Mars Hill Church ousted abusive leader - why can't CoS?

A place to post and debate the Church of Scientology.
Don Carlo
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Mars Hill Church ousted abusive leader - why can't CoS?

Post by Don Carlo » Sat Aug 23, 2014 3:48 pm

A culture of fear, homophobia, a grab for unlimited power, vulgar sex terms hurled at underlings - sound familiar? Members quitting and forming online blogs and support groups? Top ministers quitting and banding together against the leader? Sounds very familiar.

Mark Driscoll was a founder of Mars Hill Church, so he has had more authority-appeal than a mere successor like Miscavige. Driscoll's still minister but his organizational power is being pruned, his opponents are increasing and his allies are dwindling. Why can't CoS "parishioners" openly push Miscavige toward the door, too? Then CoS could blame all their woes and misdeeds on Miscavige and start fresh. But, the fear is too strong in CoS.

A Brash Style That Filled Pews, Until Followers Had Their Fill
Mark Driscoll Is Being Urged to Leave Mars Hill Churc
h, by Michael Paulson, New York Times, Aug. 22, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/23/us/ma ... egion&_r=0

Don Carlo
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Mars Hill Church pushed out abusive leader - why can't CoS?

Post by Don Carlo » Sat Aug 23, 2014 7:26 pm

Differences between Pastor Driscoll of Mars Hill Church, and Miscavige of Church of Scientology:

Driscoll of the Mars Hill Church returns from vacation tomorrow, says the above article. Miscavige wouldn't DARE go on a real, out-of-contact vacation* - he might lose control. He might get subpoena'd if he walked around in the real world without bodyguards, cars and private jets.

Driscoll goes on and on about how wives must obey their husbands. Miscavige tears wives apart from husbands in the Sea Org (either with physical separation or forced divorce), so that Miscavige can control both, and in some cases, take the women as mistresses. Miscavige locked his own wife up. So marriage is NOTHING to Miscavige.

On the pro-woman side, women have fancy job titles in Scientology and can be bosses over men, while Mars Hill's leadership is a sausage-fest. Yet all those Sea Org exec women and men are controlled, abused and sometimes imprisoned by Miscavige, so high rank is no great reward.

With all its scandals, Mars Hill Church doesn't do the massive fraud and extortion that CoS has always done. I've heard no complaints of minimum wage and overtime violations by Mars Hill Church. I believe its ministers live in outside apartments or houses, generally with a wife, and must buy their own groceries and clothes. They would be starved and homeless on $35 a week.

Ministers who criticize Driscoll have been "shunned" which is like disconnection. However, Mars Hill ministers are not closely watched nor chased down if they leave for a family visit or to quit forever. They have been screamed at and insulted, but (AFAIK) they are not physically abused, forced into slave labor, nor locked away.

Driscoll plagiarized** while Miscavige doesn't WRITE books or articles. Miscavige only gives carefully staged and scripted speeches, which aren't compiled into books, and Miscavige isn't claiming personal credit for the words he speaks. Ex Sea Org workers complain about the intense writing and re-writing before each big event, so Miscavige is even giving a fresh-if-predictable speech at each event. So, Miscavige won't get plagiarism charges.

Driscoll has apologized, probably calculating he's on the brink of losing everything. "Mistakes were made that I am grieved by and apologize for." He apologized further for hiring a marketing company, with church money, to get his book on the NY Times best seller list (sounds similar to LRH).

Imagine how desperate Miscavige will be when HE finally apologizes.

* Several sources say Driscoll is using his vacation for a book tour of his new book on marriage. So, he's not exactly fishing on a remote river.
** Plagiarism acccusations for the book, The Call to Resurgence at http://jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com ... adio-host/

Don Carlo
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Mars Hill Church reining in abusive leader - why can't CoS?

Post by Don Carlo » Sat Aug 23, 2014 8:37 pm

Critic blogging about Mark Driscoll have recommended this book: The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse: Recognizing and Escaping Spiritual Manipulation and False Spiritual Authority Within the Church,
2005 (first published 1991) by David Johnson and Jeff VanVonderen
http://www.amazon.com/Subtle-Power-Spir ... 349&sr=8-1

This is a pro-Christian book about mostly Christian ministerial abuse. It's not as universal (or skeptic-friendly) as Steven Hassan's Releasing the Bonds. Still, it is encouraging that more and more writers are looking at the problem of spiritual manipulation. Maybe the term "religious freedom," even for conservative Christians, will mean more than "freedom for the top guy in a religion to abuse his authority." This can give politicians courage to think of religious leaders not as holy-Pope-types, but as regular people who can be corrupted by power AND have to obey the law.

Don Carlo
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Nasty Mars Hill Church leader on leave - why not Miscavige?

Post by Don Carlo » Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:32 am

Driscoll to take break from Mars Hill pulpit, by Jack Broom, Seattle Times, Aug. 26, 2014, http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/ ... llxml.html

Six Weeks! Imagine what Sea Org would do if they forced a disgraced Miscavige to take off six weeks!

Don Carlo
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Mars Hill Church reining in abusive leader - why can't CoS

Post by Don Carlo » Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:30 pm

Mark Driscoll, Mars Hill Controversy 'a Mess' for the Universal Church, warns Theologian -
(James E. White references the Biblical structure for church leaders, "most notably that they have demonstrated capable leadership of their own family (I Timothy 3:4-5, Titus 1:6)." "The idea is that the church is a family, so how can someone lead the church if they can't seem to handle their own home life? There are other qualifications as well, including being self-controlled, not quarrelsome or greedy (I Timothy 3:1-13, Titus 1:6-9)," he states.
http://www.gospelherald.com/articles/52 ... E5LV1.dpuf

These Biblical verses prove that thousands of years ago some churches were plagued with uncontrolled greedy hypocrites who abused their own families. This story happened again and again over the centuries. When are people going to realize religious leaders are just ordinary people who have to obey the rules?

Don Carlo
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Mars Hill Church reining in abusive leader - why can't CoS

Post by Don Carlo » Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:46 pm

Mars Hill Church’s attendance and giving down ‘significantly, by Joel Connelly, Seattle PI,
http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepoliti ... ificantly/

Don Carlo
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Mars Hill Church reining in abusive leader - why can't CoS

Post by Don Carlo » Mon Sep 08, 2014 3:58 pm

Wash. state megachurch closes branches after founder is caught calling women ‘penis homes’, by David Edwards, Sept. 8, 2014, Raw Story, http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/09/08/w ... nis-homes/

Great reporting, again, from Tony Ortega's Raw Story online magazine.

Don Carlo
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Re: Mars Hill Church reining in abusive leader - why can't C

Post by Don Carlo » Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:46 am

The "Penis Home" story has been picked up by many on-line magazines, so the Mars Hill Church members are very likely to hear about it.

Don Carlo
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Re: Mars Hill Church reining in abusive leader - why can't C

Post by Don Carlo » Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:45 pm

For years the edgy, blue-jeaned, hipster preacher used charisma and combativeness to barrel through turmoil, once bragging that he’d mow down all who questioned his vision: “There is a pile of dead bodies behind the Mars Hill bus, and by God’s grace, it’ll be a mountain by the time we’re done,” he once said in a meeting. “You either get on the bus or you get run over by the bus.”
Seattle Times Cover Story: Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, by Craig Welch, Sept. 14, 2014, http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/ ... lexml.html

Don Carlo
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Re: Mars Hill Church reining in abusive leader - why can't C

Post by Don Carlo » Sun Sep 21, 2014 6:31 am

A key insider... has resigned...it would not be feasible financially for him to stay on staff... not emotionally prudent to subject his family to what has been an ongoing season of personal attacks...
...cratering of contributions
More trouble at Mars Hill; top-3 official resigns, by Joel Connelly, Seattle PI, Sept. 20, 2014, http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepoliti ... l-resigns/

Don Carlo
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Re: Mars Hill Church reining in abusive leader - why can't C

Post by Don Carlo » Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:12 pm

Six Weeks into Mark Driscoll Controversy, Mars Hill Church Maintains Faith Amid 'Trying Time' by Shanequa Lee, Oct. 14, 2014, http://www.gospelherald.com, http://www.gospelherald.com/articles/52 ... HjLK3.dpuf

Disgraced leader Mark Driscoll's six week leave is ending, with no clear answer about his future as leader.

Another story: Suspicious muddling of funds found at Mars Hill Church.

When a Fund Isn’t a Fund: Mars Hill Church Tells Another Mars Hill Global Fund Story, by Warren Throckmorton October 13, 2014, http://www.patheos.com, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthro ... z3GD7GhUtJ

Don Carlo
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Mars Hill Church pushed out abusive leader - why can't CoS?

Post by Don Carlo » Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:42 am

Seattle megachurch head Mark Driscoll quits after church clears him of ‘heresy,’ by Arturo Garcia, Raw Story, Oct. 15, 2014, http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/10/seat ... of-heresy/

Don Carlo
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Re: Mars Hill Church ousted abusive leader - why can't CoS?

Post by Don Carlo » Thu Oct 30, 2014 5:45 am

Mars Hill Shoreline pastor confesses sin for ‘wounds,’ ‘profound hurt' by Joel Connolly, Seattle PI,
http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepoliti ... ound-hurt/

The lead pastor who replaced the abusive, dictatorial Mark Driscoll feels he has to grovel to heal the wounds. Who, in Scientology, would replace Miscavige and be so apologetic?

Don Carlo
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Re: Mars Hill Church ousted abusive leader - why can't CoS?

Post by Don Carlo » Sat Nov 01, 2014 1:18 am

Mars Hill Church officials announced plans to sell off all church assets, dismiss staff and help local branches become independent self-governed churches.
Mars Hill Church disbanding, tells local sites to go independent, Oct. 31, 2014, http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/ ... ngxml.html

This is what abuse at the top leads to. And the Mars Hill abuse was far milder than Sea Org abuse.

Don Carlo
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Re: Mars Hill Church ousted abusive leader - why can't CoS?

Post by Don Carlo » Sun Nov 09, 2014 1:25 am

The NY Times credits World Magazine for uncovering the abuses of Mark Driscoll, founder of Mars Hill Church:
But Mr. Driscoll cannot take all the credit for his own downfall....World, an evangelical Christian newsmagazine.... broke one of the most damaging stories about Mr. Driscoll... that $210,000 in Mars Hill church funds had gone to a marketing firm that promised to get “Real Marriage,” a book written by Mr. Driscoll and his wife, on best-seller lists.
A Muckraking Magazine Creates a Stir Among Evangelical Christians, by Mark.E.Oppenheimer, NY Times, Nov. 7, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/08/us/a- ... .html?_r=0

My comment: It's a welcome thing to see Christians themselves take on abusive leaders of churches. Luckily, we have, for investigating CoS, Tony Ortega, Nathan Baca in Las Vegas, Nanette Asimov in San Francisco, Tobin and Childs at the Tampa Bay Times, and many sharp-eyed critic observers.

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