Not so sure about, the youtube idea myself, might just be seen as yet another case of biased propagandising behind a veil of anonymity.
What I really think people here should start thinking about is some form of “out” campaign - and as discussed before on the forum, I would say that a FaceBook group
would be a perfect vehicle for this .
I think we need to test some of the assumptions here.
On what basis are we to believe that Struthers knowing our identities will lead to them acknowledging and dealing with our complaints?
That is not what they have done over the last 30 years. Quite the opposite. They have dealt with many of us fully aware of who we are and, face to face, dismissed our pain and problems out of hand.
One Struthers church leader once had a delegation come to see her. This consisted of about 8 non Struthers friends and relatives of a person who had just left her church and who had been for years a leader and preacher and in many ways her deputy. She had completely cut off this person she had known well for years. This was because he had run into spiritual difficulty and had been bringing questions to her about the way the church worked – which she found difficult and, it seemed, irritating. She cut this guy off and told his closest friends to separate from him at which point he had a breakdown unable to understand what he had done wrong to offend God so much his church leader and Christian mentor would not even speak to him.
No anonymity issues here as she knew the guy very well and he had been very committed to the church. The delegation had asked her if she, as his Christian minister, could help this devastated life by speaking to him and explaining her actions and attitude. She told a number of people later her reply. She looked the delegation in the eye and said she “felt God had told her to refuse to talk to him”.
This is what we are dealing with. This is not love and it is certainly not the pastors heart. It is however what they do. 25 years later and Covlass gets the same brutal treatment. No anonymity excuse for not resolving her concerns and questions. They look her in the eye and say obey us and admit we know more about your life than you do. They say she must agree that the leaders have been told by God who she is allowed to be friends with or she must get out of the church.
Re reading the postings on this forum it is clear that many testify they left Struthers after trying to address the problems they were facing. The leaders knew the identities of all of these people and not one of them had their problems respectfully addressed or resolved. Until the Struthers leadership show some sign of a willingness to address complaints what is the point of revealing who we are? I agree with Rensil that this would simply give them the chance to try and isolate the remaining members from us.
So what is the basis of the belief behind this Facebook suggestion that revealing our identities is gong to make any difference at all? We tried that. What is going to be different this time? Unless someone has some inside information which indicates something has changed my view is that it would not be, as suggested, “brave” to put our identities online but incredibly naive and completely pointless.
This debate will blow over in a few years and Struthers will either fold or limp on. That is not something we can decide. Especially given what is now public about Struthers conduct, for many of us the fact that we were once involved with them is a matter of regret and hardly something we want to publicise forever online. I don't want that. And I wouldn't recommend it as likely to be positive for anyone else.
What would we gain from this? We are currently able to tell the truth about our experiences, share our stories, warn others of what is going on in this church and tell them not to be surprised when the regime starts to pressure them and their children. The Struthers leaders need to make their names public in order to gain hundreds of thousands of pounds in charity tax breaks and rates relief. There is no bravery there – they simply gain more money.
What would we gain? Is the suggestion that maybe, perhaps, just possibly they would be a wee bit more likely to address our concerns? As the psychologists point out the best way to predict what someone's future behaviour will be is to look at their past behaviour. On the basis of the Struthers leadership's past behaviour I have never expected they will answer our questions in any circumstances and they did not and could not when we asked them face to face. As a result I can see no benefit, so have no plans, to put my identity online.
More than that I actually think the present online debate is working extremely well and shining a light which is exposing at long last the hidden activities and shameful conduct of Struthers Memorial Church. I also think it has taken real courage already for people to speak up and contribute on the forums and I applaud and appreciate all that have have done so.