I wonder if this story of a 50 something prominent religious right lawyer wrecking his life will have legs?
James M. Henderson is known as Senior Counsel in the Washington DC branch of the ACLJ, which was founded by Pat Robertson in the 1990′s as a counter to the American Civil Liberties Union. Wiki . James M. Henderson was also an adjunct professor at Pat Robertson’s law school.
Henderson is married with eight children, and was a hard working member of his church Leadership Team and a leader in the youth ministry.
James. M. Henderson had a Facebook page, where he railed against the usual things a leader and lawyer for the religious right rails about.
Henderson had another Facebook page, where, going by the name of Kyle Johnson, he hustled young men who were hustling him.
A blog, Exposed Politics broke the story of James. M. Henderson/Kyle Johnson on September 24th.
Screenshots, a preliminary timeline…it’s not pretty, and the initial post gives a chilling look at the term ‘double life’, and sobering meaning to hypocrite.
A retired journalist at blogging at The Patriot-Ombudsman picked up Exposed Politics coverage and started digging. More about James Henderson/Kyle Johnson came to light.
By September 25th, it’s like James M. Henderson never existed to the ACLJ, despite his illustrious performance as one of their key lawyers. All mention and references of him were scrubbed from their website. Gone, about 24 hours after the first blog post.
James M. Hendersons profile as an adjunct professor is not one Regent University School of Law webpage. (Pat Robertson law school) It was like he was never there.
James M. Henderson disappeared from Facebook, as did his alter ego, Kyle Johnson very shortly after this story appeared online.
There has been no response from the ACLJ or Regent U School of Law. Posting on his real FB page the end of July, Henderson expresses his anger at Regent, where it appears an anticipated move to a full professor position fell through.
The church Henderson attended did respond.
Henderson left the church earlier this summer, a few months before his secret life was uncovered. Why he left the church isn’t clear, it appears he was upset that after all the volunteering, after the friendships, his withdrawal was met with silence – like he had never existed.
The Virginia Bar Association was notified by The Patriot-Ombudsman, as was the Fairfax County Virginia cyber crime tip line. So were various media outlets. Silence – as if James M. Henderson doesn’t exist. But he does, and he also existed as Kyle Johnson. None of what has been uncovered is going away, a life and and another life can’t be scrubbed or erased with silence by those affected.
The other thing in this unravelling of a life which jumped out at me was a comment left at The Patriot-Ombudsman by someone identifying as one of his daughters. She is understandably furious:
You know why no one is taking this seriously, because anyone with a brain would know it is BS. You are making him out to be some kind of pedophile with no facts. You could not be more wrong about him. My Dad has spent half his life raising his family. He has always loved and accepted each one of us unconditionally for who we are, and we do the same from him. And as far as new hope church is concerned they can all kiss my ass. There is a reason why we all stopped going. After my Dad resigned from the church and no one even tried reaching out to him after all the years he spent there and all the work he put into it everyone there can rot in hell, and so can you. Please stop! Leave our family alone.
She is met in the comments with empathy and kindness, as she deals with 72 hours of shock.
Whatever James M. Henderson has or has not done, his decisions are his alone. His family is innocent, and are not responsible for the public position he chose, his Facebook alter-ego, his apparent hustling, and it’s tragic to see one of his children attempt to publicly defend the man she has only known as her father.
I can’t pretend to make sense of the life of Henderson/Johnson, nor or the eerie silence from him and his fellow religious right co-belligerents.
In the 1980′s Henderson’s collegue Pat Robertson wrote a book, Shout it from the Rooftops. While the rooftop shouting is a reference to the beginnings of his broadcasting empire and his bully pulpit, the real meaning and origin is found in scripture.
Luke 12:1-2 NIRV
Jesus spoke first to his disciples. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees,” he said. “They just pretend to be godly. 2 Everything that is secret will be brought out into the open. Everything that is hidden will be uncovered.3 What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight. What you have whispered to someone behind closed doors will be shouted from the rooftops.
Update: ACLJ confirms. “”The employment of James Matthew Henderson, Sr. with the American Center for Law and Justice – DC ceased effective September 25, 2012. He is no longer affiliated with any ACLJ entity. ACLJ will not comment further on this personnel matter,”