Beaverton Grace Bible Church sues former members for $500k after they describe it as "cult," "creepy," and "spiritual abuse"

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Please note that the former congregation members of Beaverton Grace Bible Church were upset about sex offenders having access to children at the chuch and wrote,"How can she forget that her own beloved pastor knew about a sex offender in the church who had access to the nursery and children on a weekly basis and did not have any safeguards in place."

The article (note: BOLD is mine.)

Beaverton Grace Bible Church Sues Oregon Family For Defamation After Bad Reviews, Critical Blog (VIDEO)
Posted: 05/15/2012 2:07 pm

Officials at Beaverton Grace Bible Church weren't too thrilled to learn that a former member had written negative online reviews of the service and congregation, so they filed a lawsuit against an Oregon mother and her family.

Julie Anne Smith, her daughter and three other commenters are facing a $500,000 defamation claim after Pastor Charles O'Neal indicated their reviews included harmful descriptors such as "cult," "creepy," and "spiritual abuse," KATU reports.

Smith attended the church a few years ago, but after leaving the congregation, she took to the Internet to express her feelings.

"We do it with restaurants and hotels and whatnot, and I thought, why not do it with this church?" Smith told the station, referring to the online reviews.

But after churchgoers began adding their own positive remarks, Smith created a blog titled "Beaverton Grace Bible Church Survivors" to share her thoughts.

In her introduction, Smith states she received the lawsuit just days after the blog went live in February. Since then, she has used the platform to chronicle her journey in dealing with the lawsuit and the church.

The blog also contains scanned images of the original complaint, which include phrases from Smith's reviews that allegedly troubled Pastor O'Neal.

According to the complaint, Smith wrote the following statements about the church on the Internet:

Sept. 29, 2011:

"You will be fine at this church if you never question the elders or the pastor."

Jan. 5, 2012:

"What we had was indoctrination... That is how cult leaders work. Don't waste your precious lives and relationships by being held emotionally/spiritually captive at this so-called church."

Jan. 9, 2012:

"How can she forget that her own beloved pastor knew about a sex offender in the church who had access to the nursery and children on a weekly basis and did not have any safeguards in place."

Smith's attorney, Linda Williams, told KGW News she doesn't think O'Neal has a strong case.

"It would be extremely difficult to determine that wording or posting caused that tremendous $500,000 worth of damage... It just didn't," Williams said.

A motion to dismiss the lawsuit is scheduled for May 21, KGW reports. The church has not commented on the story.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/15/beaverton-grace-bible-church-or...

Church doing the suing: http://www.beavertongracebible.org/

Beaverton Grace Bible Church Survivors: http://bgbcsurvivors.blogspot.com/

Orange's picture

Incredible. That is just down the road from me. Literally. I'm going to be traveling through that city in less than an hour from now.

I notice how quick they are to sue, in spite of the fact that their web page brags about loving and praying.
What happened to Jesus' instructions to "turn the other cheek"?

I guess that is obsolete philosophy now.

Oh well, have a good day anyway.

Strangely familiar JR. So funny is that this is bring much more negative attention to that Church rather than letting it be. Well, since their goal is money it is undoubtedly worth the risk for them. Would a counter law-suit be worth it? Smith is going through a lot of trouble to defend herself. Turn the tables a bit and make them explain.

Pro Empowerment!

Jesus-is-Fraud's picture

They mean turn the other butt cheek.

Orange's picture

UPDATE:
2012.07.27: The pastor of Beaverton Grace Bible Church in Beaverton, Oregon, claimed that certain Facebook posts about the church amounted to slander, but the judge disagreed. The judge tossed the case out of court.

The truth will out, and freedom of speech wins again.

JR Harris's picture

Julie Anne Smith, a former parishioner of Beaverton Grace Bible Church knows all too well about the type of Spiritual abuse that can be perpetrated by members of a rogue congregation and has started an off shore website to chronicle the actions she had to endure and the attempted censorship she experienced. Her website called "BGBC Survivors" has a well known bible verse often associated with the cult of Alcoholics Anonymous and her stories are extremely similar.......

". . . "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves." . . . Matthew 7:15"

This reader gives a BIG THUMBS UP to Julie Anne and her website and is a good read for those who have experienced Spiritual Abuse: http://bgbcsurvivors.blogspot.se/

Look for the similarities,not the differences......

Julie Anne also has the support of many people as can be seen by the comments on this blog entitled,"Beaverton Grace Bible Church Sues Bloggers" - http://www.citybusinesschurch.org/blog/2012/05/13/beaverton-grace-bible-...

~You can not moderate the internet. Just don't lie, steal or make stuff up out of thin air and expect to get away with it without it being pointed out to you. It's really very simple.~