I need your help to stop a stalker who has been harassing and threatening my wife.
For over a year now, an obscure blogger named Bart Breen has been acting on behalf of a cult that’s upset and trying to silence me (and others) for daring to warn folks about their history of sexual predation, abuse and cover up.
As more and more people learn the truth about that cult – centered on narcissistic “Beyond Evangelical” author Frank Viola and his mutual promotion network of self-proclaimed “apostolic workers” – they’ve become more and more shrill in a desperate attempt to hide their history of shame, failure and abuse.
As a result, Mr. Breen is now stalking my wife in a perverse bid to silence me. He’s even openly boasted about it on Facebook and in his various blogs.
Why? By harassing my wife and publicly boasting about it, Bart Breen and Frank Viola are sending their victims – and those who stand with them – the clear message that they too will be attacked if they don’t toe the line and remain silent about what has been going on within their “Beyond” Cult.
The irony, though, is that I’m the one, and not my wife, who has been exposing their history of deception, abuse, intimidation and cover up.
In contrast, my wife’s sole response has been to silently pray for Bart Breen and Frank Viola on a daily basis over the last year – without the least spite but out of genuine care – while also asking for the Lord’s compassion and protection towards their victims and those still in their cult.
A Little Background
Rather than deal with the facts about the sexual predation and exploitation of teenagers and other young women by Frank Viola – their cult’s main leader and public face – Bart Breen and members of that cult have resorted to a number of antics.
For example, they have publicly “excommunicated” their critics (including me, even though none of us are part of, and thank God have never been part of their cult and thus can’t be kicked out!).
They do this because their public front organizations, such as the now defunct House2House Ministries and its mutual promotion network of Viola-related “apostolic workers” like Milt Rodriquez, Jon Zens, Felicity Dale, Keith Giles and Ken Eastburn, have no tolerance for anyone with the audacity to publicly discuss:
• The history of abuse among them;
• Their concerted efforts to cover up of that abuse and destroy all who dare mention it publicly;
• Their general rejection of scripture as the written Word of God;
(Bart Breen has repeatedly written that “the bible is NOT the word of God” and calls those who affirm scripture “fundamentalists”; Milt Rodriquez has publicly taken the same position and dismissively calls everyone who disagrees a bunch of “legalists”; Frank Viola openly dismisses the plenary authority of scripture while promoting Barthian existentialism and “deeper life” revelations which transcend scripture; and Jon Zens endorsed, in writing, the claim that those who believe that scripture is “the written word of God” are under “satanic influence” and “committing treason against Christ.”)
• Their persistent failure to start healthy lasting fellowships; and
• Their false biographical claims rooted in their persistent and ongoing inability to personally be part of any functional local church that looks anything like what they promote in their books, blogs, seminars and conferences.
(Even Frank Viola has consistently exempted himself from being part of any local church, especially one like he keeps trying to sell to others.)
When their bogus excommunications failed to silence those who were openly addressing their fraud, abuse and cover up, their cult network then created and promoted bogus (and often anonymous) blogs containing all sorts of gross, outlandish and wholly unsubstantiated lies about their critics – including me.
In one instance, they took legitimate press releases about cases involving sexual molestation and changed the names of the perps to my name – which they republished with claims that the press releases are about me.
(A simple Google search can confirm that those press releases originally were issued by legitimate authorities about others, but then were altered and re-posted with the perps’ names changed to mine.)
Another blog by that cult’s main leader, Frank Viola, claimed that I was a “sex addict” (huh??) …
Said I had been found liable of “slander” (where’s the documentation???) …
Asserted that I had been “excommunicated” by several churches …
(I must confess: It’s true that I was excommunicated from one – and only one – church years ago after I privately confronted the senior pastor about secretly misappropriating over a million dollars in funds and benefits from the congregation.)
Totally discounted the trauma suffered by multiple sex abuse victims in another major church abuse case by dismissively characterizing their case as simply an “employment discrimination” dispute …
And made all sorts of other crazy and totally false lies and twisted innuendos about me and others – with links to Bart Breen’s additionally over-the-top attack blogs.
Soon after, Frank Viola in another blog singled out Bart Breen and praised him – by name – for his attack antics against critics, then republished on his own site a blog by Bart Breen which implicitly defended their “Beyond” Cult’s practice of “excommunicating” its detractors.
Even as late as last week, folks were confirming that Frank Viola is still refusing to the address their specific questions about his history of sexual predation and abuse, but instead directed them to Bart Breen’s perverse blogs which personally attack Frank Viola’s critics and defend his cult – including a specific link to a recent Breen piece attacking my totally uninvolved daughters. (Does this weirdo know no bounds?)
Their intent is clear – respond with lies and personal attacks rather than address the truth regarding Frank Viola’s own history of sexual predation, exploitation, abuse and cover up – as confirmed by his own former church.
Instead of intimidating me, however, these antics have only served to convince me all the more that this perverse cult, and its unrepentant leaders, continue to pose a threat to others.
When they failed to silence me and others with their past antics, Bart Breen in September 2014 tracked down where my wife works as a public school second grade teacher. Over the last five months, he has sent multiple, incessant threats to her school – directed against her, her principal and even the entire school board.
He also threatened the school system that he would show up in person, go to the press, and otherwise attack them if they did not acquiesce to his very delusional demands to take action on his behalf against my wife.
When Bart Breen was expressly told on behalf of the school system’s attorney to stop, he kept up his very delusional, self-important, harassing and explicitly threatening letters and emails – which become more and more shrill the more they ignored him as an obviously obsessed and very deranged man.
As a result, according to local authorities, Bart Breen has been placed on a threat watch list.
My wife, however, is not the only spouse Bart Breen and Frank Viola’s “Beyond” Cult have harassed as they try to silence their victims and anyone else who dares bear witness to their history of fraud, abuse and cover up – but those stories are for others to share as they wish.
Their intimidation campaign has continued on other fronts, however. Over the last two years Bart Breen has been contacting folks who comment or otherwise participate on my Facebook page for this blog, and on the Facebook pages of others who have spoken out about the abusive cult he now seeks to protect.
He does this by sending private attack messages through Facebook against anyone – including my wife or whoever else has earned his obsessive and delusional attention du jour – with wild unsubstantiated claims, a picture of himself (that’s kind of creepy) and a link promoting his own weird blogs where he incessantly seeks to protect Frank Viola and his cult by smearing their critics.
Some people have been contacted over half a dozen times with Bart Breen’s obsessive, compulsive and harassing private messages – even though they don’t know him, never heard of him, or want anything to do with him.
It gotten so bad that earlier this month he tracked down and began sending very weird, disgusting private messages – which continued his attacks against my wife and me while promoting a picture of himself and his own blogs – one-by-one to folks who publicly expressed condolences to us on Facebook over the recent death of my dad.
Truth and Consequences
I’m not perfect. Neither is anyone else who helps victims of abuse. But I can assure you that none of us look anything like the lies, innuendos and gross characterizations being perpetuated by Bart Breen, Frank Viola and their “Beyond” cult.
Interestingly, I know of no instance where Bart Breen, Frank Viola or their cult actually address the specific facts, findings and warnings of abuse originally published by Frank Viola’s own former church.
Instead, their response has been to publicly attack and try to personally destroy anyone who dares reference those facts, findings and warnings – thus sending a message to other victims and witnesses that they better remain silent.
If you refuse to repent, and thus can’t face the truth, then attacking anyone who dares warn others about your history of sexual predation and abuse, and your false biographical claims, is the best strategy to protect your cult of self promotion, sales and influence.
Eventually, though, the lies come crashing down.
What Can We Do?
If you are willing to help take a stand against sex abuse, deception, threats, intimidation and cover up by cults masquerading as the “Church” and predators masquerading as “apostles”, here’s what I am asking:
If you have ever been contacted by Bart Breen or other Frank Viola cult member on Facebook as part of their cover up campaign, or are contacted by them in the future, please click on the upper right of their private Facebook message to file a complaint with Facebook for sending a harassing and unsolicited communication to you.
If you encounter a post by Bart Breen or other member of the “Beyond” Cult on Facebook, some blog, or anywhere else they continue to personally attack people to silence them, please post a follow-up link to this blog to expose what he and his cult buddies are really up to.
If enough people do this, I believe Facebook will finally stop his stalking behavior on that forum, and people general will start understanding what’s happening on other forums where he’s been active.
In fact, just last week Facebook started posting warnings when people try to click on links to Bart Breen’s attack blogs, so I think Facebook is finally starting to crack down on his attics.
In the meantime, local authorities can deal with his stalking behavior against my wife.
Finally, I ask that you not be deceived.
Advocates who help church abuse survivors need to start aggressively confronting these kind of perverse tactics – designed to silence victims by attacking their advocates and supporters – wherever they occur.
Otherwise more abusers and stalkers in other cases will be emboldened to mimic Frank Viola and Bart Breen – who don’t want to address the facts, or risk backlash from directly attacking the victims in public, and therefore perversely decide to deflect attention from their own abuse by intimidating and trashing their victim’s advocates instead.
Such tactics are becoming increasingly common as abusers and their “churches” desperately try to distract us from their history of deception, predation, sexual exploitation and cover up.
But that doesn’t mean men and women of goodwill need to be intimidated, stand passive or be silenced.
Timidity and silence are deadly, and only result in more victims.
As Martin Luther King, Jr., once stated: “The arch of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
Don’t be silenced….
~ Jim Wright
For those interested, here’s more detail on what’s been happening as well as direct rebuttals to Bart Breen, Frank Viola and their “Beyond” Cult’s many crazy lies: Bart Breen and Frank Viola – Lies, Sex Abuse and Cover Up.