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Friday
Aug292014

Ken Sande Counseled C.J. Mahaney to Confess He Was “So Very Guilty” of Attacking & Ambushing Me

I left Sovereign Grace Ministries in August 2009 after five years of non-stop attacks, ambushes, intimidation, control and manipulation by C.J. Mahaney and his surrogates.  I’ve never put into words the depth of anguish I experienced during those years.        

The abuses began in earnest in August 2004.  That’s when I led a historic meeting with Mahaney that included all the key leaders from Sovereign Grace Ministries (i.e., Dave Harvey, Steve Shank, and Pat Ennis) and Covenant Life Church (i.e., Joshua Harris, Kenneth Maresco, Grant Layman, and Bob Kauflin).  See RRF&D, pp. 16-28.  Everyone contributed, but I was the main spokesman.  Together, we raised agreed upon concerns for longstanding patterns of sin in C.J.’s life.  

Immediately after that meeting, however, Mahaney began to secretly and aggressively turn Harris, Maresco, Layman and Kauflin against me.  He did the same with Shank and probably with Ennis.  Initially, Harvey stood with me but later he decided to accommodate Mahaney’s abuses.  Finally, he joined Mahaney in the abuses.    

Today, only Kauflin and Shank remain in SGM.  Harris, Maresco, Layman, Ennis and Harvey departed due to the abusive leadership culture created by Mahaney. 

After I left SGM, I began to write Mahaney in private hoping to bring about reform in his life and in the ministry I helped to start in 1982.  I sent him my first document, Response Regarding Friendship & Doctrine (RRF&D) on March 17, 2010.  It was 128 pages long.  I sent him my second document, A Final Appeal (AFA) on October 8, 2010.  It was 168 pages long. 

On October 13, I received the following email from Ken Sande who was the President and Founder of Peacemaker Ministries, the foremost Christian reconciliation ministry in the nation. 

From: Ken Sande
Sent: Thursday, October 14, 2010 1:24 PM
To: Brent Detwiler
Subject: Could we talk?

Dear Brent, 

CJ contacted me yesterday to see if Peacemaker Ministries could be of assistance in addressing the concerns you have raised in regard to his relationship with you and his leadership of SGM.  I have reviewed the two documents [RRF&D, AFA] you sent to him, and can see that you’ve identified some extremely serious issues. 

Out of concern for both you and CJ, and for the witness of Christ through his church, I am willing to do whatever I can to support a God-honoring examination and resolution of the issues you’ve raised.  Because of my personal relationship with CJ, I would not expect you to view me as a suitable conciliator in this situation.  Even so, I would be happy to suggest some independent Certified Christian Conciliators or some other organizations that have no connection whatsoever with SGM that could provide a rigorous and objective process for addressing these issues and bringing about the kind of results you request in your memos. 

CJ has indicated his willingness to respond to your memos in writing, to submit himself to the review and correction of an independent panel of conciliators who would examine all of the issues you have raised, and to make whatever confessions that panel recommends.  If this is a direction you’d like to go, I’d be happy to work with you to identify the process and people that both you and CJ would trust to serve you. 

I’m leaving tomorrow morning for two weeks in Africa at the Lausanne Conference, so I would appreciate it if you would call me today on my mobile number so we could discuss this.  Again, I do not expect to be a part of a review or conciliation process, but I would welcome the opportunity to help you find a path for resolving these issues and being truly reconciled to one another in Christ. 

Warmly in Christ,

Ken

Sande was a close friend of Mahaney’s and Mahaney promoted Peacemakers more than any other outside ministry at the time.  I was an acquaintance of Sande.  Nevertheless, Sande came to the conclusion that I had “identified some extremely serious issues” having reviewed Response Regarding Friendship & Doctrine and A Final Appeal.  You can’t come to any other conclusion if you read the evidence objectively.

Mahaney later denied his sins were “unusually serious” and called them “routine and common.”

Sande also claimed:   

“CJ has indicated his willingness to respond to your memos [documents] in writing, to submit himself to the review and correction of an independent panel of conciliators who would examine all of the issues you have raised, and to make whatever confessions that panel recommends.”

Mahaney broke all three promises.  He never responded in writing to the most critical issues I raised in my documents, never submitted himself to an independent panel, and never made any kind of confession to SGM or its pastors. 

The above email from Sande was written in October 2010.  Over the next eight months, he investigated the “extremely serious issues” contained in RRF&D and AFA.  In addition, I sent him a copy of my third document, Concluding Remarks (CR) on June 8, 2011.   It was 202 pages long.  It contained more “extremely serious issues” including Mahaney’s blackmail of Larry Tomczak. 

A week later, I wrote Mahaney the following and copied it to Sande and Tomczak because Mahaney, Dave Harvey, Joshua Harris and Jeff Purswell were intentionally trying to frame me and make it look as though I was unwilling to meet.    

From: Brent Detwiler
Sent: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 11:19 AM
To: Jeff Purswell; C.J. Mahaney; Dave Harvey; Joshua Harris
Copy: Ken Sande; Larry Tomczak
Subject: Framing the Issue & Me

[C.J.] Stop the manipulation!  Stop trying to frame me!  Your machination to tell the world I have refused to talk to anyone, including Ken Sande, President of Peacemakers, is obvious.  I have said a million times, I will meet with you and the Board but not until you respond in writing to the issues, questions, and illustrations I have raised.  You promised to do this very thing but then broke your word to me.  Time after time, you and the Board have refused to be open and honest.  I am not talking with anyone unless they first communicate with me in writing.  I have been on the receiving end of deceitful scheming far too many times.    

Indeed, I have many sorrowful experiences, where “conversations” turned out to be surprise attacks.  Sometimes I was told these face to face meetings were for discussion; but, they turned out to be spiritual ambushes.    The goal was not understanding.  The goal was correction.  So often, “conversations” have not been conversations, but the means to intimidate, control or confront.  They have been used as guises for thrusting forth hidden agendas.  Like a deer in the headlights, I’ve been stunned, frozen and frightened many times.  They are a pretense for manipulation in an unrecorded and therefore unaccountable context; the contents of which can later be denied or distorted with impunity.  

At the same time and unbeknownst to me; Mahaney, Harvey, Harris and Purswell were also discrediting me and my documents to all the SGM pastors while telling me how much they appreciated my input and writings.  I wrote about their extraordinary deceit in The Mona Lisa of Spin by Master Harvey.  It was my most scathing denunciation.  A must read.  Here’s an excerpt.

“Behind my back on June 11 [2011], Dave Harvey warned all the SGM pastors about my documents (RRF&D, AFA, CR). … Dave told the pastors, “If you haven’t received them already, you have hundreds of pages of documentation - Brent’s concerns for CJ - coming your way.”  He then proceeded to discredit me and my writings while commending C.J. for his humility. … I had no idea Dave launched this preemptive strike with laser guided missiles loaded with deadly deceit.  He ended his letter by saying “Gentlemen, it ain’t pretty…but it’s a faithful narrative [i.e., Dave’s version] of a sad tale [i.e., my conduct and writings].”

Ken Sande knew all about their deceitful scheming and manipulation.  Three days later, he wrote Mahaney the following email based upon his observations and eight month examination of the evidence.  I never saw this “Message to Brent” email until this week.  It was sent to “Amazgrace.”  That is, to Mahaney. 

From: Ken Sande 
Sent: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 6:04 PM
To: Amazgrace
Subject: Message to Brent

Hi CJ, 

Since Eric cleared up the issue about his email, I think the coast is clear for you to respond to Brent’s earlier message.  That message put Brent’s heart on the table more openly than anything else he’s written, so there is an opportunity for you to connect with him at the heart level, which is where this kind of conflict originates and festers.  You’ll need to put this in your own words, but here’s how I would approach it. 

I’ve reread this message several times, and each time it breaks my heart further.  This paragraph in particular told me how much pain I’ve caused you:

“Indeed, I [Brent] have many sorrowful experiences, where ‘conversations’ turned out to be surprise attacks.  Sometimes I was told these face to face meetings were for discussion; but, they turned out to be spiritual ambushes.  The goal was not understanding.  The goal was correction.  So often, ‘conversations’ have not been conversations, but the means to intimidate, control or confront.  They been used as guises for thrusting forth hidden agendas.  Like a deer in the headlights, I’ve been stunned, frozen and frightened many times.  They are a pretense for manipulation in an unrecorded, and therefore unaccountable context; the contents of which can later be denied or distorted with impunity.”   

I’m guilty, so very guilty!!  All too often I have turned conversations with you into attacks and ambushes.  All too often I’ve come to you not to seek understanding but to offer correction.  All too often I have spoken to you in a way that intimidated, controlled, or confronted you.  All too often I’ve been more concerned about my agenda rather discerning your needs and ministering to your soul.  I am ashamed of how I have made you feel stunned, frozen, and frightened by my words.  I’m ashamed of the many times I’ve approached you with the sting of the law rather than the hope of the gospel … how often I’ve failed to practice with you the concepts I’ve preached from the pulpit … how often I’ve sinned against the Lord and you by not treating you as I’d want to be treated.  I can see why you feel manipulated and fearful. 

Brent, your words in this email ripped at my heart, as well they should.  But they have also helped me understand so much more clearly how I have hurt and wounded you.  I am grieved more than I can convey by the realization of how I have injured you and contributed to your struggles.  I am so very, very sorry. 

I realize written words cannot undo the hurt I’ve caused you, but I still want you to know how your opening your heart and sharing your pain in this message helped me to understand and grieve over how I have affected you.  I pray God will someday allow me to say this to you in person so that I can reinforce my sorrow in every possible way. 

In addition, I want you to know that I will keep this email on my computer with a special desk top icon labeled “Before Confronting,” and I will reread and pray over your words, especially when I am about to have a potentially difficult conversation with someone.  I am praying that God will use your words to remind me of my blind spots and sinful tendencies, especially when I think I need to bring correction to another person.

Thank you for opening up to me like this.  The wounds of a friend are true.

I realize that this might seem “over the top,” CJ, but at a time like this I’ve found it is important to match the emotional intensity of the person who has been hurt, to resist the temptation to qualify a confession or point out where the person contributed to the problem (which is something the Holy Spirit can do any time he wishes), and to indicate some kind of concrete action you will take to change the behavior that hurt the other person.  If you can think of a better step than the computer icon, use that instead. (One of the greatest evidences of real reconciliation and healing would be for Brent to one day write and say, “About that “Before Confronting” icon … delete it, brother!  God’s grace has covered all!)

By all means, edit so the words are really yours.  But if you err, err in going too far rather than holding back.

Warmly in Christ,

Ken

Ken Sande | President | Peacemaker Ministries | www.Peacemaker.net | (406) 256-1583

Families together for life : Churches together through Christ : Communities together in peace

Sande’s description accurately portrays what I experienced with Mahaney and men like Dave Harvey, Bob Kauflin, Mickey Connolly and Gene Emerson.  Pain, attacks, ambushes, intimidation, control, confrontation, manipulation, fear, hurt, wounds, and injury.  He wasn’t exaggerating.  He was informed having involved himself for the past eight months!

I’ve not written about many of events surrounding these horrific experiences.  In fact, Sande did not know about many of the things I suffered.  Nonetheless, he knew the “attacks and ambushes” were severe and “all too often.”    

Sande also accurately describes the way Mahaney sinned against me and the godly sorrow that should comprise any confession.

“I’m guilty, so very guilty!! … I’ve come to you not to seek understanding. … I’ve been more concerned about my agenda. … I am ashamed of how I have made you feel stunned, frozen and frightened. … I’m ashamed…how often I’ve failed to practice with you the concepts I’ve preached from the pulpit… how often I’ve sinned against the Lord and you by not treating you as I’d want to be treated. … Your words in this email ripped at my heart as well they should. … I am grieved more than I can convey. … I am so very, very sorry. … I realize written words cannot undo the hurt I’ve caused you. … I pray God will someday allow me to say this to you in person so that I can reinforce my sorrow in every possible way. … I am praying that God will use your words to remind me of my blind spots and sinful tendencies, especially when I think I need to bring correction to another person.”

I knew nothing about the counsel Sande was giving Mahaney but I was saying many of the same things.  The week before I pointed out to Mahaney in Concluding Remarks the following. 

“I mentioned 15 areas of concern for you and the movement [in RRF&D & AFA].  You denied any lack of integrity, deceit, or hypocrisy (with one exception) in your own life; expressed no need for a public confession, and failed to see how your sinful judgments negatively influenced anyone).  You left the remaining 10 areas of concern (i.e., concealment, cover-up, damage control, spin, manipulation, partiality, favoritism, abuse of authority, lording, wrong-doing by others) entirely unaddressed.  I specifically and intentionally asked to address these 15 critical issues.  Instead you ignored ten of them.  You don’t even reference them.  So much for the greater detail you promised to supply.  In addition, you left unaddressed considerable portions of material in RRF&D and AFA.” (CR, p. 90)

I didn’t hear back from Mahaney so I followed up two weeks later. 

From: Brent Detwiler
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2011 9:15 AM
To: C. J. Mahaney 
Subject: Change of Heart?

Dear C.J.,

I ask the following questions with grace and tenderness of heart.  Have you had a change of heart and mind?  If so, are you willing to provide me a complete and thorough response to RRF&D, AFA, and CR in preparation for a meeting between us?  And are you willing to walk in the light by publicly confessing the sins I’ve addressed?

I mean you no harm.  These are redemptive requests designed to serve you and the movement you lead.  Please provide me a response in the next day or two.

With sincere affection,

Brent

Mahaney responded with feigned humility.  He was desperate and didn’t want my documents going out to the SGM pastors.   See C.J.’s Foxhole Conversion.

From: C.J. Mahaney 
Sent: Friday, June 24, 2011 12:44 PM
To: Brent Detwiler
Cc: Dave Harvey; Jeff Purswell; Joshua Harris; Tommy Hill; Tony Reinke; Ken Sande; John Loftness; Bob Kauflin; Gary Ricucci; Carolyn Mahaney; Chad Mahaney
Subject: FW: Change of Heart?

In answer to your question, yes, I am changing my mind in regard to your request to give a more thorough response to your documents.  At the same time, I am committed to making a public confession. …

In attempting to give a more thorough response to the three documents, my plan was to give particular attention to the 15 areas of concern/sin you think I have yet to perceive or acknowledge. …

I also plan to make a public confession to the Sovereign Grace pastors.  My hope is to do this at our November conference although it’s possible this could take place at an earlier date. … I want these men to hear my confession and hopefully perceive my conviction/sorrow as well as ask their forgiveness. …

And once God has given me a clear understanding of my sin and its impact on others, I anticipate that it will be beneficial for me to make a wider confession to the general public about God’s correction and refinement in my life.

None of these things ever happened!  Every promise was broken!  Far worse, Mahaney directed an all-out attack on me and the documents just two weeks later!  Everything Sande exhorted him to confess, he vigorously pursued with great ferocity. 

On July 13, Dave Harvey and the newly appointed interim Board of Directors posted a universal condemnation of me on the SGM website.  See The Five Resolutions.

Mahaney also contacted national leaders like Al Mohler and Ligon Duncan.  These men gladly defended him and publicly denounced me even though they had not read the documents according to sources.  Here are two excerpts.

Dr. Albert Mohler

“I always have had only the highest estimation of C.J. Mahaney as a man and a minister.  That continues absolutely unchanged.  There is nothing in this current situation which would leave me to have even the slightest pause of confidence in him.  There is nothing disqualifying in terms of anything that is disclosed in this [i.e., in the documents].  It’s just evidence we knew all along, that C.J. is human but a deeply committed Christian and a visionary Christian leader.   Detwiler has an obvious vendetta against C.J.” (Dr. Al Mohler, The Courier-Journal, July 12, 2011)

Dr. Ligon Duncan

“It would have been very easy for the leadership of SGM to ignore and dismiss these charges, because so many of them are so evidently self-serving and spurious accusations.” (Ligon Duncan, “A Word About C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries,” July 12, 2011)

The week before these attacks commenced Mahaney wrote the following about his humility on the SGM website.

Why I’m taking a leave of absence
July 6, 2011 by C.J. Mahaney 

Just so you’ll know, I have also contacted David Powlison and Mark Dever and asked them to review the charges and provide me with their counsel and correction.  I have enlisted them to serve me personally during this time and to ensure this process of examining my heart and life is as thorough as possible.  And for the past year I have been the recipient of Ken Sande’s correction, counsel and care.  That, I am grateful to say, will continue. 

Only Mahaney has the gall to privately reject Sande’s “correction, counsel and care” but publicly put himself forward as receiving it.  He goes on to boast, “That, I am grateful to say, will continue.”  It didn’t continue.  It ended the following week when SGM signed their “Agreement for Consultation” contract with Ambassadors of Reconciliation and not long thereafter so did his friendship with Sande.  The same thing later happened with Powlison.

Over the summer of 2011, the attacks and scheming continued.  By the fall, Dave Harvey and the interim Board were proposing an “adjudication hearing” that was contrary to all their promises to use “an objective and credible panel” to hear my charges.  Under those circumstances, I was very apprehensive about participating.  Sande knew about these developments.

From: Ken Sande
Sent: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 4:46 PM
To: Brent Detwiler
Cc: Ken Sande
Subject: Re: Confidential please

Thank you for confiding in me, Brent.  I can understand all of your apprehensions, but I do hope you will participate.  I have little contact or influence with SGM at this point, but I will do what little I can to encourage them to revisit the issue of how to constitute an objective and credible panel. 

Please keep me informed of any developments in this regard.  I’ll keep praying for wisdom for all involved.

Ken

Take note that on July 6, Mahaney said, “And for the past year I have been the recipient of Ken Sande’s correction, counsel and care.  That, I am grateful to say, will continue.”  Two months later on September 13, Sande told me, “I have little contact or influence with SGM at this point.”  That is the story of Mahaney’s life.  He goes through faithful friends who speak the truth like toilet paper.  Hold him accountable and he cuts you off like a gangrenous leg.  Hundreds of people have experienced this kind of angry rejection.   

Sande appealed to Mahaney and SGM.  They did not listen and went ahead with a “Three Panel Review” that was utterly corrupt.  I followed Sande’s counsel and participated in one of the panels.  I was forbidden from participating in the other two panels even though they concerned me and my charges against Mahaney.

I cannot adequately explain the excruciating pain of betrayal I experienced following my participation in the panel conducted by Mark Prater, Warren Boettcher, and Ron Boomsma.  You have to read, Panel Report on Brent Detwiler’s Dismissal from Grace Community Church to understand what I am talking about. 

I’ve refrained from sharing most of what I’ve endured over the past ten years.  People would not believe it.  But worse, the leaders in SGM would use it against me to further claim I was “bitter and vengeful.”  Instead, I’ve majored on the facts, on the evidence and on the truth. 

In SGM, you can’t be honest and emote without being labeled and confronted.  That includes victims of sex abuse who are charged with unforgiveness when they express their anguish and pursue justice. This is a far cry from biblical Christianity.  Read the Psalmists as they cry out against their oppressors and ask for justice and godly vindication.  In SGM, these saints would have been reproved for their bitterness, corrected for their bad theology and silenced for their published prayers.

In October 2011, I asked Ken Sande to publicly expose and rebuke C.J. Mahaney for his “extremely serious” sins which only continued (1 Tim 5:20; Matt 18:17).  He was not willing.  That itself caused me great anguish!  Once again, I was on my own. 

Nevertheless, I am grateful for his private efforts; and now, God in his sovereignty has made them public.  Mahaney was “guilty, so very guilty!!”  Why?  Because the evidence was “overwhelming, so very overwhelming!!”  That is why SGM never let me present my charges or make my case!    

There is no “special desk top icon” on Mahaney’s computer labeled “Before Confronting.”  SGM has not changed.  Dan Roca, a SGM pastor, is a good case in point.    No, the attacks, control, intimidation and manipulation continue.  And for what it’s worth, I don’t expect Mahaney (or anyone else) will follow Sande’s counsel and say, “I am so very, very sorry” for how “I have hurt and wounded [and] injured you.”  “I am grieved more than I can convey.” 

Postscript

Mahaney and the Board of Directors repeatedly thanked me for the love and care expressed in Response Regarding Friendship & Doctrine, A Final Appeal and Concluding Remarks from which they claimed to benefit in a major way.  This changed overnight when I was forced to send out the documents to the SGM pastors on July 6, 2011.  By November 2011, Mahaney was roundly rejecting their contents in opposition to all his previously favorable comments.  Here is an abbreviated email trail.  I’ve underlined for emphasis and focus.

From: C.J. Mahaney
Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 12:35 PM
To: Brent Detwiler
Subject:

Brent, let me conclude by thanking you for sending me these documents.  I am deriving much benefit from reading them and reviewing them with others.  As I read them by God’s grace I am perceiving more of my sin, more clearly. … So I am grateful for your care expressed in and through these documents and the opportunity to attempt to address these issues again and hopefully do so more humbly and effectively.  There are a number of ways I have been dull to perceive my sin due to the pride in my heart.  … So thanks for sending these documents and thanks for your patience with me.  I look forward to meeting with you when you are convinced I am sufficiently trustworthy to interact with in person.

##

From: C.J. Mahaney 
Sent: Wednesday, November 03, 2010 12:18 PM
To: Brent Detwiler
Subject: FW: Overlooking Statements

Brent,

Thanks for your gracious response.  I’m not finding the documents to be of some benefit, I’m finding them to be of significant benefit. … I am eager for you to hear what I am learning and how I am benefitting from the documents.  I understand if this isn’t your preference.  I am just eager to talk.

##

From: C.J. Mahaney
Sent: Friday, December 10, 2010 8:47 PM
To: Brent Detwiler
Subject: FW: Dec 7

Thanks for your kindness, understanding and patience with me concerning my written document [response].  I am working on it and benefitting from this as I have benefitted from the documents you have sent to me.  I completely understand you will need time to reflect before meeting with me. 

##

From: C.J. Mahaney
Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2010 3:38 PM
To: Brent Detwiler
Cc: Dave Harvey; Jeff Purswell; Joshua Harris; Pat Ennis; Bob Kauflin; Steve Shank; Tommy Hill; John Loftness; Gary Ricucci; Robin Boisvert; Grant Layman; Kenneth Maresco; Brian Chesemore; Corby Megorden; Carolyn Mahaney; Chad Mahaney; Ken Sande
Subject: My Response

Dear Brent,

Let me begin with what seems to me to be the only appropriate place to begin, by thanking you for your friendship and your desire to serve me by providing me with these two documents [RRF&D, AFA] that express your perspective, concerns, correction and care for me.  I am deeply grateful for your friendship over the years and this particular expression of your friendship has helped me to perceive my sin more clearly, experience conviction of sin more deeply and comprehend the effects of my sin more specifically.

##

From: C.J. Mahaney
Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2010 3:38 PM
To: Brent Detwiler
Cc: Dave Harvey; Jeff Purswell; Joshua Harris; Pat Ennis; Bob Kauflin; Steve Shank; Tommy Hill; John Loftness; Gary Ricucci; Robin Boisvert; Grant Layman; Kenneth Maresco; Brian Chesemore; Corby Megorden; Carolyn Mahaney; Chad Mahaney; Ken Sande
Subject: My Response

One more preliminary point I’d like to make that I hope you find helpful.  My written response will be brief in comparison to your documents (e.g., I’ve not included e-mails, documentation, etc.) but I hope you find it sufficient to begin a dialogue.  And though there are a few different points where I don’t agree with your perspective at present, there are far more ways I agree with you and realize I have sinned. 

##

March 11, 2011

Dear Brent,

We hope this finds you well and experiencing the joy and peace that accompanies the gospel. …

Secondly, we would affirm a number of things in your documents.  When the SGM board, the CLC governing board, and other involved parties met with CJ in November, he asked the 12 of us who know him best to identify in our own experience the things that you communicated in your documents.  All of us could see his tendencies to withdraw when disagreed with, to make correction difficult, to be unduly confident in his own judgments (including his judgments of the motives of others), and to give insufficient attention to process in his leadership.  We, too, recognized and regretted his failure to follow up on the August 2004 meeting and its ill effects.  We agreed that during the period you describe from 2003-2004, he resisted yours and Dave’s correction and failed to lead the team to work through disagreement and conflict with you and Dave.  We regret his failure to reach out to you personally after you stepped down from ministry.  Brent, this is not an exhaustive accounting of our areas of agreement with your documents, but we hope it is sufficient to communicate general areas of agreement and our sorrow over these sins and failures… 

Yours in Christ,

Dave [Harvey], Jeff [Purswell], Josh [Harris], and Pat [Ennis]

##

From: C.J. Mahaney
Sent: Saturday, June 25, 2011 1:58 PM
To: Brent Detwiler
Subject: Confidential

Brent,

I was reluctant to send this but decided to do so.  I am not trying to impress you or convince you about what I am perceiving in my heart.  But since I began to reengage with your documents a couple of days ago and with the help of others I have already perceived a couple of areas of sin I didn’t clearly perceive previously.  It’s discouraging how slow and dull and blind I can be.  My pride/self-righteousness are no doubt the root cause.  Pathetic really.

Just wanted to inform you of the small incremental stuff that seems to be happening.  My hope is that it continues.

Thanks for your patience and care my friend.  Please keep praying for me.

With my gratefulness,

C.J.

##

C.J.’s State of His Heart Message – Reflection on Personal Sins
December 28, 2011 at 1:05 PM
Brent Detwiler

What follows is a transcript of C.J. Mahaney’s talk at the SGM Pastors Conference on November 9, 2011. … This state of his heart message is an open window into C.J.’s soul especially the section regarding his reflection on personal sins. 

"Next, reflection on personal sins. … It does appear that some [SGM pastors] assumed or concluded that I agree with Brent’s narrative, his accusations and interpretations and judgments of my motives, and this simply wouldn’t be true[1] and it never has been true.[2] 

"Brent’s documents construct a narrative that I disagree with.  That narrative portrays my sins as scandalous, calculated and deceptive, and uncommonly intentionally hypocritical, and pervasively so, and this is false.[3]  Yes, sadly I am a sinner and throughout my Christian life I have never viewed myself otherwise, and I think I have acknowledged this however inadequately throughout my Christian life but I don’t believe my sins are uncommon or scandalous or disqualifying.[4]  I have never believed that since the day the first document arrived.[5]"


[1] This is an extremely revealing statement.  Given this description, C.J. more or less disagrees with everything I’ve written.  That includes my narrative, accusations, interpretations and judgments of motives.  It’s basically a cart blanches dismissal of 1,000 pages of material.  What does he agree with?  It appears very little but this is in direct opposition to countless statements he’s made over the past two years. 

[2] This is in direct opposition to repeated expressions of appreciation for what I wrote in RRF&D, AFA, and CR.   

[3] Obviously, C.J. doesn’t think his sins are serious.  That is the great divide.  People have to read my documents to see how I portrayed C.J.  To the best of my knowledge, nothing I’ve written is unfactual, taken out of context or embellished.  The narrative is true, the accusations well documented, the interpretations in keeping with facts, and the judgments based upon evidence. … The facts show C.J. has willfully committed sins that are “scandalous, calculated, deceptive, and uncommonly hypocritical” on a wide scale basis.    

[4] Using the word “disqualifying” is significant.  Notice, C.J. has always considered himself “above reproach” (I Tim 3:1) and “blameless” (Tit 1:6).  He believes he has always met the qualifications in these two passages.  The thought of not qualifying for ministry has never crossed his mind.  That is one of clearest evidences of his fierce pride.  There is no self-doubt or questioning.

[5] C.J. concluded on the very first day (RRF&D, March 17, 2010) his sins were not uncommon, scandalous or disqualifying even for the President of a large Christian organization.  Furthermore, he didn’t wait for any input from anyone else before arriving at this favorable conclusion about himself.  In spite of all the evidence from the past 30 years, C.J. has found nothing shameful, disgraceful or shocking about his conduct.  All very normal.  Nothing disqualifying in the least.  No wonder C.J. was never willing to make a public confession of any kind until June 24, 2011 and that was momentary.  We now know it was a ploy to keep me from sending out the documents.  

##

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Tuesday
Aug192014

The Cover-up of Buckley’s Cover-up of Mahaney Is Underway

I recently wrote two blog posts regarding Paul Buckley, Chairman of the Board for Sovereign Grace Ministries.  

Paul Buckley, Chairman of the SGM Board & Other Top Level Leaders Secretly Plotted C.J. Mahaney's Removal as President (Aug 2, 2014) 

More Evidence Surrounding the Request for Mahaney’s Resignation & Its Cover Up (Aug 7, 2014)   

As a result of these disclosures, I wrote a post to all the leaders in SGM. 

An Open Letter to the Leaders & Pastors of SGM Regarding Their Cowardice & Corruption (Aug 8, 2014)

This post is a follow-up based on a letter I received from Dan Roca.

From: Dan Roca
Sent: Monday, August 11, 2014 8:17 AM
To: Brent Detwiler
Subject: Re: An Open Letter to the Leaders & Pastors of SGM Regarding Their Cowardice & Corruption

Hi Brent,

You don’t know me and I don’t really know you that well.  I don’t have personal knowledge of a lot of this stuff, but I would appreciate that you not slander my friend Paul Buckley.  He is a friend of mine and I know for a “fact” that what you have accused him of is utterly false.  I therefore will not listen to anything else you have to say and I would call you to cease from your slander and gossip.

If you would like to meet personally with me or my pastoral team or with any of the leadership of Sovereign Grace Churches, we would be happy to.  So far you have refused to meet, even when a number of individuals went to your house or called you.  Your site is full of gossip and it is clear that you are not walking with the Lord in this, not seeking anyone’s good, but only to destroy something beautiful that God has made.

Dan Roca is a pastor along with Bauer Evans and Dave Magoon at Crossway Church in Franklin, Massachusetts which is southwest of Boston.  It is one of two SGM churches in MA.  The other church is King of Grace Church where Paul Buckley is the lead pastor.  That church is located north of Boston in Haverhill. 

Roca claims I slandered his friend Buckley in the posts referenced above.  He emphatically states that he knows “for a fact” that what I “accused him of is utterly false.”  Therefore, he won’t listen to anything else I have to say because it is gossip and slander.  He goes on to say I am an apostate whose only goal is “to destroy something beautiful (i.e., SGM) that God has made.”  I am “not seeking anyone’s good.” 

This is par for the course.  These attacks on my character and the veracity of my writings by the leaders and pastors of SGM have continued since I sent out The Documents in July 2011.  He also says I “have refused to meet” with SGM leaders but states that he, his fellow pastors and the leadership of Sovereign Grace Churches “would be happy to” meet with me.  

What follows is our email exchange.  It is so helpful because it is so revealing!  Roca is the norm, not the exception, among SGM pastors.  I’ve received many letters like this one from SGM pastors.  These pastors have been misled by the SGM leaders over them.  In turn, they mislead the people in their churches.  It is a perpetual cycle of evil that has only worsened. 

Here’s my initial response to Roca.  I also sent it to his fellow pastors, Bauer Evans and Dave Magoon.

From: Brent Detwiler 
Sent: Monday, August 11, 2014 11:42 AM
To: Bauer Evans; Dave Magoon; Dan Roca
Subject: RE: An Open Letter to the Leaders & Pastors of SGM Regarding Their Cowardice & Corruption 

Dan, 

You are correct, you “don’t have personal knowledge of a lot of this stuff.”  I would love to meet with “the leadership of Sovereign Grace Churches”!  Set it up.  I have not “refused to meet.”  Just the opposite.  I have begged to meet.  And it is not at all true that “a number of individuals went to your house or called you.”  One person came to my house, Mickey Connolly, and proposed a corrupt process that violated all the promises made to me about a just hearing of my charges.  I confronted him for his deceit.  As a matter of conscience, I turned it down.  Later, I changed my mind and agreed to meet under most any circumstances.  I’ve repeatedly appealed to meet and I’ve repeatedly been turned down.  In fact, no one has ever responded to my ongoing appeals to meet.  That is the truth and Paul [Buckley] knows it. 

On your next point, no one ever called me.  Not once!  You don’t realize it but these are the kind of lies Paul and others have used to deceive you.  You are following them like a member of a cult.  This email from you is just one more piece of evidence.  Paul is blatantly lying to you if he told you, “So far you have refused to meet, even when a number of individuals went to your house or called you.”  If you are interested in the truth, read the following for starters.  

The Right of Tyrants (Oct 13, 2011)

SGM Council of Elders Commends C.J. Mahaney & Condemns Brent Detwiler (Aug 8, 2013)

It’s Been a Good Week (Aug 14, 2013)

You are the one who “is full of gossip.”   You have no idea what you are talking about because you have not studied the carefully documented evidence.  Furthermore, I have destroyed nothing but the One who is Holy has brought you low.  It is Christ who has opposed SGM because he hates the lying, deceit, hypocrisy, cowardice, abuse and selfish ambition that has characterized your leaders.  People like you blame me but that is foolhardy.  If you had discernment, you’d be calling your leaders to account.  Only when they repent will the hand of God’s opposition lift. 

Yesterday, Aron Osborne, recommended Metro Life Church leave SGM.  It will be official in a few weeks.  Things will also worsen for SGM on other fronts.  For example, the criminal conspiracy to cover up sex abuse is real and Paul has done nothing but disparage the victims and fight against the lawsuit.  He should have removed C.J. from ministry long ago!  Instead, he has covered up for him.   

Dan, the discipline of God has filled every nook and cranny of SGM and yet you continue to justify yourself in self-righteousness.  If the emails below are authentic (and they are), then what I have said about Paul is true, not false.  Did you even read “Paul Buckley, Chairman of the SGM Board & Other Top Level Leaders Secretly Plotted C.J. Mahaney’s Removal as President”? 

Please go through this blog post and report back to me with the evidence that shows what I have written is “utterly false.”

From: Paul Buckley
Sent: Saturday, September 22, 2012 12:18 PM
To: office@kingofgrace.org
Subject: CONFIDENTIAL

Guys, 

Thanks for taking time to talk with me this week. 

As is probably your assumption, I wanted to appeal that our discussions of CJ’s possible resignation be kept extremely and completely confidential. 

In my opinion it will be best for everyone, if CJ agrees, that he be the initiator in this and not the board or anyone else.  If our discussion falls into the wrong hands it could be twisted and used for great harm. 

It seems that this idea is gaining some key traction. 

Let me know if you have any questions. 

From: Paul Buckley
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2012 11:08 AM
To: Dave Harvey
Subject: Confidential 

Dave,

Any update on where CJ is regarding remaining president?

Paul

From: Dave Harvey 
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2012 11:26 AM
To: Paul Buckley
Subject: RE: Confidential 

No.  But we had our meeting with me, John [Loftness], Mickey [Connolly], Jeff [Purswell] and CJ this past week.  It went well from the standpoint of me putting forward my thoughts and them raising their perspective, questions and concerns.  Emails are flying right now and I’m also flying to Louisville on Thursday to meet with CJ.  So, we are engaged.  But I wasn’t able to get all the way to the presidency question because I’m needing to answer the questions and concerns about my perspective in other areas first while trying to use the opportunity to establish my position on certain things for them.

When do you talk to Pete [Greasley]?

From: Paul Buckley
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2012 12:31 PM
To: Dave Harvey
Subject: RE: Confidential

I talked to him [Pete Greasley] this morning.  It was a good conversation and very helpful.

I asked him to press his call for CJ’s resignation/repositioning to the board.

Thoughts?

And again, set up a meeting with the Executive Committee, Leadership Team and Council of Elders!!!  I am glad to make my case in Nashville, TN in October during the Council of Elders Meeting and Pastors Conference.  And they are welcome to make their case against me.

Dan, your response to me is a perfect example of what is wrong in SGM.  I pray the Lord kindly opens your eyes and leads you to repentance so you can help others do the same. 

Brent

Dan begins to bail water at this point.  

From: Dan Roca
Sent: Monday, August 11, 2014 12:55 PM
To: Brent Detwiler
Subject: Re: An Open Letter to the Leaders & Pastors of SGM Regarding Their Cowardice & Corruption 

Come up to Massachusetts and I will certainly meet with you if you’re really serious.  I’m fairly certain I could convince the other pastors of my church to meet with you as well.

I asked Dan to “set up a meeting with the Executive Committee, [SGM] Leadership Team and [national] Council of Elders” in Nashville because he said in his initial email, “If you would like to meet personally with me or my pastoral team or with any of the leadership of Sovereign Grace Churches, we would be happy to.”  He claimed to be speaking on behalf of Bauer Evans and Dave Magoon and the leadership of SG churches.  In reality, he did not have anyone’s support in making the bogus offer.  Now he says, “I’m fairly certain I could convince the other pastors of my church to meet with you as well.”  He leaves out any reference to SGM leadership.

Instead he says, “Come up to Massachusetts and I will certainly meet with you if you’re “really serious.”  I live near Charlotte, North Carolina.  It is a 13 hour non-stop drive to Franklin, Massachusetts.  If I make the long trip and I’m “really serious” Dan will meet with me.  I love southern hospitality.  This is northern hospitality. 

From: Brent Detwiler 
Sent: Monday, August 11, 2014 1:49 PM
To: Dan Roca
Cc: Bauer Evans; Dave Magoon
Subject: RE: An Open Letter to the Leaders & Pastors of SGM Regarding Their Cowardice & Corruption

I am glad to meet with the leadership of SGM.  Meeting with you accomplishes nothing.  Talk to Bauer and Dave and ask them to help you set up a meeting in Nashville.  That’s what needs to happen because there has never been a just or open hearing of the evidence.  The Three Panel Review was utterly corrupt.     

If you want to interact via email or by phone that is fine.  I’m glad to help you on one condition.  You must read and study the evidence I have already put in print.  It is a waste of time to interact unless you are willing to do so.  Once you are informed, we can converse.  Start with Response Regarding Friendship & Doctrine, A Final Appeal, Concluding Remarks and The Untold Story.  Those are the original documents.  They lay a foundation.  When complete, let’s talk about them. 

I’m also willing to interact regarding the material below concerning Paul and your accusations against me; but first you must study what I have written and provide a written response that proves with supporting evidence that it is “utterly false.” 

My goal has always been to meet in a just setting where I could present my allegations against C.J. Mahaney and SGM.  That objective has always been denied me and to that end, meeting with Dan in person “accomplishes nothing.”  Nevertheless, I was glad to interact with him by email or by phone if he was willing to examine the evidence and show how my charge against Buckley that he covered up attempts to remove Mahaney as President was “utterly false.”  There was no response.  

From: Brent Detwiler 
Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 12:06 PM
To: Dan Roca
Subject: Getting Back to Me? 

I haven’t heard back from you.  Are you interested in interacting over the evidence?  Are you going to try and set up a meeting in October in Nashville or any other time or place for that matter?  

Honestly, Dan’s unwillingness to respond and engage me came as no surprise.  It was predictable.  SGM leaders and pastors don’t respond when I call them to account, supply evidence, and ask them to interact.  

Having been put on the spot, his next response was also typical and predictable. 

From: Dan Roca [mailto:dan@crosswayma.org]
Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 12:18 PM
To: Brent Detwiler
Subject: Re: Getting Back to Me? 

I have since come to find out that you have met with a number of pastors, so even your claims about how no one is willing to meet is false.

I’m not interested in gossip. But if you are willing to repent for your actions, I would consider trying to set up a meeting with more elders than just my local church.

The hypocrisy of SGM leaders and pastors never ceases to amaze me.  He confronts me with an unsubstantiated charge based on faulty information he was provided in the last 24 hours and effectively calls me a liar.  He goes on to say he is unwilling to discuss the evidence which he again calls “gossip.”  Finally, he refuses to meet unless I am first “willing to repent” for my “actions.”  There is so much to learn from Dan’s response.  This illustration perfectly exemplifies the abusive leadership culture in SGM. 

From: Brent Detwiler 
Sent: Friday, August 15, 2014 5:30 PM
To: Dan Roca
Subject: RE: Getting Back to Me?

You are making another false accusation for which you furnish no proof because you have no proof.  What pastors did I meet with?  When did I meet with them?  Don’t bring an accusation against me unless you are willing to tell me who and when those meetings occurred.  I’ll get on the phone right now with you and whoever is telling you these lies.  Let’s set up a conference call.  Include Paul Buckley.  Here’s my number. …  I’m serious. 

But here’s what I’ve experienced time after time after time.  No one will talk to me or meet with me or provide a shred of evidence against me.  Why?  Because they don’t have anything to back up their malicious slander.  That is exactly what you are doing!  It is cowardice and corruption of the highest order to not engage me or present me with any proof! 

I participated in one of the three Panel Reviews in December 2011.  That is the only time I met with anyone and it turned out to be the worse experience of my life.  It was a premeditated ambush led by Mark Prater.  The panel never intended to deal with any of my charges.  

I’ve already provided you the links with the evidence but obviously you have no interest in the evidence which once again you label “gossip.”  Moreover, I asked to participate in the other two Panel Reviews but was forbidden.  This was part of the plan to make sure I was not heard.  All this is indisputable.  See also “Promises Were Meant to be Broken” and “All Is Lost!” 

Dan, you must back up your charges.  Where is your evidence that I met “with a number of pastors.”  There is none.  Who is lying to you?  Who is deceiving you?  Your charge is outrageous. 

Whenever I bring a charge against anyone, I always provide the evidence like I did with Paul’s cover up of his attempt to remove C.J. as the President.  Not you.  You are being a hypocrite.  You accuse me of gossip even though I provide overwhelming evidence you won’t read.  On the other hand, you believe gossip against me for which you have no proof.  That is cultic.  That is corrupt.  That is cowardly.

Let me be clear.  I have NEVER met with a number of pastors.  Prove me wrong.  Give me their names.  Tell me when we met.  If you are correct, and I am lying as you charge, that is very easy information to provide.  Guess what?  It will never happen because such meetings never happened.  You have been completely deceived by Paul and others who furnish you with no proof.  They can’t provide anything in support of their false accusations.

I am glad to hear evidence against me if you think it exists.  For example, where have I been “utterly false” in my charges against Paul.  You don’t even venture an attempt to prove my falsity after such a remarkable statement. 

You are afraid of the light because it will expose your darkness.  You won’t even read The Documents or the links to evidentiary facts.  That’s nothing new!  SGM has been on the run for a long time.  You are carrying on its ungodly abuse!  You and those around you are the false witnesses not me.

In your first email you said, “If you would like to meet personally with me or my pastoral team or with any of the leadership of Sovereign Grace Churches, we would be happy to.”  Now you say, “I’m not interested in gossip.  But if you are willing to repent for your actions, I would consider trying to set up a meeting with more elders than just my local church.”  Why the change?  Here’s why.  Confronted with the reality of the evidence you must avoid meeting with me.  Therefore, you lay down a one sided, heavy-handed condtion.  I must first repent for my actions rather than repent after we meet and you prove your charges.    

This is so typical of SGM.  You won’t meet to hear my evidence against Paul and SGM.  You won’t meet and let me defend against your accusations.  You will only meet if I repent.  You see no need for repentance and have no interest in repentance.  That says it all.  Such is the arrogance and self-righteousness of SGM. 

Dan, your correspondence is a gift from God.  It demonstrates ever so clearly the abusive practices of SGM leaders and pastors.  When confronted with overwhelming evidence against Paul and SGM, you respond in this cowardly and unaccountable fashion.  You have no interest in the truth.  SGM has changed but only for the worse.  The little that is left is held together by lies and lording.  Such is a vain attempt against Jesus Christ, Lord of the Earth and Head of the Church.

Here’s is Dan’s response. 

From: Dan Roca [mailto:dan@crosswayma.org]
Sent: Friday, August 15, 2014 5:48 PM
To: Brent Detwiler
Subject: Re: Getting Back to Me?

> You won’t meet to hear my evidence against Paul and SGM.  You won’t meet and let me defend against your accusations. ~Brent Detwiler

> I am glad to meet with the leadership of SGM.  Meeting with you accomplishes nothing. ~Brent Detwiler

The offer still stands for meeting with me personally and possibly the other pastors in my church.  But as I have shown above by your quotes, you don’t want to.

-Dan

Here's my final response. 

From: Brent Detwiler 
Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 5:47 PM
To: Dan Roca
Subject: Re: Getting Back to Me?

You have sorely twisted my words and taken them out of context.  The way you attempt to use these quotes against me is utterly illogical and irrational.  They prove nothing except that you are treacherous. 

As I plainly said, I am glad to interact with you via email and/or over the phone though this accomplishes nothing in terms of presenting my charges to the leadership of SGM which you said they were happy to do.  I also said I was glad to have a conference call with you, Bauer, Dave and Paul.  I asked you to set it up.  You totally ignored my request.

I also placed two conditions upon our interaction.  One, you study the evidence I referenced.  Two, you show where my charge against Paul was “utterly false.”  These were both reasonable preconditions.  You refused to fulfill either.  Instead you laid down a condition for interacting or meeting with a larger group.

“But if you are willing to repent for your actions, I would consider trying to set up a meeting with more elders than just my local church.”

That says it all!  You’ll consider setting up a meeting with leaders from SGM if I first repent for my actions including the irrefutable charge that Paul Buckley secretly plotted to remove C.J. as President and then covered it up. 

Dan, you obviously have no interest in a just meeting where well documented charges can be brought against Paul, C.J. or other leaders in SGM.   Let me say it again.  “That is cultic.  That is corrupt.  That is cowardly.”  But that is nothing new!  You are carrying on the sinful tradition of SGM.  The cover-up of Buckley’s cover-up of Mahaney is underway.

Postscript

These are the Board Members that lied when they publicly stated in June 2012 and August 2012 that they were all united in C.J. Mahaney continuing and remaining as the President of SGM. They also reiterated this claim to all the SGM pastors in March 2013.  That was far from the truth.  In fact, Paul Buckley was pressing for Mahaney’s removal.  

  1. Paul Buckley
  2. John Loftness
  3. Ron Boomsma
  4. Craig Cabaniss
  5. Mickey Connolly
  6. Ian McConnell
  7. Ken Mellinger
  8. Al Pino
  9. Phil Sasser

Buckley, Connolly, and Mellinger should be removed from the SGM Executive Committee.  Connolly should also be removed as a SGM Regional Leader.  Cabaniss, McConnell, and Sasser should be removed from the SGM Leadership Team.  Boomsma resigned.  Pino left SGM.

But guess what?  SGM pastors won’t press charges against these SGM Leaders.  There will be no investigations.  No report on findings.  And no consequences for lying.  It will be covered up just like everything else in SGM.  Mark Prater, the Executive Director, will pretend like it never happened.  The conspiracy to cover up the actual dynamics surrounding Mahaney’s Presidency is just another disillusioning illustration of the pervasive duplicity that ensnares SGM leaders and pastors. 

Let me close.  I also received a letter from a Sovereign Grace church member in another country that was encouraging.  He was asking good questions and making good points about the deceit he’s observed.  I wasn’t able to fully understand all he was writing because English was his second language.  I’m not sure he could follow all I was writing either so I tried to simplify my main points in these three sentences.  

The SGM leaders lie to the SGM pastors.  The pastors believe their lies and refuse to read my evidence.  The SGM pastors pass on those lies to people in the churches. The SGM leaders don’t want to be honest because they will lose their jobs and their money. 

He really didn’t need my assistance.  My Spanish speaking friend had already come to the same conclusions based upon his own research, interactions and observations.  I may have him contact Dan Roca for an international perspective!

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