Survey for Prairie Bible Institute abuse survivors: PBI releases abuse Q&A

PBI abuse survivors have a 4 question survey online and are asking abuse survivors to take a minute to fill it out. From the comments: PBI alumni who were not abused are also invited to participate.

Prairie Bible Institute, which went to media last year, has posted an abuse investigation status Q&A in a September newsletter.

We know that there is a risk in publicly communicating this way. To quote a wise friend of mine, “Not unexpectedly, whatever is actually communicated can be misrepresented by those who are operating with their own agenda.”  Everyone has their own lens to look through and we live in a world of free press and free speech.  That is a privilege we would not want to deny them.

…We do understand that some individuals, including those who claim that they speak on behalf of Prairie, are active in the public forum. While they mean well and we appreciate their support, their opinions are not necessarily those of Prairie or its leadership.

PBI continues to ask abuse survivors to contact them directly, and avail themselves of The Survivor Fund Project/Healing Team alumni. As far as PBI is concerned the dozen allegations of abuse they are aware of occurred in homes, several years ago and were not reported until years later.

There are documented cases of incidents where abuse or inappropriate behavior did in fact occur within the Prairie community. In these cases the situations were handled swiftly and appropriately.  We have done our own internal investigation including following up with past Presidents and former staff members and have found no evidence of collusion or cover-up.  We have also opened ourselves up to appropriate authorities and they have found no evidence of collusion or cover up. The sad reality is that where abuse happened, it seems to be primarily within the privacy of individual homes. As connected as the Prairie and Three Hills community has been, we don’t believe that Prairie purposefully keeping abuse allegations “quiet” could have been possible.

The Q&A reiterates that polices are in place, alumni are standing by and an abuse chapel will be held yearly for students. As well, PBI indicates administrators have spoken with the RCMP, who announced in June their investigation is complete and no charges are being laid.

We have heard directly from the RCMP and they have indicated that they have completed their investigations and that there will be no charges laid. However, just because these investigations are closed and charges have not been laid, does not mean that abuse did not happen. The difficulty is that it often becomes one person’s word against another’s—driving wedges deeper and making healing that much harder to attain.

Short of other abuse survivors following PBI’s directive, (go to the Three Hills RCMP and come see us and/or our alumni team) it appears Prairie Bible Institute considers their involvement and responsibility over.

About Bene Diction

Have courage for the great sorrows, And patience for the small ones. And when you have laboriously accomplished your tasks, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.
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45 Responses to Survey for Prairie Bible Institute abuse survivors: PBI releases abuse Q&A

  1. Please help us with this survey – the responses are completely confidential. The composite results will be shared when the survey is over. Thank you!

  2. We welcome anyone to take the survey – even if you are not an abuse survivor.

  3. Bene Diction says:

    Thanks Linda. I updated the post to reflect the fact PBI alumni who have not been abused can fill out the survey.

  4. ZMT says:

    and Mark Maxwell serves another round of Kool-Aid. Drink up!

  5. Anyone can take the survivor, either PBI alumni or not, abuse survivor or not. We want to know your opinions. Thank you!

  6. When reading these questions and answers from PBI, it should be noted that Mark Maxwell has been harboring a known child molester on his staff in a prominent position. I have known about this since last fall and that is why I have not had any respect for Mark’s continual babble about being open and transparent. He is anything but. The victim in this case did everything right. She contacted the school with her allegations (there were several pages of credible and serious accusations of physical, emotional and sexual abuse) at the hands of her father, mother and brother. All three of these individuals have been employed at PBI in recent months. The brother and father as contract workers and the mother as a current full-time employee. Mark Maxwell has refused to respond to these allegations and has not contacted the victim. She then went to the RCMP and reported the allegations and did not want to press charges because it would mean that potentially her whole family could be in jail. I think anyone could understand how difficult this would be. The victim has done everything humanly possible to get this addressed and Mark Maxwell and others in the inner circle have completely ignored her. Her last email to them was April 23, 2012. This is September 13th. The victim is living hundreds of miles away from her family, estranged from them and trying to pick up the pieces of her life. I have personally seen the allegations and the email sent to Mark. This is a woman who is amicable to reconciliation, has a forgiving heart and no axe to grind with PBI. And yet she is ignored!

    I blew the whistle on this story when the victim was no longer able to continue the fight. Again it was completely ignored by PBI.

    So I ask you, in light of all of this, how much do you believe any of this bullshit coming from Mark Maxwell? He thinks the abuse scandal is over and most of the survivors have never even spoken yet! This is not over, not by a long shot. We are still here and still waiting for a genuine third party to work with. I think it is telling that only 12 people contacted the school. Mark smugly uses that to insinuate that there are not many survivors. The truth is only 12 people wanted to talk to him – does that tell you something? The survivors have no faith in the school to do the right thing. It is time for Mark to step to the side and let the professionals come in.

    There are so many things written here that were inaccurate and spun to PBI’s favor. I can’t believe they think we are that stupid. This gives a good picture of how arrogant and out of touch they are. One thing that really strikes me is how many times they try to minimize the abuse by saying it happened in the privacy of people’s homes. It makes no difference where the abuse happened, the issue is that these staff employees and faculty had sex with children. That is the issue. To keep harping on this as a “private family matter” is insulting to our intelligence.

    Please take time to do the survey. We need to hear from you. Thank you!

  7. The Lord Ben Chung says:

    The Lord would kindly add this phrase after Linda, “If you are a survivor, not a phantom, and you are still alive, courageous, and not a coward, and if your story is not virtual, like what these crazies at PBI claimed, then maybe it is time you should be counted.” That is all, the Lord has been here a long time, and shalt be many more, if my lord tarries. Amen.

  8. MEC says:

    I want to post my letter to Mark having read the FAQ’s he put out this week….

    Seriously Mark, how can you so blatantly lie about how many people were abused at Prairie?
    We know you read the various groups’ pages- just count up from there how many victims have come forward- then there are those who are so afraid of YOUR abuse that they hide from you.
    I am not a PBI anything but even tho I’ve met none of the survivors, from having been seriously supporting them this past year I can without even looking at their pages online count 10 survivors- and I know there are many more who write regularly, just don’t have a face to remember them by so would need to go look at the numbers.
    But 12? Who do you think believes that? Why do you so regularly make yourself look like an idiot to the public?

    I’m appalled by your words and actions and call down the wrath of God upon you for the way you have abused his wounded ones.
    M curry

  9. ZMT says:

    My question is to the Lord Ben Chung (whom I adore). Exactly who should survivors come forward to? Who should they report to? We know the police are not interested. The “evidence” is long gone. No sense going there. We know Mark Maxwell is a complete fake. No sense going there. Ms Fossen and Wanda Janz are both unstable and have lost all credibility. No sense telling either of them. Just what is a survivor to do? Please don’t tell me to post private details on the internet or god forbid facebook. What’s the point in that? So again my question. “Come forward and be accountable” to who?

  10. MEC says:

    Catherine still has all her quiet dignity, stability and credibility. It’s not hard to reach her either.

  11. MEC says:

    If only we could publish this substituting PBI for ABWE- God would be glorified and the integrity of PBI would be restored.
    http://bangladeshmksspeak.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/a-statement-of-solidarity-on-these-points/

  12. The Lord Ben Chung says:

    ZMT: I share your frustration. When these folks were abused, they were taught about a god who is almightie, and cute. That this god loves everyone but he is a bully, and will burn everyone in hell, should they decided to reject him. Of all things important, they were taught that they were less than nothing, a speck of dust, the only worth they have, is in the lord jesus christ and his cross, and they should obey the authority in the lord (not this the Lord Ben Chung). When they were abused by those in christian authority, and missionaries or candidates, they were taught in a private way, to stay out of their god’s way, and take it. Less when they speak up, many heathens would be burnt.

    Now Prairie alumni have told us the same. Don’t speak up, shut up, and go away. They even ask me what the relationship is, between me and the lord. With ‘friends’ like these, who needs enemies? I think, people need the Lord. The Lord Ben Chung. I think the courage of the Lord Ben Chung will help them.

    It is to speak a loud, from the throat, shout it from the mountain top, and say to those that say there is peace, and please, there is no peace. Say to Mark Maxwell, that this bed is too narrow and that the comforters too short to cover their private parts. That this Prairie, has hidden the blood of those who were raped.

    Where would they turn to? They should turn to themselves, embrace the God in them, and be able to speak from that God-given courage, to say it to the world they were wronged, they did not invite the rapist to be their dad, mom, friends, or christian folks. They should name these folks, until they receive a just apology and/if not, until the school lays waste. I mean that in the true biblical sense, when it is seen in the Valley of Visions, as it is in Isaiah 22. Don’t you folks see any visions anymore?

  13. Angelyn says:

    I just filled out the survey, mostly with lengthy comments. It was a frustrating experience due to the wording of the points. For instance, Should PBI hire GRACE to “handle the abuse scandal”? Whatever does “handle the abuse scandal” mean? How about, “What can PBI do to support the survivors of sexual abuse that happened at PBI?”

    The questions seemed to me to be removed from the reality of the issues *for survivors,* but I did my best to make my views and opinions known. It seems clear why so few survivors are coming forward – why subject oneself to further misunderstanding and skeptical scrutiny?

  14. So sorry you found the survey frustrating Angelyn. By using the phrase “handle the abuse scandal”, I meant that GRACE would come in as a legitimate third party and manage the whole process of having survivors stories be heard and acknowledged and perps identified and held accountable. GRACE has professionals with over a 100 years of experience working with abuse survivors. If PBI were to hire them, they would be the contact for the survivors to come forward to and then they would give a comprehensive report to PBI so that they can make critical changes to ensure the safety of children in the future.

    I appreciate you taking the time to complete the survey Angelyn. It is our feeble attempt to try to gauge people’s opinions in the middle of this chaotic time. Thank you!

  15. Angelyn says:

    Linda, I supposed the survey had come from PBI, based on the title of the article, “Survey…PBI releases abuse Q&A.” Are you working with PBI on this survey? What are the possibilities that PBI will pay attention to the results? Is there any progress being made on that front, that is, is PBI now actually wanting to know where survivors, or survivor supporters, are coming from?

    I wonder what potential good, if any, may come from having filled out this survey. Has PBI indicated they want to know the results, beyond seeking more grounds upon which to vindicate themselves?

  16. The Lord Ben Chung says:

    Angelyn:

    I do not think Bene is working for or with PBI about surveying he survivors. It makes little or no sense, since this ‘sinner’ Bene who has been bloggin about PBI without their permission, and this Bene even choose tobe among the rejects, even ‘eats’ with these ex-PBIers such as Linda.

    But to us, this Bene has embodies the concept of compassion and often speaks in the midst of hate and distortion. In comparison to the Lord Ben Chung, Bene somehow retains his/her Christian faith and hopes that this ‘heavenly fathers’ will come and help those who trust in this ‘heavenly fathers’ thing. I no longer do, with my own faith in the human community and this world. I much rather be a here and now person, and much rather have this courage to live and draw my breath in this harsh world after this heavenly father failed to come through for those who were abused.

    I do not see that this survey will generate much interest among the abused. Many of these are dead, in spirit and they’re the walking dead. Lost of faith in their god, themselves and this world, If you wait and see, these are doomed, their gods failed and many are worst than Christians who believed falsely that god will come for them, no he won’t.

    I think the reality, is that these abused are like the phantoms, they are not there, just because they contacted Linda a few years ago, does not mean they are there, and they will speak again. We at best, like the Messiah of PBI, or damnable Mark, has said, at best, we have a few selected cases. These are already handled by CSC, and the Healing Team. I would echo here what the scriptures has said, that Rachel wails for her children and would not be comforted, because THEY ARE NO MORE. In the same sense, these abused are no more, they are done for, gone, dissipated like the wind, and no matter of regeneration or prompting will do. The survey is another try to find them. Bene, thank you for your efforts, though it fails, you have at least tried, like I have. I am sorry to tell you that as feeble minded fundamentalists, we were trained to look for god in thewrong places and he is not there, nor did he speak. There is no help in these magic or make believe world Christians offer. The courage of the Lord, the Lord Ben Chung, is in human community and this beautiful world, to live each day like there is no other, and to be awaken from a dead long sleep called Christianity, and to live in the present.

    If you are an abused, try to leave your faith and god behind, and live in the present, seek justice and have courage, and hold those animals responsible till they meet their ultimate fate in this world. That is God, to me.

  17. No, I am not working with PBI Angelyn. The title for this blog posting was written by Benediction. As you know PBI has virtually shut out most of the survivors by refusing to respond to any of our contact with them. The apparently is their strategy: silence and refusal to respond.

    The survey is actually for the benefit of us to help us gauge public opinion and see how much support we have. As you know, we have been hitting roadblock after roadblock with PBI. I think the fact that they are currently harboring a known child molester speaks volumes for how they feel about all of us survivors. They don’t want to hear from us. They wish we would go away.

    Based on the response to the survey so far, I don’t think PBI will have anything to be proud of. When we are through with the survey, we will publish the results.

    If you are inclined to talk to Mark Maxwell, you are more than welcome to try.

  18. The Lord Ben Chung says:

    I will also add here, Linda, that when you are through with the survey, it is likely you will be less than 12. That is a biblical number. Please prove me wrong, all ye abused. Thanks.

  19. Angelyn says:

    Thank you for the clarification, Linda. I understand the source of the survey now, and I also understand how the wording could have been less than tailored for clarity from the standpoint of a survivor… the reason being that there is an elephant in the room – the stonewalling of PBI, and without its cooperation all efforts at balance are by necessity skewed. When I read the questions, and when I wrote my responses, I thought that it was PBI (finally) speaking, and that I was addressing PBI.

    Am I inclined to try to talk to Mark Maxwell? Nay forsooth and alibaba. Nay. In other words, I’ve had enough experience trying to talk with his ilk, and found that at best it’s a waste of time. Although, for any so inclined, and up to this point, I do not criticize those efforts. During the days that I did confront such as he on such issues as these, it was the thing for me to be doing. Not now.

    To be clear myself: I have utmost respect for both Bene and Linda, based on what I have seen of their words and actions. It makes no difference to me whether or not someone retains or leaves their Christian faith. What counts is being true to one’s own observations and experience, and that varies with time and is never the same for any two individuals. When head, heart, and gut align, that is the path to follow, and one can only know it for oneself. While I was “in the faith,” that was the place for me to be. When it was time to leave, it was time for me to leave.

    Ben, I appreciate your note to me, your unique style and candor, and I respect you too, along with some others on this blog whom I see boldly taking responsibility for themselves and all their views.

  20. Thanks Angelyn. I think ZMT raised a good point. Who are we survivors supposed to go to? We went the RCMP and were told there was no evidence of our abuse. We went to CSC – the third-party but PBI tied their hands and left them unable to do anything past hearing our stories. Some of us have told our stories to each other. And now PBI wants to call it quits and say the process is over before we have even been heard. Because we did not avail ourselves to their solution (i.e. the healing team or a visit with Mark Maxwell), drink the PBI Koolaid and tell the school thank you for our abuse, then we are left with no other option. Who are we supposed to go to? PBI has not given us a proper means to be heard and acknowledged. People can harp all they want about why the survivors are not coming forward but what would you do if you had to face this firing squad that PBI and it’s alumni have erected to stand in our way? How many of you would be willing to tell your most embarrassing secrets in this kind of environment?

    We stay until we have been heard and acknowledged. PBI cannot dictate the timetable for us. Only we can decide when every voice has been heard.

  21. The Lord Ben Chung says:

    Bene, I will speak as a mad man.

    I will say to the abused. Beat the little jesuses and crap out of your own fear! Be courageous and be counted for, swear if you have to, and say to the world that you no longer believe in god, at least this one at Prairie. And be brave enough to hold these critters accountable, sue them, if you have to. And bring the giant down. Amen.

  22. brano says:

    Some healing ,goes along way amigo…Let the anger,bitterness and rage goooooooooo

  23. Jo says:

    I am not a person that is very great at articulating much, I am not anyone of extreme importance, I have not earned any degrees and I am just a simple sinner saved by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, but for the first time in my life I am posting a comment in a blog like this because for once I need to have my heart’s cry heard . . . . . . .These survivors are lying wounded, bleeding, weary, sick and sore on the roadside – they have waited some of them their whole lives to be heard and to be helped . . . . when I say helped, with all due respect I mean from the heart . . . . not to protect a person, or a school made of brick and mortar, but to really have people be Jesus’ hands and feet to them and to show them the true meaning of Christian love and care. . . . . PBI you have tried to offer some bandaids – but with all due respect a gaping stab wound needs so much more – please, please, please I humbly ask you to drop everything else and come to the aid of these dear ones in the way they have requested, by hiring Grace. To wait any longer no matter what your reasoning is, is to leave someone dying by the roadside – please don’t put me down for saying this – instead, please hear my heart which is one of many . . . . please!!

  24. MEC says:

    This is the most amazing video- from Godvine- a Christian source- It would be really interesting for Mark and his cohorts to watch it and realize that THEY have caused as much damage to the vulnerable as this gal had done to her- they have been the bullies- calling the victims liars until proven otherwise, refusing to even ADMIT they’ve been contacted by victims (Marian Greene) while out the other side of their mouth they spout their platitudes about doing all they can to help those who have been abused.
    Part of the reason so few have come forward to Mark and co. is found in this video- they have found strength to go on and the wisdom NOT to expose themselves to those who would just bully and abuse them again.

  25. Angelyn says:

    I said I wouldn’t contact Mark Maxwell, even though I had expressed myself in the survey thinking I was actually confronting him (PBI). Realizing that nothing had changed, and he wasn’t listening anyway, changed that picture (although I’d have filled out the survey anyway).

    However, since I am myself a survivor of a sexual assault while at PBI, by a staff member older than my father, and since I am also an alumnus/graduate of PBI, and since I am also a (mostly retired) licensed clinical social worker – a counselor who has worked with many abused and traumatized clients – I am rethinking whether or not to contact Mark. It would be with no expectations of an outcome, but to speak for those who have difficulty doing so now, and to address an egregious ill. After the results of Linda’s survey are in and published – on this thread, I hope… then, depending on the results of the survey and feelings/comments from this group, we can look at the next step…

  26. Jo you claim not to be articulate but what you said was so powerful it needs to be said again. This absolutely cuts to the heart of the matter…bless you for speaking out such powerful truth, Jo!

    “I am not a person that is very great at articulating much, I am not anyone of extreme importance, I have not earned any degrees and I am just a simple sinner saved by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, but for the first time in my life I am posting a comment in a blog like this because for once I need to have my heart’s cry heard . . . . . . .These survivors are lying wounded, bleeding, weary, sick and sore on the roadside – they have waited some of them their whole lives to be heard and to be helped . . . . when I say helped, with all due respect I mean from the heart . . . . not to protect a person, or a school made of brick and mortar, but to really have people be Jesus’ hands and feet to them and to show them the true meaning of Christian love and care. . . . . PBI you have tried to offer some bandaids – but with all due respect a gaping stab wound needs so much more – please, please, please I humbly ask you to drop everything else and come to the aid of these dear ones in the way they have requested, by hiring Grace. To wait any longer no matter what your reasoning is, is to leave someone dying by the roadside – please don’t put me down for saying this – instead, please hear my heart which is one of many . . . . please!!”

  27. The Lord Ben Chung says:

    Linda, I would also add that if there is an abused out there, not yet spoken, maybe you are best to look deeply within and see what makes you human and worthy of our attention. Be courageous, and be the God within you and forget that Prairie deity that abused you in the first place!

  28. Angelyn, I would love to see you talk to Mark Maxwell…

  29. Angelyn says:

    Linda, when do you expect to wrap up the survey and let us know the results? I would like to have that information before I write to Mark.

  30. MEC says:

    You know, in rereading the comments on this thread something just hit me- ‘What in the world was going on at PBI over all those years that made people want to have sex with children?’ Weren’t they allowed to have sex with their spouses? It’s such an epidemic? Makes no sense- no normal person wants satisfaction from a child- what the heck was going on ? Was EL doing it too? It’s stark raving mad…. no wonder Ben goes crazy.

  31. The Lord Ben Chung says:

    Try this thought, if you believe in the holy bible, that Mary like was a minor, and a young girl at the time of her conception. This is indeed a biblical value to sleep with little girls ad minors, no wonder little Jesus of the bible calls god his father, he must have come to the same conclusion. He was born a ‘maimzer’ (a bastard). If you hold this as the divine word of god, then it makes perfect sense those folks at Prairie would be doing this to the little girls and boys, and that God has not appeared in person, nor could he do anything about it. That is all. That is why I am the Lord, the Lord Ben Chung.

  32. Angelyn says:

    After reading through the PBI letters, Q&A, and their Harassment and Assault Policy manual, I found I didn’t need to wait for the survey results. I just e-mailed this to Mark:

    An open letter to Mark Maxwell:

    Some months ago I “googled” PBI to see how it is represented on the World Wide Web these days. To my shock and sadness, I learned that an abuse scandal is in progress.

    Let me introduce myself. I attended four years at PBI, graduating in 1963. I was Angeln Brown (I have since added the “y” to my first name). While at Prairie I experienced a sexual assault by a staff member older than my father. That story is on pbisurvivors.com. I hasten to add that this is not my reason for contacting you. Although the incident and its aftermath changed my life, I am at peace, and seek no hearing or redress for that particular offense.

    In addition, by way of introduction, I have spent over thirty years working with trauma and abuse survivors, first as a volunteer, then as a professional. I am a licensed clinical social worker, mostly retired at this point. Due to these years of experience, my concern is for the silent and hurting victims/survivors, for in all likelihood the abuses of which you have been made aware comprise a mere “tip of the iceberg.”

    I have read through your letters, Q&A, and PBI’s “Harassment & Assault Policy” for reporting abuse as of February 2010. It all sounds very good and appropriate, with this paramount exception:

    If I was shocked and saddened to learn about the scandal to begin with, I am equally shocked and saddened to read at the outset, in the Introduction to Prairie’s H&A Policy, your 11 particular selections of scriptures. You say: “This policy is built on biblical convictions as found in…” and the selections follow. Your carefully chosen scriptures outline a fundamental agenda that is diametrically opposed to the standards later outlined in the H&A Policy. I will explain.

    Any PBI student firmly believes that the Bible is the infallible Word of God and is never to be questioned, but obeyed at pain of God’s wrath and eternal judgment. You, as PBI’s president, are in a position of authority over these students, as God’s spokesperson and representative, and the power you wield, by virtue of your choice of these particular scriptures, is of immeasurable proportions.

    I will go through these scriptures as you have printed them in the H&A Policy manual, one by one in order, and cite the clear message that comes through, first to a victim, then to an offender. I wish to point out to you that the overwhelming, overall effect of this selection of scripture is not only inappropriate to the H&A context; the result is to effectively silence victims and to excuse offenders:

    1. Matthew 5:21-22, “…anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.” Message to reporter (victim/survivor): If you feel angry about the alleged abuse you will be judged.
    Message to abuser: You’re not angry so it’s your accuser who is liable.

    2. Matthew 12:34-37, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks…people will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.”
    Message to reporter (victim/survivor): If you speak one wrong word you will be called to account for it in the day of judgment.
    Message to abuser: Whatever s/he is saying about you, s/he will have to account for it in the day of judgment. You’re not talking so there’s no judgment for you.

    3. Matthew 15:18-20, “But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these defile you…”
    Message to reporter (victim/survivor): The things you speak from your heart are the things that defile you.
    Message to abuser: It’s not what s/he said you did that defiles you, but the words that are coming out of his/her mouth defile him/her.

    4. I Corinthians 5:9-11, “…But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with any who claim to be fellow believers but are sexually immoral or greedy, idolaters, or slanders…”
    Message to reporter (victim/survivor): Your alleged abuser has involved you in his/her alleged sexual immorality. He/she denies it; you are the one who talks about it. Who then shall we ostracize?
    Message to abuser: If there was any sexual immorality, we have to separate ourselves from that one. Your accuser is the only one who’s talking, so…

    5. James 2:2-10, “…believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism…but if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by law.”
    Message to reporter (victim/survivor): We are commanded not to show favoritism. Therefore, we have to listen equally to both sides of this story, and the one you’re accusing denies it, so…
    Message to abuser: We can’t show favoritism, and you’re not the one causing trouble, so…

    6. Ephesians 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
    Message to reporter (victim/survivor): Quit saying these unwholesome things! We don’t need to hear it!
    Message to abuser: Good for you! We haven’t heard any unwholesome talk from you, just edifying and beneficial words.

    7. Ephesians 5:4, “Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.”
    Message to reporter (victim/survivor): Be thankful! What you’re saying is obscene. Be grateful instead!
    Message to abuser: We really like you! We don’t hear any obscenities from you, only thanksgiving!

    8. Colossians 3:8, “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.”
    Message to reporter (victim/survivor): Okay, now you’ve told your story. Get rid of the feelings and quit talking about it.
    Message to abuser: You don’t have anything to get rid of. We still have to deal with this accuser though.

    9. I Peter 1:22, “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply from the heart.”
    Message to reporter (victim/survivor): If you’ve purified yourself and are going to obey the truth, get on with loving deeply from your heart – no exceptions.
    Message to abuser: You are loving even to this accuser. It’s too bad that s/he doesn’t seem to love you back.

    10. Romans 12:18, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
    Message to reporter (victim/survivor): Just be at peace with your abuser.
    Message to abuser: You’re a peaceful person. You can’t do any more than that.

    11. Romans 14:19, “Let us therefor make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”
    Message to reporter (victim/survivor): Move on.
    Message to abuser: Keep doing what you’re doing.

    Mark, I hope that you’ve been able to read through this and see what this particular selection of scripture does in situations of abuse, harassment and assault, where there is a strong power differential between the offender and the offended. Of your selected scriptures, 5 focus on words people speak, which applies to those who have something to report, 3 on feelings people have, which applies to those wronged, and the rest are ambiguous in terms of differentiating between abused and abuser. Not one of these scriptures focuses on the unspeakable wrongness of the acts that were perpetrated or redress for the consequences of these acts for those abused.

    To help out, here are a few scriptures (King James Version) that you might find more suitable to the context:

    “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32. Knowing the truth and thus finding freedom requires exploration and expression. When truth is denied or slighted by authority figures, not only are the “little ones” offended, but truth itself.

    “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me… Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.” Matthew 25:40-46. “…the least of these…” – least in cognitive and physical power, least in years and experience, least in authority and influence… these are the ones with whom Jesus identifies.

    “Woe unto you…hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness…” Matthew 23:13-27.

    “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.” Luke 17:2.
    “…in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established…” Matthew 18:15-17.

    “Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23.

    “Be ye angry, and sin not.” Ephesians 4:26.

    Still with hope for a consistent, humane, and truly just and compassionate outcome for the “little ones” offended…

    If you wish to reply, please do so by return e-mail.

    Very sincerely yours,
    Angelyn Ray

  33. Wow Angelyn, this was powerful! I am in awe of what you wrote. Would you give me permission to post on pbisurvivors website too? This needs to be read and re-read by the alumni. You have single-handedly spoke volumes for all us survivors and done so in such a concise way. God bless you and keep speaking – we need you!

    As for the survey, we only have 54 responses so far. I would like to see at least a hundred. The survey is open to everyone – PBI ties or not, survivor or not.

  34. MEC says:

    Thank you so much Angelyn for your post- Maybe by speaking Mark’s language he will ‘get’ it. God, I hope and pray so.
    It would be a miracle if your status as an alumni abused on PBI property and a therapist for abused people somehow woke Mark up to what professionals (as well as those of us with eyes to see and ears to hear) see and hear when they read the drivel he offers as his ‘dealing’ with the issue.

    God bless you.

  35. Angelyn says:

    Linda, yes, you may copy my “open letter” to Mark. I just ask that the letter be printed in its entirety, at least at this juncture, which is probably your intent anyway. Thank you for your comments, and yours, MEC.

  36. Bene Diction says:

    Angelyn:

    Your letter is powerful, and convicting (and I’m not a PBI administrator). Thanks for this.

    Jeremiah 8:11 Amplified For they have healed the wound of the daughter of My people only lightly and slightingly, saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace.

  37. Wow love that verse Benediction…I am sharing that…

  38. JK says:

    Possible survey-takers should note that their confidentiality is not assured, despite Mrs. Fossen’s claim to the contrary. She made a guess (a mistaken guess, as it tuerned out) about one of the takers and published it on Facebook.

  39. Tim W Callaway says:

    Thank you, Angelyn, for your articulate and thoughtful letter to Mark. I trust he will bear in mind that old maxim which suggests that for every one who takes the time to write a letter, there are a dozen to two dozen who could say the very same thing. Peace to you, friend.

  40. The Lord Ben Chung says:

    I would put in my two cents about contacting Mark Maxwell.

    I served on the Board of Prairie during 2003-2004, and I can assure you that whatever you wrote, is read by Mark Maxwell. But it stops there. If I am not mistaken, much of the mail that came through, even addressing the Board, did not reach the right party. At the end, the executive committee will make the recommendation how to deal with the abused. Looking at our situation, there is very little gained from this school, other than paying lips service, and a few precious changes about handbook and procedures. Nothing has been done for the abused. Most of them have dissipated, except for Linda, and a few old faithfuls. We have failed miserably at this, and they are probably laughing their buds off at this. At one time, we have the attention of the press, and we failed to come through. At the home coming, we could make a passionate appeal, we failed to show up. We could at least sue them for the damages, and we failed to do that, there are too few abused that could be counted.

    My own take on this, and I am very much prophetic, is that we are going no where. There is no help, and there will be no help. You cannot talk to the school administration and expect results. They will not talk to you, so there, Angelyn, when you quote scriptures, it goes no where. It is the scriptures that were used to abuse many of these abused. I am sure this falls on the deaf ears. As far as people appreciating these texts, that is wonderful, but in reality, there is not going to be any changes. The School is prepared to wear the abused out. So far, they are right.

  41. Angelyn says:

    Not to worry, Ben. The child who called out, “But the emperor has no clothes on!” wasn’t asking the emperor to change. Just calling attention to the obvious. That’s all.

  42. Sheryl Brown says:

    Thanks for the heart and soul and courage you put into writing your experience, background and viewpoint, Angelyn. May it give courage to the many more who need to find their own voices and use them..!

  43. Mary says:

    Thank you so much for this letter, Angelyn. Your words give hope to many, I’m sure. I pray that the right people will be watching, listening, and doing what they can. Your voice is needed…..keep writing.

  44. Brandi Vinson says:

    Angelyn…thank you for coming forward and speaking your truth!!! I can only hope pray that it doesn’t continue to fall on deaf ears. God bless you!!

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