July 15, 2020
The leaders of a California evangelical megachurch are under fire for bungling the church’s response to a youth ministry volunteer’s confession that he was attracted to minors.
What could go wrong?
The Menlo Church volunteer in question first told Senior Pastor John Ortberg about his feelings two years ago, though congregants weren’t officially notified about the situation until January. That the volunteer was the pastor’s younger son, John “Johnny” Ortberg III, was kept secret until a whistleblower leaked the news late last month.
The younger Ortberg denies acting inappropriately towards children and to date, no one has come forward with allegations claiming otherwise. But the revelation of his identity has heightened scrutiny of the church’s response and raised questions about whether John Ortberg ― who allowed his son to continue volunteering with children for over a year after hearing about the disordered attractions ― should remain the church’s senior pastor.
The church’s board acknowledged this week that its handling of the matter has caused “pain and distrust” in the community, and pledged to do better.
As of Tuesday, John Ortberg remained Menlo Church’s senior pastor.
Current and former members of Menlo Church told HuffPost they are upset by how the board ― and John Ortberg in particular ― handled the situation, claiming that leaders prioritized maintaining Ortberg’s reputation over building a culture that is safe for children and welcoming to any survivors of sexual abuse. Some members have also been upset over how the board’s chairwoman attempted to discredit the whistleblower, Daniel Lavery, a trans writer and Ortberg’s estranged son, who has broken from his family’s conservative evangelical faith.
Former pastor, 50, is sentenced to 65 years in prison for filming himself repeatedly raping two underage girls inside the Missouri pizza shop he ran
January 5, 2020
- Loren Copp, 50, was convicted last year of eight federal counts of child sexual exploitation and enticement involving four victims
- Copp, a pastor and karate instructor, ran Dojo Pizza out of a defunct church on Morganford Road in St Louis
- Prosecutors said Copp groomed and sexually abused two sisters for a decade, beginning when they were 9 and 11 years old
- He also allegedly made the girls work at the pizzeria for little pay and threatened to kick them out if they refused
A former pastor and owner a karate-themed St. Louis pizzeria has been sentenced to 65 years in prison for repeatedly raping two young girls in his care and producing child pornography.
Loren Copp, 50, was convicted last year of eight federal counts of child sexual exploitation and enticement involving four victims.
He was sentenced to federal prison and ordered to pay $294,000 in restitution on Friday in US District Court.
He previously rejected a plea deal carrying a prison sentence of 15 years.
Federal prosecutors say Copp, a one-time pastor and karate instructor who ran Dojo Pizza out of a defunct church on Morganford Road in St Louis, groomed and sexually abused two sisters who had been in his custody since 2009, when they were ages nine and 11, reported Riverfront Times.
The children ended up living at Copp’s pizza shop, which also served as a community center and a karate school, because their parents were imprisoned, homeless or battling drug addiction, authorities said.
According to testimony presented at trial, Copp began grooming the victims for abuse by touching their buttocks while playing ‘the butt game,’ which then led to him touching their privates and breasts.
‘Eventually, Copp began raping both girls, and he would record the sex acts with a cell phone or video recorder,’ according to a statement from the US Justice Department. ‘While at the Dojo Pizza property, Copp would rape each girl multiple times a week, and while there he took pornographic pictures of one victim’s genitals and breasts.’
Some of the sexual abuse took place while Copp’s then-wife was away.
June 27, 2019
How do fish breathe underwater? Bill O’Reilly will never know because that information is hidden books.
March 5, 2019
A Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland priest accused of sexual misconduct with a minor has fled the country, according to church officials.
Father Alex Castillo was placed on administrative leave Jan. 31 by the diocese, which said it had received an allegation of inappropriate behavior from a male victim, diocese officials confirmed Monday.
Church officials were in touch with Castillo until Feb. 21, when several people attempted to contact him unsuccessfully, said Helen Osman, a diocese spokeswoman. She said the diocese had to check every jail and hospital in the area before they could report him missing Feb. 23.
Less than a week later, he was apparently located by police. Oakland police on Friday informed church officials that Castillo had been “found” but would not confirm where, Osman said.
“They would not provide us with information on his whereabouts, except that he has left the country,” she said. “They also informed us they have completed their criminal investigation.”
Church and law enforcement officials have not released other details about the alleged sexual misconduct. Castillo remains on leave and may not present himself as a priest or work as a priest in a public ministry, church officials said.
“It should be noted during this investigation so far, it has not been determined any crimes have been committed in the City of Oakland,” said Johnna Watson, an Oakland police spokeswoman.
The case is now being handled by the Alameda County district attorney’s office, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A diocesan review board will include criminal justice experts, mental health advocates and two diocese officials to re-evaluate Castillo’s suitability for ministry and present their findings to Bishop Michael Barber.
January 26, 2018
Stephen Allwine, a good Christian murderer
He didn’t want a divorce because divorce is a sin. Soon he’ll be married to a 300 pound cellmate named ‘Bubba’. No way to get out of that marriage, Steve.
A trial is under way in Minnesota for a husband, father and devout Christian who stands accused of shooting dead his wife and staging the crime scene to make it look like a suicide after failing to hire an assassin on the Dark Web.
Prosecutors allege that Stephen Allwine, 44, a deacon and church elder with the United Church of God, had at least three extramarital affairs with women he had met on the notorious cheaters’ website Ashley Madison, and that he no longer wanted to be married to his wife, Amy Allwine.
Because of his position within the church, which views marriage as a lifelong commitment and prohibits divorce for its members, Washington County prosecutor Jamie Kreuser told the court on Tuesday that the defendant decided to rid himself of Amy by killing her following a botched murder-for-hire plot.
Allwine, a church elder, is charged with first-degree premeditated murder in the November 2016 shooting death of wife
Amy, 44, a mother-of-one and a dog trainer, was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head inside the family’s home in Cottage Grove on the evening of November 13, 2016.
Her husband told police he and their adopted son discovered the body and suggested that Amy had taken her own life, but police quickly determined that physical and ballistic evidence were inconsistent with a suicide.
Stephen, an information technology specialist, was arrested after a two-month investigation and was initially charged with second-degree murder, before a grand jury indicted him on a charge of first-degree premeditated murder in March 2017. The upgraded count carries a mandatory life sentence.
Kreuser told the court on Tuesday that months before Amy’s death, her philandering spouse had begun scouring the Dark Web in search of a hit man to kill his wife, reported the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Using the nickname ‘dogdaygod,’ the prosecutor alleged that Stephen went on a website called Besa Mafia, which has been used to solicit murders and assaults for hire, and forked out $6,000 for a hit on his wife Amy, which was never carried out.
According to the prosecution, Stephen then decided to take matters into his own hands and concocted an elaborate plot, which involved sending his wife threatening emails urging her to kill herself, buying the nausea drug scoplamine – dubbed the ‘devils’ drug’ for its ability to erase memory – and ultimately killing her and disguising the crime as a suicide.
September 6, 2017
Says that he ‘mistakenly’ did not attribute the work of other people. Yeah, right. All those stolen passages were mistakes. Imagine that, a pastor telling lies and ripping off the work of others. We’re shocked.
Hillary Clinton said that the email her spiritual adviser, the Rev. Bill Shillady, sent her on the morning after she lost the 2016 presidential election helped her heal from her devastating defeat.
It wasn’t until months later, when Shillady published that email in a book, that it came to light that he had plagiarized the words that so moved the candidate.
Now, less than a month after the book’s publication, the publishing house that printed it says it is pulling the book off the shelves because it’s riddled with plagiarism.
“Abingdon Press initiated an extensive review of the book and was alarmed to discover other content unattributed by the author. Abingdon Press has zero tolerance for plagiarism,” the Rev. Brian K. Milford, the president of the publishing company, said in a statement. “Consequently, we have discontinued sales, will remove existing copies from all sales outlets, and will have them destroyed along with our existing inventory.”
Shillady, who did not respond to a Washington Post reporter’s call on Tuesday evening, sent an emailed statement: “I deeply regret my actions. I was wrong and there is no excuse for it. I apologize to those whose work I mistakenly did not attribute. I apologize to those I have disappointed, including Secretary Hillary Clinton, Abingdon Press, and all the writers and others who have helped me publish and promote this book. I ask for everyone’s forgiveness.”
His book, “Strong for a Moment Like This,” compiled the emails that he and other pastors sent to Clinton every morning of her campaign. She read the morning emails, which contained a biblical passage, a short sermon and a prayer, throughout her grueling run for president.
Shortly before the book came out last month, CNN published the day-after email that Shillady sent on Nov. 9. Indiana pastor Matt Deuel recognized the words as nearly identical to his own and contacted CNN, which broke the news that the portion of the book was plagiarized on the day before it came out.
Clinton wrote the foreword for her pastor’s now-discredited book. Her own book about the campaign, “What Happened,” comes out next week.
August 20, 2017
It has been the policy of FuckThePope.com since our inception to refrain from involvement in politics in our posts. It is only because Donald Trump has decided to aid and abet nazis and white supremacists that we are now breaking with that policy to state our absolute abhorrence at the stance he has taken.
Our Board of Directors includes minorities who would be exterminated, given half a chance, by the miscreants and thugs whom Trump has described as ‘very fine people’. We stand with the immigrants, the Jews, the blacks, the LGBT community and all other groups threatened by this trend of hatred and white nationalism that is taking hold in the very institutions that exist to protect us from the horrors of racism, fascism, and intolerance.
We urge Donald Trump to resign the presidency. He has abdicated both political and moral leadership. His actions and beliefs constitute a clear and present danger to the very fabric of our society.
We urge every person in our great and wonderful country to loudly and clearly voice their opposition to hatred and intolerance in all its forms.
To be silent is to be complicit.
from the Board of Directors
June 13, 2017
Dramatic scenes played out at the Port Elizabeth Airport yesterday when a popular Durban televangelist at the centre of sex-abuse claims was handcuffed in the restroom and arrested for human trafficking minutes after his flight landed.
Shortly before that, an argument broke out between his newly appointed legal team and four Hawks officials, who were ordering around eight heavily armed Tactical Response Team (TRT) officers.
Omotoso is accused of abusing over 30 young girls in South Africa.
Hawks spokesman Lieutenant- Colonel Robert Netshiunda said the pastor, Timothy Omotoso, 58, had been charged with human trafficking and would appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court today. “There is a possibility of us adding more charges,” he said.
He said Omotoso had allegedly trafficked women and girls from various branches of his church to a house in Umhlanga Rocks, Kwa- Zulu-Natal, where they were sexually exploited.
The Nigerian televangelist is a senior pastor of Jesus Dominion International, whose headquar ters are in Durban, with a Port Elizabeth branch in Govan Mbeki Avenue.
Social media has been abuzz with the claims against the widely celebrated pastor after a television feature on Monday, in which the allegations were made by a number of women who have had contact with him during his ministerial work.
Omotoso, who arrived on a 3pm flight from Durban, is being represented by Port Elizabeth attorney Alwyn Griebenow and Advocate Terry Price SC.
An enraged Price was heard yelling at the Hawks officials just outside the arrivals terminal gate at the airport: “You will not arrest him here without a warrant.”
But a Hawks official, who refused to give his name, said they were merely following instructions. Griebenow said: “We had an agreement [with the Hawks] to bring the pastor to [our] office.”
Within minutes of the first passengers disembarking, police rushed on to the tarmac. But Omotoso was seen walking into the toilets minutes earlier, accompanied by a woman.
When the TRT officers ran through the arrivals gate, Price said: “Film this, film this. I want all this covered. “We had an agreement to meet the captain.
According to his lawyer, Prophet Omotoso is thinking of killing himself,
If he does kill himself, which we encourage him to do, his church will have to apply as a ‘non-prophet’ organization.
First of all, religion is like a penis. It’s fine that you have one, it’s fine that you’re proud of it – but don’t start showing it off in public.
Second of all, religion is
Imagine I said that my invisible friend tells me to cut off a piece of my newborn child because it says so in the Silmarillion. That child would be taken away by Child Protective Services.
Imagine I pointed to Jabba the Hutt’s slave girls and said THIS is proof that a man has a right to own his wife as if she was property.
Religion is pure and simple collective insanity. Religious wars are akin to a toddler tantrum over WHOSE invisible friend is the BEST (only) invisible friend.
Freedom of religion should extend to within your own four walls, not a step beyond them. In the public space it should be freedom FROM religion.
A youth pastor in Florida was arrested Tuesday in connection with the murder and dismembering of a 16-year-old boy in 1994, as FBI investigators reportedly scoured through two properties he owned.
Ronnie Leon Hyde, 60, was held without bond on murder charges at the Duval County jail. Crews used a backhoe to dig for evidence at his Jacksonville Beach home.
In June of 1994, investigators found a man’s torso — without a head, hands or legs — behind a Lake City gas station. It wasn’t until 2015 that DNA tests identified the victim as 16-year-old Fred Laster.
Laster’s family had reported him missing in 1994. His sister told police her brother was last seen with Hyde — a youth pastor and family friend.
The sister also said she and a sibling had stayed the night at Hyde’s home the previous year, WJXT reported.
The investigators laid out boxes of possible evidence on blue tarps in the street outside. Hyde is also a mental health counselor, WJXT added. It’s unclear if he has an attorney.