Calls for pastors to keep media attention away from sexual abuse cases in the church
Enoch Perry III is a man on a mission. A dubious one no doubt, but a mission nonetheless. He’s lethal against people who accuse COGIC leaders of sexual abuse because he used to be a judge so he is keen to how the “system” works. Currently, the seemingly unbridled sycophant is pulling the Church of God in Christ into legal, moral and ethical quicksand. But the top brass in COGIC apparently like him and his advice. So our job is to document the proceedings as a witness to such reckless folly.
Perry has been COGIC’s chief behind-the-scenes architect of sexual abuse “policy” in the last few years. He’s navigated church leadership though numerous legal waters with ubiquitous ease, donning different faces depending on which court room he happened to find himself in. In November 2009, when Bishop Charles Blake dropped a bombshell announcement that his denomination spent on a yearly average $800,000 to settle sexual abuse claims against the church, he actually thanked Perry for his cacophony of supporting distortions.
But Perry does have one major fear. He fears the media connecting the dots to the sordid events perpetrated by sexual predators in COGIC (44 and counting) and like the current Catholic church debacle, putting all the dirty business on NBC nightly news, FOX, ABC and other outlets. To that end, he tells COGIC pastors to keep attention away from sexual abuse cases.
“Media coverage of any sexual oriented event and the church will have a negative slant. The pessimistic coverage will have a direct impact on the overall public perception of the church involved, its corporate body and its membership. Additionally, this negativity will directly affect new membership and outside donations.”
Perry is still miffed at the excellent reporting the Dallas Observer did on Sherman Allen which led to a reopening of the case and a potential PR nightmare for COGIC. In his deposition, he called blogs who reported the story “gossip rags”. The problem was the reporting on real facts threatened the flow of donor money the church was getting from corporations. And who cares about victims when money is at stake?
If anyone ever doubted that COGIC leadership has an intentional strategy of diversion on clergy sexual abuse cases, perhaps this is the smoking gun. And all of it can be attributed to the devious counsel of Enoch Perry. His heartless crusade to paint victims of clergy abuse out of the picture or as “problems” for the church is evident in this presentation given to the church’s “General Assembly” last November. You can read or download the 16 page presentation here.
The above statement is so dizzying that we have to break it down so that you see its elements. Notice that Perry pitches media coverage, not the crimes committed by clergy, as the church’s “vulnerability”.
Perry: “Media coverage of any sexual oriented event will have a negative slant.”
The negativity doesn’t come because the media invents it, it comes because a grown man sexually violated a young woman or a young man. Perry’s perspective helps the criminals look like victims of media bias rather than the lowlife criminals they really are.
Perry: “The pessimistic coverage will have direct impact on public perception…”
Why label coverage as “pessimistic” (meaning seeing the worst in a situation) when it is the actions of sexually deviant leaders who are causing the “pessimism”? And just what does Perry expect the secular media to say or think about a church who claims to be the “greatest church in the world” with preachers raping boys and girls? Is there something positive in this we are missing? This is just another way of saying that COGIC’s “name, image and assets” must be protected at all cost, including at the expense of victims.
Perry: “This negativity will directly affect new membership and outside donations.”
There’s the money quote. The BIG reason why COGIC must keep clergy sex abuse cases quiet. Translation: Keep up the lies and charade in order to fool people into thinking that all is well. If we let the media find out we have sexual predators in positions of authority people wont join and money wont come into the church’s bank account. After all what’s more important than keeping the money flowing and deceiving people on the outside of the church? Perry should be arrested for encouraging such blatant deception when people’s lives are in the balance.
The numbers game
Pastor Harvey Burnett took a look at the numbers and came to some conclusions that are almost unbelievable. Stay with me on this.
“He (Judge Enoch Perry) reported that in over 100 years, there have been 20-25 processed cases of sexual misconduct. He stated statistically the numbers are significantly small; however, there should not be one case among us. Judge perry reported there has not been one successful lawsuit against the church; cases have either been settled or dismissed. He further stated that Bishop Blake supports the church’s zero tolerance policy against sexual misconduct.” ~ [2009 COGIC General Assembly Minutes Pg. 2 Para. 2 parenthesis added]
“Presiding Bishop Blake thanked Judge Perry for his remarks regarding the church’s policy in relationship to sexual misconduct. he pointed out that, on average, the church spends about $800,000 to settle legal matters many of which have to do with accusations of sexual misconduct. (Who made the comment? and that one singe lawsuit has the potential to bankrupt the church.)” ~ [2009 COGIC General Assembly Minutes Pg. 3 Para. 2 as it is in the minutes]
Now it seems to be somewhat of a disconnect. How can a settled lawsuit be unsuccessful when $800,000 on average is paid toward the settlement and legal matters regarding it? According to Perry’s numbers, this would mean that about $16,000,000 to $20,000,000 dollars (almost $200,000 per year over 100 years) have been paid out to adjudicate matters of this kind and this is only from the national church perspective. I believe these numbers don’t even begin to tell the real story however, because the fact is that it has been documented that over the last 20 years there have been over 35 visible cases of clergy sexual misconduct and abuse among COGIC clergy. Some of these cases were highly publicized and ended in incarceration.
If we condense even Perry’s numbers (which are more than likely understated) into the 20 to 25 year period of time in which we can document publicized cases of abuse and misconduct, that would mean that the church has paid an average of approximately $1,000,000 per year toward the adjudication of sexual misconduct cases. Remember this is $1,000,000 per year of national report and auxillary fund dollars collected and paid to defend and or settle sexual abuse, misuse, harassment, and other sexual misconduct cases.
If you find this at all disturbing, its because it really is. The “presentation” given by Perry to the denominational leaders encouraged duplicity, equivocation, and unethical if not downright illegal activity among so called holiness leaders. Maybe they are already used to operating this way, that’s why no one has called for his resignation. Per the presentation, victims of clergy sexual abuse can expect to receive no mercy, no compassion and no help from Church of God in Christ leaders which is just another reason why they really should drop the “God in Christ” from their name. Perhaps a more suitable name would be Church of Name, Image and Assets (CONIA).
Other stories on Enoch Perry:
Under oath, COGIC legal counsel Enoch Perry makes stunning admissions
Surveying COGIC’s “justice system”