September 18, 2017 a blog published an anonymous testimony called “Do You See Me?” that details a horrendous rape that allegedly took place at The Master’s University. “Jane’s” story is quite unbelievable, and yet believable. She says that she has proof–police reports, emails, etc. I haven’t seen those documents. I am sure the person whose blog page she shared them to has (or they would be possibly putting themselves in legal danger). JMHO.
Today Master’s University responded to the allegations. They said:
The ministries of Grace Community Church and The Master’s University and Seminary have been informed of the blog article posted on September 18 by a Ms. Marci Preheim on behalf of an undisclosed individual. Although there are both evidentiary and biblical limitations in dealing with anonymous accusations, we take all claims of misconduct very seriously. According to our initial internal inquiry and review of the available records, we believe the blog article is plainly incorrect, a reality that we have verified with the police report on record. In addition to the various inaccuracies in the posted narrative, the male student that was accused in the official report was never a student at either The Master’s University or Seminary. In our view, anyone who would post such accusations without first verifying them has committed an unconscionable act of defamation, and anyone who would spread such misinformation is equally culpable in that irresponsibility. Should the undisclosed individual or any other person who has direct, firsthand knowledge of this matter wish to address this issue with us, we would request that they contact Kent Haney at The Master’s University.
To be quite honest I am very disappointed in their response. First of all, they admit there was an incident (though they disagree on the details), but show NO compassion for the pain Jane has gone through.
Second of all, they plainly threaten anyone who discusses this incident in public– anyone who shares these accusations has “committed an unconscionable act of defamation” and is “equally culpable” /guilty/. These are loaded legal terms that imply that anyone who shares the article on Facebook or blogs about it should be held legally responsible.
To me it reeks of insensitivity and intimidation.
Why can’t they rather choose to say, “We are aware of this account and we deeply care about this student. We are going to go back and review the incident, reach out to the victim, and make sure this incident was handled with the proper care and wisdom it should have been.”
That is all they needed to say.
The issue that I am particularly upset about is how many people are commenting on their statement with statements indicating that anyone who supports Jane, or questions the propriety of the counseling she received is a “tool of Satan” to come against the work of God. As if ministries always handle these things perfectly. As if reading a blog is as painful as being repeatedly raped. As if God would rather victims /OF GROSS SIN/ shut up.
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.” Proverbs 31:8
Isn’t it the job of the righteous to stand up for the cause of the abused?
Wouldn’t the “tool of Satan” be the man who raped this girl?
Now many of us do not know “Jane” or have first hand knowledge of the circumstances. We have just read her words and we see that her story is different from whatever records TMU has on file. So it is a “he said she said.” A fact she admitted in her story when she said the University accused her of “changing her story” as she was simply just remembering more of the incident. So even according to her account she admitted that they have vastly different perceptions of what happened to her.
But her story is plausible. She has many TMU alumni commenting on her behalf, testifying that they have seen similar instances, cover ups, etc. She has people who know her in real life publicly testifying as character witnesses. There are other people with similar stories sharing that they experienced similar treatment from the school (Facebook Comments). So this certainly should in no way be dismissed or swept under the rug. Her allegations deserve to be taken seriously.
Unfortunately, as of tonight hundreds of comments on all three Facebook pages have been deleted. The Master’s University, The Master’s Seminary, and Grace Community Church have been deleting the comments.
Comments of support, and comments of suspicion and disappointment. Comments from character witnesses who have known her all her life. Fortunately, I took screen shots of them. I had a feeling they would get deleted. They were too convincing. I will share a few of them below.
“The Master’s University, Do you deny that the student was expelled from the school or that her credits were stripped? What further evidence can you give in response to her testimony that proves her to be “plainly incorrect?” Was she or was she not counseled alone with the individual named Rick Holland? Was she or was she not forced to enter a room with her attacker after the incident? Do you deny that the student was attacked at all? Which accusations are correct and which do you claim are “various inaccuracies?” Perhaps you could be more specific in your denial. It also might be helpful to actually include the contact information for Kent Haney.” (J. Flower, 9/21/17)
“They didn’t do anything to help “Jane” (who has been a personal friend of mine since childhood) then, I am not surprised at their denial now. It sucks to have your deepest darkest secrets brought to light Master’s, I have been waiting for her to come out with her story for YEARS and man, I hope she can finally see the wrongs made right.” (A. Michelle, lifetime friend of “Jane,” 9/21/17)
“They did that to me. They put me in a room with who I accused (note:I am NOT naming who I accused). But this kind of action is typical of their organization.” (K. Cardwell 9/21/17)
“K. Cardwell I am so sorry this happened to you. ❤ I hope you may find peace and justice as well.” (A. Michelle, lifetime friend of “Jane,” 9/21/17)
“I am not the only one. In just two days, I’ve gathered a group of survivors of this place and we are still growing in number.” (K. Cardwell 9/21/17)
“My advice, for what it’s worth, is that TMU and TMS form a joint faculty committee of inquiry, with full access to the documents, and able to independently review and report with any recommendations, and release same to the public. Simply saying “it didn’t happen” and that people shouldn’t talk about it is insufficient. This is a serious issue that demands serious inquiry. I spent over 25 years there and frankly I don’t find the narrative in this blog implausible, and neither do many other people. And that should be highly disconcerting to the school.” (D. Swanson 9/21/17)
“Master’s has not addressed the issue of her counseling with this post. The inaccuracy that they latched onto is I believe it is called a ‘red herring.’…” (J. Cardwell 9/21/17)
“A real victim has been through enough, if they want to keep their name hidden so to not fall personally victim again to people who think she is lying, then that is their choice–and a smart one at that.” (A. Michelle, lifetime friend of “Jane,” 9/21/17)
And just now (waiting to be erased, as there are less than ten comments that are less than 11 minutes old):
“If you’re going to delete all the comments on this post, you might as well just turn off commenting.” (A. Murphy, 9/21/17)
To say that it is the work of the DEVIL to take these allegations seriously is manipulative and abusive to the church and to all victims of abuse. For the University to say that we shouldn’t talk about it is cultic.
All the comments were deleted.
This is such a shame.
In the Bible a girl was raped
She reported it. It was handled badly. Her needs and rights were dismissed and she was shoved away into a dark corner to just suffer in silence so no one else had to be troubled by it. Her name was Tamar. Her dad was the king.
It was the king’s job to deal with the rape and he didn’t. It was also his responsibility as a father to help his daughter and he chose not to.
The counsel she received was horrible too–“Well, my sister, keep quiet for now, since he’s your brother. Don’t you worry about it.” 2 Samuel 13:20
Because the rape was not handled appropriately, the pain and anger festered. It doesn’t go away. It will come out. It erupted.
Did God sweep this rape under the rug, to keep the reputation of King David? No.
God shared her story.
He published it publicly.
Tamar was important to God.
God did not think it was a work of the devil to share Tamar’s story, just because David was a man of God.
“But now Tamar tore her robe and put ashes on her head. And then, with her face in her hands, she went away crying.” 2 Samuel 13:19
Now I don’t know the specifics in this case, nor do I claim to, but if Master’s University had dealt with this situation properly in the first place, none of this would be happening today. Jane would have felt heard, cared about, validated, healed.
And today they can choose to handle this correctly. They can listen, they can care, they can reach out.
So far it seems they would rather just put out callous formal statements calling her a liar and anyone who talks about it as legally culpable and guilty.
But… We can all agree that:
- Something happened.
- There is a police report.
- Someone is still in pain.
And because of that I believe Jane’s story should be shared, even if we don’t know all the facts and even if we haven’t read all the documents.
As adults we can choose to believe as much of it as sounds reasonable to us. We each must decide what we believe. But please don’t judge with partiality. Don’t assume that just because someone has been used by God in the past, means that they always handle every situation with grace and wisdom.
Her friend shared on Facebook, “I do know the accuser personally, actually, and I can say first hand that she has no intention of trying to “hurt” the university. She cares deeply that her story be heard and to have what happened to her be acknowledged so someday, heaven forbid, if another woman were to come to the school and say they were assaulted or raped, they they [sic] would receive help, not expulsion.” (A. Michelle, lifetime friend of “Jane,” 9/22/17)
So let Jane speak.
I see her.