Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. - James 5:16 (ESV)
The news from Bicklegate is now fast moving and changing rapidly. There remains disinformation being provided to muddy the waters, protect Mike Bickle, and preserve the cash cow of IHOPKC. Before going into the latest update from Dr. Michael Brown, it is important to recap where we are and how we got here. Sometime in October of last year, the story broke that Mike Bickle stood credibly accused of clergy sexual abuse and misconduct, spanning several decades. The reaction from the Charismaniacal Industrial Complex was swift and expected. They tried to minimize it, downplay it, and dismiss it out of hand. Charisma News mobilized their strike force against it and soon there were articles being written testifying to Bickle's humility, servanthood, and overall good-guy-ness. They faced an early problem though of not wanting to look like they were calling the accusers liars, when they were of course calling them liars. So, the IHOP forces decided to poison the well. Someone "leaked" two of the names of those abused by Bickle as being IHOP worship leader Misty Edwards and a woman named April Rose. The latter posted a long screed on Facebook insisting that she was never a victim and Mike Bickle was pure as the driven snow. Misty Edwards also quickly came out with a statement declaring that she was never a victim and that Bickle had always been godly around her. The reason for these lies, and that's what they were, was to allow Bickle defenders to point to Edwards and Rose as proof that there was something "wrong" with the alleged victims. Look back to that time period and see the articles written by Steven Strang and Larry Tomczak and you will see they used these quotes to dismiss out of hand any of the accusers.
In December, IHOP leadership reneged on a previous promise to bring in an independent outside entity to conduct the investigation. They instead pointed to Rose and Edwards to say that there were problems with the victims' accusations that they needed to vet first before anyone from the outside should be brought in, which is completely absurd. IHOP leadership could not conduct a fair and impartial investigation of itself. Soon after, one of the victims released their story. It detailed how a then 42-year-old married Bickle, lured a 19-year-old sheep and daughter of a Bickle friend, into bed. He did so by lying about a prophecy that God told him his wife Diane would die so he could marry the 19-year-old. Bickle used this lie and other prophetic manipulations to engage this woman in a four-year adulteress relationship. He eventually paid for her apartment and started telling her who she was allowed to spend time with and what was allowable discussions. He did all of this mind you, WHILE he was building IHOPKC. Eventually the woman was able to get out from the relationship and even when she found someone to marry, Bickle would try to interfere in the marriage.
After this story was released and everyone who knew the woman insisted that her story was beyond reproach, the Bickle backed IHOPKC leadership cut all ties permanently with Mike Bickle. The new leadership however seemed just as committed to the cover up as the previous. They recently brought in General Fuller to lead, hoping he could bring some credibility to such a compromised and deceptive practice. He has not. This past week the advocacy group has finally spoken into the ongoing deception at IHOPKC. First it was revealed that Misty Edwards was NEVER named as a victim. This proves the poising of the well strategy and leaves Misty as either a confirmed liar or a duped fool that needs to publicly apologize. The advocacy group also released a series of roundtable videos with several former IHOP leaders and followers lending even more credibility to the accusations made against Bickle. In response, General Fuller feigned outrage that they did not share these with him first. Why would they? The group also revealed this week that when this all started, they shared a working document with IHOP leadership that they then inappropriately shared with Mike Bickle! The IHOP leadership, in whatever form, has consistently worked against the victims and smeared them so why in the world would General Fuller think they should have shared these with him first? So, Fuller used this to break off negotiations and insist that IHOPKC will simply move forward with their own investigation, which no one in their right mind could possibly trust.
Throughout this debacle, Dr. Michael Brown has tried to mediate. Unfortunately, Dr. Brown never holds anyone to account and is always trying to split the bill. His goal initially seemed to be to want to provide some cover for his friend, but he quickly realized he was guilty as sin and since has switched to be more focused on protecting the brand. It seems Dr. Brown can read the handwriting on the wall, and it does not look good for Mike Bickle. So instead, Brown wants to preserve the rotten tree of IHOP that has produced all of this rotten fruit. The link above is to an emergency announcement from Dr. Brown so let us once more reason together, through it.
"This is a heartfelt announcement in light of General Fuller saying IHOP will proceed with their current investigation and not bringing in another third party. I want to dispel a few myths as best I can. There are lies and myths about the advocacy group that they had long term plans to bring down Mike Bickle or this was some kind of coup. That is absolutely false. Every single time I have spoken to IHOPKC, including general fuller they have all said the same thing - we want the whole truth to come to light, no matter how ugly it is. We don't want to cover up anything. To this point the actual investigation IHOPKC has underway is independent. General Fuller is not even allowed to speak with them. The investigator was not approved by the advocacy group." - Dr. Michael Brown