Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: mandrake ()
Date: March 24, 2012 03:03AM

Dear lintar 123 I agree with your sentiments entirely and it is such a shame that you have been so traumatized by your experience in Struthers Church. While I wholeheartedly agree with you that this forum is a great vehicle for people to vent their feelings and know that they are not alone, I do feel that we have to get the message out to a wider community so as to prevent the things you and too many others have suffered. If as you say a great many of these pastors are teachers and they like to get children into the church, then the local authorities in Greenock and Cumbernauld should be aware of what is going on and they would learn a lot from reading peoples experiences on this forum. I hope you are recovering from your trauma and find peace in God

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: seekingsusan ()
Date: March 24, 2012 04:53AM


The thing is if you want to reach the wider community and therefore prevent other people suffering the same trauma that many of you have experienced it may be worthwhile bringing this forum to the attention of the local press or indeed to the Local Authorities who ARE her employers In You tube and even on the internet you have to be specifically looking for this kind of information to come across it.

Good suggestions Mandrake. As to Youtube, such a video would come up in any search on Struthers Memorial in Google. I just have a hunch that some surfers, particularly the younger ones, might be a more inclined to watch a youtube video rather than read through pages of text in a forum. But either way they have to be actively wanting to know about SMC in the first place.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: mandrake ()
Date: March 24, 2012 05:42AM

you are right about younger people preferring the video medium Susie and You Tube is a good idea, I do think we have to engage with the wider community. having read all the posts on the forum, people have to be aware that if young people become members of the SMC and go to the youth clubs that they could be subjected to emotional abuse that could leave them traumatised and depressed for years. I am aware that the SMC do not respond to any of the accusations that have been placed in this forum, probably they feel if they ignore us we will go away. We have to make sure that does not happen.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Clive ()
Date: March 30, 2012 11:17PM

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 realise that as an atheist, I am in the minority here, but I’ll just bring up something that happened this weekend. Some years ago there was a support group and forum started out to help pastors and ministers who are currently working full-time in their churches, but who for whatever reason, no longer hold the same beliefs but are afraid of the consequences of making this public. Many of these ministers are in a very difficult situation in that to “come out” publicly means a loss of a lifelong job and/or pension and thus can affect not just them but also their dependents. But this weekend, one such pastor decided to “come out” for the first time.

I realise to do so would cause potential rifts and family issues, but isn’t it maybe time that at least some of us here come out publically ?.

I do not think I am the person to start or run such a FaceBook group, since I was never a member, unlike many here who have been in this church for decades.

But if anyone here ( or on Latigo ) is ready to have the courage to start such a Facebook page, I will gladly add myself to such a group, “like” it etc etc.

I would suggest though, that the wording and descriptions etc of such a page need to be kept as polite, tactful, libel-free and lacking in “waffle” as possible. I think that merely “coming out” by adding oneself to the group may be enough. Without any need for comments etc.

I should also add that anyone adding their personal “testimony” or recounts of their experiences need to make very sure they have carefully got their stories straight, cross-checking with others here to make sure that the passage of time hasn’t effected peoples memories of what actually went on.

This may be something that only starts very slowly, but as more and more people “come out”, gathers momentum.

Anyone here who wants to start such a page and talk more about how to go about this , please feel free to “PM” me . I’ll also gladly reveal my identity to you via PM
so you can have some assurance that I wont just “leave you in a lurch”.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/30/2012 11:22PM by Clive.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: lintar123 ()
Date: April 01, 2012 09:29PM

I believe that every person who has survived the Struthers experience wants justice, recognition of what happened, an acknowledgement of the wrong doing that has gone on and a reason as to why it ever was allowed to happen in the first place. Anonymously we are not getting a response from any of the Struthers leaders, because we know that they choose to ignore us, bury their heads in the sand and hope we will disappear , or maybe they are scared of exposure to the public, press, e.t.c The fact remains that we are real people who were badly damaged and affected by the goings on, who have a right to campaign and speak out for the safety of others- particularly the young and the vulnerable caught in the Struthers net. To "come out" publicly at this stage,though, I believe, would not be of benefit. I think that what we need are more people to speak out about their true experiences... positive or negative. Where are the positives?? I think that it is crucial for Struthers leaders to respond to us- sooner rather than later. I also believe that we have the evidence of our experiences and on-going happenings on our side; as well as the Law! I don`t think people would post untruths about what happened to and around them in Struthers. I believe it is the wrong time to "come out " publicly because I know how dangerous the Struthers people are! I do think it may help if we accepted the legal advice given, and on hand, and had our facts and figures ready to share publicly. The school...with many staff not registered with the General Teaching Council??(register open to the public) The staff /ministers/ directors who are mostly related? The facts and figures that do not and never did tally? There are many questions which need answered. Why ? oh Why? do they not even try to defend themselves?

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Chesterk55 ()
Date: April 02, 2012 02:01AM

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.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: clare ()
Date: April 02, 2012 02:37AM

In my opinion , they dont defend themselves because they dont believe its necessary. In their opinion, its we who are the poor, weak, unspiritual ones, in the error of our ways.
They believe they are the ones who have God's ear so to speak. If there was ANY true humility amongst them they would address our issues.

Do not constantly look for qualities that arent there, you will always be dissapointed, that is a general lesson for life as a whole, but it counts for SMC too.

They have many cult like behaviours and also many characteristics of anti-social personality , anyone who has had any dealings with this on a personnal level knows you shouldnt go up against them, you cant win .

Keep posting, keep talking , and more people will be helped, but other than that there is not much else to do ... in my opinion.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: mandrake ()
Date: April 02, 2012 08:28AM

I do not agree for one moment that the people who have been so brave to post their personal testimonies on this site should reveal their itentities on-line. and this forum does provide a voice for the all too many people who have been wronged ( correct term) On the other hand you are forgetting that there are laws and rules which govern our society and no-one is above the law, no Pastor has a monopoly on God and everyone has a basic right to to be treated with respect and not to be deliberately physcologically damaged. This would be called bullying in any other walk of live and these Struthers pastors have a duty of care to their members. The cult like status of SMC is self evident where the dictatorial leadership style demands unquestioning obedience. I am not sure about Facebook etc, but it would be easy enough to invite council leaders, the Press, MPs, other church leaders to merely read the enteries on this forum and to then make up their own minds as to the nature of a 'church' with charitable status behaving in this way. The fact that it has been going on for so long means that the leaders are arrogant in their belief that nothing they do can be challenged. As stated in earlier posts many of these Pastors are school teachers and this is my main area of concern, that they have access to young and vulnerable people and could be influencing them without parental involvement or permission. "All it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to stand by and do nothing"

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Rensil ()
Date: April 03, 2012 07:52AM

I wouldn't be willing to go on YouTube either or "come out" on Facebook. As ChesterK55 writes, this wouldn't do any good or cause the SMC leaders to answer our questions or acknowledge the damage which they have caused to many people's lives. As Chester says, they knew who we were when we were in SMC and couldn't answer our qusestions or help us then. They ignored or rejected us then. Being anonymous allows us to speak out freely and say what has happened to us.

I note, Clive, that you say you were never a member of SMC. Because of that, I feel that you may not understand the depth and seriousness of the things that have happened to those of us who were in SMC for many years and consequently the reasons why we want (yes, need) to stay anonymous at present. The derision in which people who leave SMC are held by members and leaders is strong, hurtful and unpleasant. If they know who we are, we will be spoken about and people will be warned to steer clear of us. Do we care? Well, yes, at the moment, I think that it wouldn't be wise to "come out". Because you haven't been "in" SMC, you won't fully know how this church operates. Most of us on this Forum are Christians so we also care about the truths of Christianity, as written in the Bible, being upheld and adhered to, and we want to warn people about any false teaching. We also pray for God to intervene where there is error and control. I also agree with Mandrake that it is a concern when children are involved.

People have spoken before about going to the newsapers with their story but no-one has yet done so. This may yet happen, though, especially with the exposure of SMC's activities on the Latigo site.

Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: HappiestEver ()
Date: April 03, 2012 07:01PM

SMC will NEVER comment nor refute any of the allegations levied against them, simply because the opinions presented by this forum mean NOTHING to them.They are infallible and beyond reproach. WE mean nothing to them. Actually, that is not entirely true, WE are in fact, "tools of the devil" who are daring to touch "God's annointed". You do realise that you are being dismissed as "tools"? Right?!

They are truly beyond reason, which begs the question- why bother? They'll never change and do not want to.

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