Last updated 1/10/2015
Lately, some guy named Bart Breen has been attacking, with increasingly shrill and outlandish behavior, anyone who dares expose the history of sexual abuse and cover-up in a cult he’s involved with.
That cult centers around author and so-called “apostolic worker” Frank Viola, who has used his position and influence to sexually prey upon and exploit teenagers and other young women.
Rather than protect folks from Frank Viola’s misconduct, Mr. Breen and their network of self-appointed “apostles” at House2House Ministries (including Felicity Dale, Jon Zens, Milt Rodriquez, Keith Giles and Ken Eastburn) have engaged in an ongoing campaign of intimidation and cover up.
Bogus Press Releases and Stalking My Wife
In all my years helping church abuse victims as an attorney (now retired) and as a local church elder, I have never seen anything as nasty or as vicious as the cultish efforts by House2House – and its mutual promotion network of self-appointed “apostles” – to attack and personally destroy anyone who dares reference their history of abuse and cover up.
It is ongoing and gotten so bad that Bart Breen, a frequent House2House Magazine co-contributor who is associated with a struggling Frank Viola affiliated “church” near us, has been stalking my wife while also putting out false blogs and press releases in a desperate attempt to silence me.
Bart Breen, as detailed below, was expressly designated by Frank Viola and his fellow “apostles” at House2House to attack me and other church leaders if we dared mention in public their history of sexual predation, abuse and cover up. In early 2013, they even went so far as to send us a letter which explicitly threatening us through Bart Breen and Jon Zens.
Following up on their threat, Bart Breen has been active for nearly two years now in all sorts of very sick, very delusional and very obsessive/compulsive attacks against me and others – with the full complicity of Frank Viola, Felicity Dale and their House2House gang as they continue to direct people (both publicly and privately) to his bogus blogs and web sites.
To illustrate just how bad it’s become, one of Bart Breen’s resulting web sites in late 2013 referenced different press releases about various sexual molesters, with the names of the perps changed to my name and a statement added to the effect that I am that molester. (A simple Google search brings up the original press releases, on legitimate law enforcement sites, with the names of the true perps intact.)
When that failed to silence me, Bart Breen then tracked down my wife at her place of employment (she’s a public school teacher, but we’ve never revealed where she works because that is a private aspect of our lives). At the start of the 2014/15 school year, he then began sending repeated written threats against her to her school.
Why? Because I (not her!) dared reference the history of abuse by Frank Viola – as revealed by his own former church – and have openly confronted the desperate attempts to cover it up by his buddies over at House2House, like Felicity Dale, Jon Zens, Milt Rodriquez, Keith Giles and Ken Eastburn.
Bart Breen didn’t stop with threatening my wife, however. Despite the school board’s attorney saying he needed to stop the harassing letters, he additionally threatening the school principal and the school system leadership – in writing! – where my wife teaches. Why? Because they did not fire or otherwise take action against her based on his very wacko earlier communications.
When Will It Stop?
It’s gotten so bad that local authorities have told us they have put Bart Breen on a threat watch list to protect my wife and the school system – with instructions for school staff to call the police if he ever shows up in person.
As bad as all that, I have seen House2House and Viola’s smear machine do WORSE to others – including uninvolved spouses of other simple church leaders – in order to silence anyone who might bear witness to the history abuse and cover up among them.
In return, Frank Viola has concurrently promoted Bart Breen on his own somewhat popular blog, House2House Magazine has repeatedly featured him and his writings as a frequent contributor, and Felicity Dale keeps sending out private emails recommending Bart Breen’s attack pieces.
Collectively, their mutual promotion network is desperately trying to silence all victims and witnesses regarding the abuse that’s happened among them.
They know that if people learned the facts about Frank Viola and their complicity in covering up his sexual predation, their own ministries, book sales, self-appointed “apostleships” and cult influence would take a big hit.
So, what is it that Frank Viola and the House2House cult don’t want you to know, and now causes them to engage in such vicious attacks through Bart Breen?
Frank Viola’s sexual predation first became public when his former church in Brandon, Florida, confronted him about abusing a teenager over many months. At the time, she was a member of his church, half his age, and had been a high school student of his.
Mr. Viola, in turn, was married with kids, leading that church and also employed as a teacher in the local public high school – until, that is, the police discovered him having a tryst with his teenage former student in a sleazy motel room.
Rather than respond to the church’s concerns when his history of predation and abuse started coming to light, he immediately (and quite literally) fled the church – never to return.
Within days of fleeing his church, Frank Viola’s wife filed for (and eventually obtained) a divorce, based in part of his pattern of infidelity and other misconduct. Frank Viola then tried to smear her by circulating “letters” attacking her, blamed her for the breakup, and even sought alimony from her because – he claimed in court documents – growing talk of his “adultery” and “cult” abuses meant he couldn’t continue working.
While this was all going on, he also was soliciting dates with twenty year old singles on an internet dating site. He was near forty at the time, still married, and telling his prospective hook ups that he was a “pastor” looking for “romance”.
Eventually, the Brandon church had enough. After repeatedly being rebuffed in their attempts to meet with him, they finally published a public warning which set forth the actual facts about his abuse of others (including his teenage former student and church member), his ongoing predatory behavior, and his attempts to shift blame by slandering his wife.
They substantiated their warnings with many written witness statements, a screen shot of his ongoing internet solicitations, and other documentation – which they then published on a web site they created to protect others from any further abuse.
About a year later, they decided to take down their web site after facing a number of legal challenges by Viola and his attack team. Even though the church prevailed and won all the legal claims thrown at them, they were tired of the constant harassment. Also, stress on the church from Frank Viola’s past misconduct and abuse had become too much. By then the church was on its last legs, was simply too tired to continue fighting off the Viola attack machine, and soon died.
Their warnings and web site lived on, however, as part of an international Internet archiving service – although the Viola crowd eventually was able to obtain the domain name of the former Brandon church. As the new owners of that domain name, they then were able to get that archive in 2014 to delete all copies of those damaging web pages.
Fortunately, before they were able to deep-six the Brandon church web site, I obtained and now retain a full copy – including the numerous witnesses statements and supporting documents about Frank Viola’s history of abuse.
Additional Victims, Lies and Cover Up
Unfortunately, what happened in Brandon, Florida, was not the end of the story. Additional victims and confirming witnesses continued surfacing, and Frank Viola again was confronted and asked about them – this time by me, on behalf of our own churches and others – in a private message to him in early 2013.
As before, he ducked the issues. (See Jon Zens and Frank Viola – A Public Response for more details.)
Rather than substantively respond, he instead told us that several of his House2House buddies would respond on his behalf. They did so, through Bart Breen and Jon Zens.
That written response did not address the numerous allegations about Frank Viola, but instead threatened to attack us and anyone else who dared mention his history of sexual predation against multiple young women (typically in their teens and less than half his age).
As promised in that letter, Bart Breen then assumed the role of lead attack dog on behalf of Mr. Viola and his band of fellow House2House “apostles” because we refused to remain silent or toe the line.
Their attack went public in an early 2013 with another letter signed by various members and friends of Viola’s cult network. In it, their cult network purported to “excommunicate” me and others. How we could be kicked out of their cult, however, escapes me, given that none of us (thank God) had ever been part of it.
The moral bankruptcy of Frank Viola and his buddies is amply illustrated by a glaring half truth which they stated in their letters and keep repeating: That I never talked first with Frank Viola before going public with his former church’s own findings regarding his history of sexual predation and exploitation.
What they decline to state is why I never talked first with Frank Viola – because the full story totally undercuts their implied lie.
The truth is this: I asked Frank Viola, in writing, to talk with me about the facts we had uncovered, including the existence of multiple additional teenage victims. He refused to do so – so of course, I was never able to personally talk to Frank Viola, but not because of any lack of effort on my part!
Smear or Repent?
Interestingly, to this day they have not refuted a single specific fact regarding Mr. Viola’s history of sexual predation and abuse, as confirmed by his own former church, multiple documents and multiple witnesses over the years.
Rather, they have continued an unrelenting campaign to smear and attack those who might warn others about Frank Viola – by creating multiple web sites and vicious attack pieces which they’ve disseminated both publicly and privately.
In one instance, they even contacted board members of an international ministry and demanded that they stop supporting a highly respected Christian counselor with a long history of compassionately helping sexual abuse victims.
They knew that he had helped one of Viola’s multiple teenage victims (even though it had never been publicized by me or anyone else, so how did Frank Viola know of it?). They viewed that counselor as a potential threat and made their intent clear: Cut off all of his support in an attempt to discredit, intimidate and silence him before he might, with the victim’s consent, go public with her case.
As is typical with Frank Viola, rather than openly confess and repent of his own misconduct, he instead used his proxy Bart Breen to frantically smear and personally destroy yet another potential witness to his history of predation and abuse.
When attempts to get that counselor fired didn’t work, Bart Breen dug deeper and uncovered a false claim in that man’s resume (he wrongly stated that he earned a doctoral degree at UCLA). Where the campaign to get him fired was waged behind the scenes, the Viola smear campaign then went public and began relentlessly trashing him in various blogs and Facebook posts.
That counselor’s mistake was real, but unlike Frank Viola, he responded by publicly confessing, openly repenting and directly dealing with his own, unrelated sin.
As stated in a follow up comment to his public repentance, that counselor stated:
Jim, I know that you have taken some flak too….
My confession in no way takes away from the fact that the reason my sin was exposed is because someone that I counseled asked me to act on their behalf in contacting you. Somehow our private correspondence was made available to the alleged abuser, and within three days the abuser (whom I have NEVER publicly named) and his friends contacted the person that I had worked with and frightened them back into hiding. I only wish that the person that abused her, and the folk who have covered his sin, would join me in the freedom of forgiveness.
To this day, however, neither Frank Viola nor Bart Breen have been able to dispute the underlying relevant facts:
(i) One of Frank Viola’s multiple teenage victims turned to a Christian counselor (regardless of whatever degrees he has) to help her deal with the deep emotional harm she suffered because Frank Viola sexually abused her;
(ii) When it became obvious to her that Frank Viola represented a continuing unrepentant danger to others, she offered to issue a written statement – and public warning – about how Frank Viola preyed upon and sexually abused her and other teenagers she knew;
(iii) Frank Viola’s smear machine kicked into high gear to then silence her by playing on her emotional vulnerabilities through threats and intimidation; and
(iii) To discredit her full story if it ever did come out, they then began digging for dirt on her counselor and trying to take him out by exposing an unrelated sin in his own past.
That teenager victim, by the way, was not the one involved in the Brandon church’s warnings about Mr. Viola abusing a teenager in that congregation, but is a different victim. Thus, her account of Frank Viola’s abuse stood independent of the Brandon church’s earlier witness statements and warnings about Frank Viola’s history of abuse – although all of those independent accounts, involving abuse of different teenagers, are strikingly similar.
Felicity Dale’s Complicity
While all this was happening, Felicity Dale (as a member of Frank Viola’s self-claimed “accountability team”) was given a lengthy private statement in 2013 on behalf of one of Frank Viola’s multiple teenage victims – with details about how he abused her and others.
Felicity Dale never showed the least compassion or concern for that victim, or other victims of abuse by her fellow so-called “apostolic worker”. Instead, she betrayed those victims’ trust and confidentiality by alerting Frank Viola and then participating in a vicious campaign to actively intimidate and silence them by attacking anyone who stood with them. See Felicity Dale, Hypocrisy and Power.
As if that wasn’t enough, a couple dozen of Frank Viola’s closest buddies (most of whom I’ve never heard of, but they include Bart Breen, Jon Zens, Felicity Dale, Milt Rodriquez, Keith Giles, Ken Eastburn and other House2House Magazine authors) then purported to “excommunicate” me (along with that Christian counselor who helped one of Viola’s teenage victims).
Their “excommunication” letter:
- Demanded that people discount anything which that counselor (despite his extensive experience helping sex abuse victims) or I (with my doctoral degree in jurisprudence and extensive experience investigating and dealing with clergy sexual abuse cases) might say, while failing to dispute a single specific fact about Frank Viola’s history of abuse (including the findings of his former church) or their complicity in it;
- Made crazy, unsubstantiated accusations about us (like I posted things on Facebook through fictitious accounts – which I’ve never done and they failed to provide a single example to the contrary);
- Attacked our wives, families and our marriages;
- Demanded that folks give credence to their self-interested attempts to discredit the well-substantiated accounts we and Frank Viola’s own former church raised about his history of predation and abuse (without the least indication of any qualifications or experience in dealing with, or investigating, such matters); and
- Commanded folks to shun us and cut off all communications with us.
As is typical with this cult, their letter was published without first talking to either of us.
It didn’t follow any Biblically valid procedure, didn’t dispute a single specific fact we had independently uncovered and unsuccessfully tried to first raise with Frank Viola in private (based on our separate expertise in dealing with such issues), and didn’t provide any substantiation to support their crazy accusations about us as they tried to silence us.
About the only thing they said in the letter which is true is that we had been banned from several Facebook groups, which they and their buddies controlled. They did this to preemptively prevent anyone from learning what we might say about the abuse and ongoing coverup within their ranks.
Viola and his band of phony apostles, along with their mutual promotion network at House2House Magazine, was obviously desperate, scared and grasping at straws!
When their various attack letters, threats and comical “excommunication” didn’t work, Frank Viola – in a recent blog – resorted to calling those who dare warn others of his history of abuse and cover up “sub-human pigs”.
Such action only proves that he and his buddies remain an unrepentant danger to all.
Cover Up By Bribes?
They are so scared of the truth coming out about Frank Viola, and their own complicity in his abuse, that they also have offered to promote the books and blogs of others who agree to participate in their cover up.
I have copies of their actual emails, which so offended the recipients that they forwarded them to me. Here’s just one example:
In an email to an author who has written extensively against church sexual abuse – both as an advocate and a victim – Mr. Breen asks her to “please not mention [Jim Wright] or link to his sites because when that is done it elevates his presence online and ups him in search engine results.”
He then states: “If you would be willing to remove the mentions and links, I’d be happy to help” promote her writings.
In fact, Bart Breen reinforces his offer – and his own sense of self importance – by boasting that “I have a high Klout score (65) in social media and I’m one of the top book reviewers on Amazon in the US and Canada.” (Emphasis added.)
Fortunately, she saw through his ploy and declined his offer.
Unfortunately, however, others were not so discerning.
What’s The Motive?
News of Frank Viola’s history of sexual predation and abuse is a direct threat to House2House Ministries magazine and web site, which fell into disuse for many years following the repeated failure of their own unique brand of “simple” or “organic” house churches but was resurrected in 2013. That resurrected magazine became their main vehicle to likewise resurrect their own influence, “apostleship”, books, conferences and blogs.
Their strategy is clear: Continue to use Mr. Viola to project an inviting persona of charm as the public face of their “movement”, give him leeway to wrap himself in the mantle of victimhood to protect his reputation and thus their “movement”, and let them do the nasty work of covering up his history of sexual predation and abuse through lies, slander and intimidation.
Bart Breen, Jon Zens, Felicity Dale, Milt Rodriquez, Keith Giles and Ken Eastburn – all of whom can be found colluding together with Frank Viola over at House2House Magazine – have been his complicit co-conspirators in this farce.
To this day, there has been no repentance by Frank Viola and or his co-conspirators. Instead, they continue their ongoing, self-interested campaign of attack, smear and cover up.
Unfortunately, when I’ve tried to factually respond to the various attacks they’ve disseminated through Mr. Breen on his blog or on Facebook, he’s blocked me and then posted mis-characterizations of what I tried to say. So, in defiance of their ongoing attempts to silence me and others through lies and innuendo, I’m responding below to some of Bart Breen’s more crazy accusations.
I’ll also update this response when needed, as the ongoing campaign of lies and cover up continues by Frank Viola, Bart Breen and their sexual abuse co-conspirators.
What’s Really the Issue With Bart Breen?
As I discussed the threats directed against me and others within our fellowships, we decided it was important to respond to Frank Viola’s attempts – through Bart Breen and others – to cover up his history of sexual abuse in the Body of Christ. Otherwise, he and his cohorts will only grow emboldened in attacking others and more abuse will occur.
We decided that rather than be intimidated, as they had succeeded in doing with others, we would be resolute and go public with the facts – as confirmed by many, many witnesses and independent documents.
As we stated elsewhere:
It is our collective belief that any married man who uses his position of leadership in a church to engage in a long running relationship of sexual exploitation against a teenager half his age, and who then refuses to address his own sin when confronted by his church but instead flees the church and launches a campaign of denial and cover-up, is unfit to serve as a leader in the Body of Christ.
Since then, Frank Viola’s campaign of attack and cover up has been widespread and not just centered on me. For example, we’ve confirmed other behind the-scenes threats recently made against additional witnesses and victims of Frank Viola – all of whom only Frank Viola himself could have known about and thus only he could have been the initiating source of those attacks.
I, and our fellowships, refuse to tolerate such conduct.
There is no excuse for it, especially when it is being done in the name of Christ by those who claim “deeper life” and seek continued influence in His church (even though most of Frank Viola’s fellow “apostolic workers”, including Frank himself, are not part of any local church or have any history of starting successful, lasting churches – a fact they often try to hide through misleading blogs, books, bios and articles via their mutual promotion network at House2House Magazine).
Lately, however, their campaign of intimidation and cover up by the Viola crowd has become more and more bizarre. They have even created a series of web sites and false social media accounts (like “SaraConners4” on Twitter) which attack my wife, our fellowships, my work on behalf of other sex abuse victims, my history with other churches, and my own integrity (including totally false and unsubstantiated claims that I am a “sex offender”, an “abuser” and even a “sex addict” via altered press releases and bogus web sites).
I don’t care much about my own reputation.
I have no books to sell or ministry to promote. I write a blog and serve as an elder among a network of local churches here in Virginia – some of which I helped start. I have no grand ambitions and I’m content simply getting through most days without undue complications from a rare degenerative autoimmune disease I’ve now had for nearly ten years.
But I do care about others, and I do care about this ongoing conspiracy to intimidate Mr. Viola’s victims and their families – and scare them into silence – by openly trashing me and now stalking my wife.
It needs to stop.
The proper response by Frank Viola, Bart Breen and their buddies is not to threaten and smear those who seek to protect the Body of Christ by exposing abuse in the church, but to repent.
Our fellowships continue to look for evidence of true repentance by Mr. Viola and those in his cover-up network. To date, however, none exists.
So, let’s look at some of the more bizarre things they’ve been saying …
Bad Faith Discombobulation
Within days of Bart Breen’s initial written threat to “research” and attack us if we followed through with republishing warnings about Frank Viola from his former church, Mr. Breen posted a blog which denied that our fellowships here in Virginia ever existed.
Those churches stumbled upon Mr. Viola’s history of abuse when we decided to check out Mr. Viola after he offered to send one of his so-called “church planters” – Jon Zens – to “help” us. As part of our research , we discovered the warnings of his former church and reached out some of his other victims and their families to learn the truth.
Somehow, Frank Viola caught wind of this and we started hearing from those other victims and their families about a coordinated, behind-the-scenes campaign to pressure, intimidate and silence them. When we eventually asked Mr. Viola in writing about these additional victims (without naming them, however), all hell (excuse the expression, but sometimes it’s accurate!) openly broke loose and the Viola gangs’ attacks became more public.
Mr. Breen, on behalf of Mr. Viola, then started writing blogs and making Facebook posts which claimed that our fellowships didn’t exist. I tried to respond to Bart Breen, on his blog where he was making his crazy accusations, but he blocked me.
I guess if you don’t like what a group of churches discover when checking out some self-designated and self-invited “apostolic network”, then just deny those churches exist and claim they are all a hoax!
Here’s what I tried to post as a comment to Bart Breen’s blog and Facebook posts, but he blocked. It was true then, and remains true today:
I have a blog. Nothing wrong in that!
I set up Fulcrum Ministries to provide legal covering for those fellowships in our area that need it. Nothing wrong in that!
I also helped found Nathan’s Voice as a ministry of those fellowships to help abuse victims and deal with abusive church leaders who exploit others. Nothing wrong in that!
But I am NOT Fulcrum Ministries, and I am NOT Nathan’s Voice. I am simply part of a network of fellowships, even though I helped plant some – but not all – of those fellowships. Again, nothing wrong in that!
Now you even deny that those fellowships exist! See https://crossroadjunction.com/2013/05/25/fellowship/.
You have done this because I and those fellowships took action to confront a friend of yours – author and “apostolic worker” Frank Viola – who was found by his former church in Brandon, Florida, to have engaged in abusive leadership and sexually exploitive behavior with a teenager in that fellowship. He fled that church rather than address the issues, and the public warnings, they then raised about him.
To this day, he continues to try to cover up his problems through folks like you. In fact, these blogs of yours arise from your prior threat, in a letter to me on May 10th on behalf of Frank Viola, to “research” and attack me and others if we refused to comply with your demand to removed from the Internet all references to the warnings and multiple witness statements published by Frank Viola’s former church about his problems. See https://crossroadjunction.com/2013/05/15/jon-zens-and-frank-viola/.
You have made it very clear that our references to the actions and warnings taken against Frank Viola by his former church offend you. I wish you were as offended by the harm caused to innocent victims by Mr. Viola.
When it became clear that his accusations were wacko, he then tried to support his claims by demanding – after already denying our existence and saying we were bogus – that we give him a list of our meetings and leaders.
Obviously, we refused to humor him. In emails to us and in various public statements, he previously had made his intent very clear: He wanted to set himself up as some expert who would come evaluate, judge and ultimately attack our various churches as part of his previously announced, a priori campaign to discredit and silence us.
For those who seek us out with no agenda of spite, our fellowships and I actually have an excellent reputation in our area and we work with a broad range of other believers. Our fellowships are deliberately small (typically no more than twenty in any one gathering, so they can be relational and participatory) and very diverse. However, we are big on serving those who are hurting.
When Bart Breen demanded that we let him come evaluate and critique our fellowships, we of course declined. We simply were unwilling to further his scheme of deception to divert attention from Mr. Viola and his history of abuse. In addition, real elders don’t open their churches and fellow elders to wolves who have publicly stated an intent to attack them.
Mr. Breen, however, seemed incapable of understanding why he was not welcomed with open arms, so he wrote additional self-indulgent, indignant blogs attacking us.
Organic Church Wannabe
When some of us read Bart Breen’s resulting, obsessive blogs and Facebook posts – which continued to try to discredit us by saying our fellowships and related ministries didn’t exist – we started laughing hilariously.
Of course Bart Breen couldn’t figure us out (assuming he even tried to do so in good faith).
Although Mr. Breen sometimes posts stuff regarding “organic” churches presents himself as an organic church expert, he has never successfully helped start – nor does he have a history of successfully being part of – any organic fellowship or related community.
In fact, Mr. Breen’s life is remarkable for its singular lack of any significant achievement – including his inability to function for any length of time in the kind of local church he and Mr. Viola like to write about.
The reality is that while he opines on all things “organic” and parroting lots of Frank Viola’s views, Bart Breen remains part of a traditional, suburban, middle class institutional church that meets in a county just north of us. There’s nothing, I guess, inherently wrong with that.
We, however, are not part of Mr. Breen’s insular world. Instead, we go to the fringes of society and bring Christ into the kind of tough communities as to which Mr. Breen hasn’t a clue.
If you want to find us, look there!
Instead, Mr. Breen comically kept looking in all the wrong places to find and “expose” us.
He began by asking institutional church pastors and the “ministerial association” in the area about us (as though they actually knew, understood or cared!).
He then looked through the lens of his own narrow, middle-class, “organizational” perspectives for our legal “incorporation” and “board of directors” – and all those other traditional trappings of “legitimacy” that are rooted in Bart Breen’s own hostility to our core beliefs and his obsessive need to systematize and legitimize God’s work in his own “corporate”-world context. See Discombobulating Fellowship.
Of course he failed, in this as in so many other things. Of course we are not a “corporation” (although we have bona fide legal status with the Commonwealth of Virginia), nor do we have a “board of directors”.
Rather, just like we see in the New Testament, we are the church – with local fellowships who are served by local elders.
In the delusional world of Bart Breen, every church mentioned in the New Testament would have been illegitimate because it lacked the “corporate” world structure he demands.
I just love how God confounds and discombobulates those who refuse to remove the blinders of their own prejudice, failures, sensibilities and traditions!
The Lies Continue
As part of our focus on helping others, over the years we’ve formed various ministries through our churches and in cooperation with other churches in the area. One is called Nathan’s Voice – which provides a wide range of services to victims (and their families) of clergy sexual abuse.
Our formation of Nathan’s Voice and its web site, and our work with abuse victims, predated by several years Mr. Viola’s offer to “help” us through his network of “church planters” – despite Mr. Breen’s repeated suggestions that we formed that ministry and its web site merely as a cover for us to then “attack” Frank Viola when we discovered his history of abuse.
Through Nathan’s Voice, and also as an attorney and a local elder, I have dealt with about half a dozen church abuse cases over the years. Those cases involved leaders who sexually or otherwise exploited others.
Despite Mr. Breen’s compulsive claims to the contrary, I never went looking for, initiated on my own, or even wanted to get involved in those cases – but reluctantly became involved only at the request of the victims because they otherwise felt abandoned by the Body of Christ.
Furthermore, Bart Breen keeps implying I help those victims for my own gain. Let me therefore set the record straight: All such assistance by me and by Nathan’s Voice has always, always, always been without compensation or personal gain.
Bart Breen’s Band of Abusive Church Leaders
At some point Mr. Breen – while seeking to discredit us on behalf of Mr. Viola – decided to seek out some of those other abusers whom I had dealt with in the past and form a mutual support network between them and Mr. Viola. His goal was simple: to then have them support each other’s claims that they were the real victims and innocent.
This is bizarre and contrary to reality. In every case I handled on behalf of others, the victims always prevailed – either in court or in private settlements where the abusers made restitution.
Bart Breen, however, ignored all that and started grossly mischaracterizing those other cases and the guilt of the abusers.
For example, he published a letter in conjunction with Jon Zens, Keith Giles, Felicity Dale, Milt Rodriquez, Ken Eastburn and others (all part of Frank Viola’s mutual promotion network over at House2House Ministries), which made the bizarre claim that I lied about my work to stop sex abuse at Christ Chapel Assembly of God.
According to them, that case only involved an “employment” dispute – and I had “slandered” the church by saying it involved sexual abuse with multiple victims, multiple abusers, and multiple instances of sexual exploitation.
Yet the public complaint, filed in federal court, clearly sets forth the actual claims in that case – and shows that the case was exactly as I’ve consistently described it and that Bart Breen and his House2House buddies are demonstrably lying.
In fact, that complaint named names of multiple abusers at the church, listed many specific instances of actual sexual abuse against multiple victims, documented the pattern of extensive sexual abuse there, and led to a successful outcome – based on the facts I assembled and were then set forth in public court filings. See Christ Chapel Sexual Abuse: An Update.
Bart Breen, Frank Viola and their mutual promotion network at House2House Ministries know that their statements about my work on behalf of victims in that and other cases – as they attempt to belittle the harm suffered by the victims to now defend their own abuses – are lies.
But they are desperate to now distort the facts, so they keep claiming that I lied about those other cases in order to imply that any claim of abuse among them – which they have not only tolerated, rationalized and excused but are now trying to cover up – must also be a lie.
Contacting a Minor Who Was Sexually Abused To Attack His Story
Here’s just one more example of how sick and desperate their efforts have become:
In an attempt to further discredit Nathan’s Voice and my work on behalf of church abuse victims, Bart Breen tracked down (using sources independent of me) a sex abuse victim we had helped in another public case.
That victim was, and still is, a minor. We had been helping him and his family recover from the devastating effects they all suffered from the abuse he experienced as a young boy.
But the fact that he’s fifteen years old and still living with his parents didn’t stop Mr. Breen. In Bart Breen’s obsession to defend Frank Viola and their band of other sex abuse buddies, he communicated directly with that minor, in private, through the Internet – without his parents knowledge or permission.
In his communications, he tried to convince that teenage boy that the sexual abuse he suffered at his former church, and the help we had rendered to him and other sex abuse victims, were all lies.
Seriously. This man is sick, he is obsessive, he is compulsive, and he is delusional.
Interestingly, six months later, one of the abusers in the case involving that boy (where there has been a similar lengthy campaign of intimidation and cover up to silence the victims and their supporters) was convicted in criminal court – and found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt – of using his position as a church leader to abuse multiple children.
So much for Mr. Breen’s sick, sick attempts to use a child victim of clergy sexual abuse to further his delusions and distortions. Yet you will never see him, Frank Viola, Felicity Dale or their self-appointed “apostolic” network at House2House Ministries retract or correct their growing plethora of lies – or admit to having repeatedly crossed the line in spreading them.
Likewise, there have been other public convictions, official public records, specific restitution or other reliable independent verification which substantiates all the cases were we’ve tackled abusive churches and church leaders – including our work on behalf of victims at Christ Chapel, Bill Gothard’s Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts, Bristol Assembly of God, Vienna Presbyterian Church, Sovereign Grace Ministries and others.
Contrary to the published attacks and innuendos by Frank Viola, Bart Breen and their self-interested buddies (interestingly, they NEVER cite any actual documentation or specific witnesses as they seek to discrediting us) – we have never been found to be inaccurate in our facts regarding any claim of abuse.
Fortunately, the boy we helped in that other case eventually showed his parents, and me, the disturbingly sick private communications he received from Bart Breen. We immediately intervened to protect him from further, potentially damaging contact on behalf of Mr. Viola.
Yet what happened there is not isolated. It represents the kind of narcissistic, pathological stuff coming from the Viola camp, through Bart Breen and others.
Frank Viola’s Own Participation in the Ongoing Lies and Cover Up
Let’s be clear: There can be no doubt about Mr. Viola’s complicity in, and approval of, such tactics.
While all this was happening, Frank Viola openly thanked Bart Breen in his blog for “exposing those who pretend to be abuse advocates who instead abuse and deliberately mislead God’s people” (i.e., meaning me). See Giving Thanks for 30 People.
Frank Viola also quietly posted a blog which repeated, word for word, Mr. Breen’s lies, attacks and very sick defense of other unrepentant abusive church leaders – all to make it seem that they and Frank Viola were the real victims.
That and other blogs, on Frank Viola’s own site and on his page at Patheos, have even made the entirely false claims – without a shred of substantiation – that I am a “sex addict” and “abuser”.
I finally had enough, and Mr. Viola removed those specific statements after I threatened to sue for defamation – although other blogs on his site and on Patheos continue to repeat and promote an ever-expanding web of other lies, false innuendo and deception about me and others who have the courage to challenge him.
Unfortunately, Bart Breen, Frank Viola (despite his public, but false, persona of charm), Felicity Dale and their buddies over at House2House Ministries know no moral decency or constraint. They have continued their very sick, compulsive crusade to protect their mutual promotion network of phony “apostles” by attacking those – like me, our fellowships and others – who have dared confront them.
No Point of Reference
Regardless, Bart Breen’s insecurities and problems with us go way back, even before all this mess with Frank Viola surfaced.
For example, Mr. Breen has repeatedly stated – in his own writings – that scripture is NOT (he likes to use all caps here) the written Word of God. He took great umbrage, however, when I challenged his views a couple of years ago in some very civil responses to some of his often bizarre Facebook postings.
About a year before this mess with Frank Viola emerged, Bart Breen began blocking and then attacking on Facebook those (like me) who affirm both a vibrant relationship with the Living Word and the need to also submit to the authority and discipline of His written Word.
For Bart Breen, truth is whatever Bart Breen wants it to be – without any external, authoritative standard like scripture.
Is it any wonder that he has shown an utter disregard of Biblical norms for how to properly disagree with others? Although I and our fellowships approached Mr. Viola about his additional victims, following the procedures of Matthew 18, we were rebuffed and threatened with attack instead.
More Lies and Delusions
Unfortunately, we were never asked before hand about the crazy stuff now being published by Frank Viola, Bart Breen and their buddies in furtherance of those attacks.
Another small, but very telling recent example, is this May 14, 2014, missive published by Bart Been on Facebook:
G.R.A.C.E. recently wrote of some sexual abuse issues related to Patrick Henry College in Northern Virginia, which Jim Wright of Crossroad Junction claims to have spoken at before in a teaching capacity.
Not a peep on the subject from Crossroad Junction, Nathan’s Voice or Jim Wright.
I guess it’s only important when there’s not a personal connection to Jim Wright that hasn’t yet inevitably devolved into the personal conflicts and grudges that have characterized his life and past behavior.
If Mr. Breen had simply cared enough about the truth to ask me first, I could have unequivocally confirmed that although I have nothing against that college, I have never spoken there, never taught there, or had any other affiliation with it – nor have I ever claimed otherwise! In fact, I have no recollection of ever even mentioning Patrick Henry College in my blog or elsewhere.
He also has been posting, in yet another unfounded attack, that “one of his past local churches … denied his repeated attempts to be elected as an elder” and I then retaliated against that church by alleging that various women had been abused by men on staff there.
Let me be clear and unequivocal: I have never asked nor sought to be elected, appointed or in any way made an elder or other leader in any church. Nor have I ever been “denied” or otherwise refused any eldership or other leadership position. (Within the local churches I am now part of, I am recognized as an elder – but that has not been at my request, nor is it something that we consider any big deal.)
Furthermore, the facts are far different than what Mr. Breen now claims.
The former church Bart Breen has in mind offered to appoint me to its elder’s board. At the time, that church had over 1500 members, I was a deacon there, I had been appointed to the faculty and was teaching at its related liberal arts college, I often was sent on overseas mission trips on behalf of the church, I headed up the team that held Sunday evening church services in the jail, I had the largest adult Sunday school class at the church, I was very involved in several high visibility leadership positions in the church, and I even received an award from the church as its “volunteer of the year”.
Nonetheless, despite all this, I decided to decline the senior pastor’s invitation to serve as an elder because of concerns over ongoing internal factions and discord among the elders there. I left that church soon after, on good terms and as a member in good standing, as I decided to seek a more “organic” church environment with a more collegial view of leadership.
However, I never asked for, nor was I ever refused, any appointment to the elders board. Rather, I declined the invitation.
About five years after leaving that church on good terms, I was asked – and agreed with great reluctance because of the sacrifices it would require – to provide free legal help to victims who had been sexually abused by various men on staff there. That lawsuit eventually was resolved in favor of those victims. However, my work on their behalf was wholly unrelated to any of my past involvements with that church.
Yet Bart Breen keeps making these kinds of unsubstantiated and blatantly false accusations as he tries to protect men who are confirmed abusers in their churches by discrediting the work I’ve done to help their victims – all without a single supporting document, fact or witness to back him up.
Although these latest attacks are kind of silly and of no great importance, they do illustrate an over all problem he has – given that they represent either intentional lies or pure delusion.
With Mr. Breen, it is hard to know which it is. Regardless, it has to be one or the other, and that’s the problem with nearly everything he’s done in defense of Frank Viola and his new-found network of other unrepentant church sex abusers.
Yet his compulsive need to twist everything, as he seeks to rationalize the sex abuse he feels compelled to defend, just keeps going on and on and getting more and more bizarre.
Simply put, Mr. Breen is either a knowing liar, or else he’s sick and has lost all touch with reality.
Bart Breen also has been making up other crazy accusations – like I’ve hidden my affiliations with Nathan’s Voice and other ministries, or that I’m paying people to follow this blog or it’s Facebook page and running “illegal scripts” (whatever that means) to promote Crossroad Junction. Never happened!
In fact, I wouldn’t even know how to do half the things he accuses me of.
Like always, however, he refused to post my response on his own blog where he made those additional, crazy allegations. So here it is, uncensored:
Bart Breen, your paranoia runs deep. I have never used a script or any other method like you mention to do whatever it is you are describing (frankly, I couldn’t fully follow your blog) – or for any other purpose. In fact, Mr. Breen, I don’t even know what that is. I have on occasion paid for ads by Facebook on Facebook itself to promote my blog, but that’s hardly any sin.
Also, there has NEVER been any subterfuge in the fact that I am associated with Fulcrum Ministries and Nathan’s Voice. That’s clearly stated and identified in my own blog and elsewhere.
Really, Bart Breen. Haven’t your grand conspiracy and phobia gone far enough?
But rather than deal with the facts and warnings regarding Mr. Viola – as confirmed by his own church and multiple named witnesses – you have chosen to attack those (not just me) who have dared hold Frank Viola to public account. Where we have cited witness statements with the names of those who came forth to bear witness against him, you however deal in unnamed and unsubstantiated “conversations”, innuendos and false conjecture.
Bart Breen, you have raised no disqualifying sins against me or pointed to any instance where I have ever harmed or abused those I relate to in my capacity as an elder among our fellowships. I also exercise no control over those fellowships, and our approach is to quickly get them to the point where they operate indigenous with their own leadership. I am, and remain, accountable to functional local fellowships – unlike you and those you seek to defend.
There is no grand conspiracy. There is no evil. There are only those who dare stand against abuse in the Church, and your ongoing offense over us confronting a friend of yours who his own church said abused others and publicly confronted him to warn others.
So there you have it. The facts!
It never seems to end with Bart Breen, who has continued his compulsive personal attacks against me and others – as he threatened to do back in 2013 – because we dared warn others about the history of sex abuse by his friend, author and “apostolic worker” Frank Viola.
He’s now posted additional blogs that question my marriage, call me a “pharisee”, make more false claims about our victim support ministry of Nathan’s Voice, and other topics ad nauseum.
He even claims, without a shred of documented support, that I was once sued for slander and that a judge then issued a ruling saying I had committed slander. But he never quotes any such “slander” lawsuit, or any supposed “slander” ruling.
News Flash: It never happened!
I have been open about the fact that I went through a messy, unwanted divorce years ago.
Bart Breen is now apparently twisting a voluntary post-divorce agreement with my ex-wife, which resolved several issues that were not clearly addressed in our earlier divorce decree, to attack me.
Again, the strategy is clear. Show Mr. Viola’s victims and families that they better play nice and be quiet, or they too will be trashed in public with outlandish lies.
That voluntary agreement resolved some outstanding, post-divorce concerns I had and some which my ex-wife had. One of those concerns was the question of what properly could be publicly said about our earlier divorce, under the terms of our previously negotiated divorce decree. Generally, at her insistence, I had agreed in the divorce decree not to talk about any specific facts I had raised in the divorce about events leading to the divorce – and to this day I have not done so.
I did, however, briefly mention – in passing as part of a single sentence in a blog I wrote before the divorce – an issue that was not actually raised in the divorce, but nonetheless was related to the divorce. Although it was factually true, and not clearly covered by the terms of the divorce decree, I had forgotten about it after the divorce was finalized. When my ex-wife brought it to my attention some time later, I immediately edited that one sentence to remove the reference.
I did this not because of any court order, but to live at peace on an issue that really wasn’t even that important to me.
Once we came to an agreement on her concern regarding that one partial sentence in an older blog, and on several concerns that I had on other issues, we both mutually agreed to have a judge review and sign it to make it official.
However, in reaching that voluntary agreement and asking a judge to review and sign it, there NEVER was any allegation, finding, order or ruling that what I previously said and wrote was false. It was not false. Nonetheless, I quickly deleted that passing reference about my former marriage once my ex-wife asked me to do so.
“Slander” and falsehood simply were NOT the issue – either in the terms of the resulting voluntary agreement which memorialized the fact that I had deleted that partial sentence, or in the judge signing that agreement – without modification – at our joint request.
To now say otherwise, or to say I was judged to have committed slander, is yet one more delusion of Bart Breen’s own creation – as he continues to use unsubstantiated innuendo to distort innocent facts to further his sick, obsessive schemes.
Yet even when presented with the truth, his attacks keep coming…
Does It Never End with Mr. Breen?
As I’ve said, Bart Breen typically refuses to post my responding comments to his attack blogs, which he continues to write to protect Frank Viola and his network of sexual abuse and cover up.
So here’s another re-print of yet another factual response that he refused to allow on yet another of his blogs which makes yet more false claims that he never bothered to raise with me first:
Bart Breen, most of your issues are very transparently addressed in my various blogs at www.crossroadjunction.com. However, two of them are worth addressing here, because they involve smears against others – including my wife.
You ask: “Why do so many of your posts, Jim Wright, claim that you and your wife left your last church on the presumed basis of a move toward organic church ministry, when in fact, you were divorced at the time, single and were excommunicated by that church?”
My wife and I were part of New Covenant Fellowship in Manassas (the “former church” you reference), and during the last several months of our membership there we had begun dating (we were both fully and properly single at the time – just to head off any other distorted innuendo from you!).
While dating, we both left that church after it came out that the senior pastor had misappropriated around a million dollars in church funds and engaged in very abusive conduct – like kicking out of the church and out of leadership those who tried to confront him in private over his misconduct.
I simply note that we were not alone in leaving that church. Many also did so. When that happened, I posted a blog fully disclosing the relevant facts.
As I correctly state in some of my blogs, my wife and I then moved forward toward organic church ministry together, while still dating and then engaged – as we still do now that we’ve been very happily married over the intervening years.
Bart Breen, it is amazing how you can turn even the most innocent “facts” into twisted distortions.
Our experience with New Covenant Fellowship was hardly unique, as many have moved towards organic church after leaving or being forced to leave abusive situations in an institutional church. In fact, over 2,000 others left that church in response to waves of disclosure after disclosure regarding improprieties there by the senior pastor – although certainly not all moved toward starting organic churches like my wife and I did.
Regarding Nathan’s Voice, we have helped victims from many churches in the northern Virginia area that I’ve never personally been affiliated with – including Vienna Presbyterian Church, Sovereign Grace Ministries, Christ Chapel Assembly of God (involving a successful Federal lawsuit which alleged multiple abusers on staff at that church with multiple sex abuse victims), and others I am not at liberty to mention due to our confidentiality commitments.
In fact, the volunteers at Nathan’s Voice have directly helped literally hundreds of abuse survivors over the years – typically with counseling and other support services, but also advocacy, confronting specific abusive church leaders as appropriate, and litigation support.
Regarding another very distorted innuendo on your blog, Nathan’s Voice has never solicited donations, charged for any help we’ve provided, nor asked for or received any fees or other compensation for any referrals we might occasionally make.
In apparent frustration over not coming up with any actual damaging facts against me or our churches, Bart Breen and Frank Viola have become more and more shrill.
As I already mentioned, they’ve even gone so far as to create and participate in various web sites (including Mr. Viola’s blog on Patheos) that imply (and in some cases outright claim) that I was divorced for spousal abuse and that I am a “sexual predator”, a “sex offender”, a “sex abuser” and even a “sex addict”. They back this up with altered press releases where my name is substituted for the real perps, and other such distortions.
Now they are stalking my wife.
Bart Breen and Frank Viola – and their network of abuse and cover – are beneath contempt.
They can’t present actual evidence or cite actual facts – because the truth is that I have NEVER engaged in any such conduct or had anyone – other than them as part of their wholly made up smear campaign – ever allege or even suggest any of those things against me.
For example, I have always been chaste and acted with propriety towards all, I have ALWAYS been faithful to my wedding vows, and they have not one shred of substantiation to the contrary – on those or any of their other lies.
In contrast, the facts regarding Mr. Viola are attested to by many witnesses and documents, including specific written statements from his own former church by those who knew of his misconduct.
As I see the desperate tactics to smear those who have confronted Mr. Viola’s predation in the church and to protect the “movement” he represents, I am convinced more than ever that we made the right decision to stand up to Bart Breen, Mr. Viola, Felicity Dale and their mutual promotion network over at House2House Ministries – which they’re desperately seeking to protect through lies, intimidation and cover up.
From my vantage point, it comes down to this:
The lower Frank Viola, Mr. Breen, Felicity Dale and their self-appointed “apostolic worker” network at House2House Ministries sink in their attempts to silence and trash us – and the longer they refuse to respond to the actual facts regarding the history of abuse and cover up among them – the more it becomes clear that they are a significant threat to others.
Unfortunately for them, truth can be initially crushed and distorted, but it has a tendency to bounce back even stronger than ever.
Although the crazy stuff from Bart Breen, Frank Viola, Felicity Dale and their network of sexual abuse and cover up keeps coming, at this point it’s not worth further response.
I mean, it just keeps getting more and more weird – like Bart Breen’s compulsive search for any comment I’ve ever posted on other blogs to then respond (sometimes years after the fact) with personal attacks that have nothing to do with the original topic.
Mr. Breen also routinely sends obsessive and very bizarre private messages – often in the middle of the day during work hours – to anyone who “likes” or comments on anything I post on my blog or on Facebook.
Seriously! Is that compulsively sick, or what?
Often in those messages, he deceptively claims to be a “pastor”, when he’s actually a back-office clerk at Deloitte Consulting in Sterling, Virginia, and his career has been little more than a number of other short-lived support-staff and bean-counting positions in various organizations.
(2016 Update: In various social media postings by Bart Breen, he subsequently began begging others to help him get a cheap boarding house room because he apparently had no funds, had been kicked out of his Virginia home by his wife, lost his job at Deloitte Consulting, and claimed he no longer was employable because he’s mentally disabled.
Eventually, he moved to Oklahoma where, by his own account, he’s held various short-lived jobs as a low level appliance salesman. His wife, however, filed for divorce against him, which the court granted in just four short months, with Bart Breen marrying his girlfriend only a couple of days later. Nonetheless, his obsession as a female impersonator seems to be ongoing, as he continues to incessantly use fake social media accounts to stalk and harass people with bizarre private messages when they like or comment on things I post.)
In his quest for significance, following a life of personal and professional under-achievement after personal and professional under-achievement and not finding the recognition he craves, his greatest self-proclaimed achievement seems to be hundreds of book reviews he’s posted on Amazon.
Honestly, it strikes me as somewhat pathological that his greatest boast about his own life is that he’s compulsively commented on the achievements of others.
Nonetheless, Bart Breen has taken it upon himself to become my personal, very obsessive, totally compulsive and disturbingly delusional Internet troll – as he continues to do Frank Viola’s bidding. Now he’s also become my wife’s stalker, with local authorities having to intervene to protect her from his delusional threats.
One one hand, his relentless attacks confirm that I’m hitting the mark in exposing his network of sexual abuse and cover up.
On the other hand, however, I often wonder: Does this guy even have a life?
He is truly compulsive in his delusions as he continues to post comments on other blogs which make off-the-wall claims, like I’m part of the “discipleship movement” that fortunately – and rightly so! – died out in the 80s in large part because my father stood up to it.
Or that Crossroad Junction must be bogus because (now get this – is this obsessive/compulsive or not?) he did some research on someone (out of thousands of followers) who “liked” one of my blogs on Facebook and discovered she was part of a “gay” group.
I have always been a vocal opponent of the “discipleship movement” and, frankly, gays and others are free to like my blogs! After all, Jesus showed compassion to all, including those trapped in sin, while also proclaiming liberation.
The bottom line is this:
Bart Breen, Frank Viola, Felicity Dale and their mutual promotion network of “apostolic workers” over at House2House Ministries are not interested in letting truth and integrity stand in the way of their self-promoting “apostle” network and its attempts to dominate the “organic” or “simple” house church movement.
Unfortunately, such campaigns of smear and attack, designed to protect abusers and their power structures in the church by discrediting their victims and those who stand with them, are all too common. They are the tactics of a cult, pure and simple.
Fortunately, I and my buddies refuse to give in to such tactics. Instead, the more they try to avoid the facts and attack others instead of coming clean and repenting, the more they confirm the importance of continuing to expose their history of abuse and cover up.
Abusers and their supporters in the church often seek to divert attention from predation by attacking whose who dare confront them.
After all is said and done, and all the facts set straight, that’s been the stark reality with Frank Viola, Bart Breen and their buddies at House2House Ministries.
Don’t be naïve.
~ Jim Wright
I don’t care what anyone says. I really am a “so-so” bass fisherman! 😉
- Jon Zens and Frank Viola – A Public Response (crossroadjunction.com)
- Discombobulating Fellowship (crossroadjunction.com)
- Sexual Predation by Christian Author and “Apostolic Worker” Frank Viola (nathansvoice.org)