US worship leader in Milton jail, can’t make bail or pay a lawyer

See the important update at the end of the post.

How can a former Saddleback worship leader sit in an Ontario jail with no money, no defence attorney and no one from churches he works for, or worked for in California stepping up and helping him out? Why aren’t people from the churches he was coming to visit here in Canada helping him? What Canadian churches were expecting him, and are they assisting him?

Charlie Clark lists himself as a worship leader at 1st Presbyterian Church Ladera Ranch, California, he lists a former music professor at Orange Coast College  a former worship team member at Saddleback Lake Forest, and as the former worship pastor at North Orange Christian Church, Peninsula Community Church in Rancho Palos Verdes, and worship pastor at Grace Church in Cypress California.

Where is this mans family?

Clark is not listed on the Saddleback Lake Forest site, there is nothing on the church blog about his arrest, I didn’t find anything about a Saddleback missions trip to Peru.

Charlie Clark is employed as the contemporary worship leader at 1st Presbyterian Church Oceanside according to the church annual report. Are fellow leaders and the congregation doing anything to get Clark a Canadian lawyer and get him out of jail until his trial? There is nothing about his arrest in the church newsletter from July or August.  There is nothing on the church Facebook page.

Charlie Clark is sitting in jail in Milton Ontario because he was arrested at Toronto Pearson International Airport July 23rd.  He said he was coming to Canada to visit churches after a missions trip to Peru.

Charlie Clark, 58, of Trabuco Canyon, California, remains in custody after a brief appearance in Brampton court today (Wed. Aug. 14) and has been forced to find a new lawyer because he has no money.

“Given the fact he is a U.S. national and was unable to have anyone come forward to retain me I was forced to halt my defence of him,” said defence lawyer Gary Batasar. “I certainly wish him the best and I hope he is ultimately vindicated.”

Clark was also denied bail because no one has shown up to act as his surety.

Last month, Canada Border Services Agency officers arrested Clark shortly after he exited a flight from Lima, Peru at Pearson International Airport.

During an inspection, customs officers found “anomalies” on a passenger’s suitcase. They opened the luggage and discovered about nine kilograms of cocaine, believed to be valued at more than $850,000.

The case was turned over to the RCMP.

Clark is charged with importing a controlled substance.

Charlie Clark has been in jail about 3 1/2 weeks.  I’m speculating he went to Peru through a PCUSA missions opportunity. According to the US Embassy, he has the right to Canadian legal aid if he can’t afford an attorney.

…the Consulate, upon request, can facilitate communication with family and friends, provide a list of attorneys, and assist in arranging the transfer of personal funds from the U.S. to pay legal or other costs.

…The Consulate strongly suggests that detainees obtain the services of an attorney, either private counsel or one provided through the Canadian legal aid system.

His former lawyer:

Batasar said the charge makes no sense and both he and his client believe the drugs were planted.

“My client is stunned by the allegations and it certainly does not comport with his work as a missionary,” Batasar said. “It’s clear that he was an unwitting dupe and we look forward to an expeditious trial of this matter and a formal declaration of his innocence.”

I have no idea how much a Canadian defence lawyer charges to defend a US citizen charged with bringing in nearly 20 pounds of cocaine, nor how much bail would be; but duped or guilty Clark has the right to counsel, and his day in court.  He deserves support while he sits in a Canadian jail.
Conviction on importing a Schedule 1 drug  is punishable by up to life in a federal prison.

Update: Friends of Charlie Clark say charges were dropped, several others were also released and other arrests made. (See the comment section) Clark returned home to Southern California.

Update:  I often wondered what happened to Charlie Clark. He tells his story in the comments below, and it’s quite different than the original newspaper article in a small newspaper here in Canada. He and other US citizens were the victims of an alleged elaborate scam and drug operation here in Canada and South America. He is not happy with the original story and has asked me to remove it. I’m not going to. If that original story however fabricated, embellished or  un-factual it may have been, (or why it may have been) hadn’t been published, Charlie’s friends others may not have been able to find him, as he was incarcerated federally in Canada for 9 months. He is still traumatized.

As Charlie Clark points out, this is a cautionary tale, one that could happen to most any of us in a vulnerable time in our lives. It was the kindness of a Canadian prison chaplain who got Charlie Clark the rest of the way home to San Diego when Canadian officials put him on a plane and dumped him in Detroit. He and others were deliberately targeted. He has lost everything, his reputation, his home, his job and his savings.  Well, he hasn’t lost everything, his faith is stronger than ever and he testifies to God’s faithfulness through months of uncertainty, threats, fear and lostness.  He still has his friends who came to his rescue, but healing and rebuilding could take a lifetime. The charges against him have been dropped and any record of his time served in Canada erased. Charlie Clark and others will be freely returning to Canada next year to testify against the alleged Canadian drug smugglers.

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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50 Responses to US worship leader in Milton jail, can’t make bail or pay a lawyer

  1. Torontonian says:

    Peru is the largest source of cocaine exports
    in Latin America and a BBC News
    article bears this out. I hope the link works.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23737272

    Was Charlie Clark framed?

  2. Bene D says:

    Hi Torontonian:

    Link works, thanks.

    It crossed my mind that if Clark was duped, the Peruvian connection may not have known he was heading to Canada. That doesn’t make much sense in hindsight because Air Canada has a direct flight and if the cocaine was planted, the ‘gift givers’ probably knew his destination.
    Was Canada the destination for the drugs?
    Who was picking it up at this end?
    Most of the cocaine coming into Canada comes through the US.
    The risk is equally high to import into either country.

    There are travel advisories for US citizens in parts of Peru (restricted). Some denominations prepare and warn short term trippers well, many churches don’t.

    It is odd no one has stepped forward to help Clark from the US.

    There are a lot of unknowns, I looked on every church and church FB page he is a part of or has been a part of and there is no mention of his arrest.

  3. Missing Facts says:

    I’m glad BD that you are not finding Clark guilty before proving him innocent. You must have had a change of heart.

  4. Bene D says:

    Missing Facts:

    I’m on the fence regarding guilt or innocence, the courts can do their job.

    I’m more concerned about his Christian friends – where are they?
    Nothing on line, not a mention, no expressions of surprise, support, nothing.
    Was thinking about Matthew 25.

    You have to admire the defence attorney for putting this into media, I suspect he did so in the hope that someone who knows Charlie Clark will step up.

  5. Missing Facts says:

    Christian friends often disappear when someone is accused of a crime. They not only abandon a brother, but they ignore the teachings of Jesus. Jesus was also abandoned when He was accused. BD you have not always been on the fence when people have been accused, you have not waited for the courts to their job in many cases on this blog. I’m glad you’re thinking about Matthew 25. Hopefully you’re taking this blog to find a better purpose. Does Charlie have anyway to receive donations? Right or wrong Charlie does not deserve to be railroaded.

  6. Greg Vail says:

    I am a friend of Charlie’s and just heard of this thru a mutual friend that emailed links and this story. I am stunned to say the least! Charlie is a good guy that would appear to be in a horrible mess right now. I have not heard from him and only know he was “out” last time I played at First Pres in Oceanside a few weeks back.
    My wife is Canadian and I hope to track this to find out what is going on and see what we can do tomorrow.
    I know many other friends have just found out tonight along with my wife and I. I don’t know what First Pres is doing if anything but I know Charlie is too nice a guy and could well have taken a package with him with good intentions. I hope we can get this sorted out a resolved quickly.
    Totally stunned by this news….

  7. Anonymous says:

    It’s ridiculous to base your assumption that no one from his former churches are coming to his aid or trying to help in some way simply because you don’t see anything posted on the church websites.

    Your assumptions are wrong. Most of us (his friends in CA) have only recently found out (some just today!) and there ARE efforts to help underway.

    If you’re genuinely concerned for Charlie, please pray. Don’t try to stir up controversy based on assumptions. Thank you.

  8. fred says:

    We don’t know about the drugs, but his musical ability is criminal

  9. Old Friend says:

    I have know Charlie for years. Most of us are just finding about the situation today. I am sure that there will be support for him soon. I am very sure that Charlie is the victim in this case.

  10. Bene Diction says:

    Anonymous:

    I agree – a lack of something posted on a church website is not sufficient reason to make that assumption. Good to hear that word has finally reached California and that efforts to help Mr. Clark are under way.

    It’s remarkable and sad that he has been in the Milton jail for a month tomorrow, and it appears no one missed him.
    I agree prayers are in order, I have been praying for Mr. Clark, and as you and others attempt to assist him, I’ll be praying for you.

    If you care to keep me updated – I’ll update the post.

  11. Bene Diction says:

    Greg:

    I am sure this is stunning for you, I’m relieved to hear networking is going on and practical assistance is on the way.

  12. Bene Diction says:

    Hi Missing Facts:

    You are correct, I am not always on the fence when people have been accused, I don’t believe at times courts are the final word, just the legal one.

    As you can see, friends of Charlie Clark are just finding out he is jailed in Canada, and as they get organized I’ll try to keep you updated re: donations etc.

    I don’t know him, his story touched me, the attorney reaching out to media touched me, and I agree, he does not deserve to be railroaded.

  13. Bene Diction says:

    Old Friend:

    Good to hear support is on the way.

  14. BD says:

    For the American friends of Charlie Clark:

    US Embassy Ottawa:
    http://canada.usembassy.gov/
    Tel: 613-688-5335
    email: ottawaACS@state.gov

    Maplehurst Correctional Complex, Milton Ontario:
    http://tinyurl.com/lcqb3wv
    Tel: (905) 878-8141

    The lawyer who met with Mr. Clark and who got this story into the media:
    http://peellawchambers.com/gary-batasar/

  15. Missing Facts says:

    Again BD, I commend that you desire to help Mr. Clark without hearing all the facts. You know when someone is accused, the first thing the defence attorney does is advise his client not talk to anyone until the trial. Based on that, I don’t understand how you can pass judgement on someone before hearing all of the facts as you mentioned in your previous comment and have done on other cases.

  16. Fact says:

    Comment removed at the request of Charlie Clark – BD

  17. Hopesome says:

    We have held ‘pastor’s vicars and the like to be people that we ‘look up to’ who have a greater knowledge of the biblical than maybe we do, who represent the bridge between us and ‘Jesus’ who are there when we need comfort, insight, wisdom or a voice to say your ok/ its ok/ don’t panic Jesus loves you……….. There are times when a sermon can bring you ‘home’ to what has been a place in the widerness of your heart, there are times when the worship on offer is lyrical, tunes in to your despair and enables you to forget for just a while ‘DESPAIR’, there are even times when friends and congregations can bless you and smile and say ‘your welcome’………. there are times when the sublime and divine come together and you are lost in the wonder of its heaing balm and magnifiscense ………………

    You can get really ‘caught up in it all’ ………………….

    and lose your sense of meaning, reality, and objectiveness ………………..

    Whatever the verdict of mans judgement or opinions this gentleman has now to do battle for either his innocence …………….. or his lies ……………….

    As at the end of the day ……………… we all do …………..

    Sir may peace be with you ……………

  18. Bene Diction says:

    Fact:

    I happen to agree, a worship singer, or a worship band leader is not considered a pastor. to the majority of us, a music degree is not an ordination.

    Please be careful, we have different libel laws in Canada than you do.
    I’m going to give you a play nice warning, see the About page on BDBO.
    You are free to express your negative opinions or knowledge; preference with, I think, I believe, I feel, I have first hand knowledge…

    You said Charlie Clark was not on a missions trip to Peru.
    Where was he, what was he doing, and how would you know that?
    While I have your attention, do you know what churches he was visiting in Canada?

    I am also concerned for people in his life – Charlie Clark was carrying nearly a million dollars worth of cocaine that did not get to the people who were expecting it. Whether the cocaine destination was Trabuco Canyon or Canada, ticked off criminals could retaliate.

  19. Not Surprised says:

    Comment removed at the request of Charlie Clark – BD

  20. GregVail says:

    One thing I really don’t appreciate about the web is the faceless ability to say something without regard to accuracy or accountability. Fact has a name and, apparently an axe to grind and I know it is an ex that is recent and not a fan – obviously. My only comment is – real people have names and cowards post under fake names, shot a few bullets and run. Not Surprised is obviously a friend and adds no facts to the situation other than to be faceless and rude too boot.
    Cowards…
    Note: a real name and website attached.
    Signed Greg Vail, sax player guy and friend of Charlie’s

    Bene Diction – It would appear that he was not on a missions trip, and my thought is, the attorney made this statement as part of a viable defense. I really hope to speak to Charlie soon and get the real scoop. In the mean time, thanks for attempting to keep the blog free of character attacks without facts.

  21. Bene Diction says:

    Greg:

    Thanks, if you are able to keep us updated, that would be appreciated.

  22. Not Surprised says:

    Greg,
    Not cowardly…cautious. Here are the facts of my experience with him as you requested: I observed Charlie take advantage of several women, living off them while refusing to take work that he felt was ‘beneath him’. He talked with an inflated self ego of half-million dollar deals that he was ‘working on’. He was arrogant; and as I said before, had a slimy, creepy factor about him that I’m not surprised men may not pick up on. I hope that he gets a fair trial and justice is served, whatever that may be.

  23. fjc says:

    Why do people hold Pastors in such high regard.

    You too can become a Pastor, get a Masters or a PHd. simply by sending away to one of those degree mills or those so called for profit Bible Colleges. I think the going rate for a Doctorate of Divinity is about $300. Or you can just print shop your own for free.

    It is worthwhile to separate the learned ones from the imposters. And there are lots of the ‘wing nut’ imposters floating around-spreading their nonsense and fleecing the flock.

  24. fjc says:

    The courts will decide.

    One thing for sure…if he is found guilty all his supporters will be claiming that the devil was at work in the judge that sentences him. These folks have an answer for everything. Whether it is believable is another issue.

  25. fjc says:

    It is a real shame.

    My understanding is that there is hardly a person in jail today who does not claim that he/she is innocent.

  26. fjc says:

    You do the crime….you do the time.

  27. Larry Gerling says:

    (Removed at the request of the commenter – BD)

  28. Bene Diction says:

    There has been nothing in Cdn news since August – I don’t know if Clark has a lawyer as yet. I suspect he’ll sit in jail until trial.
    Where was this cocaine going, and if this was a ‘missions trip’ why didn’t he tell someone, and as you say, ask for prayer?
    The surprise of his US friends about him showing up in Canada is odd.
    It’s also odd that none of the Canadian churches Charlie Clark was supposed to visit have expressed concern.

  29. Greg Vail says:

    Well, I guess even Jesus had a Judas, but I don’t think he is anybody to aspire to be. Please add me to your list to not call for services. I am not a fan of back stabbing brother’s in Christ and could add another 3000 words explaining why, but believe the pearls before swine concept makes further response senseless. Congratulations on your new boast in job security. Watch out for that Holy Spirit guy though; He doesn’t sound like He’s too cool when it comes to kicking people when they are down or selfish desires….

  30. Greg Vail says:

    Bene, I know he was working as a courier and was not on a missions trip or going to Canada to work with any churches. He had told people this very same thing. What I don’t know is where the author of that article came up with any of those statements. He was working a side job as a courier – that’s all.
    Charlie has an attorney and is in the process of getting this worked out. I also heard from a friend that has been in touch with Charlie that the amount of drugs was reported incorrectly and it was more like 2 Kilos. We are going there next week and will meet with Charlie then.
    I will say this again – I believe the first attorney is responsible for the spin on the facts that were reported in the news. Charlie’s story has yet to be heard thus far and the blog seems to be recording a lot of hearsay and opinion with little fact or proof.
    Bene – My last post was in response to Larry Gerling’s response. I missed that you had already posted. I don’t ‘know’ Larry but I do know an inappropriate post when I see one….

  31. Bene D says:

    I don’t see Larry’s comment as inappropriate, he is entitled to his feelings and observations. It is my understanding that the Presbyterian Church has two types of services with traditional and contemporary music – and would draw two different types of crowds and different styles of musicians. Mr. Gerling is listed as the traditional music director. The service Charlie Clark worked in, is a 9 am, the traditional service at 10:30 am.

    Thanks for the update.

    Working as a courier – okay, do you mean he stopped off in Canada to drop off drugs or something else?

    While the pro bono lawyer (or the Mississauga News reporter) may or may not have some facts correct, I credit the lawyer for getting Charlie Clark’s story out there.

    2 kilos of cocaine are worth about 60 thousand dollars – 9 kilos/2 kilos is quite a discrepancy.

    That all having been said, it’s good to hear Mr. Clark now has a lawyer and his friends keeping in touch.

    Would you be kind enough to keep us posted? ie: trial date etc?

    I hope all things considered you enjoy your trip to Canada.

  32. Greg Vail says:

    Bene, I feel like any believer taking joy in the failure of another believer is specifically written against in the word. I see verses that promote a humble approach and delicate response to those in need or in trouble. I see a method laid out in scripture, explaining how to approach conflict and deal with it properly.
    I see Jesus defending the prostitute and and actually talking to the evil Samaritan woman at the well. I also see Jesus taking apart the religious leaders of the day with their pompous attitudes and self righteous egos. I see leaders that think they are over their people chastised. I feel like the prideful response from Larry only serves to bring some joy in Charlie’s dilemma and some added pride on the back side.
    I am so glad that Contemporary thing failed!
    If I walked around his workplace, I am sure I could find any number of people talking smack about him since that is what people tend to do at Church. “You know so and so….” With the attitude visible in Larry’s post, I am confident it would take only minutes to get there. The question is – How appropriate is it to post ‘facts’ that no one will admit to saying – so they are all feelings???
    If you don’t see that, then that is your feeling on the matter and that’s is fine too.
    If the blog is to based on just feelings, then please ask me what my feeling was being involved at that church. Or maybe even what my feelings were of Larry, even though I probably never spoke a word to him? He didn’t seem that nice….

  33. Bene D says:

    Greg:

    This blog is based on more than feelings – and this particular post about what is going on with Charlie Clark is short on facts, just as the initial news reports are. That has concerned me. I expect as things unfold, subsequent news stories will fill in some of the blanks., and I expect to update Clark’s situation as things unfold and information is available.

    All I cared about and worked for was reaching out to anyone who knew Charlie Clark, with this post, by twitter, and by email. It understandably chewed up a lot of my time. I’ve been clear about why I’ve done this, and I’m not breaking my arm patting myself on the back, or beating myself up because I could have, should have, would have…
    Let’s not make this about what I permit under a post such as this, there is a US citizen sitting in the Milton Hilton, (Maplehurst Correctional Complex) who was unable to afford a lawyer, is facing serious prison time, and who needs help. (Matthew 25:36)

    I expect mixed reactions, people who are shocked, surprised and looking for answers behave in all kinds of ways.
    I can only be responsible for my behaviour, my words, opinions and attitude.

    Bottom line – Larry did not violate site policy. I’m grateful he commented – I reached out to his church and didn’t hear anything back. I had no idea if the email wound up in spam or what was going on. Now I know, and for that I am thankful.

    Be miffed, upset, disappointed, whatever you need to be.
    You are both adults, with different experiences and viewpoints.
    There is room here at BDBO for both of you, no matter how uncomfortable.
    I trust the Holy Spirit to work in all our lives.

    I’m grateful you’ve also taken the time to comment and that you have started to fill in the blanks for the rest of us, thank you.

  34. Greg Vail says:

    Thank you for a very thoughtful response and I appreciate your candor. I will let you know and post my findings when we talk with Charlie, probably in a week and a half when in Toronto. Blessings and appreciation to you and your blog.
    Greg

  35. Bene D says:

    Looking forward to what you have to report – safe journey.

  36. Galeforcewind says:

    Comment removed at Charlie Clark’s request. – BD

  37. Bene Diction says:

    It is interesting that women voicing their opinions have a completely different picture of Charlie Clark than the men who led worship with him.
    Makes sense in a way, before a service, or in practise, most people are on their best behavior.

    One man who worked with Charlie recently and who asked to have his comment removed, had things to say that did not square up with some of the Saddleback guys from Charlie Clarks past.

    Charlie Clark has disappeared into the system – there has been nothing – whether he has a lawyer, a court date…nothing.

  38. Galeforcewind says:

    To be clear, the close friends I mentioned are not his current worship bandmates.

  39. Pastor Phil says:

    I have been visiting Charlie Clark in prison since August 2013. He is a precious child of God. Much loved. Knowing that we are all sinners in the sight of God, should make us cautious about what we say about anyone. Stand back and see the salvation of God and be ready to ask for His mercy and forgiveness.
    Pastor Phil

  40. Bene Diction says:

    Hi Phil:

    What is Mr. Clark’s legal status? Has he had court appearances, does he have a lawyer and when does he go to trial?

  41. greg vail says:

    Phil. How can we get his id to him?

  42. phil says:

    Working on it Greg.

  43. Greg Vail says:

    Bene, Charlie was released on Tuesday and is back in Southern California now. There were 19 other guys that were in the same situation and are in the process of being released or have been released. The bad guys have been rounded up and are in custody.
    Possibly, a few others that posted ugly on this blog will be requesting removal of posts?
    I really don’t understand people calling themselves friends, and then stab a brother in the back with no proof of allegations AND under a cowards hidden BLOG name.
    TODAY –
    Horrible situation and hardship for Charlie done!
    Sad and sick response by many on this BLOG.
    Elated that Charlie is out of the hole and home!!

    Huge thanks to Pastor Phil!! The the guy at the prison that helped along the way, and the 2 male friends of Charlie’s that went way beyond the call to help!! Those of us that care about Charlie and very grateful to you all…

  44. Pastor Phil says:

    Greg, I am so blessed by your friendship with Charlie. I d di not want to comment further on this blog without Charlie’s permission. Now that everyone knows that Charlie is a free man, I want to give the Lord Jesus all the glory and honor. He worked the miracle for Charlie’s freedom. Is it coincidence that this happened just one day before Good Friday? I think not. Jesus was Charlie’s advocate, His blood paid the ransom for Charlie. He knew who Charlie was and allowed him to lead several persons in prison to the Lord. Now, on Resurrection Sunday, Charlie can start afresh and anew, knowing that the Lord himself stepped in on his behalf. I’m disappointed and saddened too by the nasty comments of others on this blog. The Christian army has been infamous for its soldiers being the first to shoot its own wounded. Even the world does not do this. Jesus offers all of you the grace to make a new start too. When you are born again, God comes to live in you. Do you think He would allow you to speak like that against another of His own. Jesus himself said that a house divided against itself would not stand. I urge all the critics to go to Jesus and ask for His compassion and love.
    As for me, I just answered the call from Matthew 25:39 and served Jesus when He was in prison. I was blessed to serve.
    To Bene: THANK YOU for the very direct questions you asked in your opening sentences of the blog. By reading that, I felt the pain and loneliness of Charlie and Jesus used you to get to me. You be blessed.

  45. Greg Vail says:

    I LOVE you Phil!! God is shining out of you with so much grace and love. Hope to meet you this side of heaven and if not, we gotta hang on the other side bro!!!

  46. BD says:

    Greg and Phil:

    You are welcome, thank you for the update – I am glad that people stepped up for Charlie Clark. I can appreciate it is his story to tell.

    This Easter, worshipping the risen Christ will have fresh meaning for sure. He is Risen.

  47. Hello Bene Diction.
    I have refrained from coming to your blog until now as I’ve heard enough from Greg, Phil and others. I come now because the inflammatory, slanderous, libelous opinions of two women whom I had long term relationships with that did not end well found an opportunity via this blog to strike back in unforgiving vengeance and these statements have found their way into effecting my ability to get work and in being accepted, building relationships in the churches that I am now attending and serving. This has now become issue of legal bearing.

    I am asking for one of two things from you. Either the removal of these opinions expressed that are full in non facts, innuendo and hearsay from your blog as they have and had no bearing on it’s purpose as you stated you were trying to find out what happened to me, of me and/or if anyone had come to my aid, if the churches I’ve recently served had come to my aid. Was this not the reason for your blog? If so, the opinions of those who would count themselves as enemies of mine are really not the subject or of interest in it’s purpose. Those individuals saw an opportunity to strike back in unforgiving vengeance and I’m asking for their removal OR to completely take this thread down as the events leading up to my arrest, captivity and release are now over and technically from Canada’s viewpoint, never occurred.

    What is outlined below applies to the other victims used by the criminal element as well. 20 plus.

    I was contacted via email from someone looking for my father and giving specific information that led me to believe that it was legitimate and stating that the ministry of finance was holding a fund in my fathers name. I wrote back and told them that my father was deceased. They responded by stating that as the ‘heir’ it would be awarded to me. Being skeptical I asked questions. Who are you? Send identification. Where did this fund come from, whom? They sent three forms of identification and said it was a relative-they believed an uncle of mine. I’ve never had any interaction with any of my fathers family and am ignorant as to if I may have other uncles, aunts, cousins etc . My father never shared anything about his family. Still skeptical, I asked what I had to pay – assuming a scam – and was told nothing, all expenses were paid by Canada. I asked what I had to do and was told that since the fund was of foreign origin and they were not open to say how they obtained it – that I would be required to go to that country, sign papers for its release, then fly to Canada and do the same, appearing before a magistrate to have it signed off for payment. I said – I don’t know about all that but I am willing to be a courier to transport documents at the standard daily rate for international couriers. We came to agreement, took the assignment, arranged for a sub to cover the weekend I’d be gone made the travel arrangements estimated to be 6-8 days. I flew to the destination which was changed enroute making it out of my control to turn around and was flown to Santa Cruz, Bolivia – picked up by a ‘secretary’ of the Ministry, taken to a hotel to wait and given per diem money to eat on. I sat for 4 days, with it raining for 3 of them, confined to a dumpy hotel with no amenities or services. I became frustrated and angry as I sat there and demanded to be sent back home and forget about it. It was a waste of my time and as they were being evasive and non communicative, I was growing more wary and afraid. I was assured all was well-they had some problems with the consulate there and was scheduled to leave the next day, day 5. I was to be driven to the airport by one of the Canadian consulate workers – so claimed- for a flight leaving at 3:30 am. This driver did not show up to take me on time and I had to take taxi myself. I still have no documents. I waited at the airport for this person so show up with the docs. He came 5 minutes after the plane was supposed to take off for Lima to connect with an Air Canada flight to Toronto. When he arrived he had a case – not a packet stating that he had been instructed to pick up indigenous articles of clothing and toys for one of the people in Canada and all was in the aluminum carry on. This case was too big for the planes carry on regulations so was checked and run to the plane now 10 minutes late in take off. I ran to the plane to get on. I DID look in the bag and saw the items as described and was to inspect the rest of the bag but the airline personal insisted I give them the bag to leave. There were some other things in the bag I was not able to check and ask about – namely some liquid – that I was told via text when I got to Lima that were chemicals invented by the Bolivians to clean soiled money so that it didn’t have to be destroyed and replace, saving millions of dollars. The bag was never in my control. This is key.

    I flew to Canada, was called out of line by name – taken to customs – got the bag and it was inspected. The contents cut up and destroyed or separated and set aside. (the bottles) Then they cut open the lining of the case exposing small packets glued to the case, under the padding and lining. The case looked brand new to me, and even if I had inspected it I wouldn’t have been knowledgeable enough to find the hidden drugs. Nor did I suspect drugs as I was not aware that Bolivia is actually a larger supplier of them than Columbia. My initial destination, Ecuador being 3rd on the list. The original estimate was 9 kilos in combination of powder and liquid, they assuming drugs in liquid form. The correct amount in powder was 2.4. They could not identify what the liquid was. How was I called out of line by name? The customs official they had received a ‘tip’ of me arriving on that flight and carrying drugs. A set up to be arrested. I was arrested – put in jail for one night and then transferred to the facility in Milton which is a maximum security facility and held for 9 months. Why the set up? I and the others were used as diversionary ‘mules’ so that another on the same flight could retrieve another bag from baggage claim that contained 20-40 kilos of cocaine worth millions. My first suspicion that this was conned was not alone in it was while waiting to go to court. A man across from me was describing his case to another. It was exactly, and I mean EXACTLY what I had gone through, same people, terms, places, hotel, room number, method of diversion and set up, and result, incarceration with the potential to be sentenced to 15 or more years in prison. The others have either the exact story or one similar. As it turned out there were 4 in Toronto and 12 in Montreal and unfortunately, 4 being held in foreign prisons that Canada is trying to get out and home. All of us US citizens. Half of us with military ties, the others being retired service personnel, me as represented of my fathers service.

    Our release. In February the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP- Canada’s version of our FBI) arrested the criminals in Montreal. They took in possession pounds of drugs and over 100 million in cash. Going through their computers and obtaining text messaging, they found the emails and texts that I – and the others – asserted to and were on our computers and phones. From this they ascertained that we indeed had been conned, used for their profit. A month and a half later, on April 4th while I was at court to start jury selection for trial, I was met by my Barrister, Deniz, (having fired Gary Batazar for his unprofessional conduct, giving interviews, making up stories from information I gave him without my knowledge or consent) and told that I was being released. I was sent back to the prison and deported the next day, being dumped in Detroit with no means to get home or even to eat. Pastor Phil – what a wonderful gift – provided a hotel that night so I could shower and rest although I was unable to from the trauma – and a ticket back to San Diego where one friend picked me up, fed me and delivered me to Gregs where they graciously let me sleep on the couch and fed me for two weeks. God bless them for their kindness to me!

    What now? I was contacted by my former Barrister and told that I am ‘scott’ free. All charges removed – not just dropped and that as far as Canada is concerned, I never was there. Wasn’t arrested, wasn’t incarcerated. I was ‘detained’. For 9 months, detained! When asked if I’ve been arrested or served time, I am to answer – no. There is no record officially that I was ever in Canada. BUT, I lost my job, where I lived and everything in my account, returning to nothing and now am on the street, with public assistance, barely surviving. I’ve been trying to get hired and join a church community. This blog of yours has prevented or made that difficult and I must insist that it be purged or removed. Preferably removed as I was ‘never arrested and held in Canada’. The nightmare is over. The effects are not. I have since been contacted by the RCMP and asked to testify along with the man from the court where I found out I was not alone in this –it was an organized scam – and others for the government of Canada to ensure a conviction that will be consecutive if they are found guilty. That would effect multi decade sentences under Canadian law. In March, this will be finally and completely over and ‘never happened’. Strange but that’s reality. Sadly there are some being held in foreign prisons still and the Canadian government is working to effect their release. Pray for these, please. Most of us have been freed and sent home to lost jobs, homes, divorces and destitution including myself.

    As to the article in the paper and barrister Gary Batazar, The stuff about visiting churches and being on a mission trip was all crap made up by him for what ever reason he thought would play. What was correct was my name, my age, where I was working and that I had previously served on the team at Saddleback Church as a volunteer for 5 years. I had no knowledge of these statements to the press and never gave consent to discuss it with anyone. I found out about the article from Pastor Phil after it had been published on the web and in print when he initially visited me.

    I and the others are victims. I have paid the price for my lack of wisdom. I/we do not deserve the hypocritical judgment of those here and elsewhere who were/are ignorant and have defamed us.

  48. In particular here on your blog that the world is reading, are individuals that have a personal problem with me from failed relationships that went badly. They are women whom from their writing I am able to identify and am calling out Jeri and Sharon for their use of hearsay, mis information and personal opinion in vengeance to condemn and judge me. Hypocrites who claim to be of God and yet know nothing of the teachings of God as to forgiveness, helping one when they fall, surrounding to protect, allow healing and reconciliation. They have been given grace but know nothing of it. And one took my dog in, handled my financial affairs unsuccessfully and yet, I was the one she called to care for her dying father 24/7 for 5 months last year, me saying yes and giving 150 hours a week with NO days off for free as a love gift to her, personally. Then she comes on your site and slanders me in hate. She has No credibility and is immature in her personal vengeance. .

    To Anonymous- sadly – none of the churches where I gave my service, love and support – over and above came to my aid. As Pastor Phil stated, the Church frequently acts with more malice than secular institutions when one is found wounded and hurting.

    Now as to the slander and libel. I will not defend myself from these assorted distortions, fabrications, opinion and judgements from hearsay. I don’t have to. They do not have anything to do with my experience last year and this. But I must respond to them as they are affecting my employment opportunities and my becoming involved in a new church I am attending. The vile spewing from these two people – two women’s hate. May I remind us that Jesus said to have hate in our hearts was to ‘murder’ that person and was in violation of one of the basic commandments. May I also say, cast the first stone, hypocrite and before you do take that log out of your own eyes Ladies. These indeed are cowards to make statements based on their feelings, opinions and ignorance. I’ve called you out.

    I am not a perfect man. I have sinned. I have hurt people and have been hurt by them – these in particular. I have asked forgiveness from them and all I have hurt in the past. Some have responded in Christ likeness, others not and it’s obvious that these have not. On the big points. I have was not reprimanded nor fired from the college for anything sexual in nature. This is public record. I have been fired from two places, one for not agreeing in principle with policy of which one of these two is in complete agreement that I was correct in opposing it and did nothing wrong and the other was deserved. Any other assertions are none of their or your business. No one in my personal relationships – and I’ve been single for 26 years- was manipulated or abused. They chose to be involved with me and whatever we did was consensual, whether social, business, personal in nature including the ones with statements here. Life is messy and relationships can and frequently are more so. But in this realm- the internet and global dissemination, what one says can become of legal consequence and indeed these statements are now. Keep your opinions to yourself or to you and your friends. Public statements have consequences. And check your hypocrisy. Both of you do not work, take money from others. One of you operates a business in at your residence with no permit, in county violation, receives income that is not reported to the IRS and has clients perjure themselves as to the status of your service. One has had multiple relationships, moving all over the country more than once in the pursuit of romance unsuccessfully and has shacked up with some. I stand my case. Those referenced whom I have stayed with opened their homes to me in grace because of kindness I had given before. We were friends and they acted as friends. Throw the first stone after you remove the log from your eyes. I’ve repeatedly tried to heal and to reconcile. I am human and I’ve done some that while immoral, were not unethical or illegal. In these, we all stand accused and guilty. What does the Bible teach as to what we deserve? Death. What are we given, grace and redemption. What are called to do? Love and forgive. Even Christ in the Lord’s prayer – forgive us our sins as we forgive others. Meaning – we will NOT be forgiven if we do not forgive and in the same measure. God is under no duress to forgive. He chooses to do so out of His extravagant love in grace. We are commanded to do the same.

    Hate born out of immaturity, life long mistrust of men in general whether real or imagined has no place in the Church and personal issues, unless they reflect have no place either. Would I be disqualified for service for my sins? Yes, just as all men are. None of us are qualified if that is the criteria. Certainly some things are more grievous than others and require actions. But you are not my judge. You are part of the sin in your assertions. To indict me is indict yourself. Galeforcewind, you never saw any lists and there was no calendar agenda. We discussed this over and over. Once your mind was made up, no amount of reasoning or proof to the otherwise is accepted. Others who called you on it were ignored. Now the story grows. You have proclaimed your love for me recently within weeks of this missive. And now this. You are un trustworthy and volatile. It’s your opinion. Keep it to yourself not public. Saying it anonymously is testament to your words being without merit. I’m sorry you were hurt – it was not intended by me. To any of you. With your track record(s) you do not stand in the position to cast blame for you wear it in yourselves. In each relationship I have ever entered into, I have been clear as to my desire in it, whether a platonic one, a dating one or romantic one. Most were in length with me being hopeful that it would last and I tried to act up to the expectation of the other. Not successfully and on most occasions, I was the one who stopped the relationship. That hurts and I know it but better that than to continue under false pretenses. And you agreed. One accusation that I would address is serious to me – with a married woman. That woman was one of you who purposely deceived by omission that you were married when I met you and started to see you. To you women who speak in cowardice here- I’m sorry I failed you in being what you wanted me to be. I won’t name names and be specific to your sins. I AM arrogant enough, Jeri to assert that I’m bigger than that.

  49. I AM a pastor called. Do I deserve to be? No. No Pastor I know would claim that. It’s a privilege. I have served in that capacity officially. One of you is culpable in the difficulty of continuing in one posting. Check your self righeousness.

    I am rightfully worthy of judgment and punishment but not by you. I am forgiven, redeemed, washed in His blood. My name is in His Book of Life. I have been called by God to proclaim His Good News as a saint, holy in His eyes, righteous, a king of heaven and joint heir of the kingdom with Jesus, the Christ. THIS is what the Bible says of us. It says that when one stumbles, a second should be there to lift them up. It says that we are to come around and place a hedge of protection to those who are hurting and have failed, loving them into confession and restoration. That we are not to be rejected and cast out if we are willing to repent. I always have been.

    I have disappointed many. I apologize and beg your forgiveness. I will strive to never injure. I pledge to love and serve. I’ve learned to ask for help and guidance from things in the last few years. Not to stand alone but be in community with people of trust and wisdom. To ask, listen and hear. I’ve also learned to reach out for help and not be a lone ranger. I’m frequently too open, to ready and eager and some of you are uncomfortable in that and are concerned. My heart is pure. There is no agenda other than to serve and be open. I will try to be more discreet and softer.

    Greg and Phil, Don, Richard, Liz, Michele, Phyllis – thank you for your support at the least, an open heart and Christ like charity.

    I am home. I am free. I am humbled by those who have given so much to help and rescue me. Mostly to my Lord and Savior – MY beloved who showed me how much I am loved, I was not forgotten by Him who sees, He sent me Philip. He showed me I was loved by not allowing me to fall into death. He protected. He was Faithful and True to His word to come and save, to redeem, to heal, to lift up His loved one. Most of all – HE LOVED ME. I’m not special in this. HE loves you just the same and WILL never leave you nor forsake you! I needed to repent. I needed to give everything and surrender all. I need to learn to trust and I’ve been shown – in real terms that salvation. WE have a God who is near, and knows where we are, who we are, what we need, when we need it. But more importantly, He has a purpose for us and we are too important to Him to continue in a path that is destructive and will not result in completing that task He has for us. Our faithfulness in mandatory to receive His calling and blessing. My faith is even stronger and I fear almost nothing. Still working on the fear to become the man He made me to be. To trust unwaveringly.

    I think after spending 9 months in prison with men threatening my life on a regular basis because I spoke truth and stood up to evil, having cell mates who killed people – were on drugs and schizophrenic that I’ve not only served my time and payed for my mistakes but endured, grew, strengthened and remained faithful to the calling of serving Jesus, proclaiming Him to be the Savior, raised from the dead, alive and active having a purpose for each of them.

    Score card? Five souls redeemed, two marriages saved, over two dozen ministered to, encouraged and in most cases delivered from the lies of the enemy. Shown from the Word how God sees them, and that they a valued, worthy of His sacrifice because of the Fathers Love. Precious, family, wanted and set apart. Gifted and called by the Lord of Life, blessed with a saving grace, a purpose for living right now and a promise of a life to come in perfection.

    Kings of Heaven, the Chosen, loved, cherished, raised up to reign with Him in glory. Saints, Holy ones, sons of the most High God, joint heirs with Christ in the power and richness of heaven. Beaten down with lies for years – I was used by the Lord to lift them up with the WORD of LIFE. Teaching them who they are in Christ – How the Father sees them and that they are PRICELESS to God – as HE paid that PRICE – for them and to stop thinking like losers/worthless/evil/cast outs.

    NO – WE are the redeemed, raised up, brought into glory, given crowns of life and the privilege and name of Sons and Daughters of GOD!

    HOW GREAT is His love for us. Amazing! Praise YOU Lord!

    Thank you, righteous friends and servants of the Lord. The Lord bless you who have been the love of Jesus to me, hearts that yearn to be like Jesus. More of Him – less of us.

    That’s it – now let’s drop it.

    To BENE – I formally ask that this entire blog be removed by you, the administrator as it contains libelous and slanderous ‘opinions’ couched as statements of fact. The statements made are of a personal nature involving personal relationships gone awry. Those accusing in anonymity hold no credibility because of it and because of their personal lives that hide sins unrepented. If you decline to remove all of it to give those who came and read the ability to read my response- ok, but remove the content that does not pertain to the events surrounding my ‘adventure’ in Canada.

    I ask this in your favor before I would have to take action. Some here have put me at risk by their statements and I take and will take that threat seriously. If not the entire blog,
    Please remove this content. I trust that you know exactly what I am saying.

    And Bene – thank you for your concern, your attempt to help me. I ask the Father to bless you in a demonstrable way that you will know is from Him on my behalf. Blessings!

    Charlie Clark –
    The UN criminal – lol

  50. Bene Diction says:

    Hi Mr. Clark:

    Thank you for coming here to tell your story, I’m sorry for what you have been through. From the day I saw the newspaper article, a lot of what was written just did not make sense. I wondered if the silence involved more than you disappearing into Maplehurst, if you were being detained while law enforcement investigated, and what happened to you turns out to be bigger and more international than I and others would have imagined.

    I’m not going to remove the post, what I have done is the following:

    a) updated with an explanation.
    b) removed the comments from the 2 women. I will tell you that the comments came from Southern California.
    c) this is your story to tell, and as such I am directing readers to what you have to say and put an update notice at the top of the post.
    d) readers can now sort out facts, now that you’ve been able to tell your story, this is also a cautionary tale about not believing everything we read.
    e) I’ve used the word alleged in the update as required by law.

    If you need to legally serve me Charlie, then do so. What you’ve said is a compelling caution to so many others who could so easily be prey and that is why I am leaving the post up. In my opinion, you aren’t done helping others, as painful as this post is, and in showing courage to come here and tell what happened to you, combined with what was known prior to you speaking, my hope is twofold.
    1. You will be restored.
    2. Readers will learn and avoid the experience of you and many others.

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