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Hello Everyone,

New member of this forum but have been following conversations for a few years now. It's pretty evident that The Way was littered with sexual violence, but I'm curious how many off-shoots of The Way followed these footsteps. There are so many "fellowships" that were created with the church model of The Way that are still active throughout the country. Anyone know of any questionable conduct in these churches? 

The only fellowships I'm familiar with these days are the ones in NJ, Central PA, Columbus Ohio (SSG I believe) and a few on the west coast in CA and Idaho. Recently heard of rape allegations in Bayside Fellowship (Los Gatos, CA)

Would love some input if anyone has anything to share!

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7 hours ago, waysider said:

Victor Barnard/River Road Fellowship

 

The cult: Before setting out on his own, Barnard was first a member of the Way International, a nondenominational Christian sect known for encouraging followers to interpret the Bible on their own terms. With tens of thousands of followers in 35 countries, the group fell apart in the mid-1980s. Its founder and his successor were both accused of brainwashing and having sex with female followers.

Barnard gathered former disillusioned members of the Way International and founded River Road Fellowship in the early 1990s, promising it would be different. As a minister, he had gained 150 followers by 1996, when the congregation purchased a wooded 85-acre campground in Finlayson, Minnesota. They called it Shepherd’s Camp, and Barnard convinced families to sell their homes and move there.

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For some previous discussions here about Victor Barnard specifically, there's the following threads....

"Accused sex predator Victor Barnard, a victim's story"

https://www.greasespotcafe.com/ipb/topic/23728-accused-sex-predator-victor-barnard-—-a-victims-story/

 

"Victor Barnard pleads guilty"

https://www.greasespotcafe.com/ipb/topic/24350-victor-barnard-pleads-guilty/

 

"Remembering a woman of courage, who stood up to a monster"

https://www.greasespotcafe.com/ipb/topic/24956-remembering-a-woman-of-courage-who-stood-up-to-a-monster/\

 

It was also mentioned in the following threads:

"Splintering and subjugating, as night follows day"

https://www.greasespotcafe.com/ipb/topic/24900-splintering-and-subjugatingas-night-follows-day/

 

"Splinters and groupthink"

https://www.greasespotcafe.com/ipb/topic/24935-splinters-and-groupthink/

 

"Splinter cults are worse, not better"

https://www.greasespotcafe.com/ipb/topic/24827-splinter-cults-are-worsenot-better/

So, if you're curious, you can follow up on one or more of those threads/ previous discussions.

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14 hours ago, RedSpringTulips said:

Hello Everyone,

New member of this forum but have been following conversations for a few years now. It's pretty evident that The Way was littered with sexual violence, but I'm curious how many off-shoots of The Way followed these footsteps. There are so many "fellowships" that were created with the church model of The Way that are still active throughout the country. Anyone know of any questionable conduct in these churches? 

The only fellowships I'm familiar with these days are the ones in NJ, Central PA, Columbus Ohio (SSG I believe) and a few on the west coast in CA and Idaho. Recently heard of rape allegations in Bayside Fellowship (Los Gatos, CA)

Would love some input if anyone has anything to share!

Considering that each self-appointed leader is following the pattern vpw set-  with zero accountability, a "lockbox" for secrets, etc,   it's not that shocking that some of those "leaders" have abused their congregations.   There's nothing to protect the flock or stop abuses or limit the leader's power.

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Welcome at last, RedSpringTulips.  It's nice you've been a secret follower but have now decided to draw up a seat and sit with us.

Have a cup of coffee or tea (or even a beer) and a cake.  Put your feet up and enjoy the banter.

coffee-3163596_1280.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bayside Fellowship Phil Bonadies has been accused of rape and grooming...his wife Karen is now a licensed “class presenter” and president of the area...

You can watch the story unfold on Instagram with the hashtag #baysidefeowship or #churchtoo.

 

I grew up with my parents involved in TWI until 85 or 86...the woman making the claims is a close, personal friend whose family was also involved in TWI until about the same time. We reconnected recently and lamented over the fact that we Willingly followed in our parents footsteps and subjected ourselves to the same spiritual abuse. Poor Way babies  

i know she has filed police reports and has met with many other survivors of rape and rampant sexual abuse in that area. 
 

I was involved in an offshoot in Boise, ID (Christian family matters). No reports of sexual abuse there...but the areas of Boise and San Jose are so intermingled that many young women FROM Boise have moved to there. One of them was the first to come forward re-Phil

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3 hours ago, Jayrpee80 said:

Bayside Fellowship Phil Bonadies has been accused of rape and grooming...his wife Karen is now a licensed “class presenter” and president of the area...

You can watch the story unfold on Instagram with the hashtag #baysidefeowship or #churchtoo.

 

I grew up with my parents involved in TWI until 85 or 86...the woman making the claims is a close, personal friend whose family was also involved in TWI until about the same time. We reconnected recently and lamented over the fact that we Willingly followed in our parents footsteps and subjected ourselves to the same spiritual abuse. Poor Way babies  

i know she has filed police reports and has met with many other survivors of rape and rampant sexual abuse in that area. 
 

I was involved in an offshoot in Boise, ID (Christian family matters). No reports of sexual abuse there...but the areas of Boise and San Jose are so intermingled that many young women FROM Boise have moved to there. One of them was the first to come forward re-Phil

I saw nothing of the kind about any specific people suffering sexual abuse or being accused of it at instagram searching either #baysidefellowship (unless the misspelling was intentional, which i didn't check) or #churchtoo.

Churchtoo appears to be in general about sexual abuse in churches.

If you have anything specific, please be more specific.

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6 hours ago, Jayrpee80 said:

I apologize. #baysidefellowship

Sorry if I wasn't clear. That's one of the two searches I did on instagram. There I only found info about one person, not sexual predation by anyone.

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“Sorry if I wasn't clear. That's one of the two searches I did on instagram. There I only found info about one person, not sexual predation by anyone”  

 

Ok.
 

I have listened to all her videos...listened to other survivors accounts who weren’t ready or willing to bring their story to Instagram or social media...I believe them. I know these people she mentions in her videos...I was groomed in the same way by many of the leadership  but wasn’t an easy target for that type of abuse...
 

what I heard  was the word “rape” and “sexual abuse”. If it happens to one person or 500, it’s still predatory. If a man or woman uses their position as a spiritual leader or “man of God” to coerce young women to suck their dicks or rape them...it’s predatory. I’m my opinion. 

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50 minutes ago, Jayrpee80 said:

If a man or woman uses their position as a spiritual leader or “man of God” to coerce young women to suck their dicks or rape them...it’s predatory. I’m my opinion. 

In Ohio, the law says using a position of authority in this manner constitutes rape.

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9 hours ago, Jayrpee80 said:

“Sorry if I wasn't clear. That's one of the two searches I did on instagram. There I only found info about one person, not sexual predation by anyone”  

 

Ok.
 

I have listened to all her videos...listened to other survivors accounts who weren’t ready or willing to bring their story to Instagram or social media...I believe them. I know these people she mentions in her videos...I was groomed in the same way by many of the leadership  but wasn’t an easy target for that type of abuse...
 

what I heard  was the word “rape” and “sexual abuse”. If it happens to one person or 500, it’s still predatory. If a man or woman uses their position as a spiritual leader or “man of God” to coerce young women to suck their dicks or rape them...it’s predatory. I’m my opinion. 

Okay, I hadn't realized there were videos. Mle seems like a very strong person with a good head on her shoulders. I listened to one 15 min video and one shorter. I didn't get many specifics but did get the gist. I wish her well.

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I listened to a couple more of MLE's videos. OMG. Sounds like she needs an attorney who can give her specific insight on what she can do about the man who sexually assaulted her... and a new church would help.

 

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On 7/26/2020 at 12:03 PM, Jayrpee80 said:

Bayside Fellowship Phil Bonadies has been accused of rape and grooming...his wife Karen is now a licensed “class presenter” and president of the area...

You can watch the story unfold on Instagram with the hashtag #baysidefeowship or #churchtoo.

 

I grew up with my parents involved in TWI until 85 or 86...the woman making the claims is a close, personal friend whose family was also involved in TWI until about the same time. We reconnected recently and lamented over the fact that we Willingly followed in our parents footsteps and subjected ourselves to the same spiritual abuse. Poor Way babies  

i know she has filed police reports and has met with many other survivors of rape and rampant sexual abuse in that area. 
 

I was involved in an offshoot in Boise, ID (Christian family matters). No reports of sexual abuse there...but the areas of Boise and San Jose are so intermingled that many young women FROM Boise have moved to there. One of them was the first to come forward re-Phil

Oh Gosh...I met Phil in the mid 70's before he was married. He was so clean cut and seemingly kind and upright.  So damned maddening to realize how these men allowed themselves to be so easily seduced by evil corruption.

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On 7/26/2020 at 10:24 PM, Rocky said:

Sorry if I wasn't clear. That's one of the two searches I did on instagram. There I only found info about one person, not sexual predation by anyone.

Rocky:  The post on baysidefellowship is about Phil Bonadies...a Way Corps grad and his wife Karen. Bayside Fellowship is listed as a religious organization...headquartered out of his house in Los Gatos CA.

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5 hours ago, Rejoice said:

Rocky:  The post on baysidefellowship is about Phil Bonadies...a Way Corps grad and his wife Karen. Bayside Fellowship is listed as a religious organization...headquartered out of his house in Los Gatos CA.

Yeah, I picked up on that. I know where Los Gatos (the cats) is. I have family in San Jose.

Where is Bayside Fellowship listed as a religious organization?

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10 minutes ago, Rocky said:

Yeah, I picked up on that. I know where Los Gatos (the cats) is. I have family in San Jose.

Where is Bayside Fellowship listed as a religious organization?

Bayside Fellowship is registered as a religious, nonprofit corporation with the California Secretary of State. It's entity number is C1963364.

If anyone is in contact with MLE S., she probably has grounds to sue the corporation, its officers and directors, and sole employee in civil court. Further, based on her allegations on IG, she seems to have grounds for reporting a criminal sexual assault against that sole employee.

Again, representation by an experienced attorney as well as connecting with a new/different church might be wise.

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I am just so angry about this! It is the year 2020, "Mr and Mrs B" still think this is acceptable behavior???  After all that was exposed???  They need to be stopped and to feel righteous justice by the laws in place.

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6 hours ago, Rejoice said:

I am just so angry about this! It is the year 2020, "Mr and Mrs B" still think this is acceptable behavior???  After all that was exposed???  They need to be stopped and to feel righteous justice by the laws in place.

That's why MLE S or other(s) directly impacted by them need to stand up, speak up and speak out.

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On 8/1/2020 at 8:31 AM, Rejoice said:

I am just so angry about this! It is the year 2020, "Mr and Mrs B" still think this is acceptable behavior???  After all that was exposed???  They need to be stopped and to feel righteous justice by the laws in place.

I, too, am angry. It’s also super infuriating that they are still meeting with young women, still grooming, still manipulating the Bible to serve their proclivities  

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Well, I connected w/ John Schoenheit et al for a bit about 3-4 years ago, and was talking with a very respected leader in S&TF who teaches/counsels on recovery from various spiritual and sexual abuses. She clearly intimated that for a good while up til rather recently(??) JAL had enough of that "helping himself" mind set that S&TF would not have anything to do with him or his ministry. Of course JAL has had serious health issues, and I pray for him, BUT just sayin... She (am protecting her anonymity), also shared the statistic that 1/4 - 1/3 of all pastors/priests have been sexually abusive of atleast one congregant (had an affair, etc, etc). Not sure of the time frame for that; maybe it has changed?? Just like Drs being in a pressured vocation and being addicted to drugs, church pastors are susceptible to the trusting put-you-on-a-pedestal young women or children, and to porn which can be a gateway to sexual abuse. Am NOT excusing the abuse, believe you me. Just saying that the way is not alone in this... Duh.

Also, I encountered an older "believer" my age about 5 years ago who often taught at an ex-way-type fellowship, who would have gladly carried on with me if he could have, and who was simultaneously "witnessing" to someone with whom, yep, he began a sexual relationship. (They finally did get married... He's a good guy in many ways, and maybe he IS changing or has been convicted in a healthy way.) I am just saying that the influence of that deceptive mind set is still alive. And as DWBH has already said, re:  the many men who participated in the culture's Help Yourself abuses, If you have NOT APOLOGIZED AND MADE AMENDS, THEN YOU ARE STILL GUILTY OF THE ABUSES.

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On 8/8/2020 at 2:57 PM, Rejoice said:

As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.  Proverbs 26:11

What a mind picture,  A dog pukes and laps it up. Just like sick Fido the dog, an abused person will go back to their abuser. They will look in the mirror and see their swollen face with blackened eyes, and justify the beating  they have received. Then, once again, returm to be beaten once sgain.

Those sexually abused, because the have been groomed by tneir abuser, will also return for more abuse. They maybe in great pain and hate it, but will go back for more. 

It seems the only way out is for someone else to assist them. They just do not have the ability to completely do it on their own. Another person has to remove Fido from the vomit, or it will keep on eating their sickness. Equally true are humans who are being abused; someone, a website, a book must show them they are worth it, and assist get the help they so desperately need. 
 

 

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