woman(en). Unless we are redefining the term eyewitness in which case all bets are off.

This is why an impartial investigation is critical. Mark, the ECC leaders being accused of a cover up, and the women making the allegations all need to be heard fairly and any physical evidence they have needs to be presented. It’s not that difficult to see that the current investigation is highly one sided.

Edited: Yes, Huldah, that is what I was saying. I think the confusion was that he was addressing the exact words of the quote I offered (which makes total sense), but as I typed, I was thinking of all the times Jeromy has referenced the fact that he and his family are "eyewitnesses" to the fact that the allegations are not true. Which, of course, they aren't. Omelianchuk did not necessarily understand that Jeromy is making more than a character witness claim perhaps because those comments are buried in the threads.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 09:33:44 am by Linda » Logged

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omelianchuk
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« Reply #271 on: April 09, 2018, 10:28:47 am »

Omelianchuk, I don't understand what you're getting at.

Quote
For example, he wouldn't have to be with his father 24/7 to rebut a charge; he only needs to be in the same place at the same time to make his claim, a claim that was originally about Mark's conduct "on stage" being the same as it was at home (isn't Jeromy in a position know that much?).

You seem to be speaking of Jeromy in his capacity as a character witness, whereas Linda (I take it) is referring to Jeromy's ability to say whether or not specific incidents actually occured. Am I understanding you, Omelianchuk, (or you, Linda) correctly? Because it sounds like Omelianchuk is talking apples whereas Linda is talking oranges.

I didn't take Linda's remarks to mean that Jeromy (or anyone else) had to be there 24/7. I only took them to mean that Jeromy's remarks were of limited usefulness in determining whether or not the charges are true. Jeromy can testify about what he saw Mark do (although even there, his assertions contradict Mark's own words in at least one instance), but he has no way of knowing whether Mark ever stepped out of character when Jeromy wasn't around. That's what I took Linda to be saying.



First, call me Adam (because spelling out my last name is pain!  Smiley).

Second, the quote that Linda cites above ("Friend, you've ONLY...) is different from the one she cited from Jeromy's letter, which just claimed that he is an eyewitness to Mark being the same man "on the stage" and "at home" which to my ear doesn't sound that controversial (and there seems to be agreement on that, so the point is moot).

Third, I need to be less pedantic, so sorry about that.  Grin

« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 10:30:46 am by omelianchuk » Logged
Linda
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« Reply #272 on: April 09, 2018, 11:29:32 am »

Quote from: Adam
First, call me Adam (because spelling out my last name is pain!  Smiley).
Thanks, Adam! Smiley

Quote from: Adam
Third, I need to be less pedantic, so sorry about that.
Haha. My original quote did not prove my point. You were correct in pointing that out. So, thanks for showing me so I could clarify.
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DarthVader
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« Reply #273 on: April 09, 2018, 11:53:41 am »

Hey Adam - you've been a very respectful and thoughtful poster on here, which I appreciate.  I'd love to get your candid take on two questions if you are willing,

1) Based on what you know, do you believe any of the allegations about Mark? e.g. do you think he ever behaved inappropriately with any women during his time as Pastor along the lines suggested by Suzanne, Victim C, A, etc.? Or do you believe the "victims" are lying? I'm omitting (deliberately) the "this was a misunderstanding" option as it seems hard to imagine the alone time described fits in any way within acceptable behavior for an ECC pastor - it either happened and was wrong or it didn't happen at all (and is being lied about) seem the only alternatives, no?

2) What do you think about ECC's approach to the investigation?  In my own head, trying to free myself of any bias, which I acknowledge I have, the headline "ECC pastors cleared of all wrong doing by their fellow staff and the other board members they appointed" sounds hard to defend.  If this story came out on Kare11 or WCCO and I was asked to defend the approach my church took to this (I attend an ECC location), I think I would have a hard time intellectually saying that the body that was charged with investigating met any "reasonable person" criteria of independence/good governance, regardless of the personal integrity of the individuals on the board.  Lynn and Jim, who have high integrity to be sure, normally take day-to-day direction from the Pastors, not sit in judgement of them (and will be back in their day-to-day subordinate role when this is all done).  The board members (whose names are unknown to us) were selected by the pastors who are the subject of the investigation.  I do happen to know the 1 board member from our location (again, a good man)..if our pastor (also a good man) were the subject of the investigation (I'm glad he is not) I can't imagine our board member feeling objective enough to be a judge/jury..they are good friends. If I were a board member (I was asked in the past) I would have to recuse myself as I count my pastor as a good friend - to my knowledge, none of the Board has felt it necessary to recuse themselves.

I understand no approach is perfect or would make everyone happy - but I'm betting if you and I, as thoughtful people who care, debated alternatives, we could come up with a process that 1) Got the other potential victims to engage and 2) Was respectful of Mark, met the needs of ECC, etc.  No need to do that (unless you want to) as ECC seems set on the my-way or the highway path, which saddens me.
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omelianchuk
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« Reply #274 on: April 09, 2018, 01:17:17 pm »

Darth,

Like most people, I am alarmed at the accusations, especially considering the source. Personally, I have a hard time believing the accusations, because they seem quite out of step with the character of the man I knew while I was at the Rock. The sort of behavior Suzanne and the other victims describe strikes me as coming from someone who is sly and subtle, and Mark is just the opposite: brash and brutally honest. He doesn't do subtle very well at all, actually (it's something people either love or hate about him, I believe). He doesn't strike me as the kind of person to dance around a line and never really blatantly cross it. He certainly did not behave that way in all the years I observed him. I would also think he had ample opportunity to do so, since the Rock attracted lots of young pretty college-aged women (I take it fits the description of Suzanne when the alleged events occurred), many of which were working through difficult issues and went to him for advice and trusted him with confidential information. I don't know a lot of about how abusers operate, but I would think that it would have been pretty easy for him to repeat the style of alleged behavior, which emotionally-starved, sex-hungry men in power tend to do (that is, repeat their behavior). Unlike, say, Donald Trump, I have no reason to believe he acted inappropriately with anyone and am disposed to believe his denial of the charges.

That said, it's very important for the victims to be heard and make their case. I think we have all learned this in the last year with the #MeToo campaign, and it is something we should have learned a long time ago. In my own profession (philosophy) there has been a chronic problem of sexual harassment and sexual abuse of women, especially graduate students, and I am glad that society is empowering them to come forward without fear of reprisal. While I don't have a lot of experience with rape victims, I've had enough of them in my classes to make me seriously consider using "trigger warnings" before talking about certain subjects (the less these are used the better, I think, but sometimes they are warranted). I am loathe to call anyone I believe is making false accusations a liar or mentally ill (or whatever), unless I have evidence to do so. In this case, I don't. I don't know Suzanne or what she is like apart from what's she's posted online, so I try hard to refuse to speculate on her motives despite my doubts. She should have a fair opportunity to present her case, and it seems to me she has not been denied that opportunity. The part I am most interested in is the alleged existence of the letter stating that $60,000 was offered to her and her husband in exchange for her silence. I will eat every word I've uttered in defense of Evergreen if that turns up. But so far, at least as far as I can tell, it remains a "He said/She said" case, and I am not sure if anything can be done to verify the charges independent from the testimony of the accuser.

As for the church's approach to the investigation, I believe it is standard operating procedure for a board to hire an attorney to conduct an internal investigation for two reasons: (1) to be independent from the powerful parties involved, which in this case is Mark Darling and Mark Bowen (EDIT: and I take your point, that this may be hard to achieve -- I don't have any ideas how to remedy that), and (2) to protect the privacy of the institution's life and inner workings. As much as Suzanne and her supporters would like a third party like Grace to come in and do an investigation, I am not sure it is justified, because I believe privacy is a good that should not be sacrificed for the sake of transparency (calls for transparency often imply calls to forfeit privacy -- as illustrated by the otherwise terrible book The Circle), unless there is warrant for a criminal investigation (and there isn't any in this case as far as I can tell). We are too quick to buy into the "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" argument in the Internet age of identity theft, personal data hacking, fake news, and conspiracy theorists.

Believe me, it would be nice to be able to read through a long site report from Grace or some other investigator (I make no judgment about Grace) about all the parties involved. As someone who loves free inquiry and free access to information, I would like that very much. But I understand why Evergreen wouldn't want to go for that, and I guess I am okay with that, since I am disposed to trust those in leadership in a matter like this. I get why people on this site wouldn't be, though (I've read Larry Pile's book). Like I said in my first post on this forum dynamics of trust follow personal experience rather than statistical likelihood, and it is hard for me, at least, to discount the positive experience I had when I attended the Rock and Urban Refuge.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 01:51:07 pm by omelianchuk » Logged
Linda
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« Reply #275 on: April 09, 2018, 01:57:34 pm »

Quote from: Adam
But so far, at least as far as I can tell, it remains a "He said/She said" case, and I am not sure if anything can be done to verify the charges independent from the testimony of the accuser.

Aren't these types of accusations are almost always a "he said/she said"? Isn't the nature of #metoo that there are no witnesses? Just curious as to how a person who had been abused would actually go about proving it. Not trying to be contentious, sincerely wondering.

I think in some cases, a number of women coming forward with similar stories of abuse over many years, would show a pattern of abuse. I believe in the case of Larry Nassar, some of the victims journals were admissible as evidence.

This is truly a mess and I don't see the way it is being handled is helping.

Just curious, do people think Suzanne is making up the other victims? I believe Jeromy and others have insinuated this. I would think that would be easy to prove. Also, if Suzanne hired an investigative firm on her own and said she was going to keep the results confidential, do you think Mark and the ECC pastors would answer questions?

One last thing. Are there layers to the leadership at ECC. I keep reading about an executive board and hear Brent, Mark D., Mark B., and Doug thrown around as those members. Is that correct? Then, are all the other pastors, "under" that board? Or, do all the pastors get together to make all the decisions like a "normal" elder board? In other words, are some elders "more equal" than others? And where does the BOT fit into this structure. Are they under all the pastors, and kind of off to the side? And, where does the congregation fit in here? What is the purpose of the congregation? Give money and volunteer their time?
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omelianchuk
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« Reply #276 on: April 09, 2018, 02:17:32 pm »

Most cases are "He said/She said" which makes them very difficult and sad. There is still a deep division in our society regarding the conduct of Clarence Thomas, because of the inaccessibility of evidence. I too wonder how we can move past that impasse, but I think multiple witnesses helps like in the Nasser case. I don't have any reason to think that A and C fictional, though I do think it is fair for the accused to be able to name and answer his accusers. I am not sure how to answer the question about Suzanne wanting to keep things confidential, since she is the one making public accusations. Nor do I know how the BOT thingy works. Been a long time since I've been around.
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Linda
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« Reply #277 on: April 09, 2018, 03:13:40 pm »

Quote from: OriginalTweet
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.

Quote from: ECCresponse
Suzanne was fully heard in this matter...

One thing that strikes me as odd about the ECC response to the original tweet is that in that first Tweet, Suzanne mentions "other women". The answer only mentions Suzanne and ignores the allegation that there are others.

I am surprised that the response was to wait a month and then hire an attorney.

If this charge came out of the blue (as they say it did because upon further review they claim she discussed "spiritual" abuse and not "sexual" abuse) wouldn't the first step be to immediately figure out what she was talking about and why she mentions other women? And wouldn't a healthy church pursue this immediately?
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« Reply #278 on: April 09, 2018, 03:32:51 pm »

Adam, I do appreciate that you call it an internal investigation.  I think my expectations would have been different this whole time had ECC stated it like you have. Instead they used words like "independent" and "transparency." I also think that some of us would like to see a more stringent process since the accusation has been made that the church already covered it up once.  If Suzanne said "Hey, I never told anyone before, but this happened," then an internal investigation might be acceptable.  But since she said "Hey, this happened to me, I told leaders about it, was reassured that there would be accountability in specific actions, and found out nothing was ever done," that casts doubt on any internal process.  Including ECC's January response that it had already been dealt with in a satisfactory manner.  

I also believe that the church should have higher standards than any other employer, so I'm not sure that I agree about the privacy issues.  ECC allowed these men to take the pulpit on a regular basis and gave them a title of pastor and teaches that these men have authority over others who should submit to them.  If they did in fact participate in sexual misconduct and/or covered it up, I don't know why any of that should be kept private.  

Suzanne and the victims have not asked for confidentiality, other than perhaps their names.  But I'm hoping you can understand how the aggression of Jeromy and others on this forum and elsewhere would intimidate anyone into wanting to keep their identity private. As a petite woman I wouldn't want to encounter Jeromy in person.  People have said about Suzanne that she is delusional, making this all up, reacting out of the pain of getting a divorce (I have no idea if a divorce is happening, but it's been written here), has a criminal record, had business bankruptcies, has false memory syndrome, etc.  Obviously if there was a mutually agreed upon investigation, names would be revealed to the investigator.  The rest of us don't need to know.  I suppose Mark would have the right to know the names of his accusers, but what would he do with that information (tell Jeromy?)  I also wonder why Mark has allowed Jeromy to act how he has in the defense of his reputation.  Does that match up with the Mark you know, that he would approve of Jeromy's actions?  Serious question, if my son acted like that I would be horrified, maybe you think it's okay.  It makes me wonder if Mark is glad for Jeromy's attacks in the name of "defending my father."  



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DarthVader
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« Reply #279 on: April 09, 2018, 03:38:02 pm »

Hey Adam,

Thanks for your response. I can't argue with your thoughts on Mark - I don't know him, other than from afar, so I have no insight that would lead me to conclusions I'd feel strongly about, other than the accusations have come from multiple sources, and, even if you discount Suzanne, which I think some discounting/taking with a grain of salt her statements may be justified, given bad feelings she (perhaps rightly) has towards ECC generally and (perhaps rightly) Mark specifically, the odds that two people (Suzanne + Victim C who has - non-anonymously from what I understand - cooperated with the investigation) would conspire against Mark are perhaps lower than someone who is generally thought well of having some issues that causes some occasional bad behavior.  David & Bathsheba is a perfect (textbook?) example - "a man after God's own heart" - if David could have a secret life, who is to say a Pastor (any pastor) could not? If the allegations do turn out to have merit, it would not surprise me if the story were similar -e.g., David's greatest strength and downfall was his passion, perhaps Mark's greatest strength and downfall was his desire to heal, help, get engaged to a degree that could have crossed the past point of being helpful.

I suspect on the $60K, the answer will not be as black-and-white. What I have seen posted on this board and heard internally is that there was a severance offer of $60K made upon the Van Dyck's returning from Berlin which was contingent upon John helping create a go-forward plan for Berlin, etc. (which he turned down/ignored), and although it did include a non-disparagement clause, that was "standard".  But to say (as Suzanne may have implied, "here's $60K if you stay quiet, $15K if you don't) is not accurate.  I would/will buy ECC's argument (if that is in fact the defense they give) if a) there have been other ECC separation agreements including non-disparagement clauses (e.g., if it's standard, there should be other examples) b) the disparagement clause in this case did not name Mark specifically (I cannot imagine that would be "standard"). If what I've outlined here is the case, how will you feel about it?

On the investigation structure, if I summarize your point (probably overly simplistically) it would be "I had a good experience at the Rock/Urban and know/believe in the trustworthiness of ECC leadership and its ability to get to the right answer, whatever that is, and if this process is okay with them, it's okay with me".

My point was perhaps a little different (because I agree with you, I too have had a good experience at my ECC location) - my point was on how defensible (or not) is the ECC process to a watching World (e.g., the "metoo" movement you reference) and other potential victims who (unlike you and me) are suspicious of a churches ability to investigate itself in an unbiased way.  Generally, subordinate staff members would not be consider fit to judge their nominal superiors (e.g., I could never investigate my boss at work) and generally a Board member hand-picked by a person would not be considered independent of that person (eg the BOT member Mark picked from the Rock would not normally be considered independent enough to investigate Mark), and generally a "secret" board would considered unaccountable to anyone (you're probably familiar with the term Star Chamber) and completely at odds with good governance.  Do you disagree with any of that? Do you find no fault in ECC for not self-realizing any of this in how it has structured the investigation?

I think your concern about privacy is not wrong, however, let me pose a solution to you that I think addresses your concerns and perhaps would have gotten much better victim engagement (would you agree that is also a good/of concern?).  Pick a trusted third-party, e.g., (just as an example) Leith Anderson (Woodale) or John Piper (Bethlehem) or Bob Bakke (Hillside Church), ECC writes them a check to cover the cost of the investigation and that person is given full discretionary power to select and pay for the investigator (it could even have been Joan, the attorney ECC picked), to decide what is shared/not publicly, to decide what recommendations are made to the Board (who does have to make any final decisions about ECC staff) and decide if those recommendations are shared publicly in whole-or-in part.

Many of Suzanne's supporters seemed to have an issue with Joan, but she seems reasonably well qualified, the real issue is with a non-independent, secret board, and that issue could have been minimized.  As it stands now, I, on principal, would find very low credibility with an "innocent" verdict (or perhaps better said, I will have a very high bar to believe an "innocent" verdict), because it's coming from a group in a compromised position (either picked by the pastors they are judging or working for them), whereas with the same investigator & the same evidence, with someone like Leith Anderson, John Piper, Bob Bakke, saying "innocent" would, as truly disinterested, independent parties have the highest degree of credibility possible, regardless of the verdict, which is what I would think everyone wants.  I can't imagine Mark wants an innocent verdict with an asterick, which, if this process continues on course, is what it will be in the minds of many.  You've probably seen the Willow Creek postings on here and elsewhere. I do think it means something that 3 members of the Willow Creek Association board resigned over concern that the investigation the Willow Creek Church board commissioned (structured identically to the ECC investigation) wasn't independent enough. Those people aren't crackpots, they are university professors, on university and other non-profit boards, etc & now Bill Hybels has an "innocent" verdict with a (very large) asterick that could have been avoided with a better investigative structure. I'd like to ECC avoid the same fate, but I'm not optimistic based on the way it seems to be going.
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