Here we come to Eric the distorter. First of all, IHOPKC has consistently resisted bringing in an outside investigative source. They initially said they would, then reneged on that promise. Then they lawyered up by bring in a law firm to defend the interests of IHOPKC and brought Volz in as their public relations flack. Even today, Volz claims they had to move forward with their own investigation! Stop lying! This notion that there are some unwritten rules that say an organization should first investigate themselves is pure bovine excrement. It smacks of blatant stupidity that an organization should be the first line of investigating into itself. Gee, I wonder what they will find? Note here another trick Volz consistently relies on is floating a ridiculous premise and then stating that he may not agree with it or have an opinion on it. Then why say it at all! Does anyone truly find it odd that the victims spanning four decades would want someone objective to do the investigation? Volz consistently acts as if this was somehow unreasonable when anyone with any reason should conclude the opposite. These women allege decades of abuse. Why in the world should they trust the abusers friends and co workers to be in charge of the investigation? That is not the "right" way and Eric Volz knows this. It is not "puzzling." What is puzzling is why Volz would prostrate himself on the altar of a man so clearly wrong that his own friends just kicked him out of his own church! The organization needs to step back and let unbiased people investigate because there may well be fault within the organization! Were any of the allegations brought to them prior? How did no one know there was this ongoing problem. No one noticed the lock on the interior of Bickle's office? Please.
"Speaking about McNamara (the IHOP Investigator), - people were like how can she investigate if she is a member of the church? But she's a lawyer, she is bound by certain ethics. So there was no reason why she couldn't meet with victims. Another bizarre thing is this advocate group did present multiple names as victims of Mike Bickle and then they would say there were other names that were given, examples of inappropriate relationships. Three of those women, within ten days of the allegations being made public, issued public statements refuting that they were victims. One of them actually went as far to say that she felt victimized by the advocate group. I was shocked when I heard people in the community say these women did not have credibility. The advocate group said these women will never tell the truth because they are protecting Mike Bickle. There was so much rumors and hearsay that the only way for IHOP to responsibly navigate this was to say we need to see direct evidence. Eye-witness testimony, emails, text messages. So there were five women making allegations, three of them say they were not victims but felt victimized by the advocate group - I would say it was unique in terms of the level of false accusation coming against IHOPKC." - Eric Volz
Let's first deal with McNamara. If I was a victim of IHOP, and that's what these women are, I would not want the lead investigator pulled from the congregation. Are you kidding me? Even giving her the full benefit of seriously undertaking her ethical charge, there is no way she is not at least unconsciously biased! While on this matter, it is not appropriate for Eric Volz or IHOP to decide what the victims of sexual abuse are comfortable with. The entire premise is insulting. The second major point here is Volz recycling the exposed lie about Misty Edwards and the "leaked" three women. They were not leaked by the advocates because they have now publicly said that Edwards was never even listed as a Jane Doe. NEVER Eric - stop lying! After Misty's post two weeks ago, she has lost all credibility. She tried to paint herself as the victim, as Volz is trying to do here as well, and it is not just unseemly. It is disgusting. The actual victims have spent decades being lied to, coerced, manipulated, bullied spiritually, as well as have a man twice their age, in a position of spiritual authority sexually abuse them. When you add to this the new charges of another woman who says Bickle started abusing her when she was 14, and maybe Volz should spend more time in prayer than defending predators. The only rumors and hearsay in this case were the false leaks IHOP perpetrated regarding these three women, who were not listed as Jane Does. It allowed them to publicly refute it so the Bickle backers could point to them to dismiss the real victims. The fact that Volz is still doing this after it has been exposed only reveals the depth of his duplicity. There are no false allegations coming against IHOPKC. They are not the victims here Eric. Neither are the three women who were never Jane Does. Stop belittling the real victims.
"Even today there are people demanding saying the solution is to bring in a mutually agreed upon third party, which is essentially saying that victims have a right to accept whoever you are going to bring in to investigate and that is a made up process. I know it sounds good and it sounds fair, I can see a case for that maybe in some situations but IHOP is a sovereign organization. Most serious organizations will hire law firms to come in and do independent investigations or internal investigations. Lawyers know what the legal standards are. They are trained in the proper chain of custody things. They are trained on how to interview people. They know how to take depositions and statements." - Eric Volz
It is not a made-up process Eric. No one is saying IHOP KC must do anything. They have chosen an unrighteous path designed to protect themselves. If Mike Bickle and IHOP are so innocent, why all the resistance to an outside investigation? It's not like Jane Doe number one is insisting that her uncle do the investigation. Who cares that you think IHOP is sovereign. You want to know who is sovereign Eric? God is sovereign. Why all of a sudden is Volz now speaking about IHOP as if it not a church? The outside investigative sources all employ lawyers too. They understand things like legal standards, chain of custody things, and depositions. These were all red herring arguments and Volz knows it. This does reveal the heart of one of the deepest problems here about how IHOP has handled this. Instead of acting like a good faith broker as a member of the body of Christ they have withdrawn into their shell and played cover my butt games. Instead of wanting the truth they have lawyered up and hired PR men to try and gloss over this. God is not going to be mocked Eric and in the end, you will look very, very bad for your involvement in this attempted cover-up.
"I spent some time with Boz. Really enjoyed our conversation. I think he has done a lot of really important work. But he did effectively, I believe wrongly accuse IHOP of several things. He definitely made some public comments that maybe it was just lawyering but it felt unethical. At one point he tweeted saying IHOP needs to be investigated for financial discrepancies, I don't remember the exact wording. I was like, based on what? He was one of the people promoting this idea that an attorney cannot be independent yet later the person they wanted to represent them was an attorney. I think one of the reasons why the advocate group and Boz never agreed to IHOP investigators is they needed somebody from the clergy sexual abuse advocacy community. It's a pretty small community. There is only a couple of Christian investigative organizations. There are some individuals but they all know each other. They are either on each other's boards or have worked together. There is this sort of worldview. We did a lot of research on those groups in terms of what constitutes abuse. I think there is a certain number of practitioners that would only accept because it would increase the likelihood that there would be abuse found. For example there are people that would say anytime someone in ministry that has any form of sexual contact with someone that is subordinate to them that's automatically abuse. I don't know that I disagree with that but I also know where there can be instances of where someone who might be younger or subordinate can seduce a minister. That's why it is important to actually get the facts and question the people involved." - Eric Volz
Here we come to the attempts to discredit the advocate group and the victims. Volz and IHOP know they cannot stand on the ground they have set up if they do not smear the other side so people split the bill and think there are mistakes and problems on both sides. There are not. One side is filled with victims and the other side are people trying to continue their victimization. So, Volz makes a pretty stunning statement here accusing Boz Tchividjian with unethical behavior. I cannot speak to the tweet in question but Boz is a big boy and hopefully Eric will be hearing from them soon legally for making such a defamatory public statement. By the way, using church funds to pay congregants to pretend to do legal investigations? Yeah, I would ask for financial disclosure too if I attended IHOP. How much did they pay Volz?
Putting that aside, let us not lose sight of the horribly sickening charge Eric Volz makes here. He actually has to gall to claim that the reason the victims want an outside agency that specializes in clergy abuse is it would increase the likelihood of a finding of clergy abuse. Wow. Volz defames the professionals whose entire lives is devoted to helping victims as well as the actual victims of Mike Bickle. Disparaging their motive, I might add infers that they know they are lying. It is a sick form of projection as Volz knows full well what IHOP is engaging in is trying to NOT find any clergy abuse. Then look at the revolting example he gives. He does his trick first where he floats a repulsive notion and then immediately distances himself from the very idea he espoused. He is making the argument however, that there can be differing opinions regarding a minister who has sexual contact with a subordinate and whether that is abuse? What else should we call it? Let's play along with his revolting example. So, let's say Jane Doe number one, who was 19 at the time "seduced" the then 42-year-old married Mike Bickle. Is Eric Volz really suggesting that this let's Bickle off the hook? I understand temptation is difficult for all of us in our flesh, but don't we hold the 42-year-old minister to a higher standard than the 19-year-old sheep? Either way, Jane Doe number one did not seduce Mike Bickle. Volz is only floating this notion to again cast doubt on her as a victim. Maybe he would say the 14-year-old also seduced poor Mike. This is absurd in its naked transparency.